Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Kim Richards @Kim_Richards @Darc_Nina #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

Image_02

The Great Master’s Chambers
by Kim Richards

Laura snuck into His dressing rooms. Although she risked her job being there, she took a secret pleasure at stepping into his forbidden world. The Great Master did not allow anyone inside his private chambers. No one ever saw him leave the rooms except to go on stage. The rumors were wild:  that he lived in there; that he disguised himself and used a secret passageway in the walls; that he might be a spirit or a vampire. Many dared creep inside as she did and some were never seen again.

The air was thick with Patchouli incense. It’s warm scent of wood and earth was soothing. Upon a carved wooden table, a single yellow candle flame barely lit the room, sending light dancing among the deep shadows and brocaded drapes, furniture, and tablecloths. That it was lit gave her pause. She slowly turned a full circle, expecting him to be there staring at her with his dark eyes. When she realized she was alone, she let out a great sigh.

Beneath the light lay a parchment. The candle sat upon the paper corner. Upon drawing near, Laura noticed it was handwritten sheet music.

Does he write the songs which enthrall his audiences? She wondered. That might explain his secrecy.

Also upon the table was an ornate mask of the kind worn in festivals and parades. Its pale face was adorned with a secondary mask of gold and jewels. The lightly pursed lips were painted a deep purple. Cascading from the top and along the sides of the face were curls of hair made from ribbons of green and gold. Beneath the fine china-like chin was a fanned bowtie of green silk and trimmed with gold. The whole mask shimmered except the eyes which were black voids.

Laura was drawn to it. She touched the ribbons gently with her fingertips. Up close she realized the gems were real stones and the gold threads spun from precious metal. She picked it up.

The mask was feather light. She held it up before her as if to put it on. The inside was painted a reddish brown like clay and rough. She noticed she could not see through the eyes. They were as inky and sightless as from the front side.

The mask shimmered and trembled in her hands. Surprised, she moved to put it down but was too late. It flew from her hands and firmly attached to her face. The cool surface scratched her cheeks. There was a scent which frightened her. Blood. It was the scent of blood.

Desperation filled Laura as she clawed at the thing, catching the edges with her fingernails, only to break them in her attempt to remove it. She could not smell the patchouli any longer. She could not breathe. She had not noticed breathing holes in the nose or mouth before.

She had to get out. Stumbling, she bumped into things. Stubbed her toe on the clawfoot of some furniture piece. She caught table edge and reached out. The hot candle flame burned her palm. The mask muffled her cries.

Guessing the door was to her left, she spun and stumbled forward…into the barrel chest of a man. The Great Master.

She was dizzy and gasping futile breaths. He took her in his arms and gently lowered her to the floor.

As her spirit left her body, she heard him say, “Silly child.”

Fiction © Copyright Kim Richards
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

line_separator2

This entry was posted in Authors, Dark Fiction, flash fiction, FREE, Horror, Ladies of Horror, Writing Project and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Kim Richards @Kim_Richards @Darc_Nina #LoH #fiction

  1. This is a great read – so suspenseful with a hint of “Phantom of the Opera” – the sensory detail of the room – the scent of the incense, the opulence of the mask, is captivating – as your MC discovered. 🙂

  2. afstewart says:

    Very creepy and cool.

  3. Marge Simon says:

    I really enjoyed this one — as Alex Grehy has said, descriptions well done, and a chilling ending, tasteful — I appreciate that the Great (and mysterious) Master didn’t open his jaws and devour the silly young gal!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.