The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
by Nina D’Arcangela
I hate these things. Is there anything more annoying than someone else’s happiness? Look at her, the bride-to-be, making her rounds like a moth pretending to be a butterfly. She doesn’t have a care in the world. Odd assortment of people at a bachelorette party, though. I mean, who does one of these on a Sunday afternoon? And who plans their own, aren’t we supposed to do that for her? I don’t even see her mom, but man, that mother-in-law to-be is a real doozie. She cornered me in the bathroom earlier, I had to practically lean her up against the wall to keep her on her feet. Even as I was dashing for the door, she was bragging about how great her son is, how much money he makes, and how he’s too good for my ‘bestie’. So annoying. I only friended her because I used to date the guy she’s marrying, bet she’d drop a brick if she knew. At least the caterer is aces – the food is outstanding, and the special cocktail they crafted for her is out of this world!
Thank GOD I didn’t get roped into being the maid of honor. The worst. I mean have you ever had to wait on a diva like her and smile the whole time? My face hurts just thinking about the frigging grin I’ll have plastered on my puss the whole day; her day. I can’t imagine what Krista is gonna go through. A sisters duty and all that crap. Wow, these drinks really are fantastic. Some kind of rum with a cinnamon twist. I can’t put my finger on it, but it has an aftertaste of, what is that? So delish! And the sugared leaves are divine! Crispy and sweet – I could eat a buckets worth. I’m definitely having these at my shindig. Yum. I mean seriously, a winter wonderland wedding in August? Give me a break. But, what the bride wants, yada, yada, yada. Anyway, a few more of these cocktails and I won’t give two…
Holy shit! Did you see that? The groom’s mom just puked all over the seafood station. Well, I guess that’s it for the shrimp, and those oysters must have cost a fortune. How tragic; how hysterical! I shouldn’t laugh, honestly, but I can’t help it. Wait – is that her sister using the potted topiary as a repository? I guess mommy-to-be’s little purge must have set her stomach tumbling. Speaking of, I think I might go in for a lie-down. I’m not feeling so well out here in the heat. Ugh, I wonder if it was something we all ate. Typical. Everyone seems a bit green around the gills. Yup, we’ve got a whole table chucking their cookies over there. I’ll just grab myself another drink and head in, the smell out here is becoming revolting. Come to think of it, my throat is starting to feel scratchy. I hope someone didn’t bring a bug to this over-bloated soiree. Yeah, I think a quick veg in the air conditioning will help.
“Excuse me. Can you tell me…” Damn, my throat keeps clogging up on me. “Can you tell me what’s in this? Never mind, would you just get me another?” I ask as I point to my drink.
The waiter just blinks and pushes his glasses further up his nose. As the first wave of real nausea hits, my stomach cramps so badly it doubles me over, planting my ass back in the seat. And…I spill my drink. Great. All over my Mom’s Channel bag. She’s gonna pitch a fit. Yowsa! I thought the first cramp was bad, that last one was brutal. I hope there’s a restroom available. Just my luck, I’m bent over double with the trots and here she comes.
“Hello, how are we doing?” Bride-of-Frankenstein’s Monster wants to know. I was really hoping to avoid her. She always says ‘we’ when she doesn’t like something, or someone. Truly, this woman is insufferable.
“Great. I’m just gonna… Hey, um congrats on the party and all, but I need to use the Ladies, then I’ll be right back.” I manage to moan.
“Oh, no you won’t.” that smile, I want to slap it off her smug face as another crushing wave rolls through my body. “Enjoying the Yummy Rummie?”
“What? Oh, you mean the drink,” I really need to shake her and get inside. “Yeah, they’re great.” Why now? Her timing is always so annoying.
“You know, they made that special just for me.” Sanctimonious bitch.
I wail in pain this time, but it comes out a bare squeak. As I meld with my chair, she crouches next to me.
“Ahhh, you did nibble on the leaves, didn’t you?”
Looking at the half empty glass in my hand and the stems on the table, I’m like duh, but all that comes out is a groan of agony as I throw up in my mouth just a little.
“Don’t look so sad. It’ll be over soon. You saw my fiance’s Mum take a tumble, right? She can never resist a good stiff one. And from what I’ve seen, neither can you.” A boop on the nose. Who the hell does she think she is? “Oh, don’t try to speak, it’ll just hurt more. You see, I’ve seen the videos, you really shouldn’t have banged him, or whatever you low-bred skanks call it.” Her hands flap like she’s going for lift-off, but points for knowing the word skank. Given her pedigree, it shouldn’t even be in her repertoire. “Now everyone who knows has to suffer.” Her pompous chuckle makes me want to barf more than my screaming innards. “Here, lie down in the grass. There you go. That’s better, isn’t it? Anyway, I have other party guests to attend to, so you’ll have to die alone. Toodles!” WTF? She’s off her nut. Die? Alone? At a bachelorette party? That’s when the creepy waiter with the glasses leans over.
“In answer to your earlier question, they’re poison ivy leaves dipped in an arsenic-sugar mix. We freeze them for that delectable snap.” He beams a smile at me. “Fun, huh?”
Fiction © Copyright Nina D’Arcangela
Image courtesy of Pixabay
More from Nina D’Arcangela:
Mental Ward: EXPERIMENTS
A dank basement, shadow filled hallways, the deep echo of a metal latch being thrown while faint screams are heard… These are the things you might experience in a place where the unspeakable happens, where conscientious action and moral turpitude turn a blind eye in the interest of advancing one’s own personal pursuits in the most deranged and unjustifiable manner. The type of place where power corrupts, and depravity runs rampant among those imbued with it. A place where the unfortunate are abandoned to the devices of those who convince themselves their actions are in the best interest of science.
Mental Ward: Experiments is a collection of ten short stories that demonstrate the worst of humanity’s ambition in the interest of ‘civilized’ advancement. Step into a world where sanity is left behind, and horror is what the doctor ordered!