The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
A Free Gift is Not Free
by K.R. Morrison
“Ow! Dammit, Shawn!”
Sean looked over his shoulder. His brother had stopped and was wiping something out of his eye.
“You keep slapping these branches back and they hit me in the eye!”
Sean knew what was coming next.
“I think we should go back,” Mike told him. “I don’t see why you had to take a different path.”
“It’s exciting!” Sean replied. “There’s a full moon; who knows what we’ll find?”
Mike rolled his eyes. Keeping after his younger brother was a real trial sometimes.
Sean saw the beleaguered look on his brother’s face, and his patience snapped.
“Well, go back then!” he spat. “I don’t need you keeping track of me, if that’s all you’re doing.” He turned and stomped off.
With the sigh of a martyr going to the gallows, Mike followed…but at a safer distance.
His eyes on the trail, Mike didn’t realize that Sean had stopped suddenly. He slammed right into his back.
But for once, Sean didn’t spit, swear, or even look disgusted at him. His gaze was rooted to the sight a few feet away. Mike followed Sean’s line of vision–and could see why.
There before them was a tiny little village, straddling a canal and looking all the world like Mike would have envisioned Brigadoon.
“Wow…” Sean breathed.
“Um…yeah,” was all Mike could get out.
Sean broke into a run, Mike not more than a few steps behind.
In her underwater lair, She awoke. Something had stirred her. She trained her instincts on what she had felt, and could feel the vibration of feet above.
She tensed and waited.
The young men stopped at the edge of the village and looked around them.
“Weird.” Mike put a hand on Sean’s shoulder. For once he didn’t pull away.
They had both noticed that there were no people around. It was only 9:00pm, so where were the citizens?
Sean shrugged and started off again, Mike on his heels.
They stopped in at the first door, a bakery, and searched for any signs of activity.
But there were plenty of baked goods in the cases—and the boys were mighty hungry.
“No one will ever know…” Sean said, looking sidewise at his brother.
They tore into the wares.
She nodded. Yes, these two would do.
Once sated, they went back outside and inspected things more closely. A Lamborghini sat just outside, the keys in the ignition.
“Oh, hell yeah!”
Sean jumped into the driver’s seat and was gone in no time.
Mike just shook his head and continued down the street. He stopped at the first boat tied up to the side.
Without thinking twice, he was behind the wheel and off like a shot.
And just that quickly, a black tentacle shot out and dragged him under the calm waters of the canal. He didn’t even have time to shriek.
Sean came back and parked the car where he had found it. He jumped out and looked for his brother. Mike was nowhere to be seen.
“Wuss,” Sean muttered. “Probably got on his goody-two-shoes horse and went home.”
He was so immersed in his own thoughts that he didn’t hear the tiny lap of water at the edge of the canal. In moments, he had disappeared.
After a few minutes, small, human-like creatures trickled out from the forest around the village. They waited patiently at the edge of the canal; soon they were rewarded with two half-eaten carcasses thrown up out of the waters.
Once sated, they went about refilling the bakery displays, re-parking the Lamborghini, and sweeping the area of any disturbances.
The web was repaired, and the village awaited its next victims.