Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Michelle Joy Gallagher @Aphelia @darc_nina #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

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The Attic  
by Michelle Joy Gallagher

“What the hell was that?”

Maddie heard rustling sounds that broke the mood of the romantic meal Scott had prepared for them. Lately he’d seemed distracted and so unlike himself. Tonight, God help him, he was trying.
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“Don’t worry about it. Its probably a raccoon or a rat.. anyway dinner is getting cold.”
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She smiled as best as she could. Her mother always told her to encourage the behavior she wanted to see more of. Scott being kind and not snapping at her was one of those things.
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Dinner was some sort of chicken casserole he’d found a recipe for online and was not entirely inedible. They talked about work and the documentary series they’d been watching. The conversation felt comfortable and familiar. Maddie felt relief wash over her that she hadn’t felt in months. Then she brought up buying a house. The storm cloud that seemed to be following Scott lately coalesced again.
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“I don’t think that’s a good idea Maddie!” He punctuated this with a fist on the table, tipping her wine glass.
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Maddie had enough.
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“Look, it’s time to tell me why you’re acting this way almost constantly. I’m tired of walking on eggshells. You know you can talk to me about anything, right?  What’s wrong, Scott? I can’t take much more of this.
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The rustling returned again, this time accompanied by a loud bang and the sound of dragging. Scott looked up at the ceiling and then back at Maddie. He put his hands up in a signal for her to wait. He looked apologetic and excused himself from the table. Maddie was too distracted to consider the noises now, besides it wasn’t unheard of for rodents to wreak havoc in attics.
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She heard low whispering. The voices sounded strained and angry but she couldn’t make out what was being said. After several minutes sitting with her fear she got up to investigate.
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The retractable ladder that lead to the basement was engaged in the hallway and the voices got louder.
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“I warned you…” she heard Scott say.
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“You can’t do this… please.” Came the answer in almost a low growl. Maddie’s fear intensified exponentially.
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She started to climb the ladder as quietly as she could. Every creak she would stop and listen, but the whispering went on and on, snatches of muffled conversation coming to her in waves.
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“You know what will happen… finds out.”
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“Please… stop.”
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She stuck her head through the small opening that led to the attic and the whispering stopped dead. It was pitch black but as her eyes adjusted she could make out the beams of the roof and the brick fireplace plunging through. Everything was coated in thick dust.
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She saw movement in her peripheral vision on the right and when her eyes finally focused on the figures in the dark she was met with the sight of Scott and what could only be described as a replica of Scott. The replica was bleeding profusely and hooked to some sort of tubing and wires. He was also chained to one of the brick roof supports. Scott has his hand over the replica’s mouth. Maddie screamed and fell off the ladder hitting the hardwood floor with a thud. Stunned she laid there staring up at the entrance to the attic in horror.
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Scott emerged looking worried. “Maddie, sweetie are you ok? That was quite a tumble!” He said as if he was genuinely concerned. He descended the ladder and knelt beside her, a brick in his hand. “A fall like that… it can cause some pretty bad head injuries” he said this plainly as he lifted the brick over his head. Maddie tried turning over, but too late. The last thing she saw before everything went black was Scott’s blank expression as he heaved down the brick toward her face.
.
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Fiction © Copyright Michelle Joy Gallagher
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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More from author Michelle Joy Gallagher:
31dLq1v2KHL._SX308_BO1,204,203,200_Disremembering
Welcome to Blackhawk, Colorado. Blackhawk has always been strange. Natural disasters. Disappearances. Murders. High strangeness is a part of daily life. We can’t hope to explain it, but we can chronicle its past. Learn from it. Fear it. Blackhawk is an experimental fiction series set in a shared universe, written by a variety of talented authors. It is the brainchild of David M Brown (Plague Doctor, Modern Animals) and Carl D Smith (Moleb the Giant, Darkness Out of Carthage). Each story will contribute to an organic, evolving mythology as diverse as the voices behind its tales. For fans of True Detective, Lost Highway, Twilight Zone, and The Terror. This is Volume Two of the series and contains five stories by five different authors, each in tune with the specific strangeness Blackhawk has to offer. NOTE: For fans of Lake Lord Publishing’s prior horror titles, be warned that Blackhawk will contain content that is perhaps more disturbing and mature.

Available on Amazon!

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3 Responses to Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Michelle Joy Gallagher @Aphelia @darc_nina #LoH #fiction

  1. afstewart says:

    So very creepy and fantastic.

  2. Marge Simon says:

    This one had me going! Just enough we don’t know (and we really don’t want to know!) to make it a huge success!

  3. Eeuw – so creepy – poor Maddie!

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