The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
Lightning in The Otter Fields
by Melissa R. Mendelson
Now, let me tell you since you don’t think me crazy. Every ten years on July 8 for whatever damn reason, there will be a storm over the Otter Fields. They may predict clear skies or cloudy weather, but those weathermen do not know shit. And lightning will strike that tree in the Otter Fields. Make sure that you don’t stand in that field when it does. Some poor soul found out the hard way last year and is now nothing but a crisp remain.
Give it ten minutes, but no more than that. Another fellow waited twenty, and nothing happened. He called me a fraud, but I said he waited too damn long. Ten minutes. That’s it, and then when the lightning dies down, bury what you need to bury. Legend goes that whatever you want, you get depending on the size of what you leave there. Bury a dime, you get a shred. Bury a baseball, you get a handful. Get me drift? The larger the object, the more reward, but be warned. It’s like that old saying. Be careful what you wish for.
Larry parked his truck a short distance away from the Otter Fields. He checked his cell phone, five p.m., July 8th. The old man never said what time specifically, but it was usually after evening. He would just wait, but as he did, he looked into the backseat, at a large black bag. Freaking thing was heavy, but the man inside was no lightweight. And nobody would miss him.
“What happened to your cousin,” and he would merely shrug.
Lightning struck the tree, and the whole field lit up like a baseball game. He raised up a hand to shield his eyes and then lowered it. Not one cloud in the sky, but it didn’t matter. And he hopped out of his truck, grabbing the body out of the back. The shovel rested on the floor near it, and he grabbed that too.
He dragged the large, black bag out into the fields. He looked around, but not one soul was nearby. Still, he felt vulnerable as if something were watching him, and he quickly buried the body. “Fuck you, cousin. No one’s gonna miss you.”
Hopping back into his truck, he took off, thinking of what the old man said, “Can’t tell you how fast it works, but it works. Trust me that it does, but beware the price.”
When he got home, the power was still out. Water dripped out of the sink. No food in the fridge or cabinets. The dog stared at him in hunger, and when he tried to pet the dog, it snapped at him.
“Tomorrow will be different, friend. You wait and see.” He went to bed.
When he awoke, he felt different. He hopped out of bed and flipped the light switch up, the lights came on. The shower was hot and not cold, and when he stepped out of the bathroom, he smelled food cooking. But who was making him breakfast?
He hurried downstairs to the kitchen, a knot forming in his stomach, but it was his ex-girlfriend making him eggs. The dog was enjoying its breakfast with some bacon sticking out of the bowl. He took a seat and smiled as his ex-girlfriend placed the plate down in front of him.
“Thank you for the eggs, but what are you doing here?”
“What are you talking about, Larry?”
“We broke up. A week ago. Remember?”
“No, I don’t. Why would I do that especially when you came into all that money?”
“Money? What money?”
“The money that your cousin gave you. Have you seen him? He was supposed to come over and talk business with you.”
He almost choked on his eggs. “No, haven’t seen him.”
“You sure? He said that he met up with you yesterday, but nobody’s seen him since.”
“Haven’t a clue.”
“But you did see him yesterday, right?”
“Yeah, briefly.” He finished his eggs. “Then, he had to go.” He smiled at his own words.
“Strange.” She made herself some eggs. “You kind of look like him too.”
“Your face. I never noticed it before until now, but you have his face.”
“No, I don’t. We don’t look anything alike.” He didn’t like how she was staring at him.
“Okay.” She turned her back on him, but even the dog glanced at him.
He hurried away from the table and moved toward the bathroom. He passed by a window, barely noticing a police car pulling into the driveway. He closed the door and turned on the lights, approaching the mirror. His cousin stared back at him.
Fiction © Copyright Melissa R. Mendelson
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com.
About Author Melissa R. Mendelson:
Melissa R. Mendelson is a Horror, Science-Fiction, and Dystopian Author. Her short stories have been published by Sirens Call Publications, Dark Helix Press, and Transmundane Press. She also has a variety of short stories and poetry available on Medium.