The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
by K.R. Morrison
“Get away from that!”
Johnny’s wife jumped and spun around. She’d no idea that he would be back so soon.
He was already up the ladder, and she caught a glimpse of something of an orange tabby nature being thrown into the top of the machine.
She knew that speck of orange.
“Was that Florence?” she asked in a timid voice.
Johnny shrugged. “How should I know? Just another mangy cat.”
Johnny’s wife – Norma was her name – ran back into the house in order to escape the sounds of the machine starting up.
Inside, she fumed. She’d really liked Florence, and began to rue the day that she had first started feeding the little cat. But even more than that, she was deeply angry at herself for having ever believed Johnny’s lies.
“Mystery meat” indeed!
Well, she finally had all she could stand. What was even better, she also had all the information necessary to work the mechanizations of that awful device—and how to get it into a state of disrepair.
Odd, how something as simple as a pot lid could totally mess up a monster and not be all that easy to find – or reach.
Chug, chug, chug went the machine.
Bop, bop, bop went her heart in anticipation.
Then – chug, chugga…chu-chunk!
“What the hell?” came Johnny’s voice. She could hear him slide the ladder back over, could hear him grumbling and swearing as he climbed the rungs.
The lid of the machine opened and thudded against the top.
Silence again. She could imagine him squinting into the mess that was inside that horrid contraption.
A moment later, a grunt. She was sure that he now saw the glint of steel. She always made sure that her pots and pans shone.
“What…? Norma!!” he thundered.
She peeked out of the kitchen. “Yes?”
“What is this thing in my machine?”
“What thing? I don’t go near that hellish beast.”
She allowed herself a small smile as he reached for the pot lid – and fell into the mix!
Mousey little Norma listened for the sound of the item being removed from the gears. Then, smiling broadly, she ran to the machine’s switch and flipped it on.
She was grinning broadly two weeks later when the pieces of the mechanism were carted away. She had made sure that they were in excellent condition and thoroughly washed. Norma wasn’t the bravest sword in the armory, but she could read. And she now knew a lot about machinery.
No one ever questioned Johnny’s whereabouts. Cats and dogs were gradually re-introduced into the neighborhood, and soon were running freely or sleeping on porch seats everywhere.
Every year, there is a great party in Norma’s driveway. All of the neighbors bring potluck items, and everyone has a great time.
And you can bet that no one ever, EVER, brings sausages.