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

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!


The Crone 
by Michelle Joy Gallagher 

“You wanted this.” Julie whispered to herself. “Begged for it. Prayed for it.”
She stood outside her door in the cold. The pod was in her palm, and she rolled it side to side, inspecting it carefully. There was no weight to it, and she suddenly grew frightened it would blow away. She cupped it with her other hand and pulled her hands up to her chest. It felt alive, almost as if she was holding an insect. 
The old crone had surprised her. She’d found her in the newspaper, the most unassuming ad. She wanted an answer to her troubles. The crone was in a cramped apartment. The furniture was
covered in plastic. The place had none of the usual trappings of a palm reader or psychic. Julie told the crone she’d felt empty, that she wanted something to fill her life so that she could stop feeling so alone. The crone placed the pod in her palm and closed her fingers around it, then pointed to the exit. 
Outside the first snow had fallen, and the light was long. The walk home she felt dizzy, confused. Now that she’d finally arrived at home she realized she had no idea what to do with the tiny thing the crone had given her. 
She hurriedly unlocked the door, cupping the pod gently in one hand while she did so. She felt a sting and reflexively opened her palm, only to find it had embedded itself in her skin. A black bruise began to spread from the point it had burrowed in and quickly covered her entire hand and started to go up her arm.  
She fell to her knees, digging at the pod with her fingernails, trying to pry it out. She screamed as the pain intensified. The crone’s voice in her head. “You wanted this.” 
Fiction © Copyright Michelle Joy Gallagher
Image courtesy of


More from author Michelle Joy Gallagher:

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!


This entry was posted in Authors, Dark Fiction, flash fiction, FREE, Horror, Ladies of Horror, Writing Project and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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

  1. afstewart says:

    A terrific story.

  2. Marge Simon says:

    What a fulfilling story with a satisfying ending. (Insert evil laughter!)

  3. Be careful what you wish for – vividly depicted and a perfect match for the prompt

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