The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
by K.R. Morrison
The décor was sheer 50s; he would have thought the place should have been closer to Route 66. But that was not a large concern right now.
He’d seen them. Older, but you could not mistake certain aspects. The car they had been in was very different than the one they had disappeared in, but no matter. He’d followed them to this little place just a few miles off the freeway.
He smiled to himself. He had to wonder what might have been at the next one up.
His ears perked up at the sound of a scuffle and raised voices near the kitchen, but his attention was interrupted by a voice at his side.
“Mister? You want a seat or what?”
He looked down to see a red-headed firecracker of a girl. She obviously worked here; no way would anyone in their right mind wear such a costume otherwise.
“Um, sure. But what I would like to know is who those two guys were who just came through here. Blond, maybe six feet, dressed in camo?”
The place got very quiet for a split second, as all eyes were trained on him. But then they all resumed their conversation. It seemed to him that there was now a sudden edge on the chatter, as if they were talking to each other but concentrating on his conversation with the waitress.
“Here.” She pulled him to a table close to the door he’d just come through. Her eyes ranged around the room, then they riveted themselves to his.
“Don’t ask about them,” she whispered as she readied her order pad. “Don’t stay any longer than you have to.”
She looked away to find a pen, then looked back at him. “If she hears…”
She was cut off by the approach of a tall, statuesque woman dressed totally in black. Her smile, which he would have described as wolfish, encompassed both himself and the now-squirming girl.
“Well, what have we hear?” she inquired. “We don’t often get new blood in this place. Are you staying, or just passing through?”
He was taken aback by the question—what did it matter?
“I’m just…” he shrugged after catching the look of alarm on the girl’s face. “Just passing through. Got a little hungry and thought I’d check the place out.”
“We don’t have – food – per se here, but you’re welcome to the specialty of our candy shop.” She beckoned to another girl, who brought over a selection of lollipops. “Please take what you’d like. No charge this time around.”
The woman gave him one last look and strode away.
The confections looked wonderful, and he chose one that looked like strawberry. The girl who had brought them scurried away. Her frightened glance startled him at first, but he shrugged it off. Hey, it takes all kinds, right?
He was about to pop the treat into his mouth when the waitress stopped him with a gesture.
“What?” He looked from the candy to the girl.
“You do NOT want to eat that.” She glanced around, then took the treat from his hand and threw it behind the juke box that sat next to his table.
Almost immediately a rat came staggering out from behind the machine, gasped and fell over dead. It had a bit of red candy in its mouth.
She grasped his hand so hard that he almost cried out.
“M’alice – that’s the woman who came over here – she owns this place, and this town, and almost all of the people in it.”
“It’s Mary Alice, but we call her that behind her back. At least,“ here she looked over her shoulder at the rest of the room’s inhabitants, “those who still have their own lives and minds intact.”
Her eyes took on a pleading look. “Leave. Now. Don’t stay any longer.”
“There are two men I’m looking for…”
“Not now. I’m betting that they will come looking for you.”
Well, that was odd. “Why?”
She pulled him out of the seat. “Because I’m going with you.”
She opened the door and ran out with him into the midnight air. “I have to get away! They’ll take my mind and soul…”
Two men stood in their way.
“Oh shit,” the girl breathed. “Hunter and Trapper.”
He sighed. It was going to be a long night.
He pulled out the silver…
Fiction © Copyright K.R. Morrison
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com.
More from K.R. Morrison:
Enoch’s Return: Pride’s Downfall Book 4
All hell broke loose, as demon fought saint, and undead fought mortal. Fangs and swords, fire and light, mingled in a cacophony of noise that would have awakened the dead — if they hadn’t already been in the pitch of battle.
Toby was looking forward to celebrating his 21st birthday with family and friends. However, the day is shattered by the arrival of his sister, Erica, fresh out of the juvenile detention center, where she has lived in isolation most of her life. There is something very wrong with her still; witness her biting the ear of her taxi driver and licking the blood from her lips, and the way she antagonizes everyone around her. The other thing that is very off-putting about the day is a gift he receives – a musty tent and a few iron spikes that have been lying in the ground for years. Toby faints at the sight of the “treasure,” while Erica reacts violently and runs off to who-knows-where.
While he is unconscious, Toby learns who he truly is, and of his mission.