The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
by Lee Mitchell
They say there’s a place just beyond the foothills that transcends both time and space. For most, it’s just a vague glow—or sometimes even less—but it’s much, much more to those who know. The things that reside behind the trick, the shades with eyes as dark as coal, are able to do so much more than hide. They say the things can take your soul…
Gina shivered, turning to her date with a hesitant frown. “It’s cold out here. Maybe we should come back another time. Maybe when it’s not so dark?”
Joe stopped, slumping over and resting his telescope against its folded tripod with a sigh. “It has to be dark, or we won’t see anything.”
“I didn’t realize how close we’d gotten to the hilltop,” she replied, taking note of the short distance. “The foothills are far enough from the city lights, don’t you think?”
“You don’t actually believe in that stupid, old legend, do you?”
Gina shrugged. “It’s just creepy here.”
“Fine.” The young man grabbed the telescope and perched it over his shoulder. “We’ll go back down.”
The two made the short trek back to the parked car, which sat just off the main road. Just as Joe began to load the telescope into the trunk, Gina spotted a flicker of light near the shallow summit. She pointed.
Joe spotted it as well. He set down the telescope and angled it to get a better view. His eyes widened, jaw going slightly agape. “There are streets and buildings up there.”
Joe gestured for Gina to look, and she gave the eyepiece a hesitant peek. She searched through the hazy light but saw nothing. “Is this thing in focus?”
He looked again, “I think it’s as clear as it’s going to get.”
“Your eyes must be better than mine.” Gina tried the passenger door, found it unlocked, and got in.
Joe was a step behind her, securing the telescope in the trunk before getting behind the wheel. He tried to start the car, but the engine failed to turn over. He tried it again, pumping the gas, and the starter labored for another moment before going silent. After another pause, Joe grabbed his phone and clicked one of his autodial selections, only to grumble and check the screen. “One bar. Damn.”
Gina checked her phone, finding her signal also unusably weak.
“I guess we’ll need to hike up to your ghost town to get a tow truck.” Joe got out, slamming the door behind him.
Gina stayed seated. She waited for him to peek in, then she said, “You go up there if you want. I’m waiting right here.”
Joe left, offering an annoyed nod, and Gina locked the doors as she watched her date walk off into the darkness.
Time seemed to fall to a standstill as she waited. The shadows stretched and deepened across the dark mountainside, a full moon rising just beyond the flickering peak. The air inside the car grew colder as the time passed, and Gina thought she might freeze to death before her date found his way back.
A sigh of relief escaped her when she finally caught sight of the young man hurrying back.
“Found something you might want to check out,” the figure said, peeking through the window. “You need to come with me.”
Gina caught sight of the dark, hollow eyes, and a shock of panic rushed through her as the thing mimicking Joe unlocked the door.
Fiction © Copyright Lee Mitchell.
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
So creepy! I can already see the movie.