The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
by Elaine Pascale
I can hear the thunder, but I cannot see the storm. I see nothing in my sealed chamber. Even when they slip my food through the loose brick they remove and replace in my wall, there is only darkness. I imagine the guards and remaining servants moving freely through the castle, their paths lit by candles.
I try to remember what it was like to have sunlight so bright that it hurt my eyes. To walk in tall grass that tickled my calves. To feel the raindrops that were only a fraction as satisfying as the drops that were manifested to fall into my bath.
I have always hated the dark but worse than the darkness is the smell. My smell. Gone is the brassy zest that flavored my skin. The servants would blanch, and some would faint, when I took to my bath, but I wore the scent with pride. Now, I smell like this room, like the dust from the bricks, like the grime that leaks from me as I evaporate.
I miss the smell of the girls, too. Though they numbered in the hundreds, each had a distinct scent. One would smell like lilies while another like the morning dew. Some had smells so tantalizing that I had to lick their bodies before having them prepared for my bath.
If only I had drowned in them, in their essence, instead of drowning in this soiled isolation.
Without the girls, I am afraid I will dry out until I am nothing but ash.
Worse than the darkness, worse than the smell, is how rapidly I am decomposing without the blood of virgins to fill my bath..
Fiction © Copyright Elaine Pascale
Image courtesy of Pixaby.com
More from Elaine Pascale:
The Blood Lights
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Jezzie Mitchell is in anguish; with her brother’s murder still on her mind, she’s noticed strange behavior among the girls in the residential treatment center where she works. Is there a connection between the contagion on Cape Cod and the deadly Bahamas vacation that changed her life?
Jezzie reaches out to former lover Lou Collins, a scholar who has chased proof of the lights for decades. Will he be able to solve the mystery of the lights in time?
Intensely competitive, reporter Bridgette Collins knows the lights are a way to secure fame in her career. And while it’ll put the final nail into the coffin of her ex-husband’s career, she vows to know the secrets of the lights. Even if it means unleashing a world-wide epidemic…
Good ol’ Elizabeth of Bathory!