Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Melissa R. Mendelson @melissmendelson @Sotet_Angyal #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

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Under the Blue Night Sky
by Melissa R. Mendelson

Hannaford was hit hard by the hurricane, and the town was dead silent.  There were no lights on anywhere.  The cars looked like empty shells scattered to the side, but the streets were filled with people.  They acted like it was just another summer’s night, and the rain falling down did not bother them.  And the night sky was filled with glowing, blue butterflies.
I had my men capture all the blue butterflies.  There was a factory a short distance away, and it was a miracle that the funnel cloud had missed it.  The people did not seem to mind the debris or broken streets.  They just continued to wander around without saying a word, glancing at the blue butterflies that fluttered in their containment bottle, and the truck drove past the people, who barely stepped out of the way.  And the factory rose up into our view along with a young girl, who trailed behind the truck on her bicycle.
The young girl kept pace with the truck.  Her blue eyes shined against the dark.  Her gaze never shifted from the butterflies except to briefly meet mine.  She continued to follow us until the truck parked at the factory gates, and I thought then that she would approach us.  Instead, she waited on her bicycle, watching us go inside.
Once in the factory, I had my men place the containment bottle into the furnace.  I glanced over my shoulder and looked through the open doors.  The girl was still there, watching us, and then I watched the butterflies go up in blue smoke.  I knew that they were radioactive, but how did they escape?  Why did they come to this town?  I looked back at the girl, but she was gone.  Her bicycle was still there, and its wheels slowly spun around.
My men and I left the factory, and I rode up front, looking for the girl.  Where did she go, and why did she leave her bicycle behind?  Then, as the truck drove through the town, I realized that all the people were gone.  I had my men search for them, but no matter how hard we looked, we couldn’t find anyone.  Not a single soul or body.  They were nowhere to be found, and neither was that girl.  It was as if they all went up in smoke like the blue butterflies that had flown through the night sky.
Fiction © Copyright Melissa R. Mendelson
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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More from Melissa R. Mendelson:

Better Off Here 

We always look to the greener pastures, thinking our lives would be so much better over there, but if we were over there, what if all we wanted was to go back? Instead, we found ourselves trapped with the darker side to our fears.

Available Here!

 

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Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi @ErinAlMehairi @Sotet_Angyal #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

Image_01_JulyLOH

Into the Blackness
by Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi

Black scorpions crawl from her maw,
as she mesmerizes my mind with her
graphic darkness and bleak time obsession,
laughing at my dilemma of living with ghosts.
She tries to speak but shrill sounds emanate
and yet, I can still understand her pleas.
Her energy is suddenly rushed and manic and I stare,
waiting as the hands on the clock rhythmically tick by.
Her hands, with long stretchy ancient fingers,
reach out toward me mere inches away
but not quite close enough to grasp my throat.
She tilts her head in question, with wandering focus,
and hollow eyes.
I rip off my clothes and throw them toward
the bin, then dive naked into the pool to escape
the cloud of dread pushing in on me.
Tendrils of mist float toward and around,
slowly tapping on my claustrophobia.
I feel the lap of water cool around me,
run my hands through it, feeling alive and real
but know seconds away from always drowning;
feeling relief, but also inescapable sadness.
She’s followed me; I can hear her clock ticking.
I turn around and her mouth spews blackness onto my face,
engulfing me in pain and numbness,
and I sink to the bottom of the pool,
where there is nothing but the sound of her cackle
and the perfect tick of time.
Fiction © Copyright Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi
Fiction Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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More from Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi:

Breath. Breath. 

It’s the one-year anniversary of the publishing of my debut dark poetry and short story collection, Breathe. Breathe. Much of it tells my life’s pains and haunts and fears poured, sometimes savagely, onto the page. However, there is also legend, folklore, and fantasy as well. 

Breathe. Breathe. is a collection of dark poetry and short fiction exploring the surreal depths of humanity. It’s a representation of how life breaks us apart and words put us back together. Purged onto the pages, dark emotions flow, urging readers into murky seas and grim forests, to the fine line between breathing and death.In Act One, readers are presented with a serial killer in Victorian London, a lighthouse keeper with an eerie legacy, a murderous spouse that seems to have walked right out of a mystery novel, and a treacherous Japanese lady who wants to stay immortal. The heightened fears in the twilight of your minds will seep into the blackest of your nights, where you have to breathe in rhythm to stay alive.
In Act Two, the poetry turns more internal and pierces through the wall of denial and pain, bringing visceral emotions to the surface unleashing traumas such as domestic abuse, violence, and illness.
In the short stories, you’ll meet residents of Valhalla Lane whose lives are on a violent parallel track to collision, a man who is driven mad by the sound of a woodpecker, a teenage girl who wakes up on the beach and can’t find another soul in sight, a woman caught in a time shift pitting her against the Egyptian goddess Anuket, and a little girl whose whole world changes when her favorite dandelion yellow crayon is discontinued.
Amid these pages the haunting themes of oppression, isolation, revenge, and madness unfold through folklore, nightmares, and often times, raw, impulsive passion crafted to sear from the inside out.
With a touching foreword by the Bram Stoker nominated author Brian Kirk, Breathe. Breathe. will at times unsettle you, and at times embrace you. Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi, a veteran writer and editor of the written word, offers up a mixed set of pieces, identifying her as a strong, new voice in dark fiction that will tear the heart from your chest, all the while reminding you to breathe.

Available on Amazon!

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Posted in Authors, Dark Fiction, flash fiction, FREE, Horror, Ladies of Horror, Writing Project | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Suzie Lockhart @SuzieNBruce2 @Sotet_Angyal #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

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Appearances
by Suzie Lockhart

My performance deceived everyone
for so long
I hid behind dirty windows,
Ashamed of what I’d become inside
year upon year
of practiced dissimulation,
Stinging me into a silent façade,
making excuses
I ignored the darkness, tried to remember
Colors so bright, once blinding as
blind me they did.
Small things at first, pinholes of a darkness
piercing through
Colors bleeding down the walls,
Peeling away a paper heart
love was dying,
I refused to see, denied the truth
Until an endless void opened
my soul shuddered
Begging to be set free, from a love
Making me smaller, each passing day
colors now faded, muted gray
Blossoming like a black dahlia
I scream from the bottom,
To a world turned dark.
I never let you see
The pit of despair behind my masquerade,
I am lost forever now
But…finally free.
Fiction © Copyright Suzie Lockhart
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com 

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More from Suzie Lockhart:

Morbid Metamorphosis:
Terrifying Tales of Transformation

Metamorphosis occurs every day as caterpillars become sweet fluttering butterflies, tadpoles become gorgeous frog princes and chameleons become one with the beauty of nature – but you won’t find any of that here.

The transformations you’re about to witness are unnatural, sometimes gruesome and deeply psychological. They will make you question reality and take your mind places it was never meant to go.

Terrifying Tales of Transformation from Greg Chapman * Roy C. Booth & R. Thomas Riley * Terri DelCampo * Dave Gammon * Nancy Kilpatrick * Rod Marsden * Jo-Anne Russell * M.J. Preston * Stacey Turner * Tina Piney * Suzanne Robb * Franklin E. Wales * Donna Marie West * Suzie Lockhart * Cameron Trost * Daniel I. Russell * Simon Dewar * Amanda J. Spedding * Ken MacGregor * Erin Shaw * Gregory L. Norris * Nickolas Furr

Available on Amazon!

Posted in Authors, Dark Fiction, flash fiction, FREE, Horror, Ladies of Horror, Writing Project | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Naching T. Kassa @NachingKassa @Sotet_Angyal #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

Image_03_JulyLOH

And She Will Live Forever
by Naching T. Kassa

When Desmond Canterwell first found his lady, she was a desiccated husk lying on a slab of stone. The Hungarian sun had treated her unkindly and animals had gnawed upon her bones. Desmond could only imagine how beautiful she must’ve been.
He took her bones across land and sea, greasing palms as he went. No one dared check the casket he kept her in, no one disturbed the silk lining nor laid eyes on her in that undignified state.
He took her to his home, to the laboratory beneath the sands of the Mojave. A thousand pairs of eyes watched from within their glass jars. Machines hummed about them as he transferred her to her new bed of glass.
Years passed. By day, he designed the machines which would replace the muscle and bone she’d lost. By night, he hunted neon streets, harvesting the organic material she would need to live. He would’ve called her Galatea, but she already had a name.
A clear November night marked the end of her build. He adjusted the gears and hoses one final time before setting her beautiful face into place. Then, he stepped back to admire his handiwork.
He had constructed her to look as she five centuries ago and she didn’t disappoint. It had taken a year to find a woman with her face, he had searched all of Transylvania to find the right one.
She was not a child of lightning. No volt of electricity would be needed to restart her cold heart. He lifted her off the table and set her to rest in the tub. Then, he pressed the lever on the pump.
The thick liquid filled the tubes and spattered her body with scarlet. It flowed into the tub, covering her body. She vanished beneath a pool of red.
Time ticked from seconds to minutes. He remained in place, as still as a statue, rehearsing the words of welcome in his head.
When minutes became hours, pain filled his heart. Had he failed? Perhaps the blood was too old. He knew it should’ve been fresh. Maybe—
A ripple appeared. And, she stirred. Her hand reached out toward him. He gripped the slick, crimson palm as she rose from the bloody depths.
“My Lady,” he cried, kneeling before her. “How long I have waited.”
“Where are the chains? The walls?” she asked. Her words came in her own language and he slipped into it easily.
“The march of time has destroyed your prison,” he replied. “And, I have freed you.”
“What manner of witchcraft is this?” she asked, waving her hand toward the machines and tubes which filled the room.
“It’s science, my lady. Science has brought you back from beyond the grave. Now that the blood has regenerated you, there will be no need for it.”
“No need for blood?”
“You will live forever, my beautiful Elizabeth. The machine within you will make it so.”
She gazed into his eyes and placed a hand on the side of his cheek. He kissed her palm and his heart grew light. He had waited for this moment all of his life.
“My love,” she whispered. “Thank you for giving me life. However…”
She leaned forward.
“I like the blood.”
Her lips found his throat and she tore into it.
Fiction © Copyright Naching T. Kassa
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
 

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More from Naching T. Kassa:


Crescendo of Darkness

Music has the power to soothe the soul, drive people to obsession, and soundtrack evil plots. Is music the instigator of madness, or the key that unhinges the psychosis within? From guitar lessons in a graveyard and a baby allergic to music, to an infectious homicidal demo and melancholy tunes in a haunted lighthouse, Crescendo of Darkness will quench your thirst for horrifying audio fiction. HorrorAddicts.net is proud to present fourteen tales of murderous music, demonic performers, and cursed audiophiles.

Available on Amazon!

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Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Mary Ann Peden-Coviello @MAPedenCoviello @Sotet_Angyal #LoH

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

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Do-Over
by Mary Ann Peden-Coviello

They called me by many names. So many names for the Great Earth Mother. They worshipped me in all their languages and all their cultures. They lavished me with praise and devotion.
And they abused me and misused me. They destroyed and wreaked havoc in every place they set foot.
I grew weary of their depredations and shrugged them off. Shook the earth from beneath their feet. Washed them away like the plague they were. Their cries and screams, their moans and wails still echo in the labyrinths of my mind.
When I had rested long enough, I began again. My little butterflies are so beautiful. Graceful. Delicate. The highest form of life now. It seems a shame to go again down the road that led us here. The way of vertebrae and intellect and arrogance.
Perhaps someday . . . Perhaps I’ll try with a new species. Maybe I’ll try working with primates this time instead of felines. I enjoyed the apes in the last creation. Clever little fellows. I rather miss them.
Surely the descendants of wee apes wouldn’t be so wantonly destructive.
Fiction © Copyright Mary Ann Peden-Coviello
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com 

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More from Mary Ann Peden-Coviello:

maryannpedencoviello_frightmareFright Mare-Women Write Horror
Short Story: One Hour Before the Dark

Women write horror and have written it since before Mary Shelley wrote FRANKENSTEIN. This anthology is to highlight the fact women write great horror and to kill the fallacy that they aren’t in some way up to standard. They are. Read here stories by Elizabeth Massie, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Lucy Taylor, and a plethora of other great writers as they work on your nerves, get inside your head, and bang out some of the scariest tales written today. I’m proud to present these women for your consideration, as Rod Serling might say, as I ask you to step into FRIGHT MARE. Lock the door and windows, put on a light, and remember, it’s not real. It’s not real. Midnight awaits, monsters scheme to take you away, the strange and weird wait in the shadows, but it’s not real. Is it?

Edited by Billie Sue Mosiman, the author who brought you the SINISTER-TALES OF DREAD collections and her latest suspense novel, THE GREY MATTER.

Available on Amazon!

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Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Elaine Pascale @DocLaney @Sotet_Angyal #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

Image_01_JulyLOHThe Skin Walker
by Elaine Pascale

Every night.
Every night it happens: at midnight I leave work, hating the late shift and hating the circumstances that require I work it.
My stomach drops as I walk to the car.
I have to take Haynesville Road.
There is no other way home.
Everyone knows to avoid Haynesville Road. Anyone with any sense would find another way.
There is no other way.
I have learned that instantaneous bad decisions can leave permanent scars. But, for once, this is no bad decision on my part. This is unavoidable.
***
I have done a good job of avoiding her thus far. I am using my wits and thinking things through. This is a first for me. As a child, I pressed my face to the hot sand to see if I could hear the turtles hatching. What I learned is that sand is not as kind to the face as it is other parts of the body. Being an ugly child, no one told me to be careful of my face. No one warned me, as they have warned me about Haynesville Road. My bad decision led to days of peeling skin.
As a teen, the hockey girls pressed my face to the steaming radiator in the locker room. They thought I had slept with one of the girl’s boyfriends. The radiator was not kind to my face, and the bad decision had been my trying to make friends with the mean girls. I was too ugly to be a part of that crowd. The radiator enhanced my ugliness.
As a woman, I carry a variety of facial scars. Each tell a story of permanence born from mere seconds of bad decisions. Beautiful women are protected from having to make choices; ugly women have no choices.
***
The woman who taps on the roof of my car is ugly.
She taps, even though I am driving faster than allowed; even though I am tearing up desert road.
She wants my skin, specifically my face.
She wants to tear it off and wear it. She does not mind my scars.
She has made her own bad decisions. This is why she is cursed to forever seek the skin of others.
Each night, she becomes more brazen. She shows herself to me and moves to the front of the car, hoping to cause an accident that will leave my skin available.
It is tiring to fight her off every night. I am about to make another bad decision.
I am about to let her win.
Fiction © Copyright Elaine Pascale
Image courtesy of  Pixabay.com

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More from Elaine Pascale:

The Blood Lights

They victimize all…

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…

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Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Scarlett R. Algee @ScarlettRAlgee @Sotet_Angyal #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

Image_04_JulyLOHShowroom
by Scarlett R. Algee

Elise hasn’t been back to the old factory since the disappearances.
She’s never known what was made here; the gates were shuttered before she was born. But by her twelfth birthday the fence had been breached, and it’s been a late-night hangout ever since: a place to blast the music parents have forbidden, to smoke cigarettes and weed, to drink beer and have sex and try our fledgling spells copied out carefully in spiral-spined notebooks in glitter ink, protection against grounding or failing grades or unfaithful boyfriends.
Most of those hadn’t worked, though Elise has heard that Molly Tibbetts’ fiancé caught a weird rash one night.
Elise, though. Elise has always preferred to come here in daylight, on Saturday mornings, while her mom’s at work and her dad’s laid up drunk on the couch in front of some football game. To sit with her legs dangling over the edge of that huge, stained, empty rectangular pool taking up half the floor (what had filled it? Water? Chemicals? Blood? Elise likes to think it was blood), or sketch the graffiti and the rusted-out machine hulks, the patterns cast on the concrete by light streaming through broken and filthy windows. To think. To read. To be.
Then Mary Haskins had come here one night to meet her boyfriend, but had never come home. The same thing had happened with Sonia Smythe. Gabi Franks and Daniella Ramirez had come here for a party. Chalina Ramirez had followed, looking for her sister.
None of them have been seen since. Not so much as a dropped scrunchie or lipstick-stained Solo cup. The gap in the fence isn’t mended, but since all the searches have come up empty, the doors have been chained and padlocked shut.
Which does not, Elise has just realized, mean there’s no way in. One rear door has been missed. It’s locked, but that’s nothing, not when she can carefully punch the glass out of its tiny window with a rock and painfully scrape her arm through the opening to reach the inner latch and let herself in. The air in the old building is stale and musty and seems to coat her tongue; it’s like the smell in the reptile house at the zoo.
Elise covers her nose with one sleeve. She has to see. She has to know if she’ll find anything—and as soon as her eyes adjust, she does.
The empty pool has been filled. Water rocks gently beneath some unfelt breeze, reflecting the white cloud-puffs in the sharp blue sky outside, casting flickering caustics on the walls and floor.
And the statues. The statues are new.
There are half a dozen, maybe more, ringing the edges of the pool, facing it. All female; all standing.
“Weird,” Elise mutters, coughing into her sleeve, and approaches the nearest one. None of this has gotten here on its own. Some creepy artist type must have moved in after the teenagers stopped coming. Maybe that’s why that back door was accessible. She steps lightly, wishing she hadn’t dropped the rock.
But she walks up to the first statue regardless, her own creative curiosity getting the best of her. The hair is pitch-perfect, every strand in place. The clothing folds are realistic enough to seem pliable. Even the crookedly-laced shoe adorning one slightly pigeon-toed foot looks like it was taken from life.
Then Elise recognizes Mary Haskins’ face, and screams.
The cry echoes. Elise freezes, but in the split second before the noise dies, she glances around at the other statues, the other faces.
Sonia. Gabi. Daniella. Chalina. There are others Elise doesn’t recognize, but her friends are all here, as still as she is, their eyes wide with terror so exquisitely carved that even Chalina’s tears have been captured.
“What is this?” Elise mutters, and behind her, something moves.
She doesn’t recognize the sound at first; she clenches her fists and holds her own tears at bay. But then it comes closer, and with it a thickening of the reptilian musk, and Elise remembers being thirteen and finding a snake in the garage, how it had smelled, how its scales had whispered on the concrete as it moved. A hand touches the back of her neck, cool and scaled.
We’re all here, Elise thinks, we’re all here now, and she turns around.
Fiction © Copyright Scarlett R. Algee
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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More from author Scarlett R. Algee:

The Lift: Nine Stories of Transformation, Volume One

The hall is dark and the overhead light flickers. Sounds echo, and there’s a creaking and clanging that gets louder as you stand in the semi-dark. The elevator opens and you’re offered a ride. Step inside and ride it to the story chosen for your transformation. Don’t be afraid, for Victoria, the mysterious girl who operates The Lift, waits to guide you. Set in the same world as the award nominated audio drama, The Lift’s first written anthology features nine all new stories by fan favorite writers and special bonus content by creators Daniel Foytik and Cynthia Lowman. The collection is brought to life with beautiful illustrations by Jeanette Andromeda for each story.

Available on Amazon!

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