Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Rie Sheridan Rose @RieSheridanRose @darc_nina #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!


One Last Ride  
by Rie Sheridan Rose

There is a hush now in these once vibrant lands. The rail goes straight as an arrow through the remains of verdant fields. Nothing grows here now. The trees are gray skeletons with leaves like groping fingers…

I was an engineer my entire life—riding the rails from dawn till dusk. It was an easy and peaceful life. I expected to end my days so. But God had other plans.

It’s six weeks now since the plague descended. Everything ended so quickly. By the end of the first day half the people in the valley were dead. Most of the others followed by the end of the week. As far as I know, no one else remains. All are dead. I am the last.

Tomorrow, I will stoke my engine one last time, and guide my old companion to the end of the line. There was once a bridge there, but it was old, and recently repairs were begun. They’ll never be finished now. That suits my purpose.

I will build up the steam and fly off the end of the rail. In this way, I will hold onto my own destiny. This end will be of my own choosing. I will not fall to the plague.

One last ride. It’s all I ask.

Fiction © Copyright Rie Sheridan Rose
Image courtesy of

line_separator2More from Author Rie Sheridan Rose:


Overheard in Hell:
Dark Poetry

Poems exploring hell and damnation. Tales of sorrow, vengeance, betrayal, and redemption. Ghosts, ghouls, and demons stalk these pages. Don’t read in a lonely house…in a darkened room by a single candle…

…unless you like the touch of an icy finger up your spine.

Available on Amazon!


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Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Ela Lourenco @ElaLourenco @darc_nina #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!


by Ela Lourenco


For eons I slumbered

Moulded into the rocks

Civilisations came and went

I cared not

Unintelligent cattle, forever waging wars

Killing and decimating each other

I didn’t even deign to open an eye

At their pathetic antics

I slept so long

My scales become one with the Earth


Until the day the very core of the planet

Shook in fear.

The once lush green now ash

Skies of smog and grey

The Earth crying in pain

And so I rose once again

To cleanse the Mother

Of this vermin called man.


Fiction © Copyright Ela Lourenco
Image courtesy of

More from Ela Lourenco:

awakeningDragon Born: Book Three

The Royal tournament, the Karnac, is fully underway. But there is deception and betrayal at every turn. Unseen dark forces are at play, both within the school grounds and out with. Even the Gods are unable to help when a new threat looms over them all.The very existence of Azmantium depends on Lara fully becoming the Child of Fire and casting aside the Shadows lurking in every corner of her beloved planet.Can she overcome the challenges that await? Will the Shadows cover the world in darkness? Only Lara and her friends can change the fate of Azmantium.

Available on Amazon!


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Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Alyson Faye @AlysonFaye2 @Darc_Nina #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

No Shrinking Violets
by Alyson Faye

‘We named you Violet, after this vibrant flower,’ Papa pointed with a manicured hand at the fragile petals.‘Your mama and I were in our ‘purple passion phase’,’ he added, chortling into his beard. Mama, as usual, said nothing.

Violet, nearly sixteen, ground her teeth, bony shoulders hunched up to her ears. She’d heard this story of Papa’s too many times to find it quaint or charming. Besides this was his public face, she know his other side far too well.

Elias Fox, Senior, threw back his head and roared with laughter. ‘Oh my goodness, sir, my lad here, is a lucky chap to be gaining you as his father-in-law.’

Violet seethed. Bootlicker, she thought. She cast a jaundiced eye upon her intended, Elias Jnr., a scrawny, beak-nosed specimen, who reminded her of a heron.

To her surprise the lad bent down and plucked the deep mauve flower from its stem; blushing, he offered it to his fiancee-to-be with a bow.

Violet froze in shock. Her father, likewise but in horror at this unprecedented mutilation of his beloved exotic African Violet, Elias Snr., stared in stupefaction and Violet’s mother fanned herself, hectically. It was quite the tableau if anyone had been there to paint it.

Seconds ticked by, a bird trilled, then Violet reached out and accepted the bloom.

‘Thank you, kind sir,’ she murmured, eyes cast down, as was proper. Her mind busy whirring.

* * *

After dinner, the betrothed couple perched in the front parlour, chaperoned by Violet’s silent mother, making painfully shy conversation. They both knew their fates were sealed, their engagement would be announced that week in ‘The Times’, an elegant soiree would be hosted.

Violet noticed her mother’s head nodding over her embroidery. She tugged at Elias’s sleeve, pulling him towards the garden doors, outside into the June summer evening, which smelt of candy and perfume.

She took her intended’s damp palm in her own. ‘Come with me,’ she whispered.

Elias’ eyes bulged with mixed emotions and trepidation. Violet led him deeper into the bowels of the landscaped gardens, past herbaceous borders, topiary bushes trimmed into the shape of animals, and chess pieces, past the orchard and beyond into the woods. In the moonlight her face was chalky- skinned and determined.

She found the plant she was looking for, growing in the hollow of a tree stump. She outlined her plan to Elias, whose Adam’s apple bobbed, in anxiety, as he learned more about his bride-to-be than he’d ever expected from that evening. He eyed her with new-found respect and also admiration for her courage.

* * *

‘Oh Violet, where are you my sweet?’ Papa’s drunken words reached her ears even from the end of the corridor.

He’s coming.

Her stomach turned over, her heart beat faster. Tick tock, make it stop. She stirred the hot toddy she’d prepared for him, blending the whiskey, adding extra honey to sweeten the bitter taste of the plant toxoid.

Papa always came at this time. Whilst Mama, slept like the dead, and was about as much use as a corpse to her only daughter.

Violet stood shivering in her night chemise, chin up, hair down. Hate seething in her gut. Bastard.

Her father lurched into the room, trousers undone, shirt flying open. ‘Beloved, darling Violet, come to me.’

Violet edged instead towards the table, and offered the hot toddy, steaming in a sliver flagon. ‘A nightcap, Papa?’

Behind her the curtain twitched’ a pair of booted feet peeked out.

Her father stroked her cheek, then downed the drink in one, belching and falling onto the bed. ‘Violet, my exotic little flower, come to Papa.’ He was slurring his words, his eyelids drooping.

A lanky figure erupted from behind the curtains. Elias crossed the room fast, and grabbing the feather pillow pressed it over his soon-to-be father-in-law’s face.

Drugged, the man hardly resisted. Violet weighed in with flurries from her fists, pounding on the feather pillow.

Together, the fiancées finished the job, one on either side of the freshly-deceased. Over his corpse they joined hands, and swore their own marital vows -‘to lie, deceive, mislead and obfuscate until our dying day; we are tied together by this act, and from each other we will never stray.’


And they didn’t. Violet and Elias Fox were wed for fifty years, and friends and family often remarked on how they never argued, and how loving and devoted to each other they were.

Fiction © Copyright Alyson Faye
Image courtesy of


More from Alyson Faye:


The Lost Girl & Spindleshanks

The Lost Girl
A nailed-up door. An inheritance which comes with a ghost. A missing girl. A fifty-year-old mystery. Parapsychologist Berkley Osgood is hired to investigate. What he uncovers reveals secrets the living want to hide and the dead will never forgive.

Adam is having nightmares about a skeletal shadow figure, who he calls Spindleshanks. Soon his whole class are sharing the same nightmare. Adam’s dad, Rob, knows that Spindleshanks can’t be real. But is he? One terrible night Rob has to face his son’s nightmare creature and fight for his son’s life. What would you sacrifice to have your child back safe?

“A decent two-for-one. Alyson Faye brings the engaging and eerie in equal measure.” CC Adams – horror / dark fiction author

Available on Amazon!


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Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Alina Măciucă @darc_nina #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!


The Drowned Ones Belong to the Earth 
by Alina Măciucă

Their souls flow and cascade with the water, faster or slower

Than their bloated and disgraceful bodies. They caress rocks, and

Moss and tree roots, each soul broken into myriads of pieces

Entwined with bits of other souls: a drunken millman,

A bunch of suicidal young women in their early twenties,

Some kids who went diving in the wrong spots,

Lots of people who were already dead by the time they

Ended up floating down the stream, buffalos, horses, cats and dogs,

And birds and fish pouring into the earth, and blessing

All riches that belong to the Lord of the Underground.

There, in cemeteries, and forests, and under the cities,

They meet the ones that died on land, and even

A few of those that died in the air, resting in caskets,

Or random places meant never to be found,

A good percentage burned and then sprinkled into a crevasse,

And merge into everything that will ever be.


Fiction © Copyright Alina Măciucă
Image courtesy of  Pixabay.comline_separator2

More about Alina Măciucă:

meblurAlina Măciucă enjoys reading, writing, buying odd trinkets, and taking photos of beautifully decaying buildings. She has formally studied religion and hermeneutics at the University of Bucharest, and really has a thing for the Greco-Roman mysteries and Gnosticism, as well as for Renaissance magic. She lives in Bucharest with her very supportive boyfriend, their two cats, and an ever-expanding vinyl and book collection.



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Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author R.A. Clarke @RAClarkeWrites @Darc_Nina #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!


The Blue Tie 
by R.A. Clarke

Just up ahead sat a railroad tie, painted blue to mark salvation. Beneath it lay a key to safety—to Orion—one of humanity’s last surviving strongholds in the area… maybe the last one. We’d lost radio contact with the others a few days ago, fearing the worst.

Four of us set out on a scavenging raid early this morning—my sister, Kathy, two friends, and I. Now, as dusk claimed the sky, my gut ached knowing I’d be the only one returning home.

Though something else seemed determined to come along.

The Takers first arrived two years ago. Strange bio-mechanical pods had rained down from the sky, bearing countless skittering beasts. Insectile legs supported fist-sized tapered thoraxes, their very skin fused with chrome-like shards. They swarmed, penetrated our bodies, then withered… leaving remnants behind to transform their new hosts.

I glanced over my shoulder down the long-overgrown tracks. In the distance, appeared a lithe female form. The same pursuer who’d been tracking me ever since we—I fled Craten, Orion’s closest town. Her silhouette appeared shrouded by mist, giving her the eerie appearance of a risen spectre. Exhausted and hungry, my eyes blinked hard against the failing light, wanting to believe it was only an illusion. But I knew better.

That creature following me was no ghost or hallucination. I had to move.

Crouching low over the tracks, I dug my fingers into the ground on one end of the blue railroad tie. The horizontal wood plank supported the parallel steel beams, its face pitted and cracked. Pushing rock and dirt aside, I ignored the sweat dripping off my brow as I searched. Finding nothing, I swiftly switched to the other end. Please let it be here. It has to be here. A grimace twisted my expression. Unless someone else got here first…

Keeping one eye on my pursuer, I dug with renewed vigour. My fingers wrapped around something soft. I pulled it out, brushing the dirt away as I stood. Yes, I said a silent prayer, clutching the tiny pouch within a white-knuckle fist.

I took off down the track.

The figure was much closer now, her wide eyes staring after me with determination. But she’d never catch me. She walked in my direction with her head tilted and strides sloppy as they tended to be so soon after the taking. At least until they built their own infrastructure within the body.

She was still alone—a blessing.

Soon, I’d be out of reach, locked safe behind the tunnelled gates of Orion.

Sweeping through several abandoned yard sites, a facade for a cult commune before the invasion, I targeted the home with blue cracked paint bearing our mark: an “H” surrounded by a ring of circles. It represented how humanity banded together with one goal: survival.

I entered the structure, ran down the stairs, and pulled back a rug concealing a hatch on the basement floor. Hidden beneath lay a sprawling network of underground tunnels. After prying the pouch from my hand, I pulled out the silver key, a copy of the one Kathy hid when the Takers ambushed us.

Unwanted images flashed before my eyes. Takers surging from the treeline. Scott and Jerry getting dragged off. The resolve in Kathy’s sea-blue eyes as she pushed me away, sacrificing herself so I could escape. Her screaming face before a Taker’s mouth clamped over hers, transferring one of its metallic parasites. It happened so fast—too many in one place. A trap…

I couldn’t fail her now. Someone had to warn Orion the enemy was coming. Somehow, the Takers knew where and when we’d be scavenging. I worried it had everything to do with our other strongholds falling silent… If they’d been infiltrated, the Takers would’ve absorbed their memories.

I had to save Orion—to preserve what remained of humanity. I had to try. My sister would’ve tried… A tear slipped down my dirty cheek as I twisted the key into the lock.


I descended the steps, pulling a string to move the rug back over the top as the hatch locked behind me. With my flashlight on, I proceeded to the bottom, then crossed a small room. A sturdy metal door sat at the far end. I rapped my knuckles over the rusted surface five times fast, then let out a low whistle.

No response.

I repeated the signal, but still nobody answered. There should be an Orion guard at the door. Where’s Gavin?

Icy fingers of fear clutched at my core.

The muted slam of a door reverberated overhead. Someone was in the house.

No, no, no.

I rapped and whistled, louder.

Something scraped at the hatch. But they don’t have a key. That fact bought me some time. But not much.

“Come on, answer!” I hissed.

Finally, a single knock sounded from the other side of the door. The hefty lock clunked open, and the door swung wide.

Gavin stood there, and I smiled, relieved. But he didn’t smile back. He stared at me with determined eyes, his head tilted. Then he lumbered forward, a mucous covered parasite already straining through his lips.

“No!” I slammed my flashlight into his head and pushed the door shut. I spun, pulling out my knife, knowing I’d have to fight my way back through that hatch.

I can do this…

But my bravado fizzled as quickly as it flared. There, at the base of the stairs, stood the lithe figure who’d been following me. The woman’s sea-blue eyes bore into mine as three more Takers followed her down the steps. There were too many.

She dangled a silver key from her fingertip. No.

The door creaked open behind me.

“Please don’t. This isn’t you…” I begged.

My sister’s head tilted further, her body twitching violently. Then she lurched forward with mouth open wide.

Fiction © Copyright R.A. Clarke
Image courtesy of 


More from author R.A. Clarke:

Comment: Created with GIMP

Oh, That’s Good…

Plucked from the mind of multi-genre short fiction author R.A. Clarke, these original speculative fiction prompts are sure to inspire and spark your creative flame. From dark to light, quirky to horrifying, there’s a little something here for everybody. You’re cordially invited to sift through the pages; take your time, pick and choose… or, if you’re feeling brave, take the 52-Week Challenge. Just spin, switch, expand, elevate, and transform these concepts into your own, then jot down those shiny new plotlines in the handy note sections provided. Oh, and don’t forget to have fun while you’re at it. So, are you ready to dive in and write that next great story?

Get your copy here!


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

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!


The Fog  
by Michelle Joy Gallagher

Darlene tried to follow the doctor’s instructions, but the light he’d shone in her right eye made her immediately tear up and want to blink. Whatever the answer was for her recent spate of migraines, it wasn’t this. The light felt as if it pierced her, sending a spike of pain toward the back of her head, making her wince.
The doctor wrinkled his forehead then blessedly turned the light off.
“There’s nothing I can see that’s of concern, at least in terms of the health of your eyes. There’s a medication I can give you that you take at onset of one of these migraines and the symptoms can be reduced or stopped altogether.”
That sounded just fine to Darlene. The migraines had  become interruptive to her daily life, causing bright spots in her vision and incapacitating her. They hit out of nowhere and lately the effects on her vision were worsening. Sometimes her vision was clouded completely, as If everything was covered in a grey mist. They affected her emotionally as well, causing her strange sensations of doom or panic. She’d try just about anything at this point. She thanked her doctor, heading downstairs to fill her new prescription. She wanted to be home in bed feeling sorry for herself.
That’s exactly where the next one found her. Laying in bed trying to read and relax, a pinpoint of light started at the center of her eyes and grew until she had to put the book down. She pulled the new bottle of
pills from her nightstand and dry washed it, hoping to stop the bulk of it from happening.
Darlene laid back and hoped for the best. Slowly the visual disturbance abated and her vision went back to normal. She was able to finish the chapter she’d been reading with no further side effects. No spike of pain, no foggy vision, just as the doctor said was possible. She was immensely relieved.
The next morning as she dressed for work she was hit with a spike of pain first, which was unusual. The visual symptoms usually heralded the start of it all. She doubled over from the pain and sat down hard. She reached blindly for her pill bottle but it rattled to the ground and rolled under the bed just in time for the foggy vision to set in.
She closed her eyes and that familiar feeling of doom crawled across her skin. She felt as if she wasn’t alone. She cursed under her breath. Then sensed movement.
She tried to scream but nothing came out. Instead the thick grey mist enveloped her, pouring into her mouth. She choked. Was this real? How could side effects from a migraine be so intense? She scrabbled for her bottle, feeling blindly under the bed. She finally secured them and popped the lid open, pouring one into her mouth. The fog lifted, and though she was shaken, she continued her day as normal.
She managed an entire workday without any symptoms, which was a huge relief. She got home, cooked herself a meal and then showered. When she walked into her bedroom, it was as if the fog from that morning had been waiting for her. No preamble pinpoint of light, no sharp pain, just an all encompassing fog.
She sensed movement again, the flapping of some gigantic thing’s wings. Hot breath and a foul, rotting smell that she could almost taste.
“This can’t be real!” She screamed, trying to ward it off. Maybe it hadn’t been migraines all along, maybe she had been losing her mind and here and now she’d lost the last of it. She stumbled to her bed by feel and threw herself into it, sobbing. She had her eyes closed as tight as she could. When she opened them the fog had again disappeared. She heaved a great sigh in relief.
From above a great scaly mouth opened, baring it’s teeth.
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!


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Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Kathleen McCluskey @KathleenMcClus4 @Sotet_Angyal #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

by Kathleen McCluskey

Allan trimmed the beautiful violets along the walkway to his front door. They brought a peaceful tranquility to his turbulent life. The blooms represented a momentary calm as the beautiful flowers developed. Allan was a man that was constantly on the edge, ready to explode. His stress levels were palatable even to strangers.

As the flowers grew so did his seething rage for his neighbor. The woman was young and carefree, two traits that Allan despised. He would obsessively watch her through his living room window. Even when she wasn’t visible he would still watch her house. In a trance like state, he would mindlessly pick at the palm of his hand as he glared through the sheers. Allan was beginning to lose his grip on his sanity as thoughts of murdering her ran through his head.

The gorgeous flowers played in the summer breeze; they seemed almost magical in their serenity. Allan sat in his garden with his back against the house in the dirt. He was surrounded by the fragrant blossoms and tried to breathe in some of their tranquility. He lowered his head and sighed loudly. He thought to himself, “Today is the day, I will rid myself of that bitch.” He stood and shook the dirt off of his pants. In a catatonic stupor he opened the door to his home. He went straight to his bedroom and opened the top dresser drawer. He pulled out his old Colt .45 and tucked it into the waistband of his jeans.

Allan walked across the street; he could hear music coming from the backyard. He strained to see, through the slats in her tall wooden fence, if there was any movement in the yard. He backed away from the fence when the large door began to open. A soft voice spoke to him, “Hello, Allan. I was hoping you would eventually tire of watching me and come over. My flowers have been singing my siren’s song for over a year. You finally heard it and decided to venture over.” Allan only stood there looking at her. “I see I have confused you.” She shook her head, “I have been beckoning you. Your anxiety and hatred made you irresistible to my sisters and I.” She swung the door all the way open. “See? My beautiful ladies do love to snack on meat that has marinated in your particular style of malice.” They pulled Allan into the yard. The large door slammed shut behind him. The stunning sirens changed into hideous beasts and attacked.

The neighborhood would never miss Allan. They assumed he had just moved away. “Good riddance to bad rubbish” on neighbor commented. The sirens waited for the house to be occupied again. They knew that their beautiful purple flowers were a beacon for the tormented.

Fiction © Copyright Kathleen McCluskey
Image courtesy of 


More from Kathleen McCluskey:

The Long Fall: Book 1: The Inception of Horror

Lucifer always cunning and intelligent challenges father to a battle of wits. Being the angel of light he casts a judgemental eye upon mankind. He begins a war with his fellow archangels and God. Michael, along with his siblings defend their home and mankind from their deranged brother. Broad swords and hand to hand combat drench heaven in blood. The four apocalyptic steeds are released, each having their own destructive power. Betrayal and lust are at biblical levels. Understand the very creation of evil and the consequenses that transpire in the first of THE LONG FALL series.

Available on Amazon!


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Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Asena Lourenco @ElaLourenco @darc_nina #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!


by Asena Lourenco

The walls of my skull pounded against my forehead as my ears were getting used to the deafening screeches coming from my own voice. Beside me, all I saw was rocks. Slimy, wet rocks that towered high to the only source of light in my vision.  My face was sticky from the mixture of tears and pure humidity that were clinging to my face.

It seemed as though I’d forgotten how to breathe.

I felt my throat tighten up as my lost voice could scream no more. Hyperventilation struck me hard.  On my knees, I held my chest in my hands as I physically tried to grasp for air. And for a final time, that same word escaped from my tired lips…


Fiction © Copyright Asena Lourenco
Image courtesy of


More about Asena Lourenco:

AsenaAsena Lourenco is 15 years old. She loves reading, playing Scottish traditional fiddle music on her violin, dancing, and martial arts as well as writing her own stories.

She would like to be a teacher and writer when she grows up. She also loves cats and babies!


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

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!


Past the Train Tracks
by Melissa R. Mendelson

The skyline was beautiful, or maybe that was the drugs wearing off. My feet shuffled along the train tracks, and my ears strained for the sound of the running locomotive. There was none, no sound, but the gruff mutterings of the man up ahead in his flannel jacket. My eyes watched the smoke dance out of his mouth past the lit cigarette and out into the air, consumed by the clouds above, and the girl in front of me fell down into the dirt.

Shit.” The man tossed his cigarette aside and blew out angry smoke my way. He hurried over and checked her pulse. “Well…” He briefly met my gaze and then pulled out his revolver, putting a bullet into her head. “Guess that leaves you and her.” He cut the rope wound around the binding on her wrists and yanked me forward. “Let’s go. More ground to cover before the rain.”

The sound of weeping caught my ear. I felt the rope brush against my back. Again, I was yanked forward. My feet slipped, but I refused to fall. My mind screamed, trying to remember. I was at a supermarket earlier today, but there was nothing here, nothing at all. Just us and him, and my mouth was dry.

I could use some water,” but he ignored me. “I’m thirsty.” Still ignored. “If you want me and her…” I tried to look over my shoulder at the young woman behind me. “If you want us to make it to wherever we’re going, then we need water.”

The water was in the truck that blew a flat a few miles ago.” He lit another cigarette. “I have no water for you to drink. Now, shut the fuck up, or I’ll put a bullet in your head too.”

I’m sure you would,” I said.

The quiet was unsettling, and the walk felt endless. We were going nowhere, and the sky was unchanged. And the sky was no longer beautiful. It was ugly, ugly and menacing like that man up ahead, yanking that damn rope every few minutes. I wasn’t going to make it, and as if the young woman behind me read my mind, she fell to the ground.

Come on.” He threw his cigarette aside. “I won’t get much for one.”

I watched him hurry over to her, and as he did, she threw up on her shoes. He muttered under his breath, pulling out his revolver, and she begged for him not to kill her. But he was set on it, and once she was dead, I would be next.

As he prepared his shot, I saw the lighter stick out of his back pocket and grabbed it. He spun the gun toward me, but just as his finger curled around the trigger, the flame rose upward. I threw it onto his flannel jacket, hoping, praying that it would catch fire, and it did. It was a little fire but enough for him to drop the gun and smack at the flames, trying to put them out. He didn’t have a chance to look at me when I fired a shot into his head.

You killed him,” she said as I cut her loose.

It was him or us.” I removed my own binding. “Let’s go.”

Where? We don’t know where we even are,” she said.

Doesn’t matter. Let’s go.” I held my hand out toward her, and she took it. I pulled her up to her feet, and we went running, far away from him and past the train tracks toward the setting sun.


Fiction © Copyright Melissa R. Mendelson
Image courtesy of

About Author Melissa R. Mendelson:

Melissa R. Mendelson is a Horror, Science-Fiction, and Dystopian Author. Her short stories have been published by Sirens Call Publications, Dark Helix Press, and Transmundane Press. She also has a variety of short stories and poetry available on Medium.


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Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author A.F. Stewart @scribe77 @darc_nina #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

Unexpected Things in the Dark
by A.F. Stewart

“Patrol Team Omega, this is Control Ship Alpha. Do you read, Commander Sharp? What’s your status?”

Answering the orbiting starship, the exploratory team leader’s voice crackles over the bridge communications system, “The entire planet is shrouded in grey cloud cover. It’s not just atmospheric. Nothing but rock and mist, Captain. No sign of habitable terrain or lifeforms.”

“Did you locate the mineral deposits yet? We still can’t get a reading from orbit.”

“Not surprised, sir. I think the topography is playing havoc with sensors. But we may have located the source. Some kind of cavern. We’re moving forward to investigate.”

The bridge fell silent as they awaited the team’s next communication. Then…

“Captain, sir. Something’s not right. It’s not mineral deposits. It’s—it’s something else. I can only describe it as a hoard.”

“A what?”

“Wait, is something moving back there? No, it can’t be! They’re not real. Dragons aren’t real!” A terrifying roar echoed across comms, followed by the shout of, “Run! Run!”

Screams engulfed the channel before dissolving into static…



More from A.F. Stewart:


Visions and Nightmares

Tragedy spares no one… and takes no prisoners.
In the twilight shadows, secrets are revealed past the whispers of madness.

Wander into the realm of the old gods with Elenora, where humanity and marriage are a prison.
Step through a looking glass of dark horrors with an Alice you never knew.
Join with Zenna to seek the truth as her death by magic grows closer.
Journey with Olivia as she crosses paths with a monster of the forest and runs for her life.
Watch Isobel summon the faerie to solve her problem of an unwanted husband.
Shiver as Doctor Killbride experiments with corpses to create life from death.
All that and more await within the pages.

Ten stories. Ten women.
Who will survive? Who will fall? And who will succumb to their inner evil?
Find out in Visions and Nightmares.

Warning: This book contains disturbing scenes that may be upsetting to some readers.

Available on Amazon!

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