Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Terrie Leigh Relf @TLRelf @Sotet_Angyal #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

Sept_LOH_Image1The Family Treasures
by Terrie Leigh Relf

“Each one of our family treasures has a story,” Tante Sylvie reminded us while dusting them wearing her special cotton gloves. “Some day it will be your turn to keep them safe and tell their tales, so listen carefully, children.”
We would stand dutifully while Tante Sylvie told her tales. As the eldest, I think I was the only one who questioned their truth. I enjoyed them nevertheless.
“You can look, but you mustn’t touch,” she would always say, my younger sister’s and brother’s small hands hovering like moths toward some of the treasures displayed on the foyer table. There was Opa’s clock, which no longer chimed, and Oma’s porcelain plate, which no longer held any kuchen. There were with other items that invited us to “ooh-and-ahh” with delight or curiosity, like the urns that contained the ashes of her first, second, and third husbands. My favorite Onkel, Walter, had died unexpectedly the year before. I was pleased that he had the most decorative urn. It was smaller, though, and rested next to the largest one that contained our Onkel Rolf. The other urn contained Onkel Max, who had passed away long before we were born.
“What if we wore the gloves? Could we touch them then?” Irina asked.
Tante Sylvie looked down at Irina with the smile reserved just for her. “My gloves are much too big for you.”
“Besides, you’re clumsy,” Brandt added.
“I will be very careful, Tante.”
“You will have your very own gloves when the time comes.” Tante Sylvie reached out as if to tuck a stray hair back in Irina’s braid, then pulled her hand back with a start. I thought it odd, as when she wasn’t dusting and polishing the family treasures, Tante Sylvie was always fussing about our hair. It must have been because the gloves were dirty. What else could it possibly have been?
And so our childhood summers went at Tante Sylvie’s grand house until a call came one winter’s afternoon while we were packing to make the drive there to celebrate Christmas. Irina, who had always been our Tante’s favorite, had already been there for a week or so.
We finished packing, and Father did his best not to speed to his sister’s house. Mother wrung her hands as usual. She was always the nervous sort.
Once we arrived, Irina was on the porch shivering in her woolen coat. “The police said it was probably a heart attack or stroke.”
Father patted her on the head before pushing past her into the house. We all followed close behind. The police were dusting everything for prints, which included the broken bits of colorful porcelain scattered across the floor. Ironically, there were layers of dust strewn throughout the foyer, with footprints trailing through it.
But my eyes were drawn to Tante Sylvie. The police hadn’t bothered to cover her up even though there were afghans on almost every chair and couch in the living room. She was lying on her back, her arms and legs bent at odd angles. But it was her face that disturbed me the most . . . Her lovely face all contorted and blotchy, lips drawn back in a snarl.
“I didn’t mean to break them.” Irina began to sob, wiping at her face with a sleeve. “I was very careful and used Tante’s gloves while she was napping. Onkel Walter’s urn just slipped out of my hands and knocked over the other canister.”
Brandt refrained from calling her clumsy, which was a relief under the circumstances.
“Your breaking the urn didn’t cause her death, Irina,” Father said, pulling her close to him. Mother just stared at the mess as if she could will it away.
It took quite some time to learn the cause of Tante Sylvie’s death. Apparently, we had all been quite lucky when we stayed with our Tante all those summers and Christmas holidays. We were even more fortunate that day when we arrived to discover Tante was dead and lying within the ashes from Onkel Rolf’s broken urn. While the urn had contained a slight amount of arsenic, the other canister labeled with Onkel Walter’s name, hadn’t been filled with ashes . . . Instead, it contained enough arsenic to kill a horse.
Fiction © Copyright Terrie Leigh Relf
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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More from author Terrie Leigh Relf:

The Sisterhood of the Blood Moon

For thousands of Earth years, the Transgalactic Consortium has had a quiet interest in this planet and its inhabitants, the Haurans. While the Sisterhood of the Blood Moon works together with the Consortium and Haurans to maintain balance in the universe, the Blood Moon is fast approaching. The power of this moon reveals untold secrets . . . including a sacred covenant with the Mora Spiders. There is an ancient pact that needs to be honored—but at what cost and for whose purpose? The world may come to an end. But will there be a chance for a new beginning?

Available for purchase from the Alban Lake Store!

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

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

Sept_LOH_Image4
The Scent of Time

by Rie Sheridan Rose

It hit her the moment she opened the door to the bookstore…musty, moldy, magical. The scent of books written before she’d even been born. She trailed a finger along ancient spines that looked ready to fall to dust. Curious titles—some in languages she didn’t speak, others in familiar Latin or Olde English. A smile tugged her lip. What fun she would have! 
Here was a grimoire that looked like it was bound in calf-skin…but she wouldn’t bet on that being the origin of the leather. Too soft, even for baby cow. And the wizard who had written it was awfully fond of the old ways. She peeked inside. Yes, the rusty ink was most likely blood. She took a deep breath, inhaling the page, then huffed in frustration. 
She couldn’t enjoy her new acquisitions to the fullest as long as the air was tainted with the bright copper smell of new blood. Who would have thought the old man had so much blood in him? And why wouldn’t he just give her the shop? He had promised it to her since she was twelve. It was her time!
With a sigh, she set the grimoire back in its place and went to fetch a mop.
Fiction © Copyright Rie Sheridan Rose
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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More from Author Rie Sheridan Rose:

Skellyman

“I have always preferred the supernatural in tales of horror, the knot between life and death. Rie Sheridan Rose’s Skellyman is cool and creepy. Her first horror novel is a chilling read.” — Charlee Jacob – Stoker winner, Best novel, “Dread in the Beast”

Brenda Barnett is trying to cope with raising her four-year-old daughter all alone after an accident tore her family in half. As she and Daisy go for a much-needed treat, the little girl spots a Skellyman on the corner.

This pivotal encounter leads to a wave of mounting terror as Brenda’s life begins to come undone around her. Who is the Skellyman? Why does he keep appearing? Can the sympathetic policeman Brenda turns to stop the madness before it is too late?

And why does Daisy insist that her dead brother is trying to tell them something important?

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 Christina Sng @ChristinaSng @Sotet_Angyal #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!


Sept_LOH_Image3

One Dark Night
by Christina Sng

Our bags are packed,
Waiting like sentinels
By the front door
Where twins stand,
Hand in hand, half asleep,
Half a foot in dreams.
He has passed out
Drunk yet again
With bloody fists.
I’ve long given up
On him ever changing,
My face battered
Black and blue
Enough times
To never forget it.
I can only start anew
With my crone powers
Slowly awakening.
My fingertips tingle
With a lightning crackle.
I touch the door,
Watching it blaze
With azure fire
As it tears open a portal
Into an emerald-green planet,
Full of cotton candy clouds
And crystal clear ponds
Floating beside them
On languid leafy pads,
Magic carpets in the air.
The twins do not hesitate.
Their eyes light up
And each picks up a suitcase.
“Let’s go, Momma,”
They plead with eager eyes.
“It must be better
On the other side.”
I nod,
Clasping their hands.
We take a deep breath
And step into the portal.
It is as magical as I imagined.
I turn back to close
The barrier between
Our worlds forever
But first, I send through
A sprinkling of silver stardust,
Imploding the house

As the portal seals shut.

Fiction © Copyright Christina Sng
Image courtesy of Nina D’Arcangela
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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More from Christina Sng:

A Collection of Nightmares

Hold your screams and enter a world of seasonal creatures, dreams of bones, and confessions modeled from open eyes and endless insomnia. Christina Sng’s A Collection of Nightmares is a poetic feast of sleeplessness and shadows, an exquisite exhibition of fear and things better left unsaid. Here are ramblings at the end of the world and a path that leads to a thousand paper cuts at the hands of a skin carver. There are crawlspace whispers, and fresh sheets gently washed with sacrifice and poison, and if you’re careful in this ghost month, these poems will call upon the succubus to tend to your flesh wounds and scars.
These nightmares are sweeping fantasies that electrocute the senses as much as they dull the ache of loneliness by showing you what’s hiding under your bed, in the back of your closet, and inside your head. Sng’s poems dissect and flower, her autopsies are delicate blooms dressed with blood and syntax. Her words are charcoal and cotton, safe yet dressed in an executioner’s garb.
Dream carefully.
You’ve already made your bed.
The nightmares you have now will not be kind.
And you have no one to blame but yourself.

Available on Amazon!

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Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Angela Yuriko Smith @AngelaYSmith @Sotet_Angyal #LoH

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

Sept_LOH_Image2

The Guardian Fairy
by Angela Yuriko Smith

All grandma left me when she died was a tacky figurine of an angel and horse. She always called it her tooth fairy. Someone handed it to me after the funeral, murmuring words about her being a fine woman with an invite to cry on their shoulder. I looked at the shabby, porcelain face of the figurine and remembered.
“Grandma, it’s an angel,” I’d say.
“No, is a fairy for collecting teeth,” she’d insist. “Angels stay locked in Heaven. Fairies do us favors.” Until the end she insisted it was a tooth fairy.
Now I was stuck with it, but who knows? Maybe it did work. Kids went missing every year from our town, in spite of everyone knowing everyone. The sheriff was convinced it was out-of-towner drifting through and was hard on strangers. Too hard. Hitchikers vanished too, but that wasn’t important. We all knew the sheriff acted with good intentions, even if it never helped. My friends all vanished just the same. Only I was never touched.
I went back to the house alone. Our congregation had already come in and boxed a bunch of things up for me. They assumed I wouldn’t want to live here alone. That’s one of the bad things about a small town—everyone knew everyone and thought they knew everyone’s business.
I set the figurine on a stack of boxes, and then tripped over an empty tape roll left on the floor. The box tower toppled and the angel and horse crashed to the floor. Good, I thought. Now I have an excuse to be rid of the ugly thing.
I grabbed the broom and pushed boxes aside to clean up. Among the shards of statuary were tiny, rolled up bits of paper. I leaned the broom against the wall, knelt down and picked one up. Something was inside. I unrolled the yellowed paper and a milk tooth popped out. My grandmother’s spidery scrawl ran the length of the paper.
Joseph Madden, for pushing my girl off the swing.
I remembered that day. Joe and I had played tag all afternoon. The winner of the last game got first dibs on the tire swing and the loser had to push. I won the swing but we argued when I wouldn’t give Joe a turn. He had finally pushed me off. He made me cry, then he disappeared.
Shaking, I unrolled more scraps of paper. Teeth littered the floor among the broken glass.
Anabelle Smith for making fun of my girl’s pants.
Darwin Keene for not bringing a birthday gift.
Robbie Baxter for breaking my girl’s heart.
All my friends. I didn’t want to understand what I was looking at, but I did. So many things made sense now. Grandma’s rubbish dump—a deep pit in the middle of our field where she burned garbage. I was never allowed to come with her.
“My pretty girl shouldn’t be around burning trash,” she’d say. “The stink will taint you.”
I stopped unwrapping the tiny teeth. I knew who they all were. I couldn’t read any more because my eyes were blind with tears. The front door swung open and I looked up to see the sheriff entering the house hesitantly.
“I was just checking to make sure you’re okay here by your lonesome,” he said.
Surrounded by all that remained of every friend I’d ever had, I felt the most lonesome I’d ever been. I looked up at the sheriff, tears streaming down my face and scooped up a handful of teeth for him to see.
“I’m not okay,” I told him. “I may never be okay again.”
He let me drop my handful of frenemies into his palm. He read some of the papers, looked at the teeth and nodded. Bending over, he helped me up, dusting away the shattered past that clung to me.
“I’m sorry to say, it makes sense. And I’m sorry I never could see it until now,” he said. “She was just such a sweet old girl. And I just thought it had to be an out-of-towner…” I was shaking like a leaf. Memories raced through my mind—every petty argument, every jealousy I ever had was a death. I collapsed.
The sheriff didn’t say another word. He scooped me up in his arms like a child and carried me out of the house. He closed the door behind him. For once, I was glad everyone thought they knew my business. This time they were right.
I wouldn’t want to live here alone… now.
Fiction © Copyright Angela Yuriko Smith
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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More from Angela Yuriko Smith:

The Bitter Suites

Book a stay at the Bitter Suites, a hotel that specializes in renewable death experiences. Whether you schedule your demise as therapy, to bond with a loved one or for pure recreation, your death is sure to give you a new lease on life. Renewable death is always beneficial… at least to someone.

Available on Amazon!

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

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

Sept_LOH_Image1
One Last Rose

by Rie Sheridan Rose

She sat on the edge of the bed. Egyptian cotton sheets under a silk duvet. Made with precision corners and perfect pillows. Everything about the room was perfect. It was his trademark. The perfect room, the perfect bed, the perfect wife.
But she wasn’t perfect. She was messy at heart, and a bit of a lay-a-bout. She’d learned early that those traits must be sublimated at all costs. So everything had a place, and lived only in it. Everything…except her.
She no longer felt like she had a place. This room was a prison, and she knew she would never break free of it. He was too rich, too powerful. He’d never agree to a divorce—it would make him look less than perfect.
She stared at the clock on the mantle. Three o’clock. He’d be home at five, and expect perfection—in the dinner, in the conversation, in the bed. But she wasn’t perfect. And now, there would be no hiding that soon. Had it been absentmindedness or self-sabotage that had her skip the pills? She wouldn’t give him another hostage to fate.
Rising to her feet, she walked to the mantle-piece. She pulled a single rose from the vase sitting there. The stem was covered in sharp thorns. Good. Sharp was good.
In the bathroom, she filled the tub with warm water and stepped inside—making sure her robe was perfectly folded on the chair at the vanity. Sinking down into the comforting warmth, she pulled a thorn through the soft flesh of her inner wrist.
This would take awhile, but she’d be sure to do it perfectly.
Fiction © Copyright Rie Sheridan Rose
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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More from Author Rie Sheridan Rose:

Skellyman

“I have always preferred the supernatural in tales of horror, the knot between life and death. Rie Sheridan Rose’s Skellyman is cool and creepy. Her first horror novel is a chilling read.” — Charlee Jacob – Stoker winner, Best novel, “Dread in the Beast”

Brenda Barnett is trying to cope with raising her four-year-old daughter all alone after an accident tore her family in half. As she and Daisy go for a much-needed treat, the little girl spots a Skellyman on the corner.

This pivotal encounter leads to a wave of mounting terror as Brenda’s life begins to come undone around her. Who is the Skellyman? Why does he keep appearing? Can the sympathetic policeman Brenda turns to stop the madness before it is too late?

And why does Daisy insist that her dead brother is trying to tell them something important?

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 Andie Lee Eames @RavenLilysHot @Sotet_Angyal #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

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Read Between the Lines
Andie Lee Eames

My family has been heavily involved in the occult since before I was born. Personally, I think they’re all mad. There’s been a rumor circulating around the brood that there are a set of books that grant whatever the owner wishes. They’ve been searching for these books for centuries but haven’t found them. The legend goes as follows: The books were made from the bodies of six family members chosen by a lottery. The unlucky ones had their bodies torn to pieces during an arcane ritual to put their combined lives, knowledge and power into it.
Their blood was used as ink mixed with the contents of their spilled bowels. The paper had been made using their flayed flesh then cured so it could be written on. Their bones were used for the spines, some of their faces were used to construct the front of the book while their hair was used on the back. The reason I know of this lore is because one of them got away and took the books with him when the sorcerer fell into a deep slumber drained from performing the task of making such books. In the wrong hands this book can unleash untold evil into the world which is why I have to find it first and destroy them.
I took a job as an archeologist assistant who traveled the world with this peculiar man with a fedora and Cuban cigars. He didn’t look like a professor at all but looks are deceptive; it’s how I’ve survived so long in my family. We were on a dig in Egypt when we came across them after searching for months. He was looking for old relics while I searched and found the books. They were even more gruesome than I had imagined or prepared for. There are eyes – blinking eyes – on the corners of each book to alert the creator of the book but she’s been dead for age, my great-great grandfather was said to have slit their throats as soon as the books were made while they slept.
Just holding them I felt the surge of power held within the air pulsated and the cave system we were in was starting to collapse in on us. So, we made haste and got the hell out as fast as we could. A few of the excavators died during the crash when their bodies were uncovered their faces were contorted in dread. I knew the book had taken it’s first strike to protect itself.
It couldn’t or wouldn’t harm me for some reason and I didn’t trust it. I had to get it back to my home where I had everything, I needed to destroy it. I hadn’t deluded myself that this would be easy or that I couldn’t end up dead these books will do whatever it takes to survive. They are alive make no mistake about it. It seemed to take forever to get back to the States but once home I began.
This ritual required life’s blood in other words period blood because it was the most powerful next to that of an innocent which I would never use because it would defeat the purpose of me getting the book in the first place. There was a secret room behind the books in my library, that’s where I would put an end to this and free myself from the madness of this family.
I made sure to protect myself by writing symbols in my blood and reciting incantations. The temperature of the room dropped significantly as I recited the words. A foul smell took my breath as the pages flipped wildly. The voices and screams of those who made these books were deafening they shot through my head like invisible bullets. I reeled grabbing the sides of my head with my hands making sure it wasn’t about to fall off, that’s how severe the pain was.
I saw shadows crowding the walls and closing in on me with maniacal laughter and shrieking as they closed in on me. I broke out in a cold sweat as the battle between me and those books intensified. Invisible scratches appeared all over my body they felt like being cut with razor blades. There was a sonic boom then bright light flooded the room standing in front of me was the original creator of these books—my great- great -great grandmother Rose. All I knew about her was the family feared her and an old portrait of her.
Her voice broke the atmosphere. “It appears no one told you not to search for these books. Now that you’ve found them you think that I’ll allow you to destroy my life’s work and sacrifice?” Before I could breathe my next breath, she used her boney hand to rip my soul out of my body. I stood there watching her hold my flesh in her hands before she devoured it all in one gulp.
“You were the final piece to my puzzle and now you will ignite this book and I will finally get what I deserve. With that she shoved my soul into the final book no one knew about now that her collection was completed, she placed them into a satchel and vanished. I was now trapped with those taken before me…there’s no hope for me!
Fiction © Copyright Andie Lee Eames
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
 

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More from Author Andie Lee Eames:

abstractmurderalpeckAbstract Murder

Abstract Murder is a disturbing psychological suspense tale told from the view points of various characters. The characters speak directly to the reader taking them into the dark recesses of dangerous minds while calling into question the validity of good and evil. If you liked “Pulp Fiction & Silence of the Lambs” then you’ll love Abstract Murder which is told in flash forwards, backs, and present time. A high concept thriller not for the faint of heart and one hell of an emotional rollercoaster ride. There are three different killers and you’ll get to see what made them that way.

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 Kim Richards @Kim_Richards @Sotet_Angyal #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

Sept_LOH_Image3Found Him
by Kim Richards

Joan shivered when she stepped inside the square room. The cold was sharper than she expected in a windowless room with stone walls and floor. It’s chill started in the center of her chest and quickly traversed along her bones as if they were roads leading away from the middle point. Her flannel shirt and down jacket did nothing to prevent it.
She did her best to ignore her chattering teeth and moved towards the center of the room. There, covered in silvery cobwebs, sat a wood and iron chest and backpack.
Joan recognized the backpack. It belonged to her father, who disappeared ten years ago. Her search for him brought her to this place. She followed his itinerary from back then, spoke to people who remembered him, and followed any clue of deviation from his planned trip. He was prone to meandering, particularly when something peaked his interest. It took her to many destinations—some exotic, others dangerous, all of them interesting to her as well.
She sat on the dustless floor next to the backpack and brushed away the cobwebs. It’s red surface was marred from years of abuse. She mused how that backpack travelled more miles than most adventurous people do in their lifetimes. It saw abandoned temples, rebellions in the streets, and underground smuggling. Now it was here. Why isn’t Dad? she wondered Joan caressed the dry leather and then unlatched the two straps on the front. Then she flipped open the top flap. There was something round inside. She reached inside and wrinkled her nose as her fingers touched something light and stringy. Ugh. More cobwebs!
Not wishing spiders to crawl up her arms, she withdrew her hands and wiped them on her jeans. She climbed to her feet, picked up the backpack and upended it. She recognized the round thing the second it dropped to the floor and rolled to one side. It was a head. The spider webs inside must’ve been the long gray hair. It was tied in a top braid into a handle shape but stray strands fell down along the sides and back. Oh, geez. What would he want with a shrunken head?
Joan saw many of these in museums, particularly in an exhibit of mummies from around the world. Curious, she grasped the hair loop and lifted it to eye level. The skin was shriveled and brown. She noticed some tattooing on the cheeks and forehead. They were odd symbols she didn’t recognize. Yellow beads were sewn onto the lips and eyebrows.
A soft swishing sound from behind her caused her to turn. She saw her father. His bloodshot eyes were wild with wide pupils. His hair was matted and groin clothed in thin leather. He held his machete to one side in mid-swing.
Joan managed to cry out, “Dad!” before the blade severed her neck. Her head tumbled to the floor, followed moments later by her body. The last thing she heard was his crazed laughter.
Fiction © Copyright Kim Richards
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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