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

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

004_APR_IMGWalls of Stone
by A.F. Stewart

How long have we waited?
I don’t know. I don’t know.
The words vibrate in my mind, a thousandfold echo against my own thoughts. Are they real? Are they the voices of my kin? Or only memories? Are my brothers and sisters long dead? Forever locked in this prison? Are they now dried bones, only remains encased in the rock?
No. We still live. We are here. All of us.
I sigh, relief flooding my thoughts, though a small doubt lingers. What if I am mad? What if their voices are only what I wish to hear?
We are all a little mad. How can it be otherwise? Centuries entombed in stone. But we are real, brother. We are real. And like you, we hunger for our vengeance.
Inside the wall, I smile. It will not be long. Humans did this to us, with their fear and their magic. But magic wears thin, eventually, and we are still here. Eternal in mind and memory. And when the gargoyles fly free again, we will fill the sky with our numbers, a multitude of fury and strength.
A legion of warriors thirsting for human blood.
Fiction © Copyright A.F. Stewart
Image courtesy of Rie Sheridan Rose.
 

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More from A.F. Stewart:

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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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Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Christina Sng @ChristinaSng @darc_nina #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!


003_APR_IMGThe Last Train
by Christina Sng

Years later, the train carriage still stands, a lone reminder of the dark night we survived.

I was fifteen when the plague happened. It took my entire family except for Petrie, our skinny tabby cat.

Petrified by the lumbering dead, we escaped onto the last train out of the city to the unknown countryside.

The dead overcame carriage after carriage till one brave soul unlatched the closest infected carriage, letting the train roll toward freedom.

We disembarked at the last stop, all of us looking fearful and exhausted. But the town was quiet. News had not reached here yet.

I took Petrie and raced to the mayor’s office while everyone stood about, dazed, trying to get their bearings.

The mayor jumped into action right away. He’d seen the news and clearly watched enough episodes of The Walking Dead.

There were no tall walls but they had buses. Mayor Quinn, he said to call him, had the bus drivers block off the entrances to town, hoping it would keep the dead out.

It would be some time before they lumbered here but they would reach us.

Days passed. Then weeks. Months. Years.

With communications down, we had no way of knowing. So we went on with our lives, grateful for the farms feeding us and making do with a simpler life without modern supplies.

People we sent out to gather information never returned. We let it be and stopped sending anyone out.

One day, ten years from the day the infection began, a man staggered to our gates. I took one good look at him and shot him in the head.

I turned to look at the train carriage and remembered the terror. I remembered the horror. I remembered getting bitten when I unlatched the train bolt and I remembered watching the wound swiftly close up before my eyes.

Even the infected could look normal. Anyone could be infected.

In the town square, the mayor was helping our children put up the anniversary decorations. They waved and smiled. I waved back. It was going to be a beautiful day.
Fiction © Copyright Christina Sng
Image courtesy of Rie Sheridan Rose.

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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 Kathleen McCluskey @KathleenMcClus4 @Darc_Nina #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

002_APR_IMGDennis
by Kathleen McCluskey

Dennis could feel himself waking, instant pain filled his head. He lifted his arm and felt a large gash in his forehead. He winced as he touched it. Using his arms as leverage he sat up, he tried to look around. One of his eyes had been sealed shut with blood. He wiped at it and winced again. When his vision came back to him he was taken aback at his surroundings. He was sitting in a sewer drainage tube; the black, musty water smelled of urine and dead animals. Dennis stood, staggered into the concrete on the opposite side and braced himself with his hands. He looked around a saw light coming from what he hoped was the end of the tunnel and freedom.
He walked through the putrid water for what seemed like hours. He would get close to the light and the tunnel would make a sharp turn casting him once again in darkness. Dennis was beginning to lose his patience when the end of the tunnel was in his sight. Covered in roots and vines, his exit was blocked. Using the remaining strength he had he pushed through the brush and out into the light.
This light was like nothing he had ever seen. Looking down at his feet he could see something swimming around his ankles. He tried to step away from it but it continued to circle. Panicking he stepped sideways and landed in some burned out, rough grass and into the mist surrounding the pipe entrance. The strong smell of Sulphur came to him; coming out of the mist was a shape that he had known from his childhood. A large figure began to approach him, the massive horns on the being’s head came into full view. Kneeling down beside him the being spoke, its rancid breath made him want to gag. “You have lived a life that only I could be proud of. You have managed to not only break every single commandment but you burned them in the wake of your life.” The being grabbed Dennis by the shirt and yanked him up. “Welcome to Hell…”
Fiction © Copyright Kathleen McCluskey
Image courtesy of Rie Sheridan Rose
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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 Ela Lourenco @ElaLourenco @darc_nina #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

001_APR_IMGThe Wait
by Ela Lourenco

A blinding light pierces through the darkness. I close my eyes as tightly as I can, but it permeates through my eyelids as though to burn my retinas. Huddling against the walls of my little room I hide from the sun’s rays. Moving from corner to corner as the brightness hunts me, changing its course hour by hour. I count the seconds and minutes until night-time – until the hours of my freedom. I yearn for the night, the differing shades of blackness and shadows. I live in the darkness I was born into.
Only once the sky is black will I rise and make my way to the one tiny window and peer outside – seeking the dark swaying branches raising their gnarled fingers towards the obsidian skies in an unholy dance. I join them from my room, my embryo – together we await the second rising of the dark Prince. We await the time he will bring the never-ending night…
Fiction © Copyright Ela Lourenco
Image courtesy of Rie Sheridan Rose.
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More from Ela Lourenco:

awakeningDragon Born: Book Three
Awakening

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 Melissa R. Mendelson @melissmendelson @Darc_Nina #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

004_APR_IMG

Monsters can Paint too
by Melissa R. Mendelson

“Are you sure this cave is safe?  It’s not on the map.”
Frank looked at his friend.  He shined the flashlight into his face.  “It’s safe,” he said, touching a wall nearby.  The wall was sticky, and he wiped his hand along his pants.
“How deep do you think it goes?”  His friend was right behind him.  “What’s that smell?”
“If you want to wait outside, I won’t be gone too long.”
“Why are the walls sticky?”  Frank rolled his eyes at his friend’s comment.  “Don’t you smell that odor?”
“Yeah,” Frank said as he made his way further into the cave.  “I recognize it, but…”
“But what?”
“But I hope a bear does not live in here.  You still have your knife?”
“In my boot, but that won’t do shit against a bear.  At least, I’m behind you.”
“Meaning?”
“Meaning, Frank that if the bear is hungry, it’ll be eating you first.  I’ll have time to run.”
“Good to know.”
Suddenly, Frank lost his footing.  He slid down fast.  His friend caught the back of his jacket, but that just pulled him along.  They tumbled, and they fell down into darkness.
“Shit!”  Something dropped onto Frank’s shoe.  “You okay?”
His friend had luckily not landed on him.  “Yeah.  I’m okay.”  His friend stumbled to his feet.  Something fell on his hand.  “Ewwww.  What is this stuff”?
“The gear intact?  We’re going to need it to get out of here.”  Frank checked the flashlight.  Luckily, it didn’t break in the fall.
“Oh my God.  I think this is shit.”
“What?”
“Shit.  It’s raining down on us.  Look.”  Frank’s friend pointed toward the top of the cave.  “What the hell did that?”
Before Frank could respond, something scooped his friend up into the air.  Frank shined the light on a huge, grotesque, hairy foot.  The hand was no different.  The face was monstrous, and it pulled Frank’s friend closer to its mouth.  He thought that his friend was going to be eaten, but the monster just breathed on him.  His friend turned yellow.  His eyes rolled up into his head.  The monster ripped off his pants and then squeezed him like you would a toothpaste container.  Brown liquid poured into the monster’s hand.  He dropped Frank’s friend to the ground, and that’s when Frank noticed the bodies nearby.  They were all crushed and pantless.
Frank pulled out the knife from his friend’s boot.  Maybe, he could stab it in the throat when it was his turn, but he realized that the monster was not paying attention to him.  Instead, he was standing by a wall, painting, smearing shit in an artistic design.  The monster stepped back, admiring its creation.
The monster looked toward Frank.  “See?  Monsters can paint too.”  The monster resumed looking at the wall.  “But I just need some more.”  He grabbed Frank, and the knife broke against the skin of his hand.  He pulled Frank close to his lips.  He blew on him like you would a birthday candle.
Fiction © Copyright Melissa R. Mendelson
Image courtesy of Rie Sheridan Rose.
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More from Melissa R. Mendelson:

nmkmmName’s Keeper

I got a one-way ticket out of hell. All I need to do is drive across country with a body in the trunk and run miscellaneous errands, but a lot of those errands come with a heavy price. And if I lose the body in the trunk, then I have to go back, and I’ll be damned if I return down there. I will fight to stay here, even if there is no rest for those wicked.

Available on Amazon!

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

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

003_APR_IMG

The Reclamation of Benny the Fox
by Naching T. Kassa

Nalin Kratides studied the battered boxcar. The red paint which had once covered it was scorched by fire. Some of it had bubbled up during the moments of great heat and during cooling, had flaked away. A soft moan sounded, shifting her attention to the shadow-filled doorway.
A spirit floated from within the confines of the boxcar, wearing a pinstripe suit and a black fedora. It stopped and gazed at Nalin with sad eyes. 
“He doesn’t look agitated to me,” she whispered to the man beside her. 
Detective John Warren drew close. “Watch this.” He motioned to a young man clad in a police uniform. “Officer Colt, take a step toward the boxcar.”
“Again?”
“Yes.”
“Do I have to?”
“Miss Kratides needs to see what the ghost does. And, since he only does it when you approach the boxcar, you need to do it.”
The young man frowned. “Alright, sir. If you say so.” 
The moment Colt moved the spirit transformed. The once calm face became a mask of fury as the ghost burst into flame. It howled and lashed out at Colt. The young man stumbled backward.
“Is that all, sir?” the young officer asked, shaking. 
“For now. Go on back to the car and take a break.”
“It does that every time?” Nalin said, as Colt retreated. 
“Every time that kid comes near. Doesn’t pay attention to anybody else. See for yourself.”
Nalin faced the ghost. “What’s your name?” she asked.
The ghost stared. Nalin took a step forward, but before she could pose her next question, the spirit floated away.
“See what I mean,” John said. 
“Weird. I wonder why it doesn’t like the officer.” 
“Probably for the same reason no one else does. He’s a dick.”
“John, that’s not very nice.”
“Just stating the facts.”
Nalin turned her attention back to the boxcar. “It looks like the track hasn’t been used in years. Why would anyone leave a boxcar out here in the middle of the woods?”
“There’s an old roadhouse about half a mile from here. The locals say it was a speakeasy in its heyday. They claim the ghost of Benny the Fox haunts this boxcar.”
“Benny the who?”
“The Fox. Small-time gangster and rumrunner. He was killed by a rival called Gianni Vitello in 1925. Vitello confessed to the murder on his deathbed. Claims he burned Benny to death on this spot.”
“No body then?”
“Nope.”
“Do you know anything else about him?”
“One thing. The guy loved kids. Most of his money went to orphanages and schools. Apparently, he and his little sister were abused as kids. His sister didn’t survive.”
“Where did you get all of this information?”
“The curator of the local museum. He likes to talk…a lot.”
“Good for him.” Nalin circled the boxcar. “If the ghost is still haunting this place, he must be connected to something. Maybe, it’s a personal possession.”
“Or he’s protecting something.”
Nalin halted.
“What is it?” John asked.
“I think you may be right. There’s a tunnel here.”
“A tunnel? Like a death tunnel? How come I can’t see it?”
“It’s flashing.”
“What does that mean?”
“Whoever it belongs to is still alive. But they won’t be for long.”
“We’ve got to get in there.”
“If the ghost is protecting something inside, he’ll become violent. One of us should distract him while the other goes in.”
“I’ve got some salt in the car. Want me to trap him for a bit?”
“Please.”
Nalin watched John hurry back to his unmarked vehicle and return with a box of salt. The ghost showed little interest as he approached and poured a circle around it. 
“Ok. All set. I’ll stay out here and keep an eye on him.”
“Alright. Be right back.” She gave him a quick kiss and darted inside. 
Strange scents bloomed around Nalin as she entered. Mold and decay filled her nostrils. As did the sweet scent of perfume.
A girl of about sixteen, lay on the floor, her eyes closed. Dried blood matted the hair just above her temple. Nalin hurried to her side.
The girl’s eyelids fluttered open and she cried out.
“It’s ok, sweetie,” Nalin said. “I’m here to help you.”
“Who-who are you?” 
“I’m a friend. Can you stand?”
“I don’t think so.”
“John,” Nalin called. “John, I found someone.”
The girl’s eyes widened. “Stop! Don’t make a sound. He’ll kill us!”
“No, he won’t. He’s a friend. A policeman.”
The girl’s face grew ashen. “No. He stopped me on the road. Attacked me. Chased me here.”
A chill crept over Nalin’s skin. She glanced back toward the boxcar’s doorway. 
“John!” she cried. “Hurry!”
A figure appeared in the doorway. It wasn’t John.
Officer Colt stood before her, a demonic grin on his face. Grotesque bulges formed on his face and hands, as though something writhed beneath the surface, aching to be free.
Nalin rose to her feet, scanning the floor for anything she could use as a weapon. Nothing lay within her grasp. 
“Where’s John?” she asked.
“Sleeping on the job,” Colt replied. “Don’t worry. He isn’t dead…yet.”
“What do you want?”
“To make a deal. Come outside and I’ll explain.”
Nalin glanced at the girl. 
“It’ll only take a second.”
“You go first.”
Colt stepped out of the boxcar and Nalin followed.
Warren lay in the dirt a few feet away. Within the circle, the fiery ghost raged.
“It was awfully nice of you to trap him for me,” Colt said. “I couldn’t get near her while he was there. That’s why I called you two in. You didn’t really think there were complaints of a haunting, did you?”
Colt approached Warren.
“What are you doing?” Nalin asked.
“I’m giving you a choice.”
“What kind of choice?”
“You leave the girl here with me. I load him in the car for you. You drive off.”
“That’s it.”
“Yup.”
“What if I call the cops?”
“All they’ll find here are two dead bodies. Sorry, toots. Human jurisdiction doesn’t apply to me.”
“What if I say no?”
“Then I’ll toss your boyfriend to our extra-crispy friend here, kill the girl, and possess your body. I’ll take it for a little joy ride. A little murder. A little mayhem.”
“You’ve really thought this through, haven’t you?”
Colt smiled. “I do pride myself on my reasoning.”
“I think there’s one thing you haven’t considered though. A third choice.”
Colt frowned. “There are no other choices.”
“Obviously, you haven’t been human long. You don’t know anything about free will. Excuse me as I exercise mine.”
Nalin sprinted forward and dived toward the circle of salt. She swiped the edge away.
Unimaginable heat rushed over her as the spirit left the broken circle. Nalin pressed her face to the ground.
An inhuman scream of agony filled the air. 
Colt tried to flee the ghost but hadn’t made it far. Fire engulfed him. Within seconds, he’d become a mass of charred flesh upon the ground. 
Warren stirred as Nalin reached him.
“Who’s that?” he said.
“Colt.”
“Benny got him?”
“Like you said. He’s a dick.”
The spirit of Benny the Fox, having resumed ghostly form, floated by them. 
“John, there’s a girl in the boxcar who needs our help. She’s hurt. We have to get in there.”
“I don’t think that’ll be a problem. Look.”
The ghost stood in the doorway. He smiled and beckoned.
Nalin helped Warren to his feet and they hurried inside.
Fiction © Copyright Naching T. Kassa
Image courtesy of Rie Sheridan Rose.
 

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More from Naching T. Kassa:

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Arterial Bloom

Lush. Brutal.

Beautiful. Visceral.

Crystal Lake Publishing proudly presents Arterial Bloom, an artful juxtaposition of the magnificence and macabre that exist within mankind. Each tale in this collection is resplendent with beauty, teeth, and heart.

Edited by the Bram Stoker Award-winning writer Mercedes M. Yardley, Arterial Bloom is a literary experience featuring sixteen stories from some of the most compelling dark authors writing today.

With a foreword by HWA Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient Linda D. Addison, you are invited to step inside and let the grim flowers wind themselves comfortably around your bones.

Available on Amazon!

 

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

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

002_APR_IMGGame Night
by Elaine Pascale

“We go out and give him beer,” Pete Pavlovik said, “It’s a game to try and find him walking Rte. 351 in the dead of night.”
The officer nodded his head while taking note of Pete’s words. “And you call him no-face man?”
“Yes sir. He has no face, no face at all. He burned it off grabbing an electrical wire when he was a kid. No one did anything for him. They don’t around here. They figure it’s ‘God’s will’.”
“Besides you guys, who ‘play games’ with him, does he have any friends? Any family anyone knows of?”
“Nope. Not that I have heard about…I mean, he had parents…but they are long gone. He has no one but himself.”
“And his interactions with others have been…companionable?”
Pete scratched his head. “Sure. Sure. He’s a good guy. He has a sense of humor about it. People make a game of it. Another game involving him, I guess. They pick him up and drop him off some place new. He has no eyes so how would he find his way back? But he always does. He always finds his way back to that shack by the old water pipe.”
“And that pipe, do others go near that pipe?” the officer asked.
“No. Not even when we were kids. It smells real bad. Doesn’t bother no-face though. Lives right beside it.”
The officer scrolled through his notes. “So, you’re saying that the last time you saw him was three nights ago. You and your friends gave him some beer, which is something you normally do. He didn’t get in your car, you just drove away and left him with the beer, and you haven’t seen him since?”
“That’s right.”
“And you don’t know anyone who messes around with that pipe? No one talks about it in town or anything?”
“Nope…wait…are you saying…did you find him in that pipe? His body or something?”
“Nope.” The officer wiped his brow as if trying to wipe away a thought. “We did find a lot of faces, though…missing people…another game involving him, I guess.”
Fiction © Copyright Elaine Pascale
Image courtesy of Rie Sheridan Rose

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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 K.R. Morrison @KRMorrison2 @darc_nina #LoH #fiction #WiHM

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

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Offerings
K.R. Morrison

The moon had become entangled in the last remaining leaves of the oak outside her window. From Winnie’s viewpoint, it seemed as if it had truly become enmeshed, for as the night went on, it never moved.
Neither did the shadowed figure at the end of her table. It had come in as the last of her patrons were leaving, and didn’t look as if it was going anywhere.
“It’s closing time,” she said to the silent phantasm. “I don’t mind giving you something to eat, but I do have to get to my bed.”
The figure dipped its cloaked head.
Winnie brought out her best ale, first by the cup, and then by the jug. Everything she put in front of it disappeared. She brought fruit in a basket, bread from the pantry, chickens slaughtered fresh from the yard.
It continued to fill itself, hour by hour, but never moved.
After what seemed three nights, Winnie was out of food. Still the shadow sat, waiting.
“I have nothing left!” she exclaimed. “Please leave!”
The figure dipped its head toward her dog.
She wept as she butchered the little poodle, then laid the carcass before her silent patron.
Finally, it indicated, with a sweep of its hand, that she could clear the table.
Winnie gave a relieved sigh and stretched over to claim the dishes.
With lightning speed, the phantasm caught her arm.
The moon finally disentangled itself from the trees and moved on.
As morning finally broke, the villagers were awakened by the yapping of a small dog at Winnie’s tavern door. They shuffled over and saw the little poodle, and the chickens scratching in the yard—but no sign of Winnie.
When they opened the door, they found her body stretched over heaps of food and gallon jugs of ale, all of it untouched. Her arms and legs were missing, and her heart had been torn from her chest.
The villagers rejoiced and set to on the food that had been returned to Winnie’s table. They also feasted on the remains of the tavern keeper, relieved in the knowledge that the sacrifice had been accepted, and that they were all safe again.
For now.
Fiction © Copyright K.R. Morrison
Image courtesy of Rie Sheridan Rose.

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More from Author K.R. Morrison:

Be Not Afraid (Pride’s Downfall Vol 1)

Lydia’s faith in God is strong – at least on paper. But what happens when that faith is tested? Turned into a vampire by the worst – Vlad Drakul – she feels that God has abandoned her. But the opposite is true. God rescues her from a fate worse than death, and brings her into the plan He has for global redemption. With the help He sends, she feels like nothing can stop her. But when Vlad torments her again, and then her family, the temptation to run and hide is almost too strong to resist. Her answer to God’s call is the deciding factor in the battle that pits the angelic powers of God against the demonic powers of Hell.

Available on Amazon!

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

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

004_APR_IMGThe Cave
by Rie Sheridan Rose

“I don’ wanna go in there!” Benny whined—he was always whining about something, but Mama made me watch him after school.
“C’mon…it’ll be fun,” I coaxed. I’d heard a story, and I wanted to see if it was true. “If you come in with me, I’ll give you a dollar.”
“Five.”
He might be a whiny baby, but he wasn’t no dummy.
“Okay, five. We’ll just pop in for a minute and pop back out. Promise.”
I don’t think he believed me, but his allowance was fifty cents a week, so he was willing to give me the benefit of the doubt.
I shone my flashlight down the throat of the cave. It wasn’t very big, but it was very dark, and more than a little creepy. Benny had my free hand in a death-grip, and it kinda hurt, but I let him get away with it this time.
The floor of the cave was sandy, and I could hear water dripping somewhere near by. Aside from the little cone of light the flashlight projected it was pitch black once we got about ten feet past the entryway.
“Do we haveta go further, Chris?” Benny whispered, his voice shaking.
“Just a little further,” I promised.
The flashlight suddenly illuminated a formation at the rear of the cave. It looked like wet rock hanging in tendrils and ridges.
I gulped. This was what I had come to see. The stories weren’t wrong. It looked like an alien creature crouching there in the shadows.
“I offer you flesh of my flesh!” I cried out.
Benny jerked at my hand, trying to pull away. “W-what are you doin’, Chris?”
“I offer you this sacrifice!” I shove Benny toward the rock formation.
It stirred to life, tendrils waving as it felt for Benny in the darkness.
“Chris!”
“Do you think I’d waste five dollars on you?”
The sounds that followed me out of that cave still haunt me today…but I can live with it. I even promised to show Mom and Dad where I saw Benny last. They’re still looking for him—so why not reunite them? After all, I am good at taking care of myself.
Fiction © Copyright Rie Sheridan Rose
Image courtesy of
Rie Sheridan Rose

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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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Posted in Authors, Dark Fiction, flash fiction, FREE, Horror, Ladies of Horror, Writing Project | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

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Petra’s Journey
by Michelle Joy Gallagher

Petra closed her eyes and felt the sun on her face. She took a deep breath and opened them and watched as the train pulled slowly into the station. Traveling from Wyoming to Iowa was not her idea of a great getaway, especially since it was for a funeral. She hardly knew her Aunt Margaret, but as an only child, she was elected representative of her father who was too ill for the journey. She climbed the stairs to the passenger compartment and paused, looking back at the station mournfully. She was already homesick, and she hadn’t left her home state.
She could only afford regular fare and did not have a sleeper cabin. She found an empty row of seats and settled in for the 4-day journey. The conductor made a last call for passengers to board. She heard the brakes release and felt the train jolt forward. She was on her way whether she liked it or not.
It was close to sunset when they left. She watched a parade of couples and families pile into the dining car, laughing and enjoying each other’s company for dinner, then pile out again to find their overnight cabins. Her face went a bright red when a child asked her mother why the lady in the corner had to use her jacket as a pillow and the mother without looking over at her asked, “What woman?” The girl looked at her with sad eyes as they passed but dropped the subject.
Petra’s embarrassment slowly turned to anger as she watched the landscape roll by outside the window. How dare they treat poor people like they are invisible. What right did they have?  When the conductor entered the cabin to check tickets, her embarrassment won out. She dug through her coin purse, counting her bills and change to see if by some miracle she could an afford an upgrade to a sleeper car. 3 dollars and 45 cents. Fuck. She felt tears burn her eyes and the back of her throat felt like it was on fire, when the conductor approached, she ducked her head down and swiped at her face quickly with her hands. When she lifted her head again, he had moved past her down the row to a gentleman seated at the front of the car she was in. Mortified, she got up from her seat and made her way toward the conductor with her ticket in hand. She didn’t want to be accused of hitching a ride. The conductor was handing the ticket back to the gentleman when she arrived.
“Sir, I’m sorry… you must have missed me.” She held out her ticket to him. He didn’t turn to acknowledge her, or even flinch when she spoke up. He was still looking down at the gentleman he’d handed the ticket back to.
He nodded at something the man was holding. “Tragedy ain’t it? I was on duty. Horrible sight. I don’t think I’ll be sleeping right for quite some time.” The man nodded gravely in response. “Shame she was so young. And on her way to a funeral no less…”
Petra leaned in and looked over the man’s shoulder to see a copy of the local paper and read the headline.
“LOCAL WOMAN FOUND DEAD ON TRACKS.”
A picture of Petra beneath the headline smiled back at her. The one she’d had taken when she graduated. She stifled a scream and stumbled backward, hitting the floor of the passenger car hard. She closed her eyes, willing what she saw away. Suddenly, she felt the warmth of the sun on her face. She took a deep breath and opened her eyes and watched the train pull slowly into the station.
Fiction © Copyright Michelle Joy Gallagher
Image courtesy of Rie Sheridan Rose

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More from author Michelle Joy Gallagher:
blkhwkBlackhawk: Volume 2

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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Posted in Authors, Dark Fiction, flash fiction, FREE, Horror, Ladies of Horror, Writing Project | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments