Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Karen Soutar @kaz_ess @Sotet_Angyal #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!


November_img_02The Street

by Karen Soutar

Shopping in The Street at night wasn’t like during the day. Then, you chose the shops, walked in unasked, looked around, maybe you bought and maybe you didn’t…but you made the choices.
After midnight, everything changed.
Of course, you had to be the right kind of person to do it. If any old Tom, Dick or Harry walked along, all they’d see were the ‘normal’ shops, closed for the night, and the empty, boarded up properties that were unused. Supposedly.
Evie gazed down the narrow, cobbled road – the kind of cobbles that were actually called ‘setts’, here in Scotland. A couple of feeble, flickering street lamps were all that lit her way. Was she doing the right thing?
A roar from the hills outside the town got her moving. To hell with it, she was going ahead. She couldn’t think of another solution.
Evie adjusted her shoulder bag, and set off. Her trainers squeaked on the wet ground. The first few places she walked past, there was no response. Then, a shutter flew up.
‘Ah, my dear!’ The voice was like a rusty saw frantically trying to cut wood. ‘Come here, come to old Cammie!’
It was impossible to tell whether the beckoning figure was male or female. Or even human. It appeared to be clothed entirely in rags, and the claw-like hand gave nothing away. As for the face, that was shrouded in ratty hair or material or maybe both.
‘What do you want, my dear? Need a spell to bewitch a boy, do you? Maybe a love potion? Cammie has ‘em all.’
‘No.’ Evie was glad that her voice came out steady. ‘I’ve…summoned someone. Something. I didn’t mean to. And I need to put it back.’
‘Ahh…’ It was a hiss. ‘So you’re Evie Campbell, the young witch that’s summoned Him. Didn’t they tell you not to play with fire?’
‘What? How do you know that? Who have you been talking to?’
‘Cammie knows, dear. Cammie knows everything. Now, do you want help, or not?’
‘Yes. What’s the price?’
‘Ah, so blunt, so young. Plays with fire, makes a mess, then just says how much to put it right. You have no idea…’
‘Actually, I have.’ Evie rummaged in her bag. ‘I have a book of rare spells. That any good?’
‘No.’
‘Okay…what about the fat of a hanged man?’ Evie took out a small stoppered bottle filled with a hideous pale wax. ‘That’s hard to get nowadays.’
‘No good, not for this.’
‘Well, what then? Surely you don’t want my soul? That’s so predictable…’
‘No, my dear. How badly do you want Him put back?’
Evie hesitated. This wasn’t going the way she’d expected. But He was terrorising the town, had already killed once and was sure to do so again…she had to do whatever it took.
‘I need it done. Can you do it?’
‘I can. But the price is…your future.’
‘My future? What do you mean?’
‘No more chat, my girl!’ The creature before Evie was suddenly urgent. ‘He knows you’re here! You must decide, now!’
The street lamps flickered, and went out. There was a long, low snarl from the end of the Street.
‘Yes, yes, all right!’
The figure stuck out a hand. Evie shook.
The snarl was cut off. Evie tried to release her hand, but was held fast. Her captor began to laugh – a laugh she recognised.
‘No, no…’
The street lamps came up. The creature had thrown back its ragged hood and nest of hair. Old Evie faced young Evie, ancient claw clutching smooth hand, bloodshot eyes meeting bright gaze, screeching laugh drowning out youthful scream.
Fiction © Copyright Karen Soutar
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

November_img_01The Old Road
by Terrie Leigh Relf

When the development company cleared the last few acres of trees to begin excavating for one of those new planned communities, an old road was revealed. It wasn’t just any old road, though, as it led across a wooden bridge to where the McConnell family used to live. The developers weren’t too happy, as it was an eyesore and beyond their property line. What ensued was a series of the usual town hall meetings, but the property had belonged to the Historical Society for nearly a hundred years, and they wouldn’t allow the developers to touch it. The usual attorneys were brought in, but the developers wasted their money. Finally, the development company decided to construct a high fence around their planned community, and ironically, replanted a new copse of trees.
A few years passed, and the new community, Forest Glenn, began to fill with empty nesters and older retirees.  It was, after all, a retirement community, more or less. Just on the outskirts, there were the usual shops and restaurants, along with a market or two. One of the main selling factors, if you believed the brochures, was that Forest Glenn offered a dash of country living along with all the amenities of living in the city.  The brochure also boasted that while children were allowed to visit, they weren’t allowed to stay for extended periods of time—and that was just fine by the residents.
It wasn’t, however, fine by me.
I missed the sound of children playing in the creek, scampering through the woods, and singing nursery and other rhymes. I missed their occasional bouts with mischief and how they left me gifts of flowers, fish, and bits of ribbon and other tokens for forgiveness and appreciation. I also missed the times we played hide-and-seek and other games beneath the old road and the surrounding woods and fields—and so I released their spirits one and all to haunt the residents of Forest Glenn. 
At least, that’s what I thought I was doing. These days, I’m not as sharp as I used to be. Rather than the children’s spirits, I released my own.  Alas, most of my powers are nil. Oh, I can haunt the residents just fine, but when I appear, I am nude. And at my age, I’m not about to show what time has done to my body.  It’s just not going to happen. 
The construction will continue, things will be just as progress dictates—and I’ll just be another old ghost, haunting houses before they are demolished. Never seen, never heard.
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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Posted in Authors, Dark Fiction, flash fiction, FREE, Horror, Ladies of Horror, Writing Project | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

November_img_04

Post Consumer
by Angela Yuriko Smith

Repentance
came too late.
Death had passed…
kissing blistered skin
hushing pained cries
soothing all the pains
with forever sleep.
We slipped beneath
the acrid smog, smoke
and smelters to dream of
greener places and no
tumors in the morning…
…because there are no
mornings—not for us.
We were laid to waste
by our waste. The apocalypse
was not fire and brimstone
singing angels and flaming sword.
It was slow, seeping death
sinking into the pores, spores
of progress propelling us
and expelling us.
Consumers gone
post-consumer
because repentance
came too late.

 

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

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

November_img_03

On Nights Like These
by Melissa R. Mendelson

I found myself walking in a strange part of town.  I’m not sure where I was, but it was night.  And there was no moon, and on nights like these, I remember who I am.  We all do, and shadows hunched over burning barrels, crying hysterically.  My bare feet stumbled over the broken debris, trying to avoid shards of glass, but my feet were already black and bruised.  My eyes searched desperately for hope, for remembrance, but all I found was graffiti along the walls, our attempt to remember.  All we could do was grab onto fragments, pieces of a life now gone.  On nights like these, I know who I am, but these nights are not too often.  And I slip away.  We all do, and when tomorrow’s sun rises, there will be no love, no humanity.  Only pure primality, and we will live like animals.  We won’t recognize each other, and only the strong will survive.  When I awake again, if I were to awake again, would I find myself covered in someone else’s blood?  Would I be sorry that they were dead?  Part of me is, but that part is fading.  And I walk through this strange part of town.
Fiction © Copyright Melissa R. Mendelson
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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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 Here!

 

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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!

November_img_02The Ripper
by Kathleen McCluskey

Kim stepped onto the streets of Siagon, looking for her next Jon. She looked around and was astonished to see that the streets were void of life. The desolate cobble stone shone brightly in the moonlight. The fresh rain made everything smell new.  No people, no dogs or cats not even an insect was buzzing about. She shrugged her shoulders and began to walk. She was not concerned about the man that the papers called, “The Ripper”.
As she walked she could hear the heels of her shoes echoing through the empty stores and abandoned streets. She paused and could hear the echoes from another’s gait. She looked nervously around and could see the dark figure silhouetted against the lunar light. She searched the store fronts for solace but all had been closed for the night.
The figure stepped closer and she could see his massive blade shimmering in the radiance from the celestial body. She retreated into the shadows hoping that he did not see her. She wanted desperately to get away from this crazed stranger. She began to think about her life choices and the results that led her to a life of prostitution. She remembered her youth and thought to herself, “I could have been something great.” She peeked around a corner to see if the stranger was still there. To her surprise he had fled. She began to run.
Her flight was halted when the ripper’s hand came out of the darkness and grabbed her by the throat. He lifted her into the air and rammed his massive blade into her stomach. She could hear a large heavy sigh come from him as the blade came out of her back. He dropped her and began his work of dismembering her and leaving her parts in the streets of Siagon.
Fiction © Copyright Kathleen McCluskey
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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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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Posted in Authors, Dark Fiction, flash fiction, FREE, Horror, Ladies of Horror, Writing Project | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

November_img_01

Dig
by Michelle Joy Gallagher

Debra liked the sound her boots made on the old wood of the pedestrian bridge. It reminded her of when she was little and she and her mother would bring their golden retriever Geronimo out on long walks. The smell of the morning fog mixed with the vegetation almost had a dizzying affect. She stood for a moment and then spat. Thick globs of saliva and blood mixed with the clay and mud that surrounded the trail. She used a shovel she had purchased for her daughter as part of a Gardening with Mommy kit. It was the closest thing at hand when her husband Michael finally lost his mind. He’d run at her full force and slammed her to the concrete of their porch for asking where he’d been. Her tongue found the empty socket where she was missing a molar, dislodged in his onslaught. That’s when she found the miniature shovel, and it found a home in the side of his skull.
***
He was a huge mongrel of a man, smelling of whiskey and other women’s perfume, but his eyes had been kind once and they drew her here almost to her death. 14 years she’d watched him devolve into the shadow of the man he once was, and if she was honest she’d crushed his skull a thousand times or more in her mind.
***
Their daughter, Sophie, was still tucked away peacefully in her bed as Debra dragged darling daddy through the mud and the mouldering sweetgrass. It rarely dried here in winter, long weeks of rain and clouds. The Pacific Northwest Coast had many hidden gems, but this place was sacred to her. She’d buried Geronimo here along the path he adored so much when cancer finally took him. She’d marked the place with a large, flat piece of granite and left him flowers up until motherhood had pushed grief ever so briefly to the back of her heart. The air felt alive there, heavy and full of mercy. She’d brought Michael here and they’d shared their first kiss only a yard from where she now planned to dispose of him.
***
Debra dragged Michael’s body, now stiffened with rigor passed Geronimo’s grave. It’s the only time during the entire ordeal she cried. Not when her front molar shattered against the concrete. Not when the toy shovel her baby girl had helped her plant sage with broke his head open. Not when she continued beating him unrecognizable. Only when she saw that flat stone and remembered that she’d once been a girl with a golden retriever who dreamt of tall dark strangers, but never bludgeoning one to death and digging a shallow grave with a toy shovel.
***
She held the shovel between her teeth and pulled the the man she’d met, fell in love with and married to the place where he would rot. Debra began to dig when she was out of sight of Geronimo’s grave. Embarrassment that he may witness her act is really the only emotion she could muster. The tiny shovel with a plastic handle dove feebly into thick mud and clay. Soon the plastic handle cracked under the weight of its burden, the jagged edges digging angry furrows into the tender part of her hand between the thumb and forefinger. Her face swollen, dripping blood from her hands, she heard footsteps approach.
***
She hit the ground and disappeared into the long grass, laying for the last time next to her betrothed. She heard soft voices and flirtatious laughter. Something crawled onto her leg and hit her but it barely registered. Here she’d get caught, brought up for murder, her daughter taken. The footsteps grew louder and out of the fog came a young man and woman obviously planning to avail themselves of the privacy fog and a rural setting affords. Debra began to feel dizzy and as they grew closer still, the tones of their voices and laughter became familiar.
She inexplicably saw herself round the corner. Seventeen and stupid and in love. Holding her hand was Michael, all the parts of him she’d fallen in love with. 19 and newly enlisted. Eyes as bright as stars.
***
She felt ill immediately and vomited into the hole she’d started. If they were a hallucination, she would deal with it after this business was done. If they were real, there was no way she could avoid their detection. They came within feet of her and she was sure they’d pass right through her, ghosts of their former selves sent to haunt her for her sins.
“What the fuck?!” She heard young, living Michael say. She tried standing up but immediately lost consciousness. Her spell was brief as she opened her eyes to sound of her younger self screaming and sweet, young Michael standing over her, an edge now in his starry eyes that was far more familiar. She opened her mouth to speak, but Michael had already brought the broken handle of the shovel down, the jagged and sharp tip burying itself into her throat.
“Sophie” she mouthed wordlessly, and then bled out.
Fiction © Copyright Michelle Joy Gallagher
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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More about Michelle Joy Gallagher:

Michelle_Joy_GallagherMichelle Joy Gallagher is a poet from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys mixing poetry with other artistic mediums, and pushing her own artistic comfort zones in the process. Using visceral imagery, and playing with the elasticity of language is where she finds herself happiest. She is the author of poetry chapbooks, A New Mourning and S=K log W, her poetry also makes appearances in The Rejected Volume 1 and The Rejected Volume 2 By Stan Konopka, and her story, The Red Woman, will appear in the soon to be released Café Macabre (Leah Lederman and Source Point Press).

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

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

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

November_img_04

Funeral Signs
by Naching T. Kassa

The signs began during the funeral.
Cora Matthis saw the first in the blood-red sky. The billowing clouds from the nearby smokestacks formed strange shapes, and one reminded her of the letter “P.” It held her eye until the wind tore it asunder.
Cora glanced down into the dark grave Grampa Matthis now occupied. When her turn came, she grasped a handful of cemetery earth and tossed it on the casket. It formed a perfect letter “O,” before the next mourner’s handful covered it. She stepped away, the dry leaves whispering beneath her feet. 
Her sister, Elizabeth, met her at the cemetery gate. She pressed a handkerchief against her colored cheek as a black tear slid from her painted eye. The tear skipped across an imperfection in her skin, and Cora read a lower-case letter, “i.” 
Together, they left the cemetery and headed for the car.
Rain had washed the streets the night before, and the earth had grown wet and muddy. It sucked at Cora’s pumps as she approached the vehicle. When she opened the door and slipped inside, mud-stained the carpet. It curved into the letter “S” before her very eyes.
Cora didn’t speak as her sister took the wheel. Elizabeth was a mercurial being, given to great shifts in mood and manner. One moment, she was the soul of sorrow. The next, the life of every party. The partygoer took her home.
When they arrived, Cora left the car and her sister behind. She entered the kitchen through the back door and paused near the table. Death robs a house of sound just as it robs a man of life, and silence deafened as she searched the table for something to eat. Someone had brought a box of donuts for the grieving family and Cora selected a round ring. When she discovered the significance of the symbol, she dropped the donut on the table, and took the backstairs to her room.
Beams of sunlight filtered through the tree outside her window as she entered. They formed the letter “N” across her carpeted floor.
There had been many terrible moments since Cora’s grandfather had died, but this moment of realization was the worst. The question she’d put to the universe the night he’d died had been answered. She left her room and descended the stairs.
A mélange of chemical and organic scents greeted Cora as she opened the garage door. She made her way to the planter’s table and found the instrument of death upon it. Using her sister’s gloves, she picked three leaves off the Fox Glove plant. Then, she returned to the house.
Her sister didn’t look up when she entered. Her eyes were on the new checkbook, her lips on the edge of a wineglass. 
Cora found the wine bottle in the kitchen. She stared at the uncorked and narrow mouth. One leaf could end so much pain. One leaf could avenge.
She reached out, but her fingers bumped the bottle instead of catching it. The bottle spilled words across the table, and Cora read them.
NOT LIKE HER.
A lump rose to her throat and her vision blurred. She picked up the phone and dialed.
The leaves never touched the wine…
…and yet…
Cora never saw Elizabeth again.
Fiction © Copyright Naching T. Kassa
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
 

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More from Naching T. Kassa:

image (10)Kill Switch

As technology takes over more of our lives, what will it mean to be human, and will we fear what we’ve created? What horrors will our technological hubris bring us in the future? Join us as we walk the line between progressive convenience and the nightmares these advancements can breed. From faulty medical nanos and AI gone berserk to ghost-attracting audio-tech and one very ambitious Mow-Bot, we bring you tech horror that will keep you up at night. Will you reach the Kill Switch in time? Edited by Dan Shaurette and Emerian Rich, with authors Chantal Boudreau, Garth von Buchholz, Bill Davidson, Jerry J. Davis, Dana Hammer, Laurel Anne Hill, Naching T. Kassa, Tim O’Neal, H.E. Roulo, Garrett Rowlan, Phillip T. Stephens, and Daphne Strasert.

Available on Amazon!

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