Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Lydia Prime @LydiaPrime @Sotet_Angyal #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

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Lift the Latch
by Lydia Prime

It calls to me so fervently; a voice loud and cumbersome.
My heart pounds, the blood abounds, my legs start to numb.
My name it rages for many ages; I don’t believe I can hide for long.
A plan we’ll hatch, just lift the latch; it begins its evil song.
I hear it scream all day and night,
no difference between dream and fright.
Sing-song words come to my ears,
begging for release after all these years.
Lift the latch, come quickly child, just lift the bloody latch.
I lie in bed and always dread hearing those claws scratch.
The unseen locks and crafted stocks keep the beast in place;
In my dreams, at least I think, the loose monster gives me chase.
I SAID LIFT THE LATCH, THAT ROTTEN IRON  LATCH! It senses my discomfort.
I stand before of the weakened doorway; a mistake I have uncovered.
Binding in decay; from within the malfeasance seeps.
Tendrils pass through the door, hunting a body for keeps.
Thank you.
Its growling stops and all I see is black.
We are one.
I feel more powerful than ever before – I have lost the attack.
Time to go.
Fading, I am fading into the beast’s whim.
Delicious mortals.
We cackle as one and recite an evil hymn.
Fiction © Copyright Lydia Prime
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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More from author Lydia Prime:

UHBWUnder Her Black Wings:
2020 Women of Horror Anthology

– A glamorous actress whose very flesh is reanimated by a beloved Hollywood icon
– A Boy Scout Troup encounters a frightening mythological creature in an American forest
– A lonely woman finds a home among a group of lost-and-found souls, all cared for by a tentacled sea-creature called Mother
– A Faceless Woman attacks like a virus and takes on the identities of her victims
– A post-apocalyptic battle for survival rages between human and insect
– A Shadow Woman leads the spirits of the murdered to take revenge in the desert

These are just some of the stories nineteen women came up with when tasked with creating their own Women Monsters. Step inside and experience tales of bloodsucking entities in the jungles of Southeast Asia, Cuban river goddesses, an Aztec bruja, werewolves, mermaids, soul-stealers, obsessive lovers, furious spurned wives, bloody murder in Gothic manors and on Southern plantations… and so much more…

With Foreword by Brandon Scott (Author of Vodou and Sleight, Devil Dog Press)

 Available on Amazon!  

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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!

March_Image_01eThe Old Ballroom
by Terrie Leigh Relf

I recently discovered an old photo from before . . . It was slipped within a book of verse from an unknown, but most disturbing author. I admit to being horror-struck that I almost threw the photo in the bin just as it quickened layer upon layer of delightful memories. After all, Grande-Maman did so love to invite the local intellectual types and artists to her affairs that were quite popular throughout the village. Since I was not yet of age, Grande-Maman insisted that I watch from behind the decorative screens. She was wise in this, as I was able to watch her artistry unveiled . . .
hiss of wind
echoes of chains
skeletal hand over heart
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 Sheikha A. @Sotet_Angyal #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

March_Image_04eVoodoo (v)
by Sheikha A.

She tells me gold cannot be hexed
and I believe her – black muslin cloths
cover the face of my mother’s jewellery;
the cupboards stand on eaten planks,
tiny jaws of termites pierce wood like fabric;
they got into the sink – when wood disabled
their buffet, they extended to pipes and metal,
like anthropology in times of crises – their caves
like sarcophagi mounding bodies
of what they claimed. She told me
homes of ghosts could not be invaded,
and I believed her – I let her bring them in
and they housed. Heavy scent of incense
webs the walls as spell-water moulds
the insides; they’ve spread wide as plump
foliage, building weight from acclimating
to the lack of fleshy wood, gripping
on glass with the finesse of hooks;
she told me they smell when they die
of dank rust and dehydrated corpses;
I believed her like an apostle until they left.
My mother’s gold still bears black masks,
the gems have been cast into salt water;
and they’ve grown under sinks, leaving
their dead skins behind, finding a new route
through drains – through way of gnawing,
leaving trails of their arrival as caked dust.
She tells me in dreams of her body – mounds
of teeth on her thinning flesh – they housed
her wood, and then her pipes, until one night
they covered her walls, building down
towards floors, they found her bed, fresh-
scented silver and gold – red planks of blood-
hued food it didn’t take long for them to finish;
they smelt her insides reeking of mould,
delicious meat ripe with black deeds;
the strings of her harping throat plucked first
as her eyes watched them building their cave,
dexterous tiny jaws relishing her for days.
She tells me they’ve entered her blood,
casking her in their motes; she tells me
she’s still breathing, and I believe her –
Fiction © Copyright Sheikha A.
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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More from author Sheikha A.:

Screen Shot 2019-12-17 at 10.57.17 AM.pngNyctophiliac Confessions:
Poems by Sheikha A. and Suvojit Banerjee

“The night is cold enough to inspire poetry,” says Sheikha A. in her poem, “Reading My Bones.” This is the basis of Nyctophiliac Confessions – poems that are introspective and luminal, poems that require a certain amount of silence and space to be fully formed and appreciated. Reading these poems, I imagined that they were the kind of poems that assert themselves unbidden during a bout of insomnia. (A nyctophiliac being someone who loves the night or loves darkness).

Nyctophiliac Confessions is the 17th installment of Praxis’ chapbook series and contains twenty-six poems written by two poets, Sheikha A. and Suvojit Banerjee, interspersed with abstract paintings by Robert Rhodes.

Available Here!

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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!

March_Image_03e

No More Drives (rensaku)
by Angela Yuriko Smith

Once a cherished thing
the beast now sits forgotten—
dust and metal rust.
The chrome is tarnished.
No loving hands to polish
this paint, now fading.
The elements work
to bleach, to corrode with time
alone in the yard…
But not all alone.
Inside the house he decays…
also claimed by time.
Empty sockets stare
from a chair at the window.
No more Sunday drives.

 

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 Michelle Joy Gallagher @Aphelia @Sotet_Angyal #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

March_Image_02e

Purgatory
by Michelle Joy Gallagher

There was nothing inside the tiny room to provide any comfort. No windows and no source of light. 
She’d kept track of the days by carving jagged marks into the wall with her fingernails until they broke, her fingertips raw and bleeding. The skin of her index finger peeled away from the side of the nailbed with surprising ease after day 3, and ever since had throbbed angrily with every heartbeat. There were 12 marks carved on the wall that she counted blindly by feel. When her fingers split open too easy and became slick with blood, she kept track by scouring the floor for dead flies and lining them against the wall. When she ran out of dead flies she gave up.  
Tracking the passage of days itself had been a challenge. The only discernable change was when she assumed it was sundown, a yellowish flickering light streamed through the bottom of the door. Candlelight. But she couldn’t fathom who would have lit it. Since she woke up here, in total darkness, she had heard no sound. No voices, no footsteps, not even the sounds of the building settling. Just silence and cold. Colder than she’d ever felt.  
The wooden door was imposing, but the wood felt old, and there was some give when she tried the lock. She had exhausted herself for days on end throwing the entire weight of her body against it, and although it rattled and groaned with every hit, it stood solid.  
After, she’d spent days in a numb catatonia of defeat. She must be hallucinating this. Maybe this was the fever dream of a coma and somehow, someway something would wake her, and she could go home. Home started to feel like an invented concept rather than a place. Time had all but suspended. She’d even tried prying at the torn skin of her fingers, hoping the pain would be the answer. Perhaps her suffering would unlock the door, if nothing else would.  
As whatever passed for time dragged on, the door became almost a source of comfort. The wood felt warm compared to the floor. When she leaned against it, it creaked. It spoke to her. And she’d taking to touching the wood gently with her swollen fingertips which had been reluctant to heal and whispering to it. About nothing, about anything. Sometimes saying whatever random word came to her mind. Sometimes speaking it what sounded like tongues she’d heard at her great grandmother’s old one room church. She sang it songs, she murmured her deepest regrets, her most sacred secrets. Maybe she could coax it open that way. Maybe it would have mercy on her. 
The distant disembodied glow of candlelight coming through in a thin smile every night, reassured her it was working. Then the light went out. Inexplicably. One of her only remaining comforts. She screamed and she threw her fists against the door, Cold and forgotten in the dark. The door creaked and rocked back and forth on its hinge but caught at the latch on the other side just as it had for what felt like eternity.  
“Please.” She said in a whimper. Her fists were bruised, her fingers bled anew.  
Suddenly the door swung open inward toward her, as if reaching out to embrace her. Nothing but darkness greeted her on the other side. A fresh gust of air broke her skin out in goosebumps. She fell backward, startled and cried out in the all-consuming dark.  
She scrabbled to her feet, using the open door to pull herself up, and then slipped quietly through the doorway into what felt like a large hallway. She felt blindly for the wall and sidled against it until her foot met air. It was the top step of a staircase. She cautiously started down the steps, feeling the fresh air crawling up the stairs toward her. In her excitement, she sped up and caught her foot on the edge of the step, sending her headfirst down the rest of the steps. She rolled to a hard stop at the bottom and assessed her injuries through whimpered cries. Her shoulder was either sprained or fractured, as well as her leg. It felt funny at the knee and upon trying to stand and put weight on it, she collapsed in a heap of sobs from pain, frustration and fear.  
She dragged herself across the floor until she felt the wall and then ached her way to a standing position on one good leg. She started limping her way down the pitch-black hallway, feeling the air current intensify. In the distance, a barely discernible glow at the base of the wall began to illuminate her path. She sped up again, forgetting her pain until finally she came to a door. Warm wood, familiar in texture and sound. This had to be it. She’d finally made it. She swung the door open and limped through it quickly, expecting to feel the night air on her skin. Expecting to see stars. What she found, instead was the same room she’d left. The same one she spent incalculable time in. The marks on the walls, the dead flies, the blood. The door swung closed behind her, and a metallic scrape sounded the latch as it was driven home.  
Fiction © Copyright Michelle Joy Gallagher
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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More from author Michelle Joy Gallagher:
cafemacabre
Café Macabre

This collection of twelve stories and artwork by women is truly a collection of the macabre. Make a reservation for terror and get ready to delve into the deepest, darkest fears of some of the best writers and artists in the fiction game. Leah McNaughton Lederman has collected an anthology of the truly strange… a tome of the weird. Take a seat and order a cup, you’re dining at Café Macabre!

Available on Amazon!

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

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

March_Image_01eLaLaurie
by Elaine Pascale

She dances in the light, our Madame LaLaurie. In sumptuous gowns with more food than she can eat and drinks that have nothing to do with thirst.
But most importantly, in the light.
We are in the hidden room: the nook of the attic. The darkness makes it impossible to see. The hot air presses on us like layers of goose down. The heat seeps into our pores; the heat pulses in our broken and twisted limbs.
But it could get hotter.
Millie sets the hidden room on fire, using the stove she is chained to. The flames would help us to be discovered. The flames provide some light along with the heat. We can see each other’s scars and disfigurements. We see things that we cannot name, that have no origin in voodoo or magic. We see things that are simply vile and evil. We see things only if our eyes had not been plucked or blinded by the Madame.
But it could get darker.
Madame takes us to the crawlspace she had made us dig beneath the house. The digging had taken place in secret, at night, even though the French Quarter never sleeps.
She takes those of us whose shackles can be broken easily. The others are sacrificed to the fire.
The crawlspace is impossibly small and smells like the rotten soul of the woman who commissioned it. It is barely large enough for our remaining hope of being discovered.
The flames did bring attention. At first people try to help, they throw water on the fire. Then when they see Madame escape alone, without her slaves, they realize what she has done.
We scream from beneath the earth, while the people tear the house apart. They are appalled and angry, and their fury rages along with the fire. They believe the bodies they find in the attic are the only ones that belonged to Madame LaLaurie.
We scream louder and the people say they are hearing the ghosts of the mangled bodies they had uncovered. Those bodies will be the lucky ones that are found, but we will all haunt the mansion eventually.
We scream while Madame dances off into the light and our world becomes flames and fire.

 

Fiction © Copyright Elaine Pascale
Image courtesy of  Pixabay.com

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More from Elaine Pascale:

The Blood Lights

They victimize all…

Jezzie Mitchell is in anguish; with her brother’s murder still on her mind, she’s noticed strange behavior among the girls in the residential treatment center where she works. Is there a connection between the contagion on Cape Cod and the deadly Bahamas vacation that changed her life?

Jezzie reaches out to former lover Lou Collins, a scholar who has chased proof of the lights for decades. Will he be able to solve the mystery of the lights in time?

Intensely competitive, reporter Bridgette Collins knows the lights are a way to secure fame in her career. And while it’ll put the final nail into the coffin of her ex-husband’s career, she vows to know the secrets of the lights. Even if it means unleashing a world-wide epidemic…

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Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Kim Richards @Kim_Richards @Sotet_Angyal #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

March_Image_04eThe Dinner Date
by Kim Richards

Bursa arrived for her evening dinner date dressed in a medium blue satin dress which matched her eyes. Her hair, dyed a blue-black, was swept up in a feminine bun with carefully curled strands hanging down at her temples. Her lips were rouged with red lipstick. She spent the extra money on the kind which resists rubbing off with a kiss.
She anticipated this date ever since receiving the invitation in the mail. Who sends those anymore? Only for the most formal of occasions these days so she knew this evening would be special. She was flattered to her core.
The name of the man on the envelope was familiar to her, though she couldn’t place him. Alexandru Nistor.  Googling it did nothing to ease her curiosity. He addressed it in an elegant looping script. She liked that a lot and decided to accept. She practiced her handwriting for two hours before filling out the RSVP card.
As her Uber driver pulled up to the house, Bursa looked twice and asked him if he had the correct address. The man frowned and pointed to the address painted on the curb. She muttered an apology and exited the car. As he drove off, she turned her attention to the house.
She expected something older, perhaps Victorian. Certainly not a single story with a flat roof and stucco sides. It’s squat chain link fence saw better days. It was bent in spots and coming off the rails in others. The yard beyond was brown and unkempt. There was a warm light in one of the larger windows. That encouraged her so she stepped down the uneven cement path to the front door.
After pushing the door bell button, she waited. No one answered and so she rang it again. Just as she pulled out her phone to call the Uber driver back, the porch light flicked on. The door opened with a creak.
She stood before a stooped elderly man with a pudgy nose. He wore a flannel shirt and jeans held up with red suspenders. His dark eyes glittered in the porch light.
“Yes?” he asked.
Bursa handed him the invitation and replied, “I’m here to see Alexandru Nistor. He should be expecting me.”
“Indeed he is.” The man opened the door wider and gestured for her to come in. “This way Miss.”
She followed him inside.  The large opulent interior surprised her. The inside was as lush as the outside was dilapidated. The difference was striking.
“Alexandru collects antiques,” she said to the little man.
“Indeed he does.”
He led her to a set of sliding doors. Heavy wooden things with intertwining roses and vines carved on the surfaces. Grasping the iron handles, he struggled to slide them apart. Bursa resisted the urge to step forward and help him.
The man stepped to the side and waved one hand. “Make yourself comfortable. I will let him know you have arrived.”
“Thank you,” Bursa said. Then she turned her attention to the room as she stepped inside. He struggled to close the doors behind her.
Two oil lamps burned low but provided enough light to reveal more antiques. Blue velvet covered chairs and a couch. A mahogany table with more roses carved on it’s legs. She laughed. The tablecloth matched her dress. On top of it was a silver tea pot and sugar bowl. Next to that sat a tall crystal decanter filled with a clear liquid. All of them were ornately decorated.  On either side of the drink ware flowers were laid out. Red and yellow roses along with white calla lilies. Bursa wondered why they weren’t in a vase. She might ask Alexandru.
After several long moments, the doors easily slid open. Bursa recognized Alexandru instantly. She raised her right hand to her neck where two round little scars blemished her white skin. A faint memory of a romantic encounter with him fluttered at the back of her mind. It was a pleasant tryst and she wondered why she’d forgotten.
The tall man was handsome with inky hair pulled back in a short pony tail. He wore a red modern silk suit, tailored to fit his thin frame perfectly. His dark eyes stared at her and instantly she felt naked.
The doors closed behind him with an audible click. Alexandru held out his long arms and Bursa rushed into them.
“I’ve missed you,” she whispered and laid her head on his shoulder.
“I know.” His voice was like velvet, as was his touch when he caressed her cheek with his fingertips. “I am here now.  Would you like a glass of wine?”
“Maybe after.”
He laughed.
“Certainly,” he said. He opened his mouth to expose his  fangs, turned his head, and buried them in her neck. 
All Bursa could do was moan in pleasure.

 

Fiction © Copyright Kim Richards
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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