Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Linda Lee Rice @darc_nina #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

Image_02_Sept2021To Bee or Not to Bee
by Linda Lee Rice

I had noticed the yellow jackets before swarming around the secluded path in the woods. The path is one of my favorite places to walk to get away from whatever the day’s drudgery had brought forth. Usually, the hornets were just going about their business, but today they seemed to have an agenda.
I first noticed it after I drank half of my beer and was lounging against a tree. The hornets seemed to have intense interest in my beverage. I swatted them away as I took another chug. Stupid insects. 
When I put my beer back on the ground, I knocked one of the hornets right into the opening and it landed inside the bottle. Flaying around, it started spitting the beer it inhaled back out. Feeling sorry for it, (and not wanting a good beer to go to waste) I found a stick and pulled it back out.
As it lay on the grass, damp wings drying out, it eyed me up in not a so nice way. Then it flew off to the other yellow jackets as they all settled on a branch. Picking up my beer, I wiped off the rim and gave it another chug. But, it felt a little…fizzy.
As I looked up in horror, the trees shrinking in size, as my shoulder blades itched where wings sprouted. My body shrunk and tiny legs shot out where my arms and legs had been. 
My reflection on the bottle showed my changed appearance in gruesome detail. I crawled up the bottle as the yellow jacket I had dunked landed beside me. It turned its back to me and jabbed me twice with its stinger. 
Falling over the side, I landed in the bottom of the beer, as I started to drown, the last thing I saw was the hornet staring at me with its big round eye.
Fiction © Copyright Linda Lee Rice.
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
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More about Linda Lee Rice:

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Linda Lee Rice aka Ruzicka has poetry published in Twilight Times, Dark Krypt, Fables, Descending Darkness, Writing Village, Spine, and Page, Muses Gallery, Bloodbond, Lycan Valley Press Publishers, Alban Lake, Highland Park Poetry, Rosette Maleficarum, The Siren’s Call, Edify Fiction and the June Cotner anthology, “House Blessings” and “Garden Blessings

She has short stories published in The Grit, and Reminisce, Haunted Encounters: Friends and Family, FrostFire Worlds. Plus, a personal essay at Mamalode. She also has various articles and blogs published online as a freelance writer.

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

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

Image_01_Sept2021

Home Brew
by Angela Yuriko Smith

That tear in the sky
can be fixed with some magic…
stardust and spiders.
Stirring my kettle…
eye of newt, a broken heart…
tears of an angel
thrice fallen and damned.
The darker the souls I find…
the richer the broth.
Heavenly smells waft
from my kettle, and to you.
They seek and they find.
And you can’t resist
the cotton candy despair…
I know you want this.
Magic for your bones
dusty, mortal, earthen bound…
you desire starlight.
You feel the call home.
Your ticket is in this brew…
you just need a taste.
Fiction © Copyright Angela Yuriko Smith
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com.

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More from Angela Yuriko Smith:

Angela Yuriko Smith is an American poet, author and co-publisher of Space and Time magazine, a publication that has been printing speculative fiction, art and poetry since 1966. Together we build a poem as a community each month. Visit “Exquisite Corpse” at SpaceandTime.net to submit.

Catch up with Angela here!

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Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Kendra Hale @DevourAllWords @Darc_Nina #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

Image_04_Sept2021

Memory in Passing
by Kendra Hale

Lost and alone,
Decrepit and stagnant
Left in the memories of a mind too far gone.
Am I appeasing your dreams?
I hope your dreams all turn to the nightmare that is my reality. 
I can hear the wind here and at least I am surrounded by trees that give me a kind barrier from visitors. 
I have been left undisturbed, watched as the seasons change but that is the only way to measure the passage of time. 
I have no idea what year it is. 
No way to know where my family is or what events in their lives I have missed. 

Do they still miss me? 
Have they given up hope?
Was there a funeral where people said how much they missed me?
Liars, the whole of them. 
Their lives moved on while here I am stuck at twenty nine for the rest of my existence. 
No guide, no light, just this space. 
A rotting metal corpse to match the bones that lie inside lost and barren. 
The flesh has been gone for so long…I couldn’t even describe the form it once took. 
Just the flashes of the face that kept me here and took the spark that must have once lit my eyes. 
The rope still lies on the bones, is that why I am bound here? 
Why can’t I seem to leave?
Stuck in this hollow realm in the changing and yet always the same scene. 
The only change being the wildlife that sometimes unfortunately find me here and stir these feelings of longing. 
But I stay a memory of the one who is the only one who knows how and why I am gone…
Fiction © Copyright Kendra Hale
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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More from author Kendra Hale:

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Just Emotions:
A Gothic Bite Magazine Anthology

A collection of poetry.

 Available on Amazon!  

 

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Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Alex Grehy @indigodreamers @darc_nina #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

Image_03_Sept2021

“I was framed!” said the Kraken
by Alex Grehy

“I was framed!” said the Kraken.
We shook our heads, not believing a word. His arachnoid strangeness screamed guilt in our minds. We chose not to see the wisdom in his ocean deep eyes.
“I’m not a monster!” said the Kraken.
We shook our heads, recalling the skinless bodies of our townsfolk and tourists, left on the shore where salty wavelets caressed their agony.
“It wasn’t me!” said the Kraken.
We shook our heads, our elders had warned us not to trust the hideous beast, so unlike us, whose lies would lead us to death in his arms.
“Please listen” the Kraken implored.
We erected defences. Stout posts prevented the brute from reaching the beach; protecting the innocent from the flaying grasp of his tentacles.
“Do not trust the shells!” said the Kraken
The shells drew us in, their lovely iridescence awakened our sympathy. We knew, somehow, that they were refugees, driven from the sea by the Kraken.
“They are deadly!” the Kraken cried.
We knew he would come, the shells were the bait. Closer he swam calling his warnings. We pulled the net tight around his flailing limbs.
“Do not touch them!” cried the Kraken.
We did not heed him; our ears filled with sea whispers from the beautiful shells; the sting of their poison unnoticed. 
“Mercy!” begged the Kraken.
We made him suffer for each of the deaths that we believed he had caused. The monster who claimed to protect us. The sea turned purple with ink and blood.
“Give them mercy!” the Kraken’s last words.
We did not understand he was calling to them, to grant us compassion. There was none to be had. The sun set gold, the shells glowed as we fell, gleaming feral as they slithered over our beach naked skins. Their razor teeth rasped, stripped our skins, slowly. Anchored by toxins, immobile, aware, we suffered as he had, betrayed.
Fiction © Copyright Alex Grehy
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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More from author Alex Grehy:

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After a lifetime of writing technical non-fiction, Alex Grey is fulfilling her dream of writing poems and stories that engage the reader’s emotions. Her work has been featured by a wide range of publications including Siren’s Call, Raconteur, Bookends Review, and Toasted Cheese. One of her comic poems is also available via a worldwide network of public fiction dispensers managed by French publisher, Short Edition. Her ingredients for contentment are narrow boating, greyhounds, singing and chocolate. It is a sweet life, yet Alex’ original view of the world has led to her best friend to say ‘For someone so lovely, you’re very twisted!

Please click here to discover more!   

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Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Sheri White @sheriw1965 @darc_nina #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

Image_02_Sept2021The Last Company Cookout
by Sheri White

Doug sat at a picnic table under the pavilion, drinking a beer and wishing he could be anywhere but at the stupid mandatory company cookout. He sipped at a beer and nibbled at some chips, watching his coworkers play softball and volleyball. He thought about joining a horseshoe game, but couldn’t be bothered to get up.
To make matters worse, the DJ played music – “music” – he didn’t recognize, but knew he hated. His head throbbed in time to the obnoxious beats that were so loud he couldn’t think.
“Hey, Doug. Looks like you’re having a good time.”
“Yeah, right.” Doug rolled his eyes at Matthew as he sat down across from him. “I’d rather be paying bills or taking a vacation with the RAISE or BONUS  we should have gotten instead of this stupid cookout.”
“Hell, yes! This fucking party isn’t going to put gas in my car.”
“So you’re not a joiner either, Matthew? Don’t like games?”
“Nah, not my thing. Plus it’s so freaking hot. I’m so out of shape I’d probably drop dead of heat stroke.”
They chuckled together. “One good thing about this heat, though,” said Doug.
“What’s that?”
Doug gestured towards the park with his beer. “Female coworkers in skimpy clothes. Much better than Casual Fridays, huh?”
Matthew laughed. “Guess I hadn’t really noticed.”
“Are you kidding? Check it out – who knew the president’s secretary was so…” Doug gestured with cupped hands to mimic huge breasts.
“Apparently the president did – I hear she can’t type for shit and can barely get callers through to the right person.”
“Oh, damn – look at that tight little caboose,” Doug said, gesturing at the volleyball game. “I’ve never seen her before. Is she new to the company?”
Matthew shook his head. “No. She’s my wife.”
Doug’s cheeks reddened. “Well, now that I’ve put my foot in my mouth, I’m going to hop over to the port-a-potties and take a leak.” He swung his legs over the picnic bench and stood up. “Look, I’m sorry, man. That was really uncool.”
Matthew chuckled. “It’s fine, Doug. No worries. Want me to grab a beer for you?”
“That’d be great. Something like Bud in a can, though. None of that craft beer crap.”
***
Doug re-joined Matthew at the table a few minutes later. He grabbed the beer in front of him. “Thanks, man.”
“Sure.” Matthew stared at Doug, as if waiting for something.
“You okay, Matt? Did I do something besides insult your wife?” Doug laughed a little uncertainly.
“No. Like I said, no big deal.” He took a pull of his craft beer but didn’t take his eyes off Doug.
It’s time to go, thought Doug. He tipped the can to his mouth and drank the beer quickly. Suddenly he screamed and dropped the can. He clutched his throat, then clawed at his lips.
“Something wrong, Doug?” Matthew sat calmly and took another sip of his beer.
Doug forcefully coughed, pounding his fist on the table. A few bees flew out of his mouth. “Help,” he whispered.
“Man, that is fucked up. Sorry, guy – I didn’t realize bees had gotten in your beer.”
“Epi pen…my car…”
Doug fell off the bench and got on his hands and knees. He kept coughing, trying to dislodge bees that were in his mouth and down his throat. He turned onto his back, weakly using his fingers to get into his mouth. His medical alert bracelet shone in a sunbeam.
Matthew knelt down beside Doug, watching the man’s tongue swell, and his eyes squeezing almost shut.
“You…knew. Bees…kill…me,” Doug barely got the words out.
“And you knew that was my wife. You knew it when you tried to rape her at the Christmas party.”
Matthew put his face right into Doug’s.
And you knew it today, you piece of shit.” He sat back as Doug lightly convulsed, watching bees crawl out of his mouth and nose.
Fiction © Copyright Sheri White
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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More from Author Sheri White:

sw`Don’t Turn Out the Lights: A Tribute to Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

Featuring stories from R.L. Stine and Madeleine Roux, this middle grade horror anthology, curated by New York Times bestselling author and master of macabre Jonathan Maberry, is a chilling tribute to Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.

Flesh-hungry ogres? Brains full of spiders? Haunted houses you can’t escape? This collection of 35 terrifying stories from the Horror Writers Association has it all, including ghastly illustrations from Iris Compiet that will absolutely chill readers to the bone.

So turn off your lamps, click on your flashlights, and prepare—if you dare—to be utterly spooked!

The complete list of writers: Linda D. Addison, Courtney Alameda, Jonathan Auxier, Gary A. Braunbeck, Z Brewer, Aric Cushing, John Dixon, Tananarive Due, Jamie Ford, Kami Garcia, Christopher Golden, Tonya Hurley, Catherine Jordan, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Alethea Kontis, N.R. Lambert, Laurent Linn, Amy Lukavics, Barry Lyga, D.J. MacHale, Josh Malerman, James A. Moore, Michael Northrop, Micol Ostow, Joanna Parypinksi, Brendan Reichs, Madeleine Roux, R.L. Stine, Margaret Stohl, Gaby Triana, Luis Alberto Urrea, Rosario Urrea, Kim Ventrella, Sheri White, T.J. Wooldridge, Brenna Yovanoff

Available on Amazon!

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Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author K.R. Morrison @KRMorrison2 @darc_nina #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

Image_01_Sept2021

Oh Little Town of Pottsville
by K.R. Morrison

Such a lovely little town. The houses were arranged in neat order, the businesses close enough for convenience but away from the quiet neighborhoods. Only foot traffic here—everything was compact enough for easy access anywhere.
There was only one problem, and it was one that a competent realtor will tell anyone—location. However, the townsfolk made do. Most of the time they weren’t bothered by the sounds whooshing overhead, the squealing as the great beasts swerved away from their skies.
They made do.
But one night, as they gazed toward the heavens, a bright light came upon them. And this time it meant business.
The citizens wasted no time—down they went into the underground caverns. And not a moment too soon.
Walter cursed as his tire hit the pothole. He’d seen it coming, but had been driving too fast to avoid it. He hoped that perhaps he’d avoided damage, but it was immediately apparent that he now had a flat, or worse.
He pulled over, checked his tire, and stomped around to the trunk to retrieve the spare. But just as he was about to root around in the cluttered space, he noticed a strange light out of the corner of his eye.
“Well, that’s strange,” he muttered to himself.
The light was coming from the pothole!
Curious, he went over to check it out, and was astounded at what he saw.
There, inside the pothole, was the remains of a town. It looked like some kids had gotten bored and had put up a play town in the middle of the road.
“Well, don’t that beat all.”
Walter had just uttered those words when, suddenly, he felt a warm, then hot, then stinging sensation all over his body. He gasped at the little lights that were swarming him, then screamed in terror and pain as the first onslaught of very tiny people burrowed into his skin. As he swatted at them in one place, they rapidly regrouped and attacked another area. He ran into the brush along the road, trying to scrape them off on the trees and branches.
But they had gotten in too far. When the first wave hit his heart and internal organs, he knew he was a goner.
The next day, the police took away Walter’s car and started an investigation. But they’d been here before, under similar circumstances.
They all avoided the pothole, the interior of which had rebuilt itself during the night. For if they peered too closely, they would find that the fine clapboard houses were actually constructed of bone, the roads paved with skin, and the tiny curtains in the windows of the meat pie bakery oddly like the bits of clothing they had found scattered throughout the woods.
Fiction © Copyright K.R. Morrison
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com.

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The Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Marge Simon @Darc_Nina #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

Image_03_Sept2021
View from the Pier
by Marge Simon

“A man lives so many different lengths of time.”
          -Steve Hall, The Raw Shark Texts
Before him is a lake that stretches for miles. The remains of an ancient pier stand as silent sentries, testimonials to the past. It’s an afternoon in early spring. The wind is from the east, a fresh and mildly fishy bouquet. He stares into the water dancing beyond the shore. Lives grow and exist out there in the shimmering water. Mesmerized, he can’t take his eyes off the horizon. Strange, but he feels the boards of the pier beneath his bare feet. Just then, he catches sight of a motor boat Streaking haphazardly toward him, out of control. It’s a familiar boat, with bright red and blue streaks from bow to stern. Now it’s close enough, he sees two people struggling over the throttle. On they come, rushing so fast the boat is lifted out of the water as it hits the platform.
She was so pretty, was Marianne, with chestnut curls hair and a dimple when she smiled. He’d adored her. But oh, what a temper! There was an argument – he doesn’t remember why, only that she’d grabbed the throttle away from him, had it in high –all of a sudden, and the pier was coming up too fast … then her head smacked the shield, all that blood …
A sad old man stands on the shore of a lake. Tears in his eyes, he gazes at the remains of a weathered pier. Testimonials to the past, they glow scarlet in the sunset.
Fiction © Copyright Marge Simon
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com 

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More from Marge Simon:

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The Demeter Diaries
by Marge Simon and‎ Bryan D. Dietrich

‘The Demeter Diaries’ is a record of love and longing and the inevitable horror that arises between the minds of Mina Harker and Vlad Dracula as they court one another in waking dreams. The dialogue, written in both poetry and prose, imagines a psychic connection that develops between the two even before Dracula arrives in England. As Dracula makes his way from Transylvania to Whitby on the doomed ship Demeter, the two would-be lovers transmit their thoughts across the waves and lands that separate them, alternately wooing and terrifying one another with the idea of love eternal and all the dark delicacies necessary to ensure it. Front cover art by Wendy Saber Core, interior illustrations by Luke Spooner.

Available on Amazon!

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

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

Image_02_Sept2021Bottle Bees
by A.F. Stewart

Mama had a habit of leaving her soda pop bottles on the porch, just a little bit of liquid still lingering in the bottom. That attracted bees, crawling over the top of the glass like flies; some even flew inside and drowned in the sugary remnants.
I always felt sad, but Mama laughed.
“Serves ‘em right,” she’d say.
Mama was cruel like that. Never gave a weaker creature a chance if she could lord it over you. Make you squirm or hurt. She liked hurting people. Especially me. Funny thing, she never did realize what she was teaching me.
Not ‘til the day I took the hammer to her head and bashed her skull in. Right there on the porch next to the bottle bees.
“Serves you right,” I whispered, and then buried her beside that porch. I planted flowers on top of her remains, pretty ones to attract the bees. They deserved better than Mama’s cruelty. We both did.
Fiction © Copyright A.F. Stewart
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
 

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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!


Image_01_Sept2021Night of the Aurora
by Christina Sng

When the aurora appears
The dead return,
Surrounding the homes
Of those they once loved.

My neighbor’s young son
Rushed out to see his mom,
Was swooped up in her arms
And carried into the dark.

The postmaster’s wife stood
Outside his house where he
Now lived with his new love,
Calling softly for her children

While their father held them
Tightly around their necks
Till one broke loose and fled
To his mother. Then, the other.

Mrs Lee, who lost her husband
Just last summer, stood alone
In the garden, until his shadow
Loomed and enveloped her

As did Bob, the golden retriever,
Tentatively wagging his tail
Before running into the mist
Where his human awaited.

The sheriff raced outside
To shoot his dead brother but
Was snatched into the darkness,
Screaming about shapeshifters.

I sat and waited on the porch,
Carrying my stuffed ragdoll,
The one Mama made for me
When I was first born.

Kitty sat beside me,
Hissing when Papa appeared.
Startled, I backed away
From his outstretched arms.

“Are you Papa?” I asked.
“Of course,” he replied.
“Tell me something
Only Papa would know.”

He smiled, “Once,
You got lost in a mall,
But I found you
And took you home.”

It was a lie.
Papa never took me out.
He was always at work
Or with his other girls.

I backed away into the house
And slammed the door shut,
Deadbolting all the locks
As Mama ran down the stairs,

Almost tripping over Kitty
Who darted away in surprise.
Mama held me in her arms,
Never chastising me.

“You knew I had to try,” I cried.
She nodded, weeping with me.
We held each other until dawn,
Till the sun arrived

And the aurora was gone.
Fiction © Copyright Christina Sng
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 Kathleen McCluskey @KathleenMcClus4 @Darc_Nina #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

Image_04_Sept2021The Car
by Kathleen McCluskey

I remember my beloved, Michael and how we would enjoy the open road. Having the wind rushing on me with the top down was what I looked forward to on Saturdays. The many sunsets we would watch were awe inspiring. The star gazing nights filled me with a sense of purpose. Now he is just a memory, the crazed man with a knife changed my destiny forever.
   Parked in our usual spot on the overlook that had a spectacular view of the mountains, we listened to music and anticipated the joy of the sunset. We waited for the sky to turn the beautiful blended colors of apricot and crimson. Our peaceful bliss was interrupted when my Michael was violently taken.
   An old, run down pickup truck parked beside us. Michael was trying to fix the rag top when the hunch backed man attacked from behind. He grabbed Michael; one hand over his mouth and the other held a very large knife at Michael’s back. I could only watch in horror as he repeatedly stabbed him in the lower back. He fell in a heap. The dirty, disfigured man lifted him and threw him in the back of the truck. I was to never see him again.
   Now I sit, alone. The seasons change and still I sit, alone and waiting. All I can do is think about the good times and Michael. My beloved will never again be with me. I can feel myself rotting on the inside and the outside. Vines from trees long forgotten by landscapers weave their way through my windows and into the seats. I’ve already lost one of my mirrors and rust has overtaken my drive shaft. My only joy comes when the robins return to nest in my once magnificent glove box. My existence is a mere shadow of what it once was. I excitedly anticipate when all of my parts return to nature and I can finally rid myself of this loss. I will see my beloved once again.
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 judgmental 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 consequences that transpire in the first of THE LONG FALL series.

Available on Amazon!

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