Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Alyson Faye @AlysonFaye2 @Darc_Nina #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!


image_04_April2022
The Passion Spell
by Alyson Faye

Miranda walked at dawn, through Milner woods; hood pulled up to hide her face. A blur of brown startled her, but it was only a young deer, who was equally alarmed to see her.

She checked her iPhone, with the Passionata plant image downloaded, along with the words to the spell, the old woman with the blackened teeth, in the Tarot and crystals shop had sold her.

This will bring you the passion you seek, the crone had promised, giving her a gummy grin.

Miranda shuddered at how much money she’d spent. Her parents would kill her if they ever found out she’d emptied her savings. But all she could think about was Jake, his laugh, his face; he even smelled amazing. He was intoxicating, being around him made her feel wonderful. She longed to spend time alone with him, but he was oddly evasive, and elusive.

The bright strawberry-red leaves of the Passionata caught her eye, nestled under a fallen log. The old woman had said it only turned red for an hour a day, ‘between the rising and swelling of dawn’. Then it reverted to boring browny-green.

Miranda tore off three leaves and, as instructed, rubbed them over her lips, and hands, whilst saying the words of the spell. Those magic words which guaranteed Jake would feel real passion for her.

Her lips buzzed, tasting of mint, copper and something else, something alien. The red sap stained her fingers, which was gross. But she also felt super-confident and powerful. A woman who Jake would desire.

The next day at college she kept watch for Jake, but at lunchtime overheard his mates saying he’d gone away for a few days holiday with Lucy, from Lit. and Language.

Not that quiet mouse, thought Miranda, who’s always got her head in a book. Not her!

Miranda had to go outside, to get away from the crowded canteen. She felt sick, shaky and her lips were throbbing, and sore.

On the way home, she diverted down Pennygate Alley to the Tarot shop, to confront the old woman.

‘You lied to me, you old witch.’ Miranda shook with fury, and something else – a hot wave starting from her toes and racing up her body, tingling her arms and legs. ‘Jake’s gone off with another girl. He should have been mine. I performed the spell ritual. I got up at bloody dawn, too. I want my money back.’ Her spittle landed on the old woman’s face.

The woman didn’t seem concerned at Miranda’s outburst, merely shrugging. ‘If you think me a witch, then you should be wary. There are all sorts of magic, girl. Good and bad. You wanted passion, didn’t you? I have given you that.’

Miranda held out her hands, which were shaking of their own volition. ‘What’s happening to me?’ Fear made her voice shake. The red stain was spreading up her hands, slithering to her wrists, then past her elbows on its way to her shoulders. Her lips were burning. She desperately wanted a cold drink. No, she wanted an ice bath to lie in. No, she wanted to be teleported to the Artic, naked.

‘This is the gift of the Passionata plant, girl. This fire you feel. This is passion. It is not love, which gives and shares. It is dangerous, uncontrolled, consuming. It takes all of you. And by the way there are NO refunds.’

The crone pulled down the shutters, turning the shop sign to ‘closed’, and dimmed the lights. Miranda was on her knees, huddled up, groaning. Her lips had swelled to three times their normal size, her heart was pounding at double speed, and her fingers and toes (hidden in her boots) were turning charred black.

Steam rose from her body, her hair ignited into ashes, and her eyes popped from her skull, rolling across the floor like marbles.

The witch watched impassive. She had seen it all before. Soon she would have a stock of newly-charred bones to toss in the pot. Business had never been better, especially with being on social media, which did so much of the devil’s work for her.

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Fiction © Copyright Alyson Faye
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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More from Alyson Faye:

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The Lost Girl & Spindleshanks

The Lost Girl
A nailed-up door. An inheritance which comes with a ghost. A missing girl. A fifty-year-old mystery. Parapsychologist Berkley Osgood is hired to investigate. What he uncovers reveals secrets the living want to hide and the dead will never forgive.

Spindleshanks
Adam is having nightmares about a skeletal shadow figure, who he calls Spindleshanks. Soon his whole class are sharing the same nightmare. Adam’s dad, Rob, knows that Spindleshanks can’t be real. But is he? One terrible night Rob has to face his son’s nightmare creature and fight for his son’s life. What would you sacrifice to have your child back safe?

“A decent two-for-one. Alyson Faye brings the engaging and eerie in equal measure.” CC Adams – horror / dark fiction author

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 Elizabeth H. Smith @bethsmithwrites @Sotet_Angyal #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

Bound by Blood
by Elizabeth H. Smith

An assembly of memories, crafted, planned, designed with intent. Innocent family photos and kitchenware appear of no consequence, inspire no suspicion. They mirror normalcy in its mundane glory. They invite, tell a story all have lived or heard.

Their arrangement distracts visitors from what isn’t so easy to see. Those who enter this home are blind to its truth. They only vision what I portray, not what grows inside.

Not until I show them.

This latest traveler looks upon my display with humble contentment. His idle senses are dulled by the average. Never would he predict what my unassuming cottage hides from unaware eyes.

Not until it’s too late.

A gasp escapes his lungs when my knife plunges into his back. The shock is apparent in his lack of cries for help. He simply turns and looks with confusion. He isn’t aware of what’s happened. He only feels the pressure in his muscles, the wetness of the soaking shirt against his flesh. He can’t surmise he’ll become part of the collection, the trinkets and everyday things which plenty my home with the order of the expected. The family photos are of my kin, but only of the chosen variety—only bound by the blood I spill. As he wheezes his last breath, his body fades, leaving only red to clean. When he’s gone, a fresh member of the family stares from the photo.

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More About Elizabeth H. Smith:
Elizabeth H. Smith is a storyteller who writes while trying to keep her cat, Luna off the keyboard. The musical group, Rasputina is her muse. She was born in the state of New York and would never feel at home anywhere else.

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Through Clouded Eyes: A Zombie’s Point of View

Through Clouded Eyes: A Zombie’s Point of View: a collection of twelve stories told from the Zombie’s perspective.

They’re shambling toward you, feet dragging on the broken roadway. Arms outstretched, faces slack, they move as if they’re tracking your scent on the wind. You want to run, but you know there’s nowhere to hide.

Aware of their insatiable hunger, fear paralyzes you. These things were once human, people someone loved. Is there anything left inside them – some sliver of humanity that may save you from this nightmare? Your mind doesn’t want to accept the inevitable, a single thought consumes you: what are they thinking?

With your chance of escape dwindling, you snap out of it and run like hell knowing there is little to no hope; fate is coming for you. Soon you will see what they see Through Clouded Eyes…

Featuring stories from Maynard Blackoak, Calvin Demmer, Paul M. Feeney, Stacy Fileccia, Trevor Firetog, DH Hanni, Shannon Lawrence, Josh MacLeod, Zachary O’Shea, Neal Privett, Mark Steinwachs, and Alex Woolf

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 Nina D’Arcangela @Darc_Nina #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

Hunger
by Nina D’Arcangela

Lying beneath the chill flow; the murk and muck of time settled upon me as a cloak, I await the approach of the unsuspecting. This season of abundance my natural ally.

There! One comes! I see it shimmer and slur as the icy water sluices past my vision. So delicate, so exquisite, so tempting a morsel.

It seeks to sate its endless thirst in the tide rushing over me. The desire to drink overwhelming the natural caution that fear has instilled in it. It hears the stream, edges forward to drink, and dips its aquiline neck down to the coolness. Not all trepidation shed, it pulls its lips back after the first suckle.

Does it sense me? Does it taste me waiting below the debris of this past year’s winter? Has it heard my excited inhalation, the slight readying of my limbs for the attack? Or is this a natural response to its previous repose?

My innards growl, a sound drown by the rushing of the water but all too shrill to my submerged ears. It seems unfrightened, still unaware. It peers about keenly, but with no fear in its black glistening eyes.

This one so young, newly released from its mother’s care. They are always the most supple, the taste most delicate upon my tongue. Come little one, I croon in my thoughts, I will not hurt you. A lie. I intend to end its gentle existence to satisfy my own hunger.

Tentative, yet with the belief it has nothing to fear, it spreads its hoofed limbs slightly wider to bring its lips closer to the rushing stream. I watch as it drinks – eyes still flicking about. Finally it closes its sight to the world to lap abundantly.

I strike, dragging its struggling carcass to a watery grave.

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More from Nina D’Arcangela:

Mental Ward: EXPERIMENTS

A dank basement, shadow filled hallways, the deep echo of a metal latch being thrown while faint screams are heard… These are the things you might experience in a place where the unspeakable happens, where conscientious action and moral turpitude turn a blind eye in the interest of advancing one’s own personal pursuits in the most deranged and unjustifiable manner. The type of place where power corrupts, and depravity runs rampant among those imbued with it. A place where the unfortunate are abandoned to the devices of those who convince themselves their actions are in the best interest of science.

Mental Ward: Experiments is a collection of ten short stories that demonstrate the worst of humanity’s ambition in the interest of ‘civilized’ advancement. Step into a world where sanity is left behind, and horror is what the doctor ordered!

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 R.A. Clarke @RAClarkeWrites @Darc_Nina #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

image_01_April2022

Your Order is Ready for Pickup 
by R.A. Clarke

2022-06-16 12:35

Hello there,

I’d like to order a dozen vanilla cupcakes please. It’s a retirement gift. Please use white icing and make them as pretty as you can. I’ll need them by Saturday (June 19th).

Thanks so much!

Penny Lowman


2022-06-16 14:54

Dear Miss Lowman,

We can absolutely have that order ready for you by Saturday. Please pay the attached invoice, and we will start making your 12 vanilla cupcakes with white icing.

Pickup will be any time after noon on Friday. Thank you.

Jess

Jessebel’s Artisan Cakes


2022-06-16 15:15

Jess,

Hi again. I just opened the invoice and noticed something odd I’d like clarified before I pay. I ordered simple vanilla cupcakes with white icing, but it says “sin whipped frosting”. ?? Has my order been confused with another? Also, why do I need to give a digital signature?

I’d appreciate it if you could correct and resend the invoice.

Thanks again!

Penny


2022-06-16 15:44

Miss Lowman,

The invoice is correct. Firstly, I assure you your icing will be white. “Sin whipped” is simply an in-house reference—shorthand for “single serve”. Many of our icing portions are pre-packaged individually and frozen short term for maximum freshness. Lastly, your signature merely locks in your commitment to order.

I apologize for the confusion. Please sign and pay at your earliest convenience.

Thank you.

Jess

Jessebel’s Artisan Cakes


2022-06-20 11:26

Jess,

I picked up the cupcakes and they were perfect. My grandparents said they were absolutely delicious. They even shared one with me, and I agree. Top notch. I left you a 5-star review. Thank you!

Penny


2022-06-21 08:01

Miss Lowman

Good news! You’ve been selected to win a free gift. You may pick up another dozen sin whipped cupcakes at our downtown location TODAY. Don’t delay, as this offer expires at closing time. Congratulations.

Jess

Jessebel’s Artisan Cake


2022-06-23 07:41

Jess,

Thank you so much! Those free cupcakes were as delicious as the others I tasted.

Can I please order another 3 dozen? I can’t get the taste out of my mind, and my grandparents have been pestering me about when I can get more for them. They don’t venture out much these days. Funny enough, I got my boyfriend hooked on them, too.

Penny


2022-06-24 14:02

Miss Lowman,

I’m terribly sorry for the late reply. I always try to answer emails the same day but we have been extremely busy. Orders have been piling up and it will be at least two weeks before we can fulfill your order. Apologies for the wait, but if you still wish to proceed, you’ll find the invoice attached.

Thank you.

Jess

Jessebel’s Artisan Cakes


2022-06-24 14:40

Jess,

Is there any way I can get them sooner? I don’t think you understand how much I need those cupcakes. My boyfriend’s been at my throat to get more. And well… they’re the only food that seems to fill us up. I’ve been really on edge—so hungry. But whenever I eat one of your cupcakes, I feel better. Calmer.

Sorry, I don’t mean to over share. I just really need them. Now.

Penny


2022-06-24 16:58

Miss Lowman,

Thank you for your purchase and continued patronage. I’m flattered you think so highly of our product. While I truly do understand the addictive nature of our sin whipped cupcakes, I’m sorry, but I can’t bypass equally desirous customers on your behalf. With parliament voting on that controversial environment conservation bill on the 30th—you know, the one promising to stop Earth from heating up—everyone has been clamoring for comfort food.

Your order will be ready for pickup in two weeks time.

Jess


2022-06-27 09:30

Jess,

Just give me more cupcakes! Look, I’ve tried to be patient, but I can’t wait any longer. I stopped by the store today, but the lineup was around the block. What can I do? I’ll do anything.

My grandparents broke into my house last night accusing me of hoarding them. I actually had to shoot my grandma to keep her from stabbing me. Grandpa and my boyfriend got into a huge brawl—even bit each other! It was horrible.

They’re locked in my basement right now, so if you don’t give me my cupcakes, I fear it won’t end well. I can’t think straight. Just looking at them tied up makes me so hungry.

I need cupcakes!

Penny


2022-06-28 16:25

Miss Lowman,

Goodness, that sounds like quite the ordeal. It seems something very strange is happening around town. We’ve received numerous reports of pastry-crazed individuals acting out on terrifyingly violent desires. While, of course, I can’t explain this boggling situation, I trust you’ll control yourself. They’re only cupcakes, after all. Surely you can resist the temptation and maintain calm until your order is ready.

Just two short weeks from now.

Jess

Jessebel’s Artisan Cakes


2022-06-29 08:08

Jess,

You can’t explain? Are you serious!? I ate my grandparents last night because I couldn’t bite into your damn cupcakes. I just attacked my boyfriend at breakfast with a bread knife—sawed his head right off. I mean, bloody meat is better than nothing, but it’s no cupcake. What’s happening to me? I can’t stop the hunger. It’s driving me crazy!

This is your fault. You’re behind all of this.

You have to pay for what you’ve done.

I wonder how you will taste.

Penny


2022-06-29 08:30

Miss. Lowman,

Once again, I am honoured that you crave our product. My sin whipped frosting has proven irresistible to many. I understand your frustration and I’d like to help ease the burden you feel.

It sounds like you could use a cupcake.

Why don’t you come to the parliament building tomorrow at 2:00pm? We will be there handing out countless boxes of cupcakes to all who crave them. Make sure you make your way into the House of Commons. Guards may try to stop you from disrupting the vote in progress, but remember why you’re there. I promise many cupcakes. As many as you can eat.

We’ll be waiting.

Jess

Jessebel’s Artisan Cakes

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Fiction © Copyright R.A. Clarke
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com 

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More from author R.A. Clarke:

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Oh, That’s Good…

Plucked from the mind of multi-genre short fiction author R.A. Clarke, these original speculative fiction prompts are sure to inspire and spark your creative flame. From dark to light, quirky to horrifying, there’s a little something here for everybody. You’re cordially invited to sift through the pages; take your time, pick and choose… or, if you’re feeling brave, take the 52-Week Challenge. Just spin, switch, expand, elevate, and transform these concepts into your own, then jot down those shiny new plotlines in the handy note sections provided. Oh, and don’t forget to have fun while you’re at it. So, are you ready to dive in and write that next great story?

Get your copy here!

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

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

image_04_April2022

Alice Has Wonderland
by K.R. Morrison

Alice fingered her lace collar as she gazed through a window into her realm.

No one had believed her when she’d returned to this land and had claimed the throne right from under the Card Queen’s fat butt. Many eyebrows had been lifted, but they’d all been brought down—about six inches lower. Those doubters now took up space in a large burial mound, which served as the flooring for her garden.

She had to laugh. They all had thought that the previous Queen was eccentric with her rose garden. No one dared to say that about Alice, though.

That time in the Land of the Wizard had served her well. She’d found out who really wore the pants in that place beyond the clouds and had quickly gotten apprenticed to the nastiest witch in the land. Of course, she had to defend that right against those flying gorillas or whatever they were. Weren’t they surprised when they’d tried to carry her off.

Alice smiled at the memory. They were pretty tasty, those critters.

While at the beck and call of that old green-faced hag, Alice had learned a great deal of magic, mostly surreptitiously. It wasn’t hard to get to the books the witch had thought she had hidden well. But there was no way to stop Alice from getting what she wanted. She’d spied on the old pile of crust and had spirited them off at the end of the day. Most of Alice’s nights were spent poring over those tomes and she had come away with more elemental power than a girl should have.

But then again, Alice was no girl…

Her quest for the wizard-land throne was trashed, however, when that foursome had gotten into the castle and had destroyed her mistress.

With water! Who knew? Alice had always wondered why the old biddy smelled so horrible.

She had headed for the hills, and the portal back to this land, as fast as her feet could carry her. There was no way she’d wanted to be caught by the merry crew that had done in the Witch. Besides, pickings were much better in her more familiar digs.

By this time, Alice’s musings had brought her to the entry to her private garden. She’d really done wonders in here, after slicing the old Queen and her circle into bits and taking the throne. After the coup, she had called the more important denizens of the Land to a tea party to celebrate her ascendancy.

No one got to leave, though…

Her thoughts came to a crashing stop when she got to her prize heartflowers, and she screamed in rage.

“Cat!” Alice glared around her, as if he might have been sleeping in the greenery.

“CHESHIRE! Get in here immediately!”

She rushed to the heartflowers and stared at the damage. Many of them had been mangled to the point where the hearts were no longer beating. Something had licked the crystals off, and the hearts had died out, one by one.

A movement caught her eye. Well, two movements.

The first was one of a particular dormouse attempting to crawl up a wall, a coating of crystals still on its lips. It didn’t get much further than the first thought of escaping; Alice was on it like a shot, and it didn’t have a chance.

The other was the Cheshire Cat peering nervously around the doorframe. He no longer wore the smirk that he’d had when he had first met Alice; instead, a rictus of fear graced his countenance at all times.

Alice was just about to pull the dormouse’s heart from its chest when she realized she was being watched.

“Ah, Cat.” She looked round at him. “See what this naughty mousy has done.”

Cheshire looked at the garden, then back at Alice. “Miss?”

Alice’s face went black with rage. “’Miss’? Excuse me??”

The Cat quaked. “Um…sorry…your maj..er, your Aliceness. What can I do for you?”

“I need to replenish my heartflowers. Get hold of the Mad Hatman. Have him round up the usual suspects.”

Alice smiled, and her fangs shone in the sunlight.

“We’re going to have another tea party!”

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Fiction © Copyright K.R. Morrison
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com.

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

Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Kathleen McCluskey @KathleenMcClus4 @Sotet_Angyal #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

image_03_April2022
The Picture   
by Kathleen McCluskey

Scott returned home every workday evening about the same time; the weekend itinerary consisted of watching TV and sleeping. His office schedule never changed, his home routine was even more mundane. When he would come into his home, he would immediately remove his shoes. He always looked at the picture of his grandfather that was on the small marble table in his mud room; he and his friends were at a picnic. Scott would speculate, endlessly, about the picture. Everybody looked so happy and content, the broad smiles gave a warm vibe. All of them dressed in white, Scott wondered what the day held. He wanted to be a part of that world. That type of camaraderie was something that he longed for. He reached for the picture and brought it to his face. His thick glasses sat on the tip of his nose as he looked over them. He touched the face of his grandfather and wished he could have been there in the sun laughing and enjoying friends. He had no companion, he had no pet, he had no wife, he was desperately alone. He sighed loudly and stepped into his living room.

He collapsed himself onto the couch and looked at the blank television. He sighed deeply again. Scott couldn’t help but think of his grandfather and that glorious day. The shining sun, the laughter, the friends…everything he longed to have in his humdrum life. He closed his eyes and fell fast asleep. He dreamt of that day. His grandfather beckoned to him with his hand held out. The stark white suit that he wore made Scott lift his hand to try and shade his eyes. His grandfather then pulled him by the wrist towards him. Scott reeled backwards when his eyes met his grandfather’s. The deep-set black sockets held bright yellow orbs. Scott tried to pull away but his grandfather’s grip held firm. The flesh on Scott’s wrist began to burn and smoke. His grandfather cocked his head to the side, “I thought you wanted to be a part of this group?” He pulled Scott closer. “We are all disciples for the church of Mephistopheles. All hail, Lucifer!” He threw Scott to the ground. The others in the photograph began to gather around Scott. One of the apostles spoke, “It’s been a long time since we had a meal!” They all pounced onto Scott.

His body lay in his apartment for days before the smell brought the authorities. Scott’s body lay on his couch, his guts had been removed. His face was frozen in a ghastly scream. One of the police officers noticed the picture on the little marble table. He looked around and placed the picture into his jacket. The fanatic devotees would soon have another feast brought to them by the picture.

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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 , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Scarlett R. Algee @ScarlettRAlgee @darc_nina #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

image_02_April2022

Six Seconds
by Scarlett R. Algee

He breathes, afterward, for six seconds.

You teeter on the riverbank, feet not quite certain on slippery rock. The crimson well you made of his throat is beautiful, but you force yourself to back up and brace properly, to tuck your prize into a well-lined pocket and heave him into shifting water.

Hardly anyone comes out here. Something wild will take care of him.

You step back further onto firmer ground and pull the vial out to look at one last time. Those last breaths had wisped out not from his nostrils, but from that glorious wet-edged breach you’d created; collected in the mouth of a glass bowl, they’d cooled, condensing into pale grains that glitter in a capped tube. Grains that will fill your own hourglass, extend your own life.

You turn the vial, admiring the sparkle, and put it away. Time to trek back to civilization, to find yourself another target.

You’re going to be immortal.

Six seconds at a time.

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Fiction © Copyright Scarlett R. Algee
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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More from author Scarlett R. Algee:

The Lift: Nine Stories of Transformation, Volume One

The hall is dark and the overhead light flickers. Sounds echo, and there’s a creaking and clanging that gets louder as you stand in the semi-dark. The elevator opens and you’re offered a ride. Step inside and ride it to the story chosen for your transformation. Don’t be afraid, for Victoria, the mysterious girl who operates The Lift, waits to guide you. Set in the same world as the award nominated audio drama, The Lift’s first written anthology features nine all new stories by fan favorite writers and special bonus content by creators Daniel Foytik and Cynthia Lowman. The collection is brought to life with beautiful illustrations by Jeanette Andromeda for each story.

Available on Amazon!

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Posted in Authors, Dark Fiction, flash fiction, FREE, Horror, Ladies of Horror, Women in Horror Month, Writing Project | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

image_01_April2022

Joanna Appleseed   
by Rie Sheridan Rose

No, really, Josh. I’d love to do it. Consider it a wedding present,” I purred into the phone, imbuing my voice with every bit of sincerity I could muster. “I’ve been dying to do a big wedding, and this is the perfect opportunity.”

Even if it was the last gig I ever got.

My ex continued to waffle on the other end of the line, so I ramped up the offer. “I’ll do the entire reception. Won’t cost you a penny. You can put that savings toward the honeymoon.”

That ought to get him. Joshua Morgan was known for how hard he could pinch a penny.

I held my breath, crossing my fingers until he finally sighed and accepted my offer. Plan B would have been a whole lot messier.

~*~

“I saw a post on Instagram or somewhere. Yeah, a charity in Africa is planning on planting orchards from the seeds, so if you eat any apples, just save me the core. I’ll come pick them up.”

I repeated basically the same line to everyone I knew or met—except Josh and Bridezilla, of course. The cores piled up, making my pantry smell like a cider press. It wasn’t unpleasant.

At night, I carefully extracted the seeds that had come in that day, and added them to my collection. Google had offered the information I wanted after some persuasion. 18-40 apples each…good thing I’d started early.

~*~

Y’know, apple seeds are harder to pulverize than you might think.

~*~

The big day. Or should I say, their big day. That little ‘ir’ on the end made such a difference. I was up all night baking. I really was beginning to get a rep as a great event baker. They would never have been able to afford me if I hadn’t comped the whole affair. It was a Spring themed wedding. Lots of pastels. Light and flowery. I decided to go with the theme, and make cupcakes instead of a big cake. Easier to make sure they all had the right ingredients that way.

Pretty little cupcakes with spiraling crowns of buttercream and some of those little mints Josh was so fond of on top. After all, I didn’t want to disappoint.

Dozens and dozens of my special cupcakes. One for each guest. Each one with just the right amount of the secret ingredient.

Just call me Joanna Appleseed.

 
Fiction © Copyright Rie Sheridan Rose
Image courtesy of
Pixabay.com

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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 , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

The Bramble’s Song of Survival  
by Alex Grehy

Trash piled on rubbish

until every cubic metre

of soil and water was

transformed.

.

We brambles made the best of things.

.

We, who understand

Autumn’s privations,

grow red, already

utilising the toxins you

left for our roots to absorb.

.

We who understand

Winter’s bite

edge our leaves

with broken glass

mined from the landfill,

pretty as hoarfrost,

sharp as razors.

.

We who understand

the seasons’ closing,

at world’s end,

gorge on what you

threw away, thoughtless.

You and yours cannot

devour us now,

toxic as we have become.

.

Starving, you scrabble for

food. Wailing that this 

future was unforeseen, as if

your complex animal bodies

had ever been able to adapt

fast enough for the noxious

world you created. You cannot

assimilate anything and everything,

as we do, to survive

.

We brambles made the best of things,

But we don’t think you can.

.

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

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

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

The High Price of Collectibles
by Angela Yuriko Smith

These memories of you—

tokens of who you once were.

They keep you with me.

.

The salt and pepper shakers remind me 

of all the meals I cooked for you with

never enough flavor, “bland as sand”

my hours in the kitchen worth less

than dirt. Your words hurt…

until I took your tongue.

.

Memorabilia

of two lives and all we shared—

proof of a marriage.

.

The photo of your sister, how you missed her

despite how she treated your bride, berating

and hating me. She poisoned 

you against me. 

Eye for an eye…

and I poisoned her.

.

Souvenirs, kick-knacks…

dust catchers, useless, old junk…

I call them trophies.

.

The grinder that was my friend

to the end, pulverizing coffee beans

making your breakfast conversation

tolerable. I told you I would kill 

for a cuppa but still you forgot

to stop by the shop. Once.

.

Things carefully kept

reminders of my past lives…

all the beaus I had.

.

You never caught me when I’d fall

so the silver pitcher caught it all

every last drip of you steam streaming 

off the butcher block and spilled

not a drop keeping the linoleum

pristine. No mopping on Sunday.

.

Some girls keep rings

or locks of hair—or love notes!

Incriminating.

.

How your family swallowed the pies 

at your funeral. Your eyes wallowing

in rich, current sauce, missing you

between bites never knowing

how near you were, giving them

your all. Good to the last drop.

.

I have one more space

or I’ll need a bigger shelf

and I’m past my prime.

.

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