Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Lori R. Lopez @LoriRLopez @Sotet_Angyal #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

The Gubbagule
by Lori R. Lopez

“One.  Two.  Three.  Jump!
Why didn’t you jump?  You’re supposed to
spring off!”  The voice was angry,
the way her sister spoke when Marjorie crept into
her room and drew with markers all over the walls.
Boy was Ruthie mad — like The Gubbagule,
Margie’s new friend.  Once,
after Ruthie wouldn’t play with her,
she cut up a school report into paper animals.
And she didn’t get in trouble; her Big Sister did,
for yelling, making her cry!
“Can’t you count?  Or do you have creek mud
for brains?”  The words grated, screechy and mean,
right behind her.  The swing jerked to a stop.
Huddled on the seat, Margie looked at the shadow
of a little girl, who didn’t enjoy this game
any more than she did.  What if they both leaped
before reaching the edge and ran away?
A nasty voice whispered in an ear:
“I’m going to push . . .
and this time, you better jump!”
But Marjorie didn’t.  She was making the ogre
very cross.  He snarled and clamped the hollows of
her shoulders.  Eyes scrunched, she pictured
a friendlier troll.  Gubba didn’t have
colorful hair sticking up, a round bellybutton.
He was yellow and wrinkly,
stout as a barrel, with warts and stiff black hairs.
The teeth jutting from lips were too sharp
when he smiled, and it wasn’t a nice smile.
She was glad she couldn’t see his face now because
he sounded mad.  Come to think of it,
Ruthie was never this mad!
“I’m sorry.  I was scared,” the child murmured.
He seemed to like the excuse.
“Here ya go.  And remember to not hang on!”
A rude shove by knobby mitts.
The pushing grew harder, rougher.  “Isn’t this fun?”
No!  Marjorie’s back and shoulders felt bruised.
She wanted to get off, yet knew if she jumped,
he expected her to fly!  She didn’t know how.
Her mommy and daddy would be upset.
They told her never to go near the edge of
the canyon.  It wasn’t her fault Gubba dragged
this swing-set from somebody’s yard to play
Jump.
One.  Two.  Three.
What choice did she have?
The Gubbagule’s laugh, a bizarre cackle,
stayed in her ears while she catapulted forth,
dislodged by troll hands.
“Don’t jump!” Margie wailed to the other kid.
Of course, her shadow didn’t listen.  They sailed
together over the brink.  Maybe she did fly,
just for one moment . . .
Fiction © Copyright Lori R. Lopez
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com 

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More from Lori R. Lopez:

There are those individuals we know little about who skulk and creep delightfully across page or screen. In reality, we are taught to avoid them. Sometimes, however, they may surprise us. The Dark Mister Snark is such a figure. Beware!

“Candidly lurking in the shadiest of places, a fellow whose mask wore the gruesomest faces, the dark Mister Snark might be tiptoeing after — shunning the sun and the mirthfullest laughter, spying and shying from your backward stares, following to catch you in complete unawares!”

Narrated by witty rhymes that spin the tangled threads of solitude and acceptance, this book tells the tale of a mysterious man prone to stalking through shadows. Is he misunderstood or mad? A villain or an anti-hero?

His secrets will be revealed in humorous and touching verse, with Halloween and Edgar Allan Poe among the themes. You will not look at corn or crows the same. And once read, you could find Mister Snark watching you from every dark place! Available in E-book format. Look for an illustrated print edition featuring peculiar artwork by the author, Lori R. Lopez.

THE DARK MISTER SNARK won Second Place for Poetry in the 2016 Purple Dragonfly Book Awards.

Available on Amazon!

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Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Mary Ann Peden-Coviello @MAPedenCoviello @Sotet_Angyal #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

Memory of Crows
by Mary Ann Peden-Coviello

Crows remember. But who cared?
Then I took a wild-ass notion to run down some of them while they noshed on a dead something in the middle of a backroad in Texas. I chucked an empty Modelo Especial can at the survivors.
A couple of hours later, I sat in a booth, forcing down the lunch special at The Armpit Flats Cafe, or whatever it was called. A scrawny waitress looked out the front window and drawled, “I dunno which o’ y’all’s drivin’ that little red Porch-ee, but ya musta ticked off somebody.” Took me a minute to realize she meant my Porsche.
I jumped up. My red Boxter gleamed like a ruby– except for the seat backs, which hosted a dozen crows, sitting like statues, beady eyes boring into the ramshackle cafe.
Staring at me.
I paid my bill and scrammed. The crows scattered when I strode toward them. One of the buggers flew at my legs. I jumped back even though I knew the rubes would laugh at the dude from back East with his fancy car, the goober who ran away from a stupid bird.
I bopped on down the road, headed toward New Mexico. I sang along with Sirius and tossed the odd empty out the window.
Then, up ahead, some big dead animal in the road. I guess I was a little the worse for Especials because I didn’t see the thing till I was almost on top of it. My car crashed into the stinking carcass. I wasn’t wearing a seatbelt, so I flew out of the car and into a ditch, landing next to a power pole. I was paralyzed from the neck down.
The crows came. One. Two. Twenty. They settled on the power pole. They landed on the Boxter.
They stared at me.
One hopped onto my chest. It cocked its head, peering into my face. Another stalked up to my shoulder. The last thing I saw was their beaks pecking out my eyes.
I screamed.
They ripped my tongue and lips.
I gagged on my own blood.
Yeah, crows remember, all right. And now I know why they call a flock of them a murder of crows.
Fiction © Copyright Mary Ann Peden-Coviello
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com 

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More from Mary Ann Peden-Coviello:

maryannpedencoviello_frightmareFright Mare-Women Write Horror
Short Story: One Hour Before the Dark

Women write horror and have written it since before Mary Shelley wrote FRANKENSTEIN. This anthology is to highlight the fact women write great horror and to kill the fallacy that they aren’t in some way up to standard. They are. Read here stories by Elizabeth Massie, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Lucy Taylor, and a plethora of other great writers as they work on your nerves, get inside your head, and bang out some of the scariest tales written today. I’m proud to present these women for your consideration, as Rod Serling might say, as I ask you to step into FRIGHT MARE. Lock the door and windows, put on a light, and remember, it’s not real. It’s not real. Midnight awaits, monsters scheme to take you away, the strange and weird wait in the shadows, but it’s not real. Is it?

Edited by Billie Sue Mosiman, the author who brought you the SINISTER-TALES OF DREAD collections and her latest suspense novel, THE GREY MATTER.

Available on Amazon!

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Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author E.A. Black @ElizabethABlack @Sotet_Angyal #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

Blink
by E.A. Black

Johnny, Frank and I broke onto Old Man Whitby’s property to visit The Statue. It was legendary to us college kids.
“Word is Whitby cursed his wife and trapped her spirit inside.” Johnny said.
“I can only think of one thing when I look at her.” I said.
“What?” Johnny asked.
I grinned. “Don’t blink. Blink and you’re dead.”
“Gee, aren’t you funny.” Johnny said. “Some say her eyes glow red at night. You see anything?”
“Jeff’s probably seeing lots of colors ’cause of those magic mushrooms he ate.” Frank said.
He was right. The statue was awash in swirling reds, yellows and purples that sparked before my eyes. I reached out a hand to touch the rainbow and it burst into shards. I giggled.
“Kids who stayed the night were found dead the next morning. Loud crashing sounds come from the ground around her.” Frank said.
“That’s just a story.” I said.
Frank turned to me. “Oh, yeah, smartypants? I dare you to stay here all night alone. You probably won’t notice anything unusual since you’re tripping balls.”
“Chicken,” Johnny said. “Bawk! Bawk! Bawk!”
“I’m not chicken,” I said.
“Then stay,” Frank said.
A horrendous boom echoed around us. Frank and Johnny ran screaming across the yard. I tried to follow but my coat caught on a spike. In a panic, I yanked at it but it held fast.
“Git lost, you punks!” Old Man Whitby bellowed as he ran after Frank and Johnny with his BB gun. Another booming shot rang out. I pulled again on my coat and heard it tear with a sound like bees buzzing. Damn those ‘shrooms!
A creaking sound came from the statue as she jerked her head towards me and sneered, “You’re gonna die next Tuesday.”
I screamed and shrugged out of my coat and then ran after my buds. I couldn’t tell if she really spoke to me or if I was hallucinating. Probably a little of both. I figured it was best to stay in bed next Tuesday. No point in tempting fate.
Fiction © Copyright E. A. Black
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com 

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More from E.A. Black:
eablack_teemingterrorsTeeming Terrors
Short Story Inclusion: Infection

Nature. Filled with wonder, beauty, majesty and mystery. Also filled with things that want to kill us. Normal things, little ordinary things. Things that creep and crawl. Things that fly, swim, scuttle and slither. Things that you might expect and be rightfully phobic about … as well as things you may have never imagined as a threat. Individually, maybe they wouldn’t be. But that’s just it. They aren’t coming for you individually. They’re coming for you in swarms, in flocks and hordes, in masses and multitudes. They’re coming for you by the thousands. They are … TEEMING TERRORS.

Available on Amazon!

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

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

Pennies
by Sheri White

It was ludicrous to think ignoring that stupid penny was responsible for the nightmare her life had become. But still…
Picking up pennies became second nature; whenever Grandma saw someone leave a penny on the ground, she would huff and say, “Must be nice to be so rich you can leave money on the ground!” Charlotte’s cheeks would flame when her grandmother said it loud enough for the mocked person to hear.
Her ex-husband would point out pennies to her whenever they were out and about. “Get it, Charlotte! We need the good luck!” She had three plastic pretzel barrels full of coins in her closet, most of them pennies but among them quarters, Canadian coins; Charlotte grabbed anything that looked like change. Even her kids grabbed them for her. They wished on the pennies before throwing them into the town fountain.
That day, though —that day she was just in a hurry to get home. Robbie spotted the copper coin, Lincoln’s profile shining in the sun. “Mommy, wait! We need to get the penny!” But Charlotte grabbed his hand, practically dragging him to the car.
“Robbie, come on! Katie is waiting for us.” Katie was only eight, but constantly begged her mother to let her stay at home alone for a little while instead of running errands.
Reluctantly Charlotte agreed that day since she would only be out for no more than an hour. She gave Katie strict instructions to just stay in the living room and watch TV. Keep the front door locked, no using the stove.
***
Charlotte and Robbie walked into the house to see Katie in a puddle of blood on the floor, her throat slit, and a man sitting on the couch. Charlotte never thought her ex-husband would show up. Of course Katie would let her father in. She didn’t know he was dangerous.  Before Charlotte could scream, react, her ex crossed the room and grabbed Robbie, then slit his throat and dropped him to the floor.
“You left me, bitch. Live with it.” He pulled a gun out of his pocket and shot himself in the head.
***
Now, six months later, Charlotte stood over the fountain her children loved, clutching a penny in her fist. Moonlight danced on the water, the spray of the fountain hitting the concrete soothing. She was alone; the town was sleeping.
Charlotte climbed in, the water sending goosebumps over her skin through the flimsy dress as she sat down. She dropped the penny into the water, then grabbed the razor blade she had set down on the edge of the fountain.
She drew the thin steel up both arms, then closed her eyes and leaned against the side.
She wished only that dying would hurt less than living.
Fiction © Copyright Sheri White
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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More from Sheri White:

Once Upon an Apocalypse: 23 Twisted Fairy Tales

Fairy tales are fantastical tales in which anything—absolutely anything—can happen. Most fairy tales don’t involve fairies. Some have morals, some don’t. Some are for kids, some aren’t. The oldest were told by adults to adults.
Fairy tales are populated by the weird and the bizarre. Elves and dragons, bridge trolls and deep-sea mermaids, sprites and goblins, talking animals and talking trees and sometimes, even fairies. There are no limits to what can be used in a fairy tale, or to what a fairy tale can be about.
Once Upon an Apocalypse contains fairy tales about zombies. Or, in some cases, zombie stories with fairies, or even fairy tales in which zombies also appear.
If you’ve never read real fairy tales then you might ask: “Wait, aren’t fairy tales cute stories about talking bunnies and Disney characters?” The answer is yes and no.
Not the old ones. If you never read the Brothers Grimm are you in for a shock! The ‘fairy tale ending’ we’ve come to know is a far cry from what Jacob and Wilhelm were writing back in early nineteenth century. Things tend to end very, very badly for the characters—even the good guys. Not all of the stories in Once Upon an Apocalypse are scary. Some are hilarious, some are tragic, and some are disturbing. However each contains a spark of real magic—that special element separating these stories from others of the horror genre.
In fairy tales absolutely anything can happen. There are no rules and there are few happy endings. These are fairy stories, and they’re zombie stories, and they are absolutely magical.
And we mean that in the least-comforting way possible.
Selected and edited by Scott T. Goudsward & Rachel Kenley. Cover art by David Oliver. Interior art by Caleb Cleveland. 192 pages.

Available on Amazon!

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

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

Shadow Man
by A.F. Stewart

“Can you see the Shadow Man? Can you see the Shadow Man?”
Perched on the low wall at the edge of the playground, Annabelle listened to the boisterous chanting from the other children. She banged her heels against the stone and wanted to scream, “Yes! Yes, I can see the Shadow Man! He’s right there on the swing!”
Yet, she stayed silent. She stared at it, him, this ebon figure of insubstantial mist. And he stared back at her. She shivered, but she knew as long as he was still, as long as the swing didn’t move, they were safe.
“Annabelle! Come on!”
She turned her head at her mother’s voice, and jumped off the wall at her impatient glare. She had to go home. As she walked to the car, Annabelle glanced back. The Shadow Man smiled at her, a strange red glow where his teeth should be. Annabelle shuddered.
She climbed in the family car and her mother drove them home.
 ***
The next day Annabelle again sat on the playground wall. She knew the whispers came next. She wouldn’t give in. Not this time.
Give me a name, Annabelle.”
She stared at her sneakers.
Give me a name.”
Despite every resolve, she looked up, her eyes drawn to the new playground bully.
Is it her? Is she the one?” Silence. Then, “She is. Give me a name, Annabelle.”
Annabelle closed her eyes, hesitated, yet whispered, “Becky.”
She gasped and her eyes snapped open. “I didn’t mean to—” But the Shadow Man smiled at her.
“Annabelle! Time to go!”
Shaking, Annabelle jumped off the wall. She walked towards her mother, glancing back at the playground. When the swing started moving she stopped watching. She climbed in the vehicle and shut the door.
Inside the car, Annabelle never heard Becky scream.
Fiction © Copyright A.F. Stewart
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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More from A.F. Stewart:

Beyond the Wail: Anthology
Featured Story: The Weeping Lady

OF MICE AND MONSTERS by Tirzah Duncan: Troubled by ghosts within and without, Benjamin struggles to become the man his girlfriend needs instead of the monster he is.
GO GENTLE by Julie Barnson: After the death of her boyfriend, a young musician uses her talents and a fabled violin to stop the fatal accidents at a dead man’s curve.
DEAD WATER by Amanda Banker: A stalled truck, an abandoned graveyard, and a town not found on any map take two brothers on a detour they’ll never forget.
COLD SPOT by Jay Barnson: When a laptop is stolen from their computer security company, two high school buddies go to extremes to investigate. But, will they manage to return?
THE WEEPING LADY by A. F. Stewart: Eva Douglas must face her mother issues, past and present, when the disappearance of her sister forces a confrontation with a terrifying ghost.
THE POLTERGEIST AND AUNT BETTY by Ginger C. Mann: Aunt Betty is eccentric, but how much is ghost, how much is medication, and how much is just plain crazy?
THE ‘GRIM’ REAPER by L. K. McIntosh: When a soul reaper loses the source of their power,
they must either find the witch who stole it or a new purpose for living.
SHRINE OF MIRRORS by F. M. Longo: A spy on a mission becomes a believer in the supernatural when the theft of three ancient relics threaten to bring down the empire.
DEAD MAN HOCKING by T.N. Payne: A world-weary zombie learns to beware what you wish for, and not all sure bets are worth the gamble.
ST. PETER’S FISH by Alex McGilvery: Sam is a walking disaster of biblical proportions, but how much is he willing to sacrifice to escape, and will the Powers That Be allow it?
THE DIORAMA by Sebastian Bendix: A play set turns life around for Martin Taper, but things take a turn for the worse when he neglects it and the lonely child obsessed with it.
DATE DUE by Danielle E. Shipley: A magic library’s guardian determines to protect her treasured books, whether their authors elect to do things the easy way . . . or the fatal one.

Available on Amazon!

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Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Chelle Storey-Daniel @burningeden @Sotet_Angyal #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

Harbinger
by Chelle Storey-Daniel

Everyone wonders why the birds gather there.
No birdfeeders stand in the yard and only three mostly-rotted scarecrows, but the crows still gather at the house on Sycamore Lane.
Some folks swear it’s witchcraft and others say the old couple who live there are strange.
I grew up in that house and that strange couple are my parents. What if I told you that at night the birds go into the house? You don’t see it because they go in one by one. What if I said the birds gather around the dining table, all proper-like, and wait patiently for my mother to put their dinner on the table? What if I said their dinner is just hatching? Just catching their first breath as they poke their little heads out of their shells? You see, these crows are special. They’ve been around for hundreds of years, and they eat their own. They do it because they don’t want to be replaced. They don’t want any competition. They want to be needed.
 That house isn’t the only one. Those crows aren’t the only special ones.
My parents are Death. And the crows scout for people destined to die. When you hear a crow calling near you, know they’re reporting back to someone in a house just like that one on Sycamore Lane about your Death Day. Maybe it’s today. Maybe it’s tomorrow. Maybe it’s fifty years.
Now you wonder who I am. I am Death’s right hand and death is very right-handed. I’m there when your brakes won’t work, when you choke on your dinner, when you slip in the shower. I’m there, you see, to make sure you meet your Death Day. And if you’re reading this, it might be close.
All because some very talented crows told my parents, and my parents told me.
I’ll see you soon.
Fiction © Copyright Chelle Storey-Daniel
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com 

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Where can you find more of Chelle Storey-Daniel’s work?

For more of Chelle’s writing, please visit:

I Am Chelle – her livejournal.com account.

Or if you’re a Buffy fan, hit up her Fan-fic site: Burning Eden.

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Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Julianne Snow @CdnZmbiRytr @Sotet_Angyal #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

Silent Vigil
by Julianne Snow

The loud crashing reverberated through the trees, bouncing off the granite statues who held silent vigil for those foolhardy enough to enter the deserted cemetery after dark. None of them knew the horror that lived within the rusting iron fences; the terror that could rob one of their lives in mere moments.
***
“I think it’s still out there,” she whispered against my ear, her cold breath snaking down my neck. I reached up to brush off the chill but discovered I couldn’t shake the feeling of dread that sat like a lump in my throat.
I held my fingers up to my lips, knowing she couldn’t see me in the darkening twilight, but not wanting to make a noise. It was my way of shushing her. It didn’t work,
“Why are they all covering their eyes? It’s so creepy…” Her breathe was damp across my skin, the feeling knotting my stomach even more.
I ushered a quiet “Shhhh” across my lips, but it was at that moment it passed by our poor attempt at a hiding spot. The roar deafened my senses, but I swear there was nothing to hear. I wanted to shout at her to run, knowing full well my legs would cave in upon themselves if I even tried to stand. It was too late.
***
The statues continued to stand watch in silent stoniness as the petrified souls who dared to invade its home were devoured. Sated for the moment, it turned to skulk back to the only corner they didn’t face, not wanting to feel their hard, unyielding eyes on him, silently judging him for the souls he must take to survive.
Fiction © Copyright Julianne Snow
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com 

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More from Julianne Snow:

JulianneSnow_TheDeadOfPenderghastManorThe Dead of Penderghast Manor

What would you do if you knew the Dead could talk?

For Chester Penderghast, it’s not the easiest of questions to answer…

Ensconced in the basement of his family’s mortuary business is the last place he wants to be, but when the conversation starts flowing, Chester’s the only living person who can hear it. What do the Dead want, and why is he the only one who can hear them?

This is not your average zombie tale—the Dead don’t want to eat your brains, but they will chew your ear off!

Available on Amazon!

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