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

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!


Breakfast
by Lori R. Lopez

In a desert kingdom where most were poor
A tramp arrived at a gate lugging a bag of tricks
“Permit me to amuse as I travel door to door,
My wit much sharper than a thousand pinpricks!”
No sooner had he entered, the spry Jester leapt
On the shoulders of a guard, as if riding a steed
With an agile somersault would he intercept
A lance-thrust by another, transformed to a reed
Cartwheeling, he unraveled colorful sashes
Traded turbans and tangled each oaf with a band
The visitor pinched noses and tugged mustaches
Swapping purses of coins for pouches of sand
Filching scimitars and daggers, he cleverly juggled
Then bowed at applause, leaving soldiers red-faced
Next he dropped their possessions and huggle-muggled
Skipping and hopping while these mad men chased
The Joker through a market — outfoxed to stumble
Like bumbling Jacks in pursuit of the card
Emile taunted and jeered but was forced to tumble
When a donkey dashed in front, the impact hard.
A deuce of enemies made, he paraded to the palace
Donned a cap with one bell, his best harlequin suit
Guests laughed at the sport; the sentries plotted malice
Lurking as he cavorted and played a flute
Pulled off feats of magic, mimicked and danced
Walked on hands, flipped and twirled
Wryly acted the fool and comically pranced
From the queen’s ear a very long scarf unfurled
Insults and japes went over the crowd
For he spoke and sang in a foreign tongue
Yet his antics delighted and Emile was allowed
To join the night’s feast, a dinner gong rung
He awoke behind bars, the butt of revenge
Hauled to jail as he snored, full of food and wine
Like a Roman sacrifice; an offering at Stonehenge
Invited to breakfast with a large feline —
Gazing raptly in a corner, a big African kitty
Outside the cage stood mocking guards, sour of tone
Who gestured to clang his bell, expressing no pity
And called the lion “Nuri” with whom he’d been thrown.
The pair proceeded to bedevil and irk his cellmate
Poking, provoking the beast, acting violent or crazy
Pointing, beckoning to serve Emile on a plate
As if urging to devour him and not be lazy
In vexation, a sentinel prodded the great cat
With a lengthy pole, crossly bullying, demanding
Goading to make a meal of a nimble acrobat . . .
The lion had been whipped, the cruelest branding
Mistreated and starved, he bore the scars gravely
Emile bowed his shaved head, a tiny bell swinging
Then met the lion’s stare, respectful yet bravely
“I am your servant.”  The Jester’s heart wringing
Nuri lunged afoot, giving a deep-throated complaint
In haste, gleeful watchmen promised to return
Eager for a slaughter, not for the faint
They delivered a wily prisoner a lesson to learn
Doubtless toasting his “health” over cups of coffee
But astonishingly found the wrong survivor
Smugly sitting in the middle — a little show-offy
Implying he ate the lion — an adept conniver!
Chins hanging, the sentries heard a terrible growl
And whirled to discover a vindictive foe
A brawny King, his mane formed a beard and cowl
Wearing a scowl, unblinking, the lion let them know
His vanishing was an act and unsheathed lethal claws
Snarling, he pounced at soldiers and mangled both
Following the banquet, Nuri licked dripping jaws
Cleaned his blood-soaked front paws.  A rumbled oath
Would bind him to Emile.  The prankster slipped free
And they trekked to the gate, where the Jester distracted
Another set of guards, securing liberty
Side by side a duo journeyed, all debts transacted.
Fiction © Copyright Lori R. Lopez
Image courtesy of Marge Simon 

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More from Lori R. Lopez:

Poetic Reflections: The Queen Of Hats

A collection of very unusual verse, ranging from wacky to dark to narrative. Lori R. Lopez writes her own way, whether poetry or prose. This book contains both in an odd yet artful balance.

Volume Two of the POETIC REFLECTIONS book series, THE QUEEN OF HATS is packed with craziness as well as eerie and thoughtful pieces. Chapters are framed by thirteen eccentric or brooding columns, followed by a rich array of additional content for each theme. Lori’s writing style is wildly original and evocative, providing much to think about in this sequel to KEEP THE HEART OF A CHILD. The print edition includes black-and-white illustrations done by the author.

THE QUEEN OF HATS received HONORABLE MENTION in Poetry from the 2015 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards and an HONORABLE MENTION from the 2014 Halloween Book Festival.

Available on Amazon! 

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About the Artist, Marge Simon:

A writer-artist since the mid-1980’s, Marge Simon has illustrated numerous poetry collections for Sam’s Dot Publications/Alban Lake; as well as multiple print magazines. She illustrated covers and interiors of every issue of Niteblade (Rhonda Parrish, editor). Currently she illustrates for Lorelei Signal, Carol Hightshoe, editor.  Check out her art galleries at www.margesimon.com

Marge is also one of the Ladies of Horror who writes for this challenge.

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Posted in Authors, Dark Fiction, flash fiction, FREE, Horror, Ladies of Horror, Poetry, Writing Project | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Selah Janel @SelahJanel @Sotet_Angyal #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!


Little Nightmare
by Selah Janel

She was to be sent to the outside world. There was no escaping it, no argument to be listened to. Many had gone before her and now it was her time.
Still, she couldn’t help but ask “Mightn’t I stay with you, Mother? After all, I am small-“
“Better to sow fear, little nightmare,” She replied. There was no title, no proper name. Human terror of her had long ago stripped her of such pleasantries, and the million paranoias she birthed to petrify them with only knew her as mother. She allowed herself a quiet smile that hid razor teeth, just as gentle eyes hid black intentions and horrific thoughts. “Better to lure the unsuspecting in their dreams and pummel their souls until they are ripe for the feasting.”
“But-“
“You’ve had your lessons. You’ve sat at my side and listened to the old stories of how mankind cowered before the shadows until they went mad.” The Mother’s voice was sharp, allowing for no argument. “You are little, but that means they will foolishly let you in, thinking you the stuff of sweet dreams and memories. You are ruthless and sharp. I’ve seen you murder your litter mates and laugh as you played in their blood, eat them from the inside out and laugh. It is your time, my darling. Make the humans fear what they don’t know is out there again, and you shall be back at my side soon enough.”
“Yes, mother,” she sighed, and held herself up to her full height. Shaking out her flame hair that was pleasing to so many eyes, running a self-conscious hand over her face. In a blurred haze, she was gone, off to the mortal realm to fight the never-ending war as the eldest terror fluttered her wings and smiled.
Fiction © Copyright Selah Janel
Image courtesy of Marge Simon

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More from Author Selah Janel:

Olde School

Kingdom City has moved into the modern era. Run by a lord mayor and city council (though still under the influence of the High King of The Land), it proudly embraces a blend of progress and tradition. Trolls, ogres, and other Folk walk the streets with humans, but are more likely to be entrepreneurs and own start-up companies than they are to cause trouble. Maidens gather to flirt with charming shepherds, but also buy up merchandise about their favorite famous princesses. Despite progress, the old ideals linger. Princesses still want to be rescued, but they now frequent online dating services to encourage lords, royals, and politicians to win their favor. Crones still sell herbs to guarantee good childbirths or true love, but now they have to cross toll bridges to get to the meadows and forests they favor. The old stories are around, but everyone knows they’re just for fun and act as fodder for the next movie franchise. No one really takes them seriously. Everyone knows those tales aren’t true, just like everyone knows that there’s no such thing as magic. It’s all old superstition and harmless tradition. Guarding a bridge is a pretty traditional way for a troll to make a living, but Paddlelump Stonemonger is far from a traditional troll. Bookish, timid, and more likely to carry a laptop than a weapon, Padd is quickly coming to wish he’d never put a toll bridge over Crescent Ravine. While his success has brought him lots of gold, it’s also brought him a lot of unwanted attention, especially from the Lord Mayor. To make matters worse, good help is hard to find, as the maids and serving wenches now have unions. It’s enough to overwhelm any businesstroll. Even Padd’s oldest friends give him a hard time when his new maid seems inept at best and conniving at worst. So when a shepherd warns Paddlelump of strange noises coming from Thadd Forest at night, the troll doesn’t think much of it. The land has been in his family for generations, and as the first troll to do much with it, he has bigger things to worry about. Unfortunately for him, the history of his land goes back further than anyone can imagine. Before long he’ll realize that he should have paid attention to the old tales and carried a club. Darkness threatens to overwhelm not only Paddlelump, but the entire realm. With a little luck, a strange bird, a feisty waitress, and some sturdy friends, maybe, just maybe, Padd will survive to eat another meal at Trip Trap’s diner, or at least avoid being dinner for something else. It’s enough to make the well-intentioned troll want to crawl under his bridge, if he can manage to keep it out of the clutches of greedy politicians. Olde School is Book One of The Kingdom City Chronicles.

Available on Amazon!

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About the Artist, Marge Simon:

A writer-artist since the mid-1980’s, Marge Simon has illustrated numerous poetry collections for Sam’s Dot Publications/Alban Lake; as well as multiple print magazines. She illustrated covers and interiors of every issue of Niteblade (Rhonda Parrish, editor). Currently she illustrates for Lorelei Signal, Carol Hightshoe, editor.  Check out her art galleries at www.margesimon.com

Marge is also one of the Ladies of Horror who writes for this challenge.

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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 Kim Richards @Kim_Richards @Sotet_Angyal #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!


Gilchrist
by Kim Richards

“Listen you little cunt. The next time you leave your crap in my way, I’ll…I’ll burn that doll of yours,” Boyd growled. His clenched fists promised worse.
The hate from his words burned Jess’ heart. The man never smiled, never said anything kind, and never cared about anyone but himself.
She still couldn’t figure out why Mom married him. As bad as he treated Jess, Mom got far worse. She, too, seldom smiled anymore.
Mom’s eyes, when they weren’t downcast, were dull and sad. Mom’s perky haircut was now long and stringy like jagged blood streaks against her pale, freckled skin. Boyd forbid her to cut it or wear the makeup she loved. A dab of perfume was met with a hard slap. The last time, he dragged her by the hair into the kitchen and scrubbed her neck with the steel wool pad. Jess hid under the dining room table and cried.
Today, as with most days, Jess couldn’t wait for Boyd to leave for work. He was always there when she got home from school; morning was the only time she and Mom had together. Today was special though. If things worked out as planned, they would never have to see Boyd’s face again. If they didn’t, then it would be another beating and things would go on as was normal these days. The chance to be rid of him was worth the risk.
After school, Jess skipped home. However, as she rounded the corner of her block, she paused a moment. There was a police car in the driveway of her home. Mom walked in hancuffs so Jess ran to her.
“I don’t know what happened,” Mom said to the officer. “I didn’t poison his coffee. I swear!”
Jess hugged her legs tight and sobbed. “I’m sorry.”
Fiction © Copyright Kim Richards
Image courtesy of Marge Simon

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About the Artist, Marge Simon:

A writer-artist since the mid-1980’s, Marge Simon has illustrated numerous poetry collections for Sam’s Dot Publications/Alban Lake; as well as multiple print magazines. She illustrated covers and interiors of every issue of Niteblade (Rhonda Parrish, editor). Currently she illustrates for Lorelei Signal, Carol Hightshoe, editor.  Check out her art galleries at www.margesimon.com

Marge is also one of the Ladies of Horror who writes for this challenge.

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

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

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!


We’re All Mad Here…
by Rie Sheridan Rose

Alice sipped the tea she’d been told to make. Normally, she didn’t like her tea plain, but she’d been told that sugar would mask the flavor, and cream simply curdle in it. It sounded odd to her, but she was an obedient girl—for the most part—and that was what she’d been told.
The tea was exceptionally bitter. Maybe it was the pinch of white powder she’d been instructed to add from the jar in the back of the cupboard. She wasn’t supposed to touch it usually, but today she’d been ordered to.
Mother and Father were lurking in the shadows, making sure that she drank it to the last drop. She could hear their breathy whispers…like the sighing of wind in the tree branches…though she didn’t know how they could make any noise at all with no lungs.   All that was left were bones and sinews binding them together.
But Alice was a good girl, and she still listened when they told her what to do. She’d even given Dinah a saucer of tea, as she’d been told, and the cat was now sleeping in the corner…
Alice took another sip of the tea. If only she could add a bit of honey at least…but Mother had said no.
There were only dregs left in her cup now, and she glanced surreptitiously at the corner before swirling the last bit of liquid and turning the cup upside down. She righted it almost at once, and studied the leaves left behind.
A clear skull filled the bottom of the cup. How odd!
Alice stifled a yawn. Perhaps Dinah had the right idea…a nap was just what she needed.  She scooped up the cat—rigid and uncomplaining—and curled up on the settee.
Her head was floating away…
She closed her eyes, and thought of something the Hatter had told her once, long ago in Wonderland, “We’re all Mad here!”
As consciousness slipped away, she realized he probably was right.
Fiction © Copyright Rie Sheridan Rose
Image courtesy of Marge Simon

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More from Author Rie Sheridan Rose:

Ghosts, Gears, and Grimoires

A grimoire is a magician’s manual for invoking demons and the spirits of the dead. Within the pages of this book, you’ll find just such tales…along with a sprinkling of ghost stories, possessed machinery, and wicked deeds cloaked in Steampunk.

Immerse yourself in the magic, mystery and mayhem.

 

Available on Amazon!

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About the Artist, Marge Simon:

A writer-artist since the mid-1980’s, Marge Simon has illustrated numerous poetry collections for Sam’s Dot Publications/Alban Lake; as well as multiple print magazines. She illustrated covers and interiors of every issue of Niteblade (Rhonda Parrish, editor). Currently she illustrates for Lorelei Signal, Carol Hightshoe, editor.  Check out her art galleries at www.margesimon.com

Marge is also one of the Ladies of Horror who writes for this challenge.

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

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

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

Spirit Journey
by E.A. Black

The chief of the Mitsogo tribe handed a ceremonial mug filled with iboga root to Dr. Ambrose Peters, who choked down the bitter concoction and waited. Followers of the Bwiti religion which he studied required he go on a spirit journey. What would his totem animal be? An eagle? A python? He had hoped for something majestic to match his ego. Neither a squirrel nor a dung beetle would do. No, his animal must be big, proud, and strong. Like him.
His journey began with the sound of buzzing followed by intense dizziness. In moments he found himself moving quickly through the Gabon jungle. What was he? A quick glance down revealed broad tan paws. A rushing sound guided him to a river where he looked into the water.
An intense feline face surrounded by a bushy mane of reddish brown fur stared back at him. Ah, a lion. Pride swelled in his breast as did arrogance. Of course he would be the king of the jungle. Lions had no predators so he encouraged his guide to run through the thick woods in search of Thompson’s gazelle. Peters felt a scorching hunger. This lion had not eaten in days.
He and the lion rushed past ferns and brush until they came to a clearing. In the grass ahead, gazelles grazed completely unaware of the danger lurking only a few feet away. Gazelle were weak, like Peters’ ex-wife and first-born son, the artist. He encouraged the lion to attack, and within moments it leaped into action, chasing down an elderly and sick gazelle.
A shot rang out. Intense pain seared Peters’ in the chest. He turned the lion’s head in time to see four men with rifles rush him. As the next shot struck the animal’s forehead, Peters snapped out of his trance and slammed into his body. Exhausted and sore, he fell backwards as the chief caught him. Startled and a little bit frightened, he pressed his hand against his chest and felt the warmth of blood. Blood trickled down his forehead. He had forgotten that one enemy of lions, the ones who could cause their extinction.
Poachers.
Fiction © Copyright E. A. Black
Image courtesy of Marge Simon

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More from E.A. Black:

Roughing It

When a strange outbreak occurs at a lakeside campground, Jake Walker and Lance Cameron investigate. Not only are they biologists, they’re lovers who share a passion for science.

The outbreak has locals terrified. Nine campers become sick; four die, and one victim reports an increase in her sex drive so serious, she attacks her best friend’s husband. Is this lustiness caused by the disease? What’s behind the odd rainstorm that falls over a small geographic area and the strange red dust around the cabins? Is this outbreak a new disease or something much more dire?

Together Jake and Lance must find the cause before others are infected … and before they come down with the plague themselves.

Available on Amazon!

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About the Artist, Marge Simon:

A writer-artist since the mid-1980’s, Marge Simon has illustrated numerous poetry collections for Sam’s Dot Publications/Alban Lake; as well as multiple print magazines. She illustrated covers and interiors of every issue of Niteblade (Rhonda Parrish, editor). Currently she illustrates for Lorelei Signal, Carol Hightshoe, editor.  Check out her art galleries at www.margesimon.com

Marge is also one of the Ladies of Horror who writes for this challenge.

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

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

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!


Conjur Wife Redux
by Marge Simon

I was a lowly accountant and she was a shy young thing. A head of unruly red curls, and a keen attention to anything I said. She stole my heart! How joyful I was when she agreed to marry me. Her pot roasts and desserts were heavenly, and she never complained about anything. In the space of two years, I rose to be manager of the firm.
All that I just took for granted until one stormy night when gargoyles were flying about willy-nilly as they have been wont to do since we moved here, I caught her in the kitchen invoking a spell.
“Is that creature in the air with a scorpion tail a kindred spirit?”  I asked.
“Of course he is, Malcolm,” she replied with a twinkle in her emerald eyes.  “Is that a problem?”
Fiction © Copyright Marge Simon
Image courtesy of Marge Simon

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More from Marge Simon:

Satan’s Sweethearts

These poems feature some of the most evil women throughout history based on accounts found by the authors Marge Simon and Mary Turzillo.

Some will be well known, others are women of infamy that few, if any, know about.

A truly chilling and unsettling collection.

(Cover art by Marge Simon)

Available on Amazon!

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About the Artist, Marge Simon:

A writer-artist since the mid-1980’s, Marge Simon has illustrated numerous poetry collections for Sam’s Dot Publications/Alban Lake; as well as multiple print magazines. She illustrated covers and interiors of every issue of Niteblade (Rhonda Parrish, editor). Currently she illustrates for Lorelei Signal, Carol Hightshoe, editor.  Check out her art galleries at www.margesimon.com

 

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

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!


Confinement
by Melissa R. Mendelson

I found the doll in the garbage.  Well, it wasn’t in the garbage.  It was left on top of it, and I almost didn’t see it when I was walking the dog.  But then it caught my eye, and there was the doll staring back at me.
The doll was left in front of my neighbor’s house.  Only one light was on, which might’ve been her bedroom.  I remembered that she had long, red hair, and the doll’s hair was like hers.  Then, there were the rumors.  One neighbor had heard from another that she could not have any kids, and then that neighbor told my mother.  Shortly after that, little girls began to disappear around town, which reminds me that I should head back.
I walked away from my neighbor’s house when I noticed a thin, red string lying on top of my hand.  Maybe, it came from the doll, which I tucked under one arm as I picked at the string, only to find that it was stuck to my skin.  I began to pull at it, and as I did, my skin wrinkled and turned red.  I pulled harder, and my flesh gave way, becoming one with the string.  I now clawed at it, trying to save what was left of my hand, and in my panic, I let go of the dog’s leash.  And he took off, running for home.  When I looked down at my arm, all I saw was string, and I screamed, pulling, tearing, ripping until my body gave way.
My neighbor appeared over me.  Her long, red hair swept over one shoulder.  She smiled, and she knelt down and touched the string.  She held it softly in her hand, and then she pulled.  And I gasped, feeling myself drift, carried like a doll back to the garbage, where it would wait for the next little girl.
 Fiction © Copyright Melissa R. Mendelson
Image courtesy of Marge Simon

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More from Melissa R. Mendelson:

Please visit Melissa’s blog for more of her writing which includes her current feature, chapter one of I’m Not My Father’s Son. 

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About the Artist, Marge Simon:

A writer-artist since the mid-1980’s, Marge Simon has illustrated numerous poetry collections for Sam’s Dot Publications/Alban Lake; as well as multiple print magazines. She illustrated covers and interiors of every issue of Niteblade (Rhonda Parrish, editor). Currently she illustrates for Lorelei Signal, Carol Hightshoe, editor.  Check out her art galleries at www.margesimon.com

Marge is also one of the Ladies of Horror who writes for this challenge.

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