The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
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
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.
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.