The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
It brooded, just above the horizon,
filling the sky with a presence of doom.
We all felt that uneasy prickle,
the impending knowledge our lives
were in peril.
But we had no idea
what the tempest would bring
as it swept these hills,
peeling them bare of every speck,
as if to the bone.
There had been calamitous onslaughts
of lightning or flame. Grim unyielding
deluges, dust reduced to mire. Shrieking
wind so fierce it rattled one’s core and could
shake the teeth right out of your mouth!
Nothing like this.
The beast that hunched over the horizon,
lying in wait, had teeth of its own.
Long and treacherous.
Most would’ve fled to safer ground
if they dreamed of the consequences
to remain. If they guessed that shelter was
a figment, wood and mortar insignificant.
Hope a deluded fairytale fragment
clung to by children.
Adults should let go of such vaporous
residue, for what could it benefit them
at the end?
Once the storm pounced.
Or some equivalent bane, looming.
The only certainty I believe in its
aftermath. Hills can regrow
their skin, their flesh of soil and foliage.
My people are gone.
Archaeologists might unearth their traces.
I leave a scroll behind, a warning
tucked between stones inside a cave.
The crevice formed by enormous rocks
that withstood a monstrous assault.
Everything less firm, less solid devoured.
Alone I survived: trembling, unwhole,
taking refuge in a sealed tomb beneath a cliff.
Terminal, badly maimed,
yet determined to record a final testament
from a life disrupted, struck down
by the hellish hound of Fate.
She has many virulent methods of demise
in store. Beware her random squalls and tides.
Do not fall prey to a needless rampant
scourge, a surge of frenzy.
A rogue thunderstrike.
Do your best to hang on, for that is our
triumph, an age well-lived! And shared,
if possible, in a world less stark.
Regaining hunger, the storm abides.
Fiction © Copyright Lori R. Lopez
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from Lori R. Lopez:
A rich gathering of poetry with a dismal twilight atmosphere, a brooding nature, an eerie tone . . . DARKVERSE: THE SHADOW HOURS encompasses such pieces written by Lori R. Lopez between 2009 and 2017, collected in three of her Poetic Reflections volumes along with humorous and serious verse. This ample compendium allows a more focused reading experience and mood — presenting poems that share speculative themes, flashes of horror, glimpses of madness.
Lori is the author of THE DARK MISTER SNARK, LEERY LANE, MONSTROSITIES, AN ILL WIND BLOWS, THE FAIRY FLY, CHOCOLATE-COVERED EYES, JAR BABY, SAMHAIN, 3-Z, and SPIDER SOUP, among other tales. She has been called a storyteller, whether composing verse or prose.
The aim of her DARKVERSE series is to offer a chilling trek through unlit stretches where all manner of creeps and kooks may lurk; where graveyards and bogs and full-moons abound. The pages of THE SHADOW HOURS illuminate those morbid uncanny perils and dreads that inhabit drab corners, the known and unknown terrors of the night. Vivid and distinct, her voice echoes our worst fears then delves beyond, exposing hitherto unimaginable frights.
Prepare to confront a motley array of ghouls and menaces that might just move under your bed.
Look for an Illustrated Print Edition with quirky art by the author.