The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
by Suzanne Madron
Late nights in a morgue were a cliche, he thought to himself. Of course it was creepy, of course the bodies moved. None of that bothered Larry Mortman. What bothered him most, if he was honest with himself, was when the bodies talked.
It was a quiet night, and he was glad for the peace. He had a headache that felt as if his skull was about to crack at the seams. Even the drips of water from the taps were hammers to his ears and he groaned. He made his way to the sink, then cocked his head in confusion. The water wasn’t dripping, yet the tapping sound continued.
He turned back toward the bank of refrigerators. The impression they were filing cabinets for corpses struck him, and he shook his head. The tapping noise emanated from that direction, but the sound came from outside the refrigerator banks.
He walked to the refrigerators and stopped at the door. The tapping relentlessly continued, and he noticed the sound had a pattern.
Larry rolled his eyes and said, “I don’t know Morse code.”
The tapping ceased. He sighed with relief then sucked his breath back in surprise as a loud bang sounded next to him.
He jumped away from the refrigerators with a start. The metal on one of the doors buckled as if hit with a blunt object.
The door creaked open, and Larry stared into the darkness of the space within. Long fingers the color of bone slithered from the blackness and gripped the edges of the small opening. The tray made a swooshing noise as it slid out, and Larry jumped away from the opened body bag and the two pale arms extending from between its zippered teeth.
“You kiss your mother with that mouth?” asked a muffled, tired voice.
A naked woman sat up and stared at him with glazed eyes and he began to scream. She shook her head and climbed out of the body bag, dropping lightly to the floor.
“You hate it when we talk?” she asked as she approached him. She placed cold, stiff fingers under his chin and snapped his mouth shut over his screams. “Well, we hate it when you scream.”
She scratched at her head and Larry whimpered as pieces of her scalp peeled away to reveal her skull. She tossed her long hair as she wandered around the room, and Larry gasped when he caught sight of exposed brain beneath the bloody strands.
The woman turned back to face him. A small, cruel smile crept over her lips and for the first time Larry noticed the tears in the flesh around her mouth where stitches might have been.
“You don’t remember me?” she asked.
Larry shook his head as he fumbled behind him for a weapon – anything – to protect him from the walking horror before him. The woman moved around to the refrigerators and knocked on several doors. A return knock emitted from within each, and she grasped the handles.
Within seconds all of the doors stood open, and all of the occupants stood alongside the woman with the stitch-torn smile, their own smiles merciless in the glow of the overhead fluorescent lighting.
Larry remembered them all.
Fiction © Copyright Suzanne Madron
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from Suzanne Madron:
The house across the street seems to go on the market every few months, but this time nothing about the sale is normal, including the new owners. No sooner has the for sale sign come down and the neighborhood is thrown into a Lovecraftian nightmare and the only way to find out is to attend the house warming party.