The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
by Lydia Prime
“Long lay the world in sin and error pining
till He appeared and the soul felt its worth…”
I was lucky enough to be chosen for this – a once in a lifetime opportunity. Everyone who’d come before me seemed to fail, but I would be the exception. My parents protested at first but eventually they agreed. With tears in their eyes they said goodbye, and as I assured them I would be back they sobbed harder. The elder of our village met with me before I left. He provided six red candles in glass lanterns and a map accompanied with instructions. I smiled and thanked him as I turned away to begin my trek to the cabin.
The first snowfall always seemed so beautiful; such purity with an immaculate glow. Stories passed down to me often held the idea that the snow attracted wicked beings. I still remember waking to bright red trails leading from our village to the woods – my parents called it ‘The Dark Times’. I sighed as I peered through a frosted window at the village below, I will come home. Through the trees off in the distance I saw movement. Is that one of the creatures!? My chest was pounding and I knew what I needed to do.
I stepped outside with the lanterns lit and set them evenly around the perimeter of the cabin. As I placed the last one in front of my door I had an urge to look up. The funny thing about snow is the silence it brings. The absolute absence of sound was deafening. I slowly looked around and noticed tracks leading from the forest toward the back of my cabin. I’d never seen tracks like those before, no animal nor man could have made them. I felt tears welling in my eyes and spun on my heel to get back inside.
Night fell and I could hear scratching on the roof and door. When the scratching periodically stopped there came a thunderous knocking on the walls. I sat in front of the fire and rocked back and forth, HE said the candles would keep them from us, I thought. I covered my face with my hands as the door burst open, the cold wind blew out my fire and all I could see were glowing green eyes moving closer to me.
“My daughter sacrificed herself for us. We should all be grateful. A moment of silence for Kenzie.” The woman bowed her head and the villagers followed suit. It was but tradition to have a willing participant for the slaughter; the only way to keep the monsters from everyone.
“Kenzie did her part for our Lord!” called the village leader. “She has nullified the beast for another year!”
“…a thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices,
for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.”
Fiction © Copyright Lydia Prime
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More about Lydia Prime:
Lydia grew up in a small, ‘Mayberry,’ sort of town, in New Jersey. She thoroughly enjoys gummy bears and laughing through the darkest depths of life. More often than not, she writes about demons and monsters, however, being a recovering addict tends to turn inner demons into fearsome foes to be fought beyond the constraints of the mind. ‘Sometimes,’ she states, ‘what’s inside, is scarier than anything reality throws at you.’
Please visit Lydia on Facebook for more info.
Issue #40 of The Sirens Call – As Summer Leaves, Autumn Falls
Stories of disaster influenced by horrific intent.
Whether it be Mother Nature’s wrath or a devilish ghoul, a sprite most wicked or a stumbling fool, tell us a tale of disaster that happens as summer ends and autumn begins.
We are looking for stories, flash fiction and poetry of horrific happenings that take place in the summer months that lead into fall. As long as the piece is primarily horror/dark fiction, we’d love to see it!
Your piece can be creepy, sullen, emotive, freaky, elegant, bizarre, have a dark-humor edge to it, or simply be flat out scary as hell!
REPRINTS ARE WELCOME
Submission Deadline: August 10, 2018
Circulation: Approximately 35,000
Full page/single book cover ads for individual authors are available at $10 per ad. Please contact Nina@SirensCallPublications.com for advertising information.
All short story, flash, and poem submissions MUST be submitted to: Submissions@SirensCallPublications.com for consideration.
Visit our web site for more details: SirensCallPub.com