Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Ashley Davis @Sotet_Angyal #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

Refraction
by Ashley Davis

Echoes in dark aether. I ask the magic mirror to say my name and tell me the future. Sometimes my reflection whispers back, eyes glinting gold instead of my cornflower blue. Every night I follow my own footsteps down the dirt path, toward the empty red house. I pause at the seventh fence post when I see him. The fox, eyes of onyx and coat of sinuous flames. He stares at me before the world melts away. I enter the woods from the west. I say woods, but they’re really just a few acres of pines to the east of the empty red house. A girl lives here. She lives behind the trees. She has unknowable form with edges of fire, made of salt and glass. You can see her if you have the right eyes and know the trees. I bring her offerings. She prefers the bones of sparrows, but most birds will do if stripped of their feathers and skin. Once I found the remains of a heron down by the marshes, sun bleached and smoothed over time. I took them to her, but she refused. She would have liked the heron’s feathers, but the bones were for another time, another place. I buried them back in the marsh and sprinkled the ground with sawdust. Sometimes I hide dolls made of string and twigs among the trees for her to find. She loves to play, but you must watch out for her thorns. She’s told me his name—the great dragon of crimson and jade that waits for me beneath the waves, his golden eyes glowing amongst the detritus on the sea floor. I acknowledge my fear, but also accept his presence and purpose in my world. He seeks the reflection that whispers, both myself and not me. The waves never lull me to sleep; I wait for the lightning to call my name. Where does the red fox go when I close my eyes?
Fiction © Copyright Ashley Davis
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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Poetry by Ashley Davis can be found featured in the fall 2017 issue of
The Horror Zine

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Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Ela Lourenco @ElaLourenco @Sotet_Angyal #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

Dark Sight
by Ela Lourenco

Rays of gold-tinged scarlet glimmering like a halo over my sleepy little village. My mother’s strawberry-blonde curls gleaming as though on fire as the descending sun cast its last light through the windows of our small, cosy cottage… I still remember those images, although they are blurry now in my mind. It was the last time I saw my mother’s face. The last time I saw or felt the warmth of the sun… the last time I saw anything.
No one knows what happened or how. But when we woke the next morning there was nothing but a darkness none of us could have imagined. No stars, no moon, nothing to shed even a pixel of light or create a shadow. Chaos ensued, and panic. We waited, hoping that each new day would bring back the world we knew, but, as days turned to months, and months to years – as many of us succumbed to the dark madness and died I realised hope was gone.
Alone, but for a handful of other survivors, I go through the motions of my life if you can call it that, as I wait for the sickness to seize hold of my mind and end this existence I have been condemned to.
Fiction © Copyright Ela Lourenco
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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More from Ela Lourenco:

Essence

Katra is a Fae Hunter in a world once ravaged by a terrible war. Having lost all memory of her childhood and rightful identity, her duty is now to protect the tentative peace brokered by the varying races of the supernatural world. When an evil darkness begins to spread, draining young witches of their power, Katra must find a way back to her true past in order to save the future.

Enduring many trials as ever-increasing powers awaken within her, Katra must also struggle with the mixed emotions her new partner, Blade – a Black Dragon – is rousing within her. Together they must battle the shadows that plan to devour the world they know and prevent its decent into another thousand-year war.

Can Katra hold onto her strength as the truth of her very being begins to unravel? Can she bear the weight that ancient prophecy has placed on her young shoulders? Or is her destiny to regain her true self, only to lose the world she is sworn to protect?

Available on Amazon!

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Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Angela Yuriko Smith @AngelaYSmith @Sotet_Angyal #LoH

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

Flaming
by Angela Yuriko Smith

Last Sunday, she caught him wearing a dress.
It hadn’t seemed wrong at the time. He had been balancing the budgets at the kitchen table. She had just come home from a sticky day in church. As she walked through the living room, she pulled her navy and polka dot sundress over her head to drape over the couch. She leaned on the back of it so she could slip her stockings off and toss them over the dress.
“Christ, it’s hot,” she said. “You are lucky men don’t have to wear stockings.” And she left to take a shower.20
He stared at her discarded clothes on the back of a couch. She had walked away pasty and sweating, like a hermit crab without a home. He always had admired her powerful feminine aura. Walking away, flabby white ass trembling like gelatin, he realized all her allure and mystique came from her clothes. Without them, she was weak.
The moment of clarity hit
Pow! Bop! Kapow!
into his brain. Superheroes
had secrets in their pantyhose. Superheroes had secrets.
He donned his costume
Bam! Boof! Kablam!
formerly known as hers
and gave himself a mask
of ruby red lips and rouge.
Superheroes had secrets.
The screaming harpy found him
Zap! Karack! Kazaam!
stretching her stockings, getting
stubble in her compact
and exposed his secret identity.
Superheroes had secrets.
Pow! Kablam! Crack!
“I am not right,” he said. She wept, knowing this was the end. She closed her eyes to not see who he was and shivered.
“You are not right,” he said. He touched her cheek, soft and wet, and tasted her tears. He discarded the last of himself then. Her skin was fragrant and warm. She bled without reserve, helpless without her costume. He draped her across his strong shoulders—she was the mink, dangling and limp—and became her. The thought was hot and it burned through his scalp. He was a woman in flames. His new self stood in the bedroom door. Behind him, her naked pieces lay in disarray, powerless.
“To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part. Two lives become one,” he said. And he left the house with hers.
Fiction © Copyright Angela Yuriko Smith
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com 

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More from Angela Yuriko Smith:

End of Mae

Mae was small town newspaper reporter with bigger dreams. Her life’s passion was to find the ultimate story. When the local homeless start vanishing, her community puts the blame on the Jersey Devil legend. Excited at the prospect of finally uncovering a big story, she spends the night in the woods with a homeless woman. Mae discovers that the whispers are true — there is something sinister wandering the Whitebog area at night. Little did she know that the ultimate story would be her own… and she’d by dying to tell it.

Available on Amazon!

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Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Asena Lourenco @ElaLourenco @Sotet_Angyal #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!


Abandoned
by Asena Lourenco

Moonlight shining onto my bleeding toes. The crows stalking me with their evil, obsidian eyes. Squawking, eyes bulging. The ground cracks underneath me as I try to take in what has happened. The blue-sky fades to black, more crows surround me. There is no way out…
Fiction © Copyright Asena Lourenco
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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More about Asena Lourenco:

Asena Lourenco is 10 years old. She loves reading, playing Scottish traditional fiddle music on her violin, dancing, and martial arts as well as writing her own stories.

She would like to be a teacher and writer when she grows up. She also loves cats and babies!

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Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Sheri White @sheriw1965 @Sotet_Angyal #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!


Night Terrors
by Sheri White

“Tammy, wake up. We’re going to have some daylight today.”
Tammy shrugged Mark’s hand off her shoulder. “Leave me alone.”
“Come on, Tammy! We haven’t had daylight for almost a week. We need to get moving – find some food and water, maybe some other people.”
“Ugh, fine.” She rolled onto her back and held her arm up so Mark could help lift her from the dirty inflatable float on the floor.
They lit a couple of candles and shared one of their few remaining granola bars and a can of ginger ale. “Maybe we’ll find some candy bars today,” Tammy said, her stomach rumbling at the thought. “I could go for some chocolate.”
“Is that all?” Mark asked. “I’d kill for some hot coffee.  And some pancakes, bacon, eggs…” They both knew that was impossible, but they could hope.
“Okay, we ready?” Tammy opened the door a crack, then slammed it when she heard the whispering sound right outside.
“Wait until it’s lighter out there. Then those things will slither back to where they hide.”
They sat on the floor, backs against the wall, waiting for the murky daylight to drive away the creatures. Finally, there was enough light outside for them to leave the beach shack. Tammy blew out the candles and the two of them headed outside.
***
It started with the lightning. Tammy and Mark were partying with their friends on the beach, drinking from a spiked watermelon in front of a bonfire, when black clouds suddenly filled the sky, sending bolts of electricity to the ground. The group scattered for shelter, screaming as intense light and crashes of thunder relentlessly pounded the beach.
Tammy and Mark ran to the shack, which held umbrellas, chairs, and floaties. Jeff and Kimber followed them in, but nobody else made it. The four of them huddled together, crying and shaking through the storm, screaming when lightning hit close by and explosions shook the building. Hours later it was over and everything was silent. And dark.
“Do you think it’s over?” Kimber asked.
“God, I hope so. That was brutal. I hope everyone else is okay. Maybe they went to their cars.” Mark stood up and looked out the window. “Jesus.”
Jeff joined him. “Holy shit.”
Fires burned everywhere. Beach houses, the pier, boats tied to the docks. A few bodies smoldered on the sand. “Christ. They didn’t make it to their cars.” The girls held each other and sobbed.
“I want to go home, Jeff. I need to see if my parents are okay. I can’t get a signal.” Kimber’s face glowed white from her cell phone.
“Yeah, okay.” Jeff helped her up from the floor. “You and Tammy coming, Mark?”
“Tammy? What do you think?”
“Hell, yes – take me home.”
Jeff and Kimber walked outside hand-in-hand. “Don’t look at them, Kimber.” She looked away from their friends as they stepped onto the beach. Then she fell into the sand.
“Hel p me up, Jeff!” He reached down for her hand, but fell next to her.
“What the fuck?” Jeff tried to get up, but felt something – some things – slither over his body, biting and stinging his skin. Kimber screamed and the two of them writhed underneath the creatures, choking on blood filling their mouths.
Mark pushed Tammy back inside and shut the door. “What happened to them, Mark? What were those things?”
“I don’t know. Christ, what is going on?”
***
They quickly realized that whatever slithered on the beach only came out in the dark. The day after the lightning came they were able to gather food and drinks from buildings that hadn’t burned down once there was daylight. When they opened the door, Tammy sobbed at the sight of her friends’ ravaged bodies. Mark covered them with beach towels from the shack. But the creatures were gone.
As they looked for supplies among the ruins of the beach town, they found more bodies than food. Most were burned, others obviously attacked by the creatures.
“Let’s go back to the shack, Tammy. At least we’re safe there.”
They inflated floaties to sleep on, trying to ignore the whispering, slithering sounds while they tried to sleep.
Although the sun hadn’t risen since the night of the lightning storm, the sky did brighten in the mornings. But one day there was no light at all. And the creatures surrounded the shack.
***
Today there was finally some daylight.
“Let’s walk by the shore and see if we can get to the carnival pier. There should be some food there, at least.” Mark took Tammy’s hand and led her down the beach, small waves lapping at their ankles.
“It’s so quiet.  No seagulls. No music from the boardwalk. I can’t believe everything is gone. Unless it only happened here. What do you think, Mark?”
Mark stopped. “Shit. There’s your answer.”
The fuselage of a passenger plane sat on the beach. They approached it, recoiling from the mingling odors of jet fuel and cooked flesh. “Where’s the rest of it?” asked Tammy.
“Does it matter? Look, the pier is right up there. Let’s hurry up; we don’t know how much daylight we have left.”
The Ferris wheel loomed ahead of them, burned and broken, bodies dangling from the seats. Suddenly, black clouds covered the sky, obliterating what little light they had. Shapes undulated along the beach towards them, the whispers of their slithering filling the air.
“We’re not going to make it to the pier, Tammy – run to the plane!”
The two of them ran, but the sand slowed them down, made them awkward. Tammy fell, screaming for Mark to help her.
He ran past her, ignoring her hand reaching out for him.
He jumped into the plane and looked back. The creatures covered Tammy, but he could hear her screams of pain and terror. With a shaking hand, he retrieved his phone from his back pocket, the light it provided its only use now. Hundreds of the creatures writhed on the beach, trapping him on the plane.
The battery finally died an hour later, leaving Mark in complete darkness, praying for daylight to come again.
Fiction © Copyright Sheri White
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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More from Author Sheri White:

Sacrificial Lambs and Others

Sacrificial Lambs and Others is Sheri White’s first collection. From quiet horror to bloody violence, these flash fiction pieces and short stories are chilling and emotionally visceral. You will find people teetering on the brink of sanity, dark farms, creepy carnivals, weird kids, and Armageddon. These stories will stay with you long after you’ve closed the book.

Available on Amazon!

 

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Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Mary Ann Peden-Coviello @MAPedenCoviello @Sotet_Angyal #LoH

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

Two Crows
by Mary Ann Peden-Coviello

Twa Corbies
As I was walking all alone,
I heard two crows (or ravens) making a moan;
One said to the other,
“Where shall we go and dine today?”
“In behind that old turf wall,
I sense there lies a newly slain knight;
And nobody knows that he lies there,
But his hawk, his hound and his lady fair.”
“His hound is to the hunting gone,
His hawk to fetch the wild-fowl home,
His lady’s has taken another mate,
So we may make our dinner sweet.”
“You will sit on his white neck-bone,
And I’ll peck out his pretty blue eyes;
With one lock of his golden hair
We’ll thatch our nest when it grows bare.”
“Many a one for him is moaning,
But nobody will know where he is gone;
Over his white bones, when they are bare,
The wind will blow for evermore.”
Anonymous medieval Scottish ballad
Modern translation
In an iron-grey sky, two crows circle above the parched, cracked earth, scanning the ground in the never-ending search for food. The sun beats down on their wings, glinting blue-black.
One bird spies a long-abandoned pickup truck baking in the heat. The bird knows stranded trucks often conceal secrets, stashes of forgotten snacks, or, sometimes, the body of a luckless two-legger. The black bird tips a wing and spirals downward. The second crow follows and settles on a tree limb above the dead truck.
First lands on the side of the truck bed. He cocks his head and inspects the empty bed. Nothing to eat there. He edge-foots toward the cab, hops onto the open window ledge. The faint smell of old death fills the air. First caws, calling his friend. A feast lies within, long dead and desiccated but edible.
Second flutters to the roof of the pickup. His nails click on the rusted metal as he struts across the top of the vehicle. Bending deeply, he peers inside, his head upside down. He smells the meat and flips himself onto the dusty truck seat.
A pair of two-leggers sprawl, their bodies spilling onto the floorboards. Second spreads his wings a bit and glides to one body. He walks up toward the head, gripping the skin, made leathery by the heat. He clacks his bill a few times, the sound sharp in the silence.
First hops onto the unmoving steering wheel and from there to the skull of the male two-legger. The black bird prods the dead face and peels off a strip of jerky-like flesh. It tastes good, but then the birds have been searching for food for a couple of days. Almost anything would taste good. He tries for a favourite bit, the eyes, but they have withered and collapsed. Grasping the skull fiercely, First jabs deeply into one eye socket. The tip of his bill breaks through the layer of bone and into what’s left of the brain.
An image bursts inside First’s mind, connected somehow by that desiccated bit of brain matter. This connection happened sometimes but seldom as ferociously as now. His beak gapes wide, a withered bit of brain matter dangling from it, and he spreads his wings, mantling over the body of the two-legger, black eyes rolling up into his head in an unnatural way.  An equally unnatural hiss escapes his gaping mouth.
In another dimension – or in the disembodied memory of the two-legger – First sees the two-leggers driving this dilapidated truck away from the city, hears the male yelling about “betrayal – you even took my dog!” Sees the male shoot the female with a bang-stick like they used to shoot crows. Sees the male hold the female’s body in one arm, sobbing, while he shoots himself as well.
First shakes himself, caws loudly, and begins to seek an edible bit of flesh. The two-leggers wrecked this world, destroyed themselves on a grand scale. These two would keep him and Second alive a little longer. Maybe till the rains came and with them, food.
Fiction © Copyright Mary Ann Peden-Coviello
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com 

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More from Mary Ann Peden-Coviello:

maryannpedencoviello_frightmareFright Mare-Women Write Horror
Short Story: One Hour Before the Dark

Women write horror and have written it since before Mary Shelley wrote FRANKENSTEIN. This anthology is to highlight the fact women write great horror and to kill the fallacy that they aren’t in some way up to standard. They are. Read here stories by Elizabeth Massie, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Lucy Taylor, and a plethora of other great writers as they work on your nerves, get inside your head, and bang out some of the scariest tales written today. I’m proud to present these women for your consideration, as Rod Serling might say, as I ask you to step into FRIGHT MARE. Lock the door and windows, put on a light, and remember, it’s not real. It’s not real. Midnight awaits, monsters scheme to take you away, the strange and weird wait in the shadows, but it’s not real. Is it?

Edited by Billie Sue Mosiman, the author who brought you the SINISTER-TALES OF DREAD collections and her latest suspense novel, THE GREY MATTER.

Available on Amazon!

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Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Terrie Leigh Relf @TLRelf @Sotet_Angyal #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!


Just One of Those Things
by Terrie Leigh Relf

Gus was always finding things on his late night walks. Sometimes, they’d  be something he needed, like the time he found a brand-new pair of work boots just sitting there on a rock. The way he told it, they were illuminated by the moon as if they were in one of them fancy stores. And of course they fit him perfectly, just like they’d been custom-made.
Other times, though, Gus found things that I wished he hadn’t brought home, like the time he found a bird skeleton. Raven, most likely. It gave me the willies, because I don’t take to having dead things in my house. They’re like an invitation for more dead things to come, make themselves all comfy and then refuse to leave. Unless you offer them something they’ve been cravin’, I s’pose.
Then again, I don’t know all that much about these things. Gus does, though. Gus certainly does. Otherwise, why would he take all those late night walks out toward the old dried-up river bed? That place gives me the willies. Big time. Guess it’s ’cause I know more’n I want to about those things.
Then Gus finds something real special that he wants to show me. “It’s too big to bring home in the truck, Myrna. Just too big,” he says. So I agree to go out to that dried river bed. Jus’ lookin’ at it makes my skin feel all dried up and cracked, but marriage is all about give and take, and I promised I’d be the best wife I could be. More or less.
Willies or no, I climbed up into Gus’ old beat-up truck and we drove out there. You can imagine my surprise once we passed through the copse of trees at the end of our property line. Water was flowing across that river bed and the barren trees were lush and green.
“Told ya,” Gus said with a smirk. “Too big to toss in the truck.”
We just sat there for the longest time, watching the water flow down what used to be a barren mountain and into the river. There was a full moon that night, and it was awful pretty. Gus even put his arm around my shoulders, pulled me close. He hadn’t done that since we lost the twins. Come to think of it, that was around the time the river dried up.
There was a part of me that knew down in my bones that it wasn’t real, that it couldn’t be real. No way no how that mountain had a lick of snowmelt or anything else that could’ve filled that river, but I enjoyed it just the same.
The river must have soothed me to sleep because I woke up in the middle of the night; that moon, that full moon still shinin’ somethin’ fierce. Gus was nowhere to be seen. He must have gone to answer nature’s call, and I needed to do the same.
When I tried to climb outta the truck, though, I was all weighed down and couldn’t budge an inch. At first, I thought my legs had just fallen asleep, so I rubbed ’em a bit, waited for Gus to come back, take us home for a nice hot breakfast. My stomach grumbled like thunder at the thought.
The truck shifted a bit, then began to tilt toward the water. Leave it to Gus to park too close to the water’s edge. “You come get me out of this here truck, Gus!” I yelled, but not a sound came out of my mouth. My legs were still asleep. My arms, too. Then it dawned on me that something just wasn’t right about all this.
And then I saw Gus just standing there by the copse of trees, whispering somethin’ under his breath, wavin’ one of those raven feathers he’d taken to keeping in that leather pouch around his neck. It was so beautiful shimmering under the full moon’s light. Mesmerizing as he waved it back-and-forth.
And then just like that, the  river was gone, the truck righted itself, and I was able to clamber out onto the cracked earth, releasing the scent of rust and decay.
“What’d you think, Myrna?” he grinned.
I wanted to give him a piece of my mind . . . until I saw the expression in his eyes.
It wasn’t Gus lookin’ back at me. No way, no how. It was just one of those things he had found out on his moonlit walks.
Fiction © Copyright Terrie Leigh Relf
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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More from author Terrie Leigh Relf:

The Sisterhood of the Blood Moon

For thousands of Earth years, the Transgalactic Consortium has had a quiet interest in this planet and its inhabitants, the Haurans. While the Sisterhood of the Blood Moon works together with the Consortium and Haurans to maintain balance in the universe, the Blood Moon is fast approaching. The power of this moon reveals untold secrets . . . including a sacred covenant with the Mora Spiders. There is an ancient pact that needs to be honored—but at what cost and for whose purpose? The world may come to an end. But will there be a chance for a new beginning?

Available for purchase from the Alban Lake Store!

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