The Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Suzanne Madron @suzannemadron @Sotet_Angyal #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

Behind the Door
by Suzanne Madron

The clink of the padlock against the doorjamb woke her and after a century of sleep, she opened her eyes. Immediately she regretted the action as dust and debris scratched upon entry past the lashes.
She sat up and blinked away the tears, noting the feel of layers of time upon her rotting clothing. How long this time? She wondered. Her story had been told so many times over the centuries that it had become muddled. She had helped to dilute it until it featured a box, and all the things held within that box.
There had never been a box. It had always been her.
The gentle clink of the padlock gave way to hammering, followed by the sound of metal hitting the ground as the lock fell. The door’s hinges screamed out a warning to the unsuspecting innocents beyond, but went unheaded.
With a smile, Pandora got to her feet in order to properly greet the next generation.
Fiction © Copyright Suzanne Madron
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com 

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More from Suzanne Madron:

For Sale or Rent

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.

 

Available on Amazon!

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Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Bailey Hunter @DarkRecesses @Sotet_Angyal #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

Marriage Retreat
by Bailey Hunter

“Sean, did you pick up more traps?” Millie’s shrill voice roared down the stairwell.
“Yes, Millie. I picked up more traps.  We have now officially bought every damn mouse and rat trap in the village.”  Sean rubbed the back of his neck and sighed deep.  The whole point of this trip to a nice quaint village on the moors was to try and settle things in their marriage.  So far, it wasn’t working.
“Have you called the landlords?” Her words grew louder. She was finally coming down.
“Yes. You know I have. You were in the same room as me.” Sean’s voice began to strain. He rolled his shoulders back trying to shrug off the irritation that gnawed at the nape of his neck. “Listen love, I’m sorry it bothers you. There are no exterminators in the area, and to hire one would cost more than they’re getting from us in rent for the month. It’s just skittering in the walls. They don’t seem to be even coming out.”
Millie appeared at the door of the kitchen, hand on hip. “That’s what bothers me. We never see them, and yet they run through the walls all night long. It’s unnerving. Not to mention the diseases!”
“I made some warm milk. It’s supposed to help you sleep. Why don’t you sit with me and try to relax. All this worry over a few mice isn’t doing you any favours.” Sean handed Millie a warm cup. “Come. Sit.”
“Fine. Next time I pick the destination, though. This is ridiculous.” Millie took a deep swallow of the milk. “Mmmm.  This is better than I expected. It’s a bit sweet.”
“I added a bit of honey,” Sean grinned as Millie slumped over the table, “to mask the tranquilizers, you bloody hag.”
Sean moved the old radiator from the wall. “You can come out now. She’s all yours. Remember, nothing left. Not even a scrap of her robe. I’m going to head down to the pub and I want her gone by the time I get back.”
One by one, tiny creatures made mainly of teeth and quills scurried out of a mouse hole in a seemingly endless stream. They swarmed the drugged woman chewing like piranha, stopping only for a moment as the door slammed shut.
Sean pulled his coat tight to his chin to ward off the damp, cold winds. Up ahead he saw a gnarled old man with impossibly long nails in a filthy red cap moving towards him.
Fiction © Copyright Bailey Hunter
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
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More about Bailey Hunter:
Bailey is a publisher with Dark Recesses Press.


D.R.E.X. Blackout

Matthew Burke’s life is turned inside out when his wife is murdered and he’s forced to join  D.R.E.X., the supposedly defunct organization responsible for hunting and killing supernatural creatures,that his wife was once part of. As the investigation hes been dragged into deepens, the more he realizes how few people he can trust…

Available from Dark Recesses Publishing

 
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Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Lori R. Lopez @LoriRLopez @Sotet_Angyal #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

The Trap
by Lori R. Lopez

My neighbors make noises at night.
It isn’t the usual complaint:
revving engines, blasting T.V. or music,
talking too loud, hosting constant
drunken bashes — whether parties or fights.
None of that.  No yelling, and nothing
social.  In fact, thinking about it,
I hardly ever hear them speak.
And that seems off,
almost as if they’re too quiet.
Except for
the bloodcurdling cries.
I know, I should have phoned the cops.
Most folks would.
But out here, we have a different
set of rules.
We don’t stick our noses
into other people’s business . . .
if we know what’s good for us.
It’s a community of lone-wolf packs
and hermit crabs.
Private.  Houses spread apart
by ample yards and fences,
barbwire and gates.
My neighbors carry shotguns,
big hunting knives they won’t hesitate
to use.  I don’t talk to or about
my neighbors.  It’s safer.
Ones who aren’t doing illicit
highly questionable activities
are trappers.  The question is,
what do they trap?
Wildlife’s scarce because they
killed it — them and
families deciding it’d be cheaper
to hunt than pay the grocer;
teens and adults roaming woods
for target practice; white-shirts
from cities bringing contamination.
Every drop of freshwater
poisoned before the plants and factories
shut down or moved.
A few colonies of strays and feral cats
remain free.  I put food out, water,
rooting for their survival.
It keeps me awake, wondering
about the shrieks.  Chilling.  Agonized.
Nearly human.  I can’t be sure.
I need to know.
After sunset one day, awkwardly
climbing over a fence, catching my jeans,
losing a scrap of cloth,
I sprinted tree to tree and darted to
a shed.  Windowless.
Ducking low, I stole behind
a barn held together by nails and hope
and peeked through gaping
skeletal boards at stalls, cages.
A jail cell with iron bars, a heap of rags.
Axes, assorted blades lined a wall.
Bare light swung in the breeze
from open planks.  Skins
dried on hooks.  Broad pelts of
what must have been horses.
They raided ranches and stables.
I viewed a metal rack
coated with rust, or body fluids.
What was that for?  Aiming my cellphone,
I snapped a picture.  Evidence.
Or protection.  I tucked the camera in
a back pocket.  Along an exterior side
I found a slaughter yard,
muddy red dirt in a corral pocked
by a dance of hoofmarks, bootprints,
larger dents.  Shallow impressions
that told a gruesome tale.
I ran all the way home like
a scared little piggy.
But I have to return . . .
They’ve been snooping around.
I discovered boot tracks.  A piece of
faded denim in the mailbox.
A cat, among my favorites, unspeakably
maimed.  I suspect I’ll be
walking into a trap.
I can’t bear those screams.
And the cat deserves justice.
Not through legal channels.  Horse thieves
are no longer hung.  Cat-harmers?
Even less of a penalty, if any.
I didn’t own Pretty Kitty.  Nonetheless,
the furry snow-white feline mattered.
These skullcapped evil creeps have to pay.
I thought I should write this down.
I might not make it home.
Here’s the photo.  Something’s going on.
My neighbors are not up to good.
They’re predators.
Monstrous, soulless, blending in.
I believe they also take
women and children.  I glimpsed toys
scattered in the barn.  A purse.
And a spike-heeled pump.  Don’t know
what I can do.  Gather more proof?
I cannot just sit here,
listening, frightened that
I’ll be next.
Fiction © Copyright Lori R. Lopez
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com 

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More from Lori R. Lopez:

Leery Lane

Have you ever kept a secret from even yourself? On one rainless electric night, Frieda Noff will learn the truth about her past, her relationship with her sister, and her hometown’s darkest secrets. It is All Hallows again, twenty years after she went down that fateful gauntlet of haunted houses as a Trick-Or-Treater. She’s finally back, perhaps to stay this time.

A young woman is confronted by the ghosts of her demons when she must return to Leery Lane, the dead-end where she lost an important piece in the puzzle of her past. She and her sibling haven’t spoken in two decades, since that terrible Halloween when Frieda borrowed something that belonged to Francine without permission. She feels that she needs to remember what it was and find the object of contention, somewhere in a row of decrepit Victorians, to repair the rift between sisters. But some secrets are better left buried. A witty blend of Gothic Horror, Humor, Supernatural and Mystery, Leery Lane is a ghost story to curl up with and savor. Take a walk you won’t be able to forget on the creepy side of town . . .

Look for an Illustrated Print Edition with macabre artwork by the author!

Available on Amazon!

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Ladies of Horror Flash Project – #Horror #author Rie Sheridan Rose @RieSheridanRose @Sotet_Angyal #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!


Feather Weight
by Rie Sheridan Rose

The stairway to the heavens…that’s what we used to call the main stairway at Maisey’s place. It was the place where we went when we needed to cry over boy trouble, or crow about a new conquest. Maisey would offer a shoulder to cry on or a glass of champagne (don’t tell the parents, she’d whisper with a wink.)
Maisey was a whore, some said. But to us, she was a queen. That stairway was the way to her throne. The last night I saw her, Maisey was up there, in her throne room. We were no longer the children bringing her our sorrows and our successes…we were young women with lives less tangled in the tresses of the aging madame down the road.
I went to tell her that I was leaving town—going to college in another state. I ran up those stairs as lightly as an angel…to find a secret I had never suspected.
Maisey lay in the center of the scarlet carpet—but she wasn’t alone. She was…feeding on a young boy. She didn’t see me, and I backed away with my hand over my mouth so she wouldn’t hear me either.
I crept down the stairs to the bottom. To a loose baluster that I had always liked to spin in my hand. I pried it out like a broken tooth, one end sharp from the method of construction.
My fingers traced one last time over the feathers carved into the head of the newel post. Those feathers had wafted me up those stairs so many times in my life…and now, they urged me on.
Baluster in hand, I went up the stairway to heaven one last time…and stabbed that vile vampiress in her black heart. Fleeing down the stairway on winged feet, I stopped only long enough to set a match to the well-worn carpet on the entryway floor.
I watched it catch, licking its way toward the stairway to heaven with the flames of hell. And the ashes fell around me like the feathers on the newel post.
Fiction © Copyright Rie Sheridan Rose
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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More from Author Rie Sheridan Rose:

The Grotesquierie
Short Story: House Call

Twenty-two short horror stories written by women are here on display for your enjoyment or your perverse fascination. Within these pages, beauty becomes deadly, innocence kills, and karma is a harsh mistress. The Grotesquerie is now open…

 

Available on Amazon!

 

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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!

Evensong
by Ela Lourenco

I close my eyes, lulled into the peaceful state of waking sleep by the gentle tapping of the ancient lock against the door in the night’s whispering warm breeze.
I rock in the wooden chair passed down generations of my family, handcrafted by the great grandfather I was named after: Henry. I swing slowly to and fro as I have done for many a year, the creak of my special chair the orchestra accompanying the sweetest of voices. Little voices, singing as one… voices which have not yet lost the purity of innocence and childhood dreams. They usually fill me with a tranquillity unlike any other, but lately their chant is growing softer. Soon, I will barely be able to hear them.
I loathe to go into the noisy world outside my cabin but wearily I get up. Needs must, I think, as I stroke the little bodies huddled on the soft pink rug on the floor. It is time for me to add to my little choir of angels…
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 Lori Safranek @SafranekLori @Sotet_Angyal #LoH #fiction

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

Radiator Rage
by Lori Safranek

Calvin swore if this didn’t put some money in his pocket, he’d kick Denny’s ass up into his shoulder blades.
“We’re there,” Denny said, stopping so abruptly that Calvin ran into his back. Calvin gave him a push.
“Stupid, warn me when you’re gonna stop,” he growled.
“Anyway, we’re here. It’s right over there,” Denny said, pointing to the object of their night’s work.
The flashlight beam lit up a rusty, heavy looking heat radiator. If they could get it out of here, Calvin knew they’d make a pretty penny selling the huge piece of iron.
“How old’s that thing?” Steve asked. It would take all of them to drag the heavy iron radiator out of the building.
“No idea, but I remember my Grandma had something like it when I was a kid,” Denny said.
“You think we can get it out?” their friend, Steve, asked.
Calvin grabbed the flashlight out of Denny’s hand and walked up to the radiator. It was solid, for sure. They may have bitten off more than they could chew, he thought. He moved the flashlight beam over the length of the radiator, and squatted down to look under it.
The heat coming off of it felt good after the long cold trek to the vacant building.
“Hey, how’s this thing hooked up?”
“It’s not hooked up, man, this building’s empty.” Denny’s voice echoed. He shuffled a little closer. “No electricity or gas, no water, nothing.”
“Well, there’s heat coming off of it, dummy, so it’s hooked up somehow,” Calvin said.
“No way, man,” Denny crouched down beside him and looked under the register. He stood and moved to the other side of the radiator.
“Dude, there is no hookup. I can’t find anything,” he said.
Calvin sighed. He should have known better than to do business with this idiot.
“I thought you looked this over. You didn’t notice it’s putting out heat?”
“Cal, I don’t feel any heat. Maybe you’re having a hot flash,” Denny said, laughing a little. Calvin thought he might punch him.
Calvin stood.
“Let’s tip it over and see if we can figure it out,” he said.
The three men put on heavy work gloves they’d brought along.
“It looks too heavy for us,” Steve said, moving into position. “I guess tipping it will give us some idea if we can carry it out.”
They bent at the knee and each grabbed a section of the radiator. With howls of pain, Calvin jumped away from the hunk of iron shaking his hands to cool them off.
The other men stared at him, eyes wide, still gripping the radiator. How could they hold onto that thing? They must have better gloves than he had.
“I about burned my hands off,” he grumbled as he moved back into position. He grabbed the radiator again.
It took a minute for the pain to really hit him. By then, his gloves had melted away. His palms were stuck to the iron.  His screams had startled Denny and Steve and they’d moved away.
He pulled and pulled but his hands were stuck to the radiator and now he felt like he was being pulled forward. His forearms were touching the hot iron, his screams ignited again. His friends grabbed him around his stomach and tried to pull him away from the radiator but he was stuck.
Denny yelled at Steve to let go of Calvin when he saw the man’s face moving closer and closer to the hunk of metal they’d planned to steal.
“Let him go, man,” he shouted. “He’ll pull us in, too.”
Steve stumbled back, and that seemed to be all Calvin needed. His arms collapsed and his legs moved him forward. His face hit the radiator and the front of his body was in complete contact with the scorching metal.
The screams had stopped, but Calvin’s body continued to jerk against the radiator. Denny leaned over and lost every bite of food he’d eaten that day.
All that remained was a blackened skeleton, leaning against the rusted radiator. The smell in the air gagged both men and tears ran down their faces from the smoke, the stink and their fear.
They flattened themselves against a rusty piece of metal leaning against the basement wall. It made a horribly loud clanging sound and they both jumped. Steve looked at Denny, his face pale and sweaty.
Denny looked back at the radiator. The bones were breaking now, snapping into pieces and falling to the ground as ashes. His stomach tumbled again, but he managed to not vomit this time.
He turned to Steve and nodded his head toward the exit.
“Go,” he said, voice raspy and desperate. “He’s gone. Let’s go.”
Steve hurried to leave and stumbled on a piece of metal on the floor. With horror, Denny saw him falling right onto the radiator. He shouted at his friend to stop.
Steve’s hand grasped the cool iron and he avoided falling down. He stood up and looked at his own undamaged hand.
“What the hell, Denny?”
“Just go,” Denny said. He wasn’t smart anyway and this was something for minds greater than his. “Run. We need to run.”
Fiction © Copyright Lori Safranek
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com 

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More from Lori Safrenek:

lorisafranek_freakedoutFreaked Out: The Complete Freak Show Series

Freak Show is a collection of short stories based on the adventures of performers from Steiners Freak Show, a traveling circus side show. Steiner carefully selects his freaks so that they are genuinely blessed with real talents, none of his performers are fakes! From the lovely young Snake Charmer to the Tattooed Man whose tattoos fade away and relocate themselves on his body, every single one is the real thing! And Steiner’s family of freaks run into some frightening adventures that bring them near death! This isn’t some barker’s come on, folks, this is the real thing. Come to the freak show and see what happens after the sideshow closes!

Available on Amazon!

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

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

Of Mice and Ghosts
by Mary Ann Peden-Coviello

A pack of feral boys had gathered on the front porch – hooligans who planned to invade the McNeil House. Old Lady McNeil had been found dead here over a half century before. She’d lain in the kitchen, undiscovered and unmourned, for six months decaying into a heap of bone and carrion flesh. Eventually, a curious neighbor had investigated. Her screams and hysterics had brought more attention than did Old Lady McNeil’s actual corpse.
Rumor had it that her ghost still walked these empty rooms. Occasionally, someone heard strange sounds coming from the old house, usually late at night. Sensible people avoided the dilapidated place like the health hazard it was.
The boys on the porch egged each other on, punching shoulders and grinning like gargoyles.
“Go on, you wuss. You said you wasn’t scared.”
“Shut up. I’m checkin’ crap out.”
“Yaaaah.”
“You go first, butthead. It was your idea anyway.”
Old Lady McNeil remained silent as the clichéd tomb while the boys ginned up their courage to cross from the porch into the house. She knew they would. She’d seen their type before. She recognized family resemblances from long-ago tormenters, others who’d entered her home and wreaked destruction. Anger rose within her, lending her insubstantial self the strength to become visible.
The redheaded, jug-earred ruffian shoved the fat one, who stumbled across the threshold. All the boys thundered in then and crashed through the house like a pack of destructive curs, rampaging and howling, breaking any knickknack that wasn’t already shattered into shards. The fat one tore down the last tattered bit of curtain in the parlor, laughing at the dust that swirled into the air.
All the time, she watched, unseen, silent, growing angrier, growing more powerful with her rising emotion.
“Hey, look! A mouse!” A howl of bloodlust erupted from a half dozen throats. A dozen boots stamped and stomped, chasing the terrified rodent through the dining room. It shrieked at a pitch too high for human ears to hear, but Old Lady McNeil heard.
“Get it!”
“Kill it!”
“Squash it!”
The vicious crew chased the tiny grey mouse into a corner. The ringleader raised a foot to crush the little animal.
Emmaline McNeil didn’t hesitate. Hundreds of generations of mice she’d known, played with, loved since the first ones had kept watch over her while she’d lain undiscovered and rotting on the floor in front of her stove.
She stood over the defenseless, cowering mouse and breathed a mist of cold fog into the faces of the rabid fiends who would end the harmless little life.
“What was that?”
“It’s the ghost!”
“Let’s get outta here!”
She flitted to the front door and slammed it in their faces.  Their screams inflamed her rage even more. She was so strong now. The sharp tang of urine rose from their jeans.
Assuming the rotten face she’d worn when she was finally discovered, she manifested fully.  “Brave nasty little boys, are you? Strong enough to crush ferocious mousies? How about me? Can you stand against the likes of me?” She raised spectral arms and swooped forward, wailing, her mouth twisted and distorted.
She chose the lug-earred redhead for special attention. She wrapped ghostly arms around him and plastered her rotting face against his. With a high-pitched giggle, she licked his cheek, drooling protoplasm down his chin. The unfortunate boy’s eyes rolled back in his head, and he fainted dead away. The fat boy grabbed him by an arm and dragged him toward the front of the house. Emmaline McNeil allowed the terrified urchins to yank open the door. Reeking of terror and assorted bodily fluids, the boys fell through the entryway, onto the porch, and into the yard.
Old Lady McNeil put away the fearsome face and resumed her normal one.  The gentle rustling of mice accompanied her as she entered her dining room. The last unbroken piece of furniture in the house, her favorite dining chair, stood alone in its moldering glory. She settled in with the final newspaper delivered to the house so long ago. Too bad no one ever brought a new edition when they attempted to breach her defenses. She read yet again an article about Ike’s re-election, the happy mice playing at her feet.
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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