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Lilith’s Children – Horror Short Fiction

February 8, 2016

House haunted by victims of an ancient cult (note: my story kind of went in a different direction)

Prompt Suggestion from Brandy Sharpe via Facebook


 

in_the_name_of_goddess_lilith_by_amrhamza-d3dvzsw

art credit: In the Name of Goddess Lilith by amrhamza

Lilith’s Children

Lenore Sinclair rapped on the ajar door. waited.

“Honey? What are doing up so late?” she finally asked when there was no response.

Michael McDermott, her fiancé, looked up from his desk. “Research.”

“On the house again?” she inquired as she came into the den and sat down on leather chair beside him.

He nodded. “It just doesn’t make sense. This place is worth ten times the money we paid for it.”

“It’s a gorgeous old mansion. Who cares why it was a steal? Come to bed.”

Michael shook his head. “In a bit. I found a book on this area from the 1920s that I want to finish looking through first.”

Lenore sighed. “Okay, but don’t forget we are meeting with the interior designer in the morning.”

Michael looked up from the book and smiled. “I won’t forget. I promise I will be up in another hour.”

Once Lenore left, Michael dug back into the book. He flipped through page after page, but the only history he could find on the house was that it was once owned by the St. Clair family and it was a popular hang-out for the rich and famous out of Washington. He closed his eyes and leaned back in his chair.

Sometime later, he was startled and sat upright again. Had he fallen asleep? He rubbed his eyes.

In the distance, he heard voices. Chanting. He rose from his chair and walked to the doorway. The sound intensified. He moved quietly down the darkened hallway. The further he explored, the louder the voices became. Finally, he stopped at the entrance to the grand living room, a space large enough to host a ball or a party of some sort. Before his imagination could even conjure a scene, the room came alive with men and women standing in a circle, dressed in cloaks. Once they noticed his presence, they turned and stared at him. Their eyes hollowed. Their faces pale. Lifeless. Michael gasped. Rubbed his eyes again.

“He’s here,” one of the female cloaked figures whispered.

“Bring him to me,” another female voice said.

A male broke out of the circle and headed toward Michael. He tried to turn and run, but he was frozen in place. He looked back at the circle and saw an alluring naked woman standing in the center. Her skin was as white as a new snowfall. Her black hair flowed down her body, covered her breasts and stomach. Her eyes shimmered from green to red and back to green again. Her crimson lips mouthed “Come to me.”

The man stretched out his hand to Michael. He glanced down at it. Long, bony, a large onyx ring upon the index finger. And just as he touched the man’s hand, everything disappeared. Michael stood alone in the empty room.

“What the hell?” he whispered as he tried to grasp what had just happened. What he had just seen. “God I must be losing my mind!” Confused, he scratched his head. Stood there a moment longer. Shook his head a few times. Rubbed his tired eyes. Then turned around, his body no longer frozen, and went to bed.

When he awoke the next morning, Michael remembered what he had witnessed the night before. Had he dreamt it all? He wanted to ask Lenore if she’d heard or seen anything, but she was already dressed and downstairs. He stumbled down the hall to the bathroom. Stared at himself in the mirror. His blood-shot eyes stared back at him. He leaned down, turned on the facet and placed his cupped hands under the cold running water. After a few splashes upon his face, he looked up again into the mirror. The woman from the night before stared back at him. Startled, he jumped back from the sink. Blinked. Looked again into the mirror, but she was gone.

“I am losing my mind,” he muttered as he dried his face and hands on a bath towel.

“Michael? Michael?” Lenore called to him from the bottom of the staircase.

Michael walked out of the bathroom and bent over the railing. “Be down in a minute!”

He returned to the bedroom and dressed, still pondering the night before and the face in his mirror. He couldn’t get the image of that woman out of his mind. Moments later, he descended the stairs. His mind elsewhere, he nearly tripped. As he righted himself, the woman appeared again. This time at the bottom of the staircase. Her hands outstretched. Her lips chanting but no sound came out. Michael held his breath and squished his eyes shut.

“There you are! Come on, the designer is here!”

Michael opened his eyes again and it was now Lenore standing at the bottom of the stairs. He breathed out a long sigh and walked down the remaining stairs.

The designer was set up in the kitchen, book logs of designer drape and carpet samples, pictures of furniture and fixtures sprawled out across the kitchen table. Michael smiled at her as he joined Lenore at the top of the table.

“Michael, this is Nancy Rivers. She decorated this house years ago for another family. Isn’t that fascinating?”

Michael nodded. His fiancee’s chipper demeanor did nothing for his own somber one, but he would let her have her cheerfulness and not worry her with all he had seen the night before and that morning.

“Oh yes, when the Clarkson’s owned this house, I did all of the designs. It’s just a shame they didn’t stay longer,” Nancy replied as she shifted books and papers around on the table.

“Oh really?” Michael said, suddenly interested.

“Yes, they lived here less than a month after the renovations. It was all so strange. Eleanor Clarkson had just given birth to their first child. It died a tragic death, the poor thing.” Nancy said and then suddenly turned to Lenore. “You know, your ancestors owned this place, Miss Sinclair. Of course, they were St. Clair’s then. Mrs. Clarkson was a relative too. You both look so much like Lady Leonora. There is a portrait of her in the local museum. Hold on,” Nancy said as she dug around inside her portfolio bag. “Here,” she said handing a small booklet to Lenore. “This is the history of Greymoor Manor, as it was known in the 1920s. Go to the last page.”

Lenore flipped to the last page of the booklet and gasped. She turned the book around so that Michael could see.

“She does look like me! How thrilling!”

Michael stared at the picture. It was that woman. He looked up at Lenore and then back to the picture. The resemblance was definitely there. It was so uncanny.

“Rumor has it that the whole family was into some sort of occult activity. Lilith worshipers, if I remember correctly. They say that Lady Leonora murdered her baby. A sacrifice of sorts. Mere rumors I am sure,” Nancy remarked.

Michael just stood there, frozen. Lady Leonora. Lilith. Murdered babies. And Lenore was pregnant. He couldn’t wrap his mind around it all. Suddenly, he bolted from the kitchen and into the grand living room.

And there she stood, Lady Leonora, holding two dead baby in her pale arms. “I will have yours too,” she whispered and then let out a cackling laugh. Her wicked laughter echoed in Michael’s ears as he watched her fade away.

©February 2016 Lori Carlson. All rights reserved.

(1235 words)

 

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