Don't Touch the Soap

Don't Touch the Soap
April 8, 2012 16 Comments Writing Stephanie Ayers

Unaware that his mother-in-law was listening, he confronted his wife about the cacophony that woke him at midnight the night before.

“What was it?” Lars said, sitting on the bed.

“Don’t ask questions you really don’t want the answer to,” Cora called from the bathroom.

“Did it work?”

Cora picked up a pink marbled bar. “It’s in the soap.”

Lars smiled. “Shall we do it tonight then?”

“If the insects let us.” Lars looked confused so she continued. “The cicadas have been busy. They‘ll drown out our words.”

“But we can do it?”

“Yes. Tonight’s good.”

* * * * *  * * * *  * *

Bursts of orange from the bonfire on the shore disrupted the moonlight on the pond.  Two figures danced around the bonfire, chanting in a foreign tongue. The fire rose and fell as they sang. Lars sprinkled the sulfur around the circle. Cora’s hand reached into her pocket and came up empty. A cackle exploded just beyond the circle. The dancing stopped and more figures emerged from behind the bush. A girl slid from Cora’s mother’s grasp; her head flattened from scalping and her blonde hair hanging in bloody curls. Milky eyes shined from her face, and she stumbled towards them. Lars lurched back in horror, emptying the contents of his belly in the process.

“Mother! What…” Cora screamed, shocked at the interruption.

“Quick!  Burn it!” Her mother said, tossing the pink bar through the air.

Cora caught it and dropped it in the fire. She leaped back as the girl burst into flames and continued towards them. Inflamed feet touched the sulfur, igniting the ring. Lars and Cora sprang from the circle. Her mother wrapped her arms around them.

“If you’re going to cast a spell to steal someone’s youth, make sure they’re completely dead before you use the ingredients!”

“But I didn’t!” Cora protested.  Even as she spoke, a fiery limb grabbed Lars and dragged him into the circle.

“No, but he did.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For the IndieInk Writing Challenge this week, Fran challenged me with “Unaware that his mother-in-law was listening, he confronted his wife about (fill in the rest of the story). ” and I challenged lisa with “Write a love story in 77 words.”

For this week’s Trifextra, the challenge is to write a response that is between 33 and 333 words long and uses the words cacophony, soap, and insects.  Use the words however you wish, but make sure that all three appear in your response.  Oh, and they must appear in order.

I always welcome and appreciate feedback. Please share your thoughts on this piece in a comment.

Thanks for stopping by and reading!

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Stephanie Ayers A published author with a knack for twisted tales, Stephanie Ayers is the Executive Creative Director of OWS Ink, LLC, a community for writers and readers alike. She loves a good thriller, fairies, things that go bump in the night, and sappy stories. When she is not writing, she can be found in Creative Cloud designing book covers and promotional graphics for authors.
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  1. 16 Comments

    fghart

    Fantastic! You did a great job with both prompts. I loved the twist at the end!

    Reply
    1. 16 Comments

      SAM

      Thanks Fran. It was a very inspiring prompt!

      Reply
  2. 16 Comments

    Carrie

    I always enjoy your horror pieces. I will say I was a bit confused and had to read it again to get that Lars did something behind his wife’s back. So his “question” to her in the beginning was covering up what he knew.

    Was the intention to steal youth? Or did Cora think she was doing some other spell?

    Reply
    1. 16 Comments

      SAM

      You got it right. The stolen youth was the intention, and the bar of soap the means. Lars was just a bit impatient, spoiling the spell and costing him his life. 😉

      Reply
  3. 16 Comments

    booguloo

    Like Carrie I was confused, but enjoyed the intensity of the story.

    Reply
    1. 16 Comments

      SAM

      I’m glad you enjoyed the intensity of the story. Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
  4. 16 Comments

    jesterqueen (@jesterqueen)

    The tension in that second half kept me scrolling down to find out what happened! The mother-in-law’s role was great. I was slightly confused as to what the wife thought they were doing if not the thing that got Lars killed. And I got a little lost without ‘he said’ and ‘she said’ some places at the beginning. But that last fiery arm dragging lars into the circle was perfect.

    Reply
    1. 16 Comments

      SAM

      The word count got the better of me here. I really wanted to make it work because the trifextra words went hand in hand with the indie ink prompt in inspiring me.

      Reply
      1. 16 Comments

        jesterqueen (@jesterqueen)

        I know what you mean — it’s so hard to contain it all at 333 words, and I can ABSOLUTELY see where the two prompts went together! In the beginning, I don’t understand quite why Lars is confused if, in the second section, he’s actually in on the spell and has been rushing it.

        I think the other thing throwing me still is ““But I didn’t!” Cora protested.” The line makes it seem like Cora had different intentions entirely. If the problem is that Lars has rushed things, then perhaps she can say “But I didn’t… that’s tomorrow” or something more along those lines? And maybe Mom can say “he already did”.

        That image of the mother coming in with the scalped hair is gruesomely wonderful! That’s the moment that ‘made’ the story for me!

        Reply
  5. 16 Comments

    According To Mags (@AccordingToMags)

    Holy cow. That was intense. I had to read it twice over. The ending was a great twist.

    Reply
  6. 16 Comments

    momshieb

    Holy crap.
    wow.
    Scary and amazing.

    Reply
  7. 16 Comments

    jannatwrites

    That was an unexpected ending! The pieces fell into place better on my second read through. Nice job – I like surprise endings.

    Reply
  8. 16 Comments

    Trifecta (@trifectawriting)

    Thanks for linking up this weekend. We hope you can come back for the weekday challenge too. Remember to check out our Facebook and Twitter pages for news on what’s happening on the site.

    Reply
  9. 16 Comments

    Tara R.

    That was seriously creepy, but in a great way. Remind me to never buy any pink soap.

    Reply
  10. 16 Comments

    lexy3587

    eerie!
    I really enjoyed that – so much action in it, and it all works together.

    Reply
    1. 16 Comments

      SAM

      Oh sweet. I’m so glad you didn’t feel confused by this. 🙂

      Reply

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