PASSING THE TORCH
by L.L. Sanders
Mesa Kingston's first memory of burying a corpse was at eight years old. Back then it had been the carcass of a large lizard her dad found that they buried in the backyard of their isolated cottage. At age fourteen, the body of a young lady accompanied the reptile's remains, and ever since, an accumulation of female bodies began to grow. Now, the only way Mesa can stop the haunting screams of the dead is by drowning them out with flames. Or is there more to the blaze than even she can perceive?
The wailing sirens grow louder as they approach, making the singed hairs on my arms stand up as anticipation prickles beneath my skin. Strands of my hair blow against my face, tickling my nose and briefly reminding me of the life I was willingly leaving behind. No more fussing over which shampoos and leave-in conditioners were best suited for my hair, no more being embarrassed when the manicurist added the dull-pink nail polish to my nails that unintentionally blends with my natural skin tone, no more ordinary life for an ordinary girl.
But have I ever been an ordinary girl with an ordinary life, or was my urge to be normal greater than my reality? That question was too obvious to answer, and I would've chuckled at the ridiculousness of it at any other time.
Now as I walk farther from the cottage along the narrow trail—worn and barren from the years of traffic—I'm hit with a devastating realization … I can still hear the agonizing screams.
No matter how much or how long I try to shut out the noise, I fail. Nothing helps, not a thought, a memory, not even the smell of burnt wood in the air can distract me from the noise. Each tactic eventually leads me right back to the screams.
I grab the wire of the makeshift fence with one hand, the fence my dad had built to separate our property from the rest of the desert. It didn't matter much. Our cottage was the only structure for many miles, built by Grandpa decades ago near a remote lake. Even so, erecting a fence and creating a yard may have been Dad's attempt at being normal too.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
The L.L. stands for Leslie Lee. I write erotic romance and post-apocalyptic/dystopian fiction under Leslie Lee Sanders.
But horror and thriller fiction is what I grew up on, what inspires me, and what began my pursuit to authorship. I’ve written many short scary stories since the 6th grade. Now they’re much more mature in general, thanks to the wide range of emotion and experience I’ve encountered over the years.
I’m a huge fan of horror and psychological thrillers in every fashion, including movies, books, art, campfire tales, etc. Some of my favorite stories are those that twist at the end or are ambiguous with deep societal or morality themes. This includes dystopias like Hugh Howey’s Wool, psychological thrillers like Shutter Island, and popular and classic horror/romances like V.C. Andrews’s Flowers in the Attic, my favorite.
All my ideas start with a twist, which is exactly how most of my stories end.
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