Lizzie Koch’s Picture Choice: 1
Title: An Uninvited Guest
Lorna’s Halloween party was ready. She was ready and with broom in hand, she walked down the cobwebbed stairs to greet her guests.
“You look very bewitching,” Mason said, exposing his fangs.
“Not so bad yourself, even if modern.” She untied his tie, letting it hang loose before unbuttoning a button or two, ruffling his black hair. “Much better.” A kiss left him with crimson smudged lips giving him that just fed look as he greeted the guests.
The weather was kind for October, unusually mild and dry and the moon came out to play in all her glory as the clouds shied away, knowing they were uninvited. Candles flickered, bringing to life carved pumpkins dotted around the garden as the party spilled out from the house.
A rousing cheer stopped all conversation and Lorna looked over to the apple bobbing where Mason stood, his black hair dripping, with a shiny red apple locked in his mouth.
“He’s such a good sport,” Tracey cooed, “a few more beers are well and truly needed before Dan even thinks about it.”
“Mason’s a show off,” Lorna joked.
“Totally agree,” said a woman’s voice who had sidled up next to Lorna unnoticed. Both Lorna and Tracey looked at her. She was captivating. Her long, flowing raven coloured hair framed a pale face where eyes as black as coal sparked like diamonds. She licked her ruby lips, before looking at the two women. “I work with Mason,” she said with a smile bearing the whitest teeth before wandering off to mingle.
Both Lorna and Tracey followed her with their eyes, watching how she entered conversions with ease.
“Who the hell was that?” Tracey asked.
“I have absolutely no idea.” Lorna couldn’t take her eyes off the woman as she sauntered from group to group; she seemed to know everyone and going by the response, they knew her. Funny how Mason hadn’t said he had a new colleague at the office; something he usually never failed to mention. She coiled around the men in their little group, laughing as Mason cracked yet another punch line. Envy rose in Lorna. She wanted to go over, stamp her scent all over Mason but her pride stopped her being so foolish. It was a party. People flirted. A bit rude flirting with the host right in front of the hostess but flirting was harmless as far as Mason was concerned.
“Who’s the girl?” Lorna finally managed to ask Dan as he helped himself to cold chicken. He shrugged.
“You don’t know her?”
“Nope, never seen her before. Thought she was one of your friends.”
“Why do you say that?”
“She said.” He finished the drumstick, picking up another with his zombie made up hand. “Great spread. Better than braaaains,” he laughed as he dragged himself away.
“Looks like you’ve seen a ghost,” Mason said, taking Lorna in his arms when he finally decided to spend time with her, “although I suspect Dan was telling another awful zombie joke.”
“Do you know that woman, the one standing with Tracey and Dan.”
“No, she said she works with you.”
Lorna shook her head. “No one knows who she is. She makes me uncomfortable. Can you ask her to leave?” From Mason’s expression, Lorna could tell he was about to protest. It was nearing midnight and the party would soon be over save for a few close friends. The woman approached. Lorna wanted to avoid her stare but couldn’t and felt her black eyes penetrate deep within her. She seemed to glide effortlessly, her long, black cloak wrapped around her.
“Great party,” she purred. “I love Halloween. It’s usually my busiest night of the year.”
“Really? Are you in the trade?” Mason asked.
“Yes. But I’ve been suspended from the Council of Witches.” Mason laughed. His laugh was contagious, filled with warmth but Lorna clutched him tight, her face as straight as a poker, hard as stone.
“Who are you?” Lorna finally asked; her voice strong belying a fear creeping through her bones.
“Clarissa is my name. I am a witch of course.” By now a small group of people had gathered around to hear. Some laughed at her response, others stared, the same feeling as Lorna deep within them. “You know this is true Lorna; which is why you fear me. I can smell your fear. A witch can smell a human’s fear just as she can smell the lust in a man.” She looked directly at Mason. “Those who mock me will want proof.”
“Yeah,” Dan shouted drunkenly along with a few others.
“No, just leave,” cried Lorna, panic rising in her voice, “just leave.” But Clarissa closed her eyes, raising her arms to the full moon. Her sleeves fell, revealing transparent white skin as she chanted words with no meaning, words with no sense. With one hand, she reached out, touching Mason’s bare chest. He didn’t flinch, didn’t hear Lorna’s pleas to move away, didn’t feel Clarissa’s nails dig into his flesh, didn’t hear the terrified gasp from Lorna. His eyes closed.
Clarissa opened her eyes, wide sparkling, filled with mischief. She let her grasp go and trickles of blood ran down Mason’s chest. He couldn’t move despite Lorna’s touch, trying to pull him away.
“Mason?” Lorna shook him. His eyes opened. Lorna let out a shrill cry as black eyes of a stranger stared back; his beautiful green eyes and their memories gone. The blood on his chest started to run back into his body and the nail marks healed. He grinned. Fangs glinted against thin bluish lips, his tanned glow gone. But white wasn’t a word Lorna would use. Her fear was replaced by awe as the beauty of Mason’s skin captivated her; smooth, lucent, soft to the touch, cold. “Mason?” she whispered. He looked down into Lorna’s wide eyes, tracing her features, down to her neck where he could see her pulse beating a rhythmic, inviting tune.
“Leave her, for now, she won’t be going anywhere.” Mason obeyed Clarissa despite the hunger and desire overwhelming him. “There is more for you to hunt.” A thin smile formed as Mason eyed the guests, hearing every beat of every heart. Screaming filled the night as they ran like ants scurrying out of the rain. “It’s Halloween! Let the fun begin!” Clarissa sang as Mason quenched his thirst in a frenzied blur as Lorna could only watch in a terror filled trance.
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I dream of sharing my work with the big wide world one day as a published author. Right now, I share flash fiction with a wonderful community of writers and friends. If you liked this story, then why not visit my blog at http://40somethingundomesticateddevil.blogspot.co.uk/ for more. Thank you. Love Lizzie x