Nearly a fortnight has passed since an outcry of shrill cackles chilled my spine. As the full moon rose, I followed the raucous laughter to what I thought was an abandoned arcade, where, lit by the Hunter’s Sanguine Moon, dozens of women swept from the entrance. The door, heavy with its burden of criss-crossing boards, creaked in harmony with their voices. Dressed in whirls of dark fabric, only their faces, pale as lilies, and glittering eyes reflected the blood-red light. After the last was swallowed by the night, the door remained ajar, tempting me…almost calling to my curiosity.
Too timid to investigate the shop in darkness, I returned in the next morning to find it still open…still waiting. With sweat beading across my brow, I approached with care, and hearing no noise and seeing no sign of movement, I tiptoed around the cracked door, taking care not to touch anything. Inside, a bare bulb shone above a table littered with animal bones. I picked up a long bone, and the skull resting on the table gnashed its teeth and snarled, “The curious shall be visited on All Hallow’s Eve.” The bone in my hand clattered onto the table, and I bolted through the door to find nightfall had descended, and a woman’s laugh winged past me on a chill breeze.
Tea Leaf Tales is a series of original ten-sentence short stories by Marsha A. Moore, relating to photos/scenes that resonate with her.