“The Angry Woman” By Marlena Frank
Back before Katrina dumped the Gulf on top of New Orleans, my sister and I decided to celebrate Halloween on Bourbon Street. We met up with four of our online friends who we had never met or spoken to outside of chat windows. This was at a time of pagers and pay phones, so it was a little nerve-wracking. Fortunately they were all awesome people, and we talked just as easily in person as we did online. We picked up our bags at the Louis Armstrong International Airport and drove down to see the hotel owner.
You see, we were all horror fans, that’s what we bonded over, so the older the better as far as accommodations were concerned. After getting lost on the confusing streets of New Orleans without the benefit of GPS to guide us, we finally found his office. The owner was a short man with black hair and a thick creole accent. He owned several houses in the Garden District, and had to find the right key on his keyring. I couldn’t understand a word he said, but fortunately one of our friends was fluent.
It was late by the time we found the place and made our way to the rooms. We were all exhausted by that point and it was late, so we decided to retire early. My sister and I had a room to ourselves, beautifully done up in pinks and woods, though all the pictures we took in the room looked washed out and sickly when we eventually developed them. Opposite of our room was a short half-door, used to access the attic space on the second floor. It was taller and wider than most I had seen, at about half the height of a door, but with no handle to open it. Odd, I thought, trying to quell the concern in my mind. Perhaps it was to prevent children from entering.
That night I dreamed of a woman, with black holes for eyes and a gaping mouth shrouded in a flowing white robe, hovering over me. She was screaming. Something was very wrong, but I didn’t know what. Her words were jumbled together and I couldn’t make any sense of it. I wasn’t supposed to be there. I needed to get out.
The next morning I awoke, terrified and exhausted. I felt like I hadn’t slept at all. The bedroom I had so appreciated the night before was now foreboding. I didn’t belong there, I was trespassing, and I wasn’t sure why. I woke my sister and she immediately told me about her dream… which was the same as mine. Alarmed, we went to tell our friends in the next room. One of them had been trapped in the shower that morning. She had been banging on the simple shower door, and had to scream for one of her roommates to help her. She had tried the handle, but it hadn’t work. Oddly enough, it had taken ten minutes for her three roommates just next door to hear her. When one of the roommates tried the shower handle, it turned without a problem. Simply an old shower? Perhaps the steam had tightened the door frame? We weren’t sure, but you can bet we didn’t stay in that place another night.
Oh, and the dream my sister and I had? Our friends had the same dream too.
Marlena Frank has always been fascinated with monsters. As she’s gotten older, her definition of what makes a monster has evolved, but her love of them has only grown stronger. Now she’s lucky enough to be able to write about them.
Marlena’s work appears in a smattering of anthologies from The Sirens Call eZine to Heroic Fantasy Quarterly. Her stories lean toward weird horror, creature horror, and YA fantasy. When she isn’t thinking up strange tales, she is an active member in the Atlanta cosplay community.
For more of her writing, see her blog: http://lenafrank.wordpress.com
The She-Wolf of Kanta
“A pair of yellow eyes caught the moonlight and locked onto hers.”
Mercy has always dreamed of becoming a werewolf trapper like her father. In Kanta, one must learn how to survive one way or another. A dark-skinned, blue-eyed young beauty, Mercy understands that she brings out the beast in monsters and men. When a routine werewolf delivery turns into a vicious assault from a pair of human traffickers, Mercy’s life changes forever. Somehow she must endure in a dangerous city where women and werewolves are hunted.