As part of the 2013 Coffin Hop
This anthology is available for purchase here; all proceeds go to the charity LitWorld.org to help encourage children’s literacy throughout the world and is a first collection of stories from the annual Coffin Hop online horror extravaganza.
All the links to the Coffin Hop participants can be found here – do pop along to see what they’re up to!
2) Flash Fiction Competition run by Lost World Press:
For those keen to flex those scribbling muscles, why not try out the Flash Fiction competition on Lost World Press (with Amazon voucher for prizes!) : Flash Fiction Halloween 750 max, all things Halloween in Speculative manner (full details on the site) Happy Spooking ! Don’t forget to hop along to all the others taking part in the Coffin Hop (links on the site)
As we wind down towards the witching hour, (and the end of the Giveaway!) here is another bit of nonsense in celebration of the Coffin Hop…
A quiet tap at the door.
He had been waiting for close on half an hour, and at last it came.
The first time he looked, he had caught sight of a movement at the end of the corridor, just tucking away round the corner.
The time after that, a whisper of air, playing about his shoulders, caused him to jump back inside and slam the door shut. Now it was locked, and remained so.
He should have left well alone.
He had been warned about opening the secret room. Still, he had persisted, deciding it would make the perfect study. The workmen had refused to work there after dark. There had been accidents and delays – nothing too serious, but . . .
Once the work was done, he had congratulated himself on his decision – the view from the window was entrancing, and the comfort within quite seductive.
His enjoyment lasted barely a week.
Now, his evenings alone were never quiet. He sought increasingly any excuse to be out of the house, but one cannot forever be trading on friends and acquaintances, and other pursuits, the theatre and suchlike, were either too far or too costly.
That morning, Cook had handed in her notice. Reason? She was not to be put upon. She was not to stay in a house where there were such goings on.
The other domestics were not live-in. So he was the only one there, come evening. Supposedly, the only one.
The sound came again. Not so much tap-tap this time, more of a soft thud, as of a large dog’s paw, pressed urgently against the door panel, in that way dogs have when they wish to be let out – or in. Unmistakable sound that, of claws. Was it a dog, then? Had he been terrifying himself witless because some stray had somehow managed to get in? Should he open the door, show it the way out into the garden, give it some food?
Scratch, scratch, thud, thud, tap, tap. Now the door is trembling slightly in its frame.
That is no dog, he is certain. At least, not only a dog.
‘Who’s there?’ he calls out. He considers, as he speaks, that this was a mistake. Were they burglars, trying to find their way in, then he would have been better employed in not giving away his presence, but in escaping by means of the window . . . which refuses to budge. Some enthusiastic over painting, the damp, or age, whatever the reason, it is stuck fast. He is a virtual prisoner.
On the tapping and thudding continues, at times lesser, at other times greater, till it seems the door must surely burst open. On and on at intervals throughout the night . . .
When the housekeeper knocks on the door in the morning, she is answered with a scream and the sound of breaking glass.
They find him unconscious in the garden with the wonderful view, badly cut and bruised. Months of feverish babbling follow as he makes a slow and painful recovery.
The study has been bricked up since then, and a For Sale sign put up in the front.