You may hate me tonight. I am going to play with your emotions a little. But in the process I have a bonus to make up for the future bit of torment I am going to subject you to. My story “Silky Edge of the Night” has been published in the most recent issue of Sirens Call magazine. This issue was their Men in Horror issue and it looks to be a good one. This is an answer to their previous Women in Horror issue. You can pick it up for free on their website.
Now I hope that the promise of all sorts of horror will soften the blow a little because after that we have a little work. You see, the piece I am giving you tonight is intentionally unfinished. It will be finished in the near future but how I go about that and the particulars are dependent on you. Now, I am not giving you any control of how the story goes, that takes all the fun out of it for me. But what I am offering to you, the reader is the opportunity to say if you want to read this as it is written.
Basically, I let the keys talk to me last night and I ran across this bit of an exchange. Using the iceberg metaphor this is like the very tip and there feels like there is quite a bit more story underneath. My proposal to you, is when do you want to see the rest of it? My thoughts are I can show it to you somewhat on the fly. This means I will share new sections of this story on Mondays for a little while, at least for as long as it takes us to find the end of it. Or we can say to heck with it and the whole story will arrive when I have finished it.
Why this is important to you… If I wait to share it I may not get back to it right away. I have been known to do that at times. But if we choose to find out what is going on and what happens next, then it will be one of the first things I share with you.
Somethings to think about. The story does seem a little cut and dry right now. With our knowledge of history and the world it could very well seem like this is a certain type of story. But around here, nothing is ever what it seems. There could very well be something far more sinister at work in this.
For me personally, I have absolutely no idea where this story is going yet. I am curious to find out though. Shall we take a journey together?
And so we are now making this journey. Click the links to find the next section of the story.
A knock at the Door
The soft beats on the door came in quick succession. When they didn’t move from their hiding place under the table, the knocks came again.
“But what if it’s just the neighbors,” Charlotte said. She whispered the words, but her voice boomed in Stan’s ears.
“Be quiet.” He spoke through clenched teeth. “Have you ever heard the neighbors knock?”
Charlotte opened her mouth like she would answer “One Second” to the person at the door. Stan reached out and covered her mouth with his hand.
“Don’t you dare,” he said. “Don’t even think about it. I don’t care who it is. They knocked and we don’t let knockers into the house… ever.” He glared at her as he pulled his hand away. She inhaled through her mouth and his hand covered it again. “What did I say?”
She reached up and placed her hand on his, her fingers wrapped around his index finger. She pulled his hand away, gently, softly, without saying a word till she could talk unmuffled. “I won’t call out. I won’t do anything that will let them know we’re in here.” She leaned back, her back against the wall.
“Do you hear that? I think they moved on.” Muffled knocks broke the still air. They were further away, across the hall. The knocks followed the same pattern. Three raps at the door and then a pause. Followed by three more raps a short time later.
The neighbors must have hidden as well. He never thought the Miller’s would see the knocks as a problem. Stan went to the door and looked out the peephole. The man at the door across the hall was dressed in a khaki uniform with a yellow armband, the man appeared to not be in a hurry. He leaned against the wall beside the door as he knocked on it. After a short wait he turned away, toward other doors in the short hallway.
The man walked with military precision, his heels clicked across the dull grey concrete. Stan watched him till he passed beyond the distance the peephole covered. He didn’t move to get a better view, didn’t open the door. Instead he took a seat on their couch and listened. He strained his ears in hopes of hearing conversation, in case the man actually found someone home.
“Well?” Charlotte said.
“The person in the hall,” she said. “Big bad boogyman? Or were you imagining things?”
Stan glanced at the door. “It’s worse than I thought. The man was a comfort inspector.” He leaned forward and adjusted the loose items on their coffee table. “He’ll be back.”
She watched him for a couple minutes, then turned away and walked into the kitchen. Stan released the air he had held in his lungs for the whole exchange. It felt like weights lifting off of him as the air emptied from his lungs. “They’ll be back,” he said.
Let me know in the comments your thoughts on this. Do you want more now? Or should we skip it and have a jelly donut?