So here's a little thing I'm trying out.

Personally, I hate having to read stories in a blog post unless they're flash fiction with less than a thousand words.  The blog posts that I like to read, tend to be very short.  So how should I share this 2,000 word short story with you in a way that makes sense to me?

Well, I'll tell you.

I'll make a mini-series and post up an episode each day.  Each post will be a bite-sized snippet of story deliciousness, packed with nutritious words and added essential vitamins.

OK.  So there aren't any vitamins.  But the story will be measured into daily doses so…. something, something, metaphor, analogy… you get the gist.

I hope you enjoy today's dose of story medicine.  A link at the end will help you navigate to all the parts.

Here's your free short story mini-series:

Safety – Part 1

Everyone knew about the escaped prisoner.  He was armed, they said.  He was dangerous, an Islamic extremist, a suspected terrorist.  Armed police patrolled the streets in pairs, their fingers resting on the trigger guards of their sub-machine guns.  The teachers at Mark’s school had given them all stern talks about keeping off the streets, going straight home and reporting anything suspicious.  It was all very exciting.  But what Mark really liked, was the helicopter.  From the landing that led to their flat on the top floor, you could watch the blue and yellow helicopter circling over the city.  Sometimes it swooped low and hovered, like a hawk homing in on its prey.  And at night, if Mark crept out onto the landing and switched the lights off, he could pick out the helicopter’s distinctive port and starboard lights.  Then he could easily spend an hour tracking the helicopter's path as it wove through the night and soared above the sleeping streets.  And occasionally, if he was lucky, the helicopter’s searchlight would cut down through the darkness, seeking out its target.  It was better than TV.

But on this night, a vicious storm hurled the cold rain hard against the window, and Mark couldn't see a thing.  He sighed.  There was nothing he could do but hope the weather would clear.  He hadn’t even seen the helicopter yet.  But perhaps that was something to do with the vivid streaks of lightning that, every now and then, spat from the streetlight-tinged clouds to split the sky in two.  Mark screwed up his eyes in concentration and tried to stare out through the rain-blurred glass.  Will the helicopter even be out there in this weather? he wondered.  Surely it would be too dangerous.  And if they are flying, he thought, I'll bet they can't see a thing in this weather.  He nodded to himself.  Even their special thermal cameras were no match for this downpour.  Mark scratched his chin and yawned.  He would give it another half an hour.  Perhaps by then, something good might happen.  Something exciting.  Something to brighten up his dull day.

***

Twenty-five minutes later, a door slammed, the noise echoing up the empty stairwell.  Mark frowned.  It happened all the time.  Someone staggering home from the pub; drunk, clumsy and careless.  Quietly, Mark crossed the landing and leaned over the railing.  That's weird, he thought.  The whole stairwell was in darkness, and that never happened.  At night, there was always a glow from the wall lights.  They were even meant to work in an emergency.  True, a few of them were usually broken, so there was always one or two landings that were gloomy.  But the stairwell was never completely dark.  Not like this.

Mark stared down into the bottomless blackness.  He pulled a face.  In the daylight, the long drop down the centre of the stairwell didn't bother him.  But this was creepy.  It made his stomach squirm.  He took a breath and started to turn away.  And that was when he saw it.

Far below him, perhaps near the ground floor, a thin beam of light danced crazily across the stairwell.  Mark held his breath.  There was definitely someone there.  Heavy footsteps grated against the rough concrete steps as somebody shuffled upwards.  Or were they going down the stairs?  Mark tilted his head and listened, but he couldn't make sense of the echoes.

He stood still and watched the drunken beam of light.  Yes.  It was getting closer.  Whoever it was, they were climbing the stairs, coming towards him.  The hairs on the back of Mark's neck stood on end.  Who was it?  What did they want?  And seriously, why the hell weren't the emergency lights on?

****

Don't Miss Part 2 – Come back tomorrow or follow this blog to have it emailed to you via this efficient form:

Don't Miss Part 2

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I hope you got a flavour of the story from Part 1. Part 2 will be here tomorrow and I'll use the following tag so you can find all the parts: mini-series safety

I'll also be posting up the audio version and maybe a youtube video soon as well. Come back soon to make sure you don't miss Part 2.

Safety will be part of my new collection of dark short stories, which will be coming out soon.  If you'd like to be one of the first to read it, you can get a free Advanced Reader Copy with just a click or two:

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Thanks in advance for sharing, commenting and just being you.

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