Hello my lovelies.

I fear that I've neglected you of late.  Wait.  That is how spooky people talk isn't it?

Maybe not.

At any rate, it's about damn time I posted something on my blog, and rather than rant and rave or shamelessly self-promote like most bloggers, I just like to give you some content that you might actually enjoy.  And to me, that means delivering a free short story that I've really thought about and worked hard to produce.  I really hope that you enjoy this little gem – it's only about 500 words long so it's easy to digest in a blog post.  Thanks, in advance, for reading it.  I will try and get a video and audio version up soon.

So here's your free spooky short story:

Floorboards

Simon knew that on a cold night like this, the old oak floorboards shifted and creaked. It didn't bother him. It gave the place character. It was a good, solid home, built to stand the test of time, and Simon felt safe, even though he was alone. Alone. Just the way he liked it.

He enjoyed the stillness, the solitude. And it was even better if, like tonight, the empty rooms were wrapped in soft, velvet darkness.

So as he began his careful routine of checking the rooms on the ground floor, he did not switch on the ceiling lights nor did he use any of the table lamps; their unkind glare would be most unwelcome. And anyway, he had no need of extra illumination. His eyes had grown accustomed to gloom, and he sensed the subtle shifts in the depth of the shadows as he slipped softly from room to room.

In the hallway, he paused and tilted his head to one side. Another creak from the floorboards above? He stood perfectly still and closed his eyes. No. It had, perhaps, been his mind playing tricks on him. He opened his eyes. Silly man, he thought. After all, what could there possibly be to frighten him in an empty house?

He headed toward the stairs. It was time.

But as he placed his foot on the bottom step, he heard something that made him stop in his tracks. And this time he was sure. This time, it could not have been his imagination.

Slowly, he turned to seek out the source of the sound. There. The old fashioned telephone sat on a small table in the hallway. And it was the only thing that could've made the small, insistent, single beep that had shocked Simon to the core.

The blood drained from his face. Somewhere in the dark house, someone had just picked up one of the other handsets. This was the only thing that could've caused the main phone to make that sound.

He was not alone.

Simon fought the urge to rush to the phone and grab the handset. If I do that, he thought, they'll know exactly where I am. And how would they react? Simon ran a hand over his face. Whoever it was, he mustn't make them panic.

He took a breath and carried on up the stairs, moving as quickly as he could. He placed his weight carefully on each step, his shoes sinking gently into the thick carpet. He did not make a sound.

In moments, he reached the top of the stairs. Here, the same thick carpet would muffle his furtive footsteps. He crossed to the nearest door and stood, listening.

Yes. This was the place. From beyond the door came the faintest traces of a man's voice; hushed and urgent.

Simon leaned closer to the door, pressed his ear against the painted wood. And now, he can just make out the words: “Yes,” they said. “I’m sure. You must come quickly. There's… there's somebody in my house.”

** The End **

a dark assortment - dark stories horror stories

I hope you got a little kick from that story.  Floorboards 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 little bit of that old clickety-click magic that you do so well:

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Thanks in advance for sharing and/or commenting and/or doing a funky little dance.

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