Photograph provided by Robert Santafede
The rain had stopped, but the night was heavy with moisture. It was just after midnight and the road was deserted. Dan’s headlights cut through the night and were the only relief from the dark. He yawned and rubbed his eyes. He should have spent the night in London with friends, but he was eager to get home for the Summer. His final exams at University had left him drained.
His journey was almost over and he sped along the A66 knowing that within an hour he would be home. Something ran across the road in front of him and he braked, almost hitting it. What was that? It wasn’t a deer, it looked like a man! Dan pulled over and stopped the car. He turned off the engine and rubbed his eyes.
Dan opened the window allowing the cold night air to penetrate the car. After taking a couple of deep breaths, he tried to start the car. The engine was dead.
“Damn” he said as he hammered on the steering wheel. Exhausted and frustrated he picked up his cell phone. No signal. “Damn” he said again.
Dan got out of the car and looked around him. He could see a house in the distance, a house he had never noticed before. Hardly surprising as he usually traveled along this road at over seventy miles an hour. Lights shone from the windows giving him hope as he walked along the road. Less than ten minutes brought him to the driveway and as his feet crunched on the gravel, the huge building loomed in front of him.
Lights shone dimly from the leaded glass windows of the gothic structure. Dan approached the door slowly. It was awfully late to be knocking on a stranger’s door and asking for help. He tried his cell phone again. Dead!
As he walked up the steps to the front door the lights went out. He was rooted to the spot for a few seconds. The hairs on the back of his neck stood on end. Was someone watching him? He turned around trying to find those unseen eyes. His imagination was getting the better of him. He heard a sound behind him, a low growling, what was that? He ran forward and hammered on the huge wooden door.
It opened slowly and he stepped inside, into the darkness.
The Carlisle Police found Dan’s car the following morning, but there was no sign of Dan. They searched the area for several days in vain. A couple of weeks later a hiker found a cell phone in the ruins of an old building just off the A66. There were several missed calls from his parents, and a photo he had taken of an old house with windows that looked like eyes.
My new novel ‘Dead of July’ will be released later this year. For updates keep following this blog or Follow me on Facebook
I started my writing career with two short stories, which although not perfect, have received great reviews. Once people stop buying them I will take them back off Amazon and have them re-edited.