WELCOME TO YOUR FICTION FIX PAGE
HERE YOU CAN READ SHORT STORIES, FLASH FICTION, EXTRACTS FROM NOVELS AND POEMS COVERING ALL GENRES WRITTEN BY ME AND OTHER AUTHORS
I hope you enjoy reading the beginning of one of my first horror short story. If you would like to read more please subscribe below.
Like the pied piper, a group of people followed a tall thin man dressed all in black through the dark foggy night. Almost like a lighthouse, the glinting of lights from the local hostelry beckoned, showing them the way to salvation.
“Grab yourselves a drink and gather around the fire,” Jed said taking off his black velvet top hat and coat. He then took a long satisfying gulp of his pint which was already settled and waiting for him. Eager faces, red from the cold and the roaring open fire waited in anticipation for the final story on their ghost trail.
“Welcome to the notorious Swan Hotel with more than a few stories to tell. This particular building dates back to 1781, but it was originally a Coaching Inn as far back as the 12th century. The ceiling beams and the wood on the bar front were reclaimed from the Abbey before it was burned to the ground. It is claimed, there are tunnels leading from the Abbey through the village to varying sites including beneath this very building. The monks used them to evade the King’s men, but that is a story for another time.” Jed walked around the table and with dramatic effect waved his arms through the air.
“No, tonight ladies and gentlemen,” he said in a theatrical voice. “I’m going to tell you the tale about the miserable life of a poor, poor wretch who went by the name of Mary Lane.” Jed paused for effect. “Now the owner of the Swan, Mr Samuel was a man of ill repute with many vices; he was well known for his philandering ways. His wife fully aware of his indiscretions found it in her interest to ignore them – that way she didn’t have to entertain him.” Amused sniggering filtered around the room.
“On one cold night, very similar to tonight, a young girl arrived to take the position of a scullery maid. Lacking in both education and the ways of the world she became easy prey for Mr Samuel. She didn’t dare refuse him as she feared she would end up in the poor house. Pausing to take a drink, Jed watched as a couple arrived to check-in.
“Hi, I’m the landlady, my name is Laura, welcome, Mr and Mrs Dexter.”
“Thank you, Laura, my name is Elizabeth, and this is my husband, Steve.” Elizabeth said gravitating over to where Jed was narrating his story.
“It’s the monthly ghosts walk.” Laura explained.
“How interesting, would they mind if we listen in.”
“No, not at all,” Laura said taking them over. Jed smiled and continued his story.
“Now as I’ve said, Mrs Samuel was quite happy with his philandering but when Mary fell pregnant, she was none too pleased. You see, she was barren and the one thing she wanted in the whole world was to be a mother. When baby Rose arrived cute as a pie, Mrs Samuel wanted rid of Mary, it was one thing her husband entertaining different women, quite another having her husband’s child under her roof. Mrs Samuel confronted Mr Samuel telling him either the girl, the baby or both had to go. Upon his refusal to see either tossed out, Mr Samuel was taken aback by the anger and pure hate he saw in his wife and could do nothing to stop her as in a rage she hunted Mary down.” The audience sat on the edge of the red velvet benches transfixed by the story, not a sound was made. With them eating out of his hand, Jed continued.
“Forcing the door to Mary’s room, Mrs Samuel eyed the girl feeding baby Rose. In one single movement and with such light of foot for her size, she seized the baby and promptly hurled her out of the top floor window to her death. Mary screeched at the top of her lungs, her face filled with shock and pain as she ran to the window.”
“Don’t look child,” Mr Samuel said with unusual sensitivity pulling Mary away, but she wriggled free and jumping from the window, followed her baby to her death.” The audience gasped in unison and though Jed thought he was finished, he was not. His head which was bent facing the floor suddenly faced forward his eyes rolled to the back of his head.
© SJ Dawson Author
A poem entitled GONE which is in the style of a concrete poem with a Fibonacci sequence mimicking an image of the thought process.
How things used to be
When the world was just you and me?
But you lied when you told me you would always be there.
Please tell me deep down you still care.
Like the leaves that fall
I have you
The exact day – time
Together we drank gin and lime
Then everything changed. Lost inside your mind, confused scared,
Like a wild animal trapped snared.
I still remember
The day I
I'm still here
Still singing our song
But you sing a different song.
A different rhyme
stare through eyes
Of mist. No longer
There. Nothing - Just an
Stop this living hell
©SJ Dawson author 2021