It’s back…short horror fiction

October is here!

It’s the time of year for ghost stories and horror!  Most of you know my writing as “family friendly,” but my dark side loves a good horror story. My ebook, Dark and Twisted – Short Story Duos, is available for free on Smashwords. Sick and creepy, but oh so fun!

Click here to download

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Dark and Twisted

It’s the time of year for ghost stories and horror!  Most of you know my writing as “family friendly,” but my dark side loves a good horror story. My ebook, Dark and Twisted-Short Story Duos, can be found on Smashwords. Sick and Twisted, but oh so fun!

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/450976

Fall Favorites Series-Salem

Just a few hours drive away from our home in New Hampshire is the now famous city of Salem, Massachusetts.  Every year, thousands of tourists descend to the area for Halloween festivities.  The streets come alive with vendors as well as costumed visitors. The shopping offers a plethora of items from the typical tourist purchases to unique crafts. Witch themed attractions are plentiful, from wax museums to re-creations of the witch trials.  While I prefer visiting at less busy times, it is always an adventure to go during Halloween.

With the commercial side of Salem, the true meaning often gets lost, so I recommend taking a side trip to the memorials and less touristy spots.  The Rebecca Nurse House is just a few short miles away. Rebecca was one of the unfortunate victims to be hung during the witch trial, and is also a great (times many) aunt of mine. Another victim, Susannah Martin, was my many times great grandmother, so visiting Salem offers a chance to connect with my family history.

Salem is an important part of the American culture. I encourage a visit to learn about one of our darkest moments.  The historical aspects of Salem are fascinating and worth the trip!

Halloween Shorts

Footsteps

By Susan Cunningham

We thought we had forever, but the war ended it all. Jonathan left with a promise to return, so I waited and let hope fill the emptiness inside. At night, I roamed the empty rooms of our home, overcome by echoes of happiness.

Approaching dust on the road signaled the arrival of our loved ones. Soldier after soldier passed by; their uniforms tattered and their eyes lost behind whatever horrors had befallen them.  I watched until the lines ended and hope abandoned me.

I remember little since that day. Sanity has a way of protecting itself against the sword of grief, so the missing memories feel like a gift, not a curse.

Footsteps haunt my life. They echo throughout our home like claps of thunder rolling across the sky. At first, I was elated at the sounds, assuming my beloved had escaped the barrier of death to return.

Now, I fear them. I know they will come, but I’m powerless to stop the approach, powerless to stop the emptiness they bring.

Tonight, the dread in my heart is unbearable.  The fireplace has died down to embers of cold light, but I dare not stoke it.

Muffled sounds begin in the distance.  I close my eyes, frozen to all but the noise while it moves closer.  The stairs creak…the fifth stair is always the loudest.  A crack from an ember breaks the paralysis holding me. The door swings open and a breeze flows through the air.   I stand to face the shadow crouched before the fireplace.

The room illuminates to reveal dim forms, and I see a man tending the fire. His hair is cropped in a strange manner, his clothes awkward in appearance.

I run to the door and reach for the handle, but my hand is transparent. The man stands, and I close my eyes just before he walks through me.  The haunting ghost of truth has caught me once again.

The room burns with memories not my own. I am surrounded by the unfamiliar set about the home I once shared with my love.  The stranger drinks from a wine glass and settles into bed, unaware of my presence.

The protective barrier around my sanity collapses. I am empty, a hollow shell of only painful memories. My body has long since crumbled to dust, my substance a distant recollection. I know why I dread the footsteps…they bring memories I long to forget; emptiness of a life without Jonathan;  hope as I stepped off the cliff to the jagged rocks below; then despair as death itself kept me from my beloved.

Morning will be here soon, bringing nothingness until the night calls to me. But, the nothingness fades; it teases me until the lingering sense of dread returns and the footsteps haunt me.