Because Halloween is my favorite holiday I do my best to celebrate in appropriate ways. One way is by sharing things I have written. I like writing things that I find creepy or scary. The following excerpt, while not the most disturbing thing I've ever done, is still pretty good, if I do say so myself.
Those of you that have read Fixer already will recognize a familiar name in this story. Yes, it is the same guy. In fact, this story takes place in the same world.
Haven't read it yet? Well why not?
The Empty Hall
By James Jakins
The house was empty and she knew it. Laura stood by the second story window and watched as the new neighbors unpacked their few possessions into their new home.
They looked like a nice couple.
Watching them was much more interesting than the silent, empty house behind her.
There was the sound of shattering glass in the kitchen below. She jerked, forcing herself not to turn around.
It was nothing.
Samantha was at school, She couldn't have knocked a lamp from a table. Jeremy was at work, he couldn't have dropped a glass.
The woman outside noticed Laura and gave a start. Holding a hand to her chest she laughed at herself and waved at Laura. Laura waved back.
Behind her the sound of laughter and excited chittering began.
She kept the smile on her face as she watched the neighbors and the trees of the woods behind the houses.
She was alone.
The slapping of bare feet on the hardwood floors approached her.
She smiled wider as a solitary tear escaped the corner of her eye.
The hall closet behind her opened and something began rifling through the winter clothing Laura stored there. She turned her attention to Mr. Smith's home.
Jackson Smith had been mowing his lawn when the couple had pulled in. He was now standing by the fence that separated the two properties, speaking with the husband. It looked like they were getting along. That was a good sign.
Laura respected the young Mr. Smith.
The excited voices behind her picked up in intensity. She could hear the rustle of a winter coat. She wondered if it was Sam's. She started to turn, despite herself.
A low growl reminded her that there were no sounds. The house was empty. She continued to stare out the window.
There was a satisfied grunt by the closet and the slap of feet approaching her. She tensed as she acknowledged the empty hallway.
The footsteps stopped for a moment and then they and a matching pair receded. She pretended not to hear them as they hurried down the stairs.
She did not acknowledge it as the sliding glass door in the kitchen below was opened and slammed shut.
Only then did she turn. A long table ran the length of the wall beside her. On its surface rested a perfect green and gold speckled apple.
Her mouth was already watering as she picked up the fruit and hungrily took a bite. It was the sweetest, juiciest piece of fruit she had ever eaten. Just like every time they left one. Her fear grew as she took bite after bite. Soon she held the stem and nothing else.
Then she allowed herself to cry.