A Fear Of The Dark

A Fear Of The Dark – Part 4

That night I laid in bed talking to my dad for hours. We talked about my mom, why she left, why she died. We talked about my experience with the Pritchetts. He held me as I cried and told me things that made me feel comfortable.

But when he left I had a chance to look around my new, dark, drafty room. There was one big window facing my bed and the moonlight was streaming in through the curtains. I remember laying in bed looking out at the moon past the branches of the oak tree. I watched the shadows of branches fan across my room. I listened to the creaks in the house. I thought of how scary the house was. But after living in a brand new house with three red haired demons and a mother that wouldn’t listen to me, the old creepy house on the hill felt safe.

As I closed my eyes and my mind started to wander, I remembered the one thing my dad and I hadn’t talk about that night.

The graveyard.

My eyes popped open and I sat up. I slid out of bed and there was a loud creak at my feet. I walked slowly, creaking the wooden floorboards with each step until I was framed inside the large window. I looked down at the dark graveyard. It was mysterious and scary looking with the moon casting long shadows with each gravestone. The largest shadow was from the oak tree. The tree swing was rocking back and forth, in and out of shadow.

I squinted as the swing rocked back and forth again. I pressed my face closer and squinted harder as the swing rocked faster. Out of the shadows came two feet and two legs, and then the swing rocked back into the shadows. It happened a few times until I knew it was real.

I heard the door behind me slowly creak. And the swing stopped moving.

To be continued…

A Fear Of The Dark

A Fear Of The Dark – Part 3

I stood next to my dad at the funeral, across from the red-haired monsters. I feel sad when I think back to that time. But when I was there, standing next to my dad, I felt safe. I felt better.

On the drive home I felt like I had just woken up from a nightmare. I did fall asleep, actually, and woke up to my dad ruining an Elvis song, and a back seat full of my personal belongings. My dad was odd. I always thought that. He was goofy, gangly, naturally blond and balding. I got my blond hair and light eyes from my dad. I got bad eyesight and bad memories from my mom.

I remember my dad pulling off the highway in some place very unfamiliar. I reached for my black-framed glasses as my dad said, “Welp, here she is, the homeliest little home in town.” And through my glasses I saw the house. It was like the Bate’s motel house without an attic. It was on a hill, the gravel driveway curved up and past a rusted, wrought-iron fence that wrapped around the rest of the property. When he pulled up to the house and I stepped out of the car, my eyes were fixed on the land next to the house. My dad grinned his big, goofy grin and said, ” I don’t know what all the fuss is about, but people are dying to get in.”

The old, rusty, wrought-iron fence encircled a small graveyard with about thirty really old, weathered gravestones. A large oak tree grew on the far side of the graveyard and a tire swing rocked back and forth in the breeze.

“Get it?” my dad added. “Dying to get in.”

To be continued…Ethan Owens

A Fear Of The Dark

A Fear Of The Dark – Part 2

I used to be normal. I had a normal house, normal friends, a normal childhood, normal fears. I mean, everybody has a healthy fear of the dark. It’s normal. Everything was – for lack, or care, of finding a better word – absolutely and wonderfully normal.

And then everything changed.

My mom left my dad for some fat, red-haired dick head with two red-haired dick head kids. I have absolutely nothing against red heads. Before I was forced out of my home, and my school, and my normal life, my best friend was a red head. But imagine being bullied day and night, not by one, or two, but three red haired dick-faced assholes. Imagine the feeling of desperation and isolation as you watch from your window as your mom’s car backs out of the driveway, and you close your eyes and can count down, in seconds, the moment until two, overweight, sexually ambiguous curly haired goons beat your door in and hold your face down on your bed…

If this were a movie you would have seen me walking away from the house covered in blood. Not my blood, their blood, with a big evil smile on my face. I pictured that moment every time my screaming would capture the attention of their pathetic fat fucking father and he would walk in to break things up, only to slap me for not being able to defend myself. In my daydreams I would kill him first. While his kids watched, waiting for their turn.

You get the point.

Alexander Pritchett. Ollie Pritchett. Sammy Pritchett.

Dead. In that order. Do not tell my psychiatrist I said that.

It was only three months, but it was a significant and scarring three months for an eleven year old boy. After three months of begging my mom not to leave, catching her alone in solitary corners of the house, crying to her to listen to me, my mother died, leaving me in a state which I can only describe as traumatizing.

But it was only after that when the real trauma started.

To be continued…Ethan Owens

The First Time I Feared For My Life

Part 10 – End Of Chapter One

I wasn’t aware of how long I had been crouched beneath the washbasin in the dark, cold laundry room. My arms were wrapped tightly around my legs and tightened with every breath, until my nose was pressed so hard against my knees I could hardly breath.

It had only been seconds since my dad and grandpa fled the basement looking for me.

It had only been minutes since I left the safety of my bed.

But it felt like decades before what I heard follow my dad and grandpa up those stairs stop –

And come after me.

Five stair steps I heard. But they weren’t footsteps. On each step back down the sound intensified as my senses were heightened. By the time it reached the laundry room tile it sounded like hooves clacking against the concrete. I started to cry and muffled my voice by forcing my face tighter against my knees, the fabric almost suffocating me as the hooves stepped nearer. But it wasn’t until the hooves stopped, with significant force, in front of the washbasin before I heard my mother screaming.

I heard her through the vent. She was screaming my name and I heard my dad and grandpa beating against the basement door, trying to get through. That’s when I felt something on the back of my neck. A tickle at first. Then, as the breathing grew heavier, I felt it all the way up my spine. It was there. It had me. And then it spoke. Slowly and deeply the words came out of its mouth directly into my ear.

I won’t tell you what it said. Not yet. But I will tell you that it came back. And what it said to me that night, before it left me alone with a family I no longer knew, was all maliciously and horrifically true.

End Of Chapter One.

Andrew Burnston

A Waking Haunt: the anthology prequel to Paranormal Theory

Coming Soon.

A Fear Of The Dark

A Fear Of The Dark

My psychiatrist is an asshole.

I’d like to take him back in time with me and watch with delight as he experienced exactly what made me, and still to this day, makes me who I am. See what kinda pills he prescribes for himself.

Okay, maybe not delight. Now that I think about it, I wouldn’t wish that experience on anyone. If I did than I wouldn’t be any better than my step-brothers, who, you will come to find out, should be in that psychiatrist’s office instead of me.

So, my psychiatrist says that I have ‘nyctophobia,’ or a fear of the dark. He may be right, but I still say he’s an asshole. He doesn’t even listen to me. I mention the word ghost and he calls it a day. Instead, he wants to talk about my inner demons, but hell, it’s not the inner demons I’m afraid of. The demons that are out there in the open, the one’s waiting for me in the dark, that’s what really scares me. So he gives me a pill.

I’m done talking to the shrink. I’m tired of taking pills.

I hope you will listen to me, and I hope – God, do I hope – this never happens to you.

To be continued.

The First Time I Feared For My Life

Part 9

A cold, stark horror rushed through me as I watched the round handle move counter-clockwise. At that moment the curiosity of what has happening was outmatched by my fear of what was about to happen. The handle then slowly turned clockwise. For me it seemed like time had stopped, and I was now inches from something that wanted me, something that could have had me but was toying with me, pulling out the fear from inside of me.

I couldn’t move but to tremble. I had never feared for my life until that moment when I felt completely paralyzed, completely helpless, and completely and desperately alone.

Then, from downstairs, I heard my dad say to my grandpa, “Joseph, get up.”

At that moment it felt as if someone had been holding me up and had let go. My body fell back and I slid half the way down the stairs. I ran the other half and twisted my body around the doorway into the laundry room and underneath the basin. For some reason, instead of rushing into my dad’s room, my instinct was to hide, not just from the beast, but from my dad and grandpa as well.

I don’t remember much about what happened. But I remember hearing my dad say my name. Then I heard them run up the stairs.

What happened next still haunts me to this day.

To be continued.

The First Time I Feared For My Life

Part 8

I turned around with closed eyes, willing this secret door to stay closed, just long enough for me to escape the basement. The image of this beast attacking me was far less haunting than my dad and grandpa filing out, finding me snooping around. The door swept open upon my opening eyes. And through the door came nothing.



I turned back around. The nothingness more unbearable than this beast that infested my mind. My mother could have been behind the door, but why would she be holding it closed?

I reached for the handle again and said, “Mom, let me out.”

But when I released the handle and nothing happened I peered underneath the door, hoping for footsteps, hoping for salvation, “Mom, please. ” I bent down and looked again underneath the door, but there were no shadows, there was no movement. No response.

I looked back up at the door handle, and watched in horror as it twisted back and forth.

To be continued.