Welcome to FROST HARROW, my new modern (1990s) gothic horror series! If you’d like to support this and my other work, go to www.CushingHorrors.com and become my patron! You may also enjoy the Scribe Award-Winning MANOS: THE HANDS OF FATE – In print, for kindle, and for all e-book formats. And check out my retro-horror-comedy classic CANOE COPS VS. THE MUMMY as well as my other books. Now… On with the show!
FOUR – BAD DREAMS
Nancy Stapleton stripped off her pantyhose and tossed them toward the hamper in the corner of her bedroom. They hit the rim and slumped limply to the clean white carpeting.
“Shit!” she said quietly. It had just been that kind of a day.
Nothing had gone right for Nancy, either at home or in the office. Her toaster oven was on the fritz again, turning her last raspberry muffin into charcoal. She’d been in a minor fender-bender on the way to the office. No damage done, but a major slowdown and an annoying driver who wanted all her insurance information (and her past history for the last twelve years), in case something should turn up wrong later.
The coffee had grown cold in the pot by the time she reached the office, and her secretary—the cute one—called in sick. She didn’t care to take the time to make another pot herself, and thus went without her morning dose of caffeine.
After lunch, her new advertising account had rejected all of her proposals outright. Now Nancy and her team had to finish twice the work in half the time.
At the end of the day she discovered the flat tire on her car. Perhaps it had been caused by the morning’s ruckus, but by that point Nancy didn’t care.
Earlier, that sexy new intern had turned her down for drinks after work. And she couldn’t even get a rise out of the garage man who’d fixed her tire.
All in all, it had been a shitty day.
Nancy wondered if perhaps she was losing her touch. She gazed at her body in the full-length mirror on the front of her bathroom door.
Her figure hardly showed any signs of forty-four years of heavy wear. Her face remained smooth, her dyed blonde hair lush and silky. Her large breasts hardly sagged at all. Her belly swelled only slightly.
Nancy liked that. She didn’t think washboard stomachs looked good on women. She turned and admired her back. The skin looked soft and supple. Her ass was well-rounded, showing no sign of excess flab.
So what the Hell had she done wrong today?
Usually she could get laid without exerting much effort. It pissed her off when she couldn’t. She wondered briefly if she would have to resort to more extreme or obvious measures.
Then she pulled her transparent nightgown over her head, switched off the light, and flounced down onto her bed.
She masturbated vigorously for fifteen minutes but found no release. Cursing the fortunes of the day, she drifted off into an uneasy sleep.
She awoke in a cold sweat with the certain feeling that something was wrong. The blue numbers on her bedside clock read 3:33.
She listened and could swear she heard breathing coming from the end of her bed. But she saw no one there—only shadows.
“Lemon?” she called, but her eyes didn’t find her cat in the room.
A voice, cold as the grave, came from the shadows at the foot of the bed. I’m here, Nancy.
Nancy sat bolt upright in the bed and pulled the covers up in front of her. “Who are you?” she asked frantically. “What do you want?”
The shadow rose up, assumed a manlike form. You know who I am, it said. And what I’ve come for. You called me.
“I didn’t! Get the hell out of here!”
The creature’s voice purred from its shadow form. I know what you want. What you need.
Nancy realized she could see the other side of her room through the creature. It hung insubstantial in the air, its red eyes burning into her soul. A musky smell permeated the room.
You called me, and I came, hissed the shadow. You summoned me, and I am here. You made promises; now keep them.
Nancy seized an ashtray from the nightstand beside her bed and flung it at the monster. “I deny you! I banish you! You shall not have my body or soul! Begone!” As the ashtray smashed against the back wall of the room, she switched on the light.
And found herself alone.
No sign of the night intruder remained. No shadow; no breathing; no musky odor; only the shards of her favorite ashtray.
“Shit!” said Nancy, wiping the sweat from her body and hoping it had only been a vivid nightmare.
She lit the candles on her bedside altar and said prayers for an hour before retiring again.
Though she left the light on all night, she didn’t fall asleep for a very long time afterward.
TO BE CONTINUED…
Read my FREE Frost Harrow Halloween stories:
“The Weeping Ghost” (2012), “A Trace of Violet” (2013), “Lunchroom Zombies” (2014), “Omens & Visitations” (2015), “Fata Morgana” (2016), “At the Appointed Hour” (2017), and “Devil’s Lake” (2018).