Thursday, September 24, 2015

What do you think of the beginning of Larry Peterson's "Maybe This House Is Haunted"?

Charlie Winters had tried calling home at least a half-dozen times and had never gotten an answer. It was raining hard and steady in Paterson but he had no idea how intense the storm was back home. Eleanor should have answered and he was worried. It was 4 a.m. when he decided he better get home.
Charlie got into his shiny blue, 65' Chevy Impala station wagon and began heading northwest toward Route 208. The heavy rain and unlit highways made him plod along at about 35 mph. It was almost 5a.m when he passed through Manford. As he drove slowly up Route 511 he began to realize how intense the storm had been. Twice he had to avoid fallen tree limbs and once, on Hemlock Road., he had to stop because a huge limb was blocking the entire road.
Using the headlights so he could see, he had wrapped his arms around the thick limb and started dragging it to the side of the road. From the corner of his eye he thought he saw something come out from the trees, dash across the road and run into the forest. He was not sure who or what it was but it was something unusual and it had scared him. He stopped and called out, “Who's there? Is someone there?” He looked around and saw nothing.
It was dark except for the indirect lighting coming from the headlights. He nervously headed back to his car and as he reached for the door he felt a chill shoot from his neck down to his legs. Standing about ten feet away in front of the car and illuminated by the headlights was the shape of what seemed to be a person. It was grayish black and the car’s headlights sort of shined around it making its appearance even more pronounced.
Charlie heard this deep, guttural sound coming from the “shadow man”. Then two, almond shaped, flaming red eyes appeared and began staring at him. Charlie, terrified, got back into his car, slammed the door and locked it. When he lifted his eyes to look out there was nothing there. His hands were trembling and he was breathing heavily. He shifted into gear and drove away.
When he arrived home at 5:45 he was soaked yet relieved to have arrived. The standard 45 minute drive coupled with a few minutes of unexpected terror had taken him an extra hour. He jumped out of the car and hurried to the house.
Charlie entered the foyer and flicked on the overhead light. Quietly he began to head to his bedroom in the rear. He stopped when he heard snoring coming from the living room on his left. He tip-toed over to the sofa and saw his wife, flat on her back, mouth slightly open, snoring away. Slowly he sat down next to her and put his hand on her shoulder. “Ellie, it's me. I'm home. Hey, it's me. Wake up.”
His wife's snoring stopped, her eyes opened and her body went rigid. She let out a slight scream. Charlie said, “It's okay. It's okay. It's just me. It's just me.”
“Oh my God, Charlie. It's you. You scared me half to death.”
“Oh---I'm sorry Ellie, I didn't mean to scare you. I was just wondering why you were sleeping on the sofa.”
“It doesn't matter. I'm so glad your home.” She sat up and wrapped her arms around his neck. “Thank God you are home. What a night.”
She was squeezing him so hard that he was losing his breath. He pushed her away a bit and said, “Sweetie, whatever happened? Are you all right? Why are you sleeping here? What's going on?” Tell me what happened. Are the boys okay? I tried calling and calling and got no answer so---”
“Charlie, stop talking. Just hold me for a minute. I just want to feel you close to me.”
As the early morning light began peeking through the windows they sat, simply hugging and allowing their love for each other to reinvigorate them. After a minute or so Eleanor leaned back a bit. Then she leaned forward and kissed her husband softly on the lips. “Okay,” she said. “The phone is out. The power was off too, but it came back on. We also have an additional guest sleeping upstairs.”
“What? A guest? Who----”
“Wait, wait, wait. Let me gather my thoughts. We only got to bed about two hours ago. I'll make some coffee and then we can talk.”
They headed back to the kitchen and Charlie immediately noticed the trail of blood from the hallway to the bedroom. “Whoa, that's blood all over the floor. What happened? Who is bleeding?”
“It's okay, Charlie. I cut my toe on a piece of glass. It's okay now. That's another story. I'm not sure where to begin. It was one strange night.”
Charlie sat down while Eleanor went over to the counter to make a pot of coffee. Charlie said, “Ellie, for crying out loud, you're foot is bleeding all over the place. Get over here and sit down. Let me look at that.”
She looked down at her foot and then at the floor. She had not even noticed that the bandage had slipped from her toe and she was spreading blood around like a graffiti artist using the floor for a canvas. “Oh no---I can't believe it. I didn't even feel it.”
She sat down and lifted her leg, placing her foot on Charlie's thigh. He grabbed a small white towel and squeezed the bleeding toe. “Does it hurt?”
“No, it doesn't.”

What do you think? Larry would love to hear from you! Please leave a comment here on the blogpost or use the "Contact Form" on the sidebar!

If you want to start reading Larry's series why not start with Volume One? Here is the Amazon Kindle link,it is also available on Kobo and B&N Nook:

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