"I thought you said you cleaned it?" Heather spat
at her husband. "I can still see a spot on it."
Adam rolled his eyes. "I did clean it." He gestured
to a bottle of glass cleaner.
Heather wasn't convinced. "Whatever, all I know is I
see a giant spot in the middle of the mirror."
Forcing himself from his worn but comfortable recliner Adam
lumbered over to where his clean-crazy wife stood with her arms folded.
"Where? Where is this so-called…"
The words died in his throat.
A dark spot, dead center on the otherwise gleaming surface
of the glass, glared out at him like the eye of a cyclops. How he had missed it,
he couldn't begin to guess.
grunted in satisfaction. "You see? I told you." Her words dripped
spot moved on the glass then. It gyrated in light semi-circles, rotating in one
direction and then the other, as if testing its boundaries.
stepped forward, coming to within inches of the mirror.
what are you doing?"
heard Heather's words, but they seemed distant.
touched the spot with his finger.
first the sensation was not unlike a mild electrical jolt, but somehow
pleasant. He looked at his finger. It was smudged with a charcoal-black
substance similar to soot and rubbing it on his thumb, he noticed that it wiped
came up behind him and peered around his shoulder. "Did it come off?"
Adam brushed his fingers on his pants. "Yeah," he
replied with a hint of uneasiness in his voice. "It's clean now."
Feeling relieved, Heather turned and left the room.
"Good," she said casually as she walked into the kitchen. "I'll
make us some lunch."
nodded and stumbled over to his chair. He was feeling disoriented and needed to
sit. He flopped down in the recliner and closed his eyes, clearing his mind as
he breathed in deeply.
sandwich okay?" Heather called out from the kitchen. She waited for a few
seconds, a loaf of bread in her hand. "Adam? Did you hear me?" She
set the bread down on the counter and walked back into the living room.
choked on her words.
was sprawled out across the chair. His complexion was a ghastly white, his eyes
sightless orbs that stared at nothing. His mouth, drool at the corners, was
like a bottomless chasm waiting for someone to fall into it. And his arms were
bent at impossible angles.
the worst part was what Heather didn't
midsection was missing. His chest down to his groin was nothing more than a
gaping hole, blacker than midnight in a grave, revealing nothing in or behind
it. It was as if something had dissolved him.
stumbled back into a wall. She struggled for breath and her head spun in a
thousand different directions. The man she loved was dead and the fact that she
might be next was not lost on her. She turned and ran into the kitchen, her
eyes focusing on the back door. Then the knife block on the counter caught her
attention. Escape was her first choice, but anger welled up inside her soul.
snatched a large knife from its slot and spun around. What she would do she
wasn't sure, but she would somehow avenge Adam.
walked into the living room and was engulfed before she could defend herself.
stopped in front of the house. Her dog, an energetic miniature dachshund named
Rocky homed in on the front door and stiffened his posture.
studied the house. Heather and her husband Adam lived there. They'd say hello
from their front porch when she walked by with Rocky. But Rocky had sensed
something, and he was never wrong about those things. When he felt that
something was amiss it always was.
were no lights on inside, despite dusk settling over the town, but that wasn't
unusual. Perhaps Heather and Adam weren't home.
the front door creaked open, exposing a wall of pitch darkness behind it.
began to howl. He bared his teeth and tightened his haunches. He sensed something
was wrong and was intent on letting his master know.
door opened more, loosening on its hinges as it did so. It then fell away into
the darkness, crashing into the abyss without so much as a sound.
had seen enough. She pulled Rocky along behind her, ignoring all the noise he
was making. She needed to alert the authorities. They'd know what to do.
her cell phone from her pocket she fumbled with the screen, trying to call
barking suddenly changed to a whimper and he curled his tail between his legs,
cowering next to his owner. His change of demeanor was obvious, made all the
more frightening by the fact that he didn't take his eyes off the source of his
fear: the house.
Meredith didn't notice her pet's odd behavior. She was busy trying to reach the
didn't notice Rocky.
didn't notice him shivering at her feet.
She didn't notice the
man-shaped mass of darkness rapidly lumbering toward her.
Rick McQuiston is a
fifty-one year old father of two who loves anything horror-related. He's had
over 400 publications so far, and written five novels, thirteen anthologies,
one book of novellas, and edited an anthology of Michigan authors. He's also a
guest author each year at Memphis Junior High School. Currently, he's working
on two new novels.
KJ Hannah Greenberg captures the world in words
and images. Her latest photography portfolio is 20/20: KJ Hannah Greenberg Eye on Israel. Her most recent poetry collection is Mothers Ought to Utter Only Niceties (Unbound CONTENT, 2017). Her
most recent fiction collection is the omnibus, Concatenation (Bards & Sages Publishing, 2018).
Recently, Hannah’s seventh short story collection was published
by Bards and Sages Publishing.
The publisher writes: "Bards and Sages
Publishing is pleased to bring readers Walnut Street, our seventh short story collection by KJ Hannah Greenberg.
Greenberg’s flair for the peculiar and eclectic shines through in this collection of over fifty flash and short fiction
works featuring anthropomorphic starship pilots, angsty authors, strange neighbors, and more."
Walnut Street is available on Amazon:
Volumes One through Five of the KJ Hannah
Greenberg Short Story Collection at 50% off the list in an exclusive bundle only at