What if real life scenarios were far more horrific than fantasy? What if you could visit the dark, unsettling mind of one man and experience the disturbing stories that originate there?
These stories are unconnected, but they all include a similar trait: Fear. They are all based on aspects of life that are haunting yet very real. Experiencing these stories will induce a terror that will stay with you long after the final page is turned...
|Product dimensions:||5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.46(d)|
Read an Excerpt
By David Boiani, Steve Soderquist
CreateSpace Independent Publishing PlatformCopyright © 2017 David Boiani
All rights reserved.
The first time I laid eyes on Frederick Stone, a chill ran down my spine. He was standing on his porch, by his front door, just gazing out into the street, focusing on nothing, but noticing everything. Our eyes met as I drove by and that fleeting, eerie gaze of his stayed with me for the remainder of the day. It is safe to say Mr. Stone creeped me out from the beginning.
* * *
We moved into 23 Crest Hill Drive on a Saturday. It was a beautiful spring day in May, which was a perfect way to begin our new lives together. Matthew and I had recently been married, and this home symbolized the start of us becoming one entity. We were ready for a family and buying a house together was the next step toward that dream. The house was a cute, quaint, grey cape with blue shutters. It was just the right size to start a family in, as it had three bedrooms, two full baths, and a large, open back yard. It was everything we had wanted in a home. The problem is, you can choose the house to become your home, but you cannot choose your neighbors. I would learn this valuable lesson before too long.
* * *
Matthew studied law and I worked part time as a substitute teacher. I made the decision that at some point, my career would be interrupted by motherhood. It is a subject Matthew and I had discussed many times and we came to the conclusion together; I should be home with our children for the first few years of their lives. We agreed that as soon as we moved in, we would attempt to have a baby, and if we succeeded, I would take a leave from teaching. Everything was perfect, except for one problem ...
Our new neighbor.
* * *
On a Friday afternoon in late May, I was sitting on my front porch, enjoying the beautiful weather. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw some movement next door. Frederick stone appeared on his porch, again just standing there, seemingly waiting, searching for something. A school bus drove by and pulled up to its stop further down the street. A group of children got out and scattered as they each started their short trek home. Something about the way Mr. Stone watched them stuck in my mind. He reminded me of a predator ... waiting, watching, and stalking its prey. It gave me a queasy feeling in my stomach, as my female intuition kicked in and told me that something about Mr. Stone just wasn't right. I didn't know it then, but my intuition would prove to be extremely prophetic.
* * *
It took a few weeks for Matthew and I to settle in and feel like this place was our new home. The first week, I gave our house a more personal touch with some decorations and new drapes. Outside, I raked up some leaves leftover from last winter, trimmed a few hedges, and planted impatiens and morning glories in the beds. There are few things in life as enjoyable as those first few warm, spring days, and they feel even better in a new home.
* * *
While eating dinner together one night Matthew said, "I met our new neighbor today, he seems decent enough."
"Really? What did you talk about?" I asked.
"I asked him what he does for work. I told him I'm a lawyer."
"So, what does he do?"
"It's actually very interesting. He's a CTS decon tech," Matthew answered.
"Crime and Trauma Scene decontamination technician. He cleans up messy crime scenes."
"Matthew, that's creepy as hell, as if he wasn't eerie enough with the way he gapes and broods when looking at people. He gives me the willies. I don't like him at all."
"Tracy, relax. He seems like a decent guy. Keep an open mind. He's your neighbor now."
"Sure," I answer. Men, they have their strengths, but having natural instincts about creepy men isn't one of them.
* * *
That night, as I lay in bed after making love to Matthew, my thoughts returned to my new neighbor. In my mind, I kept seeing his silhouette standing on his porch. He was in his mid to upper fifties. Short, maybe five feet, eight inches or so. He looked to weigh approximately 150 pounds, with thinning, grey hair and pale, light skin. The single, physical characteristic that remained stuck in my head was his eyes. He had the coldest, darkest eyes I have ever seen. The moment our eyes connected gave me a chill. Something about them was drastically off. My thoughts returned to my life, my house and my job. My eyes grew heavy and I became drowsy ...
I heard a soft click as our front door opened and closed slowly. I looked over at Matthew, who was fast asleep. I noticed a shadow play on the hallway wall outside our bedroom. My heartbeat quickened, as I remained frozen, staring at our bedroom doorway. I felt a presence as a damp, cold draft pushed the hair off my forehead. It felt like the temperature had dropped twenty degrees. I pulled the covers up to my chin and pressed against my husband, who was still asleep and turned the other way. Then it appeared, hovering in the doorway. I had never believed in ghosts, but this seemed so real. I dug the back of my head deeper into my pillow as the apparition just hovered there in my bedroom doorway, seeming to be examining me. It had a bright, translucent, smoke like appearance. It looked very small, maybe four feet tall, as it started to levitate across my bedroom toward me. As it reached the foot of my bed, it held out an arm towards me. Just as the specter made contact with me ...
I shot up, awake, drenched in sweat.
"Honey, you okay?" Matthew asked groggily, alarmed.
"Um, yeah. Just a nightmare. Sorry I woke you. I need a glass of water. Go back to sleep, babe."
After getting my drink, I returned to bed and my mind traveled back to the dream and how real it seemed. That was my first experience witnessing a ghost, real or imagined. It would not be my last.
* * *
The next day, my mind kept returning to my dream from the prior evening. While sitting in one of my substitute study classes, I thought about how vivid and real it seemed, as if it really happened. After my last class, I left school and headed home. I transferred to the school closest to our new house and the drive home was very short, so before long I was pulling into the driveway. I stopped at the mailbox and gathered the assortment of bills that owning a home and a vehicle creates. As I felt eyes on me, I looked up at our neighbor's bay window in the front of his house. Mr. Stone was standing there, just staring at me. I held his gaze for a moment too long, past the point of comfort and I realized it wasn't just coincidence and crazy timing that brought our lines of sight together. As he stood there peering out, his gaze felt heavy on my body, as if he were undressing me right there in my driveway. I looked away, got back in my car, and continued up my driveway to my usual parking spot. As I exited my car, I heard his front door open and close and heard his footsteps on his porch as he walked to the end facing our house. I kept my head down, unlocked the front door and entered ... my heart rate now racing. As soon as I was safely inside I looked out of the window to see where my charming neighbor was. He remained standing at the end of his porch with a beer in his hand, gazing at my front door.
As I lay in bed that night, I informed Matthew about what happened that afternoon.
"Tracy, maybe he was just trying to be friendly. Maybe he wanted to say hi."
"No, I know when men's gazes are lustful. He was undressing me, Matthew. I could feel it."
"Okay, I'll keep an eye on him."
"Thank you, honey."
That night I feel asleep instantly. No dreams came, or if they did, I had no recollection of them.
* * *
On Sunday afternoon, I was at the mall shopping for some sexy lingerie. I wanted to make this night special for Matthew and I. We had been going non-stop getting settled in the new house and we needed a break. A night with a candlelight dinner and hot sex would be perfect.
I picked out white stockings and a garter belt with a white lace teddy. I would surprise Matthew right before we went to bed. I purchased the lingerie and headed home to start cooking dinner.
* * *
I made Matthew his favorite meal, lasagna with homemade bread and salad. I even purchased a bottle of Sangiovese, his favorite wine. After we ate and consumed a couple of glasses, I told him to get into bed and wait for me so I could don my new lingerie. When I finished dressing, I checked my reflection in the mirror. I looked stunning, if I did say so myself. I walked into the bedroom as Matthew stared with a small, growing smirk on his lips.
"Babe, you look so sexy. Come here."
I walked over to the light switch and flipped it off.
"No, keep it on halfway. I want to look at you while we have sex," Matthew said.
I put the dimmer on halfway and crawled onto the bed. Matthew ravaged me. He touched me with a passion I hadn't felt since we moved in. Half of a woman's enjoyment of sex is her feeling attractive and sexy, and on this night, I felt like the sexiest woman alive. His touch was soft, yet firm. Gentle, yet aggressive. Caring, yet selfish. When finished, I felt satisfied and loved, as only Matthew could make me feel. Soon after, we fell asleep in each other's arms ...
I lay in bed as the front door opened and closed, and the apparition appeared in the bedroom doorway. It floated over to the bed as it had the previous time it came to me. It reached my side of the bed and held out a hand to me. I really concentrated on the ghost this time as my fear subsided and I began to accept my feeling that the spirit wasn't here to harm me. From the size of it, I could now tell it was a child of maybe nine or ten years. I also concluded it was a female. It had a soft, feminine way about it. I could start to make out her innocent, young face the more I looked at her. She motioned for me to follow. I hesitated at first, but something told me to reach up and take her small hand in mine. I felt a current shoot through me as we connected, but it wasn't unpleasant at all. It felt warm, soft ... welcoming. A small smile came over my face as she pulled on my hand to follow her. She floated in front of me, as I trailed her through my house and out the front door. She then turned left and headed in the direction of Mr. Stone's house, turning her head to watch me along the way. We continued down my neighbor's walkway, up to the front door, which she opened and entered, pulling me behind her. For the first time in my life, I entered Frederick Stone's residence, feeling a dark, evil chill go through me as I did so ...
I awoke to Matthew shaking me.
"Babe, wake up! You were having a nightmare."
I looked at him, feeling like I was still inside our neighbor's home.
"You were mumbling to yourself while tossing and turning," he said as the fogginess in my brain cleared and the focus of Matthew's face and our bedroom became clear.
"Yes, I was dreaming," I confirmed to myself as much as him.
"About?" "Just a crazy dream, nothing important."
Something told me not to discuss my new dreams with my husband. I had an instinct or premonition they were meant for only me. Matthew held me and we both drifted off back to sleep.
* * *
On Monday, I was assigned to take over a history class for two weeks while the regular teacher was on leave. Taking over a class at this time can be a daunting task. A day or two is fairly simple and straightforward. You pretty much just babysit and make sure order is established. Over a month, you can actually instill your style of teaching in the children and they start to become your students. Two weeks is right in the center of those two polarities. It's too long to just monitor the students, but it isn't long enough to teach with any real detail or sense of accomplishment. Looking at the lesson book that was left for me, I had the choice to teach World War 2 or the American Civil War. I chose the Civil War and today I would start the lesson on the banishment of slavery.
* * *
Pulling into my driveway that afternoon, I noticed Mr. Stone on his porch. He watched as I pulled my car to a stop at the top of the driveway. I grabbed my folders, got out and glanced at him for a moment. When our eyes met, I couldn't look away. He had this smirk on his face as if he knew something; a secret or something private. It actually looked like he was gloating. I quickly looked away and headed toward my front door. I entered and placed my folders down on the counter as my mind flashed back to the previous evening. Something registered in my brain and I hurried into the bedroom. As I suspected, the curtains were drawn back. I had left them open because I intended to shut the light off, but Matthew preferred it to be left on. I had been so caught up and excited about us, I had forgotten about the curtains. I walked over to the window and peered out. Our bedroom window was right in line with a window in Mr. Stone's house. He watched us. He watched us making love. He saw me in my lingerie, then nude as I fucked my husband. I knew there was something behind that smirk, and now I knew what it was. I glanced out the window towards the front of his house and there, on the edge of his porch, stood Mr. Stone, staring directly at me. His smirk now had turned into a full-fledged laugh. He was laughing at me. I turned away, irate. I then sent a text to Matthew:
Our damn creepy neighbor watched us make love last night. I accidentally left the curtains open.
He responded a few moments later ...
How do you know he watched us?
I just know he did. He was laughing at me.
Sweetheart, you have a vivid imagination.
I turned my phone off and threw it on the couch in a fit of frustration. Not only was my new neighbor a creep, he was starting to piss me off.
* * *
In the short time that I subbed in the new local school, I had found my favorite student, a girl from my neighborhood named Aliana Taylor. I knew she lived in my neighborhood because I recognized her as one of the students that get off the bus on my street. She was in my fifth-grade history class. The first day I started, Aliana came up to my desk after class.
"Hi, Mrs. Anderson. You taught a fun class. Welcome to our school."
"Why thank you, Aliana," I replied.
She smiled and bounded out of my classroom, pony tail bouncing, happy as any child I had ever taught. Seeing children learn happily, knowing I can make a difference in their lives, is why I teach.
On Tuesday, I asked the class a question:
"Does anyone know where President Abraham Lincoln was shot?"
Aliana raised her hand immediately.
"Ford's Theatre, in Washington, D.C."
"Correct, Aliana. Very good. Where did you learn that?"
"I read a lot, Mrs. Anderson."
Not only was Aliana Taylor intelligent, beautiful and pleasant, she was starting to remind me of myself at that age. She had solidified her standing as my pet student from that point forward.
* * *
That night I went to bed early, before Matthew. I was thinking about Aliana, how pleasant and witty a child she was. My eyes grew heavy and I became groggy ...
The spirit was instantly at the foot of my bed, yearning for me to follow. I took her hand and headed through my front door and, once again, towards my neighbor's house. We entered. I was standing in Frederick Stone's living room and I looked around to take in the décor. It was everything you would expect a lonely bachelor's house to look like. There was a black leather couch and loveseat with a plain black coffee table in front of them, all turned toward a television set up in the corner of the room, just to the right of a huge bay window. That was all the room contained. The walls were bare, except for a lone painting of a beautiful, young woman. The frame of the painting looked to be rather old. It was antique gold, with a unique design of flowers, leaves and vines running along the border. It was a very nice baroque style, and something told me that Mr. Stone didn't pick it out himself. He did not seem the type to possess great taste in anything. The spirit then pointed towards a doorway, leading down a hallway. I followed as we entered the kitchen at the end of the hallway.
I felt the bed slump down as Matthew got into bed and my eyes popped open. I went right back to sleep, but the dream did not return.
* * *
The two weeks I taught Aliana's history class flew by. I scheduled a test for Thursday so I could correct them and get them back to the students on Friday. As I passed the test out, I glanced at Aliana who looked up at me and smiled. My instincts told me she was a special girl, with a wonderful personality and above average intelligence. She would achieve the highest score of the class on that test, with a perfect 100. I foresaw an incredible future for her if she continued her current path, which is why it disturbed me so much a few days later when I heard she was missing.
* * *
The school informed us during a staff meeting of Aliana's disappearance. Apparently, she took the school bus home as usual, but never made in to her house. An amber alert was issued and everyone kept their eyes open and prayed she would be found. On the third day of her disappearance, I broke down and cried myself to sleep ...
Excerpted from Dark Musings by David Boiani, Steve Soderquist. Copyright © 2017 David Boiani. Excerpted by permission of CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
ContentsThe Neighbor, 11,
Room 723, 64,
The Monster, 125,
The End of the Road Diner, 128,
A Midwinter Evening's Tale, 137,
About the Author, 204,