It’s been over a year since I last posted any of my stories. In that time I have moved house and am now living in the wilds of West Clare in Ireland. It is a place of quiet days and starry nights. There are no street lights to block out the night sky, so once twilight comes creeping, a vast amphitheater of stars appear and I can only gaze in awe at their beauty. The area lends itself as a muse to the horror writer, with strange scurrying in the bushes, grey fluttering bats and on the odd occasion, a barn owl glides by, a luminous ghost swooping across the grass in search of mice. There is a resident fox, who show no fear and will come right up to the window and now, as the nights grow darker, I see all manner of creature from the corner of my eye. But this does not excuse my neglect of my friends and for that reason, from next Friday and every week after that, I will be publishing a chapter of my unpublished novel, All Hallows. Rather a fitting title for the time of year, don’t you think? It’s an olive branch to make up for my absence and one I hope you will rather like. The prologue below will give you a taste of what is to come, enjoy.
These stories are not meant to soothe you. There will be no tranquil closing of the book as eyelids droop and senses surrender to sleep. These sensations belong to another time, when you believed such things the work of fiction, and the horror within them beyond the bounds of probability.
Now you’ve chosen to enter another world, a place where tales unfold from the pages of everyday life and Death. There’s no pretense, and they require little imagination in the telling. The human monsters, and you will encounter a few, are real. At times one or more personalities combine, but each one is made up of man’s cruelest traits. I make no excuses for their depravity, they have no redeeming features. Sadly, we all know such loathsome creatures.
The dead choose to speak for reasons of their own, and I allow them free rein. It takes a sensitive ear to distinguish the muffled cries from the spirit world, above those of the general hum-drum. It requires an open mind to realize internment beneath the cold earth is not the end.
So, read on and listen, as only you can, to the voices from beyond the grave. Share with them the human emotions of love, hate, fear, revenge and in the end, the most important of all acceptance and forgiveness.
Try to ignore the shadowy corners of the room; there’s nothing there. They are, what they appear to be, empty pockets of darkness. Sleep well.