Hosted by Wittegen Press, this hop is for bloggers, authors and artists who like a good spine tingling supernatural something and is in honour of all things Halloween. It is inspired by All Hallows Read, where the idea is to give away a scary book to encourage reading.
So, if you like scary stories, creepy artwork, or want to find a recommendation for your next horror read, check out the list of participating blogs here.
And here, for your enjoyment, is my story:
You’ve consumed my entire life. You’ve been the reflection in the window, the clock that misses a tick, the stench that creeps through the house. You’ve been viruses, bacteria, fevers. You’ve poked and prodded me while I’ve fitfully slept, disturbing my dreams, corrupting them with your presence.
But it’s not your presence that’s disturbed me the most, it’s your absences. The times you’ve left, sometimes for years in a row. It’s the waiting, the wondering, the not knowing. Your silence, and your lack of action terrifies me more than anything. Because it allows me to hope that maybe, finally, my life could be normal.
“You’re going to be a father,” she said to me, her smile broad, her cheeks shining. For a moment I forgot about you entirely.
I grabbed her and spun her around, kissing her face all over. “You’ll make our baby dizzy!” she cried out. I kissed her again. “You’ve made me dizzy from the day we met,” I said.
We listened to our baby’s heartbeat, and she cried, tears rolling into the corners of her smile. But when it skipped a beat, I knew you were there. I could feel your breath on the back of my head, one torn fingernail tracing down the back of my arm.
“He looks like you,” she said when we watched him squirm on the scan. Like two grey potatoes with tendrils reaching out. “He has your eyes,” I said, squeezing her hand. “But he has my noble nose, my regal forehead.” We laughed all the way home, and she put the photo on the mantelpiece, leaning against a porcelain cat.
The more I stared at that picture, the more I saw you. In the negative spaces, your long fingers were cradling my son, your dried lips were against his forehead.
The day we brought him home I made a deal with you. I stood in the rain outside and whispered into the wind. I knew it would carry my words to you. Everything flowed towards you.
“I’ll make you a deal,” I said. “You can claim me when the time comes. You can own my eternity, my ever after, my time beyond time. And I will come quietly. But until then, I want you to leave. To find someone else to haunt, someone else to scratch away at. Give me good years with my son, let me see him grow. Let him no longer need me. And then, I’m yours.”
And in the wind I heard your reply, a voice that could tear the flesh from my body. “Deal,” you said.
I went inside, dripping on the carpet, and found my son asleep in his cot. “I’m giving my life for you,” I whispered. “And if I live a million times over, I’ll give them all for you.”
And from the darkness, I heard the voice I had feared my whole life. You bent over the cot, caressing my son’s face, watching him frown and squirm as you tainted his dreams. “I have chosen someone new,” you said.