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Soft caress of terror...
A young woman’s night-time escapade goes eerily wrong. A man is forced to relive the horrible accident that tore his family apart over and over again. An underground thrill through ancient catacombs proves disastrously horrific. A young boy is haunted by the scarecrow in the fields behind his home. And a woman is revisited by the ghost of a psychotic killer in the most dreadful of ways.
Scare Street brings you some of the best short horror stories by authors Ron Ripley, David Longhorn, Eric Whittle, Sara Clancy and A. I. Nasser, all in one book. Together, these stories promise more than just a shiver down the spine and a fear of the dark, but the soft caress of terror that comes with the unknown and the unexpected.
Join us through the pages of the best of what Scare Street has to offer, and be sure to bring a night light along with you. You definitely don’t want to be left alone in the dark!
The scarecrow came a week later.
By then, the days had begun merging together, each the same as the other, until I really couldn't tell when one had ended and the next began. At some point, I had to check the calendar just to make sure my mind wasn't playing tricks on me, that a day truly had ended. It was proof that the sleepless nights I was experiencing, cowering under the covers while my father stomped around the house, drunk and angry, were finally over.
The old man had started a reign of terror in our household. There was no telling what would set him off anymore; the smallest things igniting a fire so furious, he would burst into a blinding rage and a barrage of beatings. He would wake me at odd hours just to satisfy his urges, shouting and slapping until I was huddled in a corner with my hands up in defense and tears streaming down my face. The rising and setting of the sun was not enough to let me know that I had survived another day.
But, if I thought I had it bad, and back then I truly believed I did, then Alice had been living a nightmare. She had quickly been promoted to taking care of the things my mother had once been responsible for. However, without the threat of losing the farm, my father could voice his disapproval a lot more physically than he had before. Some nights, I could hear Alice crying in the room beside mine, and although I would want to go and comfort her, I never could find the courage to do it. Other nights, I would cower in my bed, shaking and sweating, as my father stomped passed the closed door to my room and barged into hers. She would scream of course, shrill at times, muffled at others, and I could clearly hear the slaps my father would administer to shut her up. Whatever he was doing in there, the few minutes of listening to my sister's screams and my father's grunts seemed like a lifetime, and to this day, they haunt my dreams.
The scarecrow was the only thing that seemed to break the cycle.
I didn't know where it had come from, or why my father had suddenly decided that we needed one, but it looked horrific. The first time I laid eyes upon it, strolling out the back door and onto the small yard between the house and the corn fields, it had stopped me cold and sent chills up and down my back. About fifty yards in the distance, crucified for eternity, it hung over the stalks of corn and stared right at me.
I knew the notion was absurd, that there was no merit to how I felt the first time I saw that damn thing out in the fields. But those days, my emotions were in complete control over my mind, and no logical part of me ever considered speaking up and correcting the ludicrous imaginations of a teenage child. A pile of hay covered in my father's old clothes and my mother's Sunday hat. Still, I could swear those eyes were directed right at me, watching me, the smile drawn across its face with a black marker aimed in my direction.
Come out into the fields, Garfield. Just a little closer so I can tell you the funniest thing you will ever hear. I have a few secrets to share, and I'm sure you're going to want to hear them. Want to know why Alice screams at night? Definitely not beatings, kiddo.
I decided to stop venturing out into the back yard after that.
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See you in the shadows! 👻
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