Terror in the Shadows vol. 4: Terror in the Shadows Anthology
Terror in the Shadows vol. 4: Terror in the Shadows Anthology
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Can you handle this chilling feast of fear...?
A romantic getaway turns to a horrific ordeal when evil falls from the stars. A terrified young woman is stalked by a grim specter in the form of man’s best friend. A beleaguered wage slave discovers that playing with toys at work can have deadly consequences…
Scare Street’s team of horror authors brings you twelve delightedly macabre morsels of terror in this new, spine-tingling collection. Indulge yourself in a delicious feast of chilling nightmares and dark fantasies.
Each tale will leave you craving another taste of fear. But beware. You may think you have an appetite for darkness…
But the things that lurk in the shadows have an appetite for you, as well.
Zoey hesitated when she heard a noise behind her. It didn't take much for her heart to pick up speed again, all her rational thinking thrown to the wayside. She shook her head almost imperceptibly, refusing to turn around to look.
The memory of the sound in the elevator came back to her. It was the same. A long, drawn-out breath. It almost sounded like...
Zoey's pace slackened, her traitorous legs slowing as she recognized the word. What did her rational mind have to explain it? Her eyes alighted on a vent in the ceiling near her head. Slowly, she reached up a hand and felt cool air pumping from it. She sighed, sagging in relief.
It's the vent. I'm hearing the air conditioner.
Her nerves really were shot. She was glad she had finished the project. Never again would she stay late for work. Her imagination obviously couldn't handle it.
"And if my boss asks me to again," she said, "I'm going to insist someone stay with me. This is ridiculous."
There was a loud buzz behind her followed by a blink. She spun around without thinking and saw the lights at the far end of the floor die. It wasn't a slow progression this time, though, as it had been on the top floor. One section after another was plunged into darkness, the fluorescents making an audible blinking sound as they failed. The blackness rapidly approached her.
Gasping, she jumped and stumbled backward, unable to tear her gaze away from the thick shadows that rushed toward her.
She turned and ran for the stairwell, glad she was wearing flats instead of her usual heels. The door was nearby. A few more feet and around the corner. She'd be safe. She slowed to take the turn and saw the section of lights next to her wink out. Her body slammed into the stairwell door. She pushed it open just as the fluorescents above her died.
Darkness descended around her for a moment. Something brushed against her leg as she ducked into the safety of the dull yellow lights. She shrieked, and spinning around, she thought she saw the vague image of a hand and an arm disappearing back into the inky blackness of the sixth floor.
The heavy door slammed shut, the noise echoing off the emptiness of the concrete stairwell. Shaking and whimpering, she stared at the closed door, torn between belief and horror at what she had just seen.
The thought that she wasn't safe standing there reminded her she needed to move. Sniffling and fighting back frightened tears, she looked around.
There were two options: she could go up, or down.
Legs trembling and threatening to collapse at any moment, Zoey made her way slowly down the steps. Her eyes were wide as she stared around her, searching for a sign that the danger hadn't passed. She gripped the railing as if she would fall, her knuckles white and palms slick with sweat.
Her traitorous legs gave out when she reached the first landing. She sank to the floor. Though she wanted to run, to get out of the building as quickly as possible, the adrenaline and fear coursing through her made her limbs feel like jelly. When the lights above her flickered, she caught her breath on a sob and jerked her head up.
"No," she moaned before being plunged into darkness.
Zoey squeezed her eyes shut and curled into a fetal position, hands gripping the railing like it was a life support line. Time slowed to a trickle as she waited. In her mind's eye, she saw the arm reach out for her through the shadows. There was no light to hold it at bay. It would get her. She would...
Several blinks sounded above her. Cautiously, she forced her eyes open, fully expecting some kind of horror to be waiting inches from her face. When nothing frightening greeted her, she chanced to raise her head.
The stairwell was bathed in the same dim, red light she had seen in the elevator.
Power outage, she silently told herself, desperately grasping onto any shred of hope that her fear really was just a product of her over-active imagination. Backup generators.
Stand up. Stand up and get out. Get up, Zoey!
She obeyed, but her entire body was shaking too much to stand up straight. Crouching down instead and almost crying at her weakness and fear, she pushed one foot forward to descend a step, then another.
Halfway down, she saw a figure and froze.
A person stood on the fourth-floor landing. She was facing the corner, her back to Zoey, and her head tilted oddly to the side. Thick, dark hair hung down her back. She was missing a shoe, and there was a long tear up her knee-length, pencil skirt.
Zoey's mouth went dry. Her mind screamed to turn around and run back up the stairs, but her body couldn't move. Instinct told her to go, to shut her mouth and go the other way. The heavy silence, however, proved too much for her.
"Hello?" she squeaked.
The figure stirred. Zoey twitched, ready to run should the need arise. The nearly inaudible whispered hiss floated upon the silence.
The figure turned with agonizing slowness. Zoey couldn't look away. The light in the stairwell cast a disturbing shade of red on the being. When she had turned entirely, Zoey saw black pools where her eyes should have been. A trickle of dark liquid coming from her mouth stained her skin.
A horrifying image entered unbidden into Zoey's mind. A body lying at the foot of the stairs, limbs twisted in odd directions, blood trickling from the corner of her mouth. Her neck was bent at a sickening angle, the bones grotesquely pushing at the skin.
Broken from her paralysis, Zoey screamed as the ghost lunged for her.
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See you in the shadows! 👻
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