Terror in the Shadows vol. 9: Terror in the Shadows Anthology
Terror in the Shadows vol. 9: Terror in the Shadows Anthology
Terror in the Shadows vol. 9: Terror in the Shadows Anthology

Terror in the Shadows vol. 9: Terror in the Shadows Anthology

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There is no escape from the realm of shadows…

A surprised guest finds herself in a house where whispering walls urge the occupants to kill. An ancient legacy of death and sorrow plagues the new owner of house built over hallowed ground. And the wailing cries of a baby drive a man to investigate a brutal crime in the apartment upstairs…

Scare Street’s stable of horror authors return to bring you new tales of supernatural terror in one diabolical collection. Each story is guaranteed to take you to the shadowy world of nightmares.

But as you begin your journey into this realm of dark fantasy, be sure to light a candle. It’s so easy to get lost in a nightmare. And as the wind moans in the distance, you realize that even the slightest breeze could leave you trapped in the shadows for all eternity…

225 pages


The Apartment Upstairs

All Danny Thompson heard was crying.

Endless crying.

The child never stopped. From the moment he got home at six in the evening until he went to bed at ten, the baby cried.

Danny had taken to wearing noise-canceling headphones, and while it worked as a temporary solution, he knew it wouldn’t last. He couldn’t stand eating dinner with them on. Danny absolutely despised reading subtitles when he tried to watch the evening news or a game. What he needed, more than anything else, was for his upstairs neighbors to shut their kid up.

Danny sat at his table and stared up at the ceiling. His headphones were on, but he knew that if he took them off, he would hear the baby. Frustrated, he got up from the table and paced the short length of his apartment, cracking his knuckles angrily. For three weeks, the child hadn’t stopped. Not once. Every time Danny woke up, the baby was crying.

The worst part, as far as he was concerned, was that he never saw the parents. There was no way he could talk to them. Stop them in the hallway and say, ‘Hey, what the hell’s wrong with you? What’s wrong with your damned kid?’

Danny paused and glanced at his front door. I could go up there.

It was a thought that had been growing on his mind. The more he suffered through the baby’s screaming, the more he thought that going to the third floor and having a chat with the kid’s parents seemed reasonable.

He walked to the front door and put his hand out, grasping the doorknob. Danny stared at it. Maybe I should just call the cops. This isn’t normal. I mean, not at all.

But Danny didn’t like the police. He wasn’t a fan of law enforcement. Which was why he lived in a beat-up apartment building that would fail any health inspection if the town of Anger, New Hampshire, bothered to check it out.

Calling the police might result in them taking an interest in him. If they do that, he thought angrily, then the cheap ID I bought won’t survive any inspection. There goes freedom. Let’s all wave to Danny as he goes back directly to jail for skipping bail. Hell, there ain’t even anybody in the first-floor apartment, not since Hector got picked up for running dope up to Concord. Just me and the family with the screaming baby.

He stomped over to his kitchen, snatched his pack of Newports off the counter, and shook out a cigarette. Danny turned on a burner, leaned down, and lit his cigarette with it. Stupid. This is all stupid.

He exhaled through his nose and tried to think of a way to get the child to be quiet without the police getting involved. Danny returned to his table and sat down. He sat in the enforced silence of his headphones, then, stubbing the cigarette out on an old plate, he cautiously removed the noise-canceling gear.

The child’s unabated wails immediately assailed his ears.

Swearing, he dropped the headphones to the table, stood up, and snatched his keys off the countertop. He threw back the deadbolt and the chain lock and let himself into the hallway. The strong, powerful stench of uncollected trash came in through the hallway’s solitary window, the broken glass failing to keep out the smell as well as the cold. Shivering, he contemplated getting his coat, but then he decided against it. Instead, he headed for the stairwell. He pushed open the old door and sidestepped an old wine bottle that lay on its side, covered in dust.

The stairwell stank of urine and rot, and it was colder than his hallway. Danny couldn’t understand how his landlord managed to keep the building standing.

Guy never takes care of this place, he thought, stepping onto the first step, which groaned beneath his weight. Bet he has it insured to the gills. Place goes up in a fire cause a tenant uses a kerosene heater? Guy claims it all.

Danny didn’t blame the landlord; he was just jealous. People needed a place to live, and Danny would have been happy to own a couple of dozen ratholes to rent to guys like himself.

That ain’t gonna happen though, he thought, reaching the landing and following the curve of the stairwell toward the third floor. Not with the cops lookin’ for me. Stupid. Just stupid.

When he reached the end of the stairs, Danny came to a stop. The light was dimmer, the wattage significantly lower than the bulb on the second floor. As he shook his head at the level of his landlord’s stinginess, he glanced at the door and let out a bitter laugh.

The remnants of yellow police tape hung from the frame of the doorway. Danny reached for the handle and paused. He had been in the building for two months, and he hadn’t seen any police investigating, or else he would have taken off long before. But the tape still clung to the wood, and there was a lock over the doorknob.

There’s no lock on the second floor’s door, Danny thought, lowering his hand. Faintly, he heard the child wailing from the other apartment. I gotta deal with this. Lock or no lock.

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