I like long walks alone at night. Everyone tells me I shouldn’t, but Grandmother’s neighbourhood is safe, right? So down to St Andrew’s and back, Grandfather’s church where he was styled the Very Reverend, new-built but anciently established and old gothic in design. Out of season the town is empty, chilly and asleep. Debating theology with myself I’m almost there, about to reach the church and turn around.

I look up and ahead – a shadow in the road. I stop short. There in the road before the church it stands, and I don’t think it’s noticed me. It doesn’t look like a person at first, but then I think it is, but then I know it isn’t. Too tall, too thin, too straight, a silhouette where shape should be and wrapped in what might be robes or folded wings, its heavy head held high in what might be a helmet under what might be a crown or maybe horns. It stands, expectant and impatient in its lordly dignity.

Step back, a crunch of leaves beneath my shoe, and now it knows I’m here. It turns, a slow, unthreatened, looming turn, and the shadow does indeed have eyes, eyes the orange of sodium street-lamp light and maybe that’s all it is just lamps reflecting in those burning eyes which narrow as they look on me. When I meet those glowing eyes then I can read within them something like a mind. I know it’s come on this appointed hour this appointed night as on many nights before. It’s come as is its custom and its obligation and its right. It’s come and wants its trial and opportunity and rite. It wants the one who’s kept it in check for so many years, its favourite interlocutor, its partner in the old chess game. It hasn’t come for me, I understand; it’s come to call upon its old best enemy and friend.

But my grandfather died a year ago.

Dissatisfied, it glares at me and is gone.

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Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
11 months ago

Hello Skye and welcome to Voice.club. There sounds like there is a very interesting backstory with this, and the potential for so much more as well. It’s a story you could maybe consider extending. Nicely written, well paced and suspenseful. Very well done.

Melissa Taggart
Melissa Taggart(@melissa-taggart)
11 months ago

I agree with Carrie. This gave me the right amount of shivers down my spine! I hope that you carry on with this story. Welcome to Voice.club!

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
11 months ago

I was scared while reading your story. The build-up of fear and suspense is nice. I almost fell off my seat.

A warm welcome to Voice club, Skye. I am hoping to read more stories from you.

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Paul Lewthwaite
Paul Lewthwaite(@paul-lewthwaite)
11 months ago

Hi Skye, I know St Andrews a little and hope very much not to encounter this unworldly, temporary resident! Good build up of atmosphere and the idea of an age old, perhaps rather amicable battle between It and the Reverend.

Paul Lewthwaite
Paul Lewthwaite(@paul-lewthwaite)
11 months ago

Oh dear, that’s what happens when you read things a bit too fast!  ?  Thought you meant St Andrews in Scotland, but reading it again, I think it’s the name of the church…duh! Sorry.

Sandra James
Sandra James(@sandra-james)
11 months ago

Welcome and well done, Skye! I, too, wondered if the story is based on a real place and real events. You set the chilling scene well and I really like the last line.

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Dipayan Chakrabarti
Dipayan Chakrabarti(@dipayan-chakrabarti)
11 months ago

After reading your story the reader’s mind would play tricks, seeing shadows and making shadows! ? well done, Skye.

Heather C
Heather C(@heather-c)
10 months ago

You are an incredible writer! “Out of season, the town is empty, chilly and asleep.” What a great line. I love how you described the mysterious visitor…“head held high under what might be a helmet under what might be a crown or maybe horns.” You had me right there in the scene! Is it human, is it good, is it evil?!?!? I was really drawn in! I agree with the other comments and see a larger story here. Nice work. Spine tingling. I was totally creeped out!

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