4 - Night-time Horrors

4 - Night-time Horrors

A Chapter by Tertia

Chapter 4

Lucas filled his face full of chips, they were greasy and undercooked and as he gorged himself he watched the late horror movie. He turned the lights down to add to the atmosphere and was just settling back in the armchair when in staggered Celia.

‘Alright Daggs? You made it then,’ he barked. She stumbled through the door and collapsed on the taxi waiting room sofa, so called as it was large and covered with cheap, black imitation leather.

‘Yuh,’ she uttered, flicking off her high heels. They looked at each other briefly. To him, she looked pale and stoned. To her, he looked like he hadn’t been out (ever). In the film a man was tiptoeing along the dark corridor of a house, his eyes reacting to flickers of light and shadows forming. He stopped and suddenly span around only to see nothing at all. Violins made a scrapping noise. ‘Oh my god,’ Daggs gave it a small shriek.

‘Christ, Daggs you’re scaring yourself,’ The man moved slowly on, passing open doorways who only held pale grey squares of light, he stumbled along, tripping on the uneven surface. He spun around again, looking quickly left and right. At the end of the corridor was a stairwell, he looked down and when he looked up, a ghostly white figure flashed across a doorway. The violins blasted a sharp set of notes.

‘Ahhh,’ Daggs screamed, hiding her face behind a cushion. ‘What was that?’

‘Looked like a ghost, Daggs,’ Lucas laughed.

‘Shut up. This is scary. I don’t like it,’ she squealed. In the next shot the figure appeared in front of the man, not letting him pass. It towered over him and then as the man staggered backwards, hiding his eyes, it went through him. The man ran down the stairs, out the door and got in his car. The film went to a commercial break.

‘I’m going out to make a coffee before it starts again. Do you want one?’

‘Going out where?’

‘Only to the kitchen,’

‘Oh right. Yeah OK,’ Verrs went to the kitchen, filled the kettle and got two mugs out and as he turned around Daggs was standing silently there, staring at him, her eyes wide and shining.

‘For f**** sake, Daggs. What are you doing?’ he gasped, clutching his chest, his heart was beating hard. She smiled and when he’d made the drinks she followed him back to the front room. It was late, about midnight and the rain came in, falling on the blackness of the large sash windows. Lucas got up and drew the lurid nylon curtains and checked the front door was locked.

‘Sit down will you, what are you doing?’

‘Nothing,’ he noticed she’d moved from one end of the sofa to the other so she was closer to him. Was she actually scared? Or just playing games as usual? ‘I’d light the fire, but we’ve got no wood,’


‘I could burn some of the stuff I can’t take back with me on Friday,’

‘Yeah, burn some of your crappy paintings,’ she said, laughing. Lucas shook his head, smiling a little. ‘What happens now?’ she whispered as the film resumed. She leant on the sofa arm, getting closer to him.

‘Something’s got to, Daggs,’ Verrs replied unaware of her, fixated on the screen. The man was back in his house with a backstreet priest who he’d paid to carry out a cheap exorcism. The exorcism consisted of a lot of chanting, reading from the bible and flicking of holy water on the floor and walls. The man looked sceptically at the priest who was wearing stained jeans and old trainers. A storm brewed up while the priest chanted, the wind swirled and lightning flashed. The chanting became louder, the voice distorted; it thundered. The priests eyes were demonic and wide, he stared at the man and moved towards him, his arms outstretched.

‘Here we go,’ Daggs said, but the ads crashed in. ‘Actually I can’t stand this anymore, I’m going to bed, out for a smoke, I don't know,’

‘Have it in here,’

She looked at him on the level, not down at him, he wasn’t so weak after all. Man of the house! It suited him. ‘OK,’

‘Anyway, I like the smell of smoke, it’s atmospheric,’

‘Why don’t you smoke then?’

‘It’s bad for you,’ he laughed, he opened the window a few inches and a draft blew in.

‘Yeah, I do everything that’s bad for me, I abuse myself, but who’d want to die with an unused body and a perfect set of teeth?’

‘No one,’ Lucas hesitated to say, appreciating her openness and honesty. He gave her a warm smile.

‘You’re a cold fish, Lucas Verity, why don’t you sit here,’ she said softly. She saw his wide-eyed, stunned look. ‘Here, beside me. I’d feel safer,’ she said patting the middle seat, next to her.

‘Yeah, OK, Daggs,’ Lucas said miserably, feigning the mood of a sulking child. He sat in the middle seat and they waited for the film to re-commence. In the next scene the guy was being strangled by the priest and as the life force flowed out of him, the priest gripped his skull and stared deeply into his eyes and the chanting begun again. It was louder and faster this time.

‘I don’t like this, it’s freaking me out,’ Daggs said, her voice croaky and faint. She slipped her arm around his. He frowned at her. ‘I’m scared, all right?’

‘All right,’ he said as the man was released from the priest’s grip at the last, leaving him gasping for air on the floor. The priest walked off.
As the man regained himself he got up in a changed state. His eyes wider and unblinking, his face expressionless. ‘He’s one of them now,’

‘One of?’

‘Them, the zombie people,’ Lucas said.

‘What will happen to him?’ she mumbled, nestling in, resting her head on his shoulder. She touched his hand, but it had no life.

‘Dunno, he’ll walk with the dead, the ghosts and that probably,’ It was nice to see her unconfident, it suited her somehow, he hadn’t seen her like that.

‘I’m glad we’re making the most of this week,’

‘Yes,’ he said. He watched the man sat in his house in the darkness with spirits floating around him, he was unaware and in disturbed by them. The house had possessed him.

‘When’s this going to end?’ she said. Verrs looked at his watch and squinted to make out the time.

‘Twenty minutes,’ he said. In the penultimate scene the priest returned to the house at night and stood in the garden waiting for the man, who eventually emerged looking dishevelled and in a trancelike state. They walked off heading for the city’s bright lights. The ads came up. ‘Damn the bloody adverts. Last bit now,’

‘Thankfully,’ she said feeling a wave of soberness wash over her. Was it the coldness of the room? There was a silence which she hated. She was actually going to ask something about his sketching trip when he said.

‘I want to make the most of the week too,’

‘Oh good,’ she said looking up at him. ‘And were going to stick to the pact we made,’

‘Yeah, Tuesday night is games night and Thursday is film night,’ he held up his hand in mid-air and she slapped it, like the five of them used to. ‘Have you got a film?’

‘No,’ she said. ‘You?’


‘What then?’

‘Withnail and I,’

‘Don’t know it,’

‘It’s old. Nineteen-eighties,’ he said as the film came back, and it was slow and quiet, there were no edgy violins. It showed empty city streets. In the distance at the end of a long avenue the two men appeared, plodding along. The priest and the man. The priest demonic and wide-eyed, the man crazed and phased. With the look of killers they were heading for the very centre, the hub of it all, of civilisation. There were backs of heads, pigeons taking flight and fountains pouring fine jets of cool water into large basins.

The two men happened upon a woman who stood across their path with her back to them. They stopped, looking at her, just standing there. The priests arms rise to her and she turned in reaction. And they saw she was like them. Her eyes distant, her skin beginning to deform, her hair a mess. They walked on and the others they met were the same.

‘Oh my god, that’s freaky. Never expected that ending,’ she said.

‘I’m all in,’ he said, getting up. She looked at him sideways, with a frown, tightening her lips. ‘I’m hitting the hay,’

‘Oh right,’

‘Good night then,’ he said, she said nothing. He moved towards the door and started up the stairs and noticed she was right behind him. ‘What are you doing?’

‘I’m going to bed,’

‘Your room’s downstairs,’ he continued up the stairs and she followed.

‘I’m not sleeping on my own. Not after that,’

‘Ha, where are you sleeping then?’

‘With you, silly,’

‘Hold on a minute, you think you can just sleep with whoever you like whenever you want to,’ he said feeling himself get angry.

‘Not like that, as friends,’ they stopped outside his door.

‘I don’t know whether that’ll work,’

‘Why not?’ she said through the gloom looking about, her eyes wide.

‘Because...,’ he couldn’t finish the sentence because his thoughts were in his mouth. Because you are beautiful and I can’t resist you. She smiled, raising her eyebrows. ‘My couch,’


© 2021 Tertia

Author's Note

In the next chapter a level seen in the darkness

My Review

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It's not hard to see where this one is going. Verrs and Daggs seem ready to do the deed. Where it might go after that is anyone's guess. Good pacing and character development throughout. I did, however, get something of a disconnect when Verrs was making drinks and noticed Daggs looking at him. He seemed to have a heart episode momentarily, but then it was as if nothing had occurred.

Posted 3 Months Ago

I'm a little confused. I thought Daggs was leaving. The last chapter had me thinking she would not be in this house anymore, but here she still is. I realize most of the world watches TV (I do not) & it's clever to use the TV programming as an excuse for Daggs to try to get attention from Lucas, but I felt the passages where you describe what's on TV are too long & a little boring & all that outweighs the real purpose, which is to bring on Daggs trying to con Lucas. The first two chps were so meticulously manicured, but I can see where this chp is a little loosey-goosey . . . it could be tightened up. (((HUGS))) Fondly, Margie

Posted 3 Months Ago


3 Months Ago

Fair points - Daggs? Not leaving no
The horror movie scenes and the scary atmosphere in the room were depicted with ease. I like how this ghostly situation made them come closer... You did a nice job dear... Liked it

Posted 3 Months Ago

kept be interested all the way through the read

Posted 3 Months Ago

nice chapter, Tertia! .... full adrenaline and suspense and flashes of possible romance between the main characters. great talent and material the ones you own for short-tell-stories. you own this, dear colleague. sincerely, Amber.

Posted 3 Months Ago

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5 Reviews
Added on February 23, 2021
Last Updated on April 19, 2021
Tags: love, lust, attraction, linger, desire, story, chapter, trust, promises, life, jealousy, wild, discovery, emotions, people, relationships, freedom, reputation, morals, friends, feelings



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