Monday, November 10, 2014


Genre: Horror

Note to readers: This is a short sequel to a story I published a year ago titled "Last Night". You can read the original story at




By Daniel Skye



          Preston Kelly’s lawnmower wakes me up at precisely six A.M. I think this is the fifth time this week he’s cut his grass. Anything to get away from that pesky ball-and-chain of his.

          I wake up with the taste of whiskey in my mouth. I have the worst headache. It feels like a knife twisting in my skull. The pressure behind my left eye makes it feel like it’s going to burst from the socket.

          I must have drunk a lot last night because I don’t remember a thing, although that’s not uncommon for me. I’ve been prone to blackouts since the age of thirteen. For a while, I thought I conquered this dilemma. But then the blackouts returned.

          I brush my teeth in the upstairs bathroom and examine my face in the mirror. The scars on my cheek and lump on my noggin are healing nicely. I just wish I could remember how I got them. It must have happened before or during one of my blackouts.

          Did I have another fight with Evelyn? Is that why most of her stuff is missing? Think, George. Remember what happened.

          Ok, yes. You had a fight. Evelyn packed some of her things and went to stay with her brother, Doug. Yes, that’s what happened. I remember it now. But what was the fight about?

          I can’t recall what triggered this latest argument, but suddenly, my mind conjures up the image of house flies buzzing around a fruit bowl. And there’s a voice telling me to check the crawlspace of the house, but I’m not so sure I want to.

          Against my will, I head downstairs and open the utility closet. I yank the wood panel up from the floor, exposing the square opening of the crawlspace.

          The smell that emanates is pungent, but the crawlspace is vacant. What had once resided here? What was the cause of this lingering stench of decay?

          I’m not sure I want to know the answers to any of these questions. But I must be certain that Evelyn is safe and sound. As I head for the phone, I’m cut off halfway by a knock at the door.

          Assuming it could be Evelyn, I move past the phone and head straight for the door. Instead of opening the door to Evelyn, I open the door to be greeted by the benevolent smile of a police officer.

          He isn’t a patrol cop. He’s not wearing a uniform. He’s wearing a suit, tie, more professional attire. I surmise that this man must be a detective and without giving it a moment’s thought, I invite the man inside.

          I don’t want to seem rude or impolite, and I certainly wouldn’t want him to suspect me of anything, what with all the disappearances the police have yet to explain to the public.

          “Can I get you anything–coffee, water, soda?” I ask.

          “No thank you,” the detective says, moving our conversation into the living room. He makes himself at home on the couch and removes a notepad from his breast pocket. “I’m Detective John Thornton with the Seventh Precinct. I’ve come to ask you a few questions about your wife. Can you give me your full name, please?”

          “Sure, George Elliot Hartman,” I say and watch him scribble my name down in his notepad. “This is about Evelyn? What’s going on?”

          “I’ll ask the questions here, Mr. Hartman,” the detective says. “If that’s okay with you?”

          “That’s fine,” I say. “Please continue.”

          “Is your wife here at home, Mr. Hartman?”

          “No, not at the moment,” I say. “We had a fight and she packed some of her things and left.”

          “A fight? What did you fight about?”

          “Oh, you know, just the usual stuff. We’re just having some marital difficulties at this time.”

          “I see,” Detective Thornton nodded. “This fight, was it physical? Is that how you got those scratches?”

          “No,” I say. “I mean, I honestly can’t remember how I got the scratches. You see, I have this condition. I’ve been suffering from blackouts since I was thirteen years old. I have trouble remembering certain things.”

          “How convenient,” Detective Thornton said. “Can you remember where you wife is at the moment?”

          “She’s staying with her brother, Doug.”

          “No she’s not, Mr. Hartman. Doug Cabell is the one who called us because he hasn’t been able to reach his sister since yesterday. He’s been trying desperately to reach her but her cell phone is turned off, and you haven’t been answering the home phone. He says he spoke to you yesterday. He’s says you sounded confused and you asked him if your wife was with him. He told you she wasn’t.”

          “I…I don’t remember any of this.”

          “I think you’re lying, Mr. Hartman. I think you know exactly where your wife is. And I think it’s just a matter of time before you confess the truth.”

          Suddenly, I feel dizzy, faint. White specks float across my eyes, obscuring my vision. The lights grow brighter, blinding me. The whole room starts to spin. I can’t hang on any longer. Everything is starting to go black now…

          You always were weak, George. And when you’re at your weakest, I take over. I’m the dark half. The better half. The half that’s not afraid to do what’s necessary to survive.

          “Actually, detective, now that you mention it, I do recall that conversation.”

          “And?” the detective asks, staring blankly.

          “And you’re right. I did speak to Doug yesterday. And he told me Evelyn wasn’t there. But that’s where she told me she was going.”

          “Uh huh,” the detective nods, unconvinced. Shame, he looks like a decent cop. Probably has a wife and kids. I hate killing a family man. But if I took care of Evelyn, I can take care of this minor inconvenience.

          Don’t worry, George. Stay in the dark. Let me do all the dirty work. You don’t have to lift a finger. And I’m sure you won’t remember a thing. Even if you could, you wouldn’t want to, Georgie boy.

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