in the night may

not be a clock

Jenny drove down the road on a dark disturbing night where the skies were dark red, almost purple.

She could see the lightning strikes up ahead and she was unsettled as her car bounced around from the large pot holes in the road.

Suddenly there was one hard jolt and she felt pain as she bit her lip...and blood began to flow.

In a dark corner next to the windows sat a tall slender man, all in black with a felt hat low over his brow.

As their eyes met she said, "Hello, hope you are well this evening!" and smiled.

The blood from the cut on her lip slowly ran down her chin.

Seeing this, the stranger smiled widely and gave a long look at the woman. He seemed odd as he moved very slowly and his body seemed stiff.

When he rose up to leave he tipped his hat to her.

It was then she took notice of how long, slender and wrinkled his fingers were and their color was dark gray. They were like the hands of a dead person.

She tried not to stare as he turned suddenly towards the exit and his coat seemed to flare like a cape as he disappeared into the dark, horrible storm. As she stirred her coffee, she wondered why she did not see him depart in a car,  or pass the wide windows that fronted the diner.

It began to rain so hard that she pulled into a small diner where she could see the open sign flickering in a dirty window.

Completely drenched, she failed to lock her car. The old swinging diner door creaked as she pushed it open.

She finished her coffee and headed back into the horrific weather to her car.

Jenny checked her rear mirror as she drove down the road and for a split second she thought she saw someone standing in the middle of the rain; a tall man with a black hat and coat - but then the vision disappeared.

Taking a deep breath, she exhaled quickly thinking the night would be over and done soon enough.

As she continued on the foggy, rainy road, she began to relax. Suddenly she felt something cool on the back of her shoulders and back.  The dry smoothness traveled up her left shoulder, across her neck then circling down her right side like the cool tongue of a snake. It made her shiver briefly as she glanced in her mirror then thinking how silly she was!

She could see a decrepit old water-wheel moving in the distance and beyond it a weathered gray mansion with dim lights. They seemed to be moving also.

There was a guard shack of sorts surrounded by a tall iron gate abandoned and hanging from its broken hinges.

The rocks and debris tore at her skin and her arms and her chest began to bleed as she tried to fight the water from taking her further down the road.

Suddenly something grabbed her hair then her arm, pulling her away to the side of the road.

As she wiped the mud from her eyes she cried out, "Please help me!"

She saw the glimmer of something silver on his chest and she recognized the uniform of her rescuer as she fainted.

Sometime later her eyes opened.

Something cold was beneath her aching,

partly naked body. In the corner a white

mist covered the floors of the room.

A low laughter came from someone in a tall high back carved wood and black leather chair.

All she could see was the tall glass of red wine that he sipped from as he stared out the moonlit window ever so silent and forlorn.

There was no sound from the man, not even his breathing as she slowly sat up on the stainless-steel table.

Her ankles were bound and she struggled as she saw blood dripping from her feet into a pan on the ground.

...into the bowl it dripped.

His long red tongue slithered across his lips as he said, "Didn't your Mommy teach you never to talk to strangers?"

She looked up and there sitting  ever so still, the man raised his hand and pointed up. Moving it from left to right he signaled for her to be still.

He quickly turned toward her, red blood dripping from his pure white fangs running over his chin and dripping down his throat.

Her screams echoed down the dark halls as she saw the yellow in his blood-shot eyes and a severed, bloody hand grabbed her wrist holding her to the autopsy table.

Her body froze and would not obey her mind to run like the wind!

In a low whisper he said to her, "Happy Halloween my dear, and as I shall enjoy my treat, you shall not go anywhere!"

Jenny slowly faded into the night and every Hallow's Eve, some children who are lucky to return home safe, say they were briefly followed in the night, here and there, by glowing moonlit trails of blood from footprints belonging to a lady in the mists who wanders near the town's old water wheel.

Suddenly there was a hissing sound from the rear of the car. Angrily, thinking she had a flat tire she swung her door open, and a rush of mud and water threw her to her knees.

Something started pulling her toward an old abandon watershed.

The fog and rain became thicker, heavier, and the temperature suddenly dropped so she decided to pull off the road to wait for the weather to improve.

Nora Taylor is our most prolific writer. She has graced us with beautiful and gentle Christmas stories as well as downright creepy Halloween tales. The kind that can keep you up at night.

She sent us this one several years ago and we love it so much we're bringing it back...to keep you up at night.

Read Nora's other blog: The Inuit - A Christmas Story