A delightfully devilish collection of horror stories including flying vampires, ragged old crones, flesh-eating monsters and just plain old evil people.
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From the cold,wind-swept flat lands the Dutch once reclaimed from the sea, comes a collection of pure horror and blood-lust.
Let your mind stray to an isolated and harsh place where the rain whips the windows and the wind howls around a lonely house, where the roads run straight to the horizon and nobody knows what hides...
Beneath Dark Waters
Taken from 'On a Night of Evil' from the collection 'Beneath Dark Waters'
"What came from the shadows, was not feline. Nor did it have anything in common with any of the known animals on Earth. It had never known affection nor friendship nor love nor mercy. The only emotion it had ever experienced was hunger. And the only reason it wandered out of the shadows was to determine if whatever stood in front it, was edible or not.
Moses knew all this as soon as the moonlight reflected on the moist, smooth skin and reflected in the large bulbous eyes. It raised itself on its hind legs, holding a severed human head in its short front paws. The creature grinned at him with a mouth full of short, razor-sharp teeth, dripping with blood. A low growl was audible at the very edge of human perception."
Taken from 'With the strength of her conviction' from the collection 'Beneath Dark Waters'
“She let the door of the shed fall shut behind her and shuffled forth. In the middle of the grass, in the centre of the moonlight, she stopped, grabbed the handle with her two skinny hands and closed her eyes for a second.
“Good Lord,” Betty muttered, “give me strength to do this. Sweet Robert, please show me again how to do this.” Behind her old eyelids, she saw her husband, much younger, working and she tried to copy his movements.
“Don't try to lift it,” he seemed to say. “You won't be able to. Swing it behind you, over your head, wait for gravity to grab it and then simply let it drop. Squeeze the handle. Feel it going up and then, simply, let it fall.”
She tried and failed and tried again and after the fourth or fifth frustrating time, she took a deep breath and with the strength of ages, she got it. At first, it was a little scary and unfamiliar, but after a few tries she was able to swing the axe high above her head and let the axe drop with deadly precision.
In the night, with the light of the moon covering her determined face like a veil, she made her way to the dark and sleeping house.”
Taken from 'Rumours' from the collection 'Beneath Dark Waters'.
“In the dusk of the evening and with his tired, old eyes, the priest squinted to make out any other shapes or even colour as they flew overhead, but he could not. For a moment he stared at them flying away from him, but soon he shook his head and decided God's creation was wonderful and held new surprises every time. It was then that the flock turned again.
Suddenly, an uncanny feeling befell the old priest. The hairs on his neck stood on end and he felt goosebumps crawl over his arms. It wasn't only their general direction that made Father Swart so apprehensive. It was also their altitude that changed. For at first they had flown overhead at quite a large height, but now they were obviously descending! He could see their strange, dark shapes become more and more pronounced as the flock lost altitude and turned around and around in the colourful sky. At one point they seemed to hover over the small village that the priest knew so well, flying in circles, as if taking in the ground, assessing the damage they could do.
The priest, now mortified, standing still as if nailed to the soil, felt his heart in his throat and wondered what would happen next. He swallowed and for a few anxious moments, he waited for what would happen. Then, a cry which sounded almost human, sounded in the pleasant summer air and the priest felt his stomach sink as the flock dove down onto the unsuspecting village.
Coming back to life, the priest uttered a small cry himself and started running down the sandy path.”
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