This may come as a surprise to you, Evan, but though I write horror, I am not a
brave man and my first impulse was to run screaming like a little girl. The old
crone must have anticipated my reaction and held firm. I swear, Evan, I could
feel the very marrow in my bones freezing!
“You be the stranger that lives in “the sleepers?” she hissed, looking hard
into my eyes.
I had not yet recovered from the sight of her and stood rooted to the spot mute,
unable to answer, the repugnance of her choking me with fear.
“Are ya deaf, man?” she asked pulling me down so as to shout into my ear.
“No, I am not deaf, madam, and I don’t know what you mean” I answered in an
obvious panic, trying desperately to remove her bony talons from my coat.
“The Sleepers, that’s what the house be called.” She said with urgency, holding
fast to my coat; ignoring my efforts to regain freedom.
“My house you mean?” I replied in confusion.
“Did they not tell ya when you took the place there be a curse on it?”
“What Curse”? I asked. Admittedly, she had piqued my curiosity despite my
“Did they tell ya nothin, sir?” she asked leaning back in astonishment.
“If what you say were true, I suppose the solicitor decided it wasn’t the sort
of thing that would add value to a property.” I replied flippantly trying to give the
impression that neither she nor her questionable information caused me concern.
Clearly agitated by my remark, she let go of my arm and stepped back taking
stock of me from head to toe.
“What might your name be?” She said in a firm commanding voice.
“My name is Phillip Dunston,” I answered, managing a polite, half hearted
Leaning close enough to me that I could smell her foul breath she whispered,
“Yer in grave danger, sir.”
“If ya be as smart as ya look, ya’d leave before night without so much as
packin’ yer bag.”
“What danger?!” I asked, feeling a sudden chill slithering up my spine.
house was the once the church in the town of
Aluinn; A proper town it was too; had a general
store, even a schoolhouse.”
“Was on the ruins of the church ya house be built, Mister Dunston.”
felt the color drain my face and in an uncontrollably loud voice heard myself shouting,
“Are you trying to tell me I’m living in a haunted church, in the middle of
me, my disembodied question reverberated through the mountains.