Monday, May 01, 2006

Kill the Lights

It's only fair, I guess. Here's my take on the "two lights" picture!

"Kill the Lights"
by Jason Evans

Outside, nothing moved in the spring night. Alone, Amy stared at the television with the sound dialed down.

The telephone rang.

Her breath froze.

Wide-eyed, she watched the answering machine clip the forth ring.

"Hi, this is Amy. I can't come to the phone right now...."

Her heart thumped through the long beep.

"Tonight!" a voice hissed. The line cut.

In the distance, a car engine revved. Tires screeched.

Amy leapt from the couch and grabbed the lamp. She spun the switch too fast. The bulb flashed on and off before it doused.

She ran.

The overhead light. Out.

The kitchen light. Out.

Another squeal. His muscled-up car shook the night.

In the near dark, she couldn't find the remote. Scenes from the television danced on the walls. Precious seconds bled away as she patted the set for the switch.

On her road now. Then, the gravel driveway. Headlights washed across the windows.

The television winked out. She charged up the stairs.

He skidded up to the house and slammed the car door.

As she reached the second floor, he threw himself against the lock. The threshold splintered.

In fuzzy socks, she raced past the little table without a sound. Two lights glowed. No time to stop.

In the far bedroom, she crept into the floor shadows by the bed. Her mouth pulled into a silent scream.

Scraping on the stairs.



A dark shape slid around the far wall. Two points like stars glistened in its crystalline eyes.


LiVEwiRe said...

Well, I for one won't be sleeping tonight...

Esther Avila said...

I want to know what happens next...

Jaye Wells said...


Bernita said...

I'm with September. No fair!

Anonymous said...

Well, for heaven's sake. DON'T stop there. My fingernails are chewed to the nub and I don't know what happened yet!

Scott said...

Nice economy of words, and love the fast action.

anne said...

You are serializing this, aren't you?

Lyn said...

Good story...I like the clipped sentences for this short of piece. Quick question: Did "he" switch to "it" on purpose? Over all nicely done. Left me wanting more.

Lyn said...

PS If it was a werewolf I missed the mention of a full moon or some such clue. lgp

Anonymous said...

Livewire, oh no. Sorry about that. Hopefully you were able to count playful puppies or something nice. :)

September, Bernita, Sandra, Anne, I have to plead word count here! I held myself to the same 250-word standard. My goal was to set a scene, then show a rush of terror. Anyway, isn't an imagined horror worse than a described one? When I thought of the story as I drove to the mountains at night, I didn't envision Amy getting away....

Jaye, effective?

Scott, thanks! Some of the suspense entries were good teachers. I find it a challenge to balance scene description and fast action with this kind of piece.

Lyn, changing to "it" was a conscious choice (although maybe not a good one, LOL!). I wanted to convey how things can transform in the dark. As if a psychotic boyfriend/stalker weren't bad enough, to Amy he becomes something less than human in the darkness.

Bailey Stewart said...

Very tense, I found myself at the end screaming "More!"

Anonymous said...

Nice. Creepy.

Jaye Wells said...


Defiitely effective. My heart was pounding along with your heroine.


mermaid said...

There is somehting about the two lights, the two eyes, the two beings that I can't quite put my finger on. It's as if the lights and shadows are two entities fighting a battle that can never be one by either side.

Melissa Amateis said...

Excellent job of creating tension here. Pacing is well done, too. But I want to read more!!!


Phhew... I just realized I was holding my breath while reading this piece. The suspense was wonderful, and I love how the language mimicked the event, ex: "Precious seconds bled away as she patted the set for the switch...." Brilliant.

Linda said...

Very suspenseful!

Robin said...

Very scarey! Loved the pace and the buildup!

Anonymous said...

Eve, poor Amy! I didn't want to have to do her in.

Jamie, much appreciated. :)

Jaye, thanks! Heart-pounding scenes are kind of new to me. Glad I evoked a little adrenalin.

Mermaid, there is a kind of tension in the picture. I played with several exposures, and this one capture the most powerful atmosphere.

Melissa, pacing can be so touchy, can't it? Always more to learn.

Eating Poetry, you caught the "bled!" Very cool! Extra points for you. :D

BeadinggalinMS, thanks, my friend. :)

Robin, I'm going to see how I do on a longer suspense piece. Look for "Flashlight Tag" soon.

chong y l said...

dear host:
you taught me the meaning of tautness, tension, and most important of all, brevity.
thanks for giving me forethoughts in venturing into the night.

Jeff said...

Good, Jason. :)

anne frasier said...

:) yeah.

Anonymous said...

Anne, he he. You've been a bad influence on me. ;)

anne frasier said...