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Free Short Story - The House (Part 4)

Photo of a staircase with the shadow of a person standing above

Part four of this exclusive web serial has arrived! Find out what happened with Emily and Mark in this exciting installment. Haven't read the others yet? Make sure to catch up now with Part 1, Part 2, & Part 3 respectively. Tomorrow will be the thrilling conclusion! I hope you enjoy this exclusive free short story.

Here's the legal bit first then on to the story!

This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, contact

Adrenaline coursed through her veins causing her throat to tighten and her eyes to widen in the darkened space.

It’s only Mark, her mind reasoned. It has to be Mark.

Yet Mark was outside, wasn’t he?

Anger quickly replaced her fear as she thought it had to be Mark playing a trick on her.

He knows, she thought. He knows and this is just some sick joke.

“Mark?” She called into the dark with more confidence than she felt. Her eyes strayed to the doorway where she thought she saw movement. “This isn’t a game, Mark.”

Emily retraced her steps to the hallway that led to the front door. Her skin crawled as she anticipated Mark to be hiding in the shadows ready to spring on her at any moment.

The wind picked up outside and she could hear wood scraping against wood from above.

It’s the wind, she convinced herself. There’s nobody here but me and—

Her mind went blank when she saw the shadowed form lying on the floor in the room across the hall from where she had been. The shadows flickered and she realized her hands were shaking, causing the lamp to bounce lightly in her hand.

She dropped to her knees, pushing the lamp onto the floor beside her while she used both hands to grasp either side of Mark’s face. His flesh was cold, his eyes stared sightlessly at the ceiling.

“Mark?” Her voice quavered as she slapped him before dropping her head to his chest to see if he was breathing.

Her throat hitched as she realized Mark was dead, had been dead for quite some time, yet she had only just left him.

From above she heard the floorboards groan under the weight of something heavy.

She clapped both hands to her mouth and stared at the darkened hall with the stairs that led to the second floor.

She stood, abandoning the lamp that lay at Mark’s side. Her eyes roamed the room she was in, looking for an escape. Anything that would get her out of the house and into the rain where she could run to the road and flag down a passing car.

“Emily,” she heard Mark whisper.

She felt his breath on the back of her neck, and she turned, ever so slowly to see him standing behind her.

“Did you find a phone?”

Her hands dropped from her mouth as she screamed, turning on her heel to exit the room as quickly as her legs could carry her. The body on the floor was gone. Only the hurricane lamp remained.

When she fled from the room, she bypassed the stairs and ran toward the back of the house into the shadows as she searched for another way out. Her hands pushed on a door that blocked her path and it swung freely to reveal a small dining area.


She heard Mark scream from behind her and she ran blindly to her right, hoping to find another room with an exit. Her feet tripped on something that lay across the floor and she fell, hard, to the wooden floor. Her head bounced off a piece of furniture on the way down and light exploded behind her eyes with the contact. Her ears rang and she felt her arm snap as she landed awkwardly on her left side.

She whimpered from the pain and curled her legs toward her chest. Lightning struck outside casting shadows within, and she saw for the first time what it was that pursued her.
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