‘FEAR OF THE DARK’
BY MARK LESLIE
When Carl was six years old he watched the Sandman strangle
the Tooth Fairy.
It wasn’t the first bizarre nocturnal sight he’d witnessed, and it
definitely wasn’t to be the last; but it did alter him permanently
from that day forward.
He’d been tossing and turning in his bed unable to get to sleep
because he was anxious about the visit from the Tooth Fairy.
His parents had told him about her as yet another one of those
nocturnal beings who slipped in and out of a person’s house in
the middle of the night while everybody was sleeping.
And while he’d been lying there, worried he wouldn’t fall
asleep and that the front incisor wrapped carefully in a wad of
tissue would not be replaced with a bright shiny coin, he heard
a muted shuffling outside his door.
Thinking it was his mother coming in to check on him and to
tuck his covers before turning in herself; he glanced over at
the door as it opened.
Silhouetted in the doorway was a tall female figure who
definitely wasn’t his mother. The shiny sequins of her outfit
twinkled softly in the beam from his Tigger night light,
revealing the ruffles and poufy fabric of a dress like something
a princess might wear. And in the dark he could make out the
tips of what looked like wings protruding from her shoulders
on either side of her head.
“What do you think you’re doing?” a deep male voice hissed
from immediately beside Carl.
Carl froze, his eyes taking in another shape in the room he
hadn’t seen before, this one standing at the head of his bed
and wearing dark billowing robes.
The female in his doorway stammered out a startled reply. “I’m
j-just here f-for the t-too—”
“I know why you’re here!” the male voice interrupted, his voice
rough like the crunching of boots on gravel. “But you’re too
early.” The darkly robed shape moved down the length of
Carl’s bed toward the door, seeming to flow rather than walk.
“The boy is still awake. I haven’t completed my task.”
“Oh my,” she whispered and begin to turn away. But the male’s
sleeved arm snaked out quickly and a large hand grasped her
by the throat.
Carl still couldn’t move anything other than his eyes, not
realizing he was caught in a state between wakefulness and
sleep in which his body was already mostly paralyzed but his
mind was still awake and aware.
He watched, horrified, as the male lifted the female completely
off her feet and shook her violently back and forth. As Carl’s
eyes further adjusted to the darkness he could see a thin film
of fine dust-like particles emanating from the man.
“Let this be an example,” the man said in a gravelly voice over
his shoulder while the woman struggled helplessly. “Say
anything about this to anyone and I’ll take them all down.”
Read the rest of Mark Leslie’s
“Nocturnal Visions” along with 19
other eerie tales in the ebook Fear
of the Dark: An Anthology of Dark
Website Content © 2009-2014 Horror Bound Publications. Website Design © 2014 Extraordinarium Digital Press. All rights reserved.
Short stories featured in this anthology and excerpts featured on this website are © their respective author. Horror Bound logo © Michael Brennan.
ABOUT HORROR BOUND
TABLE OF CONTENTS / ABOUT FEAR OF THE DARK’S AUTHORS
EXCERPTS FROM THE ANTHOLOGY
> INTRODUCTION BY PAUL KANE
> “A DISTINCTIVE CURIOSITY” BY DAVID INGALLS (excerpt)
> “NOCTURNAL VISIONS” BY MARK LESLIE (excerpt)
> “FOR FEAR OF LITTLE MEN” BY SANDRA M. ODELL (excerpt)
INTERVIEWS WITH THE PEOPLE BEHIND THE ANTHOLOGY
> MARIA GRAZIA CAVICCHIOLI, Co-Editor/Founder, Horror Bound
> JASON ROLFE, Co-Editor/Former Associate Editor, Horror Bound
> CHRISTOPHER FOWLER, Author, “The Man In the Rain”
> PAUL KANE, Author, “Keeper of the Light”
> LISA MANNETTI, Author, “Spy Glass Hill”
> AARON POLSON, Author, “Keeping the Dead”
You can find Mark Leslie’s full short story
“Noctural Visions” in our anthology, Fear
of the Dark - now available as an ebook!
BUY FEAR OF THE DARK
from your favourite ebook retailer
OR CLICK THE BIG BUTTON ABOVE FOR WORLDWIDE SALES (USD)
ebook distributed by