Ghost story by Martin Austwick


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SUMMARY: Written for Expendable's competition.

The wind howls outside, tearing at the boards I'd nailed across the broken window. The lights flicker in sympathy. I hold my breath desperately hoping the generator won't fail again. However much I tell myself there is no one left but me I can't ignore my terror at the prospect of being outside in the dark alone, with the storm raging around me.

The last time had been two nights ago. I'd sat in the darkness for a full hour hoping for a miracle, praying that the generator would somehow start by itself. It never did though. I'd picked up my knife and unbarred the door. The wind tried to tear it from my grasp and the rain soaked me in an instant. I'd made it about halfway when lightening burst across the sky, from the corner of my eye I saw a man standing calmly, his coat flapping in the wind. I screamed. My hand clutched at the knife as I stood waiting for the man I knew couldn't exist. The flash of lightening came again. There was no one. There couldn't have been anyone. They were all dead. Everyone except me.

I re-started the generator and spent the night nailing boards across the windows.

Tonight however it doesn't stop. The lights carry on burning, offering their meagre comfort. I open another bottle of whisky and sit in the corner of the room to pass another night in a drunken stupor.

Something wakes me. The storm has calmed and the silence is worse. My heart pounds in my chest and I take a deep breath. It must have been a rat; it can't have been anything else. My hand shakes as I reach for the bottle one more time.

The doorbell rings.