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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

"Devil's Creek" by Paul Maitrejean

Erika, staying at the Devil's Creek Cafe, has seen a hooded figure approach the building -- just before the power went out and Marlys, the cafe owner, screamed.

Lightning cut the blackness, white knives stabbing through the windows. At the end of the hallway, the stairway gaped like a black mouth. Erika felt her way toward it, one hand on the wall. At the head of the stairs, she shone her light down. The steps descended to a landing, then turned right to the first floor.


Thunder covered her voice, crashing overhead.

Erika started down. The creaking of the steps blended with the rain and wind beating against the building. With each step, Erika’s pulse beat harder. While the storm’s noise covered her own approach, it also camouflaged any sounds an intruder might create below. Did someone wait for her at the stairs’ foot? She didn’t dare imagine it. Right now, Marlys needed her.

At the landing, Erika bent down to see into the café. In the nearly constant flicker and blaze of lightning, the room appeared deserted.


A tall hooded figure stepped before the foot of the stairs, not ten feet away, a black silhouette against the lightning.

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