Under Cover of Light: an Experiment in Writing Horror

This is a piece of micro-fiction I wrote in October of 2009 as an experiment in writing horror. Yesterday I pulled it from the archives and shook a little dust off. The concept is growing on me and I am considering moving forward with the idea as a short story or foundation for a new novel.

Under Cover of Light
by Susan Warren Utley
Written October, 2009
Revised July, 2010

He moves in silence through the trees until he reaches the edge of the clearing. In the house beyond, he sees her standing in the window staring out at him. Instinctively he slips behind a tree certain his movement could not have gone undetected. She shows no reaction to his presence. The illuminated room conceals him in the darkness. He hides in the open under cover of light. Slowly he moves toward the house while she stares out into the emptiness. He studies her face, watching for a hint that he has been discovered.  Step by step he inches closer until only a single pane of glass separates his face from hers. He watches intently as she reaches up to sweep away a lock of hair that has fallen across her forehead. Warm breath escapes her fogging the window between them. Reaching up with a finger she draws a small heart in the dew on the pane. He and she stand in silence watching the heart fade away. Mimicking the girl he exhales slowly upon the glass. His eyes are on her as a question appears upon her face and she tilts her head to the side, furrowing her brow in contemplation. She slides a finger across the clouded glass, but her finger leaves no trace. He anticipates the moment when realization will set in and her expression will change from question to fear. Only a moment passes as her complexion begins to pale and she reaches for the lamp beside her. In the instant the light goes out she stares into his eyes but for a brief moment before his image is shattered and shards of glass fly toward her.

Photo by ABF and shared here under Creative Commons license.

About Susan Warren Utley

Susan Warren Utley is a wife and mother living and writing in the shadows of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Her stories are inspired by the unexpected twists and turns of real life and by her muse, a feisty Jack Russell Terrier who occasionally answers to the name of Lucy. View all posts by Susan Warren Utley

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