#ShortShortStories

a cure for the common block

In the Dark

When Toby was a child his brother told him about a local ghost story, The Whistler. It hit all the familiar beats about such legends: a man torturing and killing his family, dying in a house fire, mysterious disappearances, and an eerie whistling accompanying an unidentified scraping sound. Although his brother’s attempt to frighten Toby wasn’t particularly successful there was something unnerving about the story he couldn’t quite place. Years later he was recounting the tale to his friends at college when he finally identified what bothered him so much: the source of the scraping sound was never revealed – the punchline to every scary story ever – identifying the sound moments before the victims demise, was denied. Toby was visiting his hometown for his mother’s funeral, staying in a hotel when he jolted awake to the sound of scraping coming from the bathroom. He had always imagined the whistling and scraping to be monotonous, but in fact it was one long drawn out hooooo alongside several short scrape-scrape-scrapes. This continued for almost an hour as cold sweat soaked Toby’s bed, until the sounds suddenly stopped. Toby’s sweaty palm clasped the handle of the hotel door and turned it carefully, trying to make a silent escape. He opened the door to reveal a pitch black hallway; the haunting sounds resumed as a figure in the shadows rose, whistling and

#ShortShortStories #InTheDark

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