Extract from novel-in-progress

In an effort to propel me to finish my wip, Out of the Woods (which is going to need a title change because I realised it’s a forest and not a wood and doesn’t that just ruin EVERYTHING??!!!!), I thought I might post up my current draft of the opening prologue.

The book is ‘coming of age horror’, and any thoughts you might have are always welcome!


There was definitely something in the bedroom. Peter couldn’t see it, but he knew it was there. Or them; there could be more than one. He lay as still as he could, looking down to make sure his feet were covered by blanket, which they were.

There was a creek in the far corner of the room. It was probably- no, definitely, the house cooling down. The house always made those noises, and they always scared him, but this was definitely the time to decide that it was the house cooling down.

He wanted to pull the blankets up over his head, but if he did that then he knew that he couldn’t keep an eye out for whatever might be there.

Another creek in the corner of the room. Then silence once more. And then movement out of the corner of his eye. He looked, and could make out the shape of his toy castle. Definitely just the toy castle. And then something in the other corner, he looked and his heart convulsed, but it was just his jacket hanging up where he always hung it up. On the back of the door. Just his jacket, and not something or someone  standing there.

That noise is him breathing, not some monster. Definitely him breathing. So he held his breath, and the breathing continued.

And then something moved.

Something on his desk, he couldn’t quite make out. But he could see it clearly enough in the moonlight to know that something was moving across the desk, something dragging along the oak desk. Then a bag of marbles shook and the marbles sprung out, rolled across the desk and fell to the floor. And something was still breathing.

And then the shadows thrown across the room by all the bedroom things; the chair, the desk, the castle, the suitcase on the wardrobe, the shadows started to move. He had already identified the source of them, the shadows, so he knew it wasn’t a trick that the shadows were moving, twisting, moving together and looming up over his bed.

Peter couldn’t take it anymore. He threw the blanket over his head, curled up into the foetal position, and closed his eyes as tight as he could. But that wasn’t going to help, and he knew it. And he knew it was his own fault.

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