The July Special Guest Story is by Graham Masterton
Please feel free to visit Graham at: http://www.grahammasterton.co.uk/
WHAT THE DARK DOES
by Graham Masterton
“Mummy—please don’t close the door.”
His mother smiled at him, her face half lit by the landing light, the other half in shadow, so that she looked as if she were wearing a Venetian carnival mask.
“All right. But I can’t leave the light on all night. Honestly, David, there’s nothing to be scared of. You remember what Granpa used to say—dark is only the same stuff that’s behind your eyelids, only more of it.”
David shivered. He remembered his Granpa lying in his open coffin at the undertakers, his face gray and half-collapsed. He had thought then that Granpa would never see anything else, ever again, but the darkness behind his eyelids, and that was scary.
Darkness is only benign if you know that you can open your eyes whenever you want to, and it will have fled away.
He snuggled down under his patchwork quilt and closed his eyes. Almost immediately he opened them again. The door was still open and the landing light was still shining. On the back of his chair he could see his black school blazer, ready for tomorrow, and his neatly-folded shorts.
In the corner of his room, lying sprawled on the floor, he could see Sticky Man, which was a puppet that his Granpa had made for him. Sticky Man was nearly two feet tall, made of double-jointed sticks painted gray. His spine and his head were a long wooden spoon, with staring eyes and a gappy grin painted onto it. Granpa used to tell him that during the war, when he and his fellow soldiers were pinned down for days on end under enemy fire at Monte Cassino, they had made Sticky Men to entertain themselves, as many as ten or twelve of them. Granpa said that the Sticky Men all came to life at night and did little dances for them. Sometimes, when the enemy shelling was particularly heavy, they used to send Sticky Men to carry messages to other units, because it was too dangerous to do it themselves.
David didn’t like Sticky Man at all, and twice he had tried to throw him away. But his father had always rescued him—once from the dustbin and once from a shallow leaf-covered grave at the end of the garden—because his father thought that Granpa’s story about Sticky Men was so amusing, and part of family history. “Granpa used to tell me that story when I was your age, but he never made me a Sticky Man. So you should count yourself privileged.”
David had never actually seen Sticky Man come to life, but he was sure that he had heard him dancing in the darkness on the wooden floorboards at the edge of his bedside mat: clickety, clackety, clickety, clackety. When he had heard that sound, he had buried himself even deeper under the covers, until he was almost suffocating.
What really frightened David, though, was the brown dressing-gown hanging on the back of his bedroom door. Even during the day, it looked like a monk’s habit, but when his father switched off the landing light at night, and David’s bedroom was filled up with darkness, the dressing-gown changed, and began to fill out, as if somebody were rising up from the floor to slide inside it.
He was sure that when the house was very quiet, and there was no traffic in the street outside, he could hear the dressing-gown breathing, in and out, with just the faintest hint of harshness in its lungs. It was infinitely patient. It wasn’t going to drop down from its hook immediately and go for him. It was going to wait until he was so paralyzed with terror that he was incapable of defending himself, or of crying out for help.
He had tried to hide the dressing-gown by stuffing it into his wardrobe, but that had been even more frightening. He could still hear it breathing but he had no longer been able to see it, so that he had never known when it might ease open the wardrobe door and then rush across the bedroom and clamber up onto his bed.
Next he had tried hanging the dressing-gown behind the curtains, but that had been worse still, because he was sure that he could hear the curtain-rings scraping back along the brass curtain-pole. Once and once only he had tried cramming it under the bed. When he had done that, however, he had been able to lie there for less than ten minutes, because he had been straining to hear the dressing-gown dragging itself out from underneath him, so that it could come rearing up beside him and drag his blankets off.
His school blazer was almost as frightening. When it was dark, it sat hunched on his chair, headless but malevolent, like the stories that early Spanish explorers had brought back from South America of natives with no heads but their faces on their chests. David had seen pictures of them in his schoolbooks, and even though he knew they were only stories, like Sticky Men were only stories, he also knew that things were very different in the dark.
In the dark, stories come to life, just like puppets and dressing-gowns.
He didn’t hear the clock in the hallway downstairs chime eleven. He was asleep by then. His father came into his room and straightened his bedcover and affectionately scruffed up his hair. “Sleep well, trouble.” He left his door open a little, but he switched off the landing light, so that his room was plunged into darkness.
Another hour went by. The clock chimed twelve, very slowly, as if it needed winding. David slept and dreamed that he was walking through a wood, and that something white was following him, keeping pace with him, but darting behind the trees whenever he turned around to see what it was.
He stopped, and waited for the white thing to come out into the open, but it remained hidden, even though he knew it was still there. He breathed deeply, and stirred, and said out loud, “Who are you?”
Another hour passed, and then, without warning, his dressing-gown dropped off the back of his bedroom door.
He didn’t hear it. He had stopped dreaming that he was walking through the wood, and now he was deeply unconscious. His door was already ajar, but now it opened a little more, and a hunched brown shape dragged its way out of his bedroom.
A few moments later, there was a soft click, as the door to his parents’ bedroom was opened.
Five minutes passed. Ten. David was rising slowly out of his very deep sleep, as if he were gradually floating to the surface of a lake. He was almost awake when something suddenly jumped on top of him, something that clattered.
He screamed and sprang upright, both arms flailing. The clattery thing fell to the floor. Moaning with fear, he fumbled around in the darkness until he found his bedside lamp, and switched it on.
Lying on the rug next to his bed was Sticky Man, staring up at him with those round, unblinking eyes.
Trembling, David pushed back the covers and crawled down to the end of the bed so that he wouldn’t have to step onto the rug next to Sticky Man. What if it sprang at him again, and clung to his ankle?
As he reached the end of the bed, and was about to climb off it, he saw that his dressing-gown had gone. The hook on the back of his bedroom door had nothing hanging on it except for his red-and-white football scarf.
His moaning became a soft, subdued mewling in the back of his throat. He was so frightened that he squirted a little warm pee into his pajama trousers. He looked over the end of the bed but his dressing-gown wasn’t lying in a heap on the floor as he would have expected.
Perhaps Mummy had at last understood that it scared him, hanging up on the back of the door like that, and she had taken it down when he was asleep. Perhaps she had taken it away to wash it. He had spilled a spoonful of tomato soup on it yesterday evening, when he was sitting on the sofa watching television—not that he had told her.
He didn’t know what to do. He knelt on the end of the bed, biting at his thumbnail, not mewling now but breathing very quickly, as if he had been running. He turned around and looked down at Sticky Man but Sticky Man hadn’t moved—he was still lying on his back on the rug, his arms and legs all splayed out, glaring balefully at nothing at all.
Whatever David did, he would have to change his wet pajama trousers, and that would mean going to the airing-cupboard on the landing. Mummy always liked to keep his clean pajamas warm.
Very cautiously, he climbed off the bed and went across to his bedroom door. He looked around it. The landing was in darkness, although the faintest of green lights was coming up the stairs from the hallway, from the illuminated timer on the burglar alarm, and that was enough for David to see that his parents’ bedroom door was open, too.
He frowned. His parents never left their door open, not at night. He hesitated for a few long moments, but then he hurried as quietly as he could along the landing until he reached his parents’ bedroom, and peered inside. It was completely dark in there, although he could just make out the luminous spots on the dial of his father’s bedside alarm clock.
He listened. Very far away, he could hear a train squealing as it made its way to the nearest station, to be ready for the morning’s commuters. But when that sound had faded away, he could hear nothing at all. He couldn’t even hear his parents breathing, even though his father usually snored.
“Mummy?” he called, as quietly as he could.
No answer. He waited in the doorway, with his wet pants beginning to feel chilly.
“Mummy?” A little louder this time.
Still no answer.
He crept into his parents’ bedroom, feeling his way round the end of the bed to his mother’s side. He reached out and felt her bare arm lying on top of the quilted bedcover. He took hold of her hand and shook it and said, hoarsely, “Mummy, wake up! I’ve had an accident!”
But still she didn’t answer. David groped for the dangly cord that switched on her bedside reading light and tugged it.
Both of them were lying on their backs, staring up at the ceiling with eyes so bloodshot that it looked as if somebody had taken out their eyeballs and replaced them with crimson grapes. Not only that, both of them had black moustaches of congealing blood on their upper lips, and their mouths were dragged grotesquely downward. Two dead clowns.
David stumbled backward. He heard somebody let out a piercing, high-pitched scream, which frightened him even more. He didn’t realize that it was him.
He scrabbled his way back around the end of the bed, and as he did so he caught his foot and almost tripped over. His brown dressing-gown was lying tangled on the floor, with its cord coiled on top of it.
He didn’t scream again, but marched stiffly downstairs like a clockwork soldier, his arms and legs rigid with shock. He picked up the phone and dialled 911.
“Emergency, which service please?”
“Ambulance,” he said, his lower lip juddering. “No, no, I don’t need an ambulance. I don’t know what I need. They’re dead.”
The red-haired lady detective brought him the mug of milky tea that he had asked for, with two sugars. She sat down at the table next to him and gave him a smile. She was young and quite pretty, with a scattering of freckles across the bridge of her nose.
“You didn’t hear anything, then?” she asked him.
“No,” David whispered.
“We’re finding it very difficult to work out what happened,” she said. “There was no sign that anybody broke into your house. The burglar alarm was on. And yet somebody attacked your daddy and mummy, and whoever it was, they were very strong.”
“It wasn’t me,” said David. He was wearing the purple hooded top that his uncle and aunt had given him for his last birthday, and he looked very pale.
“Of course it wasn’t you,” said the detective. “We just need to know if you saw anything or heard anything. Anything at all.”
David looked down into his tea. He felt like bursting into tears but he swallowed and swallowed and tried very hard not to. He was too young to know that there was no shame in crying.
“I didn’t hear anything,” he said. “I don’t know who did it. I just want them to be alive again.”
The detective reached across the table and squeezed his hand. She couldn’t think of anything to say to him except, “I know you do, David. I know.”
Rufus said, “Did they ever find out how your parents died?”
David shook his head. “The coroner returned a verdict of unlawful killing by person or persons unknown. That’s all he could do.”
“You must wonder, though, mate. You know—who could have done it, and why. And how, for Christ’s sake!”
David took a swig from his bottle of Corona. The Woolpack was crowded, even for a Friday evening, and they were lucky to have found somewhere to sit, in the corner. An enormously fat man sitting next to them was laughing so loudly that they could hardly hear themselves speak.
Rufus and David had been friends ever since David had started work at Amberlight, selling IT equipment. He had been there seven months now, and last month he had been voted top salesman in his team. Rufus was easy-going and funny, with a shaven head to pre-empt the onset of pattern baldness and a sharp line in gray three-piece suits.
David heard himself saying, “Actually…I do know who did it.”
“Really?” said Rufus. “You really do know? Like—have you known all along, right from when it happened? Or did you find out later? Hang on, mate—why didn’t you tell the police? Why don’t you tell them now? It’s never too late!”
David thought, Shit, now I wish I hadn’t said anything. Why did I say anything? I’ve kept this to myself for seventeen years, why did I have to come out with it now? It’s going to sound just as insane now as it would have back then.
“I didn’t tell the police because they would never have believed me. Just like you won’t believe me, either.”
“Well, you could try me. I’m famous for my gullibility. Do you want another beer?”
Rufus went to the bar and came back with two more bottles. “Right, then,” he said, smacking his hands together. “Who’s the guilty party?”
Rufus had his bottle of beer poised in front of his mouth, his lips in an O shape ready to drink, but now he slowly put the bottle down.
“Did I hear that right? Your dressing-gown?”
Trying to sound as matter-of-fact as possible, David said, “My dressing-gown. I had a brown dressing-gown that used to hang on the back of my bedroom door and it looked like a monk. I always used to think that when it was dark it might come alive. Well, one night it did, and it went into my parents’ bedroom and it strangled them. In fact it garrotted them, according to the police report. It strangled them so hard it almost took off their heads.”
“Your dressing-gown,” Rufus repeated.
“That’s right. Sounds bonkers, doesn’t it? But there is absolutely no other explanation. Unlawful killing by night attire. And there was something else, too. I had a puppet that my grandfather made for me, like it was all made out of gray sticks, with a wooden spoon for a head. Sticky Man, I used to call it. When my dressing-gown went to murder my parents, Sticky Man jumped on me and I think he was trying to warn me what was going to happen.”
Rufus bent his head forward until his forehead was pressed against the table. He stayed like that for almost ten seconds. Then he sat up straight again and said, “Your puppet warned you that your dressing-gown was going to kill your mum and dad.”
“There—I told you that you wouldn’t believe me. Thanks for the beer, anyway.”
“You know who you need to talk to, don’t you?” asked Rufus.
“A shrink, I suppose you’re going to say.”
“Unh-hunh. You need to talk to Alice in accounts.”
“Alice? That freaky-looking woman with the white hair and all of those bracelets?”
“That’s the one. Actually she’s a very interesting lady. I had a long chat with her once at one of the firm’s bonding weekends. It was down somewhere near Hailsham, I think. Anyway, Alice is great believer in crustaceous automation, I think she called it.”
“What? Crustaceous? That’s like crabs and lobsters, isn’t it?”
“Well, she said something that sounded like that, anyway. What it means is, things coming to life when it gets dark. She really, really believes in it. Like your dressing-gown, I suppose. One of the things she told me about was this armchair that came to life when anybody fell asleep in it, and it squeezed them so hard that it crushed their ribcage. It took forever before somebody worked out what was killing all these people.”
“So what was killing them?”
“What she said was, it’s the dark that does it. The actual darkness. It changes things.”
David looked at Rufus narrowly. “You’re not taking the piss, are you?”
“Why would I?”
“Well, I know you. Always playing tricks on people. I don’t want to go up to this Alice and tell her about my dressing-gown if she’s going to think that I’m some kind of loony.”
“No, mate,” said Rufus. “Cross my heart. I promise you. I’m not saying that she’s not loony, but I don’t think you’re any loonier than she is, so I doubt if she’ll notice.”
They met in their lunch break at their local Pizza Hut, which was almost empty except for two plump teenage mothers and their screaming children. David ordered a pepperoni pizza and a beer while Alice stayed with a green salad and a cup of black tea.
When he started talking to her, David realized that Alice was much less freaky than he had imagined. She had a short, severe, silvery-white bob, and he had assumed that she was middle-aged, but now he saw that her hair was bleached and highlighted and she couldn’t have been older than thirty-one or thirty-two. She had a sharp, feline face, with green eyes to match, and she wore a tight black T-shirt and at least half-a-dozen elaborate silver bangles on each wrist.
“So, what did Rufus say when you told him?” she asked, lifting up her cup of tea with both hands and blowing on it.
“He was all right about it, actually, when you consider that he could have laughed his head off. Most of the rest of the team would have done.”
“Rufus has his own story,” said Alice. David raised an eyebrow, expecting her to tell him what it was, but she was obviously not going to be drawn any further.
“You know the word ‘shoddy’?” she said.
“Most people think it means something that’s been badly made. You know, something inferior. But it can also mean a woollen yarn made out of used clothes. They rip up old coats and sweaters to shreds and then they re-spin them, with just a bit of new wool included. Most new clothes are made out of that.”
David said, “I didn’t know that, no.”
“In Victorian times, these guys used to go around the streets ringing a bell and collecting used clothes. They called them ‘shoddy-men.’ These days it’s mainly Lithuanians who pinch all of those bags of clothes that people leave out for charities. They ship them all back to Lithuania, turn them into new clothes and then sell them back to us.”
“I’m not too sure what you’re getting at.”
Alice sipped her tea, and then she said, “Sometimes, those second-hand clothes have belonged to some very violent people. Murderers, even. And clothes take on their owners’ personalities. You know what it’s like when you try on another man’s jacket. It makes you feel as if you’re him.”
“So what are you trying to tell me? My dressing-gown might have had wool in it that once belonged in some murderer’s clothes?”
Alice nodded. “Exactly.”
“But it’s not like I put it on and killed my parents. The dressing-gown came alive. The dressing-gown did it on its own!”
David suddenly realized that he was talking too loudly, and that the two teenage mothers were staring at him.
He lowered his voice and said, “How did it come alive on its own? I mean, how is that possible?”
Alice said, “The scientific name for it is ‘crepuscular animation.’ It means inanimate objects that come alive when it begins to get dark. Most people don’t understand that darkness isn’t just the absence of light. Darkness is an element in itself, and darkness goes looking for more darkness to feed itself.”
She continued, “That night, when your light was switched off, the darkness in your room found whatever darkness that was hidden in your dressing-gown, and filled it up with more of its own dark energy, and that brought it to life.”
“I’m sorry, Alice. I’m finding this really hard to follow.”
Alice laid her cool, long-fingered hand on top of his. Her green eyes were unblinking. “What else could have happened, David? You said yourself that nobody broke into the house, and that you didn’t do it. You couldn’t have done it, you simply weren’t strong enough. And your puppet man came alive, too, didn’t he? How do you think that happened?”
David shrugged. “I haven’t a clue. And why should my dressing-gown have come to life then, on that particular night? It was hanging there for months before that. My mother bought it for me in October, so that I could wear it on fireworks night.”
“Well, I don’t know the answer to that. But it could have been some anniversary. Perhaps it was a year to the day that somebody was murdered, by whoever wore the wool that was woven into your dressing-gown. There’s no way of telling for certain.”
David sat for a long time saying nothing. Alice continued to fork up her salad and sip her tea but he didn’t touch his pizza.
“How do you know all this?” he asked her. “All about this—what did you call it—screspusular stuff?”
“Of course nobody believed the other little boy, but my great-grandmother did, because she knew him and she knew that he always told the truth. She made a study of inanimate objects coming to life when it begins to get dark, and she wrote it all down in an exercise book and that exercise book got passed down to me. Nobody else in the family wanted it. They thought it was all cuckoo.”
To emphasize the point, she twirled her index finger around at the side of her head.
“I don’t know what to think,” David told her.
“Just beware of the darkness,” said Alice. “Treat it with respect. That’s all I can say. And if you see a dressing-gown that looks as if might come alive, then believe me, it probably will.”
He returned home late that night. The bulb had gone in the hallway and he had to grope his way to the living-room.
The living-room was dimly lit from the nearby main road. He lived on the ground floor of what had once been a large family house, but which was now divided into eight different flats. His was one of the smallest, but he was very fastidious, and he always kept it tidy. Up until the end of last year, he had shared a large flat with two colleagues from work, and that had been horrendous, with dirty plates stacked in the kitchen sink and the coffee table crowded with overflowing ashtrays and empty Stella cans. Worst of all had been the clothes that were heaped on the floor, or draped over the backs of chairs, or hanging from hooks on the back of every door.
He switched on the two side lamps and the television, although he pressed the mute button. On the left-hand wall stood a bookcase, with all of his books arranged in alphabetical order, according to author. In front of them stood two silver shields for playing squash and several framed photographs of his father and mother, smiling. And then, of course, there was Sticky Man, perched on the edge of the shelf, staring at him with those circular, slightly mad eyes.
When Sticky Man had jumped on David the night that his parents had been murdered, he had terrified him, but David had come to believe that he had been trying to warn him, and that was why he had kept him all these years. Hadn’t Sticky Men always been helpers and facilitators—entertaining the troops in Italy during the war, and carrying messages under shellfire? When David was little, Sticky Man may have frightened him by coming alive during the night, but he had only been dancing, after all.
“Hey, Sticks,” he said, but Sticky Man continued to stare at him and said nothing.
Although he had eaten only one slice of his pizza at lunchtime, David didn’t feel particularly hungry, so he opened a can of Heinz vegetable soup, heated it up in the microwave and ate it in front of the television, watching Newsnight.
Afterward he showered and brushed his teeth and climbed into bed. He tried to read The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo for a while, but he couldn’t stop thinking about Alice, and what she had said about inanimate objects coming to life when darkness fell. He still couldn’t remember exactly what it was called. Was it Crispucular automation?
Just beware of the darkness. Treat it with respect. That’s all I can say. And if you see a dressing-gown that looks as if might come alive, then believe me, it probably will.
After his parents’ murder David had been brought up by his Aunt Joanie and his Uncle Ted. They had bought him a new dressing-gown, a tartan one, but on the day that he had left home he had thrown it in the dustbin and he had never bought himself another one since. He never hung any clothes from the hook on his bedroom door, not even a scarf. Even before he had talked to Alice, he had always kept his clothes shut up in closets and wardrobes, out of sight. No jackets were hunched over the back of his chair. No shirts hung drip-drying in the bathroom, like ghosts.
He switched off the light, and closed his eyes. He felt very tired for some reason. Alice had disturbed him quite a lot, even though he found it very hard to believe everything that she had told him. The statue of the weeping woman he found quite unsettling. And he wondered what Ray’s story was? Ray was so pragmatic, and so straightforward. What on earth had appeared out of the dark to frighten Ray?
He slept deeply for over an hour, but then he abruptly woke. He was sure that he had heard a clicking noise. His bedroom was unusually dark, and when he lifted his head from the pillow he realized that the digital clock beside his bed was no longer glowing. There were no streetlights shining outside, either. There must have been a power-cut, which might explain the clicking noise that had woke him up: the sound of the central-heating pipes contracting as they cooled down.
As he laid his head back down on the pillow, he heard more clicking. More like clattering this time. He strained his ears and listened. There was a lengthy silence, and then a quick, sharp rattling sound. He thought he heard a door opening.
He sat up. Something was outside his bedroom, in the hallway. Something that made a soft, dragging noise. It sounded as if it was coming closer and closer, and then it bumped into his bedroom door. Not loudly, but enough to give him the impression that it was big and bulky.
His heart was hammering against his ribcage. “Who’s there?” he called out. “Is anybody out there?”
There was no answer. Nearly half a minute went by. Then suddenly there was another clatter, and he heard his door-handle pulled down. His door swung open with the faintest whisper, almost like a sigh of satisfaction.
He waited, listening, his fingers gripping the bedcovers. What had somebody once said about bedcovers? Why do we pull them up to protect ourselves when we’re scared? Do we think a murderer with a ten-inch knife is going to be deterred by a quilt?
“Who’s there?” he called out again, sounding hoarse to his own ears.
“For God’s sake, who’s there?”
It was then that the power came back on again, and his digital bedside clock started flashing green, and the central heating began to tick into life again, and he saw what it was that was standing in his bedroom doorway.
It was his navy-blue duffel coat, with its hood up. It looked like a dead Antarctic explorer, somebody whose body had been found in the snow a hundred years after they had died.
Beside it, tilting this way and that, as if it couldn’t get its balance right, was Sticky Man. Sticky Man must have opened the door to the closet in the hallway, so that the duffel coat could shuffle out, and Sticky Man had opened his bedroom door, too. There was nobody else in the flat, so who else could it have been?
It was then that he realized that on the night his parents had been killed Sticky Man hadn’t been trying to warn him. Sticky Man had been probably trying to wake him up, so that he too would go into parents’ bedroom, to be garrotted along with them.
“You traitor, Sticks,” he whispered, but of course Sticky Man wasn’t a traitor, because Sticky Man was a creature of the dark, just as much as his dressing-gown and his duffel-coat. It wasn’t them, in themselves. They were only inanimate objects.
It was the dark.
David’s duffel coat rushed across his bedroom floor toward him. He lunged sideways across to the other side of the bed, trying to reach his phone.
“Emergency, which service please?”
Then a struggling sound, and a thin, reedy gasp, followed by a long continuous tone.
It was what the dark does.
Graham Masterton has published over 100 novels, including thrillers, horror novels, disaster epics, and sweeping historical romances.
He was editor of the British edition of Penthouse magazine before writing his debut horror novel The Manitou in 1975, which was subsequently filmed with Tony Curtis, Susan Strasberg, Burgess Meredith and Stella Stevens.
After the initial success of The Manitou, Graham continued to write horror novels and supernatural thrillers, for which he has won international acclaim, especially in Poland, France, Germany, Greece and Australia.
His historical romances Rich (Simon & Schuster) and Maiden Voyage (St Martins) both featured in The New York Times Bestseller List. He has twice been awarded a Special Edgar by Mystery Writers of America (for Charnel House, and more recently Trauma, which was also named by Publishers Weekly as one of the hundred best novels of the year.)
He has won numerous other awards, including two Silver Medals from the West Coast Review of Books, a tombstone award from the Horror Writers Network, another gravestone from the International Horror Writers Guild, and was the first non-French winner of the prestigious Prix Julia Verlanger for bestselling horror novel. The Chosen Child (set in Poland) was nominated best horror novel of the year by the British Fantasy Society.
Several of Graham’s short stories have been adapted for TV, including three for Tony Scott’s Hunger series. Jason Scott Lee starred in the Stoker-nominated Secret Shih-Tan.
Apart from continuing with some of most popular horror series, Graham is now writing novels that have some suggestion of a supernatural element in them, but are intended to reach a wider market than genre horror.
Trauma (Penguin) told the story of a crime-scene cleaner whose stressful experiences made her gradually believe that a homicidal Mexican demon possessed the murder victims whose homes she had to sanitize. (This novel was optioned for a year by Jonathan Mostow.) Unspeakable (Pocket Books) was about a children’s welfare officer, a deaf lip-reader, who became convinced that she had been cursed by the Native American father of one of the children she had rescued. (This novel was optioned for two years by La Chauve Souris in Paris.)
Ghost Music is a love story in which a young TV-theme and ad-jingle composer discovers that his musical sensitivity allows him to see and feel very much more than anybody else around him – but with horrifying consequences which only he can resolve.
Other novels recently released from Leisure Books: Descendant, an idiosyncratic vampire novel; Petrified, that includes Nathan Underhill, the zoologist introduced in Basilisk; The Pariah, a ghost story; and Mirror, about a looking glass that has witnessed death of a very young Hollywood star.
See all of Graham's books HERE
Read Graham's The Horror Zine interview HERE