The Safer Side of Midnight

To all readers, this short story genre is horror. Only read on if you’re comfortable with reading this type of material. Not to worry, Penny, the cheerful upbeat person that I am, will return on the ‘morrow after allowing her muse a bit of freedom to explore the supernatural (creepy) aspects of fiction!

“The safer side of midnight,
is always on the sunshine side.” – Penny L Howe, 2013


… Or not!

The first time I stepped into the long forgotten graveyard, blanketed with mossy green and flowering vines, I was mesmerized. The setting, peaceful, serene and uplifting, even though surrounded by monuments reminding of those departed. Yet still, I was comforted.

It became my calm place. A tranquil place to visit, I would go frequently; called back each time, by those lingering feelings. The dew would still be clinging to the moss covered edifices as I sat and contemplated life in the land of the dead. I certainly did not think of it in those terms at the time, I was simply at peace.

After several months of visits, it was most unexpected to hear a quiet voice speak out, “Hello there!” So softly spoken were the words, blending in with nature sounds, I thought I had imagined them.. Birds were chirping, cool soft breezes rustling nearby branches and leaves.

“Hello there.” This time I heard the voice clearly, although still very gentle like mist clinging to the air. I wasn’t afraid and looked around for the person who had broken my reverie.

I answered the greeting, “Hello?” Searching the graveyard for the companion to the voice.

No one, nothing! not at first glance anyway. And then my eyes were drawn to a faint image slowly appearing, perched atop one of the larger headstones not far from me. He was transparent, I could see through him, but he was most definitely there.

At this point, most people would have turned and run away, fast and furiously. But I am not most people. My first thoughts, pure fascination. I walked over to where the “ghost”, as I assumed it must be, was sitting.

He had a very sweet smile on his face. He gazed directly into my eyes as if searching … for something. “You don’t appear to be afraid of me,” he said, still smiling as he cocked his handsome head, bemused I believe, by my calmness.

“No,” I answered. “Why should I be?” While there was a strong feeling of surreality, I had in that moment, never felt more alive, there was a magnetism in the air. I knew it as did he. I think he was more surprised by the strength of the sensations than myself.

I watched as the bemused expression on his face slowly changed to one of awareness and then recognition and excitement. “Ahhh”, he said, “It’s YOU. This explains much. We’ve been waiting for you, for such a very long time! And it was I … I who was the first to find you!”

Those were discomfiting words to say the least. I was, now, not sure if I wanted to continue the conversation with this being who was only with me in a spiritual sense, a silvery glow cast about him, but no shadows or reflections from the glow. As I thought on what to do or say next I felt a chill, which I quickly dispelled.

“Your warmth is glorious,” he said. “You chase away the things that frighten us so much with just your thoughts. We were told it would be so. May I come nearer? You are the warmth of a fire on a chilly day,”

Moments passed in silence. Realizing I had been holding my breath, following his last words, I slowly released the air from my lungs. As he drew near I watched other apparitions taking form, throughout the graveyard.

“What do you mean Sir Ghost?” I replied a bit faintly. The dual feelings of dread and yet a longing to be here, filtered through my conscious self.  The graveyard quickly filled with more and more of these beings … an eerie essence of otherness permeating my senses. Awareness growing within me.

He was no more than inches from me now, breathing in my exhaled breath with pleasure. He turned to the massing crowd of spirits and triumphantly announced, “I have found her, I have found her.” The small silvery glows now changing to a deep foreboding gray, spreading out over the assembling spirits.

And I … felt … trapped. A magnetism was pulling on me. The energy radiating all around, my soul’s purity and richness within me bursting to overflowing … as the young demon entities rushed to engulf me.

too late I remembered in countless lives from my past, why and who I had hidden from for so long  … only at the very last as evil began to feed, and I lay trapped within a mixture of growing sensual desire and horror, did I realized that those feeding on me, were but minions, keeping me at bay, preparing me for their master’s voracious appetite. The one I could now hear coming to claim me. The devil who had searched for centuries for my immortal soul, had finally found me, in this lifetime, on the sunny side of Midnight!


A Short Story by Penny L Howe, 2013,

Hey guys, still me here, all’s well, just a little escape from reality. My question to you my friends, should there be a part two, where she escapes, or should this be a stand alone piece!

I hope you enjoyed!


Alastairs Photo Fiction – The nature of things

The photo prompt for Alastair’s Photo Fiction follows. To take part and challenge your writing skills, click on the link, you won’t regret it.


Photo by Alastair Forbes copyright 2013


“Light and dark, good and bad, up and down!” She inhaled the misty clouds blowing out ringed circles as she had seen humans doing with their cigarettes. “Why always the extremes in life, dad?”

He thought about sending her back in time to review the beginning of existence. But upon reflection decided she was just emoting to break through his reverie. She knew why there were extremes.

“Well, no philosophy lecture today my child, just the natural order of things which reminds me, are your “things” in order for today?”

She flipped herself (the ethereal one shaped now as a human) doing cart wheels in the clouds. “Oh yes indeed! I am ready. Things are going to start happening now!” Her dark chuckle a sound on the wind, dissipating quickly.

He sighed causing the clouds to change form around him. His exhaled breath creating movement, although he was also, without physical substance or form. Her exuberance would be tolerated, it was after all her nature. “The subjects are prepared then?”

“Yes, most particularly the female!” Her reply a sneer. “The scary dreams I’ve been sending her are awesome”.

“Why her?” He asked? Although he knew.

“She just really irritates me. How could she encourage him to dismiss my beautifully ominous clouds the other day and right after pointing them out?”

“But you thought it funny at the time, child,” He reminded her.

“Well I don’t now,” *Yin replied.

“If you must then”, *Yang sighed again. “Just remember, balance must at some point be achieved, it is the nature of things.”

She stuck her tongue out at him, while nodding her head in agreement!



*Yin and Yang in Chinese culture, represent the two opposite principles in nature. Yin represents the feminine or negative nature of things and yang stands for the masculine or positive side. Yin and yang are in pairs, such as, female and male, dark and bright, passive and active, etc. But yin and yang are not static or just two separated things. The nature of yinyang lies in interchange and interplay of the two components. The most important element is that yin and yang rely on one another so balance of life is maintained.

Thanks for stopping by, hope you enjoyed the story (yes it was a continuation from Alastairs prompt last week!) Stay balanced in life – as you can!

~ Penny