HAPPY CREEPY HALLOWEEN!
Today, I have a special treat for you! My friend and author, Hugh W. Roberts, has agreed to share with us a sneak peek into a creepy story that will appear in his second novel of short stories when it’s published.
Author, Hugh W. Roberts
If you don’t know Hugh, from his blog Hugh’s Views & News, you are missing one of the most beautiful people on the planet. Always gracious and a great blogger and friend, he always makes you feel good with his kind and humorous comments.
Since I’ve known Hugh, we’ve discussed quite a few pumpkin recipes. Pumpkins are native to North American, but not in the U.K. This year, Hugh surprised me. Yes, he took the plunge. He grew pumpkins!
Image Credit: Hugh W. Roberts
Just so you know, Hugh is also a master in writing flash fiction with endings you never expected. Take it away, Hugh!
Image credit: Pixabay.com
“When the Tide Turns”
By Hugh W. Roberts
It was the stupidest warning any of the young men had heard. ‘Don’t go on the beach. If the tide doesn’t get you, then the Sandman will.’
Coming to the end of their final year at college, the old guy in the beaten-up Ford in the car park at the beach was not going to put them off. Anyway, right there in front of them, paradise awaited.
“I thought you said high tide was 15:06,” said Alan.
“It is. I checked the website, and it said 15:06,” replied Carl.
“The tide times are different on this beach. That’s another reason why there’s nobody on it. Unpredictable the tide is,” warned the old man sat in the car.
“It doesn’t matter guys. Just look at that golden sand and sparkling sea,” shouted Ben. “Ignore the old guy, he’s probably on something. YOU ARE, AREN’T YOU, WEIRDO!”
Turning around to face the old man, Ben saw the deadliest of stares.
Image credit: Pixabay.com
“I’m warning you boys, go down on that beach, and none of you will come off it alive.”
“Yeah, OK weirdo, you just want this place to yourself,” called out Ben. “Besides, we’re kind of a bit old to believe in the Sandman. Come on guys, last one in the sea gets to raid their old man’s fridge for the beers.”
With that, Ben ran towards the sea. It wasn’t long before Alan and Carl followed him, while the old man shook his head.
Twenty-five minutes later, Ben was the last one to start making his way out of the sea.
“Why has nobody ever told us about this place?” asked Carl.
“Would you want to tell anyone?” asked Alan, as he dried himself. “It’s beautiful. Best swim I’ve ever had. Anyway, I think the tide is turning, so we’d better get back to our clothes. Let’s hope that weirdo in the car park has gone when we get back.”
Standing up, Carl wrapped a towel around the top half of his body to take away a slight chill. He turned around to face the beach and suddenly dropped the towel to the sand.
“Did you see that?”
“See what?” asked Alan, looking over his shoulder.
“Something over there; moving in the sand.”
“Get out of here, dude, you’re just trying to scare us,” laughed Alan, as Ben joined them.
“Seriously, something is moving in the sand,” said Carl, pointing to the area just in front of where they had undressed and left their clothes.
Looking back over his shoulder, Alan couldn’t see anything. “You’re playing games, dude.”
“No, seriously, take a look,” said Carl, as Ben flicked water droplets at him.
“Look at what?” asked Ben.
“Over there. Something is moving in the sand,” replied Carl, as he pointed towards the piles of clothes.
Image credit: Pixabay.com
“I don’t see anything, apart from sand and three piles of clothes,” laughed Ben. “Stop messing with us, dude. I didn’t see anything as I came out of the sea. Why’re you letting that weirdo of an old man get to you? Come on, I’ll race you both. Last one back to the clothes has to date and bed the Swanson twins.”
Before they knew it, Alan and Carl watched as Ben started to run towards the three piles of clothes, which were halfway up the beach.
“NO! COME BACK, THERE’S SOMETHING IN THE SAND,” screamed out Carl. However, Ben continued to run towards the piles of clothes, laughing, while calling the other two boys names.
A sudden scream from Ben filled the air when he finally reached the piles of clothes. His screams got louder as Alan and Carl watched in horror as Ben seemed to be pulled into the sand.
“HELP ME GUYS, SOMETHING’S GOT MY LEGS!” screamed Ben, before quickly disappearing.
For a few moments, Carl and Alan stood in amazement, not able to move. It was only the touch of cold water washing over his feet that made Alan speak.
“How the hell, did he do that? “You two had better not be pissing me about. BEN! YOU CAN COME OUT NOW. I’M COUNTING TO FIVE, AND IF YOU DON’T SHOW YOURSELF I’M GONNA KNOCK YOU SENSELESS, MATE!”
“Don’t walk on the sand.” begged Carl, “it’s not safe. The old man was right. There’s something in the sand.”
“We got to go, Carl. The tide’s coming in so unless you want to drown, you need to start walking now.”
With that, Alan started to walk away, while Carl tried pulling him back.
“Get off me! I swear I’ll knock you out. You two aren’t going to scare me.”
Pulling himself away from Carl, Alan started to walk towards the area where Ben had disappeared. Feeling a little scared, when he finally reached the piles of clothes, he turned around to face Carl.
Image credit: Pixabay.com
“COME ON, IT’S SAFE. THERE’S NOTHING HERE,” Alan called over to Carl.
Carl remained where he was, the water now above his ankles.
‘You’re going to drown, dude,” said Alan to himself, as he jumped up and down on the sand.
Carl remained fixed to the spot.
“Where are You B—”
It was the feel of two hands around his ankles that made Alan stop talking. However, the touch was sharp, as if somebody was rubbing sandpaper hard into his ankles.
“Argggggh,’ he screamed while looking down at his feet, which had disappeared into the sand. The last thing Alan saw before being dragged under the sand, was Carl running along the shoreline.
Screaming for help, Carl ran down the shoreline, not wanting to touch any part of the sand that was not under water. To his relief, he saw a large wooden walkway coming down to the shoreline and ran towards it.
Image credit: Pixabay.com
Stopping beside it, he hesitated at first, but the tide was now coming in fast, and this was his only escape. Although exhausted, he found the energy to run up the wooden walkway, making sure that his feet went nowhere near the edges. When he got to the top of the walkway, he was relieved to see two cars in the distance. One was Alan’s car, the other belonged to the old man.
Although small stones embedded themselves into his bare feet, Carl made his way quickly to the car park and only realised he was still naked when he reached the old man’s car. Winding down the driver’s window, the old man spoke.
“I told you not to go on the beach. Why didn’t you listen to me?”
“You need to get help, please,” begged Carl, “phone the police.”
“Oh, it’s too late for them,” said the old man, as he opened his car door.
In horror, Carl watched as layers and layers of sand began to fall out of the old man’s car and crawl towards him.
Nobody heard his scream.
©2017 Hugh Roberts
Meet Hugh Roberts
Hugh W. Roberts published his book of short stories, Glimpses, in December 2016. He lives in Swansea, South Wales, in the United Kingdom.
Hugh gets his inspiration for writing from various avenues including writing prompts, photos, eavesdropping and while out walking his dogs, Toby and Austin. Although he was born in Wales, he has lived in various parts of the United Kingdom including London where he lived for 27 years.
Hugh suffers from a mild form of dyslexia but, after discovering blogging, decided not to allow the condition to stop his passion for writing. Since creating his blog ‘Hugh’s Views & News’ in February 2014, he has built up a strong following and now writes every day. Always keen to promote other bloggers, authors, and writers, Hugh enjoys the interaction blogging brings and has built up a group of on-line friends he considers as an everyday essential.
His short stories have become well known for the unexpected twists they contain in taking the reader up a completely different path to one they think they are on when reading one of his stories. One of the best compliments a reader can give Hugh is “I never saw that ending coming.”
Having now published his first volume of short stories, Hugh and is working on the next volume. A keen photographer, he also enjoys cycling, walking, reading, watching television, and enjoys relaxing most evenings with a glass of red wine.
Hugh shares his life with John, his civil-partner, and Toby and Austin, their Cardigan Welsh Corgis.
Stumble Upon: https://www.stumbleupon.com/stumbler/hughroberts05
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hugh-W.-Roberts/e/B01N40ZABP/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
As part of my continuing efforts to support independent authors if you are interested in participating in my Author Spotlight – Guest Posts, I am looking for themed posts about fairies, myths, and magic. If you are an enthusiastic author and would like to be featured on my blog, please click HERE to find out more. ~Colleen~
Sleep Tight! Don’t let the bed-bugs bite! ❤
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Colleen M. Chesebro is an American Poet who loves crafting paranormal fantasy and magical realism, cross-genre flash fiction, syllabic poetry, and creative nonfiction. Colleen sponsors a weekly syllabic poetry challenge, called Tanka Tuesday, on wordcraftpoetry.com where participants learn how to write traditional and current forms of haiku, senryu, haiga, tanka, gogyohka, tanka prose, renga, solo-renga, haibun, cinquain, Etheree, nonet, and shadorma poetry. Colleen's syllabic poetry has appeared in the Auroras & Blossoms Poetry Journal, and in “Hedgerow, a journal of small poems.” She’s won numerous awards from participating in the Carrot Ranch Rodeo, a yearly flash fiction contest sponsored by carrotranch.com. In 2020, she won first place in the Carrot Ranch Folk Tale or Fable category, with her story called “Why Wolf Howls at the Moon.” Colleen is a Sister of the Fey, where she pursues a pagan path through her writing. When she is not writing, she is reading. She also loves gardening and crocheting old-fashioned doilies into works of art.