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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Thngs that go bump in the night


October. My favorite month of the year – when the days can be still warm but the nights are drawing in, the leaves are starting to fall, and the sunsets are spectacular. And, I like to think that with the dark of winter edging closer, the spirits come out to play more often. My name is Kiran Hunter and I write suspense. I was born in October, so I’m a Scorpio...  maybe that’s why I’m drawn to write about the things that lurk in the shadows... and sex!
Some authors are inspired to write by overheard snatches of conversation or from people-watching. I find stories quite often come to me from places I visit, as if I’m picking up on some history from the buildings themselves. Or perhaps I’ll find somewhere especially creepy – and the senses start tingling and the adrenalin starts to rush...
It’s not unusual for there to be a house in a village that is declared to be haunted. Usually derelict, its past owners long forgotten – it’s the house on the hill or by the graveyard that kids dare each other to sneak into on Halloween, and even adults are wary of despite dismissing tales of slamming doors and mysterious lights as the product of over-active imaginations.
My short story, Bedevil, was inspired by a walk one evening, close to where I live. There was a beautiful old house next to the city cemetery, almost concealed by evergreens, ivy and rampant plants. Only the roof and upper windows were visible through the smothering foliage, and it looked like you needed a machete to get either in or out of the front door. But, there was a light glowing in the upstairs window night after night. As it didn’t look like anyone could get either in or out of the place – I wondered who was in there. If I asked anyone local they didn’t seem to know...
Then, on the evening I went for a walk, I turned down the road leading to the cemetery, only to see that the house had been uncovered. And it was even more stunning than the tiny glimpse of it you could see before even hinted at. But I wondered what had happened to whoever – or whatever – had been in that upstairs room. Maybe they were still there... hiding, waiting to make themselves known to whoever had moved in. That striking house gave me the image of Harbinger House I had in my mind when I sat down to write Bedevil, and I wondered who the new occupants were, and how they were finding living in their new home.
So, I’ve told you a little about the setting and inspiration for Bedevil.  In this case the new owners of Harbinger House, Gareth and Tim, were already haunted, nerves were already stretched and tensions were high when they moved in. I hope you want to know more about how the couple get on in their picturesque new home – but be warned, not everything is rosy in the Harbinger Household, there are things that go bump in the night... but someone is keeping an eye on them... except it isn’t a nosy neighbour.

 A dream inheritance, a dark legacy, a new beginning...

When Gareth Balaam inherits Harbinger House, he thinks his problems are over. But unfortunately, they've only just begun. Harbinger House has a dark past. Shrouded in mystery, what may have occurred within its walls is still a matter of conjecture. The locals at the pub talk about the place in whispers. Gareth's partner, Tim, thinks the house is haunted.

Gareth doesn't believe in ghosts, but he does believe Tim is using the house as an excuse to not work on their relationship. Their trip to the country to bring them closer seems to be doing the opposite. Tensions and resentments flare, and through it all, someone is watching...

Luka is lonely and bored. Confined to the shadows of the house for decades, he has driven all the previous occupants insane with lust. Except the last. The one man Luka had loved had broken his heart and had left rather than lose his mind. The house stood empty, and Luka was alone. But not anymore. There's life in the house again, two delicious lovers, two new humans to seduce. Except one refuses to play...

Excerpt
Gareth slammed the car door shut and activated the central locking system. It was later than he’d hoped; the sun was setting, a flock of birds wheeling up into the sky before turning back on itself and settling in the trees surrounding the village church. Almost pretty, he thought, turning on his heels to take in the rest of the scene. Almost, but not quite… Good God. He cleared his throat. Tim wasn’t going to like this. “Well, there it is, I think. Somewhere in there,” he said.
“What? That?” Tim followed Gareth’s gaze across the road. “No! Look at the place!”
The gate squealed in protest, as if it hadn’t been opened for decades. The sun had almost disappeared, the tops of the trees surrounding the house now brushed with a pink glow and the garden beneath consumed by shadow.
“I suppose it could have been beautiful once upon a time. It’s a little overgrown,” Tim said.
“Adds to its charm.” Gareth hoped he sounded convincing.
“Erm, not sure charm is the word you’re after.”
“Let’s take a look. Reserve judgment until we’ve seen inside the place.”
With Tim a footstep behind, Gareth made his way up the path, negotiating crumbling concrete and easing past rampant shrubs. Beside the front door, a plaque was just visible through the ivy clinging on to the building. He pried the stubborn stems away from the wood to read the carved words beneath.
“‘Harbinger House.”
“Well, that’s reassuring, Gareth. Harbinger of doom, and all that.”
“Curious the place isn’t called that on the deeds…just 20 Willow Green.”
Gareth slid the key into the lock and turned it. There was a moment’s hesitation before the catch clicked and the door eased open an inch, as if the house wasn’t quite ready for them. He smiled at Tim and, with a dramatic flourish, gestured for him to enter first. Tim shook his head.
“After you. The place is yours.”
“Ours, Tim. It’s ours.”
The warning cry from the rusting gate ripped his senses awake, but his mind was slow to follow. All Luka was aware of at first was the agony of sound and the warm trickle of blood from his ears. His muscles stretched as he moved, tendons almost tearing from the bone as he unraveled his body from its fetal position. He wailed with the new pain—a feeble echo of the metal against metal outside. His first intake of breath rasped down his throat and burned into his lungs. He clamped his mouth shut and breathed in deeply through his nose. The house was different—the odor of dust and mold and damp was still there, but something else too. The protesting gate had heralded the arrival of new flesh. He could smell it.
A river of cold air flowed across his pain-wracked body, caressing his arms, his chest, his legs—the outside world finding a way through a crack in his prison and reawakening his nerve endings to remind him of what he had been without for so long.
Touch. Skin against skin. Breath on skin…

You can buy Bedevil here:

You can find Kiran Hunter here:

2 comments:

  1. Just to update... my paranormal Erotic short,Eden, is to be published in the Halloween Heat M/M anthology from Etopia Press on Oct 5th - more details on that over on my website!

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