by Hugh Roberts
The countdown to Halloween is almost here. Hugh Roberts wrote this spooky story just for you, the readers of Always Write. I hope that you will enjoy it.
Thank goodness they had gone. She’d spent 30 years trying to get rid of them, and they choose to go now, a week before she moved to a new home?
Raising her hands in the air, Gloria celebrated, knowing she’d beaten them. It must have been the leftover stilton cheese from Christmas she’d placed under the stairs that had finally driven them out.
Now, with only a week to go before she moved to the residential home that catered for people with the early onset of dementia, she could finally get started on sorting out 30-years of clutter.
30-years of disturbed sleep, because of the people under the stairs, had taken its toll on Gloria. Rather than begin sorting out clutter, she could have comfortably sat in her favourite armchair and have taken a nap. The packing could wait until tomorrow, or somebody else could do it.
The following morning, Gloria awoke from the best night’s sleep she’d had since the night of her honeymoon. Throwing back the bedcovers, she made her way downstairs to make the first cuppa of the day.
Just as she walked past the door that led to under the stairs, Gloria came to a grinding halt. Was that a noise she’d heard coming from behind the door or was it her imagination?
“Oh, I do hope you’re back,” sighed Gloria as she placed her hand on the door handle. “I’m going to countdown from three. If you’re not in there, they’ll be trouble. Three, four, two…Whoosh!”
Nothing but darkness and the faint smell of cheese met Gloria. She felt slightly disappointed that nobody was in there. A sudden noise from upstairs startled her, forcing her to close the door quickly.
‘Gloria? Is that you?” came a muffled, familiar voice from above her.
“You’re my little secret. My first job of the day after my morning cuppa will be to clear out this cupboard; your home,” Gloria told herself.
By the day of the move, Gloria had become a little depressed. How could the people from under the stairs have left her? They may have given her 30 years of disturbed sleep, but they were her best friends. She should never have made them go.
“Come on”, said a familiar voice of a man she didn’t recognise. “It’s time to go. Do you want to take a final look around the house before we go?”
Shaking her head, Gloria shed a few tears. Not only was she leaving behind 30 years of memories but leaving behind 30 years of living with the people from under the stairs.
On the first night in her new home, Gloria woke to the sound of scratching coming from under her bed. Were they back? The people from under the stairs, were they back?
As she watched the duvet cover slowly disappearing down the bed, revealing the bodies of her and a man who looked familiar, Gloria knew they were back.
Hugh W. Roberts 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 around various parts of the United Kingdom, including London where he lived and worked 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 online 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. One of the best compliments a reader can give Hugh is “I never saw that ending coming.”
Having published his first book of short stories, Glimpses, in December 2016, his second collection of short stories, More Glimpses, was released in March 2019.
A keen photographer, he also enjoys cycling, walking, reading, watching television, and enjoys relaxing with a glass of red wine and sweet popcorn.
Hugh shares his life with John, his civil-partner, and Toby and Austin, their Cardigan Welsh Corgis.
Let me know in the comment section if you would enjoy more short stories from different authors in the future.