The second short story in my upcoming free book is taking shape, so I thought I would post the first chapter (unedited) to whet peoples appetites a little. This story deals with Mary Hobbes, and what happened to her, where as the first focused on a horrible act that occurred many years before. Hopefully you will enjoy it and it will intrigue you enough to sign up for my Mailing List to make sure you don’t miss out.

Mary was tired.
She had been walking all evening, desperate to put as much distance as she could between her and him.
The late afternoon sky, that had burned a deep red, had given way to the night, and stars now pinpricked the black sky. She was bruised and sore, still aching from the latest attack from her drunken husband.
Robert had come home, full of booze, and dragged Mary to their small bedroom. He had thrown her to the bed and climbed atop her, promising a night to remember. She would rather he not bothered, but let him have his way all the same. However, as had happened before, little Robert remained flaccid and uncooperative.
Mary knew she could say nothing to console her husband and, as predicted, he had flown into a violent rage, blaming her, and struck and choked her, as savagely as he ever had. Fearing for her life, yet again, Mary fled.
She didn’t know where she would go, but just needed to be away from Robert. And for good this time. There would be no going back. He would no doubt come looking for her, so she had to remain hidden.
She would die before going back to him.
Mary walked almost the entire length of Bishops Hill, not really knowing where she was heading. She had no friends to call on anymore, Robert had seen to that, so she just continued to walk, pulling her threadbare cotton clothing tightly to her, trying in vain to ward of the cold.
She reached the village centre, which was desolate at this time of night, before the idea of heading to the old farm entered her head.
Dunton Farm, was it?
She’d heard about it, heard what happened there all those years ago; the family that were killed, almost two centuries past. There were many stories about the farm, and the strange and terrible things that had happened there in the intervening years. It now stood abandoned, falling into ruin. No one wanted anything to do with it.
It was seen as a place where something was decidedly… off.
A dark place.
Which suited her just fine, right about now. She felt nothing but darkness in her heart. The thought of the shadows there swallowing her up, and hiding her from the world, seemed appealing. At the very least, it would be a place to go to get out of the bite of the cold, somewhere to hide until she could get her mind and thoughts in order.
Mary trekked through the village and along the long road, out to the farm. Her legs ached and her feet were sore, and the cold seemed to seep into her very bones. She wanted to collapse, just drop to the floor to let sleep take her.
As enticing as the thought was, she knew she could not. It was far too cold out in the open, and she did not think she could survive a bout of pneumonia.
So she persevered, and pushed on past the built up are of the village centre, out towards the farm lands.
Out towards Dunton Farm.
She knew she was getting close when the fields became overgrown and unkempt, and soon she could make out the silhouette of the stone mill, standing tall in the distance.
It called to her, drawing her close, like some ominous beacon of the night.
With nowhere else to go and no one to turn to, she went to it, heeding the call.