I’ve just released Two Stars, a new short story in the Terror Unlimited series.

This is a short story ideal for horror fans with Kindle Unlimited membership.

It’s about a two star review for a young thrash metal band’s new record which starts a terrifying chain of events when a dedicated fan takes things a little too far…

Here’s a teaser:

‘They all jumped, so rapt in conversation were they. None of them seemed to want to answer the door.

Eddie reluctantly did, the band’s leader even in small matters like this.

It was Wentworth, holding a cardboard box.

‘I just found this outside my office,’ he said.

‘What’s in it?’ Eddie said.

‘Fuck knows.’

‘Any of you dickheads expecting a package like?’ Travis said.

They all shook their heads.

A horrid sinking feeling in his stomach, Eddie carefully eyed the box. Opening it was suddenly the last thing he wanted to do.

But he didn’t need to, as his bandmates were already halfway through tearing it open.

Zeke was first to inspect its contents and he went pale, his mouth filling with vomit when he saw what was inside.


‘What is it?’ Travis said, shoving his pallid friend out of the way to get to the box. ‘Oh, gross, man,’ he said, retching himself.

Eddie got the feeling that he didn’t want to know what was inside, but he looked regardless…’


Want to know what’s in the box?


Follow this link to the Amazon page:

UK: https://kdp.amazon.com/…/bookshelf.marketplaceli…/B01FZRS5UO

US: https://kdp.amazon.com/…/bookshelf.marketplaceli…/B01FZRS5UO

Thanks for reading



Walk in the Park free for Kindle

Posted: February 11, 2016 in Uncategorized

My blood-soaked urban horror novella is free on Kindle from today (11/2) until Monday 15/2. If you haven’t already read it this would be a great opportunity to get hold of a copy.

UK: https://kdp.amazon.com/amazon-dp-action/uk/bookshelf.marketplacelink/B00JU7LAVM

US: https://kdp.amazon.com/amazon-dp-action/us/bookshelf.marketplacelink/B00JU7LAVM

Sweet screams!


Posted: January 4, 2016 in Uncategorized

Well, after a badass Christmas break, I’m dying to get back to the sequel to The Lazarus Contagion. Happy New Year to you all and watch this space for samples and updates. Cheers!

‘A non-stop adrenaline surge’

Sunshine, my relentless horror novella, is free until 5th June

UK: https://kdp.amazon.com/…/bookshelf.marketplaceli…/B00HRK2D5G

US: https://kdp.amazon.com/…/bookshelf.marketplaceli…/B00HRK2D5G

Iain Rob

Best-selling horror author Iain Rob Wright has just released a compilation of his terrifying A-Z of Horror series. This volume contains 13 stories A-M.

I’m very, very proud and pleased to say that he offered me the chance to include one of my stories in the collection. The previously unreleased story, 1:15, is in there under D for Detour.

It’s available now for the very reasonable £2.97/$3.99

UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/-Z-Horror-Iain-Rob-Wright-ebook/dp/B00XIOAEA6/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&qid=1431447566&sr=8-13&keywords=a-z+of+horror+iain

US: http://www.amazon.com/-Z-Horror-Iain-Rob-Wright-ebook/dp/B00XIOAEA6/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&qid=1431447604&sr=8-12&keywords=a-z+of+horror+iain

A Feast of Flesh Pre-orders

Posted: March 14, 2015 in Uncategorized

The pre-order links are live for my latest novel, A Feast of Flesh. This is the sequel to the fan-favourite Flesh Harvest.

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00U34J4Z0

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00U34J4Z0


Signup form for newsletter

Posted: January 23, 2015 in Uncategorized

I’m starting a newsletter via email, in a attempt to keep you updated on new releases, special offers, competitions etc.

Here’s the link if you’re interested in signing up to my mailing list.



Harry Land Final Part

Posted: October 31, 2014 in Uncategorized

‘What the hell was that?’ Katie said.

‘See, we should never have come here,’ Ray said, turning and making for the end of the path.

‘Come on, this could be the coolest story since the original Harry Land story,’ Gerard grinned.

‘Or a gruesome footnote,’ Katie grinned. ‘Either way, it’ll be a rush.’

‘What the hell are you doing?’ Ray said as Katie put her hand to the damp-rotted wood and pushed gently.

The door swung open, letting out the dim light from a trio of pumpkins in the middle of the hallway.

‘Come on,’ she said, moving into the house, her feet making the charred floorboard creak.

Ray gulped hard and followed. His dinner jumped up to sternum height but he managed to swallow it as he moved into the house.

Gerard was keen as mustard, shoving past him and into the hallway.

‘Is anyone there?’ Katie shouted, her voice echoing ominously off the walls. ‘We heard a scream. Are you hurt?’

‘It’s Jeremy pissing about,’ Ray said, suddenly furious. His fear evaporated until he saw the bright flecks of blood on the three pumpkins.

The door slammed shut behind them, sounding like a bomb blast in the silent house.

The pumpkin nearest to Ray began to squirm, the lid of it moving around as if something inside was trying to push its way out.

What looked like the leg of some hairless tarantula poked out through the gap and began to claw its way slowly out of the pumpkin. Soon there were four more legs.

‘Who left a spider in here?’ Gerard laughed. ‘Nice one, but we ain’t fooled.’

They all drew a sharp intake of breath when they realised that it was a child’s hand in there, not a spider.

‘Well they must have drilled through the floor in the basement and poked their hand through,’ Katie said, trying to rationalise the creeping dread that threatened to freeze her heart.

‘Yeah, come on out, Jeremy,’ Ray said, his hatred and disdain for the nerd again overriding his terror for a second.

He grabbed the hand, and his mind screamed at him the skin was too cold, the flesh too squidgy, to be Jeremy’s, but he ignored it and pulled hard.

‘Come on out, you prick,’ Ray shouted, pulling with all he was worth. A grin of triumph lit his face as the hand began to slide out.

Ray screamed himself when he saw that the hand ended in a bloody stump. Maggots, deathly pale in the darkness, squirmed in the open bones and veins therein.

‘Relax, it’s a fake hand,’ Katie said, but the tone of her voice wasn’t convincing any of them.

This was proved to be false when the fingers wriggled as if waving at Ray. He threw it to one side. It bounced off the wall with a meaty thud and began to race across the floor towards him.

Another hand was emerging from the pumpkin nearest the door now and it was larger, almost big enough to be a man’s hand.

They ran to the stairs, being shepherded there by the hands and another pair that had emerged from the darkness of the kitchen.

They saw the smears of wet blood on the stairs and barely avoided slipping on them.

Halfway up the stairs they found a blood-covered white bed sheet.

‘Jeremy,’ Ray said, his face now as white as the sheet in his quaking hands.

They all let out a little cry at the realisation of what was going on; they were trapped in a nightmare from which there was no waking. The hands were making their way up the stairs now, crawling like huge, horrific insects.

The sight made their skin crawl as if covered with ants.

At the top of the stairs they found Jeremy. His right hand was missing, a surprisingly neat wound still gushing with blood that slid over the edge of the top step and began to drip down onto the next. His eyes had been plucked out of his skull and blood was pouring from the sockets like his sorrow was being expressed in scarlet.

‘Get out of here,’ Jeremy said, his voice racked with agony and despair. ‘Harry’s here. He’ll come for you too.’

They dragged him into the bedroom carefully, eager to avoid the hands which were moving quickly up the stairs behind them.

Ray unfastened his belt and tied it tightly around Jeremy’s wrist.

‘It’ll stop the blood flow,’ he said when he saw Katie and Gerard’s baffled expressions.

The room in which they found themselves was in utter darkness.

No sooner had they noticed the darkness than a candle flame flickered in the furthest corner of the room. A pumpkin was there, rotting and stinking, flies forming a foul cloud around it, but still holding its shape.

On the wall were dozens, no, hundreds of severed hands. They were large and small, old and young, male and female. Those of the curious, the stupid, the fearless.

‘The disbelievers,’ said a hissing voice from behind them. They looked up and there was Harry, blackened and dead and rotting. His right arm ended in a horrid bloody stump that dripped diseased blood onto the bare floorboards. His voice was hard to understand, kind of muffled.

They soon saw why.

His tongue was huge and swollen. It seemed to have two forks in it, although more soon appeared. A hideous black hand emerged from his jaws which opened wide, like those of a snake.

The skin at the sides of Harry’s leering face ripped with sickly sounds that echoed around the room. More of the dark, reeking blood slid down from the wounds.

The hand emerged, black, distended and deadly, the arm pouring from his throat, growing longer and longer, far longer than any arm could or indeed should have been.

It grabbed Ray round the throat and squeezed so hard it looked like his eyes were going to pop out of his skull.

Just before his peripheral vision faded into oblivion, he saw the hands on the walls begin to twitch and judder, suddenly alive after a year of hibernation and decay.

They began to haul themselves down from the nails which pinned them to the plasterboard. The sickly popping noises stuck in the heads of the three terrified kids.

The hands grabbed Ray’s arms and legs. He cried out as two crawled onto his face and their clammy, putrescent fingers sunk into his mouth.

One gripped his lower jaw in a grip harder than that of any vice.

The other matched the force on his upper lip, pulling so hard it felt like his lip was going to come off.

His lower jaw was yanked down with a force that tore the remaining breath from him. A third hand seized the opportunity and darted into his open mouth. Its slimy, maggot-infested fingers gripped his tongue.

He gagged as a maggot crawled into the back of his throat.

The hand gripped tight on his tongue, despite the moisture on there, despite the vomit that began to swamp it.

There was a horrendous pain as the hand tried to tear his tongue out at the root. Blood began to fill his mouth, settling in the vomit like some vile emulsion they’d use to paint the walls of hell, the flow increasing to a gush as the back of his tongue came loose. Blood jetted down his throat and he let out a dumb cry that sent blood bubbling down over his lips and onto his flabby chest.

He glanced around and saw Katie pinned to the floor by her chest and legs. Dozens of the rotting, foul hands held her down so hard it looked as though she was going to pass out through lack of oxygen.

I hope you do, Katie, he thought. Better that than what I’m feeling right now.

A set of hands gripped her left arm and pulled with a sudden savagery that wrenched the limb from its socket. Her cry of agony bounced off the walls and seemed to echo for an eternity.

The arms kept pulling and Ray was certain he heard the pop of each individual ligament as it came free.

Finally the limb was torn loose in a hot geyser of blood and thrown to one side.

The hands made their inexorable way across to the other arm.

Mercifully, the pain and shock had made Katie pass out.

The last thing Gerard saw was the hands pulling apart his ribcage in a shower of gore and holding aloft his still-beating heart. Then his head slumped back onto his chest and his eyes slowly closed.

The now-mute Ray gawped at the nightmare scene before him. Blood washed across the bare floorboards towards him but he was too lazy from the blood loss to move. The hands clamped him to the floor as surely as if he’d been nailed there.

His eyes struggled to focus on the scene before him.

The many hands seemed to have calmed their frantic gouging and wrenching and tearing. Now they were sat on his chest, as if waiting for instructions.

Harry himself leaned over, the thick black arm still protruding from his jaws which were forced open wide enough to almost cleave his skull in two. The tongue itself was stretched out to truly epic proportions, pulsing rhythmically.

Harry and Ray both turned as the door opened.

Ray’s blood-slicked jaw dropped open further – almost as much as Harry’s – when he saw the identity of the visitor.

‘Fiona?’ Harry said, the words thick and distorted by the obscenity pouring from his mouth. ‘Is that you?’

‘There should be more of the little shits on the way,’ a familiar voice said.

Miss Hopper stood there before Ray, somehow different to how he normally perceived her.

Then his eyes, with an effort that seemed to leech the breath from him, fell upon her left forearm, which ended in a ragged stump where her hand should have been.

The end was a thick mass of fish-belly white scar tissue.

She seemed to feel his eyes upon her and pointed to the prosthetic hand poking out of her jacket pocket.

‘I told you that you ought to pay more attention in class, Raymond,’ she said, the demonic grin on her face again like when she was telling Harry’s story. ‘You must be the only one who hadn’t noticed my false hand.’

His brow furrowed again, the mating caterpillars going in for their last hurrah as his final breath rushed into his lungs.

His eyes watched as she leaned into Harry, kissed his putrefying cheek.

‘I’m so sorry, Harry,’ she said, tears rolling down her cheeks. ‘Do you forgive me yet?’

If you enjoyed The Curse of Harry Land, check out some of my other titles here:

UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Jacob-Rayne/e/B00HS4E3G8/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_5?qid=1415050609&sr=8-5

US: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00HS4E3G8

The Curse of Harry Land Part 4

Posted: October 30, 2014 in Uncategorized

Katie knocked on Ray’s door. He scarfed down the last of his spaghetti bolognese, smearing more of it down his double chin and leapt to his feet.

He threw the Freddy Krueger mask he’d inherited from his older brother over his head and shouted, ‘Trick or treat.’ With that, he grabbed Katie in a headlock and roughly noogied her.

‘Hey,’ she squealed. ‘This hair took me ages to sort out. Get your fat hands off me.’

He pulled out the head of one of the snakes she’d meticulously woven into her hair. ‘The hell you supposed to be, anyway?’

‘Medusa, dummy. Don’t you listen in class? We only did it like last week.’

He shook his head.

‘Where’s Gerard?

‘He’s still getting his costume on.’

Ray nodded.

‘Let’s go get him. He’ll be there all night if we let him.’

Katie smiled, itched one of the snakes. The green wool she’d woven in looked awesome but it sure was itchy.

They saw a pale figure in a crisp white sheet in front of them. Two dark eyes peered out through the crudely cut eyeholes.

‘Where you off to, you big girl?’ Ray said, upon recognising Jeremy’s skinny frame underneath the sheet.

‘I’m going to rap on Harry Land’s door,’ Jeremy grinned. ‘You coming?’

Ray gasped. Shook his head instinctively, his mouth floundering for the right words.

‘Now who’s the big girl?’ Jeremy laughed.

‘Yeah,’ Katie said. ‘Let’s go up there and see if it’s true.’ A grin almost as hideous as Miss Hopper’s spread across her face.

Ray squirmed. On the one hand, one of the softest kids in the school was going. This was going to be seriously bad for his street cred. On the other hand, he was genuinely terrified by the story Miss Hopper had told him. His belly was doing somersaults like when he and his brother had double-dared each other to eat raw sausages the previous summer. But this was worse somehow.

He gulped.

‘See ya there, if you ain’t too scared,’ Jeremy grinned, turning and walking, singing the Harry Land song as he went.

It further put the shits up Ray.

‘You can’t let him go and not go yourself,’ Katie grinned. ‘Every kid you’ve ever bullied will turn on ya. You’ll lose any respect or fear you ever held over them.’

Ray nodded. Gulped again. The aftertaste of the spaghetti bolognese burnt his throat. His belly churned even more violently.

‘Yeah, but wait for Gerard. I ain’t in no rush to go there. No reason he should miss out either.’

It turned out Gerard wanted to go; it was the first thing that spilled from his lips.

Ray tried to protest but their taunts further belittled him. He was used to dishing out the bullying and had never been on the receiving end before. He was swept along like a twig in a raging river.

The house was even creepier than they’d imagined.

Elm trees ran riot over the house, which looked as though it hadn’t been occupied since the turn of the previous century. The windows were shattered, covered in dried dark streaks. The wooden walls were scorched in places where no one had bothered to repair them.

All three of them felt eyes upon them, although only Ray chose to believe the sensation.

The skin on the back of his neck began to crawl.

‘Is that blood?’ he asked.

‘I doubt it, unless Miss Hopper’s had the ketchup out to scare us away,’ Gerard laughed. With his zombie face paint, he almost looked dead already. Ray hurriedly dismissed this thought.

‘No sign of Jeremy,’ Ray said. ‘Bet he ain’t even come here.’

‘He will have done,’ Katie said. ‘He was super-determined.’

‘Probably ran away shitting his pants already,’ Gerard laughed. The laugh echoed briefly then cut off as if even it was scared to cross the threshold of the Land household.

‘Let’s fucking do this then,’ Ray said, a thin sliver of his tough guy persona returning at long last. He tore off the mask as his face was already starting to sweat at the thought of entering the nightmare house.

He walked much faster than he wanted to, but he didn’t want to lose any more face in front of his friends. They both looked up to him and he couldn’t be seen to be wussing out.

He took in a deep breath, raised his hand.

Squealed like a little girl when a blood-smeared hand clasped his shoulder hard enough to leave red finger-marks.

‘That was too fun,’ Katie laughed in his ear. ‘Say, you aren’t going pussy on us, are ya?’

‘Course not,’ he said, trying desperately to hide the shake of his hand, the rapid heartbeat that thundered in the middle of his throat.

‘Then fucking knock on the door then,’ Gerard said. ‘It ain’t that hard. See.’ He rapped three times on the wood.

‘Oh no,’ Katie grinned. ‘You knocked on the door of Harry Land. Now the devil will come out and chop off your hand.’

Gerard hid his hand up his sleeve and began to fake some screams.

‘Piss off,’ Ray said. He knocked hard on the door. Just the once, that was all he could stomach.

Katie brayed a fast beat on it.

‘There, can we go now?’ Ray said.

‘Ah-ah-ah,’ Gerard smiled. ‘We’re going in. Gonna bring one of those hands back home if there are any.’

‘There aren’t gonna be any hands,’ Katie said, as if explaining it to a toddler. ‘Cos it ain’t real.’

‘There might be this one,’ Gerard said, putting his other arm up his sleeve and beginning the fake screaming again.

Halfway through his screaming, the smiles on his and Katie’s faces vanished without a trace when a cry of utter despair came from inside the house.

Part five here: https://jacobrayne.wordpress.com/2014/10/31/harry-land-final-part/

The Curse of Harry Land Part 3

Posted: October 29, 2014 in Uncategorized

Derek grinned as he stepped up to the porch of the Land house.

‘I showed that stupid fuck good,’ he grinned. The realisation of what he’d done never really registered.

Dwight and Fiona had come with him, reluctantly at first, but soon the cash was flowing or the eggs were flying and everything was good and forgotten and fun, y’know, real fun.

The haul they’d taken was heavy in the bin bags hung over their backs and they really didn’t need to visit the house they’d, as last year, left till last.

Dwight stood at the end of the path, his eyes widening slightly, his breath like barbed wire on his throat.

His heart pounded his ribs like it was trying to escape.

‘Come on, you pussy,’ Derek said, waving Dwight forward with a casual motion of his muscled arm.

Dwight gulped and stepped over the threshold.

As Derek raised his scabby fist to bray on the surface of the door – still marked with burns from last year, Fiona and Dwight noted with horror – they both felt the urge to stop him, to grab his arm and yank it away instead of letting him touch the scorched fabric of the house where they’d all contributed to the death of an innocent man.

But they were too slow.




The final knock echoed away into the night. This time the moon was fat and full, watching them like an unblinking eye.

‘Lights are on but no one’s home,’ Derek chortled. ‘Remind you of anything?’

Dwight laughed, more to avoid a kicking off Derek later. Fiona faked a laugh.

‘Get it?’ Derek grinned, his booze-glazed eyes like pinpricks in a pumpkin. ‘Cos the guy who lives here’s a fucking ’tard!’ He started laughing the kind of laugh you only get after drinking more than you can handle and brayed again on the door. ‘Yo? Open up, you stingy bastard!’

A realisation hit Dwight and Fiona like a falling building: Derek didn’t remember what had happened here last year.

They stared at each other for a numb second. Neither wanted to be the one to tell him and they came to the unspoken agreement not to broach it. After all, they’d soon realise there was no one home and move on to greener pastures, like the Richardson’s place on the next street, which was ripe for the picking.

‘Are you there, you goddamn simpleton?’ Derek bellowed, braying a fist into the door and swallowing half of his penultimate can of beer in a oner. His resultant belch echoed around the porch.

The latch of the door clicked.

The door opened with the kind of squeal you only ever hear in horror movies or in a nightmare. You don’t ever want to hear that sound in real life, trust me on that.

‘Yo, numbnuts!’ Derek shouted into the darkness.

‘Wait,’ Fiona said, pointing into the porch where a pumpkin waited for them.

‘Cough up or get fucked up,’ the legend carved into the pumpkin read.

Icicles ran through Dwayne and Fiona’s veins. Derek was too drunk and stupid to care.

As Derek stared down into the pumpkin, light dancing back and forth across his face, a dark fluid that looked like blood spat up into his face.

He cursed and wiped it off and gave the pumpkin a hearty kick. A handful of pound coins fell out of the open lid of the pumpkin.

Derek’s face lit up like that of a kid at Christmas and he greedily scooped up the pound coins and shoved them into his pockets.

One of ’em fell from his pocket and he ducked to pick it up, scraping his hand through the dark liquid on the floor.

‘This is blood,’ he said, suddenly fifty shades more sober.

He hurriedly wiped his hands on the curtain and spun. The house was still in darkness.

‘I don’t like this,’ Dwight said.

‘Shut up, you big girl,’ Derek said.

The chill in the air made them pull their clothes tighter round themselves.

The flicker of a flame came from the upstairs landing, though they’d all have sworn on their mother’s lives that it wasn’t there when they walked in the house.

‘I really don’t like this,’ Dwight said.

As he turned to walk down the stairs – eluding Derek’s furious grasp – the door slammed shut, sending waves of cold through the house.

Dwight gulped and turned towards his friend on the stairs.

Derek was first up the stairs of course, his pig-headedness wouldn’t let it be any other way.

The second pumpkin was there, halfway up the snaking staircase. The dying light cast by the candle in its hollowed out carcass scattered shadows across the walls.

‘Plenty more where that came from,’ was plastered across the wall in what looked like dripping blood. It appeared almost black in the fading light.

He saw the glint of gold in the pumpkin’s head, illuminated a little by the dancing flame atop the pumpkin’s candle.

He ducked his hand in, felt dozens, no hundreds, of pound coins in there, even the dry crinkle of paper money. A grin crossed his lips and left a split second later when the snarling jaws of the pumpkin snapped shut around his wrist.

He cursed, pulled away, taking a large chunk of his flesh. Blood spattered down onto the bare floorboards, seeming to melt into dark stains that were already there.

‘You ok?’ Dwight said. ‘We can go if you want to?’

‘Are you shitting me?’ Derek said, snatching his arm away.

Fiona gave the pumpkin a wide berth. The eyes seemed to follow her, the mouth to widen as if imagining how she would taste.

The top of the staircase was cast in a blanket of shadows. The floor up here was darkened, with what looked like a dried pool of blood staining the old floorboards. There were also burn marks.

It looked like there was the chalk outline of a body there, too.

Minus one of its hands.

They moved into the bedroom.

The pumpkin was behind the door this time. The pool of light it cast was dim, and Fiona and Dwight only saw the room for a second, before the door slammed shut.

‘Time’s up, motherfucker,’ Fiona would later sob, traumatised, onto police report and into local legend, ‘That’s what it said on the wall, in foot-high letters.’ She sobbed, sniffed, took a gulp of coffee. ‘That’s what Derek said to Harry, before he threw the lighter.’ She gulped again, let what she had said sink in.

The crime scene team, upon entering the room, had seen that her story was true. The foot-high letters were carefully traced across the wall in fresh blood. The prints didn’t match anyone on record, although Fiona had a funny feeling that they’d match the missing right hand of Harry Land.

Yeah, they’d match those just as fine as you’d like.

‘So what did they do to him, miss?’ Ray said, suddenly sitting bolt upright in his chair, his eyes glued to her, his ears pricked up.

She smiled a knowing smile. ‘I could tell you but you’d have nightmares for the rest of your sorry life.’

‘Please tell us,’ the kids said.

She shook her head. ‘It’s enough to tell you that there was blood all over the walls. Derek’s own hands were missing, I’ll tell you that. His arms ended in ragged, bloody stumps. And his eyes, they were the worst part. They were just staring… glassy. Dead.’

A couple of the kids baulked. The rest were ok; in this day of movie violence and sadistic video games they’d no doubt seen worse on the idiot box.

‘So, what happened to him?’ Ray said. ‘I mean, who did it?’

The malicious grin once again played across Miss Hopper’s lips. ‘Who do you think?’

‘It was Harry, dumbass,’ Jeremy said, suddenly full of confidence.

Ray’s brow furrowed, his two thick black eyebrows meeting in the middle like a pair of particularly hirsute mating caterpillars. ‘But…’ you could almost hear the cogs in his head turning as he struggled to process this information. ‘…Harry died. How…’

Miss Hopper snorted laughter. ‘It’s Hallowe’en, time for a scare,’ she sang to remind him. ‘If you trick or treat you’d best beware. Don’t knock on the door of Harry Land, or the devil will come and chop off your hand.’

Ray’s brows furrowed further still.

‘He made a deal with the devil to pay them back, slowpoke,’ Katie Frank said, shaking her head in disbelief that he still hadn’t figured it out.

Miss Hopper smiled and nodded. ‘Yes, him and his friends.’

‘So what happened to them, Miss?’ Ray said.

That night, they got home, tried to sleep, but terror consumed them, prevented them from getting a restful night. They heard fingers drumming on the window like the legs of an immense spider.

And looked out to see a lone hand on the windowsill. No body attached to it, just a festering, oozing piece of dead flesh.

But it wasn’t dead, the fingers, though rotten and dead and harbouring countless maggots, had a strength and a dexterity that managed to open the latch on the window.

It crawled into the room, like some horrid creature.


It grabbed Dwight’s arm and pinned it to the mattress. He opened his mouth to scream but another hand – this one much smaller and fresher and scabbed with eczema – crawled up the bed and clapped down over his mouth so hard he couldn’t scream, could barely even breathe.

He fought hard, but it was too late for him.

Much too late.

This shadowy form appeared in the room, so dim and tenebrous he struggled to make it out.

He said there looked like horns on the top of its head and glowing red eyes that blazed through the snaking shadows. There was a snort that sounded like a bull or a goat, then his bulging eyes fell upon the razor sharp axe held aloft in the apparition’s huge hand.

It was the same axe Harry had used to chop off his hand.

It held it up for a second, and he was certain he saw it smile, heard it laugh. The noise echoed around in his head.

Then the axe plunged down, slamming into the skinny wrist with a force that instantly severed his hand.

Thick gouts of blood sprayed out, hitting the ceiling and bouncing back down onto his trembling body. It was like he took a blood shower, one of the cops who found him would later say.

And before he died, his own hand crawled up his body, slowly, savouring every inch it moved. The dead fingers flexed then grabbed tight around his windpipe. His struggles intensified, but the hands held him tight. He wasn’t going anywhere.

The severed hand crushed in ever tighter, forcing out the meagre amount of air that remained in his starving lungs. Then it pulled hard, tearing his throat out in hot hails of blood. It was the last thing he saw; his own, severed hand holding aloft the crushed length of his larynx.

When they found him the hands had gone, of course, but they found trails in the blood. Found Derek’s fingerprints, and those of Fiona, whose body was never found.

The severed hand was never recovered either.

‘Woah, that’s brutal,’ Ray said, a whiter shade of pale covering his already pasty face.

Miss Hopper nodded.

‘So now you know where the song comes from,’ she said. ‘And you know why you must avoid Harry Land’s house if you decide to go trick or treating.’

‘Ah, that ain’t gonna happen to any trick or treaters,’ Katie said. ‘That’s just a scary Hallowe’en story. Not true.’

Miss Hopper’s face was instantly robbed of the glee it had previously exhibited.

‘It is true. And none of you must ever go there. Every year since the unfortunate night of Harry’s death there have been kids curious and stupid enough to visit poor Harry’s house. And every year there have been kids who have never returned home. Hands that have never been found.’

‘Bull-shit,’ Jeremy piped up, his voice much more powerful than his usual timid self.

‘I don’t think any of us should go,’ Ray said. ‘It sounds scary as shit to me.’

The reversal of the usual classroom roles was startling for most of the class. Most of them began to heckle Ray.

‘You must promise me that none of you are ever going to go up there,’ Miss Hopper said, face grave.

The kids all looked around each other. A handful of them were reluctant to promise, but Miss Hopper saw that most of them were terrified. They’d rather swallow their own shit than go up there, judging by the timid, clammy faces that stared back at her.

Jeremy, Katie and Gerard were the only ones who were yet to promise not to go to Harry’s house.

‘Come on, guys,’ Miss Hopper said.

‘We promise,’ they said together with a complete lack of sincerity that made her think of the spin-doctor politicians she’d seen on TV spinning a web of lies ready for the next election. Not my fault if they get themselves killed, she thought.

She began to talk again, but the bell sounded. As the last bell of the school day, she knew she had more chance of flapping her arms and flying than keeping the unruly kids in class.

‘Please, kids, I’m begging you, don’t go up there,’ she shouted as they shouldered their bags and jostled to be first out of the door.

There was trick or treating to be done, scares to be dished out and no time to waste on school.

Part four here: https://jacobrayne.wordpress.com/2014/10/30/the-curse-of-harry-land-part-4/