Well it has been awhile but I have been slowly working on the beginnings of the next Modern Horror Tale and here is a preview of … Dean Koontz’s Phantoms!
Modern Horror: Tale Two
Phantoms by Dean Koontz
Jennifer Paige, M.D. (Medical Professional) – 31 years old, green eyes, auburn hair. She is the GP for Snowfield and the nearby small towns. Owns a late model Trans-Am and has a mortgage on her small 2-storey home/doctor’s practice.
Lisa Paige (Teenager) – 14 years old, green eyes, auburn hair
The Sheriff’s Department
Sheriff Bryce Hammond (Law Enforcement) –
Deputy Paul Henderson (Victim) – 24 years old; staffing Snowfield Sheriff’s Detachment during the initial incident.
- Paige’s Home and Office
- Mountainview Restaurant
- Santini Home
- Sheriff’s Detachment
- Candleglow Inn
Objects of Importance
The Townsfolk – 150 Dead / 350 Missing
Part One – Victims
- The Town Jail
Dep. Henderson thinks he hears a woman’s scream off in the distance, but isn’t sure so goes back to reading a magazine. Then he hears a man’s scream closer by and stands up and walks out of the bullpen to the front of the station. He hears movement behind him, which is impossible since the back door is locked and the station is empty besides him. He turns and draws his revolver and fires, but dies almost instantly anyway.
- Coming Home
Jennifer is driving back from Newport Beach Airport with her sister Lisa. She is bringing her home to live with her after the sudden death of their mother. It was caused by a massive cerebral hemorrhage, which was six weeks prior. When they first arrive the town appears completely deserted. They drive across town to Jennifer’s home. When they arrive it is silent here as well. Nothing seems amiss until they arrive in the kitchen to find Hilda Beck dead on the floor.
- The Dead Woman
After calming Lisa down, Jennifer carefully examines the corpse.
- 62 year old woman
- Body swollen as if in a late stage of composition
- Mottling and bruising over the entire surface of her skin
- She had been preparing dinner when she suddenly collapsed. A head of cabbage, some potatoes and 2 tomatoes are on the countertop
- Cabbage is still chill to the touch, death happened within the last hour
Jennifer decides to call the County Seat/Coroner’s Office in Santa Mira. She finds the phone line dead.
- The House Next Door
Song: 3rd Symphony, Eroica by Beethoven
Jennifer decides to go next door to try their phone since she believes that the line to her home could have been cut. The Santini home is a stone and redwood house. They own a ski shop and gift store in town.
They find the front door ajar and lights on in the study and the dining room. Beethoven is playing on the stereo; the piece ends a couple of minutes after they arrive. Both of them feel alone in the house and yet watched. The dining table is set for an early dinner (one plate already had salad served on it). A full ham and a bowl of mash potatoes were already sitting in the middle of the table (both still warm). There are also 2 drinking glasses filled (one with water the other with apple juice) and still contain partially melted ice. There is a single chair toppled on the floor and a salt shaker is overturned. The serving spoon and fork are on the floor next to the upright chair at the end of the table.
After seeing this scene, Lisa recalls the legend of the Mary Celeste. Jennifer tries the phone to find the line open but no dial tone. She feels like there is someone on the other end of the line listening to her.
Lisa suggests they go to the Sheriff’s Station, Jennifer agrees despite her need to check for survivors because if there is someone in the house as she suspects then her first duty is to the safety of her sister.
Night has fallen when they exit the house. Temperatures can drop to 40-45 degrees at night at this time of year.
Light sensors have turned on the streetlights and some storefronts.