Charles Denmore has been hiding a secret. On the run from a dark and gruesome past, Charles has been hiding in the most secluded place he could find. But Charles is about to find out the hard way that some things can’t be out-run. Secrets always find a way out. Caught in a storm and trapped by raging floodwaters with no way to escape, Charles is confronted by a stranger that seems to know more about him than he knows, himself. As the storm worsens, and the floodwaters rise, this mysterious stranger takes him on a tour of his worst nightmares…the memories of all the pain and suffering he once caused others in his former life.
Who is this mysterious stranger, and what does he want from Charles? Does he want money? …or is he simply trying to drive him over the edge of insanity? As the floodwaters threaten to destroy his new home, Charles is faced with the question…even if he survives the flood, can he survive coming face to face with his deepest regret…his most painful secret?
Will he survive the worst flood in local history, and manage to hang onto his sanity as well? …or will he lose it all?
Panic welled up inside him as he neared the steps. Charles fumbled through the keys, searching for the one with the green tab that identified it as the key to the back door, but the color tabs were useless in the yellow glare of the security light. The three keys on the ring looked nearly identical, and only the dark red tab of the front door key was distinguishable in the poor lighting. He would never make it to the front door. He could feel it getting closer. Gnarled, bony hands reached for him in the darkness, clawing at the night just behind him. He could almost feel the air from them as they barely missed his hood.
He picked a key as he hit the bottom step, praying it was the right one, but knowing it hardly mattered. The thing was too close, and he would never get the door open in time. It would grab him before the key was even in the lock, and long before he could swing the storm door open. Right key or not, Charles knew it made little difference.
As he swung the storm door open, he caught a reflection in the glass. It looked rather distant, but he knew better than to trust that. Objects in the mirror are always closer than they appear, but that wasn’t a theory he had time to explore at the moment. Perhaps if he lived through the next five seconds he could ponder it on the other side of the locked door. But for now, he had to hope that he had chosen the right key and the reflection was indeed further away.
He jabbed at the door knob with the key, missing the hole and pushing the keys from his hand. He could see them falling in slow motion to the concrete steps below him, and his heart seemed to hang between beats as he waited for the jingle. It would be the last sound his ears would ever hear, besides his own strangled screams as his throat was crushed between those powerful jaws. Morbid curiosity finally won as he turned, slowly, to face death. He didn’t want to die huddled in his back door, cowering away from the shadow. He wanted to know, needed to know, what had finally caught up to him from his past.
Where to Purchase
Rain and additional books by William S Chadwick are available for purchase through our bookstore.
About the Author
William S. Chadwick is the author of three novels; The Rabbitry, Tommy, and his latest novel Rain. He grew up in northern Arkansas, steeped in the salty-sweet brine of dark Ozark folklore combined with Bible Belt Christian doctrine. He now lives in the Hot Springs area with his wife (Rose), their dog (Bella), cat (Ken), and a small green lizard that has taken up residence in our home who we have not named yet.
Rain by William S Chadwick