The thrill of Halloween was beginning to fade: the bayonet; the blood. He would be eleven during the week before Christmas and he had to find a way to make it very special indeed.


Running late, he took a shortcut through the alley that everyone said was the most dangerous in town. Footsteps at his back made him whirl round only to realise it was those up ahead that should have alarmed him.


The first thing we did when the power went out was light candles. Their flickering flames revealed horrible things creeping from corners and from under furniture; so the last thing we did was scream.