The Lights Went Out and Other Stories by Fiona Cooke Hogan
An eclectic mix of flash fiction, short and longer stories. At times humorous, eerie and poignant; a mother burdened by financial troubles shares her problem with a stranger, a young couples' journey to the the airport takes a strange turn, a wedding anniversary in Dingle goes from bad to worse, a small dog is forced to change his ways and a vampire hiding out in suburbia just wants to be left alone. Dip your toes into this quirky collection and find your favourite.
You can find The Lights Went Out and Other Stories on Amazon
The Welcoming Committee
There was no moon the night the vampire moved into the Close.
As the Mercedes pulled into the driveway of Number Five a thick fog rolled down the street like a hungry wave. It poured across the tarmac, swirling and eddying about the walls of the slumbering houses before moving through the alleyways to cover swings and climbing frames. Under cover of the muted street lamps’ glare, a figure exited the driver’s side moving swiftly round the front of the car to the passenger’s door where an elongated form peeled itself from the seat and slipped out to join the shadows in the front doorway. A rattle of keys and the hallway was illuminated briefly before the door was pulled shut and the house returned to darkness. The sedan slipped silently from the driveway, its blackened windows glinting like the eyes of a large beetle.
Well past the witching hour, the mock Tudor houses in the cul-de-sac sat silently, their inhabitants tucked up in their king sized beds. House alarms had been set and appliances switched off. No dog barked. No cat slinked along the dividing walls of the properties. The fog held The Close in its grey laced fingers. All were under its spell.
Save one, a curtain twitched at Number Seven, and a pair of eyes peeped out and watched as the strange and silent car moved into the drive way opposite. The curtain twitched again and then closed. A light went on in the bedroom.
The new occupant of Number Five lay in his sarcophagus in the basement and brooded. The house disappointed him; it was just too…modern, a mere fifty years old. Where was the sense of history? He realised that he hadn’t given his people much time to organise the move. But really, a cul-de- sac? He sighed. Circumstances beyond his control; a century long feud with his neighbours had escalated (a silly misunderstanding about drinking on their boundaries) had necessitated a swift leave of absence. A brief sojourn in the UK was deemed prudent (he had business to conclude) and his staff needed time to ready the New York house, where he hoped to pass out the next hundred years or so until it was safe to return to the family pile.
He travelled from Budapest to Edinburgh by private jet where a car waited to bring him to a secluded hotel in the Highlands; the ancestral home of an old friend. Hardly touched in over a hundred and fifty years, the building reminded him of better times when the world was younger. The staff were polite and discreet. He ordered take away and two working girls arrived from the nearest town. They left the next morning tired, pale and a few thousand pounds richer believing they had spent the night partying with a wealthy recluse.
From Scotland he journeyed down the length of the country under the cover of night to this anonymous town and non descript house where he now resigned himself to quietly wait until it was time to travel across the Atlantic.
Fiona Cooke Hogan is a Laois based writer and poet who hails from rural Ireland. This is her first collection of short stories; an eclectic mix of humorous, eerie and poignant tales. She has been writing since childhood and takes inspiration from her everyday life and experiences. Her novel "Martha's Cottage" will shortly be out on Kindle and she is currently working on her second: a horror story as yet untitled.
When not scribbling away she is an avid reader and self confessed addict of Tolkien, Game Of Thrones and The Walking Dead. She dreams of playing one of the undead in a George A Romero production.
Fiona designed the cover for her short stories herself using one of her own photographs; - a beautiful autumnal shot of the ivy covered entrance to a little hall near her family home in Meath, Ireland.
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