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Vol.3. No. 2. January 2010





Andrew Campbell-Kearsey
Claire Godden-Rowland
Dike Okoro
Dominic James
Emmanuel Sigauke
Mandy Pannett
Noel Williams
N Quentin Woolf
Olu Oguibe
Paul Jeffcutt
Sharma Taylor
Susanna Roxman
W Jack Savage






Claire Godden-Rowland


I felt the end of my bed sink; he was here again. The cold shudder of fear seized me, vice like, relentless. He was here.  I was too afraid to look and too frightened to close my eyes so I stared, instead, into the blackness of the room around me. I fixed on the familiar shapes, my chest of draws, lit by the pallid moonlight. I felt the bed shift a little as if a body had sat down upon it. I froze, was he coming closer? I could see the little red light on my bed side phone. If I could make my hand reach out from the warmth of the bedding to the unprotected cold I could touch it. I could call my stepdad, Allen, and before long he would arrive. I would hear his key in the lock and he would comfort me and sit up most of the night drinking hot chocolate having searched my flat for a ghostly presence and found none. I wanted to reach for that phone but my hands were unmoving and claw like as they clutched the perceived safety of the bedclothes to me.


Then I felt more movement. He shifted his position. I felt a tug on the bed clothes. He was pulling them from me. I felt them slither down over my bare shoulder and the air was icy on my flesh, making my skin prickle. I yelped with fear and grasped bed clothes back to my shivering body. My brain was assaulted by strange pictures, strange flashes, and images from a source unknown. I imagined a form sliding in behind me and holding my body against theirs. It was a man and his erection pressed against my spine. I could feel hands over me and gentle, teasing whispering in my ear. I curled up tighter and coaxing hands reached to my thighs and pulled them back down so my body fitted against his; the eager breathing in my ear, the feral sound of hunger from deep with my mind.


I tugged the duvet, desperately trying to re-cover my body, to protect myself with it somehow. How was this possible, what were these visions I was being assaulted with?


I felt an icy hand on my ankle. This was no vision, this was real. I was being pulled toward the demon at the end of my bed. I squealed and kicked out, only my foot went through whatever it was which pulled me. I heard laughter and a mixture of panic and strange anger propelled me from the bed. As I catapulted onto the floor and landed on my knees I grabbed my phone. I scrabbled to my feet and before I could stop myself I turned to face my attacker.

I screamed! The figure rose slowly and precisely from the bed. It was tall, much taller than me, nearly double my height, and it wore a cloak of black with a heavy hood which covered its face completely. It looked like the archetypal images of the grim reaper. I screamed again, louder, more violently. For a heartbeat I was frozen to the spot, my legs like stone, and my heart pounding hard against my breast. I was wearing only shorts and a vest but I was sweating with terror. The demon lifted a hand to me, a long bony hand which appeared human, like a human male’s, with dark hair across the knuckles. It seemed so real that for a moment I paused, but as I watched the demon I realised I could see my curtains, my window, I could see through him. The hand reached for me and then I realised the creature was making a noise. It was shushing me, a low broken hiss to silence me as it approached. I spun around, slammed painfully into my bedroom door and fumbled helplessly with the handle. The thing was behind me, so close I could hear its breathing, deep, laboured breathing. I could feel it, all of it, its presence too close, far too close. Then my mind disappeared to another place once more. Tearing between my legs, repeated ripping, sharp, acute pain. There was a hand covering my mouth to stop me crying out for help, and a shushing, a low hiss of shushing hot on my ear.


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Claire Godden-Rowland is a fledgling author, based in Bristol and currently working on her first novel. She has had several short stories published in various British publications including exciting new online magazine, ‘Paraphilia’. Claire has also won first place in the renowned ‘Meridian short fiction’ competition.
She is trained in ancient history, marketing and sales, and currently working for St Brendan’s sixth form college. Claire is also involved in a writing group working with Bristol University.



Sentinel Literary Quarterly is Published by Sentinel Poetry Movement | Editor: Nnorom Azuonye

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