Title: Silently in the Night
Author: Clayton Graham
Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Paranormal, SciFi, Anthology
A collection of tantalizing tales with more twists than braided hair:
Mystery, murder and mayhem – plus a moment of romance.
Sympathize with a doomed husband and connect with an altruistic robot. Explore an isolated Scottish isle and touch down on a far-flung asteroid.
From the light-hearted to the darkest depths of the human psyche. They’re all there in this smorgasbord of short stories to keep you guessing at every turn.
From the author of Milijun, Amidst Alien Stars, Alien Whispers, Looking for Life, and Saving Paludis.
Buy ‘Silently in the Night’ and discover new worlds today!
As Dave pulled into the carport he noticed his wife's bike, which usually leant against the wall of the house, was missing. Shopping, he thought. Gossiping at the shops. It was five thirty, his normal time for arriving home from the office. He left the car and approached the back door. Locked, of course. Fumbling with his keys in the growing darkness, he eventually opened the door and stepped into the kitchen.
"Anybody home?" he yelled, turning on the light.
There was a plateful of toast crumbs on the drainer, an empty bread wrapper. The light from the oven glowed and Dave walked over, felt the warmth of the door. The panel read 170 degrees. He opened the door and peered inside. A large black pot stared back at him. A casserole, no doubt.
He walked into the lounge and turned on the television. The curtains hadn't been drawn and he could see that darkness was falling quickly, aided by large, angry clouds which scudded over the rooves of the houses opposite. Rain splattered against the window pane. God! Wherever she was, she’d get soaked. He decided to put on the kettle and returned to the kitchen, leaving the inane voices from the television rambling on like disembodied spirits.
A thought suddenly struck him as he poured boiling water onto a sad-looking teabag. Did Jeannie's bike have lights? He was almost sure it didn't. Dave sipped his tea despondently, watching the hand of the kitchen clock tick off the seconds.
By six thirty he was really worried. He had turned the oven down and made three phone calls to Jeannie's friends. Nobody had seen her. He recalled her words as he had left for work.
"Anything special to eat tonight?" Big blue eyes staring at him. Short, blonde hair, slim figure dressed in a white bathrobe. Nose as cute as a kitten. Her voice had a sing-song quality, always bright and alert.
"You know me," Dave had replied. "As long as it’s warm and tasty." Warm and tasty! Had he really said that?
"See you later, then," she'd said, kissing him on the forehead.
"Sure thing," he had responded.
Only she wasn't here. She was missing, presumed gossiping. He began to feel a tinge of anger. How could she be so thoughtless?
But as the clock ticked inexorably towards seven, he began to get more and more concerned. Mind made up, Dave grabbed his car keys and left the house. He would drive into the village and find her.
It was only a five minute drive and he saw nothing on the way. Parking in the supermarket car park he looked around for the bike. Nothing. He peered through the rain-spotted window. There were only a few late shoppers and Jeannie wasn't one of them.
Dave strolled up and down the shopping strip, hopes alternately raised and dashed every time he saw a bike. There was absolutely no sign of her.
A dreadful thought suddenly entered his head. What if she had left him? Ran off with somebody else. It was impossible wasn't it? Not Jeannie.
As he drove home he tried to think of anyone who had showed even the slightest interest in Jeannie. There were quite a few. She was a beautiful woman.
The car rolled into the carport. There was no bike. He doused the lights and got out of the vehicle. The house was in complete darkness. Jeannie hadn't returned.
Dave looked at his watch. Seven thirty. Panic rose in his breast. He entered by the front door where he's left the porch light on.
"Anybody home?" he yelled forlornly. Thunder rattled the sky and lightning straddled from earth to clouds. Oh God! Where was she?
He turned on the fire and huddled in front of it, swallowing but not tasting the casserole. At eight o'clock he rang Jeannie's mother, who lived over two hundred kilometres away, in case she'd been ill and Jeannie had rushed off to be by her side. But all he succeeded in doing was upsetting her. He put the phone down nervously and went back in the lounge. Should he run down to the railway station? Perhaps she had gone there on her bike and taken a train somewhere.
He was back in twenty minutes. There was no bike and no Jeannie. He had an eerie feeling of deja vu as he entered the dark house once more. Eight thirty. He had better ring the police.
Dave stood by the phone hesitantly for several minutes before making the call. He hovered somewhere between fear of being accused of murdering his wife or wasting the constabulary's time. After all, she might walk in any minute. Holding his breath, he stabbed out the appropriate number.
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For lovers of the The Twilight Zone, Silently in the Night by Clayton Graham is just as thrilling. This book is a collection of tales where ordinary men and women are confronted with the unexpected. A great beach or fireside read.
Enter to win a $45 Amazon US or Amazon Canada gift card
Open Internationally. You must have an active Amazon US or CA account to win.
Runs August 9 – August 18, 2022.
Winner will be drawn on August 19, 2022.
As a youngster Clayton Graham read a lot of science fiction. He loved the ‘old-school’ masters such as HG Wells, Jules Verne, Isaac Asimov, and John Wyndham. As he left those formative years behind, he penned short stories when he could find a rare quiet moment amidst life’s usual distractions.
A retired aerospace engineer who worked in structural design and research, Clayton has always had an interest in science fiction and where it places humankind within a universe we are only just starting to understand.
Clayton loves animals, including well-behaved pets, and all the natural world, and is a member of Australian Geographic.
He has won many book awards including Author’s Show ‘50 great writers you should be reading’, Readers’ Favorite International Award finalist, and Book Excellence Awards finalist.
Combining future science with the paranormal is his passion. Milijun, his first novel, was published in 2016 and is the exciting prequel to Amidst Alien Stars and Alien Whispers: Conflict and Communion. Space Opera novel, Saving Paludis, was published in 2018 and won a Readers’ Favorite International Book Award. His books may be light years from each other but share the future exploits of mankind in an expansive universe as a common theme.
In between novels Clayton has also published highly rated short story collections Silently in the Night and Looking for Life, where, among many other adventures, you can sympathize with a doomed husband, connect with an altruistic robot, explore an isolated Scottish isle and touch down on a far-flung asteroid.
He hopes you can share the journey.
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