Welcome Home: A Short Story
by William Hage
I was introduced to this short story by the Paranormal and Horror Lovers group on Goodreads. The author still has a few copies available for review via the R2R Horror program.
John Lester is returning to a place he never really considered home to begin with, a place that he has not seen in years. But what he does not realize is that what went on in this house was much less homely than he thought as he unearths something dark about his family.
Welcome Home is a short story approximately 6600 words.
John Lester stood in front of the dying house, two plain bags of groceries in his arms and the strap of his travel bag slung over his shoulder. He had not been to this place since he was nineteen, not since his father – Henry Philip Lester – sent him away. Henry had plans for his son and when John abandoned those plans to become a writer, Henry apathetically rejected his son.
John always hated the house; when he was young he felt as though it was alive, with a personality of its very own. It was a living, breathing thing and John could swear that its cold eyes were staring at him, even at this moment. He looked down the dirt road the house sat on. Trees reached down to the path seeming like they were just on the verge of grabbing it and pulling it away, but otherwise there was nothing in sight. As far as John could remember, the closest house was at least a mile and a half away. This was perfect for his father’s business.
John visits his old family home after it is left to him upon the death of his father. When John discovers his father’s journal, he begins to wonder what evil his father was up to all those years. And why can’t John remember what happened in that house? Then, a friendly visit from his neighbors, Lisa and Michael, forces John to confront the truth about his family. As his father used to say, “Sanity is not a choice.” But if you were insane, would you know?
The fantastic cover was designed by the author’s brother, Matthew Hage, and is creepily appropriate, giving a hint of what is to come. I can’t say too much without giving away the ending, but there were some logistical inconsistencies which don’t quite make sense in hindsight. There were also some minor editing errors but, all in all, this is a good read with great atmosphere and an unexpected ending.
About the Author
William Hage has been influenced by writing and horror for most of his life. Born in Trenton, New Jersey, William became obsessed with all things horror at a young age. He indulged himself greatly in horror films of all sorts as well as horror literature. Over the years he became heavily inspired and influenced by the likes of H. P. Lovecraft, Clive Barker, and Edgar Allan Poe. William’s self-published short story, Welcome Home, can be found on Amazon. He has also had stories published in issues 6, 8, and 11 of Sanitarium, a horror and dark fiction magazine. When he isn’t writing, William has a deep love for technology and bides his time researching the latest things and has spent years working with computers.