Happy 2023! It’s almost release day for a series of horror short stories revolving around Friday the 13th. I will be sharing each story on my post, one per day. Today, I’m pleased to welcome Mary Coley with her story, The Thirteenth Victim…
I spent the night as a guest in the house I’ve written about, and decided it would be a locale for future stories! Spirits are lurking everywhere.
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Serial killer Zander Murphee’s hunt for his Thirteenth Victim gets derailed when he moves into a Tulsa mansion and the neighbors come calling.
As the elevator car inched upward, Zander studied the interior. Padded leather walls on three sides, stained carpet on the floor. The elevator jerked to a stop.
The door remained closed. He punched the OPEN button. Nothing. He punched TWO again. The elevator twitched.
He punched ONE hoping the contraption would return to the first floor of the house. The low hum of the motor didn’t change.
Sweat trickled through his eyebrows and into his eyes. His vision blurred. He blinked and peered at the inspection sticker again. Now it appeared to show an inspection date of fifty years ago, not last month. He rubbed his eyes and they stung with his perspiration.
The elevator lurched. The lightbulb in the sconce flickered once, twice, three times and went out.
“Freaking elevator. Help!”
He pounded on the wall even though he knew Desiree was long gone. He punched on the flashlight feature of his cell phone and shone it on the elevator’s control panel. He punched each of the keys with no result. The elevator didn’t even twitch.
Was there an exit panel on the roof? He shone the flashlight up.
A grinning head hung suspended in space above him. A drop of drool eased over the bottom lip of the apparition and fell past his face to the stained carpet at his feet. A wave of cold air passed over him. He froze in place. More drool cascaded down from the mouth of the distorted wide-eyed face.
Mary Coley usually writes mysteries. As an early reader with a voracious reader father, she was exposed to horror early on through Edgar Allan Poe, HP Lovecraft and Stephen King. She says that her story, The Thirteenth Victim, was easy to write, and “felt like coming home” in many ways. She recalls that her first penned stories in middle school were horror stories.
Coley set her story in Tulsa, OK, where she has lived for more than 25 years. Her character, Zander Murphee, is an antique dealer and an undiscovered serial killer. Intending to continue his murderous pursuits in a new locale, he relocates to Tulsa and buys an historic oil mansion with the help of Desiree Smythe, a gorgeous realtor who is assisting with a for-sale-by-owner house.
Both the mansion and Desiree meet all his expectations, but all is not as it seems. Zander encounters unwanted visitors to his home on the day he moves in, including insects, rodents, and—he refuses to believe it—ghosts.
Coley has eight published mysteries, a non-fiction children’s book and numerous short stories to her credit. In 2018 she won the Tony Hillerman Award from New Mexico/Arizona books, and was awarded the Oklahoma Book Award for Fiction in 2022 for her mystery, Blood on the Mother Road. Visit her website at https://www.marycoley.com .
The Thirteenth Victim will appear as a Friday the 13th Story, releasing January 13, 2023 on Amazon as an ebook, and in the anthology of the same name which includes 13 creepy stories by 13 authors.
Find all 13 stories at this link: A Friday the 13th Story #3