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Don't Turn On The Light: A Short Story


Don’t Turn On The Light: A Short Story

Max China









Don’t Turn On The Light.

First Published by skinnybirdproductions: January 2014


The right of Max China to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs, and Patents Act 1988

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the author.

This work is entirely a product of the author’s imagination and is, therefore, a work of fiction.


Copyright © 2014 Max China

All rights reserved.

Kindle version.


Cover Design: skinnybirdproductions





Frank Cassidy turned the car into the long driveway. Gravel popped and crunched beneath the tyres as he and his wife, Shelley, leaned forwards for a better look at their prospective purchase.

A hundred yards away, a white, weather-boarded house, buckled by time and covered with lichen, stood under a soft red-clay tiled roof, nestled among the greenery of trees and shrubs. The walls glowed in the early evening sunshine, pastel-bathed and yellow-tinged like a hazy watercolour painting.

‘Oh, Frank, it’s beautiful,’ Shelley said and smiled, her clear blue eyes taking in the lines of the crooked brick chimneys, Victorian sash windows. Through the wrought-iron gate coming up ahead, she caught a tantalizing glimpse of a walled garden. Her smile evaporated. ‘What on earth is that metal monstrosity in the trees over there?’

Frank stopped the car.

‘That,’ he said, ‘is an old radio transmission tower, but don’t worry. If we decide to go for the place, we’ll get rid of it.’ He swivelled in her direction and pointed. Her gaze followed his finger as it traced a wide arc. ‘See all that land, from the hedge down there, right up to the treeline over the back?’

She nodded and combed a hand through her long dark hair.

‘Comes with the house,’ he said, turning to look out of the driver’s side window. ‘And over there—’ He steered her face away from the object of her attention. ‘It’s almost a mirror image, three acres altogether. The kids’ll love it.’

‘They will,’ she said. Her eyes returned to the tower. ‘But that thing has to go.’


Two months later, exhausted by the upheaval of the move, and having to supervise the distribution of furniture and packing cases around their new home, Shelley set to work to bring order from chaos, while Frank kept the children occupied outside.

‘Come on, Frankie,’ he said to his young daughter. ‘This is our last Friday together before you go back to school and we’re supposed to be playing hide and seek. This is the second time I’ve found you climbing that thing. Now, will you get down from there?’ Exasperated, she’d climbed to a height of almost ten feet, he shook his head. ‘Look at her, Bobby; you’re only five, two years younger, but far more sensible. I swear she thinks she’s a boy.’

His words carried through the open door into the house. A moment later, Shelley appeared, hands on hips. ‘Get down now, young lady,’ she yelled.

‘Uh-oh,’ the little girl said, and then eased her way down into Frank’s waiting arms.

‘You mustn’t do that again. You could fall. Besides, it’s rusty and old, could give you metal splinters.’ He tilted his head and looked up. The structure soared upwards of one hundred feet; the aerial on top seemed to disappear into infinity. ‘Come on, let’s move away from it.’

Shelley sauntered onto the lawn and approached Frank. ‘I hate that thing,’ she said. ‘If I wanted to live in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, I’d live in Paris. No wonder they had to sell this place to sealed bidders.’

‘We wouldn’t have been able to afford it any other way. Our bid was for little more than the land was worth. I can’t believe we won it.’

‘I know, but I won’t be happy until it’s gone.’

Frank nodded and looked away. He’d already spoken with the local authorities about the possibilities of removing it. They told him it was a listed feature. It had to stay.

He hadn’t told Shelley of the outcome. He’d break it to her gently, once they’d settled in.


Shelley called the children in for supper and smiled as they devoured their food.

‘Daddy says I’m not allowed to play on the big climbing frame anymore, but I want to climb to the top,’ Frankie said.

‘I want to climb to the top,’ Bobby echoed.

‘No one is climbing anywhere on that thing. It’s far too dangerous, besides, we’re having it taken down. It’s horrible and ugly.’

‘But, Mum.’

‘No, “but Mum”, about it, young lady. It’s coming down, and that’s that.’ She cleared the plates from the table. ‘Right, you two, let’s go find that Daddy of yours, and say goodnight to him.’

In the back room, Frank hunched over a coffee table, tinkering with an old crystal radio set.

‘For God’s sake, there’s so much to do and you’re playing around with that thing.’ Shelley planted her fists on top of her hips.

He laughed. ‘You look like a trophy when you stand like that. I’m sorry. I couldn’t resist rigging it up when I thought about what kind of signals I might pick up from that old tower.’

Inquisitive, the children came in close to the table. ‘What is it, Daddy?’ Frankie asked.

‘It’s a radio. I made it with my father when I was about your age.’ Catching Shelley’s frown, he grinned. ‘Okay, I may have been a bit older, but I did most of it by myself.’

Bobby stretched a finger out to touch it.

‘Careful, Bobby. The only parts you can touch are the earpiece and the tuning dial. I’ll finish setting it up, and show you both how it works in the morning.’ He sat back in the armchair and patted his knees. ‘Come on, you two. Give your Daddy a big hug.’ Almost as one, they scrambled for his lap, and climbing on, pulled themselves tight to his chest, gritting their teeth as they competed to see who could squeeze the hardest.

‘Here comes a Daddy bear hug!’ The children squealed as he play-crushed them in his arms.

Shelley laughed and walked to the door. ‘Come on you lot. I haven’t got all night.’


Half an hour later, Shelley microwaved a pre-packed dinner for the two of them. While the turntable spun slowly around, she noticed the lights in the kitchen kept flickering on and off.

‘Do you think the wiring’s okay?’ she said and fingered the deepening worry line in her forehead. ‘I told you we should have got it checked out before we moved in.’

‘Yes, you did, but you know how busy I’ve been working on other people’s houses. Whatever it is can be sorted. I’ll check it out tomorrow. The fuse board isn’t anywhere else in the house. It must be in the basement.’ He sifted through the labelled keys on the table. ‘There isn’t one here for down there. You didn’t pick it up, did you?’

‘No, I didn’t. Is it locked then?’

‘It was when we first came round, remember?’

‘No, I don’t. You must have had the key when we originally came?’

‘Everything was such a rush. We had to get our bid in—’

‘You didn’t look in the basement?’

He grimaced. ‘No, but like I said before, the money we offered was ridiculous. And we agreed on that.’

‘You told me everything was fine. How could you say that if you hadn’t looked everywhere?’ She searched his face. ‘Is there anything else you haven’t told me?’

A moment passed.

‘No,’ he said.

The microwave pinged. Shelley got up. Frank stood with her. He took her hands in his.

‘Everything will be fine,’ he said.

‘Are you sure? There could be a bloody river running through the basement for all we know.’

He leaned back, so she could see his face and grinned. ‘Tomorrow, I’ll get it open, and then you’ll see there’s nothing to worry about.’

A wry smile touched her lips. ‘I’m so glad you’re finally back to your old, confident self.’

‘Time is a great healer,’ he said, looking at the floor.

Shelley slipped her hands free and set about dishing up the food.

Too tired for conversation, they ate in silence.

‘Would you like anything else?’ Shelley said.

Frank rocked back in his chair, balancing it on two legs. He raised an eyebrow.

‘I meant food. I’m too tired for that.’

‘I know,’ he said. ‘Let’s leave the cleaning up and have an early night.’

She took the plates from the table and put them in the washbowl, ran the tap and squirted washing-up liquid in. ‘This will only take a minute. Will you plumb the dishwasher in for me tomorrow?’

He didn’t answer.

She finished at the sink and dried her hands on the tea cloth. ‘Frank?’ she said and wandered into the backroom.

He had his back to her as he knelt at the table fiddling with his beloved radio.

‘I knew you couldn’t wait to get your hands back on that thing,’ she said.

He removed the earpiece, laid it down and stood, turning to face her. ‘Sorry, you started washing up . . . I couldn’t understand why it wasn’t working.’

She smiled. ‘You’ll fix it tomorrow. Let’s go to bed.’

Passing the basement door, Shelley stopped, stepped back a pace, and pressed an ear to it. Her brow furrowed. She glanced sideways at Frank. ‘Do you hear that?’

‘What is it?’ he said.


He shrugged and leaned his head closer. ‘I can’t hear anything.’

‘You can’t hear that? It sounds like there’s a bloody dynamo running down there. I’m going to take a look.’ She tried the handle, without success.

‘Didn’t I tell you,’ he said. ‘It’s locked.’

‘Are you sure it’s not going to blow up?’

‘It’s nothing to worry about. Let’s get to bed. I’ll get to the bottom of it in the morning.’ At the foot of the stairs, he flicked off the last of the ground floor lights, and grabbed her, swinging her up over his shoulder in a fireman’s lift.

She stifled a scream and beat him playfully with her fists. ‘Stop it. I told you I’m too tired.’

‘Shush,’ he said, ‘resistance is futile, besides, you’ll wake the kids.’

He staggered the last few steps and reaching the top, set her down on the landing. She wrapped her arms around his neck and brushed his lips with hers. ‘We’re going to be so happy here,’ she whispered.

‘I know,’ he said.

She led him into the bedroom and closed the door.

Downstairs in the passageway the light glowed for the briefest instant, before going out again, while outside, simultaneously, the tip of the radio mast lit, radiating a pale blue luminescence.



Frank opened his eyes and blinked, uncertain if he was awake, and his failure the night before was real. It played out in his head as if to convince him:


‘I don’t believe it, I was ready. All the way up the stairs, I was ready.’ He rolled off his wife and lay on his back.

‘We’ve had a stressful day,’ Shelley said. ‘It doesn’t matter.’

‘It does to me.’

‘Try to relax,’ she whispered. Her fingertips traced the line of hair down from his chest to abdomen.

‘I can’t.’

‘It’s only been a year.’

‘It’s a been a year too long.’

She turned towards him and propped herself on an elbow. ‘You’ll be fine once we’ve settled in and things are normal again.

Frank stared at the ceiling in silence.

‘You mustn’t get a hang up over it—’

‘Don’t you see? I’m not better until it never happens reoccurs.’


The realization it had happened again bore down on him like a weight. The pressure on his head mounted. A critical moment followed. He could have easily succumbed to sleep, sunk into despair, but he’d learnt to cope. Inch by inch, he clawed back from the brink of a place he no longer wanted to see.

He turned over and glanced at the time on the alarm clock. 6 am. If he rose now, he could get the job done before Shelley woke up. He’d surprise her with the news, I’ve fixed it. He grinned. It was the clincher. Careful not to disturb her, he slid out of bed and dressed silently. He would shower after he’d been to work in the basement.

Trepidation grew with the uncertainty of what he might find. It was unlikely to be an electrical problem he couldn’t fix. But what if it was more than that? She’d joked about a river running through the house. What if it was dampness, and it was causing the system to short? What if it had been damp for years and the foundations were crumbling? Get a grip, Frank. It isn’t going to be anything like that. Besides, he reminded himself, they’d got it so cheap, that with the money left over, he could rebuild the basement if need be. For a moment, he wondered if they should have had the place surveyed after all.

Frank shook the doubt from his head. One thing he knew for sure. He’d been in the new house for only one night, and he already knew he wanted to spend the rest of his life there.


After a coffee and toast breakfast, he collected his tool bag and placed it next to the locked door. Leaning close to it, he heard the sound Shelley had described the night before. He dropped to one knee and peered through the keyhole. Blocked. He rummaged through the bag, and finding a small screw, used it to hook a plug of accumulated dirt and hair, and pulling it free, discarded it on the floor. He pursed his lips close to the hole, and blew to ensure it was fully cleared, before looking through it to check. A piece of grit flew into his eye, as a relentless draught, freed of all resistance, continued a journey denied it for years. Shit. Frank closed his eye and carefully tugged the upper lid over the lower rim, swivelling his eyeball behind before releasing the lid, an old trick learned from his father. He blinked, relieved it had worked. Someone had deliberately plugged it with hair or maybe it was just cotton wool gone black from dirt and dust. Draughty keyhole. Another job to add to the list.

He took the jemmy from the bag and laid it down, he’d use it as a last resort, but first he’d try picking the lock. He’d brought with him a large paperclip. Taking it from his pocket, he unbent it, kinking one end with a pair of pliers, into a series of right angles that with a little imagination, resembled a key.

Almost there. He held the handle as he inserted the clip into the keyhole. The door clicked open. The sound he had heard grew louder. He examined the lock. It needed oiling, but didn’t appear faulty. I didn’t even turn the tumblers. Maybe it was just stiff, unlocked all along.

The stairs led down into pitch darkness. His fingers explored the surface of the wall beyond the jamb, searching for a switch, and finding it, he turned it on.

A single naked bulb lit the way. Festooned between the walls, cobwebs, dust-laden and heavy, billowed gently on a persistent draught blowing up from somewhere below.

Picking up his tool bag, he descended, one arm held aloft, his dark shirt sleeve silvering as he cleared a path through clinging strands. No one’s been down here for years.

At the bottom of the staircase, illuminated from beyond, the entrance to a long passageway beckoned. High-ceilinged, it seemed to stretch beyond the confines of the house. None of the dangling bulbs had shades. Electricity popped and fizzed. The lights dimmed and flared. Paint blistered in patches and flaked from the walls. He scratched a piece. It came away, crumbled between his finger and thumb. Damp. Whitewash. Damn. He’d have to scrape it all off if he wanted to redecorate.

A series of doors were visible along the left hand side. The first stood open, revealing what looked like a workshop-cum-office containing a desk and storage racking.

The racks were full of tools and accessories. One whole shelf was filled with light bulbs. Could come in handy.

The next door down wouldn’t open. He’d come back to it. A sign pinned to it read: Do NOT turn on the light. He supposed it might have once been a darkroom. The thought of coming across old photographs appealed to him. He tried the door or a second time. He didn’t want to waste time on unnecessary distractions, but the constant hum, was it coming from in there? He turned his head and put it close, not wanting his ear to touch the door. The sound was coming from the floor. He dropped to his knees, listening intently. Yes, that’s where it’s coming from. Puzzled, he stood. First, he’d find the fuse board, and then he’d have a good look around.

Moving along the passage, the level of draught increased suddenly, drawing his attention. At the far end, he caught sight of a woman’s bare calf as it disappeared through an open door.

What the—?

‘Hey – who’s there?’ An uncomfortable sense of foreboding settled on him.

He hadn’t heard any movement. There were no footprints in the dust layering the floor, apart from his own. Who could be down here, anyway?

Fear drained the warmth from his skin. An electrostatic wave of gooseflesh crept over him. He should go back; he knew he should get Shelley – but his own denial, there’s no such thing as ghosts, compelled him to stay.

Outside the room, his hackles rose higher, his skin prickling. Overhead, the bulbs dimmed. With a low hum, the current surged back, and the lights flared.

He inhaled sharply; the musty smell and bitter taste of dust confounded his senses. Pulling apart drooping spider-silk canopies, he entered. No living thing’s been through here in years. He released pent-up breath, relieved that the woman’s leg was just his imagination.

A bluish light slanted in, coming from high level. Narrow windows, painted out with black emulsion, thinner in places, where perhaps the second coat had missed. He stared at them, questioning why he hadn’t noticed them before when he was outside. From where he stood, and the number of steps he’d taken to descend, he guessed the sills would be at ground level, rising by some eighteen inches. But where? He had it. At the back of the flower beds in the walled garden. Satisfied he’d at least worked something out; he approached the far side of the room. A kiln stood adjacent to a potter’s wheel, a clay pug, and a table with an array of half-finished, crumpled pieces.


Back out in the corridor, a Wurlitzer jukebox draped in cobwebs, glowed, lighting up the corner, whirring away as a record dropped onto the turntable. Coloured neon flashed, projecting light all around him in a show of crazy psychedelia.

A process of elimination started and then stalled.

None of it made sense. Had he really woken up this morning? Would he awaken at any moment, still in bed next to Shelley? What the fuck is going on? Is this a panic attack? Jesus. Not again. Don’t lose it, Frank. Focus.

He closed his eyes and clasped his hands together, sucking in air and blowing it out between his thumbs. In, out, in, out. Deep-rooted fear gripped him. No, this isn’t how it started. This is something else. Inconsequential thoughts rose in his consciousness; things he hadn’t thought of in years. The fuse board. That’s why you’re here, Frank. Focus.

The humming intensified as he approached. The lights flared. Flickered. Then, went out.

Holy Jesus. Can’t see a thing. The filaments glowed orange, hit yellow, back to orange. He had to find the fuses before they failed completely.

With the jemmy inserted between the jamb and lock, both hands holding it firm, he pushed hard against it with his hip, steadily increasing the pressure. Come on! The frame splintered and the door creaked open.

Frank felt for the switch and turned on the light.

On the wall opposite, a black and white carnival flyer drew his eye. Emblazoned across the top, a fiery headline announced: Edward Sparkes and his Amazing Magnetic Magic Show – See the Doctor of Electricity perform his Death Defying Disappearing Stunts! Dropping his gaze, he took in the cruelly handsome image of the man who formed the centrepiece, Sparkes. Resplendent in his top hat, and dressed all in black, his smouldering eyes held him mesmerised. Frank nodded and winked at him, acknowledging that the turn-of-the-century magician looked the part. Below the portrait, he ran his eye over the sub-titles: Spiritualism, Sensation and Magic. Circus, Sideshows and Freaks. The print was incredibly sharp; the darkened room had preserved the ink. It hadn’t faded at all. He leaned closer, curious. Was it a reproduction? In the dull sheen of the inky background, Frank detected movement. Peering closer, next to Sparkes, the ghostly likeness of a curly blonde-haired stage assistant had appeared. She looked like an early version of Marilyn Monroe, and in the background surrounding them, a sinister group of fairground attractions loomed and then vanished.

No longer trusting his senses, he pinched himself, satisfied his imagination was playing tricks.

This was no darkroom. A bench ran the entire length of the wall below the poster. On top of it, constructed from an array of copper coils, glass vacuum tubes and valves, sat a strange apparatus that resembled the innards of an early radio transmitter.

His interest aroused; he approached the equipment for a better look. The filaments came to life, glowing red, orange, yellow. Humming. Turned white hot. Cast light onto the poster above. Particles of dust rose and hung like autumn mist, crackling with static electricity. A faint burning smell drifted into his nostrils. Must turn it off. No cut out switch. He looked for the incoming supply. With no electrical control panel visible, and the build-up of static greater than any he’d ever experienced, he had to warn Shelley, get her and the kids out of the house.

Panic-stricken, he backed out of the room, and collided with someone?

Full of trepidation, he spun around.


Frank opened his mouth to speak. No words came. His heart hammered, draining him of oxygen. He gulped for air.

More of the characters from the poster materialised, hemming him in. The stage assistant stuck an icy finger into his chest, above the heart, declaring, ‘You’re one of us now.’

The magician stared, half-amused, his face luminescent, bathed in artificial light, a cruel sneer on his lips. Overhead, the bulb dimmed; anger flashed in Sparkes’ eyes.

The power cut out.

An eerie silence reigned over the darkness, and tension hung in the air like something solid.

When the lights came back on, Sparkes and the rest of the menacing group had vanished.

Buckling at the knees, he retched, almost fainting. Dry-mouthed and confused, he rushed towards the stairs, yelling, ‘Shelley, get the kids and get out of the house!’

He reached the end of the passageway, the lights faded, almost going out. ‘Shelley,’ he cried, ‘did you hear me?’ He yanked out his phone to call her. The screen was blank. Impossible. I only charged it last night.

A heavy hand seized him by the wrist and dragged him into the room with the desk. ‘Save your breath, no one can hear you from here.’ In the half-light stood the hulking figure of a man as wide as a doorway, and taller.

‘W-what in the w-world . . .?’ Frank stammered, taken aback with fear. ‘Who are you and how did you get in here?’ He hadn’t had a problem with his stutter since he’d been ill. ‘Th-there’s a fire, we have to get out.’

‘Calm down. There’s no fire, smells like there will be, but it never happens. Who am I? I’m the caretaker here . . . have been for a very long time. The name’s Cutter. I’ve been here since the Sparkes family bought the place back in nineteen hundred and three.’

‘1903?’ Frank snatched his hand free, and rubbed at his eyes with both fists in disbelief, fully expecting Cutter to be gone when he took his hands away. The hulking man was still there.

‘Face it; Frank . . . it is, Frank, isn’t it?’ Pulling out a chair, he motioned for him to sit. ‘The sooner you accept things, the better it will be.’

Frank stared at the desktop; the dust had gone, replaced with a polished sheen. ‘This isn’t real,’ he whispered, reaching out to wipe the desk, examining his clean fingertips with incredulity.

Cutter stood, ducked his head and shifted his bulk sideways through the door.

‘Whoa – wait a minute, where do you think you’re going? This is my house.’

Cutter withered him with a glare. ‘Not anymore it ain’t – and stay away from Molly, she’s mine.’

‘No, Cutter, wait a minute.’ He tugged at the back of his shirt.

The big man turned and plucked his hand away with two fingers as if removing a piece of lint. ‘Don’t touch me, Frank. I’m warning you.’

‘B-but, who were those p-people I saw?’

‘Those people? I’d stay away from them if I were you. Keep your head down, get used to it, you’ll be fine.’

‘I-I don’t understand?’

‘Look, he did something – the magician, Sparkes. He messed about with the electricity – for some vanishing trick he was working on in that room. Lord only knows what he did, but it went wrong. Molly turned on the light; it caused a dip in the amount of energy available. Yeah, you wouldn’t believe it could, would you? A tiny light bulb.’ Rueful, Cutter hung his head. ‘We’re all stuck here now, can’t get back. I don’t know what I’d do, even if I could.’

‘I’m d-dreaming – this c-cannot be real.’ He stared at the floor in dismay.

Cutter eyed him, his expression gentler. ‘It don’t seem real, but I’m here, and you’re here.’

‘N-no. Even in a dream, you’d feel s-s-solid. I’d get s-scared in a dream.’

‘You sound like you don’t believe me.’ The giant shook his head. ‘You’re in denial. What about that stammer? Do you stammer in your dreams?’

His mind raced, searching for a logical solution. ‘So it had something to do with my turning the light on. I activated that machine…?’

Cutter rolled his eyes heavenward. ‘Hallelujah.’

‘Well, can’t we fix it?’

‘I’ve tried. Don’t you think I did that all those years ago?’ Cutter scratched his chin. ‘Trouble is, the problem’s in the other world – not here. We can’t fix it from where we are.’

‘What about Sparkes, can’t he fix it?’

‘He doesn’t want to, he takes off with that little group of his, getting up to evil things. He mostly appears when some fool ignores the sign and turns on the light.’

‘That doesn’t make sense. Why would he do that? Where’s Molly, by the way?’

‘I told you, Frank. She’s mine.’

‘N-no, I-I,’ he said, taking a deep breath, exhaling slowly, controlling his stammer. ‘Cutter, has anybody else been stuck down here, apart from us?’

‘Let me see. Over the years, we’ve had quite a few. There was a singer who brought the music machine with him, Jim somebody or other, and even a member of the House of Lords.’

‘Then, where are they? That’s why I asked where Molly was.’

‘Sparkes takes them, one way or another. Try to escape and you’ll find out. Me and Molly, we’re different. We know we’re stuck here forever.’

Frank looked forsaken. ‘J-Jesus, what am I going to do?’


‘Are you down there, Frank?’


‘Frank, where are you? Why didn’t you wake me . . .?’

Watching the stairs, he saw her feet coming into view and moved towards her. She looked straight at him.

‘I-I’m h-here,’ his voice quivered with relief. ‘The strangest things have been happening, Shell, you wouldn’t believe—’

She walked right through him.

Stunned, he didn’t immediately react. He rushed after her and grabbed for her, his hands frantically grasping, unable to find any purchase.

‘Frank?’ Her worry line deepened as she checked each room without success. ‘Why don’t you answer me?’

The enormity of his situation hit him. For a second, he contemplated life without her. He couldn’t face an eternity alone. Flashes of his life with Shelley danced before him. The first time they’d made eye contact across a busy airport lounge . . . that smile. Their wedding, the vows, only death could part them.

He would have given everything to spend one more moment with her . . . to tell her one more time . . .

All she had to do was turn on the light, and they would be together.

She arrived at the room with the sign on the outside, but with the door open, she hadn’t seen it.

Frank thought of his kids and the things they’d miss if they lost both parents. At least they’ll have each other.

He agonised.

She fumbled in the darkened room for the light switch.

Frank’s eyes filled with tears. He willed her with all his might. Don’t turn on the light!



If you enjoyed this story, why not check out the following full length novels by the same author currently available on Amazon:


The Sister

The Life and Times of William Boule

The Night of the Mosquito

Don’t Turn on The Light: Crossing The Line*


If you would to be notified of further releases by Max China, email: [email protected]


Author Notes:


I wrote the original short story Don’t turn on the Light as a competition entry. I put it on a review site and got some interesting feedback. The tale, complete as it was, left the reader to ponder how it might have ended for Frank and Shelley.

Of course, you may be happy to leave it at that. If so, many thanks for reading.

However, I had a few emails asking me what happened, so I expanded it into a novel, Don’t Turn on The Light: Crossing The Line. The book is available to pre-order on Amazon for the low price of £0.99/$1.49 (Release date 21 March. 2016)

Don't Turn On The Light: A Short Story

When Frank, Shelley and their two young children move into the home of their dreams, they discover a problem with the cellar. It doesn't take them long to find out why the house was sold at a knock-down price.

  • Author: Max China
  • Published: 2016-01-28 23:40:07
  • Words: 5132
Don't Turn On The Light: A Short Story Don't Turn On The Light: A Short Story