A Novel by Mark Edward Hall
“The Soul Thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to destroy.”
On the night of April 19th the Callaghan family of Exeter New Hampshire was settling down to watch television after their evening meal. The Callaghans were an ordinary American family. Ben Callaghan, husband, father, little league coach, worked in the plumbing and heating business. Peg Callaghan was a full time mother and housewife. Ben and Peg Callaghan had two children: twelve year old Jason and six year old Trinity.
Just after eight PM the doorbell rang. The family dog, a yellow Labrador retriever named Dingo, raised his hackles and began to bark.
“Would you please see who that is?” Ben Callaghan asked his son Jason. He was watching Survivor on television and the interruption was an irritation.
“Sure,” Jason said, getting up off the couch and heading for the door. There were two doors, actually, an inner door that led out onto a glassed-in porch and an outer door that led to the front steps.
When Jason opened the inner door the dog rushed past him still barking frantically. This did not bother Jason much, for the dog always barked when someone came to the door. It was usually an excited, tail-wagging bark, because the Callaghan family had many friends and sometimes these friends brought treats for Dingo.
Someone’s coming to the door. Good. This shouldn’t take any time at all. They’d better shut that dog up, though. I hate dogs almost as much as they hate me.
Jason switched on the outside light and saw the silhouette of a person standing beyond the glass of the outer door. Jason could not discern any features; just the vague form of someone who seemed very tall, dressed in what looked like a black raincoat with an attached hood. Outside the howling wind of a spring storm gusted sheets of rain against the door’s window. Dingo saw the silhouette too, and this only heightened his frantic baying.