Part One: Dead of Night



The October harvest moon ascended above the tree line; its ominous, orange lit lower half sporadically penetrated the dark clouds that slowly consumed the night sky. Like an alien eye staring down upon the dark and silent village of Kirtland Hills, Ohio, that fiery orb held its gaze upon the small downtown streets below, sensing an unsettling presence that did not belong.

Elongated shadows shifted beneath the moonlight, giving them an eerie life-like quality as they slowly paraded along Route 306 and through the heart of downtown. First, past the public hall and police station on the left, and then the small post office to the right; past the library, the dollar store, the local bank, and then beyond the public schools all nestled together across the street from Kirtland’s only apartment complex. They continued on past the small antique shops, the gas station, the family owned ice cream shop, until finally reaching the edge of downtown and passing through the Mormon historical district. A modern church and a visitor center surrounded the tallest structure, the Mormon Temple—its tall spire pointing defiantly toward that roaming eye above, like a needle hoping to pierce the moon. The shadow parade continued cautiously past the local town cemetery where horrors imagined would soon merge with tangible nightmares disguised in darkness and the illusion of eternal rest.

Beyond the sheepish downtown, the shadow parade dispersed into the darker streets that wound the spacious hillside areas of Kirtland where dim street lights gave way to dark countryside, farm lands, and long private drives, which hid the luxurious homes of Kirtland’s more fortuitous citizens… and an evil which began to stir.

The crisp night air invigorated the man dressed in black as he watched the moon flicker between the waving boughs of two enormous willow trees that hid him and the Chevy van. The narrow dirt road, covered with overgrowth, ran the entire perimeter of the old abandoned farm, providing the perfect place to approach the Schuler residence undetected from the back of the property.

He continued to lie patiently in the tall grass beneath the willow, arms folded behind his head and listening to the wind brush against the night.

“I see you,” he whispered to the moon.

The moon remained silent.

Half-an-hour later, the celestial watchman retreated behind the clouds.

Russell got up, crossed the dirt road, and jumped over a decrepit wooden fence that separated both properties.

He walked silently but purposefully through a small wooded area for ten minutes before seeing the rear porch light on the wraparound veranda, a tell-tale of the two-story Victorian Schuler residence that dominated the property.

Before exiting the wood line, he knelt behind a tall oak tree, letting his eyes readjust to the unwelcome light while he watched for anything out of the ordinary.

At the center of a well-manicured yard sat a small pond with a fountain, guarded by a tall angelic stone statue and surrounded by a luxurious garden of several types of seasonal flowers.

If nothing else, Janet loves her flowers, Russell thought.

With the exception of the rear porch light and the kitchen light on the first floor that illuminated part of the garden, the remainder of the yard had given up to darkness. Russell knew that the only other light to contend with once he was inside would be the hallway light at the top of the curved stairwell that spilled out into the foyer at the front of the house.

Satisfied, he took a moment to reflect. He often felt a mixture of excitement and sadness knowing that the end had finally come. There had been so much time invested in all the details—everything concerning the lives of Gerald and Janet Schuler. He felt like he knew them intimately.

Gerald was a big-shot defense attorney who worked out of Cleveland. He often traveled to accommodate an ever-increasing list of infamous clients. This week he was out in San Francisco interviewing the latest pond scum, or at least, that’s the story he told his gullible wife.

But we know better, don’t we, boss?

“Yes,” Russell whispered in response, slightly annoyed. “We certainly do.”

Gerald’s new client was actually the young and voluptuous Miss Sarah Turner, Gerald’s secretary and secret mistress.

Gone off to ‘Frisco for their quarterly fuck-fest. That dumb whore bitch of his thinks Gerald’s gonna divorce Mrs. Pathetic any day now. Thinks she’s next in line for the great Schuler fortune, I’d wager. What ‘cha think, boss?

Russell ignored him. What mattered was that Gerald would not be home.

And Janet… alone.


Russell first encountered Janet Schuler at Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport. His flight had been delayed so he’d gone for a drink at the airport bar. While sitting several stools away, he’d overheard her talking to a friend on her cell phone.

“I know I should confront him but- No, Marge, it’s not like that!” Janet had looked flustered. “We’ve just been having some issues- No, I will not! That would be just as wrong! Whatever, I don’t believe in… divorce.” She’d whispered the last word as though it were taboo to even speak it. “Look, we’ll talk later. I’ve got to go.”

The conversation had been an amusing distraction at best, until Russell turned to watch her go. From the moment he looked deep into the abyss of her sad eyes, he knew that she needed him. Janet was another prisoner of a cold and lonesome world and he was her lighthouse in the storm. She just didn’t know it yet.

For two weeks, Russell had learned all he could about Janet and her shady husband. He’d studied their routines, their habits and behaviors. He’d followed them separately, listening in on their conversations in public places at lunch time and the rare instances they went out together.

When he needed more, Russell broke into their home and tampered with the security system, modifying it to appear functional, though inactive. He read their discarded mail, birthday cards, and old high school letters. He found Janet’s diary, which she kept hidden in the back of her walk-in closet (next to that funny pink hat she loved). He hacked into their home computer and read Janet’s Facebook page (Gerald didn’t care for that crap). He read all their private email correspondence, tapped into their personal files, pictures, and anything else that might be relevant to piece together their history.

The more Russell discovered about Janet Schuler, the more he realized how much she needed him. In a few words: she was a sad and lonely soul, locked up in a dungeon of societal status and expectations. She’d given up her dreams of being an artist to pursue a family that Gerald did not want. Trapped in a bad marriage with the hope that Gerald would come around, Janet turned to gardening to ease the pain of a misspent life while Gerald pursued his own ambitions—primarily, the rest of the female species that would spread their legs for him.


“I am Deliverance,” Russell declared from behind the oak tree.

You sure are, boss. Fuckin’ FedEx can’t touch your rapid delivery time to the other side. Question is… how many pieces are we shipping?

Russell felt the old annoyance rising up within him.

You gonna place that mean ole’ knife right up against her throat and take all the pain away, aren’t you, boss?

“Yes,” he whispered. He hated acknowledging what he generically called, ‘the other one’, but sometimes it was persistent. The other one always tried to cheapen what he did and turn his cause into something perverse and primal. But Russell knew better—he was better than that.

And right before you slit her throat and watch the light go out in those ‘too good for this fucking world’ eyes, you gonna stick something else to her, right, boss? Give her all the lovin’ Gerald’s been holding out on her.

“Shut up.” Russell dismissed the savage. He turned to look back at where the moon had once been, removed his large hunting knife from the sheath he wore on his belt, and then held it up like a twisted talisman and proclaimed, “I am the angel of freedom, here to save the just from the darkness that comes. For the sake of the righteous ones suppressed by this perishing world, I will deliver them from the long night-”

And spill their fucking blood until we’re swimmin’ in it! Split ‘em right down the center and turn ‘em inside out! Can you say fucking hall-e-lu-hah. Amen!

The thought rose up in Russell like a violent storm:


And the other one fell silent. Can you say, Amen.

Russell placed the six-inch blade, the instrument of his calling, back into his sheath. He looked toward the quiet house. It was time.

After putting on his black leather gloves, Russell moved cautiously from shadow to shadow until he reached the veranda steps. He quickly unscrewed the porch light bulb, bringing back some of the familiar darkness he craved.

Russell let his eyes adjust and then moved toward the sliding glass door that led into the den. He knew the door would be unlocked. Russell also knew that Janet never ventured into the den, for that was Gerald’s private place and off-limits to lowly housewives. Of course, Russell knew all about Gerald’s online porn collection. His office computer was loaded with the filth, making Russell want to wash his hands after he’d discovered it.

Are you sure you don’t wanna come back and gut this pig too, boss?

Russell had to admit, it was awfully tempting.

The glass door slid open with ease. He was about to enter the dark den, but stopped when he heard an unknown sound.

Something’s changed. Something felt… different.

He quickly spun on the ball of his left foot, performing an ‘about face’ while drawing the hunting knife simultaneously. Russell crouched before the open glass door with his weapon retracted like a viper ready to strike.

It’s the fuckin’ wind, boss. Something’s sittin’ foul on it.

Not only that, but Russell was certain he heard something in the darkness, something muffled by the wind.

A strong gust had blown by, causing the dark curtains within the den to dance before the open door. Russell reached behind and slowly closed it. He scanned the dark yard for movement but all he saw were the waving skeletal remains of trees stripped of their fall garments.

That was a scream, boss. You know it. I know it. We be experts in that regard, don’t you think?

Russell ignored him. Even if the other one was correct, the scream was coming from elsewhere. Sound did funny things when it met the wind. “Could have been a coyote or a raccoon,” he reasoned.

Anything you say, boss. I still don’t like it.

For once they were in agreement.

Russell decided to proceed. He opened the sliding glass door and entered the darkness of the den.

Fear was not a sensation Russell was capable of anymore, but he was still relieved to be indoors and out of the strange night. Once within the den, he forgot all else, turning his attention to the task. The digital clock in the den displayed 3:15 in bright, blood-red.

She would be asleep by now; Janet was seldom up past midnight. She often retired early and woke up before dawn. Janet loved to sit out back on the porch swing with her morning coffee and enjoy the solace her gardening efforts provided. Russell had watched her on three different occasions in this way and was convinced that at these times, Janet was the most herself, which also meant, the most vulnerable.

He remembered the last morning he’d watched her from the woods—her unkempt, long, blond hair dancing in a soft breeze over the shoulders of her long, white nightgown. He remembered the way she folded her legs up toward her chest, resting her arms and coffee cup between her knees as she seemed to savor each sip and just absorb the morning with those sharp, blue eyes. Those eyes—it was always the eyes—that told him everything he needed to know. And then there was her secret smile, only released in moments such as these when both woman and child surfaced to fuse as one while the illusion of life renewed had not yet faded to the harsh realities of the pending day.

Russell had almost screwed up that final morning as he’d nearly stepped out from the cover of the trees, wanting to take her then, before the day could become cruel and steal that perfect moment from them.

It had been his reflection in the knife blade that he’d unconsciously drawn that brought him back to his senses. One look into those two black holes upon a face made stone by years of calculated coldness made Russell aware that he had overstayed his welcome, and that the morning would reveal too much if he didn’t depart and retreat back into the dark, where everyone was equally ugly and shadows were no respecter of persons.

Are you still there, boss?

“Yes,” he whispered, returning from the time machine of memory.

Russell moved quickly to the right and slowly opened the door. The expected kitchen light poured in through the crack, momentarily exposing Gerald’s ‘I love me’ room of walls littered with certificates and treasured sports memorabilia. Gerald’s sacred world of porn and pompous man were soon forgotten as Russell entered the kitchen, closed the den door behind him, and quickly turned off the kitchen light.

He paused a few moments to ensure there were no sounds coming from the house (not even a mouse), and then he followed the last of the light coming from his left, which led into the massive foyer. He flipped both light switches off near the foot of the large curved staircase and one more by the elaborately decorated oak double front doors, which killed the remaining light coming from the front porch and upper hallway.

The moon had returned. Ambient light poured in through the large stained-glass window overlooking the foyer, but not enough light to expose Russell in the darkness.

From his vantage point near the front door, Russell looked up at Janet’s bedroom on the second floor. The door was open. If she’d been awake, there would’ve been movement when he’d turned out the foyer light. All remained quiet, as expected.

Russell waited ten more minutes, preparing his mind for the dark deed of deliverance, and then began to ascend the curved staircase.

The other one could no longer remain silent:

Here piggy, piggy, piggy… it’s time for a bloodbath.


Next Episode 1-2


If you’re enjoying Don’t Feed The Dark so far, please consider voting for it on Top Web Fiction and Top Site List by clicking the links below. This will help increase its visibility and draw in more potential readers. No registration is required. Thanks for your support and for reading :)

“Chapter 1-1: Demon Night” Copyright © 2014, 2015 Scott Scherr. From the Novel “Don’t Feed The Dark, Book One: Southbound Nightmares”.

No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission by the author.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

  1. misanthropicxmonstrosity says:

    Really like this story so far. I promise I will read more when I’m not so tired and lazy!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love the book so far! Thanks for sharing! I’m going to tweet it out and link back to your blog to keep traffic circulating for us fellow apocalypse survivors. If you have a sec to check out my blog, it’s Have a good night! Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    • sscherr says:

      Thanks for stopping by, Aeron, and I’m glad you like the book so far. I appreciate any traffic you can send my way. I’ll definitely stop on over to your site and check it out. Hope you stick around and keep reading :)


  3. Candice "Candy" says:


    Liked by 2 people

    • sscherr says:

      Hello Candy, glad you found the place. I’ve heard a lot of good things about Adrian’s Undead Diary. That’s on my reading list when time permits. I look forward to you coming back and giving DFTD a read. Thanks for stopping by :)


  4. Just finished this first part. I am very intrigued on the scenario. i am ready to read more before i decide how liked it is. zombie lover for life!

    Liked by 1 person

    • sscherr says:

      Hello Angie. Thanks for stopping by and reading. I’m glad you’re intrigued so far and I hope you stick around and give this story a few chapters to see where it’s going :)


  5. Livefore says:

    Bookmarked for a later read, very intriguing.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. midnightwriterporvida says:

    So far this is extremely interesting!!!!!!!!


    • sscherr says:

      Hello, Midnight Writer, and welcome to The Dark. I’m glad you are enjoying the story so far. You’ve picked the perfect time to start since I’m working on the conclusion this week. I look forward to hearing what you think further down the pages ;)

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ashley says:

    Interesting so far. It reminds me of a criminal minds episode :)


  8. E.J. Stevens says:

    Thank you for a spooktacular stop on the October Frights Hop. Hop on over to my October Frights Giveaway at From the Shadows for a chance to win urban fantasy audiobooks and more.


  9. afstewart says:

    Great poems and chapter.


  10. I love the word/poetry pictures! That’s so cool. :)


  11. I’m going to begin your tale this evening. I’ll post comments on it either later tonight or Wednesday (I’ll be traveling tomorrow). I apologize; I’m only now going through the list of participating authors. I absolutely LOVED your poetry. It takes true creativity to be able to make both visual art and auditory art with words. Amazing. Thank you so much for sharing.


    • sscherr says:

      Hello Michelle, thanks for stopping by. I’m glad you enjoyed the visuals and I’m ecstatic to hear that you’re going to give Don’t Feed The Dark a read. Thank you. I, too, am trying to find time to catch up with everyone on the list. I wish I had the whole month of October off. My day job is soooo annoying at times. Thanks again ;)


  12. Stopping by from the October Frights hop. I admire your creativity.


  13. MaryRajotte says:

    I love these visual tales!!! So cool!


  14. KM Randall says:

    Ooooh, these are awesome poems. Love the imagery.


  15. Enjoying the poems Scott!! :) And thank you for following my blog.


  16. SheilaDeeth says:

    Love those poems. Loved the excerpt too. And I voted for you.


  17. sscherr says:

    Thanks for stopping by and giving my story a read, Sheila. I appreciate the vote as well. I’m glad you enjoyed John’s visual nightmares. Come on back tomorrow for the finale ;)


  18. Kiersten says:

    Ahaa, its nice conversation regarding this post here at this blog, I have read all
    that, so now me also commenting here.


  19. Kristen says:

    I could not refrain from commenting. Very well written!


  20. […] Guide, a great place to find online web fiction. Thanks much again to Scott Scherr, author of Don’t Feed the Dark for the read and review. If you’re into zombie horror, definitely check out Scott’s […]

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Kristen says:

    I couldn’t resist commenting. Perfectly written!


  22. […] “The October harvest moon ascended above the tree line; its ominous, orange lit lower half sporadically penetrated the dark clouds that slowly consumed the night sky. Like an alien eye staring down upon the dark and silent village of Kirtland Hills, Ohio, that fiery orb held its gaze upon the small downtown streets below, sensing an unsettling presence that did not belong.”- Don’t Feed The Dark, Chapter 1: Demon Night. […]


  23. Jesse says:

    I’m an aspiring voice narrator. I started reading your novel at first as a sort of practice for greater things… But after getting past only the first chapter I have to say I’m already hooked. I’m going to narrate the story purely for fun and to enjoy your writing. I absolutely love the concept of someone like Russel being the protagonist, and if I’m jumping to conclusions on that assumption, an antagonist would be great too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • sscherr says:

      Hello Jesse, and welcome to The Dark. I’m glad you’re enjoying this long tale so far. Just to let you know, this story revolves around several main characters who eventually meet up, but Russell Bower is a real piece of work… lol. I’ve never met an aspiring voice narrator before. Sound intriguing. Do you, or are you planning on narrating audio books? I’d love to hear a sample of your narration of my story some time. Thanks for reading and commenting. Look forward to hearing your thoughts further down the pages ;)


      • Jesse says:

        Oh, I really wasn’t expecting a reply so quickly! To tell the truth, I’m very new to narrating. I’m no professional by any stretch, but it’s something I’ve done as a hobby for years now and pursuing it as a career feels like a dream job. And yes, Russell is awesome so far! I love stories of characters coming together after the build up. I’m actually going to narrate the first chapter now, and I’ll send you a sample.

        Liked by 1 person

      • sscherr says:

        That’s awesome! I can’t wait to hear the sample. Thanks for reading and good luck with your dream job ;)


  24. Jesse says: I’ve done four chapters so far. This is a four-five minute sample. Keep in mind I’m not using proper recording equipment, but I plan on getting some in the future. I hope you’ve liked the voices applied to the characters!

    Liked by 1 person

    • sscherr says:

      Hey, that was awesome! You’re a natural at this, me thinks. The sample you sent never made it to the dialogue, though. It stopped after 2 minutes, 39 seconds. It was fun listening to my own story through your narrative. Adds a whole new dimension to the story. Thanks for sharing what you came up with. Much appreciated ;)


      • Jesse says:

        Oh my God! Haha, sorry I sent the wrong sample! Please listen to this one instead.

        Liked by 1 person

      • sscherr says:

        Wow, that was really cool! I love the way you kept Russell’s voice just on the edge of snapping, like a man struggling to keep the savage down while trying to solve their current dilemma… and I think you nailed ‘the other one’ perfectly, he just doesn’t give a shit and thrives on the chaos. I can really hear the confusion and terror in Janet’s voice, too. Well done! And then the rat-a-tat sounds… chilling. How long did it take you to narrate this entire chapter?


  25. Jesse says:

    Thank you very much! And it took some time. I read through the chapter three times out loud, trying to decide how to read this line or that line, or how to ‘act’ during this moment or that. I’ve done chapters two and three as well. But for a more concise answer on how long it took to narrate the chapter…? About thirty-forty minutes. And I intend on narrating it again from scratch, to make sure it’s as good as I can possibly get it. Would you mind if I uploaded the sample I sent you to sites like ACX, Audible and Voice123? If I do make it into the Audiobook narrating business, I’d love for Don’t Fear The Dark to be my leading project!

    By the way, do you have any requests on how the characters should sound, or should I keep voicing them the way I have been?

    Liked by 1 person

    • sscherr says:

      Not at all, share the sample, and I wish you the best of luck. I was going to ask, if you wanted to share a few sample episodes here, as well. Maybe I could attach your audio renditions for the first few chapters at the end of each episode, giving you credit, of course, and getting your name out there to let my readers know. I’ve had people ask if I’m ever going to convert this into ebook or audio book, and after listening to your sample, the audiobook would be awesome. I can’t offer any monetary compensation for your hard work since I’m basically giving this story away for free placing it online like this, but who knows, maybe in the future, we could put out a full audiobook of the first book and make some scratch on it then. As far as how my characters should sound… I’ll trust your judgment on it. Sound good so far.


  26. Jesse says:

    Correct: Don’t Feed The Dark*.


  27. Jesse says:

    Well yes! Absolutely. I’ll keep narrating the chapters but like I said I’ll redo them. I enjoy narrating and if you had my work included with yours at the end of each episode, it would definitely help get my name out there! I’m getting better recording equipment tomorrow, so I’ll send you ‘official’ audio renditions for the chapters I complete! :)

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Jesse says:

    And I’d love to hear this book in an Audiobook version. And it feels amazing that I may be the one that will make that happen! It’s a very long series so it will certainly keep me busy. And once completed, it would be a hell of a thing to have on my resume as a voice actor.

    Liked by 1 person

    • sscherr says:

      That would be great! The first seven chapters make up the first arc of this story (a.k.a. the first night of this shit storm) ending with chapters 6 and 7 returning to Gina and Russell at the end. I don’t know how long typical audio books run, but those first seven might make a good stopping point to try and put one together and get it out there if you’re up for the challenge. I know it will be some hard work. I can’t imagine narrating something this big. But we could put a few episodes online, generate some interest, and then take it from there. Honestly, I know nothing about the audio book industry and how it works (I’ve produced paperbacks for three books in this series), but I do know lots of people who love them and listen to them on their morning/afternoon commutes. You’ve sold me on the idea and I’m game if you want to try it? I could give you any additional background on the characters you might need to get a solid feel for them. If we make any profit from the audio book versions, I’ll split it with you. And if it doesn’t make a profit… well… I’ll get a chance to put your name out there, and give you a lot of practice…lol, and you’ll attract more attention to DFTD with another venue and audience for this story ;)


  29. Jesse says:

    If you could give background on all the main characters (WITHOUT SPOILERS) I’d appreciate it. I’m loving this story and I hope my interest shows through my narration. And yeah, practice, practice, practice. I need as much of that as possible. I’ve been doing it as a hobby for a long time now, but I’ve only lately started getting into it seriously with the hope of actually going somewhere with it. I’m glad most of all that as the writer of this dark series, that you enjoy my narration as well!

    I’ll have better equipment TODAY, and will be able to use proper recording software. I’ve been using my phone to record thus far and have to start from scratch with every mistake I make. Soon though I’ll be able to use Audacity and a better microphone so I can edit mistakes and corrections out.

    DON’T FEED THE DARK! Audiobook version chapter one, coming soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    • sscherr says:

      Excellent! I’m looking forward to this venture. I’ll send you that character background info of the main characters up through the first seven chapters. There’s a bunch more that are introduced between chapters 8 – 11, but we can get to those guys later. I have a lot of characters in this damn tale… lol. I’ll put something together and send it to you via the gmail address you left me, if that’s okay. Did you say you’ve already read up through the third chapter with Stephen’s character introduced at the school? I’m thinking about those pesky spoilers… lol.


  30. Jesse says:

    Really appreciate that background list for the characters. No, I’m actually only just finished with Gina’s first set of episodes. Since I don’t have as much quiet time as I’d like here I’m only able to read and narrate Don’t Feed The Dark at night time, so that’s not a lot of hours sadly. Those backgrounds will be helpful though, thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • sscherr says:

      No problem. Just let me know if you need anything else. I completely understand being short on time. I have to write at all kinds of strange times due to family/work… but we do what we can when we can. One day, I would love to be one of them ‘full time writers’ and quit my annoying day job ;)


  31. Jesse says:

    Hi again Scott, it’s been awhile. Just letting you know I’m still intent on narrating this series, just haven’t had the time or sufficient quiet, so until then I’ll just keep reading and enjoying!


  32. Simon Macdonald says:

    Only just beggining your story but start is fantastic. Usually have to will myself through the first chapter of a novel before the world and characters start to get their hooks into me. You got me halfway through the first page! Hope the rest lives up to the start, great stuff

    Liked by 1 person

    • sscherr says:

      Hello Simon, and welcome to The Dark. It’s always great to hear from a new reader and thanks for giving my story a chance. First several chapters will be introducing different characters throughout this first hellish night, but hopefully you’ll find each of their starts as interesting as this one… as well as where they end up.


  33. serialfictdigest says:

    Reblogged this on Serial Fiction Digest and commented:
    Once a week we plan to feature a webserial here so for our first one let’s go back to the beginning in Scott Scherr’s Don’t Feed the Dark.


Comments? I love to read them

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s