Thursday, March 28, 2019

We're writing a book.

Hello, Alone at Night fans. It's official -- we're writing a book.

We're writing a collection of scary short fiction stories. We're planning for this book to be appropriate for the age range of 12 and above, so nothing too gruesome, but just some old fashioned scary stories. We hope to have it available by October, in time for Halloween.

If you're interested in receiving notifications, such as when the book is available and where you can buy it, please email Aloneatnightblog@gmail.com with your email address, and we'll keep you updated. We will not share your email with anyone else, and we will only email you once every couple of months with updates and the publishing process.

Thanks as always for your support,

Alone at Night Staff

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Secret Project in the Works

Alone at night has a secret project in the works. We can't say too much about it right now, but we're excited. We're creating a mailing list and will provide updates over the next few months. If you're interested in joining the mailing list, simply send an email to Aloneatnightblog@gmail.com saying you're interested, and you'll receive an email update about our secret project in the next few months.

Monday, August 8, 2016

David Crist

(Hello Alone at Night visitors. We have great news for you fans of all things scary. We at Alone at Night are publishing a book. It should be out in October 2016. If you're interested in getting on the mailing list, for potential discounts, or just occasional updates, please email aloneatnightblog@gmail.com with "book" as the subject. The book is aimed at people 12 years old and up and will  be a great source of short scary fiction. Now on to the story about David Crist...)



I love to ride my bike along country roads. Not far from where I live is a tiny town called Three Oaks, in Michigan. One Saturday, my wife was working and I had nothing to do, so I strapped my bike to my car and drove the hour to Three Oaks. I parked in the scenic downtown area, and then rode out of the town and into the surrounding countryside.

As I wound my way further into the remote countryside, houses and businesses and cars grew increasingly scare. Eventually, there are only an occasional house or two every 1/2 mile or mile and corn fields and small woods flanking the dirt and gravel roads that I peddled down.

It's on one of these back roads that a minivan drove past me. Within moments of it passing, it turned around pulled up along side me. I looked over and the passenger, a woman in her mid to late twenty's was looking at me with her window down. The driver, a man of seemingly the same age leaned over the passenger and said to me in a slight southern drawl and with a big smile on his face, "Hey, do you know David Crist?" I thought for a brief second, but I don't know any David Crist, so I said so. The driver said, "You don't know of him at all?" I said that I didn't and apologized, and then pedaled on. The van sat for a moment and then pulled a u-turn and drives off in the direction they were originally heading.

I thought nothing of the encounter. Maybe the driver was a friend of David Crist, and he thought we had met though David or something, I don't know. At the time, I didn't think I had any reason to worry.

I continued on my ride, turning down this road and heading north, and then turning down that road and heading east. I didn't have any agenda for my ride. I was just out to enjoy the summer day and meander through the relaxing countryside.

Maybe ten minutes later, and an entirely new road and direction from the one I had first met the van, I saw the van again. We were heading toward each other, and I gave a smile and nod as I passed the driver, I remember thinking it was an odd coincidence that I should come across this van again, and he had a big smile on his face as he drove past.

At this point, I began wondering what they were doing. They might be lost, and looking for this David Crist guy, or maybe they're just enjoying a scenic drive and thought I looked like a friend of a friend, or something. I didn't know, but at that point I was starting to think about the situation.

I continued taking a twisting, turning, meandering path. Taking this road, and then turning onto that, heading north, south, west, east.

Then, I came across the van again. Again, they're heading in my direction and I pulled along side them, the driver rolled down his window and leaned out. He was a late twenties white man, with a few inches of a goatee and a baseball cap. He has a large smile plastered across his face. I stopped my bike and look at him, waiting for him to say something, and he just looked at me for a good thirty seconds. Thirty seconds doesn't sound like a long time, but you go flag down a stranger and then just look at them for thirty seconds, and you'll realize that in that kind of situation, thirty seconds is a lifetime. Finally, he spoke and said, "Hey, do you know David Crist." this time there was no smile on his face. He stared at me, and I was thinking to myself, "Is he joking. Does he really not remember he asked me this same question twenty minutes ago? Is he just being funny? Is he high as hell?" After a moment, I told him that I still didn't know anyone by the name of David Crist and I pedaled off down the road.

It's at that time that I realize exactly in how remote of an area I am. I peered down the road I was on and didn't see a house on its entire length. I was flanked by a corn field on one side and a forest on the other. I looked over my shoulder and saw the van slowly driving down the road away from me. It couldn't be a coincidence that I came across this van three times now, not with me taking roads heading different directions. It made no sense. The only thing they could have been doing was just driving around, but why would they stop me and ask that same question? It was quite strange, and I was beginning to become a little concerned.

I decided to begin to head back toward the town center. I pedaled hard, and the gravel road ahead of me had a bend to the right, and a dirt path, for it couldn't really be called a road, to the left. As I neared the fork, who should come around the bend but the damned van. I gripped my pocket knife, which I always take with me on rides like this -- just in case -- and then realize, all they would have to do is run me down with the van, and I would be in serious trouble. As the van drew closer, I was ready to jump off into the cornfields. The van slowed down as it approached me and the driver rolled his window down and leaned out again, but this time I didn't stop riding. I increased my speed, even though I knew I could never outrun the van if they gave chase. I looked over my shoulder and see the van sitting in the middle of the road. I took the right fork and continued on the gravel road until I could no longer see the van and then I stopped.

I got off my bike and crept along the cornfield until I was at its edge and I peaked down the road I had just been on. The van was in the distance driving away from me.  I ran back to my bike, and then as soon as the van was entirely out of sight, I turned around and took the left fork along the dirt path. I rode as fast I could, knowing that if the people in the van had nefarious things in mind, and that they caught me on this first path, flanked by cornfields and far from an area that anyone would come across us, that would be the time they attacked.

My ruse worked, or perhaps the van was never after me at all, and I made it the rest of the way to the town center without seeing them again. When I got home later that day, I was still replaying the events in my head and the name David Crist kept creeping through my mind. Was David Crist someone famous, I wondered, like a musician. Should I have known David Crist? I decided to Google the name. I tried a couple of different spellings for Krist, but it the Crist spelling that revealed a terrifying result.

I came across a newspaper article from Knoxville, TN. The article explained how a man named David Crist had turned himself in after stabbing another man at a gas station in 2013. The article included a photo of this criminal David Crist, and it was the man driving the van. Add a baseball cap and a few inches of a goatee and it's the same man. I did an inmate search of the Knox country prision and there was no David Crist in the inmate population.

Somehow David Crist had gotten out of prison, or maybe he was never convicted, as I couldn't find any articles about sentencing, in less than two years after stabbing a guy and he had made his way to Michigan. Why was he driving along these back roads? Who was the woman in the passenger seat, and why the hell did he keep asking if I knew of him?

Do I know David Crist? Yes, I do now.




Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Book Update and Podcast Recommendations

Hey, Alone at Night fans. Just wanted to provide a quick update on the book. It's going great. The stories are gathered and now we're in the editing process. We appreciate you sticking with us during this time, and apologize for not getting many updates going for Alone At Night. We still plan on having the book out in time for this year's Halloween.

In the meantime, to satisfy your fright needs, we wanted to provide a list of recommended scary podcasts for your perusal.

In no particular order, we recommend you check out:

Stuff They Don't Want You to Know

Welcome to Night Vale

Here There be Monsters

Thinking Sideways

Nocturne

Astonishing Legends





Book Update and Podcast Recommendations

Hello, Alone at Night fans. Thanks for visiting today.

I wanted to provide an update on the progress of my book. My co-author and I have each completed our stories and are now in the all important editing phase. Our goal is still to get the book out by October and in time for Halloween.

If you missed the first post about the subject, let me explain. I'm writing a collection of scary short stories for children (ages 8-12, roughly) with a co-author. My co-author has previously published a few books for adults that you can obtain through Amazon by clicking here. His other works are for adults and include a terrific series of mysteries set in Vienna, Austria and a great mash up of genres in his futuristic noir detective novel (Collection). I highly recommend you pick up all three, but if pressed to select just one, Collection is my personal favorite.

I'll keep you updated through the rest of the publication process and will, of course, let you know when you can obtain your copy.

For now, though, I'd like to chat a little about podcasts. I am a podcast fanatic and I wanted to share a few of my favorites. In keeping with the theme of Alone at Night, I'll just share the scary ones. I'm  not going to go into much detail about them, but rather provide a list of recommendations. Check them out and thank me later.

Stuff They Don't Want You to Know

Welcome to Night Vale

Astonishing Legends

 Small Town Horror

Here There be Monsters

Thinking Sideways

Nocturne, which isn't always creepy, but has a few scary episodes.


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

A Couple Short Stories Shared with Alone at Night

I was fishing alone along a stretch of river after work one day. The same car drove by me really slow a half dozen times, both directions. I got a bit creeped out so when I heard it coming again.
I pulled my phone out and pretend I was talking to someone.
A guy looking like a creepy hillbilly (think the cop killer in the movie 'house of 1000 corpses') got out of his car, paced back and forth a couple of times near his still open door, And came at me with his fists clenched, holding something, in a manic, tunnel vision,and aggressive and somewhat dazed posture.
As he neared me I started describing him to the imaginary person on the other line.
It freaked the person out and they ran back to their car and sped the fuck off.
I called the local police to report it.

---

I was camping with friends. It was early in the season and we were the only ones in that section of the park. One morning I stayed in my sleeping bag in the tent while everyone else went to the facilities, which were a bit of a walk away. I dozed off again. I was awoken by someone grabbing my foot through the tent. I was groggy and assumed it was a friend playing a joke and kicked and said fuck off. My foot was grabbed again and pulled, and I kicked again pretty hard, not afraid to kick my friend who was now pissing me off. He stopped and I dozed off again.
I woke up again probably less than half an hour later and heard my friends in the distance, returning. When they got back I asked them who was the one trying to wake me up. They had no idea what I was talking about, honestly. I told them about something grabbing my foot through the tent and they thought I was trying to tell a story to scare them. I still have no idea what it was. It wasn't even dark out at the time.

----