Strange things keep happening in the quirky little seaside town of Hallowind Cove, earning it the nickname “Harbour of the Weird”.
When the Hutchinson family buy the beautiful Beauregard mansion on Gloomland Street, they believe they’ve made the deal of a lifetime.
But unfortunately, no one told them about the fog that envelops Hallowind Cove for three hundred and forty days a year. Or about the mysterious shadows that stand around Twilight Gardens, staring at random houses…
This is a short story of 3300 words or approximately 14 pages in the Hallowind Cove series, but may be read as a standalone.
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- The Standarounds of Twilight Gardens is a short story of 3300 words or approximately 14 print pages. This story is a digital premiere and has never been published previously.
- The Standarounds of Twilight Gardens is one of the stories to come out of the 2017 July short story challenge, where the aim was to write a short story per day in July 2017. In fact, three of five Hallowind Cove stories to date were July short story challenge stories.
- The initial inspiration for The Standarounds of Twilight Gardens was watching a trailer for what looked like a very bad low-budget horror movie. A year on, I can’t even recall the title of the movie, which shows how forgettable it was. I had to comb through the weekly link roundups at the Speculative Fiction Showcase from July 2017 to find it again (and it turns out that a lot of bad trailers for forgettable horror movies came out in July 2017). That movie had the usual set-up of a group of people trapped in an isolated house and menaced by sinister shadowy figures. At one point in the trailer, someone freaks out about the figures out there and someone else asks what the figures are doing, whereupon the first person replies, “Nothing”, which made me break in laughter. And so the standarounds were born.
- The Hutchinson family are new characters, but Sheriff Alastair Angus Aberdeen first appears in The Bakery on Gloomland Street. Hallowind Cove regulars Rachel, Paul, Ian, Old Hank and Hugo the talking raven put in an appearance as well.
- The standarounds themselves are briefly mentioned in The Bakery on Gloomland Street, which was written after this story, even though happens chronologically before The Standarounds of Twilight Gardens.
- Paul MacQuarie’s villainous ancestor Jedediah MacQuarie is briefly mentioned and it’s not just the revenant who is angry at Jedediah and his descendants. We also encounter some more villainous figures from Hallowind Cove’s colourful past.
- The cover is a graphic of silhouetted people by Michal Bednarel inside the usual porthole template.