My First Book


Under The Boards


A Horror Story Presented By Devan Horn


Edited By Joshua Deppe


Copyright – Devan Horn



“Help!!! Somebody help me, he’s going to kill me!” screamed Lizzy.
“No one is going to help you now little Lizzy…” drawled the maniac.
As the maniacal man laughed, Lizzy banged against the door in an attempt to escape. All her siblings lay wounded and tired on the floor, unable to help.
As the maniac crept nearer, knife in hand, Lizzy let out a cry of fear.
“I’m sorry,” James whispered before blacking out.

Chapter 1: A Family Vacation 

It was mid-summer in San Dolovardo, and, in line with tradition, the Brown family was on its way to Derry Maine, a fun family town on the seaside.
“Ethan Brown, put that phone down right now!!!” Mrs. Brown scolded.
”Whatever,” he mumbled under his breath.
“We are going away to spend some quality time together as a family, so no technology on this trip “ she continued.
Mr. Brown was very proud to take his family away on this trip. The family always spent the summer holidays at various resorts, but this was the first time any of them had been to Derry Maine. Lizzy and Georgie especially were looking forward to two weeks of seaside activities.
”Aww man, I’m going to be stuck in a cabin for 2 weeks with you lot,” says Austin.
James and Mark didn’t really mind wherever they went, as long as the views were good and the weather was decent.
”How long until we get there!!? It feels like hours already,” complained Ethan. “We’re almost there son…” Mr. Brown peered out the windscreen. “Actually, we’re here already.”
Before them stood a modest but cozy-looking chalet. After unloading the car, the five siblings rushed inside and quickly located their room.
As they unpacked in their room, the siblings looked around and realized what a nice place it was.
”I had my doubts about this place,” grinned Ethan. “But this is great!”
”Me too,” as Austin said jumping on his bed, folding his arms behind his head.
”I can see we’re going to have fun already,” James said to Mark.
Now Lizzy who was a very curious girl looked in the cupboards and closets.
”Hmmm…not bad. At least there’s no spiders or anything in here.” Lizzy said gladly, remembering an incident about a spider biting her in the past.
She shuddered at the thought.
By now the sun was already on its way below the horizon, and the family was very tired and hungry from the long drive. Before long, all the Browns had gathered in the kitchen.
”Who’s hungry?” Mr. Brown asked.
”All of us!!” everyone said in unison and laughed.

 Chapter 2: Meeting Mr. Denver

The next morning after everyone woke up and did their morning routine Mr. Brown felt like it was a nice day to go fishing.
”Gosh, what a nice day to go fishing. I bet the fishes are waking up already,” Mr. Brown said excitedly. “Well, I’d better going.”
 ”I feel like going to explore Derry Maine,” James said.
”I’m coming too,” Mark said hurriedly, trying to get away from their dad before he dragged them along on his fishing trip.
Ethan and Austin went with their dad and Lizzy and Georgie stayed with their mom.      
As James and Mark walk along the seaside watching the wave’s crash against the rocks, they observed the people working and walking.
”These planks are so creaky, they could break any moment,” Mark said, concerned.
”I see.” said James humorously.
Mark just looked at him with a dumbfounded look and just chuckled. All of a sudden a girl popped out of nowhere, startling the boys.
”Are you crazy!?” James said angrily.
”It’s just so funny, you should have seen your faces just walking along and not noticing your surroundings.” laughed the girl.
”Well I must give you credit for that, my brother would be furious with me,” Mark said impressed.
”My name’s Emma by the way,” said the girl, sticking out her hand.
”Well I’m Mark and this is my brother James who is still pissed off apparently,” Mark says teasing his brother.
”You must be a city guy because they tend to take themselves very seriously at times,” Emma says, referring to James.
”Yes, we are indeed from the city. We and our family are on holiday here for 2 weeks,” Mark said.
”Cool. Well, I live around here, so I’ll see you losers around then,” Emma teased.
”Yeah that will be cool then,” Mark said, nodding in agreement. ”Oh, and just for the record; keep an eye out for weird stuff out here in Derry Maine. This place is full of mysteries and disappearances.” Emma said before leaving.
A while later walking back after a day full of swimming and exploring, the brothers walked past a decked house and noticed a horrific stench.
”Ewww, it smells like dead meat or something,” James remarked.
Mark grimaced and nodding in agreement.
”It’s probably all the dead fish and sewage they throw back in the sea,” Mark said.
A middle-aged man around the age of 65 suddenly appeared under the boards of the deck and said:
”Get out of here, this place is off-limits!” the man said in a thick accent.
 He had a scruffy grey beard and his skin was so pale he looked almost like a ghost.
”We don’t want any trouble, we’ll get off your lawn, umm… Mr…?” James said hurriedly.
”Denver, its Mr. Denver. Now get off my property!” Mr. Denver yelled.
Without another word, the two siblings hurried on their way.

 Chapter 3: Disappeared      

That evening when everything was quiet the Brown family was at the dinner table having fish and peas with baked potatoes.
“We went downtown today and visited the shops. We saw the most delicious apples and things there,” Lizzy said enthusiastically.
”Well, I caught a fish today. I think it’s a salmon.” Mr.Brown said.
“Yeah, like after almost three hours waiting for it to show up,” Ethan said sarcastically.
And while everyone was talking about their day, James was wondering about Mr. Denver. Something about him was off, James thought.
Later, after everyone had gone to sleep, James was disturbed by a flashlight outside his window and caught sight of a shadowy figure moving in the night.
”Mark, wake up! I think there’s someone outside!” James hissed.
”Go to sleep James. It’s late, we’ll talk tomorrow,” Mark said sleepily.
James thought it was maybe just a figment of his imagination, so he went to sleep.
The next morning when the six siblings went out, they saw a weeping old woman talking to a sheriff.
”And when was the last time you saw your husband, Mrs. Smith?” the sheriff asked.
”Well, he said he was only going for a walk last night and when he didn’t come back home I was starting to worry about him,” the old woman replied.
”Well, the police will do what they can ma’am. We’ll find your husband,” the sheriff said.
”Thank you for your time sheriff,” The woman said before shuffling back inside her home.
”What happened?” Lizzy asked the sheriff.
”Well, as you no doubt heard, Mrs. Smith’s husband has gone missing. No one has seen him since yesterday evening, and it’s unlikely we ever will. A lot of people disappear every year in this damn town, never to be seen again,” The sheriff said, looking tired. ”Oh, where are my manners. I’m Sheriff Johnson. Pleased to meet you.”
”I’m Lizzy and these are my brothers, Ethan, Austin, Georgie, Mark, and James,” Lizzy said, introducing her siblings.
”You kids must be careful out here. There’s a lot of weird stuff going on in this town,” the sheriff warned.
”Who is that old man who lurks around here, the one with a scruffy beard, grey hair and strange accent?” James asked.
”That would be Mr. Denver. He’s not from around here and no one takes much notice of him. He acts strangely around people, though seems fairly harmless. Still, I don’t really trust him,” the sheriff answered. ”Well, I’d better be going. Any more questions?”
Lizzy shook her head.
“Right, I’ll be off. Be careful, kids.”
The sheriff walked off solemnly.
“Wow, that old man sounds like a real creep,” Ethan said.
”I saw him around here a few times, walking near the deck,” Austin added. “We should keep our distance from him.”
The rest nodded their heads in agreement.


Chapter 4: Murdered

Late at night when the sun sunk below the horizon, while the people of Derry Maine slept, someone was up to no good.
”There that should do it!” a gruff voice said.
It was the voice of Mr. Denver, Mr. Smith’s kidnapper.
”Please, let me go! I won’t tell anyone!” pleaded a scared Mr. Smith.
”Oh shut up, no one but your hag of a wife will miss you anyway!”
And with that Mr. Denver hit Mr. Smith across the face with the handle of an ax.
”Here, you know the deal if anyone asks about him you keep quiet,” Mr. Denver hissed to Emma.
”Yes Mr. Denver,” said Emma with tears in her eyes, knowing if she spoke of what happened to Mr. Smith, she’d be killed too.
Mr. Denver grunted as he tied a dumbbell to Mr. Smith’s ankle and threw him into the sea. There was a loud splash followed by a bubbling sound.
”And those annoying boys are next if they don’t stay away from the deck,” warned Mr. Denver. “If you value their lives, tell them to beat it.”
And with that Mr. Denver and Emma parted ways. The bubbling had ceased.
The next morning when the Brown siblings went for a walk they saw police vans and the ambulance at the shore. A crowd of locals watched as the policemen dragged the body of an old man out of the surf.
Mrs. Smith was on her knees, crying hysterically about her husband’s death. James started to believe that this was not an accident, but his thoughts were quickly interrupted by the presence of the girl from yesterday.
”Hey Snickers, how’s it going?” asked Emma, trying to lift the mood.
”An old man washed up dead on shore, how do you think how’s it going?” snapped James.
”I was shocked to hear that Mr. Smith was found dead, he was a kind man,” Emma said, trying to hide her guilt.
”This place is totally creepy, we shouldn’t have come,” Ethan said.
Later that day Sheriff Johnson was busy asking everyone what happened and if they saw anything suspicious. While he did so, the Brown siblings lurked quietly in their room. ”Hey guys, dinner’s almost ready,” said Mark.
”What do you think about this whole business?” James asked Mark.
”Well, I think it is very weird that he just disappeared and then a day later washed up on shore,” replied Mark.
”I think it has to do something with that deck, he was found near there,” says James seriously. ”We’re going to talk with that girl Emma tomorrow. She knows something, I’m sure of it.”


Chapter 5: Suspects

Sheriff Johnson sat in his office and sighed, knowing that this is murder would not be solved easily.
”What is going on in this town?” Sheriff Johnson said, frustrated.
At that moment James and Mark walked into the office.
”What are you boys doing here?” asked the sheriff.
”We wanted to ask you a few questions, Sheriff, about Mr. Denver,” James said. “What can you tell us about him?”
Mark nodded in agreement. He had come along to hear what the sheriff had to say, but he also had his suspicions about the strange occurrences in the town.
”Well, Mr. Denver has been a murder suspect for some time now. This is because most of the bodies were found under the boards at the deck near his house. We have yet to find any conclusive evidence, however,” explained Sheriff Johnson. ”He may well be innocent. No-one takes any notice of him, they just take him for a slightly eccentric old man.”
James listened intently, though he disagreed with the Sheriff’s assessment of Mr. Denver. He knew deeply that Mr. Denver was more than just an eccentric old man, he could see the killer instinct in his eyes. Feelings were not acceptable proof, however, so another approach had to be employed.
”What about Emma?” asked Mark. “Do you know anything about her?”
The Sheriff frowned.
”All I know about Emma is that she seems to live around here and that she seems to know Mr. Denver quite well. That’s all I know,” answered the Sheriff. “Is that all?”
”Yes. Thank you for your time, Sheriff. We appreciate it,” said James.
He and Mark then shook the Sheriff’s hand and left.
When they started to walk back home along the seaside, with the sun about to go to rest after a full day of merciless luminosity.
”I’m so glad we’re going back home this week, this town is creeping the jeepers out of me,” said Mark.
”I don’t think the sound I heard outside my window on the night before the murder is coincidental,” Said James, ignoring his brother. “There must be a connection, but I don’t have any evidence.”
They were nearing the site of the murder when the hideous stench of rotten flesh wafted over them. ”Someone really needs to deal with that smell, it’s driving people away from here,” said Mark, pinching his nose.
”Yeah I totally agree, but Mr. Denver would just drive them off,” said James.
“We couldn’t find Emma anywhere today, shall we wait until tomorrow to have a word with her?” asked Mark.
”Yes, I think that would be wise. Tomorrow, we’ll crack this case, I’m betting on it,” James replied firmly.
And with that, the boys turned on their heels and set off toward home. Unbeknownst to the two siblings, Mr. Denver watched after them, his face breaking into a devious grin.
“Fools,” he muttered.

Chapter 6: Truth

As the sun shone brightly in the sky over Derry Maine, Emma walked along, unaware of what lay before her. As she was made her way down the road to town an arm grabbed her and pulled her around a corner, bringing her face to face with James and the rest of the Brown siblings.
”You and I need to have a little chat,” said James seriously.
”Well hello to you too,” Emma replied sarcastically.
Mark walked towards Emma and said:
”It’s about Mr. Denver. He’s been very mysterious since we got here, and we suspect that he might be…”
“…a killer,” said Emma with her head down.
Mark and the others gaped at her, confused.
”I might as well tell you guys the truth already,” said Emma in defeat.
Emma took a deep breath and began to explain her story and relation with Mr. Denver.
”Thirteen years ago, when my parents and I moved to Derry Maine, it was peaceful, pleasant place to live. We had nice neighbours and then one morning a middle-aged man with grey hair, a thick accent, and scruffy beard came to our door to welcome us, and that man was Mr. Denver.” Emma went on, while her audience listened closely.
“Mr. Denver seemed like a nice man and I started to visit him from time to time. Of course, I didn’t know that he was a murderer, until one night. I was very suspicious about the boards under the deck because he used to hang around there often, so one night I decided to investigate. I was horrified to find him attempting to hide a corpse. I tried to run, but he saw and cornered me. He then told me if I said anything to anyone he would kill me too. All these years I have kept quiet, but now I see I was a coward. I will take him down someday, that is what I promised myself.”
Lizzy went to give Emma a hug to console her. James and the rest were astounded by Emma’s story and they decided to take him down together.
”I’m sorry for believing you were helping him,” James said.
”If we’re going to take this guy down, we need to find him first,” Ethan said.
“You guys need to be careful. Mr. Denver is clinically insane and very dangerous,” said Emma.
”And that’s why we need to get rid of him so that he can’t take any more innocent lives,” said Mark.
”Emma, I think it’s best that you come stay with us for a while. We don’t know if Mr. Denver is out there looking for you,” said James.
And with that Emma and the Brown kids went to their house.
When everyone went to bed, James and Mark stood outside.
”I can’t believe everything went from holiday to a nightmare with a killer on the loose,” said Mark.
”We must go see what’s under those boards, and end this,” said James.


Chapter 7: Finding Out About Mr. Denver          

It was a very cloudy day and it looked as though it was about to rain.
The gathering gloom did not, however, prevent Emma from having a nice cup of coffee to officially open the day.
”Did you sleep alright?” asked James.
”Yeah, just had a nightmare about Mr. Denver, that’s all,” replied Emma.
“Glad to hear it. Right, listen up everyone. I have a plan. We need to go to the deck and check what’s under the boards. If we can find evidence, the sheriff can arrest Mr. Denver and put an end to his crimes,” said James.
”I don’t know, what if we get caught. Mr. Denver could show up any moment,” said Emma.
”I promise no one will get hurt,” said James.
”I’m telling you guys if something happens to me I sure will miss apple pancakes,” said Ethan.
”Oh well, I doubt I can say I will miss you,” Austin drawled.
”Ha-ha, very funny,” said Ethan, rolling his eyes.
“Okay if you’re done arguing over silly things, can we get to work?” asked James shaking his head.
Later that night when the town went silent, only the sea could be heard crashing against the rocks.
As they approached the deck, it’s now familiar stench wafted over them.
”Let’s see what’s under here,” said James grimly.
James and Mark started hitting and banging against the woods to break it open, the rest was watching out for anyone who saw them. When the wood started to give away and broke open they saw a dozen or more rotting corpses.
”What has Mr. Denver done to you guys?” said Lizzy sadly.
Then they saw a small shed just across from the deck with a little light bulb inside.
”Let’s go check it out,” whispered James.
They went inside the shed and just saw a number of hammers, axes, saws, sticks, and screwdrivers.
”So, this is what Mr. Denver was up too,” said Austin disgustedly. “You were right all along, James.”
“That monster” hissed Emma, horrified.
And all of a sudden the door of the shed slammed shut. Everyone turned around to see Mr. Denver standing at the entrance with a maniacal smile on his face.
”Good evening, children,” he said.


Chapter 8: Showdown

“I wonder where the children have gotten to, it’s getting late,” said Mr. Brown.
”Come now, Harry, let them be. They’ll probably be back in an hour or two,” said Mrs. Brown.
”They said they were going to explore the town and would call us if something went wrong,” Mrs. Brown continued while they drank their tea.

But, unfortunately, the Brown kids were in big trouble.
”I’ve been waiting for you kids, and now you’ve fallen right into my trap,” hissed Mr. Denver.
”You murderer! You won’t get away with this!” James said stubbornly, suppressing his fear.
”I already have. You know too much boy,” Mr. Denver yelled before charging towards them, ax in hand.
Adrenaline rushed through James’ veins, as grabbed a large hammer and disarmed Mr. Denver. Emma stood there, frozen, watching helplessly as the Brown children fought the murderer.
Mr. Denver grabbed a hammer and swung it at Ethan, who was able to dodge the blow and respond in kind, cracking Mr. Denver’s kneecap with a mallet. The murderer howled in pain and staggered back.
”Where is Emma!” exclaimed James.
”Doesn’t matter right now, we have to corner him quickly before he recovers!” said Mark.
”I’ll show you kids, not to mess with me!” Mr. Denver growled, swinging his hammer with vicious force and smashing Austin over the head.
Two more blows sent Mark and Ethan staggering back. James quickly jumped in to help, but Mr. Denver was too quick. A vicious kick to the gut knocked James on his back.
”You should have kept to your holiday when you had the chance,” said Mr. Denver furiously.
James just looked at him with a dazed look in his eyes. Mr. Denver looked at Lizzy.
“Help!!! Somebody help me, he’s going to kill me!” screamed Lizzy.
“No one is going to help you now little Lizzy…” drawled the maniac.
As the maniacal man laughed, Lizzy banged against the door in an attempt to escape. All her siblings lay wounded and tired on the floor, unable to help.
As the maniac crept nearer, knife in hand, Lizzy let out a cry of fear.
“I’m sorry,” James whispered before blacking out.
The deafening sound of gunshots filled the room. James’ eyes snapped open.
He saw Mr. Denver stumble backward, blood soaking his shirt, before collapsing with a gurgle. Emma stood in the doorway, pistol in hand, her chest heaving.
”That’s what I call perfect timing,” James said croakily as Emma pulled him up.
“I was lucky to find my father’s gun in time. Thankfully, my parents were out for the evening,” said Emma.
The rest of the Brown family were starting to get slowly up. There were a few injuries here and there, but no serious damage had been done.
”What do we do with the body?” Ethan asked.
”We can’t tell anyone what happened here, so we need to get rid of the evidence,” said James.
Everyone then helped to get rid of Mr. Denver. They felt no guilt, even though they killed someone. Mr. Denver was a murderer who had taken many innocent lives, and something had to be done. When everything was quiet and the town slept. The Brown kids and Emma took the chance and slipped home, having vowed to keep quiet about what just transpired.
“At least we’re going home tomorrow, so no one will suspect anything,” said Mark.
”Yeah and everyone will be safe from now on in this town,” said James contentedly.
He had done what no one else was willing to do, with the help of his siblings of course.



The next morning when the sun was shining brightly above Derry Maine and its people were on the beaches again smiling and having fun without a worry in the world, the local police received an anonymous call about Mr. Denver, telling them to search under the deck. They were horrified by what they found, though were unable to trace the whereabouts of the murderer. The whole town was aware of the news, but Emma and the Brown children alone knew what had really transpire
“So, you guys really know nothing of what happened last night?” asked Sheriff Johnson.
”Nothing at all sheriff,” said James.
”I still can’t believe that Mr. Denver was the killer. He looked so harmless,” said the sheriff, sighing.
”At least the town will be safe now,” James replied reassuringly.
”Yeah, I suppose that’s true,” said the Sheriff in return.
The sheriff then said farewell to the Brown family and departed.
As Mr. and Mrs. Brown packed their suitcases into the trunk, Emma quickly came to bid her new friends farewell.
”You better not leave without saying goodbye,” Emma teased.
”Of course not,” Mark said before giving her a hug.
”I’m really going to miss you guys, and thank you for helping with… you know,” said Emma slyly.
”No, if anyone has to be the hero it should be you. You did rescue us, after all,” said James.
”We promise we will come back to visit,” said Lizzy.
”Thank you guys,” Emma replied, before hugging her new friends.
When everyone was in the car James waved at Emma one last time before leaving. As they drove off, she climbed up the nearest hill and gazed into the sunrise, knowing that all was well now in Derry Maine.


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