“A Touch of Darkness” by Jameson Currier from The Haunted Heart and Other Tales,  Chelsea Station Editions 2014. Originally published by Lethe Press, 2009.

This story is part ghost tale, part murder mystery, part modern romance. The narrator and his lover Gabe own a home on Long Island – Northwest Woods, specifically, which they jokingly refer to as “Far Hampton”. They’ve been there three years and together for many more. Each is high enough up the corporate ladder to be allowed to telecommute to his job. They’ve settled into a blissful life of antique shopping, gardening and entertaining friends from the city.

That bucolic existence is threatened when Gabe brings home what was billed by an antique shop owner as a jewelry box but turns out to be something very different. I liked the connection the author drew between past and present circumstances. Yes, it’s true that the terrifying story events are triggered by the action of the box being brought to the home site, but who brought them together is, I think, every bit as important. If the main character and Gabe had traded places with, say, Martha Stewart, would things have played out differently? I think so. The evil force at work in this story is gunning for them and everyone like them. It made the ending all that much more satisfying.