The Visitor

Caroline Mitchell
4 min readMay 7, 2024

A short story with a twist

Woman walking on beach on her own
Image obtained from Canva View more by Alexey Demidov

‘You must be mad, chucking in a good job in London.’ The memory of my mother’s voice resounded in my head. At the age of thirty-five, it was time I stood on my own two feet. Inheriting my aunt’s shop in Frinton on sea was life’s way of telling me to slow down.

That night I lay in bed, staring at the ceiling, wondering if it was such a great idea after all. To be fair, I was not alone. Mother had come too. I was shocked by her company, to say the least. It seemed we were not ready to part just yet.

I pulled the blankets to my chest, listening to the place settle. It was true what aunt Ruby said; it had a life of its own. ‘She’s as daft as a broom, that one,’ mum used to say. ‘She says the place is haunted — what tosh!’

But now mother knew better. We both did. We had only been here a week, and I had barely gotten a wink of sleep. But the old-fashioned shop looked beautiful in the snow, and the locals were much friendlier here. I inhaled the sweet smell of mothballs, then exhaled a foggy breath. The boiler was due for repair. But what about the strange noises? Who would fix those? The bed creaked as I grasped for my bedside lamp. A flash of yellow light before the trip switch clicked downstairs, plunging me in darkness again. I dreaded getting out of bed. It had turned so cold. In the bedroom fireplace, all that remained…



Caroline Mitchell

NYT, USA Today, Washington Post and international #1 bestselling thriller author with 2M books sold. Ex-police. Writing course provider.