...for our fantastic Noirwich Short Story competition, take a look at local writer Matt's atmospheric short story:
"On a quiet and isolated side-street in Norwich, there is a tiny cafe you frequent. It's cosy and calm; the young couple who own it are always smiling; there is excellent cake; the coffee is delightful. You could sit here all day and never be bored. In fact, you're currently leaning back in a luxurious armchair without a care in the world. But if you were to step outside and turn the nearest corner, you would find yourself on a narrow cobbled path where the echo of your footfall rings out as clearly as that of a tap-dancer. You would pass by medieval stone houses with impressive archways and hunching grotesques. Eventually you would come to an ancient church with dark vines climbing inexorably up the solid, monolithic walls. You would see a dim orange glow from inside. You would hear something. What was it? A choir? No, you would think: it is too soft for a choir. So soft, in fact, it could be a whisper. You take a furtive step towards the imposing doors, trying to catch the words, to decipher their message. But you stop when you realise something. You stop and your spine starts to tingle in your back, a shiver running from your tailbone to the nape of your neck, and your hairs stand on end. The whisper is not coming from the church. It's behind you.
You whirl around, adrenaline coursing through your body as you frantically consider whether to fight or run. There's nothing there. Then you hear the scream.
Back in the cafe, you smile and lean forward, flipping your notebook open and readying your pen with a satisfying click. You're ready to write..."