The Night of the Burning Head by Jacob Atkinson

Adrian awoke to the sound of a window slamming. His parents were, as usual, out of doors. It was the Night of The Burning Head. He crept silently out of bed and made his way downstairs, his torch gripped in his hand.

He entered the kitchen. The old door swung back with the groan of un-oiled hinges. He passed the beam of his torch over the surface of the kitchen bench and then remembered why his parents said he shouldn’t come downstairs…

Adrian turned around —

— and shat himself out of fear. Illuminated in the light of his torch was his grandfather’s burning head.

‘Hello, Adrian,’ the head said quietly.

Adrian screamed and stumbled backwards, hurrying to get away from his grandfather… or what had been his grandfather… and felt arms supporting him, holding him fast to the spot. He screamed again and twisted out of his grandfather’s grip; running for his life, the torch flashing wildly, he traced his way back upstairs, taking the steps two at a time.

Once in the safety of his room, Adrian calmed his breathing. And screamed anew as the head appeared to him again. The heat from the flames was intense; Adrian could feel himself begin to sweat.

His grandfather faced him and spoke, the words chilling the air in the small room. ‘Think on your sins, Adrian. Think on your sins.’

Then his grandfather’s head was gone as abruptly as it had appeared; somewhere Adrian heard a window slam. His heart racing, Adrian slipped into grateful sleep.

Adrian awoke to the sound of a window slamming. His parents were, as usual, out of doors. It was the Night of The Burning Head. He crept silently out of bed and made his way downstairs, his torch gripped in his hand…