PJ Greystoke Author, sleepTalker 2, The Room 2. Horror story, psychological thriller. Available now on Amazon

Actually in June. One of the stories ‘The Room’ in the original SleepTalker raised a lot of questions about the stalker. The sequel delves into his rather disturbing backstory. Here is a wee snippet:

The Room 2

Back When Sophie Was Alive

What is it about staring into another person’s eyes that makes them feel like you are a threat, like you – given the chance – would gladly reach into their chest, tear away the paper flesh, pull out their still beating heart and take a bite?

It would taste so good.

She’s scared. I can tell.

I feel the adrenaline rush whenever I’m near. Her pupils enlarge. Her smile, forced to hide the fear.

But I know.

I can tell.

It’s not as though she’s my real mother anyway.

My real mum died.

Dad used to take me hunting when I was younger.

My real dad that is.

We started with rabbits.

Dad had vegetables. Turnips and carrots and well, you know what vegetables are. He had turned our garden into a sort of allotment after mum died.  Got rid of the tree with the swing on it and dug up the whole thing.

He hated the rabbits though. They used to come in and eat what we grew. We stayed awake at night with dads pellet rifle poking through my open bedroom window just waiting for the ‘scruffy little bastards’ to show their stupid faces.

First, he taught me to shoot, then to go down when the gun didn’t finish the job. Twisting the neck was the fastest way.

I still remember the first one. Lying there, bleeding next to a half-eaten carrot. It was desperately trying to get up, frantically waving its front paws as I walked up the garden path toward it. I had a shovel in my hand. Dad told me that the kindest thing would be to cave its head in.

I stood over it and dropped the shovel.

There was something in her eyes. She had stopped struggling and just stared at me. There was a moment of pure understanding. She knew that her life was in my hands. I picked her up, placed my quivering hand around her tiny neck and very slowly started to squeeze. She didn’t even struggle.

It was almost as though she knew that her life’s destiny was to help me realize my own.

We ate her that night. I skinned her and chopped the body parts.

I felt like a God.

I kept the eyes.


Sophie was afraid of the dark.

Her father couldn’t bear to see his little angel cry so kept the light on in the hallway at night.

It was wrong. He knew it was wrong. His years of training told him it was wrong. The words ‘Classic Avoidance’ rang out in his mind every time he flicked the switch and kissed his daughter goodnight.

On the rare occasion that he did wake in the early hours, turn the light out and go back to bed he’d hear his daughters’ feet pitter patter across the hallway. The landing light would shine once again, through the crack at the bottom of his bedroom door.

It made him smile.


Do you think life has its own heartbeat?

I do.

Like a symphony.

All of the instruments meandering through their lives. Obliviously providing rhythms, melodies and counter melodies.  Some going fast, some slow. Some weak some strong. If you listen carefully enough you can hear a single over riding pulse – a heartbeat.

You probably can’t. It takes a special person to be able to hear that.

A conductor.

To keep the symphony going. To know when instruments should be allowed to sing and when others have reached their full potential and are permitted to die.


Sophie was a caring girl, perhaps too caring. She could see the good in anyone. She believed that a person’s natural state was one of peace and love and it was a harsh environment that changed people into the less than desirable creatures that brought destruction and pain upon others.

There’s a guy moved in next door. Same age as my daughter. He’s in some of her classes at school. He’s an orphan, I think. The rest of the kids think he’s some sort of freak but not my Sophie.

She’s made a beeline for him. Anything for the hard luck cases in life.


I remember when my mom – My real one – tried to stop me from seeing Dad. She got some sort of sick pleasure from torturing him. All he wanted was to see me, to take me for the weekend.

Dad was gutless. Wasn’t his fault. Just who he was. She said jump and he’d cry.

“You’ve done it now Pete.” She’d say. “You can kiss goodbye to seeing your son this weekend.”

Dad argued but whatever mom said went. And after a few choice words dad went right out the door.

The last time, after mom came back in from smoking a cigarette in the garden, she sat me down and told me what a waste of time Dad was and how he didn’t want to see me.

I was ten – Not stupid.

I smiled and made her a special hot chocolate which she gratefully drank.

I expected her to shout and violently thrash about but she just slept.

She never woke.


If you want to read the original story before SleepTalker 2 comes out, you can still buy SleepTalker on Amazon:




Most of the time I’d sit and stare.

That’s how it started I think.

Her eyes were the open doorway between this place and the next, not that I knew that back then. Though, somewhere in the back of my consciousness I knew that if I spent too long in that place I’d just keep walking and eventually be lost – endlessly searching for…

I don’t think she minded; she’d sometimes do it right back too, but not for the same reason.

She knew me.

Everything about me, actually.

She collected porcelain dolls, among other things. She had hundreds of them, beautifully dressed in early Victorian clothes and polished black buckle shoes. Whenever I turned my back, an uneasy feeling consumed me, like a million pairs of eyes had suddenly sprung to life – watching and waiting.

I remember the first time I visited: There was no television set, just a wall of shelves upon which they all sat, too many to count – with a big blank space in the middle and it was there that she’d look, incoherently whispering the same foreign phrase over and over. I’d ignore it and put it down to dementia, carrying on with my duties.

She was too old to move in and out of the bath so I’d gently jostle her this way and that, doing the job as she sat in her chair. The only chair in the room. Her focus always on that empty space. Her trance like state even continued when she placed her hand on my shoulder and spoke:

“What’s your name dear?”

“Janet” I’d say.

“Have you been a good girl, Janet?”

I always smiled at this. “Most of the time.” I’d answer.

She’d just sigh and nod. “I know.” She’d say. “I know.”

It was when I’d feed her, that the conversation really got going: Each of her words, perfectly pronounced, her speech was slow and deliberate. She was German I think but her diction – impeccable.

She became overly interested in my life after the first visit. If I didn’t know better I’d say she was an undercover author, breaking me down, chapter by chapter. I just put it down to the inquisitive mind of a lonely old woman. In a few short weeks she knew all about my childhood, my failed marriage, my dead parents and why at 39 I had not borne any children.

Every day her invasive and enquiring mind would wander to something different, then in mid-sentence she’d stop talking and repeat that phrase over and over, whilst looking into the empty space on the shelf, filling it with her mumbles.

I’d often use the opportunity to silently spoon the porridge like baby food mixture into her mouth. She had no teeth, so solid food was out of the question. It was then that I’d fall into her vacant stare.  I swear that sometimes I’d even feel myself dropping off, woken only when she placed her hand on my shoulder again, slowly speaking:

“Time you were going Janet dear. You do believe, don’t you?”

I’d smile, never quite sure how to answer that question, bending down to collect my belongings and walking from the house, silently closing the front door behind me.

Six months and five days ago she actually remembered my name, greeting me the moment I walked into the room:

“Hello Janet dear. You are a good girl.”

“Am I?”

“I’ve made you a beautiful princess dress. Would you like to try it on?”

I nodded politely, following her eyeline which was firmly fixed on a beautiful white Victorian dress that had been placed on the shelf in the previously vacant space. The dolls dress was just like one I’d imagined wearing as a child.

“It’s a little small.” I joked.

She said nothing for a long while after that. I silently washed her, hoping that my comment hadn’t offended. As I placed the final spoonful in her mouth she stopped looking at the dress and tilted her head forward and toward me so that she was practically nose to nose. There was something different in her eyes that time, a disturbing intensity that I hadn’t seen before. It made me a little dizzy and nervous, but I couldn’t look away.

“You do believe, don’t you Janet dear?” she whispered.

I nodded, hoping she would look away.

“Yes,” I said “I believe.”

She smiled.

“You are a good girl.”

I tried to answer, to bid her farewell, but could not speak.  I couldn’t move either, paralysis rapidly consuming everything but my eyes, which frantically searched left and right, as though they were trying to make their own desperate escape.

The old lady seemed to grow too. Her wrinkled old face towering above me as she sat, motionless in the chair. It felt as if I was falling.

I looked down to find that I was wearing the same dolls dress that had been placed on the shelf earlier then I looked up to see her reach down with her bony hand, her giant bony hand and pick me up as though I was a …

I was a…

I couldn’t be?

She placed me on the shelf, looking deep into my eyes.

“I’m pleased you believe, Janet dear. You can only join the family when you believe.”

I couldn’t talk. I couldn’t move. I had to watch, in horror as she hobbled back to her chair.

“You are a good girl,” she said “You are a good girl.”