They Only Come Out at Night - kindle ebook by F.M. Kearney

The Story Behind “They Only Come Out at Night”

When most tourists think of the New York City subway, images of Times Square, Grand Central and Penn Station will undoubtedly come to mind. These are huge, noisy hubs filled with thousands of people orchestrating a daily ballet of controlled chaos. However, the subway system is comprised of 468 stations – the vast majority of which exhibit the exact opposite environment. Located mainly in the outer boroughs (outside of Manhattan), most of these stations are dimly lit, sparsely populated and eerily quiet…and that’s in the middle of the day. In fact, some sections of these stations have been permanently closed off to the public – presumably because they were deemed too dangerous. With so much great material to work with, I’ve often wondered why the subway isn’t regularly used as a set location for horror movies.

Years ago, I worked as a photojournalist in New York City, using the subway as my primary mode of transportation to and from assignments. I became quite familiar with the stations of the “real” New York subway – the subway that tourists only see if they’re feeling really adventurous, or have gotten really lost. I envisioned so many nightmare scenarios for things that might go bump underground that I began writing them down. Eventually, I tied them all together in a story. I’ve always been a big fan of anything horror related, but I’m often let down by the ending when the reader/viewer is expected to suspend all logical thought and to “just believe.” Although “They Only Come Out at Night” is fictional, I wanted to create a story that was believable and made sense, and where everything is explained in the end. Almost everyone I know who has read it has told me that they never want to ride the subway alone again...especially at night.
A word of warning: Chapter One is extremely graphic and might be too intense for sensitive readers. It is, however, pivotal to the story and considerably watered down from my original version.