This was judged the winner of January's One Word Challenge over at Writers News Talkback - please welcome Joseph aka 'collide-o-scope'...
Lightning, Lightening, Something Frightening
The clock on the mantelshelf chimed the half hour. Charles removed his spectacles and closed the book that rested on his lap. He had intended to retire at midnight but found the book so chilling that he allowed himself an extra thirty minutes.
A fierce thunderstorm passed overhead and Charles walked to the window to watch. He opened the curtains and stared into the darkness as the rain came down, a relentless noise of sustained applause. Suddenly a flash illuminated the scene and in that brief moment of light Charles flinched in fright at the sight of a man standing at the gate. He wore no coat or hat and was soaked through. The man turned his head to look directly at Charles before the returning darkness made him invisible again.
Charles quickly extinguished the lamp and returned to the window. His heart pounded as he waited for the next flash. When it came he was relieved to see that there was no figure there.
Charles laughed softly as he pulled the curtains shut and he chided himself for reading excitable books at bedtime. He re-lit the lamp then suddenly froze as three loud knocks boomed through the house.
While I make my foccacia & flora writing articles I've had some success in other areas including publishing of a pocket-sized football book that sold 30,000 copies & I wrote an episode of a BBC radio soap. I live on the north-east coast of England in Blyth & for my sins I support Newcastle United.