CHAPTER TEN— House of Horrors — A Dawn & Rosie short story

Titania Tempest
3 min readDec 29, 2023


The cover for “House of Horrors, A Dawn & Rosie short story”: yellow-orange sunset scene with black silhouettes of a witch on a broomstick, an owl, and the roofs of gothic town buildings.

Donning their coats by the door, they burst out into the crisp night air, and Dawn elbowed Rosie with a devilish grin.

“Wasn’t that fun?”

Rosie glared at a troop of trick-or-treaters ambling past. “No.”

“Well, all’s well that ends well,” Dawn sighed happily, watching the kids give Rosie a wide berth. “How about that cocktail? The bar’s just around the corner…”

Rosie narrowed her eyes, but then glanced up at the now-clear sky, brimming with myriad stars. Over the course of their ordeal, the fog had dispersed, and a stiff breeze nipped playfully at their clothing. Across the way, the warm glow of streetlights rivalled the bright silver moonlight, and her face softened as she took in the beautiful evening.

“Well, why not. How much more trouble can we possibly find in one evening?”

Dawn grinned, her eyes sparkling with mischief beneath her star-spangled hat. “Is that a question, or a challenge?”

“Come here, you fool,” Rosie said with a smile. “Did I tell you how beautiful you look this evening?”

“No,” Dawn pouted, “you’ve been terribly slack.”

Rosie’s arms encircled her waist. “Well, you do — and you are. You make a stunning witch, and I’m really rather glad the serial killer didn’t get you.”

Dawn dropped her pretend sulk and smiled. “I’m glad he didn’t get you, either. I don’t quite know what I’d do without you.”

She leaned in to press her lips against Rosie’s, slow and sweet, and Rosie pulled her closer. Deepening the kiss, Dawn let her hands rove up into Rosie’s hair, and they melted into the moment for a long heartbeat. At last, approaching footsteps forced them reluctantly apart, and Rosie was quick to step away to an innocuous distance as another gang of youngsters wandered around the corner.

“Oh, lush!” one crowed as the group spied them. “It’s the fairy from Shrek Two!”

“And McGonagall!” another chirped.

“Nah, mate,” a third disagreed, “that one en’t old enough.”

“Old enough to be your granny, though.”

Shouldering each other and laughing, they strolled past, and Rosie rolled her eyes in their wake. When they’d wandered off down a side street, Dawn turned to Rosie and held out her hand.

“Shall we?” she smiled, inclining her head in the direction of the cocktail bar.

Rosie sighed in surrender. “If we must.”

“I’m going to order a Brain Haemorrhage,” Dawn said conversationally as she tucked up close against Rosie’s side.

Rosie slid an arm around her waist. “How do you even know that’s a cocktail.”

“I know a lot of useful things about Halloween, Rose. It’s my favourite holiday. Well, next to Christmas…”

Please tell me you’re not already planning things for bloody Christmas.”

“Of course not,” Dawn scoffed. “It’s only Halloween today. I’ll start on Christmas plans tomorrow.”

Rosie’s hearty groan echoed along the empty street, chased by the tinkling of Dawn’s impish laughter.


Thank you for reading! 🥰 This short story is a just-for-fun Halloween romp featuring the main characters from the novel PAPER DAFFODILS. If you enjoy hanging out with Dawn & Rosie, please check out their book on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited!

The cover of the novel PAPER DAFFODILS. Purple background remniscent of crumpled paper, overlain with a large yellow daffodil, the title of the book, and the author’s name (Titania Tempest)


Is it ever too late for a love story? Dawn Clermont certainly doesn’t think so. Rosie Bishop absolutely disagrees.

The last place divorcee Rosie wants to be is on a Seniors Retreat in the Lake District. She’s determined not to have
a good time, but an unexpected reunion with an old friend thwarts her plans. Her armour of bitterness proves no
match for the spirited widow Dawn; dragged through a whirlwind of adventures and betrayed by her own sense of humour, Rosie soon realises she hasn’t got a hope of staying sullen.

As Rosie clings to the remnants of her sarcasm, something about Dawn draws her closer than ever before. Soon, their bond threatens to run deeper, but is the possibility of a budding romance worth risking their rekindled friendship?

Get it here!



Titania Tempest

Author of Paper Daffodils, a sweet and sassy late-life lesbian romcom. Also currently working on a High Fantasy trilogy featuring sapphic sorceresses.