The 25th Hour is the first horror story I ever wrote. I was at a writing retreat when I was asked to try my hand at horror, using a title from another story Thirteen O’clock as a prompt. When I returned my first draft to the magazine editor, I was sent a councilor to check my mental state, just as a precaution. I haven’t edited it since, aside from clearing up a few typos.
The 25th Hour was part of my first short story collection, Aldershot Stories, which won the Koestler Gold Award for a short story collection in 2009.
What’s more interesting about The 25th Hour is that a week ago, whilst piecing together content for the blog, an image popped up on my news feed. It was an image of Louise Margaret Hospital, the same hospital in which I was born. The same hospital I based The 25th Hour. It took me by such surprise that I had to contact the artist and seek permission to use it with the story, to which he obliged.
© Photograph by Alan Dobson (credit)
This terrifying photograph now sits proudly with the story, closing The 25th Hour full circle.