Horror Short Stories

Signal failure – David Wailing

13 June 2020
Signal Failure Book Cover Signal Failure
David Wailing
Self Published
July 29th 2016

It’s four in the morning and Emily is heading home on a London Underground train. But the Night Tube is running slow tonight – delays caused by a signal failure, as usual. The train stops again, stuck in a tunnel between Tube stations. And then the lights go off. The motors cut out. Silence from the driver. All the doors slide open at the same time, exposing the passengers to the tunnel. To let them get out? Or to let something get in? Signal Failure is a 12,000-word short story set in the London Underground. It is a standalone story and also a prelude to the forthcoming novel Under.


David Wailing’s horror novella Signal Failure is a heart-pounding story full of terror and suspense. A scary story that reminds me of the 2004 film Creep which captures the darkness and fear of an unknown presence hunting its prey in the London Underground.

Emily is returning home on the tube’s Piccadilly line, from a night out, when the faltering train breaks-down after Knightsbridge. The next station should be South Kensington but the announcement stated the next station was Shroud Lane and she’s never heard of Shroud Lane. The lights go out, the doors open and suddenly the security of a closed carriage is blown apart and the atmosphere of panic and dread rushes in. The night is just about to turn into a horror story. With a missing driver, Emily and fellow passengers decide to leave the train and walk to what they think was a disused station and possible safety. Nothing about that is simple or appealing.

As a short story, this really captures the terror of being trapped in tunnels underground with something lurking in the darkness. With eerie old abandoned stations and an eclectic group of people, the anxiety and pursuit of safety seems more and more remote. muahahaha

Many thanks to Richard for recommending this novella and I would say it’s worth reading. Next step will be the full novel from this author – Under.

Peter Donnelly

Founder of The Reading Desk, supporting readers, authors, publishers and book industry. Top Reviewer on Amazon, Goodreads, and NetGalley peter@thereadingdesk.com

Find Reviews
High Quality Honest Reviews
Latest Posts
Latest Tweets