I remember the feeling of impending terror I got reading this story more than the storyline. I know it was in an anthology, whether sci-fi, fantasy or horror. There's nothing that I can remember in the story to help date it, but I think I read it in the mid-to-late eighties.

As I remember (which may be wrong), there was a house in a suburban neighborhood that everyone avoided, because at a certain time or times of day, there were creatures in the house that would come out and get anyone who was on the property. I think at any other time of day, you could walk across the lawn, knock on the door, nothing would happen. I think the neighborhood kids dared each other to step on the lawn near the "dangerous" times, etc. There may have been a scene where a kid's ball rolled onto the lawn and no one wanted to go get it.

Part of what made it scary, if I remember correctly, was that the house looked perfectly normal. At any rate, there was some twist at the end that negated the known danger time period(s); either something happened that changed the times the creatures could come out of the house, or the boundary of the yard no longer contained the creatures, or both. I kind of have a vague idea that there was a town clock that controlled or gave the exact times of danger, and it suddenly stopped working. I think it could have been that there was a forcefield around the house that kept the creatures from leaving the property that suddenly broke down.


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