Tag Archives | short story

The Dunwich Horror by H.P. Lovecraft

Narrated by Caden Clegg

Via Chilling Tales For Dark Nights on YouTube:

“The Dunwich Horror,” written in 1928 and first published in Weird Tales in April 1929, is a short story by H. P. Lovecraft, and takes place in the isolated, desolate and decrepit village of Dunwich. It revolves around Wilbur Whateley, the hideous son of Lavinia Whateley, a deformed and unstable albino mother, and an unknown father. Strange events surround Wilbur’s birth and precocious development. He matures at an abnormal rate, reaching manhood within a decade. Locals shun him and his family, and animals fear and despise him. All the while, his sorcerer grandfather indoctrinates him into certain dark rituals and the study of witchcraft. Various locals grow suspicious after Old Whateley buys more and more cattle, yet the number of his herd never increases, and the cattle in his field become mysteriously afflicted with severe open wounds.

You can read along here.Read the rest

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The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe

mike krzeszak (CC BY-ND 2.0)

mike krzeszak (CC BY-ND 2.0)

The Cask of Amontillado

by Edgar Allan Poe
(published 1846)

THE thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge. You, who so well know the nature of my soul, will not suppose, however, that gave utterance to a threat. At length I would be avenged; this was a point definitely, settled –but the very definitiveness with which it was resolved precluded the idea of risk. I must not only punish but punish with impunity. A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser. It is equally unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong.

It must be understood that neither by word nor deed had I given Fortunato cause to doubt my good will. I continued, as was my wont, to smile in his face, and he did not perceive that my smile now was at the thought of his immolation.… Read the rest

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Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Kurt Vonnegut

If it was good enough for your grandfather, forget it … it is much too good for anyone else!

GRAMPS FORD, his chin resting on his hands, his hands on the crook of his cane, was staring irascibly at the five-foot television screen that dominated the room. On the screen, a news commentator was summarizing the day’s happenings. Every thirty seconds or so, Gramps would jab the floor with his cane-tip and shout, “Hell, we did that a hundred years ago!”

Emerald and Lou, coming in from the balcony, where they had been seeking that 2185 A.D. rarity—privacy—were obliged to take seats in the back row, behind Lou’s father and mother, brother and sister-in-law, son and daughter-in-law, grandson and wife, granddaughter and husband, great-grandson and wife, nephew and wife, grandnephew and wife, great-grandniece and husband, great-grandnephew and wife—and, of course, Gramps, who was in front of everybody. All save Gramps, who was somewhat withered and bent, seemed, by pre-anti-gerasone standards, to be about the same age—somewhere in their late twenties or early thirties.… Read the rest

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“A Death” By Stephen King

wazimu0 (CC BY 2.0)

wazimu0 (CC BY 2.0)

Stephen King’s short story, “A Death” (originally titled “The Man in the Black Suit”) is released in this month’s edition of the The New Yorker:

Jim Trusdale had a shack on the west side of his father’s gone-to-seed ranch, and that was where he was when Sheriff Barclay and half a dozen deputized townsmen found him, sitting in the one chair by the cold stove, wearing a dirty barn coat and reading an old issue of the Black Hills Pioneer by lantern light. Looking at it, anyway.

Sheriff Barclay stood in the doorway, almost filling it up. He was holding his own lantern. “Come out of there, Jim, and do it with your hands up. I ain’t drawn my pistol and don’t want to.”

Trusdale came out. He still had the newspaper in one of his raised hands. He stood there looking at the sheriff with his flat gray eyes.

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Young Goodman Brown

r reeve (CC BY-ND 2.0)

r reeve (CC BY-ND 2.0)

“Young Goodman Brown” By Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864), 1835

YOUNG GOODMAN BROWN came forth at sunset, into the street of Salem village, but put his head back, after crossing the threshold, to exchange a parting kiss with his young wife. And Faith, as the wife was aptly named, thrust her own pretty head into the street, letting the wind play with the pink ribbons of her cap, while she called to Goodman Brown.

“Dearest heart,” whispered she, softly and rather sadly, when her lips were close to his ear, “pr’y thee, put off your journey until sunrise, and sleep in your own bed to-night. A lone woman is troubled with such dreams and such thoughts, that she’s afeard of herself, sometimes. Pray, tarry with me this night, dear husband, of all nights in the year!”

“My love and my Faith,” replied young Goodman Brown, “of all nights in the year, this one night must I tarry away from thee.… Read the rest

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“The Nose” by Nikolai Gogol

David Goehring (CC BY 2.0)

David Goehring (CC BY 2.0)

“The Nose” by Nikolai Gogol, translated by Claud Field.

I

On the 25th March, 18—, a very strange occurrence took place in St Petersburg. On the Ascension Avenue there lived a barber of the name of Ivan Jakovlevitch. He had lost his family name, and on his sign-board, on which was depicted the head of a gentleman with one cheek soaped, the only inscription to be read was, “Blood-letting done here.”

On this particular morning he awoke pretty early. Becoming aware of the smell of fresh-baked bread, he sat up a little in bed, and saw his wife, who had a special partiality for coffee, in the act of taking some fresh-baked bread out of the oven.

“To-day, Prasskovna Ossipovna,” he said, “I do not want any coffee; I should like a fresh loaf with onions.”

“The blockhead may eat bread only as far as I am concerned,” said his wife to herself; “then I shall have a chance of getting some coffee.” And she threw a loaf on the table.… Read the rest

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Berenice — A Tale by Edgar Allan Poe

Simon Pearson CC BY-ND 2.0)

Simon Pearson (CC BY-ND 2.0)

In honor of Edgar Allan Poe’s 206th Birthday, here’s his short story of teeth and love: “Berenice.” It was published in the Southern Literary Messenger in 1835. Publisher Thomas W. White received multiple complaints about the story’s graphic and disturbing content and thus he removed four paragraphs for the 1840 version. Poe, of course, disagreed with White’s decision, saying that this was a good opportunity for the Southern Literary Messenger to become a famous magazine. He admitted, “I allow that it approaches the very verge of bad taste – but I will not sin quite so egregiously again.” (via Wikipedia.)

MISERY is manifold. The wretchedness of earth is multiform. Overreaching the wide horizon like the rainbow, its hues are as various as the hues of that arch, as distinct too, yet as intimately blended. Overreaching the wide horizon like the rainbow! How is it that from Beauty I have derived a type of unloveliness?… Read the rest

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The Dream of a Ridiculous Man by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Vinoth Chandar (CC BY 2.0)

Vinoth Chandar (CC BY 2.0)

 

I am a ridiculous person. Now they call me a madman. That would be a promotion if it were not that I remain as ridiculous in their eyes as before. But now I do not resent it, they are all dear to me now, even when they laugh at me—and, indeed, it is just then that they are particularly dear to me. I could join in their laughter—not exactly at myself, but through affection for them, if I did not feel so sad as I look at them. Sad because they do not know the truth and I do know it. Oh, how hard it is to be the only one who knows the truth! But they won’t understand that. No, they won’t understand it.

In old days I used to be miserable at seeming ridiculous. Not seeming, but being. I have always been ridiculous, and I have known it, perhaps, from the hour I was born.… Read the rest

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“Nobody’s Story” by Charles Dickens

Hartwig HKD (CC by-nd 2.0)

Hartwig HKD (CC by-nd 2.0)

“Nobody’s Story”

by Charles Dickens

He lived on the bank of a mighty river, broad and deep, which was always silently rolling on to a vast undiscovered ocean. It had rolled on, ever since the world began. It had changed its course sometimes, and turned into new channels, leaving its old ways dry and barren; but it had ever been upon the flow, and ever was to flow until Time should be no more. Against its strong, unfathomable stream, nothing made head. No living creature, no flower, no leaf, no particle of animate or inanimate existence, ever strayed back from the undiscovered ocean. The tide of the river set resistlessly towards it; and the tide never stopped, any more than the earth stops in its circling round the sun.

He lived in a busy place, and he worked very hard to live. He had no hope of ever being rich enough to live a month without hard work, but he was quite content, GOD knows, to labour with a cheerful will.… Read the rest

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The Day of the Drones

Picture: US Air Force (PD)

For those who may be interested, here’s a  short story I wrote about drones kicking ass in the future.  Enjoy!

Tolerance has never brought civil war, intolerance has covered the earth with carnage.
-Voltaire

We have guided missiles and misguided men.
-Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Day of the Drones

Monday, August  10th, 2020

The father and son sat in the air-conditioned car during heavy morning traffic outside of downtown San Diego.  Through the smog the silver skyscrapers of that sweltering city could be seen snaring and pulsating in the haze.  Swelling the freeway were thousands of cars that crept along like termites in the heat of a vast mirage.  The hot sun rose high above the Cuyamaca mountain range as hoards of vehicles inched along the fuming, concrete inferno.  The searing traffic was unbearable.

“Jesus Christ,” the father sighed, “we’re stuck in a parking lot.”

From the back seat his son let out a moan of frustration, having expected that they would have reached their destination by now. … Read the rest

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