A look into one of my personal favorites
Today I’m going to talk about one of my favorite stories.
So what’s the title of this story? “The Thing in the Moonlight” by H.P. Lovecraft
Let’s go into horror again…
The first thing you have to know is that the story doesn’t make a lot of sense. This guy finds himself in a marsh and wanders around for a while in the night until he finds an old street railway, he inspects it for a while and then sees two figures walking up to him, the conductor and motorman. One lets out a howl and the other, on all fours, runs towards him. He runs to escape and realizes with terror that the conductor doesn’t have a face, but a white cone and a red tentacle. But the nightmare doesn’t end here: he is living the same event every single day, he cannot escape that fate.
Now this would make for a cool story, but it’s a letter that another character is reading, a letter written by a clearly sleeping guy who cannot wake up. So tell me, how did he write if he’s stuck in that world? How did he send the letter? Yeah, that’s when I stop thinking about details and just focus on the most important thing: the absolute horror that the character is experiencing.
It’s extremely short but it really shows that this poor guy is doomed, and it sends chills down my spine at the same time. I get that effect because for me it’s an eerie tale that focuses more on the terror part than the horror part (I’ll write about that another day). It also reminds me of Sisyphus, the greek doomed to push a huge rock up a hill for all eternity. And then it makes me think about Kafka and Camus, two of my favorite writers. Yeah, it’s very absurd and weird and pretty damn cool at the same time!
The story might not make much sense, but it makes me feel dread. H.P. Lovecraft knows how to create a great atmosphere when he’s not rambling about genealogical trees. I’ve read plenty of stuff that he wrote, but this, along Dagon, really impress me because they let you know that these guys…they are in for a world of pain. They never show you specifically, but by the time you finish a story, you can just feel it in your bones.
For me that is awesome, plus you can imagine the story any way you like.
That, my friends, is terror.
See you again tomorrow!