It has been so difficult to write, and it's beginning to annoy me. Happily, I think that Robert Bloch and H. P. Lovecraft are coming to my rescue. I've been wanting to write a Weird Tales type story for a forthcoming hardcover anthology edited by Jason V Brock. I want to write the kind of story that may have been published in WT and later used in an Arkham House book publish'd by August Derleth. Arkham House has been my biggest influence as a weird tale writer, because it was from becoming obsess'd with their books and collecting them in the 1970's that guided my path as an author of modern weird fiction.
My buddy J. D. Worthington, who is working on his first collection of essays for Hippocampus Press, has posted a new Lovecraftian thread at the Science Fiction Fantasy Chronicles forum regarding Lovecraft's "The Unnamable" (pictured above, in a Ballantine pb that contains the tale ). This got me to reread Lovecraft's story, and that usual addicted and obsessed Lovecraft fanboy in me began to shout, "I wanna write a sequel to this story!" I've used aspects of the tale in other things, most particularly in my Sesqua Valley tale "Heritage of Hunger." But I also wanted to bring in the Robert Bloch influence, which weighs so heavily on my aesthetic soul. Reaching to the nearby bookcase next to the table where I write, I took up my Panther pb edition of Bho Blok's The Opener of the Way in search of Lovecraftian influences, and there I found one of my all-time favourite tales, "The Mannikin." The story is deliciously Lovecraftian. My sick brain began to bubble. Yes, I could begin my tale, which I wou'd set in the late 1920s, in the Arkham graveyard wherein Lovecraft begins his own story. My narrator will be one Simone Maglore (a tip of ye hat to Bloch's story), who (like Randolph Carter in HPL's tale) is an author of notorious weird fiction. She is disfigured, having a humped back. She sits on the cemetery slab with her friend, an Arkham warlock who etches diabolique sigils in ye graveyard dirt, as they speak of the legend of yon haunted house and its attic window. Simone's hump shudders at one point in ye tale, as they speak of the legend of the thing that haunts yon house, the horned beast that has an appetite for human hearts. The warlock glances at her back and whispers, "Your twin is restless."
Left alone, Simone wanders to yon house and climbs to its darkened attic, where she finds the shadowy thing, the form without a face. As she and her warlock chum were gazing up at the attic window from their place in ye necropolis, she thought she detected moving shadow behind the attic window, that window on which the moon reflected its weird amber image in a disconcerting way. Peering at that window now, she sees that the horned moon is there still--and of course it is not ye moon at all, but the reflection of the legendary monster that has implanted its macabre image onto the window through which it gazed for countless decades. It was the beast of legend, the thing that was rumored to have an appetite for fresh human hearts. It hungered still. Gifted in alchemy, Simone, an Arkham sorceress, a potent necromancer, leads the faceless form to the attic window and weaves the reflected face into its substance. The hump on her back, that wearisome freak, wails in protest at such sacrilege of Nature. Simone rips open her blouse, revealing her breasts to moonlight. The shadowed form tilts to her bare shoulder and the monstrosity that writhes upon it, that hump of flesh that is her tiresome twin. With black hands, the shadow-thing rips apart the malformed appendage of shuddering flesh and pulls free its puny heart, that organ that is instantly consumed by its new visage.
I'll be having dinner with S. T. and the gang on Saturday. We're meeting at a restaurant, so he won't be here to record a new video interview, alas. I hope to have copies of my new book from Hippocampus Press to pass around to pals.
|me in my teenage years, working at ye JONES' FANTASTIC MUSEUM at ye Seattle Center|