The Story of the Late Mr. Elvesham by H.G. Wells
Tuesday’s Tale of Terror April 23, 2013
“This way lies insanity!” I cried in my piping voice.
And what a cry of desperation this is. Our story opens with Edward George Eden, a healthy young man of ambition, strong in mind and body, struggling to make his way in the world. Edward meets a little old man with a wrinkled yellow face, dull grey eyes, shriveled lips, false teeth, and in poor health. His name is Egbert Elvesham.
H.G Wells is a master fiction writer (you know him from The Time Machine, War of the Worlds, The Invisible Man). But this odd little shortie has all the elements of a tale of absolute terror. This story will give you such a shudder but not from atmospherics or ghoulish entities. This kind of terror is the ultimate terror: have you ever found yourself undeniably and utterly trapped?
Mr. Elvesham is childless, lonely, wealthy, and a philosopher. Having no heir to his fortune, Mr. Elvesham, for all his wisdom, makes Edward an offer. Wealth, house, copyrights, investments are tempting values, are they not? Edward, being a lonesome type himself, lacking status, and having no family as well, sees no reason to decline Mr. Elvesham’s kind and generous proposition to become heir to the philosopher.
“You cannot expect everything without some return,” Mr. Elvesham tells Edward.
And so this tidy agreement for Edward to inherit these achievements upon Elvesham’s imminent death is confirmed … until …
The withered hand of the philosopher’s fate strikes.
I just loved this story because it is so deliciously wicked! Read it here:
Are you afraid of the dark? I mean truly afraid of lurking darkness and shadows that shiver? Would you be willing to test out your courage in a haunted room? Spend the night with H.G. Wells inside The Red Room. Read this obscure shortie of his at Gutenberg.org.
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