Evil of the Stars

The Beast of Averoigne  by Clark Ashton Smith (1933)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror   November  19, 2013

Inside the dark woods not far from the Abbey of Perigon, Brother Gerome beholds a black abomination of head and limbs.

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“The horror stood erect, rising to more than the height of a tall man; and it swayed like a great serpent, and its members undulated, bending like a heated wax. The flat black head was thrust forward on a snakish neck. The eyes, small and lidless, glowing like coals from a wizard’s brazier, were set low and near together in a noseless face above the serrate gleaming of such teeth as might belong to a giant bat.”

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Our tale is narrated by Luc le Chaudronnier, a local sorcerer in Averoigne. With the coming of a red comet in the summer of 1369, a foul evil descends upon the woods of Perigon, woods that are already haunted with vampires and werewolves.  Brother Gerome and the Benedictine monks hear from the locals about gruesome attacks on animals, on the dead inside their graves, and now on the peasants and woodcutters.

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Panic sets in when the beast is seen gliding along the monastery walls. The monks go forth with crosses and holy water to hunt this devil in its lair. When all fails, Abbott Theopile summons Luc to use his superior occult knowledge, wizardry, and his oracular “Eibon’s Ring.”  But is Luc a match for a most powerful darkness from the stars?

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The author of The Beast of Veroigne, Clark Ashton Smith is known as one of the Big Three of Weird Tales with H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard. This story is tightly written and has an exciting mix of horror and fantasy. Smith was a poet, painter, and sculptor. His prose carries high suspense as this writer is certainly a master of the art.

You might find this tale predictable, but even so, it doesn’t take away from the thrilling occult action. Did you find it predictable?

Read The Beast of Averoigne  at Classic Horror Stories

Listen to the narration at Librivox Recordings by Matthew Knight

You can read more of Clark Ashton Smith’s fantasy and horror  tales at Eldritchdark.com

UPDATE 11-22-13.  I just discovered this link to a podcast about Smith’s writing of this story from Welsh Andy. You might like this discussion by Tim, Phil, and Ruth at TheDoubleShadow.com: http://thedoubleshadow.com/episode-8-beast-of-averoigne/

Art is by Mike Mucci and I couldn’t resist showing  this off to you. Spectacular work!

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Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Horror Novel Reviews   Hell Horror    HorrorPalace

 Monster Librarian  Tales to Terrify       Spooky Reads

 Lovecraft Ezine      Rob Around Books    The Story Reading Ape Blog

GoodKindles.net      The Gothic Wanderer

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

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2 Comments

Filed under classic horror stories, dark fantasy, demons, horror, occult, short stories, tales of terror

2 responses to “Evil of the Stars

  1. Latasha, I find Librivox to have quite a range of readers. Sometimes they are highly dramatic and other times, the reader are just reading aloud with no inflections at all. I kind of prefer the dramatic flair in the horror stories though. This one was quite lively.

    Like

  2. latasha

    oh Paula. I downloaded the Librivox reading of this and listened last night. I did not like this reader at all! it’s a great story but (to the reader) honey, calm down and just read it normal! :p

    Like

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