The Demon Lover by Elizabeth Bowen (1941)
Tuesday’s Tale of Terror, February 18, 2014 Women In Horror Month
‘Mrs. Drover’s mouth hung open for some seconds before she could issue her first scream.’
Dark imagery with a foreboding mood, supernatural events, sinister moments, and what lies beneath the surface of a haunted mind are all elements in this atmospheric ghost story. Some readers might find this more of a psychological thriller, but how would you judge the situation when a letter, with no post except the current date, suddenly appears on a hall table inside your locked and unattended house?
Mrs. Kathleen Drover returns to her closed London house to gather a few things before returning to her husband and children in the countryside when she discovers this odd letter addressed to her. She soon realizes this letter is from a former lover of many years ago who has died. Impossible for such a letter to exist, but there it is in black and white with the current date. Is there some power from the beyond happening? Or is she going just a little mad? She reads the letter:
Dear Kathleen: You will not have forgotten that today is our anniversary, and the day we said. The years have gone by at once slowly and fast. In view of the fact that nothing has changed, I shall rely upon you to keep your promise. I was sorry to see you leave London, but was satisfied that you would be back in time. You may expect me, therefore, at the hour arranged. Until then . K.
Promises made in the heat of the moment when young and full of desire have their own brutish powers, at least they do for Kathleen.
Author Elizabeth Bowen (1899-1973) often wrote about secrets and betrayal in her fiction, and a character’s psychological balance played enormously in all her work. Her most famous novel is The Heat of the Day and several collections of short stories.
Read The Demon Lover here at NexusLearning.net
For this week’s contemporary Women in Horror, take a read of Lucy Taylor’s Walled published at Nightmare Magazine. Do you like haunting and horrific cat stories?
‘She lay there, mesmerized by the sound, which wrenched at her guilt-filled heart with notes as keen and piercing as a shard of bone. “Forgive me,” she whispered, praying it might be Colleen who cried out to her in the darkness. But no, not a child at all. A cat . . . inside the wall.’
Read Lucy Taylor’s Walled here at Nightmare Magazine.
Lucy Taylor’s stories have appeared in The Best of Cemetery Dance, Twentieth Century Gothic, Danse Macabre, Exotic Gothic 5, and many more magazines and anthologies. Taylor is author of seven novels and a short story collection Fatal Journeys due out in 2014. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Other Reading Web Sites to Visit
Women In Horror Month at Sirens Call Publications
For Authors/Writers: The Writer Unboxed