One Summer Night by Ambrose Bierce (1892)
Bitter Bierce, as author Ambrose Bierce was known because of his satirical wit in his vivid fiction. Bierce’s An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge and A Horsemen in the Sky are considered his most popular and finest literary achievements. This short story, One Summer Night, is a little twisty and perfect for a July summertime mystery read.
“It was a dark summer night, shot through with infrequent shimmers of lightning silently firing a cloud lying low in the west and portending a storm.”
Here we meet Henry Armstrong. “The fact that Henry Armstrong was buried did not seem to him to prove that he was dead: he had always been a hard man to convince. That he really was buried, the testimony of his senses compelled him to admit.”
Being buried alive was not uncommon in the 1800s. In John Snart’s Thesaurus of Horror, he recounts the true story of the premature burial of Mr. Cornish, the mayor of Bath. In fiction, we all know Poe’s famous The Premature Burial (1844).
Ambrose Bierce is admired for his well-plotted, dark and imaginary tales. He defines the imagination as ‘a warehouse of facts, with poet and liar in joint ownership.’ The Devil’s Dictionary (Bierce’s witty book of social commentary disguised as definitions).
Read One Summer Night at EastoftheWeb.com
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