Tomb-Tree on Mt. Maenalus

The Tree  by H.P. Lovecraft (1921)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror  November 17, 2015


The Fates Will Find a Way.  So opens Lovecraft’s very short story that is certain to grab you and even puzzle you. Artistic ambition, subtle revenge, friendship and grief are the themes.  Mt. Maenalus is the setting. For me, supernatural stories on a mountain are an immediate attraction. Love the spiritual power of mountains. Coupled with the power of fate and desire, this makes for an intriguing mystery.


[Pan, Mikhail Vrubel 1900]

A beekeeper is telling our story, a rather stinging tale. “On a verdant slope of Mount Maenalus, in Arcadia … a chosen haunt of dreaded Pan [God of Nature and Mountain Wilds], whose queer companions are many …”  Two sculptors Musides and Kalos live and work together harmoniously. They are both gifted sculptors. Kalos likes the olive tree groves and converses with the nature spirits there, a meditative and inspired soul. Musides prefers urban gaieties and is more worldly. When Kalos becomes ill and dies, Musides is filled with grief and fulfills his friend’s last request to bury him with olive tree twigs at his head. But more is happening here than just grief. What grows from Kalos’ tomb reveals more than just a gigantic death-distorted tree with crooked boughs. Listen to what the boughs whisper.  The Fates Will Find a Way.

Interpretations vary about this story. It’s a slow thoughtful read. Do leave a comment!















Read the short story at


Listen to the Librivox audio recording on


HP Literary Podcast discusses The Tree here.


Lovecraft fans will be interested in hearing the latest news from David Hartwell:  This is the last year the World Fantasy Award will be the H.P.Lovecraft statue. Joyce Carole Oates has a post on her blog this week. You can read it at Celestial Timepiece.


╰☆╮News ╰☆╮

Today is my 200th post on Reading Fiction, Tales of Terror Blog. By now I have created a compendium of  FREE classic short stories with over 100 master writers (browse the Index above).

To celebrate this milestone, I am offering my short stories FREE for the next week.  Just click the book cover on the right and you can access Amazon and download my published short fiction in ebook format. (Also available free on iTunes and B&N)

Short stories are a vital part of the fiction genre so please continue to enjoy a blast of fast fiction at your lunchtime reads or coffee breaks. And if you have a moment to give, leave a quick comment here or write a short review on Amazon. I would be most grateful. Thank you to all who have supported me here, purchased my novels, and remained loyal members of my readership. 

Hildie at the Ghost Shore “Richly atmospheric and hauntingly imaginative. A polished gem of a story.”  Anna Elliott, author of The Witch Queen’s Secret.

Between the Darkness and the Dawn “Nuanced and atmospheric as the stories of Hawthorne himself.  Mesmerizing.”  Erika Robuck, best-selling author of House of Hawthorne: A Novel.  

Magic of the Loons “A lyrical gem of a story—love triangle, lush prose, evocative setting, seductive.”  Award-winning author Lucy Taylor of Fatal Journeys.

 The Haunting of Jezebeth  “Good dark fiction. Paula Cappa has written a story to chill the soul. ” Pamela K. Kinney, author of Paranormal Petersburg.

Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Books & Such

Bibliophilica       Lovecraft Ezine

 For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed


Filed under classic horror stories, fiction, Greylock, horror, horror blogs, literary horror, Mt. Greylock, Reading Fiction, short stories, short story blogs, supernatural, tales of terror

6 responses to “Tomb-Tree on Mt. Maenalus

  1. Note: My short story Between the Darkness and the Dawn is still 99 cents on Amazon, as they won’t price match it to the free price on other vendors. You can get it for free on itunes and Smashwords and now Barnes and Noble:
    and Barnes and Noble:


  2. That was interesting–I’m not sure I’d read that one before, and if I did, I’m afraid I skimmed through it rather than dwelling and letting it make an impression. Thanks for bringing it up again. I also loved your mention of the supernatural powers of mountains and summits; I need to go and mull that over for a bit.

    (I’m here via the Goodreads discussion. 🙂 )

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Aphotic Ink. Thank you for your comment. I’m glad to hear The Tree got your attention. It needs a slow read to really appreciate the story. There is something about mountains that hold such mystery. When I toured Mt. Greylock, it was while standing on that summit that I got the sense that Nature has the power to go beyond our humanity.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Just noticed my blog at the end – thanks for adding me, Paula!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. If you are looking for a discussion on Lovecraft and the World Fantasy Award issue, stop by for a thought-provoking podcast with Mike Davis.


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