Friday, October 28, 2011

"The People of the Pit" by A. Merritt

Man, this story just jumped into the action. It's as if this collection of stories can actually hear what I'm thinking, and gives me what I want (that's what she said).

"The People of the Pit" starts with action, ends with action, and not once does it stop, hardly even to describe the settings in which the story takes place. While journeying to seek gold in the 'Hand Mountain', two companions notice a blue aura coming out of the mountain, accompanied by whispering that draws their dogs to the light, and almost seduces the two men as well. Soon, they notice a wreck of a man, with stumped hands and feet, crawling away from the mountain and seeking refuge from whatever horrors he encountered. After he awakes, he tells his story about climbing down a canyon, and discovering the people of the pit.

I really did enjoy "The People of the Pit" because it's pretty much everything you could want in a story. Granted, if I saw a mysterious blue light and heard disembodied whispering, I would stay as far away as possible whether or not a dying man appeared to warn me about it. There is a lot left unsaid, that opens the mind up to all sorts of ideas about who these people are, and who built the canyon stairs, and all the caves with the guardian carvings at the entrances. Also, why were the dogs not tied up, and allowed to bolt away to the mountain? That's just kinda sad and stupid of the adventurers in the first place. The dogs are the real victims in this story, at least in my animal-loving opinion.

Like I said though, I really did enjoy this story, especially when compared to a lot of other stories as of late. There's plenty of action, the narrator is kind of a part of this story, and there's no controlling wife involved. Also, half of the stories I've read this month have made it clear to me that being an explorer is fraught with all kinds of dangers, from physical and natural to supernatural and spiritual. Remind me not to go off on adventures by myself :P

- Justin

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