Tuesday, October 25, 2011

"Thurnley Abbey" by Perceval Landon

Okay, it was an interesting weekend going back to my undergrad for homecoming, but I'm now several posts behind (obviously haven't posted since Thursday) and I'm determined to fix that immediately. This story was meant for Friday, and while I could just cut my losses and say I missed a few days of my challenge, where's the fun in that? I'm determined to catch up as soon as possible, and luckily these stories are a) short enough and b) interesting enough to do just that.

"Thurnley Abbey" kind of made me realize just what most of these authors are doing with their stories. Rather than have the narrator play a role in the actual story, they are having other characters recount terrifying experiences TO the narrator, and I'm not really sure how I feel about that. On the one hand, it's a good way to distance the reader from the actual scary parts of the stories, but on the other hand, that's not the point of a scary story. Even by putting yourself into the narrator's shoes, you're just being told a ghost story by somebody else who may or may not have experienced it. First person stories in which the narrator is a character in the 'actual' story is the way to get readers' blood pumping, and this second-person thing just isn't cutting it (also, I don't think it's actually called second-person, it's just an easy way of putting it).

So this story is about our narrator embarking on a long train/ship journey, and being asked by a fellow passenger if he would mind sharing his lodgings for the trip. Apparently, this other passenger suffered a traumatic experience while visiting an old friend, and doesn't want to be by himself. Anddd we're off into the ghost story, as told to our narrator by this other person.

The story itself was pretty interesting, although I'm very interested in finding out what happened to the Broughtons after this encounter. Did they ever find out what could possibly have happened in the house for there to have been a ghostly encounter? Everyone knows that ghosts are restricted to haunting a place of significance in their lives (or deaths), so something must have happened that this particular soul is tethered to the house. I feel like nothing really got explained in this story, and while it was sufficiently creepy and suspenseful (I especially liked them hiding in the bed when they hear the footsteps coming closer to the master bedroom), I would have been very pleased to learn more about the why behind this haunting.

Ah well, I suppose that would have made the story a little bit longer than a 'short story'. It still would have been nice. It was a good enough story though, I'm continuously more and more pleased that I decided to take on this challenge.

After watching American Horror Story and The Walking Dead tonight, I'm not sure if I'm going to sleep anytime soon.. If not, I'll take on another short story so I can be one more closer to being caught up. Happy reading!!

- Justin

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