Nine Horrors and a Dream by Joseph Payne Brennan
English | 2019 | Horror | ePUB | 898 Kb
Nine Horrors and a : Acclaimed by Stephen King as “a master of the unashamed horror tale,” Joseph Payne Brennan wrote hundreds of tales of terror, suspense, and fantasy. Collectors and fans will delight in this inexpensive reissue of Brennan’s hard-to-find classic, Nine Horrors and a Dream. This collection, originally published by Arkham House in 1958, features stories published by Weird Tales and other pulp magazines of the 1950s — including the much-anthologized “Slime,” which inspired the ever-popular thriller The Blob.
Less familiar but equally gripping tales include “Levitation,” in which a carnival-goer has an unfortunate encounter with a hypnotist; “The Calamander Chest,” the story of a low-priced antique that turns out to be no bargain; “Death in Peru,” involving a lethal curse; the darkly humorous “On the Elevator”; and “The Green Parrot,” which recounts a Good Samaritan’s bad timing. Other selections include “Canavan’s Back Yard,” featuring a property with a gruesome history; “I’m Murdering Mr. Massington,” which tells of a bizarre grasp at immortality; “The Hunt,” a playfully creepy yarn about an obsessive chase; and “The Mail for Juniper Hill,” in which a tipsy but determined postman refuses to let anything — even death — keep him from his appointed rounds.
“With a wide grin, the hobo produced his ten-dollar bill and spread it on the counter. “That covers a good breakfast here, pardner?”
The counterman seemed irritated. “O.K. O.K. What’ll you have?” He eyed the bill suspiciously.
Henry Hossing ordered orange juice, toast, ham and eggs, oatmeal, melon and coffee.
When it appeared, he ate every bit of it, ordered three additional cups of coffee, paid the check as if two-dollar breakfasts were customary with him, and then sauntered back to the street.
Shortly after noon, after his three-dollar lunch, he saw the liquor store. For a few minutes he stood across the street from it, fingering his five-dollar bill. Finally he crossed with an abstracted smile, entered and bought a quart of rye.
He hesitated on the sidewalk, debating whether or not he should return to the little shack in the side alley. After a minute or two of indecision, he decided against it and struck out instead for Wharton’s Swamp. The local police were far less likely to disturb him there, and since the skies were clearing and the weather mild, there was little immediate need of shelter.
Angling off the highway which skirted the swamp several miles from town, he crossed a marshy meadow, pushed through a fringe of brush and sat down under a sweet-gum tree which bordered a deeply wooded area.”