Monday, 9 April 2012

The Room in the Tower

Fiction ~ short story
Published in Pall Mall Magazine, January 1912
Collected in The Room in the Tower and Other Stories (1912)
5,290 words
(First read 09/04/2012)

Our Unnamed Narrator has had a recurring dream for 15 years or so.  In it he goes to stay at the country home* of a former schoolmate he barely knew, is shown out into the garden where the family are assembled for tea, then to his room in the tower, where he encounters an unseen horror.  Obviously this premonitory dream eventually comes true.
For me the most interesting aspect of this yarn was the nature of the dream itself: as the years go by in U.N.'s waking world, so too do they pass in his dream ~ members of the family age or get married and disappear from the 'stage', new details emerge, but always the 'punchline' remains unchanged.  The climax is nicely handled, reminiscent of the ending of The Dance (1934) in that the attacker is invisible.  Sadly, though, as with so many of EFB's spook stories, the sewing-up of the story somewhat flattens the effect.
It's available online here

*In 'the Ashdown Forest district of [East] Sussex'. 

No comments:

Post a Comment