“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
Somewhere up ahead on this dark, deserted woodland highway you seek refuge at the quaint rest area at exit 194. Too many eyes peering out from curves in the road have shone against your car’s headlights, piercing the eerie gloom beneath the forest canopy. Above the trees, dusk has only begun to descend. But here, along this artery leading into the heart of the forest, night has already snuck in, and with it the creatures, weird as only one’s imagination can make them. They watch. They wait. Their time will come, sure enough as yours will end. But Rest Area 194, just around that curve, you’re sure of it, will (must) be your sanctuary, your shelter from the night, however meager that shelter is: two wooden frame structures, mere skeletons frozen before the dark rot of the forest beyond. Anything could be out there. You can’t even feel safe here, but you don’t trust yourself on the road, having seen too many creeping, loping things that may or may not have been there. Your wild imagination has taken over. Your heart pounds in terror. Fear has taken you, paralyzed you. You cut your car’s engine once stopped at Rest Area 194. You seem to be alone, but you can’t be sure. You hope you’re alone. You hope you’re alone.
What is that shape snaking within the shadows between the far-off trees? From here, it looks like no earthly creature known to man, but it could be the swaying trees, pushed by the abrupt wind gusts, causing the impermanent shadows to stretch, twist, and writhe. But that doesn’t explain the points of light, distant like twin red suns light years away…that suddenly blink.
In the posts to follow, we will explore all things weird. We’ll examine works from some of the fathers (and mothers) of the modern weird tale, as well as their heirs apparent. We’ll delve into signs and symbols of the weird in contemporary society and reveal the lore that haunts our collective nightmares.
I hope you will follow me on this journey and learn, if not be entertained. Or vice versa.
I have recently self-published my novella, The Blooding. If you are interested in purchasing it, you may do so by clicking the button below: