The Choice That Had To Be Made
This was a short story I wrote in the middle of 2006. I had watched Stuart Gordon’s segment for Masters of Horror; Dreams In The Witch House. It was a very entertaining H.P. Lovecraft adaptation, which Gordon always seems good at doing. The front cover showed the main character clawing at padded walls and in the background was the distorted view of the eponymous witch house. An idea came to me, and don’t worry, it wasn’t stolen too much.
I don’t really remember jotting down many details about the story. My idea was that a young guy retires to his family cabin to try and write his book. In the attic he finds a window looking out. I then had ideas that through this window he would be able to see things. Cthulhu-type things, crazy images. I thought perhaps the window was a viewing portal to another dimension, or a viewer for the moon, perhaps even seeing what had transpired on the moon millennia ago. I wasn’t exactly sure, but I started writing anyway.
What came out was a much different story. It still had a young guy going to his family cabin to write. It still had a window in the attic, and he still saw things through there. But that is where the original tale ended. This became something else, something more serious. It was not dark Lovecraftian literature baying for blood, no, it was pretentious neo-classical literature trying to break free of the Lovecraftian restrains it found itself in. In the end, the story became a meditation on depression, life and choices.
I felt like I was able to address some serious stuff in this work and the images in the window became much more than just sci-fi tropes going through the wringer. It all became much more. It became about the guy in the cabin, not what he was seeing at all. It became the inevitability of a blood line, and the continuation of it. It went from being a pulp story to one that seemed quite personal, though not quite autobiographical. I’m not that depressed…ha. I found that the story just flowed out of me, and in thirteen days too, which is quick for me. I just had to sit back and see what unfolded, that was all I could do.
I found proofing this story to be a real bitch. Unlike The Friendly Skies, which I could honestly sit and read any day of the week, I had to be in the mood to read this one. It seemed thicker to me. Hell, it took me over two years to proof it, and I’m sure it still has its faults. We always do. I finally put it out there for sale, just like The Friendly Skies, and it also sold pretty well. More than one sale is always a hit for me.
I feel like this story is much more a serious attempt at fiction for me, even though it still does contain the fantastic. It’s about a guy looking at his life, it’s about relationships, with family and others, and it’s about how we forge onward and upward. Or not.