Okay. Let us say that this, here, is one of many sessions. We have met here plenty of times before. Always red-eyed and shaky, anxiously awaiting the fix—those therapeutic discussions about horror fiction, we religiously have weekly. Yes, here we sit among our peers in a circle, like we always do in the same stuffy, non-air-conditioned room, on the second floor in some apartment (whose apartment? We don’t know or care); above a Botanica shop on Vermont Avenue in downtown Los Angeles to discuss horror fiction, like we always do.
But this week we have a visitor. We haven’t had a newcomer in at least two years because newcomers and strangers are not really welcomed. Discussions have begun.
What will you bring to the table this week? What is new in the world of vampires, ghouls, and witchcraft?
“Actually,” the newcomer says, “it’s not about what is new but what is classic.” So everyone’s attention is directed toward the newcomer. “The Shadow Over Innsmouth by H.P. Lovecraft,” he says.
We all like him at once.
“This tale takes place in the early 20th century. It begins with a man on a tour of New England. This gentleman hears of the oddities and some of the strange history behind Innsmouth, a secluded and dilapidated town. Its inhabitants are peculiar, reserved, similar in physical appearance and extremely distant from society, making it a point to discourage visitors. In turn, these things arouse this man’s interest. He decides to go to Innsmouth with the mission to quench his curiosity. And within Innsmouth, he discovers its horrific history, which includes demonic creatures, rituals and human sacrifices. The people of Innsmouth are not happy.
“H.P. Lovecraft is crafty (Lovecrafty?) but intricate when weaving such tales. He was taking his readers in wild, complex rollercoaster rides in the early 1900’s. Lovecraft has never been for the faint of heart. With stories like The Shadow Over Innsmouth, he was inventing the bar and setting its height long before anyone was trying to raise it.”
The stranger, who is no longer a stranger but our new member, concludes. We shake hands and depart this week with a new appreciation for H.P. Lovecraft. Now we begin the 7 day countdown to next week’s meeting—the fix.
J. Marquez Jr.