The One That Comes Before
Alex lives alone in a tenement, she has certain troubles like drinking too much and also feels she is..”spending the prime of her life trapped in a cubicle, feeling her will to live bleed away.”
Is it going to be a challenging day at work?
She only has the simple task of duplicating books and grimoires with spells.
As the day unravels Alex notices a few changes in the city with a little primordial gloom, a vastation and Obsidian magic at work.
This was an intriguing little reading escape with some great storytelling elements with a very different Obsidian, forged with the potent protean voice of Livia Llewellyn, bringing alive Alex in loneliness and feelings in a prism of living needing escaping.
“Yes, she’s drunk and delusional, and there’s nothing wonderful or wondrous in the world to believe in. Obsidia is a city in which magic is duty and currency, not wonder.”
“Alex finds herself in front of the window, staring out at the trees, at the quiet factory buildings with their crumbling faces and faded signs, the white warm human glow of electric streetlights banishing traces of that darker façade of the universe back into the shadows. To the north, the familiar aurora australis of Obsidia rises like forest fire, orange with flashes of other colors from other worlds.”
“The knife blade was forged from the remnants of a meteor, and older metals, older than the eldest of the gods themselves, elements not of their alien worlds but of this world. Her world. The blade can split, lengthen, coil. It speaks to her as it throttles and twists through the nerves and spinal cord and cartilage, twisting, spiraling, bucking around and through bone. Sometimes she picks up snatches of radio whispers in the air. She doesn’t know what it’s saying. She doesn’t care.”
One of These Nights
“It’s time to get wet” in Tacoma, young women, friends, and a father in car about to go to a pool.
The girls go for a swim, some friends just go too far and then there is the rivalry and stepping into adulthood, but they are still fifteen partaking in things that are just not right and fitting of an age of fifteen.
Contained within girls in a friendship, being favorites and new ones interloping, along with leadership and toxic rivalry and something else also you must read to discover.
The mentioned complexities and other terrible fates skillfully crafted noir tale drawing the reader along in this compelling flowing deadly tale.
I am sure Tacoma has seen better times.
The Gin House, 1935
Poetic slippage of time and ruin in the Great Plains with one lonely Lillian in home pondering on past and present with one too many consumptions of nicotine and settled in the attic not living. Something wicked her way coming.
“Lillian doesn’t know when it started, the sickness, the rot, the disease.
Maybe it was that first cigarette, that first print-smudged glass of rye, all the way back in the previous century when she was a freckled girl of twelve, clinging to the edges of that nameless mining city in the Dakotas along with her family. Coal and liquor and cigarettes and a few shacks surrounding gaping mouths in the earth that ate so many of them away.”
“She’d done her duty and more. More horror and hardship than any woman should have known. It was her right to join the land outside and be drawn up into the sky, into the blissful embrace of nothingness.”
“And every hour of every day, sliding like the steady drip of juniper poison over her tongue, until there was no difference between the daylight and the dark or the near-constant screaming of her lungs for one more swallow of oxygen, given to them in the form of a dust-flavored kiss as she sank back into the fever dreams of the almost-dead.”
Take Your Daughters to Work
“This is the way of the world, His way, her father has explained.”
A promise to see the ocean Sadie has set her heart upon, with family heirloom a thousand years old laying across her throat she is all set to follow in footsteps of a thousand joyous girls.
Daughters with whole new purpose, “the way of the world,” past the factories near the edge of dry land furious vast oceans await.
One should take fathers to work instead.
A cosmic compelling Lovecraftian short lasting tale.
“Sadie smoothes down her long brown hair, then fastens a choker around her neck. She stares at herself in the mirror. Today her father is taking her to work, and she must be perfect. There will be other girls there, other daughters brought to work by their fathers. But her father runs the company, and so she sets the example. All who look on her must see perfection—otherwise, her father will be shamed.
From the darkened master bedroom, weeping rises. Sadie adjusts the heavy gold at her throat—her mother gave it to her this morning. It’s been in the family at least a thousand years. She leans close to the mirror, and smiles.”
““You’re the reason I work so hard. You’re our future. I know you’ll make me proud.”
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The Low, Dark Edge of Life
There is an order, a congregation, with goings on of bad things with chained ones and she talks of her great father Dagon and Mother Hydra.
An ominous visceral and trepidating piece told through writings of the diary of Lilianett van Hamal in 1878.
“fragment, date unknown, sometime late May, 1878
and so the train serpentines its way through the Low Country, each car pulling the one behind it in an iron-fisted embrace, all of them together a chain of languid lovers moving deep into the verdant lands toward the quiet, circular town. It is an unseasonably hot day in late spring, and flocks of bright-winged birds burst up from and circle small islands of trees heavy with leaves, while glossy horses and cows nuzzle their grass-fed, brown-eyed bodies up against each other in the flat pasturelands below. Farm lands and fields roll past in an uninterrupted wave of green fecundity: everything alive revels in the warming of the world. Even with my black-tinted glasses, even with my eyelids shut tight, the fertility of the land shimmers in my sight like the roiling surface of the sun; and over the bucolic valleys, great colorless shapes float and dart and spread their death-filled jaws, and no one sees them but me.”
“I have been put in this beautiful car, given this spacious seat, because I am the daughter of a troubled artistic woman with no power save in her family name, who abandoned me at birth for her love of sticky opium dreams but now finally finds a lucrative use for her disabled get; because I am the niece of a highly-disciplined and determined woman with great power, whose deep pockets and dark desires have freed me from my life-long imprisonment only to be delivered into a new imprisonment that will deliver untold new powers unto her and the sisters of her order; because I am a woman who has no power of her own in this world.”
“In addition to being powerless, I am also, according to many learned physicians and alienists, quite impossibly and thoroughly insane—even by Arkham’s impressively rigorous standards. I would say “maddeningly” insane, but that is no doubt redundant, and there’s no one to tell the joke to except these silent pages.”