Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Some Not At Night Teasers

Deciding that I might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb, I decided to grab some more of Demonik's synopses, this time from Vault of Evil. If he hadn't created this site, I would. I'm jealous of it, I admit. Without more ado then, I present:

Demonik's Not At Night Teasers

Don't you just love these covers!

'Nice snake, come to daddy... ' Still Not at Night at The Vault of Evil, Paperback Anthology Hell

... or, a few reasons why I love this stuff ...

Take it away, Dem',

"Michael Annesly - Rats: A Berkely barn is besieged by million upon million of them. The occupants, Sir Edward Fanshawe and his camping party, including a young mother and child, are soon fighting a losing battle in the dark. "Oh God, I'm up to my waist in rats. I'm being eaten alive!"

Guy Preston - The Inn: Frank Metheun, stranded on the mist shrouded Cumberland moors, chances upon an early theme pub with an extremely off-putting sign:
"This was in the nature of a coffin supported by six headless bearers goose-stepping towards a white headstone. Underneath ... with grim irony, the legend 'Ye Journey's End'".

Somewhat reluctantly, he decides to put up there for the night. At first, his main cause of concern is that the landlord is eyeless and reminds him of a slug, but there's also a beautiful girl hanging around and at least she must be harmless ...

On retiring to his room, he decides against taking a bath when he notices it is still "thick and slippery" with the blood of the previous guest. As darkness descends, the Landlord and his dishy daughter pay him a visit ...

One of my all time favourites of the "Not at Nights", and the climactic pursuit across the rooftop is genuinely exciting.

August Derleth - The Coffin Of Lissa: Gruesome tale of torture at the hands of the Spanish Inquisition. The narrator is placed in the titular contraption. Rats gnaw his hands. The lid slowly descends ...

Bassett Morgan - The Devils Of Po Sung: New Guinea. Captain MacTeague falls foul of a sadistic Chinese, Po Sung who (as usual) snuffs out his rivals by transplanting their brains into orang-utangs, crocodiles and co. It's unlikely MacTeague would have survived had he not rescued a native girl from a whipping when she was still human. Po Sung meets a suitably ghastly doom when his apes mutiny, and his assistants are stuffed into the bulbs of the obligatory vampire plants. They just don't write them like this any more.

Amelia Reynolds Long - The Thought Monster: A 'mental vampire', thought into existence by doomed scientist Dr. Walgate. It feeds upon the minds of its victims, whom it scares to death. Somebody saw enough worth in this ludicrous story to film it as B-classic "Fiend Without A Face."

Zita Inez Ponder - His Wife: Hampstead, turn of the century. The narrator, down on his luck, meets a kindly stranger who offers him shelter on a bitter February night. "Shelter" is a strange basement room that smells like a graveyard. When the homeless man remarks that he is a joiner, his host is delighted. Perhaps he could make him a box to "keep my wife's things together in?" Having prepared supper, the Good Samaritain introduces the lovely lady.

F. J. Stamper - Ti Michel: Porte Liberte. The death-bed confession of a liquor merchant who explains why he only serves the despised Gerdammes from the left hand barrel. Three years earlier, he'd returned home to find one of their number ravishing his daughter. Having bashed Corporal Bousset's brains out with a claw-hammer, the publican needed somewhere to conceal the body.

Oswell Blakestone - The Crack: The narrator has hideous dreams involving a weird antique dealer and his horrific statuettes of animals writhing in torment. It transpires that, at an unspecified date, such events did take place when Chiffonier, the propritor of 'Ye Olde Yew Tree Antique Shoppe', was "detected in a particularly repellent crime" and absconded, leaving a pig, mutilated and masked to resemble himself (!) to be hung in his place.

Three years pass before the narrator encounters the reincarnation of Chiffonier, a stage illusionist. During his performance, the magician suffers a brain siezure, runs one female assistant through with swords and sets about sawing a second in half."

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