|Awww, isn't it cute how he gazes into the depths of your soul?|
My second story about how messed-up and fundamentally homicidal gnomes are is called Slow Drowning, and it just went up at This is Horror. After I won that whole Spectral chapbook competition thing (he says, as though it were a mere soupçon!) Simon Marshall-Jones got in touch to see if I could cough up a story for the This is Horror site as well. I had a bit of a think, but all I had that was of a suitable length was a story I'd always considered one of my more mainstream, non-genre efforts, a tale I'd been slowly hacking down from about three thousands words over a period of years, until the whole endeavour had become a weird exercise in masochistic editing ... the way I was going, I'd have finally finished it aged 83, it would have been exactly twelve words long and my brain would have exploded not long after.
Anyway, after a bit of a think, I realised that Slow Drowning was neither mainstream nor non-genre. It was, in fact, obviously a horror story. The evidence was overwhelming. It was about death and abominable violence; in fact, of the two main characters, one of them spends the entire story dead. And what could be more chilling that the steady, soul-destroying corrosion of a loveless marriage?
Gnomes, that's what. Because gnomes are scarier than anything.
Simon was quick to grasp this obvious truth, and came up with a suitable illustration. So if you don't want to read the story, you should still go and take a look at what a Simon Marshall-Jones picture of an evil gnome looks like. You won't be disappointed.