Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Slow Drowning at This is Horror

What is it with me and gnomes, eh?  Well, they're clearly evil, that's what.  I mean, look at them.  They're like clowns, but worse.  How anyone would want those things in their garden is beyond me.  You might as well just stick an upside down crucifix next to the pond and be done with it.

Awww, isn't it cute how he gazes into the depths of your soul?
My first story exploring the terrifying phenomena that is gnomes was called King Gob's Warcry, and it was about how the terrifying little buggers are plotting to take over the world.  From my point of view, it was only a little bit fiction. Unfortunately, it's vanished from the Internet along with the webzine that published it, so I can't put up a link to it; the world will just have to keep blundering along in ignorance until the fateful day arrives and we all find ourselves staring down the business end of a miniature fishing rod.

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.

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