…in which Ricky Porter introduces himself, and Carrie finds the priest hole…
Carrie backed off along the hall, breathless and cupping her shaking hand over her mouth as she whispered into the phone.C. M. Rosens, The Crows, pp. 106-7
“Mercy? Shit, shit, shit…!”
It scratched at the closed door, dragging claws down the wood. Carrie’s throat constricted as she backed away as silently as she could, fumbling down the paneled hall.
“Carrie, are you okay?”
She forced herself to answer, voice coming out in a scratchy whisper. “It’s in the house, shit it’s in the house, it’s, it’s a dog, or a… I don’t know but it’s bloody huge and it, it’s broken the window, oh my God, it’s in the house…”
The living room doorknob rattled and Carrie stood frozen, every muscle rigid. There was silence.
All Carrie heard was the ticking of the rescued grandfather clock, counting down.
It doesn’t work, Carrie remembered. How can it be ticking?
She lowered the phone, eyes watering, and forced herself to look over her shoulder. The gold pendulum was swinging side-to-side.
The time was still wrong: two minutes to midnight.
A shiver crawled down her back.
The ‘be careful what you wish for’ trope isn’t exclusive to the Gothic, and isn’t really used much in the genre in its literal interpretation. It is more about foreshadowing or foreboding, when characters think ‘oh, this person deserves bad things’, and then bad things happen. Again, not a Gothic-exclusive trope, but something fun to play with in a Gothic horror. I do it a few times in The Crows, but there’s also an actual wishing well, so… be prepared.
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