The next one is my Weird historical fiction parody, slightly shorter than a novella, just a bit too long to be a short story. A novelette, in fact! It’s featured in THE UNCANNY AND THE DEAD anthology, but next year I’ll be releasing it with some other historical shorts set in the Pagham-verse.
The Reluctant Husband
This story came about after I wrote the Eleusinian Mysteries, or the Neo-Eleusinians, featured in the FOLKLORE OF PAGHAM-ON-SEA. I really liked the journal format and I decided to do that in honour of H. P. Lovecraft, Robert Bloch and Frank Belknapp Long, whose stories in journal format work fairly well until some fool decides to write their final scream rather than stop writing and run for it. Looking at you, Hounds of Tindalos.
I already knew the genesis of the Porter clan was when Dierdre Wend “married out” (i.e. married somebody outside the family), and the Porters were second-class citizens in the family because of this, much like the Wend-McVeys. I wanted to write that story, and so created a very odious, occult-obsessed middle-ranking civil servant (Nathan Montague Porter). Nathan is Church of England born and bred, and has a massive chip on his shoulder about not being upper middle-class enough.
Naturally, the eldritch girl he ends up with is a maid at his employer’s country house, so a massive step down for him while also offering the secrets of the cosmos (so there’s that), and while he resists her dubious charms, the snake-like whatever she’s got going on with her breasts becomes too much to resist. Apparently.
The spoiler is in the title: it’s all about their terrible courtship while Nathan is attempting to implement his employer’s nefarious plans. If you want to read about one man’s slow descent into madness, featuring body horror and cannibalism, try this.
Plus, you get 7 other stories to try!
Segment of a Verified Amazon Purchase review relating to my story:
*On THE RELUCTANT HUSBAND:*5 Star Verified Purchase Amazon Review
Yeah, I’m biased… I love C. M. Rosens THE CROWS so when I was reading THE RELUCTANT HUSBAND and realised it was basically a prequel to that novel… I literally did a little squeal of joy 🙈 If you’ve read THE CROWS and want to read more about the history of <redacted>, that alone should be a reason to pick up a copy of this anthology ♥