3 of 5 stars.
A quiet gnawing horror, an unease, resides in the sticky place between the absurd and the inexplicably supernatural. In this Lovecraft-inspired tale, a dark place of worship in locked away and forgotten much like the gods it serves. But how it is locked away and forgotten is both mundane and absurd. In a lapsed storage locker, under stained drop cloths, lies a locked chest:
I took a hopeful breath and lifted open the lid. The underside was densely carved with peculiar shapes, like hieroglyphics drawn by a drunk with a corkscrew.
At first I thought the chest was empty, which was a crushing disappointment, but then the darkness at the bottom struck me as a little too dark, and I frowned and reached inside, thinking there was… I don’t know what. A sheet of midnight black velvet at the bottom, maybe.
Defying physics, the chest contains the top of a stairway [and potentially an unseen portal] leading far, far down to a cavern with altars and jewel-eyed idols and dead bodies. And voices . . .
The skull that fell out of the robe I’d picked up rolled against my foot. I can’t even describe the sensation. Imagine a spider walking across your exposed eyeball, maybe.
This tale appears in Whispers from the Abyss edited by Kat Rocha. I received this new anthology directly from 01 Publishing through bookreviewdirectory.wordpress.com.
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