Short Story Review: “”The Decorative Water Feature of Nameless Dread” by James Brogden

4 of 5 stars.

Had Monty Python incorporated Lovecraft into any of their skits, this tale well very could’ve been the result. It’s British humor, er humour, at its best with utterly ridiculous scenarios and under-reactions from the viewing stands.

A British gardener [tending to his triffid plants, no less] beckons his wife to turn on his favorite gardening radio show so he can listen from the yard. Radio Four introduces a gardening panel with special guest, Dr. Winter, Professor of Xenolithic Topography [a regular Prof. Sprout in specialty].

In a rare move, the gardening show takes a live caller who has questions about a pest on his fish-pond. The panel authoritatively declare the beast to be a newt until they hear the full description ending with it being 5 feet tall bipedally. The Prof. recognizes the monster to be one of Lovecraft’s Deep Ones squatting in the man’s fountain, likely in the eternal blasphemous pursuit of luring and impregnating human females . . .

The balanced contrast between the caller fighting for his life while his wife lustily defends the beast, the buttoned-up panel expressing “consternation”, the gardener’s wife tutting “There’ll be complaints about this, I shouldn’t wonder” as she shuts off the radio, and the gardener getting control of his fictitious, venomous, carnivorous plants is just fun. Lovecraft and fun don’t often get used together.

This tale appears in Whispers from the Abyss edited by Kat Rocha. I received this new anthology directly from 01 Publishing through
[Check out my other reviews here.]

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