Esprit S.F.

S.F. F. & F. Culture (Science-Fiction, Fantasy & Fantastic)

[The title is a stain] (Short story)

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© 1972 – Gahan Wilson

Ma note :

The story

« What is this stain on the wall? It looks like ink, but darker than the night itself. Maybe fatigue. I blink… and it disappears. Not quite. It’s on the ceiling now. I blink again… and it disappears again! To reappear in the office.

Weird. Especially as at each revival, it seems that it is bigger, ramified. It will swallow the whole house if it continues its expansion!

I have just one thing to do: to stop sleeping and fix it permanently, for it to stop growing. But that’s impossible of course and soon, I risk to be swallowed by this filthy thing which has already, I’m sure, assimilate my butler… »

My opinion

What we can say about this 1972 short story is that, as well as being fascinating, it is very original. Look at this title: an ink stain! And the text is full of this stain growing and ramifying at each reappearance.

You must know that the author, Gahan Wilson, is mostly a talented graphic designer and cartoonist. So, nothing astonishing that his main character of his only short story is a graphic element.

I found that the graphic dimension of the “monster” adds to the suspense and horror of the situation. Because this entity doesn’t communicate with our world, contenting itself with its existence and just swallowing people who come too close.

So? Is it a will to harm? Or unawareness of the damages it causes?

It’s to you to judge by reading this short story which was like a shock to me.

Updated: 22 April 2020 — 7 h 09 min
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