Posted in Female Author, Short Story

Deal Me In, Lunar Extra ~ “The Demon Lover”

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Hosted by Jay @ Bibliophilopolis

“The Demon Lover” by Elizabeth Bowen

Card picked: A King
From: A Women in Horror 2014 post by Paula Cappa

Thoughts: A little late with this Deal Me In extra. I blame November.

Kathleen, a woman in her mid 40s, married with children, visits her house in the city to gather some of her family’s belongings. The year is 1941 and her family has moved temporarily to the country to avoid the London blitz. She finds a letter on the hall table from a mysterious correspondent.

You will not have forgotten that today is our anniversary … I shall rely on you to keep your promise. … You may expect me, therefore, at the arranged hour.

Kathleen recalls her first engagement, twenty-five years earlier, to a soldier about to go off to war–then the first World War. Just a young girl of 19, she promised herself in marriage based on feelings that weren’t quite love. Her fiance is reported missing, presumed dead, several months later. While she is affected by his death for some months, she recovers and later marries another man.

Surely, this letter couldn’t have something to do with her first fiance?

Elizabeth Bowen is another in a very long line of female authors that I’m totally ignorant of, but am quite interested in. This tale begins with the domestic, the house eerily closed up, moves on to a story that I’d bet Kathleen’s husband doesn’t know about, and ends with Kathleen’s visitor. It’s a tight, provocative five pages.