Deal Me In, Week 50 ~ “Closing Time”

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Hosted by Jay @ Bibliophilopolis

“Closing Time” by Neil Gaiman

Card picked: Eight of Clubs
From: Thrilling Tales, edited by Michael Chabon

Thoughts: When he was a young man, our unnamed narrator used to go to his “club.” Really, the place was just a dodge to avoid the mandatory 11pm pub closing time. One evening, he and another two acquaintances, fall into telling ghost stories. Most of that tales are urban legends: events that seem to have happened to everyone’s friend of a friend. But,

…then one of us said, “I’ll tell you a true story, if you like. It’s a story I’ve never told a living soul.”

This sort of narrative ambiguity (“one of us said”) always hooks me. At least when it’s in a small dose, like in a short story…

Our secondary narrator (who is maybe our primary narrator after all) tells of being dared to knock on the door of a strange little playhouse by three older boys. The door knocker is a bright red imp. He turns the tables on the boys, counter daring them to enter the eerie building. They do, and are never heard from again. Well, not quite…

I definitely picked “Closing Time” during the right week. It was perfect for a dark winter night.

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