“Beyond the Wall” by Ambrose Bierce
Card picked: Queen of Spades
From: Jay’s Top 10 Ghost Stories
Thoughts: I’m sorry to say it, but a relentless heat wave has zapped my Halloween spirit. (Tomorrow is supposed to be cooler. A high of only 93F!) My spooky reading has bottomed out. Thank goodness for this Deal Me In pick!
My favorite type of horror is the horror of the unintended consequence. Many supernatural tropes are based on the courting of the occult. Playing with a Ouija board. Chanting “Bloody Mary” into a darkened mirror. Studying non-euclidean geometry. In fiction, all these things are pretty much invitations for angry spirits to come visit. But for me, the more nerve-wracking horror is the sort that fills the world with unknown supernatural missteps. Playing party games. Watching a random video tape. Or flirting with the girl next door.
Who hasn’t let love (or, at least, lust or a crush) make them “be an unspeakable idiot”? I know I’ve had my moments. But what if an innocent act flirtation, knocking on a shared wall, leads to something not entirey sinister, but…unintended?