“Mad House” by Richard Matheson
Card picked: Ten of Diamonds
From: I Am Legend, and other stories
Oh, Richard Matheson. You are the king of writing a whole story to support one line…
Chris Neal is an angry man. He’s a writer who has no time to write (despite a good four hours in the morning). His wife spends all his money (although she’s leaving him due to his anger issues). He is college English teacher, who will never be given tenure because the administration doesn’t like him (because he’s capricious toward his students). Most days, it feels to Chris that his every house is out to get him. In fact, on some days, it seems like Chris’s very house and belongings are out to get him. Rugs trip him. His shaving razor cut him. His typewriter maliciously sticks and pinches his fingers. A scientist at the university doesn’t think that this is such a crazy idea. He believes that Chris’s anger has infected everything around him.
Chris Neal is one of the more loathsome characters that I’ve met in a while. Thirty-four pages was much too long a time to spent with him. He deserves the end he gets:
Died of self-inflicted wounds.
And there we are, the finish of my
second third Deal Me In! Ending with a story about a failed 40-something writer is a little uncomfortable, but that’s 2016 for you. Time to go pick my first card for 2017!