Once again, I get to sneak in a plug for a Dark Continents Publishing title. Today’s The Demonologia Biblica contributor, Simon Kurt Unsworth, is also the author of DCP’s bestselling book, Quiet Houses. If you enjoy Simon’s story in TDB, you know what to do…
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So I’m on holiday in England’s Lake District, on the top of a hill, and it’s pissing down. Not normal rain; no. This is Lake District rain, grey and heavy and dank and cold and fresh and clean and everywhere, like particularly virulent fog. I can’t see anything past this weird, wet well of grey. The thing is, the day is filled with weird, dark light and the puddles at my feet are thick with this light and it looks red for some reason; it looks like blood.
Earlier that day, climbing the hill, I’d seen a person up the slope, above me, pointing up. They were wearing a red waterproof, bright against the grey. The were having their photo taken, I assumed, pointing up the hill so that the photograph would look suitably dramatic in future years. Several minutes later, having walked further along a path that weaved in and out of overgrown foliage I saw the figure again, and they hadn’t moved. It wasn’t really anything; maybe the camera had jammed, maybe they had decided that picture, on reviewing it on the camera’s little rear screen, was no good, maybe they were simply fond of posing. It was just…weird. The posing walker and the weather seemed to come together in my head, and this story is the result. Sort of.
Initially, I wanted to do something about clouds that ate people but it wasn’t quite working. I mean, why would it? It was only when I added in the stone circle, the idea of tongues and old gods, that it seemed, to me at least, to work. Does it? Work, I mean? No idea, but I had fun writing it, fun cursing one of the places I like most in the world with something ancient and hungry, fun writing about rain and appetites and traumatised walkers. I had fun, and you can’t say better than that I don’t suppose.