Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

A new clue - Beneath (Eldritch City Shorts, #1) by Robin Heggelund Hansen

"No one is shocked by the statement that horror means different things to different people. In fact, some might even consider that statement as common knowledge. A boring set of words, like laws or facts. Yet, for authors, such a statement is all but boring. It’s a source of fear and annoyance."


Date of Publication: March 21st, 2015 

Nine years have passed since the tragic and mysterious deaths of Mr. Phillips and his daughter. A new clue surfaces, one which the lead investigator will follow to the brink of insanity.

The horrors of writing horror 
by Robin Heggelund Hansen 

No one is shocked by the statement that horror means different things to different people. In fact, some might even consider that statement as common knowledge. A boring set of words, like laws or facts. Yet, for authors, such a statement is all but boring. It’s a source of fear and annoyance. 

As a writer, my greatest fear is pouring myself into a project that for most people means nothing. Something that is easy enough to follow, but forgotten by the time you put it down. This is in part what makes writing so interesting, yet so dreadful. The best thing you can hope for is that you manage to write something that excites yourself, and that there are others out there who share your taste. 

So what does horror mean to me? What sort of stories troubles my sleep and gets stuck in the back of my brain? One of the first horror stories to have made any real impact on me was "The Lurking Fear" by H.P. Lovecraft. In it, a monster hunter travels to Tempest Mountain to investigate reports of what the locals call: the lurking fear. Without spoiling too much, the monster appears to leave a trail of bodies in its wake, without ever being seen. It seemingly has the power to appear from anywhere, and the only warning you have is that of thunder. When the hunter later on finally catches a glimpse of the monster, he finds himself trapped beneath the ground, powerless to prevent the death he believes is coming. 

Now, whenever I hear thunder I remember the lurking fear. A creature that moves about unseen, and so fast it can be at your throat before you sense anything out of the ordinary, tearing you to shreds while you are powerless to stop it. 

I also keep the tale in mind while writing my own stories, trying to recreate the feelings I first got when I read the story. In Beneath I’ve created a world where such creatures can exist: Eldritch City. I’ve also dropped the idea of a monster hunter, focusing instead on having extraordinary events happen to regular people. Hopefully, I have created something that will prove my fears of mediocrity to be unfounded.


To whoever reads this: I feel that I must apologize if what you find on these pieces of paper appears to be nothing more than a collection of near-indecipherable words. I can assure you that I have tried everything I can think of, and yet I cannot keep my hands from trembling. This, however, is only a symptom of my much greater problems.

I cannot eat, or sleep, or even close my eyes for longer than the briefest of moments. I feel as if I’m about to lose my mind, but I’m clear enough to realize that I have to get this story off my chest, before it consumes whatever sanity I have left. Unfortunately, the only recipient I can trust with a story as bizarre and horrible as this are the same pieces of paper upon which these words are written.

For officers of the Eldritch City Police Department, no two days are alike. Even with this in mind, yesterday morning would still single itself out as peculiar. As I entered the precinct to begin my shift, I met a man who I realized was from out of town. It was clear that he was uncomfortable since he was constantly scratching his arm and shifting his gaze. It was as if he was trying to view the entire room at once.

There are many things that can be said of Eldritch City, but the one thing people always remember is the air. It’s not that it has a particular smell, but it has a way of sticking to your skin, like wet clothes on a rainy day. Us locals usually say that it is due to the humidity that comes with being in a warm coastal city, but humid air does not leave you with a feeling of being watched, or that something terrible is about to happen. Given time, one learns to hide this discomfort. People from out of town, however, usually haven’t learnt the knack.

The man introduced himself as Deputy Swanson of the Heartbrook Sheriff’s office. Upon learning my name, he raised his eyebrows in surprise. “It would seem I am in luck,” he said. “It is in fact you that I have come here to see.”

Before continuing the conversation, I invited Swanson back to my desk — I have yet to earn my own office — and offered him a choice of coffee or tea, of which he chose the latter. When we were both sitting comfortably, I asked what had brought him all the way here from Heartbrook. To this he responded by handing me a newspaper article, dating back nine years. The article was an interview with a younger me regarding a murder case out by Mirkwood. I knew the article well, not just because I was the subject of the interview, but also because the case in question had been troubling me ever since I had been assigned to it.

Nine years earlier, for their summer-break, the Phillips family had gone out to their newly built cabin in Mirkwood, on the outskirts of the city. Only a day into their vacation, Mr. Phillips and his daughter, Julia, were brutally murdered. Their bodies had been mutilated to the point of being barely recognizable — large portions of flesh were missing. It was almost as if something had fed on them. The coroner couldn’t rule out an animal attack, but thought it unlikely since the wounds were inconsistent with the bite of any species known to be living in Mirkwood.

About the author:
Robin was born on a cold winter night in Oslo, Norway, 1989. Growing up, he was always fond of telling stories, leading people to wonder when, not if, he would move on to writing stories of his own. Inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft, he wrote his first short story, 'Beneath', in 2015.

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