a trip I took to England last year I, as you might imagine, spent
a lot of time in antique shops in search for all things being uniquely
Particularly old horror books and memorabilia. On
one such adventure I found myself at the rather famous Portobello
market in the quirky Notting Hill district of London. I spent the
time idly perusing the various books, and actually purchased a delightful
antique edition of The Bleak House by Charles Dickens, bound
in some of the most magnificent leather I had ever seen. I was examining
my prize and on my way to a nearby pub for some well deserved lunch
when, just off the main market, on a quiet narrow street, I happened
to notice a peculiar sight; a stall keeper who immediately caught
my eye as he appeared to be about ninety years old, and dressed
in one of those suits covered in buttons
The stall itself
was nothing more than a rickety camping table, covered in an old
moth bitten blanket, with a few various items placed on it. I had
every intention of walking past the curious gentleman, as I had
already spent more than I had budgeted for on my last purchase,
and besides, the tantalizing notion of a pint of bitter and a steak
and kidney pie was now dancing through my mind. However, as I proceeded
to pass on by, he sharply and with impressive volume hollered out
guv'nor, you dream of being a successful novelist, don't you?"
amazed at his prophetic intuition and wary of a possible scam, I
politely smiled at the old fellow as I cautiously began to approach
him. I reasoned there might be some solid entertainment value in
engaging in conversation with the oddball fellowperhaps I
might find some sort of inspiration for my new book, I considered,
for at that time I had been experiencing writer's block for several
crabby expression morphed into a gregarious smile as I crossed the
street to his stall.
your attention, didn't I, mate?" His cockney accent cracked,
evident of a lifetime of smoking.
I replied, humored, but still remaining vigilant.
reckon I have gotten something that might interest you then,"
he cackled, revealing a mouth half full of rotting teeth.
I watched on with amusement, he, with exaggerated gesturing, seemingly
vanished under the shabby faded blanket, presumably onto the cracked
pavement below. Seconds later he popped up again and in his wrinkled,
tobacco stained fingers he held a shoe-sized dilapidated wooden
don't think so," I said and was about to turn around, figuring
that nothing more than a sales pitch awaited me, and walk away.
However, the charismatic gleam in his eyes intrigued me enough to
continue farther along with the facade.
so what historical gems are in the box?" I questioned. "Perhaps
the very last quill that Shakespeare ever used. Or, maybe, just
maybe, Edgar Allen's Poe's solid silver moustache trimmer, that
you have had in your possession since you were a small boy and now
feel compelled to sell it to an unsuspecting American tourist? Or
how about possibly even an unfinished manuscript penned by none
other than H.G. Wells himself
that you will permit me to have
for the bargain price of a few hundred pounds
Well, what is
stared intensely at me with penetrating unblinking eyes that were
a curious shade of green.
you must sincerely promise to me that you desire to be a horror
writer more than anything else
And you are prepared to sacrifice
your sanity to fulfill such lofty ambitions." The somber tone
of his voice and the sudden remarkable transformation of his facial
features should have frightened me away
I should, I am convinced,
have turned and run
and had my lunch as I had intendedyet
his mesmerizing gaze somehow only captured curiosity further.
swear," I heard myself ominously saying, almost as if a stranger
was speaking. "I swear."
that, he stood up and leaned in towards me and the insipid foulness
of his body odor and breath made me gasp. However, as he unlocked
the peculiar box and exposed its contents, I gasped for another
far more ominous reason
The box clicked open to reveal a seeming
thousand rays of light and each one seemingly penetrated deep within
the darkest regions of my subconscious. I began to scream at the
uncontrollable intense pain
Yet no-one paid me any attention.
Was it possible that my screaming was only inside my own brain?
As I trembled with agonies that I could never ever have imagined,
I suddenly became aware that the elderly tradesman was actually
was not only laughing at my plight but he was deftly jigging from
one foot to another. I somehow managed to regain some sense of reasoning
and focused intently to his every word as tears flooded my anguished
be a successful horror fiction writer, you need experiences, guv'nor.
That box we just unleashed contained the tortured souls of ten thousand
or more unfortunates. Each horrific atrocious memory has now been
permanently etched deep within your psyche." Then in front
of my eyes, just as I attempted to reach out and grab the fiend
by the throat, he simply vanished. I swear it. There was no sign
of the button man or of his stall.
sat on the curb and sobbed as the full dreadfulness of my fate presented
itself. A chorus of a hundred deafening shrieks bellowed agonizingly
from within my cranium. All at once however, despite my vivid torment,
I abruptly envisioned a narrative so bursting with dread and misery
the world had never seen. I hastily seized my pen and note paper
from my pocket and I began to fervently write.
so that is how I came to write the international best sellerThe
Order of the Eldritch Disciples.