A year ago, for the month of June, I wrote about an online short story each day for the month. It seemed like a good idea at the time. My blog readership fell precipitously and nobody seemed to give a damn about what I was doing – which was a surprising amount of work.
Because of this result, I’m going to do it again this year.
Today’s story, for day twenty-three – God of the Razor, by Joe R. Lansdale.
Read it online here:
I’m feeling bad, down, not in a good mood – so I give you what’s on my mind… unadulterated horror.
At least it’s well-written unadulterated horror.
Looking back, last year I had a story by Joe R. Lansdale… I do seem to be repeating a lot of authors. So be it.
Today’s story was the first thing that I ever read by Joe R. Lansdale – and it’s amazing I read anything else. I stumbled across it one day and read it – I’ve revisited it to see if it was a horrific as I remembered it.
It was. It is. Read it and see.
Joe R. Lansdale’s work spans a number of genres, but he always gives you the feeling that there is something horrible moving underneath… and sometime not so underneath.
At any rate, today’s story is not for the faint of heart. It’s a style of ultra-violence, of ultra-horror… where every sentence is crafted to hit all the things that you are afraid of – especially the scary shit that you don’t even dare to think about in your pitiful daily life.
On the other hand, it’s only words on the page. There’s nothing really there other than the usual twenty-six letters arranged in a certain order. Arranged in an order to bring forth basements of stagnant dark water full of rats feasting on decapitated heads, murderous slash-killers moving in moonlight possessed with the spirit of Jack the Ripper, and a man exploring an old house in search of antiques… that sort of thing.
This might not be the kind of thing you like – and that’s fine. I’m not sure it’s something that I like. But it is there and it’s something to see, and… well, be careful about reading it before you go to bed.
“I got this from Donny,” the young man said. “He got it in an old shop somewhere. Gladewater, I think. It comes from a barber kit, and the kit originally came from England. Says so in the case. You should see the handle on this baby. Ivory. With a lot of little designs and symbols carved into it. Donny looked the symbols up. They’re geometric patterns used for calling up a demon. Know what else? Jack the Ripper was no surgeon. He was a barber. I know, because Donny got the razor and started having these visions where Jack the Ripper and the God of the Razor came to talk to him. They explained what the razor was for. Donny said the reason they could talk to him was because he tried to shave with the razor and cut himself. The blood on the blade, and those symbols on the handle, they opened the gate. Opened it so the God of the Razor could come and live inside Donny’s head. The Ripper told him that the metal in the blade goes all the way back to a sacrificial altar the Druids used.”
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