A Month of Short Stories 2017, Day 13 – Hop-Frog by Edgar Allan Poe

Deep Ellum

Over several years, for the month of June, I wrote about a short story that was available online each day of 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 – In September this time… because it is September.

Today’s story, for day 13 – Hop-Frog by Edgar Allan Poe

Read it online here:

Hop-Frog by Edgar Allan Poe

The eight ourang-outangs, taking Hop-Frog’s advice, waited patiently until midnight (when the room was thoroughly filled with masqueraders) before making their appearance. No sooner had the clock ceased striking, however, than they rushed, or rather rolled in, all together–for the impediments of their chains caused most of the party to fall, and all to stumble as they entered.

—-Edgar Allan Poe, Hop-Frog

Everyone has read Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart in school. Everyone is familiar with The Raven, The Pit and the Pendulum, or A Cask of Amontillado. But I bet you haven’t read Hop-Frog.

It is a brutally simple tale of revenge and horror. Never one for subtlety, Poe goes for the jugular here, and delivers. I’m surprised this tale hasn’t been used more often (as has Poe’s other tropes) in modern horror films. It’s a yarn that holds up well, almost two centuries after it was written.

An interesting fact about the story is that, apparently, Poe wrote it as a literary “revenge” against a woman, Elizabeth F. Ellet, and her circle of friends. They had been trafficking in gossip about Poe and alleged improprieties to the extent that Poe’s wife felt they had driven her to her deathbed.

Don’t mess with a short story writer, or you will be immortalized in horror.

Poe on Writing:

I prefer commencing with the consideration of an effect. Keeping originality always in view — for he is false to himself who ventures to dispense with so obvious and so easily attainable a source of interest — I say to myself, in the first place, “Of the innumerable effects, or impressions, of which the heart, the intellect, or (more generally) the soul is susceptible, what one shall I, on the present occasion, select?” Having chosen a novel, first, and secondly a vivid effect, I consider whether it can best be wrought by incident or tone — whether by ordinary incidents and peculiar tone, or the converse, or by peculiarity both of incident and tone — afterward looking about me (or rather within) for such combinations of event, or tone, as shall best aid me in the construction of the effect.

Coal and coke fire, Frisco, Texas.


As I have been looking around the area at local sculptures I have been running into multiple works by local sculptors. I have already put up entries on two works by Joe BarringtonRoadrunner with Lizard and The Headlines Screamed, Baithouse Disappears. I’ve found two more – one can wait – but tonight I give you 4 Ravens, Nevermore!

Joe Barrington
4 Ravens, Nevermore!
2000, metal, paint

Frisco, Texas


4 Ravens, Nevermore!
Joe Barrington

4 Ravens, Nevermore!

4 Ravens, Nevermore!


4 Ravens, Nevermore!
Joe Barrington


4 Ravens, Nevermore!
Joe Barrington

4 Ravens, Nevermore!

4 Ravens, Nevermore!

The Raven, read by Christopher Walken


What I learned this week,February 24, 2012

I stumbled across this image on one of my favorite art-related web sites, But Does it Float. It’s an illustration by Virgil Finlaygreat stuff. I remembered this particular drawing as an illustration for The Tell-Tale Heart, but don’t remember where. Some book sometime long, long ago.

Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.
This is known as “bad luck.”

—-Robert Heinlein

Chin-Up Bar

The Odd Existence of Point Roberts, Washington

Wandering Google Maps can reveal magical geographies.

The world’s tiniest coffee maker brews the world’s tiniest cuppa

Best Burritos in Dallas

  • Monica’s Aca y Alla
  • Mariano’s Hacienda
  • Avila’s Mexican Restaurant
  • La Victoria
  • Good 2 Go Taco
  • Gonzales Mexican Food

Video Piece on the new Woodall Rogers Park by Lexie Hammesfahr

The Raven

Ravens Pharmacy

500 West Jefferson Boulevard, Oak Cliff, Dallas, TX

Ravens Pharmacy, Oak Cliff

And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting

On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;

And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,

And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;

And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor

Shall be lifted – nevermore!

The Raven (last stanza) – Edgar Allen Poe