The Year's Best Horror Stories, Series IV
In the fourteen stories here we find our share of ghosts and werewolves and vampires, of monsters, of people trapped in (and out of) time and space—but these things don't always take the expected form. Our writers still explore lands that have not yet been settled . . . Our writers know that terra incognita still may lie across a sea or in some uncharted forest; but they also know that it can be as close as the other end of town; or in the same house or building where you now sit reading. It can be locked in your own mind, and with a rusty corroded lock just waiting for a little pressure to make it snap open.
Today's writers are more familiar than the writers of Poe's time with the ways of reaching terra incognita, and they are eager for your company . . .
bell and the packed insistent voices. But there was nothing, except determined conversation in the room behind me, until Jill gripped my arm through the window and whispered urgently, "John, they're in the house. They're coming upstairs." I dragged myself over the sill and fell into the room. I could hear the voices turn at the first landing, mount the stairs lethargically like a gigantic worm. "Where's Bill?" I demanded. "I don't know." "Quickly," I shouted. The voices were bursting forth at
until I was sick from it, but I am sure I couldn't drink any for the test—not even for Kyros. The thought just—" Her face twisted again, and Marc nodded. "Likely enough. And Elitha would be the same, no doubt, though we could ask. We would have to find someone who could be made—forced—to do it." "But how—no, Marc! Not even for Kyros! I wouldn't let you do such a thing to anyone. You must not fight that way!" "I was sure you would feel so. I do myself, a little. I have thought of one other
gone from this pitiless country, only he and the little desert people knew of the hidden pool. He felt himself kin to them—even the scorpion that he saw not far away. His euphoria, brought on by the successful conclusion to his trip, did not last long. The descent never failed to recall to his mind that other plunging below the level of upper earth, which had brought upon himself the dragging curse of inevitable doom under whose threat he labored. Everything reminded him of that implacable foe.
written in rude but passable English. It had taken Wygiff a long time to learn the art of writing, which was unknown among the Celts at the time of his disappearance from their midst two thousand years ago. But the keepers of Broadmoor, an asylum for the criminally insane, had managed to teach him the rudiments of written communication, and had eventually released him as being more or less rehabilitated. They did not really wish to keep in permanent confinement a feebleminded man whose only
offer about being shown the way home. God damn! George sat bolt upright behind the steering wheel. Come to think of it, he had heard of Middle Hamborough before. Surely that was the name of the place the drunk had been looking for—for fifteen years! George hadn't paid much attention to the man at the time, had barely listened to his gabbled, drunken pleading. He'd passed the man off quite simply as some nut who'd heard those fanciful old rumors about people getting lost in the surrounding