Literature Meme- 2/8 Short Stories
The Room in the Tower, by E. F. Benson
For half a second, the horror of the dream took hold of me again. But it quickly passed, and again I felt nothing more than the most intense curiosity. It was not very long before it was amply satisfied.
From the time he was a young man, our narrator was plagued by a recurring nightmare, one which contained nothing horrible on the surface of it. What could possibly be sinister about playing cards with an old friend, then being invited to stay in the room in the tower? Though aspects of the dream changed as he aged, seeing his dream-friend’s family age and sometimes pass away, the ending was always the same, and he always awoke in stark terror. He was never to know why it inspired such fear- until one day the dream came true, and he came face to face with the terrible evil that lurked within the room in the tower.
This story is an excellent example of how gothic horror can still be wonderfully scary in the modern age. E. F. Benson is a master at creating suspense, and my dread mounts with each repetition in the dream- the aging of the family was what did me in, knowing all too well that it had to be truly happening. By the time his friend’s wife offers the narrator the room in the tower for real, I was terrified- but like him, I just had to know what happened next.