Genre: Gothic Horror
Type of Short Story: Novelette
Summary: 1969. The Rolling Stones perform a free concert in London’s Hyde Park. Flying high on grass and LSD, Peter, Barnard, Bree, and Tristan rock along with nearly a quarter million people as The Stones make history. With them is Pandora, the once-famous fashion model whose downward spiral into addiction made international headlines, now clinging desperately to the belief that only a power greater than herself can restore her to sanity.
After the concert, these five friends decide to take a weekend jaunt to the country to visit Hampton Close, a crumbling old country house Peter recently inherited from his Great Uncle, Basil Townsend. A former protégé of Aleister Crowley, Basil Townsend was once one of Britain’s most notorious practitioners of the Black Arts.
But inside a locked room at Hampton Close, an ancient evil from a distant land lies festering in the warm, wet darkness, waiting…waiting…waiting…
The rains were heavy that spring. The grounds around Hampton Close were sodden, the canopy of trees so lush and full that swollen limbs prohibited any hope of sunlight from ever reaching the floor of the forest primeval. To walk the wood surrounding Hampton Close was a hazard to the traveler. The flora had rotted into a cesspool of rank detritus leaving the ground a morass of wet leaves and rotten undergrowth. Beneath, benighted creatures roiled and squirmed, thriving on the sustenance of warm decay which enfolded them in its womb.
With the coming of summer, and the heat, the house became a breeding ground for that which thrives in darkness. Not tangible organisms with defined shape and form and measurable weight, but those things which grow just across the border of consciousness in that twilight area accessible only through dreams and precognition, creativity and madness. The house was alone with itself and in its loneliness it turned within and beheld its own living darkness.
The house smiled.
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