A Flight Of Geese by Leslie Norris, 1977
The magic trick:
Building to a truly haunting closing scene
As you read this one, you’ll likely wonder why it’s been suggested as a haunting tale for your October.
It’s a mildly amusing family tale of eccentrics, you’ll think.
What’s so scary about a bunch of old guys sitting around telling stories? you’ll ask.
Just stick with it.
The story surprises by building to a positively chilling scene in its final paragraphs. Truly, it’s one of the most frightening images/scenes I’ve read.
And that’s quite a trick on Norris’s part.
“Clever chap, Eddie,” said my uncle. He turned again to Mr. Carrington. “Jimmy,” he said, “I’m prepared to believe the what you saw up at the Bakers’ was a manifestation. Stands to reason that an animal’s identity is bound up with its sense of place, and, in the case of a domestic animal like a dog, with its owner.” He warmed to his topic. “Our lives – the lives of human beings – are astonishingly manipulated by animals. It is useless to ignore the fact that our lives are deeply influenced by those of animals. Take Eddie D’Arcy as an example.”
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