Various (Editor: Beech, Mark) - Crooked Houses
Multiple tales of the house, the estate, or the residents within, where a fissure ruptures the foundation.
In “The Sullied Plane” new bride Maxine marvels at how pristine, how perfect, her in-law’s manor is. Perfection extracts a price, however, which she impulsively attempts to uncover.
“The Shepherd’s House” is actually unseen, yet the gnarled owner, the Shepherd, has been witnessed for centuries. And those who spy the Shepherd succumb to terror.
Mother is a faded Southern belle, highly strung, riddled with delusions. In her childhood, she had fashioned a construct, as well as a pact, with her brother – her precious brother – the golden son. When he mysteriously summons her, Mother hurries her family to “The Psychomanteum.”
Owen, Mandy and son Adam move into the run down house. A fixer-upper to be sure, but more Importantly a fresh start. Owen blusters good cheer and optimism, while Adam broods, mourns the old home, and clings to his mother. Mandy, the close lipped sort, nestles in the cellar where she crafts a “Doll’s House.”
“At Lothesley, Montgomeryshire, 1910,” the house exists as more shell than ruin, and had been for more than one hundred years. The Crown wonders if it is worth preserving, so they dispatch a professor, conscientious if less than careful with things that ought not be disturbed.
“House Of Sand” strikes me as the most Aickmanesque of the stories. Told by an unreliable narrator, the impressive home and well heeled guests seem to alter every half hour.