Saturday, July 21, 2012

Station Waiting Room

An illustration done for the Lovecraft eZine #15. For a churning tale of unease by horror scribe Simon Kurt Unsworth called 'Station Waiting Room'.
And a fine Gothic style tale it is, things start off dreary and get weird, then dismal and so on until the inevitable end.
Simon knows his way around the average man who lets the world around him define him rather than the other way around. His characters are often flawed to the point of pity, you can feel the weight of each sigh as scenes set in and the creeping dread steadily grows to the point of no return. 'Station Waiting Room' offers up heaps of interesting moments as our main character Gaskin becomes enraptured by the personal story of a distressed local, and his curiosity to "go down the rabbit-hole" against his better judgement pushes him beyond return, no matter how fantastical the circumstances of one mans story seems. Gaskin's dismal day job, daily travel and beige lifestyle allows for him to be sucked into details between the day-to-day banality of life, an inquiring mind like his ought not to know.
Is the town of Middle Fell Drop cursed, is the stranger at the train station insane, haunted or worse? What's lurking in the shadows of this little towns ruined past and what stirs in the ruins of the Station Waiting Room?

'Station Waiting Room' illus. by Nick Gucker ©2012

Seek out more of Simon's books if you get the chance, his personal character portrayals are are always engaging and the bigger scenarios and settings of haunting dread are never what you expect. 
His latest anthology called 'Quiet Houses' (Dark Continents 2011) is a turn-of-the-screw collection that brings back the haunted house style storytelling, where silence is as much to be feared as that of the blowing wind, blades of grass or a creaking floor board. Simon will disturb the dust in your attic and remind you what nerves were meant to do.