Title: The Chill Clutch of the Unseen
Author: Kim Newman
In: The Monstrous (Ellen Datlow)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Horror
Dates read: 5th April 2020
Format: Short story
5th sentence, 74th page: It occurred to him that she might have inherited the job of station-master – station-mistress? – while he was paying attention to what might be coming into town as opposed to what was happening right here.
He’s been doing this job for years. Protecting his town from the things that go bump in the night. But, now, he’s found the last monster… and he’s getting old.
This short story starts right in the action. Or at least, right in the waiting for the action and the creepy imagery of an old man just waiting… waiting to kill something. It’s all written from his kind of intense point of view and you just sit there in awe throughout the entire story. Anything that you expect to happen… it quickly doesn’t quite happen the way that you expect it to.
My favourite part of this story is honestly the ending. It rounds out the old man’s life and finishes up his purpose in the world. But, it also hints that whilst his cycle is over, the overall cycle is still continuing. That there is more going on in the world than we would expect and you just sit there contemplating what could be hidden just beneath the surface…
The appearance of the incredibly insane Invisible Man in this story nicely rounded everything out for me. There is something fascinating and entertaining about the story of that man… so I seriously enjoyed reading about him. And his demise. After all, you can’t have a good monster book without the monsters dying at the end…