31 Shots of Shock: #20 – ‘The Kit Bag’ by Algernon Blackwood

31 Shots of Shock *Title: The Kit Bag by Algernon Blackwood
Date Read: 20 October 2009
Available Online?: YES (PDF)
Briefly: Following a rather grisly court case in which the defence managed to win a plea of insanity for murderer John Turk, the criminal KC’s secretary, Johnson, prepares for a skiing trip to the Alps. He sets about packing his kit bag but is disturbed by footsteps climbing the stairs outside his apartment
Afterthoughts: I remember reading an Algernon Blackwood short for last year’s Tales of Terror challenge, and enjoying it thoroughly. This story is no different. It’s creepy, tense, and uncomfortable to read at any time other than midday, making it an archetypal ghost story. I’ve got to admit that there’s creepier tales out there, but this one is wholly suited for Halloween reading.
Notable Quote: He was standing by the door of the bedroom during this brief soliloquy, and as he passed quickly towards the sitting-room to fetch them from the cupboard he saw out of the comer of his eye the indistinct outline of a figure standing on the stairs, a few feet from the top. It was someone in a stooping position, with one hand on the banisters, and the face peering up towards the landing. And at the same moment he heard a shuffling footstep. The person who had been creeping about below all this time had at last come up to his own floor. Who in the world could it be? And what in the name of Heaven did he want?

Rating: ★★★★☆

*Story read as part of my 31 Shots of Shock reading challenge.

About Rob

Rob, a self-confessed bibliophile, is without any hope of rehabilitation. He gets unnaturally excited over anything book-shaped, and if book sniffing were a crime then he would have been locked up years ago (which wouldn't bother him in the slightest provided his cell was lined with books).