*Title: ‘The Voice in the Night’ by William Hope Hodgson
Date Read: 04 October 2010
Available Online?: YES
Briefly: Adrift in the Northern Pacific, the crew of a schooner are one night suddenly called upon from the water by a mysterious old man. Insisting on total darkness and refusing vehemently to pull his rowing boat aside the schooner, the old man begs for food for himself and his wife. Why does the old man have such an over-cautious nature, and why he is seemingly adrift in the middle of the Pacific Ocean? The reader will soon find out.
Afterthoughts: There’s nothing like a good old Edwardian terror tale to chill the blood and this one is as good as any I’ve read. However, rather than being a story that sets out to startle, the terror in ‘The Voice in the Night’ comes from the abhorrent position that a pair of souls find themselves in. I challenge anyone not to have complete empathy for their situation.
Notable Quote: It came to me then in a flash, that the poor old creature out there in the darkness, was SUFFERING for actual need of that which Will held in his arms; and yet, because of some unintelligible dread, refraining from dashing to the side of our little schooner, and receiving it. And with the lightning-like conviction, there came the knowledge that the Invisible was not mad; but sanely facing some intolerable horror.
*Story read as part of my 31 Shots of Shock reading challenge.