Allendale: A Shunned House Part 22

After we told the Fitzgeralds that we had devised a plan to rid Allendale of its problems—we were vague about what we believed those problems to be—my uncle and I took two folding canvas chairs, a canvas cot, and some scientific equipment into the house. We placed these things in the basement during the day and planned to return in the evening for our first vigil. We had locked the door from the cellar to the ground floor; and having a key to the outside cellar door, we were prepared to leave our expensive and delicate equipment—which we had obtained secretly and at great cost—as many days as we might need to keep vigil. It was our plan to sit up together until very late and then watch alone until dawn in two-hour stretches, myself first and then my uncle, the inactive member resting on the cot.

The natural leadership with which my uncle procured the instruments from the laboratories at Austin Peay University and from locked rooms at Fort Campbell, and how he instinctively assumed direction of our venture, was a marvelous commentary on the vitality and resilience of a man of eighty-one. Elias Allen had kept himself in extraordinary health and if not for what happened later would be here in full vigor today. Only three people know what did happen—the Fitzgeralds and myself. I had to tell them because they owned the house and deserved to know what had gone out of it.  And I felt that, after my uncle’s death, they would understand and assist me if some public explanation became necessary. They turned very pale but agreed.


7 thoughts on “Allendale: A Shunned House Part 22

  1. You know, reading it this slowly, I’ve begun to wonder about the Fitzpatricks. Their odd behavior isn’t really noticeable when you read the story all in one sitting. They just sit in the background providing things for the narrator when he needs them, like in this case, when they provide him cover for the completely implausible death of his uncle.

    And that’s exactly the thing! When you read it slowly like this, you wonder “What the fuck is wrong with the Fitzgeralds?” I mean, I love my cousins and I’ve got some second cousins–Heidi and Chris, for instance–that I would be happy to have visit or take out for dinner. Shoot, doing this genealogy thing, I’ve been delighted to meet more distant cousins than that.

    I’m just saying, there’s not a one of them who, if they came to me and said, “Um, Uncle so-and-so and I were in your basement looking at that weird mold and he died. But I totally didn’t kill him. It was the weird mold. That grows off the corpse of a werewolf. Can you give me an alibi if need be?” would find me being all pale but agreeable.

    And, granted, they’re old enough that they either were the landlords for the rock & roll murders or one of their parents’ were and they don’t live in the house but nor do they sell it, so they must have some feelings about its yuckiness, but man, it’s still kind of sketchy.

    I’m just saying, I hope someone looked into Uncle Elias’s will before deciding his death was supernatural.

  2. Maybe everyone in the family is silently terrified of the narrator, and they agree just because it seems to make him stop obsessing on them and their house and just go away. Your unreliable narrator idea grows as quickly as a death fungus on a werewolf corpse!

    You could do a complete rewrite of this story, a la Wide Sargasso Sea, from the point of view of the elderly Mrs. Fitzgerald, watching young nephew crazypants take over her old house, rampage around the countryside terrifying librarians, and finally kill her brother in law.

  3. Oh my god, this idea is so delicious I now want someone to do it for all Lovecraft stories. What’s the one where the guy goes to the shore and finds a town of frog people only to later discover, to his horror, that he is one? That would be deliciously funny from the perspective of a person not convinced of the existence of frog people.

  4. Which would make the Fitzgeralds’ behavior even stranger! But maybe all of the Elias Allens don’t exist. That would be weird and delightful.

  5. The Shadow Over Innsmouth is the one. Dagon-worshipping fish people FTW! It could be fabulously rewritten, since dude has an institutionalized relative that he believes is also a fish person by the end.

    There was actually a not-bad-for-a-B-movie version of it made about 10 years(?) ago called Dagon. It’s notable primarily for not sucking, as most Lovecraft films do.

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