Ghost Story Review: "The Power of Darkness" by E. Nesbit

@msiduri (5754)
United States
February 5, 2017 8:02am CST
Edward and Vincent are old school friends seeing off Rose, the belle of the Artists’ Quarter in Montparnasse, from her studio. She’s going to visit her people on the Riviera. Not a single glance from Rose goes Edward’s way—at least not till the very last moment. This doesn’t escape Vincent’s notice, for he loves Rose, as do all the guys. Nevertheless, they are friends. Once Rose is gone, the two agree to spend some time together until Edward has to catch a train back home. They go to the Musée Grévin, which is not so much a museum but a waxworks. Vincent knows a secret about Edward. Edward is afraid of the dark. As a boy of eight, he snuck downstairs after a dinner his parents had for guests to see if there were any goodies left over only to be confronted by a silent figure in white with gray-white hands and a gray-white face. He was terrified. And finding out the next day that what he saw was a statue his father had bought for the dinner did little to ease his terror. Now in the waxworks, both men as fascinated by the figures and scenes they see—Marie Antoinette, the Dauphine, the Christians in the catacombs of Rome. They are so lifelike, but so still. Edward is a little nervous, and Vincent teases him. They make a bet that neither of them could spend a night in the museum. Vincent is convinced this will be the easiest five pounds he’ll ever make. Of course, nothing goes to plan. There is a nice build of suspense as Vincent, alone in the museum starts to get a little edgy. What was that? Talking to Edward must have made him nervous. This can’t end happily. A bit of irony, of course. The story is attributed to Elizabeth Nesbit, but author is Edith Nesbit Bland, more well-known for her children's books. She and her husband were active in the socialist movement in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This story is available at Project Gutenberg: _____ Title: “The Power of Darkness Author: Elizabeth Nesbit (Edith Nesbit Bland) (1858-1924) First published: The Strand April 1905 Source: ISFDB
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/33028/33028-h/33028-h.htm#Page_32
3 people like this
3 responses
@teamfreak16 (40872)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
7 Feb 17
That was definitely not what I was expecting. I like this one.
2 people like this
@msiduri (5754)
• United States
7 Feb 17
I didn't expect this ending either. Glad you liked it.
1 person likes this
• Preston, England
12 Feb 17
Nesbit's work included Five Children And It and The Railway Children - a great children's author
1 person likes this
@msiduri (5754)
• United States
12 Feb 17
She sure did crank them out. And apparently made a decent living doing it. Good for her.
1 person likes this
@JohnRoberts (54222)
• Los Angeles, California
5 Feb 17
The old spend a night in a spooky place on a wager premise has been around a long time.
1 person likes this
@msiduri (5754)
• United States
5 Feb 17
Yeah, it wasn't quite as old when this was written, though. And winning or losing the bet is immaterial by the end of the story.
1 person likes this