Tag Archives: Doodlebug

“Doodlebug” – Fiction by Emily Linstrom

Immortality - Henri Fantin-Latour, 1886
Immortality – Henri Fantin-Latour, 1889

Our Spring 2016 issue is our most invincible issue yet, its pages resounding with time-slaying stories of immortality, reincarnation, and eternal recurrence. And setting the table for this otherworldly affair is “Doodlebug,” Emily Linstrom‘s haunting tale about a family of monstrous immortals hiding out in “a part of London even London has no recollection of…”

{ X }

{ Prologue }

THE HOUSE IS SITUATED ON A CRESCENT ROW, nicknamed by the rustics the “h’moon.” It is not a street you will ever stumble upon, and count yourself lucky for it. The crescent is located in a part of London even London has no recollection of, a corner canopied by centuries of soot and smog, fog off the Thames tapping at the streaked glass panes with wraithlike fingers. The row is silent and, one would suspect, largely abandoned.

Except for one house.

Standing four stories and flanked by an equal number of fluted columns, it is a study in Grecian symmetry: wide steps leading to imposing double doors, the Gorgon’s head knocker stiff with disuse; an iron gate clenches the house—the whole row, in fact—in its jaw, nothing that enters may escape. The silence is a sound unto itself, a weird sort of life that is not alive at all.

The family has a name, ancient and unpronounceable, and that name has been etched over the front door for centuries. And so too have they resided within. For centuries.

Back when Britain was a wild isle ruled by tribes, a general carved a highway into the land and conquered those tribes, and built great temples and fortresses, and erected gods that were not their own, then toppled those gods and replaced them with one. The old ways were set afire, and strong Roman feet trampled the ashes. The city went up, one they could not stop building, expanding, adding on to. The general believed himself a god, and worthy of a god’s lot, and so he built himself a home that could only be called a temple. And did things only a god would dare, until he damned himself and his kin right into monstrous immortality.

Monsters, they truly are. Or would be called, had the world even the vaguest notion of them. Their lives are delivered to the door by an equally obscure messenger, unnamed and unseen, and the h’moon keeps its secrets. Continue reading “Doodlebug” – Fiction by Emily Linstrom