“The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson
“Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut: silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone.”
– Shirley Jackson, from her classic 1959 Gothic novel, The Haunting of Hill House
the aforementioned quote is one of those passages which, once read, lingers in the brain like some, dark, sticky resin. it almost refuses to be forgotten. the following short story by the same author has much the same effect. i highly recommended this to any fan of short fiction (or to any fan of Shirley Jackson.) Shirley Jackson’s, “The Lottery” has to be one of my all time favorite short stories if for no other reason than the humanity it unmasks (rather violently) with both hands. …equally, terror is just as at home at the hight of a muggy, lazy, summer day as it ever was during the darkest recesses of the night. terror comes in all shapes and sizes, mind you …just like the stones of the earth.
…the story may be found and read here, should you wish: “The Lottery”
another brilliant work of Jackson’s is The Haunting of Hill House,… the quintessential “haunted house” / ghost story… often imitated, and one of the influences of most, if not all modern horror literature in some form or another… again, often imitated, however always paling by comparison. Shirley Jackson is a genius, and should be shared with others. ( …another work i’ve yet to read [ i do own it, though, and will get to it sooner or later…] is We Have Always Lived in the Castle which is also supposed to be really good.)