A Simple Game of Chess

A Simple Game of Chess


Obsessions… that particular someone who for reasons neither rational nor restrained possesses one’s thoughts, preoccupies one’s mind, stains one’s soul with pure, single-minded mania.
Obsessions… the incendiary devices that ignite the passions that sustain us–and threaten  to immolate us within their flames.

Few writers have traveled the dark, twisted corridors of obsession more thoroughly, more nakedly, than Edgar Allan Poe. Thus, the eighth story in my collection The Knife and the Wound It Deals is a Poe-inspired exploration of obsession taken to the extremes of madness… and back again…

“It has been three-hundred and sixty-two days, four and one-half hours since I last saw the shadowed hollow with the twisted tree, that cursed place that haunts my every minute—every second!—in both waking hours and sleep no longer fit for dreams. Everywhere I look—even in this horrid place of beige walls and beige floors and beige faces—I see those tattered leaves fleeing from moss-covered branches; that forest floor fetid and alive with crawling ferns and reaching brambles; and most of all, that crooked, devilish tree with the twisted, grasping arms, the trunk so deformed with gnarls that a hundred malevolent faces seem to seethe in wait for the unsuspecting wanderer.
Tell me, how could one not come to an evil end in such a place?

To read “A Simple Game of Chess” and twelve other Gothic tales of madness, obsession, and revenge, click here to purchase The Knife and the Wound It Deals in paperback or e-book edition.

Film still from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1999)