The Bells, Bells, Bells, Bells
Foremost among Edgar Allan Poe's stories and poems is the subject of death and its horror. To say that Poe had a morbid fascination understates his preoccupation. A mere glance at a short list of poetry and prose offerings should suffice: "The Raven," "The Pit and the Pendulum," "Annabel Lee," "The Masque of the Red Death," "The Fall of the House of Usher," the last stanza of "The Bells," "The Cask of Amontillado," "The Premature Burial." Many of us have read or are familiar with these pieces---is there an adult who doesn't know "The Raven"?---and we leave them sometimes shocked, sometimes revolted, sometimes with a sense of grief, but always entertained, in the best sense of that word.
Now comes, in this Halloween season, The Mill's own Michael Hopkins and his recently published short story, "Bells." It's a story of plague, bells, and burial, involving two gravediggers called big man and small man, their discussion of bell sayings, the sharing of a flask, and, oh, yes, the digging of a grave. I dare you not to be entertained.
Wait a second. I just heard my doorbell ring. I'll be right back.
Hmm, no one was there. No package, either. Hmm, strange. Wait a sec. It just rang again.