The wind howled about the house and rain splattered against the panes of my rooftop bedroom window as I lay in the early hours of last night gripped by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu's tale of erotic compulsion and sly vampirism: a beautiful killer insinuates herself in the home of her victim and steals life from the innocent. It might well be an old tale but it feels fresh and right for this time of year. I have been immersed of late in Le Fanu's work and world. Until I read Carmilla I found no sense of eroticism in his writing but it is here in Austian doses. Which is to say it is not full on, more a mannered terror to be sure, but one that will translate well in the telling because it is so perfectly formed.
At some point in the night I heard the tap tapping of wind bare branches against the rain slick window pane of my room. It was only as I finished the novella and turned over for sleep I realised the branches of the tree outside my house were nowhere near tapping distance.