In honor of Halloween here is my small homage to Edgar Allen Poe.
As a child I was scared by physical things: violence, blood, disfigurement. I grew up and learned that a damaged mind can be just as chilling. Edgar Allan Poe writes about both. He has always focused more on the monsters in our mind than the ones already unleashed.
I like to think the ‘Cask of the Amontillado’ is Poe’s finest (and scariest). Each time I read it I have to supress a smile at the description of Fortunado. Poe mocks him right down to his name. The irony he employs is so scathing I'm convinced Poe should have wrote comedy.
But even if this story reads like poetry, Poe writes an ending so brutal it is hard not to shudder at Fortunado’s pleas for mercy. The efficiency in which Montresor calculates the death of his nemisis still terrifies me. Long after the story ends the cries of the jester seem to echo from somewhere far away..