Thomas Hood: A Tale of Terror

April 27, 2009

Before I came across this short story I knew Thomas Hood only as a poet. 

This one is in a book of SS collection titled Adventure but I would put it under Terror or Horror or Suspense. Do tell me how you would classify it after you have read it. Luckily, a PDF of the SS is available online.

According to Hood’s son, this story was written hurriedly to fill an unexpected gap in a magazine. The printer’s devil was waiting for copy downstairs while Hood wrote it, handed it to him and asked him to run back to the press.

It is first-person narrative within a first-person narrative.

The action takes place on a hot air balloon that is slowly ascending into the blue sky as bags of sand are emptied one after the other.

With the narrator is a last-minute companion, the original volunteer not having turned up in time.

This fellow-traveller urges the narrator to go higher and higher.

Just the mention of something by his companion and the narrator finds himself in a tizzy.

What happens as the balloon drifts up, up and away?

Read the story and decide for yourself.

http://www.teachit.co.uk/attachments/terror.pdf

In comments do not reveal the end. If you wish to speculate, write me an email.

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