Progress Report: Five “R.I.P. X” stories that I’ve Read

Well, I’ve been chugging right along and reading some of my R.I.P. stories whenever I have a window of opportunity.

First I read Edgar Allan Poe’s “Scheherazade’s Thousand-and-Second Night,” a great satire where Scheherezade pushes her luck to tell one more tale, a tale featuring the marvels of Poe’s nineteenth century world. Her husband, having listened to and believed many incredible tales over the past 1001 nights, finds this one just too “out there” even for his credulity.

Next, from the Haunted Legends anthology, I read the enticingly titled story “Spring Heel” by Steven Pirie. (Do you know the legend of Spring-Heeled Jack? My brothers and I were quite taken with it way back in the day. Wikipedia has a robust entry about it.) The story I read tells the tale of a prostitute’s meeting this legendary figure. I liked it.

Then, from Coffin Hop’s “Tall Tales of the Weird West” anthology, I read Grady Cole’s “You Are The Blood.” What do you do when your alternative history’s Wild West is infested with vampires? Send in a gunfighter of course. A special gunfighter. There’s a lot more to this story than that, though. A fun read.

Sunday, somehow during my binge-watching ALL the NFL games (aaaahhh) I squeezed in the Washington Irving story “The Engulphed Convent,” featuring the legend of a convent that, during The Moorish conquest of Spain and facing eminent capture, was swallowed into the ground whole, with nothing remaining save an occasional spectral appearance. Very nice.

Finally, just this morning I read a re-worked Grimm fairy tale, “The Devil With the Three Golden Hairs.” Though I think I’d heard most of the story before (boy born is prophesied to marry the King’s Daughter, King does everything imaginable to thwart the prophecy, King Fails) it was still an enjoyable read, and included a visit to the Devil and the Devil’s mother(!), who actually helps out our hero. I should revisit more fairy tales.

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That’s what I’ve done so far. What have YOU included in your R.I.P. X reading?