Clive Barker's First Tales
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CLIVE BARKER'S FIRST TALES
The book begins with "The Wood on the Hill", a short story about a bourgeois woman who is soon to learn a terrifying lesson concerning her complete disregard for anyone other than herself.
The second tale, "The Candle in the Cloud", is a novella of dark fantasy which follows three children who discover a magical candle that transports them to a world where a plague-cloud is destroying everything in its wake.
These two tales, the first ever written by Clive, are offered here for the very first time. Their production has been lovingly supervised by Clive himself to ensure that these are not mere books, but works of art to be cherished. Complete with original illustrations and appendices on select editions, First Tales is sure to delight everyone from longtime fans to new readers.
In his own words:
"These two stories represent the two essential structures of fantastique literature. ’The Wood on the Hill’ is about an incursion of unearthly elements into an approximation of our world. ’The Candle in the Cloud’ is about a journey taken by people from our world into another reality. Yin and Yang, if you like. Forces pulling in opposing directions but to achieve the same end: Revelation."
Clive Barker (2013)
How soon? Before tomorrow morn. If not then, not at all. When you have told the keeper this, you will go to the Palace, and tell her majesty that if she wishes to send one of her infernal courtiers, we will be waiting." Wake-Robin nodded and disappeared through the door. "Can he speak at all?" asked Gwen. "He used to be able to," explained Darach, "but when he was only small he began to realise most people did more harm than good with what they said. He came to the conclusion that talking was
All kinds of people, each with his or her separate task, and each believing that their job was the most important, and that they were working the hardest. Hallowe’en grew nearer. In the house, the Duchess was busy picking off names on her guest list and ordering wine and food. One morning, about a week before Hallowe’en, the old sorcerer who had been ordered to make the fireworks arrived with his creations, arms full of brightly- coloured squibs and rockets and ripraps and Catherine wheels and
crevasse, his palms wet with cold sweat. As he touched the edge, and put his weight on it, there was a pattering sound, and the fragile earth gave way beneath his hand. He flung himself back towards Gwen. There was a rush of earth from under him, and his legs were dangling in space. "Gwen!" he yelled. "Give me your hand!" She reached. He clung. The ash crumbled. "Pull!" She dragged her brother towards her, breath coming in agonized gulps. He reached solid ground and clung to her, sobbing.
defeated. Then, from the pit, there came a flickering, which grew and grew and grew, sending great shafts of surging light up the column of darkness which boiled and screamed. The Light grew brighter and brighter, until a wave of white fire exploded from the pit, parting the Cloud before it, and shooting into the air like a fireball. The Cloud was torn apart. The fireball became the Sun, bursting through the Cloud, golden and victorious. The darkness was defeated. There was light in the sky
white. His bleeding ankle stung him back to this world, and gritting his teeth, he hopped and limped his way back to the kitchen door. As he turned the door-knob he remembered the candle, which he still clutched in his hand. For some reason he did not want his mother to see it, so hastily stuffing it into his anorak pocket he opened the door, and fell inside with a yell that brought his mother running. "You'll survive," his mother said unsympathetically, when the ritual of washing and bandaging