Review: Nocturnes by John Connolly, pt. 5: "Nocturne" and "The Wakeford Abyss"
Demons, ghosts and murderers that look like children play games with our senses and emotions. On the one hand, there is an easy innocence to them, but beyond the light there is something at odds with the good. The juxtaposition of light and dark is reflected in the piano keys that bring the name of the collection to life. The idea that the house's demon could take a form similar to that of a boy's dead brother and try to lure him into the dark is the stuff of horror films. The use of the color yellow in the dead boy's outfit is essential in highlighting everything wrong with the figure inhabiting that body. When the narrator destroys and burns the piano in an effort to exorcise the demon, the yellow of the fire gives contrast to the dark figure writhing within it. And yet, he remains afraid of the music, knowing that behind each white key is a black one; knowing that even if the music is beautiful again, it may be played by something terrifying.
"The Wakeford Abyss"
Again with the spiders. Gross. And these are big ones, too. Deep in the earth, lurking, waiting to corrupt. This story is about a fall from grace. Two men who used to climb moutains opt to reverse their trajectory and rappel into a crevice, ignoring the lore. The dark calls to them, lures them in. Even when they see the horrifying paintings near the lip of the abyss, they continue to sink further and further until the spiders claim them. The rope falls, giving the last one left no hope of redemption, no way out. The light will not take him back. He can only listen and wait for the beasts to take him, and regret having left the mountains.