Richard Lund, Esq.
Have ye ever created a character who, after killing him off in a tale, continues to haunt your imagination, to ye point where you regret having destroy'd him? This has been ye case with my character of Richard Lund, ye central character in my story "Born in Strange Shadow." Perhaps ye reason this character so "lives" for me is that, when I had my wee cassette recorded and used to record "living letters" on cassette tape to send to various correspondents, "Born in Strange Shadow" was the story that I read into ye tape recorder the moft often; & I had a special deep "sepulchral" voice that I used when speaking the dialogue of Richard Lund; and in thus presenting him in those recordings, I grew strangely fond of him.
Well, of late I have been revising some few of my older tales. This is a habit I have been trying to resist, wanting to concentrate fully on creating new work; but this evening, as I was reclining in bed and sinking into dream, ye image of Richard came to me, and I felt that well-known pang of remorse in having kill'd him at ye end of my short story. And a wee voice whisper'd to my brain, "Honey, you can always rewrite the damn story and not have him hang himself at its conclusion."
"Born in Strange Shadow" is one of my "Pickman's Model" tales, inspir'd by one of my favourite H. P. Lovecraft stories. It was inspir'd mainly by a mention in Lovecraft's tale of one of R. U. Pickman's paintings.
"Occasionally the things were shewn leaping through open windows at night, or squatting on the chests of sleepers, worrying at their throats. One canvas shewed a ring of them baying about a hanged witch on Gallows Hill, whose dead face he;d a close kinship to theirs."
That painting by Pickman figures in my story and supplies my climatic scene. To-night, I am tempted to altar that scene--nay, more than tempted, for I am going to completely rewrite the story, and in doing so hopefully increase its wordage from ye original 2,240 to at least 3,000 words.
(ye novel mention'd in the above video, writ by me and Jeff Thomas, never got started; but eventually he and I will write a second collection of Enoch Coffin tales)