"Two or Three" Book Club, Meeting 72
Once again, my crazy timetable meant I had to listen to another radio play in the office, at the end of my shift. This time, I waited until the "witching hour" was almost over . . .
from Beyond Midnight
UPDATE: You can also try the recording in the Matinee Classics archive (Thanks, Brandon!)
Well, that was . . . surprisingly not scary. LOL! It's always a little creepy to think that you've met a ghost (Yes, Bat, really), but I'll bet that everyone saw the big reveal coming from a mile away.
It was also, at first, surprisingly sweet. The ghosts of Johannes and Jenny aren't causing any trouble or unsettling any people. Quite the opposite: they don't even impose on the memories of the people they meet. They just want to finish their wedding trip with a minimum of fuss for everyone else. It's just too bad that Jenny has to do it all in a bloody dress . . .
Of course, the bloody dress is our first clue that they are living a nightmare rather than a dream.
Ghosts aren't normally as mobile as Johannes and Jenny, are they? In the vast majority of stories, they are local entities with very specific haunts, overly attached to the traumas or passions of the past. But these two are constantly on the move, seeing all sorts of interesting places they have never been before and apparently never running out of funds. Quite an enviable lifestyle, if you don't mind the other limitations. Or until you realise that they may have been doing this for maybe a decade--that they may feel compelled to circle the world over and over again, getting no rest. For the curse to be a "fugitive and vagabond over the earth" also turns one into a kind of ghost.
Like all ghost stories, this one is a cautionary tale. Sometimes the unfinished business and the unrealised dreams really do have to be let go, however unfair the circumstances or reasons which set them out of reach. The tragedy of Johannes and Jenny's story may have been that they waited too long to start, but the horror is that they are now always waiting to finish.
One of my professors at uni once said to a roomful of students agonising over a final essay: "You never finish. You just stop." Ghosts, the poor things, can't stop.
What are your thoughts on Under the Hull Tree?
1) What do you think Johannes's nephew will take away from this experience?
2) If the only way you could fulfill your greatest dream were to do it as some kind of "monster," what would you prefer to be?
Next up is "The Undead" from Inner Sanctum Mystery. Listen to it at My Old Radio.
Those who are coming to this episode for the second time may want to check out the "remake" by the Riverside Township Radio Players.
Image Source: The Horror at Relic Radio