Well. Last week I didn’t get anything in on the flash challenge, because, as I mention in a couple of places, the day job briefly took on all the power to distract and exhaust of attempting to juggle bears which are on fire (without actually being interesting, alas, alas). This week, there’s no challenge in the hopper, and it only just now occurs to me that I could work up a story based on the previous one, even if I’ve missed the chance to effectively brag about it in the comments of someone else’s blog. Later, on that.
For the moment, though, I wanted to share a picture I’ve just seen over on Facebook:
The description of this photo was “Lovecraft with the Lee boys in West Guilford, Vermont, June 10, 1928.” Before we get into mundanity… I would be somewhat concerned if I were to step out of my Vermont farm-house in 1928 to discover this motley bunch of roughs. This is somewhat before Dillinger, Floyd, Barrow and Parker made the US famous for its swarms of tommy-gunning celebrity thieves, but all the same, this looks like a proper crime-film wrecking crew. From right to left, you’ve got:
- The Burly One whose heart probably isn’t in it. He’s there mainly to try to keep The Kid from getting into trouble;
- The Little Guy with something to prove. If only his brothers hadn’t teased him so, he might have gone off to the city and devoted what is a real potential to something positive, just like Brenda in school told him he could. He never even noticed how much she doted on him;
- The Handsome One, but really just the one who thinks he’s handsome. He also thinks he’s the leader, and is utterly unaware of how badly things are about to spin out of control;
- The Kid, who probably ain’t right in his haid. He tags along, the way he’s always tagged along. They’d have ditched him back at home, if it wasn’t for that one time which he refers to as, “When I hugged Ma too tight and made her cry.”
- The Mastermind, bright only by comparison to the others. Not family, he’s less bound by fraternal loyalty and knows that this runs both ways. All the worse, then, that he’s prone to sudden fits of seething anger. He always carries a straight-razor in his jacket pocket, seldom letting go of it. He calls it Evelyn, and has whispered conversations with it when he thinks the others are asleep.
Heck, you can even picture it as a poster:
Lovecraft and the Lee Boys
These men are dangerous.
DO NOT APPROACH!
Cash reward for information leading to capture of one or all.
For those who take an interest in reality, a very little research reveals the Lees to be neighbours of Vrest Orton, who I will call a journalist with a rather diversified career, and who Lovecraft knew and vacationed with. They’re (probably) not a dangerous bunch of backwoods moonshiners.