A bit of old Weird Fiction: Architecture: Infernal Machines

Step across the threshold. Darkness is a shroud, re-makes featureless jumbles to monstrous apparitions, but distant light catches the eye, another room in a large, convoluted house, crippled by time and decay. Henley Moore, in his dotage, bought it on a whim, settled in as a concrete foundation into soft dirt…it too, settled into him.

The light beckons, move toward it. The only way to reach the light is to move, and Henley sits within the light, tall, brown and unassuming, cowlicks of grey in his wiry hair, his beard chest-deep.

Green eyes with hints of earthen richness stare ahead, glassy as a doll’s. Stillness like this is seen only in the deep of forests, where time and foot do not move. Great trees would try to emulate this man and fail, for wind would play their branches into waltzes, into polkas, they would tango with one another in the grasp of the wind.

Henley is in the grasp of the house and the house does not often move. Movement is a creaking vessel, a vast behemoth awaking from slumber, groaning and plagued with subtle and tearing pain alike. A continent will move with greater ease than this, gracefully advancing, a song deep in the roar of stone on stone.

Somewhere a window rattles and, likewise, a shudder runs through the petrified form of Henley. He blinks, opens a mouth dry as gypsum made chalk, dust on his tongue. He vibrates. Deep in his throat a gibber of noise made rough by misuse. He moans. No hopelessness in this, no misery. Long this chair has been his resting place, his pedestal, Henley-statue situated for years in the cold cavern of the back reception.

Lopsided piles of furniture surround him, a dam of wood, layered and coated with thick grey, an overgrown kibble that will one day topple and cover him, and then the house will subsume him, his exoskeleton of brick and mortar, of glass and wood, will not contain but consume him…become an infernal machine and destroy him. It is a war of house and man, and Henley knows he has already lost, but there is no despair in losing.

The cold weight of the house is an unbearable burden he longs to be rid of.


© Ren Warom 2008


It’s a bit old, and a bit rough and ready, and maybe a tad overwritten (or more), but I like it and I have expanded it to a longer piece since. That expansion aims for a Lovecraftian atmosphere but hasn’t quite caught it yet. It needs more work that one, as does this, but I kinda like this original. I like the feel of it. I like the fact that I didn’t think much when I wrote it, just put my fingers on a keyboard and let them take me wherever they wanted to go. Hope you enjoy it 🙂


2 thoughts on “A bit of old Weird Fiction: Architecture: Infernal Machines

  1. Hi, Ren! I saw your post in my inbox and I just had to come by. It’s been forever and I apologize. This piece was cool. Now that I know you just let your fingers take you where they wanted to go, I like it even more. There’s something subconscious and organic about the piece now that I know how honest and real it is.
    Very cool! I’ll see you tomorrow for #FF.


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