Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Short Story: The Flints of Memory Lane by Neil Gaiman

In Neil Gaiman's Fragile things which is a collection of short fiction and wonders, The Flints of Memory Lane is a true account of a ghost story. Here Neil Gaiman starts with saying that some places are haunted and there is always a reason for that. Then the author speaks of his house, which was built in the grounds of the old house, he had been staying before it was sold by his father. He missed his old house. One night while he was going out to a friend's place, he saw an oddly dressed gypsy woman standing beneath the street lamp, staring up at his house. When he addressed her, she did not answer but looked at him and smiled in a nasty way, that chilled him.

In his own words, he was scared and he walked out of the drive and when he looked back and saw nothing. Profoundly scared, he went over to his friends place and asked his parents to take him home. Although he never saw that woman again, he could not find any reason of her being there. He couldn't find any kind of losure why she had been there. As far as he knew, the house and the grounds were not haunted.

All he remembered was her yellow-black smile under the sodium lamp of the street light and his chilled reaction. In his own words, this is not a great account but he still wrote it down although in his own words, this was not story shaped.
Gaiman's story telling is very good. Even though it is not one of his best acounts, he still manages to make it interesting. While reading it, one does feel the chill he must have endured at the age of fifteen.