Our look at Sin's Doorway and Other Ominous Entrances by Manly Wade Wellman continues with his Lovecraft tribute,"The Terrible Parchment." The text can be found here.
The Terrible Parchment***
Summary: A wife surprises her husband with an early copy of the next month's Weird Tales. However, the couple quickly finds out that it is a copy of the Necronomicon instead. As they leaf through it, the Latin and Arabic inside shifts to English text. A spell to summon Chthulhu begs to be read.
This is a fan's tribute to the Lovecraft Mythos, a tongue-in-cheek story that quickly turned dark. It's a fun little popcorn read that's a in-joke with legs. Unfortunately, I'm not familiar enough with the Mythos to appreciate it on a level beyond a couple discovers a creepy dark artifact with a mind of its own and must resist it.
The Pulp Elements:
Action: The Necronomicon is alive, and stalks the couple. The couple runs, hides, and tries to pin the book in place.
Impact: If read aloud, the Necronomicon will summon Chthulhu.
Moral Peril: As usual, if Wellman is not writing a morality play, moral peril is replaced with mortal peril.
Romance: Although the wooing is long in the past, the couple still does little things for each other. Unfortunately, sinister forces took advantage of this natural affection.
Mystery: Is it really the Necronomicon? How can we stop it?