Thursday, April 18, 2024

"He Could No Longer Stop the Mystic Juggernaut"

"The Candidate."
By Henry Slesar (1927-2002; Wikipedia HERE; IMDb HERE; The Hitchcock Zone HERE; ISFDb HERE).
First appearance: Rogue, August 1961.
Reprints page (HERE).
Among the reprints:
 - The Fiend in You (1962)
 - 13 Ways to Kill a Man (1965)
 - Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Stories That Scared Even Me (1967)
 - Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Scream Along with Me (1970)
 - Voodoo! (1980)
 - Spells (1985)
 - 101 Mystery Stories (1986)
 - Tales of the Dead (1986)
 - 100 Hair-Raising Little Horror Stories (1993).
Short short story (7 pages).
Online at SFFAudio (HERE).

   "His wishes were always secret things, hidden where no man could know them. But this method was different, more practical, more terrifying."

IF you're planning to join the Society for United Action—but especially if they've already chosen you as a candidate for membership—then you might want to give it some thought
—in fact, make that LOTS of thought. . . . Come to think of it, you might want to forget the whole thing . . .

Principal characters:
~ Burton Grunzer:
  "Suddenly, he was depressed. His enjoyment of remembered victories seemed tasteless."
~ Jean Grunzer:
  "After eight years of a marriage, in which, childless, she knew her husband almost too well, she wisely offered nothing more than a quiet greeting, a hot meal, and the day's mail."
~ Whitman Hayes:
  "Suddenly, ghostlike, he saw the ruddy face of Whitman Hayes before him." 
~ Eckhardt:
  ". . . had only been with the company a year, but he had evidently chosen sides already."
~ Carl Tucker:
  "I assure you, Mr. Grunzer, we will get them all."

References and resources:
- "Murder, Incorporated"; "Black Hand":
  "Murder, Inc. (Murder, Incorporated) was an organized crime group active from 1929 to 1941 that acted as the enforcement arm of the National Crime Syndicate – a closely connected criminal organization that included the Italian-American Mafia, the Jewish Mob, and other criminal organizations in New York City and elsewhere." (Wikipedia HERE.) "Black Hand was a method of extortion practiced by Italian immigrant gangsters of the Camorra and the Mafia, especially in the United States in Italian-American ghettos or neighborhoods." (Wikipedia HERE.)
- "in the war":
  In the 1940s and '50s, when people spoke of "the war" it was always "World War II or the Second World War [which] was a global conflict that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries, including all the great powers, fought as part of two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. Many participating countries invested all available economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities into this total war, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources." (Wikipedia HERE.)
- It has proven to be impossible to overlook the prolific Henry Slesar, as if we would think of doing that: "The Only Thing To Do" (HERE), "The Invisible Man Murder Case" (HERE), "Mission: Murder!" (HERE), and "Policeman's Lot" (HERE).

Unless otherwise noted, all bibliographical data are derived from The FictionMags Index created by William G. Contento & edited by Phil Stephensen-Payne.

No comments:

Post a Comment