Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Another Ghost Story by Saki

In another post I share a synopsis of The Open Window a short ghost story written by H.H. Munro aka Saki in the early 1900s. This review can be found here.

Saki was born in Akyab, Burma (Myanmar) in 1870. When he was two years old, a runaway cow along an English lane killed his mother. He was then left in the hands of his grandmother and two strict aunts.

In 1893, Saki joined the Indian Imperial Police, following in his father’s footsteps but within two years he returned to England suffering from failing health.

He then became a journalist and began to publish books in 1900. Saki was killed by a sniper’s bullet in November of 1916 during the First World War.

Another story Saki wrote is entitled Laura. It reflects his ability to show the ironic side of life.

The story begins with two friends talking. Laura has come to visit her friend Amanda in the country. It quickly becomes apparent that she does not like Amanda’s husband, Egbert.

Egbert had criticized her for letting the collie puppies out so they could go for a run. Laura confesses that she has been “petty and mean” as revenge for Egbert’s fuss, she confesses she messed with two of his favorite things in life—his hens and his garden.

In a not too subtle offhand manner Saki also lets the reader know that Laura is about to die—from something never mentioned.

Laura muses with her friend that for her pettiness she might be reincarnated as a lower life form—an animal—specifically an otter.

What happens next reflects Saki’s ability to tell tales with a sense of fun but also with a macabre twist on life. Can Laura continue her revenge even after death?

The story Laura can be found in a collection of short ghost stories presented by Rex Collins entitled Classic Victorian & Edwardian Ghost Stories.

Or it can read it online here.

Here is an audio version of the story.

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