“The horrible conclusion which had been gradually intruding itself upon my confused and reluctant mind was now an awful certainty. I was lost, completely, hopelessly lost in the vast and labyrinthine recess of the Mammoth Cave.”
The linguistic skill of Lovecraft is apparent from the opening dialogue of this short story, made more amazing by the fact that this story was first drafted when Lovecraft was only 15 years old. Every sentence is eloquently crafted, every word utilized to full effect allowing the reader to fall into that black world he has created.The tale of a nameless narrator who has gotten lost in an enormous cave, whose only means of sight is a torch that is slowly going out. As the light fades, he hears the sound of something approaching…slowly, but steadily. The building tension of what lies behind that veil of darkness of that cave feel like a mystery crime novel leading to its inevitable reveal, and in which so doing so leaves the reader thinking long after the last page has been turned.
This is my very first Lovecraft short story and I am looking forward to reading more! The effective use of language and the deeper meaning of horror had me hooked from the opening sentence until the final word. It is How every sound and feeling is described that for me build up a image of this monstrous beast in my own imagination.