Please go see and hear this haunting dramatization of Schubert’s Erlkönig, which was part of the inspiration for my story, “The Perfect Doll.” Ever since I studied this song in conservatory (music history and piano class, I think; I’m not a singer), I have had a thing for it, and I love the way the paper cutouts capture the spooky tragedy of the story in this YouTube video.
I can’t remember the call that inspired me to write this story. Probably it was a Christmas horror anthology. But I combined my mild disgust at the Elf on the Shelf Santa spy with the elves from pagan traditions like those in the Erlkönig or the Wild Hunt and imagined an earnestly Christian family confronted with the pagan Yule.
As usual I had a fun time writing it, only to realize I had once again, without really intending to, produced something on the edgy side. But, as usual, it has found a home. After placing Theda and Me in Horror USA: California on Soteira Press, I look forward to appearing in another anthology from the press, A Monster Told Me Bedtime Stories, due out August 1. Thanks to Rachele Bowman and any other editors and readers at the press who were involved in selecting “The Perfect Doll.”
I hope you are all healthy, happy, and productive in these difficult times. Now go watch the Erlkönig video!