Time for a bit of Occult Horror from author Patrick Elliot and his story Old Odd Ends.
In empty places darkness lives; hidden in small towns citizens find themselves traversing tales that others know to be safely confined in storybooks. Mr. Edward opens bookstores in these hamlets, selling rare works and indoctrinating children into “The Program” for lessons in the art of writing. Despite his oddness there is something about the gentleman that demands enough respect and admiration from the locals and his protégés for him to quietly go about his business.
Thomas, one of Mr. Edward’s most promising pupils, admires and perhaps even loves the old man who nurtures his burgeoning talent for writing and introduces him to Samantha, who will grow to be the love of his life. Sensing something wrong Thomas begins to wonder if the darkness is in him and not his mentor. Between the old shop owner and the love of his life, Thomas’s story takes many twists that his loving mother does not approve of.
Mr. Edward’s motives would thrill the devil himself. Warily keeping his most promising pupil off balance, he mercilessly culls from “The Program” those too weak to serve his sinister ends. Finally only Thomas remains; finding that everything he loves is on the line as he faces the greatest challenge yet, a monster with a familiar face. Two masters of words and magic go head to head with the young author’s soul up for grabs as he challenges one of the great truths of the universe; that no one can write their own happy ending.