Nathaniel Hawthorne, "Young Goodman Brown"

A young husband leaves his wife to walk with a stranger in the woods.

(from Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Tales)

“It was strange to see that the good shrank not from the wicked, nor were the sinners abashed by the saints.”

I’ve got some old standby fears: the devil, the woods, the unknown, the darkness. This story had ’em all. And so it gave me that cloudy, falling feeling I felt when I heard Black Sabbath the first time. Part of me kinda reveled in the eeriness, the evil of it. The bad guys are always cooler, of course, but this goes deeper, to an understanding that everybody’s evil, we’re all in the woods swearing allegiance to the devil, just like witches at black masses.
Much props to R.G. for lending me this collection and getting me back on the short story horse. There are lots of places to read this online, including here.

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