Encounters With Enoch Coffin by Jeffrey Thomas and W.H. Pugmire

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Enoch Coffin is a proud inhabitant of Massachusetts, an artist following in the footsteps of local legend Richard Upton Pickman. Coffin is an artist with a singular quest: to capture in paint, or ink, or clay -- however he might -- sights that no mortal has ever portrayed in art before...and lived to exhibit. His quest will take him throughout actual New England locations, and that other New England of H. P. Lovecraft, where his models will be doomed souls, ravening ghouls, and entities from beyond the veil.Individually acclaimed for their weird fiction, in this collection of short stories authors W. H. Pugmire and Jeffrey Thomas collaborate to paint the portrait of a character every bit as fascinating and unique as the subjects of his artistic encounters.With haunting illustrations on the front and back cover by renowned illustrator Santiago Caruso and interior illustrations accompanying every story by illustrator Clint Leduc, Encounters with Enoch Coffin is anticipated to be one of the best-selling Dark Regions Press titles of 2013.

Text of Encounters With Enoch Coffin by Jeffrey Thomas and W.H. Pugmire

Enoch Coffin is a proud inhabitant of Massachusetts, an artist following in the footsteps of local legend Richard Upton Pickman. Coffin is an artist with a singular quest: to capture in paint, or ink, or clay -- however he might -- sights that no mortal has ever portrayed in art before...and lived to exhibit. His quest will take him throughout actual New England locations, and that other New England of H. P. Lovecraft, where his models will be doomed souls, ravening ghouls, and entities from beyond the veil.

Individually acclaimed for their weird fiction, in this collection of short stories authors W. H. Pugmire and Jeffrey Thomas collaborate to paint the portrait of a character every bit as fascinating and unique as the subjects of his artistic encounters.

With haunting illustrations on the front and back cover by renowned illustrator Santiago Caruso and interior illustrations accompanying every story by illustrator Clint Leduc, Encounters with Enoch Coffin is anticipated to be one of the best-selling Dark Regions Press titles of 2013.

Read more about Encounters with Enoch Coffin at: http://www.darkregions.com/books/encounters-with-enoch-coffin-by-

Launching for preorder on 02/19/2013

w-h-pugmire-and-jeffrey-thomas

Encounters with Enoch Coffin

W.H. Pugmire and Jeffrey Thomas

Encounters with Enoch Coffin by W.H. Pugmire and Jeffrey Thomas features twelve original interior illustrations by artist Clint Leduc accompanying each story.2

Encounters with Enoch Coffin

W.H. Pugmire and Jeffrey Thomas

Ye Unkempt Thing

I. I met my friend in front of the large green door of the Providence Art Club on Thomas Street, and she led me into the building and to its spacious exhibition room, where a new showing was being set up. Were just waiting for my other two acquaintances that will be joining us, said Candice. They should be here oh, theyve arrived! I turned and greeted the rather ravishing black woman and her tall, handsome companion. Do you two know each other? The black woman said, No, we have just met out front. But I am acquainted with the work and reputation of this artist. The fellow stooped slightly in response and then winked at me, and I sensed that he might be a bit of a rogue. But as he was a friend of a friend, I would suspend judgment until I knew him better. The woman, whose tight yellow dress was really too low-cut and exposed her breasts rather alarmingly, held out a hand, which I took timidly. And you are the Reverend Henry St. Clair, author of Midnight Din and other Weird Stories?

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Encounters with Enoch Coffin

W.H. Pugmire and Jeffrey Thomas

I confessed that I was. The artist, as he was referred to, introduced himself, and then Candice bade us follow her out of the building and down the inclined street to #7, the Fleur-de-Lys Building, which I was especially interested in investigating, as an ancestor of mine had had a small studio there from 1930 until his suicide in 1951. We stopped to admire the fantastic faade of the old building, with its queer design and gargoyles and small paned windows, and then we were let inside. I loved everything about it, its delicious evocation of the past, the stairways and antique paneled doors. One spacious room was crowded with work tables and various paintings, mostly unframed, leaning here and there or hung carelessly on walls. We then followed our hostess to the upper regions and into smaller rooms, and I was certain that I recognized one of them from family photos of my poor deceased relation. As I entered the room, I fancied that the atmosphere subtly chilled, and I hugged myself protectively while the beauteous black woman offered me her strange smile. The past is alive here, is it not? One can feel it on this air breathed in and see it reflected on the windows where modern light is oddly muted. Her words bewildered me, as they seemed meant to have significance especially for me which was absurd, of course; none of these people knew of my familys past relationship with the building; it was not something I confided to others, nor had I expressed its story in any of my fiction. I watched as the dark woman stepped to a window sill that was half in shadow and on which a cluster of dust had settled. I watched, as she bent to that dust and shadow, pursed her lips, and exhaled. Her eyes, as I watched the womans face, darkened, as if suddenly overcast with storm clouds. The afternoon light dimmed on the other side of the room so that we stood in dusky gloom, but my attention was caught by the movement

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Encounters with Enoch Coffin

W.H. Pugmire and Jeffrey Thomas

of the dust onto which the woman had blown that dust that lifted and shaped itself weirdly as it seemed to conjoin with coils of shadow that rose with it. I watched the pygmy shape cavort in its corner on the sill, as if it were engaged in crazy dancing. And then the sun came out from behind clouds and light spilled into the room once more, and where I had imagined I had seen a fantastic shape there was nothing but some few particles of dust that fell so as to gather on the floor. I glanced at the Negress as she reached into the black leather bag that hung from its long two handles that rested on the womans shoulder. She removed a white cloth and dabbed at her moist mouth. We were shown other sections of the building for another half hour, and then returned to the steep hilly street, where we bade Candice goodbye and climbed up to Benefit Street. Theres a great sandwich shop a few blocks down, the artist chimed. My treat, if yall are hungry. I have a hankering to visit the churchyard at St. Johns, where Poe used to court Sarah Helen Whitman, or so legend says. You two interested? I was rather hungry. I have no appetite, the woman informed us, but a visit to the churchyard would enchant me. Im Marceline Dubois, of Sesqua Valley. Youre from Florida, yes? I replied that I was. Then New England must seem almost a foreign land, yes? Such richness of history, such sensation of past things. I turned to the artist. And you? Boston, so this is just like home, creepy burying grounds and all. Come on, Im famished. This sandwich joint is good. Im staying at an old bed and breakfast inn near it and had the best corned beef sandwich ever last night.

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Encounters with Enoch Coffin

W.H. Pugmire and Jeffrey Thomas

A ten minute stroll took us to the caf, and their corned beef sandwich was quite excellent. We walked, we gents, with Miss Dubois between us as we chomped on our food and sipped from our bottled juices. Eventually we came to the steps that took us to the long winding brick pathway that led into the hidden churchyard. We had our old cemeteries in Florida, dating to the early 1800s, but there was certainly a different feel to the one we entered at that moment. The walkway took us toward the back of the venerable church, to a spot of land where we approached some few tabletop tombs that were entirely black with age. The artist leaped onto one of the slabs and danced irreverently. Youre a merry fellow, Mr. Coffin, the black woman addressed him. Would you court a woman in such a place? He stopped his silly capering and looked around. Id bring her here on a moody moonlit night and tell her such a ghastly tale that she would flee in horror, that would be fun. I fear you are not a romantic soul, Mr. Coffin, the woman scolded. Im a beast, mlady, he rejoined, bowing to her and then leaping off the opposite side of the tomb, toward the church. Pah, what the hell is this? We walked to where he stood and saw the curious pile of soiled clothing and bits of bone and other less recognizable debris that lay bundled on the earth. Gawd, it stinks. Somebody meant to bury their pet or mother and changed their mind. Look at that hat, its been gnawed on by graveyard rats, by the look of it. Ever seen anything so filthy? Pah!

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Encounters with Enoch Coffin

W.H. Pugmire and Jeffrey Thomas

It certainly reeks, I expressed, as Miss Dubois left my side and knelt before the pile with the strangest smile on her enchanting face. I watched as she picked up the grimy hat and sniffed at it. You dont want to touch that stuff, my dear. Its coated with heaven knows what. Without answering me, she placed the hat onto the pile and leaned a little closer to the rubble. Subtly, she blew upon the heap, and as she did so the sunset grew a little darker. I watched her eyes as they caught and reflected the gold and amethyst shades of sundown. Well, this has been an enchanting afternoon. I have enjoyed your company, the lady informed us, standing and obviously signifying that our exploit was at an end. It was wonderful to meet you, Mr. St. Clair. I hope we may look forward to a new collection of tales soon? I bowed to her and shook her hand. My publisher has been making encouraging noises in that direction. She turned to the artist. Good day, Mr. Coffin. The handsome man refused her outstretched hand, strode to her and took her into his arms. The pleasure has been all mine, he sang as he lowered his head and pressed his mouth to her exposed bosom. Lets come here alone some night before you leave and Ill spin you a macabre story. I think not, sirrah, she returned as she gently pushed him from her. What curious creatures, I thought, as I walked with them up the red brick path to Benefit Street. I followed Miss Dubois up some steps, and then stopped as, holding onto the black metal handrail, the woman turned to gaze one last time at the ancient church. I turned as well,7

Encounters with Enoch Coffin

W.H. Pugmire and Jeffrey Thomas

and saw the impish figure that watched us from where it stood near one of the flat tombs. Was it a child, perhaps, dressed in outlandish garb? As I watched, it raised one arm and seemed to wa