Death to the dead-line!

Death has again found her way into the Wonderland of Gothic literature: she loves to play hide and seek with the Queen of Hearts, especially when it comes to those who failed to submit something to Why nICHt? You have overstepped the deadline:

Off with your heads!

 Don’t you worry too much, though: Death is very patient and if you are lucky and hide as well as the Purloined Letter, she might spare your life. Another trick to survive: guess the names of all authors and the titles of the literary works we have quoted in our recent posts (tagged with #AlicesAdventuresInGothicLiterature on our Website)

Submit your answer to whynicht@univie.ac.at until December 7th and those 3 lucky ones to have guessed first and right will be rewarded: not only will you keep your head, but a nice surprise awaits you!

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A little dark cloud

Suddenly a little dark cloud landed on her left shoulder, Alice turned abruptly, trying to figure out its shape.
It was impossible to describe. At first it seemed to look like a wolf, but instantly shifted to represent a bizarre clock, which then left her taken aback having turned into a bat. It circled her suspiciously and settled down on a branch on the shape of a huge ebony raven. Alice expected it to caw “Nevermore”, but nothing happened. “Ah, it’s not December yet,” crossed her mind.
The dark mist expanded until it had enveloped Alice like a cloud all around. While she felt an unearthly limb caressing her pale skin, a clear sound of deep voice appeared in her mind, uttering the words the meaning of which was unknown to Alice, and three figures emerged from the fog and were slowly drifting above her. Alice could tell she was a part of a strange soul’s play in which she was a prisoner. How could she escape? She was watching them, two were totally dim, but

“The other was fair, as fair as can be, with great masses of golden hair and eyes like pale sapphires. I seemed somehow to know her face, and to know it in connection with some dreamy fear, but I could not recollect at the moment how or where. All three had brilliant white teeth that shone like pearls against the ruby of their voluptuous lips. There was something about them that made me uneasy, some longing and at the same time some deadly fear. I felt in my heart a wicked, burning desire that they would kiss me with those red lips.”

Alice decided it was high time to escape as the dark silhouettes were approaching fast to embrace her in their midst. She threw the magazine she had carried along at them. “Why don’t you drop dead?!” she furiously yelled as she was leaping over …

Alice was surprised

Alice smiled and reached out her hand…

but instead of the expected feel of a soft fabric, she sensed something rather solid and was surprised to have found a letter in her hand. This strange letter said the following:

„I have lost my darling daughter, for as such I loved her. During the last days of dear Bertha’s illness I was not able to write to you. Before then I had no idea of her danger. I have lost her, and now learn all, too late. She died in the peace of innocence, and in the glorious hope of a blessed futurity. The fiend who betrayed our infatuated hospitality has done it all.”

She saw no signature, no date and wondered who and when could have written it. Suddenly a little dark cloud landed on her left shoulder, Alice turned abruptly, trying to figure its shape and…

And she saw…

And she saw a ghost.

 “It oozed out, a grey cloudy shape about three feet long smelling faintly of woodsmoke, sat down on a chair and began to hum to itself. It looked like a bundle of bedclothes, except that it was not solid: you could see, quite clearly, the cushion on the chair beneath it.”

‘Why woodsmoke?’ crossed her mind, but she smiled and reached out her hand…

„Drop-dead gorgeous you are“

This last October evening Alice felt she wanted to change something. “My hair?” she thought and died it black. “Drop-dead gorgeous you are,” her mirror informed her.
“You are not really dying, are you?” asked Amanda.

“I have the doctor’s permission to live till Tuesday,” said Laura.
“But today is Saturday; this is serious!” gasped Amanda.
“I don’t know about being serious; it is certainly Saturday,’ said Laura.
“Death is always serious,” said Amanda.

The book slipped from her hands and Alice opened her eyes…