Short Story #148: Black Wind by Bill Pronzini

Title:  Black Wind

Author:  Bill Pronzini


Masters of Horror and Supernatural Great TalesThe narrator runs a diner in upstate New York and it's about closing time.  He's set to close early as it is a cold November night and he's recalling the black-wind, a might fierce wind that carries the voices of evil spirits--or at least that's what the local legends say.  A couple enters the diner, dashing his hopes of an early escape.  The couple's body language and then actual language tells him these two are quite at odds and angry with one another.  They appear married (both have wedding bands) but the tension is palpable.  They continue to grumble and show disdain for one another.  Eventually, the man goes out to the car to start it up with the woman is paying for the food.  She's fumbling through her purse, hands him cash and leaves without getting change.  The narrator finds the whole thing strange but he's all the happier to be done with them.  However, as he's closing up, he realizes that the woman had taken one of the knives that were at the counter.  He can only wonder about what she will do with it. 


Here's a story where all of it is in our imagination and yet that makes it all the better.  No gore, no blood, no violence.  Merely, the narrator introducing an idea (the black wind), the couple at odds, and the potential theft of a knife.  However, each adds up to a very interesting tragedy that we may never know if it even happened.  

Short Story #148 out of 365
Rating: 3  (out of 5 stars)
Date Read:  5/26/2014
Source:  Masters of Horror and the Supernatural: The Great Tales, compiled by Bill Pronzini, Barry N. Malzberg, & Martin H. Greenberg.  Bristol Park Books, 1981. 

For a full listing of all the short stories in this series, check out the category 365 Short Stories a year.

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