“The Shredded Tapestry” takes place in early nineteenth-century Bavaria, and pays homage to the great weird tale author Algernon Blackwood with its story of a cursed monastery, a lone English traveler and seeker of curiosities, a dark secret in the catacombs, and a stalking supernatural feline.
Here is a sample from the story:
Richard did not recall that he had knocked, so he twitched as the door started to creak open. Although he felt foolish after his panic, he was relieved to see someone inhabited the grey place.
Warm light spilled from the crack. “Yes? What do you want?”
“If you please,” Richard said in his proficient boarding school German, “I’ve just been robbed. If you wouldn’t mind—”
The voice, which had a peculiar accent, interrupted: “You are out of breath. Are the thieves still near?”
“Uh, no—” Again, he felt a fool, as if he were still walking about with his hands stuck in the air. “I thought there was a large animal after me.”
The light spilled out onto the porch. “Inside! Inside now!” A hand grabbed Richard’s arm and tugged him between the doors. It happened so fast that he might have left his boots on the porch.
As he entered the vestibule, Richard felt a peculiar sensation around his legs. It was as if a fur shawl were rubbing between his ankles, slipping through the door crack and past him. But there was nothing to see after the man slammed shut the heavy doors and dropped down the bar.
“Pardon me, young man,” his abrupt host said, “but the highwaymen here are a vicious class and it’s best if they don’t spy you looking for help.”
Richard was about to mention that the man had reacted, not to news of robbers, but news of the stalking animal. However, the warmth of the inside and the chance for hospitality made him stay quiet. His natural curiosity, which thrived when his life was not in immediate danger of ending, was coming alive again.