A common tic among the heroes of H. P. Lovecraft's short horror fiction. Many of his works are written in the first person, and are in the form of a journal or a letter left for future generations warning them against meddling in things best left alone. Quite a few end with some unspeakable cosmic monster smashing through the door or window and lurching after the terrified narrator, whom we can be sure will never be seen again.

How do we know that this is happening? Because the narrator tells us. The story will end with something like:

"...even now I can hear the foosteps of that shambling monstrosity, and hear its eerie piping upon the wind. Poor Blakely, he never dreamed - but now the door is being smashed to flinders, and at last I behold what my meddling has awakened! And now it is dragging me across the floor toward its hideous suckered mouths! Ia! Ia! The Goat With a Thousand Young! No!"

One has to wonder if the narrator ever considered running away, or even getting up from his writing desk at some point. Obviously Lovecraft's men are made of sterner stuff than I, and exhibit a dedication to the craft of writing I can only dream of someday emulating.

"No! Unhand my fountain-pen, you fell beast! I'm being paid by the word!"

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