Click Clack the Rattlebag is a story written by Neil Gaiman, a well-known American author. It depicts a story of an author taking his girlfriend’s little brother to bed within a rickety old house. It’s a gothic short story that is amazingly well written and paced, and is easily accessible–you could probably find the story online. If you’re more of an auditory person, here is a video from NYPL with Neil Gaiman narrating the story.
Immediately, one of the things that pop out is the dialogue. This short story has a lot of dialogue, with most of it being spoken within a conversation the two characters have. The dialogue also really sells the two characters within the story, making you feel that they could be at time, at place, maybe fiction, but believable nonetheless. The small kid feels like a small kid with his dramatic exaggerations (which make even more sense later on). The main character is perfect for this kind of story, a vessel from which we journey through the story crafted to draw us in closer to the story and the situation.
It’s a gothic short story which makes it a slight horror story as well, it is woven well within the story as well as the description of the place. Without the description of the place being so specific the unnerving feeling couldn’t have occurred. It’s this mixture of all these elements working together that makes the story a masterpiece of gothic horror. The short story idea also makes the idea flourish well within the tale, making it where each word has value and there can’t be a wasted word. These all build up to the great crescendo that is the ending, which concludes the story subtly yet perfectly.
I truly recommend this short story to anyone who wants a quick read that will keep you on your toes within the darkness.