Tash, in 1931?


[Do I detect a whiff of Tash in this passage from Charles Williams?]

Her voice failed; she heard herself making grotesque noises in her throat, and suddenly over him there fell the ominous shadow... only for a few seconds, then it passed on, and he emerged from it, and his face was towards her, but now it had changed.  Now it was like a vile corpse, and yet still it was uttering things: it croaked at her in answer to her own croakings, strange and meaningless words… croak, croak, croak.  He was coming towards her, and she was trying to run away; and now the blackness had fallen on them both, and the horrid presence of that other filthy being had swept down.  She shrieked and stumbled and fell and it caught her.

Something touched her face: something swept her arm; something enveloped and weighed against her heart.  Her eyes were shut; she had no power to look again.  Her brain was dazed; she had no power to think.  Her mouth was panting horribly; and from it, wrenched by a physical power from a physical consciousness, there came one last and feeble and continuous effort to call Anthony.  "An... An... A... A... A..." she was saying, and the effort became mere gasps as she shook and shrank.  There was something which could save her - something if that something would come.  She lay in a heap and the great flap of great wings beat over her, and she felt them pressing her, and something had hurt her head.  "A... A... A..." she went on moaning, and claws pressed the back of her neck, dreadful, horrible claws.  The smell was working within her… and the wings lifted and again caught her.  She was on her face on the marshy ground, and she was being forced over.  As well as she could she hid herself, but it was all in vain.  There was nothing round her but a hideous and vile corruption, nothing, nothing except a vibration that went rhythmically through her, as if-almost from somewhere within her-a horse were galloping.  And then she heard her name.

Charles Williams
The Place of the Lion (1931)
Chapter Eleven : The Conversion Of Damaris Tighe

1 comment:

Iambic Admonit said...

My guess is that they were both drawing from similar sources rather than from each other. The whole idea of Death personified as a smokey, chilling creature is pretty common in classical lit and mythology, I'd say.