I mentioned last week that I might write a post on the short story “Lazarus” by Russian author Leonid Andreyev, as we are in the Easter season and the story of Lazarus occurs in the Bible as a sort of prequel to the Easter story. For the benefit of those who didn’t spend as much time in Sunday School as I did as a kid, I’ll provide a little recap of the story as found in the Bible before progressing to commentary on Andreyev’s story. Chronicled only in the Gospel of Saint John, Lazarus was a friend of Jesus who lived with his two sisters in the village of Bethany, somewhere near Jerusalem. Jesus gets word that Lazarus has taken ill, but He is either delayed, or delays deliberately, until, by the time He arrives at Lazarus’s home, the man has been dead for four days. Jesus commands Lazarus to arise, and the latter comes out of the tomb still wound in his burial shroud.
Okay, if you can activate your suspension of disbelief and make peace with the idea that Jesus would raise but then abandon Lazarus—who comes back from death much changed—to his new status, then Andreyev’s story is as chilling as they come. It may just be the scariest thing I’ve ever read. It’s not jump-out-at-you scary, not violence-and-bloodshed scary. It’s EXISTENTIALIST scary. It gets under your skin. It’s the tale of a man who returns to life without escaping death; death instead comes back with him, and becomes a part of him. It’s creepy as f*ck. Read it for yourselves at the link below.
WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS (www.evilcheezproductions.blogspot.com, www.facebook.com/evilcheezproductions), specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced and directed (and occasionally acted in) over a dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and Crime genres. His first novel, THE CONFESSIONS OF SAINT CHRISTOPHER: WEREWOLF, is available for purchase here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/734763
MORTUI VELOCES SUNT!