The Art of Darkness

Unspooky Saturday

November 12th, 2011 by Cobwebs

The second entry in this month’s “Cobwebs channels Myths RETOLD” um…event…is a legend from Arabia. You may already be familiar with this one, since it seems to pop up a lot in books about vampires.


so there’s this rich merchant who has a son named Abul-Hassan
and since he’s rolling in shekels he wants Abul-Hassan to continue the trend of upward mobility and marry the daughter of another rich merchant
but Abul-Hassan sees her portrait and she is so negatively boneriffic that he suddenly decides money can’t buy happiness after all
so he keeps putting off the marriage
then one day he rolls in and tells his dad that he’s fallen in love with some chick named Nadilla
who is supremely hot
but also supremely poor on account of being the daughter of a hermit
I thought hermits lived alone and would thus tend to not wind up with children
but this is apparently not the case so update your mental encyclopedia accordingly

the merchant tries to talk Abul-Hassan
which is fun to say by the way Abul-Hassan Abul-Hassan Abul-Hassan
out of marrying the hot poor chick
but he eventually gives in and winds up with the best I-told-you-so in history
but we’re getting to that

so Abul-Hassan and Nadilla get married and move into their own little house
and the story says they live happily for a while which I guess means they have a normal newlywed relationship
which definitely makes the story ending all the creepier
but we’re getting to that

so Abul-Hassan thinks his hot new wife is great except for one or two little quirks
like she never eats anything ever
and also she gets out of bed every night as soon as he goes to sleep and doesn’t come back until right before dawn
and it is not explained how he knows she does this if he’s asleep but I’m guessing webcam
and after several months of never seeing her eat or sleep he decides that maybe she’s not just a coked-up supermodel and he should investigate further

so one night he just pretends to fall asleep
which seems to be a very common way to fool monsters
so the successful fiend will add “make sure they’re really asleep” to their checklist
and when Nadilla gets out of bed he tiptoes after her
which means the successful fiend should probably add “look behind you occasionally” to the checklist too

so he follows her up the road to a cemetery
protip: if you’re sneaking after somebody in the dead of night and they head for a cemetery
turn around and go get reinforcements because nothing good is going to happen

so Nadilla goes into a tomb that’s conveniently standing there with its door open
and Abul-Hassan sneaks up and peeks in the door
because “post a lookout” isn’t on the checklist
and sees Nadilla with what the story calls a party of ghouls
which sounds like a very festive case of decomposition
and everybody is chowing down on the flesh of corpses
which have been dug up for the occasion
and I guess the story felt the need to clarify that last part
just in case anyone was assuming that there was some kind of rotting-corpse takeout menu available

instead of throwing up on his shoes Abul-Hassan turns around and sneaks back home
resolving to maybe not use tongue the next time he kisses Nadilla
and somehow manages to act natural the next day until dinnertime
but when Nadilla refuses to eat supper he yells at her about her dietary habits vis-à-vis eating the flesh of decomposing corpses
and she leaves in a huff and goes to bed

at which point Abul-Hassan demonstrates that he has the self-preservation instincts of a depressed lemming
by going to bed as usual right next to a woman he has recently witnessed chorfing down human flesh like it was canned chili
so no one in the audience will be surprised when she leaps up at midnight
it’s always at midnight
if I were a ghoul I would attack people in the early afternoon
just to fuck with them
but anyway
she leaps up at midnight and bites his neck
and somehow he manages to fight her off and kill her
and she is buried the next day because “I had to kill her because she was totally a ghoul” is enough of a defense for the local authorities

and then her dad illustrates that he is the shittiest father-in-law of all time by mentioning that yeah, she was sort of dead when Abul-Hassan married her in the first place
because she had been killed by her first husband for “profligacy”
which the dictionary defines as both “shameless dissoluteness” and “reckless extravagance”
so I guess that means she was a money-wasting hobag
which is a valid reason to murder your wife in 15th-Century Arabia
but the death did not take
and she came back as a ghoul

so despite knowing that she already returned from the grave once
Abul-Hassan is surprised for some reason when Nadilla shows back up three days later
at midnight
such a cliché
and tries to suck his blood
but he runs away
and the next morning he opens her tomb
and finds her body looking very lifelike
well duh
and throws it on a fire

which I have a small problem with
because when she was dead the first time
she was totes walking around during the day
but now at a moment convenient to the plot she stays dead during banking hours
but anyway the body is burned to ashes
and Abul-Hassan throws the ashes into the river
and makes a mental note to carefully interview the fathers of any potential future wives and specifically ask whether they’re maybe dead already

the moral of this story is that those who marry for money sell their liberty but those who marry for love may wind up living with a flesh-eating corpse

Posted in Funny Peculiar | 3 Comments »