The Terrible Old Man by H. P. Lovecraft
The first story set in the fishing village of Kingsport, which is featured in the later works of the one of the greatest horror writers of all time.
It is rumored that the mysterious old man who lives alone in the small New England town was once a sea captain. It is also rumored that he is hoarding a treasure. When three robbers decide to steal it, they will encounter a bloodthirsty evil unlike any they ever imagined . . .
“The Terrible Old Man is the story of three career criminals looking to rob the eponymous character, an eccentric retired mariner so ancient that no one alive remembers his youth. . . . This is also the first story set in the fictional New England geography that Lovecraft will detail over the course of future writing. . . . So, what we see in these stories is Lovecraft beginning to construct the alternate world which will be the home to his most famous works, at least as much a unifying element of the author’s oeuvre as those details subsequent writers and critics have defined as the ‘Cthulhu Mythos.’ As such, The Terrible Old Man is not only an effective piece of eerie storytelling, it is also an important stepping stone in the development of a bigger Lovecraftian world.” —The Blood-Shed
“A piece of minimalist brushwork, with most of the narrative suggested by negative space . . . In sharp contrast to the central Mythos tales, the horror is allusive and oblique, the violence kept off-stage.” —Tor.com