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Literature / Valentine

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A short story part of The Never Mythos. It can be found here.

In the heat of the Vietnam War, a crew of three aspiring journalists intending on finding a story to push as their debut follow hearsay to a commune in Italy named Bacio. On the eve of Valentine's Day, the crew stands by to see Bacio's annual festival to commemorate the occasion - and much, much more than first seems. Part of the Never Mythos.

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Tropes:

  • A Party, Also Known as an Orgy: the festival of Valentine's Day is a horrific orgy of insatiable violation and violence.
  • Badass Normal: Henri acquits himself better than most any human in the Never Mythos and easily the best in the short stories. He manages to wound the Padre and escape, vowing to return and finish things.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: There's something in Bacio that gets into people's heads. Anita begins acting bizarre at one point, her very personality altered. Later revealed the Padre and Helen twist you into childlike monsters.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Doug has issues about Henri and Anita, and reacts badly when he thinks Henri has designs on her.
  • Downer Ending: Henri escapes, but Doug and Anita are twisted into the Padre's children and the horrific Valentine's Day orgy begins with Helen plotting to spread the revels further.
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  • Eldritch Abomination: The Padre, of course, Helen's husband. It's a grotesque, monstrous beast, all stitched up, bloated and twisted flesh.
  • Eldritch Location: There is something disturbing and creepy about Bacio, something quite warped.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Seems, so, but Helen doesn't care at all when the Padre is in agony, only obsessed with how love can hurt, rather than any care for it.
  • Happily Married: Helen Valentine claims she's quite happily married and her husband is a nightmarish Eldritch Abomination.
  • Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday: It's Valentine's Day after all. Which is the special day for the Padre.
  • Humanoid Abomination: The people of Bacio are twisted about into horrific monsters by the power of Il Padre.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Henri is initially cautious and non-confrontational when trying to request that he be able to leave Bacio with Anita—but the moment Helen indirectly indicates Anita may be in danger, Henri decides to face whatever's coming next with a hunting knife heedless of his own fear and confusion.
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  • Like Brother and Sister: Henri and Anita are like siblings, so when she begins acting lusty towards him, he begins to suspect something is not quite right.
  • Love Freak: Helen Valentine is obsessed with love and waxes poetic about it, albeit with some darker undertones.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Helen is very, very good at getting people to dance to her tune.
  • Mind Rape: The Padre that lurks in Bacio can completely screw up someone's head.
  • Named Like My Name: Doug notes to Henri that "not all of us can be a Cartier-Bresson"—before adding a "heh," clearly aware of the irony of Henri having the same first name as the revolutionary photographer.
  • Not So Invincible After All: The Padre is capable of being hurt as Henri uncovers before he flees.
  • Only Sane Man: Henri is one of the few people in the entire Mythos to realize something is going horribly wrong and he needs to get the hell out of dodge in Bacio.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Henri and Anita have known one another since they were kids, without a trace of sexual desire whatsoever, so when Anita begins vamping onto him, Henri realizes something is horrifically wrong.
  • Parental Incest: Horrifically, Helen and the Padre's children are the people of Bacio, and participate in dark orgies with them.
  • Ray of Hope Ending: It's a small, small one, but Henri's escaped and he's vowed to return to Bacio with reinforcements—further compounded by the fact the Padre can be injured.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Helen first met her husband in 1520.
  • Sequel Hook: Henri escapes, vowing to return and finish things in Bacio.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Henri decides when things go to far? He's getting Anita and leaving the town as soon as possible.
  • Shrinking Violet: Henri self-admits that he's more comfortable behind the lens rather than talking to people and appears visibly uncomfortable in the presence of anyone aside from his colleagues, leaving the more sociable Doug and Anita to do the talking for him.
  • Town with a Dark Secret: Bacio, a quaint little Italian town follows a mysterious festival called the 'Benedizione del Padre.' It may seem nice, but there's something dark and creepy within.
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