Well-written story that shouldn't be as well-received as it has been, even by me. When people think of Lovecraft's good stuff, it fits this mold: bizarre delivery of a bizarre idea; local setting; big words and even bigger sentences; vague specificity; unfocused focus--and Providence. Always Providence. (You can read more about the guy in a previous blog entry, here.) Scenes that could've been very scary--the disfigured people staring; the insane woman howling in the upstairs room--are mentioned briefly and done away with. Instead the focus is on the basement dirt, the uncle, the foul odor, the tenants throughout the years who had died or gone insane. And the elbow, of course. Spooky stuff that seemed vampire-like are glossed over; how we got vampires from the giant evil residing beneath the sand floor is a mystery. How acid poured on a giant elbow can drive away a giant evil--and in the form of a misty vapor--is just as confusing.
The story simply should not work. But it does. And well. It is scary. It is catchy. It is fluent and stylistic and creepy. It's got style. Creepy style. If only all of his stuff could have this quality, he would've been much more respected, much more published...His fans have been very kind to him as they continue to strongly celebrate the good and blissfully ignore the bad. All fans do that, of course...but there's been a lot of bad.
This story isn't one of them. It's a keeper.