I listened to “The Town Manager” by Thomas Ligotti while driving to work, my skin attempting to crawl out of its skin. Leaving my car for the sweltering sauna that is Nebraska in August, I finally exhaled—my breath a frost-chilled plume.
Or so I imagined as I contemplated the story I had just experienced. Elegantly narrated by Anson Mount, this story is more terrifying to me than the alien or the supernatural. Why? Because it addresses the very real monstrosity of complacence.
How much control will you surrender before you finally resist, especially when control is taken from you in little increments that don’t seem all that bad?
What’s the price of your resistance? Must survival mean becoming the monster?
Listen, and decide for yourself:
“The Town Manager” was first published in Weird Tales, September-October 2003.