Ethan Allen Poe – Small God of Carnivorous Furniture

[image description: A brown leather armchair sits on patterned carpeting (of a sort one might find in a haunted Colorado hotel) in front of an ancient brick wall. The red eyes at the top of its armrests glower threatening.  A desperate hand reaches up from the crease between seat and chair back, as does a word balloon that reads: “For the love of God, Montressor!”  Text reads, “Ethan Allen Poe, Small God of Carnivorous Furniture, 225”]

• • • • •

(Hello.  This is the Chronicler.  Our Artist doesn’t get many opportunities to address you directly, save through small encoded details in the official portraiture, which I assume will allow him to complete a paragraph somewhere in the order of fifty years from now, so I attempt to show the same restraint.  I must, however, make a small exception in this case:

Ethan Allen may seem like an unremarkable god.  A god of slapstick, a god easily overlooked and forgotten.  But while I have never been among his faithful, he haunted my childhood nightmares for well over a decade, and I don’t think I’m alone in that.  So I am personally glad to have his iconography recorded as a warning to others, and hope this will lessen his grasp over others like me.)

Everyone has encountered one of his shrines.  The chair you can’t get out of; the couch whose cushions constantly steal the remote; the bed where your one-night stand was last seen (and why did they leave without their shoes, anyway?).  Furniture with suspicious intentions is scattered all around the world.

There are some who say that Ethan Allen has been with us since the beginning of man, that he was first called into being in the days when we hadn’t yet figured out that using alligators as benches was a bad idea, when a beanbag and a bear were essentially the same thing.  The carnivorous label was more literal in those days.  Now, while some shelves may seem to thirst for blood and some particularly overstuffed chairs may seem to hunger for children, there are remarkably few fatalities.

This is still the stuff of nightmares.

Mid-century Modern is immune to swallowing the unwary, but inclined to draw blood.  Ikea is the colorful candy shell above the abattoir.  In the end, our furnishings are made from the broken bodies of trees and textiles, or the processed remains of the long-dead, and like all risen corpses, they sometimes hunger to taste the living.

The chase longue is hungry.

Try not to be the flesh that feeds it.

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Join Lee Moyer (Icon) and Seanan McGuire (Story) Monday, Wednesday, and  Friday for a guide to the many small deities who manage our modern  world:

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