I was about 8 years old when I first heard about the mystery of Harris Burdick. Legend has it that Burdick was interested in having some of his short stories published, so he met with a Publisher to give him the illustrations with captions from his stories in hopes the Publisher would be interested. After giving the illustrations a look, the Publisher tried to get a hold of Burdick for more information, but he never heard back because Burdick had disappeared without a trace!
This mysterious story captured every bit of my young imagination at the time, especially since the teacher had assigned us to make up our own stories based on the original Harris Burdick illustrations and captions. Even after all these years the story still holds its original appeal for me. All of the illustrations have an ethereal yet dark quality about them and leave me wanting to know more.
MR. LINDEN'S LIBRARY
"He had warned her about the book. Now it was too late."
THE SEVEN CHAIRS
"The fifth one ended up in France."
THE THIRD-FLOOR BEDROOM
"It all began when someone left the window open."
"She lowered the knife and it grew even brighter."
If I remember correctly, I chose to write my story on the wallpaper bird about to fly out the bedroom window. You can see more Harris Burdick illustrations along with a better version of the story right here.