Tonight, I am preoccupied with work, so I decided in advance to compose a chilling little tale by Ambrose Bierce: author, satirist, gadfly. Bierce disappeared in revolutionary-era Mexico after accompanying Pancho Villa's army for a while. Bierce's disappearance was the subject of the 1989 film Old Gringo, hence the title of this post.
Bierce's place in 'weird fiction' will forever be secure by virtue of such horror works as The Damned Thing (which manages to be blackly funny even as it puts a chill up one's spine) and The Boarded Window. Bierce's An Inhabitant of Carcosa, slight as it is, spawned a major horror franchise which still resonates with current writers and fans of the weird.
The first story by Bierce that I read, in 7th grade, was An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge. SPOILER AHEAD- READ THE STORY When The Sixth Sense came out, one of my co-workers told me I HAD to see the movie, and I would never guess the big twist was. I guessed the twist immediately, which kinda freaked her out, and I immediately thought, "She really needs to read her Bierce!"