Some people see things that others cannot. Tales of Mystery and Imagination. “The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown” (H.P. Lovecraft).

Greg Egan: Closer

Nobody wants to spend eternity alone.

("Intimacy," I once told Sian, after we'd made love, "is the only cure for solipsism." She laughed and said, "Don't get too ambitious, Michael. So far, it hasn't even cured me of masturbation.")

True solipsism, though, was never my problem. From the very first time I considered the question, I accepted that there could be no way of proving the reality of an external world, let alone the existence of other minds - but I also accepted that taking both on faith was the only practical way of dealing with everyday life.

The question which obsessed me was this: Assuming that other people existed, how did they apprehend that existence? How did they experience being? Could I ever truly understand what consciousness was like for another person - any more than I could for an ape, or a cat, or an insect?

If not, I was alone.

I desperately wanted to believe that other people were somehow knowable, but it wasn't something I could bring myself to take for granted. I knew there could be no absolute proof, but I wanted to be persuaded, I needed to be compelled.

No literature, no poetry, no drama, however personally resonant I found it, could ever quite convince me that I'd glimpsed the author's soul. Language had evolved to facilitate cooperation in the conquest of the physical world, not to describe subjective reality. Love, anger, jealousy, resentment, grief - all were defined, ultimately, in terms of external circumstances and observable actions. When an image or metaphor rang true for me, it proved only that I shared with the author a set of definitions, a culturally sanctioned list of word associations. After all, many publishers used computer programs - highly specialised, but unsophisticated algorithms, without the remotest possibility of self-awareness - to routinely produce both literature, and literary criticism, indistinguishable from the human product. Not just formularised garbage, either; on several occasions, I'd been deeply affected by works which I'd later discovered had been cranked out by unthinking software. This didn't prove that human literature communicated nothing of the author's inner life, but it certainly made clear how much room there was for doubt.

Unlike many of my friends, I had no qualms whatsoever when, at the age of eighteen, the time came for me to "switch." My organic brain was removed and discarded, and control of my body handed over to my "jewel" - the Ndoli Device, a neural-net computer implanted shortly after birth, which had since learnt to imitate my brain, down to the level of individual neurons. I had no qualms, not because I was at all convinced that the jewel and the brain experienced consciousness identically, but because, from an early age, I'd identified myself solely with the jewel. My brain was a kind of bootstrap device, nothing more, and to mourn its loss would have been as absurd as mourning my emergence from some primitive stage of embryological neural development. Switching was simply what humans did now, an established part of the life cycle, even if it was mediated by our culture, and not by our genes.

Javier Redal: El horror sin nombre

Javier Redal, El horror sin nombre, Relatos de terror, Horror stories, Short stories, Science fiction stories, Anthology of horror, Antología de terror, Anthology of mystery, Antología de misterio, Scary stories, Scary Tales, Science Fiction Short Stories, Historias de ciencia ficcion, Salomé Guadalupe Ingelmo

Es una desgracia que los científicos, que por la naturaleza de su trabajo deberían ser tolerantes y abiertos hacia las ideas nuevas, se muestren con harta frecuencia mezquinos, egoístas y burlones con los innovadores. Han pasado siglos, pero aún impera entre los grandes académicos -eso son, y no científicos- el «Magister dixit» de la Edad Media.
El caso del recientemente fallecido doctor Miguel Torres, químico, es doblemente terrible. Se ha ignorado su descubrimiento, pero ese mismo descubrimiento le acarreó una espantosa muerte. Aunque al aludir a incredulidad, debo admitir que gran parte de la culpa recayó en el propio doctor Torres. En sus conversaciones solía hablar con ironía de las normas de prestigio entre la sociedad científica: en la sociedad aristocrática se valora al hombre por sus antepasados, en la capitalista por la riqueza que posee... y en la científica, por el número (más que por la calidad) de sus publicaciones. Como dicen los anglófonos, «publish or perish»; publica o perece. Yo le conocí debido a su interés por la bioquímica, a la que llamaba «el Gran Arte de la Edad Aactual», como la alquimia lo fue en el medievo. Trabajé para él cierto tiempo, luego dejamos de vernos, y lo volví a encontrar años más tarde... poco antes de su muerte.

El primer atisbo del horror en que se vio envuelto lo tuve justamente entonces; en dos años que no le había visto, el tiempo había trancurrido muy veloz en él. Su rostro arrugado y cansado parecía haber envejecido veinte años.
Caminábamos por la calle; era uno de esos atardeceres nublados y sombríos, en los que el sol parece tener prisa en ocultarse tras enormes nubes negras, como un anticipo de la noche. Había llovido todo el día de forma lenta y contínua, pero ya había cesado a esa hora, y a mí siempre me ha gustado el olor del aire limpio y húmedo. Súbitamente, al volver una esquina, una repentina ráfaga de fetidez asaltó nuestros olfatos. Hice la mueca de repulsión obligada en estos casos, y me volví hacia él. Pero mi acompañante se vio afectado de manera singular: palideció repentinamente, al tiempo que una expresión de inefable terror aparecía en su rostro. Fui a decirle la explicación inmediata: sin duda, unos obreros estaban limpiando la alcantarilla cercana; pero no tuve tiempo. La tapa circular de hierro se alzó, empujada por un hombre desde abajo, y Torres se desmayó tras lanzar un grito de terror como jamás lo escuché en un ser humano.

Brian W. Aldiss: Neanderthal Planet

Brian W. Aldiss, Neanderthal Planet, Relatos de terror, Horror stories, Short stories, Science fiction stories, Anthology of horror, Antología de terror, Anthology of mystery, Antología de misterio, Scary stories, Scary Tales, Science Fiction Short Stories, Historias de ciencia ficcion, Salomé Guadalupe Ingelmo

Hidden machines varied the five axioms of the Scanning Place. They ran through a series of arbitrary systems, consisting of Kolmogorovian finite sets, counterpointed harmonically by a one-to-one assignment nonnegative real numbers, so that the parietal areas shifted constantly in strict relationships projected by the Master Boff deep under Manhattan.
Chief Scanner—he affected the name of Euler— patiently watched the modulations as he awaited a call. Self-consistency: that was the principle in action. It should govern all phases of life. It was the aesthetic principle of machines. Yet, not three miles away, the wild robots sported and rampaged in the bush.
Amber light burned on his beta panel.
Instantaneously, he modulated his call number.
The incoming signal decoded itself as "We've spotted Anderson, chief." The anonymous vane-bug reported coordinates and signed off.
It had taken them Boff knew how long—seven days—to locate Anderson after his escape.
They had done the logical thing and searched far afield for him. But man was not logical; he had stayed almost within the shadow of the New York dome. Euler beamed an impulse into a Hive Mind channel, calling off the search.
He fired his jets and took off.
The axioms yawned out above him. He passed into the open, flying over the poly-polyhedrons of New Newyork. As the buildings went through their transparency phases, he saw them swarming with his own kind. He could open out channels to any one of them, if required; and, as chief, he could, if required, switch any one of them to automatic, to his own control, just as the Dominants could automate him if the need arose.
Euler "saw" a sound-complex signal below him, and dived, deretracting a vane to land silently. He came down by a half-track that had transmitted the signal.
It gave its call number and beamed, "Anderson is eight hundred meters ahead, chief. If you join me, we will move forward."
"What support have we?" A single dense impulse.
“Three more like me, sir. Plus incapacitating gear."
“This man must not be destructed."
"We comprehend, chief." Total exchange of signals occupied less than a microsecond.
He clamped himself magnetically to the half-track, and they rolled forward. The ground was broken and littered by piles of debris, on the soil of which coarse weeds grew. Beyond it all the huge fossil of old New York, still under its force jelly, gray, unwithering because unliving. Only the bright multishapes of the new complex relieved a whole country full of desolation.

José Carlos Canalda: Manuscrito encontrado en un manicomio

José Carlos Canalda, Manuscrito encontrado en un manicomio, Relatos de terror, Horror stories, Short stories, Science fiction stories, Anthology of horror, Antología de terror, Anthology of mystery, Antología de misterio, Scary stories, Scary Tales, Science Fiction Short Stories, Historias de ciencia ficcion, Salomé Guadalupe Ingelmo

Descubrí que algo iba mal un día en que, al levantarme por la mañana, me encontré con un hermoso cardenal en la espinilla derecha. Yo no recordaba en absoluto haberme dado ningún golpe ni en la pierna ni en ninguna otra parte del cuerpo, pero a juzgar por el tamaño y el color del moretón el golpe debería haber sido de consideración... Y me dolía el condenado, me dolía como si me lo hubiera dado.

Intrigado por el origen de la magulladura, pero apremiado por la hora de entrada al trabajo, me apliqué apresuradamente una crema analgésica y salí pitando de casa. Con el ajetreo, primero del tren y después de la oficina (para ser lunes la jornada había comenzado fuertecilla), me olvidé completamente del cardenal... Hasta que al volver a casa me di un fuerte golpe en la espinilla lastimada al tropezar con el estribo del tren.

Maldije la maldita casualidad que había hecho que me diera dos golpes justo en el mismo sitio, pero al fin y al cabo, peor hubiera sido, me dije, fastidiarme las dos piernas. Además el cardenal no me dolía más que antes, con lo cual casi me di por contento.

Pasaron varias semanas y tanto el dolor como el hematoma acabaron desapareciendo, mientras la feroz rutina devoraba mi vida. Yo ya había olvidado el peculiar incidente, cuando una tarde comenzó a dolerme la muñeca de un modo terrible. Era domingo y yo estaba viendo tranquilamente una película en la televisión, con lo cual ni siquiera me quedaba el recurso de pensar que se hubiera tratado de una mala postura en la cama.

Recurrí de nuevo a la pomada analgésica, pero esta vez el dolor era demasiado fuerte y ni siquiera las pastillas que tomé a continuación consiguieron aplacarlo. Varias horas más tarde, en vista de que la muñeca me dolía cada vez más, decidí acudir al médico de urgencias. El ambulatorio estaba cerca de casa, apenas a diez minutos andando, por lo que resolví ir a pie. Entonces empezaron los problemas. Había llovidotodo el día y el suelo se encontraba encharcado. No había previsto esta circunstancia, y llevaba un calzado de suela lisa bastante inadecuado, así que ocurrió lo que tenía que ocurrir. Al saltar para evitar un charco resbalé y me caí cuan largo era en mitad de la calle. Más corrido que una mona y con el orgullo doliéndome más que cualquier otra parte del cuerpo —por fortuna apenas hubo espectadores del humillante tropiezo— volví a mi casa para cambiarme de ropa, ya que la que llevaba puesta había quedado bastante malparada... Y de zapatos, por supuesto, ya que la muñeca me dolíacada vez más y no podía eludir una visita al médico.

Gene Wolfe: The Detective of Dreams

Gene Wolfe, The Detective of Dreams, Relatos de terror, Horror stories, Short stories, Science fiction stories, Anthology of horror, Antología de terror, Anthology of mystery, Antología de misterio, Scary stories, Scary Tales, Science Fiction Short Stories, Historias de ciencia ficcion, Salomé Guadalupe Ingelmo

I was writing in my office in the rue Madeleine when Andrée, my secretary, announced the arrival of Herr D_____. I rose, put away my correspondence, and offered him my hand. He was, I should say, just short of fifty, had the high, clear complexion characteristic of those who in youth (now unhappily past for both of us) have found more pleasure in the company of horses and dogs and the excitement of the chase than in the bottles and bordels of city life, and wore a beard and mustache of the style popularized by the late emperor. Accepting my invitation to a chair, he showed me his papers.

"You see," he said, "I am accustomed to acting as the representative of my government. In this matter I hold no such position, and it is possible that I feel a trifle lost."

"Many people who come here feel lost," I said. "But it is my boast that I find most of them again. Your problem, I take it, is purely a private matter?"

"Not at all. It is a public matter in the truest sense of the words."

"Yet none of the documents before me—admirably stamped, sealed, and beribboned though they are—indicates that you are other than a private gentleman traveling abroad. And you say you do not represent your government. What am I to think? What is the matter?"

"I act in the public interest," Herr D_____ told me. "My fortune is not great, but I can assure you that in the event of your success you will be well recompensed; although you are to take it that I alone am your principal, yet there are substantial resources available to me."

"Perhaps it would be best if you described the problems to me?"

"You are not averse to travel?"


"Very well then," he said, and so saying launched into one of the most astonishing relations—no, the most astonishing relation—I have ever been privileged to hear. Even I, who had at first hand the account of the man who found Paulette Renan with the quince seed still lodged in her throat; who had received Captain Brotte's testimony concerning his finds amid the Antarctic ice; who had heard the history of the woman called Joan O'Neal, who lived for two years behind a painting of herself in the Louvre, from her own lips—even I sat like a child while this man spoke.

When he fell silent, I said, "Herr D_____, after all you have told me, I would accept this mission though there were not a sou to be made from it. Perhaps once in a lifetime one comes across a case that must be pursued for its own sake; I think I have found mine."

Carlos Buiza: Asfalto

Carlos Buiza, Asfalto, Relatos de terror, Horror stories, Short stories, Science fiction stories, Anthology of horror, Antología de terror, Anthology of mystery, Antología de misterio, Scary stories, Scary Tales, Science Fiction Short Stories, Historias de ciencia ficcion, Salomé Guadalupe Ingelmo

El intenso brillo del sol reverberaba en las calles y en las blancas fachadas de las casas; el hombre deambulaba, sudando, bajo el calor del verano.

—¡Dios, debe hacer mil grados!

Debía andar, sin embargo; el médico le había dicho que cinco o seis kilómetros diarios, por lo menos. Era, quizá, la primera vez que lamentara la corta distancia entre su casa y el trabajo. Veía de vez en cuando algunas personas apresuradas que huían del calor de la calle, visiones fugaces que desaparecían por cualquier esquina. La goma del bastón y la guarda metálica de su pierna derecha, escayolada, establecían un ritmo de percusión, lleno también de calor y abotargamiento. El sombrero de esterilla le protegía, pero hacía bajar por su frente gotas de sudor que él enjugaba de vez en cuando, deteniéndose.

«Es un día agobiante..., un día de infierno», pensaba el hombre.

Después de haber recorrido algunas manzanas procurando mantenerse siempre al resguardo de la sombra, emprendió, como todos los días, el regreso a su casa.

Un perro sin collar, vulgar y feo, le asustó al salir inesperadamente de una esquina. Alargó el bastón para ahuyentarle, y el perro cambió de dirección, cruzando la calle. A su vez, el hombre se dispuso a cruzarla. Miró a ambos lados, inútilmente, pues no pasaba ningún vehículo. Apoyó el bastón en el caliente asfalto y adelantó una pierna; pero el bastón permaneció rígido en el mismo punto y casi le hizo perder el equilibrio. El hombre juró entre dientes. Tiró de él. Estaba bien fijo en el reblandecido alquitrán. Bajó de la acera, sintiendo cómo la guarda metálica de la pierna se hundía también en la pastosa mezcla.

—¡Maldita sea, debo ser imbécil! —dijo en voz alta.

Apoyándose en su pierna sana hizo presión con el pie. Pero el hierro se había clavado rígidamente y parecía no querer salir de allí. Se ayudó con las manos, tirando de la escayola y, a cada intento, la cara se le ponía más colorada; después se dio cuenta que el zapato también se había hundido un poco, privando a la pierna sana de movimiento.

Comprendió que se había clavado en el asfalto, sin posibilidad de salir, a no ser que recibiese ayuda.

Clive Barker: Sex, Death and Starshine

Clive Barker, Sex, Death and Starshine , Relatos de terror, Horror stories, Short stories, Science fiction stories, Anthology of horror, Antología de terror, Anthology of mystery, Antología de misterio, Scary stories, Scary Tales, Science Fiction Short Stories, Historias de ciencia ficcion, Salomé Guadalupe Ingelmo

Diane ran her scented fingers through the two days’ growth of ginger stubble on Terry’s chin.
“I love it,” she said, “even the grey bits.”
She loved everything about him, or at least that’s what she claimed.
When he kissed her: I love it.
When he undressed her: I love it.
When he slid his briefs off: I love it, I love it, I love it.
She’d go down on him with such unalloyed enthusiasm, all he could do was watch the top of her ash-blonde head bobbing at his groin, and hope to God nobody chanced to walk into the dressing-room. She was a married woman, after all, even if she was an actress. He had a wife himself, somewhere. This tête-à-tête would make some juicy copy for one of the local rags, and here he was trying to garner a reputation as a serious-minded director; no gimmicks, no gossip; just art.
Then, even thoughts of ambition would be dissolved on her tongue, as she played havoc with his nerve-endings. She wasn’t much of an actress, but by God she was quite a performer. Faultless technique; immaculate timing: she knew either by instinct or by rehearsal just when to pick up the rhythm and bring the whole scene to a satisfying conclusion.
When she’d finished milking the moment dry, he almost wanted to applaud.

The whole cast of Calloway’s production of Twelfth Night knew about the affair, of course. There’d be the occasional snide comment passed if actress and director were both late for rehearsals, or if she arrived looking full, and he flushed. He tried to persuade her to control the cat-with-the-cream look that crept over her face, but she just wasn’t that good a deceiver. Which was rich, considering her profession.
But then La Duvall, as Edward insisted on calling her, didn’t need to be a great player, she was famous. So what if she spoke Shakespeare like it was Hiawatha, dum de dum de dum de dum? So what if her grasp of psychology was dubious, her logic faulty, her projection inadequate? So what if she had as much sense of poetry as she did propriety? She was a star, and that meant business.
There was no taking that away from her: her name was money. The Elysium Theatre publicity announced her claim to fame in three-inch Roman Bold, black on yellow:
“Diane Duvall: star of The Love Child.”

Daniel Mares: Los herederos

Daniel Mares, Los herederos, Relatos de terror, Horror stories, Short stories, Science fiction stories, Anthology of horror, Antología de terror, Anthology of mystery, Antología de misterio, Scary stories, Scary Tales, Science Fiction Short Stories, Historias de ciencia ficcion, Salomé Guadalupe Ingelmo

Soy Pizarro, y esto es lo que sé que es cierto: mi padre, Descartes, nació de una cerda, y yo igual que él. Con cuatro años decidió tener un hijo, un primer nacido, pues ya había cumplido con tres vástagos naturales y era supervisor del sector dos. Su petición ascendió, y Noé consideró oportuno permitirle tener un varón, la Seguridad capturó a la cerda más apropiada y nací yo. Mi madre natural fue Joplin, ya reciclada. Yo me eduqué en los cánones Primero y Quinto, y prosperé en ellos, hasta ser superior en el Quinto canon. Luego pasó el tiempo y llegó la guerra.
El canon Quinto no es por naturaleza belicoso, todo lo contrario; es el menos dado a los juegos de la guerra de entre todos los cánones. Por desgracia tuvimos que afrontar días muy turbios a pie de trinchera, pues nuestro lugar como lectores del Legado nos lo imponía. Con todo esto sólo quiero justificar por qué mi ayuda de campo era Shelley, del Segundo canon. Los Irregulares de Pizarro éramos la unidad de observadores del Quinto, el único grupo de combate en toda la historia de mi canon; difícilmente encontraríamos a alguien entre nosotros con la suficiente destreza para salir con bien de la lid. Yo, por mi nacimiento, era el indicado para el mando y, una vez conocido mi destino, busqué un asistente que pudiera cumplir con las funciones de general. Shelley era una competente oficial y se mantenía en muy buenas relaciones con el Quinto, interesándose más por las lecturas de los Legados que en las labores de guerra.
Un día en que los rebeldes del Sexto habían sido tan brutalmente aplastados que el olor a pólvora y cadaverina impregnaba el aire y se metía en la ropa hasta hacer imposible separarse de él, un día de sombras en que la luna ocultaba al sol y se veía como una gigantesca esfera de inquietante fosforescencia verdosa a punto de desplomarse sobre nosotros, ese día, el de mi tercer cumpleaños, Shelley dijo que me amaba. Yo estaba sentado sobre los restos de un muro ruinoso, el decorado apropiado para las postrimerías de una matanza, contemplando la luna, las siluetas oscuras de los sauces, y pensando en la sangre que había visto y en la que posi­blemente vería al día siguiente; ella se sentó a mi lado y lo susurró. La conocí veintiocho meses atrás, y simplemente la consideré mi ayuda de campo, la persona que daría de verdad las órdenes a los Irregulares mientras yo trataba de alejarme de la locura. Jamás vi en ella belleza alguna: su piel coriácea, sus espinas, sus ojos de fuego me parecían más de animal que de mujer. Pero ella me ama­ba, o así lo decía. Acaricié su duro cuerpo con mis manos y la besé, sintiendo la frialdad en sus labios. Mis dos brazos del canon la des­nudaron torpemente; nunca he aprendido a moverlos bien a pesar de las numerosas operaciones que he padecido para mejorar su coordinación. Ella rió ante mi desmaña, y pronto acabamos en el suelo húmedo, quién sabe si de sangre.

Shirley Jackson: The Lottery

Shirley Jackson, The Lottery,  Relatos de terror, Horror stories, Short stories, Science fiction stories, Anthology of horror, Antología de terror, Anthology of mystery, Antología de misterio, Scary stories, Scary Tales, Science Fiction Short Stories, Historias de ciencia ficcion, Salomé Guadalupe Ingelmo

The morning of June 27th was clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full-summer day; the flowers were blossoming profusely and the grass was richly green. The people of the village began to gather in the square, between the post office and the bank, around ten o'clock; in some towns there were so many people that the lottery took two days and had to be started on June 2th, but in this village, where there were only about three hundred people, the whole lottery took less than two hours, so it could begin at ten o'clock in the morning and still be through in time to allow the villagers to get home for noon dinner.
The children assembled first, of course. School was recently over for the summer, and the feeling of liberty sat uneasily on most of them; they tended to gather together quietly for a while before they broke into boisterous play, and their talk was still of the classroom and the teacher, of books and reprimands. Bobby Martin had already stuffed his pockets full of stones, and the other boys soon followed his example, selecting the smoothest and roundest stones; Bobby and Harry Jones and Dickie Delacroix-- the villagers pronounced this name "Dellacroy"--eventually made a great pile of stones in one corner of the square and guarded it against the raids of the other boys. The girls stood aside, talking among themselves, looking over their shoulders at the boys, and the very small children rolled in the dust or clung to the hands of their older brothers or sisters.
Soon the men began to gather, surveying their own children, speaking of planting and rain, tractors and taxes. They stood together, away from the pile of stones in the corner, and their jokes were quiet and they smiled rather than laughed. The women, wearing faded house dresses and sweaters, came shortly after their menfolk. They greeted one another and exchanged bits of gossip as they went to join their husbands. Soon the women, standing by their husbands, began to call to their children, and the children came reluctantly, having to be called four or five times. Bobby Martin ducked under his mother's grasping hand and ran, laughing, back to the pile of stones. His father spoke up sharply, and Bobby came quickly and took his place between his father and his oldest brother.
The lottery was conducted--as were the square dances, the teen club, the Halloween program--by Mr. Summers. who had time and energy to devote to civic activities. He was a round-faced, jovial man and he ran the coal business, and people were sorry for him, because he had no children and his wife was a scold. When he arrived in the square, carrying the black wooden box, there was a murmur of conversation among the villagers, and he waved and called. "Little late today, folks." The postmaster, Mr. Graves, followed him, carrying a three- legged stool, and the stool was put in the center of the square and Mr. Summers set the black box down on it. The villagers kept their distance, leaving a space between themselves and the stool, and when Mr. Summers said, "Some of you fellows want to give me a hand?" there was a hesitation before two men, Mr. Martin and his oldest son, Baxter, came forward to hold the box steady on the stool while Mr. Summers stirred up the papers inside it. 

Clarice Lispector: Macacos

Clarice Lispector, Macacos, Relatos de terror, Horror stories, Short stories, Science fiction stories, Anthology of horror, Antología de terror, Anthology of mystery, Antología de misterio, Scary stories, Scary Tales, Science Fiction Short Stories, Historias de ciencia ficcion, Salomé Guadalupe Ingelmo

Da primeira vez que tivemos em casa um mico foi perto do Ano-Novo. Estávamos sem água e sem empregada, fazia-se fila para carne, o calor rebentara — e foi quando, muda de perplexidade, vi o presente entrar em casa, já comendo banana, já examinando tudo com grande rapidez e um longo rabo. Mais parecia um macacão ainda não crescido, suas potencialidades eram tremendas. Subia pela roupa estendida na corda, de onde dava gritos de marinheiro, e jogava cascas de banana onde caíssem. E eu exausta. Quando me esquecia e entrava distraída na área de serviço, o grande sobressalto: aquele homem alegre ali. Meu menino menor sabia, antes de eu saber, que eu me desfaria do gorila: "E se eu prometer que um dia o macaco vai adoecer e morrer, você deixa ele ficar? e se você soubesse que de qualquer jeito ele um dia vai cair da janela e morrer Iá embaixo?" Meus sentimentos desviavam o olhar. A inconsciência feliz e imunda do macacão-pequeno tornava-me responsável pelo seu destino, já que ele próprio não aceitava culpas. Uma amiga entendeu de que amargura era feita a minha aceitação, de que crimes se alimentava meu ar sonhador, e rudemente me salvou: meninos de morro apareceram numa zoada feliz, levaram o homem que ria, e no desvitalizado Ano-Novo eu pelo menos ganhei uma casa sem macaco.
Um ano depois, acabava eu de ter uma alegria, quando ali em Copacabana vi o agrupamento. Um homem vendia macaquinhos. Pensei nos meninos, nas alegrias que eles me davam de graça, sem nada a ver com as preocupações que também de graça me davam, imaginei uma cadeia de alegria: "Quem receber esta, que a passe a outro", e outro para outro, como o frêmito num rastro de pólvora. E ali mesmo comprei a que se chamaria Lisette.
Quase cabia na mão. Tinha saia, brincos, colar e pulseira de baiana. E um ar de imigrante que ainda desembarca com o traje típico de sua terra. De imigrante também eram os olhos redondos.
Quanto a essa, era mulher em miniatura. Três dias esteve conosco. Era de uma tal delicadeza de ossos. De uma tal extrema doçura. Mais que os olhos, o olhar era arredondado. Cada movimento, e os brincos estremeciam; a saia sempre arrumada, o colar vermelho brilhante. Dormia muito, mas para comer era sóbria e cansada. Seus raros carinhos eram só mordida leve que não deixava marca.
No terceiro dia estávamos na área de serviço admirando Lisette e o modo como ela era nossa. "Um pouco suave demais", pensei com saudade do meu gorila. E de repente foi meu coração respondendo com muita dureza: "Mas isso não é doçura. Isto é morte". A secura da comunicação deixou-me quieta. Depois eu disse aos meninos: "Lisette está morrendo". Olhando-a, percebi então até que ponto de amor já tínhamos ido. Enrolei Lisette num guardanapo, fui com os meninos para o primeiro pronto-socorro, onde o médico não podia atender porque operava de urgência um cachorro. Outro táxi. — Lisette pensa que está passeando, mamãe — outro hospital. Lá deram-lhe oxigênio.

Salomé Guadalupe Ingelmo: Mors tua vita mea

Salomé Guadalupe Ingelmo, MORS TUA VITA MEA, escritora madrileña, escritora española, Relatos de misterio, Tales of mystery, Relatos de terror, Horror stories, Short stories, Science fiction stories, Anthology of horror, Antología de terror, Anthology of mystery, Antología de misterio, Scary stories, Scary Tales, escritora madrileña, escritora española, Relatos de misterio, Tales of mystery, Relatos de terror, Horror stories, Short stories, Science fiction stories, Anthology of horror, Antología de terror, Anthology of mystery, Antología de misterio, Scary stories, Scary Tales

No sabíamos entonces quién sería el siguiente en morir para servir de alimento, como el pobre desgraciado que acabábamos de despachar.
Owen Chase (primer oficial del Essex), Narrative of the Most Extraordinary and Distressing Shipwreck of the Whale-Ship Essex

El compañero, un hombre bajito y rechoncho, contempla con terror el pedazo de cuerda que sostiene entre sus temblorosos dedos. Comprende inmediatamente que la suerte está echada. El encargado de su ejecución lo despacha rápido con un abrecartas. Con la maestría del carnicero, proceden a descuartizarlo. Para hacer la tarea más llevadera, primero le cortan la cabeza, las manos y los pies. Después lo despellejan. Sin esos signos de identidad tan humanos, podría ser un cordero o un ternero. Les proporcionará unos treinta kilos de carne. Lo suficiente para ir tirando durante un tiempo, hasta ser rescatados. Corazón, hígado y riñones, más perecederos, se consumirán primero. Luego cortarán tiras de carne de la espina dorsal, costillas y pelvis.
Deberían racionarlo escrupulosamente, pero una vez liberado el voraz apetito, ni siquiera esperan a cocinarlo. Los hombres se lanzan sobre el cadáver caliente. Probado el festín, sus miradas se vuelven feroces. La saliva fluye junto a los jugos gástricos. Y cuanto más comen, más hambre sienten. Sólo cuenta el instinto más básico y animal, una voluntad amoral ‒incluso inmoral‒ de sobrevivir a cualquier precio.
Es la ley del mar, el canibalismo de supervivencia. Acabados los víveres, los náufragos echan a suertes quién servirá de alimento al resto. Son cosas que suceden en los desastres. Lo comprobó la tripulación del Mignonette en 1884 y la del Essex ‒cuya desgracia inspiró a Melville‒, en 1821. Y antes, en 1765, los marineros del Peggy. Y en 1710, los del Nottingham Gallery... En los casos de extrema necesidad, la moral puede relajarse excepcionalmente: la conciencia aprende a prescindir de los remordimientos.

Remy de Gourmont: Péhor

Remy de Gourmont, Péhor, Relatos de terror, Horror stories, Short stories, Science fiction stories, Anthology of horror, Antología de terror, Anthology of mystery, Antología de misterio, Scary stories, Scary Tales, Science Fiction Short Stories, Historias de ciencia ficcion, Salomé Guadalupe Ingelmo

Nerveuse et pauvre, imaginative et famélique, Douceline fut précocement caresseuse et embrasseuse, amusée de passer ses mains le long de la joue des garçonnets et dans le cou des fillettes qui se laissaient faire comme des chattes. Elle se mettait, à propos de rien,

à    baiser les mains tricotantes de sa mère, et quand on la reléguait en pénitence sur une chaise, elle jouait à faire claquer ses lèvres sur ses paumes, sur ses bras, sur ses genoux qu’elle dressait nus l’un après l’autre ; alors elle se regardait. Telle que les curieuses, elle n’avait aucune pudeur. Comme on la grondait en termes grossièrement ironiques, elle se prit d’une tendresse de contradiction pour le coin méprisé et défendu ; les mains suivirent les yeux. Elle garda ce vice toute sa vie, ne s’en confessa jamais, le dissimula avec une effrayante astuce jusque parmi ses crises d’inconscience.
Les exercices préparatoires de la première communion la passionnèrent. Elle quémandait des images, des sous pour en acheter, volait celles de ses compagnes dans leurs paroissiens. Les Saintes Vierges lui plaisaient peu ; elle préférait les Jésus, les doux, ceux dont les joues lavées de rose, la barbe en flammes, les yeux bleus s’inscrivaient dans la diffuse lumière d’une auréole. L’un, avec une visitandine à ses pieds, lui montrait son cœur rutilant, et la visitandine articulait : « Mon bien-aimé est tout à moi et je suis toute à lui. » Sous un autre Jésus aux regards tendres et un peu loucheurs, on lisait : « Un de ses yeux a blessé mon cœur. »

D’un Sacré-Cœur piqué par un poignard giclait du sang couleur d’encre rose, et la légende, avilissant une des plus belles métaphores de la théologie mystique, portait : « Qu’est-ce que le Seigneur peut donner de meilleur à ses enfants que ce vin qui fait germer les vierges ? » Le Jésus d’où fusait ce jet de carmin avait une face affectueuse et encourageante, une robe bleue, historiée de fleurettes d’or, de translucides mains très fines où s’écrasaient en étoile deux petites groseilles : Douceline l’adora tout de suite, lui fit un vœu, écrivit
au dos de l’image : « Je me donne au S.-C. de Jésus, car il s’est donné à moi. »
Souvent, entrouvrant son livre de messe, elle contemplait la face affectueuse et encourageante, murmurait, en la portant à sa bouche : « À toi ! À toi ! »

Quant au mystère de l’Eucharistie, elle n’y comprit rien, reçut l’hostie sans émotion, sans remords de ses confessions sacrilèges, sans tentatives d’amour : tout son cœur allait à la face affectueuse et encourageante.

Cependant, comme succédané au catéchisme de persévérance, on lui fit lire le « Bouclier de Marie. » Un passage où était notée la préférence de Jésus pour les belles âmes et son dédain des beaux visages l’intéressa. Elle se regarda, des heures entières, dans un miroir, se jugea jolie, décidément, eut du chagrin, souhaita d’enlaidir, pria avec ferveur, se donna la fièvre, se réveilla un matin avec des boutons plein la figure. Dans le délire qui suivit, elle proférait des mots d’amour. Guérie, elle remercia Jésus des marques blanches qui lui trouaient le front, se livra à de longues éjaculations, à genoux, derrière un mur, sur des pierres aiguës. Ses genoux saignaient : elle baisait les blessures, suçait le sang, se disait : « C’est le sang de Jésus, puisqu’il m’a donné son cœur. »

Harlan Ellison: I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream

Harlan Ellison, I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream , Relatos de terror, Horror stories, Short stories, Science fiction stories, Anthology of horror, Antología de terror, Anthology of mystery, Antología de misterio, Scary stories, Scary Tales, Science Fiction Short Stories, Historias de ciencia ficcion, Salomé Guadalupe Ingelmo

Limp, the body of Gorrister hung from the pink palette; unsupported hanging high above us in the computer chamber; and it did not shiver in the chill, oily breeze that blew eternally through the main cavern. The body hung head down, attached to the underside of the palette by the sole of its right foot. It had been drained of blood through a precise incision made from ear to ear under the lantern jaw. There was no blood on the reflective surface of the metal floor.

When Gorrister joined our group and looked up at himself, it was already too late for us to realize that, once again, AM had duped us, had had its fun; it had been a diversion on the part of the machine. Three of us had vomited, turning away from one another in a reflex as ancient as the nausea that had produced it.

Gorrister went white. It was almost as though he had seen a voodoo icon, and was afraid of the future. "Oh, God," he mumbled, and walked away. The three of us followed him after a time, and found him sitting with his back to one of the smaller chittering banks, his head in his hands. Ellen knelt down beside him and stroked his hair. He didn't move, but his voice came out of his covered face quite clearly. "Why doesn't it just do us in and get it over with? Christ, I don't know how much longer I can go on like this."

It was our one hundred and ninth year in the computer.

He was speaking for all of us.

Nimdok (which was the name the machine had forced him to use, because AM amused itself with strange sounds) was hallucinating that there were canned goods in the ice caverns. Gorrister and I were very dubious. "It's another shuck," I told them. "Like the goddam frozen elephant AM sold us. Benny almost went out of his mind over that one. We'll hike all that way and it'll be putrified or some damn thing. I say forget it. Stay here, it'll have to come up with something pretty soon or we'll die."

Benny shrugged. Three days it had been since we'd last eaten. Worms. Thick, ropey.

Nimdok was no more certain. He knew there was the chance, but he was getting thin. It couldn't be any worse there, than here. Colder, but that didn't matter much. Hot, cold, hail, lava, boils or locusts it never mattered: the machine masturbated and we had to take it or die.

Ellen decided us. "I've got to have something, Ted. Maybe there'll be some Bartlett pears or peaches. Please, Ted, let's try it."

I gave in easily. What the hell. Mattered not at all. Ellen was grateful, though. She took me twice out of turn. Even that had ceased to matter. And she never came, so why bother? But the machine giggled every time we did it. Loud, up there, back there, all around us, he snickered. It snickered. Most of the time I thought of AM as it, without a soul; but the rest of the time I thought of it as him, in the masculine the paternal the patriarchal for he is a jealous people. Him. It. God as Daddy the Deranged.

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Tales of Mystery and Imagination

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