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).

Edward Frederic Benson: In the Tube

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"It's a convention," said Anthony Carling cheerfully, "and not a very convincing one. Time, indeed! There's no such thing as Time really; it has no actual existence. Time is nothing more than an infinitesimal point in eternity, just as space is an infinitesimal point in infinity. At the most, Time is a sort of tunnel through which we are accustomed to believe that we are travelling.

"There's a roar in our ears and a darkness in our eyes which makes it seem real to us. But before we came into the tunnel we existed for ever in an infinite sunlight, and after we have got through it we shall exist in an infinite sunlight again. So why should we bother ourselves about the confusion and noise and darkness which only encompass us for a moment?"

For a firm-rooted believer in such immeasurable ideas as these, which he punctuated with brisk application of the poker to the brave sparkle and glow of the fire, Anthony has a very pleasant appreciation of the measurable and the finite, and nobody with whom I have acquaintance has so keen a zest for life and its enjoyments as he. He had given us this evening an admirable dinner, had passed round a port beyond praise, and had illuminated the jolly hours with the light of his infectious optimism. Now the small company had melted away, and I was left with him over the fire in his study. Outside the tattoo of wind-driven sleet was audible on the window-panes, over-scoring now and again the flap of the flames on the open hearth, and the thought of the chilly blasts and the snow-covered pavement in Brompton Square, across which, to skidding taxicabs, the last of his other guests had scurried, made my position, resident here till to-morrow morning, the more delicately delightful. Above all there was this stimulating and suggestive companion, who, whether he talked of the great abstractions which were so intensely real and practical to him, or of the very remarkable experiences which he had encountered among these conventions of time and space, was equally fascinating to the listener.

"I adore life," he said. "I find it the most entrancing plaything. It's a delightful game, and, as you know very well, the only conceivable way to play a game is to treat it extremely seriously. If you say to yourself, 'It's only a game,' you cease to take the slightest interest in it. You have to know that it's only a game, and behave as if it was the one object of existence. I should like it to go on for many years yet. But all the time one has to be living on the true plane as well, which is eternity and infinity. If you come to think of it, the one thing which the human mind cannot grasp is the finite, not the infinite, the temporary, not the eternal."

"That sounds rather paradoxical," said I.

Max Aub: Yo soy modisto

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YO SOY MODISTO. No lo digo por halagarme, mi reputación está bien cimentada: soy el mejor modisto del país. Y aquella mujer, que se empañaba en que yo la vistiese, llegaba a su casa y hacía de su capa un sayo, dicho sea con absoluta propiedad. Sobre aquel traje verde se echó la echarpe de tul naranja de su conjunto gris del año pasado, y guantes color de rosa. Até disimuladamente el velo a la rueda del coche. El arranque hizo lo demás. ¡Que le echen la culpa al viento!

Pere Calders: Coses de la providència

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I

Me'n recordo molt bé: feia dos anys que hom m'havia comunicat un augment de sou i era ben felic, tan felic que semblava menti da en una època com ara aquella.
Vaig llevar-me tard, i el primer gest de la jornada fou obrir de bat a bat la finestra de la meva cambra i donar una ullada al món, amb el profund convenciment que jo el dominava una mica i el judici clar que, tal cornerà, estava bé.
Em vaig posar la meva millor roba i em plau de dir que feia goig, emparant-me en el fet que en el temps que som la gent no estima la modèstia fingida. Pot afirmar-se que aquell dia estrenava bigoti, perquè després de la darrera afaitada havia pres forma i lluia amb personalitat.
No caldria dir-ho, però vai més deixar les coses ben establertes: feia un mati de sol i ens trobàvem poc més o menys en piena primavera. El carrer va guanyar amb la presència meva, i més d'una noia, en passar a prop meu, es girava per mirar-me el bigoti d'esquitllentes.
Em sentia poderós, clarivident, entenia una colla de coses que sempre havia trobat obscures i em sembla que, si és que els reis i els emperadors es veuen assistits d'un estat de gràcia especial en la comesa de llur ofici, deu èsser un estat com el que en aquell diumenge m'embellia la vi da.
Sóc minuciós en la descripció d'un moment espiritual tan notable perquè la gent es faci ben bé càrrec que jo no tenia cap preocupació, que em sentia ben normal a la meva manera i que res no feia preveure que m'hagués de passar la cosa realment extraordinària que va passar-me després. La vi da dona capgirells quan hom els espera menys, i això, per més que la filosofia ens ho vulgui fer entendre, ens sorprèn sempre.
No tenia pas ganes de perdre'm l'aire lliure aquell dia. Necessitava la tebior del sol i poder clavar els ulls ben lluny i veure forca gent i coses animades. Vaig anar-me'n cap al Pare, a passejar la meva glòria; és gairebé segur que encomanava als altres el meu engrescament, perquè les persones que em voltaven somreien, sense saber bé què els passava.
Fou un bon mati des de tots els punts de vista, que com moltes coses bones va passar de pressa. Las de veure Hors i claror de dia, content d'haver fet passador el captiveri d'alguna fera donant-li les llepolies que el cos li demanava, va arribar-me l'hora de dinar, i ni massa lent ni massa cuitós vaig anar-me'n cap a casa.
A l'escala vaig palpar-me la butxaca de les claus, amb l'instintiu gest quotidià. I vaig comprovar que no les duia. «Les has oblidades en el vestit de cada dia», vaig dir-me sense patir-hi gens, perquè comptava que la Irene, la serventa vella que tenia cura de mi, m'obriria.
Vaig trucar, i sabeu qui va obrir-me? Em va obrir un senyor de mitja edat, amb patilles, embolicat amb una bata ratllada de blau i de blanc com la que jo usava.
—Dispenseu—vaig dir—. Dec haver-me equivocat de pis.
—Aquí somal tercer pis, primera porta —respongué ell—. Se us ofereix quelcom?
El tercer pis, primera porta, d'aquella escala era casa meva. Per tant, si en mi no ni havia error, el qui s'errava era el senyor de mitja edat. A mes, mirant de cua d'ull, vaig veure que els mobles del rebedor eren els meus i que el paper de l'empaperat era el que havia escollit jo mateix en una ocasió no llunyana.
Vaig adoptar un posat sever:
—Qué hi feu, a «casa meva»? Que sou parent de la Irene potser? L'home va sorprendre's i em contesta amb bonhomia:

Edgar Allan Poe: Four Beasts in One: The Homo-Cameleopard

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Chacun a ses vertus.
CRÉBILLON'S Xerxes.

ANTIOCHUS EPIPHANES is very generally looked upon as the Gog of the prophet Ezekiel. This honor is, however, more properly attributable to Cambyses, the son of Cyrus. And, indeed, the character of the Syrian monarch does by no means stand in need of any adventitious embellishment. His accession to the throne, or rather his usurpation of the sovereignty, a hundred and seventy-one years before the coming of Christ; his attempt to plunder the temple of Diana at Ephesus; his implacable hostility to the Jews; his pollution of the Holy of Holies; and his miserable death at Taba, after a tumultuous reign of eleven years, are circumstances of a prominent kind, and therefore more generally noticed by the historians of his time than the impious, dastardly, cruel, silly, and whimsical achievements which make up the sum total of his private life and reputation.

Let us suppose, gentle reader, that it is now the year of the world three thousand eight hundred and thirty, and let us, for a few minutes, imagine ourselves at that most grotesque habitation of man, the remarkable city of Antioch. To be sure there were, in Syria and other countries, sixteen cities of that appellation, besides the one to which I more particularly allude. But ours is that which went by the name of Antiochia Epidaphne, from its vicinity to the little village of Daphne, where stood a temple to that divinity. It was built (although about this matter there is some dispute) by Seleucus Nicanor, the first king of the country after Alexander the Great, in memory of his father Antiochus, and became immediately the residence of the Syrian monarchy. In the flourishing times of the Roman Empire, it was the ordinary station of the prefect of the eastern provinces; and many of the emperors of the queen city (among whom may be mentioned, especially, Verus and Valens) spent here the greater part of their time. But I perceive we have arrived at the city itself. Let us ascend this battlement, and throw our eyes upon the town and neighboring country.

"What broad and rapid river is that which forces its way, with innumerable falls, through the mountainous wilderness, and finally through the wilderness of buildings?"

Santiago Eximeno: Dormido

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La mujer avanzaba entre la multitud, sosteniendo al niño entre sus brazos. Nadie prestaba atención, nadie le miraba. Hora punta, salida del trabajo, vuelta a casa; todos se refugiaban en sus propias preocupaciones. Al pasar a mi lado vi que la mujer lloraba.

Fue entonces cuando pensé que el niño no estaba dormido.

Harlan Ellison: He Who Grew Up Reading Sherlock Holmes

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A bad thing had happened. No, a “Bad Thing” had happened. A man in Fremont, Nebraska cheated an honest old lady, and no one seemed able to make him retract his deed to set things right. It went on helplessly for the old lady for more than forty years. Then, one day, she told a friend. Now I will tell you a story. Or a true anecdote. For those who wish this to be “a story I never wrote,” have at it; for those who choose to believe that I am recounting a Real Life Anecdote, I’m down with that, equally: your choice.
Once upon a time, not so long ago…
A man in an 8th floor apartment in New York City lay in his bed, asleep. The telephone beside him rang. It was a standard 20th Century instrument, not a hand-held device. It was very late at night, almost morning, but the sun had not yet risen over the decoupage skyline of Manhattan. The telephone rang again.
He reached across from under the sheet and picked up the phone. A deep male voice at the other end said, very slowly and distinctly, “Are you awake?”
“Huh?”
“Are you awake enough to hear me?”
“Whuh? Whozizz?”
“Are your bedroom windows open…or shut?”
“Whuh?”
“Look at the curtains!”
“Whuh…whaddaya…”
“Sit up and look at the curtains. Are they moving?”
“I…uh…”
“Look!”
The man’s three-room apartment was on an airshaft in mid-Manhattan. It was in the Fall, and cold. The windows in his bedroom were tightly closed to shutter out the noises from the lower apartments and the street below. The curtains were drawn. He slumped up slightly, and looked at the curtain nearest him. It was swaying slightly. There was no breeze.
He said nothing into the phone. Silence came across the wire to him. Dark silence.

Salvador Elizondo: Aviso

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La isla prodigiosa surgió en el horizonte como una crátera colmada de lirios y de rosas. Hacia el mediodía comencé a escuchar las notas inquietantes de aquel canto mágico.

Había desoído los prudentes consejos de la diosa y deseaba con toda mi alma descender allí. No sellé con panal los laberintos de mis orejas ni dejé que mis esforzados compañeros me amarraran al mástil.

Hice virar hacia la isla y pronto pude distinguir sus voces con toda claridad. No decían nada; solamente cantaban. Sus cuerpos relucientes se nos mostraban como una presa magnífica.

Entonces decidí saltar sobre la borda y nadar hasta la playa.

Y yo, oh dioses, que he bajado a las cavernas del Hades y que he cruzado el campo de asfodelos dos veces, me vi deparado a este destino de un viaje lleno de peligros.

Cuando desperté en brazos de aquellos seres que el deseo había hecho aparecer tantas veces de este lado de mis párpados durante las largas vigías del asedio, era presa del más agudo espanto. Lancé un grito afilado como una jabalina.

Oh dioses, yo que iba dispuesto a naufragar en un jardín de delicias, cambié libertad y patria por el prestigio de la isla infame y legendaria.

Sabedlo, navegantes: el canto de las sirenas es estúpido y monótono, su conversación aburrida e incesante; sus cuerpos están cubiertos de escamas, erizados de algas y sargazo. Su carne huele a pescado.

Neil Gaiman: I, Cthulhu

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Cthulhu, they call me. Great Cthulhu.
Nobody can pronounce it right.
Are you writing this down? Every word? Good. Where shall I start -- mm?
Very well, then. The beginning. Write this down, Whateley.
I was spawned uncounted aeons ago, in the dark mists of Khhaa'yngnaiih (no, of course I don't know how to spell it. Write it as it sounds), of nameless nightmare parents, under a gibbous moon. It wasn't the moon of this planet, of course, it was a real moon. On some nights it filled over half the sky and as it rose you could watch the crimson blood drip and trickle down its bloated face, staining it red, until at its height it bathed the swamps and towers in a gory dead red light.
Those were the days.
Or rather the nights, on the whole. Our place had a sun of sorts, but it was old, even back then. I remember that on the night it finally exploded we all slithered down to the beach to watch. But I get ahead of myself.
I never knew my parents.
My father was consumed by my mother as soon as he had fertilized her and she, in her turn, was eaten by myself at my birth. That is my first memory, as it happens. Squirming my way out of my mother, the gamy taste of her still in my tentacles.
Don't look so shocked, Whateley. I find you humans just as revolting.
Which reminds me, did they remember to feed the shoggoth? I thought I heard it gibbering.
I spent my first few thousand years in those swamps. I did not like this, of course, for I was the colour of a young trout and about four of your feet long. I spent most of my time creeping up on things and eating them and in my turn avoiding being crept up on and eaten.
So passed my youth.
And then one day -- I believe it was a Tuesday -- I discovered that there was more to life than food. (Sex? Of course not. I will not reach that stage until after my next estivation; your piddly little planet will long be cold by then). It was that Tuesday that my Uncle Hastur slithered down to my part of the swamp with his jaws fused.
It meant that he did not intend to dine that visit, and that we could talk.
Now that is a stupid question, even for you Whateley. I don't use either of my mouths in communicating with you, do I? Very well then. One more question like that and I'll find someone else to relate my memoirs to. And you will be feeding the shoggoth.
We are going out, said Hastur to me. Would you like to accompany us?
We? I asked him. Who's we?

Manuel Mujica Láinez: Narciso

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Si salía, encerraba a los gatos. Los buscaba, debajo de los muebles, en la ondulación de los cortinajes, detrás de los libros, y los llevaba en brazos, uno a uno, a su dormitorio. Allí se acomodaban sobre el sofá de felpa raída, hasta su regreso. Eran cuatro, cinco, seis, según los años, según se deshiciera de las crías, pero todos semejantes, grises y rayados y de un negro negrísimo.

Serafín no los dejaba en la salita que completaba, con un baño minúsculo, su exiguo departamento, en aquella vieja casa convertida, tras mil zurcidos y parches, en inquilinato mezquino, por temor de que la gatería trepase a la cómoda encima de la cual el espejo ensanchaba su soberbia.

Aquel heredado espejo constituía el solo lujo del ocupante. Era muy grande, con el marco dorado, enrulado, isabelino. Frente a él, cuando regresaba de la oficina, transcurría la mayor parte del tiempo de Serafín. Se sentaba a cierta distancia de la cómoda y contemplaba largamente, siempre en la misma actitud, la imagen que el marco ilustre le ofrecía: la de un muchacho de expresión misteriosa e innegable hermosura, que desde allí, la mano izquierda abierta como una flor en la solapa, lo miraba a él, fijos los ojos del uno en el otro. Entonces los gatos cruzaban el vano del dormitorio y lo rodeaban en silencio. Sabían que para permanecer en la sala debían hacerse olvidar, que no debían perturbar el examen meditabundo del solitario, y, aterciopelados, fantasmales, se echaban en torno del contemplador.

Las distracciones que antes debiera a la lectura y a la música propuesta por un antiguo fonógrafo habían terminado por dejar su sitio al único placer de la observación frente al espejo. Serafín se desquitaba así de las obligaciones tristes que le imponían las circunstancias. Nada, ni el libro más admirable ni la melodía más sutil, podía procurarle la paz, la felicidad que adeudaba a la imagen del espejo. Volvía cansado, desilusionado, herido, a su íntimo refugio, y la pureza de aquel rostro, de aquella mano puesta en la solapa le infundía nueva vitalidad. Pero no aplicaba el vigor que al espejo debía a ningún esfuerzo práctico. Ya casi no limpiaba las habitaciones, y la mugre se atascaba en el piso, en los muebles, en los muros, alrededor de la cama siempre deshecha. Apenas comía. Traía para los gatos, exclusivos partícipes de su clausura, unos trozos de carne cuyos restos contribuían al desorden, y si los vecinos se quejaban del hedor que manaba de su departamento se limitaba a encogerse de hombros, porque Serafín no lo percibía; Serafín no otorgaba importancia a nada que no fuese su espejo. Éste sí resplandecía, triunfal, en medio de la desolación y la acumulada basura. Brillaba su marco, y la imagen del muchacho hermoso parecía iluminada desde el interior.

Kelly Link: The Specialist’s Hat

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“When you’re Dead,” Samantha says, “you don’t have to brush your teeth.”
“When you’re Dead,” Claire says, “you live in a box, and it’s always dark, but you’re not ever afraid.”
Claire and Samantha are identical twins. Their combined age is twenty years, four months, and six days. Claire is better at being Dead than Samantha.
The babysitter yawns, covering up her mouth with a long white hand. “I said to brush your teeth and that it’s time for bed,” she says. She sits cross-legged on the flowered bedspread between them. She has been teaching them a card game called Pounce, which involves three decks of cards, one for each of them. Samantha’s deck is missing the Jack of Spades and the Two of Hearts, and Claire keeps on cheating. The babysitter wins anyway. There are still flecks of dried shaving cream and toilet paper on her arms. It is hard to tell how old she is — at first they thought she must be a grownup, but now she hardly looks older than them. Samantha has forgotten the babysitter’s name.
Claire’s face is stubborn. “When you’re Dead,” she says, “you stay up all night long.”
“When you’re dead,” the babysitter snaps, “it’s always very cold and damp, and you have to be very, very quiet or else the Specialist will get you.”
“This house is haunted,” Claire says.
“I know it is,” the babysitter says. “I used to live here.”
Something is creeping up the stairs,
Something is standing outside the door,
Something is sobbing, sobbing in the dark;
Something is sighing across the floor.
Claire and Samantha are spending the summer with their father, in the house called Eight Chimneys. Their mother is dead. She has been dead for exactly 282 days.
Their father is writing a history of Eight Chimneys, and of the poet, Charles Cheatham Rash, who lived here at the turn of the century, and who ran away to sea when he was thirteen, and returned when he was thirty-eight. He married, fathered a child, wrote three volumes of bad, obscure poetry, and an even worse and more obscure novel, The One Who Is Watching Me Through the Window, before disappearing again in 1907, this time for good. Samantha and Claire’s father says that some of the poetry is actually quite readable, and at least the novel isn’t very long.
When Samantha asked him why he was writing about Rash, he replied that no one else had, and why didn’t she and Samantha go play outside. When she pointed out that she was Samantha, he just scowled and said how could he be expected to tell them apart when they both wore blue jeans and flannel shirts, and why couldn’t one of them dress all in green and the other pink? 

Adela Fernández: El montón

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Rodó la canica por tierra, cruzó el círculo trazado con una vara, pasó de largo sin caer en el hoyo. Al hincarme me rompí el pantalón de las rodillas. ¡Pelas! Ya me debes tres canicas. Me preguntó qué quería ser cuando fuera grande. Encarcelado, le dije. Me corrigió: carcelero. No, encarcelado, reafirmé; pienso matar al cabrón de mi padre.
Se me quitaron las ganas de seguir jugando. No tenía caso decir mis cosas. Me arrepentí de haberle contad
o al Grillo que yo quería matar a mi padre. Por fortuna tiene tan mala memoria que mañana ya lo habrá olvidado.
Allá en la refresquería junté muchas corcholatas, me las eché a los bolsillos y me puse a correr para oír su ruido, de esa manera ya no escuchaba las voces que traía siempre en la cabeza. Sentí cómo se hacía de noche porque el hambre me crecía oscura; ese dolorcito de siempre que revierte en mi boca un sabor agrio. Me fui para la casa. A la entrada de la vecindad la Márgara mataba ratas con un palo. La vieja como no puede dormir se pasa las noches matando ratas, por eso el cabrón le puso de apodo La Gata, y como tiene la piel grisácea y los ojos amarillos, y como sólo come pan remojado con leche, pues la verdad el apodo le queda muy bien.
Entré al cuarto y vi las mismas cosas de siempre. Para cualquiera todo eso estaba en desorden, y no, cada cosa estaba en su lugar: los trastos en la estufa y en la mesa. En el rincón, izquierda al fondo, la bacinica. Medicinas, veladoras y papelitos en la repisa. Los quintos encajados en la rendija de la ventana. Las toallas deshilachadas colgadas en los clavos de la pared derecha, ahí junto, la chamarra roja del viejo: hace mucho que ya no se la pone, desde que consiguió la de cuero. En la alacena los kilos de frijoles, la manteca, la sal, el café y el piloncillo. Ahí la estampita de San Judas Tadeo y un vaso con hierbas espanta espíritus, epazote y albahaca. En los rincones los montones de ropa, el costal de carbón, la lata de petróleo...
Ya era de noche, todos mis hermanos dormían menos la Jacinta, ella le sobaba la espalda a mi mamá. Me serví un plato de frijoles y me los comí muy despacio haciéndome a la idea de que estoy educado (mi bonito juego fantasioso) muy por encima del dolor que produce el hambre. Contuve el gesto animal y lo hice así, despacio como si comer no fuera nutrirse sino desmayarse. Comí de espaldas para no verlos. Luego
me viré y los vi: ahí estaban en el suelo, amontonados como cadáveres envueltos en trapos, una mancha color mugre, los miembros confundidos, entrelazados o desparramados, una pierna encima de aquel brazo, unas espaldas, una mano como sola en aquella esquina, tres montones de cabellos, y una cabeza muy visible, la de Juanito, con la boca abierta. Así son mis hermanos todas las noches: algo sucio y sofocado, seres en fragmentos sumergidos en una pesadilla, algo hediondo, espeso y ronco.
Lupita estaba acostada en la cama, la única cama. Bien envuelta medía apenas medio metro. Tenía los cabellos mojados de sudor, embarrados sobre el rostro. Cualquiera diría que un gran miedo la había empapado.

Norman Partridge: The Hollow Man

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Four. Yes, that’s how many there were. Come to my home. Come to my home in the hills. Come in the middle of feast, when the skin had been peeled back and I was ready to sup. Interrupting, disrupting. Stealing the comfortable bloat of a full belly, the black scent of clean bones burning dry on glowing embers. Four.
Yes. That’s how many there were. I watched them through the stretched-skin window, saw them standing cold in the snow with their guns at their sides.
The hollow man saw them too. He heard the ice dogs bark and raised his sunken face, peering at the men through the blue-veined window. He gasped, expectant, and I had to draw my claws from their fleshy sheaths and jab deep into his blackened muscles to keep him from saying words that weren’t mine. Outside, they shouted, Hullo! Hullo in the cabin! and the hollow man sprang for the door. I jumped on his back and tugged the metal rings pinned into his neck. He jerked and whirled away from the latch, but I was left with the sickening sound of his hopeful moans.
Once again, control was mine, but not like before. The hollow man was full of strength that he hadn’t possessed in weeks, and the feast was ruined.
They had ruined it.
“Hullo! We’re tired and need food!”
The hollow man strained forward, his fingers groping for the door latch. My scaled legs flexed hard around his middle. His sweaty stomach sizzled and he cried at the heat of me. A rib snapped. Another. He sank backward and, with a dry flutter of wings, I pulled him away from the window, back into the dark.
“Could we share your fire? It’s so damn cold!”
“We’d give you money, but we ain’t got any. There ain’t a nickel in a thousand miles of here . . .”
Small screams tore the hollow man’s beaten lips. There was blood. I cursed the waste and twisted a handful of metal rings. He sank to his knees and quieted.
“We’ll leave our guns. We don’t mean no harm!”
I jerked one ring, then another. I cooed against the hollow man’s skinless shoulder and made him pick up his rifle. When he had it loaded, cocked, and aimed through a slot in the door, I whispered in his ear and made him laugh.
And then I screamed out at them, “You dirty bastards! You stay away! You ain’t comin’ in here!”
Gunshots exploded. We only got one of them, not clean but bad enough. The others pulled him into the forest, where the dense trees muffled his screams and kept us from getting another clear shot.
The rifle clattered to the floor, smoking faintly, smelling good. We walked to the window. I jingled his neck rings and the hollow man squinted through the tangle of veins, to the spot where a red streak was freezing in the snow.
I made the hollow man smile.

Salomé Guadalupe Ingelmo: Nuptiae Sabbati

Salomé Guadalupe Ingelmo, Nuptiae Sabbati, 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, Arthur Machen



Si uno es escritor, escribe siempre, aunque no quiera hacerlo, aunque trate de escapar a esa dudosa gloria y a ese sufrimiento real que se merece por seguir una vocación.
                 Carmen Laforet

Apenas recibida la noticia hicieron el equipaje. No había tiempo que perder; la enfermedad avanzaba. En las ruinas célticas y romanas de los frondosos bosques de Gwent, en las prácticas populares y paganas, buscó remedio. En vano.
Aunque atraído por las más ocultas ramas del saber desde joven, fue Amy quien le presentó algunos escritores versados en el esoterismo. Poco después apareció Ella, que descorrió definitivamente el velo. Estaba seguro de no conocerla, pero su rostro le pareció familiar. Como esos seres fantasmales de nuestros sueños. Mientras relee La luz interior, contempla la joya en la que le ayudó a introducir el alma de su primera esposa.
 “Tu medicina, querido”. Ella, bellísima estatua griega ‒enajenada bacante cuando se enfurece‒, le ofrece el inocente polvo blanco que toma tras comida y cena. Su melancolía se va mitigando. Podría recuperar el gusto por los placeres mundanos.
“Esta noche vendrán unas amigas. Iremos a bailar al bosque. Tendremos una de nuestras habituales... reuniones”.
Sólo ha atisbado el secreto insondable y, a pesar del horror, no renuncia a ahondar en su espantoso conocimiento. Ha sido distinguido con el privilegio o la maldición de la literatura, esa puerta que le permite descender a las profundidades de todo ser: a la hirviente corrupción y la sórdida podredumbre que nos habita. No puede resistirse a la llamada de lo arcano. Ni a ese matrimonio sacro con las letras, aunque acabe en locura. Está dispuesto a convertirse en sacerdote del “Dios de los Abismos” a cualquier precio. Ningún ojo humano puede presenciar el misterio desnudo y salir ileso.
Se estremecerá convertido en una obscena mancha húmeda, oscura como la tinta, un charco irreconocible sobre las inmaculadas sábanas del tálamo nupcial. Piel, carne y huesos, todo su cuerpo derretido, consumido por ese fuego que lo devora y al tiempo le da vida. De él quedarán dos puntos llameantes entre los cuales algún alma pía, quizá la de un crítico, golpeará una y otra vez. Hasta que finalmente reine el silencio.

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Tales of Mystery and Imagination

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