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).
The marvel is, that the memory of Rupert Orange, whose name was a signal for chatter amongst people both in Europe and America not many years ago, has now almost died out. Even in New York where he was born, and where the facts of his secret and mysterious life were most discussed, he is quite forgotten. At times, indeed, some old lady will whisper to you at dinner , that a certain young man reminds her of Rupert Orange, only he is not so handsome; but she is one of those who keep the mere incidents of their past much more brightly polished than the important things of their present. The men who worshipped him, who copied his clothes, his walk, his mode of pronouncing words, and his manner of saying things, stare vaguely when he is mentioned. And the other day at a well-known club I was having some general talk with a man whose black hair is shot with white, when he exclaimed somewhat suddenly: "How little one hears about Rupert Orange now!" and then added: "I wonder what became of him?" As to the first part of this speech I kept my mouth resolutely shut; for how could I deny his saying, since I had lately seen a weed-covered grave with the early moss growing into the letters on the headstone? As to the second part, it is now my business to set forth the answer to that: and I think when the fire begins to blaze it will lighten certain recollections which have become dark. Of course, there are numberless people who never heard the story of Rupert Orange; but there are also crowds of men and women who followed his brilliant life with intense interest, while his shameful death will be in many a one's remembrance.
Bremen left the hospital and his dying wife and drove east to the sea. The roads were thick with Philadelphians fleeing the city for the weekend, and Bremen had to con-centrate on traffic, leaving only the most tenuous of touches in his wife's mind. Gail was sleeping. Her dreams were fitful and drug-induced. She was seeking her mother through endlessly interlinked rooms filled with Victorian furniture.
As Bremen crossed the pine barrens, the images of the dreams slid between the evening shadows of reality. Gail awoke just as Bremen was leaving the parkway. For a few seconds after she awoke the pain was not with her. She opened her eyes, and the evening sunlight falling across the blue blanket made her think—for only a moment—that it was morning on the farm. Her thoughts reached out for her husband just as the pain and dizziness struck behind her left eye. Bremen grimaced and dropped the coin he was handing to the toll-booth attendant.
"What's the matter, buddy?"
Bremen shook his head, fumbled out a dollar, and thrust it blindly at the man.
Throwing his change in the Triumph's cluttered console, he concentrated on pushing the car's speed to its limit. Gail's pain faded, but her con-fusion washed over him in a wave of nausea.
She quickly gained control despite the shifting curtains of fear that fluttered at the tightly held mindshield. She subvocalized, concentrating on narrowing the spectrum to a simulacrum of her voice.
"Hi, yourself, kiddo." He sent the thought as he turned onto the exit for Long Beach Island. He shared the visual—the starting green of grass and pine trees overlaid with the gold of August light, the sports car's shadow leaping along the curve of asphalt.
Suddenly the unmistak-able salt freshness of the Atlantic came to him, and he shared that with her also.
The entrance to the seaside community was disappoint-ing: dilapidated seafood restaurants, overpriced cinder-block motels, endless marinas. But it was reassuring in its familiarity to both of them, and Bremen concentrated on seeing all of it. Gail began to relax and appreciate the ride. Her presence was so real that Bremen caught himself turn-ing to speak aloud to her. The pang of regret and embar-rassment was sent before he could stifle it.
The island was cluttered with families unpacking station wagons and carrying late dinners to the beach. Bre-men drove north to Barnegat Light. He glanced to his right and caught a glimpse of some fishermen standing along the surf, their shadows intersecting the white lines of breakers.
Monet, thought Gail, and Bremen nodded, although he had actually been thinking of Euclid.
Always the mathematician, thought Gail, and then her voice faded as the pain rose. Half-formed sentences shred-ded like clouds in a gale.
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Tales of Mystery and Imagination
" Tales of Mystery and Imagination es un blog sin ánimo de lucro cuyo único fin consiste en rendir justo homenaje
a los escritores de terror, ciencia-ficción y fantasía del mundo. Los derechos de los textos que aquí aparecen pertenecen a cada autor.
Las imágenes han sido obtenidas de la red y son de dominio público. No obstante si alguien tiene derecho reservado sobre alguna de ellas y se siente
perjudicado por su publicación, por favor, no dude en comunicárnoslo.