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).

Fernando Iwasaki: Papillas

Fernando Iwasaki, Papillas, 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


Detesto los fantasmas de los niños. Asustados, insomnes, hambrientos. El de casa llora desconsolado y se da de porrazos contra las paredes. De repente me vino a la memoria el canto undécimo de La Ilíada y le dejé su platito lleno de sangre.No le gustó nada y por la mañana encontré todo desparramado. Volví a dejarle algo de sangre por la noche, aunque mezclada con leche y unas cucharaditas de miel: le encantó.Desde entonces le preparo unas papillas riquísimas con sangre, cereales, leche y galletas molidas. Sigue desparramándome las cosas, pero ya no se da porrazos y a veces siento cómo corre curioso detrás de mí. Quizás me haya cogido cariño. Tal vez ya no me tenga miedo. ¡Angelito!, si hubiera comido así desde el principio nunca lo hubiera estrangulado.

Dan Simmons: Eyes I Dare Not Meet

Dan Simmons, Eyes I Dare Not Meet, 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


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, Jerry."
"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.

Alonso Zamora Vicente: Un pobre hombre

Alonso Zamora Vicente, Un pobre hombre, 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,


Es muy probable que, entre esta gente que se agolpa en la estación a la llegada de los trenes, encuentre al hombre que busco. Es también probable que, al matarle, le haga un favor. Muchas veces he observado desde la barandilla, en el pasadizo de salida, la cara de los viajeros. Gentes malhumoradas, fatigadas, con el mirar vacilante. Destrozados por alguna desgracia familiar, un duelo, un descalabro económico, quizás un adulterio. Otros, con esos ojos agrandados, despoblados y mansos del que acaba de ser desahuciado por un médico. Sí, seguramente que en ese montón de vidas que llega en el tren de las nueve, o entre los que van al cine de actualidades a llenar la espera, encuentre al hombre que he de matar. Porque he de matar a un hombre. No pasará de hoy. Todos están fuera y podré disponer de mi casa a mi antojo. Será una experiencia valiosísima. Un hombre sin apellidos, sin dirección, quizás alguno que haya pensado suicidarse. Un hombre que llevará en las rayas de la mano el deslumbrante aviso de que hoy, sábado, se encontrará conmigo.

No me ha sido difícil encontrarle. Hay mucha gente que piensa en la muerte, que la llama, que se sueña tendido y descansando. Me apoyé, como siempre, en las rejas que separan el corredor de la Aduana. Aunque hubiera habido diez mil personas más lo habría encontrado enseguida. Una creciente luz, un irrefrenable desmayo le envolvían cada vez que doblaba las corvas al andar. Ahí está. Lanzó sus maletas en el banco de los vistas como quien se desprende de... Bueno, no sé. Demasiado levantar los hombros, angustiosa la línea de los labios con exceso para un acto tan impersonal como abrir las maletas delante de un carabinero. Creo que fue entonces cuando me vio por vez primera. No voy a cometer la tontería de decir que me sonrió. Él ya no podía sonreír. Pero quizá sus ojos... Se debía de estar preguntando, como tantos en la Aduana: ¿dónde poner ahora la mirada? Todos los contrabandistas se lo preguntan; yo también me lo he preguntado alguna vez. Pero él no lo hacía por eso. Es que yo no tenía dónde ponerla. Por eso me vio.

Quizá por eso tampoco dijo nada cuando le quitaron con grandes aspavientos un collar de perlas, un proyector de cine, algunos cartones de tabaco americano y un fajo de marcos alemanes. Ya no podía hablar más que conmigo; su vida me pertenecía, y yo no podía entrar en la Aduana. Cuando, cumplido el requisito, me acerqué a él, se guardaba, arrugándolo, el recibo de los objetos retenidos y lo metía en el bolsillo de aquel abrigo grande, de piel de camello, que llamaba la atención de los empleados del ferrocarril, de los guardias de orden público, de los policías. Hasta los soldados del Destacamento de Ferrocarriles se volvían a mirar. Tendré que hacer desaparecer ese abrigo. Al pensarlo, sentí frío.

Nos hemos sentado un ratito en la cafetería del vestíbulo. Me confesó qui no había tomado nada en todo el día. Apenas hemos hablado. Era como si todo estuviese ya dicho, ya en lo nuevo y caminando. Detrás de los cristales se estaba bien. Afuera se veía el alboroto de la estación, carretillas con equipajes, grupo de excursionistas que emprenden el regreso con la mochila más llena que a la venida y, colgando de las manos, cacharritos de recuerdo. Gentes con su pasaporte en la mano, haciendo cola en la ventanilla de la policía, y en las divisas, y en la Sanidad. Unos novios se besan desesperadamente; él es militar; mi compañero de mesa los mira, no sonríe, dice: ¡Bah! Suben y bajan gentes por la escalera de los urinarios. Un ciego, pregonando lotería, golpea insistente la pared con su bastón. La mujer del tenderete de postales y periódicos entrega la cuenta a un hombre bajo y jorobado que viene a hacer el turno de noche. Ya se han encendido las luces de seis trenes distintos sobre el tablero alto donde se anuncian. Seis veces el mismo apelotonamiento de gente y de cansancio en la salida, y los gritos de ¡Taxi!, ¡Taxi!, y ¿Busca hotel? ¿Pensión económica? Es entonces cuando he invitado a mi huésped a venir a casa. Estaremos solos, podrá descansar. No sé qué me contestó, porque, mientras hablaba, el altavoz del cine de actualidades gritó violentamente, anunciando un nuevo programa con las inundaciones de Baviera y no pude oírle. Noté, en cambio, al mirarle pretendiendo adivinar su respuesta, que tenía los ojos claros y profundos, contrastando con su barba negra y crecida. Temí que se muriera antes de que yo pudiese... No sé qué me contestó, pero se vino conmigo.

Lisa Goldstein: Dark Rooms

Lisa Goldstein, Dark Rooms, 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 Conan Doyle, Wilkie Collins, A Terribly Strange Bed, Salomé Guadalupe Ingelmo


Nathan Stevens first saw Georges Méliès in 1896, in the basement of the Grand Café in Paris. There, in the Salon des Indiens, the Lumière brothers had opened the first moving picture theatre, and Stevens watched, entranced, as a train arrived at a station, a man watered his garden, a blacksmith worked at his forge.

The pictures ended and the lights came up. The glow from the gaslamps was not harsh, but he sat there blinking, dazzled, his eyes filled with motion, with smoke and waves and wind-blown leaves. For a moment he wondered that his surroundings remained the same, that the train did not roar through the small room, flattening chairs as it went, or the sea crash through the walls and drown them all.

Near him people were picking up their purses and canes, putting on their coats, stepping over his legs as they headed for the door. Finally the theatre, so crowded a few moments ago, was nearly empty.

One other man had not moved. He was balding, with a drooping mustache and a trim goatee. He was blinking as Stevens himself had done, as if he were just waking from a dream, or loosed from some enchantment.

Then he smiled, perhaps at Stevens, perhaps at a lingering memory from the pictures they had seen together. It was a kind smile, Stevens thought; you might see an uncle smile just that way as he gave a present to his favorite niece. But there was something else in it too, something deeper and more serious, and Stevens thought the man might know more about these films, perhaps even know how they were made.

The man stood. “One minute, please,” Stevens said.

The other man turned, a polite expression on his face. Suddenly Stevens could think of nothing to say, though he had been in Paris for six months and his French was nearly fluent. “A -- an amazing thing, isn’t it?” he said finally.

“We will all be changed,” the man said, or Stevens thought he said. He put on his hat.

“Wait,” Stevens said. “Do you know about these -- these pictures? Do you know how it’s done?”

The man headed for the aisle. Perhaps he hadn’t heard. Stevens hurried after him but the man had reached the stairs and was climbing them quickly. Stevens followed and came out into the street. It was still daylight, a stronger light than that of the gaslamps, and he blinked again, bewildered, feeling as if he had surfaced by stages from strange depths.

Rafael Marín: A veces corren

Rafael Marín, A veces corren, Salvo veintiún gramos de diferencia, 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 Conan Doyle, Wilkie Collins, A Terribly Strange Bed, Salomé Guadalupe Ingelmo


A veces bastaba con dispararles a los talones.

Se desmoronaban entonces, como una percha que se rinde por el peso, la boca entreabierta, el pecho gimiendo sin aire que llevarse dentro. Un segundo disparo en la otra rodilla, o en la cadera, y los convertía en trozos de carne que pugnaban por arrastrarse, entre un reguero de carne y huesos que iban dejando detrás. A veces, cuando había tiempo, una tercera bala en el cerebro, o caminar entre ellos, como jugando a rayuela, para cortarles la cabeza con un machete.

No había que fiarse tampoco. El puro instinto les hacía moverse, arrastrarse, sorprenderte. Habían sido en vida supervivientes de su propia vida, y ahora, en la muerte, los recuerdos que salían a flote, obtusos y sin patrón definido, impulsaban a sus cuerpos sin mente a seguir repitiendo aquellos actos reflejos, aquellos movimientos mecánicos, aquella imprintación circular de la que antes tanto se quejaban, cuando podían.

Debía ser que la muerte se compone de paciencia. O que el tiempo no importa cuando no tienes que esperar a la muerte. Todas las supervivientes coincidían en que eliminarlos a tiros o a golpes en la cabeza, o a golpes de machete o de hacha en el cuello, no era matarlos, sino desconectarlos de una querencia absurda a la vida. No está muerto lo que yace eternamente, como dijo la bibliotecaria, que había pasado de ser una mosquita muerta y silenciosa a desarrollar un gusto perverso por chistes que sólo comprendía ella.

El problema era que nunca se podía, con ellos, bajar la guardia. El impulso motor iba desgastando sus músculos, royendo sus pies, arrancando jirones continuos de su carne y sus tendones, pero no paraban nunca. Eran muñecos de una cuerda infinita, pollos descabezados que continuaban moviéndose, inconscientes de que ya no existía un cerebro que impulsara los demás miembros del cuerpo.

Pero no corrían, gracias a Dios. Ni sabían, ni podían, ni necesitaban hacerlo. Su paciencia de gestos repetidos, de alimentarse con ansia de otras carnes crudas a las que, sin duda, no eran capaces de encontrar sabor ninguno se recompensaba precisamente porque nunca detenían su persecución. Podías sacarles cien metros de ventaja, o diez kilómetros: tarde o temprano, volvían a aparecer, llamando a tu puerta, pidiéndote sin voz que compartieras con ellos el tesoro de tus entrañas. O si no eran ellos, eran otros, siempre otros: cuando no hay gestos en los rostros, cuando la ropa ya no te distingue y todo son jirones, da lo mismo que te persiga un abogado de éxito o un indigente alcoholizado. Así son las máscaras del zombie.

Lo mejor era eliminarlos de lejos, si era posible, antes de que su eterna cachaza los acercara demasiado. Hay cosas con las que no se juega, y la vida es una de ellas, sobre todo si has sobrevivido al fin del mundo, al amanecer de los muertos, al Apocalipsis caníbal o a como demonios quisieran llamarlo las emisoras de radio y las cadenas de televisión, esas que siempre terminaban sus emisiones entre gritos guturales y borboteos de miedo incomprensible.

Arthur Conan Doyle: The ring of Thoth

Arthur Conan Doyle, The ring of Thoth, Salvo veintiún gramos de diferencia, 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 Conan Doyle, Wilkie Collins, A Terribly Strange Bed, Salomé Guadalupe Ingelmo


MR. JOHN VANSITTART SMITH, F.R.S., of 147A Gower Street, was a man whose energy of purpose and clearness of thought might have placed him in the very first rank of scientific observers. He was the victim, however, of a universal ambition which prompted him to aim at distinction in many subjects rather than pre-eminence in one. In his early days he had shown aptitude for zoology and for botany which caused his friends to look upon him as a second Darwin, but when a professorship was almost within his reach he had suddenly discontinued his studies and turned his whole attention to chemistry. Here his researches upon the spectra of the metals had won him his fellowship in the Royal Society; but again he played the coquette with his subject, and after a year's absence from the laboratory he joined the Oriental Society, and delivered a paper on the Hieroglyphic and Demotic inscriptions of El Kab, thus giving a crowning example both of the versatility and of the inconstancy of his talents.

The most fickle of wooers, however, is apt to be caught at last, and so it was with John Vansittart Smith. The more he burrowed his way into Egyptology the more impressed he became by the vast field which it opened to the inquirer, and by the extreme importance of a subject which promised to throw a light upon the first germs of human civilisation and the origin of the greater part of our arts and sciences. So struck was Mr. Smith that he straightway married an Egyptological young lady who had written upon the sixth dynasty, and having thus secured a sound base of operations he set himself to collect materials for a work which should unite the research of Lepsius and the ingenuity of Champollion. The preparation of his magnum opus entailed many hurried visits to the magnificent Egyptian collections of the Louvre, upon the last of which, no longer ago than the middle of last October, he became involved in a most strange and noteworthy adventure.

The trains had been slow and the Channel had been rough, so that the student arrived in Paris in a somewhat befogged and feverish condition. On reaching the Hotel de France, in the Rue Laffitte, he had thrown himself upon a sofa for a couple of hours, but finding that he was unable to sleep, he determined, in spite of his fatigue, to make his way to the Louvre, settle the point which he had come to decide, and take the evening train back to Dieppe. Having come to his conclusion, he donned his greatcoat, for it was a raw rainy day, and made his way across the Boulevard des Italiens and down the Avenue de l'Opera. Once in the Louvre he was on familiar ground, and he speedily made his way to the collection of papyri which it was his intention to consult.

The warmest admirers of John Vansittart Smith could hardly claim for him that he was a handsome man. His high-beaked nose and prominent chin had something of the same acute and incisive character which distinguished his intellect. He held his head in a birdlike fashion, and birdlike, too, was the pecking motion with which, in conversation, he threw out his objections and retorts. As he stood, with the high collar of his greatcoat raised to his ears, he might have seen from the reflection in the glass-case before him that his appearance was a singular one. Yet it came upon him as a sudden jar when an English voice behind him exclaimed in very audible tones, "What a queer-looking mortal!"

Salomé Guadalupe Ingelmo: Salvo veintiún gramos de diferencia

Salomé Guadalupe Ingelmo, Salvo veintiún gramos de diferencia, 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 Conan Doyle, Wilkie Collins, A Terribly Strange Bed


Cinco espantosos crímenes perpetrados en menos de tres meses bastaron para que Jack el Destripador, cuya identidad sigue siendo un misterio, aterrorizase a la violenta e impasible Londres. Después, el considerado padre de los asesinos en serie modernos desapareció sin dejar rastro ni certezas.


―Por Dios, Charles, sabes tan bien como yo que este experimento no puede llegar a buen puerto. Es antinatural. Casi abominable. ¡Una mujer deambulando por los pasillos del London Hospital disfrazada de médico!
―Es que es médico.
―No digas sandeces. Puede que haya traído consigo un título, pero ni todas las prestigiosas universidades de Europa juntas lograrían anular un hecho fundamental: Dios la creó mujer. Eso no cambiará simplemente porque se ponga una bata igual a la mía. ¿Acaso crees que los enfermos no se dan cuenta de lo que hay debajo? Su presencia aquí puede turbar a… los pacientes. He sido testigo de demasiadas miradas lascivas en el corto periodo de tiempo que lleva entre nosotros. Me basta para saber que está de más aquí. Tenemos que hacer algo para poner fin a esta violenta situación. Hay que restaurar la armonía perdida. La reputación del hospital está en juego. No podemos permitir que los caprichos de una muchacha testaruda a la que se le ha metido en la cabeza jugar a ser doctora pongan en peligro una institución honorable como ésta. ¡Oh, vamos, Charles! Lo digo por su propio bien. La mujer es un ser delicado; el Señor la creó así. Por eso la obligación del hombre es protegerla. Aun en contra de su propia voluntad si es necesario. Ellas, seres obstinados, rara vez calculan las consecuencias de sus actos. Para eso estamos nosotros, para poner freno a los pájaros que tienen en la cabeza y evitar que se hagan daño. No niego que parece una joven de gran cultura. Y se diría todo lo inteligente que puede llegar a ser su sexo. Pero no es prudente, Charles. No es prudente en absoluto. No sabe cuál es su lugar. Debería casarse. Es bien parecida y no le costaría encontrar marido. Podría elegir a un médico con consulta propia y ayudarle en sus tareas como recepcionista o incluso como enfermera.
***
Acaricia tiernamente la cabeza del ser deforme que se acurruca entre las sombras, en una esquina de la celda. Al principio sus músculos se tensan. Se retrae igual que ante la escasa luz que se filtra entre los barrotes del ventanuco. La teme como al sol, al que debe las pústulas esparcidas por su cuerpo. Sólo su hirsuta cara, gracias a la densa pelambrera que la protege, está libre de esos estigmas. Pero entonces la bella joven empieza a tararear una nana muy dulcemente, apenas en susurros. Una canción de cuna al ritmo de la cual el ser se mece. Sus ojos acuosos la miran con adoración, como si se tratase de una Virgen. Un reguero de baba cae por la comisura de sus labios entreabiertos, tras los cuales se vislumbran unos dientes irregulares y rojizos, incrustados en encías lívidas y atrofiadas. Jadea agradecido, emitiendo un sonido más digno de piedad que de horror. Una especie de gruñido animal desagradable pero necesario; apenas puede respirar a través de esas oquedades purulentas por las que escapa un hilillo de sangre que ella restaña delicadamente con su pañuelo.

Wilkie Collins: A Terribly Strange Bed

Wilkie Collins: A Terribly Strange Bed, 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


Shortly after my education at college was finished, I happened to be staying at Paris with an English friend. We were both young men then, and lived, I am afraid, rather a wild life, in the delightful city of our sojourn. One night we were idling about the neighbourhood of the Palais Royal, doubtful to what amusement we should next betake ourselves. My friend proposed a visit to Frascati's; but his suggestion was not to my taste. I knew Frascati's, as the French saying is, by heart; had lost and won plenty of five-franc pieces there, merely for amusement's sake, until it was amusement no longer, and was thoroughly tired, in fact, of all the ghastly respectabilities of such a social anomaly as a respectable gambling-house. 'For Heaven's sake,' said I to my friend, 'let us go somewhere where we can see a little genuine, blackguard, poverty-stricken gaming with no false gingerbread glitter thrown over it all. Let us get away from fashionable Frascati's, to a house where they don't mind letting in a man with a ragged coat, or a man with no coat, ragged or otherwise.' 'Very well,' said my friend, 'we needn't go out of the Palais Royal to find the sort of company you want. Here's the place just before us; as blackguard a place, by all report, as you could possibly wish to see.' In another minute we arrived at the door and entered the house.

When we got upstairs, and had left our hats and sticks with the doorkeeper, we were admitted into the chief gambling-room. We did not find many people assembled there. But, few as the men were who looked up at us on our entrance, they were all types--lamentably true types--of their respective classes.

We had come to see blackguards; but these men were something worse. There is a comic side, more or less appreciable, in all blackguardism--here there was nothing but tragedy--mute, weird tragedy. The quiet in the room was horrible. The thin, haggard, long-haired young man, whose sunken eyes fiercely watched the turning up of the cards, never spoke; the flabby, fat-faced, pimply player, who pricked his piece of pasteboard perseveringly, to register how often black won, and how often red--never spoke; the dirty, wrinkled old man, with the vulture eyes and the darned great-coat, who had lost his last sou, and still looked on desperately, after he could play no longer--never spoke. Even the voice of the croupier sounded as if it were strangely dulled and thickened in the atmosphere of the room. I had entered the place to laugh, but the spectacle before me was something to weep over. I soon found it necessary to take refuge in excitement from the depression of spirits which was fast stealing on me. Unfortunately I sought the nearest excitement, by going to the table and beginning to play. Still more unfortunately, as the event will show, I won--won prodigiously; won incredibly; won at such a rate that the regular players at the table crowded round me; and staring at my stakes with hungry, superstitious eyes, whispered to one another that the English stranger was going to break the bank.

The game was Rouge et Noir. I had played at it in every city in Europe, without, however, the care or the wish to study the Theory of Chances--that philosopher's stone of all gamblers! And a gambler, in the strict sense of the word, I had never been. I was heart-whole from the corroding passion for play. My gaming was a mere idle amusement. I never resorted to it by necessity, because I never knew what it was to want money. I never practised it so incessantly as to lose more than I could afford, or to gain more than I could coolly pocket without being thrown off my balance by my good luck. In short, I had hitherto frequented gambling-tables -- just as I frequented ball-rooms and opera-houses -- because they amused me, and because I had nothing better to do with my leisure hours.

Francisco García Pavón: Televisión del pasado

Francisco García Pavón, Televisión del pasado, 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


La primera experiencia pública de la R.T.V. (retrotelevisión) iba a tener lugar en un famoso club de la capital. Los invitados estaban todos muy seleccionados y todas las gestiones y preparativos se llevaron a cabo con gran sigilo. Se trataba de una experiencia demasiado trascendente y convenía medir todos los pasos. El ver el pasado era una experiencia inédita en la historia de la humanidad y convenía que la iniciación tuviera lugar entre personas muy inteligentes y sensibles. Por primera vez, antes que a las jerarquías políticas, se atendió a las jerarquías -digamos- mentales, para su inauguración. Estaban invitados los hombres más destacados intelectualmente de todo el mundo. Era difícil prever lo que podía aparecer en la pantalla retrovisora, así como las consecuencias y medidas que conviniera tomar en un futuro próximo ante tan revolucionaria técnica. Las tristes experiencias a que dio lugar la T.V.I.1 aconsejaban estar en guardia ante cada nuevo paso de la técnica, cada vez de mayor proyección humana. Las últimas estadísticas, a pesar del gran desarrollo cultural experimentado en aquellos años, demostraban que entre los humanos no llegaba al uno por mil el número de inteligencias verdaderamente adultas. Todo nuevo paso había que darlo de acuerdo con esta proporción pesimista.
Las gentes acudieron a la sala de proyección con pleno sentido de la responsabilidad. Todas las caras denotaban preocupación. Nadie parecía tocado de esa superficial alegría que proporciona el snobismo y la autosuficiencia. Eran conscientes que del conocimiento del pasado podrían sacarse útiles consecuencias para el estudio del hombre, de la sociedad, de las relaciones humanas, de las causas de muchos fenómenos todavía confusos... Pero también se intuía que este conocimiento aportaría una idea pesimista de la historia humana y la caída de muchos ídolos y conceptos sobre los que se había basado la civilización todavía imperante.
De otra se sabía que la Historia, la gran historia, había sido construida con materiales tendenciosamente seleccionados, venerativos por la inercia mitologi-zante que domina al hombre, siempre necesitado de idealizar, de engañarse a SÍ mismo, de disimularse la angustia de vivir... Tal vez sería conveniente que el total conocimiento del pasado no fuera popularizado jamás, que quedase en poder de una estricta minoría mundial que poco a poco fuese cambiando la mentalidad del común de las gentes y así hacerles asimilables los cambios de perspectiva.

Edgar Allan Poe: A Predicament

Edgar Allan Poe, A Predicament, 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, Science Fiction Short Stories, Historias de ciencia ficcion



What chance, good lady, hath bereft you thus?
COMUS.


IT was a quiet and still afternoon when I strolled forth in the goodly city of Edina. The confusion and bustle in the streets were terrible. Men were talking. Women were screaming. Children were choking. Pigs were whistling. Carts they rattled. Bulls they bellowed. Cows they lowed. Horses they neighed. Cats they caterwauled. Dogs they danced. Danced! Could it then be possible? Danced! Alas, thought I, my dancing days are over! Thus it is ever. What a host of gloomy recollections will ever and anon be awakened in the mind of genius and imaginative contemplation, especially of a genius doomed to the everlasting and eternal, and continual, and, as one might say, the- continued- yes, the continued and continuous, bitter, harassing, disturbing, and, if I may be allowed the expression, the very disturbing influence of the serene, and godlike, and heavenly, and exalted, and elevated, and purifying effect of what may be rightly termed the most enviable, the most truly enviable- nay! the most benignly beautiful, the most deliciously ethereal, and, as it were, the most pretty (if I may use so bold an expression) thing (pardon me, gentle reader!) in the world- but I am always led away by my feelings. In such a mind, I repeat, what a host of recollections are stirred up by a trifle! The dogs danced! I- I could not! They frisked- I wept. They capered- I sobbed aloud. Touching circumstances! which cannot fail to bring to the recollection of the classical reader that exquisite passage in relation to the fitness of things, which is to be found in the commencement of the third volume of that admirable and venerable Chinese novel the Jo-Go-Slow.

In my solitary walk through, the city I had two humble but faithful companions. Diana, my poodle! sweetest of creatures! She had a quantity of hair over her one eye, and a blue ribband tied fashionably around her neck. Diana was not more than five inches in height, but her head was somewhat bigger than her body, and her tail being cut off exceedingly close, gave an air of injured innocence to the interesting animal which rendered her a favorite with all.

And Pompey, my negro!- sweet Pompey! how shall I ever forget thee? I had taken Pompey's arm. He was three feet in height (I like to be particular) and about seventy, or perhaps eighty, years of age. He had bow-legs and was corpulent. His mouth should not be called small, nor his ears short. His teeth, however, were like pearl, and his large full eyes were deliciously white. Nature had endowed him with no neck, and had placed his ankles (as usual with that race) in the middle of the upper portion of the feet. He was clad with a striking simplicity. His sole garments were a stock of nine inches in height, and a nearly- new drab overcoat which had formerly been in the service of the tall, stately, and illustrious Dr. Moneypenny. It was a good overcoat. It was well cut. It was well made. The coat was nearly new. Pompey held it up out of the dirt with both hands.

Edward Frederic Benson: The corner house

Edward Frederic Benson, The corner house,  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, Science Fiction Short Stories, Historias de ciencia ficcion


Firham-by-sea had long been known to Jim Purley and myself, though we had been careful not to talk about it, and for years we had been accustomed to skulk quietly away from London, either alone or together, for a day or two of holiday at that delightful and unheard-of little village. It was not, I may safely say, any secretive or dog-in-the-manger instinct of keeping a good thing to ourselves that was the cause of this reticence, but it was because if Firham had become known at all the whole charm of it would have vanished. A popular Firham, in fact, would cease to be Firham, and while we should lose it nobody else would gain it. Its remoteness, its isolation, its emptiness were its most essential qualities; it would have been impossible, so we both of us felt, to have gone to Firham with a party of friends, and the idea of its little inn being peopled with strangers, or its odd little nine-hole golf-course with the small corrugated-iron shed for its club-house becoming full of serious golfers would certainly have been sufficient to make us desire never to play there again. Nor, indeed, were we guilty of any selfishness in keeping the knowledge of that golf-course to ourselves, for the holes were short and dull and the fairway badly kept. It was only because we were at Firham that we so often strolled round it, losing balls in furse bushes and marshy ground, and considering it quite decent putting if we took no more than three putts on a green. It was bad golf in fact, and no one in his senses would think of going to Firham to play bad golf, when good golf was so vastly more accessible. Indeed, the only reason why I have spoken of the golf-links is because in an indirect and distant manner they were connected with the early incidents of the story which strung itself together there, and which, to me at any rate, has destroyed the secure tranquillity of our remote little hermitage.

To get to Firham at all from London, except by a motor drive of some hundred and twenty miles, is a slow progress, and after two changes the leisurely railway eventually lands you no nearer than five miles from your destination. After that a switch-back road terminating in a long decline brings you off the inland Norfolk hills, and into the broad expanse of lowland, once reclaimed from the sea, and now protected from marine invasion by big banks and dykes. From the top of the last hill you get your first sight of the village, its brick-built houses with their tiled roofs smouldering redly in the sunset, like some small, glowing island anchored in that huge expanse of green, and, a mile beyond it, the dim blue of the sea. There are but few trees to be seen on that wide landscape, and those stunted and slanted in their growth by the prevailing wind off the coast, and the great sweep of the country is composed of featureless fields intersected with drainage dykes, and dotted with sparse cattle. A sluggish stream, fringed with reed-beds and loose-strife, where moor-hens chuckle, passes just outside the village, and a few hundred yards below it is spanned by a bridge and a sluice-gate. From there it broadens out into an estuary, full of shining water at high tide, and of grey mud-banks at the ebb, and passes between rows of tussocked sand-dunes out to sea.

The road, descending from the higher inlands, strikes across these reclaimed marshes, and after a mile of solitary travel enters the village of Firham. To right and left stand a few outlying cottages, whitewashed and thatched, each with a strip of gay garden in front and perhaps a fisherman's net spread out to dry on the wall, but before they form anything that could be called a street the road takes a sudden sharp-angled turn, and at once you are in the square which, indeed, forms the entire village. On each side of the broad cobbled space is a line of houses, on one side a post office and police-station with a dozen small shops where may be bought the more rudimentary needs of existence, a baker's, a butcher's, a tobacconist's. Opposite is a row of little residences midway between villa and cottage, while at the far end stands the dumpy grey church with the vicarage, behind green and rather dilapidated palings, beside it. At the near end is the "Fisherman's Arms," the modest hostelry at which we always put up, flanked by two or three more small red-brick houses, of which the farthest, where the road leaves the square again, is the Corner House of which this story treats.

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Tales of Mystery and Imagination

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