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).

Clifford Donald Simak: Retrograde Evolution

Clifford Donald Simak, Retrograde Evolution, 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, Salomé Guadalupe Ingelmo

THE trader had saved some space in the cargo hold for the babu root which, ounce for ounce, represented a better profit than all the other stuff he carried from the dozen planets the ship had visited.

But something had happened to the Google villages on the plant Zan. There was no babu root waiting for the ship and the trader had raged up and down, calling forth upon all Googles dire maledictions combed from a score of languages and cultures.

High in his cubbyhole, one level down from the control room and the captain's quarters, Steve Sheldon, the space ship's assigned co-ordinator, went through reel after reel of records pertaining to the planet and studied once again the bible of his trade, Dennison's Key to Sentient Races. He searched for a hidden clue, clawing through his close-packed memory for some forgotten fact which might apply.

But the records were very little help.

Zan, one of the planets by-passed on the first wave of exploration, had been discovered five centuries before. Since that time traders had made regular visits there to pick up babu root. In due time the traders had reported it to Culture. But Culture, being busy with more important things than a backwoods planet, had done no more than file the report for future action and then, of course, had forgotten all about it.

No survey, therefore, had ever been made of Zan, and the record reels held little more than copies of trading contracts, trading licenses, applications for monopolies and hundreds of sales invoices covering the five hundred years of trade. Interspersed here and there were letters and reports on the culture of the Googles and descriptions of the planet, but since the reports were by obscure planet-hoppers and not by trained observers they were of little value.

Sheldon found one fairly learned dissertation upon the babu root. From that paper he learned that the plant grew nowhere else but on Zan and was valuable as the only known cure for a certain disease peculiar to a certain sector of the galaxy. At first the plant had grown wild and had been gathered by the Googles as an article of commerce, but in more recent years, the article said, some attempts had been made to cultivate it since the wild supply was waning.

Sheldon could pronounce neither the root's drug derivative nor the disease it cured, but he shrugged that off as of no consequence.

Dennison devoted less than a dozen lines to Zan and from them Sheldon learned no more than he already knew: Googles were humanoid, after a fashion, and with Type 10 culture, varying from Type 10-A to Type 10-H; they were a peaceful race and led a pastoral existence; there were thirty-seven known tribal villages, one of which exercised benevolent dictatorship over the other thirty-six. The top-dog village, however, changed from time to time, apparently according to some peaceful rotational system based upon a weird brand of politics. Googles were gentle people and did not resort to war.

Luis Mateo Díez: El puñal Florentino

Luis Mateo Díez, El puñal Florentino, 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, Salomé Guadalupe Ingelmo

A mí me mataban en el primer acto.

Había acudido a aquella taberna toscana, sin que las ropas de labriego de mi disfraz lograran disimular del todo mi condición nobiliaria, y allí aguardaba a un criado de mi amigo el Conde Ricci que me conduciría a algún lugar seguro.

Eran los últimos cinco minutos del primer acto, la escena decimoquinta de un atropellado drama en el que andaban los Médicis por medio y en el que, entre lances de capa y espada, venenos e intrigas cortesanas, se iba tejiendo un indescifrable galimatías derivado de la propia adaptación de la obra que, como era habitual en la Galería Salesiana, estaba arreglada para que la interpretasen exclusivamente actores masculinos. .

Las transferencias de amores en amistades, de pasión en idealismo, y el trastorno de los parentescos, además del exceso de viudos y solteros impenitentes, hacían que la trama navegara, con frecuencia, entre ambiguas declaraciones fraternales y sospechosos rencores nacidos de inexplicables despechos. Era muy dura de entender la desavenencia de dos primos con un pasado que más parecía amoroso que otra cosa, o la rara filiación de un vástago cuyo tío era como su madre, en aquel raro mundo de exclusivos varones en el que hasta las teóricas nodrizas parecían barbudos aldeanos.

Sentado en un taburete, al pie del proscenio, con la jarra de vino en la mano y el codo apoyado .en la mesa, aguardaba con cierto aire de disimulada despreocupación, al dichoso criado del Conde Ricci, que entraría por el foro, tembloroso y con cara de traidor subvencionado, para indicarle al sicario que le seguía que aquel desamparado parroquiano, tan sospechosamente disfrazado, no era otro que el Marqués del Arno, al que había que dar el trágico pasaporte previsto en la terrible conspiración. Ni que decir tiene que mi amigo el Conde estaba metido hasta las cachas en el asunto y que yo pecaba de ingenuo esperando su amparo.

El tabernero, después de servirme, había hecho un discreto mutis y todo estaba dispuesto para la celada.

Entraría el criado, me señalaría con el dedo e irrumpiría, blandiendo ya el puñal, el voluntarioso sicario que se abalanzaría sobre mí sin apenas darme tiempo a desenfundar la espada. Tras las arteras cuchilladas yo haría un rápido movimiento hacia el cercano lateral, donde el padre Corsino, director de la función, me vaciaría, con muy ensayada y veloz medida, un tintero de tinta china roja que, al volverme, mostraría al respetable la condición mortal de mis heridas.

Edward Frederic Benson: At Abdul Ali’s Grave

Edward Frederic Benson, At Abdul Ali’s Grave, 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, Salomé Guadalupe Ingelmo

Luxor, as most of those who have been there will allow, is a place of notable charm, and boasts many attractions for the traveller, chief among which he will reckon an excellent hotel containing a billiard-room, a garden fit for the gods to sit in, any quantity of visitors, at least a weekly dance on board a tourist steamer, quail shooting, a climate as of Avilion, and a number of stupendously ancient monuments for those archeologically inclined. But to certain others, few indeed in number, but almost fanatically convinced of their own orthodoxy, the charm of Luxor, like some sleeping beauty, only wakes when these things cease, when the hotel has grown empty and the billiard-marker “has gone for a long rest” to Cairo, when the decimated quail and the decimating tourist have fled northwards, and the Theban plain, Dana to a tropical sun, is a gridiron across which no man would willingly make a journey by day, not even if Queen Hatasoo herself should signify that she would give him audience on the terraces of Deir-el-Bahari.

A suspicion however that the fanatic few were right, for in other respects they were men of estimable opinions, induced me to examine their convictions for myself, and thus it came about that two years ago, certain days toward the beginning of June saw me still there, a confirmed convert.

Much tobacco and the length of summer days had assisted us to the analysis of the charm of which summer in the south is possessed, and Weston — one of the earliest of the elect — and myself had discussed it at some length, and though we reserved as the principal ingredient a nameless something which baffled the chemist, and must be felt to be understood, we were easily able to detect certain other drugs of sight and sound, which we were agreed contributed to the whole. A few of them are here sub joined.

The waking in the warm darkness just before dawn to find that the desire for stopping in bed fails with the awakening.

The silent start across the Nile in the still air with our horses, who, like us, stand and sniff at the incredible sweetness of the coming morning without apparently finding it less wonderful in repetition.

The moment infinitesimal in duration but infinite in sensation, just before the sun rises, when the grey shrouded river is struck suddenly out of darkness, and becomes a sheet of green bronze.

The rose flush, rapid as a change of colour in some chemical combination, which shoots across the sky from east to west, followed immediately by the sunlight which catches the peaks of the western hills, and flows down like some luminous liquid.

The stir and whisper which goes through the world: a breeze springs up; a lark soars, and sings; the boatman shouts “Yallah, Yallah”; the horses toss their heads.

The subsequent ride.

The subsequent breakfast on our return.

The subsequent absence of anything to do.

At sunset the ride into the desert thick with the scent of warm barren sand, which smells like nothing else in the world, for it smells of nothing at all.

The blaze of the tropical night.

Cristina Fernández Cubas: La noche de Jezabel

Cristina Fernández Cubas, El lugar, 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, Salomé Guadalupe Ingelmo

Los hechos, según Arganza, ocurrieron hace unos veinte años en una poblacióndel interior de no más de mil almas. Era su primer destino, y mi buen amigo, recién salido de una universidad en la que no había destacado precisamente por su amor al estudio, sentía auténticos accesos de terror cuando, fuera de las horas de consulta, alguien golpeaba la puerta de la casa y voceaba su nombre. En aquellos momentos Arganza palidecía, se ponía a temblar como una hoja, y pronunciaba en voz alta las únicas palabras capaces de devolverle la fe en sí mismo: «Ojalá no sea nada». Luego, un tanto más calmado, bajaba las escaleras y abría la puerta de la calle. Pero seguardaba muy bien de dejar traslucir la segunda parte de su inconfesable deseo: «...O todo lo contrario. Ojalá esté muerto». La suerte, desde los primeros días, se le mostró propicia. En seis meses de ejercicio tan sólo se vio obligado a atender algunas amigdalitis sin importancia, un ictus apoplético y un par de fracturas que resolvió con éxito. Arganza empezó a cobrar confianza, no tanto en sus conocimientos como en la férrea salud de los hombres del campo, se felicitó por haber escogido un destino tan apacible y dejó, paulatinamente, de emplear sus noches en devorar con avidez revistas de actualización médica y olvidados libros de textos. Una madrugada, sin embargo, volvió a sentir el inconfundible cosquilleo del miedo. Habían golpeado a la puerta con impertinente impaciencia, con una rudeza impropia de un campesino. Desde la ventana distinguióla silueta de un guardia civil iluminada por la luna, y un estremecimiento recorrió sucuerpo.
—¿Es grave? —preguntó. El civil enarcó las cejas:
—¡Como que está muerto! 
Mi amigo respiró hondo. Avanzaron por la calle principal, cruzaron la Plaza y se detuvieron por fin frente a un cobertizo iluminado. En el interior un hombre yacía en el suelo empapado de sangre. Una de sus manos sostenía sin fuerzas un puñal teñido de rojo. La otra reposaba inerte sobre un papel arrugado en el que Arganza, con sólo inclinarse, pudo leer con claridad:
«Que a nadie se culpe de...».
El resto se hallaba sumergido en el charco púrpura.Cumpliendo con las inevitables formalidades, el médico rodeó la muñeca del difunto, colocó los dedos bajo la mandíbula, constató la inexistencia de reflejo pupilar y, tal vez para convencerse a sí mismo de la importancia de sus conocimientos, confirmó lo que todos sabían con un tajante: «Está muerto». Después miró a la pareja de civiles, volvió sobre el difunto e, impresionado por la sangrienta inmolación, decidió tomarse un respiro y darse una vuelta por la Plaza. No habrían pasado más de diez minutos cuando regresó al tétrico cobertizo. Uno de los guardias se hallaba en pie, con la carta arrugada temblando entre sus manos y una mezcla de sorpresa y terror dibujada en el rostro. Pero sobre el charco de sangreno había cadáver alguno.

Edgar Allan Poe: The Unparalleled Adventure of One Hans Phall

Edgar Allan Poe portrait attributed to William Huddy, Edgar Allan Poe, The Unparalleled Adventure of One Hans Phall, 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,
Edgar Allan Poe portrait attributed to William Huddy


With a heart of furious fancies,
Whereof I am commander,
With a burning spear and a horse of air,
To the wilderness I wander.
Tom O’Bedlam’s Song.

BY late accounts from Rotterdam, that city seems to be in a high state of philosophical excitement. Indeed, phenomena have there occurred of a nature so completely unexpected — so entirely novel — so utterly at variance with preconceived opinions — as to leave no doubt on my mind that long ere this all Europe is in an uproar, all physics in a ferment, all reason and astronomy together by the ears.

It appears that on the ——— day of ———, (I am not positive about the date,) a vast crowd of people, for purposes not specifically mentioned, were assembled in the great square of the Exchange in the well-conditioned city of Rotterdam. The day was warm — unusually so for the season — there was hardly a breath of air stirring; and the multitude were in no bad humor at being now and then besprinkled with friendly showers of momentary duration, that fell from large white masses of cloud profusely distributed about the blue vault of the firmament. Nevertheless, about noon, a slight but remarkable agitation became apparent in the assembly; the clattering of ten thousand tongues succeeded; and, in an instant afterwards, ten thousand faces were upturned towards the heavens, ten thousand pipes descended simultaneously from the corners of ten thousand mouths, and a [page 2:] shout, which could be compared to nothing but the roaring of Niagara, resounded long, loudly and furiously, through all the city and through all the environs of Rotterdam.

The origin of this hubbub soon became sufficiently evident. From behind the huge bulk of one of those sharply defined masses of cloud already mentioned, was seen slowly to emerge into an open area of blue space, a queer, heterogeneous, but apparently solid substance, so oddly shaped, so whimsically put together, as not to be in any manner comprehended, and never to be sufficiently admired, by the host of sturdy burghers who stood open-mouthed below. What could it be? In the name of all the devils in Rotterdam, what could it possibly portend? No one knew; no one could imagine; no one — not even the burgomaster Mynheer Superbus Von Underduk — had the slightest clew by which to unravel the mystery; so, as nothing more reasonable could be done, every one to a man replaced his pipe carefully in the corner of his mouth, and maintaining an eye steadily upon the phenomenon, puffed, paused, waddled about, and grunted significantly — then waddled back, grunted, paused, and finally — puffed again.

In the meantime, however, lower and still lower towards the goodly city, came the object of so much curiosity, and the cause of so much smoke. In a very few minutes it arrived near enough to be accurately discerned. It appeared to be — yes! it was undoubtedly a species of balloon; but surely no such balloon had ever been seen in Rotterdam before. For who, let me ask, ever heard of a balloon manufactured entirely of dirty newspapers? No man in Holland certainly; yet here, under the very noses of the people, or rather at some distance above their noses, was the identical thing in question, and composed, I have it on the best authority, of the precise material which no one had ever before known to be used for a similar purpose. — It was an egregious insult to the good sense of the burghers of Rotterdam. As to the shape of the phenomenon, it was even still more reprehensible. Being little or nothing better than a huge fool’s-cap turned upside down. And this similitude was regarded as by no means lessened, when upon nearer inspection, the crowd saw a large tassel depending from its apex, and, around the upper rim or base of the cone, a [page 3:] circle of little instruments, resembling sheep-bells, which kept up a continual tinkling to the tune of Betty Martin. But still worse. — Suspended by blue ribbons to the end of this fantastic machine, there hung, by way of car, an enormous drab beaver hat, with a brim superlatively broad, and a hemispherical crown with a black band and a silver buckle. It is, however, somewhat remarkable that many citizens of Rotterdam swore to having seen the same hat repeatedly before; and indeed the whole assembly seemed to regard it with eyes of familiarity; while the vrow Grettel Pfaall, upon sight of it, uttered an exclamation of joyful surprise, and declared it to be the identical hat of her good man himself. Now this was a circumstance the more to be observed, as Pfaall, with three companions, had actually disappeared from Rotterdam about five years before, in a very sudden and unaccountable manner, and up to the date of this narrative all attempts at obtaining intelligence concerning them had failed. To be sure, some bones which were thought to be human, mixed up with a quantity of odd-looking rubbish, had been lately discovered in a retired situation to the east of the city; and some people went so far as to imagine that in this spot a foul murder had been committed, and that the sufferers were in all probability Hans Pfaall and his associates. — But to return.

Santiago Eximeno: Te quiero

Santiago Eximeno, Te quiero, 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, Brian W. Aldiss, Salomé Guadalupe Ingelmo,

Como todas las mañanas, mamá me prepara el desayuno. Sonríe mientras me sirve la leche. Papá me pasa la mano por el pelo, bromea. Me hace cosquillas y se burla de mi hermana pequeña, que lucha en su trona por tomar otra cucharada de su papilla. Termino el desayuno. Mamá me abraza y me besa. Papá también. Me revuelve el pelo. Antes de salir por la puerta, mamá me coloca la mochila a la espalda. En su interior están los explosivos.

L. Sprague de Camp: A Gun for Dinosaur

L. Sprague de Camp, A Gun for Dinosaur, 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, Brian W. Aldiss, Salomé Guadalupe Ingelmo,

No, I'm sorry, Mr. Seligman, but I can't take you hunting Late Mesozoic dinosaur.

Yes, I know what the advertisement says.

Why not? How much d'you weigh? A hundred and thirty? Let's see; that's under ten stone, which is my lower limit.

I could take you to other periods, you know. I'll take you to any period in the Cenozoic. I'll get you a shot at an entelodont or a uintathere. They've got fine heads.

I'll even stretch a point and take you to the Pleistocene, where you can try for one of the mammoths or the mastodon.

I'll take you back to the Triassic where you can shoot one of the smaller ancestral dinosaurs. But I will jolly well not take you to the Jurassic or Cretaceous. You're just too small.

What's your size got to do with it? Look here, old boy, what did you think you were going to shoot your dinosaur with?

Oh, you hadn't thought, eh?

Well. sit there a minute. . . . Here you are: my own private gun for that work, a Continental .600. Does look like a shotgun, doesn't it? But it's rifled, as you can see by looking through the barrels. Shoots a pair of .600 Nitro Express cartridges the size of bananas; weighs fourteen and a half pounds and has a muzzle energy of over seven thousand foot-pounds. Costs fourteen hundred and fifty dollars. Lot of money for a gun, what?

I have some spares I rent to the sahibs. Designed for knocking down elephant. Not just wounding them, knocking them base-over-apex. That's why they don't make guns like this in America, though I suppose they will if hunting parties keep going back in time.

Now, I've been guiding hunting parties for twenty years. Guided 'em in Africa until the game gave out there except on the preserves. And all that time I've never known a man your size who could handle the six-nought-nought. It knocks 'em over, and even when they stay on their feet they get so scared of the bloody cannon after a few shots that they flinch. And they find the gun too heavy to drag around rough Mesozoic country. Wears 'em out.

Stig Dagerman: Att döda ett barn

Stig Dagerman: Att döda ett barn, 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, Brian W. Aldiss, Salomé Guadalupe Ingelmo,

Det är en lätt dag och solen står snett på över slätten. Snart ska klockorna ringa, ty det är söndag.

Mellan ett par rågåkrar har två unga hittat en stig som de aldrig förut gått och i slättens tre byar blänker fönsterrutorna. Män rakar sig framför speglarna på köksborden och kvinnorna skär gnolande upp bröd till kaffet och barn sitter på golvet och knäpper sina livstycken. Det är den lyckliga morgonen till en ond dag, ty denna dag skall ett barn dödas i den tredje byn av en lycklig man. Ännu sitter barnet på golvet och knäpper sitt livstycke och mannen som rakar sig säger att i dag skall de ta en roddtur nerför ån och kvinnan gnolar och lägger upp det nyskurna brödet på ett blått fat.

Det far ingen skugga över köket och ändå står mannen som skall döda barnet vid en röd bensinpump i den första byn. Det är en lycklig man som tittar in i en kamera och i glaset ser han en liten blå bil och bredvid en ung flicka som skrattar. Medan flickan skrattar och mannen tar den vackra bilden skruvar bensinförsäljaren fast locket på tanken och säger att de får en fin dag. Flickan sätter sig i bilen och mannen som skall döda ett barn tar upp sin plånbok ur fickan och säger att de ska åka till havet och vid havet skall de låna en båt och ro långt ut.

Genom de nerskruvade rutorna hör flickan i framsätet vad han säger, hon blundar och när hon blundar ser hon havet och mannen bredvid sig i båten. Det är ingen ond man, han är glad och lycklig och innan han stiger in i bilen står han ett ögonblick framför kylaren som gnistrar i solen och njuter av glansen och doften av bensin och hägg. Det faller ingen skugga över bilen och den blanka kofångaren har inga bucklor och inte heller är den röd av blod.

Men samtidigt som mannen i bilen i den första byn slår igen dörren till vänster om sig och drar ut startknappen öppnar kvinnan i köket i den tredje byn sitt skåp och hittar inget socker. Barnet som har knäppt sitt livstycke och knutit sina skor står på knä i soffan och ser ån som slingrar sig mellan alarna och den svarta ekan som ligger uppdragen i gräset. Mannen som skall förlora sitt barn är färdigrakad och viker just ihop spegeln. På bordet står kaffekopparna, brödet, grädden och flugorna. Det är bara sockret som fattas och modern säger åt sitt barn att springa över till Larssons och låna några bitar. Och medan barnet öppnar dörren ropar mannen efter det att skynda på, för båten väntar på stranden och de skall ro så långt ut som de aldrig förut rott. När barnet sedan springer genom trädgården tänker det hela tiden på ån och på båten och på fiskarna som slår och ingen viskar till det att det bara har åtta minuter kvar att leva och att båten skall ligga där den ligger hela den dagen och många andra dagar.

Det är inte långt till Larssons, det är bara tvärs över vägen och medan barnet springer över vägen far den lilla blå bilen in i den andra byn. Det är en liten by med små röda hus och nymornade människor som sitter i sina kök med kaffekoppen höjd och se bilen rusa förbi på andra sidan häcken med ett högt moln av damm bakom sig. Det går mycket fort och mannen i bilen ser äppelträden och de nytjärade telegrafstolparna skymta förbi som grå skuggor. Det fläktar sommar genom vindrutan, de rusar ut ur byn, de ligger fint och säkert mitt på vägen och de är ensamma på vägen - ännu. Det är skönt att färdas alldeles ensam på en mjuk bred väg och ute på slätten går det ännu finare. Mannen är lycklig och stark och med högra armbågen känner han sin kvinnas kropp. Det är ingen ond man. Han har bråttom till havet. Han skulle inte kunna göra en geting förnär, men ändå skall han snart döda ett barn. Medan de rusar fram mot den tredje byn sluter flickan åter ögonen och leker att hon inte skall öppna dem förrän de kan se havet och hon drömmer i takt med bilens mjuka krängningar och hur blankt det skall ligga.

Charles Maturin: Tale of Guzman's Family

Charles Maturin, Tale of Guzman's Family, 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, Brian W. Aldiss, Salomé Guadalupe Ingelmo

‘Of what I am about to read to you,’ said the stranger, ‘I have witnessed part myself, and the remainder is established on a basis as strong as human evidence can make it.

‘In the city of Seville, where I lived many years, I knew a wealthy merchant, far advanced in years, who was known by the name of Guzman the rich. He was of obscure birth, — and those who honoured his wealth sufficiently to borrow from him frequently, never honoured his name so far as to prefix Don to it, or to add his surname, of which, indeed, most were ignorant, and among the number, it is said, the wealthy merchant himself. He was well respected, however; and when Guzman was seen, as regularly as the bell tolled for vespers, to issue from the narrow door of his house, — lock it carefully, — view it twice or thrice with a wistful eye, — then deposit the key in his bosom, and move slowly to church, feeling for the key in his vest the whole way, — the proudest heads in Seville were uncovered as he passed, — and the children who were playing in the streets, desisted from their sports till he had halted by them.

‘Guzman had neither wife or child, — relative or friend. An old female domestic constituted his whole household, and his personal expences were calculated on a scale of the most pinching frugality; it was therefore matter of anxious conjecture to many, how his enormous wealth would be bestowed after his death. This anxiety gave rise to inquiries about the possibility of Guzman having relatives, though in remoteness and obscurity; and the diligence of inquiry, when stimulated at once by avarice and curiosity, is indefatigable. Thus it was at length discovered that Guzman had formerly a sister, many years younger than himself, who, at a very early age, had married a German musician, a Protestant, and had shortly after quitted Spain. It was remembered, or reported, that she had made many efforts to soften the heart and open the hand of her brother, who was even then very wealthy, and to induce him to be reconciled to their union, and to enable her and her husband to remain in Spain. Guzman was inflexible. Wealthy, and proud of his wealth as he was, he might have digested the unpalatable morsel of her union with a poor man, whom he could have made rich; but he could not even swallow the intelligence that she had married a Protestant. Ines, for that was her name, and her husband, went to Germany, partly in dependence on his musical talents, which were highly appreciated in that country, — partly in the vague hope of emigrants, that change of place will be attended with change of circumstances, — and partly, also, from the feeling, that misfortune is better tolerated any where than in the presence of those who inflict it. Such was the tale told by the old, who affected to remember the facts, — and believed by the young, whose imagination supplied all the defects of memory, and pictured to them an interesting beauty, with her children hanging about her, embarking, with a heretic husband, for a distant country, and sadly bidding farewell to the land and the religion of her fathers.

‘Now, while these things were talked of at Seville, Guzman fell sick, and was given over by the physicians, whom with considerable reluctance he had suffered to be called in.

‘In the progress of his illness, whether nature revisited a heart she long appeared to have deserted, — or whether he conceived that the hand of a relative might be a more grateful support to his dying head than that of a rapacious and mercenary menial, — or whether his resentful feelings burnt faintly at the expected approach of death, as artificial fires wax dim at the appearance of morning; — so it was, that Guzman in his illness bethought himself of his sister and her family, — sent off, at a considerable expence, an express to that part of Germany where she resided, to invite her to return and be reconciled to him, — and prayed devoutly that he might be permitted to survive till he could breathe his last amid the arms of her and her children. Moreover, there was a report at this time, in which the hearers probably took more interest than in any thing that related merely to the life or death of Guzman, — and this was, that he had rescinded his former will, and sent for a notary, with whom, in spite of his apparent debility, he remained locked up for some hours, dictating in a tone which, however clear to the notary, did not leave one distinct impression of sound on the ears that were strained, even to an agony of listening, at the double-locked door of his chamber.

Froilán Turcios: Salomé

Froilán Turcios, Salomé, 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, Brian W. Aldiss, Salomé Guadalupe Ingelmo,

Era una joven de rara hermosura que llevaba en la frente el sello de un terrible destino.
En su cara, de una palidez láctea, sus ojos de un gris de acero ardían extrañamente, y su boca, flor de sangre, era un poema de lujuria. Largo el talle flexible, mórbida la cadera, finos y redondos el cuello y los brazos, sus quince años cantaban el triunfo de su divina belleza.

Cuando Oliverio la conoció en una alegre mañana del último estío, quedóse como petrificado. Vibró en su ser hasta la más leve fibra y sintió que toda su alma se anegaba en una angustia dolorosa. Ella pasó como una sombra errabunda; pero él nunca más volvería a gozar de la dulce paz de antaño. La amó inmensamente, con cierta vaga impresión de espanto, como si de improviso se hubiera enamorado de una muerta...

Aquella noche tuvo fiebre. Pálidas mujeres de la historia, creaciones luminosas de los poetas, blancos seres de legen¬daria hermosura, que duermen, desde remotos siglos, el hondo sueño de la muerte, llegaron hasta él, en lento desfile...

Vio pasar a Helena, marmórea beldad vencedora de los héroes; a Ofelia, cantando una tenue balada, deshojando lirios en las aguas dormidas; a Julieta, casta y triste; a Belkiss, incendiada de pedrerías; a Salomé, casi desnuda, alta y mórbida, de carne de ámbar, de áurea cabellera constelada de grandes flores argentinas, tal como la vio en el cuadro de Bernardo Luini.
Esta última figura llegó a producirle una alucinación profunda.

Comparó a la hija de Herodías con otra imagen de inefable encanto, pero viva y cálida, llena de sangre y de amor, y un vértigo de sensualidad le hizo desfallecer dulcemente... Eran gemelas las dos vírgenes extraordinarias. Ambas tenían el cuerpo florido; ambas se hacían amar mortalmente por la gracia y por el aroma, y por la atracción embriagadora del sexo...

Era, no le cabía duda, un caso de metempsícosis...

Oliverio empezó a languidecer, devorado por un fuego interno. El harpa de sus nervios vibraba de continuo y su alma de silencio y de sueño se pobló de imágenes luctuosas. Él era de un temperamento raro y aristocrático, en donde florecían fantásticamente las rosas de la fábula. Era un esteta por su continua obsesión de belleza y por el culto de la palabra, y, desventuradamente, un voluptuoso. Su espíritu refinado, puro y excelso, sufría tormentos dantescos, vencido por la carne traidora. Llevaba en las venas –quizá por alguna oscura ley atávica– rojos ríos de lujuria; y en las horas demoniacas revolaba en su cerebro un enjambre de venenosas cantáridas...
El deseo que sintió por aquella adolescente fresca y sen¬sual le hizo ver, desde el primer instante, el abismo en que iba a hundirse. La deseó de una vez con un ansia viril y fuerte. Soñó poseerla hasta hacerla llorar en el espasmo supre¬mo, bajo la potente presión de la caricia fecunda; pero luego comprendió, por un hondo instinto, que el luminoso rostro de aquella virgen no le sonreiría nunca, y quedóse por mucho tiempo, por varios años, como muerto, aherrojado a su negro destino.

Robert A. Heinlein: All You Zombies

Robert A. Heinlein, All You Zombies, 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, Brian W. Aldiss, Salomé Guadalupe Ingelmo,

2217 Time Zone V (EST) 7 Nov. 1970-NTC- "Pop's Place": I was polishing a brandy snifter when the Unmarried Mother came in. I noted the time-10: 17 P. M. zone five, or eastern time, November 7th, 1970. Temporal agents always notice time and date; we must.

The Unmarried Mother was a man twenty-five years old, no taller than I am, childish features and a touchy temper. I didn't like his looks - I never had - but he was a lad I was here to recruit, he was my boy. I gave him my best barkeep's smile.

Maybe I'm too critical. He wasn't swish; his nickname came from what he always said when some nosy type asked him his line: "I'm an unmarried mother. -- If he felt less than murderous he would add: "at four cents a word. I write confession stories. --

If he felt nasty, he would wait for somebody to make something of it. He had a lethal style of infighting, like a female cop - reason I wanted him. Not the only one.

He had a load on, and his face showed that he despised people more than usual. Silently I poured a double shot of Old Underwear and left the bottle. He drank it, poured another.

I wiped the bar top. -- How's the "Unmarried Mother" racket? --

His fingers tightened on the glass and he seemed about to throw it at me; I felt for the sap under the bar. In temporal manipulation you try to figure everything, but there are so many factors that you never take needless risks.

I saw him relax that tiny amount they teach you to watch for in the Bureau's training school. -- Sorry, " I said. -- Just asking, "How's business? " Make it "How's the weather?

He looked sour. -- Business is okay. I write 'em, they print 'em, I eat. --

I poured myself one, leaned toward him. -- Matter of fact, " I said, "you write a nice stick - I've sampled a few. You have an amazingly sure touch with the woman's angle. --

It was a slip I had to risk; he never admitted what pen-names he used. But he was boiled enough to pick up only the last: "'Woman's angle! "" he repeated with a snort. -- Yeah, I know the woman's angle. I should. --

"So? -- I said doubtfully. -- Sisters? --

"No. You wouldn't believe me if I told you. --

"Now, now, " I answered mildly, "bartenders and psychiatrists learn that nothing is stranger than truth. Why, son, if you heard the stories I do-well, you'd make yourself rich. Incredible. --

"You don't know what "incredible" means! "

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Tales of Mystery and Imagination

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