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).

Wilkie Collins: Brother Morgan's Story of the Dream Woman

Wilkie Collins, Brother Morgan's Story of the Dream Woman, Relatos de terror, Horror stories, Short stories, Science fiction stories, Anthology of horror, Antología de terror, Anthology of mystery, Antología de misterio, Scary stories, Scary Tales, Science Fiction Short Stories, Historias de ciencia ficcion, Salomé Guadalupe Ingelmo


I had not been settled much more than six weeks in my country practice when I was sent for to a neighboring town, to consult with the resident medical man there on a case of very dangerous illness.
My horse had come down with me at the end of a long ride the night before, and had hurt himself, luckily, much more than he had hurt his master. Being deprived of the animal's services, I started for my destination by the coach (there were no railways at that time), and I hoped to get back again, toward the afternoon, in the same way.
After the consultation was over, I went to the principal inn of the town to wait for the coach. When it came up it was full inside and out. There was no resource left me but to get home as cheaply as I could by hiring a gig. The price asked for this accommodation struck me as being so extortionate, that I determined to look out for an inn of inferior pretensions, and to try if I could not make a better bargain with a less prosperous establishment.
I soon found a likely-looking house, dingy and quiet, with an old-fashioned sign, that had evidently not been repainted for many years past. The landlord, in this case, was not above making a small profit, and as soon as we came to terms he rang the yard-bell to order the gig.
"Has Robert not come back from that errand?" asked the landlord, appealing to the waiter who answered the bell.
"No, sir, he hasn't."
"Well, then, you must wake up Isaac."
"Wake up Isaac!" I repeated; "that sounds rather odd. Do your ostlers go to bed in the daytime?"
"This one does," said the landlord, smiling to himself in rather a strange way.
"And dreams too," added the waiter; "I sha'n't forget the turn it gave me the first time I heard him."
"Never you mind about that," retorted the proprietor; "you go and rouse Isaac up. The gentleman's waiting for his gig."
The landlord's manner and the waiter's manner expressed a great deal more than they either of them said. I began to suspect that I might be on the trace of something professionally interesting to me as a medical man, and I thought I should like to look at the ostler before the waiter awakened him.
"Stop a minute," I interposed; "I have rather a fancy for seeing this man before you wake him up. I'm a doctor; and if this queer sleeping and dreaming of his comes from any thing wrong in his brain, I may be able to tell you what to do with him."
"I rather think you will find his complaint past all doctoring, sir," said the landlord; "but, if you would like to see him, you're welcome, I'm sure."
He led the way across a yard and down a passage to the stables, opened one of the doors, and, waiting outside himself, told me to look in.
I found myself in a two-stall stable. In one of the stalls a horse was munching his corn; in the other an old man was lying asleep on the litter. 

César Mallorquí: El rebaño

César Mallorquí, El rebaño, Relatos de terror, Horror stories, Short stories, Science fiction stories, Anthology of horror, Antología de terror, Anthology of mystery, Antología de misterio, Scary stories, Scary Tales, Science Fiction Short Stories, Historias de ciencia ficcion, Salomé Guadalupe Ingelmo

El cielo, como un paño de terciopelo negro cubierto de diamantes, se alzaba en todo su esplendor sobre las oscuras cumbres de las monta¬ñas. Por encima de los bosques y de los valles, miles de estrellas titi¬laban en el firmamento de aquella noche cristalina.
Pero había una, entre todas ellas, que no se comportaba como sue¬len hacerlo las estrellas. Se movía.
Claro que aquel objeto distaba mucho de ser una estrella. No emi¬tía luz; la reflejaba. No tenía una vasta masa: pesaba poco más de seis mil quinientos kilos. No era un objeto natural, sino artificial
A doscientos kilómetros de altura, el satélite Geosat D, puesto en órbita trece, años atrás mediante un propulsor Arianne V desde la base de Kourou, sobrevolaba el sur de Europa. Su vertical, en ese mo¬mento, se encontraba situada exactamente encima de los Pirineos.
Geosat estaba procediendo a realizar las habituales observaciones automáticas. Algunos de sus sistemas habían dejado de ser operati¬vos (no hay que olvidar que la vida prevista para el satélite era de doce años, y ya llevaba funcionando uno de más). No obstante, su órbita había entrado en una espiral descendente, que lo acercaba cada ve?, más rápidamente a la superficie de la 'tierra. De hecho, Geosat estaba condenado a una muerte tan cierta como inminente. Y es que, según el peculiar calendario de los artefactos orbitales, era un satélite viejo. Aun así, el sistema de observación, cuyas funciones, entre otras, eran el registro y proceso de datos meteorológicos, todavía con¬servaba el brío de una primera juventud electrónica.
Las cámaras de infrarrojos y Ópticas escrutaron la lejana super¬ficie de la Tierra y su inmediata troposfera. El cielo sobre la pe¬nínsula Ibérica y el sur de Francia estaba limpio de nubes. Los sistemas informáticos de Geosat midieron las temperaturas, la di¬rección de los vientos, el grado de humedad y las variaciones de las corrientes marinas en el estrecho de Gibraltar y el golfo de Vizcaya, procesaron la información y, casi instantáneamente, la transmitie¬ron por enlace, de microondas a los receptores instalados en Roble¬do de Chavela.
Pero no había nadie allí para recibir aquel torrente de datos. No había nadie en toda la superficie de la Tierra capaz de escuchar aque¬llos mensajes llovidos del cielo.
No había nadie...

Charles Dickens: Captain Murderer

Charles Dickens, Captain Murderer, Relatos de terror, Horror stories, Short stories, Science fiction stories, Anthology of horror, Antología de terror, Anthology of mystery, Antología de misterio, Scary stories, Scary Tales, Science Fiction Short Stories, Historias de ciencia ficcion, Salomé Guadalupe Ingelmo

The first diabolical character who intruded himself on my peaceful youth (as I called to mind that day at Dullborough), was a certain Captain Murderer. This wretch must have been an off-shoot of the Blue Beard family, but I had no suspicion of the consanguinity in those times. His warning name would seem to have awakened no general prejudice against him, for he was admitted into the best society and possessed immense wealth. Captain Murderer's mission was matrimony, and the gratification of a cannibal appetite with tender brides. On his marriage morning, he always caused both sides of the way to church to be planted with curious flowers; and when his bride said, 'Dear Captain Murderer, I ever saw flowers like these before: what are they called?' he answered, 'They are called Garnish for house-lamb,' and laughed at his ferocious practical joke in a horrid manner, disquieting the minds of the noble bridal company, with a very sharp show of teeth, then displayed for the first time. He made love in a coach and six, and  married in a coach and twelve, and all his horses were milk-white horses with one red spot on the back which he caused to be hidden by the harness. For, the spot WOULD come there, though every horse was milk-white when Captain Murderer bought him. And the spot was young bride's blood. (To this terrific point I am indebted for my first personal experience of a shudder and cold beads on the forehead.) When Captain Murderer had made an end of feasting and revelry, and had dismissed the noble guests, and was alone with his wife on the day month after their marriage, it was his whimsical custom to produce a golden rolling-pin and a silver pie-board. Now, there was this special feature in the Captain's courtships, that he always asked if the young lady could make pie-crust; and if she couldn't by nature or education, she was taught. Well. When the bride saw Captain Murderer produce the golden rolling-pin and silver pie-board, she remembered this, and turned up her laced-silk sleeves to make a pie. The Captain brought out a silver pie-dish of immense capacity, and the Captain brought out flour and butter and eggs and all things needful, except the inside of the pie; of materials for the staple of the pie itself, the Captain brought out none. Then said the lovely bride, 'Dear Captain Murderer, what pie is this to be?' He replied, 'A meat pie.' Then said the lovely bride, 'Dear Captain Murderer, I see no meat.' The Captain humorously retorted, 'Look in the glass.' She looked in the glass, but still she saw no meat, and then the Captain roared with laughter, and suddenly frowning and drawing his sword, bade her roll out the crust. So she rolled out the crust, dropping large tears upon it all the time because he was so cross, and when she had lined the dish with crust and had cut the crust all ready to fit the top, the Captain called out, 'I see the meat in the glass!' And the bride looked up at the glass, just in time to see the Captain cutting her head off; and he chopped her in pieces, and peppered her, and salted her, and put her in the pie, and sent it to the baker's, and ate it all, and picked the bones.

José Carlos Somoza: La quima

José Carlos Somoza, La quima, 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

La historia de la quima me la contó mi abuelo. No es bueno- decía- ponerse a mirar el cielo durante mucho tiempo, porque puedes ver una quima, y ay de ti si eso sucede.
¿Y qué es una quima?, preguntaba yo.
Pues un pájaro, pero más veloz. Como una paloma, pero más blanca. Tan blanca que te hiere los ojos y te hace verlo todo gris: la nieve, las nubes de verano, los rayos de la luna, el alabastro, la piel de los muertos, el papel sobre el que escribo..hasta las sagradas formas ( y aquí mi abuelo se santiguaba), que Dios me perdone.
Cuando ves una quima, ya no hay remedio: todo lo que miras después se vuelve gris.

Ya soy viejo y no creo en las quimas. Pero acabo de recordar algo.

Era una niña. Nunca supe su nombre. Tenía el pelo color almiar. La vi por primera vez en la iglesia, durante mi primera comunión.
Tan embobado quedé al verla que un compañero decidió empujarme para que avanzara hacia el altar.
Ella pertenecía a otro colegio, y después de la comunión se marchó. Yo no tardé en olvidarla.

Hasta hoy.

La memoria de los viejos es rara.

Algernon Blackwood: The Occupant of the Room

Algernon Blackwood, The Occupant of the Room, 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

He arrived late at night by the yellow diligence, stiff and cramped after the toilsome ascent of three slow hours. The village, a single mass of shadow, was already asleep. Only in front of the little hotel was there noise and light and bustle--for a moment. The horses, with tired, slouching gait, crossed the road and disappeared into the stable of their own accord, their harness trailing in the dust; and the lumbering diligence stood for the night where they had dragged it--the body of a great yellow-sided beetle with broken legs.
In spite of his physical weariness, the schoolmaster, revelling in the first hours of his ten-guinea holiday, felt exhilarated. For the high Alpine valley was marvellously still; stars twinkled over the torn ridges of the Dent du Midi where spectral snows gleamed against rocks that looked like ebony; and the keen air smelt of pine forests, dew-soaked pastures, and freshly sawn wood.
He took it all in with a kind of bewildered delight for a few minutes, while the other three passengers gave directions about their luggage and went to their rooms. Then he turned and walked over the coarse matting into the glare of the hall, only just able to resist stopping to examine the big mountain map that hung upon the wall by the door.
And, with a sudden disagreeable shock, he came down from the ideal to the actual. For at the inn--the only inn--there was no vacant room. Even the available sofas were occupied.
How stupid he had been not to write! Yet it had been impossible, he remembered, for he had come to the decision suddenly that morning in Geneva, enticed by the brilliance of the weather after a week of rain.
They talked endlessly, this gold-braided porter and the hard-faced old woman--her face was hard, he noticed--gesticulating all the time, and pointing all about the village with suggestions that he ill understood, for his French was limited and their patois was fearful.
'There!'--he might find a room, 'or there! But we are, hélas full--more full than we care about. To-morrow, perhaps-if So-and-So give up their rooms--!' And then, with much shrugging of shoulders, the hard-faced old woman stared at the gold-braided porter, and the porter stared sleepily at the school-master.
At length, however, by some process of hope he did not himself understand, and following directions given by the old woman that were utterly unintelligible, he went out into the street and walked towards a dark group of houses she had pointed out to him. He only knew that he meant to thunder at a door and ask for a room. He was too weary to think out details. The porter half made to go with him, but turned back at the last moment to speak with the old woman. The houses sketched themselves dimly in the general blackness. The air was cold. The whole valley was filled with the rush and thunder of falling water. He was thinking vaguely that the dawn could not be very far away, and that he might even spend the night wandering in the woods, when there was a sharp noise behind him and he turned to see a figure hurrying after him. It was the porter--running.

Juan José Arreola: La migala

Juan José Arreola, La migala, 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

La migala discurre libremente por la casa, pero mi capacidad de horror no disminuye.

El día en que Beatriz y yo entramos en aquella barraca inmunda de la feria callejera, me di cuenta de que la repulsiva alimaña era lo más atroz que podía depararme el destino. Peor que el desprecio y la conmiseración brillando de pronto en una clara mirada.

Unos días más tarde volví para comprar la migala, y el sorprendido saltimbanqui me dio algunos informes acerca de sus costumbres y su alimentación extraña. Entonces comprendí que tenía en las manos, de una vez por todas, la amenaza total, la máxima dosis de terror que mi espíritu podía soportar. Recuerdo mi paso tembloroso, vacilante, cuando de regreso a la casa sentía el peso leve y denso de la araña, ese peso del cual podía descontar, con seguridad, el de la caja de madera en que la llevaba, como si fueran dos pesos totalmente diferentes: el de la madera inocente y el del impuro y ponzoñoso animal que tiraba de mí como un lastre definitivo. Dentro de aquella caja iba el infierno personal que instalaría en mi casa para destruir, para anular al otro, el descomunal infierno de los hombres.

La noche memorable en que solté a la migala en mi departamento y la vi correr como un cangrejo y ocultarse bajo un mueble, ha sido el principio de una vida indescriptible. Desde entonces, cada uno de los instantes de que dispongo ha sido recorrido por los pasos de la araña, que llena la casa con su presencia invisible.

Todas las noches tiemblo en espera de la picadura mortal. Muchas veces despierto con el cuerpo helado, tenso, inmóvil, porque el sueño ha creado para mí, con precisión, el paso cosquilleante de la aralia sobre mi piel, su peso indefinible, su consistencia de entraña. Sin embargo, siempre amanece. Estoy vivo y mi alma inútilmente se apresta y se perfecciona.

Hay días en que pienso que la migala ha desaparecido, que se ha extraviado o que ha muerto. Pero no hago nada para comprobarlo. Dejo siempre que el azar me vuelva a poner frente a ella, al salir del baño, o mientras me desvisto para echarme en la cama. A veces el silencio de la noche me trae el eco de sus pasos, que he aprendido a oír, aunque sé que son imperceptibles.

Muchos días encuentro intacto el alimento que he dejado la víspera. Cuando desaparece, no sé si lo ha devorado la migala o algún otro inocente huésped de la casa. He llegado a pensar también que acaso estoy siendo víctima de una superchería y que me hallo a merced de una falsa migala. Tal vez el saltimbanqui me ha engañado, haciéndome pagar un alto precio por un inofensivo y repugnante escarabajo.

Clark Ashton Smith: The Colossus of Ylourgne

Clark Ashton Smith, The Colossus of Ylourgn, Relatos de terror, Horror stories, Short stories, Science fiction stories, Anthology of horror, Antología de terror, Anthology of mystery, Antología de misterio, Scary stories, Scary Tales, Science Fiction Short Stories, Historias de ciencia ficcion, Salomé Guadalupe Ingelmo

I. The Flight of the Necromancer

The thrice-infamous nathaire, alchemist, astrologer and necromancer, with his ten devil-given pupils, had departed very suddenIy and under circumstances of strict secrecy from the town of Vyones. It was widely thought, among the people of that vicinage, that his departure had been prompted by a salutary fear of ecclesiastical thumbscrews and faggots. Other wizards, less notorious than he, had already gone to the stake during a year of unusual inquisitory zeal; and it was well-known that Nathaire had incurred the reprobation of the Church. Few, therefore, considered the reason of his going a mystery; but the means of transit which he had employed, as well as the destination of the sorcerer and his pupils, were regarded as more than problematic.

A thousand dark and superstitious rumours were abroad; and passers made the sign of the Cross when they neared the tall, gloomy house which Nathaire had built in blasphemous proximity to the great cathedral and had filled with a furniture of Satanic luxury and strangeness. Two daring thieves, who had entered the mansion when the fact of its desertion became well established, reported that much of this furniture, as well as the books and other paraphernalia of Nathaire, had seemingly departed with its owner, doubtless to the same fiery bourn. This served to augment the unholy mystery: for it was patently impossible that Nathaire and his ten apprentices, with several cart-loads of household belongings, could have passed the everguarded city gates in any legitimate manner without the knowledge of the custodians.

It was said by the more devout and religious moiety that the Archfiend, with a legion of bat-winged assistants, had borne them away bodily at moonless midnight. There were clerics, and also reputable burghers, who professed to have seen the flight of man-like shapes upon the blotted stars together with others that were not men, and to have heard the wailing cries of the hell-bound crew as they passed in an evil cloud over the roofs and city walls.

Others believed that the sorcerers had transported themselves from Vyones through their own diabolic arts, and had withdrawn to some unfrequented fastness where Nathaire, who had long been in feeble health, could hope to die in such peace and serenity as might be enjoyed by one who stood between the flames of the auto-da-fé and those of Abaddon. It was thought that he had lately cast his own horoscope, for the first time in his fifty-odd years, and had read therein an impending conjunction of disastrous planets, signifying early death.

Others still, among whom were certain rival astrologers and enchanters, said that Nathaire had retired from the public view merely that he might commune without interruption with various coadjutive demons; and thus might weave, unmolested, the black spells of a supreme and lycanthropic malice. These spells, they hinted, would in due time be visited upon Vyones and perhaps upon the entire region of Averoigne; and would no doubt take the form of a fearsome pestilence, or a wholesale invultuation, or a realm-wide incursion of succubi and incubi.

Salomé Guadalupe Ingelmo: Esquizo / Schizo

Salome Guadalupe Ingelmo, Alejandro Cabeza, Salomé Guadalupe Ingelmo,  Esquizo, Schizo, escritora madrileña, escritora española, 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

Y si soy el mayor de los pecadores, soy también la mayor de las víctimas.
            Robert Louis Stevenson, El extraño caso del Dr. Jekyll y Mr. Hyde

“Jamás serás como Él, patético doctorcillo”, dice su irritante compañero.
No lo soporta. Esa inoportuna voz, llevando siempre la contraria, invadiendo su pensamiento noche y día, le produce intensos dolores de cabeza. A medida que ahondaba en sus investigaciones, se volvió progresivamente más huraño, hasta aislarse totalmente del mundo exterior. Sólo el laboratorio ahuyentaba su apatía. Ahora su única compañía es ese doble que le saca de quicio, pero del que tampoco puede prescindir.
El doctor recurre una vez más a la jeringuilla. Como otras mentes privilegiadas, comenzó a consumir cocaína en busca de lucidez. Ahora lo hace para sobrellevar a ese alter ego petulante y engreído. Cuando salta una dosis está más irascible de lo habitual y es incapaz de concentrarse. Reconfortado por la droga, recuerda cómo empezó todo.
Consciente de que el cuerpo es un mero recipiente, fácil de sustituir desde que el gran Víctor Frankenstein ofreciese su aportación a la ciencia, se centró en reproducir el órgano que alojaba su talento y su genuino espíritu: su cerebro, un mecanismo perfecto.
Durante años cultivó células extraídas de su propio bulbo raquídeo con escaso éxito, hasta que una mañana se levantó y la minúscula masa esponjosa había crecido. Fue desarrollándose bajo su atenta mirada, llena de admiración y ternura. Ahora, flotando en su pecera, rodeado de cables que conectan los electrodos colocados en su superficie con la bocina que le sirve de boca, se diría un pulpo grotesco y respondón. Su lóbulo frontal parece anómalo. El hipocampo y la amígdala, pequeños. Más aberración que prodigio, se pregunta si no será defectuoso, si no fallaría algo en el experimento.

Замятин Евгений Иванович ( Yevgeny Zamyatin ): Пещера (The cave)

Замятин Евгений Иванович  ( Yevgeny Zamyatin ): Пещера (The cave), 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

Ледники, мамонты, пустыни. Ночные, черные, чем-то похожие на дома, скалы; в скалах пещеры. И неизвестно, кто трубит ночью на каменной тропинке между скал и, вынюхивая тропинку, раздувает белую снежную пыль; может, серохоботый мамонт; может быть, ветер; а может быть -- ветер и есть ледяной рев какого-то мамонтейшего мамонта. Одно ясно: зима. И надо покрепче стиснуть зубы, чтобы не стучали; и надо щепать дерево каменным топором; и надо всякую ночь переносить свой костер из пещеры в пещеру, все глубже, и надо все больше навертывать на себя косматых звериных шкур.
Между скал, где века назад был Петербург, ночами бродил серохоботый мамонт. И, завернутые в шкуры, в пальто, в одеяла, в лохмотья, -- пещерные люди отступали из пещеры в пещеру. На покров Мартин Мартиныч и Маша заколотили кабинет; на казанскую выбрались из столовой и забились в спальне. Дальше отступать было некуда; тут надо было выдержать осаду -- или умереть.
В пещерной петербургской спальне было так же, как недавно в Ноевом ковчеге: потопно перепутанные чистые и нечистые твари. Красного дерева письменный стол; книги; каменновековые, гончарного вида лепешки; Скрябин опус 74; утюг; пять любовно, добела вымытых картошек; никелированные решетки кроватей; топор; шифоньер; дрова. И в центре всей это вселенной -- бог, коротконогий, ржаво-рыжий, приземистый, жадный пещерный бог: чугунная печка.
Бог могуче гудел. В темной пещере -- великое огненное чудо. Люди -- Мартин Мартиныч и Маша -- благоговейно, молча благодарно простирали к нему руки. На один час -- в пещере весна; на один час -- скидывались звериные шкуры, когти, клыки, и сквозь обледеневшую мозговую корку пробивались зеленые стебельки -- мысли.
-- Март, а ты забыл, что ведь завтра... Ну, уж я вижу: забыл!
В октябре, когда листья уже пожолкли, пожухли, сникли -- бывают синеглазые дни; запрокинуть голову в такой день, чтобы не видеть земли, -- и можно поверить: еще радость, еще лето. Так и с Машей: если вот закрыть глаза и только слушать ее -- можно поверить, что она прежняя, и сейчас засмеется, встанет с постели, обнимет, и час тому назад ножом по стеклу -- это не ее голос, совсем не она...
-- Ай, Март, Март! Как все... Раньше ты не забывал. Двадцать девятое: Марии, мой праздник...
Чугунный бог еще гудел. Света, как всегда, не было: будет только в десять. Колыхались лохматые, темные своды пещеры. Мартин Мартиныч -- на корточках, узлом -- туже! еще туже! -- запрокинув голову, все еще смотрит в октябрьское небо, чтобы не увидеть пожолклые, сникшие губы. А Маша:
-- Понимаешь, Март, -- если бы завтра затопить с самого утра, чтобы весь день было как сейчас! А? Ну, сколько у нас? Ну с полсажени еще есть в кабинете?
До полярного кабинета Маша давным-давно не могла добраться и не знала, что там уже... Туже узел, еще туже!
-- Полсажени? Больше! Я думаю, там...
Вдруг -- свет: ровно десять. И, не кончив, зажмурился Мартин Мартиныч, отвернулся: при свете -- труднее, чем в темноте. И при свете ясно видно: лицо у него скомканное, глиняное, теперь у многих глиняные лица -- назад к Адаму! А Маша:

Medardo Fraile: Decapitado

Medardo Fraile, Decapitado, 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

Para Brigitte Radloff

CUANDO le asignaron su cuarto en la pensión, encajada entre cuatro calles estrechas, lo primero que hizo fué establecer una corriente de aire para evitar un olorcillo rancio que parecia emanar de una cañeríaaorta hinchada en un ángulo de la habitación. Asomado al balcón vio de frente a un hombre vestido de negro, con sombrero, que acababa de doblar la esquina y tomaba derecho la calle. Entró en seguida en su cuarto a desocupar la maleta y vio la araña cuando ya había puesto los libros sobre la cama y se disponía a abrir el grifo del lavabo. Era muy pequeña y estaba un poco alejada de la tela—pobre y deshilachada—, pensando que aquello no iba bien y nuevamente tendría que empezar. Diré a la criada que limpie eso, pensó. Aunque—siguió diciendo—, estas que son como esa no pican ni hacen nada, parecen muy enceladas con su labor, —que, por otra parte, realizan muy despacio—, pero no es decente que ese animal esté ahí, más que nada porque los ángulos de las habitaciones gusta verlos limpios y una araña es siempre, además, una pequeña duda, una ligera preocupación y hay quien no se atreve a alzar la voz o tirar desde lo alto un zapato al suelo, por si el bicho se remueve y toma alguna decisión desagradable. Y si al ir a aplastarla se falla el gol-
pe la cosa está clara, el bicho sabe que van por él sin ningún miramiento y que si antes se le había tolerado no mediaba en ello el afecto sino el egoísmo. La araña entonces puede tener una idea genial acerca de uno,
—se dice que no tienen ideas fijas—, y entonces atacarnos de forma tal vez muy peligrosa. Fué en aquel momento cuando en la casa de enfrente de fachada de almagre se abrió un balcón, —y no parecía que antes hubiese ninguno—, y se asomó la muchacha con vestido de flores estampadas, que, varias veces, mientras él la miraba con el rabo del ojo, se movió de un extremo a otro del balcón para fisgar a su antojo la habitación donde estaba él recién abierta. Se vio que ella le conocía.
Alguien, por detrás de ella, azuzaba con voz de apuntador: Es Azurgaraya, y ella parecía darle, un poco sofocada, con el pie por detrás para que se callase. «Azurgaray; si, Azurgaray«, insistía el tipo a sus espaldas. Y cuando él se decidió a afrontar la cosa saliendo a su balcón, la muchacha atrapellándose, con apresuramiento que pareció forzado aposta, se metió dentro y cerró, incluso, los postigos con tremendo estrépito que se hizo notar más por el repentino silencio en que quedó la calle. Luego se oía decir, como detrás de cada ladrillo: el hijo del notario Azurgaray. Y vio de frente a un hombre vestido de negro, con sombrero, que acababa de doblar la esquina y tomaba derecho la calle. Sí, dijo él al joven que regentaba la pensión, es una asignatura nada más y recalcó deletreando: u-na. Derecho Civil, pero no la ae cuarto, o sea de quinto, sino la de tercero, o sea la de cuarto. Se encontraba locuaz. Es raro pero así es.
Y fué por algo del secretario que tenía poca estatura y cambió la disposición de las actas en los armarios y entonces fué la infiltración por la (¡ue tuve que trastrocar, —previa notificación, naturalmente—, la asignatura, solo u-na al fin y al cabo, deletreó de nuevo. Pero era inútil, el joven ya no estaba. Cuando empezaba le escuchaban con verdadero ahinco y de repente luego cuando él decía «y fué por algov se iban desinteresados, a veces murmurando una palabra de cortesía o mirando el reloj repentinamente melifluos, como si les llevase alguien esperando mucho tiempo. El joven estaba ahora subido a una escalera, silboteando una canción como si tal cosa, mientras limpiaba una bombilla.

Edward Frederic Benson: The sanctuary

Edward Frederic Benson, The sanctuary, 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

Francis Elton was spending a fortnight's holiday one January in the Engadine, when he received the telegram announcing the death of his uncle, Horace Elton, and his own succession to a very agreeable property: the telegram added that the cremation of the remains was to take place that day, and it was therefore impossible for him to attend, and there was no reason for his hurrying home.
In the solicitor's letter that reached him two days later Mr. Angus gave fuller details: the estate consisted of sound securities to the value of about £80,000, and there was as well Mr. Elton's property just outside the small country town of Wedderburn in Hampshire. This consisted of a charming house and garden and a small acreage of building land. Everything had been left to Francis, but the estate was saddled with a charge of £500 a year in favour of the Reverend Owen Barton.
Francis knew very little of his uncle, who for a long time had been much of a recluse; indeed he had not seen him for nearly four years, when he had spent three days with him at this house at Wedderburn. He had vague but slightly uneasy memories of those days, and now on his journey home, as he lay in his berth in the rocking train, his brain, rummaging drowsily among its buried recollections, began to disinter these. There was nothing very definite about them: they consisted of suggestions and side-lights and oblique impressions, things observed, so to speak, out of the corner of his eye, and never examined in direct focus.
He had only been a boy at the time, having just left school, and it was in the summer holidays, hot sultry weather of August, he remembered, that he had paid him this visit, before he went to a crammer's in London to learn French and German.
There was his Uncle Horace, first of all, and of him he had vivid images. A grey-haired man of middle age, large and extremely stout with a cushion of jowl overlapping his collar, but in spite of this obesity, he was nimble and light in movement, and with a merry blue eye that was equally alert, and seemed constantly to be watching him. Then there were two women there, a mother and daughter, and, as he recalled them, their names occurred to him, too: they were Mrs. Isabel Ray and Judith. Judith, he supposed, was a year or two older than himself, and on the first evening had taken him for a stroll in the garden after dinner. She had treated him at once as if they were old friends, had walked with her arm round his neck, had asked him many questions about his school, and whether there was any girl he was keen on. All very friendly, but rather embarrassing. When they came in from the garden, certainly some questioning signal had passed between the mother and the girl, and Judith had shrugged her shoulders in reply.
Then the mother had taken him in hand; she made him sit with her in the window-seat, and talked to him about the crammer's he was going to: he would have much more liberty, she supposed, than he had at school, and he looked the sort of boy who would make good use of it. She tried him in French and found he could speak it very decently, and told him that she had a book which she had just finished, which she would lend him. It was by that exquisite stylist Huysman and was called Là-Bas. She would not tell him what it was about: he must find out for himself. All the time those narrow grey eyes were fixed on him, and when she went to bed, she took him up to her room to give him the book. Judith was there, too: she had read it, and laughed at the memory of it. "Read it, darling Francis," she said, "and then go to sleep immediately, and you will tell me to-morrow what you dreamed about, unless it would shock me."

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Tales of Mystery and Imagination

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