The Child-Self Did Swiftly Glide


(From the forthcoming tale The Familiar.)

A series of nightmares he had had as a child returned to him.

A dreadful presence pulled at his child-self like a giant magnet, drawing him like a puppet, like a fish into the strong current flowing inexorably toward the dark twisting recesses of the red-brick mansion he lived in. The sense of dread was so unbearable that after a moments useless struggle against the invisible force, the child-self resolved to move directly toward the presence as fast as he could with the wish that the sooner he faced and surrendered to whatever was the terrible thing, the sooner he would be devoured and a merciful emptiness might then remain. But as the child-self did swiftly glide into the dark in shock, he would finally encounter the thing… that was a man. Only a tall, thin, pale person dressed in black. And now he recognized that the face was none other than that of his future-self… now his present self. And now he knew that he would never look any older and never be any different because he was no longer living in this world.


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