A Haunted House by Virginia Woolf

A Haunted House by Virginia Woolf

Whatever hour you woke there was a door shutting. From room to room they went, hand in hand, lifting here, opening there, making sure--a ghostly couple.

 Short story from Asia

"Here we left it," she said. And he added, "Oh, but here tool" "It's upstairs," she murmured. "And in the garden," he whispered. "Quietly," they said, "or we shall wake them."

But it wasn't that you woke us. Oh, no. "They're looking for it; they're drawing the curtain," one might say, and so read on a page or two. "Now they've found it,' one would be certain, stopping the pencil on the margin. And then, tired of reading, one might rise and see for oneself, the house all empty, the doors standing open, only the wood pigeons bubbling with content and the hum of the threshing machine sounding from the farm. "What did I come in here for? What did I want to find?" My hands were empty. "Perhaps its upstairs then?" The apples were in the loft. And so down again, the garden still as ever, only the book had slipped into the grass.

But they had found it in the drawing room. Not that one could ever see them. The windowpanes reflected apples, reflected roses; all the leaves were green in the glass. If they moved in the drawing room, the apple only turned its yellow side. Yet, the moment after, if the door was opened, spread about the floor, hung upon the walls, pendant from the ceiling--what? My hands were empty. The shadow of a thrush crossed the carpet; from the deepest wells of silence the wood pigeon drew its bubble of sound. "Safe, safe, safe" the pulse of the house beat softly. "The treasure buried; the room . . ." the pulse stopped short. Oh, was that the buried treasure?

A moment later the light had faded. Out in the garden then? But the trees spun darkness for a wandering beam of sun. So fine, so rare, coolly sunk beneath the surface the beam I sought always burned behind the glass. Death was the glass; death was between us, coming to the woman first, hundreds of years ago, leaving the house, sealing all the windows; the rooms were darkened. He left it, left her, went North, went East, saw the stars turned in the Southern sky; sought the house, found it dropped beneath the Downs. "Safe, safe, safe," the pulse of the house beat gladly. 'The Treasure yours."

My Neighbours are Very Good

My Neighbours are Very Good 

After faculty one winter day, Jack's mother told him to travel out and play within the snow.

"But it is so cold outside, Mother!" Jack aforementioned.

"Put on your coat and your hat and your mittens," his mother aforementioned. "You will build a figure before your father comes home."

"I'm attending to want a carrot for the nose," Jack aforementioned. "And i will want some things for the snowman's hat and face."

my next door people

Jack got a bucket and picked up everything he required to embellish his figure. His mother secure she would watch him build the figure from the window.

A Drama of Our Time part 1/4

A Drama of Our Time part 1/4

by Fernando Sorrentino
Translated from the Spanish by Michele Aynesworth

It happened when youth and optimism were my boon companions.

     The breezes of spring came wafting down Matienzo street in Las Ca๑itas around 11:00 o'clock on a Thursday, the only day of the week that my teaching schedule left me free. I taught Language and Literature in more than one high school, I was twenty-seven and full of enthusiasm for books and imagination.

     I was sitting on the balcony drinking maté and rereading, after a lapse of fifteen years, the enchanting adventures of King Solomon's Mines. (I noted sadly that when I was a boy I had enjoyed them much more.)

     Suddenly I felt someone watching me.

     I looked up. On one of the balconies of the building facing mine, at the same height as my own apartment, I spied a young woman. I raised a hand and waved. She waved back and left the balcony.

     Curious to know where this might lead, I tried to get a glimpse inside her apartment, with no result.

     "This will go nowhere," I said to myself, and returned to my reading. I hadn't read ten lines before she was back on her balcony, this time with dark glasses, and she sat down on a deckchair.

     I began feverishly making signs and gestures. The young woman was reading — or pretending to read — a magazine. "It's a ruse," I thought; "it's not possible that she doesn't see me, and now she's posing so I can enjoy the show." I couldn't quite make out her features, but I could tell she was tall and slender and her hair, dark and straight, came down to her shoulders. Overall, she seemed to be a beautiful girl, maybe twenty-four or twenty-five years old.

     I left the balcony, went to my bedroom, and peered through the shutters. She was looking in my direction. So I ran out and caught her in flagrante delicto.

A Drama of Our Time part 2/4

A Drama of Our Time part 2/4

by Fernando Sorrentino
Translated from the Spanish by Michele Aynesworth

     "Uh . . . With the girl . . ."

     "What girl, se๑or? What girl are you talking about, se๑or?" The thundrous voice now carried a note of menace.

     How do you explain something to someone who doesn't want to understand?

     "Uh . . . With the girl on the balcony." My voice was a tiny sliver of glass.

     But this didn't move him. On the contrary, he became more enraged:

     "Don't bother us, se๑or, please! We're working folks, se๑or!"

     An irate click ended the conversation. For a minute there I was speechless. I looked at the telephone and began cursing it between clenched teeth.

     Then I spoke harshly of that stupid girl who hadn't taken the trouble to answer the phone herself. Suddenly I decided it was my fault for calling too soon. The man with the booming voice had answered so quickly, the telephone must be within reach, maybe even on his desk. That's why he'd said, "We're working folks."

     And what about me? Everybody worked, that wasn't so special. I tried to picture him, giving him awful features: he was fat, florid, perspiring, and potbellied.

     This stentorian-voiced fellow had served me an unconditional defeat by telephone. I felt a bit depressed and wanting vengeance.

A Drama of Our Time part 3/4

A Drama of Our Time part 3/4

by Fernando Sorrentino
Translated from the Spanish by Michele Aynesworth

     Then I reasoned: "In the Green Guide there's a section where it's possible to use the telephone number to find out someone's name. I don't have a Green Guide. Large companies have the guide. Banks are large companies. Therefore banks have the guide. My friend Balbón works in a bank. Banks open at noon."

     I waited until 12:30 and called Balbón.

     "Oh, dear Fernando," he answered, "I'm overjoyed and comforted to hear your voice . . ."

     "Thanks, Balbón. But listen . . ."

     " . . . that voice of a young man with no cares or obligations, duties or responsibilities. Lucky you, dear Fernando, drifting along on the happy tide of life, not allowing external events to disturb your peace. Lucky you . . ."

     I can't prove it, but I beg to be believed: I swear Balbón exists and that, indeed, he talks like that and says that kind of thing.

     After having endowed me with such imaginary charms, he proceeded to portray himself — without giving me a chance to talk — as a sort of victim:

     "In contrast, I, the humble and negligible Balbón, carry on today, as I did yesterday and will tomorrow, and for centuries of centuries, dragging a heavy cartload of miseries and heartaches across this treacherous planet . . ."

     I had heard this story a thousand times.

     My mind wandered as I waited for the litany of complaints to reach an end. Then suddenly I heard:

     "It's been nice talking to you. Take care, now."

     And he hung up.

     Indignant, I called him back.

     "Che, Balbón!" I reproached him, "Why did you hang up?"

     "Ah," he said, "you wanted to tell me something?"

     "I want you to look in the Green Guide, see whose name corresponds to this telephone number . . ."

     "Hang on. I'm looking for my fountain pen, I hate to write with pencils or ballpoints."

     I was eaten up with impatience.

     Finally, after several minutes, he said, "That number belongs to one CASTELLUCCI, IRMA G. DE. Castellucci with double ell and double cee. But, why do you want to know?"

A Drama of Our Time part 4/4

A Drama of Our Time part 4/4

by Fernando Sorrentino
Translated from the Spanish by Michele Aynesworth

     "Oh, gweat! Dat's you, se๑or Castewussi . . . How you dooing, se๑or Castewussi?"

     "No, no, se๑or! Listen to me, se๑or!" He was about to blow a fuse. "The Castellucis haven't lived here for at least seven years, se๑or!"

     "You dooing OK, se๑or Castewussi?" I cordially insisted. "And da wife? And your widdle ones? Don't you wemember me, se๑or Castewussi?"

     "But who are you, se๑or?" In addition to being terrible, the monster was curious.

     "Dis is Bawwie, se๑or Castewussi."

     "Barrie?" he repeated, disgustedly. "Barrie who?"

     "Bawwie, se๑or Castewussi, da qwerk in da wibwawy."

     "What?! The library?!" He hadn't understood me very well: it was all I could do to keep from laughing.

     "Bawwie, se๑or Castewussi, Bawwie Wudder."

     "Barrie Rudder? What Barrie Rudder?"

     "Bawwie Wudder, da one dat got one eye cwossed and can't see wit dee udder, se๑or Castewussi."

     He exploded like an atom bomb: "Do me a favor and get lost, you idiot! Why don't you just shoot yourself, clown!?"