31 December 2010
Do know what's going to happen next?
The shock is going to wear off and you're going to start feeling guilty.
I know what I'm talking about. It will be a truly terrible guilt. It will devastate you.
You'll be carefully watched, for you may attempt suicide, that's how badly you'll feel.
Eventually, with my help, you'll come to terms with what you've done.
And when that happens I hope you won't hate yourself.
You'll just be terribly, terribly sad, and you won't lose that sadness for the rest of your life.
Patrick McGrath Asylum (1996)
30 December 2010
He set the photo against the telephone on the desk, leaned back in his chair, and crossed his arms.
Fifteen little girls with camera-shy faces.
Seven or eight or nine year olds.
His favorite for a long time had been the uncombed moppet in the white sweater sitting under a crucifix hanging on the wall. She was holding an apple and scowling.
Then he'd switched to the blonde with the ponytail sitting by the blackboard at the opposite side of the room. She was biting a pencil.
Then, for years, his choice had lingered on the pale narrow visage with the bangs in the last row. Her hands were tightly clasped and she looked terrified.
Then the girl next to her had attracted his fancy. She wore glasses and was grinning ...
But he no longer had any preferences. He knew them all by heart now and loved every one of them.
The classroom was the most familiar decor of his life: three walls, crucifix, tables, blackboard, the apple.
And the fifteen lovely faces, the myriad of gazing eyes ... and in the far corner a door through which he knew he would one day enter and call her name.
And out of the multitude would rise his lost child.
29 December 2010
He had found her.
In recompense for all his loss he had been given his prize - a girl asleep in a dim room.
All the world was an abyss filled with slaughtered men, but she was his redemption and his grace.
She had called to him and he had come.
He would never leave her now.
They would remain forever under the oak trees, with their lost daughters and their miracle.
Marc Behm The Eye of the Beholder (1980)