The Mammoth Book of Science Fiction
kept house wouldn’t think he was so crazy!” They spent the next hour swapping instances: the row of books that always toppled the way you didn’t want them; the garment that slid silkily to the floor if one arm hung over an edge; the drawerful of articles that restacked themselves to wedge it shut; the ball of paper that avoided the gaping waste-basket and dove easily into the narrow cranny behind; the balcony door that normally refused to latch and banged in every breeze, but that had swung shut
sudden flicker and the birdcage was no longer there. Mose stood lonely in the barnyard, looking at the place where there was no birdcage and remembering what he had felt or thought – or been told? – the night before as he lay in bed. Already the critter would be there, out between the stars, in that black and utter loneliness, hunting for a place or thing or person that no human mind could grasp. Slowly Mose turned around to go back to the house, to get the pails and go down to the barn to get
they count up the number of events which take place in their field of view, as well as computing the map coordinates of the point they’re aimed at. I turn one-hundred-and-eighty degrees, and look back on the crowd that I passed through on my way here. The rate is substantially lower, but the same kind of thing is visible. Bystanders, of course, notice nothing; as yet, the whirlpool’s gradients are so shallow that any two people within sight of each other on a crowded street would more or less
light. He said, “Someone with opinions like yours probably shouldn’t have the job that you do.” “I didn’t know I had them,” the minister said. “I only just came upon them in the last couple of hours, thinking about it.” The professor was surprised. “You didn’t sleep?” She shook her head. “Who could sleep on a night like this?” “My feeling exactly!” He almost smiled. “So. A nuit blanche, you call it?” “Yes,” she said. “A nuit blanche for two.” And she looked down at him with that amused
could feel her trembling. “Say you love me. Hold me in your arms. I want you to love me – now – now. There is only an hour.” “Don’t be afraid. Try to face it bravely,” stammered Eastwood. “I don’t fear it – not death. But I have never lived. I have never had love. I have never felt or known anything. I have always been timid and wretched and afraid – afraid to speak – and I’ve almost wished for suffering and misery or anything rather than to be stupid and dumb and dead, as I’ve always been.