Thursday, May 02, 2013

The Luggage-Train Heart

“‘I believe I’ve had a nightmare!’ he told himself, as he lay staring into the darkness with his fingers trembling and his forehead sweating, while his whole soul jerked itself back in spasms of relief to a shaken but normal consciousness. ‘It’s some weakness in my heart, of course,’ he thought, and he repeated several times over: ‘But the heart’s nothing; the heart’s nothing.’ And while he repeated these reassuring words he did his best not to think of a monstrous, heavily moving luggage-train that had got mixed up in some way with an appalling mass of darkness pressing in upon him from every side. ‘I mustn’t think of it,’ he told himself. ‘I mustn’t think of it.’
And although this ‘mustn’t think’ was quite as definitely concerned with the intolerable weight of darkness around him as was his ‘nothing’ with the pounding of his heart over the luggage-train, it was attended by much more serious apprehensions. And this was proved by the fact that each time he told himself he ‘mustn’t think’ of the darkness, his whole power of mind hovered on the edge of a panic-stricken sensation that made him draw back in terror from the black darkness around him and mentally try to push it away with both his hands.”

-- from THE INMATES (1952) by John Cowper Powys

My review of this book: HERE

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