paul griffiths

The whole furniture consisted of a chair, a clothes-press, and a large oak case, with squares cut out near the top resembling coach windows.
    The ledge had a few mildewed books piled up in one corner; and it was covered with writing scratched on the paint. This writing, however, was nothing but a name repeated in all kinds of characters, large and small.
    Head, eyes; a glare of white letters started from the dark; skin. Knee. Some were detached sentences; hand.
    ‘An awful Sunday’, commenced the paragraph beneath.
    ‘A vain idea! The service lasted precisely three hours. “What, done already?
    ‘“Hair, fingers.”  Hair, knee. Ears.
    ‘“Sabbath not o’ered. There’s good books eneugh.
    ‘“Fit.
    ‘Arm.
    ‘Head.’
    Eye. ‘Seventy Times Seven, and the First of the Seventy-First.’ Brain. Alas, for the effects of bad tea and bad temper!
    The snow lay yards deep.
    It lies in a hollow, between two hills: an elevated hollow, near a swamp. Corpses.  A house with two rooms, threatening speedily to determine into one.
    Eyes.
    ‘This also may be absolved! The First of the Seventy-First is come.’
    Body. Sconces. Hand. Merely the branch of a fir-tree that rattled its dry cones against the panes.
    The hook was soldered into the staple. Knuckles, arm, fingers, fingers, hand. Arm, hand. Face. Wrist, blood. Fingers, ears. ‘Begone!’ Limb. Hand. A light glimmered through the squares at the top of the bed. Forehead.
    Fingers, face.
    Nails, palms, teeth.
    ‘Throat.’
    Forehead.
    Time stagnates here.
    ‘Always at nine in winter, and rise at four.’ Arm, eyes.
    ‘Keep out of the yard, though.’
    ‘Heart.’ It gave no sign of being; but the snow and wind whirled wildly through.
    Two benches, shaped in sections of a circle, nearly enclosed the hearth. Lips, arms.
    Mouth. Nostrils.
    It opened into the house. Hand, eyes, nose, face. Back.
    ‘Tongue.’
    Hand. Fists, lip. That was not long.
    These were erected and daubed with lime on purpose to serve as guides in the dark, and also when a fall, like the present, confounded the deep swamps on either hand with the firmer path: but, excepting a dirty dot pointing up here and there, all traces of their existence had vanished.
    Neck.
    Heart.

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