Tales From The Nightside
Charles L. Grant
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'We re headed over to the nightside now, so grab on, people. Get ready to break out.
In a hellish sort of way, I think you’re going to enjoy yourself.'
so was the rage he felt stiffening his muscles. But this time she wouldn’t stop when she saw his anger. She kept on, and on, and he didn’t even realize it when his hand lifted and struck her across the cheek. She stumbled back a step, whirled to run out of the room, and stopped. Damon was standing at the foot of the stairs. He was sucking his thumb. He was staring at his father. “Go to bed, son,” Frank said quietly. “Everything’s all right.” For the next week the tension in the house was
really understanding. Then we talked some more, and he reached out and pulled a dollar bill from behind my ear. I brushed a hand through my hair and laughed, and before I knew it I was telling him how I couldn't pull anything out of my sleeve because every time I let my arm down the things would fall out. Well, he looked really serious at me for a while, and I was afraid I'd said something to get him mad. There were other people coming in and out and buying the papers and smiling at me like they
it. I waited, and one by one his fingers opened. "Now what do you see?" I didn't know what to say. "Air." "And that's all there ever is, son. Air. Everything else comes from someplace else, and there's nothing up my sleeve but air." He closed his fingers again, blew on them, opened them and said, "What's there now?" It was getting awfully silly. "Air." "See? Now you try it." Well, I thought he was kind of crazy being so old, but he told me again so I rubbed my hands together, made the same
blood sped its youth-- when you knew how much better it felt to go from cold to warm than hot to cool. Fireplaces and hearths and a warm I soothing brandy meant something then, and mufflers and blankets fresh from the attic trunk and the soft easy comfort of a grumbling furnace. It all meant something then, just as it all means something now; but the difference between some-thing and something is a years-long crossing, and if I could only find a detour I might have missed, maybe then I could go
to play on his. own while he pulled a tarpaulin from a handmade toboggan and began loading the split wood, strapping each layer from front to back, finished with the canvas strapped side to side. It was noon, and he was sweating, gasping, but not yet ready to give in to the aching that stretched his muscles and pounded through his lungs. He pointed out to the boy the peak where three hunters had lain wounded when a local man had gone berserk one evening in the tavern, escaped from the sheriff,