WANTED short, scary ghost stories - fiction or factual - for publication on this site.If published, we will be happy to list author's biographical details and a link back to your Web site.Copyright will remain with authors. Send submissions/outlines to abracad.
The Works of Edgar Allan Poe Raven Edition Volume 2
Why _should_ that lady blush! To this demand there is no answer - except that, having left, in the eager haste and terror of a mother's heart, the privacy of her own _boudoir_, she has neglected to enthral her tiny feet in their slippers, and utterly forgotten to throw over her Venetian shoulders that drapery which is their due. What other possible reason could there have been for her so blushing? - for the glance of those wild appealing eyes? for the unusual tumult of that throbbing bosom? - for the convulsive pressure of that trembling hand? - that hand which fell, as Mentoni turned into the palace, accidentally, upon the hand of the stranger. What reason could there have been for the low - the singularly low tone of those unmeaning words which the lady uttered hurriedly in bidding him adieu? "Thou hast conquered," she said, or the murmurs of the water deceived me; "thou hast conquered - one hour after sunrise - we shall meet - so let it be!"
* * * * * * *
The tumult had subsided, the lights had died away within the palace, and the stranger, whom I now recognized, stood alone upon the flags. He shook with inconceivable agitation, and his eye glanced around in search of a gondola. I could not do less than offer him the service of my own; and he accepted the civility. Having obtained an oar at the water-gate, we proceeded together to his residence, while he rapidly recovered his self-possession, and spoke of our former slight acquaintance in terms of great apparent cordiality.
There are some subjects upon which I take pleasure in being minute. The person of the stranger - let me call him by this title, who to all the world was still a stranger - the person of the stranger is one of these subjects. In height he might have been below rather than above the medium size: although there were moments of intense passion when his frame actually _expanded_ and belied the assertion. The light, almost slender symmetry of his figure, promised more of that ready activity which he evinced at the Bridge of Sighs, than of that Herculean strength which he has been known to wield without an effort, upon occasions of more dangerous emergency. With the mouth and chin of a deity - singular, wild, full, liquid eyes, whose shadows varied from pure hazel to intense and brilliant jet - and a profusion of curling, black hair, from which a forehead of unusual breadth gleamed forth at intervals all light and ivory - his were features than which I have seen none more classically regular, except, perhaps, the marble ones of the Emperor Commodus. Yet his countenance was, nevertheless, one of those which all men have seen at some period of their lives, and have never afterwards seen again. It had no peculiar - it had no settled predominant expression to be fastened upon the memory; a countenance seen and instantly forgotten - but forgotten with a vague and never-ceasing desire of recalling it to mind. Not that the spirit of each rapid passion failed, at any time, to throw its own distinct image upon the mirror of that face - but that the mirror, mirror-like, retained no vestige of the passion, when the passion had departed.