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Sleeping in a rural guesthouse, a man wakes up in the middle of the night to find a dinner-plate sized spider on the ceiling directly above him. An academic buys a rural house so he can work on his magnum opus, a multi-volume work on superstitions. Some unknown force is writing messages in the dust on a shelf, including one with his name in it.
A well-known physicist, as rational and scientific a person as you will ever meet, is tormented by a strange dream while he sleeps. It is as if he is watching a movie inside his head, for the dream progresses a few minutes each night. In the dream, he is washed up on shore somewhere in the East, and many hundreds of years ago. He sees a great city a mile away, where his lady love awaits. Between him and the city are a band of horsemen riding toward him, brandishing huge swords. Each night, they get closer and closer. The physicist checks himself into an isolated mental hospital, for "observation." The swordsmen in the dream can’t hurt him in reality, can they?
An isolated hamlet in the Alps is attacked by some sort of monster which is only heard, but never seen. In another rural house, a man becomes the private secretary to a man with a rather extreme interest in obituaries and chronicling people’s deaths.
Copper is a veteran of the macabre literature field, and it shows here. The horror part of these stories is implied, but never thrown all over the page. If you can find a copy, this is really worth reading.
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