Sometimes I think of people as bells ringing on a foggy night. They are all different and distant, ringing to their own timbre. Some are golden and light, others are solemn iron things whose peeling thrum falls slow and cold over the land.
It’s not easy to traverse the fog on the way to them, holding an ear up the cold night and still trying to keep your eye on the uneven ground before you. For some people, the stress of those first meetings, of finding the voice behind the bell in the fog, is too great to bear. And so they don’t bear it, and choose instead to live alone.
Today’s story is the second half of a two-part tale. If you haven’t listened to the first part, stop here and listen to Ghost Story (Part One) from last month.
Last episode, we left the subject of our story, a young man named Barden, on his lonesome in his hermitage of a flat in Paris. He’s been bothered by strange knocking from the apartment downstairs, and visions of some pale-faced apparition that may or may not be a symptom of his self-imposed isolation.
Barden is a man who likes solitude not because he enjoys it, but because it suits him and he’s afraid of trying anything else. But he’s started hearing the first low peels of bellsong in the foggy Parisian night, and soon he may find the call of at least one of those long and lonely notes too enticing to ignore.
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This month’s recommendations:
Monstruo, the new podcast from the creators of Westside Fairytales, Sword and Scale, and Dark Topic.
The House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III.