Short summary - The Terror - Lui? - Guy de Maupassant

French literature summaries - 2021

Short summary - The Terror - Lui?
Guy de Maupassant

I am writing to my friend that I have decided to marry. My views and beliefs have not changed - I consider marriage to be stupidity, and free love is the only fun and good thing in the world. I felt incapable of loving one woman because I will always love everyone else.

I hardly know my future wife, she is not disgusting to me, and that's enough. She is a small plump blonde from a poor family. I decide on this reckless act so as not to be alone. My state of mind is shameful. I don't want to be alone at night anymore. I want to feel a living being next to me, to talk, to see a human face up close. I'm afraid to be alone.

I am afraid of myself, afraid of my darkened mind, an eerie sensation of incomprehensible horror, mysterious incomprehensible anxiety. I am afraid of something unknown that lurks behind the door, in the closet, under the bed. At the same time, I know that there is nothing anywhere. This has never happened before. I calmly returned home, and nothing darkened my mind.

It started last year, on a rainy autumn evening. I felt lonely and went out into the street, wandered for a long time, looked into a cafe. Got home about midnight. In the room, I suddenly saw that someone was sitting in my chair with his back to me and warming his legs by the fireplace. I reached out to touch his shoulder. The chair was empty! I had a hallucination, visual illusion, accidental breakdown. I slept restlessly, but in the morning I felt healthy. I was very cheerful all day. In the evening at home I did not see any ghosts, but still I was not calm.

From this day on, I am afraid to be alone at night. The ghost no longer appears to me, but I feel it near, around me. It is invisible, but it exists. I can't help it alone, but if there are two of us, I know he won't be here anymore. He is here because I am alone.