The worlds that I love (fragment)
Daína Chaviano
(Translation: Daniel W. Koon)


          Many people witness strange events in their lives: they see objects move when no one is around, they hear voices when they are alone, they dream of things which come true later, or they ponder certain ideas only to discover that someone else was thinking about those very same ideas. But the fear of being misunderstood or ridiculed almost always keeps them from sharing these experiences with others.
          (Fragment from the prologue)
         
          One night in the middle of July, having spent a little over half an hour reading, which is my routine before going to bed, I turned off the lights and went to sleep. I don’t know exactly how much time passed, but I believe that it must have been about two or three in the morning when I woke up. I felt terribly drowsy and my eyelids were heavy, but I couldn’t go back to sleep.
          I sat up in bed, perplexed, asking myself what was going on. I knew that something strange was happening. But I was too fatigued to think clearly. The room was dark and only the tick tock of the clock could be heard... No. It wasn’t just the tick tock. A sound unusual for this time of night was mixed with the sound of the clock on the headboard of my bed. It was a rhythmic tap, tap, tap, similar to drops of water dripping from a faucet that has been left half open. “That must be it,” I thought. “Some bathroom faucet has not been closed properly and it’s dripping.” And so I went back to sleep.
          But no. That curious sound was not being produced by water. I opened my eyes again. The noise was dry and dull and was produced at regular intervals of about three seconds. Now I was certain that it was not coming from the bathroom, but for the moment I could not locate its origin. It seemed instead to come from every corner of the bedroom... The absurdity of the situation nearly drove me crazy. I rubbed my eyes with rage, wanting to tear out the remains of the stupor which seemed to have collected in my eyes, and I sat up in bed again.
          I suddenly understood that the noise came from above my head. Almost instinctively I looked at the ceiling. The noise was coming from the roof! Was someone walking around up there? “But it can’t be footsteps,” I thought, “because footsteps are never that uniform and they don’t repeat themselves so slowly.”
          I was afraid. I noticed this when I heard myself wondering whether or not I should go upstairs. Finally, my curiosity won out.
          I dressed in the darkness, managing to avoid the furniture, as I shook with excitement. Slowly, I opened the door of my room and tiptoed up the stairway.
         
         
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