Milk at his side steamed out of chipped cup. He smelt the morning, and knew that the cocks in the yard were putting back their heads and crowing at the sun. What were the sheets around him if not the covering sheets of the dead? What was the busy-voiced clock, sounding between photographs of mother and dead wife, if not the voice of an old enemy?
Dylan Thomas, 'The Visitor,' from Adventures in the Skin Trade, New Directions, 1964, p. 70.
TIME: Indeterminate (19th or 20th C.?)
CIRCUMSTANCE: an invalid
With such surprise, he thought, do the dead follow the movements of the quick, seeing the bloom under the living skin. She would be singing as she moved from mantelpiece to window, putting things right, or should be humming like a bee about her work. But if she had spoken, or laughed, or struck her nails against the thin metal of the candlesticks, drawing forth a bell-note, or if the room had been suddenly crowded with the noises of birds, he would have wept again.
Dylan Thomas, 'The Visitor,' from Adventures in the Skin Trade, New Directions, 1964, p. 72.
TIME: l9th or 20th C.?
CIRCUMSTANCE: an invalid imagines his wife nursing him
From the woods on either side came the sharp crack of guns and the pheasants falling like a rain. But soon the night was silent, softening the triggers of the fallen twigs that had snapped out under Callaghan's feet ... He heard Callaghan's laughter like a rattle of thunder that the wind took up and doubled. There was a shouting in the wind, a commotion under the surface of the earth ... The cock cried again, and a bird whistled like a scythe through wheat.
Dylan Thomas, 'The Visitor,' from Adventures in The Skin Trade, New Directions, 1964, p. 75 -77.
TIME: 19th or 20th c.?
CIRCUMSTANCE: a dying man dreams before death