By Will Payne (1858-1919).
Short short story (5 pages).
First appearance: The Atlantic Monthly, December 1899.
Reprinted in AHMM, September 2004.
. . . Coming in, the young man had noticed the policemen. He looked at them now with an apathy which was like the dying down of his last sense of contact with the world. Even policemen were only passive and idle figments in a scheme of things all idle and indescribably remote. All of those beings at their little tables, — it seemed to him that he had only to wink his eyes and they would vanish; the broad, hot, still sunshine would pour over a garden empty of all but him. He thought that he did not care, particularly. Caring was too active a state of mind. He felt the perception of a sorrow so big and immutable that any merely human activity was quite grotesque. . . .Resource:
- Many a man of note has been named Will Payne; go HERE for more about this Will Payne who made it into Who's Who a couple of times.
Category: Crime fiction with heart