Another Snippet, PICKMAN’S MODEL.

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There was a flicker of confusion as Richard opened the door to see… Abigail, her hand raised to knock again. Correction: two flickers. The first was seeing a lovely young woman on his doorstep, instead of some salesman. Or worse, a missionary.

The second flicker was… odder. For a moment, Richard had focused on Abigail, seeing her with the keen eye of an artist. In that moment her features had taken on a queerly alien quality; there were no physical changes, and yet she looked subtly inhuman. Even bestial. The upraised hand looked just like a monstrous paw, ready to descend, and her eyes were of a hue not known in any of the regular haunts of Earth…

“Richard? Are you quite all right?”

Richard blinked. When his eyes cleared, the effect was gone: Abigail looked perfectly normal, and looking at him with concern. Or at least she seemed perfectly normal.

Shaking his head in mixed confusion and disappointment, Richard replied, “I suppose I am, now.”