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The Phantom Milkman

Author: Jack Vance
Year written: 1955
Author’s age at the time: 39
Year published: February 1956
Publication: Other Worlds Science Stories
Dutch title: De Onzichtbare Melkman
Genre: short story, horror

Comment: short horror story.

Quote:

I’ve had all I can stand. I’ve got to get out, away from the walls, the glass, the white stone, the black asphalt. All of a sudden I see the city for the terrible place that it is. Lights burn my eyes, voices crawl on my skin like sticky insects, and I notice that the people look like insects too. Burly brown beetles, wispy mosquito-men in tight black trousers, sour sow-bug women, mantids and scorpions, fat little dung-beetles, wasp-girls gliding with poisonous nicety, children like loathsome little flies...This isn’t a pleasant thought; I must not think of people so; the picture could linger to bother me. I think I’m a hundred times more sensitive than anyone else in the world, and I’m given to very strange fancies. I could list some that would startle you, and it’s just as well that I don’t. But I do have this frantic urge to flee the city; it’s settled. I’m going.