From The Abyss, Autumn Equinox 1999 edition, vol. 1.7

His arms were tightly pinned to his side, but what a relief! Others might have felt cramped, trapped like a fly on flypaper; he felt safer this way. The danger was just too great, and being crushed in the back of the subway car obviated, for now, any need to struggle with it. For now… Soon his stop would come, and he’d have to move around. It was harder to push your way through a crowd with your arms at your sides, but he’d had plenty of practice because it was better, he felt, to play it safe. There was no point in taking the chance of releasing it. The degree to which those around him would suffer – did suffer, on a few horrible occasions – made it worth his while to be very careful. The nausea, the retching, the screaming and moaning, the flies; he couldn’t knowingly inflict that on anyone. That’s why he moved so slowly, walking painstakingly around with his arms clamped to his sides. If he raised them even slightly, it would all be over. He had Tragomaskhalophobia, the fear of having armpits that smell like a goat.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.