I couldn’t not include this, and I’m sure that every person who’s written A Personal Anthology has included it, but here it is again. When I first read this story, I read it as a horrifying account of the tricks your mind can play on you, especially when your mind is already somewhere vulnerable. On later reads, my attention switched to John, the narrator’s husband, and his cruelty and condescension. Paired with the Machado story, the moral here is that husbands suck, especially when you’ve just had their baby.
First published in The New England Magazine, January 1892. Widely collected and published, including as a £1 Penguin Little Black Classic. Available to read online here