Christmas Eve by Guy de Maupassant, 1882
The magic trick:
Combining horror and comedy
I can’t imagine this was the best place for me to start with de Maupassant. I’ve been looking forward to digging into his oeuvre, but this one is a dud. I guess it’s supposed to be a funny bit of holiday horror. A man woos a young woman back to his home for a Christmas Eve dinner, mainly because he likes her plump figure. Oh, but wouldn’t you know, turns out she’s pregnant. Now he has a real problem on his hands. Hmmm. I guess that’s funny? I don’t know. I’m gonna read some more de Maupassant next month and check back in. Hopefully the results are stronger than this.
“At that moment, however, a deep groan made me look round, and I said:
“‘What is the matter with you, my dear?’
“She did not reply, but continued to utter painful sighs, as if she were suffering horribly, and I continued:
“‘Do you feel ill?’ And suddenly she uttered a cry, a heartrending cry, and I rushed up to the bed, with a candle in my hand.