Author: Kjell Lindblad

The snake

31 March 1998 | Fiction, Prose

In this horror story by the Finland-Swedish author Kjell Lindblad (born 1951), a man believes he is wandering among art installations in an apartment block – but the reality he is experiencing turns out to be much more sinister. From the collection of short stories Oktober-mars (‘October-March’, Schildts, 1997)

I only noticed the poster on the notice board in the vegetarian restaurant because it was so obviously different from the rest of the colourful items there, with their large headlines offering everything from Atlantic meditation to Zen ping-pong, together with promises of a new and fulfilled life in harmony with the soul and the cosmos. Poster is perhaps an overstatement ­ it was a white sheet of paper with an egg-shaped oval in the middle. Inside the oval there was a horizontal row of seven numbers. For some reason, perhaps because the row of numbers was the only information on the piece of paper, it stuck in my memory and when I got home I had a compulsive desire to find out if it was a phone number. So I dialled the number and a tape-recorded voice that could have belonged to a man but equally well to a woman, said:

‘We bid you welcome. Please don’t write down the address ­ just memorise it….’ More…

The Earth is a snowball

Issue 1/1995 | Archives online, Prose

A short story from Resa runt solen (‘Journey round the sun’, Schildts, 1994). Introduction by Ann-Christine Snickars

It is a day in August and even though I can sense that the end of the summer is nearer than the beginning, my hours are still as long as days. I am a child and live in the midst of summer’s eternity.

This morning I wake up earlier than anyone else. It isn’t usually that way. Usually Mårten is the first of us two to get up, but now he is asleep with his face turned to the wall. I stay in bed for a while, listening. It is also quiet in the other room, where Mama is asleep. Now I remember that it’s today Papa is coming out to see us after working in the town all week.

I open the curtain a little and see that the sky is blue and not grey with heavy rainclouds as it has been these past few days. I quickly put on my few clothes, a thin striped cotton sweater, my shorts and my brown plimsolls. I push the door open, stand on the steps and breathe a morning air that still smells more of summer than of autumn. I listen to the familiar sounds: twittering birds, the wind in the treetops and crying gulls over the bay. More…