Best of 2013 – Windows

When we held a special horror-themed fiction contest for the month of October, we really didn’t expect to get a story like Windows, by Ben Pienaar. Instead of being haunted by traditional things, like ghosts, vampires, ghouls, and J.J. Abrams’ remakes of the Star Trek franchise, the protagonist is haunted by paradise. Imagine finding the most blissful place, your own personal wonderland full of peace and happiness, but knowing that it actually contains your doom.

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Art by David Revoy/ Blender Foundation


By Ben Pienaar

Usually if I get someone outright delusional I refer them to a specialist. Minor self-delusions are fine — in fact almost everyone does that to some degree. I’m fine with almost anything, in moderate measures, but when someone comes to me genuinely believing in the impossible … I must refer them.

Take for instance the young man who sits before me now, Dane Fynes. All signs show him to be a reasonable teenager. He’s well dressed, has a clear and present gaze. A rational attitude, but with an open mind, and he has just the right amounts of introspection and self-consciousness.

And yet he believes the impossible.

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