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Here is the next installment of Beatrice Allen Page’s unpublished manuscript, Landscape with Figures:

“The rain finally stopped early this morning. The sky looks like a huge, sodden, gray blotter that might disintegrate any minute and start dropping in soft, wet chunks. Everything is so saturated that I feel as if the house had submerged and I were looking out through the windows at an underwater scene. When a young woman with a couple of youngsters done up in orange slickers went past half an hour ago, I was mildly surprised they didn’t all move in languid slow-motion like skin divers. And when a bird sings occasionally, it seems as if bubbles ought to rise up through the aqueous air.

The house has a mildewed smell. Dampness has seeped all through it. The towels never really dry and the sheets feel clammy. The crackers and cereal have gone soggy on the pantry shelf, the salt won’t pour, and only an occasional match will strike. When I laid the newspaper on the kitchen table, the print came off on the oilcloth.

I should get out of the house, walk over to the village and mail the one letter I wrote yesterday, do something. I know that. But I can’t throw off the inertia that is making this another wasted day.”