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by Ben Hecht

Setting: America
Format of Original Source:
Recommended Adaptation Length:

Candidate for Adaptation? Not Reviewed


The hair was swaying faintly, each separate fiber moving alone….

It shifted, rose imperceptibly and fell. It quivered and glided….

“Lice,” murmured Moisse.

He watched.

Silent and asleep the old man sat with his thin face to the sun and his hair moved.

Vermin swarmed through it, creeping, crawling, tiny and infinitesimal.

Every strand was palpitating, shuddering under their mysterious energy.

At first Moisse could hardly make them out, but his eyes gradually grew accustomed to the sight. And as he watched he saw the hair swell like waves riding over the water, saw it drop and flutter, coil and uncoil of its own accord.

Vermin raised it up, pulled it out, streaming up and down tirelessly in vast armies.

They crawled furiously like dust specks blown thick through the white beard.

They streamed and shifted and were never still.

They moved in and out, from no place to no place, but always moving, frantic and frenzied.


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