The Return of Chorb
How we cite our quotes:
She skipped, she laughed. Chorb, hunching his back a bit, walked behind her—and it seemed to him that happiness itself had that smell, the smell of dead leaves (15).
The way the seasons are arranged in "Chorb" is interesting; we pass from the Fall, a time of decay, to the Spring, a time of rebirth – except Chorb’s wife has died in the interim.
A pale but jaunty lackey led Chorb down a crooked corridor reeking of dampness and boiled cabbage into a room which Chorb recognized—by the picture of a pink baigneuse in a gilt frame over the bed—as the very one in which he and his wife had spent their first night together (12).
Chorb’s grief is intensified by the details around him; from the trees outside the Kellers’ house to the painting in the hotel room, everything reminds him of his wife.
Her mother, in the meantime, led her closest friends, two by two, to inspect the bedroom meant for the young couple: with tender emotion, whispering under her breath, she pointed out the colossal eiderdown, the orange blossoms, the two pairs of brand-new bedroom slippers—large checkered ones, and tiny red ones with pompons—that she had aligned on the bedside rug, across which a Gothic inscription ran: "WE ARE TOGETHER UNTO THE TOMB." (12).
Everything is spectral and eerie in this story – even the romantic trinkets intended for a wedding night. This creates an other-worldly atmosphere for the reader.