• Madison White

A Story a Day #24: Marcel Ayme

March 1st, 2020

"The Walker-Through-Walls"

Marcel Ayme

A boring man of 46 discovers a unique ability to walk through walls. At first, he is not that interested in it but sees a doctor who gives him a couple of pills that should take the power away. He puts them away and continues on in his normal life until his boss upsets him. He then becomes "The Werewolf" stealing things and doing other debauchery. He allows himself to be caught a few times but escapes easily. He is planning a trip to Egypt when he encounters a lovely blonde woman who he is infatuated with, but she is married and kept in a locked room by her husband. The man visits her at night, but soon has a headache and takes a few pills in his drawer. He eventually realizes that these pills were the old ones the doctor had prescribed and he becomes stuck in a wall forever.

Firstly, this story is full of ornate language and sentence structure that I found rather distracting from the story. I'm not sure if this is because it is a translation from French or why it is written in such a way, but I much prefer less flowery prose. Perhaps this is just the American in me.

Beyond that, I thought the story arc was interesting because we see a plain and normal man turn into someone arrogant and objectively bad. Eventually, his abilities backfire on him and he ends up trapped forever. This might be hinting at a moral of being careful with whatever gifts you have been given and being mindful not to use them for evil. It also seems to comment on how people will live if there are seemingly no consequences. It takes a rather unrealistic premise and creates a very relatable story and character.

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