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Author Topic: THE COLOUR OUT OF SPACE  (Read 387 times)
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Posts: 4530

« on: February 27, 2007, 12:24:19 am »

They say the mental influences are very bad, too; numbers went queer
in the years after Nahum's taking, and always they lacked the power to
get away. Then the stronger-minded folk all left the region, and only
the foreigners tried to live in the crumbling old homesteads. They
could not stay, though; and one sometimes wonders what insight beyond
ours their wild, weird stories of whispered magic have given them.
Their dreams at night, they protest, are very horrible in that
grotesque country; and surely the very look of the dark realm is enough
to stir a morbid fancy. No traveler has ever escaped a sense of
strangeness in those deep ravines, and artists shiver as they paint
thick woods whose mystery is as much of the spirits as of the eye. I
myself am curious about the sensation I derived from my one lone walk
before Ammi told me his tale. When twilight came I had vaguely wished
some clouds would gather, for an odd timidity about the deep skyey
voids above had crept into my soul.

Do not ask me for my opinion. I do not know--that is all. There was
no one but Ammi to question; for Arkham people will not talk about the
strange days, and all three professors who saw the aerolite and its
coloured globule are dead. There were other globules--depend upon
that. One must have fed itself and escaped, and probably there was
another which was too late. No doubt it is still down the well--I know
there was something wrong with the sunlight I saw above the miasmal
brink. The rustics say the blight creeps an inch a year, so perhaps
there is a kind of growth or nourishment even now. But whatever demon
hatchling is there, it must be tethered to something or else it would
quickly spread. Is it fastened to the roots of those trees that claw
the air? One of the current Arkham tales is about fat oaks that shine
and move as they ought not to do at night.

What it is, only God knows. In terms of matter I suppose the thing
Ammi described would be called a gas, but this gas obeyed the laws that
are not of our cosmos. This was no fruit of such worlds and suns as
shine on the telescopes and photographic plates of our observatories.
This was no breath from the skies whose motions and dimensions our
astronomers measure or deem too vast to measure. It was just a colour
out of space--a frightful messenger from unformed realms of infinity
beyond all Nature as we know it; from realms whose mere existence stuns
the brain and numbs us with the black extra-cosmic gulfs it throws open
before our frenzied eyes.

I doubt very much if Ammi consciously lied to me, and I do not think
his tale was all a freak of madness as the townsfolk had forewarned.
Something terrible came to the hills and valleys on that meteor, and
something terrible--though I know not in what proportion--still
remains. I shall be glad to see the water come. Meanwhile I hope
nothing will happen to Ammi. He saw so much of the thing--and its
influence was so insidious. Why has he never been able to move away?
How clearly he recalled those dying words of Nahum's--"Can't git away
--draws ye--ye know summ'at's comin' but tain't no use--". Ammi is
such a good old man--when the reservoir gang gets to work I must write
the chief engineer to keep a sharp watch on him. I would hate to think
of him as the grey, twisted, brittle monstrosity which persists more
and more in troubling my sleep.

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