Posts Tagged ‘Strange’
Sunday, February 17th, 2008
Today, I came across a rather strange assortment of artifacts, piled loosely in a duffel bag in the corner of my office. The duffel bag bore no distinguishing marks other than a sticker reading “Abney Park”, what I believe to be a stamp from a possible stop along the way from its unknown origin.
Having worked tirelessly throughout the day to ascertain their origin, I found about midway through spectographics and other means, that these items were by no means ancient, or even old. However, knowing that there exist modern-times dabblers and adepts in the metaphysical arts and aether-scientific spheres, I decided it would be a good idea to inspect these items more closely.
The first of these items – what seemed to be a pair of flight goggles, with a crudely fashioned set of secondary lenses bound by brass arms, which for some reason did not seem to bend or swing in ways that would be expected for functionality, or even bend at all. In trying to manipulate the lenses, I eventually broke one of these arms, and spent my first hours rather panicked that I may have irreparably damaged something of great importance.
Next I tried the simple approach of wearing the goggles. Whether a result of my error, or simply a matter of design, I found that though I do look quite smashing in them, the goggles do absolutely nothing, nothing at all.
The next items were a pair of what seemed to be hat pins, strange in their making due to the presence of gears and cogs at their tops, these gears not leading to other gears, I thought at first they might be some sort of key, perhaps to some sort of advanced alchemical device yet to be found. In trying to turn these gears, to ascertain how advanced the inner workings might be, I ended up breaking one of these gears from the pin, only to find it the gear was simply bound in place by a sort of jewelers’ glue.
Lastly, there was a top hat, not recently made but certainly by no means old. On it were a variety of things, including more of these rudimentary arms and lenses, some ribbons, and an insignia pin – showing promise in its obscurity. I spent the last hours of my day trying to decode this sigil, to no avail, and finally I surmised what only an educated man such as myself would… that perhaps it was a magical hat – the likes worn by those tricksters and charletans on the square, and by actual practitioners of the ancient arts as well. The only sensible place to go from here was to test this theory.
First, I tried the simple route, taking a nearby glass of goat’s milk, and pouring it into the hat to see if the milk disappeared, or perhaps turned into confetti. The end result was a desk covered in milk, a somewhat saturated hat, and a rather perturbed and milk-drenched dean as a result of my efforts to demonstrate the hat’s presumed powers of milk-to-confetti transmography.
The next test was to insert a pigeon into the hat, and see if it either vanished or turned into a string of joined handkerchiefs, or perhaps a balloon… I like balloons. In order to contain the pigeon, I placed a board over the opening, and set a heavy weight atop the board. This ended only in completely destroying the hat, and regrettably, its contents.
After a long hard day of work, including many many tests, leading to disassembly, and ultimately frustration in having wasted an entire day, I found that these items were all fakes of some sort, perhaps placed in my office by entities from competing universities or perhaps from BEYOND, towards the purpose of distracting me from something groundbreaking and important – such as my research or possibly even tea time.
The fiend, whoever they may be, did manage at both of these – I am however more determined than ever to succeed at whatever it is this miscreant or spectre sought to distract me from – beginning with tea and descending by order of importance.
If anyone has any knowledge regarding the perpetrators of this prank, hoax, or scheme, I would ask that they contact me in my study as soon as humanly or inhumanly possible.
Prof. Aden M. Kemy
Tuesday, February 5th, 2008
(1921) H. P. Lovecraft
I have examined maps of the city with the greatest care, yet have never again found the Rue d’Auseil. These maps have not been modern maps alone, for I know that names change. I have, on the contrary, delved deeply into all the antiquities of the place, and have personally explored every region, of whatever name, which could possibly answer to the street I knew as the Rue d’Auseil. But despite all I have done, it remains an humiliating fact that I cannot find the house, the street, or even the locality, where, during the last months of my impoverished life as a student of metaphysics at the university, I heard the music of Erich Zann.
That my memory is broken, I do not wonder; for my health, physical and mental, was gravely disturbed throughout the period of my residence in the Rue d’Auseil, and I recall that I took none of my few acquaintances there. But that I cannot find the place again is both singular and perplexing; for it was within a half-hour’s walk of the university and was distinguished by peculiarities which could hardly be forgotten by any one who had been there. I have never met a person who has seen the Rue d’Auseil.
The Rue d’Auseil lay across a dark river bordered by precipitous brick blear-windowed warehouses and spanned by a ponderous bridge of dark stone. It was always shadowy along that river, as if the smoke of neighboring factories shut out the sun perpetually. The river was also odorous with evil stenches which I have never smelled elsewhere, and which may some day help me to find it, since I should recognize them at once. Beyond the bridge were narrow cobbled streets with rails; and then came the ascent, at first gradual, but incredibly steep as the Rue d’Auseil was reached. (more…)
Saturday, February 2nd, 2008
(1920 ) H. P. Lovecraft
It is said that in Ulthar, which lies beyond the river Skai, no man may kill a cat; and this I can verily believe as I gaze upon him who sitteth purring before the fire. For the cat is cryptic, and close to strange things which men cannot see. He is the soul of antique Aegyptus, and bearer of tales from forgotten cities in Meroe and Ophir. He is the kin of the jungle’s lords, and heir to the secrets of hoary and sinister Africa. The Sphinx is his cousin, and he speaks her language; but he is more ancient than the Sphinx, and remembers that which she hath forgotten.
In Ulthar, before ever the burgesses forbade the killing of cats, there dwelt an old cotter and his wife who delighted to trap and slay the cats of their neighbors. Why they did this I know not; save that many hate the voice of the cat in the night, and take it ill that cats should run stealthily about yards and gardens at twilight. But whatever the reason, this old man and woman took pleasure in trapping and slaying every cat which came near to their hovel; and from some of the sounds heard after dark, many villagers fancied that the manner of slaying was exceedingly peculiar. But the villagers did not discuss such things with the old man and his wife; because of the habitual expression on the withered faces of the two, and because their cottage was so small and so darkly hidden under spreading oaks at the back of a neglected yard. In truth, much as the owners of cats hated these odd folk, they feared them more; and instead of berating them as brutal assassins, merely took care that no cherished pet or mouser should stray toward the remote hovel under the dark trees. When through some unavoidable oversight a cat was missed, and sounds heard after dark, the loser would lament impotently; or console himself by thanking Fate that it was not one of his children who had thus vanished. For the people of Ulthar were simple, and knew not whence it is all cats first came. (more…)
Saturday, February 2nd, 2008
(1926) H. P. Lovecraft as Published October 1927 in “Weird Tales”
You needn’t think I’m crazy, Eliot- plenty of others have queerer prejudices than this. Why don’t you laugh at Oliver’s grandfather, who won’t ride in a motor? If I don’t like that damned subway, it’s my own business; and we got here more quickly anyhow in the taxi. We’d have had to walk up the hill from Park Street if we’d taken the car.
I know I’m more nervous than I was when you saw me last year, but you don’t need to hold a clinic over it. There’s plenty of reason, God knows, and I fancy I’m lucky to be sane at all. Why the third degree? You didn’t use to be so inquisitive.
Well, if you must hear it, I don’t know why you shouldn’t. Maybe you ought to, anyhow, for you kept writing me like a grieved parent when you heard I’d begun to cut the Art Club and keep away from Pickman. Now that he’s disappeared I go round to the club once in a while, but my nerves aren’t what they were.
No, I don’t know what’s become of Pickman, and I don’t like to guess. You might have surmised I had some inside information when I dropped him- and that’s why I don’t want to think where he’s gone. Let the police find what they can- it won’t be much, judging from the fact that they don’t know yet of the old North End place he hired under the name of Peters.
I’m not sure that I could find it again myself- not that I’d ever try, even in broad daylight!
Yes, I do know, or am afraid I know, why he maintained it. I’m coming to that. And I think you’ll understand before I’m through why I don’t tell the police. They would ask me to guide them, but I couldn’t go back there even if I knew the way. There was something there- and now I can’t use the subway or (and you may as well have your laugh at this, too) go down into cellars any more. (more…)
Friday, February 1st, 2008
(1921) H. P. Lovecraft Published June 1926 in Weird Tales
Somewhere, to what remote and fearsome region I know not, Denys Barry has gone. I was with him the last night he lived among men, and heard his screams when the thing came to him; but all the peasants and police in County Meath could never find him, or the others, though they searched long and far. And now I shudder when I hear the frogs piping in swamps, or see the moon in lonely places.
I had known Denys Barry well in America, where he had grown rich, and had congratulated him when he bought back the old castle by the bog at sleepy Kilderry. It was from Kilderry that his father had come, and it was there that he wished to enjoy his wealth among ancestral scenes. Men of his blood had once ruled over Kilderry and built and dwelt in the castle, but those days were very remote, so that for generations the castle had been empty and decaying. After he went to Ireland, Barry wrote me often, and told me how under his care the gray castle was rising tower by tower to its ancient splendor, how the ivy was climbing slowly over the restored walls as it had climbed so many centuries ago, and how the peasants blessed him for bringing back the old days with his gold from over the sea. But in time there came troubles, and the peasants ceased to bless him, and fled away instead as from a doom. And then he sent a letter and asked me to visit him, for he was lonely in the castle with no one to speak to save the new servants and laborers he had brought from the North.
The bog was the cause of all these troubles, as Barry told me the night I came to the castle. I had reached Kilderry in the summer sunset, as the gold of the sky lighted the green of the hills and groves and the blue of the bog, where on a far islet a strange olden ruin glistened spectrally. That sunset was very beautiful, but the peasants at Ballylough had warned me against it and said that Kilderry had become accursed, so that I almost shuddered to see the high turrets of the castle gilded with fire. Barry’s motor had met me at the Ballylough station, for Kilderry is off the railway. The villagers had shunned the car and the driver from the North, but had whispered to me with pale faces when they saw I was going to Kilderry. And that night, after our reunion, Barry told me why. (more…)