|Weird Tales 1924.05|
May the merciful gods, if indeed there be such, guard those hours when no power of the will, or drug that the cunning of man devises, can keep me from the chasm of sleep.What in Brown Jenkin's Name..?
After making some disturbing discoveries while journeying in the Dream lands, a man becomes afraid to sleep and fears the stars. Later he meets an "existential" end.Synopsis:
At a railway station the narrator finds a man in a trance and befriends him in order to study dream quests with him. In their indescribable dream journeys they come across a barrier which the narrator's friend can breach but the narrator himself cannot. When they awaken, his friend screams in terror, and henceforth does everything possible not to sleep or dream. The man becomes wary of the night sky, particularly the position of the star Corona Borealis. One night a strange whine is heard as the star rises. A red-gold beam of light strikes the narrator’s friend, causing ethereal imagery and terror – the source of the beam is too horrible to describe. In the morning all that is left of the man’s friend is a sculpted bust, and the narrator’s neighbors have no memory of the man ever having existed. The marble head looks like the narrator’s own at a younger age, and has the name “HYPNOS” on it (in Greek letters).Essential Saltes:
It was not what I heard, but what I saw; for in that dark, locked, shuttered, and curtained room there appeared from the black northeast corner a shaft of horrible red-gold light- a shaft which bore with it no glow to disperse the darkness, but which streamed only upon the recumbent head of the troubled sleeper, bringing out in hideous duplication the luminous and strangely youthful memory-face as I had known it in dreams of abysmal space and unshackled time, when my friend had pushed behind the barrier to those secret, innermost and forbidden caverns of nightmare.
And as I looked, I beheld the head rise, the black, liquid, and deep-sunken eyes open in terror, and the thin, shadowed lips part as if for a scream too frightful to be uttered. There dwelt in that ghastly and flexible face, as it shone bodiless, luminous, and rejuvenated in the blackness, more of stark, teeming, brain-shattering fear than all the rest of heaven and earth has ever revealed to me.From Dr. Armitage's Notes:
- Another tragic tale of a visitor to the Dream lands, also visited by Kuranes, Randolph Carter, the man in "Ex Oblivione", etc..
The Horrible Conclusion:
It is all that remains of my friend; the friend who led me on to madness and wreckage; a godlike head of such marble as only old Hellas could yield, young with the youth that is outside time, and with beauteous bearded face, curved, smiling lips, Olympian brow, and dense locks waving and poppy-crowned. They say that that haunting memory-face is modeled from my own, as it was at twenty-five; but upon the marble base is carven a single name in the letters of Attica - HYPNOS.Read it here.
Follow'd by "What the Moon Brings".