“Trouble with memory. I see things I never knew before. Other worlds and other galaxies . . . Dark . . . The lightning seems dark and the darkness seems light. . . .
“It cannot be the real hill and church that I see in the pitch-darkness. Must be retinal impression left by flashes. Heaven grant the Italians are out with their candles if the lightning stops!
“What am I afraid of? Is it not an avatar of Nyarlathotep, who in antique and shadowy Khem even took the form of man? I remember Yuggoth, and more distant Shaggai, and the ultimate void of the black planets. . . .
“The long, winging flight through the void . . . cannot cross the universe of light . . . re-created by the thoughts caught in the Shining Trapezohedron . . . send it through the horrible abysses of radiance. . . .
“My name is Blake—Robert Harrison Blake of 620 East Knapp Street, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. . . . I am on this planet. . . .
“Azathoth have mercy!—the lightning no longer flashes—horrible—I can see everything with a monstrous sense that is not sight—light is dark and dark is light . . . those people on the hill . . . guard . . . candles and charms . . . their priests. . . .
“Sense of distance gone—far is near and near is far. No light—no glass—see that steeple—that tower—window—can hear—Roderick Usher—am mad or going mad—the thing is stirring and fumbling in the tower—I am it and it is I—I want to get out . . . “must get out and unify the forces. . . . It knows where I am. . . .
“I am Robert Blake, but I see the tower in the dark. There is a monstrous odour . . . senses transfigured . . . boarding at that tower window cracking and giving way. . . . Iä . . . ngai . . . ygg. . . .
“I see it—coming here—hell-wind—titan blur—black wings—Yog-Sothoth save me—the three-lobed burning eye. . . .”
Then, as I looked, it seemed to me as if they all suddenly became conscious of my presence.”
After fleeing back to his room the man spends the rest of the night wide awake with the fear that the caterpillars are coming for him. As the sun starts to rise he convinces himself that it was just a waking nightmare and nothing more. That day he learns that the room from the night before is now occupied by a fellow Englishman and the strike up an acquaintance. A few days later while they are walking through the hotel’s garden his new friend says that he wants to show him something odd that he found in his room that morning. He pulls a matchbox from his pocket and upon opening it shows him a living, but miniature version of the caterpillars that had terrified the one man a few nights previously. They both remark that it appears to some sort of un-catalogued caterpillar. Needless to say their investigation doesn’t bring them any further and they dismiss the whole incident. That very same night the first man is once again unable to sleep and heads once more to the reading room. Upon returning to his room he sees a repeat performance of the giant caterpillar migration. This time they are stream into the new occupant’s room and not out of it. Convinced that he is dreaming he says nothing about it. A year later the first man is staying once again at the hotel. While conversing with the lady who runs the hotel, he learns that his friend is suffering from incurable cancer. The land lady then confides that she feels partially responsible since the room had been empty for an entire year before she rented it to his new acquaintance. It seems that the previous occupant had suffered from terminal cancer.
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Well that’s it for this time!
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