by thefourpartland

I was a writer when I set out to tell this tale, a writer of some renown in the world beyond these closed walls. That was, I fear, a great long time. Or so it would seem, for my experiences have reshaped my life, yet I believe chronologically little more than six months have passed. But that is of no matter for this telling, for I cannot look forward. I have seen many things, and when I have recorded a warning of their existence, I think that might life shall be at an end.

What I inscribe in these pages will seem fantastical, nonsense, the product of a fantasist. I say that this is not the case, but I pray that you do not find the truth behind these scribblings. It will eviscerate your memory, and render you little more than a shambling dreamer.

As a writer, I journeyed through a great many lands, some lost to posterity, always in search of material that could be woven in amongst the leaves of my books. This latest was merely the next in a long series of these travels, but on this I had chosen to go north, for I sought inspiration in the cold.

North I went, until I was forced to hire a dog sled. I paused there to load my belongings and speak with the locals about places of interest, but little came to ear, and so with the sledge prepared, I set out once more. Days I travelled, then weeks, until all about me was ice, and I stood the northernmost member of humanity.

I had arrived at the changing of the seasons, and each day the sun had sunk lower in the sky, until on this night, it would touch the horizon and disappear, not to return until the following spring. And so I placed a roll of film into my camera, and photographed this once a year occurrence. Yet I found as I looked through the lens there was a strange dot that afflicted my pictures, one that grew in size as the solar orb vanished.

I wiped at the lens, convinced it was little more than a spot of snow, and thought no more of it until I returned to a civilized country. There I borrowed the services of a dark room and developed the negatives I had taken to jog my memory. It was upon perusal of the developed film that I found something strange, for a wisp had encroached upon all of my attempts at capturing that glorious sunset.

Each photograph bore this strange imprint, and two red dots stood out upon the face of the sun, somehow appearing much closer than the rest of the glowing sphere. I muttered into my drink that night, bothered that each and every image of that sunset had become corrupted by some mechanical failure of my camera. Or perhaps some atmospheric effect had fouled the reproduction.

I thought little of it, until such time as other photographs from other journeys showed the same effect. Always taken of the sun at the close of the day, they had the strange swirling wisp and two red spots. In Asian temples, atop Roman ruins, in the depths of an Amazonian jungle, all struggled under the writhing illusion.

For my next research expedition, I bought myself a new camera, one with better film and a crystal lens, for at the time I remarked to myself that the markings had to be an artefact of the camera’s shutter. Yet when I returned from that journey, once more the strange items had placed themselves within my frame.

It then began to appear on images that had been taken before my journey to the northern climes. I found that photographs that had resided on the walls of my house for a great many years now bore the two red dots. Despite the strangeness of these occurrences, my curious nature overwhelmed any good sense and I delved into research, attempting to discern the nature and the meaning of two red dots upon the sun, surrounded by a wisp.

Rare books at the Royal Museum yielded nothing, nor did the most ancient texts with university archives, and even those contacts I maintained within the occult world found themselves puzzled by the reference. A year’s study did little more than deepen my curiosity, and so I undertook journeys to places simply on the off chance that they might house a document that could explain the phenomenon.

At last I found a reference, a single scrap of ancient vellum parchment that had to be translated from a language long lost to man. Yet even that yielded little, and what writing it contained was of uncertain use. Night comes. Twin red orbs upon the day. Night comes. It was only later that I discovered the meaning of that phrase, to my sadness and my loss.

They are not orbs, nor are they marks upon the sun. They are eyes. And the wisp that surrounds them is what little corporeal form they have. They have followed me, and I have been their Moses, leading them from a barren waste of hellish form to a paradise. I hear their language within my head, and I sorrow, for it means that I have little time in which to finish this memoir.

They are all about me now, a great profusion of whirling hosts, for they have been feeding upon those around them, drawing sustenance from humanity. Soon, they will become a plague, and then the rulers of this world, and we will be little more than a shadowed memory.

There is but one hope, and it rests in the light of a false dawn. God bless you all, and may he forgive me for what I have done.


  1. Deanna Schrayer on 04.29.2011

    James, this is wonderfully written! I love the voice and can feel his anxiety increase as he delves further into the story. Very well done!

  2. Michael Tate on 04.29.2011

    Wow, this was really cool. It sounded like a modern/paranormal Proust.

    Beautiful prose and great voice.

  3. The Four Part Land on 04.29.2011

    @Deanna I wrote it last Saturday on a whim. I wanted to try something in this style. I’m glad you think it worked. I’m also curious if anyone understands what I meant by a false dawn.

    @Michael I was actually aiming for Lovecraft, one of his stories where everything builds and builds until it all becomes too much for mortal minds.

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