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Life is dry ambition. Don’t be too careful how you spend it.
The wind is chilled, the fire warm but out of sight.
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It troubles man in myriad forms even while it excites the imagination. So often the supernatural is rudely confined to terrors borne of the Earth we live and will always live on. For many of us, the most alien landscapes we ponder lie between our ears or out of sight.
And when we’re visited by something further away, it’s put forever in the context of the awful things it might bring here.
This is appropriate.
This, no matter the consequence, holds a certain kindness, shielding us from the more horrible things upon which we might ponder.
What wanders the stars, waiting between them, what colours exist to come out of space?
Today, for Halloween we celebrate episode 10 of Nighttime Stories by bringing you part 1 of 2 of The Colour Out of Space, written by H.P. Lovecraft, first published in 1927. This story will straddle Halloween, and its conclusion will come next week.
Tune in now.
Tune in then.
Episode 11, the second part of this story, is now up here!
This week we bring you a curated selection from a project called the SCP Foundation. Unlike our usual tales here at Nighttime Stories, the veracity of this information can neither be confirmed nor denied; we bring you this information in the hope that understanding and knowledge can only preserve you! If you fear this isn’t the case, please, for what in our world is good and holy…
If you’re following along on the SCP Foundation site, please feel free to pause this recording at any point to go down a terrifying k-hole. As is appropriate for those who endeavor to secure, contain, and protect, much of the content on the site goes well beyond the information presented here, and is interlinked to be most helpful to you and I, the investigators.
From Jakal, who introduced us here at Nighttime Stories to the Foundation: “[S]ome of these are pretty grim, so make sure you’re in the mood for that before you dig into them.” Here, for your perusal, are the documents presented in today’s episode:
T.S. Eliot left us several rather famous poems, and is still a much-perused and often criticized poet to this day. He was a Missourian American and later subject of the crown of the United Kingdom. Such a puzzle to me that kind of immigration and that sort of time in the world, but for that is an explanation best left to you to seek and resolve.
For our subject today, however, emigration into old age, back into recesses of observation. This week Nighttime Stories presents to you The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, T.S. Eliot, first published in Poetry, the year 1915.
Today we bring you The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, first published 1892 in The New England Magazine.
One of the unspoken principles of my upbringing in Williamsburg Bluffs was that of rigid roles for women, especially for mothers, in contrast to the relative freedom of men. While in the late 20th century male children were being raised with an understanding that their roles were important but their responsibility to them relaxed, women were often as much or more the shoulders upon which every day practical life was placed, including the management of the household and any business, as well as the production and upbringing of children.
This rendered in the people of my town in our part of Appalachia a seemingly worshipful reverence of women, but the most obvious leaning of this view was in any individual’s natural failings… women were not merely encouraged to these roles, but they were increasingly pushed into them unless they embarked into the outside world. The Sexual Revolution, for the flawed turn of American society that it was, had not even seemed to touch us. And as much reverence as we provided, many of us lived in unnatural fear of any show of the irrational in women. Women, in fact, in illness mental or otherwise, were reviled or put away when they showed that they were human, often by those men and women better able to disguise or hide their own faults in the light of day.
In short, a kind of depthy unfairness that I, in my youth, was lucky enough to begin to turn away from with the help of thinkers and authors such as Gilman. We’d enjoy it if you had a listen.
This week we bring you the story originally intended for last week’s episode, though we were overjoyed to be able to share an account of a dark god. Our story today, however, is a story of cold logic unlocking secrets in a world without a god, a world where even the prejudice we all turn toward cannot bar the incision of a well-trained mind.
We hope you enjoy Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Musgrave Ritual, sometimes known as The Adventure of the Musgrave Ritual, a tale of billets, butlers, and bitter acts, and one of how accidentally we might uncover long-hidden secrets of the past.
A prose poem selected for this week, Nyarlathotep, by H.P. Lovecraft, first published in 1920.
This week, we bring you a shorter episode than we had originally intended, having just recovered in the studio from a brief catastrophe. Yesterday, the information pipelines in our region were severed by the trident of a great scaled king.
Having emerged initially from gods-know-where at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution or in mercantile areas of previous centuries, its literal size and figurative scale has grown such that it accidentally damages the tools of its own power while trying to carefully carve out new niches to slither through. We are not innocent of serving it, and in fact most do so happily here! So much so, that you do not go this week without an episode of our show, our scaly lord having inched away and his many servants having healed the brief communications rift between me and you.
Today’s episode is the first of two parts of Afterward by American author Edith Wharton.
She spent her life in the stubborn and delightfully unbehaved pursuit of literature, a writer not many years after she could walk. Her material was brownstones, cobbles, and the role that was given to her, one she sought to push and break, and where she couldn’t do either, slowly grow around and out of, like a tree on a fenceline. As ink on the page, it tends to turn into something else.
Episode 4, the second part of this story, is now up here!