Ta’n cooinaghtyn aym lane fud-y-cheilley. Cha nel mee shickyr eer er cre’n toshiaght oc; ny keayrtyn ta mee gennaghtyn reayrt atçhimagh dy vleeantyn skeaylley magh my yei, agh ny keayrtyn elley ta’n smooinaght orrym dy vel y tullagh t’ayn ny phoynt lomarcan mastey neuchreaghnys lheeah gyn cummey. Cha nel mee shickyr eer cre’n aght ta mee cur yn çhaghteraght shoh. Ta fys aym dy vel mee loayrt, agh ta’n eie neuloaghtagh orrym dy bee feme er sheealtaght whaagh ennagh, as agglagh, foddee, dys ymmyrkey ny ta mee dy ghra da’n eaishtaght chiarit aym. Erskyn shen, ta’n enney hene aym kayeeagh shaghrynagh. Er lhiam dy vel mee er surranse greain vooar — liorish aase eajee ennagh ny çhymshallyn dy haghyrtyn neuchredjallagh as gyn cosoylaght t’aym, foddee.
Gyn ourys, she shenn lioar lane beishteigyn va bun ooilley ny çhymshallyn ennee shen. S’cooin lhiam tra hooar mee ee, ayns boayl lieh-hoilshit faggys da’n awin ghoo ooillagh as beayn-chay cassey er-ny-skyn. She boayl feer shenn v’ayn, as va skellooyn lane dy lioaryn loauey roshtyn dys mullagh y thie; heeyn ad ersooyl gyn jerrey trooid shamyryn sthie as cuilleigyn gyn uinniag erbee. Nyn mast’oc va carnaneyn mooarey dy lioaryn neureajagh er y laare ny ayns coir awey; as by ayndaue hooar mee ish. Cha dynsee mee rieau yn ennym urree, va ny duillagyn leah caillt; agh doshil ee faggys da’n jerrey as cur dou falleays jeh red ennagh hug my cheeallyn er shaghryn.
Va formley ayn — rolley reddyn ry-yannoo as ry-ghra — as va enney aym er myr nhee doo as neulhiggit da deiney. Dy jarroo, nhee ennagh va mee er lhaih ersyn hannah ayns screeuyn keillt lane dy ghrayn as dy ghrualtys mestit, screeuit ec shenn reuyreyder quaagh ennagh ayns folliaghtyn arrit ny cruinney. Bynney lhiam ronsaghey teksyn ooiragh lheid ny deiney. She ogher v’ayn, ogher ny kaart-çheerey da giatyn as cassanyn va oaylyssee dreamal as sonsheraght my-nyn-gione rish aegid chloan gheiney. Giatyn da seyrsnys as toiggalys erskyn ny tree towshanyn, as ny rheamyssyn bea as stoo, ta shin oayllagh roo. Rish keeadyn cha by gooin lesh dooiney erbee cooid vreeoil ny lioar, ny boayll erbee v’ee foast ry-gheddyn aynsyn; agh by henn jeer ee y lioar shen. Cha nee clou ren ee; va laue vonnagh lieh-cheoie ennagh er dayrn ny raaghyn Ladjynagh baggyrtagh, ayns unshee shenndeeaght atçhimagh.
S’cooin lhiam smooirey yn çhenn dooinney, as y cowrey laue quaagh ren eh as mish cur lhiam ee ersooyl. Dobb eh argid erbee, as by foddey eh derrey hoig mee yn oyr. As mish kirtagh thie fo chay trooid straiddyn keylley lhoobagh çheu ny marrey, heill mee dy agglagh dy row spaagyn kiuney geiyrt orrym dy folliaghtagh. Er lhiam dy row olkys noa as foudagh cur bree bio da ny shenn thieyn tuittymagh mygeayrt-y-moom — myr dy row dorrys tastaght olk ennagh, dooint derrey nish, er vosley dy geyre. Er lhiam dy row ny h-uinniagyn sooillagh, ass kerrinyn diamanagh yeeastagh, blakey orrym — as va ny boallaghyn as gaabyllyn ass breek millchayit as fuygh fungyssagh jeean dy immeeaght as mish y vroojey. As mish gyn lhaih agh sleig sloo y roon ard-vollaghtagh roish my ghooin mee y lioar as cur lhiam ee ersooyl! S’cooin lhiam yn aght lhaih mee ee, ’sy jerrey — fo ghlass ’sy gharrad va mee foddey er ny ’lane chur da ronsaghey quaagh, as daah yn vaaish orrym. Va’n thie mooar feer chiune; cha row mee er ngoll seose derrey mean oie. Er lhiam dy row lught-thie aym ec y traa shid — agh ta enmyn as eddinyn caillt aym nish — as s’leayr dou dy row ymmodee sharvaantyn ayn. Cha s’aym cre’n vlein ynrican v’ayn; shimmey eash as towshan ta mee oayllagh rish neayr’s shen, as ta dagh eie v’aym er traa er ny lheie as aachroo. Lhaih mee fo hoilshey cainleyn, dy shickr — s’cooin lhiam sheer-drigey ny kerey — as nish as reesht haink clingyn ass shamyr chluig ennagh foddey jeem. Er lhiam dy dug mee tastey jeean quaagh da ny clingyn shid, as aggle orrym dy gluinnin toan gynoaltagh foddey foast nyn mast’oc.
Eisht haink y chied screebey as clabberey moandagh ec yn uinniag chlea hug reayrt ard erskyn mullee elley ny caayrey. Cheayll mee eh tra chronnee mee er ard nuyoo rane y chaayn bun-eashagh, as hoig mee er-creau y cheeall v’echey. Eshyn hedys shaghey ny grinnaghyn, chosnys eh scaa, as cha dod eh ve arragh reesht ny lomarcan. Va mee er dayrn magh — as va’n lioar dy jarroo ooilley shen va mee er gredjal jee. Yn oie shid hie mee shaghey ny grinney dys eeirey traa as reayrtys cassit, as erash ’sy gharrad rish y voghrey, yeeagh mee er boallaghyn as skellooyn as cooid, as fakin reddyn ayndaue nagh vaik mee rieau roish shid.
Chamoo dod mee arragh fakin y seihll ’sy chummey b’oayllagh dou. Gyn scansh da’n reayrt laaragh honnick mee, va blass y traa chaie dy kinjagh er as beggan y traa ry-heet dy kinjagh mestit aynsyn. ’Syn aght keilley noa stow shilley s’lhea orrym, va dagh nhee b’oayllagh dou ayns cummey joarree. Er dyn yn oie shid, hooill mee ayns ashlish ard-yindyssagh ass cummaghyn lieh-ainjyssagh as gyn enney; as ny smoo grinnaghyn hie mee nyn drooid, ny sloo leayr yn enney v’aym er nheeghyn ny cruinney choon v’er my chiangley rish tammylt liauyr. Ny honnick mee mygeayrt-y-moom, cha vaik fer erbee elley eh; as haink mee dy ve daa wheesh cho fastagh as neuheshaghtagh er aggle dy derragh ad briwnys baanrid orrym. Ghow moddee aggle roym, er y fa dy dennee ad y scaa joarree nagh daag mee rieau. Ny yei shen as ooilley lhaih mee ny smoo — ayns lioaryn as scrollaghyn follit as jarroodit dashlee my hilley noa dou — as seiy roym trooid grinnaghyn oorey spoar, as ve, as dooghys vea, cour cree hene y dowan gyn enney.
S’cooin lhiam yn oie ren mee ny queig kiarkil cho-chiarklagh ailey er y laare, as shassoo ’sy vean oc canteyraght y litane eajee hug çhaghter Tartaragh dou. Ren ny boallaghyn lheie ersooyl, as geay doo mish y skeabey trooid çharvaalyn lheeah do-huntal as ard-vullee snaidagh sleityn gyn enney meeillaghyn foym. Rish tammylt haink lane dorraghys, as eisht soilshey jeih-thousane rollage ayns co-hollyssyn quaagh as joarree. Fy-yerrey honnick mee strah foddey foym fo hoilshey geayney, as cronnaghey urree tooryn cassit caayrey v’er ny troggal rere kiaddey nagh row mee rieau er vakin, ny lhaih ny dreamal er. As mish snaue ny s’faggys jee, honnick mee troggal foawragh kerrinagh cloaie ayns boayl follym, as haink scoagh owanagh orrym. Ren mee screeaghey as streppey, as erreish da merriuid ennagh va mee ’sy gharrad reesht, my surlley harrish ny queig kiarkil lossanagh er y laare. Ayns wandreilys ny h-oie shid, cha row ny smoo quaaghys na v’ec ymmodee oieyn elley; agh va ny smoo scoagh ayn, er fys dy row mee ny s’faggys da ny feaynidyn as seihill wooie na va mee rieau. Ny yei ghow mee ny smoo kiarail lesh pishagys, son cha row mian erbee aym dy gholl er giarrey jeh corp as thalloo ayns çharvaalyn gyn enney nagh dod mee rieau çheet erash voue.
Notey: Ta'n skeeal shoh ry-gheddyn myr skeeal clashtynagh lhaiht aym pene: recortys MP3
My memories are very confused. There is even much doubt as to where they begin; for at times I feel appalling vistas of years stretching behind me, while at other times it seems as if the present moment were an isolated point in a grey, formless infinity. I am not even certain how I am communicating this message. While I know I am speaking, I have a vague impression that some strange and perhaps terrible mediation will be needed to bear what I say to the points where I wish to be heard. My identity, too, is bewilderingly cloudy. I seem to have suffered a great shock — perhaps from some utterly monstrous outgrowth of my cycles of unique, incredible experience.
These cycles of experience, of course, all stem from that worm-riddled book. I remember when I found it — in a dimly lighted place near the black, oily river where the mists always swirl. That place was very old, and the ceiling-high shelves full of rotting volumes reached back endlessly through windowless inner rooms and alcoves. There were, besides, great formless heaps of books on the floor and in crude bins; and it was in one of these heaps that I found the thing. I never learned its title, for the early pages were missing; but it fell open toward the end and gave me a glimpse of something which sent my senses reeling.
There was a formula — a sort of list of things to say and do — which I recognised as something black and forbidden; something which I had read of before in furtive paragraphs of mixed abhorrence and fascination penned by those strange ancient delvers into the universe’s guarded secrets whose decaying texts I loved to absorb. It was a key — a guide — to certain gateways and transitions of which mystics have dreamed and whispered since the race was young, and which lead to freedoms and discoveries beyond the three dimensions and realms of life and matter that we know. Not for centuries had any man recalled its vital substance or known where to find it, but this book was very old indeed. No printing-press, but the hand of some half-crazed monk, had traced these ominous Latin phrases in uncials of awesome antiquity.
I remember how the old man leered and tittered, and made a curious sign with his hand when I bore it away. He had refused to take pay for it, and only long afterward did I guess why. As I hurried home through those narrow, winding, mist-choked waterfront streets I had a frightful impression of being stealthily followed by softly padding feet. The centuried, tottering houses on both sides seemed alive with a fresh and morbid malignity — as if some hitherto closed channel of evil understanding had abruptly been opened. I felt that those walls and overhanging gables of mildewed brick and fungous plaster and timber — with fishy, eye-like, diamond-paned windows that leered — could hardly desist from advancing and crushing me . . . yet I had read only the least fragment of that blasphemous rune before closing the book and bringing it away.
I remember how I read the book at last — white-faced, and locked in the attic room that I had long devoted to strange searchings. The great house was very still, for I had not gone up till after midnight. I think I had a family then — though the details are very uncertain — and I know there were many servants. Just what the year was, I cannot say; for since then I have known many ages and dimensions, and have had all my notions of time dissolved and refashioned. It was by the light of candles that I read — I recall the relentless dripping of the wax — and there were chimes that came every now and then from distant belfries. I seemed to keep track of those chimes with a peculiar intentness, as if I feared to hear some very remote, intruding note among them.
Then came the first scratching and fumbling at the dormer window that looked out high above the other roofs of the city. It came as I droned aloud the ninth verse of that primal lay, and I knew amidst my shudders what it meant. For he who passes the gateways always wins a shadow, and never again can he be alone. I had evoked — and the book was indeed all I had suspected. That night I passed the gateway to a vortex of twisted time and vision, and when morning found me in the attic room I saw in the walls and shelves and fittings that which I had never seen before.
Nor could I ever after see the world as I had known it. Mixed with the present scene was always a little of the past and a little of the future, and every once-familiar object loomed alien in the new perspective brought by my widened sight. From then on I walked in a fantastic dream of unknown and half-known shapes; and with each new gateway crossed, the less plainly could I recognise the things of the narrow sphere to which I had so long been bound. What I saw about me none else saw; and I grew doubly silent and aloof lest I be thought mad. Dogs had a fear of me, for they felt the outside shadow which never left my side. But still I read more — in hidden, forgotten books and scrolls to which my new vision led me — and pushed through fresh gateways of space and being and life-patterns toward the core of the unknown cosmos.
I remember the night I made the five concentric circles of fire on the floor, and stood in the innermost one chanting that monstrous litany the messenger from Tartary had brought. The walls melted away, and I was swept by a black wind through gulfs of fathomless grey with the needle-like pinnacles of unknown mountains miles below me. After a while there was utter blackness, and then the light of myriad stars forming strange, alien constellations. Finally I saw a green-litten plain far below me, and discerned on it the twisted towers of a city built in no fashion I had ever known or read of or dreamed of. As I floated closer to that city I saw a great square building of stone in an open space, and felt a hideous fear clutching at me. I screamed and struggled, and after a blankness was again in my attic room, sprawled flat over the five phosphorescent circles on the floor. In that night’s wandering there was no more of strangeness than in many a former night’s wandering; but there was more of terror because I knew I was closer to those outside gulfs and worlds than I had ever been before. Thereafter I was more cautious with my incantations, for I had no wish to be cut off from my body and from the earth in unknown abysses whence I could never return.