Not a member?     Existing members login below:
Take Free-eBooks to GO! With our Mobile Apps here

The Time Machine

'I have already told you of the sickness and confusion that comes with time travelling.
And this time I was not seated properly in the saddle, but sideways and in an unstable
fashion. For an indefinite time I clung to the machine as it swayed and vibrated, quite
unheeding how I went, and when I brought myself to look at the dials again I was amazed
to find where I had arrived. One dial records days, and another thousands of days, another
millions of days, and another thousands of millions. Now, instead of reversing the levers,
I had pulled them over so as to go forward with them, and when I came to look at these
indicators I found that the thousands hand was sweeping round as fast as the seconds
hand of a watch--into futurity.
'As I drove on, a peculiar change crept over the appearance of things. The palpitating
greyness grew darker; then--though I was still travelling with prodigious velocity--the
blinking succession of day and night, which was usually indicative of a slower pace,
returned, and grew more and more marked. This puzzled me very much at first. The
alternations of night and day grew slower and slower, and so did the passage of the sun
across the sky, until they seemed to stretch through centuries. At last a steady twilight
brooded over the earth, a twilight only broken now and then when a comet glared across
the darkling sky. The band of light that had indicated the sun had long since disappeared;
for the sun had ceased to set--it simply rose and fell in the west, and grew ever broader
and more red. All trace of the moon had vanished. The circling of the stars, growing
slower and slower, had given place to creeping points of light. At last, some time before I
stopped, the sun, red and very large, halted motionless upon the horizon, a vast dome
glowing with a dull heat, and now and then suffering a momentary extinction. At one
time it had for a little while glowed more brilliantly again, but it speedily reverted to its
sullen red heat. I perceived by this slowing down of its rising and setting that the work of
the tidal drag was done. The earth had come to rest with one face to the sun, even as in
our own time the moon faces the earth. Very cautiously, for I remembered my former
headlong fall, I began to reverse my motion. Slower and slower went the circling hands
until the thousands one seemed motionless and the daily one was no longer a mere mist
upon its scale. Still slower, until the dim outlines of a desolate beach grew visible.
'I stopped very gently and sat upon the Time Machine, looking round. The sky was no
longer blue. North-eastward it was inky black, and out of the blackness shone brightly
and steadily the pale white stars. Overhead it was a deep Indian red and starless, and
south-eastward it grew brighter to a glowing scarlet where, cut by the horizon, lay the
huge hull of the sun, red and motionless. The rocks about me were of a harsh reddish
colour, and all the trace of life that I could see at first was the intensely green vegetation
that covered every projecting point on their south-eastern face. It was the same rich green
that one sees on forest moss or on the lichen in caves: plants which like these grow in a
perpetual twilight.
'The machine was standing on a sloping beach. The sea stretched away to the south-
west, to rise into a sharp bright horizon against the wan sky. There were no breakers and