The House on the Borderland HTML version

19. The End Of The Solar System
"FROM THE ABUTMENT, where once had been the windows, through which I had
watched that first, fatal dawn, I could see that the sun was hugely greater, than it had
been, when first the Star lit the world. So great was it, that its lower edge seemed almost
to touch the far horizon. Even as I watched, I imagined that it drew closer. The radiance
of green that lit the frozen earth, grew steadily brighter. "Thus, for a long space, things
were. Then, on a sudden, I saw that the sun was changing shape, and growing smaller,
just as the moon would have done in past time. In a while, only a third of the illuminated
part was turned towards the earth. The Star bore away on the left.
"Gradually, as the world moved on, the Star shone upon the front of the house, once
more; while the sun showed, only as a great bow of green fire. An instant, it seemed, and
the sun had vanished. The Star was still fully visible. Then the earth moved into the black
shadow of the sun, and all was night--Night, black, starless, and intolerable.
"Filled with tumultuous thoughts, I watched across the night--waiting. Years, it may have
been, and then, in the dark house behind me, the clotted stillness of the world was broken.
I seemed to hear a soft padding of many feet, and a faint, inarticulate whisper of sound,
grew on my sense. I looked round into the blackness, and saw a multitude of eyes. As I
stared, they increased, and appeared to come towards me. For an instant, I stood, unable
to move. Then a hideous swine-noise (*) rose up into the night; and, at that, I leapt from
the window, out on to the frozen world. I have a confused notion of having run awhile;
and, after that, I just waited--waited. Several times, I heard shrieks; but always as though
from a distance. Except for these sounds, I had no idea of the whereabouts of the house.
Time moved onward. I was conscious of little, save a sensation of cold and hopelessness
and fear.
"An age, it seemed, and there came a glow, that told of the coming light. It grew, tardily.
Then--with a loom of unearthly glory--the first ray from the Green Star, struck over the
edge of the dark sun, and lit the world. It fell upon a great, ruined structure, some two
hundred yards away. It was the house. Staring, I saw a fearsome sight--over its walls
crawled a legion of unholy things, almost covering the old building, from tottering towers
to base. I could see them, plainly; they were the Swine-creatures.
"The world moved out into the light of the Star, and I saw that, now, it seemed to stretch
across a quarter of the heavens. The glory of its livid light was so tremendous, that it
appeared to fill the sky with quivering flames. Then, I saw the sun. It was so close that
half of its diameter lay below the horizon; and, as the world circled across its face, it
seemed to tower right up into the sky, a stupendous dome of emerald coloured fire. From
time to time, I glanced towards the house; but the Swine-things seemed unaware of my
"Years appeared to pass, slowly. The earth had almost reached the centre of the sun's
disk. The light from the Green Sun--as now it must be called--shone through the