“A Trembling Of The Waters”
Extracts From The Classified Correspondence Of H. P. Lovecraft.
The novella’s form is a series of letters written by H.P. Lovecraft (HPL), to a friend an un-named Doctor. Footnoted by the person preparing the letters for filing by UNIT.
During the course of the correspondence he (HPL) encounters evidence that there is something strange loose in the world, and with the Doctor’s long distance (as he thinks) support – despite their mutual status as “Outsiders” – defeats it.
He is also assisted by the Doctor directly, although, the “Professor Smith” he encounters, is connected with his correspondent only by the readers.
He is corresponding with a 3rd Doctor who is briefly trapped in the 1930s during an experiment on the grounded TARDIS’s console – and he meets the 2nd Doctor, Victoria, and Jamie. The 3rd, having had his memory disrupted by the Time Lords can’t provide any foreknowledge of the meeting in his letters, although he may unconsciously have directed HPL to the place where he will meet the 2nd Doctor. The person sorting out the letters for publication is a latter 3rd Doctor after his exile has ended, who by then has a full memory of events, and who in an epilogue deals with the aftermath of the events.
The purpose of the footnotes will make clear this surrounding structure, as well as providing all the background readers unfamiliar with H P Lovecraft’s life might require, and add verisimilitude as needed.
The threat:- a great beast, living under the New England woods and lakes since it “fell” here in pre-history. It strives murkily and unconsciously in the toils of its suspended animation to call to anyone who might rescue it, both on Earth, and in the Stars. As its sleeps its essences seep out and taint and alter the environment. To the dreaming, and sensitive, HPL its mind is a trap – and it has trapped many minds in the limbo of its grey fetid psyche. To defeat it, the 2nd Doctor, Victoria and Jamie are forced to enter its dreams and free its prisoners. Reducing it, by doing so the 2nd Doctor is able in the end to trap it in the mind of a caged canary, and return it to the stars.
To the gentleman of Fabled Atlantis
Dok-Tor. In The Hour Of Startled Flamingoes When The Grey Moon Rises
I must admit I am finding the village exactly as you described it to me. The spare gabled houses suggest my natal city, yet preserve even more the pristine feel of another less tainted age. After the horrors of New York, this is a welcome respite to what, if I were tempted towards a fallacy long exploded, I would have to term my soul.
Away from the clamour and rush of the cities, it is pleasant to find there are still places in New England where it is possible to breathe deeply and cleanly, to live humanely, and to imagine for a while that the antheaps and crawling sprawls of the diseased monoliths of modernity, that rise impiously under a blood red and infected sky, are not threatening from the horizons, and gradually hemming in the world.
I appreciate your advice about Sonia, and I feel more than I can easily write about her circumstances, but it was a choice finally between my sanity - precarious as it may be (you recall my mother’s sad final condition?) - and my continued residence in that city. Fleeing, I freely admit as much, from the new and the changing, I can not expect that Sonia would flee with me, nor that my Aunts would accept her into the family home in Providence. Further I think it unlikely that she would consent or desire to live on the terms that my relations’ foibles, long fossilised into inviolate custom, would demand of anyone outside the Lovecraft family circle, and I am resolved then to live and eventually die in such solitude as an elderly gentleman of letters, somewhat shabby and worn down by the grind of the metrop, alone may find fitting.
The money which you were kind enough to cable me, which I hope that I will one day be able to repay, is more than ample for my needs both in relocating my possessions and in taking for a week the cottage here from whence I will travel back to Providence refreshed in time’s fullness. I feel the more gratitude for the loan, knowing that you are by no means a man of substance yourself, and no doubt require monies for the experiments of which you write so guardedly. I know that like me you find yourself a man out of step with this frantic and awkward age, and while I must confess that I doubt if the mysteries you seek to plumb lie within the divination of man, I wish you every success, and every comfort commensurate with your efforts, and a resolution to your own misfortunes.
The owner of the cottage, a grey-haired yet still straight-spined lady of indomitable New England stock, greeted me with that wariness of outsiders that persists even among those who perforce make their living tending to the needs of the travellers through the surrounding woodland. That I was able to reassure her as to my own native right to the landscape, and to my connections with the local church – now that I wager you did not know despite your odd and one sided erudition – the Rev Thomas Lovecraft preached here as early as 1732, a copy of one of his sermons was interleafed in the family bible in my father’s library when I was a child, and I later found a volume of them privately printed in 1759 that – while it omits the one I had earlier perused – retains the great charm and forcefulness of the man’s naïve piety. Some of the stateliest phrases and most rolling sentences I have ever encountered flowed out in the good old man’s prose. A sentence that has forever remained in my memory, for instance is this:- “ And Leviathan was a great beast, greater than aught else God had made or caused to be born after its kind on the Earth, and it’s movement was the earthquake, and it’s step the trembling of the waters”.
The village stands in woodland as you know, and there is neither sea, nor river like the Miskatonic!, nor lake of Hali nearby. I wonder why therefore the Rev. Thomas Lovecraft’s sermons so often fixed upon the image of the sea, and the disturbance thereof, surely the lilies of the field neither toiling nor spinning would have served him better in his ministry to that puritan farming stock whose grim faced narrow visages are still the prevailing type today.