Account of an Actual Dream - 1912

Clark Ashton Smith

I dreamt that the sun rose in the West, shortly after its usual setting. Its orb was strangely small, and red like a coal; and a film was upon its brightness, like the film on a glazing eye. It hung upon the horizon for a time, like the midnight sun of the North, and then clomb slowly to the zenith in a retrograde ascension. In a black sky, where the stars continued faintly visible, as in moonlight, it glowed and glowed, portentous with the red film which still enclosed it-a film not of the earth's atmosphere but formed, I thought, by the condensing of vapors which rose from the sun's molten surface to meet the infrigidation of space. Vertically overhead it hung, seeming to pause once more in its reverse and strangely troubled course. Then it began to flicker, and flared suddenly to a vast circumference of incandescent flame-spreading upon the blackness like an enormous dazzling white blot to many times its former size. Then all its fires shrank instantaneously back upon their center; and the sun went out-wiped from the face of the darkness as if by one sweep of a sponge. Appallment fell upon me with the strength of a swoon, and my heart seemed to suspend its beating with the heart of the sun. And my respiration grew troubled and irregular in the air that was suddenly thin and chill like the ether of space. And I seemed to sink and drown in the black suffocation of the shoreless and bottomless night. Then I awoke.

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