The Rebirth of the Flame (Synopsis)

Clark Ashton Smith

Angarth and Hastane return to the ruins of Ydmos, and find that the stricken Flame has begun to spring again in its chasm. They feel a change in its character, however, and hear a shrill, evil sweetness in its music, which repels as well as attracts. Leaning over the verge, on a splintered ledge of rock, they feel the stone give way beneath them, and are precipitated into the Flame to undergo a painful reverberation and to find themselves in a far different realm from the Inner Dimension — a land of mocking shadows — of mirages — of fair fruits that turn to ashes at the touch — of fiery, torturing hungers — of nameless desolation and perdition. Presently they find themselves pursued everywhere by a yawning pit, into which they are at last forced to descend, to find themselves in the stone matrix of the Flame, which has died down temporarily. They escape by means of a slanting rift, or cavern{?}, before the next renewal of the Flame.

Details: the mirage of the luminescent alps, the zones of low darkness infested with nameless horror, the distortion of features which A. and H. perceived in each other, the streams of phantasmal bitterness, the storms of ashes that fall upon fair meadows, moving with the wanderers. The beckoning avenues that lead to the horror of hellish dimensions. The bifurcation of Hastane's personality, by which part of him seems to remain in the Inner Dimension.

^xxx^ xxx was added by Smith.
[xxx] xxx was deleted by Smith.

Printed from: www.eldritchdark.com/writings/short-stories/180
Printed on: November 24, 2017