The Further Vision
“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 no waves, for not a breath of wind was stirring. Only a slight oily swell rose and fell like a gentle breathing, and showed that the eternal sea was still moving and living. And along the margin where the water sometimes broke was a thick incrustation of salt – pink under the lurid sky. There was a sense of oppression in my head, and I noticed that I was breathing very fast. The sensation reminded me of my only experience of mountaineering, and from that I judged the air to be more rarefied than it is now.
“Far away up the desolate slope I heard a harsh scream, and saw a thing like a huge white butterfly go slanting and flittering up into the sky and, circling, disappear over some low hillocks beyond. The sound of its voice was so dismal that I shivered and seated myself more firmly upon the machine. Looking round me again, I saw that, quite near, what I had taken to bea reddish mass of rock was moving slowly towards me. Then I saw the thing was really a monstrous crab-like creature. Can you imagine a crab as large as yonder table, with its many legs moving slowly and uncertainly, its big claws swaying, its long antennae, like carters” whips, waving and feeling, and its stalked eyes gleaming at you on either side of its metallic front? Its back was corrugated and ornamented with ungainly bosses, and a greenish incrustation blotched it here and there. I could see the many palps of its complicated mouth flickering and feeling as it moved.
“As I stared at this sinister apparition crawling towards me, I felt a tickling on my cheek as though a fly had lighted there. I tried to brush it away with my hand, but in a moment it returned, and almost immediately came another by my ear. I struck at this, and caught something threadlike. It was drawn swiftly out of my hand. With a frightful qualm, I turned, and I saw that I had grasped the antennaof another monster crab that stood just behind me. Its evil eyes were wriggling on their stalks, its mouth was all alive with appetite, and its vast ungainly claws, smeared with an algal slime, were descending upon me. In a moment my hand was on the lever, and I had placed a month between myself and these monsters. But I was still on the same beach, and I saw them distinctly now as soon as I stopped. Dozens of them seemed to be crawling here and there, in the sombre light, among the foliated sheets of intense green.
“I cannot convey the sense of abominable desolation that hung over the world. The red eastern sky, the northward blackness, the salt Dead Sea, the stony beach crawling with these foul, slow-stirring monsters, the uniform poisonous-looking green of the lichenous plants, the thin air that hurts one’s lungs: all contributed to an appalling effect. I moved on a hundred years, and there was the same red sun – a little larger, a little duller – the same dying sea, the same chill air, and the same crowd of earthy crustacea creeping in and out among the green weed and the red rocks. And in the westward sky, I saw a curved pale line like a vast new moon.
“So I travelled, stopping ever and again, in great strides of a thousand years or more, drawn on by the mystery of the earth’s fate, watching with a strange fascination the sun grow larger and duller in the westward sky, and the life of the old earth ebb away. At last, more than thirty million years hence, the huge red-hot dome of the sun had come to obscure nearly a tenth part of the darkling heavens. Then I stopped once more, for the crawling multitude of crabs had disappeared, and the red beach, save for its livid green liverworts and lichens, seemed lifeless. And now it was flecked with white. A bitter cold assailed me. Rare white flakes ever and again came eddying down. To the north-eastward, the glare of snow lay under the starlight of the sable sky and I could see an undulating crest of hillocks pinkish white. There were fringes of ice along the sea margin, with drifting masses further out; but the main expanse of that salt ocean, all bloody under the eternal sunset, was still unfrozen.
“I looked about me to see if any traces of animal life remained. A certain indefinable apprehension still kept me in the saddle of the machine. But I saw nothing moving, in earth or sky or sea. The green slime on the rocks alone testified that life was not extinct. A shallow sandbank had appeared in the sea and the water had receded from the beach. I fancied I saw some black object flopping about upon this bank, but it became motionless as I looked at it, and I judged that my eye had been deceived, and that the black object was merely a rock. The stars in the sky were intensely bright and seemed to me to twinkle very little.
“Suddenly I noticed that the circular westward outline of the sun had changed; that a concavity, a bay, had appeared in the curve. I saw this grow larger. For a minute perhaps I stared aghast at this blackness that was creeping over the day, and then I realized that an eclipse was beginning. Either the moon or the planet Mercury was passing across the sun’s disk. Naturally, at first I took it to be the moon, but there is much to incline me to believe that what I really saw was the transit of an inner planet passing very near to the earth.
“The darkness grew apace; a cold wind began to blow in freshening gusts from the east, and the showering white flakes in the air increased in number. From the edge of the sea came a ripple and whisper. Beyond these lifeless sounds the world was silent. Silent? It would be hard to convey the stillness of it. All the sounds of man, the bleating of sheep, the cries of birds, the hum of insects, the stir that makes the background of our lives – all that was over. As the darkness thickened, the eddying flakes grew more abundant, dancing before my eyes; and the cold of the air more intense. At last, one by one, swiftly, one after the other, the white peaks of the distant hills vanished into blackness. The breeze rose to a moaning wind. I saw the black central shadow of the eclipse sweeping towards me. In another moment the pale stars alone were visible. All else was rayless obscurity. The sky was absolutely black.
“A horror of this great darkness came on me. The cold, that smote to my marrow, and the pain I felt in breathing, overcame me. I shivered, and a deadly nausea seized me. Then like a red-hot bow in the sky appeared the edge of the sun. I got off the machine to recover myself. I felt giddy and incapable of facing the return journey. As I stood sick and confused I saw again the moving thing upon the shoal – there was no mistake now that it was a moving thing – against the red water of the sea. It was a round thing, the size of a football perhaps, or, it may be, bigger, and tentacles trailed down from it; it seemed black against the weltering blood-red water, and it was hopping fitfully about. Then I felt I was fainting. But a terrible dread of lying helpless in that remote and awful twilight sustained me while I clambered upon the saddle.
saddle ˈsædl n The seat of a bicycle, motorcycle, or similar vehicle.
sway sweɪ v To swing back and forth or to and fro: stagger, wobble, teeter, waver, totter
vibrate vaɪˈbreɪt v To move to and fro or up and down quickly and repeatedly: quiver; tremble
unheeding ʌnˈhiːdɪŋ adj Showing no concern, attention, or regard: careless, heedless, unconcerned
lever ˈliːvə n Projecting handle used to adjust or operate a mechanism.
indicator ˈɪndɪkeɪtə n An instrument used to monitor the operation of something: meter
futurity fju(ː)ˈtjʊərɪti n The future.
peculiar pɪˈkjuːliə adj Not usual or normal.
palpitate ˈpælpɪteɪt v To move with a slight tremulous motion: tremble, shake, quiver
prodigious prəˈdɪʤəs adj Of extraordinary power: tremendous, immense, great
velocity vɪˈlɒsɪti n Rapidity of motion or operation: swiftness; speed
succession səkˈsɛʃən n Way in which things follow each other: order, sequence, procession, consecution
at first ⇒ in the beggining.
at last ⇒ After a long wait; finally.
twilight ˈtwaɪlaɪt n The time of day immediately following sunset in which the light from the sky is diffused.
to brood over ⇒ To hang over.
comet ˈkɒmɪt n Celestial body, observed only in that part of its orbit that is relatively close to the sun, and with a head and an elongated, curved vapour tail.
glare gleə v To stare fiercely and angrily.
darkling ˈdɑːklɪŋ adj Uncannily or threateningly dark or obscure.
band bænd n Strip of something.
halt hɔːlt v To stop: stay, check, cease, arrest
dome dəʊm n A large rounded roof or ceiling that is shaped like half of a ball.
dull dʌl adj Not clear and loud.
extinction ɪksˈtɪŋkʃən n The putting out/quenching of something
revert rɪˈvɜːt v Go back to a previous state.
sullen ˈsʌlən adj Gloomy or sombre in colour: dark
tidal ˈtaɪdl adj Affected by tides (the periodic variation in the surface level of the oceans etc.).
even ˈiːvən adj Being in the same plane or line; parallel.
to fall headlong = headfirst, foremost ⇒ To fall with the head first.
hand hænd n Any of the rotating pointers used as indexes on the face of a mechanical clock or dial.
mist mɪst n A mass of fine droplets of water in the atmosphere near or in contact with the earth: fog
desolate ˈdɛsəlɪt adj Empty of people: forlorn, lonely, deserted
overhead ˈəʊvɛhɛd adv Directly above; in the sky above.
deep Indian red ⇒ A red pigment containing ferric oxide with chestnut color.
scarlet ˈskɑːlɪt n A bright-red color inclining toward orange.
hull hʌl n Dry outer covering of a fruit, seed, nut etc.
vegetation ˌvɛʤɪˈteɪʃən n Plants that cover a particular area: plants, flora, greenery, foliage, verdure
lichen ˈlaɪkən pl lichenes ˈlaɪkənz n A fungus that grows symbiotically with algae on rocks or tree trunks.
perpetual pəˈpɛʧʊəl adj Enduring for all time: eternal, endless, everlasting, ceaseless, never-ending
wan wɒn adj Lacking colour: pale, lurid, pallid, sallow, waxen
breaker ˈbreɪkə n A wave that breaks or dashes into foam.
for fɔː conj Because; since.
a breath of wind ⇒ A slight gust of wind.
incrustation ˌɪnkrʌsˈteɪʃən n The state of being covered with crust.
lurid ˈljʊərɪd n Lacking colour; horrible, grim: pale, colourless, pasty, wan, blanched
oppression əˈprɛʃən n Feeling of being heavily weighed down in mind.
mountaineering ˌmaʊntɪˈnɪərɪŋ n The climbing of mountains.
rarefy ˈreərɪfaɪ v To become thin or less dense.
desolate ˈdesəlit adj Empty of people: forlorn, lonely, deserted
slant slɑːnt v To depart from true vertical: lean, incline, tilt, slope, heel
flitter ˈflɪtə v To move through the air with or as if with wings: flap, flit, flutter, fly, sail, wing
hillock ˈhɪlək n Small hill.
dismal ˈdɪzməl Dark and depressing, marked by little hopefulness.
shiver ˈʃɪvə v To shake slightly because of cold, fear, etc.
to take something to be ⇒ To accept something as.
crab kræb n Marine animal, which has a hard carapace covering it’s body and five pairs of legs.
yonder ˈjɒndə adj That is/can be seen over there.
claw klɔː n Sharp curved horny process on the toe of a bird or some mammals or reptiles.
antenna ænˈtɛnə pl antennae ænˈtɛniː n Haired, flexible, segmented sensory appendage on the head of an insect functioning primarily as an organ of touch.
carter ˈkɑːtə n Someone whose work is driving heavy open wagons usually having two wheels and drawn by an animal.
stalked eye ⇒ Eye on a protrusion that extends it away from the body, giving the eye a better field of view.
gleam gliːm n Shine brightly, like a star or a light.
corrugate ˈkɒrʊgeɪt v To shape into folds or waves.
ungainly ʌnˈgeɪnli adj Moving in an awkward or clumsy way.
boss bɒs n A circular protuberance or knoblike swelling, as on the horns of certain animals.
blotch blɒʧ v Mark with spots or blotches of different colour or shades of colour as if stained.
palp pælp n An elongated appendage usually found near the mouth in insects, the functions of which may include sensation, locomotion, and feeding.
flicker ˈflɪkə v Shine unsteadily.
sinister ˈsɪnɪstə adj Strongly suggestive of great menace or evil: baleful, malign
apparition ˌæpəˈrɪʃ(ə)n n A ghostly appearing figure.
tickle ˈtɪkl v To try to make someone laugh by lightly touching a very sensitive part of the body with a finger, a feather, etc.
light laɪt v To descend to the ground after flight: land
to brush away ⇒ To remove with a quick movement.
qualm kwɑːm n Feeling of uncertainty about the fitness of an action: misgiving
wriggling ˈrɪglɪŋ adj Moving in a twisting, snake-like or wormlike fashion.
stalked eye ⇒ Eye on a protrusion that extends it away from the body, giving the eye a better field of view; stalk stɔːk n Stem.
to be alive with appetite ⇒ To be extremely hungry.
smear smɪə v To spread something over a surface.
algal ˈælgəl adj Pertaining to a group of simple aquatic organisms including seaweed, that capture light energy through photosynthesis, using it to convert inorganic substances into organic matter.
slime slaɪm n Any thick, viscous and sticky matter.
sombre ˈsɒmbə adj Dark or dull in colour.
foliate ˈfəʊlɪɪt v Grow leaves.
abominable əˈbɒmɪnəbl adj Exceptionally bad or displeasing.
desolation ˌdɛsəˈleɪʃən n The state of being decayed, destroyed, forsaken or abandoned.
to hang over ⇒ (of a threat of something) To seem likely to happen.
lichenous ˈlaɪkənəs adj Of, pertaining to, or resembling lichen.
appal əˈpɔːl v To fill with consternation: shock, horrify, dismay, consternate
crustacea krʌsˈteɪʃjə n Predominantly aquatic animals including lobsters, crabs, shrimps, etc.
ever and again ⇒ Again and again, all the time.
stride straɪd n Single long step.
fascination ˌfæsɪˈneɪʃən n A feeling of great liking for something wonderful and unusual.
to ebb away ⇒ To become weak, to decline.
obscure əbˈskjʊə adj Not clearly expressed, seen or understood.
livid ˈlɪvɪd adj Discoloured: pale, colourless, lurid
liverwort ˈlivəˈwə:t n Group of small, green nonvascular plants, growing in moist environments and consisting of either a leafy mosslike structure or a flat thallus that is often lobed.
fleck flɛk v Make a spot or mark onto.
assail əˈseɪl v To trouble; to set upon with violent force: hit, strike, attack, assault, sail in
flake fleɪk n A small, thin piece of something.
eddy ˈɛdi v A miniature current at variance with the main current in a stream of water or air, usually having a rotary or whirling motion: twist; whirl
glare gleə n Unpleasantly bright light.
sable ˈseɪbl adj A very dark black.
undulate ˈʌndjʊleɪt adj To cause to move in waves.
fringe frɪnʤ n The outside boundary or surface of something.
apprehension ˌæprɪˈhɛnʃ(ə)n n Fear that something bad or unpleasant is going to happen.
extinct ɪksˈtɪŋkt adj No longer existing; lost or especially having died out.
sandbank ˈsændbæŋk n An area of sand that is formed in or at the edge of a river or sea.
recede ri(ː)ˈsiːd v To move away gradually.
I fancy ⇒ I suppose.
to flop about ⇒ To move heavily or awkwardly.
deceive dɪˈsiːv v To cause to believe what is not true: mislead, fool, delude, dupe
twinkle ˈtwɪŋkl v To shine with slight intermittent gleams: flash, glisten, glint, glitter, sparkle
concavity kɒnˈkævɪti n An area sunk below its surroundings: depression, sink, basin, hollow, sag
aghast əˈgɑːst adj Overcome with intense feeling, as of amazement, horror, or dismay: appalled, dismayed, horrified, shocked
eclipse ɪˈklɪps n The partial or complete obscuring of one celestial body by another.
incline ɪnˈklaɪn v To have a mental tendency, preference, etc.: be disposed
transit ˈtrænsɪt n The process of a planet passing betwenn the Sun and Earth, so this planet can be seen on the Sun disk from the Earth: passage, transition
the darkness grew apace ⇒ The darkness increased swiftly.
gust gʌst n A sudden strong wind.
ripple ˈrɪpl n A small wave on the surface of a liquid.
bleat bliːt v To utter the characteristic cry of a sheep.
hum hʌm n A low continuous sound.
eddy ˈɛdi v To move like a rapid rotary current of liquid: whirl, swirl
one by one ⇒ One at a time, gradually.
moan məʊn v To make a long low sound because of pain, sadness, or pleasure.
obscurity əbˈskjʊərɪti n Darkness; dimness; indistinctness.
the cold, that smote to my marrow ⇒ I was chilled to the bone; marrow ˈmærəʊ (Anatomy) the fatty network of connective tissue that fills the cavities of bones.
shiver ˈʃɪvə v To shake slightly because of cold, fear, etc.
nausea ˈnɔːziə n Feeling of sickness in the stomach characterized by an urge to vomit.
giddy ˈgɪdi adj Having a sensation of whirling or falling: dizzy, lightheaded, reeling
shoal ʃəʊl n Shallow place in a body of water.
football ˈfʊtbɔːl n A ball filled with air that is used in the game of football.
tentacle ˈtɛntəkl n An elongated, flexible extension used for feeling, grasping etc.
welter ˈwɛltə v To roll and surge, as the sea.
fitfully ˈfɪtfʊli adv Progressing not regularily or steadily.
dread drɛd n Fearful expectation or anticipation.
clamber ˈklæmbə v To climb or crawl in an awkward way.