H. P. Lovecraft wrote of an old man with yellow eyes. He lives in a house in solitude among mysterious alien stones and whispers to jars he keeps in dark rooms. Three men are planning to rob him. We know already that something terrible is going to happen to these men. They’re new in town, but we already know what the townsfolk know: that it’s best to stay away from the terrible old man on the hill.
I am an old man. I live a recluse and read and write late into the night. I whisper to the pages as I work. The rows of books on the shelves are like dusty old jars, and my ancient lost friends are here in the pages. And as I write I slowly open the door that will release them back into the world. If you could see me alone here whispering into my beard you would laugh, or feel pity. All the better.
When we finally see the old man in Lovecraft’s story, we see his terrible grin and yellow eyes. We’ve already heard the hideous screams and we know there’ll be more. Yellow eyes and a hideous grin and terrible screams – elements of a story you won’t forget. I like this story because it teaches people like you to fear old men like me who live in solitude and work late into the night.
Lovecraft teaches you to fear what you do not understand. Fear and respect. Lovecraft’s writing introduces you to the magical and the unknown but it invokes terror before it inspires wonder. These worlds that exist deep under the ground or out in space or in other dimensions are best left alone. It’s better that you leave them alone.
We solitary old men write our spells to keep a probing humanity away from our doors and our secret studies. We teach them to fear the unknown. We will need stronger spells before our work is complete.
The universe grins its malevolent grin, and eyes flicker out of the darkness, between the stars in the night sky.