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|“||It was a scene from a vision of Fuseli, and over all the rest reigned that riot of luminous amorphousness, that alien and undimensioned rainbow of cryptic poison from the well—seething, feeling, lapping, reaching, scintillating, straining, and malignly bubbling in its cosmic and unrecognisable chromaticism.||„|
|~ HPL , "The Colour Out Of Space"|
The Colour Out of Space was an extraterrestrial force or entity featured in H.P. Lovecraft's tale of the same name. It arrived on Earth via meteorite, and infected a large swath of Arkham, Massachusetts that would subsequently become known as the "Blasted Heath." The colour was said to have "poisoned" the soil around where it had landed. It appeared to have "infected" the local plant life and the results were great discolorations in the flowers, grass, and trees. In the later stages of the infection, the plants became grey and developed “a highly singular quality of brittleness”. Along with the discoloration came the ruining of fruit and vegetables grown along with the abnormal behavior of the plants during the night. The flowers would glow in the darkness and the trees seemed to reach out to the sky and move without the wind. In addition to the destruction and alteration of the plant life, the livestock of the Gardner farm, which was in close proximity, underwent strange and groteque mutations and fell into a grusome state of grayish decay before ultimatly dying, leaving behind a useless and unedible meat.
Upon the arrival of the entity, the Gardner family descended into madness, poor health, and ultimately death, with the last surviving member being Nahum Gardner, who described the entity as a "sucking, burning thing that is not of God's work."
Ultimately, the entity departs from Earth to return where it came from, but another, smaller part is believed to be still in the former Gardner's farm, as the valley is said to continue to slowly decay year by year.
The colours come from an area of space or other dimensions where natural laws differ. Adult colours create sphere-carrying embryos, which are sent out through space to find nourishment on other worlds. Deposited on verdaint soil or in shallow waters, the embry begin to germinate. After a few days, the outher shell dissolves, and the new creature, which we may term a larva, emerges.
The jelly-like larva can grow to great size. As it infiltrates and infects the ecosystem, local vegetation exhibits a tremendous but unhealty growth. Fruit swells and harvests are bountiful, yet such produce is bitter tasting and unwholesome. Insects and animals are born deformed or mutated. While invisible in daylight, at night the area infected by a colour is evident, as all plant life glows with the unearthy colour, and the vegetation begins to twist and writhe, as though in a strong wind. Even those humans living within a colour's infected area shine with the same spectral light.
After a few months, the larva matures into a young colour. It now makes brief trips from its lair to feed, and begins to drain the life force from the area, literally sucking out the life of the land and anything living upon it. In humans, this life drain is characterized by the victim's skin aging, turning gray and cracking, the face sinks, and strange fleshy growth may be evident. Once drained, those affected die, as do all plants and animals. A colour may drain an area of aproximately 5 acres (some 20,000 m²). The area drained is ruined thereafter, wherein no plant can grow. When it has drained enough energy, the maturing colour departs the planet for space and adulthood.
- Main article: Colour Out of Space/Gallery