Monday, 20 December 2010

Red Weed

"Looking towards the river, we were astonished to see an unaccountable redness mingling with the black of the scorched meadows.

"The red weed grew with astonishing vigour and luxuriance. It spread up the sides of the pit by the third or fourth day of our imprisonment, and its cactus-like branches formed a carmine fringe to the edges of our triangular window. And afterwards I found it broadcast throughout the country, and especially wherever there was a stream of water.

"On the fourteenth day I went into the kitchen, and I was surprised to find that the fronds of the red weed had grown right across the hole in the wall, turning the half-light of the place into a crimson-coloured obscurity.

"Slowly I thrust myself out through the red weed, and stood upon the mound of rubble.

"I stood on a mound of smashed brickwork, clay, and gravel, over which spread a multitude of red cactus-shaped plants, knee-high, without a solitary terrestrial growth to dispute their footing. The trees near me were dead and brown, but further a network of red thread scaled the still living stems.

"The neighbouring houses had all been wrecked, but none had been burned; their walls stood, sometimes to the second story, with smashed windows and shattered doors. The red weed grew tumultuously in their roofless rooms.

"(I) went on my way through scarlet and crimson trees towards Kew - it was like walking through an avenue of gigantic blood drops...

"Directly this extraordinary growth encountered water it straightway became gigantic and of unparalleled fecundity. Its seeds were simply poured down into the water of the Wey and Thames, and its swiftly growing and Titanic water fronds speedily choked both those rivers.

"At Putney, as I afterwards saw, the bridge was almost lost in a tangle of this weed, and at Richmond, too, the Thames water poured in a broad and shallow stream across the meadows of Hampton and Twickenham. As the water spread the weed followed them, until the ruined villas of the Thames valley were for a time lost in this red swamp...

"The red creeper swarmed up the trees about the old palace, and their branches stretched gaunt and dead, and set with shrivelled leaves, from amid its clusters." - H.G. Wells

[photos: Sci-Fi Gene]

3 comments: said...

Hi SciFi =) Great photos! Went nicely with the H.G.Wells narration.

Dyeve said...

May the Holiday Season bring only happiness and joy to you and your loved ones.:-)
Merry Christmas, And a very Happy New Year!

PS_Wonderful photos!<3 it!

Sci-Fi Gene said...

@Dyeve and - great to hear from you both, thanks for the lovely comments and wish you both a Happy New Year too. We're slowly taking the UK back from the last outbreak of Substance S but who knows - perhaps the future belongs to the Martians...