What the Moon Brings
Created: February 2017 | Updated:

This article uses material from the What the Moon Brings article on the Lovecraft wiki at Fandom and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

What the Moon Brings
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"What the Moon Brings" is a short story by American horror fiction writer H. P. Lovecraft, written on June 5, 1922. This story was first published in the National Amateur in May 1923. It is shorter than most of Lovecraft's other short stories, and is essentially a fragment. It is based on one of Lovecraft's dreams (a common technique of his).


This story is told in the first person; the narrator is never named. The story describes a surreal dreamscape. The narrator wanders through his garden one night and in the moonlight sees strange and bizarre things. He comes to a stream:

He sees that now the garden has no end, and where the walls used to be there are now more trees and plants and terrifying stone idols and pagodas. The dead faces urge him on farther and farther, as the stream becomes a river and leads him to the shore of a sea. Here the frightening moon makes the lotus-faces vanish:

What the sea has uncovered are the ruins of an ancient city, a city of the dead. The narrator sees a black condor and wishes to ask it about the people he knows that have died. He watches the sea for a time and sees ripples in it, attributing them to sea worms. He suddenly feels a chill and notices something far off beneath the sea:

Fleeing this monstrous thing, he dives into the city of the dead:

The speaker clearly prefers death among horrors to this perceived-even-greater-horror revealed in carven grandeur. The tale ends, but does not confirm whether this was the ending of the speaker's life.