Marble Heads and Marblehead

This Week’s Prompt: 81. Marblehead—dream—burying hill—evening—unreality.

The Resulting Story: FORTHCOMING

Here we begin another study of contrasts—the art of statuary, stable and enduring, mixed with the emergence of dreams, malleable and fleeting. The two have come together more than once—when we discuss the folklore of statues, and my own thoughts on their horror potential, we’ll find that the muse of mountains loves coming in dreams. Before delving too far into that, however, we should at least mention that there is a Lovecraft story dealing with similar notions: Polaris, Dream Quest for Unknown Kadath, and Beyond the Wall of Sleep all deal with dreams, and didn’t quite work naturally into the rest of our discussion.

That said, the art of capturing human likeness in stone is as old as—well, as possible. The specification of marble for the statue does call to mind classical works. Ancient Greek and Roman statues which in Lovecraft’s day were believed to be pure and milky marble. We of course now know better—it is highly likely that the statues were painted, often in bright colors. But those ancient cultures do give us a few starting points before moving onward.

First is Galatea. Galatea was a statue carved by the sculptor king Pygmalion. Pygmalion had no interest with mortal women—and in fact thus opts to stay single and focus his talents on sculpture. However, his sculpted woman arouses in Pygmalion desire and adoration. Such is his lust that he embraces the inert statue, kissing and caressing it. He even dresses her, and lays her on a pillow to rest.

Galtea.png

When Aphrodite’s festival comes around, Pygmalion prays that the his wife be made flesh and blood—that she in her beauty can return his affections. Aphrodite grants the prayer, and that night their embrace results in the child Paphos—who in time founds a city that is named the same.

Then there are the Statues of Daedalus. Daedalus rendered some statutes capable of moving if not tied down. These statues are only obliquely referenced—Socrates’s discussion with Meno on knowledge introduces them.

And lastly a story calling upon Greek images, if not Greek itself: the Disinterment of Venus. This story tells of some hapless monks who unearth…a statue of Venus from nearby. The statue seems to move when not viewed and ‘magically’ fills the nearby monks with impure thoughts. The result of this story is rather grisly, and I’ll allow you to discover it on your own.

venus1.png

Of course, the ancient Greeks are far from the only ones to suggest worked materials can channel higher powers. Moving a bit farther down the timeline of Europe, we find the Catholic and Orthodox icons. These images and icons often have fantastic properties—reports of the icon moving, bleeding, or giving breast milk are common. In at least one case, beholding the icon without permit resulted in a man’s death, and the mere presence of an icon could exorcise demons from those who came into the church.

Better still, these icons often were connected to dream messages and inspirations—sometimes in dreams the location of icons would be revealed, while in others instructions on their construction would be given. The icons dreams could also give visions and prompt, in many stories, conversions from these encounters.

Icons

On the left, Luke painting the image of the Theotokos. On the Right, the Theotokos of Vladimir.

An icon is in many ways the embodied form of the saint—it allows the saint’s grace to be refracted and reflected out onto the world. The creation of duplicates of a miraculous icon—either by print or photography—often carried with it the power of the icon as well. And these icons often played rather significant roles outside politics—reports suggest had that the Czar brought icons of known potency to the front in the first world war, it would have gone differently.

The icons were not without rivals, however—we can consider the work of theurgy, where in magicians claimed to bind demons and spirits into statues in order to compel them to move and speak. This practice sometimes included ghosts as well, who were thus imprisoned with iron chains and prevented from harassing the community. Both practices were, of course, condemned by the Church.

Artemis of Ephessus.png

We can also come back to Greece and even to

The idea of binding the supernatural with a statue may seem strange, but it’s practice is documented by the Maya in the Yucatan peninsula after the arrival of Catholicism. Here saints are, like in Europe, sometimes found in the wilderness. However, unlike in Spain where said icons are left alone, the statues in the Yucatan are forcefully returned and restrained to their new homes. For instance, there is a story of when the first Chimaltecos found Santiago in the mountains, in a place where even today no one lives because it has no water. After building the church that still stands at the center of town, these ancestral Chimaltecos fetched Santiago to his new home. The next morn- ing he was gone. Searchers eventually found him back where they had first encountered him and once more returned him to the church. Again he fled to his old place but this time, when they tried to carry him back to town, Santiago made himself so heavy that no one could lift him. Exasperated, the ancestors beat him with whips to get him into the church, leaving gouges on his back that can still be seen today. Beyond that accounts often end with villagers punishing the saint to make it “behave” properly. In Zinacantan, town elders pour hot water over San Lorenzo to silence him because they dislike “talking saints” in Amatenango, they throw their evil image of San Pedro out of the church and then behead him for his witchcraft.

Caanite Teraphim

These teraphim are Canaanite, not Jewish, but give a good impression.

Pre-Christian references to statues as divinities are not limited of course to Greece. We have the teraphim of the Old Testament. These statues are small, and often translated as household gods. They appear to contain some power and blessing. They might be comparable to the Lares of the Trojans in the Aenied or to the brazen head constructs of later occultists (which we discuss in our Patreon research here). These served as protectors of household power, and continuations of a house—for there to be a new Troy (as Aeneas founds), they must have the Trojan gods. They further speak in Aeneas’s dreams, in Book 3 of the Aenied, telling Aeneas to seek out the lands that have been prepared for him and not to dally in the Greek shores much longer.

All this talk of saints, and I nearly forgot to mention a peculiar story I found while doing research for this topic: the Porcelain god. The story resembles Galatea in some ways—it is about a superb artist striving to make a living thing out of inert material. However, unlike Galatea—who is granted life by the act of a goddess—the porcelain here is given life by mortal hands. Specifically, after years laboring away at making the life like porcelain, the poor man asks the god of the forge how he might succeed. The forge chastises him for thinking that with mere bellows he might make a soul, and the man realizes he can impart life to his creation—by sacrificing himself. Leaping into the fires, he infuses the porcelain with the potency of life, and is enshrined by the Emperor as a god of porcelain.

The danger of statues is also well recorded. The instance of the Disinterment of Venus is but one example. A tale from India tells us of a Brahmin and his elaborate collection of idols—and his disgruntlement with determining the best of the idols. He asks a local smith for advice, and the smith suggests seeing which idol with stands the blows of a club best. After testing the idols this way, the Brahmin finds only one idol able to stand the blow. He worships the idol faithful, doing nothing else but meditating on the idol, offering it food, and tending to it. That the idol appears to eat—the food left in front of it vanishes, after all—is seen by the Brahmin as proof of his divinity.

One day, the Brahmin opens his eyes however—and sees that in fact a rat had been stealing the food. This causes him to despair and perhaps go a bit mad, as he concludes that the rat is the true master of the universe for being able to trick him. His reverence for the Rat continues, until a cat eats the rat. He then reveres the cat, until his wife grows worried about their livelihood and—in spite of her fear of her husband—removes the cat. The Brahmin concludes from this his wife to be the most powerful force in the world, and seats her as his object of worship. Being an object of worship, however, is not compatible with being a living person. His wifes adjustments infuriate the focusing Brahmin, who strikes her and renders her unconscious. As before, he concludes him self to be the thing worth revering and achieves release.

I find that particular story…strange. But these dangers of images aren’t uncommon. Fear that images would achieve worship instead of true divinity is a regular fear in Europe, where iconclastic waves often destroy images and statuary in a fervor. We can consider a comparable story of Abraham, who as a youth in folklore lived with his father an idol maker. One day, Abraham smashed all the idols, and placed the stick in the hand of the largest. When his father returned home, he escaped blame by pointing to the largest statue.

To tie more directly to dreams, we can consider the writings of Pausanias who claims to have seen a pair of statues—one to Hypnos one to Oenieros—luring a lion to sleep:

From here is a way to a sanctuary of Asclepius. On passing into the enclosure you see on the left a building with two rooms. In the outer room lies a figure of Sleep, of which nothing remains now except the head. The inner room is given over to the Carnean Apollo; into it none may enter except the priests. In the portico lies a huge bone of a sea-monster, and after it an image of the Dream-god and Sleep, surnamed Epidotes Bountiful, lulling to sleep a lion. Within the sanctuary on either side of the entrance is an image, on the one hand Pan seated, on the other Artemis standing.”

Dream interpretation is a common trait among holy men as well. We can consider the obvious dream interpreter, Daniel of the Old Testament. His interpretations served as excellent prophecy for those who spoke with him. We can also remember Joseph, who understood dreams as holding the future and thus advised the Pharoah for a time. In Heferodshire, there is a story of St. Dubricius, who settled his monastery after an angel of the Lord instructed him to do so—with a herd of swine taken as well. The place was hence known as Hogplace or Mochros.

Hypnos.png

These two are the old Greek gods of slumber, and in some cases survive later as saints. Hypnos further endures in Lovecrafts work—in particular, one of the stories I believe came from this prompt. The story bares Hypnos’s own name. The story also follows a marble sculptor, who with his lone friend, begin to explore places beyond human conception and experience. They go further and further, until the narrator reaches a barrier that he cannot cross. But his friend can and…well, what happens next is best read on your own.

Lovecraft’s notion of sculpture and dreams are of course common. We can consider also, in the vein of marble, the Tree. This story follows two sculptors making an image of fate in competition. The result of this competition for the prize of a Syracuse tyrant is eventually a marble crypt and great tree that is extremely human like in appearance. I’ll allow you to enjoy that particular tale. And we cannot forget that a statue and a dream are at the center of the Call of Cthulhu—the statue of Cthulhu being the center of his cult. The power of images is to in a way be life like, and inspiring. It gives a being prescence in the world, spatial reality that a mere painting might not.

MarbleHead.png

So the above article is still important for my writing—it is where I went with research and I stand by it. However, as I was editing, I learned that Marblehead is actually a town in Massachusetts—not as I thougt, a head of marble. The coastal town served, as many New England towns have over the years, as inspiration for Mr. Lovecrafts own writing. In particular, the town of Kingsport was retroactively based on Marblehead in years past. Kingsport is of course the site of many dream stories for Lovecraft. Randolph Carter has encounters there, as does the terrible old man, and in the Dream Quest for Unknown Kadath, Nyrlanhotep himself expresses admiration for the town. So what tales from Marblehead?

Among the most famous you will find is that of the Screeching Woman. A heavy Spanish galleon was overtaken by pirates. Each member of the crew was butchered—except an English noblewoman, who was brutally murdered on the coast. The fishermen being away, and the women and children of the town being terrified, no one answered her screams for help. Her body was buried on the spot, and on the anniversary of her death, her screams still come out of the spot.

The prompt more directly seems to refer to a man named Old Dimond. Old Dimond was a man of prestigious power in the black arts. These included divination and power over fortune—he was known to go to the burying hill and beat about the graves, making demands for the fates of his own vessels. He was also known as a good friend to have—a widow asked for the location of a lost bit of wood, and he charmed the thief into returning it. In another instance, he was able to locate stolen treasure for an elderly couple. Old Dimond it seems was not only a wizard but a defender of the ill fated.

Old Dimond I think gives a direct line to the story. We are dealing with manipulations of dreams, and of fates there for. The reference to a burying hill point to that sort of necromancy connection. We then have the story of a wizard, of dreams, and of a certain unreality or magical uncertainty. From Old Dimond’s tales, it might be fitting to do a thief story—akin to the Terrible Old Man. Alternatively, we could present a somewhat more nefarious dream of a statue still—as I discuss in the patreon research, the ability to gain insight into the future and the cosmos is often connected with mystical statues and machines. Certainly, necromancers have had uses for strange and enchanting statues before. And I do confess, I would like to employ my earlier work into this even as they…misaligned with Lovecraft’s intent.

What stories will you weave about the coastal town of Marblehead? What statues inspire you in the real world? What strange dreams have you had?

Bibliography

Freedberg, David. The Power of Images: Studies in the History and Theory of Response. University of Chicago Press, 2007.

Hearn, Lafcadio. Some Chinese Ghosts. Project Gutenberg, 2015.

Leather, Ella Mary, et al. The Folk-Lore of Herefordshire: Collected from Oral and Printed Sources. Logaston Press, 1912.

Mukharij, Ram Sayta. Indian Folklore. Sanyal and Company, 1904.

Roads, Samuel. History and Traditions of Marblehead. Osgood and Company, 1880.

Watanabe, John M. “From Saints to Shibboleths: Image, Structure, and Identity in Maya Religious Syncretism.” American Ethnologist, vol. 17, no. 1, 1990, pp. 131–150. JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/645256.

“JewishEncyclopedia.com.” JewishEncyclopedia.com, http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/14331-teraphim.


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A Blind Idiot of A God

This Week’s Prompt:49. AZATHOTH—hideous name.

The Story: Father And Son

Azathoth is a creature of some surprising clear description in the works of the Lovecraftian Mythos. Azathoth, epithets ranging from the Demon Sultan to the Nuclear Chaos to the Blind Idiot God, is the close thing the mythos has to a creator deity. From Azathoth spews forth all things madly and randomly, creation occurring out of his court on a whim. Azathoth is credited as having long gone mad, being now only entertained by his court of outer gods and their music and piping. Azathoth’s origins are perhaps as manifold.

The name holds many hints. One theory is that Azathoth derives his name from Azazel. Azazel is a desert demon or fallen angel who accepts the scapegoat for the sins of Israel, an angel thus involved to a degree in the purging of sin. Azazel is also credited, however, in Enochian texts as the creator of the weapons of humanity (in traditional mythic fashion, he gives men weapons and women make up). He was also there the father of some of the Nephilim, man-eating gigantic heroes that were destroyed in the flood.

Another theory suggests, particularly from the name Demon Sultan, that Azathoth derives from the story of Vathek. Vathek is an old Gothic story, that is distinguished in the setting and cosmology from other horror tales of the genre. Vathek is set in the court of a Caliph, and the predominant religion in imagery is Islam instead of Christianity. We named ‘Valley of Vathek” after the main character, and a full version of it can be found here. The connection between Vathek and Azathoth the Demon Sultan seems based primarily on it’s ending of profound suffering in the courts of hell rather than the expected elation. The punishment of the damned is a sort of blinding truth and madness.

Azazthoth, broadly speaking in the Mythos itself, is to a degree the supreme creator deity, credited with giving rise distantly through more famous children such as Yog Sothoth and Nyrlanhotep. More pressingly, his authority is somewhat supreme. His name alone cows multitudes of monstrous creatures

Demiurge

Demiurge

Azathoth bears a resemblance to the characterizations of a few more creators worth mentioning. Chaos/Kaos as creator of course resembles Azathoth, as an apparently unintelligent creator force. Hudun resembles him as well, with no perceivable senses. Instead Hudun simply exists, and is in fact slain by receiving senses in certain Taoist texts. The Gnostic Demiurge, a creator of reality who is blind to it’s true nature and has woven a nightmare realm from his own selfishness, has a passing resemblance as well, if only as a hostile creative power that seeks to trap mankind.

Azazthoth has one significantly literary reference that must be recalled however.

Azathoth’s name and title however, belie more horrifying insinuation. His name recalls an alchemcial term: Azoth, the primary substance of Creation in many branches of Western Occultism and alchemy. Described sometimes as the source of Solar fire and Lunar water. Azoth then is similar to primary material or chaos. But unlike those, Azoth persists at the core of everything. The thing that gives things their existence.

Azoth

A depiction of Azoth

This presence is echoed by the title Nuclear Chaos. Now, in the post Hiroshima world, Nuclear has a very clear meaning as associated with radiation. And certainly, as horror iconography goes, radiation and nuclear weapons might be reflective of the destruction and perverting influence of the gods of Lovecraftian lore. But the Nucleus here meant something entirely different. It meant the core of something, it’s center and by extension it’s very being. The nuclear chaos alludes to Azathoth’s all pervasive nature that makes him more than a distant disorder. The madness that is Azathoth, the thing that is at the bottom and center of everything, giving existence to all things, is insane. Utterly idiotic and insane.

AtomicBomb

This is almost a horrible punchline to a nihilist joke, isn’t? It reads almost like something from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, or Goats. It’s a silly supposition, comically from the right angle. But we must labor to make this farce something almost horrifying. Restore some majesty it has lost.

So how to make this horrifying? Well, we might first abandon the primacy of the creature. Being trapped or happened upon by an absolutely mad and all powerful entity is itself rather terrifying, if full of humorous potential. The strange and disturbing effects that something omnipotent and foolish could do are rife with potential.

Or we could focus on the change wrought on such a being. How did Azathoth come to be in this state? What was it like, when the essence of the cosmos changed from what it was before? That has potential, but might be too abstract, and frankly too small in effect.

We could return to the notion of Azathoth as an inspiring source. Something that hasn’t been touched on that Lovecraft was fond of was the creation of arts in the wake of terrible beings. We discussed this somewhat, back in our discussion of wicked muses. The Demon Sultan has played that role in the past, particularly regarding The Music of Erich Zann. This might put further emphasis on the name’s hideous in someway, regarding perhaps its latent power inscribed into a poem or even a play (something like the King in Yellow perhaps?).

Yellow Sign.png

Azathoth as an infectious thing in reality, spreading and warping like a maddening rot, might be an approach to consider somewhat seriously. The story would need to begin with establishing the nature of reality as it is, and then gradually introduce the corrupting changes. Ideally, only our character notices these changes. Perhaps they are only changes in his perception, perhaps they are real. The changes will be such that whatever goals the lead was pursuing become increasingly impossible. Slowly, the world seems to drift away from his understandings and notions. Until, at last, he is isolated to a degree in an alien landscape.

Hegel

Hegel. Looks Kinda Like A Deep One

In this manner we might examine Azathoth as an anti-Hegelian conception of the universe. Hegel’s theory of history purports that the world spirit, the embodiment of …well, existence grows closer and closer to self knowledge through the synthesis of thesis and anti-thesis. Azathoth, who sits not only at the core of real space but at the center of the Dreamlands, and thus of both the waking and sleeping world, is the opposite. If anything, Azathoth is losing awareness, deluded by music and his own madness.

Of course, incorporating these ideas into a single story is hard. I suggest then a short vignette. A brief story of a decay to madness that has, at least on paper, another plot entirely. A story of a date, or of a confrontation with a father, or a bad day at work. A generally normal outline, that slowly decays both in the mind of the main character and in the outline overall. A place of insecurity can be magnified by the inclusion of a literally changing world. Albeit, at least physically, probably for the worst.

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Catoptrophobia

This Week’s Prompt: 42. Fear of mirrors—memory of dream in which scene is altered and climax is hideous surprise at seeing oneself in the water or a mirror. (Identity?)

The Relevant Research:Mirror Mirror On The Wall

My first dreams were fine. I didn’t even think they were dreams, while having them. I remember entire lives, and I guess the first of those is the one to start with.

The dreams started well after the the machine was running. They weren’t that bad at first, run of the mill nightmares. Falling through the floor, skin flying off, loud winds, that sort of thing. I wasn’t too concerned, at first. We were busy and wondering on dreams isn’t exactly a productive use of time in a facility like ours.

Of course, it really was the reverse. We really should have been paying more attention to our dreams. Dreams and visions are the secrets to the Kingdom and such. But I didn’t. I sat down at the control desk next to Dan, looking over the hollowed column of shining silver. Purified, rariefied, polished silver. A mirror of lunar metal, a hundred huddled faces staring back at us with the same coffee addled anticipation as us.

“Alright, calibrating now. Control, are you there?” Dan asks, twisting one of the many many dials on our desks. There was a buzzed reply.

“Think we’ll get something this time?” I asked, flicking a few switches. The column began to bend, the reflections forming a callidascope of reflected images, only a few showing our complete faces. Dan shrugged.

“Beginning oscillation.” I said into the intercom mic. The all clear came back, and with that the screaming started.

Oh, no, not from anything horrible done to us. Not yet. No, the sound was a recording, or a set of recordings. I moved the pitch up and down, watching it echo through the mirrored chamber. Little rippls and cracks formed along the edges of the mirrors, and the reflections began to distort. The Bloody Mary principle seemed to be coming through.

The idea was pretty simple, and for an occult science, fairly sound. Noises near mirrors caused disruptions, misforutunes, called up terrible entities and ghosts. There was a great deal of potential in that in-between space that was just on the otherside of the mirror. A thin barrier that, with the right amount of pressure, we hoped to crack.

Based on studies, we reckoned there was something to learn from the other side. Something about what the foundations of the world are, or perhaps what lies beyond our own. What is inimical to life, does anything transcend our petty corner of reality to all cosmos? Do we have like-minded thinkers to await us?
So we built a machine. We found the noises that pierced the soul, that drew attention best. We found perfect mirrors and arranged them in thousands of angles. And now, Dan and I spent hours blasting them with simulations of screams, waiting for a ripple to spread, a sign that the other side had heard back. It wasn’t exactly the most pleasant work. It wasn’t surprising that at night my dreams were, as I said, a tad disturbed.

But we really should have noticed. Should have asked, should have talked about it, in case…well, I’m getting ahead of myself.

CoverMirror.png

That day was unlike other days, in a way you have probably anticipated. You see, for once, the mirror began to flicker, the silver began to peel like paint and ripple like water. The reflections bent and burned, eyes widening, subsumed by great pupils that became darkness as they were torn open to reveal something new. Something that wasn’t on our side of the shining fence.

And then…darkness. There was still the screaming, the modulation stopped where the dial left it, a low and deep sound that almost resembled a dying whale’s song. There wasn’t anything else, just an inky black so complete that I was certain I was sleeping, if not for the continuous screaming.

When the lights came back on line, when the world started to fold back to itself, it looked different. The first, most obvious difference was the column. There was a hole, lined with the mirrors, extending backwards. I couldn’t tell, just looking, how far back the hole went. The lights didn’t reach all the way back, and even if they did, reflections would make just visually measuring the depth hard. Okay, that was an after the fact realization.

No, what struck me first after the ‘why is there a hole in the middle of the machinery’ was, well, ‘What had knocked me and Dan over and was Dan breathing?’ There was broken glass everywhere. When I started to pull myself, up I had to stop because my hands felt like they were full of needles. Something had gone horribly wrong. There were alarms going off now. I ignored them like I ignored the other loud peircing noise and push-crawled to Dan. He looked alive. He seemed to be breathing. His breath fogged up a bit of glass I could barely hold over his mouth.

After that, some emergency folks came in. I lost consciousness again.

WormMirror2.png

I didn’t wake up in a hospital bed. I woke up, first, in a room. A plain room, with curtains around every wall and a breeze coming through. The tile floor was cold to walk on. I stood, staring at my hands that seemed fully healed. As I stared at them, I saw things moving beneath the surface. Worms crawling in my skin. It didn’t bother me much.

There was nothing else in the room, but it felt more like I was swimming then walking. It wasn’t hard to move, but it was…heavy. I looked around some, pacing around the place I had been lying. There wasnt any furniture, but the floor had felt like a bed before.

With nothing else to do, I wlaked toward one of the curtains and grabbed it. It felt like human skin. I pulled and pulled at it, to see what was behind it. Just when it was about to give, I woke up again.

I woke up this time in the hospital room, with curtains surrounding me and the beeping of machines beside me. This was to be expected. I had been in accident. There were people talking, silhouettes I could make out, all in hushed voices. Something had gone wrong, that much was certain. Someone behind the curtain sounded nervous, afraid.

There was a pounding on the door. A man gestured towards it, I assumed. He then peeled back the curtains to get a better look at me.

“Hello, David? I’m Doctor Stevens. Nod if you understand.” the Doctor said. He was wearing a face mask, and saftey goggles. Excessive, I thought, for what my condition was. I lifted my head a bit. My neck really hurt. But I managed to nod. My hands still stung as I tried to move them.

“Okay, great. Now, there was an accident. Do you remember the accident?” the Doctor asked. More pounding on the door, some shouting. I nodded again. My mouth felt dry, really dry. I worried if I opened my mouth, I’d suddenly speak only ashes.

“Alright, now, do you remember who was with you in the control room?”

Another nod.

“How many people where in the control room with you?” the Doctor asked. I heard wood cracking. The door was breaking. I turned slowly towards the noise to not hurt my neck anymore.

“Ignore that. How many people where in the room with you, David?”

I raised my hand cautiously, holding up a single finger. My hand stung, and I think blood was still running down my palm. Doctor Stevens nodded.

“And after the accident? How many people, before you pass—”

I frowned. After the accident? The security guards I guessed. Counting in my head, the cracking grew louder. I managed to hold up fiver fingers before the door smashed onto the ground. There was screaming and shouting. I squinted to see what was happening on the otherside of the curtains as Doctor Stevens ran.

There was a thing out there, a sillehoute. Hands, on the ground, grabbing and pulling down. I saw Dan walking. No, floating, like some forgotten spectre. He pushed through the crowd as it grew quiet, as screams became choking sobs. I saw his hand…or what was left of his hand, reaching up along the curtain, pulling back at the edge, pulling it aside. I caught a glimpse of maggots festering, a mass of rotting flesh and new born flies pouring from his dead eyes. His pupils, or a black abyss like pupils, was swelling over his face, hanging over his cheek bones.

I woke again. I awoke not far from here, alone in a bathroom stall. New clothes, new skin even. Still felt…well, felt tingly. But when I looked in the mirror, I saw a pair of bloodshot eyes and a face I’ve never seen before. Yeah, this face. I don’t know who Jacob is. I don’t know why my hands still feel like their bleeding. But that’s not important.

Eyes.png

I saw my eyes, detective, I saw them. The pupils are growing wider.


 

This weeks prompt suffered from a loss of my time. I think the premise of piercing a veil through mirrors has promise, and might be revisited latter. And the pupils feel a bit…well, corny at the moment. A draft more than a story for now.

 

Next time, we delve into the depths of the earth, and find unsuspecting foes! What will we find below? What daemons lurk in the deeps of the fertile earth?

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In The Closet

This Week’s Prompt: 37. Peculiar odour of a book of childhood induces repetition of childhood fancy.

The Research: Childhood Dreams

My home was much as I remembered it. The old house was still there, with the same squeaky rickety stair. My brain added the missing hollering at dad to fix it for once in his goddamned life, and the perplexity over how exactly out here in the desert there could be something so moist as to squick. When I was little, used to wonder if it was worm guts or ant insides crushed against the nails.

It’s been several years now since we left the old place. I spent the better part of my childhood years here, and even when it became my dad’s house instead of our house, I’d still visit over the summers. Now that he’s gone, having found a way to drown in the brittle bone wastes of Arizona, it was mine again. It was eerie, how well kept everything was. How meticulously well kept everything was. It was a curiosity over such antiquarian tendencies that led my feet clacking up the stairs towards my room when I was little.

There is something cliché in the parent maintaining perfectly the state of nest once it’s emptied. It was some relief then, that the bed was so broken and beaten. No doubt a raccoon…no, that’s upstate talking. Coyotes then, or javelinas or gila monster or I don’t know. Some sort of small animal. Maybe an imported raccoon.

The place was an absolute wreck, books strewn across the floor and blankets shredded and sheets wrapped into strange bundles. Still, there was one book that seemed mostly intact. The Watsons Go To Birgmingham. Never liked it much, too serious. But as I thumbed through the pages, the smell of rotting cod wafted up and out, and I saw the bones stuffed between the doodles.

When I pushed the bones between the pages, back when I was only approaching the first decade of my life, I didn’t know dead cod would smell like. That came with the move up north. But I knew what it smelled like. It was the nightly creature that would come scuttling into my room and the house, make off with a few things, move a few things, and then go back.

I had three friends back then, Tami, Chris, and George. They didn’t believe me at first when I told them that I had seen four sets of glowing eyes in the night. It’s limbs were like a MR. PLASTIC ™, stretching out to pull its skittering form forward. It was gross and slimy and squirming and ick ick ick.

“Right, but it’s not hurting anyone, so who cares?” Tami asked, tossing a rock at a cactus. “Sounds like a neat pet.”

“Yeah, but what if later, it gets hungry?”

“Then bring it a shaking cactus?” Chris said, letting another rock fly. It hit an adobe wall and a dog barked at us irritably. “I mean, a kid in Phoenix, he goes to my school. Says that a kid he knew had one of them, and after a few days it burst into a bunch of spiders. Had to fumigate the place.”

“Ew, why would I want that?” I said, playing with the stones.

“Well, then it’ll eat the spiders. Problem solved.” Chris said with a shrug.

“But wouldn’t it run out of spiders?”

“Yeah, but see, you’d move already. Because even grown ups don’t like spiders. At least, not that many. And maybe the fumigators would kill it.”

“Guys,” George said with the uptmost childhood sincerity, “I think your missing the obvious here.”

“What?” Tami asked, tilting her head.

“We catch it.” George said, eyes all a glitter. The three of us should have laughed, but now the prospect seemed tangible and real. We could actually catch it. Maybe.

“How would we?” Chris asked, having stopped throwing stones to consider.

“Well, it does crawl about. Maybe we could steal some mouse traps?” I asked, thinking to the scurrying noises on the floor.

“We’ll need more than mouse traps.” George chimed in, waving his stick around. “Monsters fight back, don’t you know? We’ll need some bats or big sticks and a blanket.”

“Why a blanket?” Tami asked, frowning.

“Because, you know, birds fall asleep when covered by a blanket right?” George said. There was a general nod of consensus. “Right, so I bet this things like them. Or like a dog, and it’ll get real confused, and that will mean we can whack it before it rips our eyes out and eat them.”

There was a general hiss of disgust at the mention of disfigurement and anthrophagy, that died down after a bit of nervous laughing. Tami mentioned that she could swipe some of her dad’s golf clubs and George and I agreed that that would do nicely for beating in the things skull. So we began that day to set our fateful trap, for the thing lurking in my house.

It had to be at a sleepover, to get us all over to my house. My parents were surprised and pleased that I was having friends over, having grown used to an almost pathological avoidance to admitting relation to the house. They thought it was because it was old and squeaky. Because they didn’t know that no kid is inviting their friends over to get eaten by monsters.

The next trip was staying up late, with the lights off and all of us ‘asleep’. We figured noise might scare it off, or maybe draw its attention. In a kids mind, the line between ‘thing we’re going to beat up’ and ‘thing that will eat me’ is a flexible, blurry one. So we carefully measured our breathing and tried not to jump with excitement or fear when a coyote howled outside. A coyote walking the streets, you must understand, was quite the event.

But we strained our eyes awake. Well, okay, George and Tami did. Chris fell asleep, despite the efforts, and I was on the verge of dreaming when the scurrying in the living room jolted three of us up. George held a finger to his mouth and Tami slowly handed out supplies from the gym bag she had brought her stuff in. Sadly, they were mostly baseball bats. She said golf clubs were too big.

So we quietly opened the door, Chris having the blanket as punishment for being a little kid sleepy head who couldn’t stay up late for a monster hunt. I had the flashlight, since it was my house and I’d be damned if we were going to hunt a thing blind and groping in the dark. So we went out carefully, a flickering column of light running head of us. Slowly we made our way to the pantry, where there was a scurrying hissing noise of the most awful sort. And sure enough, there we found it.

It was like a newt with a spiders face and the mouth of a gila monster. It’s gaping toothless maw was surrounded by dozens of blank, empty eyes reflecting back my light, a sudden candelabra. It swallowed up our screams like fish rushing into the hungry jaws of a bear, but Chris was quick as a whip and tossed the blanket over it’s face. Fear turned to adrenaline and we shot ahead swinging. Battered and bruised, it belched and groaned and almost roared until we stopped an eternity later.

Newt Cover

Body disposal had been briefly discussed, but temporary storage had been arranged. We dragged the body back, and with careful work propped it up on a close iron in the mouth. A few fish bones fell out and, to hide them, I shoved the bones into whatever book I could find.

And in the room, I wondered if I had ever taken the thing down. Never named it. Bragged about it for years, but when we left I kinda forgot it happened. So, with a dulled curiosity, I opened the door and was struck immediately by the smell of rot. But there it hung, like meet on a hook, its eyes swollen and dried out. There was something glimmering there, some little flash of light as I closed the door again. But I’m not that worried. After all, its dead.

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The Battle of Timalt Tower

This Week’s Prompt:26. Dream of ancient castle stairs—sleeping guards—narrow window—battle on plain between men of England and men of yellow tabards with red dragons. Leader of English challenges leader of foe to single combat. They fight. Foe unhelmeted, but there is no head revealed. Whole army of foe fades into mist, and watcher finds himself to be the English knight on the plain, mounted. Looks at castle, and sees a peculiar concentration of fantastic clouds over the highest battlements.

The Research: The Storm Comes. The Dragon Roars.

Slowly I ascend the stairs of the old stone tower. Timalt was built in the old days, before the Normans came, before the Saxons came, before the Romans came, when all was still British in the North and South of the Isle. It’s stones were strong blocks from Faerie times, and its foundations the bones of the earth. I drifted up past sleeping guards, long enchanted by aged magics, to the roof of the tower. For outside there was the sound of clashing steel and the roar of the war horn.

I sat atop the towers roof, and saw the forces arrayed on the field. On the West end of the field, there was a host of Englishmen. Bright red were their shields, with the great wyvern of Wessex on their flags. Shining swords and spears of steel marked them, and they were the ones bellowing such dreadful horns. At their head stood a man with a great helm and sword, taller by a foot then his fellows, atop a mighty steed and dressed in chain.

Arrayed on the East side, with the setting sun, were men foreign and familiar to my eyes. Men in yellow shirts and tabards, come from forgotten hills and mountains. They bore no marks on their shields or banners, just a bright yellow plain. A host of great serpents, with red scales and eyes of fire walked and flew above them. They had teeth like swords and claws like spears, and from their mouth issued fire, that destroyer of cities.

At their head walked a man tall and mighty, like a giant born again. His blade was notched along it’s edges, and not of steel but some strange darker metal. He rode atop the greatest of the wyrms, a beast with five heads and belching thunder as well as flame. And he too was foreign and familiar. For the English had a name for his kind, that they oft forgot. These were the men beneath the hills and dales, whom the Faeries drove out when they fled. They were the sons of Death and Time, great terrors of the world. The clergy would say that they were the parody of man, made by the enemy. The wise speculate the opposite. That such beasts seem to have culture older than our own inclines unfortunate conclusions. They are the Igvs, creatures that have been and will be for many years to come.

The two engaged in melee for sometime. The English let loose their bows, raining arrows down on the wooden shields and scaly hides of the enemy. The response from the enemy is the calk-clak-clak and a loud whirring sound. A number of them lift up strange weapons that resemble spears and let loose volleys of darts and arrows. A multitude of the Englishmen are sent writhing, their armor glowing like stars atop the misty ground.

The swords now meet, and here at first the English have the advantage, driving steel between tabard and skin. But the serpents now roar, and at the front runners direction, belch fire onto the men. Shields are feeble tools against a dragons flame. The tall Englishman, their champion and leader, strides forward despite the fire and shouts in a strange tongue to his opposite. I understood it’s meaning, if not it’s words.

“This land is under my protection still, vile creature of the Gurganthor! By my blade you will be undone as before, and sent scurrying back below!”

I find it strange that he speaks not in English, doubly that he seems to know this dark king of the Igvs who swarm up with him. The King of the Igvs draws his marked blade in reply.

“The time has come, the sun is fading, the light below is growing great. Come forth, you fool of Avalon and lost kin, and meet your fate. My blade is sure, my body still, my blood will not be split.”

And with that the Englishman, or at least the body of one, charged forward. Some bravery infected his horse, stirring against it’s natural enemy. The Dragon roared, and the flame spilled forth, but by some trick the horse was unscathed. The clang of steel rang out as the king of Igvs and the English Lord dueled. There was an unusual grace to the King of Igvs, each blow slowly flowing into another. It was as if the sea rose and fell, wave after wave assaulting the coastline.

Perhaps, against the stony style of another English lord, or Saxon brute, or Norman conqueror, it would have overcome. The weapons of time are gradual and grinding, like wheels and sands. The steel makes roots that crack the armor, the shimmer bypasses it as the wind of ages does. But all these powers found a strange foe in the Englishman.

For he did not, as I expected and have observed elsewhere, hold a rigorous guard. His blade was swift, his arm a flickering flame. His shield relented and shifted, his body liquid and sinuous. As the King of Igvs grew in size, his arms swelling like trees, so did the Englishmen seem all the smaller and more nimble. His sword a stinger, his form a scorpion or a bees. One moment he was beneath the tremendous blow of the King of Igvs, the next he slipped away. Never has a mortal man been so artful.

At last, the fateful blow came. The Englishman’s sword felled the great tree of Igv’s head, freeing the great metal mask that lay on that knotted trunk. But then I was astonished. Beneath the helmet of the king, there was no head at all.

And then I was no longer on the oldest tower, atop the bones of the world. I had a body again, of tired flesh and sinew, of worn muscles and rapidly pulsing heart. I was atop a horse, who shook violently. I blinked rapidly, looking about, sword still in hand. I saw the old tower, the wretched tower, built round an old tree according to the men of God.

And atop it a strange storm flickered and flashed. My mind slowly receded from my memories in that tower, but I could not recall what had happened when I was here. I knew not why I was on the field, nor why I led so few against so many. Before me fled into the hills the Igvs, leaving clattering armor behind. And my memory with them threatened to recede, with nothing but the silver and crimson lighting left.

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Black Sun Finale: The Account

This Week’s prompt:25. Man visits museum of antiquities—asks that it accept a bas-relief he has just made—old and learned curator laughs and says he cannot accept anything so modern. Man says that ‘dreams are older than brooding Egypt or the contemplative Sphinx or garden-girdled Babylonia’ and that he had fashioned the sculpture in his dreams. Curator bids him shew his product, and when he does so curator shews horror. Asks who the man may be. He tells modern name. “No—before that” says curator. Man does not remember except in dreams. Then curator offers high price, but man fears he means to destroy sculpture. Asks fabulous price—curator will consult directors. Add good development and describe nature of bas-relief.

Read part 1 and part 2

The account thus written was never known to the board of directors or to Derelth, and so we must leave them be. It was found amongst the belongings of the recently deceased Mrs. ____ as the only article left to the public from her estate.

“We, for Queen and Country, approached the Veronan hills. The good governor was the old sort for the region. His daughter had run off in the night, out to the hills and forests, and he was dearly concerned. A superstitious old man, he feared that the people and things that lived between the hills and trees would do the most dreadful things to his lost daughter. So we made our way, Roger, George, Edward, John, and myself, under orders, with naught but a rifle each.

“The way up the hills was one of laughter and jokes. More than likely, John said, the girl had run off to rendezvous with a native lover. Or perhaps she had to hide away some store of jewels. The dogs we had brought were chipper, barking at hares and rodents that scurried in the tall grass. Crossing over the hills, to where the forest was in sight.

“The woods of on the other side of Vernonan hills are a strange sort. There bark was like ink or ash, more a painted on effect than something real. And on this night, a cloudy new moon, they were almost invisible. A few lanterns hung near the houses, marking the cottages near the woods. There was still no sight of the girl. We reckoned it’d be best to check the houses, then the woods. After all, bandits of all sorts could lurk the woods with their wild beasts and wicked weapons.

“Roger was the strongest, so he forced the doors. They were all locked of course. We’d been here before, cleaning up squatters and checking in on debts owed to the Company. We didn’t wear anything to hide our prescence and the barking dogs surely gave them warning. So we searched each house, one at a time. Not a soul was found. Now, there were around twenty men and maybe fifteen women in that little squalid site. No children or chickens either.

“When we got to the decaying fields of wheat, we at last found a man. He was shambling in the distance, his eye-catching the light of our lanterns like a cat. Our dogs immediately pulled and in frustration, we set them on him. Do not worry, like good hunting dogs, they only surrounded and tackled their prey down.

“At closer look, he was a rather old man. He had an old factory hat on, and a nice leather vest for the are. His hands were a farmer’s hands, and his face the face of lost solider. All together, he certainly had suffered worse than dogs being set upon him. We still took our time approaching.

“George whisteled for the dogs to relent while me and Edward stood the old man up. John asked most of the question. Rather simple ones, really, though the poor man barely seemed to understand some of them.

“ ‘Have you seen a nice lady come through?’ John would ask. The man would smile and say he has seen many nice ladies in the hills. John got a bit more specific, and the man would get quiet for a bit. Then Roger did somethings that were, admittedly, a little unbecoming of our station. I have heard it said by wise men that the capacity for good is measured in equal part by the capacity for evil. If there is ever a testament for how civilized the Empire can make a man, none is more damning than Roger’s behavior.

“ ‘Have you seen the nice lady, the governor’s little lady come through here?’ John asked slowly this third time. The man was still catching his breath when we stood him up, a bit bruised. Roger had aimed for the chest, and for a moment I feared he’d broken the man’s lungs. John held up his hand as Roger prepared another round.

“ ‘The nice lady? She’s not that little or that nice.’ the man said with a chuckle, holding up his hand as Roger pulled back his fist. ‘Yes, yes, she came by tonight, she had bad dreams and knew, she knew we were people of dreams.’

“ ‘She had bad dreams?’ John said, raising his eyebrows as best as I could tell in the light. ‘Stand him up proper.’

“ ‘No, no, she did! Terrible dreams. And tonight, of all nights? It was a sign.’ he said as we hefted him up. He shouted for us to stop, but Roger wasn’t restrained. He was coughing horribly when John spoke to him again.

BlackSunFinale2.png

“ ‘I’m telling the truth!’ he managed to get, crumpled on the ground. ‘You imbeciles don’t see it. She had terrible dreams of things we knew. The Black Sun, she is rising to fill the world with beautiful forms again. To cast a shadow, that a multitude might grow.’

“ ‘So she’s in the forest?’ John asked, more annoyed than anything. The man nodded. At the time, I thought it strange, that he should comply after such rude treatment. I learned that night he had complied, but only for our own doom.

“ The wood was thick as we went in. The branches stifled the already dim stars, and caught the lantern light like flies in a spider’s web. More strikingly, there was not a sound that night. Not a single leaf crinkled beneath a foot. Not a single breeze blew, not a branch rattled, not a twig snapped. No rabbit hopped. Not a wolf howled, not a whisper was heard. Even when we spoke, it was like whispers struggling against a breeze. We eventually resorted to simple hand gestures, keeping an eye for even the slightest shimmer.

“It must have been hours in that dreadful space. I entertained the idea that perhaps the sun rose and set and we hadn’t noticed, so dark were the woods. Then the smoke began to come from the distance, though still we saw no fire. Simply a tendril of the darkness stretching into our hallowed sphere of light.

“But the smoke quickened our minds. We knew, we knew that smoke came only from fire. So we followed it, covering our mouths to not inhale it. Slowly color intruded on the wood, red sigils painted on the trees, carvings carefully colored white as corpses. Sound came necks, drumming sounds, and the braying of the hounds, the crack of twigs and the crunch of crushed leafs all returned. And we beheld a dreadful sight.

BlackSunFinale.png

“There was a great pillar of stone there, crude volcanic stone. Around it danced men and women with madness, masks like pigs and goats and other unclean characters. Above them was a pulsing cyst of the sky, a tumorous mass. I have heard tell that among savage or decadent magicians, there is much desire for the hair a woman has devoured and has calcified. I can only imagine they would love this strange growing mass, with its hairs and scales and eyes and mouths. It grew crooning outward, singing and moaning as it spread. Lumps fell down to the earth and out sprung vermin and slugs and leeches in swarms.

“And we saw the governor’s daughter there, directly beneath, utterly indecent. Tar sputtered from the ground and filth fell from the sky and she reveled in it. Her form swelled, nearly to the point of bursting as we watched. And that, beneath the deep shadow, was the last of it. John, the religious sort, let cry a ‘Deus vult!’ and at once we let a salvo loose and forgot our dogs.

“The heathens were not quiet in their departure, however. Quickly, easily even, they drew knives and daggers and set upon us. And while we bore guns, they had numbers. Blood quickly watered the ground, both ours and savages. As it did, the ground grew hard, and the thing above seemed to squirm and flicker. Until, at last, as Roger fell to an ax to the shoulder, the thing pulled itself back into the pillar.

“Whence it came and went I do not know. But the forest must be raised, and the hills demolished. Dark things live in those places, and we can abide them no longer.”

It has been a long celebration, my brothers and sister! But I hope it was not too bad. Next week, we return to our regular schedule and regular research. What did you drum up from this classic corpse? Did you find some sea drenched beast? Or was your tale more mundane in it’s terrors?

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Ia Ia: What A Novel Phrase

This Week’s Prompt:25. Man visits museum of antiquities—asks that it accept a bas-relief he has just made—old and learned curator laughs and says he cannot accept anything so modern. Man says that ‘dreams are older than brooding Egypt or the contemplative Sphinx or garden-girdled Babylonia’ and that he had fashioned the sculpture in his dreams. Curator bids him shew his product, and when he does so curator shews horror. Asks who the man may be. He tells modern name. “No—before that” says curator. Man does not remember except in dreams. Then curator offers high price, but man fears he means to destroy sculpture. Asks fabulous price—curator will consult directors. Add good development and describe nature of bas-relief.

The Prior Research:Part 1  ,Part 2

The Resulting Stories: Black Sun Part 1,Part 2,Part 3

In our final word on this prompt, brothers and sisters, I wish to discuss the grandson of Yog Sothoth’s modern incarnations. And how…eschew they sometimes are. For the lord dreaming in Ryleh tends to be combined with two other figures of mortal antagonism: The Devil and entities like Godzilla.

The first being more rampant, we’ll approach it first. There is a trend, perhaps well intended, to make Cthulhu a grand source of evil in the cosmos. Many a demon lord in gaming has his visage, and his rare forays into film bleed over into Satanism more than the strange, global, and aboriginal nature his cult has in the original work.

This is strange, given the difference between the two characters. We said our piece on the devil here. And if there is something dependable dealing with the diabolic it is a desire to destroy mankind. Either a moral corruption through temptation, or a physical filth through literal death and devastation. The lords of locusts in Revelation and the great dragons of medieval times care deeply about humanity. They want it dead and ruined, and hate it like only someone who is dear to the subject can hate.

And that level of personal sadism is uncommon if not absent from Mr. Lovecraft’s work. The great Nyrlanhotep, the Crawling Chaos and Man in the Woods, is the closest to a devil figure. He is often the patron of witches and nightmares, and in some tales it is he who brought us the atomic bomb. And when Azazoth decides it is time to undo all creation, it will be he who heralds the end of the universe.

But Cthulhu certainly is not such a subversive entity. Firstly, his direct influence on the world is rather limited (a few days span, when he rises from the deep), and secondly, he is more a destroyer by accident than intent. Cthulhu rising is a terror, but it is a terror because his mere prescence is toxic. And while his draconic features imply impish and hellish mind, he appears to lack it past the rousing of his children and perhaps his extended kin of Great Old Ones.

It would be easy to blame Derleth. Derleth attributed to Cthulhu an evil disposition, and arrayed against him gods that might be called angelic (although later writers made them just as horrible, if perhaps less abrasive). But we cannot blame him alone. There is, as they say, at least one other. Simon.

cthulhunecronomicon

Simon’s real name is unknown, but what is known is that he penned a work claiming to be the legendary Necronomicon. Within, he writes a mythology that attempts to weave Babylonian narratives together with ones of the mythos. As well as promote an idea of magic and occultism that will trump all other such organizations.

The book links clear Satanic imagery with Tiamat, Azazoth, and Cthulhu, placing them as the greatest of evils in the cosmos and the masters of innumerable demons. To those who know the mythos, this is head-scratching on a number of levels, with several orders of being represented as the same. Further, the presentation of the Mad Daemon Sultan as an ally or lieutenant of Tiamat seems more bizarre. Perhaps Simon was some foolish cultist who misunderstood the Mad Arab.

But the book became famous, as books of sin and darkness that assert they grant mastery of the universe are want to do. I will spare my readers the questions of its authenticity, given that Mr. Lovecraft himself never asserted the Necronomicon was real, and instead present a second notion for this conflation of the Devil and Cthulhu: Modernity.

The devil, with his horns and brass tridents has become, perhaps, to familiar. The dragon has likewise suffered, no longer an alien beast of horror and terror, but a creature that is familiar in its own faerie way. The Mythos, and the squid headed Cthulhu in particular, are similar enough to step in as devils, yet bear an air of strangeness often lacking in modern demons (granted, this is enhanced by leaving the strangeness out of devils and angels. But I digress).

cthulhusavestheworld

The comparisons to Godzilla and similar large monsters rest almost on the other end. Many seem to believe that what renders Cthulhu terrifying is his sheer girth. His mass and his ability perhaps to regenerate are what makes him a threat to human kind. This is likewise mistaken.

Firstly, in the Mythos, the threat of Cthulhu clearly transcends the physical. He sends forth dreams and visions across the glob, and if some sources are to be believed, he is quiet a knowledgeable beast. He has flown from distant stars after all, and command wars. We know he lays dreaming, and the Dreamlands of Lovecraft are no small matter. Lastly, some texts call him high priest of his own kin, a child of that dread creature Yog Sothoth. Such a pedigree and position implies a more calculating and expansive threat then mere mass.

Secondly, Godzilla in particular is peculiar. In most renditions of giant monsters, there is a tone of punishment. These are holy avengers let loose, either for the dead or the environment or the mistreated scientist and so on. They have come because man has grown proud, to remind us of our smallness and teach us to respect something or another.

And while Cthulhu shows our smallness in the vast cosmos…he does only that. There is no primeval wrong he is undoing, and the advent of technology has little to do with his ascent. There is no morality to the Great Old One that we know of (except, of course, the disagreement over whether he will liberate or destroy the world, but that is a matter of mortal debate). If there is some cosmic significance to his conflict, it has little to do with our fate in particular. The threat of Cthulhu is amoral – it seeks neither destruction or aid to mankind. Merely to pursue its own agenda regardless of the effects on the world.

I will here make mention of a few other modern treatments of Cthulhu that my fellow brothers might find interesting, if unusual. Mr. Neil Gaiman wrote an autobiography of Cthulhu, as well as a British mystery story. There is of course the now famous video game Cthulhu Saves the World. And lastly, the wonderful people at Extra Credits have compiled a video honestly could have replaced this.

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