My Dunwich Horror

My snow-white hands touch her cold, broken body. My mother is bent and twisted around at angles that no human should be capable of, around a pillar of stone. The creature, Yog-Sothoth, cries in frustration and falls back into the mist.
My father pulls the hood off his cloak and stares at me with cold, dead eyes. I wrap my cloak tight around me to protect myself from the icy wind on the mountaintop.

“It din’ take, Vinny,” said my father as he looks disappointed at my mother’s twisted frame.

“Yog-Sothoth, I offer you my daughter if you don’ wan’ me wife!” shouts my father as he shoves me into the middle of the stone circle. But the porthole has closed and there is nothing left but cold.

My father scowls at me in disgust as I pick up the giant tomb at my feet. We walk in silence back to the farmhouse. Scoliosis twisted my frame and I hobble behind him.

He locked himself up in the top room of the house to pour over the ancient tombs that lay in our house. My mother was supposed to be a vessel for Yog-Sothoth, to carry his seed. My brother was to be the savior for the beings outside of space and time, but they did not want her. They didn’t want me either, but at least they didn’t hurt me.
The next day, I went up the mountain and buried my mother. The whippoorwills sang loudly in the trees, so much so I couldn’t think. I said a prayer to Yog-Sothoth. Perhaps if he did not want her body, her spirit would serve him.

Hobbling back home through Dunwich, the villagers whisper words like witch and albino. My pale, tangled hair lies against my cloak as I go to the general store and buy bread.

Home is through a path of patchwork houses, old and dilapidated, barely standing against the bright blue sky. Even though this town is falling apart, the hills surrounding it are full of life. I must clear this life to serve the elder gods, and I will be the one to serve them. I will be their vessel.

Over the passing years, my father studied the books from tombs from the elder gods. I ran wild through the mountains and forest. These wild places are my home. Every year on Hallowmass and Walpurgis we would back up to Sentinel hill, light a bonfire in the stone circle, and dance.

Father says I am never to marry, that I must be pure for Yog-Sothoth, to be a vessel. None of the men in Dunwich want me, anyway. I keep house and farm; I study the old ways and I run wild and gather herbs and hunt.

In my twenties, I became rather ill with consumption and it took me years to recover. At thirty-five, my father said that I was ready to become the vessel for Yog-Sothoth. Although I was still sickly, my form was going to be too old to carry children soon.

My father took me to the top of the hill and stripped me naked. He tied me to the stone circle, just as he had with my mother. He opened the tomb, and we both chanted the prayer to Yog-Sothoth.

I remember pain; it felt as though my body was being split in two. I cried out by the fires in sentinel hill as the unseen force wreaked havoc on my body. I bled for weeks after and became with child.

The children grew in my womb at an extraordinary rate. My belly became huge within four months. My father carried me back to Sentinel hill on Imbolic of 1913. My body was ripped in half again as the Messenger and Savior were born. The savior to clear a path for the Old Gods and the Messenger was to call him forth.

I named the messenger Wilbur, but we would keep the savior’s existence silent. The human tongue could not speak the Savior’s true name. A family friend, Mamie Bishop, moved in to help me care for young Wilbur and the Savior.

We had built another barn and hollowed it out for our Savior to come forth. Yog-Sothoth gifted us with gold to feed our son cattle. He would occasionally nurse my blood and the blood of my father like a child nurse’s milk, leaving red welts on our bodies.

Our Messenger grew tall and strong, though the simple townfolk of Dunwich feared him. They trained their dogs to attack him and my Wilbur did not know peace as he went into Dunwich. Their close-minded ways would call him Lavinny’s black brat. But my son grows fast and strong. Village girls of Dunwich would go missing, fed to both my sons’ appetites, along with the cattle.

At three years old, he looked like a boy of ten and my father took him under his wing. They became inseparable, the Messenger and my father. He would read him all the lessons and teach him the old ways. Ways that he never taught me.
Then my father died. He became ill with a fever and whippoorwills became ever so loud again. My father whispered 751 of the complete edition to call Yog-Sothoth and end this world forever before fading into nothing.

After my father’s passing, Wilber would not speak to me. Everything I said he despised. I didn’t know what he wanted or what he was planning. On Hallowmass, he called me to go with him to Hallowmas on Sentinel Hill. It would be the last time the old ones would ever call me.

Once again I saw the stone circle, and once again I prayed to Yog-Sothoth to take this world away.

“He won’t take the world without a sacrifice,” Wilbur croaked.

A porthole opened above me, my spine twisted around the stone until it cracked. It would be over soon. My sons, find the book and call the end. I could feel Yog-Sothoth twisting my body until my spine snapped. The pain stopped and the only sound I heard was the screaming of the whippoorwills.

Me and My Body

I woke up with the worst stomach ache of my life. It was probably something I ate from the raw bar, a mixture of bad oysters and cheap beer. Dialing work, I listened to the automated message and picked the option for a full day absence, and left a voicemail for my boss. Today was going to suck, but at least I had sick time to sleep it off.

I was walking to the bathroom and threw up yesterday’s dinner. I washed my face and looked in the mirror.

My skin had a greenish tint with grey patches. Great, I would have to call the doctor about this. I had food poisoning. I dialed my doctor’s office and waited on hold, but after twenty minutes, no one answered. Shaking with a river of sweat pouring from me, I hung up the phone and wrapped myself back in bed, and fell into a deep sleep.

I woke up a few hours later and felt much better. I felt great, light, and effervescent. I went to the kitchen to make myself a cup of coffee, but my hand floated through my coffee cup. Desperately I tried to grasp the cylinder full of Folgers only to have it slip through my fingers. I had to be dreaming; I had some hangover, and this was all a twisted fever dream.

A moan came from my living room. I tried to grab a knife from the kitchen, but my hand refused to grasp it. I crept carefully to see myself groaning and running into the back patio window. Perplexed, I observed the situation. Whoever this person was, they were pretty intoxicated. They were stumbling about the room and kept slamming into the window with a single-minded purpose.

I went to the patio window and floated to the other side. The person looked exactly like me but had greenish skin. It rolled its eyes back, so only the whites were showing.

“Stop!”

The person glanced up at me, sniffing the air, and cocked its head like a confused dog.Well, if this was a dream, at least I had some control over the creature.

“Use the handle,” I said.

The creature stared in my direction with the same confused expression. I passed my hand over the patio window’s handle. My hand passed through, but the latch wiggled a little. The creature grunted and pounded on the latch. My body slammed the sliding window so hard all the glass shattered, and it sauntered through to the other side.

“Damn it! There goes my security deposit,” I muttered as I followed the creature outside the door. The glass had cut my body’s arm to ribbons, black blood dripped to the ground. The zombie groaned, nonplussed.

The cul-de-sac nearby had groups of people milling around, all sniffing the air, ticking with confused expressions. I floated around, wondering what on earth happened? I remembered movies such as Night of the Living Dead and Twenty-Eight Days Later. This couldn’t be a zombie apocalypse? There was a horror marathon at the bar last night. This all had to be a hallucination. Yet there my body was, stumbling around with the rest of the zombies.

I’m sure if I wasn’t corporeally challenged, I’d get a headache from frustration. I floated over to my body.

“Over here!”It grunted and stumbled in my general direction. In the distance, a black door stood. I headed toward the door, calling my body along the way as it stumbled after me. I could touch the door handle. It was cool and made of polished brass. The door swung open with a bright light on the other end. A pull to go through on the other side and fade away forever.I glared back at my body stumbling around.

Then, reluctantly, I shut the door. I couldn’t leave this poor creature to fend for itself. It was utterly clueless without me. My body stumbled down the street as a man in military fatigues walked down the road. The man spoke into a radio and ran in the other direction. My body and the other zombies rushed after him at full speed.

“STOP!” I screamed.My body stopped and pouted in my direction.“We don’t eat people!”

The rest of the zombies rushed past us. The soldier screamed as the crowd tore him to pieces, his arms and legs being tossed high into the air. A portion rolled over to where my body was. The creature reached down and picked up the leg like a drumstick.

“No! Bad zombie!”

My body pouted at me.

“No.”

The zombie frowned and chucked the leg aside, and shuffled after the rest of the zombies. I floated behind. A tank rolled down the suburban street, its cannon aimed at the crowd.

“Duck!”My body grunted and cocked its head.

I floated over and downward. Finally, my body nodded and lay flat on the ground as the cannon fired, leaving the ground littered with limbs.

Floating over to the side of the road, I called, “Over here!”My body followed me into a drainage ditch.

“Lie down!”

The zombie lie flat as a fleet of tanks roared past, and planes and helicopters flew past us. Finally, after what seemed like hours, the caravan ended. My body stood and sniffed the air. It shuffled forward past the carnage. My once bland, suburban neighborhood was a war zone. Blood and body parts littered the streets. Heads separated from their bodies groaned mindlessly toward the sky.

I wanted to wake up to a blaring alarm. Yesterday the worst thing I had to worry about was being late for work, and now there was nothing. The world was dying, and my body was content to shuffle through it.

After half a day of stumbling under my frustrated commands, we came to a gas station. People huddled in the shop’s corner. A little girl huddled in her mother’s embrace. My body groaned and slammed against the glass of the store.

“No! Bad!” I said, but my body ceased to listen.The little girl screamed. A hoard of zombies joined and slammed up against the glass.

“Y’all need to stop!” I pleaded, but not one head turned.

I took off as fast as I could float toward the caravan; I caught up to them at a surprising speed. I found the tank at the front of the line and concentrated on the engine. The lights inside flickered, and I could hear the soldier yell. I pressed buttons of the GPS to show them the coordinates of the shop. Both the soldier and the tank driver nodded at each other. The color drained from their face.The tank turned course, and by the time they reached the shop, the mother and child were fighting off the zombies on the roof of the gas station. The tank driver sounded commands through his radio, and soon a helicopter flew overhead, dropping a ladder.

The little girl clung piggyback on her mother as they both climbed up the ladder into the helicopter. Zombies soon overran the connivance store. My body was indistinguishable from the rest of the herd. A tank rolled up to the store, firing its cannon into the hoard. The store exploded, limbs once again scattered in the sky. A zombie head rolled out into the street, muttering dumbly before the tank rolled over it, squashing it into a pile of gore and grey matter.

My body said nothing. The tank aimed and fired into the store. My body ducked and lay flat. Relived, I floated over it.

“Come here!”

Groaning, it followed the sound of my voice until it was well away from the crowd. The store was now set ablaze. Another zombie rolled into the street as a military tank unceremoniously crushed it, leaving a film of black rot and ooze on the road.

The black door once again appeared in front of me. I shrugged and turned away. I could save that little girl and her family by being here. Who knows, perhaps I can train my body to be useful to me, even though right now it was a bit of an idiot. For now I would keep on shambling on. 

The Pyramids Of Mars

Our ship finally docked after a two-year journey. We left our cryogenic pods, muscles sore after a nearly endless hibernation. An attendant took us from the ship to the station where we would be staying. Through the glass tube, they called this the red planet as everything that covered it was a shade of rust; the blood-iron soil joined the scarlet sky.

They brought me here to study the channels. A vast tunnel network on the surface of Mars a result of melting ice. I glanced at the landscape in the distance, towering triangular structures. Supposedly they were natural phenomena, but the channels fed to them.

He led me back to my corridor and gave me a prepared meal along with some purified water. It was simple and freeze-dried, but the most I had eaten in months. They would give me twenty-four hours to acclimate, but my first mission was tomorrow. I would study the channels near the network of pyramids.

Sick of sleep, I went to the gymnasium at the station. It feltgreat to exercise and move the stiffness out of my body, even if a freezing two-minute shower followed.

I left refreshed and mingled with the crew of the space station. The station held people from all nations. I had advanced knowledge of geology was preparing to take soil and mineral samples. Perhaps I would be lucky enough to find a source of water in this place.

When I told people I was going through the channels later that day, they fell silent. Some told me to be careful and warned me of hazards. One of the chief scientists pulled me aside and said the last geologist at the channels had met an untimely demise. He went into gruesome detail about how he removed his helmet and his eyes removed. The medical staff believed he had a mental break, that he couldn’t adjust to the new environment.

The chief said I could have an extra day to adjust and see a therapist if needed. I told him I had spent two years cramped on a shuttle and did not care to spend my time on a cramped Martian station. I told him I would let him know if anything unusual happened on the channels. I shirked this off; I felt perfectly fine and needed to get outside.

We left only a few hours later. The rover would take over an hour to reach the channels. I left with a fellow geologist in a passenger rover that steadily made its way toward the pyramids.

The sky gleamed overhead in shades of orange, vermillion, and scarlet, shot with millions of stars. Immense mountains loomed in the distance, shadows stretching for eternity. Despite the fiery colors, the air was freezing enough to sense through my spacesuit. I wiggled my fingers and toes, activating the thermal device that warmed them instantly.

After an hour, the rover stopped, and we got out and went to our work. I took small, glass vials and filled them with the red soil. I was so immersed in my work that I did not hear the panicked screams of my partner. I didn’t notice the massive dust storm until it was too late.

Lightning coursed through the dust as silt pelted me. I leaned against the howling wind until I came to the base of the pyramid. Hunkering down, I hoped I would have enough shelter to survive.

Something tapped my shoulder and turned around, thinking it was my partner. Instead, a pale creature with huge indigo eyes stood in front of me. It spoke to me and I listened to its words. They reverberated through me and I was at one with everything.
I understood the meaning of the universe and of God. Mars, Earth, the entire universe seemed so tiny. I understood greatness beyond measure spoken through the words of this being. It solved hunger, ended violence, greed, brought peace to all of humanity. I listened to its words. The storm ended, leaving a vast array of stars in a crimson sky, all aligned perfectly.

The creature walked away and stopped speaking, vanishing into the red earth. Sickly human flesh surrounded me, its animal smell filling my nose. I tried to remember the greatness that is bestowed on me, but it left my mind like water flowing out of a stream.

My body was slowly rotting, and I smelled nothing but death and decay, the weakness of humanity, and my own crippling ignorance. I wanted to tear off my helmet and gulp in the helium air until I no longer existed, to gouge my eyes out to not see the muted colors. Oh, how I wish I had listened.

But now I’m here in this room of white padded walls until the next ship comes to fetch me. They are no longer sending people to the channels as it causes mental instability I just wish I remembered what the being told me. I could fix us all if I remembered what it told me. The stars will come right and I will remember everything it showed me and I will be God.

Enter The Void

“Come on in and sit down next to the fire. It must be freezing out in the void. Here, I’ll make us a nice cup of tea to ward off the chill.

You must be wondering where you are and how you got here. Do you remember tending to the garden with your youngest grandchild in the hot sun? The glass of iced tea in front of you before the sun turned frigid?

I know you’re in shock. Heatstroke is a sudden way to get here, but not the worst way, mind you. Your family loves you very much and is thinking of you now, but you have lived a long and full life, and it’s time to move on from this one.

I hate to be the one to break this to you, but there is no heaven, no hell either, mind you, at least not in the way they taught you. When you are ready, you will move on to the next life. I hope you are as kind in the next life as you were in this one.

Ah, what of evil people? Evil, or rather, misguided people, take far longer to move onto the next life. They spend eons wandering the cold and the dark before they ever find me. Some never do. You return to the world, and if you work to make it a beautiful place, eventually it will become a heaven or nirvana. However, if you fail to love each other or stop the evil of your world, I can see everything burning in the fire.

It is a journey that never ends. Me, I’m only the caretaker of this void, tending the spirit until you return. So take your time, say goodbye to your family, you can return when you’re ready to move on.

I wish you the best of luck when you do.”