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R'lyeh Rising

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posted on Oct, 12 2009 @ 07:33 AM
R'lyeh Rising

Below the thunders of the upper deep;
Far far beneath in the abysmal sea,
His ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep
The Kraken sleepeth: faintest sunlights flee
About his shadowy sides; above him swell
Huge sponges of millennial growth and height;
And far away into the sickly light,
From many a wondrous grot and secret cell
Unnumber'd and enormous polypi
Winnow with giant arms the slumbering green.
There hath he lain for ages, and will lie
Battening upon huge seaworms in his sleep,
Until the latter fire shall heat the deep;
Then once by man and angels to be seen,
In roaring he shall rise and on the surface die.

-- Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Chapter 1

The noonday sun lay a muted light upon the trees surrounding the old church across the busy street. Leaves tinged with the first blush of colour hung listlessly in the windless air of the city. It had rained continually the previous week and the expressions on the faces of those passing by on the sidewalk held the drenched hopes for bright light. Occasionally, as I sat waiting in my parked car, I would turn the key in the ignition and listen to the news broadcasts on the local station.

My wife was being held captive in the cursed Orthodontists office for the better part of two hours while she underwent some torture known as laser surgery. God, I hated dentists and couldn't bear to sit in the waiting room with its ragged old copies of Macleans and National Geographic magazines. Besides, I'd read them all before during the several previous appointments and there was nothing in there to draw me out of my car. I'll damn well wait right where I am.

The drive to the city is exactly two hours from my little village on the lakeshore. Two hours of nervous apprehension on the part of my dear wife did not set a wonderful stage for the next two hours of idling my time away alone, so I was stuck here with my baleful thoughts of what was going on inside the office and the news reports coming in every half hour.

The dreary sight from my vantage grew boring very quickly and that was when I began listening to the radio for the first time. A newscaster breathlessly told of the great storms in the western Pacific and the word 'super-cyclone' piqued my interest. It had only been a week since the region was inundated by heavy rains and flooding. The death toll from the second storm, she said, was expected to rise. I thought of those who had been caught in nature's crosshairs when the next story outlined the details of a series of large earthquakes near the same general area of the western Pacific.

Something gnawed at my memory then and it came to me with the impact of a blow to the gut. Wild storms and earthquakes combined reminded me of a number of stories going back almost a century and the names and reports surrounding them teased me to contemplate those memories. Almost all of them circulated around a very ancient cult which was rediscovered in various places around the world.

Voodoo rituals, Inuit legends and old sailors tales revolved around a series of strange idols found in places as disjointed as New Zealand, Norway, the States and norther canada. Ranging from very small to quite large, these stone carvings were mysterious indeed in that geologists from around the world had no clue as to the origins of the material from which they were carved. Striated greenish black rock with flecks of gold was the common denominator for the half dozen carvings found and they had ranged in size from a few inches to several feet in height.

The idols themselves were monstrous things, all showing a similar creature of hideous design sitting hunched upon a block. The sturdy hind legs doubled up as it squatted and large talons gripped the base, It's forelegs rested upon the knees and were similarly festooned with razor claws. The hulking body seemed a non-descript mass topped by wings folded together and hiding the pedestal at the back. The head, indeed, was the most bizarre of all, consisting of a mass of long tentacles.


(Number of words: 714 - not to be considered a submission to the contest)

[edit on 3/11/09 by masqua]

posted on Oct, 12 2009 @ 10:30 AM

Chapter 2

That is not dead which can eternal lie,
And with strange aeons even death may die

The Necronomicon

The details surrounding that century old mystery were beginning to emerge once again. At its center was H.P. Lovecraft's fascinating account published in 1928: The Call of Cthulhu

As I sat reflecting on the story, I began to wonder just what it was that prompted Lovecraft to pen this particular bit of horror. It had all the earmarks of a well-researched bit of information, replete with names, places and relevant events. In particular, it is an inscription carved into the base of the idols found. The cryptic writing "Ph'ngluimglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" was desciphered through the efforts of an Inspector Legrasse and a Princeton Professor of Anthropology by the name of William Channing Webb to read;

"In his house at R'lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming."

The windows of my car began gathering fine raindrops, blurring the scene and further isolating myself from the outside world. The contemplation I was entering blossomed with new insights as more details came to mind. Cthulhu had, according to Lovecraft (among others) come to Earth in the distant past and from another place in the universe, apparently because of a supernova. It had appeared here many millions of years ago and with it had come death and destruction in a cyclic pattern. What was never clear, in those previously mentioned accounts, was what cycle prompted the submerged island-city of R'lyeh to rise completely from the bright blue waves or exactly where a partially emerged bit had been sighted by the remaining crew of the ill-fated and sunken Emma and surviving aboard the steamship Alert. Only one survivor of the encounter, a Gustav Johansen, remained alive when it eventually made port in Darling Harbor

On that stricken steamer was another idol, found as a consequence of a piracy and intrigue on the high seas, in a cabin on the Alert.

Once again, the focus lay in the western Pacific.

Staring out at nothing through the water-distorted windows of my car, I thought about a common thread concerning the Cthulhu cult, in that when the monster stirred in its deathly sleep, the dreams of man and beast alike were affected. How indicative of the times we are living in today, with so much war and destruction? The last century had been filled with enough nightmarish atrocities to fill a millenium. Two Great Wars had killed uncounted millions while smaller conflicts swelled the ranks of the dead with many millions more. To add to man's own disregard for life were diseases such as flu epidemics and the gathering intensity of storms across the globe. On top of that were dire predictions of global catastrophy through climate change... drought, rising sea levels and dramatic change seemed to be chanting litany of hundreds of doomsayers. That such predictions followed on the heels of war and pestilence is food indeed for restless sleep and horrific dreams. It seemed as if the world was giving up hope for a bright future of any kind.

Shuddering, I peered into the windows of the dental office just a few yards away from where I was parked, wondering when, if ever, my darling wife was to finally be returned to my company. God knows, the mood I was in was descending into gloom and morosity. I wished fervently for her company and a change of topic, whatever that might consist of. When she does finally walk out that gilded door, we plan to go to a favourite restaurant for lunch and I had already thought of how interesting it might be to watch her try to eat and drink with what I expected to be a partially frozen jaw and lips. I smiled wanly at this notion and glanced at the clock,noticing that only a paltry half hour had passed and at least another 90 minutes of pensive waiting would be required.


(Number of words: 724 - story total, 1,438)

edit: Cursed apostrophe - Apophis to BBCode

[edit on 12/10/09 by masqua]

posted on Oct, 12 2009 @ 06:56 PM
This brings new meaning to getting lost in one's thoughts! So, so beautifully written. I could see everything from him sitting in his car, to the statue with tentacles for a head. Really, really nice.

posted on Oct, 12 2009 @ 08:17 PM
reply to post by ladyinwaiting

Thank you.

Be watching for the next installment. Like a television series, a new episode will be posted every few days until the contest closes (as long as RL doesn't interfere). This story is FAR from over.

I hope everyone reading will find the entire HP Lovecraft story in The Call of Cthulhu Wiki link above. It's not a long read, but it certainly will help in understanding what's coming down the pipe.

Here is an easier to find (and read) link to the Lovecraft story.

[edit on 12/10/09 by masqua]

posted on Oct, 12 2009 @ 11:02 PM
reply to post by masqua

I know I already mentioned it in the working thread but this story is great. I will be waiting eagerly for your next installments. This is gearing up to look like Godzilla and Cloverfield at the same time! Your writing is absolutely fantastic man. Tell me why this isn't to be considered as a valid entry into the contest again. I believe you mentioned in one of the contests that the moderators could enter stories as well.

posted on Oct, 13 2009 @ 07:52 AM
reply to post by jackflap

It would please me in no small measure if staff were to get involved in writing a fiction for this contest in particular. There is no better venue than Halloween and the horror stories which it promotes.

How cool would it be to see a work penned by SimonGray himself? His username alone smacks of intrigue.
(did you read this, Simon? It's a challenge to you, sir)

The fact that the judges are 'stand alone' members precludes prejudice in that none know who the other panelists are. It shouldn't matter if staff get involved, the stories they submit will be judged without collusion of any kind.

As for myself, I AM the only super involved with the panelists, as in the case of ties, etc., and therefore must recuse my entry from consideration. I'm happy just to be able to give ideas to prospective contestants as well as show an indication that the required 1000 word limit isn't all that difficult to accomplish.

posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 08:51 PM

Chapter 3

The rain suddenly came down in earnest. Nothing substantial could be made out of the blurred front window nor the side facing the street. Blotches of colour suggested people scuttling by looking for shelter and a growing number of vehicles were passing by, their white and red lights breaking up into a million sparkling diamonds on the water drops and rivulets running down the glass. Shivering a little, not so much for the coldness of the day, but rather in response to an imaginary damp chill, I turned the engine over to warm the interior a bit. With it, the radio once again began to chatter away about the wintry blast being experienced in the western provinces. Snow in Calgary, Regina and Winnipeg... oh, lovely! "Where's that damned global warming when you want it?", I thought to myself as the thick drops drummed loudly on the roof above my head.

The radio announcer droned on about the delay for H1N1 Flu vaccinations and the current drama over a study which suggested that the regular flu vaccines of the past actually made people more susceptable to the Swine Flu. Silently, I cursed all the factory chicken and pig farms, big pharma companies and a government which didn't seem to know a bloody thing for sure. What a crazy situation! It was then that the newscaster once again turned to the western Pacific with yet another drama bomb. A tsunami warning had gone out to islands in the general area, including New Zealand and Australia. I suppose it's expected after a series of big quakes, so, not really a surprise, but it did make me think of how fragile we really are when we built so many of our major cities either on seashores or just a bit up major rivers. Of course, they all began their life because of ocean shipping and so it is even now. Much of what we consume comes via the big tankers and container ships. Not much had really changed throughout civilized history, when you get right down to it. Recently looking online, I'd discovered that fully 65% of those cities with a population of more than 5 million were within an area known as the LECZ (Low Elevation Coastal Zone). Add tsunamis into the mix and you have a potential for frightening statistics of death and destruction.

After the usual griping sportscast, I turned the radio off, disgusted once again by Gary Bettman and the Toronto Maple Leafs, in that order. Man, I was getting glummer by the minute. There was just no let-up to the bad news these days.

Bad news. That thought got me right back to Lovecraft and the weird reports surrounding the Cthulhu legend. Imagining what tremendous forces it must take to make a mountain rise out of the sea, a series of magnitude 7+ earthquakes in a localized are would certainly fit the bill. Thinking back, I remembered what that unfortunate second mate, Gustav Johansen had written in a journal before his death in Oslo. With great detail, the sailor described the pinnacle of a city unlike anything he'd ever laid eyes on before. At S. Latitude 47'9', W. Longitude 123'43' a slimy green construction of giant stones and masonry had partially risen from the sea. I knew this location to be some distance east of where the recent quakes had occurred, but not distant enough by far.

Lovecraft, with his penchant for colourful language, had described it in this way:

I suppose that only a single mountain-top, the hideous monolith-crowned citadel whereon great Cthulhu was buried, actually emerged from the waters. When I think of the extent of all that may be brooding down there I almost wish to kill myself forthwith. Johansen and his men were awed by the cosmic majesty of this dripping Babylon of elder daemons, and must have guessed without guidance that it was nothing of this or of any sane planet. Awe at the unbelievable size of the greenish stone blocks, at the dizzying height of the great carven monolith, and at the stupefying identity of the colossal statues and bas-reliefs with the queer image found in the shrine on the Alert, is poignantly visible in every line of the mates frightened description.

Without knowing what futurism is like, Johansen achieved something very close to it when he spoke of the city; for instead of describing any definite structure or building, he dwells only on broad impressions of vast angles and stone surfaces - surfaces too great to belong to anything right or proper for this earth, and impious with horrible images and hieroglyphs. I mention his talk about angles because it suggests something Wilcox had told me of his awful dreams. He said that the geometry of the dream-place he saw was abnormal, non-Euclidean, and loathsomely redolent of spheres and dimensions apart from ours. Now an unlettered seaman felt the same thing whilst gazing at the terrible reality.

Not a chance, I told myself in defiance. Why, out of the few millenia that humankind has been here, why would a strange and deadly creature from the stars and hidden beneath the waves, be prompted once again to rise from his salty seabed after millions of years of deathly slumber? What were the chances? It was an outrageous thought. Cycles, I thought again, great honking cycles! What were some of the longest celestial cycles that we know about? To this question I now turned my mind and what I remembered was at once frightening. The only cycle I knew of which corresponded to millions of years was the crossing of the Galactic Plane.

I had found the following while Googling:

Periodic mass extinctions and the Sun's oscillation about the galactic plane

Raup and Sepkoski1 have recently reported evidence fora 26-Myr periodicity in the occurrence of mass extinctions based on a study of marine fossils. The data baseline of 250 Myr suggests events of variable amplitude, with some of the strongest peaks associated with boundaries between major geological periods which have been defined by previous palaeontological studies. In a more limited quantitative study, Fischer and Arthur2 earlier cited evidence for a 32-Myr period of major extinction events. Hatfield and Camp3 were among the first to suggest that mass extinctions might be correlated with periodic galactic phenomena, noting intervals of 80−90 Myr between major mass extinctions with an exceptionally strong mass extinction every 225−275 Myr. Here we point out a possible correlation between the 26-Myr extinction period and the Sun's oscillation about the galactic plane.

Great! I was starting to think perhaps my wife was having a better time firmly in the clutches of a dental hygenist reeking of disinfectant. I desperately wanted to get out of my car and go for a walk to clear my muddled head, but the rain and wind wasn't about to let up. In fact, it was becoming a howling storm. Noon-time darkness had fallen all around me and the gloom soured my emotions even further. It didn't help much at all as the siren and lights of an emergency vehicle screamed by me on the busy street just then, followed quickly by two squad cars also howling and bleating like banshees, scattering the busy lunch-time traffic to the sides of the road. I sunk into my seat and wrapped my arms around my chest.

God, I felt so alone and vulnerable just then. I looked at the car clock and glumly noted it to be only quarter past noon.

posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 10:20 PM
This is building up very well.

You are weaving a mounting sense of tension and suspense so far and I am looking forward to reading more to see what finally happens!

posted on Oct, 17 2009 @ 01:23 PM

Chapter 4

The steady downpour continued unabated for the next half hour. Sitting isolated and unhappy, thought devolved into the mundane and away from new revelations. Perhaps it was the weather, perhaps the notion of Extinction Level Events that shut down further interest, I don't know. whatever the case, I no longer cared to mull things over and shut thinking down completely, resorting instead to an interminable blue funk. I did note, though, a continuence of distant sirens cutting through the dismal rain and winds. Of course, I thought, that is only to be expected with weather like this. Fender-benders and big puddles go together like coffee and donuts.

Then, at exactly 1 PM, the door opened and my wife, jacket over head head, came bolting out of the dental office and scrambled into the car. One curious lifted eyebrow was enough to prod her into a lisping tirade about the scraping of teeth. She hadn't expected that, thinking it was only to be an injection of some liquid and a painless laser treatment. But no, in the interum between injection and the light show had come the usual torture utinsels and miserable one-way conversations which always accompanied them. As we pulled out of the parking lot, she was studying the bill and I reached over to wipe a small fleck of spittle which had collected in the corner of her mouth. She looked over at me and smiled with lopsided lips. God, I loved this woman and her great sense of humour. I was feeling better already and all that had transpired over those previous two hours was immediately forgotten.

"So, do you still feel like some lunch?", I asked. The ride home was, as I said previously, 2 hours long and precious few good restaurants lay between the city we knew so well and our kitchen. We hadn't eaten since breakfast and hoped she was in a mind to eat something before hitting the highway.

"Thure.", she said "I'm famissed.", and laughed lopsidely again.

This was going to be fun, I thought.

"So, where do you want to go?" I asked, "There's Ritchie's and Jack Astors on the way. You choose..."

"Witcheese, pease."

I looked at the clock again and figured the lunch crowd at Ritchie's would be starting to thin and that we might be able to get a table fairly easily. To make sure, I took all the back streets to avoid traffic and take extra time winding our way through the much older and better part of the city. The university grounds were to the west and ahead but easterly sat a seminary school which always attracted me with it's old victorian structures and extensive lawns, mature trees and gardens, All the streets were lined with wonderfully maintained houses of a century ago. Gabled rooves, wide porches, pillars and leaded glass windows hid the elite with their 'old' money. The winshield wipers slapped away as we silently sat and admired the scenery we passed by. One thing I did notice, though, as we drove by the old seminary school, was a tinge of red on the pavement. Apparently, the soaked lawns were forcing millions of worms to the surface and, callously driving across their numbers on the road, it caused the front wheels to slip just a little on a curve. I slowed down even further as a result, not mentioning this hazard to my wife who was enraptured by the dark stone edifice hulking in the distant wet and hazy gloom.

As we finally rolled into the restaurant parking lot, several carloads of people were just pulling out and we found a spot directly in front. Ritchie's is an insitution. It had been relocated from downtown to the outskirts decades ago, but retained not only the customer base, but the good service, food and low prices it was renowned for. We helped ourselves to a table immediately, seeing the 'Please help yourself to a table' sign at the entrance. At peak times, the line-ups can be daunting and many head for alternate locations because of it.

We ordered and were soon piling into plates so full that finishing them is almost an impossibility. Quite often, I'd reach across to daub dribbles from the lips of my lover, the right side of her mouth ostensibly still frozen and I cautioned her to be careful chewing as I didn't need to see any blood. I even told her to leave her coffee to cool before sipping it. All in all, it was every bit as much fun as I had expected. The only worrysome moments were the consistent sirens of cruisers, fire engines, emergency vehicles and ambulances heading out of town on the four-laner for parts north. To add to that, I noticed a table of 5 uniforms suddenly getting up from their table and rushing out after a call on their police radio. Things were heating up out there, that was quite obvious.

Whatever was going on, We'd soon be finding out ourselves since that road was one we needed to take starting our ride home. The thought of all those worms crawling across the pavement at the seminary school had me more than little bit concerned.

posted on Oct, 17 2009 @ 11:11 PM
reply to post by masqua

Awesome read.

It, like so many here, kept me reading.

Thanks for sharing it.


posted on Oct, 18 2009 @ 11:41 AM
I am hoping for a Lovecraft like ending here (but am also quite flexible on this point, and don't want to be presumptuous.)

Really, beautifully written. A mixture of prose and poetry.

(Edit: Witches Peas? Hmmm.)

[edit on 18-10-2009 by Axial Leader]

posted on Oct, 18 2009 @ 12:03 PM
reply to post by Axial Leader

It would be a high standard of writing indeed if I could write as eloquently as Lovecraft did. Sadly, the vocabulary which existed prior to the 'instant entertainment' we have had for the past 50 years eroded the ability to tell a good tale and I fear much has been irrevocably lost.

A long time ago (36 years), I knew a Dene traditional 'story-teller'. It was expected that once the story began silence would be the rule. Sitting in the dark confines of a log cabin isolated upon an island near the shores of Great Slave lake, warmed and lit only by a crackling fireplace and a cup of postum, the hours melted away as his story expertly unfolded.

Every sentence evoked an image in my mind, every event described was both pleasing and informative. I'll never forget the magic of those times and be forever grateful for what Antoine (his name) showed me.

That is story telling too, as wonderfully meaningful as anything ever written by authors such as Lovecraft.

On the story unfolding here, I can assure you that it is only beginning.

Thank you for reading and I hope you will enjoy the tumult about to unfold.

posted on Oct, 19 2009 @ 08:25 PM

Chapter 5 - We Hit the Highway

To say it was raining would be a misnomer. A thick grey black sky poured forth an unrelenting torrent which made seeing difficult and the driving slow. Some vehicles had even parked on the shoulders to wait it out and I didn't blame them much, but we forged ahead anyways, climbing up the sloping hills that surrounded the city. Even with the wipers going full-tilt, the road ahead was obscured enough to keep my speed well below the limit. My wife slipped a CD into the player and soon Glenn Gould was tickling the ivories in his famous Goldberg Variations. I love Bach... so soothing for my jangled nerves. Glancing over, I gave her an appreciative smile and relaxed just a little.

Soon, the buildings and suburbs gave way to expansive farmland and the occasional copse of bush all shrouded in a dense mist of fallng rain. I was hoping to drive out of this weather, but the skies above gave no hints of a break. Uniform gloom pushed by strong westerlies deadened the multicoloured scenery of fall, ruining any hope of a pleasant drive. Gould played on without missing a beat, though, and concentrating on the road ahead became my only determined effort. My dear companion, exhausted from her ordeal and full from lunch, reclined the passenger seat and closed her eyes. She knew conversation would be terse in such driving conditions anyways and left the task to my full attention.

Now and then the wheels whooshed through deeper waters and I decided even a lower speed was called for. Worms here too, I reflected silently when I noticed the reddish tints on the blacktop ahead. A bit further and I had to swerve around a small dark carcass lying ragged and torn. Perhaps a raccoon or groundhog had met its fate. A little further yet revealed another unfortunate roadkill and then another. To see one or two over the course of a few miles is normal, but this seemed noteworthy for some reason. As I was pondering this unlikely event, a deer dashed across the road not 100 feet ahead, followed quickly by two more. They'd jumped the farm fencing on the right and bounded across to the woods on the left. Now that was highly unusual. Deer normally stay under deep cover during the daylight hours unless they're far from any human activity. It was too soon for the antics of the yearly rut, but the hunting season would soon enough be open. They're not stupid animals and these 3 were a surprise for certain. That was when the seagull dove headfirst into pavement directly in front of my car. Thankfully, I avoided hitting the bird.

Slowing down even more and barely doing 30 miles per hour, I was getting concerned. What the hell was happening here? Hardly daring to look to the flooding fields on either side of the road, I kept my eyes glued to a narrow arc in front of me. Skunks, raccoons, mice and even a few dogs and cats seemed sporadically to be crossing the road from east to west. It was inevitable... a thump and the car had bumped over some unseen creature, breaking the peaceful reverie my wife was enjoying.

"What was that?" She asked "did we...?"

Another animal then appeared out of the murk and she fell silent in wonder. A chestnut horse, head up and wild-eyed, obviously agitated, was intently focussed on our approach. I stopped within a few feet and the terrorized animal froze there for a few seconds, staring at us behind the windshield, before turning aside and bolting for the opposite ditch.

"Good God, what was that all about?, she asked, now sitting straight up in amazement.

"I don't know, hon, there's animals all over the road today... really weird. I've never seen anything like it", I replied as I pointed out another raccoon scrambling across. "There's something spooking the wildlife and it's driving them west."

Peering into the east got me nothing but soggy fields and a few farm buildings.

"There's worms all over the road too. Can you see them?

"Yeah...", she replied, a bit awestruck.

We continued on regardless of this mystery and I wondered how long the trip was going to take if this kept up. My usual speed on this road was 60 mph, but at 30, it's going to take more than 4 hours. This would put us home by 6 or so and I was suddenly very glad we'd decided to eat before leaving. We both now had our eyes firmly fixed on the road ahead, marvelling at all the different animals on the move. More and more we saw domesticated stock. Cattle, pigs, hens mixed with the wild, but all going from right to left in front, forcing us to often stop completely.

It was shortly after that we noticed the distant flashing lights ahead and we knew an accident had, of course, occured. I'd expected it, remembering all the emergency vehicles heading north out of town while we ate. That, and those policemen who had rushed out of Ritchie's without eating at all added up to certain trouble somewhere.

It was a semi trailer loaded with grain that had jackknifed and now lay on its side half in the ditch and half across my lane. Several cruisers surrounded the wreck and an ambulance was just pulling away back to the city. It howled past us accelerating as the first cop held his hand up to stop us. A he walked to the passenger side, I lowered the window enough to talk without soaking my wife.

"Officer..." I said in greeting.

"where you folks headed?" He asked.

I gave him the name of my town and he looked behind us down the road we'd just come from, obviously thinking of what to say.

"That's a piece", he said, as if it was a 1000 miles "you got any place to stay in the city?"

I told him that we'd just been there for an appointment to see a specialist and had made no plans to stay away from home. Not looking forward to changing my plans just then, I mentioned we were needed back there. He nodded at that.

"Well, if you're going to keep going, watch out for these crazy animals. The trucker tried to brake for a herd of beef cattle running loose and lost it. He wasn't buckled up for some reason and got pretty banged up. Keep your speed way down and try to..."

With that, another bird smacked itself into the back of his cruiser. It was a redtailed hawk, I noted wonderingly, and now lay in a pile of lifeless wings and tailfeathers on the trunk lid.

"Jay-sus", the cop swore, "It's nuts today" and, shaking his dripping head, stepped back and waved us on with a terse 'drive carefully'.

I looked at her and, as we drove around the yellow pile of seed spilled from the trailer, wondered aloud if maybe the back roads weren't a safer way. Less traffic, for sure.

She quietly nodded in agreement and I saw a hint of fear in her eyes.

Glenn Gould played expertly on.

posted on Oct, 21 2009 @ 07:28 PM

Chapter 6 - The Back Roads

Reeny, that's my wife, was sitting up straight now and staring into the distance ahead. She obviously wasn't relaxed anymore, nor thinking about her teeth. It was the scene at the accident that had her upset. The unreal numbers of animals crossing the road didn't help much either. We'd always been careful about such things before and both of us hated hitting anything with our vehicle. In fact, over the years, we both had come to the conclusion that most roadkill wasn't because of inescapable accidents but rather some people that will go out of their way just to run over something they hate, whether it's cats or raccoons. Particularly, roadkills in our small town where the speed limit is 30 miles an hour, got us really upset. Like, who couldn't stop for a housecat or squirrel at that speed?

Now, the road was being continually crossed by all manner of creatures. We saw small rodents all the time, snakes too, all of them heading west. It was a puzzler alright and Reeny wasn't a happy camper, that much was obvious. Anyhow, we kept putting along at low speed, avoiding wildlife and swerving around the dead ones. That's when it struck me...

"Hey, hun, did you notice how there's no traffic at all?" I asked.

"Um, no, now that you mention it, I haven't seen any cars coming the other way since the accident."

She glanced at me with an arched eyebrow. Both of us knew that there's only one reason for that.

"OK. I'm taking the next left."

"Henry... take that secondary highway through Arva. You know, the one we take when we're not in a hurry."

"yeah, OK."

I know these back roads really well, having lived in the area most of my life and the route she was suggesting runs parallel to the main highway almost all the way. It's a narrow two lane blacktop with lots of great scenery and plenty of thick bush on either side. Still thinking about the migration of animals, I figured there'd be less farm stock that way too. Hitting a steer or a horse, even if they ran into my stopped car could do the fender in bad enough to stop me from driving. This got thinking about the tools in the trunk and what I could use to pry the fender off the tire if it came to that. Ten minutes of pondering got me nowhere but the next accident scene. No cops with flashing lights this time. Just a dead deer, a smashed windshield and an empty car sitting on the shoulder with its warning lights flashing. No doubt the occupants were alright and had made for the nearest farm. As we passed it, I could see the crumpled right corner with a busted headlamp and knew what had happened. The deer had gone airborne trying to jump, got hit, and wound up in the window. No blood though, so they couldn't have been going too fast.

Beyond the car, I caught a glimpse of something in the field. It was big, white and long, looking exactly like a row of those large round hay bales wrapped in plastic. You know the kind... they look like big worms. Nothing new to this old farmboy, but I'll be damned if it didn't look like it moved! I shook my head and watched the road ahead instead, thinking I must be seeing things. Reeny didn't see anything. She had been concentrating on that dead buck on the road and I knew she was torn. Half of her felt sorry and the other half wanted me to stop and gut it. Strapping a nice buck on the fender might even give me some protection and I smiled at that thought. She always was a practical woman and she'd dressed a deer before. Good with a knife, better than me... credit given where due. I've got the patience to sit and wait for a good shot, but cutting just isn't my thing unless you're talking fish. Reeny, though, seemed to enjoy the process of dressing where I'm done after hanging and gutting. She's a great partner on a hunt and, between the two of us, there's not much left for the buzzards once we got finished and loaded up for the walk out.

Finally, our turnoff came and we were headed west just like the wildlife, glad to get off the main road. I wasn't keen on finding a roadblock and a detour up ahead anyways. At least we'd have a few miles without creatures zipping across our path. Glenn Gould had started back on track one, so I pulled the CD and asked Reeny to put in something else. Of course, she chose her favourite: Emma Lou Harris's Wrecking Ball. Somehow the opening song struck me. It was titled 'where Will I Be'. The line that comes after is 'when the trumpet sounds'. Damned if that didn't bother me a bit thinking about our situation. Emma Lou sure does have a nice voice, though, and I was getting comfortable again. The road ahead was pretty clear even though the rain wasn't letting up. It almost got normal just for a bit. That's when I saw something else that shook me up. There was a farmhouse about 200 yards away sitting on a little hill. In front of it, there seemed to be a dirty brown spot on an otherwise green lawn. I couldn't tell from that distance, but something black seemed to be pouring out of it and spreading down the hill. I thought of the Beverly Hillbilly's and old Jed shooting a hole in the ground and oil pouring out. That's what it looked like through the mist.

Weird, I thought, and drove on not saying a word.

Emma Lou, after a while, started into singing 'All My Tears'. Now, I'm getting spooked, especially with the lines; 'It don't matter where you bury me, I'll be home and I'll be free'. This is the first time that CD ever made me nervous. Maybe my senses are getting fired up, because I guess I never paid much attention before. In the few miles between turning west and having to turn north again, I listend to every word she was singing as if I'd never heard it before. Then she sang a cover of Bob Dylan's song 'Every Grain of sand'. It hit me hard. The words were prophetic, it seemed, and catastropic:

In the time of my confession,
in the hour of my deepest need
When the pool of tears beneath my feet
flood every newborn seed
There's a dyin' voice within me
reaching out somewhere,
Toiling in the danger and in
the morals of despair.

Don't have the inclination to
look back on any mistake,
Like Cain,
I now behold this chain of events
that I must break.
In the fury of the moment
I can see the Master's hand
In every leaf that trembles,
in every grain of sand.

Oh, the flowers of indulgence
and the weeds of yesteryear,
Like criminals,
they have choked the breath
of conscience and good cheer.
The sun beat down upon the steps
of time to light the way
To ease the pain of idleness
and the memory of decay.

I gaze into the doorway of
temptation's angry flame
And every time I pass that way
I always hear my name.
Then onward in my journey
I come to understand
That every hair is numbered
like every grain of sand.

I have gone from rags to riches
in the sorrow of the night
In the violence of a summer's dream,
in the chill of a wintry light,
In the bitter dance of loneliness
fading into space,
In the broken mirror of innocence
on each forgotten face.

I hear the ancient footsteps like
the motion of the sea
Sometimes I turn, there's someone there,
other times it's only me.
I am hanging in the balance
of the reality of man
Like every sparrow falling,
like every grain of sand.

Oh, that last verse... it struck me like a hammer and all the horrid images of a timeless sleeping monster stirring from his dreaming death came flooding back to me.

Cthulhu and his vile mountain city rising from the sea. Good God, it can't be. All this is just wrong... wrong. It doesn't make any sense. My hands were getting slick on the steering wheel and an ugly knot developed deep in my guts. I stopped the car and got out in the pouring rain because I suddenly had a desperate need to take a piss. Reeny, sitting with her back to me, still listening to Emma Lou, was nodding her head to the beat.

'Settle down, idiot!", I mumbled under my breath as I let a stream go behind the trunk, 'you're letting Dylan freak you out.'

posted on Oct, 21 2009 @ 11:34 PM
BRRRNNNNNGGGG. Hello masqua? Just wanted to tell you that I'm a little concerned for Henry and Reeny. Could you make sure they get home safely without getting eaten? I fear they're in grave danger.

posted on Oct, 23 2009 @ 08:00 AM
This is AMAZING! This story is going great so far keep it up, the suspense is a killer. CTHULU!

10 thumbs up?!

posted on Oct, 28 2009 @ 01:24 PM

Chapter 7 - The White Worm

Once again, we're heading north on a narrow blacktop you won't find on any roadmaps. I only know about it because of my crazy early years when I did a lot of what is succintly known as 'gravel runs'. They had a two-fold purpose, mostly, as it incorporated the ingestion of copious amounts of beer with fishing for speckled trout in the culverts that could be found in almost every wooded country mile. The more out of the way the roads were, the better the chances of catching those feisty fish and hitting them early in the season was a yearly ritual for me and my buddies. Trees in full fall colours arched over the road in many places, creating dark tunnels as we twisted over and around the small hills and gullies slowly. It was mid-afternoon by now and the rain had become lighter, more of a mist than anything.

The lay of the land was such that a few miles to the west were the shores of Lake Huron. The sharp rise in elevation to where our road ran often provided vistas of that huge body of water, although today, any view of the lake was shrouded in grey murk. On our right, in the east, lay some of the finest farmland in all of Canada, rising in a gentle slope all the way to the Niagara Escarpment some 150 miles distant. Where we drove now is the 'old shoreline' from the time when the glaciers melted more than 10,000 years ago. The soil here is mostly sandy and nutrient poor while the hills and valley don't condone the huge equipment that crop farmers employ today. Most old farms here consisted of abandoned barns and houses falling apart amid apple orchards and lilac bushes gone wild. It was a surprise to me, then, upon rounding a curve, that I came up behind an ancient Ford 5-ton flatbed truck chugging along at no more that 20 miles an hour.

The first thing on my mind was to pass and I had my turn signal on right away to let the driver know my intentions. What I got in return though, was it stopping in the middle of the road giving me no chance at all.

"Oh, crap, now what?", I mumbled under my breath as I saw a beefy guy in dingy coveralls and an equally dingy brown work jacket get out and walk to my side.

"Hey", he said, "Where ya headed?"

I told him and he mused about that for a bit.

"Long way to go, mister. Ma'am". He bobbed his head at Reeny and touched his greasy ball cap in a show of respect. "Be best if you all stayed close behind me, in case we go through them bugs. I damn near lost it a while ago. The duallies on the back of my truck oughta make things easier for ya if we do run across 'em again. Names josh, by the way."

"Henry", I told him "and this here is Reeny, my wife. What bugs?"

"Oh, you ain't seen 'em? They're big and run in big bunches, thousands of 'em. Don't know where they come from and I never seen anything like 'em before, but they're, like, about 8 or 10 inches long and run like a river crossing the road. You hit one of them bunches and you're gonna lose control in that little car of yours."

I though about the black stuff pouring like oil out of the ground before we turned north. So that's what it was. I just nodded, but didn't say anything about it.

"Ok, Josh," I said, "We'll follow in tight behind you. Just give me a wave if you see anything like that coming up, and thanks, man."

Josh nodded and then added this not so comforting news: "Whatever you do, don't get out of the car if you get stopped. Them bugs will eat you alive. I seen 'em strip a steer of mine in minutes back at my farm. My wife and girl are in the cab too. Soon's we saw what was happening', we just ran for the truck and got the hell out of there."

I was speechless at that and nodded again like I was half awake. Josh nodded too, gave my roof a pat and, with a scared kind of grin, turned back for his cab. I looked at Reeny as I was digesting what Josh had said. Marauding herds of big bugs eating livestock where they stood. I'd NEVER heard that one before but after all I'd seen since we left the dentist's place, I wasn't about to not believe it. Then there was that teasing thing about seeing what I thought was white worms too. Reeny never said a word, but the cold fear in her eyes told me all I needed to know.

As I'm putting along behind that lumbering flatbed, I'm thinking again about the Cthulhu story. It's not just one monster, I knew that. It was a whole bunch of them. The 'Great Old Ones' served the master and they were built just like the big fellow, but a lot smaller. While Cthulhu was supposed to be 'miles high', the 'Old Ones' likely ran big as a medium sized navy boat, according to the account of a cult follower named Castro which Inspector Legrasse had captured in the New Orleans swamps and interrogated. Apparently, the police had been tipped off about a ritual that not only raised an Old One, but also fed the creature with a couple of dozen unfortunate locals.

Here's a drawing of the creature those cultists were worshipping:

According to Lovecraft, Castro said this about them:

These Great Old Ones, Castro continued, were not composed altogether of flesh and blood. They had shape - for did not this star-fashioned image prove it? - but that shape was not made of matter. When the stars were right, They could plunge from world to world through the sky; but when the stars were wrong, They could not live. but although They no longer lived, They would never really die.

A bit further on, Castro also said this:

That cult would never die till the stars came right again, and the secret priests would take great Cthulhu from his tomb to revive His subjects and resume His rule of earth. The time would be easy to know, for then mankind would have become as the Great Old Ones; free and wild and beyond good and evil, with laws and morals thrown aside and all men shouting and killing and revelling in joy. Then the liberated Old Ones would teach them new ways to shout and kill and revel and enjoy themselves, and all the earth would flame with a holocaust of ecstacy and freedom.

Well, I thought, considering the recently passed 20th century, maybe the Old Ones have been teaching us some new tricks. Certainly the boodbath of the 1st world war was surpassed in the 2nd, with its indiscriminate killing of civilan populations. Entire cities had been reduced to rubble overnight by the bombings. The 21st century doesn't seem to be letting up on the killings much either.

That was when I heard Josh honk his horn and saw his arm waving outside the window, his wife's arm waving out the other and his daughter waving through the back window. He slowed right down to a crawl in a little valley where a stream went under the road in one of those wide concrete culverts. Lining up my front wheels as best I could to his big dualies, we inched ahead. Reeny let out a little whimper when she looked ahead and I took my eyes of his wide truck tires. He was right. There were thousands of big beetle like bugs crossing on the other side of the flooded creek. The black tide of them came out of the underbrush in such tightly packed numbers that the weeds and long grasses were trampled flat. On the other side, the head of the column had disappeared into the brush. There's no telling just how many there could be, but they were fast. Where Josh's tires squashed them, others stopped to feed, making it hard to steer as we, in turn, crushed the diners.

Their hard bodies whacked against the underside of the car and I was sincerely hoping that none could bite through wires, or, even worse, find their way inside. Think of driving over a patch of dead broken branches with a 4x4... that's what it sounded like. I stuck in tight behind the flatbed, and after about 40 or 50 yards of bugs, we finally drove out of them. Stealing a look in the side rearview, I'll be damned if they weren't following us! A whole batch of them had split from the main group and now poured up the road in our tracks. Thankfully, Josh sped up enough to put distance between us and those hungry buggers. I waved at Josh because I could see him looking back at us and on we went. Reeny still never said a word.

We toddled up the hill on the other side of the gully and that's when Josh pointed to the west. Looking over, I couldn't believe my eyes. A huge white worm, about as wide as a tractor trailer but three times as long, was laying in a clearing on the hillside. There was a black eye showing where the head was, but in front of that eye was a mouth like a cave entrance. Into that maw is where the tide of bugs was headed. They poured into it like beer into a mug while the monstrosity sat there and gulped them down.

"Holy Crap!!!", Reeny yelled.

posted on Oct, 29 2009 @ 12:38 PM

Chapter 8

Awestruck. That's all I can say about my reaction to seeing that huge white monstrosity on the hillside. The flood of clattering beetles surging into that... thing could only mean a symbiotic relationship of some sort. The beetles scavenged the countryside for meat and, in turn, fed the nutrients to the worms. Considering I'd seen a few in the restricted areas along the roadside must mean that there were thousands more all over the place. There HAD to be something on the news about this and so I turned on my car radio.

    "...that all 400 series highways are closed to traffic. Roadblocks are also set up on all major routes leading through heavily populated areas. People are advised to stay indoors and close all windows, doors or other means of entry. Jane Curtanes, our correspondent in the GTA, is on the phone with us at this moment to bring us her report. Go ahead, Jane, what are you seeing?

    Jane Curtanes: "Mary Lou, it's utter chaos here in Brampton. Pandemonium. Attempts have been made to stop the swarms of black beetles by dropping chemicals, fire bombs and other munitions from helicopters, but all with no perceptable effects. I just got back from the Malton area in a police van and can verify reports of hundreds of victims lying in the streets, stripped to the bone. Sources have reported conditions within Metro Toronto to be even worse and that the area has fallen silent. Areas north and west of us here; Vaughan, Markham and all the way up to Newmarket are flooding the system with frantic 911 calls. Police, ambulances and firecrews are increasingly less able to respond to those hundreds of..."

    Mary Lou: "Jane, if I may interrupt, have you any conformation of where these beetles are coming from? Is there a source?

    Jane Curtanes: "Yes, Mary Lou. As you already heard from Major Lewis Mackenzie in his report from Parry Sound, it appears the majority of the bugs in our area are coming out of the Niagara Escarpment, from caves and deep fissures in the rock. The military also reports that the Montreal area is being heavily hit and that they are coming from around Carlton University Campus. It seems old fault lines are the main source.

    Mary Lou: "Thank you, Jane. Please stay connected for further updates. We now take you to Washington for a report by Murray Coe, military advisor to the Obama administration. Jonas, are you there?"

    Murray: "Yes, Mary Lou."

    Mary Lou: "Mr Coe, what can you tell us about the situation in America? How are your forces reacting to the threats so far?

    Murray: "Mary Lou, it's just unbelievable how quickly the men and women in our armed forces have reacted. We have, at this moment, hundreds of strike missions, both on the ground and airborne, looking for concentrations of beetles and then dropping napalm on them. However, it's been noticed that the main purpose of these bugs is to head towards heavily populated areas and, once there, we are helpless in effectively stopping them without killing the citizens we're trying to save."

    Mary Lou: "Mr Coe, we're hearing reports that this phenomenom is happening on a global scale. We have accounts in Europe and Africa as well, but the full picture has yet to emerge. Are there any new developments that you have heard?"

    Murray: "From what we've been able to discern, the areas most affected are those which are geologically unstable. It appears the Pacific 'Ring Of Fire', stretching from New zealand, Indonesia, Japan and across the Aleutians to Alaska and down the western seaboard of Canada and the USA were the first to see the swarms of beetles emerging. Those are also the areas where we have quickly lost any contact. Los Angeles, for instance, has become a silent zone. A few sorties across the city and its outlying urban areas show no movements of either the bugs or people. The only targets of note are the white worms which..."

    Mary Lou: "If I could stop you there, Mr. Coe, I'd like to ask you about those worms. We've also had reports of them in and around the Greater Toronto Area. What are those things and is it true that they eat the beetles?"

    Murray: "Yes. We've confirmed that the worms also came out of the ground at the same time as the beetles themselves and that the worms are fed by the beetles. In the L.A. area, we noticed hundreds of them lying on the ground but no more streams of beetles. It seems once an area is stripped of all edible material, the bugs head straight for the worms. I have other unsubstantiated sightings where the worms, once the bugs stop feeding them, turn into a bright orange color and curl themselves into a ball. I hope to have photographic evidence of that shortly from the U.S. Air Force sorties.

    Mary Lou "It... it all seems so unstoppable, Mr. Coe. Have you any projections on the numbers of people that may have been lost to this... scourge?"

    Murray " Our best estimates are that the death toll in major urban centers is upwards to 90%. We've landed some choppers in the areas where the beetles have all disappeared into the worms and most survivors were those who had the ability to lock themselves into the most secure facilities, like highrises, banks and other corporate structures. Private homes generally did not fare well as the sheer weight of the bugs against windows would shatter them. Other factors, like low population density areas, provided general havens for people, especially in mountainous regions. Denver, for instance, has been left mostly unscathed. In countries like India, China, Turkey and Indonesia, the casualty rates could easily reach almost 100%. As stated earlier, any place which has recently had, or is currently experiencing the rash of quakes that started a week ago seem to be the most affected. Hold on, Mary Lou, I'm just handed a dispatch...

    Mary Lou "ok, Murray. We're bringing you a live feed from the State Department in Washington discussing developments of this catastrophy. Jane, are you still there?"

    Jane Curtanes "yes, Mary Lou. I've been listening to Mr. Coe, as is everyoe here at the Community Center here in Brampton. It appears that were going to have to move shortly and everyone is scrambling to make preparations for transportation..."

    Murray "Mary. I've just read this report and can't believe... it's awful. We have an eyewitness account from an Indonesian pilot flying over the Jakarta region that a very large airborne creature was eating the orange colored worms. The pilot goes on to say that it saw the animal eat several worms, flying from one to another. He goes on to say, and I'm quoting here: 'The damn thing saw me and is now closing rapidly. Oh, Christ, it's huge, five times as big as my 747, maybe more. It's fast, real fast. Oh my God, it's ugly. It's got tentacles on its head. Mayday... Mayday... Flight 1472 from Sydney to...'
    At that point, Mary, communication stopped short.


    Murray "Mary Lou, are you there?"

It's rare, for sure, but from that point on, the reporting fell a little short of normal. I looked over at Reeny, not sure what to say, but I know we were both thinking the same thing. We had to get to a safe place quick. But where? We were in the middle of nowhere and maybe that was the ONLY reason we were still alive. Suddely our little hometown or our house didn't seem so safe anymore.

Reeny looked at me with tears in her eyes.

"Geez, honey," she said with a quavering voice, "I hope Purt's alright."

Purt, our cat, was home alone. Funny how attached she was to our pet. Me, Yeah, I wondered too, but neither she, nor me for that matter, was really worried about Purt so much. We just couldn't say out loud who was really on our minds... our two son's and their families living in the cities where they worked.

posted on Oct, 30 2009 @ 06:03 PM
Does it help to know that I've had a dream about a giant creature devouring people lately? I know this story had something to do with it. Man, you have me hooked. Great story keep it going my friend.

posted on Oct, 31 2009 @ 09:20 PM
WOW... This story has taken my breath away. The prose is spot on and the way you paint a grim picture is a very skillful and really drags a reader into an escalating horror

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