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Archive through September 02, 2008Talk about it75 9-02-08  12:31 pm
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miaree9
Senior Member
Username: miaree9

Post Number: 1885
Registered: 5-2005
Posted on Tuesday, September 02, 2008 - 5:51 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

Welcome to the message board, Talk About It. It's nice to have you here with us. There are many others here who have had strange things happen to them, so you have come to a good place to talk about your experiences.
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Talk about it
New member
Username: talk_about_it

Post Number: 2
Registered: 8-2008
Posted on Thursday, September 04, 2008 - 8:41 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

Thanks for the welcome, Miaree! I was so excited when I found this space.
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Berghaus
Senior Member
Username: berghaus

Post Number: 1118
Registered: 6-2003
Posted on Friday, October 17, 2008 - 5:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

A: C'mere.

B: Huh.? What.?

A: C'mon, c'mere.

B: Why, waddya want.?

A: Aww, don't be so suspicious.

A leans back, invitingly. B doesn't feel the need to internally either confirm or deny the gender of A.

A: Playing hard to get, eh.?

B reasons that the nationality of A may or may not be reasonably determined through consideration of perceived utterances.

A stand-off ensues.

There is sexual tension; allegedly.

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Shunt Gold KGB Anthracite

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da~an
Senior Member
Username: daan

Post Number: 4961
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Monday, November 10, 2008 - 11:15 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

!!!
"up"
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Berghaus
Senior Member
Username: berghaus

Post Number: 1285
Registered: 6-2003
Posted on Wednesday, December 31, 2008 - 5:00 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

It was Tuesday:

Running in from the rain, I saw her standing there. She reminded me of misery.

Being polite, smiling, I ignored her and, removing my dirty Mac, reflected on the rain.

"How could you do it, you c#nt", I thought to myself.

The dirty Mac remained unaffected by her mood and I considered the babtism of fire that this garment had encouraged through it's sale.

How far had the trade winds brought this skin; this membrane.?

Stillen she remained, afore me; composed. She didn't even know that I was there.

Drip, drip. The rain endlessly rehearsed its chorus, like a bored paperback writer composing a proof.

I smiled. She looked right through me.

Why, tell me why...


































Happy New Year everyone and Godbless.#




















































Hmm, nosey, but are you nosey enough.? Eh.?
















































.

(Message edited by berghaus on December 31, 2008)
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Shunt Gold KGB Anthracite

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Native Alien
Senior Member
Username: blue_screen

Post Number: 2207
Registered: 4-2008
Posted on Wednesday, December 31, 2008 - 9:38 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

they don't call me Jim Durante for nothing Berghaus...she's a store mannequin.
"This gets me to a question that returns to my mind practically every day of my life: what are the visitors?"

Whitley Strieber
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Berghaus
Senior Member
Username: berghaus

Post Number: 1288
Registered: 6-2003
Posted on Thursday, January 01, 2009 - 11:21 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

Ahhh, but the purrrrfect wife.
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Shunt Gold KGB Anthracite

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Aprylla
Senior Member
Username: astralgazer

Post Number: 2313
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Monday, February 16, 2009 - 3:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

This just popped into my head:

A Promise To My (as yet to be born or conceived) Child

I want to let you know the world is not what it seems
I dont want you to grow up like I did
Thinking a large man in a red suit sneaks down your chimney
Bringing you gifts once a year
I wont let you watch Disney movies
Brainwashing you with happily ever afters and animals that talk
When youre a teenager Ill make sure you know
Those romance novels dont mimic real life
Real life is broken promises and broken hearts
I will let you create your own dreams
Not those decided by the masses or by a system of beliefs
I wont let you live in a world of illusion
I will let you fall if you get in trouble
Then Ill be there to pick you up and help show you the way
I wont hold your hand down the path you choose
But if the path is leading to a cliffs edge Ill try to pull you back
I will love you unconditionally
I will love you enough to show you the truths I had to learn on my own
I will not set you up to fail with illusions and delusions of grandeur
You will walk in truth and be a child of the light
"It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul." Invictus William Ernest Henley
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Sharon2
Senior Member
Username: sharon2468

Post Number: 2144
Registered: 8-2004
Posted on Monday, February 16, 2009 - 3:42 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

Good luck with your future children.

They land in our arms as strangers.

We can show them but we can't push them.
We can teach them but we can't force them.
We can make plans but we can't count on them.
We can love them but we can't demand it back.

Even if we do everything in our power, sometimes it's still not enough.

There is joy and there is heartbreak.

Try not to take it personally.
That's life - it happens.
It's always somethin'
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Aprylla
Senior Member
Username: astralgazer

Post Number: 2314
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Tuesday, February 17, 2009 - 10:05 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

I used to not be afraid if I couldn't have children but recently I've been scared. My clock must have finally started working. :-) Now I think of all that I would like to try and pass onto someone and what if that doesn't happen? My parents were very young when they had me so I grew up with them. Had to learn some hard lessons that way. Looking at it now I would like to do what my parents couldn't do. I would watch the Cosby show and wish I lived in that family. I would have been out of place but that was my dream family. That's what I want now. Then I'll learn to knit and we'll all wear Cosby sweaters for family pictures. :-)
"It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul." Invictus William Ernest Henley
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Sharon2
Senior Member
Username: sharon2468

Post Number: 2151
Registered: 8-2004
Posted on Tuesday, February 17, 2009 - 11:42 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

You're still young. Women are having children into their 40s these days. As long as you are healthy it should be fine.

It's only human to want what you don't have. Everyone has regrets for things not done or said.
The shows on TV are just idealized versions of life. It's very seldom like that.

I like to call it "Norman Rockwell's Life"
Did you know that Norman Rockwell lived mostly in seclusion, even with his own family around. His wife suffered from depression. He knew the life that seemed wonderful and perfect and he knew how to paint it for the rest of us. But he didn't have it and couldn't live it.

I was visiting an elderly woman in a nursing home who had never married. I told her I thought she would have been a good mother and she started to cry. Regrets are the worst!

You said you wanted to pass on things to your children, but what if they won't listen?
Why don't you write a book for your children NOW?
You would be good at that.

Just do your best. You will never regret that.
It's always somethin'
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Stephen in AZ
Senior Member
Username: stephenm

Post Number: 2058
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Sunday, April 26, 2009 - 5:22 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

A blog called Views from Raven's Nest has a weekly game called Wordzzle, in which word lists, used to create stories, are given on the blog each Friday, along with Raven's stories from the previous week's words. The words given Friday are for next week's stories.

Participating users post their stories from the words given the previous week on their own blogs, generally on Saturday or late Friday. Users who have written stories are also supposed to put their web address on Mr. Linky (which has a separate web address list for each week), so that other people can read their stories.

Three words lists are given, a 10 word list, a 5 word list, and a 15 word list combining the other two. People can choose to generate stories from any or all of these lists. If a story is created, though, it should include all the words from the list that was chosen. Sometimes the lists include phrases as well as just words. The phrases are sometimes just two words, but can also be long. The phrases take the place of a word in the list, so the 10 word list could consist of 10 5-word phrases, but I haven't seen that happen (yet).

As an example of what to expect, these are the word lists for next week, from her blog (the words for week 61, given on week 60):

Saturday Wordzzle Challenge, Week 60

Ten Word Challenge: translation, crunchy, cats paw, trunk, I love raspberry tarts, global warming, star struck, the midnight ride of Paul Revere, fragile, Spring fever

Mini Challenge: pancakes and syrup, flat tire, mongoose, this place looks like a bordello, first dance


The game has been going on for over a year, but I only recently came across it. These are my entries so far, on my blog Stephen's Thoughts. Each one has all three stories for that week.

Wordzzle 60 - The polar bear and the hunter

Wordzzle - The eyes have it

Wordzzle - The acrobat, the optometrist, and the bumble bee

Wordzzle - The brigadier general, the hummingbird, and the gods
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esoterica
Senior Member
Username: esoterica

Post Number: 527
Registered: 9-2007
Posted on Sunday, April 26, 2009 - 10:38 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

interesting

so, for: (assuming order doesn't matter)
book club,
organic tea,
the cow jumped over the moon,
paragon of virtue,
wench

her unique pov, that of the paragon of virtue versus the wench, noticed opposites were cropping up everywhere, even at the book club where they drank down-to-earth organic tea while contemplating purchasing such outlandish books as 'the cow jumped over the moon' to fill out the impoverished children's section
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Stephen in AZ
Senior Member
Username: stephenm

Post Number: 2062
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Wednesday, April 29, 2009 - 8:17 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

esoterica,

Word order doesn't matter, except for words within phrases, such as "the cow jumped over the moon". Different forms of the words can also be used, such as plurals, etc.

The words can also be used in ways other than their normal definitions, such as using them for the names of people, businesses, books, and so on. This can be useful if it's hard to fit them in the story or if the actual meaning of a word is unknown.

The types of stories created with the words varies quite a bit. Getting all the words in one sentence, as you did, is considered highly prized. Getting the story in one paragraph is also good, but some stories have been much longer, and some have been episodes in a continuing story. Sometimes even poems have been used.
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Mama Shine
Senior Member
Username: mama_shine

Post Number: 9975
Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Friday, May 08, 2009 - 9:53 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

My daughter wrote this little essay for
a class in college.

Buck Reconstructed

About one month ago, while walking on the beach in Biloxi, MS, I came across an interesting piece of driftwood. I thought it looked like the antlers of a buck, but the antlers were decomposing. That thought progressed to the current event in my life where the copper pipes in my home are also deteriorating due to the contaminated sheetrock that we used to rebuild our house. The antlers, once sitting upon the majestic head of a great buck, were now stripped to the bare bones, just like we are going to have to with the walls of our home strip them to the studs. I picked up the piece of driftwood and took it with me, thinking I could use it for my art project.

The project is a sculpture using the technique of assemblage. The materials used are driftwood and trim screws. The earthy tone of the driftwood suggests that the pieces of the buck are no longer living, that they have be cast out to decompose and return to the Earth. These pieces of driftwood, all of which were found on the beach in Biloxi, MS, have been brought together, recycled if you will, in order to make something whole and new, just like we are going to have to do with our house.

This project of rebuilding our home, however, is not going to be free it is going to cost us a buck or two. The pieces can be picked up to reassemble new life. One only needs to know where to look.
I must create a system, or be enslaved by another man's. ~William Blake

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Stephen in AZ
Senior Member
Username: stephenm

Post Number: 2193
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Friday, July 24, 2009 - 10:39 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

Some more Wordzzle stories of mine are below. See my post number 2058, above, for an explanation of what a Wordzzle is.


Wordzzle 61 - The mouse and the mongoose

Wordzzle 62 - The woolly mammoth and the bubble gum

Wordzzle 63 - Covered in flowers

Wordzzle 64 - Under water
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Leibowitz
Advanced Member
Username: liebowitz

Post Number: 428
Registered: 3-2009
Posted on Friday, September 25, 2009 - 1:00 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

been working on a few things, this is old however:
The Ruse

The desk is cool under his fingertips. Florescent lights in their death flickers splatter the walls with their spastic shadows and images, almost like a movie reel left to run long after the film was over. That is the question he asks, is the film over, or has it just begun.

The dead speak to the living in a language that we have forgotten. Things become lost, the center does not hold, and what was unlearned becomes learned once again. Kicking and screaming, he has brought himself to this point out of sheer force of will. After a man loses everything, he finds that he never really had it to begin with, so he seeks out his truth, for himself, and for you.

His collar begins to itch his leathery neck. Years of baking under a Middle Eastern sun have worn his skin into a rough hide of wrinkles and crevices, more at home on an elephant than a man. The cancerous spots he has ignored, because in the end, he didn't care. Life and death intermingling, coalescing into a monster that we have created, that we ignore, and that he has woke from it's long winter slumber.

He remembers...riding his bike down the sidewalk...six years old...grass, freshly cut, smells like heaven, a sea of yellow dandelions bobs in the warm summer breeze, like a billion souls, waiting for the season to change, waiting for the mower, waiting for the end. The end is the beginning, but much will be lost, and that makes him sad, but his will is not his own, so he continues.

The phone rings. Reaching for the old black phone, his hand falters as the chill moves down, through the depth of his being. Time is up. Pressing the receiver to his ear a voice speaks, he does not respond, for there is nobody to respond to...the where and the when of his current reality are not what they seem to the casual viewer. The instructions are passed, the ruse continues.

He places the phone back in it's cradle. Pushing back from the old desk, he straightens his aging frame. Behind him he can hear them in the hall, and he knows what they are here for. He wished things could be different, but they aren't. The smell precedes them...that cinnamon death, sweet and inviting.

The two grenades in his jacket clink together...yes, in the end they will get him, but not yet, he won't allow it. Control, what little humanity has left, hinges on death...and so he smiles and pulls the pins.
"Miss Wormwood: What state do you live in?
Calvin: Denial.
Miss Wormwood: I don't suppose I can argue with that..."
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Berghaus
Senior Member
Username: berghaus

Post Number: 1465
Registered: 6-2003
Posted on Saturday, October 31, 2009 - 11:10 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

Dogging: A Halloween Encounter

The rattle under the bonnet had lasted all week. Saturday in its entirety had been spent under the bonnet, fixing the rockers. No hole, just fixing the rockers, see.?

The Sun was long gone when I took her out for a spin. I was tired.

Pulling into the carpark, compulsory scenic view intact, I sat listening for that besotted rattle to return. It didn't.

Interior/inferior lights. They're always useless; irritating, even. That bloody switch never worked properly and tonight was no exception.

Out of the mist they came. The first I knew of their hunger, was a sudden gust of wind as both doors opened.

In retrospect, I'm not sure who sucked me first; it might have been the giant white snake or the guy in the brown coat.

I came.

Driving away, cigarette in hand, (I don't smoke), I pondered the night; Halloween night.

Veni, vidi, vici... well, they came, they saw, they, well... lets not worry about that.
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Shunt Gold KGB Anthracite

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Stephen in AZ
Senior Member
Username: stephenm

Post Number: 2368
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Sunday, February 21, 2010 - 9:25 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

Some more Wordzzle stories of mine, from my blog.


Wordzzle 65 - The crows and the big sale

Wordzzle 66 - Lost

Wordzzle 67 - Bargain basement

Wordzzle 68 - Bass notes
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Stephen in AZ
Senior Member
Username: stephenm

Post Number: 2373
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Wednesday, March 24, 2010 - 4:30 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

...
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Graciesmom
Intermediate Member
Username: jmm

Post Number: 137
Registered: 1-2010
Posted on Wednesday, April 14, 2010 - 9:05 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

This isn't by me, but it's so good, I have to share it. My brother-in-law wrote it, and won a prize for it in a magazine. He IS employed now, but has endured many lay-offs over the years. He's in his late 40s.

JUST BEFORE

There is a certain silence when
a layoff is imminent in the office,
like that thick empty moment
when a hammer swings down.
People disappear into big rooms,
unannounced. Meetings are cancelled,
mail replies dangle on and on.
There is nothing normalizing in the air.
No sweet ozone from the printers.
No chatter.
No ticking, milling snack machines.
No wrenching regurgitation
from the coffee flasks.
Just the low rumble and whoosh
of the cooling system, and a distant hum
of cars out on the highway, like muffled bees.
Then something happens.
A clearing throat, an opening door,
fast-walking slacks, rustling papers.
Then the rasp of cardboard boxes
being put together all around,
as the newly-severed struggle
with the shock,
the years, the roads washed out,
while jamming tabs in slots,
voiceless but noisy, as though
the dying were told
to build their own coffins.
"To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts," Roger Ebert.
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Stephen in AZ
Senior Member
Username: stephenm

Post Number: 2416
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Monday, July 05, 2010 - 11:55 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

Some more Wordzzle stories from my blog:


Wordzzle 69 - The spill

Wordzzle 70 - Sunflower fields

Wordzzle 71 - Knight time

Wordzzle 72 - Horse play
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Mama Shine
Senior Member
Username: mama_shine

Post Number: 12982
Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2010 - 10:21 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

@ FG
I must create a system, or be enslaved by another man's. ~William Blake

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sahgwa
Advanced Member
Username: sahgwa

Post Number: 319
Registered: 3-2010
Posted on Wednesday, September 29, 2010 - 12:08 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

i wrote a novelette that just got me my first rejection slip from a magazine :-) if i keep getting rejected i will send it here.
in the meantime here is one i gave up on for the time being that needs finished and reworking. but you can let me know what you think just the same. pardon any errors it was scanned in from typewriter. since its my least likely to be sent out soon no ownership conflicts here:
The Interview
By Chris Stibrany

As I walked down the slippery overgrown brick path towards the front door of the house I wondered why I had bothered coming. The home was a typical brick row home found in the older sections of gambrel-roofed witch-haunted Arkham, Massachusetts. Although, it had an unsettling aura, even for this cursed town. I could tell it dated from the Industrial Revolution. It was definitely odd to see so much brick in this town of colonial forest, clapboard and cobblestones. I made my way carefully down the greasy mossy pathway and marvelled at the decay that this front garden had gone through. It clearly had not been kept-up properly, in some time, as the grass was shin high and the path was full of weeds between the bricks.
At length, I reached the front door. I pulled back the brass knocker on the peeling wooden door and slammed it hard against the plate. The thick sound echoed through the deserted neighbourhood and bounced off the other houses. After an indeterminable wait in the misty cool air, I heard signs of a heavy shuffling within, and the door opened cautiously a crack. A single bulgy eye peered out from the darkness.
'What you want?' came a raspy, phlegmy sound.
I answered loudly as one does with old people: I am Frank Chalmers, Mr Wade; Im here in response to your advertisement.'
He had placed an ad in the Arkham Gazette for a reporter or biographer to meet him regarding his memoirs. He offered payment, in return, for someone to take dictation for him. Why he thought that it was worth money was anyones guess? I didnt want to turn down easy money, because I had been out of work for months.
'Well get on in here afore it starts raining' he grumbled.
I stepped up the doorstep and crossed a creaky wooden threshold. The stench that assaulted my nostrils was almost indescribable. I was familiar with the smell of the sea, this being New England and all, but not this far inland, especially not in this part. It was a briny stench of tide pools and flapping dying fish mixed with the stale, stinging scent of aged and unwashed humanity and something *else* I couldn't place, but came closest to wet cardboard or maybe sulphur.
Put yer coat on th' rack tharnfoller me.' he croaked in his old man voice. He shambled in a queer dragging gait to a door on the left of the dingy hallway, next to some wooden stairs and pushed it unceremoniously open with the back of a large flabby hand.
'Hev a seat inere an Ah'I be wich'a in a minute, he gestured to a shabby couch with a wooden frame that sat by his small front window.
I could see the misty front jungle of a garden and the street out front. While he was gone I heard some kind of bumping or thudding which seemed to come from either the ceiling or the wall near me, which made me wonder what on earth that old man was up to. I felt vaguely guilty for the fact that he definitely gave me the creeps although, I did not really know him, or seemingly have a reason to feel that way. I looked around the room leisurely as I waited. The sitting-room he had placed me in was your typical tiny parlour or living-room for one of these old Industrial homes. He had tacked up some kind of old adverts onto the unpainted crumbly wall. They were those old 2 and 3 tone paintings from print media for things like sardines, oil, soap and the like. I thought it an odd choice.
Finally, after a few minutes of sitting and growing progressively colder and more uncomfortable, the door hinge squeaked and the large floppy foot of Mr Wade slapped down into the room followed slowly by the rest of his large bulk. I noticed the smell in the room increased but I tried not to register any distaste on my face. He had apparently slicked back what few strands of black greasy hair remained on his patchy scabrous pate, and I noted with some surprise that he was now wearing some kind of large floppy silk gloves, I thought to myself if I wanted to be guaranteed this money I had better put up with his idiosyncrasies. The gloves had me daydreaming on whether I had noticed anything the matter with those large mitts of his. I had only seen the back of one of them and then only for a second, so I couldn't say for sure. My reverie was interrupted by the gravelly bass voice of my companion: Somethin' wrong Mr Chalmerz?" 'Oh not at all, thank you, this weather just has me in a dram. I replied.
'Uh wut? he croaked.
'A dram. I picked that term up from my grandmother, she was Scottish. It means loosely; a kind of a stupor or tizzy, but it is also largely untranslatable, I explained.
'Wunna yer fancy writin' terms I reekon, he spat.
'Not really, common parlance really,' I said. Then I realized I didn't want to get on his bad side, 'But it certainly is not important. What is very important to me is being able to help you with your memoirs, like the ad said.'
Yes, well.' he started, 'You aint the best like I had in mind, but yull hev t'do since yer the only wunna came ta meh. ..'
He sat in thought awhile. His great glassy eyes fixed on me. His stare was cold, haunting, and the temperature was already low enough that I shivered. 'So Ah wuz thinkin' he continued, 'Ah feellz though Ah aint got long t'live on this Earthn so Ah wanted t'git my life story down fer th' gennerashuns y'see ...
He shifted in his chair and picked up leather book from the side table. 'This is mah photo album. Shows meh relashuns. Ah got a son nao livin' In Boston, he ain't spoked ta me in yeers, but progeny, he tapped the book with a stifled mitted thud, 'an' destiny, an' history, these be th kinda' things one thinks when they be about t'leave this Earthly trial. An Ah feels like Ah got somethin' Ah can tell ta' help thems that comes after me.' 'Well that is very noble of you Mr. Wade, I mustered a smile. 'So what did you have in mind for me, exactly?' I enquired.
He looked a bit embarrassed. 'Well on accounta my ... condition Ah wuz hopin ta jus' talk like , an ycould take dictashun, writin' er typin' Ah dun care which, as longs its wut Ah want. Hows that strike ya?
'Oh very well thank you Mr Wade,' I demurred. 'And what did you have in mind for renumeration?
'Re-nooma-what? he stumbled.
'Payment, Mr Wade.' I explicated.
Oh err Ah wuz thinkin' if ets alright with you, tpay you with gold.'
My heart skipped a beat and I gulped heavily. This drew a great big grin from Mr Wade and I felt my astonishment turn to fear of some kind as I saw his horrid teeth. They were like tiny little points of yellow, like he had some dental issues. He kept guffawing in what sounded like, to me, a kind of wet cough,.
'Heh-heh-hehl You edgeikated typess is always plumb crazy over gold. Taint nuthin but a family fortune is all.. You dunt mind dya? he asked.
'Oh no, of course not! It's just highly peculiar is all. I was very surprised to hear you say such a thing, in a good way of course! I grinned.
'Thats good t'hear there, young sir. Nao Ah notice you luk a bit cold, Ah hev t'say Ahm sorry there aint no heatin' here. It broke an then Ah found Ah likes et cold. Well, not likes it, jus dont notice it no more, like mah skins got thicker in mah old age, hah haheheheh. So uh can Ah offer you any tea or coffee?'
I thought for a second. 'Coffee would be nice, if you have crme and sugar.
'Ah does.' Wade said a bit testily. Then he smiled again, showing his horrible teeth. 'Be right back in a jiffy.' he said and kind of wobbled out the room.
I sat watching the rain out of the horrible grimy window that was now falling, in a lazy drizzily fashion, on the overgrown garden. The mist was still there and, it was so thick that it choked visibility down to nil past the front. You couldn't even see the street and that was only ten to fifteen feet from the front door! The only sounds I heard were some faint kitchen noises and the ticking of a clock somewhere near.
After a while, when I was starting to get drowsy despite the cold, I was interrupted in my reveries when the door squeaked open and the ugly visage of my host and employer popped out and handed me a cup and saucer. The coffee smelled good at least, unlike the briny tide pool that seemed to characterize the olfactory environment around Mr Wade. I chuckled, noticing the appropriateness of his name for the first time sea smell, and Wade ... I stirred my coffee to cool it.
'Wots funny eh? he asked me rudely.
I blanched and tried to think of something to say. I started cautiously: 'Oh I was just realising how with the ocean so close by, and with so many swimmers, a name like Wade seemed very appropriate.' I figured no normal person would find that offensive.
He just stared at me with his globular eyes, without blinking, which made me shiver. Drink yer tea; you still lookin cold. Ah'Il tell ya a secret. Mah names not really Wade y'know.'
I looked up at him over my near-empty cup.
'Nope, not Wade. Tis acshulee Waite ... he looked from the window directly at me again. 'Of th'Innsmouth Waites
I nearly dropped my cup. With shaky hands I placed it on the rickety table in front of me. The Innsmouth Waites! They were second only to the Marshes of that accursed decadent and degraded infamous Port, when it came to nefarious tales and blasphemous histories. I could scarcely look up at his face again, shocked as I was! With my head feeling like a lump of lead, on a shaky hay stalk neck, I could barely look up into his eyes. Yes! Those staring grey watery eyes that never seemed to blink, twice the size of a normal mans' eyes, that hideous scabrous head, with nary a hair on it, in-between the dried up patches of scaly, flaky skin... He had the Innsmouth Look!
Now for my lucky readers who may be unfamiliar with this town of Innsmouth and its nefarious denizens you should count your blessings. Unfortunately, if you care to understand my reaction to this..man's confession and his uncanny appearance a slight history lesson and explanation is needed. For the faint of heart, or those content in their happy lives, I beg you, read no further! But if you are stout of heart or already scarred by tales of Innsmouth then read on, but carefully!
Innsmouth is an old and now decrepit sea-port town about six and one half miles from Arkham, where we now sat. It is located in a general north-easterly direction from Arkham and was settled in 1643. Originally, prosperous due to trade with the East, including countries like China, and more famously, South Pacific islands like the Ponapes. It was due to the dark influence of the native beliefs of the Kanakas, in the islands, and some strange strain of genetic (and some might say supernatural) misfortune that the town's prosperity and standing among the towns in the vicinity rapidly declined during the early and late 1800's.
More specifically, the voyages of a man named Obed Marsh, Captain of the ships Sumatra Queen, and Cutty Hawk (look up names) brought what is now called The Shadow that came over Innsmouth. So horrible was this occurrence that it inspired such notable writers as HP Lovecraft to tell a tale about it, and it is telling that all Lovecraft had to do to inspire stark terror was to tell the Gods honest truth about the dreaded goings-on there, in the past, and in recent times.
Now, in our scientifically-guided, moral age of the present: 1936e.v., we of course scoff at such things. Growing up in Innsmouth, as I know now this Mr Waite must have done, he would have seen some horrible things. Already, I was dreading the task of recording Mr Waites dictation, now that he had mentioned that unhallowed name.
My reverie was at last broken when he leaned forward, stared at me close-up with his great bulbous eyes, and said 'Yeh arright? Ye look like ya seen a ghost! Ah ah ach ah ah!he laughed his horrible coughing laugh. 'Ah knew yald be right startled ta hear me say ware Ah wuz frum! But no bother, Ah dunt care no more whether yew outsiders know mah secret, since Ah'll be passin on right soon.'
'Why, how do you know that?' I queried.
'When ya- scratch that, when an Innsmouth body gits a sartain age we jess know. Its a feelin' ya gits.' I felt very awkward at hearing that statement. I wish he would not be so familiar with me, but I had a job to do so, whatever he did I suppose I had better put up with it. The rain still pattered on the windows with an unnatural tenacity that was getting on my nerves. I wished I was home in bed curled up with some tea and a good book, or taking a nap. Instead I was freezing myself solid in a damp stinky fishy hole with a creepy Innsmouther. I cleared my throat to break what had become yet another awkward silence. 'So shall we begin with my taking dictation' I asked as I wanted to get this over with as soon as possible. 'Ah reckin ya wanna git yer money an git out as soon as ya can Ah reckin Ah cant blame ya. Lessee here.... Ah wuz born in Innsmouth in 1852.
mah muther was from the South Pacific an' mah pa worked the trade route with Cap'n Marsh an' brought 'er back fer a bride. Thas' wut Ah wuz always toll anyway. Mah ma, she wuz a purty woman with dark hair an' short o' height. She seem'd ta git reclusive as Ah got older n' eventually never took ta outiside. Mah pa was a normal sailer type. He wuz a profiteerin' mann' nuthin' 'cited him mor'n gold hehelheheh!
Well... sept wimmin! Ah hah hah!
Ahere house wuz right on Washington Street, Twuz right fancy too, arrogantly so, nao that Ah thinks of it but we din' know no better n' them days
Ah'wuz always luvin' that water, boy! Me n mah mammy she tol me Ah wuz destined for greatness She alwayz sed ta make sure n live near thwater an th timed come when Ah would be ready fer th Passin Over.'
I fidgeted in my seat as I wrote. This was getting stranger by the second but for sure it was interesting in it's ... alien-ness. For the ease of the reader, to bypass Mr Waite's dialect, and to help me now at this later date, as it is my assignment specifically, I will write Mr Waites account in his own words with my corrections, as per his instructions for his Memoirs.
He began in earnest: I was baptised Zachariah Obed Waite on April 30th 1852. As I mentioned before, I grew up in an old colonial wooden house near the wharf and the sea. My early childhood days were nothing special by Innsmouth standards, but I suppose that, for someone outside of the Order, it will seem mighty strange.
When I said I was baptised, I meant that this was my naming ceremony the day after my birth. The Esoteric Order of Dagon runs Innsmouth. I have belonged to that Order since the day I was born. We believe, know even, that just like my mother's people taught her in the Kanaka tribe, our people come from Mother Hydra and Father Dagon. I can tell you more of what I learned about that as it happened.
My earliest memories are of swimming around in the sea off the wharf, and on the beach. My dad would let me help him with his sailing chores before leaving harbour, even when I was just a toddler. My mother always said our people had preternaturally early instincts for swimming, and even learned to talk and walk earlier than Outsiders. It may seem curious to anyone not from Innsmouth, but it is such a close-knit community that anyone not from there is definitely an Outsider. I hear it has always been this way since before I was born.
Supposedly, it happened that almost a decade before my birth, that bad men in the town tried to usurp our beliefs and way of life. They said that Dagon worship was a heathen custom and that the Kanaka beliefs in immortality through Dagon worship was all not only rot, but evil. So thanks to the devoutness of my father's employer and friend Captain Marsh, the evil-doers were run out of town. Ever since then if you aren't one of us you are an Outsider not to be trusted.
Round about my sixth birthday my brother Ephraim was born. He was a mighty strange child, even more than me. He always said the strangest things. When my mother asked us one day what we wanted to be when we grew up, years later, when he was around ten I suppose, I said 'I want to be merchantman sailor like my dad, but Ephraim said he wanted to be a wizard. Was quite portentous really. On. reaching his prime, he became quite a powerful wizard indeed, but that's a story for another time. Our house on Washington happened to be right next door to my dad's employer, Mr Obed Marsh. Captain Marsh took a second wife right around the time my brother was born. I only remember it because she was a Kanake Islander just like my mom. She had large bulgy eyes and a wrinkly neck, just like my mom did, too! But despite that, I always thought they were both pretty. The two used to go off and chatter together in their tribal tongue whenever they had the time.
Me and my brother would usually be home alone then since our dad was out at sea with Captain Marsh, Besides swimming, we both loved reading and exploring both our rambling old homes and, since we were good little Dagonites, the Esoteric Order of Dagon Hall, as well. In fact, en lieu of our father, a squat old waddly priest was our mentor.
He always went veiled in a yellow silk mask with only his eyes showing. These eyes too were bulgy and big like my mothers, but they were even stranger due to their almondish shape and huge black pools of pupils, with a yellowish halo. Despite his semi-frightening appearance, he was nothing but kind to us. We heard rumours, as youngsters, that he only wore the veil in general public but, if he was in the presence of Third Oathers he went unveiled.
The Third Oath is part of the Esoteric Order of Dagon. When you are born into the Order, you automatically take the First Oath by default. The First Oath of Dagon Is to worship and obey Father Dagon and his Earthly Representatives. It also includes not telling any others the secrets of the Order. So I am afraid I can't tell you what the Second and Third Oaths are, unless you prove yourself willing and worthy.
One of the reasons me and Ephraim loved exploring our house was not only was it old, but it had a lot of interesting passages, and a marvellous library. My father was not the most literate man, but he was no fool, and he knew the value of learning due to his father before him. Our house sat on a great green lawn and surrounded by great big old elm and oak trees. The front was painted white and built In the Georgian style, with fine big columns framing the door, and white marble steps leading up to it.
We were even lucky to have a cupola that included an observatory; complete with telescope, We used it to look out to sea and watch our father and Mr. Marsh sail away. I also saw some amazing sights through that lens. Our house also boasted a fine widow's walk, for looking outdoors on fine weather, and I used to love to sit out and read there. In the back of our house was a fine paved patio, and nestled closer to the back of the house a large porch. My father even paid to put in a large lake complete with great big fish. It was quite lavish. In those days a swimming pool in one's home was unheard of, so me and Ephraim and mother too would swim in our lake when we were too lazy to walk to the beach. For some reason, the fresh water never feels as good as the sea water. My family thought so too. Life continued uneventfully, as things in Innsmouth go, until my twelfth birthday. This was when I started to notice some strange skin problems around my neck and face. My mother and the priest, Ithan, just smiled and cryptically said 'It is Time!
I was getting very dry skin, by now. It became so dry that the only way to negate the problem and get some relief, was to take some daily swims and baths in the ocean. Strangely enough, fresh water such as from our lake, did nothing; and usually sea water is an irritant due to the salt, so it was quite strange. However, when I queried my mother and Ithan, the priests they said it was normal for our kind. So, no wonder people think us Innsmouth folk, Dagonites in particular, are strange. But we have so much better lives than they do, I was taught. They told me and my brother, at the Order of Dagon Hall, that our Changes were part of a glorious gift and not to be anxious or annoyed because nothing good comes without a struggle.
One day as I was walking home from school, around age 18 or so, with Ephraim in tow (who was going through puberty too, with all the same signs I had) we decided to make an investigation. Ephraim had heard from the High Priest Ithan that there was a glorious old library in the basement of the Order of Dagon Hall, and being an aspiring wizard, he especially wanted to check out the forbidden tomes of elder lore and magic. There was only one problem: both of us were only Second Oathers.
The books were so powerful they were not even accessible to Third Oathers; you had to be part of the Priesthood. Knowing this would cause serious problems for us if we were caught, even down in the basement, which was entirely off limits to lay peoples let alone the library proper. And (of course!) we had no idea where down there it even was exactly, we decided to use the short afternoon simply to try and gather intelligence.
Since we were only attendants at the Order on Sunday and, on occasion, Friday and Saturday nights, we had to think of some excuse for being there. On a Tuesday like today, there would be only the priest, and maybe one or two other lesser clergy, we thought. Shuffling slowly down the dirt street, enjoying the bird-song & the sunshine through the clear blue sky, I could scarcely believe we were up to no good. If our parents or Ithan found out what we were thinking, we were in deep possibly painful trouble. The thing that made my steps grow shorter and slower the closer we got was the statement my brother made while he stood looking up at the dome of the Order Hall, gleaming white in the sunshine. The paint was peeling in places, revealing a kind of shiny grey metal. Some gulls cried close by. 'You know,' he began, 'All the kids say the priests can read minds.' Normally, I would have laughed at such childish fancy, but I knew my brother and even at that age his occult knowledge was prodigious. I simply gulped and stared at him with my large watery eyes . The sun was low in the sky, amid the shadows of the pillars long against the front of the old building. Here, in front, it was still formidable in its antiquarianism. The white stone blocks climbed high, framing an impressive tall wooden double door. The building was about one hundred and fifty years old even back then, in the late Nineteenth Century and it had been taken over from the Freemasons.
We both stared at each other in silence as we tried to swallow our fear. I thought I noticed the curtain covering the large side window slide aside for a second, as if we were being observed. It wouldn't do to go spooking myself. The penalties for trespassing in the priests chambers, even for Order members was said to be severe, possibly expulsion, so we didn't want to look suspicious on this day. I stepped forward over the threshold and pushed upon the left- hand door. To my surprise it opened smoothly and quickly. I always thought they locked it when public services were not in session. My brother registered this surprise by a quiet 'huh?..'
We walked in the cool quiet front hall and Ephraim shut the door behind us. Compared to the warm slightly humid day It was nice and cold in here. The shiny marble floor radiated calm and cool and we gazed about the large hall. For some reason, although we had seen it often enough, the lack of people entering and leaving or milling about made it seem all the more impressive. There was a grand staircase facing us. It was centred, and it split into two parts, on a landing half way up: one way left and one way right. Each side stopped at a balcony or inner landing that overlooked the Hall we were standing in. We could see doors lining the landing to offices, studies, and the like, but we had been in most of those, and our prize definitely wasn't there.
Below the stairs, if one were to walk to either side, there was a door which opened up to our main meeting and worship hall. To the right of the entry was a short hallway which led to a reading room and the stairs to the basement. We looked about and saw or heard no sign of anyone. Veritably tiptoeing across the marble, we made it to the short corridor. Before walking past the reading room on the right we peeked our heads lowly in.
There was the Head Priest! He was sitting at the long shiny table and reading a large tome under the light of a green shaded bankers lamp. Luckily, he still had on his silk mask because although we were taught to be respectful of those who had undergone the Change, most young Dagonites were still squeamish, not squameous. Ephraim nudged me from behind and whispered to get going. Unfortunately, there was no other way to get to the basement so, we stooped down low to lower our profiles and hurried past, him behind me.
By some act of luck he didn't hear or see us. At the head of the stone staircase was an inlaid grey stone not like the marble surrounding. It had on it some kind of symbol that I recognised as the language of the Dagonites, said to have been invented by Father Dagon himself. Unfortunately I did not know how to read it, not being of the clergy.
Luckily Ephraim was smarter than me even though he was the younger. 'Uh oh,' he groaned.
Ssssh! I hissed with my finger to my lip. We both blanched and waited for signs of detection but heard nothing. He blushed, realising his outburst.
I whispered, 'what is it?'
"Theres a spell guarding the stairway, we can't go down unless we turn it off. If we try beforehand it might alert Ithan.
I didn't like the sound of that. 'Can you do it? You've been studying.. I asked.
'It's going to take some time, we'll have to come back. he whispered.
We sneaked back out the way we came in and, on the way out we were relieved to see that Ithan had his back towards us this time. He was looking through one of the public bookshelves in the reading-room.
Once outside we both drew a loud sigh of relief. We felt a weight leave our shoulders as the fear of detection lifted. It sure felt good to get out into the setting sunshine, out of that dangerous spot. At the same time we both grinned at each-other, and felt a great exhilaration at pulling off our intelligence gathering.
Over the next week or so, Ephraim studied the inscription he had written down in the hopes of cracking it. After a trip to Arkham, of all places, which I had to escort him to, and a glimpse in the Ponape Scripture at the Miskatonic University Library, he thought he could at least translate the inscription into English.
When he did so he let out a small chuckle as I stood over his desk at our home. 'Not surprising at all! I could have guessed what this said if I had known they were going to be so simple minded.' he said.
'Well what does It say?' I asked.
He read: 'To pass here speak ye the Word.' 'Well that sounds to me like we are just back where we started.' I complained. 'Not quite fish brain! he chortled. 'The Word is obviously the pass word. So that narrows it down at least. Because now we know we only have to speak one word'... he sat a few seconds in thought, 'And furthermore, he continued, 'In the history of Dagonite and Elder Magic there are very few words deemed important or useful enough to be simply marked The Word, and capitalised. So it'll take me some time, but shouldn't be too long.'
I nodded grimly.
In the coming weeks, my brother Ephraim studied hard and researched through many long nights in an attempt to figure out the Word. The problem in the main was not just getting what we thought was the Word, but being absolutely sure of it. This as the astute reader will recognise is due to the fact we were only going to have one chance to crack it, most likely, before some magical trip wire released, which might have dire consequences.
After a few weeks, my brother approached me and said, he had narrowed it down to roughly three possibilities and among them was included the right one. These were:
* YHA-NTHLEI
* OANNES
* FHTAGN
'Which one do you think is most likely?' I asked, and without waiting for an answer, blurted out 'And what do those all mean anyway?'
'Well of course you know the first one, our great City under the Waves.'
I nodded.
He continued, 'The second one Oannes, Is the alternate and more secret of the names of our Father, Dagon. While the third and last option I found in that elder phrase, 'Phnglui mgwlnafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgahn hagl fhtagn'. As the esteemed occult author Kenneth Grant discovered, this is in the language known as Bathyllic or Bathybic. '
O.K. More importantly, which word do you think it is?' I asked.
Ephraim thought for a second. 'Well if we look at this logically this is the Esoteric Order of Dagon Hall, and it has a password, a magical one. It's probably related to both Dagon, and magick, That leaves the last two, because Oannes is Dagon, and Phtagn is Bathyllic for Dreaming'. which, unbeknownst to most people, if controlled is a type of magic, Hmm ... if I had to guess,' he said after thinking for a while, 'A proper name or place would be too obvious, so my money's on 'Dreaming' or 'Fhtagn' for the password, as I know Ithan, in particular, specialises in Dreaming Magick for contacting Dagon and Cthulhu.'
With that in mind the night passed fitfully. We were both far too excited to fall asleep easily so, we stayed up later than usual working out a plan of attack for reaching the basement library, and what to do if we were seen or caught. In case of being seen just on the top of the stairs, or down the stairs, we were to fain ignorance of any barrier or password, and just say were curious. If we were caught in the library or looking at a book, firstly one of us was to give an alarm for someone coming, so we could attempt to hide. If that didn't work, we were to throw ourselves on the mercy of the Priest, as we were simply 'looking for more ways to worship Father Dagon due to our love for him' and definitely NOT to mention Ephraim's burgeoning interest in personal power and sorcery. The next morning the sun seemed to take forever to go through the motions of rising and the day at school seemed to drag on and on. When, at last, we were let out the schoolmistress pulled us aside and asked us, on pain of caning, if we were up to no good. We must have seemed jumpy or nervous all day was the only reason I could think of for her to even get a feeling that something was up. We both shook our heads and Ephraim said that we were just excited to go to our after school studies at the Order of Dagon, even though nothing of the sort existed. It seemed to placate the schoolmistress and she let us go. We ran all the way to the Hall, down Federal Street and only paused for breath when we sighted the spooky looking bell tower of the Hall loom into sight overhead. In front of the double doors was one of the Lesser Priests. He eyed us with a curious gaping gaze and then half-hopped back inside. We waited about ten minutes then we decided to try the door. It was still open! The mission was underway!
As usual, for weekdays and afternoons, there was no one about in the great marbled Hall. Without wasting a breath we stole quickly down the hallway to the right, keeping against the wall to ensure less chance of being spotted. This time when Ephraim ducked down and spied into the public study the assistant Priest was there. He was reading a book, much like Ithan had been doing the last time. It made me wonder what he was doing this time, and I hoped he wasn't down in the basement. We tiptoed to the top of the stair and stood in front of the slate grey stone with the inscription to speak the Word. Ephraim looked at me nervously and whispered 'Here goes' ... Then in a small voice so as not to be overheard he said, 'Phtagn'. We both kept our eyes straight ahead looking for some sign of recognition that there had been a change, but we noticed nothing, we just had to assume it had been right. We both took a step over the threshold. Then nothing happened, so we grinned at each other and then proceeded to tiptoe down the stone spiral staircase. The staircase that neither of us had ever before set foot upon in our entire lives in Innsmouth that I remember. My heart was pumping in my chest like drums beating signalling the beginning of the Sabbat. We went around the staircase one full revolution and then we were in the basement. It was all stone blocks and dark dampness, with ensconced torches that were lit with the Black Flame. Apparently this part hadn't ever had any electricity installed. It never needed any as the Black Flame perpetually burns with a strange alien light. It was very quiet and very spooky, like being in a tomb that had not been opened for millennia.

The only sound besides our beating hearts was the slight whoosh flickering of the nearest torch of Black Flame, and far far off, some kind of dripping. The flickering black torch-light cast eerily our shadows in white on the damp walls, appearing to make us dance and shift a ghostly jig. We gave each other a frightened look and tiptoed carefully forward.
It appeared that the corridor went straight without any variation or door for at least 30 to 40 paces, which was about 2 torch sconce lengths. After making it to the end of what we could see, we saw the hall split into to two with a wall blocking our forward direction. It was either left or right, and they both appeared the same though I thought I spied some slight variation in the light to the right hand corridor.
I gestured that way and with a nod Ephraim followed behind me. My hunch proved correct as where there was a slightly more illumined bit of the flagstones, it was due to a doorway or portal with no door covering it.
We both peered in with just our heads peeking over the door frame and what I saw wasn't expected at all. Instead of the library we had hoped to find, it was some strange room that was empty but for a large stone statue of Father Dagon. It was similar to the one upstairs but definitely more costly, as it had what looked like precious stones of red for the eyes, and gold ornaments from the Deep Ones covering its slimy stone surface from head to toe. It stood at the opposite end of the room from us, and overlooked the other major feature of the strange room, a square pool filled with dark black looking water. Its surface was as flat as a mirror, and reflected the grinning sharp toothed gaze of Dagon as well as the torches that flamed with the Black, Alien Light that were lining the walls perfectly.
Rather than go inside what felt to be a very important and sacred room, we found ourselves backing up not wanting to put our backs to Him. With only one way to go that was close and unexplored, we turned about and made for the other corridor which had gone to the left of the first. Our attempt at subterfuge on tiptoe still sounded loud and out of place in this most tomblike of environments.
On reaching the end of what had been our visible section of the new corridor we saw that although it did not have any portals, it did curve back to the left toward the stairs again. We followed the alien torch light further and then came to a large open space. It was still blocks of stone and flagstone lit by those magical torches that emitted that beautiful, utterly alien, light of pure Blackness but that was all. It seemed like yet another dead end...
Where could the Priests library be? We knew it was down here because Ithan even told us about it in relation to certain 'dread tomes as he put it. He had to study these Tomes for carrying out his Priestly duties to Dagon. At least we had not come across any sign of occupation or surveillance so far. The last thing we needed, in the world, was to be caught down here. Especially by Ithan! He may be nice to the good disciples but he had a bad reputation for enjoying punishment and retribution.
Observation convinces me that there are beings of intelligence higher than human and that the only chance for mankind to advance as a whole is for individuals to make contact with such Beings.Crowley
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Mama Shine
Senior Member
Username: mama_shine

Post Number: 12986
Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Wednesday, September 29, 2010 - 7:34 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

Chris,

I have read this twice and got
completely at ease with your
writing style (if I hadn't been
I'd have stopped)...I entered in.

Yes, I'd have chosen
Phtagn. So much of this story,
the way some of the descriptions of
the house and lake and water ...I
was mesmerized.

Don't leave me stuck down here...
I'll dream my way back up..I learned to do that
when I "sploosh" through the veil in the Pond.
But thats another story...lol

p.s. was that Fhtagn or Phtagn...go back and check..was that slip up on purpose or what?

Abigail (Gail)

(Message edited by mama_shine on September 29, 2010)
I must create a system, or be enslaved by another man's. ~William Blake

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sahgwa
Advanced Member
Username: sahgwa

Post Number: 321
Registered: 3-2010
Posted on Thursday, September 30, 2010 - 11:02 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

i am glad you liked it. it is rather my black sheep in the stories i am working on. i wasnt pleased with what was supposed to be an eery story started to turn into a young dagonites puberty tales edition.
:-)
it could have been a scanner error in terms of that word. im also not too picky on letters if the sound is good ;)
thanks again for the kind words i will try and finish this one soon. im such a slow writer, only 2 days a week do i have to put to that hobby.
Observation convinces me that there are beings of intelligence higher than human and that the only chance for mankind to advance as a whole is for individuals to make contact with such Beings.Crowley
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Mama Shine
Senior Member
Username: mama_shine

Post Number: 13067
Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Saturday, October 09, 2010 - 8:21 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

FG,

I think I get it...each time I read
it......I'll keep my
thoughts to myself for now.

I can relate to the collecting bit..
saved the boxes of Kleenex Expressions
for many years. I would cut them in fourths and
had the designs stacked neatly ( I was neat with my collections). I had 4 large garbage bags of old cigar boxes in the attic. I had in my mind that I would cover the cigar boxes with the Kleenex box designs and line them in velvet or silk that I had saved from old cloths that I no longer wore. Saved fancy buttons and broken jewelry that I planned to glue to the boxes. I even planned to hide surprise mysterious tokens in the boxes. I figured worse was coming to worse pretty soon and this endeavor would be my way to make ends meet. That wasn't the half of what I had collected...I won't bore you with it but my relatives will vouch for the accumulation.
Then hurricane Katrina put me out of business...Kleenex Expressions floating in the muddy residue. Hope isn't lost though because the cigar boxes are still in the attic and now I'm saving Expression designs again and the stacks of
fourths are gathering. I haven't told anyone I'm starting to horde again so keep yer trap shut.

Now I would like for some folks to give their thoughts on your story. You may even post a review of it placing yourself as an innocent reader and forgetting that you wrote it.

I enjoyed it, FG.

(Message edited by mama_shine on October 09, 2010)
I must create a system, or be enslaved by another man's. ~William Blake

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Mark
Senior Member
Username: mark

Post Number: 2781
Registered: 2-2001
Posted on Monday, January 03, 2011 - 2:44 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

The Buck

Listening, the Buck stood in the forest clearing as the sun rose casting cold light on the snow, but it was still dark there as only a pinery can be before dawn. He stood facing the direction from where they would soon be coming.
He had done this before.
An ear twitched, a sharp hoof dug through snow into the forest floor. Shaking his antlers once, he lowered his head, he was ready.


Then through the woods they emerged like ghosts - running hard - wolves! Seven of them and they were hunters. They stopped though, as each saw this deer in their path who was not running, was not even moving except for the deep breaths he took into his chest for his muscles, for the battle to come.
A few tried to flank him, but as each took a step closer the Buck set to charge and the wolf backed away and as his herd ran in the opposite direction, to safety, this warrior stood alone ...and his spirit flared. He was unafraid of these toothy things.
At last the wolves had to move off, back up the way they came. Some seemed confused - others knew what had just happened. The Buck had used wolfpack tactics - survival of the clan, all the time, no matter what.
When sure the wolves would not return, in one leap he was gone, running to join the rest of the deer.

Death would have none of them this morning.


true story.
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Buddie
Senior Member
Username: buddie

Post Number: 3824
Registered: 3-2008
Posted on Monday, January 03, 2011 - 4:18 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

I fOLLOW ....
Anne RULE..
Former Policewoman
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sahgwa
Advanced Member
Username: sahgwa

Post Number: 455
Registered: 3-2010
Posted on Tuesday, January 04, 2011 - 11:53 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

here is the continuation of the novella i posted above. still slaving away when my other story doesnt steal my time (its a ww2 german saucer sci fi! :D) but now for more lovecraftian goodness:
First paragraph repeated for ease of memory:
Where could the Priest’s library be? We knew it was down here because Ithan even told us about it in relation to certain 'dread tomes’ as he put it. He had to study these Tomes for carrying out his Priestly duties to Dagon. At least we had not come across any sign of occupation or surveillance so far. The last thing we needed, in the world, was to be caught down here. Especially by Ithan! He may be nice to the good disciples but he had a bad reputation for enjoying punishment and retribution.
I whispered to my brother, 'Any bright ideas?'
He just kind of stared dumbly at me like he did when he was frustrated and proceeded to back up and lean against the wall while studying the empty room we were in, I went to stand next to him.
Just then there w as a kind of scuffling sound, as of shoe on stones and it came from the hallway outside the room. My heart beat crazily in my chest and from the way Ephraim was looking at me with wide eyes I knew I wasn't the only one frightened out of my wits.
The sound grew louder and thus closer and we both stared at each other, unsure of what to do when all of a sudden the torch with its nebulous black flame went out, shedding our room in absolute darkness.
My heart was thumping madly in my chest and I could feel cold sweat pooling in my palms, then there was a flash like of a violet sparked light and the room was illuminated in the mauvish glow.
In the strange light I saw what made me gulp and rub my eyes in disbelief. Out of a black portal in the far wall where before had been normal grey stonework, were tramping a multitude of figures dressed in black robes that covered even their feet. I could not even tell where the mauve glow was coming from, yet it illuminated everything in a slightly wavering aura that was spooky to behold.
After three similar black-robed figures exited the hole in the wall, they took up positions in front of us. The one who came out first was closest to us and in the centre, the second and third individuals stationed themselves behind and to the right and left of the first forming a triangle, all facing us. They stood silently with their apparently pale hands mostly covered by the sleeves at their sides, as if waiting. I could hear Ephraim beside me panting in fear.
Then we heard a kind of slapping sound and what reminded me of hopping like of frogs. What came out of the hole next was both terrifying g in its oddity yet strangely comforting deep down inside. Like something I or a part of me identified with on a genetic level. It was a creature that was taller than the 3 black robes and looked like an anthropomorphic cross between human, frog and fish. It looked at us with great bulgy eyes similar to our own, but which had far more of a glossy shiny surface with even more of a slitted pupil. They were also a kind of semi reflective green or yellow, the head of the thing was froglike but for sharp teeth that poked out of its mouth, like some fish, and it also had spiny protrusions on the side of its head. In either side of its neck slowly pulsated frilly gills, such as were only starting to poke through our own necks. Its body was a mottled grey green with shiny scaly texture and a white froggish belly. It moved with a curious hopping waddling gait, due to its bent legs watch ended in webbed feet tipped in claws, like its hands.
At the arrival of what I now realised from childhood gossip was a Deep One, the black figures raised their hands in unison and began chanting, as they did so they raised their hands above their heads with the Palms facing front. The Deep One seemed to chant along with them but it sounded to me like just a deep gravelly croaking.
As the chant which I could not decipher seemed to fill the room with deep bass vibrations, I could feel the atmosphere seemingly became charged with an electrical and astral tension. Not only this, but my body too seemed to sway of its own volition, and my muscles, and perception became very heavy and cloudy. The droning sound pushed pulses of a magnetic weight on my consciousness, and I had a similar feeling to what one gets before falling asleep.

The next thing I remember is the feeling of hard stone against my back and a throbbing feeling in my temples. I opened my eyes and sure enough I was still in the same basement room, and my brother was next to met also half lying against the wall with a dazed look as he stared ahead. The light was now back to normal with the Black Flame lighting the space. I followed Ephraim's gaze and saw that the Deep One and three robed figures were now walking towards us slowly.
When they were all in front of us and we were standing again, the lead figure spoke: 'you two have passed the Test with flying colours.’
Suffice to say I was never the same again.

I had gone along with my brother out of a sense of duty, but he was always the one who had been thirsting after forbidden knowledge, on my end, I thought, If It's forbidden there is probably a darned good reason for that. I mean, I may be some strange kind of genetic oddity with a so-called cult background, but I was never a very religious person. All I wanted was a quiet life. Unfortunately, as you may discern, I wasn't rewarded with such.
The so-called test in the lower lairs of the Order of Dagon is a firm demarcation in my life between who I thought I was, and how I thought the world ran and how I discovered things really were. It is not too pretty. Luckily you are definitely not part of the Order so I can't get too creepy-crawly, but I can tell you the moment I knew I wanted out.
I think everyone in their life goes on as normal until they reach a point where It Is obvious they have to make a choice. Either they go on a kind of expected path, like their society wants, or they decide to improve themselves or at least have a little bit of self discovery. This usually ends up making you a stronger person.
The people that never do this kind of introspective investigation are usually doomed unwittingly or not, to a life of stagnation and boredom. And that is if they are lucky.
What happened exactly in my case was a certain ritual. Ephraim and I grew up as part of those groomed for the priest-hood. We learned the basics until one night, we were told by the head priest that we were ready for the next level.
We were still young, my brother and I. I was around twenty- nine by this time, and still enamoured of the Order. They led us down the familiar stone steps to the basement level of the nighted Black-Flame-lit temple. Once there we progressed with slightly wet sounding footsteps toward the idol of Dagon; this room we had first seen as children with the Idol of Dagon. The priests bid us kneel before the pool and close our eyes.
I remember seeing the nitrous Black Flame from beyond flickering in the wall sconces and dancing upon the oily thick water, and then I shut my eyes like I was told. There came after a few seconds a faint rippling sound of the water, followed by some plashing and I felt a drop hit my face.
'Keep your eyes closed!’ the head priest Ithan commanded.
'Then I got a shook of icy cold fear as of an icicle around my heart for I felt something slimy. Something cold, wet, slimy and rubbery gently and repulsively slithered and prodded against my face! It was almost sheer torture not being able to open my eyes but I am mostly glad I didn't. Then the thing stopped at my forehead and seemed to stay there for a few minutes as I felt some kind of throbbing in my third eye. In addition, my mind's eye was suddenly filled with the image of a huge inky black eye staring at me, and a force like a magnet mixed with a physical blow seemed to pulse hard against my frontal lobe and the next thing I know I was opening my eye s and seeing the ceiling from flat on my back.

'He says you can pass.’ a voice nearby said.
‘Who is He?' I asked, sitting up. I saw my brother rubbing his forehead and sitting up next to me. We were still at the foot of the pool. It was now still as black glass.
'A servitor of our Lord,' said an attendant priest with a smirk on his pale fishy face.
‘Be glad you do not yet need to look upon His face.' said another, and laughed in a croaky cough. Then he gestured towards the Idol, ‘Follow us.’
The priest at the head of the group walked as close behind the grey stone Idol as he could fit, and placed a large fat hand behind it. He seemed to be fumbling about for something and then stepped back. A split second later there was a small *click* and the whole statue slid to the side, revealing a set of very slimy looking stone steps. We all descended carefully, clutching at what appeared to be natural rock walls, sharp ones at that, to keep ourselves from slipping. Upon reaching the end of the straight stair we were in a large very dark cavern that seemed to be very deep under the earth. There were huge dripping stalactites coming from the ceiling and in some cases joining pillars coming from the floor. The whole place was again lit with eerily flickering Black Flame torches. I could also see the existence of both small and large pools whose black depths could hold Gods only know what.
The party led us through the large cavern, into another even larger one. Here my breath was taken away as a dull roar showed itself upon a short walk to be an underground waterfall. It was coming directly from the roof, through a fairly large hole, just like a natural giant faucet. A priest came near me, 'This is where the servitor accesses the pool he said.
'How does he swim upstream? I asked.
'Those that serve Dagon in many cases are worthy of our awe just as much as he is,' said the priest vaguely. I just nodded dumbstruck.
Eventually after walking for a short while into the bowels of the earth we came to a seemingly more used and smaller cavern. I could tell it was more used due to the accoutrements standing there, as well as due to the carvings on the smoothed-down walls. These carvings seemed to be in the Bathyllic script, which we still were not at liberty to learn as of yet. As for the items in the room, they were a rather large seemingly solid gold gong and beater on a metal stand next to it, a kind of solid stone table or altar, and some kind of bound book on top of that.
Upon our entry of the room, all the priests bustled about doing various preparations and meditations. I and Ephraim were told to take a seat in front of the altar near the gong, and a priest produced two cushions for us to sit upon. We sat down timidly and looked about ourselves with wide eyes, as a few of the stary-eyed priests bustled about. One hopped behind us and drew shut a curtain around the area we were seated in, that I had not noticed before. It was a light cloth dyed a mauve shade. Another priest hopped behind the altar stone and opened the book. This book was fairly impressive for its size and also its aged black leather that looked like fish scales mixed with goatskin, somehow. It had gilding in silver but I couldn’t make out the title.
The ceremony commenced with all the priests gathering together and bowing their cowed heads, clasping their hands, and setting up a horrible low-pitched chanting that I couldn't understand. Then the head priest read from the book about giving thanks to Father Dagon and Mother Hydra for blessing our kind with the knowledge and power to be like them, immortal, and a chance at life underwater.
Then Ephraim and I were asked to stand. A priest took up the great beater and CRASHED the gong once very hard. 'The low bass waves of sound were mixed with a warbly high pitched drone that steadily grew louder all on its own. Somehow the metallurgy of the gong was capable of great sustained notes. As the sound crescendoed I could feel a subtle vibration grow stronger deep in my stomach and travel up my body to include the whole, out the top of my head. The priest then beat the gong louder and louder creating wave upon wave of sound that created great waves of dissonance and feedback in a whiny drone both sibilant and bassy. 'The vibration in my body grew stronger as I felt a kind of thrumming throb in my forehead between my eyes and also deep in my bones and skin.
I felt myself shaking first with a buzzy light movement that gradually became a full on near-seizure movement that I couldn't control. I managed to turn my head to the left to peer at my brother and he too was shaking but his eyes were shut and he seemed to smile.
The next thing I remember is opening my eyes to find myself lying on the cave floor feeling strange. I felt more ... sensitive. The priests brought a mirror and what I saw shocked me. No longer was I merely a man, but the vibrations had sped up my transformation and I had much more pronounced staring eyes, spiky near-whiskers and my neck showed developed gills! I was both exhilarated and horrified.
A priest stepped forward, 'Now you can serve Dagon more fully. The change will be more successful despite your human side. Praise Dagon! Ia Ial Ia Dagon!'
***

Time passed and I became a young man, about thirty years old. I was more pronounced in my Innsmouth ways, and even served as the priest at the temple on occasion. In time I even met a pretty young woman named Ida Marsh. We were engaged and eventually married in a ceremony in the Temple of Dagon and soon she was pregnant.
I must for my own sake, merely say that unfortunately she died in childbirth. Something in our cursed genes did not work correctly and we even lost the child.

In my rage I must tell you what happened to cause me to defect from Innsmouth and the Order. I knew that our accursed Dagonite and Deep One blood had caused her death. Thus I swore to myself to make the Order which I had always felt somehow slightly outside of, and also the town pay!
In the course of my priestly duties I had heard talk of an abominable creature being harboured and raised in a secret location of the town 0 My brother Ephraim, who had by this tii4e become assistant priest to Ithan had a friend who was responsible for the feeding of this creature. It seemed that the thing was so hideous that no one would tell me what it was, just that it was the most dangerous entity for miles, and that the Head Priest hoped to use its strength for some important purpose,-
Hearsay was that the creature was being kept in an old abandoned part of the Marsh refinery where gold was melted down and also formed into our famed Innsmouth jewellery. I decided to find the thing, this monstrous creature and set it free to wreck havoc on this accursed place!
Thus it was dark night when the moon was slights and the breeze blew strongly from the sea, with a strong briny, fishy smell, that I set of with only a torch, a pocket knife, and a screw driver to try and free whatever monstrous creature might be in the refinery.
The Marsh Refinery was at the edge of town, right near the falls. The Manuxet River fell in a raging torrent from a rocky perch right near the wall and loading lot of the Refinery. The company used the power from the Manuxet and the Falls to power both generators and even in cooling during its metallurgical processes.
The Refinery had seen better days, even in that time of the 1880s. The great brick building looked spooky in the dark, lit only by a few street lamps with a yellowish glow. Flickering shadows from the lamps seemed to move and flow across the flaky brick front, like a shadow person lynch mob, waiting for my hanging. I sure was nervous! I went to the side of the building and tried the loading dock doors. Luckily one of them was unlocked 2hat part of the building was was even spookier than I imagined. There were no lights lit and no sign of anyone. I lit my lamp and found myself in a warehouse like room with stone floor and wooden crates lying stacked here and there. Then there was a slight scuffling as of shoe on floor! I wheeled to face it, but saw nothing...
Heart beating fast, I made my way to the only door, and opened it slowly. It was the shipping clerk’s office, the painted window informed me. I hastily walked through into the main room. It was extremely vast, and the comparably feeble light from my lamp could not reach the far brick walls. I was in a vast room that was open save for balconies of rooms about 2 floors tall. In the centre of the room was a series of two metal staircases and also more stacked pallets. These ones were not blank like in the loading dock, but stamped.
I tried to pry one open but couldn’t shift the hard pine or nails with my hands. I got out my pocket knife and managed to pry off one of the boards of the crate. Inside it were hundreds of gold coins! I picked one up and was spooked that I did not recognise either its provenance or language. It looked much older than I had expected, and best I could guess, the writing reminded me of when I had seen a copy of an Arabic book my father had been traded, but not exactly. The face on the coin was in profile, with a large nose, and bearded. Atop the profiles head was a cap that looked like a fish’s head. Hmm..
I pocketed the coin and made my way to the metal staircase. Here I was confronted with a way I had not seen or expected. There was not only a tiny brick-lined door in the dark under the stairs, but also a freight elevator. This must be a very wealthy company, Marsh Refining. Elevators were commonplace in wealthy shipping, production (freight) and even high-rise apartment buildings, by the early 1890's, but most people don’t realise that.
So I knew how they worked, and they were a bit noisy, so I opted to take the stairs down. I didn't know for sure, but it just seemed to me that the basement was a logical place to keep a creature. The steps were wide and concrete, and I found that this hallway seemed to be permanently lit by the dynamo generators from the river. There must be something important down here if they kept the lights on all the time. I turned down my lamp and proceeded down cautiously. The only sounds were my breathing, my scuffling shoes on the concrete, and a slight almost soothing hum from the lights. Now this wasn't so scary, I thought to myself.
After turning and going around one brick wall the steps led down to an open doorway, and I could see another lit hallway of concrete and brick beyond. There seemed to be doors lining it and also a window or two. Scufff-scufff! I heard some noise again like before, as a shoe on the rough floor! My heart started pounding again and I froze to listen closer... There it was again, getting closer from behind a door!
I had to find some place to hide! Quickly and as quietly as I could muster I tried the door nearest to me, which was the one next to the one I heard the footsteps it opened thank the Gods, so I ducked inside into the dark and shut it as quickly and quietly as I could muster. This was clearly an office, and I could see such, because there was a window opening out onto the hallway with curtains. I peered upward slightly hoping to catch a glimpse of whoever might be walking out of the adjoining room. I saw the door open swiftly on the other side of the glass, and a black panted leg stepped forward I carrying a portly yet hopping old Innsmouther. The scantily-haired scabrous head was topped by a black top hat and a fine waistcoat covered the portly middle. I looked closer. It was none other than Jebediah Marsh, owner of the Refinery and if I remembered correctly, some kind of half cousin to my late wife.
He pulled a pocket watch from his socket, checked It and proceeded up the stairs past me. I was shocked there was anyone here at this late hour. What could he possibly be doing? I waited for what seemed an eternity until no longer could I hear his footsteps up the stairs, and crouched and quietly crept out of the office to check out the room he had been in.
I opened the door to find myself in an office that in size and layout was a near identical copy to the one I had hid in. The only difference I could note on careful examination was the brass name plate on the desk which not surprisingly said JEBEDIAH MARSH. I allowed myself the satisfaction of sitting down at his desk in the fancy padded leather chair. I grinned and put my feet on his desk and leaned back with a sigh until I realised I had better quit fooling around and do what I set out to. I allowed myself one last second to lean back farther and stretch. Oops! The weight was too much and I fell back and ht my head, smack on a handle of a filing cabinet behind me. There was a slight click as I rubbed my head with my hand, coming from what sounded like the wall. Then before my astonished eyes there was a slight whirring and the filing cabinet, which was a heavy mahogany deal about the height of a man, along with the floor upon which it stood, and the at wall directly behind it, proceeded to swivel outward, away from me and into the wall. Within five seconds all that stood before me was a gaping black a hole in the shape of a square. 'Well, I'll be...' I allowed myself as I picked myself up and commenced into the aperture, while turning on my lamp. The passage was definitely man made, as it was square and constructed out of concrete, floor, walls, and ceiling. It ended after a few feet with a wrought iron spiral staircase leading downwards. I tramped down the stairs as quietly as I could muster but their springy metal surfaces still made a slight ping on each step with a faint bass moan reverberating as I continued down into the darkness. The concrete gave way after one level down to a circular brick aperture that the stairs descended through. It looked fairly old, but it was hard to tell in the dim light of my lamp.
Eventually I won the bottom, which seemed to be about three or four floor s below the basement I had left from, I found myself in another corridor but this one was not lit like the basement office one. It was simply more antiquated brick with mortar crumbling and slopping out from between them, and in some places a kind of fungal or mouldy-looking grey-green growth.
The air down here was much damper and cooler as well. As I stood taking in the tomb-like stillness I fancied in the distance ahead somewhere I could hear something. .. It was too faint to make out and label but it was definitely some sort of thudding mixed with a sloshing or wet sound, but so faint there as to be almost unnoticeable. Down there in the still dark with weird thudding splashes I began to fear for my safety and also my composure was definitely less defiant than I had started out with. In its place was a cold sweaty dread that put butterflies in my stomach pounding at my ribs with my over- taxed heart and sweaty palms that added more of a chill than was al- ready present to my stiffening body.
I was still determined and there was no way this tomblike oppressive place was going to beat met I hurried ahead quicker now and took the first turn through the only doorway I saw. 'This put me in a similar brick corridor but it was facing parallel to the one I had just left. In the wall facing the blank brick across were doors in a row, that all had bars in their tiny windows at eye-level. It was like standing in some prison or insane asylum deep underground.
I deduced that the strange layout of the corridor and placement of the doorway I had entered was to slow down any would-be escapee, making him double back before he could make for the stairs, Most terrifying of all, was that now that I was in the new corridor, which I saw ended in a dead-end not forty or fifty feet tom me at the end of the row of doors was the previously thudding slosh of a noise which I had heard as from a distance, now (faint) had become louder as from some intelligence aware of my increased proximity It seemed to emanate from one of the doors that were to my right as I walked past them, With much trepidation and beating heart in my throat now, I slowly look- ed in each barred aperture with my lamp. The flickering golden light revealed nought but an empty brick cell, in each case for the first six to ten cells. The shadowy corners held no being or furniture, not even a rat, then as the splosh splosh thud commended I could hear it was coming from the next cell. I tip toed with the lamp held high and placed it against the bars of the next door, thinking to keep my face a step back from the opening. As I looked in the sounds abruptly ceased...
I shined the lamp from one side to the other of the bars, looking in the right corner, empty, left corner, centre, all empty.. But this cell differed for there was not only more of that fungoid growth on the brief[ but also some new kind of glistening wetness reflecting my lamplight back at me, covering the walls and parts of the floor in a semblance of ... some kind of slime! This had to be the cell of whatever Marsh was keep- ing down here, but where in Dagon’s name was it?
GOOD GODS! Suddenly out of nowhere a single huge glistening eye with no lid plastered itself against the bars! I fell back in a near faint, my heart now firmly stopped for a few seconds of gut wrenching terror. What was that? The eye just stared and around It before the window ended all I could see was some sort of jelly like slimy substance, faintly transparent Hideous! Then the Thing let forth suddenly a positively hellish sound as of a whistling shrilling flute mixed in with an inhuman screeching wail I feared I would be driven insane from the unholy alien-ness of the unblinking orb of an eye, like a giant black pupil surrounded by little white. And that skwoooooooeeaeell It burst my eardrums in a hellish cacophony so that in my hate and horror I unthinkingly clamped my hands to my suffering ears, and in the process forgetting and droppings lamp!
A sharp crash of glass on brick echoed muffling through my improvised earplugs and as if in surprise of its own, the thing stopped squealing. I was now in pitch dark... What could I do? Being trapped down the dark with that Thing there was too much for a sane man to bear. The excitement at my presence had not abated apparently for now in place of squealing the thing was battering and slamming against the door which presumably locked It in its cell. Wet thudding boom after another rumbled the walls around and I could hear in my horror the faint sound of splintering wood. 'The Thing was getting out! I had planned on freeing It to piss of Marsh and to let it terrorise Innsmouth in my grief against this hellhole, but not while I was still nearby! Was I to be this things first victim? I did not plan on sticking around to find out so as quick as I could manage I felt my way along the cool brick wall to my back, towards the doorway.
All the while that THUD TDUD CRACK accompanied my harried nerves; At least it was sparing my ears. In what seemed like hours I made It to the first corridor and then the steps. The sound had become almost all splintering wood and I had the terrifying feeling I was in a Irving nightmare; the chase variety where some horror lurks jus behind you ready to engulf you with your first misstep... But this was no dreamt ""Oh Dagon and Hydra have mercy! I stumbled up the first few steps as I heard the splintering crack f the door break down and hit the opposite wall with a dull thud. The Thing must be immensely strong. It let forth a triumphant skweeeeeeeeee as I seemed about 2 floors up, right between the office portal and the prison cells. I could vaguely hear a slithery sound and the Thing seemed demonically quick. Already It was on the first step based on the dense vibrations which had started through the wrought-iron!
I tried to run faster and made it to the top of the steps gasping for air. The dim light of the secret door was thankfully still shining through the open portal. I ran through in a fear-filled stumble and Gods how I wish I had not risked a glimpse back. For the image I saw arching over the last step still haunts my dreams. Based on the amorphous fluidity of the Jellylike body and the way it was peopled with a multitude of unblinking eyes, and how it formed and unformed tentacles and pseudo pods in an unholy ever-changing mockery of wholesome symmetry, I knew it was none other than a Shoggoth!
Near gibbering with maddening fear I ran faster than I thought capable, but still the beast slithered closer. I risked trying and slowing it down with. a quick aimed throw of my pocket knife at one of its eyes, but the thing merely absorbed the knife with a bit of its greyish trans-parent bulk with a sickening gloop and whistled evilly! Every step was near to my last, I felt as the thing now seemed to be toying with me staying always an arm’s length behind me. I eventually made It out side into the dark starry night, and although I still heard the slithering splash of the corpulent shoggoth it seemed for some inexplicable reason to have turned a different way, and then I heard mixed with its terrifying whistling cry the cry of a screaming man and I ran as fast as my legs could carry me to the train station, And I have never been back since...

COPYRIGHT CHRIS STIBRANY 2011 no copying without my say so yay yo's :-p
Observation convinces me that there are beings of intelligence higher than human and that the only chance for mankind to advance as a whole is for individuals to make contact with such Beings.Crowley
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sahgwa
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Username: sahgwa

Post Number: 464
Registered: 3-2010
Posted on Wednesday, January 19, 2011 - 10:54 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

nobody read it this time :-( attention attention! :-)
Observation convinces me that there are beings of intelligence higher than human and that the only chance for mankind to advance as a whole is for individuals to make contact with such Beings.Crowley
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Buddie
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Username: buddie

Post Number: 3890
Registered: 3-2008
Posted on Thursday, January 20, 2011 - 3:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

I just did..I have a day off..
Its good..but I'm a non fiction reader..
well with one limitation Steven King..

Blessings and Success to You :-)

(Message edited by buddie on January 20, 2011)
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Mama Shine
Senior Member
Username: mama_shine

Post Number: 13628
Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 20, 2011 - 8:26 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

Oh Chris,

I didn't know you had posted a continuation.

I'm gonna read it later on when it's quiet.
I must create a system, or be enslaved by another man's. ~William Blake

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Mama Shine
Senior Member
Username: mama_shine

Post Number: 13634
Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Friday, January 21, 2011 - 10:10 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

Chris,

Just finished and I enjoyed it on many
levels. I find your style of writing very
enjoyable. I was there and sweating it out,
almost felt I'd been there for certain parts.

Maybe living directly on a canal surrounded by
the marsh of SE Louisiana and my magical pondering
with a Fishy Friend that accompanies me on mental adventures, that sometimes get rather complicated, made your tale
all the more interesting.

Thank you.

(Message edited by mama_shine on January 21, 2011)
I must create a system, or be enslaved by another man's. ~William Blake

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sahgwa
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Username: sahgwa

Post Number: 465
Registered: 3-2010
Posted on Friday, January 21, 2011 - 10:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

hoorays! glad you liked it :-) when its done ill post the rest! its the one thats taking the longest. if you find (anyone) anything you dont like or find bad writing let me know I want to get better and someday make a living with it . some day........ :D
Observation convinces me that there are beings of intelligence higher than human and that the only chance for mankind to advance as a whole is for individuals to make contact with such Beings.Crowley
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Mama Shine
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Username: mama_shine

Post Number: 14408
Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Thursday, July 07, 2011 - 2:52 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

FG,

Very interesting and food
for thought.
I must create a system, or be enslaved by another man's. ~William Blake

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Found Goat
Advanced Member
Username: foundgoat

Post Number: 246
Registered: 8-2010
Posted on Saturday, July 16, 2011 - 10:53 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

I am re-posting this short-short story of mine to the board. It is a work of fiction.


THE SOCKING GRAMOPHONE


“It was ten years ago almost to this day that he committed himself,” spoke the curvaceous figure in white to her fellow uniformed staff-member, an oversized black woman near bursting at the seams.

“Lawd-a-mercy, whatever for?,” asked the roly-poly, out the corner of her gob, kisser full of diet soft-drink and chunks of a Dagwood, the lunch-broken facility worker more interested in attending to her blender than attentive to the conversational morsel being aurally fed her, from the Caucasian mind-doctor's assistant, nibbling on leafage, a relatively recent hiree whom some on the payroll privately have suspected, based on the woman's knockout appearance, her qualifications omitted from the resume, what proved via the casting couch.

“It seems the man, Mr. Anonym I think his name is, was driven to a nervous breakdown on account of those – those obsolete dogs that used to exist. Remember those?,” queried the outasight nibbler to the hefty mama. “The kind that used to-,” pausing, a quick head turn left-right for effect, now whispering, cupping a hand to her rose-pedals, “the kind that used to ... bark!”

The overweight woman's orbs grew large as she dropped her hoagie onto the plate, nearly choking on a premature swallow. Clutching a melodramatic hand to her ample bust with an enunciated “Hmm, hmm. Good golly, oh molly! You don't say?”

The prettier, thinner nurse resuming her normal voice. “Many back in those archaic times, the emotionally fragile and highly sensitive among society, were either involuntarily warehoused or willingly hospitalized, having suffered a psychological collapse, due to the epidemic which was that unneighborly, grating audible torment.”

“Good lord!,” the older woman remarked, sitting back in her undersized plastic chair, internally turning to the long-forgotten, now-remembered and horrific past. “How I do recall those days of yonder. Huh. My, how we have come along,” replied the twangy emphatic gesturer, with a flick of the wrist and a manually recalling of the thickly-filled, soggy sub.

“As you know, Mertyl, Dr. Analyst, the compassionate and professional psychologist he is, was placed in charge of the then frenzied Mr. Anonym, who not only admitted himself into our fine serpentarium on his own accord, but had even arrived clad in his own make-shift straight-jacket, which he had haphazardly designed out of a pair of old ski-pants and some coiled springs.” The tightly-fitted Snow White issuing forth a stifled chuckle. “I wasn't there to see the botched tailoring job, but I heard from others that it was ... quite the spectacle!,” vocally underscoring these last words with a bemused inflection.

“So,” Myrtle replied, oblivious to the glob of mayonnaise trying to pass for a beauty mark beside the mustard stain on her left cheek, “this Mista Anonymous-.”

“Mr. Anonym,” emphasized the nubile injerjector, correcting her omnivorous commensal.

'Yeah, him,” answered the nut factory's laundress. “Yah say the man went a little screwy upstairs 'coz of that ol' bowwowin' back in the day. I reckon he won't e'er be back again, not since that smart new thingamajig came along. Dear me,” Myrtle paused, stopping for a minute with nothing but the flavor of salt and hot-peppers on the tip of her clapper. “I do say, can't think of what's-his-name...?,” the dame pondered, prior to instinctively, half-heartedly giving her right cheek a quick wipe with the crumpled, used napkin being held in her free hand.

“You mean that brilliant inventor who designed, patented, and marketed one of the greatest, revolutionary inventions of modern-time: the MM?”

Myrtle, excited, reflexively dropped her Montagu onto the luncheon platter for the second time. Exclaiming by way of emphatic digital indicator, “Yah, he's the one! Good golly, oh Molly! Whatcha say that brotha's John Henry was?,” the Southern dialect enthusiastically seeking an immediate answer.

“Well, for starters,” the attractive jane ping-ponged, “that ingenious inventor you call 'a brother' just so happened to be yellow, not that it matters. An import from Japan. A Mr. Chow-Chow. A remarkable fellow that scientist was,” added Ms. Innominate, in regretful vocal tone, while peeking down at her feminine wrist-watch, and registering a half of a lunch-break still remaining.

Was?,” queried a puzzled Myrtle, slipping the last bite of the main course into her facial inhaler and, without pause, sliding the dish of parfait closer to her; barely in view, before her buxom bosom.

“Unfortunately,” spoke the fair-haired, some-would-say skin-flick-actress-resembling petticoat, “Mr. Chow-Chow died a sudden and tragic death over a year ago. Suffocated, so the account goes, while savoring a well-cooked canine, a tiny bone got lodged in his wind-pipe. Choked to death,” Ms. Innominate sadly relayed the news. “It was a tremendous loss to all of humanity,” continued the asylum employee. “Reports were that the inventor's dying words were something to the effect of, 'You b*tch!' ... but in Japanese, of course.”

“Poor Yellowie,” Myrtle replied out the crevice of her clamshell, somewhat distracted, now absorbed in dessert, lapping heaping shovelfuls into her dentured orifice, as if aware of time ticking away, or an as-of-yet filled breadbasket.

“The invaluableness of the ingenious Oriental's life-saving doohickey lives on, however, despite the unfortunate keeling over of its inventor,” elaborated Ms. I.

Mmm, hmm,” attested the pressing sexagenarian one. “Amen, amen,” furthered the soon-to-be retiree, eater artiste, chewing the meat her forte.

Ms. Innominate straightening her seated posture, wrinkling her brow. “How do you mean, Ethel?”

“Lady!,” politely exclaimed the heavier of the two. “How long have we been working together?,” the senior missus simultaneously asked and stated, her attention ever-so-fleetingly seized. “The name is Myrtle,” the corrector vocally italicized with an all-is-forgiven no-biggie chuckle, as if partially dumbfounded by the glaring misnomer.

Ms. Innominate slightly blushed, and with a reddened pan and apologetic inflection made amends. “But Myrtle,” the 'blonde babe' – as she is called behind her back by the male adulterers-at-heart on the staff (including Dr. Analyst) – accelerated, “why the curious assertion?,” posed inquisitiveness.

As fellow diners within the already sparse cafeteria began to disperse and wander toward the exit, the two lingering interlocutors, sensing the walled clock's indication, began to cut to the chase and offer us eavesdroppers the much-obliged abridged version (what with only a few pages remaining in this short short story).

“I'll tell ya a secret,” blabbed Myrtle, finishing off the last of her lunch with a stifled, excused, dessert-scented pronunciation. “That doohickey of Mr. Wong's – why, poor old me would've done herself in had it not been for that technological savior,” informed the manual gesticulator, once again with a wave of the wrist for added melodrama. (The word savior, by the way, expressed “saviah.”)

“Myrtle,” replied Ms. Innominate, shockingly, taking a quick bo-peep down at her dainty horologe, noticing only a few minutes left before her having to leave for a previous engagement scheduled inside the nut-cracker's office. “You don't say?,” prodded Myrtle's sympathetic, though now presently – minutely – impatient listener.

“Yep,” Myrtle responded, matter-of-factly. “I sure do.” Letting out a deep sigh so as to relax herself, if not to signal what her currently fidgety table seat-mate feared the most: an involved, long-winded recounting being trumpeted.

“I do speak from experience,” commenced the personal anecdote of Myrtle's. The woman's inherently bubbly comportment losing a bit of its fizz, her otherwise naturally radiant visage turning a sombre, half-glazed reflection.

“You see, I myself was once a victim of those mercifully extinct, tameless backyawd critters,” the reminiscer began, of the retelling of her assumed suppressed and painful story.

“I recollect those days and shudder!,” Myrtle exclaimed, to a toe-tapping, antsy Ms. Innominate, who sat listening rather absorbed in her colleague's reciting of her traumatic experience involving a next-door neighbor's barking dog, for about five-to-ten minutes, up until having to politely excuse herself from the interchange, on account of the above-mentioned rendezvous.

With Myrtle completely understanding of her co-worker's having to depart the scene. (As it was the daily working custom for Ms. Innominate to do.)


II

Never mind Ms. I.'s cutting short of Myrtle's monologue. Take comfort, dear reader! A truncated ending to this tale there is not. For our two likeable protagonists, you will be pleased to know, picked up right where they had left off, the very next day, over Ms. Innominate's this-time fully attentive nibble-able ear and garden salad, and Myrtle's double-decker sandwich and flask. (The recollected memories being too overwhelming for her to bear without the V.S.O.P. throw-backs.)

As the rest of the story went, our loveable still-to-this-day shell-shocked hen told of her years of psychological suffering at the hands of an unneighborly, incessantly yapping whelp that, despite all her divinely-directed implorings, never left the safety of its barb-wired back-yard so as to answer her beseeched, repetitive prayers of it departing this existence prematurely, via roadkill.

From daybreak to nightfall the exacerbating mutt gave tongue. This, back when the storyteller was on maternity leave, thus housebound; debilitated, in need of her surrounding peace and quiet. Good god, how she can sympathize with what Mr. Anonym went through! Only, as Myrtle tearfully explained, this particular four-legged psychic vampire didn't drive her to any booby-hatch (besides the fact that she was already employed by one), but to the contemplating of taking an O.D. of sleeping-pills, the intolerable aural punishment and at-the-time perceived snookered situation having led her thinking deep down into the bedarkened last-resort alleyway, even in spite of the life she was carrying at the time.

What had intervened and prevented the then abject one from crossing over the mortal Rubicon into the assured peace and quiet of oblivion had been a most-helpful device that one fine day opportunely materialized out of nowhere on the shelves of pet-shops the world over.

Advertized as a guaranteed alleviating accessory in the seeking after aboloshing once and for all the cultural headache of that irksome nails-on-slate, Mr. Chow-Chow's tangible parturiency was just what the docter had ordered, both for Myrtle, and the thousands with her, undoubtedly drowning in the same alcohol-flooded, capsizing Titanic.

Mr. Chow-Chow's innovation came as a societal settlement. Initially, cynophobiacs and anti-dog campaigners from around the globe rallied together, bandied, and protested, by means of prolific, passionate missives and picket-signs, the impounding of these perceived unlovable, nonhuman noise-makers. Not surprisingly, the keepers of these undisciplined fenced-in creatures put up a mass unbagged stink, foiling the agenda of the collectively acoustically victimized. Then, like a heavenly bestowed gift, out of the blue, arrived the blessing that was and gratefully remains Mr. Chow-Chow's mediating gizmo, dubbed the Musical Muzzle, that acted as a reconciliating factor, agreeing to meet both sides the proverbial half-way.

The Musical Muzzle was an ingenious creation that, much to the delight of an estimated millions of ears, caught on with an equal amount of fair-minded philocynics who, although staunchly defensive of their cade-companion's rights to freedom of (unintelligible) speech, on the other hand, being keepers of mature psychologies, still possessed the capacity of sympathizing with their fellowman.

The Musical Muzzle, dear reader, is a brilliant contraption that, through a remarkable technologically-designed funnel-like system and speaker, translates the once odious, noteless dog sound into listenable, melodious music, in the vein of built-in, pre-programmed bossa nova, forever altering the suburban soundscape and the sonic lives of countless others inhabiting the planet who, thanks again to the Oriental's lifeline, now consider themselves as lucky souls, if not entirely revivified beings.

Mr. Chow-Chow's original concept muted these vocal headless chickens altogether, in the process obliviously overlooking the Freedom of Rights, amended years ago to include that of domesticated animals' right to freedom of expression, never-minding the communicatory indistinction. The Musical Muzzle thus allowed for animalistic expressive non-restriction, while at the same time meeting the second party's demands towards the seeing to an irenic neighborhood.

The compromise worked so well in the contributing to a worldwide friendly, pacific outcome that the Musical Muzzle was made mandatory by law ... upon the third-received noise by-law complaint from a disgruntled, aurally harassed citizen, was law-enforcement required, muzzling mechanism in tow, to pay a visit upon the dog-owner's inhabitancy, much to the householder's more-often-than-not resistant and vituperative chagrin.

To the point that many of these have been swapping places with the Mr. Anonyms of the world, clogging up snake-pits and cuckoo's nests in droves, psychically unhinged these have been reduced to, due to the voluminous absence of that harsh, discordant timbre no longer the aural wallpaper of their lives.

A pity that Mr. Chow-Chow is no longer with us. Scuttlebutt has it that the inventor foresaw this singular unfortunate side-effect his device would have upon a certain sub-section of the population, and was in the middle of working on, at the time of his tragic departure, his latest palpable eureka: a “music” box that barks.
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Found Goat
Advanced Member
Username: foundgoat

Post Number: 247
Registered: 8-2010
Posted on Saturday, July 16, 2011 - 11:04 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

I am re-posting this short-short story of mine to the board. It is a work of fiction.


HERBERT HOPPITY AND THE DUMPTY'S HUMPITY


When it came to mobility, all Herbert could do was hop. The poor man was not like me and you, we who take for granted our ability to saunter, power-walk, jog, run and dance.

For Herbert was born practically legless, a physical defect that, although greatly restricted his means to move about, proved not to be that much of a hindrance after all.

For besides entering the world handicapped, Nature at least had provided Herbert with the endowment of being born an intellectual as well. Had be been born an outdoorsy extrovert instead, Herbert thought, he would have done himself in long ago.

Thankfully, though, Herbert was not born footless.

Herbert prided himself that, despite his disability, he was still able to look after himself as a somewhat self-sufficient adult of 43. Sure, getting around was not the easiest thing to do, but helpless he was not.

And independent he would have liked to remain had it not been for the fact that, according to his GP, Herbert was dangerously overweight, on the verge of permanent collapse, what with his alarming present state of top-heaviness.

“Your head seems to be expanding at a rather alarming pace,” Herbert's doctor had recently warned him. “Keep this up and you'll no longer be able to hop about,” he was strongly cautioned. “You've got to stop thinking,” the good doc told Herbert, “or else you'll simply topple over and never again be able to stand on your own two feet again.”

The stern message had hit home with Herbert. The last thing he wanted was to become a cripple, to end up confined to a perpetual horizontal existence, rendered helpless and immobile (but for rolling on the floor), and possibly shipped off to some caretaking facility or, worse, some neo-Barnum traveling exhibition.

On top of which, Herbert dreaded the idea of having to be compelled once again into legally changing his surname. He'd liked Hoppity, and ever since his father died, he'd had his last name changed, and all his I.D. along with it. The procedure required dressing up like a mummy in red tape, and once had been enough, the hopo'mythumb had pledged to himself.

Herbert made his living as a cook in a pizzeria. Although born without much of a torso, stomach, or even hands and arms, Herbert, so his patrons praised, made the best fine pizza in town.

Science was at a loss to explain how it was Herbert, a hopping glaring malformation, managed to survive, what with his being born with the tiniest of internal organs and the upper appendages missing, that his story had been featured in numerous academic journals and magazines, much to the astonishment of hundreds of thousands of readers, whose letters of admiration and encouragement poured in by the buckets-full. Herbert had appreciated the fan mail, but he appreciated even more his relatively obscure lifestyle.

The townspeople adored little Herbert, often lovingly addressing him as Herbie. They had come to respect the wee fellow in their midst and treated him no differently than anyone else. Of course, visitors to the town couldn't get over the extraordinary spectacle, and many out-of-towners, upon first sight of the human anomaly, would take to impolite staring; a few, would jeer and poke fun at the bouncing half-pint, but name-callers, Herbert reasoned, were to be expected, given he only stood a little more than two feet in height. Herbert simply blocked out the rare ridicule he did receive, pitying the deriders, and knowing that, when it came to gray matter, that's where size really counted.

When Herbert was not at work making pizza – the pounding of the dough by way of stomping, the rolling of the dough via the back of the head, the spreading on of the pizza sauce by way of mouth-held spoon and the placing on of the toppings thanks to hirelings – he could be found at home engaged in his favorite activity, that of reading.

Not just any old books. But reading material that helped to strengthen the mental muscle. The act of mentation, cogitation, Herbert could not get enough of. He perused voraciously; his appetite for intellectually stimulating text was insatiable. It goes without saying that Mr. Hoppity was a bachelor who lived alone.

Besides being anatomically incompatible, the very idea of Herbert with a full-grown woman had long been an inconceivable one. Why, even if he were normally structured, Herb often thought, a significant other would only pose a continual inconvenience to him. An egghead was what he was, through and through … and literally embodied.

The only problem for Herbert Hoppity was, that the more time he spent engaged in deep thought, mulling that drew buckets of well-water, refreshing libation which he tasted of – if he had to put a number on it – on a weekly basis, imperceptibly though increasingly his cranium grew.

The evidence for this was photographical. It was an annual tradition of Herbert's, at the end of each year, to have a portrait made, a yearly custom that stretched back twenty-five years. It was at the age of 30 when Herbert had first detected the peculiar though subtle progression that had been occurring in facial size. Year to year the change was barely noticeable. Though one day while Herbert was glancing over his photo album, a puzzling observation had been made, in his comparing of two photographs – one taken at the age of 20 and the other at age 30 – in which the contrast between the two had been plainly evident. Herbert's cranium was enlarging, that much he knew. The revelation had been illuminating. For it seemed that, as time went by, hopping had become ever so slightly more difficult. And, now, here was the reason why. His skull was expanding, in complementary fashion along with his enlarging encephalon. That much was certain. As to why this was, Herbert remained at a loss.

That is, until Herbert sought out the opinion of a specialist, who had immediately recognized the syndrome – as being an extremely rare disorder that is said to afflict one in a million intellectuals, or so the professional explained. Bobbleheaditis was the name given the disorder. When Herbert retorted to the bearer of seeming bad news, “But I'm not an intellectual! Cerebral, analytical, maybe. But I'm not a snob, don't smell stale, and hate tweed,” the doctor had curtly and critically rejoined: “Don't get semantical with me, young man!”

Succinctly put, the medical expert had given the brainy freak of nature only a few more years before his standing upright would be nothing short of an impossibility. At the current pace of unhealthful lifestyle, that is.

The disorder was by no means terminal nor without its remedy; if Herbert was up to the task and willing to change the dangerous course he'd been hitherto leading – why, there'd be no reason why the patient would not have at least another twenty years of hopping left within him, the white-smocked prognosticator formally assured him.

But there were stipulations. A salubrious diet was definitely in order. “No more tasty scholarly articles,” began the doctor's sermon. Two. “Lay off all of those flavorful think pieces,” Herbert was instructed, after having just devoured a fascinating editorial on capital punishment, minutes before, while waiting in the anteroom. As if this wasn't enough. “Cut out the poetry, and go easy on the literature,” Mr. Hoppity was lastly strongly advised, for the sake of his maintaining a vertical existence and remaining true to his surname.

Needless to say, the doctor's consultation was most upsetting to Herbert Hoppity. Who would have thought that his favorite pastime, the greatest pleasure he derived from life, after hopping, would be of detrimental influence to him? Yes, Herbert believed in God … as a cosmic jokester with an elfish sense of humor.

That night, Herbert stayed home, feeling too glum to make it into work. He called in sick. Besides kneading dough, Herbert held down a night job kneading the knots out of over-stressed backs. He enjoyed his evening occupation as masseur, but that night, overcome by melancholia and feeling distraught, decided the best thing for him was a few hours to himself, of silence and solitude, so as to sort out the troubling thoughts churning within his mind. There was a decision that needed to be made. The two alternatives that stood before him demanded of him time for their mulling over.

After much deliberation Herbert Hoppity decided on option A: never-minding the altering of his reading habits … though in the meantime, making certain to pass on his genes to a complementary specimen as quickly as possible, so as to ensure his name would carry on long after he timbered for good, being Herbert had always wanted a scion – which, as he reasoned, would constitute his own small, indirect way of correcting the apparently congenital disorder here now afflicting him and that, upon his investigative conjecturing, Herbert believed had been the downfall of both his parents' premature expirings, an hereditary defect of which he did not want transmitted onto his own spawn.

Herbert Hoppity knew he didn't have much time remaining before he would keel over and never again be able to hop about. He also now realized it was a self-destructive course which he had chosen. Herbert initially had reckoned that the disorder, as crippling as it could be, would merely lead to an unalterable horizontal existence, a thought that, although rather distasteful, at least had its silver lining, in the fact that his literary addiction would still be able to be unwholesomely fed.

For a time being, anyhow. That is, as the specialist reiterated to him, up until his head would grow to such an enormous size that its insupportable weight would cause even a reclining neck to fatally snap in half.

Despite the warning, B proved not to be an option, considering it required of him a tasteless moderation, if not complete abstinence, that not even the prospect of a couple of decades' worth of hopping did he feel would ever be able to compensate for the horror of nevermore being allowed to gorge on the tempting prosaic appetizers, meaty printed meals, and sweet philosophical texts – on par with literal rich, mouth-watering desserts – which Herbert had been so accustomed to greedily consuming for the past twenty-five years, that he was certain would only leave an unbearable void within him, what without their regular presence in his life.

Though where to find a suitable mate, the proper fit, the perfect match?

And so it was that Herbert found the solution to the bind he was in via the Classifieds. He knew that it was a long-shot, but crossed his toes, hoping for a one-in-a-million response.

His ad was short and simple. It read:

“SWM, missing that special someone. Literally half a man, looking to be made posthumously complete. Not after relationship. Dying of bobbleheaditus. Seeking mother of my child. Must be fertile. Also, sufferer of extrovertosis.”

. . .

As Herbert Hoppity lay on his death bed, engrossed in the latest issue of Sophomoric Philosopher, upon fixing his eyes on an advertisement for baby formula, with a caption that read, “Brain food for your wunderkind,” the invalid's mind was taken back to the ineffable memory of when his one-year-old son had been miraculously conceived.

For a brief moment the bed-bound goner put aside the magazine and fondly took to recollecting what now stood, by far, to be one of the most joyous of all occasions that he had ever experienced, in that instant helping to produce what the doctors reassured him would grow up to be a perfectly normal and balanced human being ... while at the same time losing his virginity – an achievement he'd always thought, up until that point, highly improbable.

But there he had been, hovered over the freakish woman's vagina, giddily jumping up and down atop the orifice like some self-perceived virile kangaroo, afterwhich entering the recumbent abnormality in mere drops, akin to drips from a leaky faucet … an attainment, incidentally, facilitated by a near-overdose of an aphrodisiac prescribed him minutes previously by the copulative partner – a diagnosed pathological extrovert, dying of her own disorder, in which, if you must know, the cranium shrinks to such a disproportionate size that it is swallowed up by the torso, reminiscent of a turtle re-entering its shell, only never to re-appear; in short, extinction by asphyxiation.

They had both wanted the same thing. They had both understood their aberrant natures and their imminent fates. And they had both seen in each other qualities which, in and of themselves, were lacking – namely, covetous body parts.

Harriet, after all, had arms and hands; appropriate, being the gesticulator she was.

Herbert Hoppity and Harriet were a most perfect fit for each other. Their one-night of consummation had been just what the doctor ordered.

Herbert remembered feeling so ecstatic at hearing the news Junior had been born an ambivert, with no parts missing, and everything in its proper place, that he speedily hopped home and celebrated his good fortune over a bottle of champagne and an acrobatic trampoline.
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Found Goat
Advanced Member
Username: foundgoat

Post Number: 248
Registered: 8-2010
Posted on Saturday, July 16, 2011 - 11:16 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

I am re-posting this short-short story of mine to the board. It is a work of fiction.


MR. N. AND THE MAN WHO WAS CONSUMED


With dark semi-circular lines underscoring sexagenarian optics, the straggly-haired fuddy-duddy, completely oblivious of his haggard appearance, proceeded to take another sip of the bitter, potent brew, slurping the black liquid into his gob, as he sat preoccupied inside the wainscotted den, seated in the recliner, neath the overhead lamp-light emitting from the torchiere, that stood next to the chair and the obsessive-compulsive pack rat, here found updating his handwritten inventory, making a note of the past day's latest items to join his ever-growing ominum-gatherum.

An early ante meridiem ritual, now four years in the making, the scruffy, grizzled oldster could afford to do it, what with the convenient absence of a missis, who in all likelihood wouldn't have stood for her husband's vespertine eccentricities, let alone his neurotic compulsion to keep and catalogue every single item that has ever crossed his path (with the help of a few rented self-storage facilities) … from ticket stubs, receipts, lottery tickets, and bubble-gum wrappers, right on through to fortune-cookie enclosures, empty-tissue boxes, toilet-paper rolls, leaflets, ephemerae and etceteras. You name it. Mr. N. saves it.

As the pack rat took another swig of the espresso, the digital clock turned to read 1:08 a.m. Mr. N. had been jotting for at least an hour or more in his logbook – Volume 42, Number 7 – and was starting to feel the effects in his left hand. The yawner briefly stopped to flex his digits, shake out the writer's cramp, then quickly resumed with the diurnal custom of cataloguing, there dressed in his buttoned-down jim-jams and house-shoes, and near-ready to hit the hay, but for a few final entries, under the heading of:

Monday, July 19, 2010

2 tea-bag packets
Grand Total: 14, 487
Sub-total: 7, 911 peppermint
3, 426 herbal
3, 150 Earl Grey

3 newspapers
Grand Total: 13, 140
Sub-total: 4, 118 local
5, 952 national
3, 070 tabloid

The unhygienic, unkempt southpaw had only just begun, four years ago, the long, pain-staking process of organizing and cataloguing the jumble, ever since retiring from his job as garbage pick-up man – leaving nothing but egg-timers on the geezer's hands for his newest avocation, that of sorting, tagging, and listing the numerous and various articles and items which, up till then, had haphazardly cluttered the higgledly-piggledly double-garage, basement, and every other inch, cranny and nook within the fairly capacious harborage – save for the kitchen area and bathroom, which had already been taken up with bachelor tendencies as it was.


II

This was the hophead's fifth stakeout of the house in two weeks. Desperate for coin, the late teenaged junkie needed a fix, and fast. Already jittery and feeling the overwhelming effects of withdrawal, the acned, tattooed skinhead was just about primed for anything, including a break-and-enter.

He'd already ruled out two homes, on account of their being his immediate neighbors. Why, way too risky, even for an already judgment-impaired dope fiend! Plus, the occupant to his right, he was quite sure, was some dude receiving government assistance … while feigning mental incompetency. The pseudo-retardate was basically a shut-in. The couple to his left had teenagers. That wouldn't do either. Homebodies and families were not on the prowler-to-be's radar.

As for the residence two doors down, in the course of his casing the place, the observer had detected somewhat of a reliable pattern: the householder, an unintimidating senior citizen, presumably a widower, regularly left the home mid-afternoons, at about two-ish, each time returning with a few dailies tucked beneath an armpit, and always a bag or two, containing what appeared to be groceries or the like – a daily routine, an errand that would give the druggie, at the very minimum, a half-an-hour to play with, should he decide to go through with the plan.

Peering through the set of unnecessary binoculars from across the road, the soon-to-be housebreaker registered his cue.

. . .

The stench was too much. He'd gotten in through an unlocked, ground-level window, and immediately raised an arm to his put-off smeller, almost gagging on account of the irrespirable odor that permeated the dank cellar.

“Geez,” the punk-burglar thought to himself, taking the spectacle in. “A f*ckin' pigsty. Look at all this sh*t!,” he inwardly exclaimed, disbelieving his eyes.

Just how was the domestic thief ever going to find what he had come for in this trash-heap?

“F*ck!,” the hooligan shouted aloud. He'd instantly recognized his mistake.

“Screw this,” he waved his one arm in disgust, turning to leave for the exit … though not before maliciously retaliating for the time he'd wasted and the trouble he'd been put through.

There seated atop the windowsill, the hype reached inside his shirt pocket and retrieved the matchbox. Striking one, he flung it to the sight before him, upon cursing the place.

Immediately, a huge flame erupted – whoosh! – that began crackling and spreading like wildfire throughout the roomful of stacked newspapers and other perceived junk.

The junkie observed the devastating and ravishing beast he'd ignited with elfish glee, letting out a mischievously sounding titter, then departed the premises in a flash.


III

The following morning, Mr. N.'s sister, a well-adjusted, put-together spinster five years his junior, stopped by, paying a visit, what with her coincidentally being in the vicinity and feeling the intuitive pull to make a check-up on her “psychologically unstable" older brother – as the accumulator's therapist had been quoted in describing the O.C. patient.

It had been practically a month since the old maid's previous pop-in, yet, by the looks of it, it must have seemed but only yesterday. Why, upon her arrival, Miss N., much to her non-amazement, had found her brother right where she had last left him – clad in his housecoat and slippers, down in the underground reservoir, scrupulously involved in his rigmarole, drooling over his thought-to-be irreplaceable accumulation and making meticulous jottings inside his black-bound register.

Granted, the record-keeper did look a bit more woe-be-gone than last month's meeting, but, all in all, nothing had seemed unusual to the ever-transient house-guest.

That is, until the pathological collector began to recount for his sibling the terrifying dreams which he had been having, non-stop for the past few weeks, which the interpreter had taken each to be premonitory in nature.

Miss N. decided to make an exception and extend her visit, taking a seat, atop a neatly piled stack of Playboy magazines, that substituted for the furniture which, to a visitor, was glaringly absent from the scene. As attentively as she could, she sat and listened as the fogey told of the succession of nightmares that had been plaguing him.

First, there was the terror of awakening within his deep slumber to the Kafkaesque image of a totalitarian police raid, in which all of Mr. N.'s prized possessions, collections … from photo albums and fragmented manuscripts to mementos and other paraphernalia … were confiscated without reason and ordered to the incinerator.

“Why do you say these dreams of yours are related?,” posed the half-attuned listener.

“Him,” Mr. N. responded, with frightened inflection and a distraught countenance.

In the second dream Him was a manifesting magician who, with one flick of a wand, devilishly hocus-poccused away all of Mr. N.'s treasured belongings to malevolent oblivion.

In the next, the hairless, hard-featured hooligan had appeared in feminine adornment, posing as a battle-axe yokefellow who'd ransacked the ex-garconniere, disposing of her husband's entire amassment in one fell swoop, with the destructive harridan explaining that her dusting load had needed lessening.

In yet another, the recurring figure had presented himself as a canine intruder, maintaining his identity via a superimposed face, a surrealistic hybrid that had taken to damaging much of Mr. N.'s inexpensive valuables via a methodical excretal blitzing.

This horrific dream was proceeded by yet another home invader, a bald-headed, thuggish vandal wielding spray-paint and a ball-bat, an image that had jolted the sleeper up out of R.E.M. and sent him racing to the lower-level, heart racing and sinciput oozing perspiration.

Mr. N., hands slightly trembling and with quivering voice, continued with his oneiric recountals, each one disturbing and bearing the same familiar character and theme, as in the latest one, that had occurred yesterevening.

“I burst out of sleep, shouting 'No! No!,' and instinctively my hand went for the bed-side horn,” remarked Mr. N. to his by-this-point zoned-out hearer, peeking down at her wrist-watch, bored out of her mind and unable to hide her fidgeting.

There is nothing so unbearably uninteresting and yawn-inducing than having to pretend to listen to someone relate their dreams, Miss N. sat thinking to herself, wondering when the next neighborhood yard sale would be, and when this sad, pathetic, pitiful creature that stood there, rambling on before her, would ever get a life.

“I was one button away from having called in an emergency, to have the extinguishers show up, when it was then that I realized the fire I had sensed had been all in my mind, merely a bad dream,” spoke the paranoid homeowner, pacing about the cold cement floor, believing he was temporarily at the center of his sister's universe – bordering on frenzy, and looking every bit the part.

Mr. N.'s one-and-only (and barely) surviving kin stood up, letting out a sigh.

“Interesting.”

And: “It's nothing. Don't fret.”

And: “I really must be going now.”

The ephemeral visitant headed for the cellar staircase, wanting desperately to get on with her day.

Lunging at her, grabbing her arm, Mr. N. finally was able to seize the biddy's undivided attention once and for all, albeit with the help of force, turning her around to face him directly in the eyes.

“What?!,” Miss. N. asked, quite perturbed, in an impatient tone. “What is it?”

The buttonholer let out a gasp. “I think he's out to do me in,” the slightly cuckoo eccentric frenetically remarked.

“Who?,” Miss N. emphatically replied, anxious for an immediate and intelligible response.

The old-timer's eyes turned big and wild. “That – that rough-looking character two doors down from me,” Mr. N. cried out. “Don't you see? It's him!”


IV

Seated at his escritoire, the cack-handed erratic sat, staring into his record-book, a tad discombobulated. A particular calculation did not add up. The no-longer careworn recluse had solved his ultimate problem – or so he had thought – yet for this one minor head-scratcher, that worked to prolong quotidian unconsciousness.

...Meanwhile, the hook-and-ladder had appeared at the site of the edacious combustion, hoses in full force. A local investigator had also been dispatched to the scene, who immediately took to suspecting foul play. The house was ablaze, lighting up the late-evening sky, attracting neighborly gapers and the slow, curious drive-bys of passing motorists...

Equal: 187. The senior wrinkled his brow, perplexed. How could this be? Mr. N., a non-smoker, had, throughout his life, only ever purchased the small sticks for lighting candles. The box he bought earlier in the evening should have brought the count up to 188 … unless – unless somewhere along the way the conscientious retiree miscalculated.

...Ten minutes or so came and went. An ambulance now sat parked at the curb. A couple of barrel-chested men in navy blue uniforms, on each side of a gurney, were carrying out the charred remains of the lone casualty...

Again, for the fifth time, Mr. N. emptied the container, and took to numerating its contents, hoping to find 188 of the tiny squares.

...The police investigator was somewhat delighted, having found what he thought to be the smoking gun. Employing a set of tweezers, the evidence had been retrieved, tagged, and bagged, and destined for the file. The item had been located on the sidewalk in-front of the now smoldering vestige...

Suddenly Mr. N., overcome with panic, flew out the den, down the staircase and out the front-door, spurred on by a most upsetting epiphany.

Just in time, too. Exhaust fumes emanated from the cruiser. It was the eleventh hour when Mr. N. reached the passenger window, huffing and puffing, rapping on the glass, frantic and worried.

“Excuse me, sir,” the wind-blown pajamas-clad old man panted, trying to catch his breath, instantly seizing the attention of the vehicle's sole occupant.

“Yeah,” spoke the gruff plainclothesman. “What's up?”

The distressed obsessive-compulsive took in a deep breath and exhaled.

“So glad I caught you, officer,” the elderly pack rat replied – exhausted, troubled, but sensing a bit of hope left. “By any chance did you come across a matchbox during your search?”
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Found Goat
Advanced Member
Username: foundgoat

Post Number: 249
Registered: 8-2010
Posted on Saturday, July 16, 2011 - 11:22 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

I am re-posting this short-short story of mine to the board. It is a work of fiction.


THE TALE OF A PARALLEL DIMENSIONAL DIVERSION REVEALING THE HOMO SAPIENS' NATURAL EVOLUTIONARY PROGRESSION TOWARD A.I. (ANIMAL INTELLIGENCE)


There stood the assembled mourners, clad in their sables and weeds, on a drizzly Spring morning, huddled about the cemetery plot, all-ears to the quotidian eulogy, of yet another christened insectival decedent, being given a proper burial and treated to a memorial service.

Here the one-inch-by-one-inch wooden overcoat was inearthed, containing the hexapod who had met an untimely end earlier in the week, after having failed to look both ways prior to crossing the sidewalk to the boulevard, that had been the goner's destination point.

“Isn't it something?,” spoke the somber eulogist. “How we can be going about the day one minute and then be gone the next.”

A dozen people had read the notice in their online community news bulletin of Funeral A.M311 and had chosen the burial ceremony of this particular ant to attend (“A”) - the 311th of those laid to rest whose Hancocks had begun with the letter “M.”

Meanwhile, in other parts of the interspecific marble orchard, memorial services were being conducted this day for B.R210, CR.A417, F.W318, and S.R197 (according to this particular city's classification system), each of these observances managing to attract an equal sized turn-out, comprised of the bipedal and the multi-legged – the latter typically presumed and welcomed by the orthograde attendees as bereaved friends or family of the dearly departed … who just so happened to live in the area of their late beloved's final resting place.

As handkerchiefs and snot-rags were pulled out of pockets, smellers blown and tears dabbed at the orbs, the declaimer continued along with his formal speech, offering words of condolence and hope to his grieving audience.

“Bet let us not be overly saddened by our loss, dear friends, as we can be rest assured in the comforting knowledge that Merle's soul has indeed crossed over into the living realm that awaits us all, there on the other side, where the theriomorphic Infinite Being, the Grand Originator, awaits all his precious sentient creation, with open paws and claws – figuratively speaking, of course.”


II

It had been just over a decade since the advent of the second Enlightenment. The naysayers and cynics had been proven wrong, as 2012 came and went and with it the outmoded spiderwebbed consciousness; a generation cleansed of its centuries-old backward webs, giving way to the transitional duster that was, to a globally reaching psychical evolutionary leap that even some then-known radicals prior to the planet's unexpected spiritual transformation had predicted might occur, as foretold by self-professing spirit mediums in alleged communication with simian soothsayers – who, incidentally, had also accurately anticipated the rise in the price of bananas and other produce, years prior to the upsurge in sales of dog-bones and other edible pet snacks and food.

The world over trees began to be hugged in large, unprecedented numbers, some even courted and wedded, depending on the size of their knots and shapes of their trunks. The at-one-time debate over same-sex marriage had become ancient history, as judges were now forced to decide whether matrimony ought to extend to include partners belonging to the willow and the oak families.

No one could satisfactorily explain what had transpired that fateful day of December 21, 2012.

Scientists were all of a sudden at a loss as to why the animal and insect were now being heard, speaking in the identical language of the variously tongued humans reporting the anomalous phenomenon, which turned out to be everyone and their neighbors ... save for a few marginalized oddballs, who had for some inexplicable reason been apparently overlooked by the otherwise pandemic shift in perception and worldview.

Theologians were immediately questioned as to whatever became of the Judeo-Christian Father, what with God no longer the popular image of a whitebeard but instead of a three-headed holy triune of Cow-Pig-Chicken.

With one single passing of a calendar date the proverbial rabbit had popped out of the overturned stovepipe. As if by divine intervention or by magic a new revelatory scroll in the history of the world was unrolled, a new law embedded into the hearts and minds of the formerly patriarchal and carnivorous.

Men and women now looked back upon the 1900s in utter horror and gut-wrenching disgust – not for the world wars that century had produced or the birth of its nuclear arms but for its bedarkened churches, fiendish dietary practices, and exterminators. The second Enlightenment had done nothing to help solve the Middle East situation nor to elevate the minds of those working for the almighty dollar within the military-industrial complex, nor did it prevent the escalation in feticides, and the increase in homicides … but, some would go onto say, an illuminating revolution, nevertheless!

Interspecies interpreters, a profession unheard of, even minutes before the Great Change had taken place, following the miraculous inner flick of the light-switch, became increasingly in demand, particularly within houses of worship, courtrooms, and governmental buildings. With these invaluable linguistic assistants at their disposal, felines and canines, for example, were able to enter politics, subsequently amending and creating laws that quickly saw to more and more animal rights being instituted. Egalitarianism, it seemed, was not enough for these new politicians.

By 2015, zoomorphic monarchies had begun to rule, and with them a growing patriotism, passionate even to death.

Many a human began enrolling in the latest universities, in the hopes of one day becoming a court jester … so long as the chicken no longer crossed the road, were these prestigious positions promised to the lucky of these with absolute job-security.


III

“You do know why you're here?,” Dean Graves rhetorically posed to his patient, seated at the desk across the room from her, inside the meticulously furnished psychiatrist's office.

The lentiginous, strawberry-topped, twenty-something jolie laide laid there atop the settee, unresponsive, staring down at her side, preoccupied with fiddling with a loose thread dangling from one of the sleeves on her sweater.

“I'm here to help you,” spoke the effeminate trick cyclist, in frilly blouse and skirt; a shrink, Dean by day and on-all-fours Debbie by night.

“Your mother, siblings, friends – they're all worried about you, Charlotte,” remarked the highbrowed drag queen, whose leather swivel chair rocked gently back and forth beneath the hung portrait of the formally attired chimp – Dr. Graves' mentor within the profession and at one time personal tutor, prior to the unforeseen departure and erected monument.

The inward, maidenly redhead hawked, glanced over at the permed epicene, goggled, and resumed her twiddling of the distraction.

Graves stood up, grabbed the beige folder and note-pad from off the desk, and swished his way over to the sofa, there where the troubled patient seemed less distant to him.

Taking a seat atop the arm-rest next to the analysand's nethermost dactyls, the mind-doctor opened his file on the felon, now some ten minutes into the session, somewhat frustrated in having not made any progress thus far with the young woman, assigned him by the court – ordered to be subjected to psychological analysis, so as to assist in the determining of the fate of the remorseless spider-slayer: be it penitentiary or cuckoo's nest.

“In order for me to help you,” continued the shrink, “you're going to have to let me in on your thinking.” Graves stared long at the glazed-over countenance of the reclined queller, lying there, evading eye-contact. Was this dainty, fragile, sensitive thing really capable of committing cold-blooded, first-degree murder?, pondered the analyst. The very idea had seemed preposterous, irreconcilable with the observational jottings he had already noted, scribbled in illegible handwriting, decipherable only to him: “Introverted, and otherwise a gentle, harmless creature. Non-aggressive, if not pathologically passive. (Incidentally, a snorer, also. And might I add, out of strictly intuitive suspicion and understood irrelevance, a likely crypto-hetero, too.) Evident aberrations: Notwithstanding one exception. Refuses to abide by social convention and perform obeisance in the transient encountering or continued presence of a non-human being; witnessed by me when at the sound of bombination subject took to hysterically trying to swat the deity with her left palm and, rather shockingly, in seeming annoyance at its very existence, displaying beyond any mere irreverence on her part, in my professional opinion a potential and quite disturbing homicidal impulse, possibly deserving of immediate medical intervention or institutionalized rehabilitation.”

As the time-keeping grandfatherly mechanism inevitably struck two o'clock post meridiem, Dean Graves released a deep sigh, not just in response that a dialogically uneventful full-hour had passed, no, but in reaction to his awareness that the psychiatric session had officially come to a close and with it the oracle's expressed and customarily relied-upon diagnostic determining of yet another patient.


IV

“Psst!,” the stealthy trailblazer whisperingly exclaimed to his lone follower, pausing in his tracks to grab the attention of the wandering, dawdling figure behind him, the rubbernecking laggard stopping here and there to nose-poke at this, to scrabble at that, and to occasionally substitute a bole for a litter-box.

“C'mon,” spoke the lisping swisher, clad in blouse, skirt, fishnet-hose and sneakers. “Keep pace. This isn't a safe place to be out Sunday hiking,” the guide sternly reminded his four-legged tracer in undertone.

The grimalkin balked, raised its eyes to meet its forested leader, to questioningly respond. “Tell me, again, who told you about this secluded blind pig. Are you sure you've been given the correct directions?,” the feline telepathically enquired of her human companion, the pair now miles deep into the remote woods, and the sun beginning to set.

It had been nearly close to a month since their initial exchanges of pleasantries but still the cross-dresser marveled that such a creature as this existed – why, of all things, in this enlightened age of vegan dieting more than satisfying both zoolater and demigod, here a renegade kitty, unashamedly, supposedly dementedly, confessing to yet a purring for meat.

Although, little had the doctor realized the unexceptional nature of his patient's unbalanced psychological condition, what with many of the animal's fellow kind the world over, themselves being forcibly admitted to snake pits, for the very same therapeutical conditioning and conformable injections, ordered by the courts, in a reformatory attempt to help cure these alley ratters of their diseased appetites.

The biped, upon straightening his brassiere, peered down at his tag-along, there standing next to his feet, knowing full well the risk he was taking with his career, in aiding, this, a dietary tergiversator, whom he had been entrusted with correcting.

The feline, after a minute of awaiting in silence a response, resumed the interspecific communication. “Speak, my friend. Answer me,” the impenitent alley tabby mentally remarked to her would-be covert partner-in-crime. Sarcastically adding, “What's the matter? Cat got your tongue?”

It had been approximately a decennium since the prohibition law on carnivorous dieting had taken effect, and rumors soon thereafter began to circulate of poultry-, pork-, beef-, and rodent-consumers heading underground and of their establishing neo-speak-easies in numerous and various, secret and secluded locations all over the planet.

It wasn't too long ago that the mind-doctor had regarded these fantastic reports as mere fiddledeedee, mere urban legend. That was until, that is, the day one of his human patients at the clinic had been announced missing, her having vamoosed by way of verbally diverting her monitors via the feigned spotting of some critter, leaving behind a manila envelope addressed to him, its contents containing the map which he now held in his hand … leading him on, tempting him with promises of steaks, hamburgers, and fried chicken, cravings that had long been considered permanently erased from his system with the passing of December 20, 2012, but of which had begun to reawaken in him upon his discovering the likes of the animal that had totally shattered his worldview, via her admission of preferring rodent and cageling to meatless, synthetic nutrition, with the revelation: “The day I stop eating canary and mouse will be the day pigs learn to fly.”

Now here he was, on a dusk-lit weekend afternoon, being guided himself by a sense of overwhelming intuition, a growling maw, a conflicted conscience, and one eye on the heavens for volant swine.

Palms sweating. Heart pounding.

Returning his attention.

“Up ahead lies a spit. Not a pit. Trust me,” reassured the dissenting psychiatrist, while slapping a bloodsucker from off his scrag. “Damn mosquito,” muttered Graves to himself, as the shadowing feline followed close behind.

“And, tell me, Dean,” the feline furthered. “Just how can you be so sure of this?”

After a moment's thought, replying smirkingly, and by way of mental telepathy: “Let's just say, a little birdie told me.”

Up ahead at the concealed and camouflaged hideaway, a familiar voice was heard approaching. “Not to worry,” Charlotte reassured the occupants. “I know this man.”

This, the faint sound of a mew, and of a man's vocally commanding the animal to shush.
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Stephen Tenace
Senior Member
Username: manymansions2

Post Number: 834
Registered: 2-2011
Posted on Monday, August 01, 2011 - 2:59 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

http://www.writersstore.com/industry-insider-screenwriting-contest


"Fear is the Thief of Dreams" http://vimeo.com/11813622
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Buddie
Senior Member
Username: buddie

Post Number: 4480
Registered: 3-2008
Posted on Monday, August 01, 2011 - 3:09 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

Stephen I like that :-)
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Stephen Tenace
Senior Member
Username: manymansions2

Post Number: 846
Registered: 2-2011
Posted on Monday, August 01, 2011 - 7:40 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

Planted for those who need to find it!

~ Buddie

"Fear is the Thief of Dreams" http://vimeo.com/11813622
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allen
Senior Member
Username: eastsider01

Post Number: 2557
Registered: 4-2005
Posted on Monday, August 29, 2011 - 12:00 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

Much to my surprise, I soon discovered that the ways people used pronouns in their essays predicted whose health would improve the most. Specifically, those people who benefited the most from writing changed in their pronoun use from one essay to another. Pronouns were reflecting people's abilities to change perspective.

As I pondered these findings, I started looking at how people used pronouns in other texts — blogs, emails, speeches, class writing assignments, and natural conversation. Remarkably, how people used pronouns was correlated with almost everything I studied. For example, use of first-person singular pronouns (I, me, my) was consistently related to gender, age, social class, honesty, status, personality, and much more. Although the findings were often robust, people in daily life were unable to pick them up when reading or listening to others. It was almost as if there was a secret world of pronouns that existed outside our awareness.

Psychologist James Pennebaker
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Stephen Tenacé
Senior Member
Username: manymansions2

Post Number: 1104
Registered: 2-2011
Posted on Friday, September 02, 2011 - 3:53 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

Amazon has begun signing their own authors and then publishing the books themselves, leaving booksellers “wary” as Amazon “tries to have it all,” according to a Boston newspaper. The co-owner of an independent bookstore near Cambridge considered boycotting Amazon’s new line of books, complaining “They are a huge competitor, and they don’t collect sales tax, giving them an unfair advantage.”

http://www.disinfo.com/2011/09/will-bookstores-boycott-amazon-published-books/
"Fear is the Thief of Dreams" - unknown author "If you have a golf ball sized consciousness, you experience a golf ball size reality." - David Lynch
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Stephen Tenacé
Senior Member
Username: manymansions2

Post Number: 2157
Registered: 2-2011
Posted on Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - 5:07 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbDnb8QWHoA&feature=youtu.be


"Fear is the Thief of Dreams" - unknown author "If you have a golf ball sized consciousness, you experience a golf ball size reality." - David Lynch
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Stephen in AZ
Senior Member
Username: stephenm

Post Number: 2848
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Sunday, July 08, 2012 - 1:15 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

Some more Wordzzle stories of mine, from my blog. Wordzzles are stories made from lists of words.


Wordzzle 73 - Life on the river
Wordzzle 74 - Judgment
Wordzzle 75 - In their image
Wordzzle 76 - Masks
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Roxanne
Intermediate Member
Username: roxie

Post Number: 149
Registered: 6-2011
Posted on Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - 9:50 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

Do we not lose any copyright on our writings by posting them here?

I've been working on a piece since 2009 and would love some feedback, however, I was wondering if submitting it to this or any message board would forfeit my rights to whatever was posted.

Someone encouraged me to publish some of my work in various magazines, but after reading the submission guidelines I was disappointed to learn that whatever I submit would then become their sole property and I would not be able to publish it, even in part afterwards.

Advice?
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Mama Shine
Senior Member
Username: mama_shine

Post Number: 15766
Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - 9:18 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

I'm not sure Roxie. My brother always
copyrights his poetry so I don't mind
sharing it.

Coinkydink this thread was bumped up cause i
posted something my daughter wrote. Its my post
9975 on May 8, 2009..scroll up. Anyway, the Buck
is now in my courtyard and yesterday I was
looking at it and this came to me.

BILOXI BUCK
THE LUCKY BUCK
THE DRIFTER

FROM SEA TO SAND
TO BONNIE'S HAND
YOU MAGICAL SHAPESHIFTER


I must create a system, or be enslaved by another man's. ~William Blake

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Roxanne
Intermediate Member
Username: roxie

Post Number: 152
Registered: 6-2011
Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 - 9:13 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

Mama,

I did read it. And what you posted above; beautiful simplicity.
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Stephen in AZ
Senior Member
Username: stephenm

Post Number: 2876
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 10:14 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

Roxanne,

The website publishes whatever is posted here, and so the website should be assumed to have enough rights to the material to be able to do that, and to continue to post it or otherwise publish it as long as it likes. If you post something, it should be assumed you are giving them that right. Whitley has also said that he sometimes uses things from the message board in his writings, but I think he was talking about getting ideas from it or using bits and pieces, rather than large scale stuff. It's his board, something he owns, so why not? I'm pretty sure he would ask permission before publishing user experiences someplace other than where they were posted on the board. He's been careful about things like that. One of the reasons given for not having a Communion Letters II book was the difficulty in contacting people after all these years and asking permission.

Beyond that, since whatever is posted here is available to anyone all over the world, as a practical manner anyone can copy it and essentially do what they want with it, like with any post or comment made to any publically available site.
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sahgwa
Senior Member
Username: sahgwa

Post Number: 640
Registered: 3-2010
Posted on Monday, April 01, 2013 - 4:01 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

Mama; you wanted me to post some writing so here is a short writing exercise piece i did a few months ago. I say exercise cuz I said 'only 15 mins and see what comes out, and no content editing.' It's called Loneliness:

I was very lonely. Very lonely and very sad. I had been living for so long I couldn’t remember how old I was. Being a vampire is not all it’s cracked up to be. I had tried so many times to kill myself I couldn’t even remember what pain felt like anymore, as I was so used to it, physically and emotionally. There was so much to live for, everyone had said when I was mortal. But I had done everything I could think of and now nothing gave me any pleasure. Not even feeding.
I tried starving myself to death, but eventually as if on autopilot I would sort of wake up and my hands would be clutching something dead, a rat, bat, human, bird…and the blood would be gone. It was as if some animating spirit had taken hold of my consciousness. So that suicidal trick didn’t work.
Then I think sometime around 300 years old(?) I had tried slashing my wrists and bleeding to death, but each time I did my skin would just heal up almost instantly and I couldn’t keep up the slashing fast enough.
I tried the old lay in the sun trick and burn to death, but apparently I was so old all it did was brown me a nice tan. It hurt sure, but after days and days of trying it, I had to give up , because all I had was a nasty sun burn that never got worse, just never healed properly…
The last time I tried to off myself I tried to drown, but my preternatural lungs just didn’t burn, gasp or really seem to care. So after hours and hours, maybe days, of sitting under the ocean I had to give up on that too.
It was all so depressing.

Everyone I’d ever known was dead, and all the friends I made seemed to be afraid of me. The only cure to my depression I could think of was companionship; someone to while away the hours with, talking to about art and music, and my appreciation for the aesthetics in the world. After you have been alive for millennia, the only thing that has any meaning is your sense of beauty.
I would meet people in bars, clubs, bookshops, cafes, and the like and strike up conversations. But for some reason whenever we got friendly enough to hang out at my place, they always got this horrible wide eyed look of fear on their face. I don’t really see what’s wrong with bat corpses nailed to walls or paintings made of blood, after all it’s very modern.
When I would set my table to dine with my new friends I would make sure to give them the tastiest draught of blood I had stored from my last victim but they for some reason would be horrified. They would start gibbering and call me a madman and scream and scream.

I really don’t like to be left alone these days. I had to bolt the doors every time someone came over so they wouldn’t leave. And then all the screaming. It really hurts my ears. You see my ears are super sensitive being a vampire and all. So after trying everything to make my guests behave I am always forced to rip out their tongues. Then they don’t seem very happy and I feel foolish… They really try to get away then. They claw at the door and try to crash through the window. Sometimes the glass breaking kills them. Sometimes I blank out and they are dead in my arms.
It’s all so depressing.

I don’t ever want my new friends to leave. I’ve devised a way to make sure I’m never lonely again. The bodies start to smell something awful after a while, so I make sure to clean all the organs out and sew them up nice. I put preservatives on the skin. Then my friends and I have tea parties.

I prop up my friends at the table. Sometimes they slump down, and their doll heads hit the table. That makes me sad because then I can’t hear their voices anymore telling me how beautiful and smart I am. I don’t feel very close to my doll friends when they behave in this fashion. I tell them to sit up straight, and keep their eyes open- don’t fall asleep at the dinner table! The blood just drools down their lips when I try to pour them a drink, and sometimes flies come out of their eyes or mouths. I really don’t understand why they don’t swat them away.
Sometimes they don’t talk much either…. dolls can be so rude. It’s gotten to the point where even my new friends make me feel lonely.
I want to be so close to them. I cut open their fluffy skin and put it on myself. I feel so close to humanity now. I love people…. please come visit.


my blog with random writings is http://stibs.wordpress.com
take care all :-)
Observation convinces me that there are beings of intelligence higher than human and that the only chance for mankind to advance as a whole is for individuals to make contact with such Beings.Crowley
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sahgwa
Senior Member
Username: sahgwa

Post Number: 641
Registered: 3-2010
Posted on Monday, April 01, 2013 - 4:10 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

and i just realised i never posted the ending to my story "THE INTERVIEW"
so here is the rest!
enjoy and hope its not too annoying to scroll thru to see the parts.

___

The next thing I heard coming out of Innsmouth was via the newspaper. This was because after my daring act of revenge I had taken a room in a hotel in Arkham, until I found a suitable home to buy. There had been little news out of Innsmouth mentioned in the paper, but I knew that some mention of the effects of my exploits would have to reach the press, for they were sure to be too large to ignore.
I was correct for scarcely 2 days after I had been hiding-out as it were in my hotel room the Arkham Gazette for October 18, 1885 said in blaring headlines on the inner Local section: CURIOUS DEATHS HAVE INNSMOUTH FOLK PANICKED. I read underneath and the article was so satisfying as I knew it to be based on my actions that I clipped it and here I share the article in its entirety (Here Mr Waite handed me a yellowed clipping as part of an old book):
The small sea-port town of Innsmouth was rocked this week with a serious of inexplicable homicides. The victims were all mauled nearly beyond recognition in their homes starting on Tuesday night, the 17th of October. The police are still searching for clues as to the possible location of the suspect.
The first victim was a young woman Erica Marsh, daughter-in-law to the famous owner of Marsh Refinery, Jebediah Marsh. The Refinery is famous for the energy it provides part of the town as well as the gold it refines. Mr Marsh could not be reached for comment.
The second victim appears to be a John Doe who the police think was a homeless man staying at the local homeless shelter. He was found a few hours after the first victim by the landlady of the shelter.
The modus operandi of the killings points to someone with a very vicious personality and no qualms about breaking the law. The points of entry in the various killings varied but all showed force and very little forethought.
The police welcome any help anyone may be able to shed on the nature and identity of the killer, who if they have any information on, they aren’t sharing. This intrepid report sent a man down to Innsmouth to hopefully get some photographs but he was met with rebuke by the local authorities as this is a ‘local matter, and we don’t like outsiders sniffing around here.’
Let us hope that the perpetrator is caught soon and brought to justice.
I couldn’t help but chuckle as I read it, not because I am cold hearted, I didn’t really want anyone to get hurt, just mess the town up, but because the police were either incredibly stupid, or they weren’t letting on as to the nature of the ‘assailant.’ Because everyone in that town knew there was some kind of creature kept in the Refinery and by now the news it was loose must be common knowledge.
I eventually settled into this very house in Arkham, and have lived somewhat unhappily with the knowledge of my youthful trespasses and not only wanted to set down what really happened but also what life in Innsmouth was like in those days. So I hope my memoir has some use to the next generation.

Mr Marsh stopped telling his tale and settled back into his chair at this point. I find his behaviour at this point quite interesting, so I add it into his memoirs for the knowledge such behaviour contains. The proceeding events may very well have been foreshadowed by his following confession.
He looked me slowly in the eye and said, “As strange it may be soundin’ to yew, Ah feel an illness commin’ on’ ta finish me off. An’ et may be queer but Ah wants ta see mah home town Innsmouf one moar tahm before Ah go.”
“That’s not so strange at all,” I told him, “No matter how much ill will you may have held in the past towards the place, by now years later, surely things are different?”
He smiled when I mentioned this. “Ah hope so! But either way, Ah’ma goin’!” he said.

That was the last time I saw or heard of Mr Wade/Waite until the newspaper reports came in. Then at the scene of the crimes he committed in Innsmouth, as mentioned by the paper, was a diary he had left. So first I shall append it to this memoir of his, and then I, Frank Chalmers, shall paste the public view in the form of the newspaper articles. At this time of his memoirs being set for publication, Mr Waite is apparently sitting in full restraint in the Arkham Home for the Criminally Insane, having not spoken a word to anyone.
The diary follows, transcribed by me with corrections but no content expunged:

Tuesday November 2nd 1936

Well I finally arrived in Innsmouth today via the old bus. First time I’ve been back in at least thirty years. The more things change, the more they stay the same; the old general store is still there. It’s called First National Grocery now. In the square of New Church Green the old statue of Captain Marsh still stands, headless, across the way from the Order of Dagon Hall.
When I walked down to the pier I was dismayed to discover half the dock-side buildings and homes had been burnt and had crumbled. Then I recalled the events of 1927 and 28 and sighed. Only one in three buildings near the water stood untouched, but even those seemed even more decrepit and deserted than I remembered.
I made my way to the Gilman House which luckily was still there and checked in under the name Waite, under the watchful eye of the large dark-haired greasy zombie-like gentleman at the counter. I learned he was related to the previous owner who I had met when I was a boy. He seemed to stare at me suspiciously although I had given my real name in an attempt at solidarity, even if it was faked.
The night has so far luckily been uneventful and on the morrow I plan on looking for my old house, perhaps I will be able to claim it if it is still uninhabited.

November 3rd

Went down to the Town Hall that doubles as the real-estate office today. The clerk told me that my house had been destroyed somehow in the Event during the 20’s, as they call it. They believed me when I showed them my ID and said the best they could do was honestly to try to find me some affordable lodging. They asked me why I returned after all these years and I made up something like missing the place. Though I have asked myself exactly why I want to come, I think it has to do with the secret rite I witnessed as a boy. Something is not right with my Changing. In the interim of many decades since that night, without the help of the ritual my body does not seem to be adapting as it should. I am afraid if I want to continue living as Dagon is supposed to have promised me I will have to find that gong again… There is also I must admit a sense of shame at what I am and also paradoxically a sense of shame for rejecting it and running away. I will figure it out, somehow…

Thursday November 4th

The weather turned even colder and greyer today than yesterday. I woke up early due to the hard mattress and also a certain something else. For the first time since I left, I have been having those dreams again. The ones about the City Under the Sea. I never told even myself they were anything other than dreams. After all I have never been very faithful, but maybe it means something that it is happening here now after all this time.
I even remember seeing Ephraim in the dream. It has been years since he returned a letter of mine. I think he must have known I was implicated in letting what I know now was a shoggoth out of its cage back down under the Refinery. It would be nice to know where he is and if he is still here, maybe he can help me. I must check tomorrow.
Today was spent viewing three of the homes that were for sale. I still have some of the gold I stole from the Refinery that night. I had been saving it for some special occasion, since I had had no need of it after buying the small house in Arkham. One of the homes was too small and run down even for my taste. The other was right by the sea which is ideal, it only needed a bit of work, but was twice the price of the first, and the third was the second half of a duplex near the town square. It would be nice to be so near the restaurant and the drug store, as well as the First National, but the sea does call to one…

Friday, November 5th

I finally chose today, after much deliberation, the home by the shops near the town centre. I was disturbed to find that pain I had noticed in the sides of my neck growing harsher and more uncomfortable. It is right where my gills are supposed to come in after the Change. But I have never heard of anyone having pain there. I am afraid the illness I had pretended to have to mask the hopefully swift occurrence of my Change has now become real. Something is wrong and I don’t know what to do about it…
After buying the home I transferred out of the Gilman House and I am writing this from the desk of my new home. The previous tenants were kind enough to leave all their furniture. It looks as if it’s been here since the last century which is fine with me. I like antiques and they are in good condition.

Saturday November 7

Today I decided to get some possible answers about what is the matter with me. I was hesitant but I decided to go to the Dagon Hall and see if the priest would know. Old habits even after dormancy die hard I guess.
Creeping down that old cracked sidewalk with its now spidery lines and seeing the domed roof made me feel little again. The same heavy doors led to the same dark cold hall. It seemed forlorn somehow. As if time wasn’t the only thing that had left it behind.
When I entered I was approached promptly by a priest and when I saw him face to face, his big eyes like mine seemed to grow wider. It was my brother Ephraim! He looked the same as I remembered save for a few wrinkles criss-crossing his face. More than I felt should have been there in the amount of time it had been. There was something else in his gaze, a mocking coldness that even his attempt at a smile could not hide.
The inevitable chatter of what we had been up to and why he hadn’t been keeping in touch followed. As he led me to the study I couldn’t help but ask him outright what had really happened in regards to Innsmouth and me, and that fateful night I had fled.
I was astonished to find that he said in the intervening years since my departure people had not only largely forgotten my suspicious behaviour in fleeing after the shoggoth ran rampant, but also even forgiven me for any possible involvement.
That was certainly a relief and we were able to talk easier about why I had come to the Order today. He looked grave and even a little concerned when I mentioned what I’d been feeling, the pain and all. He told me that judging from my condition now that the only thing that had kept my apparently unlucky genes from killing me outright in their attempt at the Change, was the ceremony with the gong that we had undergone together that strange day years ago, somewhere below where we were sitting.
As such the only thing he said might make my Change normal was to use the gong again. The problem was the Order had put me on the list of suppressive persons, for abandoning the Order and being suspected of letting out the shoggoth. So he was only telling me anything as a brother.
He said he had reached Head Priest status, because he had shown an aptitude for magick, in particular the Dark Arts and Aquatic Evocation. Since he needed the gong to help me there wasn’t anything he could do, he said.

Sunday November 8

I was up most last night thinking. If my own brother won’t help me from dying as a mere mortal, a botched Changeling than I will have to help myself! I remember the layout of the basement of the Order of Dagon Hall fairly well, and although I don’t recall exactly how we got into the inner sanctum of caves where the gong was kept, I am going to steal it for myself!
Today I go to scout out the Temple and see if Ephraim will let me downstairs, or if it’s clear I’ll just let myself.
I went to the Temple as planned, in the afternoon and it seemed like there was no one about. So I snuck down to the steps we had snuck down as children, Ephraim and I, and I spoke the pass word. It must have been the same for I noticed nothing on passing.
When I had gotten to the bottom I saw everything looking exactly as I remembered, black flame torches and all. They gave me the creeps now as an old man who had lived much of his life in Arkham. Something black and wavy that seems to negate light yet casts shadows is not right. I may be a born Dagonite but I always wanted to be ‘normal’ since I left here.
The air smelt mustier than it had before, and my older eyes were far more aggravated by the flickering black light casting eerie shadows on the stone walls. I hesitantly put one foot in front of the other with a shuffling sound, afraid at what I might find down here after all this time.
The corridors passed according to memory with no real changes save for the odd new crack or stooping part of the ceiling. I found the room with the idol of Dagon and stepped inside. I still after all these years, even as an old man felt a deep sense of foreboding and a kind of mystical sub bass throb permeating the magnetic aura of the room. The torches lining the wall even pulsed their black flames slightly in time with this wave of subterranean energy.
I went with feverish curiosity to the slightly darker damper statue of Dagon and felt around the behind of it. I found where I thought I remembered the Priest manipulating to open the door, that day so many years ago. There was a small lever embedded between the shoulders of the idol. I flicked it and stood back. Then there was a grating of stone on stone as the wall once more opened. I stepped inside.
The oppressive dark cold atmosphere quickly smothered me and yet also made me feel excited for what may lay ahead. There were the same unearthly black flamed torches burning in the walls, but the walls now were pure natural rock face. The ground beneath my feet was no longer flagstones, but rather bumpy stone and dirt. I stumbled and shuffled slowly down the rough tunnel, which was thankfully still high enough to walk upright.
I came at length to a small opening cavern that had announced its presence by a continuing increase in muffled roar, coming from the small falls therein. I was still as spellbound by the sight as the time before, some fifty years earlier. From a seemingly small river maybe twenty feet above the path, on the left, the water dropped down, down, not quite close enough to touch, down so far it was lost from sight in an inky blackness. The corresponding path I tread was thus only the width of a man, and one small misstep from the damp rocks would send one tumbling down who knows how far into what hellish netherworld.
I stared mesmerised at the falling foamy water, the white noise of the falls starting to lull me when I realised my mission anew. I then hurried as best as I could to make it to the little stone room where I believed the gong to be. After going down another small tunnel, the way opened as remembered into that medium-sized cavern. At the other end of it was still the small better-lit area with torches and altar.
When I reached the altar I looked around for any sign of the gong. I could see the tall mauve curtain still bunched as before against either side of the ritual space, and the altar was as before, a brazen black shiny thing crouched like a beast waiting sustenance. Yet there was no sign of the gong! I checked behind the curtains on either side of the area but to no avail. Then I turned around and looked towards the tunnel I had come from. The only other areas in the room were a very dark recessed corner and the path I had come from. I decided to check the corner.
I walked and when I reached the shadow I suddenly fell into space! Instantly I was drenched in freezing cold water and then buoyed up by my air and body fat to the surface with a gasp. So there was some kind of underground channel connected perhaps to the falls. I then decided to search at the bottom of the pool maybe they hid the gong there? I dove and scrounged around with my hands but never reached the bottom. I figured it must not be here. When I was coming up for air and looking with my eyes underwater I saw a small channel under the wall where the water entered. It was about the size of a man and I knew I could fit through. I just hoped there was air on the other side as my gills were obviously not working, if they ever would.
I took a quick gulp of air and then made for the hole. Luckily my hands and feet were well webbed so I was able to propel myself faster than a man could swim. I looked around and saw the tunnel went for another ten feet or so, so I propelled myself forward with a powerful frog kick of my legs. Through the other end of the tunnel I could see a light shining on the water and gratefully raced to the surface as my lungs were started to burn with the need for air.
I gasped in the air greedily while treading water and looked about. The place I was in was similar to the other room in that it was a medium-sized cavern that had parts that were obviously smoothed and worked by intelligent design. There were 2 torches burning against the far wall and I could see flickering in the shadow and half-light that the wall had been carved with strange pictograms and figures. There was no one in sight so I approached the lit area.
There in a small dark alcove of the carved wall was a purple cloth bundle, and a small gold-coloured metal box. I ignored the carvings, for they told me nothing I didn’t already know, not that I even cared, and went straight for the alcove. I opened the box first as it was fairly large. It contained unfortunately only a book. Then I realised something suddenly. Even if I did find the gong, what was to ensure that merely banging away at it would engender the necessary changes in myself? Then and there the absurdity of my original proposition seemed heightened by the weight of the tome in my hands. It made me recall the chanting the priests had been doing when my brother and I had entered the ritual room originally. They must have been somehow preparing us and perhaps even the gong or the atmosphere around, to make the requisite changes. And maybe this book would have something in it to help me.
I opened it quickly and looked for a table of contents. The thing was obviously very old, at least a hundred years; for it had many scratches and oily marks on the greasy black disgusting leather of the cover, and the brass hasps and corners were discoloured and rough in places. The paper inside was a thick almost disgusting texture, like skin and I shuddered at what it conjured in my mind. The text was obviously hand written in both blacks and red, with what seemed to be either a quill or an old fountain pen.
The unfortunate thing was I could make neither heads nor tails of the writing! In its shape it reminded me somewhat of old German black letter, yet it had some odd letters that did not always seem to be in the Latin alphabet. So what was I to do with it, I wondered? I decided to take it with me and maybe I could decipher it or find someone who would help me to do so.
Next I went for the purple cloth bundle. It was slightly bigger than the box, and I put the book down and unwrapped it. Metal gleamed underneath. It was the gong! Oh thank the gods! Nearby in a farther part of the alcove was what seemed to be two pieces of the stand but there was no way I could carry all that. I resigned myself to only taking the gong and stringing it up myself when the time came. I put the book in the hollow of the instrument and then wrapped the whole back in the cloth and made for the water. That was when I realised it would be nigh impossible to swim with such weight. How did the priests get it from here to the other room I wondered? I thought to myself then that there must be some other way I hadn’t noticed in the dark.
Long story short I found a very small crack that had been disguised with a brown cloth, and made it all the way out of the Temple without seeing a soul! I did not mean to write so much in this day’s entry but it was so exciting I think it is good to have down for posterity. The bundle is here with me in my new rooms, and I have it hidden carefully. I don’t believe anyone would think of checking my place when the thing is discovered missing. After all I am an Innsmouther!

Monday November 10

Today I am going to figure out how to read this darn book. I realise that my brother can’t be asked as he obviously doesn’t feel ready to help me. I suppose I can’t blame him since he has his position in the Order to think about. I might have to take the dang thing all the way to Arkham and ask someone in the university. Miskatonic is sure to not have any spies or Innsmouth folk for sure. I guess that’s where I am headed. I wish myself luck!

Well I am back from Miskatonic and it was a fairly interesting trip. The place is so interesting I feel I will write in detail what my impressions were.
I stepped off the bus at the station and was actually surprised at the change in the atmosphere. I think I had assumed it would be nothing special or different to come to Arkham, seeing as I had lived there for so long, yet I could not help but be a bit taken aback by the difference in feeling between Arkham and Innsmouth. I’ll just say that some say Arkham leaves them feeling cold and a bit spooked, but compared to Innsmouth it was like a walk in the sunshine. I suppose I am less of an Innsmouther than I thought. Well I am trying to fix that…
So I left the large echoing bus station and walked the few blocks to the gates of the university. The day was overcast and grey but the brass lions on the fence posts seemed to wink at me as if saying “We’ll get you what you need to know!” I walked on the shiny old cobblestones, scarce changed since the colonies, and went to the first building on the left, which was a small Victorian house with a sign out from saying Administration. Inside the receptionist glanced at my purple bundle carrying the book with some sort of grimace but was nice enough to give me directions to the library.
I could not help but feel that the more I walked through the occasional throngs of students that my previously optimistic mood was being sapped by the cold stares I received from the Outsiders as I used to call them. No wonder I stayed inside so much when I lived here. How quickly one forgets the negative parts of our past! I found my way through the dark green grass of a quadrant to a large columned edifice out of brick and stone. This, the Roman edifice of the column roof informed me, was Miskatonic University Library.
The library stood very impressively over the quadrant, its Classical lines projecting a stoic and decidedly scholastic mood over the area. There were vines of ivy growing up the large stone blocks which made up the wall, which slowly cheeped towards the windows and wound around their frames obnoxiously. It still created a charming picture nonetheless.
I went up the impressive white marble steps past the large columns and into the large wooden doorway. There before me was a large hall with muted red carpet floor, slightly lit from tall windows on either side. There was a large wooden counter facing the entrance with clerks staffing it, I figured it to be the circulation desk. On the right of the entry was a series of large tables for reading with little lamps, and to the left was a large stone staircase going up to what seemed to be at least three more floors. There was a small hall leading straight, to the left of the counter as well.
I strode purposefully up to the counter and asked if there might be someone on duty who could assist me with an ancient languages question. The young woman looked at me with large eyes filled with suspicion and maybe a little fear. I had taken care to wear my gloves and a hat but it seems you can’t hide some things.
She stammered and then got her breath. “Let me see, I’ll be right back,” she said hoarsely, and then all but ran away. The other clerks thankfully seemed busy, carrying books to and fro and didn’t pay me any mind. The girl came back with a middle-aged man who smiled and said, “Follow me please.” He walked around the side of the counter and waited for me to follow.
Then he strode down the smaller hallway I had seen to the left of the counter. It had cheaper linoleum floors and seemed to be some kind of staff walkway. We walked past offices, and I could hear conversation and the jingle of telephones.

We eventually made our way through the administrative area and into a more plush yet antiquated area that was obviously some kind of curators private office and library. There were 2 large tables set up for readers if they wanted to use his books (I assumed), and glass cases with old books against the walls, which were old wood carved panels of a Georgian type.
At a large teak desk sat a skinny and tired looking gentleman who could be called near-elderly. I pick this term because he had greying hair and wrinkles but yet still seemed to possess a youthful action despite his tired face. He looked up at the clerk and me. “Yes?” he asked.
“This gentleman said he had an ancient languages question of some sort. I supposed you might be able to help him, although I didn’t ask him any details. ..”
The man stared at my perhaps unusual face while the clerk stood on uneasily.
“Um, if that’s all then-“
“Yes that’s fine thank you. You may go,” said the older man behind the desk. The clerk scurried away with an audible sigh of relief and shut the door. The man turned to me, “Have a seat sir, please,” he said gesturing to an uncomfortable looking wooden chair in front of the massive desk. The desk was totally cluttered with paperwork and books both open and stacked.
“I’m Nathaniel Wingate. I curate the Ancient and Foreign Language Manuscripts Collection here at the Library.” He gestured around, “This is just my office, so it has my private collection as well as my favourite works. There are more in the room over there,” and he pointed to a half open door which I saw had students sitting at large tables poring over volumes. “Now, Mr…” he waited.
“Err Wade.” I lied.
“Mr Wade, what might I help you with?”
I explained to him the book I had found in the attic of a dead relative, whose home had been deeded to me. I lied further and said that he had been a sailor and brought back a lot of works from around the world, and that I was hoping he could tell me not only what language this work was in, but what for example the Table of Contents contained, if there was one. I unwrapped the musty and still strangely moist tome from its cloth and handed it over to him.
After the look on his face it was as if the temperature and atmosphere in the room dropped from neutral and tepid to edgy and cold all as he opened the book and read the title page. “My word… This is… it’s the Ponape Scriptures! And not only that, it is in the original Bathylic script! I always thought this was just a myth, and that it was a fiction made up by the man who called himself it’s translator in the 19th century version, which was then mysteriously bought up by an obscure sect and never seen again, but this, this is magnificent…and horrible!”
I swallowed loudly. “Horrible?”
“Why yes, it says here in the Table of Contents there are not only normal Litanies to Dagon, Mother Hydra, and Thanksgiving Rituals but also abominable sounding things like To Call A Shoggoth, The Becoming of the Body, Calling a Deep One, Quickening the Change, and it all sounds so …well, disgusting. What would your relative want with such a book I wonder!”
I told him I didn’t know but could he kindly transcribe the chapters on Body Changing, Calling a Deep One, and Quickening the Change I would be willing to pay him if he desired, for his time. He said he would think about payment but I could come back the next day it should be done by then.
So that was how my day was. I am very excited sitting here looking at the wavy dark sea from my window. I hope I can join my brethren there soon…

Tuesday November 11

Since I am getting quite tired of all these detailed entries, and I think I should be able to remember most of the details that aren’t important enough to set down let’s try and make this more succinct than the past few days.
I went back to the Campus of Miskatonic today as arranged, around 230pm and I saw a very strangely haggard looking Mr Wingate. He said he had written what I asked for but contrary to my insistence on some form of payment he said he wanted nothing to do with me or this damn book as he put it from now on. My leaving him alone and never reminding him of Bathylic or even the ocean would be payment enough for him! That was quite a surprise. When I tried to find out what had upset him so, he could only mumble something about slimy wet things from Devil Reef and threats of some kind. When I pressed him on his mumblings he gave me a wild glassy eyed stare and shut the door on me after thrusting the sheaf of papers in my face. All I could do was leave.
When I came back to Innsmouth from the town I noticed a change had occurred here too. No longer were people eyeing me neutrally, or in some cases such as shopkeepers, amiably. Now the same individuals would ignore me or give me a cold stare when I talked to them or even greeted them. It was most vexing. I couldn’t figure out what could be bothering them that warranted such treatment on my part. After all I only just moved here and had done nothing untoward to anyone.
I am writing the next bit as a kind of record for my plans. Since I now have read the book chapters Wingate transcribed for me I must admit it will not be near as simple as I had hoped. It turns out that one who is not undergoing proper healthy Changes such as myself, cannot undergo the Quickening a second time, for it would merely kill them faster. Since I am already dying both naturally and from the insufficient transfigurations that is out of the question. So I read further for any hint of the gongs usage in correcting changes. The only thing I found that is a possibility now is actually two fold. In order for me to see the Sea as I will, so to speak, it will not be in this current status of my broken body. I must use the gong in what the book calls The Becoming of the Body and perhaps gain the strength from the other healthier individual in a fixing of my own shell, or maybe something else will happen. The translations by one ignorant of our traditions may be faulty but it’s a risk I am willing to take. Naturally I would need something or someone to help my Becoming, and in this case I have chosen not just a simple Innsmouth folk but a Deep One. So my first trial will be Calling a Deep One then I shall attempt my Becoming ritual when it is near. All I can say is, Dagon help me in this quest…

Friday November 14

After much study of the appropriate parts of the Ponape Scriptures I think I am ready to try the rituals tonight. I hired a boat to row out to Devils Reef, and I am sitting here now writing this in the dark, by the light of a flashlight. The night is dark although the moon is out. It doesn’t seem to be lighting much but some troughs between the waves. I will find a spot on this black corally rock facing the sea and try to call a Deep One. I will have to trick it into thinking I need it for a good reason. But luckily the Becoming of the Body is faster than I expected. One only needs the gong, and the proper words. No wonder this book was suppressed if it is so simple. Granted this gong must be special, but it’s simple for me! Wish me luck...Someone…
(Editors note: The writing here became very large and squiggly, hard to read, so we append scans of the appropriate pieces).
[scan- but says] THE CEREMONY WORKED. I AM READY TO GO IN THE SEA! MY FEET AND HANDS WILL TAKE SOME GETTING USED TO. THERE ARE SUCH PRETTY WEBBINGS! AND MY NEW GILLS! MY MOUTH FEELS FULL OF SHARP TEETH! THIS WILL BE SO WONDERFUL! FAREWELL PUNY HUMANS!
The diary ends here, but in light of the strange continuous appearance of Mr Waite one can only speculate why he has turned up if the whole thing was successful.
His strange behaviour in the death of 2 priests of the Order of Dagon and his sudden and strange loss of intelligible speech have led him to be incarcerated in the Asylum at Arkham.
Appended here is a newspaper article about the incident:
BIZARRE SAVAGE MURDERS IN INNSMOUTH
In a rare and somewhat fortuitous opportunity for this paper, though not so fortuitous to those involved, the Arkham Gazette’s own freelancer was in Innsmouth when the normally placid seaport was shocked by the brutal murders of two apparent priests at the Order of Dagon Hall.
Honestly our source was in the Hall attempting to follow up on a story about Innsmouth gold jewellery, when he heard a save animal-like croaking and roaring. He rushed in the congregation hall and was shocked to see an old man savagely clawing at and biting through the neck of an astonished priest who was easily identified by his robes and gold tiara. When a second priest came rushing in at the noise, the old man gave an insane croak and literally hopped fifteen feet to face the priest and proceeded to maul him in ways too horrible to mention. Our man fled the scene and made an anonymous call to the police, the town being notoriously suspicious of outsiders.
Our sources tell us that the assailant being held in the Asylum is one Zachariah Obed Waite (sometimes known as Wade), formerly of Arkham, then residing in his hometown of Innsmouth. The man apparently murdered his brother (who was the first priest) for reasons unknown. He refuses or is unable to talk, save in a strangely batrachian croak. Furthermore he seems to have trouble with his health, as he has been unable to walk save in some animalistic hopping fashion. The psychologists believe he may believe himself to be some sort of creature.
The second bizarre incident besides the murder, which our reporter heard about from a sympathetic man on the force who investigated Waite’s Innsmouth home, was a strange preponderance of water in tracks on the floor. He swears that they appeared to be like giant frog tracks. There was also a strange dank reptilian or fishy smell, and he says apparently some valuables were missing due to the prints in the dust.
Also found was a Polaroid which had apparently been taken when the camera was knocked off a shelf. It shows what to some seems to be a close-up of some kind of amphibian, but others say it looks like a man in a frog suit. Around it’s neck was a necklace identified by locals to have been belonging to Mr Waite.
A diary also has purportedly been found at of all places, near the shore of Devil Reef, by a lobsterman checking his pots. It is being thoroughly studied and if anything is found pertaining to the case it may be reported.


copyright chris stibrany 2013


cant believe its been 2 years since i did this.
Observation convinces me that there are beings of intelligence higher than human and that the only chance for mankind to advance as a whole is for individuals to make contact with such Beings.Crowley
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Stephen in AZ
Senior Member
Username: stephenm

Post Number: 3021
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Thursday, October 17, 2013 - 10:58 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

These are some more Wordzzle stories of mine, from my blog. Wordzzles are stories made from lists of words.


Wordzzle 77 - The silent majority
Wordzzle 78 - The wall
Wordzzle 79 - Shadows and smoke
Wordzzle 80 - The alligator people
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Mama Shine
Senior Member
Username: mama_shine

Post Number: 17832
Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Friday, October 18, 2013 - 12:24 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

Stephen,

These are great. Now after the alligator people
this has come to my head and I can't let it go.

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly

It has to run it's course with me making more verses and aarrggghhhh...I blame you.
The greatest thing you'll ever learn
Is just to love and be loved in return.
~Nature Boy

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benign
Member
Username: benign

Post Number: 80
Registered: 9-2013
Posted on Saturday, October 19, 2013 - 8:08 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post


quote:

sahgwa, post 641, April 1st, 2013

Friday November 14

I hired a boat to row out to Devils Reef, and I am sitting here now writing this in the dark, by the light of a flashlight. The night is dark although the moon is out. It doesn’t seem to be lighting much but some troughs between the waves.

I will find a spot on this black corally rock facing the sea and try to call a Deep One. I will have to trick it into thinking I need it for a good reason. But luckily the Becoming of the Body is faster than I expected. One only needs the gong, and the proper words. No wonder this book was suppressed if it is so simple. Granted this gong must be special, but it’s simple for me! Wish me luck...Someone...

(Editors note: The writing here became very large and squiggly, hard to read, so we append scans of the appropriate pieces).

[scan-says] THE CEREMONY WORKED. I AM READY TO GO IN THE SEA! MY FEET AND HANDS WILL TAKE SOME GETTING USED TO. THERE ARE SUCH PRETTY WEBBINGS! AND MY NEW GILLS! MY MOUTH FEELS FULL OF SHARP TEETH! THIS WILL BE SO WONDERFUL! FAREWELL PUNY HUMANS!


Haha! Puny humans.


waking dream, evening of October 18th, 2013

Am deep in an ocean swimming with an enormous whale, except... it is not a whale. It is much larger. It is extremely intelligent. Communication is through telepathy, but only because I can't really control my whale-like body. I can't communicate in their strange calling sounds.

I recognize that my place would be behind the larger 'whale,' and I try reading from its mind, etiquette and other social 'norms' for the creature. I try follow the rules, struggling a little with the paddles, I manage to slow my body... though it takes time, being so large. 'Focus on the back fin.'

I apologize for my ignorance but think I kind of manage to pull it off without being too insulting.

Suddenly the larger creature changes into an even larger being, so big it is able to pluck me from the ocean with one hand. It looks like a huge person but with strange features.

Then, I'm sitting underneath an old tree. Leafless. The creature, looking more like a normal person now is standing at the edge of a decline, looking into the distance. I can only see its back.

Ahead, there is a valley with mountains on either side. Something explodes in the distance. Radiation slams into the hill-side and starts to burn the flesh off my face, but I can still see for some reason.

A large glowing cloud rises up in the distance. Terminator 2 flash-back type waking dream.

Comment:

No... Nagasaki was not bombed because of Japan's destruction of the whale population. It was bombed as an exercise of power.


Hmmn. I think this is like that movie, What Dreams May Come (1998) and it's all a dream. What does that make you? Psychological projections dreaming my dreams?
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Stephen in AZ
Senior Member
Username: stephenm

Post Number: 3025
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Saturday, October 19, 2013 - 11:29 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

Thank you, Mama Shine. I'm glad you enjoyed them. As for the rest, well, sometimes one thing does lead to another....

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