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Old 02-16-2010, 08:22 PM   #13
Dhalgren
The autumnal city
 
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Somewhere, anywhere
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Because I can. It might be stretch to call it cynical, but whatever. This is kinda old so... yeah.

The Inauguration

The wheels of the end of the world churn and whirl in the ill-lit background of the dank red caverns. The beast’s corpse bleeds at my feet. Its tender black flesh ripped open from the Mauser bullets. I unloaded the whole clip into its carcass. He stands before me, all tall, brooding, and mighty. The dark mage says nothing to me, he just points towards the pool that has been filled with the creatures blood. My name is Edward Stooge. Welcome to my life.
The man has decided to cause me nothing but grief it would seem. I scream at him, refusing to go into the literal bath of blood. The old wrinkled wizard with a long-black beard and bald head howls a magic word at me, in the Devil’s Tongue. A hurricane force wind hits me, and blows me down the cavern. “I am Rasputin, the mage, you cannot refuse me,” He croaked out in a half dead voice. “Now, come to me.” The mage makes a motion with his hands that captivates me with a dazzling light that follows it. It feels as if a wire, an invisible string, latches on to my throat and pulls me toward him. Rasputin’s cloak is of pure black, arcane symbols of glowing blue and red rushing through it as he works his sorcery.
As I magically approach the old dark master his cloak comes to life. It twists and writhes on its own and opens up, revealing an empty unending darkness. A beam of eerily bleak light shoots from the wide forever of the cloak. I feel sick and tired of everything that has happened. My body is slightly numb from the horrific ordeals of today. The pool shines an unearthly light; Rasputin has enchanted the blood of the Deep One. My feet don’t even touch the ground as I more or less float towards the wizard. He opens his ancient mouth again and coughs out a few words.
“Do you feel it, young one?”
“Feel…feel what?”
“Your destiny.” He moans out the last word like it was the most important thing in the universe. The wheels keep clanging together, creating a horrible tune of deathly music and breaks apart the focus I am giving to the mage. Suddenly I stop in front of the pool of blood. I fall down onto my knees and I just stare at it. It’s a small pool, none too deep. I can’t tell if it’s all dirt or not.
He beckons me to bathe in the monster’s internals, the sickening dark blood. Rasputin’s eyes lock with mine, and they glow a dull color of horror and control. Nothing is here to stop me from getting up and diving right into the red pool. So that’s exactly what I do. The creature’s blood is not anything like that of a human’s. It’s thick, much too thick, and too dark, more like ink. I’m on fire, my every fiber burns like there is no tomorrow, and for I care there might not be. I try not to think about the present, so I think of the past, what got me here? As I concentrate, I listen to the large otherworldly clockwork gears in the back. I listen to the cracking and scraping of the metal, and then I can hear it. I hear the Hymns of the Apocalypse.
“Before…”
The New York air was hot and full of strife, as usual. The blinds on my windows were partly open, letting the light shine in and bleed a strange pattern of shadows on the ground. I already had the feeling of dread creeping into the pit of my stomach, but I hadn’t caught on quite yet. I hadn’t had any work for a few weeks now and I was running short on money. I needed some kind of job, just anything, to get me through the next month.
I got up that morning with moan and was greeted with the sounds of my joints cracking. I felt still as a mummy and as depressed as I thought I could ever get. It was Saturday no less, and the rent for my office/apartment was due in two weeks. I thought I was screwed, but I still had some kind of crazy hope that a job would come my way, something that would pay a hundred dollars or so. I knew it wouldn’t happen, not with my luck, but I held on thinking that some kind of blessed miracle from above would shine down on my poor little head. My apartment doorbell rang and I, quick as possible, slipped on some clothes and ran towards the door. As I cracked it open it was a flash of red hair, slightly large glasses, and I already knew who it was.
Dana Sinclair, not exactly a miracle from above but close enough. She just forces open the door after I unlock it like always, she hates to wait. Dana closes that door behind her and locks it almost too quickly, like she was sure someone was following her. “Hey, slow down.” I said catching her as she pivot turned a bit to fast. She was holding a black briefcase with a strange pentagram-like symbol on the front. Dana straightened up and got her balance back before shoving the briefcase in my hands.
“You got a job!”
“Nothing weird right, Dana?”
“Well…not as far as I see.”
“Great then. I feel oh so much better.”
“I could do without the sarcasm.”
“Meh.” I laid the case on my coffee table and popped it open. The contents within was a huge amount of files on a man named ‘Randolph Blackberry.’ With all the information inside those manila colored folders probably I could tell you what he ate for breakfast that morning, and where he was going to be in one year to the day. The problem with that was the fact that Blackberry was gone, and the only clue was that he was last seen in a small village called Innsmouth. That was the first signal that touched my brain and told me not to get into this. I found a certain page with contact information on a man only named as ‘Gregori,’ who was obviously my client. Like a total idiot I dialed the phone number on the sheet and left a message on the man’s answering machine. I agreed to the missing person’s case.
The meeting at the airport was awkward beyond all reason. Dana had gone to get a drink or something of the sort, and I was left to converse with my client, Gregori. He was Russian, and it wasn’t just the thick accent that gave it away. He was taller then your average American, about 6’ 4, and had a head so bald I could’ve fried an egg on it on a hot summers day. There was something so strange about him, an aura of cosmic wisdom, like his black eyes led to the very pits of the universe in all its horror and power. He hardly spoke a word, only muttering under his breath in a language I couldn’t even try to understand. It wasn’t Russian, it was something older…something more chilling, like it was spoken by dark magi from eons ago, the kind that struck down the Great Old Ones and sent them to the Hells from whence they came, but that comes later.
The tension in the airport was mounting; something was working behind the scenes. It was like as if a greater, grander creature was eyeing over the entire complex, waiting for its plan to happen. That creature, of course, appeared before us in a quick and abrupt fashion. It, he, was styled as a pharaoh, which seemed appropriate seeing that he had a large number of followers that day. Several dozen people stared at him, watched his every move with lust and envy. The creature had a hold on the weak minded. He sat down and picked up a small cup of tea which materialized in his gold dressed hand. “My name is Nyarlathotep, as Gregori should know.” He sipped on the tea with an English flare. Gregori’s eyes narrowed at the sight of the wannabe pharaoh.
“Leave here, Outer God. You do not belong.” Nyarlathotep only chuckled at the Russian’s threat. He took another sip of tea then looked at me.
“Ah, Mr. Stooge. How pleasant to meet you.” As he spoke, another vision of him flashed in between words, like some short little vision. It was bone chilling, horrific to its very core. Tentacles for legs, a large bulbous head, long flowing body with a ghastly muted grey skin tone.
“What…are you?” I stammered out, mustering up what little courage I had.
“Me? Why, I’m an Outer God. I work above this…level.” He unfolded his arms, as if to say he worked above Earth itself.
“If you’re above this, Earth I mean, why are you here.”
“For you of course, Mr. Stooge.” Suddenly my head went into a state of vertigo, I couldn’t think straight. Gregori finally stood up and screamed out words of magic, words of power. The room blurred, the room burned, the room fell to pieces. I woke up on the plane to Innsmouth, Massachusetts, with Dana sitting by my side, and Gregori in the next seat over. My inauguration into a war beyond all conceivable imagination had just taken place. For some inexplicable reason I wanted my gun, so I could go shoot myself in the head.
After I had gotten through my suicidal thoughts we arrived at a small landing zone a mile or so away from were we needed to be. The pilot to our private plane told us to, “Hurry up, I’ll only be here for three hours before I get the Hell out of here!” I already knew by now there was no missing person, it was all a ploy for Gregori to get me to Innsmouth. Dana stood close to me the entire time, jumping at each sound as we walked along the road to the small village Gregori described. The road was rocky, riddled with wild animals and the smell of dead things. Bad things happened here, that’s all there is to it.
I started to remember some of the stories my dad read way back when. They were written by some guy named Randolph Carter. My dad said he met him a few times, he said Carter was a nervous but brave guy. My dad even said all those stories he wrote were true. All those stories- about ancient astronauts, giant god-like aliens, Great Old Ones, and cosmic evil- all of them were supposed to be true. I never believed a word.
The mood was so tense, the atmosphere was so thick, I felt like throwing up and running back the way I came. I felt like something was watching us, ever since we got off the damn plane. It was like a pair of the worlds largest eyes were just beaming down on us. I asked Gregori why we were here, the real reason why anyway. He only smiled and chuckled.
After what seemed like hours of endless dirt road and wild animals we reached the village. It was so poor and dingy, you could hardly look at the sight of it. Broken down, rotten buildings, with garbage and dead animals littering the ground, it was a saddening sight. Torches lit what they could; it would seem the entire town had no real electricity so far out into nowhere. The locals weren’t that nice looking either. Broken teeth, haggard skin, worn out dirty clothes. I felt sorry for them in all honesty, but something seemed off about them. Some of them looked, almost, inhuman, more like creatures then men. I could almost see a hint of amphibian nature in a good amount of the populace. I think I saw a little girl with gills.
It was about 3:00 p.m. which seems so long ago now. I’d look at my watch but my skin hurts too much as it is. The next set of events are going to sound strange, because I could even chalk off that encounter with Nyarlathotep as some kind of hallucination, of course it couldn’t be, but it’s nice to think. We made our way through the relatively small village, moving through all the crazy harassers, bloated preachers of a monstrous God, and the like. As we went on I still felt like we were being watched, but not by real eyes if I could be so bold, but as if something cosmic was spying on us from the heavens.
Gregori led us to the sea near at the very end of village. I felt cold, but not your normal kind of cold, I felt like I had frostbite on my insides. Something was in the water near Innsmouth, something bad. Gregori just looked at the sea with a look of scorn, as if he actually knew what was there. He did.
“Father Dagon and Mother Hydra. That sinking feeling your feeling is Cthulhu.” He turned to look over at Dana. She was shaking like a leaf, he was addressing her worries. I bucked up and fought back the feeling.
“Who’re they?” I asked.
“Great Old Ones. Earthly bound creatures of cosmic powers. Enemy to all that lives.” He spat on the ground with disgust.
“And the Outer Gods?”
“Not as bad. Much more powerful, but they are too “high-and-mighty” to care about Earth.”
“Then why do they want me?”
”Who knows? They’re almost impossible to comprehend in the first place.”
He moaned out. I noticed that as we went along Gregori started becoming… different, more withered then when I first saw him. Dana avoided him like the plague the entire way. As we talked she just looked at me like I was…not crazy, but like I was from another world entirely. Gregori told me what he could about what was happening. I was going through a test of some sort. The fact I was able to stand in the same room as, and resist a spell by, Nyarlathotep was no less then extraordinary.
A cave was before us, after a little bit more walking through the gross town. A strange mark was carved near the caves mouth. I can’t really describe it better then as a pentagram on steroids. The Russian studied it for a second then nodded. His body had morphed slightly, into that of an old husk if you will. He looked as if he was getting older by the second, but I could feel an aura of wisdom perpetrating from him. Then I realized he was ‘sweating’ magic. The kind of magic that made you shudder, the magic that you really wanted to know as a kid. Gregori motioned me to go in, but he put out a hand to stop Dana.
“Dana?” I sighed.
“I can’t come, can I?”
”No. I’m sorry. This is Edward’s task.” He said in a much raspier and
older voice. She stepped back reluctantly, and I took a deep breath through my nose, and released through my mouth. That seems to always calm me down. I entered the cave with a little fear in my heart, considering I had no idea what this was really about. It was dark, damp, cold, and awful. I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face, so I reached for the lighter in my coat pocket. With a little flick, the lighter turned on and lit my way. I wished it didn’t. Bones littered the path; small strips of flesh were thrown about the walls.
I moved foreword, never looking back to even see if Gregori was behind me. That’s when I heard them, the gears clanking and churning in the background. I suddenly found myself a statue, my body was frozen in total, statuesque numbness . Gregori stepped from the shadows, wasting away what was left of his youth. The veil he hid under was gone, his magical fašade gone.
“Listen to the winding, the churning of the gears Edward Stooge,” He crocked out with what little youthfulness he had left. “What do you hear from them?”
“I hear a faint song,” I thought aloud. “A mournful orchestra and it…it sounds like angels suffocating...” A tear rolled down my cheek, a symphony conducted by the dead playing in the background. Gregori pulled a gun out from the sleeve of his new materialized cloak, a Mauser pistol, and loaded it slowly and delicately with his long brittle fingers. The tempo of the orchestra hastened, the music getting louder and louder, frantically climbing! The old wizard slid the gun into my unmoving hands.
“It is a gun once possessed by Hitler. Enchanted and powerful. Although only special bullets work for it.” He coughed out. The gun felt different, mystical, I could tell there was truth in Gregori’s words. In the black distance of the cave, just out of reach of the lighter’s light, was a moving figure. Something huge and horrible was lumbering my way. I couldn’t move, no matter how hard I tried. A little voice in the back of my head screamed in vain, “Move you idiot!” My body wouldn’t listen. Out of the blanketing shadows it stumbled. It was…I can hardly really explain. It was like a frog crossed with a man but the clashing genes fought, and the frog DNA won. Ghastly quickly comes to mind.
The frog-creature twitched and seemed to almost seizure as it pathetically crawled towards me. Even though it was a horribly strange and sorry sight, I realized that beast would tear me apart limb-from-limb if it was to get to me. Suddenly I could feel as if control was giving me back my body. Gregori gave me back the wheel to my body, and gave me a gun to save myself. I aimed the pistol and squeezed the trigger without any remorse, without any thought. Each shot bucked like a mule, this was a Mauser alright, but it definitely was different. The entire round ripped through monster, each wound fiercely glowing a pale green.
It fell to the floor with a sickening thud; its blood spaltered upon the ground. I noticed something then, the creature’s blood was being redirected by a slightly deep, about 3 inches, route in the ground. I cautiously stepped foreword, and quickly saw what the blood was being redirected towards. It was quickly filling a shallow pool.
“Good,” the old man hisses out. “The Deep One is dead, and now it may begin.” Yes, that’s all that has happened. My life has now gone to Hell, literally by the looks of it. But, I feel strange now it’s like I’m slipping out of reality…
“Now”
I open my eyes to a bleak sky filled with dark clouds, darker then they should be. I stand upon a bridge overlooking a smashed and battered art deco styled city that was most likely beautiful long ago. A name comes to mind, as if another entity was speaking to me. “R'lyeh,” I hear in my mind, in my own voice. Something was talking to me, and my brain, some lost dormant part of it, translated the words.
“It was my city, my world.” The voice speaks. Then the true speaker rose from the annihilated city. A mountain, a moving part of the earth, is the only real way to describe its size. The Great Old One, the fiercest of them all. It...It has a bulbous head with large pupil-less red eyes and tentacles, not unlike that of an octopus, where the mouth should have been. Green skin, and, by proportion, long skinny arms connected to boney, taloned, and long fingered hands fill my vision. It roars and unfolds a massive pair of scaly, leather-like bat wings from behind it.
“I am Cthulhu, little one,” It growls at me inside my brain. “Do you wish to actually challenge me? And the Great Old Ones?” It leans in to hypnotize me, to drive me mad with its eyes. I don’t know how I know that, but I stare into the yes of madness, and I see nothing…
“Yes.” I hiss. Whatever this thing is, whatever the Great Old Ones are, they must be destroyed. Cthulhu nods.
“Anotherlambtotheslaughter.” The last words are gargled and smashed together, but I know it’s a warning. The feeling is back, I’m returning…

Gregori stands over me. He must have dragged me out of the pool, considering I’m still wet, my clothes stained with the Deep One’s thick blood. He holds out a hand and I take it in mine. He pulls me back up and I suddenly feel a lot better.
“What did you tell Cthulhu?” The mage asks.
“I told him I’m…I’m gonna kill him.”
“Good…good. Welcome, to the Angel’s Fold.” He bows to me. “It is our duty to battle and protect the world from the Great Old Ones and the like. You Edward Stooge are now the Chronicler, like Randolph Carter before you. Even though he’ll never know he was the first of us. As he traveled he wrote his encounters into tales that gives us the information we need. And so shall you.”
My mind draws a blank as he speaks. Those stories Randolph wrote…were real. It all makes sense when I put that piece of the puzzle into the grand scheme that I’ve been shown. I’m to travel the world, and protect it from whatever comes my way, then write down my experiences for not only the Angel’s Fold to use, but for the world to see. I nod and shake Gregori’s hand. “But when will it start, “I ask. “When will I-“Gregori decides to cut in.
“All will come as it should, do not worry.”
“So, I just wait?” He nods at those words. With that Gregori Rasputin stroked his beard and faded away. I make my way outside, after picking up that Mauser and putting it in my coat pocket. Dana is on the ground sitting with knees just under her chin. I keep on telling her there’s no need to come with me on these travels, but she always does. “It’s…it’s going to get dangerous now Dana.” I say more nonchalantly then I really care to do.
“Why’s that? What the Hell did you do in there?”
“I can’t really tell you…It’s just that this isn’t fun and games now, and I…and I don’t want to see you getting hurt.”
“Edward Stooge, do you honestly believe I think this line of work is safe from the get-go? I follow you around because…” She pauses and sighs a little. “Because you make life wo—“ She stumbles over her own words. “You make life interesting.” I help her up and she pats me on the shoulder.
“No worries then?” I ask her again.
“We’ll whatever’s going on I don’t care, as long as I come with you.”
“Alright, but I suggest you always bring a barf bag.” I smile and we walk back to the plane with time to spare.
__________________
Girl-I-Know:You know, life's a lot like riding a horse. Exhilarating, dangerous, and depressing when it ends...

Me: And sad when you see all the things just fly by.

Girl-I-Know: What's scary is that I feel like I'm falling off that horse.

Me: No worries, I'll catch you.

Girl-I-Know:... don't say things like that... idiot.

Me: Hey, I say what I mean.
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