Shoggoth.net brings you a unique treat. Find here a chilling story so skillfully woven, it could have been written by the Old Gent himself. Actually, the psychological insight found in this story puts it in its own category: classically Lovecraftian, but with characters we can sympathize with … or despise … or both.
Professor Paget had invited me for tea (not coffee, not booze—but tea, the pretentious ass!) that evening and, having no excuse otherwise, I accepted. I could have protested truthfully that I had too many papers to grade, having just administered a mid-term exam to my class of 100 students; but I was tempted by the fascination he had piqued concerning the oddity he acquired while on sabbatical in Eastern Europe.
Today we are honored to present a never-before-published story by David Barker, co-author with Wilum H. Pugmire of the new collection In The Gulfs of Dream and Other Lovecraftian Tales, available from Dark Renaissance Books. This is a story that couldn’t fit into that collection, but is shared here for the readers of Shoggoth.net.
Andy Blake arrived at Rams Wood Park an hour early, a few minutes past noon. The walk from the parking lot to the bronze statue of the soldier where they were to meet—which couldn’t have been more than a hundred and fifty feet—left him winded, and it was with relief that he settled onto a bench near the statue and took from his knapsack a small volume he’d brought to pass the time: Appearances, Semblances and Apparitions, a collection of prose poems by his late friend, Daniel Hird.
This is an example of my poetry. If memory serves, it was published in an issue of Cthulhu Cultus, but I don’t have any of those contributor’s copies any more, so I’m not 100% sure. 99%, yes. It was inspired by a painting I did, a neon nightmare on black velvet. This photo by Marcin Stawiarz isn’t it, but it’s very cool:
We hope you enjoy this dirty little Mythos tale. Read with the door locked and maybe have a tissue or two handy. BECAUSE YOU MIGHT BE SO SCARED, YOU MIGHT CRY, OKAY? Perverts.
You would’ve done it too. She looked like a cross between Dita Von Teese and what you picture when you masturbate about WWII bomber pinup nose art. Lips the color of a spicy tamale, skin so creamy white you could paint a Bob Ross mountaintop with it, eyes like a police sketch artist would draw if you only said, “smoky bedroom with a touch of startled arousal.” And her voice, oh, that voice that sounded like a panther purring while being spanked with a leather strop.
The rubbery, gibbering mass slithered and snorted. Atrophied arms and legs—more like flippers—waved helplessly. Its body was iridescent and covered with gaping mouths, blind eyes, and suckers. Its tentacles flailed, and it smelled like rotten potatoes and sour milk.
“Can I keep him?” The boy looked up at his mother, all innocence and hound-dog expression.
We have quite the dread-inducing treat for Shoggoth.net readers today: It’s the newest short story from Brett Talley, a major voice among the New Lovecraftians. Space is the most harrowing place of all, even before strange entities start playing tricks with your mind …
They tell me that space didn’t always drive men mad. But I find that hard to believe. Well, I suppose if all you ever did was float around the earth, go to the moon, take a walk in the void, then space is an adventure. But it’s not like that anymore. Not out here.
“This can’t be right.”
David is talking to himself. He keeps looking at the same coordinates. I know he isn’t talking to me, so I just let him repeat it over and over again. “This can’t be right.”
Friends, we here at Shoggoth.net mean to horrify you by any means and in any format or genre necessary. Below is our first stage play, a horrific fairy tale in verse written for ghoulish marionettes by master puppeteer Adam Bolivar. Let the atmosphere gloom you away …