I of the Storm

It’s been looking back at me for hours. I can smell its fetid breath now as it draws ever nearer, hear its grumbling and moaning as if it were in the next room.

Which in fact it may be, if I understand the situation correctly. If I do not, then I am of course quite mad, and any and all suggestions I make are to be quickly discounted. Clinging to the belief that I am sane is how I am getting through this thing, if that is at all possible. It is my only hope in any case.

The yellow eye of the thing in the mirror regards me constantly, unblinkingly, growing larger as the moments wear on. Yet still, I am rooted to this chair, transfixed by the prospect of the visitation, flying in the face of the possible consequences should the precautions I have taken prove insufficient. The proper rites have been observed, the indicated periods of abstinence have been undergone; I have made myself ready in every foreseeable way for this visitation.

Except for brief interludes for creature comforts, I have been sitting in this chair for days, watching the yellow eye expand. It whirls, you see, and the spinning iris tells me stories, tales of other worlds, of crystal spires that grow in the clear dark, of suns that blacken the benighted skies, of the crimson sands and vermilion waters of home, so far away…in the deep desert, where the sands run like oil and the winds form aerial taffy pulls of the viscous matter.

It has been here before, the eye in the mirror, many times. It has taken on passengers from many locations, on many occasions. I am just the next of a long list.

The siren call of the eye in the mirror cannot be resisted. I could not resist even the feeble cries from the thing as I drove by it that first time, taking the long way home from somewhere I hadn’t wanted to be in the first place.

The car backed up almost by itself, and I took on board this wrought-iron frame, this ancient glass, and brought it into my home. The darkness, the peace, started spreading almost immediately.

I knew it for what it was, and did not resist. Who could?

For there is peace there, quiet unending, with the reflection of the dark stars for sustenance, no need to struggle any more, no need to fight for survival. Immortality under the scarlet storms and the sacred sands of the black worlds…that doesn’t seem like a bad thing, does it?

It doesn’t to me, anyway.

I’ve seen the ocher winds form the giant ebon dunes, watched awestruck as the stellar emissions from the black stars drew eon-long crimson flares from the very planets, trailing the souls of those planets across the galaxies like so many strawberry whips, to be shredded by the inhabitants of the lightless realms.

There are hungry things out there between the worlds, things better left alone. It is far safer on the surface, where the white worms crawl and burrow soundlessly, and the crystal spires impart illuminating discussions of infinite color and variety, and the nourishing rays of the black suns shine down.

The eye is very close now, and I am running out of time to tell you things, hidden things, secret things about the ways and means of the darkling realms between the stars, about Those who live and feed there, about which little else is known. But I say, Marie, if you find this, and read this, there is room for you too, here among the sessile denizens of the black worlds. The dark gods would certainly smile upon you, and I would truly welcome you.

The wings of the night have come, sweet Marie, and I bid you farewell for now.

***

The preceding was found in the rooms of one Anthony Dunstan, an outside sales representative for a local dry goods manufacturer, following his sudden and unexplained disappearance.
His fiancee, Marie DeLaPoer, has also disappeared.
The large mirror has been impounded awaiting further developments. It is in the evidence room.

Ditko, det. Sgt.

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