I never should have let Jesus in. When you allow something in, you risk infection.
“And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; if he does, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost, and so are the skins; but new wine is for fresh skins.”
Once I let Jesus into my heart he wouldn’t stop talking in my head: parable after lesson after reproachment, repeat, and all in a surprisingly brusque voice. My childhood memories are infected with it since first communion. The shockingly mocking voice. The voice was the first warning of a danger that I was too young to heed. The second sign of danger was the vision I received, not from God divine but a hateful god infernal—the threat of interdimensional demons borne of horror so old and unnamable that the Lord Himself is inaudible, replaced with a chaotic choir of cosmic dread in a thousand R’lyehian moans.
“Ya stell’bsna chtenff hupdgh n’ghft!”
I can hear the chanting in my brain. Finally, the words of Jesus Christ and the obscene tongue of the Old Ones’ cultists fuse into a single blaspheming voice.
“Uh’e sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old k’yarnak; if he does f’ah ngilyaa, the patch tears away from it, s’uhn the new from the old, and a worse tear is made ehye.”
I am reborn. Is this a rebirth into the heart of darkness or something far darker still? Jesus, protect me! It will not. I am hopeless in the long nightmare of the soul. My ‘bthnk bleeds from the wrenching heartache of spiritual betrayal. This Son of Man is no Savior and God is not God! In a fever I behold the Lord before me. But this is no loving Christ:
I see a crown of long black sea urchin spines encircling the cephalopodan head, the eyes bulging and bulbous with black crosses for pupils, the mouth a snapping beak, the skin wet and glistening. Worst of all is the grotesque transformation of the Lamb’s gentle beard into a writhing madness of tentacles. Too profane to behold, yet I am its witness. The evil lord incarnate carries the burden of the Cross up a steep denuded hill. With godlike strength the Spawn of Old One King of Kings plants its cross deep into the hard earth. Sinuously, it climbs upon the cross. In one webbed hand it holds a carpenter’s hammer and three long nails in the other. After hooking one arm around the cross it hammers a nail through both trunk-like feet. It screams. Whether from pain or to call for cultists. A young man in tattered cloths scampers—yes, scampers—up the crucifixion hill, holding a godforsaken chalice in which he collects a putrid black fluid spewing from the punctured feet of the damned Spawn Prince. Balancing on this pierced nail, it slaps its right hand onto the crossbeam and deftly nails the hand to wood. Now holding the hammer and one nail in its left hand, the Old One Spawn immediately realizes its dilemma. It screams ancient filth, damning the human race. In the end, the young cultist, charged with filling a chalice with its lord’s blood, hammers the last nail for pity of the Spawn’s predicament. Now the awful squirm thing revels in its crucifixion…
Ah, my tormented vision of blasphemous terror! As a child, I ate the body and drank the blood: the profane miracle of unholy transubstantiation has poisoned my soul with oozing blackness. I now understand the Lord’s promise of the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth. This means final damnation of the human race and an end to its dominion on this planet.
I open the Bible and find transposed between and upon the holy words the unspeakable tongue of the Necronomicon.
“How can Satan cast out Hlirgh? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that phlegeth cannot stand.”
I kneel in supplication before the altar, praying to a God I pray is still God, but I know it is not so. My brothers and sisters in the pews surrounding me reek of sea wrack—I am a cultist, taken in by the Religion of the Old Ones from the moment of my baptism. I am unclean.
“Truly, C’ai say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they lw’nafh; but whoever blasphemies against the Hafh’drn never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sinn’gah—shugg has an unclean spirit.”
For me, worst of all, is the insidiously altered Sermon on the Mount:
“Damned are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the tharanak of shagg.
“Damned are the meek, for they shall inherit the shugg.
“Damned are those who mourn, for they shall be mnahn’.
“Damned are those who hunger and thirst for hrii, for they shall be chtenff.
“Damned are the merciful, for they shall obtain wgah’n.
“Damned are the pure in heart, for they shall see R’lyeh.
“Damned are the peacemakers, for they shall be called gof’nn of n’ghft.
“Damned are those who are persecuted for fm’latgh, for theirs is R’lyeh.
“Damned are you when hafh’drn revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of n’ghft against you falsely on R’lyeh’s account.”
I am doomed. So are we all. When God promised He would destroy the world by fire, He wasn’t kidding. The power of Azathoth will radiate through space, older and faster than the light of the farthest star, and chaos shall be its New Gospel on Earth. Cthulhu will reign from New Jerusalem as the nuclear fires erupt over four thousand times.
I look to the penitents surrounding me in the small, leaky, dilapidated church. They are pilgrims from Innsmouth, clearly. Yet somehow they remind me of my parents. My mother and father dressed well for church, but not too formal, and me in my scratchy wool suit. Every Sunday at 9:30 AM, the consummation ritual and then well spoken words from the “Holy” Bible, in truth, the descendant text of the Necronomicon. My parents were oblivious. The name of Jesus Christ lulled them into a stupor. How have I come to see the truth? What cruel Elder God would allow me this vision of terror? Yes, I am a vile sinner. Sinners who do not repent go to Hell, where the Devil is. Satan the Beast. How tame a demon compared to the true rulers of torture. Just like the game boys play of “Who would win?”—Satan vs. Cthulhu! Or, the Devil vs. Shub-Niggurath! 666 is an unlucky number, and the Beast loses to the Great Old Ones and the Outer Gods every roll.
Obsessed and more than half mad, I begin my researches into other holy texts, searching for the proof of Elder Gods in every religion. I discover some obscure references in the Quran, the Torah, the Bhagavad-Gita…even in New Age self-help paperbacks! The polytheistic bestiary of phantasmagoria lies at the root of every human belief system, even history: agriculture, civilization, money, writing, social stratification, slavery, destructive technology ending in nuclear annihilation. All planned tens of thousands of years in advance, a deterministic historical trajectory of a species destined for extinction.
I can now clearly discern the cultists among us, and they are legion: the Boy Scouts and, before them, the Hitler Youth. I see them in the insipid, vapid showmanship of Lawrence Welk, in the soul-wrenching boredom of James Taylor, the saccharine made music by John Denver. Yes, even the hateful President of the United States and his banal cabal. My visions have broadened far wider than the spawn-thing Christ. My pale skin places me in the race that our Old Masters call “piggers: the unpigmented berserker sports of nature from the north.” I am a pig of the Old Ones, a pitiful penitent praying for slop. I am hapless before humanity’s history with the Unnamable, and hopeless before the end. A new era of terrors on Earth—from the atomic waste will rise the Old Ones and from the skies will fall and crawl the spawns. I do not want to see these things!
If I commit suicide, is that still a sin? Who stands in judgment? Gods older than stars. The architects and wrecking crews of the cosmos. My death is literally nothing to them. I care only for myself in my dread. I have gone mad.
A penitent in the pew beside me hands me the collection plate, which is unpleasantly wet and stinking like death in the sea. I scream and upturn the plate violently, spilling shelled oysters, mussels, clams and snails on the puce green dress of the fish-eyed woman next to me. She cries out in a gurgle. I run from the church, slipping on blades of kelp trailed in by the congregation. Outside, I breathe deeply and exhale the stench of fish and filthy seawater, look up to the Sun and feel its warmth pulling me from the cold, dark depths of an unforgiving ocean.
If the Lamb transmogrifies into the spawn of an ancient, voracious cephalopod god, should I then not fulfill the promise to give my heart to Him and Him alone? Has any man ever known such a colossal crisis of faith? Whatever godforsaken son of a squid died on a cross, it was not for the absolution of my sins. It cannot be so.
Mine own life hath become blaspheme!
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