Mail Chimp

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Future Past

Howard was going mad, he was sure of it. Of late, each time he sought the solace of sleep, he awoke terrorized, drenched in sweat, trembling. These were no ordinary nightmares, he felt. Quite often, he was unable to allow himself to return to slumber, the visions frightened him so.

His wife offered little consolation.

“Try some warm milk, dear,” she would opine. He spared her the grisly details, lest she too become affected.

Subsequently, he occupied two hells, a waking one, and a dreaming one. The conscious one, in which he was perpetually tired and cross, was still infinitely preferable to what lay beyond the wall of sleep.

En route to work each day, he found himself intensely annoyed by the presence of a multitude of filthy foreigners, and began to imagine a connection. Perhaps it was voodoo being practiced upon him. He had no proof, but this seemed most likely. Arcane black magic conducted by the never-ending stream of newcomers to his once proud neighborhood.

After weeks of distress, he sought out the opinion of a psychiatrist. In secret, of course. Psychiatry struck him as the white equivalent of voodoo, at some base level of thought. But it was here that he began to unburden himself. It was here that the madness touched his soul in full.

He saw a future world occupied by gigantic sentient beetles, humanity no longer extant. A desert mad man enacting dark rituals. A breech in the fabric of time and space that resulted in a flood of indescribable creatures issuing forth to creak a havok heretofore unthinkable.

But most of all he saw...It. Chanting men in robes, undoubtedly foreigners, summoning a great beast from beyond the dimensions we can perceive. An entity so foul and alien, it was entirely without motivation as we understood it. To look upon it, to feel its thoughts radiating outward, a rapid blast of unknowable symbols, was to lose your humanity. The creature didn't feel hate toward us, or even contempt. It simply destroyed without emotion, as though its very nature was death.

And it had a name. Cthulu.

This is what frightened Howard the most, lending it the air of truth. Never a creative man, he felt it impossible that such in-depth realism could be the creation of his own tired mind. He might ascribe it to the very powers of Hell themselves, except this alternate reality seemed to dwarf Christian Hell in terms of horror. In fact, it made the very idea seem comforting.

He longed to die and vanquish his suffering. To end it all before his visions of the future began to come true, as he surely knew they would.

Putting these things into words for the doctor did, in some small way, comfort him. They made his somewhat abstract thoughts concrete, thus painting them with the brush of reality. He realized that he was, to his relief, not going mad, as such. In fact, he felt he was to be commended for dealing with the enormity of the situation as well as he had. Lesser men would have crumbled, collapsed, begging for the safety of the asylum.

The uncomprehending doctor of the mind prescribed him an opiate sedative.

“No dreams with this stuff, no sir. You'll sleep the sleep of the dead.”

If only he could trust death to be without dreams.

Howard walked home, deaf to his wife's inquiries, and sat at his desk, putting pencil to paper for the first time in response to his situation, and began to write.

Somewhere in a future time, members of the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society posted endless pictures of Cthulu to Facebook, transmitting them to the past.