Where strange fact and stranger fiction collide
Here is the story that got printed in the Lovecraftian Micro-Fiction Collection Vol 2. I got back from Cuthlhu Con today (and my goat was having babies) <ore about both those event in a latter blog. This was written for Lovecraft fans, and if you compare it to the other fine works in the anthology it varies in tine because it is about HPL himself. Now because most people haven’t studied Lovecraft like I was pretty sure the judges of this collection did I am sure I will have to explain somethings at the end. Kind of like annotating my own work.
The hardest part was keeping it under the 500 word limit. In fact I talked to several writers in the book and they all agreed with me. It is easier to write a 3,000 word story than a 500 word one. So here is my first published work.
The Horror Behind the Door.
He paused to stare out at the lights of barbarous Brooklyn. The city’s humid air carried the frivolous music and horrible laughter of the masses. He might live among them but he certainty was not one of them. The hordes were driven by their base and carnal desires. Only their belief in a fictitious notion they called god kept them in check. He on the other hand was a man of refinement and intellect, though unfortunately not of means.
The man from Providence glanced over his shoulder at the oaken barrier that separated him from his fate. The apartment’s electric light gave the door a yellowish cast, that somehow made the threshold barrier seem even more sinister. It was as if the portal was a gaping jaw waiting to be thrust open and devour him. He shuddered at the thought of the horror behind the door.
When he was five years old, he had been plagued by a series of incredibly realistic dreams. In these reoccurring nightmares he was descended upon by dreadful beasts form beyond that he had dubbed the nightgaunts. Like men the creatures had a torso, two arms and two legs. But unlike men their coal black face had no features, only a beak with sharp yellowish teeth. Possessing talons for feet, wings and a barbed tail, which would strike him in a tickling gesture. An attack reminiscent to the unwanted touching of his overbearing mother, whose only physical contact with him as a boy was that accursed tickling.
Though he would never let his few acquaintances or his many correspondents know, he sometimes wondered if the nightgaunts were real. The nightmares were so vivid. He would awake in a lake of his own sweat, his body covered by red rashes. Could some eldritch being from another dimension have invaded his sleep and taken the sleeping boys conscious to another realm?
As absurd yet frightening as that thought might be to his rational mind, it was nowhere near as fearsome as his very real destiny that awaited him on the other side of the door. This was what killed his Parents. His stomach turned as he approached the door. This was his duty as a gentleman. In a very real sense, the existence of the human race depended on him finding his courage and do what he must.
His hand gripped the cold steel doorknob, and his body froze. His chest began to compress and it became hard for him to breathe. His body began to shake as if taken over by some palsy. Gripping the knob tightly he willed himself to force the door open and meat his fate.
In the bedroom the same yellow light that gave the door such a sinister appearance bathed his wife. Her black curly locks caressed her face. He knew that under the quilt she was naked. Her voice was soft yet fighting. “Come to bed Howard, I love you.” Sonia pleaded.
Lovecraft’s blood ran cold.
OK, so the story was based on what I thought HP Lovecraft feared the most. The answer was intimacy. Sonia his famously and somewhat oxymoronically said that he was “A superbly adequate lover” But it is doubtful her gave her the emotional connection she craved. His greatest fear was probably relating to other humans in any deep way.
The nightgautns who he wrote a poem about were the products of extremely vivid nightmares. As a child Lovecraft’s overactive imagination probably created an altered state of consciousness that made him think he saw nyads in his grandfather’s garden. Though despite these aprent visions he refused to accept anything supernatural was real.
As for that strange line about sex killing his parents, well Lovecraft’s father was basically a traveling salesman who contracted a non-treated case of syphilis which he gave to his wife. Both were to die in a mental hospital because of this. This probably also increased the difficulty of him being physically and emotionally connected to his wife.
Well there you have it my first published work, but hopefully not my last.