Where strange fact and stranger fiction collide
Last year I was honorable mention in the HP Lvoecraft Micro-fiction contest. It is a niche audience but since it is presented by the HP Lovecraft Historical Society, it is pretty prestigious for that niche audience. It was also the first publication of my works. I was rather disappointed when I didn’t place this year. But having read some of the ones that did win, well they are amazing.
So here are two of my entries from this year.
The Wreck of the Bebhion.
As my readers know, it is my quest to bring you the most amazing true stories that I can find, and I’ve found you a doozy in the wreck of the Bebhion. The story starts out with Hezekiah Marsh, who was born in some backwater costal town in Massachusetts, he moved to sunny California after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, and made a fortune building ships for the Pacific War effort. The oddest thing about this tale is how he is said to have banked rolled the shebang, he’s supposed to have paid for a shipyard and its upgrading with golden Spanish doubloons.
After the war he became a mover and a shaker in Los Angeles, some say both by legal and extra legal means. Marsh was a true LA celebrity, but you wouldn’t call him a handsome man. Prematurely bald, he had an almost nonexistent nose, pale skin the color of a dead fishes belly, and large watery sea storm gray eyes, he was no Errol Flynn. He did however catch the eye of one of Hollywood’s most lovely ladies. Lilly McLane was blonde bombshell in the classic fifties style. A Marilyn before Marilyn. Though she had stared in some “B” movies, she never obtained the stardom she thought she deserved. She was openly a gold-digger, she told confidants that she married Marsh for his money.
Marsh was one of those early Los Angeles eccentrics that could get away with almost anything, including publicly flaunting traditional mores and religion. He surrounded himself with a rouges gallery, of the offbeat and notorious, including J.P. Lafayette, a has-been pulp author that hit his prime during the thirties. J.P. had turned to the occult, in hopes of spawning a cult of followers. He liked to describe himself as a mixture of Robert E. Howard and Allister Crowley. Lafayette claimed he was Marsh’s black arts mentor, but those in the know say, the self-promoter was not the master wizard of the two.
Lafayette tanned and silver haired, lived aboard his yacht the Bebhion. (Named after a mysterious and seductive Celtic goddess.) Soon he caught Lilly’s eye, and he planned to abscond to Australia, with his friend’s wife and millions. Marsh found out about their scheme at the last minute and rushed to San Pedro harbor, only to see the Bebhion, head off to sea with the wayward lovers standing on deck, hand in hand drinking Champaign and laughing. They say Marsh cursed them in the name of some long forgotten dark god.
The lovers never made it to Australia, near what they use to call the Ponape Islands a rogue storm hit and sunk the yacht. Lilly, Lafayette and all hands where lost. The only wreckage ever found of the ship washed ashore on Bondi Beach next to Sydney, inscribed on it the name Bebhion, and it was covered with what looked like the sucker marks of a large octopus.
Astute readers of DCotU, may recognize this is a factious retelling of the story of Jack Parson’s (founder of JPL and the only black magician to have a crater on the moon named after him) and L. Ron Hubbard. (the founder of Scientology) They both were part of an occult project called Babelon Working. Eventualy Hubbard runs off with Parson’s wife who curses them. Unlike this version of the story the ship is not sunk, but a freak storm arose breaking the ships mask and the lovers had to be rescued by the coast guard.
Blue energy crackles down my arm, as I claw myself out desert sand. I hear the jackals and scorpions call in the darkness. I yell back at them; their king has risen yet again. The night wind whispers my true name. The stars spell out my sigil in the night sky. Only the overgrown monkey, that calls itself man, is foolish enough to not see what I am.
I am the Bloated Woman, I am Haunter in the Dark, I am the Tick Tock Man.
The Outer Gods only show interest in man, when he becomes bothersome, and instinctively swat at him like the insignificant insect he is. Though inferior to me as the paramecium is to him, I alone among the great worthies find amusement in mankind’s hubris and fall. Like the wounded gazelle, who thinks it is smarter than the crafty lion, the feeble humans think they can outsmart me. This amuses me.
I am the Bloody Tongue, I am the Dark Demon. I am the Beast.
Mankind thinks he is the master, with his lights and airplanes and his weapons of war. I however had a thousand forms when he was just the byproduct of the Elder Things experiments. Man created his own gods to defend itself from me and my kin. Fools, no one cares enough to save you, from those as I.
I am the Messenger of the Old Ones, I am the Skinless one, I am the Black Man.
In the distance I see lights of the desert city. Asleep with its night watch to protect it. But they shall fall like others before me. It has been since the age of Nitocris has man seen the wrath that is about to delude him. The desert shall bloom form the blood of man. It shall be glorious.
Nyarlathotep appears in many of Lvoecraft’s stories but this is the flip side of the prose poem, Nyarlathotep. It tells what is going through his mind as he rises form the desert, in that story. Nyarlathotep is Lovecraft’s shapeshifter, and the different forms I sight, come from many different Mythos stories during the last seven decades.