Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Chapter 5 PART 3!

SO...did you think Chapter 5 was over? Because I totally did too! But my main character decided that was NOT he case! It is Aloysius Baxter Cunningham's story after all, so what he says goes!! I promise the NEXT installment will be the official beginning of Chapter 6. This specific story detail, however, could not be ignored. I hope you all enjoy this impromptu addition to the story!


The Deep One and Aloysius locked gazes for what seemed like an eternity before the creature finally made its move. It leapt hard at the glass leaving a large cracking running through it, though the impact didn’t phase the monster one bit.  Aloysius let out a quick scream while the Deep One crawled to the top of the reef one more time to prepare for its next attack. It let out one more incredible roar before it’s second attempt, but before it reached the point of impact, the old man cried out from the side:

                               “Oneiroi Aphroditays, Airesou Seauto!

         The creature hit the water just before he administered another blow to the surprisingly tough glass that separated it and Aloysius. It’s horrific, unblinking, eyes, slowly closed as it began to sink slowly out of view and back into the black abyss from where it came. Aloysius’s heart pounded so hard he thought it would beat right out of his chest. He collapsed down to the floor and could feel himself shaking with fear. Sylvanus wheeled himself over, pulled a silver flask out of the inside of his jacket and handed it over to Al. “Drink this, it will help.” He said. Aloysius grabbed the flask and stared at it for second unsure of its content. He took a careful swig of it and recoiled as the liquor burned going down his chest. “Oh my God, Wade! That is some strong whiskey!” 
“It has to be when you’ve seen the kind of things I’ve seen, Mr. Cunningham.” Sylvanus said putting a hand on the young man’s shoulder. 
“What did you say to it just then? It just seemed to stop.” Aloysius said breathing deeply and trying to regain his composure and not taking his eyes off the tank. 
“It means ‘Dreams of Aphrodite, seize him!’. It’s not much, but it’s the best we could find in the Necronomicon that would satiate it. They are lustful creatures, after all.”
“Where did you get it?”
“Not too far from here, off the coast of Ipswich. In an effort to locate the artifacts we need as a matter of fact. That’s how we knew we were on to something.”
“On to something?” He turned and looked at the old man terrified.
“Come with me over here, I will explain.” Sylvanus turned and Aloysius got to his feet slowly and followed as they headed to the opposite side of the room. Aloysius observed three empty glass cases with bronze nameplates on them that were already inscribed. He read them out loud as he went by each one 
“Pnakotic Manuscripts…Zann’s Fiddle…The Silver Key?” What do these have to do with a Deep one?” he asked.
“If you’ll direct your attention to the case before those, I can begin.” Aloysius turned his gaze to the next occupied pedestal and his jaw dropped. The object contained within was one he had only seen in his mind, that he only thought existed in Lovecraft’s stories. A crown worn by the priests of Dagon. The shining silver tiara glistened under the spotlight above it. The front of it spiked high towards the sky, came swooping down near the center and back up to a sharp point. The sides were so narrow, it looked like it couldn’t possibly fit a human head. Aloysius chuckled a little to himself when he realized how much it resembled the crown of a bishop. “I’m sure that as a fan of Howard’s, you can recall what this item is.” Sylvanus said.
“Yes sir. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t flabbergasted by all of this.”
“The story of how we acquired the Deep One goes hand in hand with this crown. The crown will play a crucial part in the ritual to seal the portal to the other realm when the time comes. We needed it but were unsure where to start looking for it. Our last…investigator…before you was on a mission to find it. He was determined to find one as he was completely devoted to the project. One day he chartered a small fishing vessel and went off sailing up and down the coast of the North Shore. He sailed from Salem, up to Rockport and Gloucester and back again, looking for any possible signs of ‘Innsmouth’ or ‘Devils Reef’. That evening, it was nearing dusk and too late for him to return all the way to Salem. He proceeded into a small inlet near Ipswich thinking there had to be somewhere to dock that was safe. As he went through the inlet, he dropped his fishing net in hopes of catching something to eat for the night. He slowly cruised through the murky water and marshland and came upon a long, moldy old dock. It wasn’t much but there was space for him to make port and it was free. He slowly drifted over to the dock and tied off his boat. He stepped onto the dock to stretch his legs and noticed that the dock led to a main road lined with a few abandoned and broken down buildings strewn alongside it. He thought maybe there was a bed he could sleep in in one of them. He walked down and heard distinct chatter coming from one of the buildings. He described it as looking like a former town hall. The front door was partially opened so he peered in out of curiosity. What he found was almost unspeakable.” Aloysius hung on the old man’s every word. The terror he felt when he first encountered the Deep One began to creep up once again. He took another swig from the flask and encouraged Sylvanus to continue.
“Good God, he found the ruins of Innsmouth. He found him there…didn’t he?” he asked.
“Not quite, I’m afraid. It was a whole pack of them. Mostly hybrids. He snuck in, hid in the shadows and watched as they performed their hideous ritual and croaked their horrible chants. He was daring and brave though. He would stop at nothing to obtain one of the crowns worn by one of the, well, I guess you could call them Elders. He worked out a plan to snatch one off a nearby head and sneak out one of the broken windows as fast as he could. When the creatures seemed to be deep in chant, he made his move and snatched the crown that was closest to him. As soon as he did every creature broke free of the chant, as if a crucial piece of their puzzle had been removed. As he clamored to make his escape, they let out their hideous roars and gave chase. He pulled himself through the window so quick that the jagged edges of the leftover glass pierced his side and left a long gash. He held his side as he ran and still clutched the crown with all the strength he could muster. He just barely kept a pace faster than the creatures, as they hopped and slithered and gnashed their horrible teeth at him. He ran across the dock and fumbled back into his boat. He grabbed a knife, cut the rope that was securing it, hit the motor and sped away as fast as he could to the open ocean. They jumped into the water after him. On his way back, he called us. He was babbling incoherently about Innsmouth and we couldn’t understand a word of what he was saying so I, and a few of my associates, met him at the dock at the Willows park just up the road from here. By the time we got to him, he was still furiously muttering to himself in the cabin of the boat. He had a small notepad and it looked like he was trying to recall what happened, to no avail. We couldn’t get a word out of him that made any sort of sense. It wasn’t until later on when we got the whole story. We got him safely ashore and sent him home to rest. A fellow member of the Order commandeered the vessel. It wasn’t until then, that we noticed a rope hanging over the side. It was tight and caused the stern of the vessel to dip down almost to the water line. It took 3 of my men to turn the crank attached to the rope that revealed our Deep One tangled in the fishing net.” Aloysius stood in silence staring at the magnificent crown. He had gotten himself roped into something so real and terrifying he questioned if he would be able to fill the shoes of the previous investigator. There was no escaping his fate now though. He turned back to the old man. 
“So what happened to him?” he asked quietly.
“Who? Our last investigator?”
“Oh, he decided after that encounter he needed a rest and decided to retire. We honored his wishes and that is how we came about hiring you.”
“Is there anyway I can speak with him? It may help with my own investigation.”
“Oh no, I’m afraid not! That is out of the question!” Sylvanus replied abruptly. “He left and we haven’t heard from him since. Noone knows where he is.”
A curious expression came over Al’s face as he processed what the old man had just said.
“Whatever. Anyway, what are the rest of these things you need?” Al said gesturing towards the 3 empty display cases. 
“The remaining items work in conjunction with the crown. We assume it will act as a form of offering to The Daemon Sultan to appease him while we perform the ritual to seal the gate. We know the key elements we need for the ritual, just not how to use them together as of yet. The most important piece of the puzzle will be the discovery of the Pnakotic Manuscripts. The Manuscripts will further outline the steps we need to take.”
“Where are these things? The Manuscripts are supposed to exist only in the dream realm.” The old man let out a somewhat sinister chuckle at his question.
“Ahhh, therein lies the dilemma, Mr. Cunningham. We don’t really know. All we have to go by are Lovecraft’s stories. That’s how we found all the rest of these things and that is how we plan to find the remaining three.” Aloysius let out a bit of a laugh and folded his arms.
“So what you’re saying is I have to comb through all of Lovecraft stories looking for clues so that I MAY find a manuscript that only exists in the dream realm?”
“Well, that could be just a metaphor. Innsmouth was successfully located, was it not? Those paintings you see over there? Recovered from the exact spot Lovecraft described Pickman’s residence to be. Do those reliefs on the wall mean nothing to you? We had a deal, Cunningham!!” The old mans face grew red with rage.
“Ahhh, OK!  Calm down, Mr. Wade. We still have a deal. I was just trying to grasp the size of the task I’m undertaking! I just learned all of this today! It’s a pretty huge deal and I’m basically starting from scratch if I can’t talk to the guy before me. I have nothing to give me any sort of clue where to start! Is there anything at all that you can give me that will help me out a little?” The old man paused with a sort of quizzical look on his face before he answered.
“I unfortunately don’t have any of our previous investigators notes or clues. But I do have a few trinkets that will help you keep your wits about you and survive this ordeal, if you would accept them.”
“I will take anything I can get, sir.” Aloysius nodded. Sylvanus turned towards the door and gestured for him to follow. They walked back through the giant steel door, which closed heavily behind them on its own and seemed to shake the small corridor they walked through to get back to the rickety old elevator. “Back to Sylvanus’ office once again” Al thought. 

I really hope everyone enjoyed reading that as much as I enjoyed writing it! We all know for certain that Lovecraft's stories were completely fictitious, but it certainly is fun to speculate, isn't it? Tying Lovecrafts mythos to events and places in the real world has been such a joy for me (even if it may be driving me a little bid mad!). Going on my own Lovecraftian adventures through Salem and Providence have given me so many horrifying ideas for this story! Where will Aloysius go to find the lost items? Does Lovecraft really give clues in his various stories and poems? Find out in the next installment. Chapter 6 is coming soon! I promise ;). As for my closing photo, i'm not sure who is responsible for it but I thought it was fitting! Whoever you are, what a hilarious job you've done! 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Chapter 5 Part 2

My apologies once again, readers! The story is really beginning to take off now and I want to make sure everything is perfect! Even though this is only the first draft, I still want to make it fun and entertaining for you all! So please, enjoy the exciting conclusion of Chapter 5!! 


        “Make it $10,000 and we have a deal. ”Aloysius stood and offered his hand to Sylvanus. 
“Done. 10,000 it is. ” Sylvanus shook his outstretched hand. The deal was done. Charlotte squealed and threw her arms around Aloysius excitedly. He rolled his eyes and glared at his new boss. Sylvanus sighed. “That will be quite enough of that, Charlotte! Now, help Lavinia downstairs and quit eavesdropping like you were!” Charlotte let go and hung her head.
“My apologies, Mr. Wade.  I’m sorry Aloysius. I’ll leave you alone now.” She said as she slowly walked out of the office and closed the door behind her. Aloysius opened his mouth to speak but Sylvanus held up his hand to stop him from starting prematurely. Once he heard Charlotte’s heavy boots clomping down the stairs, he put his hand back down.
“Proceed, Cunningham. I just wanted to make sure we wouldn’t have to worry about anymore interruptions.”
“Thank you. I really do appreciate that. So let me get this straight: The Mayans and Lovecraft both believed in terrifying alien gods?”
“Most definitely. Archaeologists have discovered reliefs all over the Mayan ruins of giant beasts and terrifying creatures, but they try very hard to keep their findings under wraps. Look how the mere thought of the 2012 prophecy is affecting the masses, if the world knew what was really going on, chaos would reign supreme. Luckily for us, the members of the Order come from all backgrounds and walks of life, including some of the scientific persuasion. We have actually acquired some of those recovered pieces. Would you like to see them?”
“Absolutely. I’m willing to give it a shot if it will help with whatever case you’re taking me on for.” He wasn’t exactly sure what he would see in the ‘artifact room’ but he didn’t see the harm in it.  He wasn’t sure how this meeting could get any weirder. “So where do you hide an artifact room in a facility like this?”
"In the basement, Cunningham.” Sylvanus said wheeling himself out from behind his desk. Aloysius cocked his head to one side and raised an eyebrow. Aloysius hadn’t noticed his wheelchair before now. Although he did find it strange that he didn’t get up to shake his hand at all. It was a strangely ornate motorized wheelchair almost as if it had been ripped out of a bygone era and modified to ‘blend in’ with modern society. He didn’t notice an elevator in the building. But there almost had to be in order for Sylvanus to get to and from his office, let alone the basement. Al couldn’t help but wonder just how old Sylvanus was. How did Sylvanus become the head of this organization? Why did they need him to do this again? “It’s the only space big enough to house our collection.” Sylvanus continued on breaking Aloysius’ train of thought.
“Soooo, how exactly will you get to the basement from here?” He asked. He watched as Sylvanus wheeled himself over to the far corner of one of the bookshelves. 
“It’s simple, really.” The old man said as he pulled down on one of the ancient texts. The sound of squealing gears turning filled the air as one of the panels of bookshelves began to swing forward slowly. Once it was fully opened, it revealed an archaic looking elevator complete with a bronze gate for a door and two hand cranks on the inside. Its walls were made of dark wood and it looked rather slim on the inside from what Aloysius could see. ‘What is this? The Addams Family Mansion?’  he thought to himself. Sylvanus began to wheel his way into the elevator. “Well, are you coming, Cunningham?” 
"Right behind you sir.” He said running in. Surprisingly, the car was a lot more roomy then it actually looked. Sylvanus pulled the hand crank closing the gate behind them and used the one opposite it to propel the elevator into motion. The elevator rattled as it slowly descended further and further beneath the ground. The journey down to the basement seemed to take twice as long as the run up the stairs to the office! Soon the glow emanating from Sylvanus’s office was nothing but a small speck of light in the blackness above them. They passed several doors leading to the different floors in the building and Aloysius wondered when they would ever reach the bottom. All of a sudden they hit the ground with a thud. “OH!” Sylvanus cried out. “I always misjudge how long it takes to get down here. Sorry for the crash landing, Cunningham. Here we are though.” He let go of the operator crank and opened the gate. In front of them laid a short cobblestone tunnel lit by two flaming torches and lead to a large steel door. The door looked like it belonged in a bank. The ominous wheel on the door looked impossible to move. As they approached the door, Sylanus grabbed Aloysius sleeve and pulled him down closer to him. “Now, Cunningham, the things you’re going to see in this room are confidential. I would advise you, for your own safety, to keep this between us. We have plenty of enemies outside these walls, and you will too once you get started. ” 
“I think you can count on that, sir.” Aloysius replied nodding. After all, noone would believe him anyway. Sylvanus rolled closer to the wheel and gripped it with both hands. “Are you sure you don’t want me to do that, Mr. Wade? It looks awful heavy.” 
“Stand back, son. I’m not as helpless as I look.” The old man hissed. Aloysius threw up his hands and took a few steps back as Sylvanus began to pull down and the iron wheel began to slowly turn. The clicking of the gears echoed loudly off the stone walls of the tiny corridor they were standing in. Sylvanus made one full turn on the wheel and the door popped open releasing a small puff as if the room was tightly airlocked. Aloysius helped Sylvanus push the door all the way open to reveal a room that looked nothing like the hallway they were standing in.
     It was reminiscent of a museum gallery. The wide room in front of them had high maroon walls and a marble floor. In the middle of the room was a large glass case, which to Aloysius looked like an oversized aquarium the size of a swimming pool. It seemed to house a giant pool of dark water that extended far beneath the floorboards with a monstrous looking brown reef sticking out just above the surface revealing sharp jagged edges. “What’s in this case, Mr. Wade?” he asked.
  “Some of our artifacts are of the, how should I put this, the aquatic variety. It’s best if we leave it undisturbed for now.” Sylvanus said quietly. Surrounding the aquarium were ivory pedestals with glass cases atop them, each housing a different strange item, whether it was an article of Lovecraft’s clothing, first edition issues of his Weird Tales magazine where he was published, and even the long-lost death journal Lovecraft wrote while on his death bed.  In between some of the pedestals hung grotesque paintings . Paintings that showed a seemingly normal human family aside from the hideous dog-like child that joined them. There were family portraits  with everyone posing like statues and other scenes of family Christmas’s and dinners, all marred by the presence of the disfigured child.  On the walls above them hung large stone reliefs all arranged in sequence depicting monstrosities of different shapes and sizes at different stages destroying the small human figures carved into the stone. Horrified, Aloysius slowly walked around the room looking at the collection. Every so often he thought he heard splashing and bubbling coming from the water in the terrarium behind him, but never could turn in time to see what was making the sounds. He walked back to Sylvanus, who stared silently into the dark abyss in the aquarium. “This is an incredible collection you have here, Mr. Wade.”
“It took many, many years to acquire it all. It took just as long to put all the pieces together. Everything points to the world coming to an unfathomable and horrific end at the end of this year I’m afraid.”
  “Now, I’m not an expert at these things Mr. Wade but it looks like those carvings are arranged to tell the story?”
“That is absolutely the truth. The sequence of event goes like: It all starts here with Nyarlathotep.” The old man pointed to the stone slab above his head. “The Crawling Chaos will bring the first reign of terror and destruction to the world. Corrupting the minds of men and driving them to near insanity. You can see that it has begun all over the world. Men, women and even children are killing each other for reasons and motives unknown. All driven mad by the charismatic and terrifying voice of Nyarlathotep.” At that moment, something clicked for Aloysius. The creature in his dream was none other than Nyarlathotep. How had he not seen it before? He must’ve grown visibly shaken enough for even Sylvanus to notice. “Are you alright, Cunningham?”
“Fine, sir, go on.”
“And then it gets worse from there. Yog-Sothoth will begin to open the gate causing all manner of horrible beings to manifest from the other realms. Night Gaunts, Shoggoths, Flying Polyps, you name it. Even before then there will be those things that have always dwelt beneath and beyond the cracks in mans dominion over the Earth. We haven’t received any reports of strange attacks recently, but there are plenty of eyewitness accounts of strange creatures, even cryptozoologists can’t identify. Just a few days ago, the Salem News printed an article about an abnormally large white rat prowling around the streets at night. ” Aloysius’ eyes widened with shock, as much as he tried to concentrate on what Sylvanus was saying, he still couldn’t take his mind off of what could possibly be inside such a large tank. It wasn’t until the old man’s latest revelation that things started making sense in his head. They couldn’t have what he was thinking of. It was nearly impossible. 
"Mr. Wade…what are you hiding down here? I don’t think that’s a normal fish tank.”
“When the stars begin to align, much closer to the actually date of December 12, 2012, The Great Old Ones will emerge and begin to wreak their havoc and damnation upon the earth…”the old man carried on as if Aloysius hadn’t said a thing.
“Mr. Wade, I asked you a question…”
“And then finally, the gate will be permanently opened ushering in the age of Azathoth, the Lord of All Things and the bringer of Ultimate Chaos. Noone will be able to escape once he is released. The End of Time will be upon us….”
“MR. WADE! What the HELL is in this room with us?” Aloysius yelled interrupting the old man. The room grew eerily quite and a furious bubbling came from the tank. Aloysius turned around slowly and noticed a silver shape slinking through the water moving faster and faster as if it was feverishly looking for a way out. It sent the water in the tank into a frenzy as it splashed violently against the glass. Quicker than Aloysius could blink, the creature emerged from the black water, perched and sat on top of the devilish reef and stared at Aloysius with a blood lust in its black, wide, unblinking eyes that Aloysius had never seen before. The fluorescent light from the ceiling sent a horrible shimmer over the scaly grey skin of the monster before him, while it’s webbed hands and feet gripped the reef so strongly that it almost sent cracks through it. It opened its mouth and revealed rows of jagged, sharp teeth and let out a hellacious cry that sounded like a demon screaming and trying to disguise its voice as that of a croaking frog. He couldn’t believe his own eyes. He could no longer deny the strange beliefs of the Miskatonics. He had living, breathing proof right in front of him. The Miskatonics  had somehow acquired A Deep One. 

Whew!! What a fun ride Chapter 5 has been! I can only hope you loved reading it just as much as I loved writing it! In the coming chapters, you will all finally get to follow Aloysius as he begins his trek to find the missing artifacts for Sylvanus! He has a big job ahead of him and will be encountering difficulties, including a group of antagonists along the way! My image for today is actually of a book that I actually bought for any future children I may have. I think its a great addition to any Lovecraft fans library!
You can purchase your own copy of "Where The Deep Ones Are" from a site like Amazon  or from your favorite Lovecraftian retailer!!