Lord Cthulhu’s Bane

On my Facebook page I considered composing short fiction for the Halloween season. Imagine your favorite character in fiction or movies encountering the Cthulhu mythos.

Here’s my story:

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.

#flashfiction #picturefiction #Cthulhu #fanfiction #ThomasCovenant

Lord Cthulhu’s Bane

 Thomas Covenant shambled across his living room. His coffee table was covered with the remains of last night’s meal.

His stomach rolled when he saw the congealed sauce covering dried out tentacles of calamari. It was the most disgusting thing he had eaten since recovering from his long illness after he was last summoned to the Land.

“Unclean food for an unclean man,” he muttered.

He rubbed the scar on his half-hand and dropped into the chair he had spent most of last evening in. Truth to tell, he spent most evenings in that chair. His life in the real world remained a merry go round of boredom and shame.

He glanced at his typewriter, untouched for weeks. He had dreamed last night of dark shapes rising from the pond in the woods, finned horrors from beyond the darkness. Perhaps he could use that dream and finally write something.

The images were still fresh in his mind, fresh enough that he felt his skin prickle with sweat as a rush of remembered dream fear resurfaced.

Covenant pushed himself up from his chair and started toward the typewriter when he heard a thud from the porch. Another thud followed close upon the first. That one sounded like something soaked with water hitting the boards and splashing the wood with its moisture.

Covenant instinctively fingered his wedding band of white gold. It was an emotional crutch here in the real world. In the Land it could lay waste to any threat but here it was only a leaden reminder of all he had lost.

A wet splash came from the other side of the door. His curiosity overcame his unease. Stomping to the door he reached out with his half-hand and grasped the knob.

The knob turned and the click of the latch slipping free was joined by a gurgling roar. The door crashed inward slamming into Covenant’s chest. He was hurled back into the room. He managed to stay on his feet and watched as the man – no, it was not a man but a creature. It reminded him of an ur-vile with its long thin arms and its stooped posture but where the ur-viles were black; this abomination was the mottled green of a sea creature. It opened its mouth revealing dozens of needle teeth and roared again. Covenant backed away from the prehistoric sea beast and felt his heel catch on something. The world was yanked from beneath his feet and he fell. His head met the corner of the table and stars exploded behind his eyes. The remains of his dinner flew into the air and rained down on him. The last thing he saw as darkness took him was tentacles as the calamari landed on his face.

* * *

Covenant awoke to the sound of pounding surf and the warmth of the sun on his chest. He opened his eyes and knew immediately that he was in the Land. He groaned and sat up. He knew this place. The SunbirthSea rolled in its eternal flow beside him. Looking north he could glimpse the spoiled plains, still rife with Corruption’s malice. He also knew what lay behind him. He dreaded turning around. He could see in his mind’s eye the tumbled remains of Foul’s Creche on its promontory of cliffs. Why had he been returned? Was Lord Foul once again threatening the Land? What of that monster invading his home? Was his helpless body even now being savaged by the beast?

A bubbling sound reached his ears. It sounded as if an enormous pot of water had come to a furious boil but this pot would have been the size of an ocean.

Covenant turned and looked past Foul’s Creche where the blue-green waters of the SunbirthSea bubbled and churned. Something appeared in the roiling waters. It appeared to be an island rising from the depths to join its brother landmasses basking in the sun. Mats of kelp and sea slime coated the rounded surface of the island which continued to grow and rise.

The island continued to rise and its sides soon began to curve inward. As Covenant stared, aghast, enormous milky orbs broke the surface of the water. Eyes, somehow this titanic shape was a face. Had the Despiser crafted some new abomination to conquer the Land?

Higher the face rose from the water revealing writhing tentacles. The creature’s shoulders and torso soon cleared the waters. It soon stood taller than the cliffs and blotted out the sun. Its skin was a sickly black-green and appeared alternately scaled and slick as if it could not decide to become reptile or some other form of life.

Covenant felt his fear kindle the wild magic within his ring. 

White light erupted around him, exploding from the white gold of his wedding band to form a coruscating ball of power that mirrored the violence in his soul. Screaming in fear and rage Covenant thrust his half-hand toward the towering horror and white flame flowed upward to strike the creature. The monster’s tentacles parted and its black maw opened wide to swallow the light of the wild magic. Pushing harder Covenant felt his soul pour toward the creature which drank the wild magic as if it were water. Unfazed the creature made a sound that he thought must be a chuckle.

The flame of wild magic soon flickered and died. Covenant fell to his knees, drained in body and spirit. He looked to his ring which now appeared tarnished and dull. The magic was gone.

A new sound reached his ears, chanting.

An enormous crowd of black ur-viles and green sea creatures like the one who had invaded his home capered madly on the beach between him and Foul’s Creche.

“Ia, ia! Cthulhu ia!” they sang with voices like drowned men.

Covenant felt his sanity fracture as the sea titan strode ashore and into the Land.

 The End?


 Thomas Covenant and other characters/locations mentioned were created by Stephen R. Donaldson. I claim no ownership of these characters and present this as a writing exercise and a work of fan fiction.