The veils of madness parted, and Garen the Undreaming found himself once again lucid. His body ached from ears to toes. He jogged, the sun on his left shoulder, and a bitter wind blew at his back that his heavy coats of fur could not fully abate. Where was he? How did he get here? Questions he was not unfamiliar with asking himself.
Category: Horror (Page 1 of 23)
It is said that in Ulthar, which lies beyond the river Skai, no man may kill a cat; and this I can verily believe as I gaze upon him who sitteth purring before the fire. For the cat is cryptic, and close to strange things which men cannot see. He is the soul of antique Aegyptus, and bearer of tales from forgotten cities in Meroë and Ophir. He is the kin of the jungle’s lords, and heir to the secrets of hoary and sinister Africa. The Sphinx is his cousin, and he speaks her language; but he is more ancient than the Sphinx, and remembers that which she hath forgotten.
Unathi was singing karaoke when the creature attacked Tokyo. Or rather, she was about to sing karaoke. Was, in fact, about to be the very first person in Shibuya’s Big Echo to break in the newly uploaded Britney hip-hop remix of the Spice Girls’ ‘Tell Me What You Want (What You Really Really Want)’.
Her mother leaves the sentence unfinished, and she wants to tell her not to go on. He can be anywhere, in the water, in the fire, and in the end there’s little difference between burnt bones and waterlogged bones.
“Did you hear me? I said they found your brother.”
“Mhm.” So she’d have his bones. What did she want with them?
“Rachel, they found Charlie. He’s at a hospital upstate. He’s alive.”
Awareness terrified the golem, but the burning paper in his mouth and the word written on it gave him comfort. It filled him with wonder and fear, knowledge and life. Saint Darwin had fashioned the paper from a certain bush on an Egyptian mountainside that was impervious to fire. When the golem’s life dissipated, the flames would sputter out but the mystical paper would never be consumed.
I was born again on New Year’s Eve, full of broken promises, and slick and sticky with two kinds of blood. One of them was a ghost’s. That didn’t surprise me, though. I’ve seen my share of ghost blood.
I’d spent most of my life working with spirits and principalities — tracking ghosts, and making demands of them. That’s what people hired me for. But I wasn’t one of Darwin’s spiritualists, though I’d read his Origin of the Spirits and wore the goggles he’d fashioned. No, the spiritualists aided the spirits, providing a bridge between the living and the dead to help care for them. Me? I took all of Charlie Darwin’s studies and tools, and crossed those bridges to make certain demands of ghosts. I was a spiritual extortionist.
There are two things I love, and one is the tiny grey owl outside my window. He is not afraid of me. He hoots and hops to my windowsill so I can stroke his downy head and feed him worms I’ve saved in my pocket.
It is hard to get the worms from my pocket, the way my left arm jerks up behind me and my right hand shakes. Often fat mister owl gets a half a worm, but he doesn’t mind. Mother minds picking the half-worms from my pockets, but I see how she looks at me when I calm my tremoring hand long enough to pat mister owl; I see how she loves me then.
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