A loving tribute to H.P. Lovecraft:
There is a terror in New England. Such terrors walk pronounced, and even known in the ancient ruins of Europe and the mysterious lands of the orient, but in it’s subtler here. A nagging clawing anxiety that penetrates the very stones and hills and infects it’s populace; not with the fear of named nightmares like banshees and mi-gos but of that which is so old, it has no name.
As I walked down the streets of Arkham Massachusetts to our brownstone house, my heart was heavy with sadness and fear. It was that very same fear that had no name, and my pulse quickened as I strode down the hall to my son’s room.
I’d been having troubles with my only issue, which had become more pronounced since his strange illness. Before then he had been a happy child, eager to please, who shared in my outings and activities with joy. But since his convalescence a change had overtaken him, altering him completely. He had become a stranger to me, how strange I had yet to discover, possessing a spirit totally alien to me.
And then had come the note from his teacher, entreating me to a private interview at our parochial school. I had not known what to expect, but nothing could have prepared me for the blasphemous horrors she related to me. I sat as one transfixed as she described events in graphic detail, her voice quavering and eventually breaking as she shed tears copiously. Throughout our conference, her eyes had darted nervously towards the door as if she feared my son might be there, listening.
It was then that she had shown me the picture.
It was the imaginings of a mad man, and I felt my sanity slip as I gazed at the phantastical lines and swirls of livid paint. That my sweet golden-haired boy could have brought such diseased monstrosities to life with his childish skill filled me with the blackest revulsion.
“Are there any more pictures?” I asked.
“In his notebook,” said his teacher breathlessly. “I only caught a brief glance, but I saw much the same in the margins.”
The conversation rang in my ears as I approached the door to my son’s room, the painting, still damp, in my hand. I was grateful that the boy’s mother had passed on some years ago, as this would surely have driven her mad.
I hesitantly knocked on the door, and a polite “come in, Father,” was heard within. I entered to see my son, seated on the floor. His keen penetrating gaze seemed to look through me. I could see that he had quickly covered whatever he was playing at; I supposed it to be more drawings and shuddered.
“I thought we might have a talk, Eldritch,” I said calmly. The boy only nodded.
“I had a talk with your teacher today,” I began slowly.
I noticed young Eldritch stiffen as I said this and his gimlet gaze grew keener.
“She tells lies about me,” he said softly. “They all do. They all hate me,” he said.
“She showed me your painting,” I said, unrolling the damp paper to show him.
“Oh. That. It’s only a painting,” he said dismissively, but I caught a note of fear in his voice, and his eyes finally looked away from mine.
“Nothing? It’s a picture of a hell-beast in a field of flowers!” I cried.
“What’s wrong with it?” asked Eldritch.
“What’s wrong with it?” I gasped in horror. “Where is the blood? Where are the panicked masses being crushed? Where is the orgy of blasphemous debauch glorifying the power and majesty of the Old Ones?”
“I wanted to draw flowers instead,” said Eldritch looking contrite.
“Your hell-beast isn’t even goring anyone to death with his horrible horn!” I said aghast.
“It’s not a hell-beast, Dad, it’s a unicorn!”
“I can’t believe I’m hearing this! After all the years you’ve talking about being a servant of Cthulhu. You said you were going to make me proud, that you were going to study hard and find a way to raise Him from the submersed city of R’lyeh!”
“I don’t want that anymore!” cried Eldritch.
“Well what do you want?”
“I want…I want to write children’s books!”
“What?” I asked, as the air escaped from my choking lungs.
“I want to write happy stories, about bunnies and bears having tea parties!”
“Do they have tentacles?” I asked, in vain hope. “Are their tea parties on Yuggoth where they’re devoured by fungous monsters?”
“No, Dad. They make a cake.”
“A cake,” was all I managed to say as the numbness washed over me.
I backed out of the room, with clumsy limbs, closing the door behind me. My son was an abomination. A blight on the name of Eldritch Ichor.
There is a terror in New England…