It occurred to me earlier today that this blog was ostensibly supposed to exist to showcase my writing (which I am doing, all evidence to the contrary!) and I have managed to write about politics, formatting, martial arts, book cover design, inspirations, and writing about writing. With the exception of a few odds and ends, though, I haven’t actually written a story here in a fairly long time.
I’d like to say I’m going to do this regularly but, you know, temet nosce. We’ll see what happens, I guess. I enjoy writing, so I may as well do it every now and then. So I don’t start writing and look down a month later to find a 40k word blog post, I’ll try to limit to about 1k words (beyond that people start wanting a pillow and a Kindle not a laptop and an office desk). A while back I wrote a blog post on images I’ve found that have been inspirational or otherwise seem like they have a story behind them.
I’ve always liked this one and felt it had a story to tell.
To make things more interesting, I’m going to drop this one in, too and see if I can come up with a story about a face in the wall and mighty Cthulhu.
The rules are simple. Make a cohesive story incorporating both images in approximately one thousand words. The story has to be written in a single sitting. There is no time limit. I can’t guarantee it will be good, but it should be interesting. I’ve got my tequila, a bag of mixed nuts, and Penny Dreadful is on. Let the story begin…
I awake to the sticky smell of copper. It’s like water up my nose and the oily feeling of cheap tequila rolling down my throat.
My head hurts and my eyes hurt and I know I’ve done it again. This much copper in the air means I’ve gone and done it again and a lot of people have paid the price for my sins. I know I should open my eyes and see what I’ve done but I’ve seen it all before. I’ll open my eyes and the room will be filled with blood and parts of people and broken dishes and, frankly, the table is pretty comfortable.
This was a hipster coffee joint. It was called something delightfully tacky and desperately throwback: Brewster’s Millions or something like that. “Get it? We brew coffee and have a million varieties,” the dude at the counter told me when I walked in. I could tell already I wouldn’t like him, he was too hip for his own good, but if his place would serve me good coffee at 2am, I’d be happy to stare at his goatee and feauxhawk and not laugh at him.
I wonder what set it off this time? The rage, I mean.
The coffee was good. Not as spectacular as they promised but maybe my computer wasn’t cool enough; I was a lone guy with a plain laptop in an inland sea of glowing apples. I chuckled at their dirty looks, snickered at their sniggering, and generally ignored them so I could focus on my night’s work. If they knew what I was writing would their looks change? Would my pedestrian laptop with the giant power brick suddenly be good enough or would the Cthulhu erotica erupting from my fingers send them screaming for the hills?
One of the charming things about this place is the music and the art. The people almost ruined it with their horrid same difference-ness, but the music made it worthwhile. The place was based on 1920s coffee shops; they played the music and displayed the art. Now most of the art is spattered with blood and the record player (an actual record player!) is skipping. Irvin Aaronson is continually asking me to misbehave. A skip and he asks me again. A skip and he asks me again.
I need to find that record player.
I open my eyes and find pretty much exactly what I thought I’d find: the place is a wreck and everyone’s dead. I should be sad but, like I said, this isn’t exactly the first time this has happened. I sigh and feel around the table fr my cup. The last thing I remember was taking a sip so there must still be some there. My hand brushes something that feels vaguely mug-like and my tired hands drag it toward me. Gods above, the smell of chai hits me and I shove the coffee away. Why is it so hard to serve a plain double espresso latte without cheapening it with that vile Indian nonsense?
I glance at my glowing laptop and read the text on the screen. It still amazes me how much fun I can have writing what essentially amounts to Japanese tentacle porn but the addition of an ancient god from Lovecraft’s mythos makes it all that much more exciting. The last line is the woman’s brain cracking after the dread Cthulhu is finished with her. I smile. Dark erotica is best erotica, if you know what I mean.
“Already did it, brother,” I say to Irvin. He’s still carrying on about misbehaving. My skull aches and my muscles protest but if experience has taught me anything it’s taught me I should get out of here before the fuzz shows up. The room swirls a bit but my feet stay down and my head stays up and that’s good enough for me. Ctrl key plus S equals save. I don’t want to the few sentences I managed to write before the world came crashing down.
“Who was it this time?” I ask, looking around the room. It’s a bunch of dead hipsters. Who, in this place, could be important enough for my tender mercies?
The air swirls with energy and one of the corpses twitches. A face, her face, appears on the wall. I can’t say exactly who I work for or how I do what I do, but when they absolutely, positively need someone destroyed, I’m the one they call. “This one was close to a formula that would let humans walk between the worlds.”
“Would that really be so bad?” I ask. “They’re not that bad.”
“Would you want humans invading your space?” she asks.
“Not really, no,” I say. “But surely I didn’t have to kill them all.”
“You will do as we say,” she says. “Now get out before the authorities find you. Don’t forget your agreement with House of Light.”
“How can I forget when you’ve got me tearing my way though every coffee shop in the country?”
Her face is already gone, fucked off back to the light realms, leaving me once again to deal with their mess. I sigh and pack up my laptop. They say the House of Darkness is a harsh mistress, but the House of Light is just as bad. They’re both mental if you ask me. They struggle eternally for control but neither side will ever win and people just get stuck in the crossfire. All that wasted energies and all those crushed lives and the sides continue on their merry way stabbing each other in the back and slitting each other’s throats.
It’s sad, really. I try to not get involved, but being of the hitmen drops me into the mess from time to time. It sucks, but at least it pays well and gives me plenty of free time to write stories about beautiful women and ancient scaly gods. It may not be a beautiful life, but it beats spending eight hours a day in fabric covered box.
So, there you go. Just slightly over a thousand words, relatively coherent, and has a face in the wall and Cthulhu.