Posts Tagged ‘Wisconsin’

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The Betulha Dohrman Legacy

March 6, 2018

Debbie Menon failed to sell the house every local called the Witch’s house. The grief-stricken real estate agent set the historic brick Victorian on fire before the house became animated. The burning Witch’s house moved itself out of Wister Town, taking a chunk of crust with it from the small Wisconsin city. Since, the house has been abandoned where it had gone past the suburbs. It’s become an attraction for daredevils and a shelter for desperate animals. Debbie has since long left her real-estate agency and the house is no longer for sale.

beth-web

A Janet Drays is then one day idle and she searches the Internet. Wister Town was filled with monsters, so that was nothing new. Janet was curious about the old Witch’s house in her hometown. She finds information a real estate agent would probably never know. The young woman comes to learn the legacy of this womb of aberrations. The Betulha Dohrman Legacy by Matthew Sawyer is the sequel to the novel, ‘Debbie’s Hellmouth‘, which itself had been birthed in the short story, ‘The Abandoned,’ from the collection entitled, ‘Horrid Tales of Wister Town‘.

The Betulha Dohrman Legacy ebook is available from Smashwords.com

The paperback can be purchased at Lulu.com

 

 

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An Answer: Pagan Mythology in the Shur

January 25, 2018

ithadows

An Answer: Pagan Mythology in the Shur
Matthew Sawyer AKA Mr. Binger

“The power to manifest your will is what makes you a god,” Mr. Binger, a community lecturer and alleged pagan-sympathizer, announced to the sparse persons in his audience at the University of Superior in Wisconsin. The stiff wooden seats in the auditorium discouraged attendants from sitting, so many stood bunched near the dark exits at the back of Webb hall in the Holden Fine Arts Center.

“I said it.”

They were listening, but the fact was only evident in that none would leave. The fifteen Fahrenheit degrees below freezing, outside this late January afternoon, could never dissuade a single of these burly Midwesterners – all were plump in their gender-agnostic winter clothes and accustomed to the stark weather. Mr. Binger imagined they murmured so that he felt motivated to tell everyone again about a dead religion.

“The Chosen are gone,” he told everyone lingering. “The heathen will never leave their desert. There are no terrorists here, not in northern Wisconsin, so no will be coming to hang me upside down and unzip my guts.”

Someone then grumbles. Mr. Binger thinks the coarse complaint had come from a girl, ahem, a youthful eighteen or nineteen year old woman, but the sound was difficult to distinguish. This year, just as every year, everyone suffers colds, fevers and coughs throughout the winter. Awoken from hibernation, the contagious bug inflames faces and makes cheeks red. The blush was never because the cold weather outdoors. The people of Wisconsin knew so much to always bundle themselves up to their eyeballs.

“You kids have started smoking again,” Mr. Binger said to himself. “That doesn’t help.”

“Okay,” he admits to his audience, “The content is graphic, blasphemous to the Abrahamic religions, Hinduism, the Canadian Eskimos, but as I understand, you are all adults. Also, this lecture qualifies as point-two-five of a credit for sociology, anthropology, creative writing students? Studies like those, here in this school?”

Without a response, Mr. Binger adds, “That wasn’t rhetorical, that’s really twenty-five percent of one whole credit. So, all you young people are privileged to choose, what, four lectures of this sort for a full credit. I suppose that’s better than spending your time on social networks. But, I suppose nowadays you can do that at the same time, too.”

“Yeah,” answered a muffled voice. This one had sounded suspiciously feminine.

Mr. Binger requests in general, “Well, turn off your phones and keep the volume low. I have to say that every time. And no taking videos, please. I hate seeing myself online. No pictures of me; it’s enough that I keep coming up on stage.”

“The other thing you should know,” Mr. Binger warns his audience, “This is a lecture; this is not a story. You might think this is fiction because it all sounds pretend, but this is true anthropological history. Living people in the past believed this mythology. Just like the Roman Empire and its Catholic Church, these pagan beliefs and practices still impact us individuals and our nation in the modern age. Our world began in this past.”

“What I have to present to you is information, facts. Whatever I say does not go beyond what I tell you. This is not going anywhere. There are no pagans, there are no more Chosen. I am not advocating any religion. Besides, heathens consider us all Unchosen – people who are told what to believe. I’m telling you about the things pagans believed before any of us were told.”

A stomach growls the same moment Mr. Binger stops abrupt. An echo of digestion joins the reverberation of the speaker’s voice in the tall lecture hall. Mr. Binger then ignores a subsequent noisome body function, notably not his own. The distance between him and his disperse audience allows him immunity against anything but the sound. Spread so far apart from each other, nobody acts assaulted by wafted winds.

Immediately past the ill-timed eruption, Mr. Binger says, “Okay, the universe has always been.”

“It’s hidden dimensions are only now unconcealed,” he clarified. “Forget a flat earth, the Big Bang, an expanding universe and that ridiculous contracting universe theory. Heat death? Pff. This is what pagans in the Shur believed.”

“The universe has always existed, it will always be, and there is only one universe, concealed by veils of darkness. There is space, right, but it is genuinely infinite. Space has always been there, stretched beyond the reaches of light.”

Mr. Binger pauses again. This time, he sees more uncomfortable seats have been taken. So few people stand near the exits that light from the vestibule outside is seen streamed through glass windows set in the doors. More attentive faces stare up at the elevated man, but their communal affect is of boredom. Mr. Binger has endured the reaction before; it has been each time when a reader stops reading.

“I know I’m not speaking your language, folks,” he told everyone. “You’ll get what I’m saying, I’m from here, Wisconsin, south of Madison.”

“Cheese-eaters,” a young man whooped from shadows next the exit.

The audience replies with Mr. Binger and moan a correction in unison. “Cheesemakers.”

Chuckles are quick to die. In the brief meantime, Mr. Binger says with a smile, “Think of it like this – beyond the light in the room, there is an invisible veil. Beyond that veil is darkness and another veil. There is then more darkness and another veil.”

“You get the idea,” Mr. Binger explained for everyone. “The veils are as infinite as space and the darkness themselves.”

“Pagans had a name for that darkness, for the darkness was alive. The darkness was life itself – enough life for all the dead matter in the universe.”

“That living darkness between the veils of space was called Mitencohli,” Mr. Binger deigned for his audience. “Mitencohli was consumed by Rudra, but not the mightiest-of-mighty Hindu god we know on our world. This alien Rudra was a sentient element from beyond a deeper veil. Rudra was the god who tasted life at the dawn of creation.”

“Before that breakfast, there was matter in our visible universe and beyond the veils of space, but nothing was alive. Well, Mitencohli; the living darkness was alive. We now know about the alien Rudra, and his mother and father, the flesh-less Wenwi and his obese wife, Tecolent, but they were not technically alive – not in the narrative sense.”

“These three were sentient elements before they became gods; Rudra was to Wenwi and Tecolent as Helium is to Hydrogen. He was always inevitable, as was his brother Awaran – as the pagans believed. All three consumed the living darkness trapped in the skeletal chest of Rudra, for Rudra barely contained Mitencohli, but he holds on. That is why we have light.”

Mr. Binger clears his throat and he helps to redirect the droning thoughts of his audience. He waits while one old-fashioned university student finishes scratching graphite against desiccated hemp pulp. Mr. Binger then asks, “Where did Mitencohli and the sentient elements come from?”

“Like I said, they have always been there. Without the life of darkness, the sentient elements remained inert.”

“How do we know this?” he further asked.

At the same time, Mr. Binger declares, “Tablets.”

A single cough then a throat clearing from squeaky seats prompts the speaker to explain, “Sandstone tablets were smuggled out of the Shur years ago – after the fall of Khetam and the Chosen were decimated.”

“They were old – the stone tablets were – ancient. Pagan.”

Yet excited by the illicit discovery and the mythology that was unveiled, Mr. Binger interjects, “We learned, Rudra tasted the living darkness when Mitencohli went hunting for food. The darkness first touched the sentient element – that’s an important point, a universal truth. Life was hungry, then itself was eaten.”

“Ahem,” he said upon realizing the topic of his speech had gone disjointed. “Or, rather, amen.”

For the sake of clarifying himself, Mr. Binger specifies, “The stone tablets were fragile and they were already crumbling – some were broken and we recovered only pieces.”

“We don’t know who the author was. Or, maybe, the artist: because the mythology had been recorded in hieroglyphs.”

“Those hieroglyphs were pagan, almost Sanskrit. Some scholars might legitimately say the etchings resembled a poor rendition of the Japanese alphabet. I am, of course, referring to my critic, social justice activist, Dr. Eric Dwyer.”

Mr. Binger ignores the diversion inflicted by the memory of his critics. He tells everyone, “That’s not important. I had nothing to do with the translation. I haven’t even seen the remains of the tablets, ever. They are not anywhere on display.”

“All the same, I am talking about the pagan mythology. It doesn’t matter what anyone else has to say. We don’t need the original stone tablets, not any more; we have digital copies. It is what it is – mythology.”

Eager to return to his speech, Mr. Binger first makes a personal observation. “I can tell you one thing, the pagan hieroglyph of a cat looks like a cat.”

“So, you know,” he reinforced for his audience.

“The mythology of the pagans,” Mr. Binger repeated. “An artist, who had been paid to reproduce the hieroglyphs, he called the mythology, ‘Mortui’ philosophies – ideas on death, I suppose.”

“M. Sawyer,” Mr. Binger identified for everyone. “Mortui is what he had written in his sketchbooks. No one in academics calls the mythology that. It’s just pagan; that is what the Chosen and heathen called them.”

“That artist, by the way, tried to capitalize on his copied drawings, too,” Mr. Binger said in segue. “Nothing wrong in that.”

“He sold designs of monsters made directly from the hieroglyphs. Being hieroglyphs, you know, his monsters looked just like the graven images. No copyright infringement there. You might even find a t-shirt online with one of his designs. All I know, no one is buying that, either. I certainly don’t get a commission.”

Only a constantly accelerating sound of steam in boiler pipes accompanies an abrupt return to the topic Mr. Binger first introduced. “The pagan mythology,” he said.

“There was Rudra and Wenwi and Tecolent, I told you about them. They were sentient elements; the last born from the first,” Mr. Binger summarized. “Wenwi and Tecolent were first, you understand. It was a dual role.”

“There was Mitencohli, too, but the living darkness was not a sentient element. Some early scholars identified the alien god with space and the veils, or the darkness between the veils.”

The speaker grumbles in his throat then clearly states, “No, the living darkness is alive. The darkness is life. Mitencohli had been consumed by Rudra and that led to creation, as in life across all the veils of space. Animals, plants, plankton, people – three sentient elements from beyond a deeper veil imparted life to all of us, all the worlds throughout all of space.”

“But, the living darkness forever consumes Rudra from within. You see in this metaphor, life itself is ravenous in any shade. Yet, because of the life inside him, Rudra was made a god. He’s hungry, always skeletal, but never dying. Rudra always, desperately, gropes for the life that escapes him. The living darkness that comes leaked from his bones feeds both his parents, too, Wenwi and Tecolent.”

As if unconscious, Mr. Binger motions to shuffle non-existent notes upon an invisible lectern stood invariably out of reach. The speaker never requires reminders when he speaks about M. Sawyer’s Mortui philosophies, although cards would have helped straightened the track ahead of him. ‘The line lain after,’ Mr. Binger thinks in quick retrospect, ‘That may have also been straighter.’

Nevertheless, the speaker progresses to his favorite part of the mythology. “After feasting upon the living darkness excreted from their nuclear son, Wenwi and Tecolent, now hungry and alive, consume each others waste. Still, life was never enough. Tecolent, the tablets tells us, she feels so badly starved that the goddess perpetually consumes herself.”

“The origin of good lays here, at this part in this mythology,” Mr. Binger specified for his note-takers. “Selflessness. All else is just trying to eat you, because the fateful alternative is greed.”

“Unable to bear life without his wife, Wenwi feeds himself to Tecolent. He does so throughout eternity and she grows obese. Wenwi appears only better preserved than his son, Rudra, but he, too is consumed by the living darkness inside him. And all his flesh is gone – Tecolent eats him raw. She eats what Wenwi gives her and, too frequently, she grasps for more – just like her son. She then became the Mother of Grossity.”

“Upon the cannibalism, Wenwi and Tecolent no longer bear living children – the darkness they expel was made impure and only monsters now come to bear. These creatures are born starved for life.”

“The first abomination was Awaran,” Mr. Binger bulletined. “This shapeless hunger, one given a name, attacks Rudra. Upon his half-birth from the waste of his parents, Awaran kills his suffering brother. Rudra was easily overpowered, you understand, for the living shadow always eats the god from within. I say so in the present tense, because them being gods, you know. Their stories never end there.”

“They ate their children,” Mr. Binger stated in his raised voice. “Newborn monsters are usually eaten at birth because Wenwi and Tecolent had also tasted the living darkness. And, so, they were the hungry gods of creation. I would claim we are the lucky children who got away, before our parents began consuming themselves. We didn’t get out of the house, but we are hidden behind the curtains – of space.”

“I’m talking about the veils beyond the reaches of light,” Mr. Binger immediately explained for his audience. He admits aloud, “I’m afraid I’m losing your attention. Hold on.”

He promises the occupants of Webb hall, “I’m almost done. I only have to tell you about one more alien god. There are others, but they a lesser gods, powerless sentient things of the universe. Their names are accordingly unknown.”

“This last one, Awaran, too, consumed the infinity of living darkness inside Rudra, and he also became a god. Awaran was a monstrosity, but the corrupted flesh of his family did not define his shape within the veils us mortals can see with our own eyes. The tablets tell us so much.”

“We, the first children of Wenwi and Tecolent, before the corruption, we perceive Awaran in the form that had helped him part the veils of space and discover our world. The tablets describe him for us. They tell us what happened and why this alien god is a milestone.”

Mr. Binger corrects a personally important misconception. “This is where scholars begin calling these entities from the pagan mythology Elohim, like, from the Bible, the Christian Bible. That’s in Exodus, if you want to look it up, the pluralistic gods. They’re probably not the same thing, but you never know.”

“Chosen called them Elohim,” Mr. Binger remarked. “So do heathens, to this day, if you can find any to tell you so and they don’t eat you first.”

“There are those stories today about the monstrous children of Elohim manifesting inside Khetam, about the time heathens breached the Chosen’s Wall. Nothing is substantiated. War time horror stories, Dr. Dwyer concluded.”

After stopping himself, the speaker inhales then says, “The tablets tell us nothing about these Elohim visiting our world. Although, they do teach us how Awaran parted the veil into our space. Understand, the pagan were warning us the Elohim were coming. Rumors about what had been witnessed in the ransacked Promised Land were meant to be confirmation their monsters are here on our world. I guess, we’ll see.”

“From behind the deepest veil of space,” Mr. Binger said with a lowered voice, “Arose another entity like Mitencohli, the living darkness. Awaran discovers the one called Ithadow – for this was the name all sentient elements sing throughout time. This is the name heard throughout the cosmos – the noise in space, like a vibration. The sound led Awaran to this new source of living darkness.”

“You see, the tablets say, Ithadow – actually, the name cannot be pronounced and Ithadow is just convenient to say –  this entity had come hunting for the living darkness Rudra consumed. Ithadow survived upon the living darkness. Without this food, it consumes both the first and the escaped monstrous children of Wenwi and Tecolent. Awaran had discovered Ithadow draining life from these worlds between the veils of space.”

An anxious shuffling of feet and the one or two persons heading toward the back doors reminds Mr. Binger he had again broken his promise. “I know I told you Awaran was the last Elohim I was going to talk about, but Ithadow, like Mitencohli, is not an Elohim. That’s just what scholars and lay-people say because it’s also convenient, but it’s lazy. Neither Ithadow nor Mitencohli have ever reproduced. They don’t fit all the categories that would make them into gods we would accept. Neither have minds as we know a mind, nothing there in all we have been told.”

“I’ll tell you what pagans believed Ithadow looks like, because this entity was not like the living darkness. Ithadow has a shape.” The speaker had spun a finger over his head that same moment he spoke. Mr. Binger then says without motion, “A manifestation that cannot be perceived by the mortal mind. The image of Ithadow in the eye of a living being brings madness.”

“Nevertheless, pagans created a hieroglyph for Ithadow. The entity is portrayed as a jellyfish with long arms and claws. The whole thing is inside a crenelated shell that sits at the center of a web. I’m not going to draw it for you. Besides, I’m not an artist. All I could do is scribble something you would see if you did lose your mind. And there isn’t even a chalkboard here on stage with me, so you won’t get that.”

“About that web,” Mr. Binger rejoined himself, “It’s a part of him, like an external digestive tract. Ithadow spins the web, casting his guts beyond the veils of space. The web is how Ithadow hunts for food. Strands of the web of Ithadow throughout the universe taste the living darkness in all things that are alive. Following these strands is how Awaran passed through our own veil.”

“The story on the tablets say there came an eternity when there was no more food for the Elohim. The strongest of them, Awaran, traveled to the cusp of space searching for even his own offspring he might consume. There, he glimpsed the web of Ithadow shining as a star where there were no stars to be seen. Following this light, and a vibrating chant, Awaran breached our veil where Ithadow had already come through into our space.”

Mr. Binger stalls then says through a firm face, “Pagans warned us the web of Ithadow had already touched our world. They feared what else was coming.”

“Like the ancient Sumerians, pagans in the Shur believed evil more than often prevailed over good; not in any sense of morality nor justice but of sheer strength. The only recourse against any ill was to appease a stronger evil. Awaran was said to be that candidate, so I guess pagans had some hope. And, yet, it was only by the example set by Wenwi that they persisted so long as a people. Heathens, as you know buried all of them alive in the sands of the Shur – archaeological excavations had verified that as fact generations ago. The way was made clear for their Living God, as heathens would say.”

“Yes,” Mr. Binger affirmed in the course of a sigh. “Pagans worshiped there own desert demons – Uzapu, Lord of the Waste, Beomouth, Thilimoth – and mythical beasts, like the lekko and lanters…”

“Paws and claws and the other, like a lion with a skull like a moose.”

“Oh, there is scientific evidence a few of their bizarre cryptoid actually existed, for instance; the damned mehtad, the slovenly mwele and the sly strumatru. They may be real and alive today, out there, hiding. That’s all I’ll say about that.”

Mr. Binger pauses only to refill his lungs. Full again of stale winter auditorium air, the speaker recommences.

“Ahem.”

“When the web of Ithadow touched our world, and it woke these sentient elements, the web also evolved the minds of sensitive human beings. Heretical prophets foresaw the coming of Awaran; they predicted the emergence of the greatest evil. These visions were passed onto their children.”

Mr. Binger stipulates, “I’m not here tonight to talk about our own earthbound pantheons, that’s a speech I can give later. All of you are probably on the edge of your seats waiting for me to tell you what Awaran looks like.”

“He looked like his parents,” summarized the grinning speaker. “Until he tasted Ithadow. Awaran drained an endless flow of life from the web of Ithadow, but it was not enough. The Elohim follows the intangible intestinal tract upstream, if you will, and he discovers Ithadow.”

“Did I mention Ithadow was as large as our own Milky Way galaxy? A single strand of its web would easily swallow our planet. Truly, pagans had told us we are indeed inside the exuded gullet of Ithadow, his web, with all the ghosts of living darkness around us, waiting to be digested.”

“That’s us,” Mr. Binger said as he points his finger at himself and everyone in the audience. The few remaining listeners might be counted in a single breath. He tells each of them, “So you know, those ghosts in the web; we’re them. A little piece of living darkness constitutes each of our souls. We are Mitencohli, at least, that was what pagans believed. And that is why Ithadow has come to consume us after we die – once that darkness escapes our fractured shells.”

“Anyway, Awaran could not possibly consume the mindless Ithadow. Ithadow is immense and powerful. If anything, Awaran was in danger that he, himself, was eaten.”

“His brother, Rudra, contains all of Mitencohli, sure, but the living darkness is different. I told you that, yeah? Mitencohli was vast, yet, the living darkness is without dimension. Ithadow, on the other hand, is real; made of matter and not energy, nor something astral or ethereal. Nevertheless, Awaran makes Ithadow bleed and the Elohim escapes our space with blood on his hands. We’re not told how.”

“Before Awaran passes our veil back into his own space, the alien god is so famished that he licks the blood of Ithadow from his fingers.”

The speaker stops talking and he stands still an exact three seconds before saying, “Then Awaran changes.”

“Awaran begins to become Ithadow.”

Mr. Binger admits, “Now, there was not enough blood – Awaran did not consume all the blood off his hands.”

“No matter,” he judged. “The Elohim grows myriad skeletal arms, Awaran becomes vast and he realizes, simultaneously, the mistake he had made.”

“Before tasting Ithadow, Awaran had consumed the living darkness leeched from the bones of his brother, Rudra – as did his parents, Wenwi and Tecolent. The living darkness also consumed Awaran from the inside, so they were once not so different. Both Rudra and Awaran were skeletal and starved. The blood of Ithadow helps Awaran retain his portion of living darkness, but the cost is terrible.”

“All that remains of Awaran are his countless bony arms and his skull. Ithadow allowed the hungry Elohim to keep his head. If there was any thought given toward the mercy, I suppose, Ithadow probably imagined he and Awaran were the same – two suffering space gods.”

“I can tell you, pagans tell us Awaran covers his shame with blood. The Elohim is draped in blood as if the gore was clothe; the robe of Awaran. There’s a pagan hieroglyph that depicts that robe as a rain of blood.”

Hoping to illustrate the image for his audience, Mr. Binger pokes a single finger into the air as if he taps at raindrops. “You know Awaran is near when blood rains from a clear sky.”

“There you go,” he punctuated. “The creation of our world, where we come from and where we go after we die – according to the extinct pagans of the Shur desert. The living darkness inside each of us will be consumed by an armored jellyfish – with pincers.”

“If the Elohim don’t eat us first.”

“Ithadow will get them in the end, then what will happen?”

“Will Mitencohli reemerge and again cover all the veils of space with darkness? I don’t know.”

“Where is our God in all this?” Mr. Binger spontaneously conjectured. “The god of Abraham, El, or the Christian Yahweh? One in the same, I suppose. Our living god? The tablets briefly mention the arrival the true god – a prime creator.”

“The Chosen tribes sacrificed him in testament to their power,” the speaker answered himself. “They claimed this god was mortal. Killing him was proof that mankind itself was divine. Chosen doctrine reduced the heathen Living God to being merely an awakened sentient element, like Uzapu.”

“Yet, Christians, like heathens hiding in the Shur, expect he will return.”

“The big difference how these two religions worship God is where Christians believe Jesus is coming back, heathens fear the living god will never return. They beg his memory with prayer and bloody sacrifices to bring him home again and build his kingdom in the Shur.”

“If you ask me,” Mr. Binger said mocking his own invitation, “And I realize I have not been asked, but I’ll just say, there is no God. Of all the disappointing revelations in my life, that has been my the most grand.”

“Heathens would accuse me of arrogance, just like the Chosen. At the same time, my brown hair and green eyes are proof enough for them that I descend from a Chosen tribe.”

“I don’t care,” a brave Mr. Binger postulated. “I’m not worried, and neither should northern Wisconsin. We’ll never see a heathen here nor anywhere in the United States. They can hide in the desert, and die there waiting for the god who will never return.”

“Thank you,” Mr. Binger then expressed to the single other shape remaining in Webb hall. He or she was standing in shadow near a door.

Moving off stage, the man ruminated aloud, so loud he is heard all the way in the back. “It’s getting cold out there, I’m worried about my car battery. You know, when it’s cold, it sucks the life out of everything. What would pagans know about that, huh?”

“Or heathens, or even Chosen – they live in a desert.”

Descending stairs stage left and into empty chairs, Mr. Binger finishes speaking upon saying, “Although, with weather like this, it is tempting not to just go into the Shur.”

-_END-_

Are you curious about the Chosen, heathens and these faiths in the Shur? The final incarnation of Matthew Sawyer’s Pazuzu Trilogy is available from Amazon

The Waste Book One
The Waste Book Two
Gaunt Rainbow

 

Other stories from Matthew Sawyer (AKA Mr. Binger) available from Smashwords

Hardcover and soft cover books available from Hulu

 

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About R’lyeh: Those Things I Will Tell Your Child

December 31, 2014

about cove-smlr

About R’lyeh: Those Things I Will Tell Your Child

Matthew Sawyer

I was telling my second-generation niece, Rilynn there in pink pajamas, that her name sounds like R’lyeh. She is only five. “No,” she tells me back. The child lives with her parents in the country not very far from where I was born.

Rilynn explains to me, “They don’t rhyme.”

I tell her something incomprehensible; something even a smart little girl her age would not yet understand. I say, “The consonants don’t have to rhyme. The words just have to sound the same.”

“Nuh-ahh,” she replies and in that moment, I conclude she must know what I am talking about, or she has a solid idea.

“I’ll tell you a rhyme about the sunken city of R’lyeh.”

“What?” Rilynn peeps and jumps up from the Living Room floor. The little blond thing pops onto her bare feet like she does forty times forty times a day, She joins me opposite a laminated coffee table small enough that the girl might rest her elbows on stacked magazines atop the surface. She does not relax and instead regularly shifts her inconsequential weight between her feet.

Late on my cue, I recite, “That is not dead which can eternal lie, and with strange aeons even death may die.”

Rilynn’s mother yells at me. “Matt!”

And Rilynn admits, “That rhymes.”

“It’s a poem,” I beg the mother. The woman’s name is Brenda – for the purpose of my narrative. I admit I have de-purposed the names of other relatives for the sake of that same said narrative. So, there is my first confession.

I cite for Brenda, “HP Lovecraft wrote that in his short story Call of Cthulhu.”

“One of those old stories?” she wonders knowingly.

“A great old one,” I say. “It’s like a hundred years old.”

Rilynn interrupts us when she demands from both the only adults in the room, “I want to hear the story.”

Her father is at work, delivering packages, and the girl is an Only-child. Her mother, Brenda again, hovers on the threshold between this room and another. The grown woman frowns at me. She issues a warning. “I have heard about you.”

“Probably from my sister-in-law,” is my answer. “She is a religious nut.”

Brenda admits, “Holly does now wear the Shield of David and a Cross around her neck.”

While I nod she explains, “But she lives there in Wister Town with your brothers and sisters… and your mother… and you can go back to your home in California. Don’t cause trouble.”

“I am an old man.”

Brenda denies my factual report.  “You look twenty-five.”

My automatic response lists, “Exercise, eat right…”

“You look younger than me.”

“It’s what you read,” I then support.

Rilynn stomps her naked soles and whines. “I want to hear a story!”

“Okay,” her mother condones. “Your Uncle Matt can tell you one.”

“About R’lyeh?” I inquire from Brenda while simultaneously her daughter claps.

Brenda states, “Nothing about death or monsters or anything gross.”

I stammer, “Well…”

The woman stops me. “There was an earthquake the last time you were there in Wister Town – an earthquake in south-central Wisconsin. And you said a house walked away – monsters came out of the hole it made.”

“It was a story…”

“It makes no difference, bad things happen when you tell bad stories.”

“Bad?” I do wonder aloud. Despite what critics will say, I withhold judgment on myself for that judgment would end me and my very life. And hypocritical with my skepticism, I tell Brenda, “There is no difference between religion and being superstitious.”

“The earthquake started fires that burned down half of Wister Town!”

“I never talked about that,” I counter.

“Small blessing,” Brenda supposes above her breath.

“I’ll tell you what,” I proposition, “I’ll clean it up. And I’ll try not to be creepy or scary.”

“All right.”

Grinning at Rilynn I paraphrase, “Sunk somewhere in the South Pacific ocean, a corpse-city called R’lyeh…”

“Matt,” screeches her mother.

“It’s in the story, I didn’t write it,” I present for my defense.

“It’s the same difference.” Brenda states once more, “No dead things or death.”

“Okay, that was only an adjective. It was about a city but no more. That’s the last one and I can tell Rilynn about R’lyeh.”

“Yes,” the small girl screams and she claps her hands together again and harder.

I grumble loud enough for Brenda to overhear. “It won’t be exciting.”

“Just make it fun,” she answers me. “Keep her attention for an hour or so.”

Observing Rilynn squirm while she stands on her feet, I tell the girl’s mother, “I’ll last for a couple minutes.”

Brenda nods and vanishes beyond the doorway. Rilynn leans completely over the table, lifting her legs off the floor, and she whispers nearer my ear. “Are you gonna talk about dead things?”

“No,” I chuckle. “I’m going to tell you who lives in R’lyeh – the city beneath the ocean. Cthulhu cannot die.”

“Catsup!” Rilynn announces and leaves me disorientated. I swim with my thoughts atop the ruins of an undersea R’lyeh. Yet the city itself is not ruined and appears as it had newly built eons ago. Erected in my imagination, the immense construction merely threatens to topple.

Finally able to comprehend my niece, I try correcting the young child. “Cthulhu. Ka-thoo-loo.”

“Ka-choo,” answers Rilynn. “Ka-choo-choo.”

“Ka,” I started to say again then decided my effort was futile. I play with the girl. “Ka-choo,” I repeat with an exaggerated exhalation. I wipe an imaginary expulsion from beneath my nose.

Rilynn laughs and she repeats the word until I believe she makes herself truly sneeze. She refuses to acknowledge the genuine rivulet that has run down and clung on her upper lip. “Does he come out?” my niece asks me. “Is R’lyeh like his house?”

The strange question makes me wonder if the girls has already heard the story. “Is R’lyeh like his house? As a matter of fact, it is. Ka-choo-choo is big, he’s huge.”

“Say it right,” Rilynn requests. “I can’t say it, but you can say his name right.”

“Cthulhu.”

“Yeah!”

“He can only come out when the stars are right,” I educate the impressionable mind. “The thing is, the stars will never be right.”

“Why,” Rilynn pouts. She looks sad for real.

“Well,” I say making preparations, “There is a difference between where the stars were when he came to our planet and where they are now.”

“Why?”

“Because space is expanding.”

“Why?”

The distress on Rilynn’s face reflects the frustration I experience as I try to explain impossible concepts to a five-year old brain. “Cthulhu was originally an extra-dimensional being. He was an Outer God until he was trapped on Earth and he became a Great Old One. They don’t really understand how our three dimensions work.”

“Why?”

“Because, where they come from, they can be anywhere at once, be everywhere. Their space doesn’t move.”

“Matt,” Brenda declares. “You’re confusing her. I’m confused.”

“I’m confused trying to explain it.”

“Make it simple,” the mother begs me. “Or else I will get questions I can’t answer.”

“Okay,” I consent. “Cthulhu can’t come out. Besides there are Elder signs everywhere.”

“Older signs?” Rilynn questions.

“Close: Elder signs, like the elderly. They grow in nature, you can see them in the tree branches, the veins in leaves and even the veins under your skin. HP Lovecraft drew a picture of it.”

“Can I see it?”

I hesitate. “It might be hard to find. Let me draw a picture for you. Do you have paper and something to draw with?”

Rilynn runs away laughing. The girl returns in an instance with a single clean sheet of typing paper and a handful of red and blue crayons. A green wax stick had fallen from her grasp whilst she had come but Rilynn never paused and retrieve it. She presents to me my requested tools.

“Draw Ka-too-loo,” she insists.

“Cthulhu?”

“Yeah.”

The request frightens me without explanation, so I stall. “I thought you wanted to see the Elder Sign.”

“Yeah.”

“Okay.”

“Yeah, but draw Him first.”

“Oh,” I stutter. “You should never summon Cthulhu without an Elder Sign. What happens if he demands a sacrifice?”

“Matt?” Brenda inquires of me.

The woman startles me as if I have been caught speaking the unspeakable. I scuttle my argument against a juvenile and I decide what comes next. “Let me show you the Elder Sign. Then I will draw Cthulhu.”

Before Rilynn objects, I sketch together six broad hashes, making the red image of a branch. Three twigs project from its top, two from below. Rightward on the picture, two opposite twigs reflect each other as would a mirror. The second bottom twig appears sprout from the branch in the space between the two remaining leftward twigs on top.

“Humph,”Brenda says looking over my stooped and sketching upper half. She tells me, “It looks like something you would find in nature.”

“Who put it there?” Rilynn asks.

Dissuaded against trying to explain the Outer Gods again, I reply to the girl and her mother, “We’ll make your one aunt happy and say God put it there. And he looks just like Santa Claus.”

Unafraid now that I have constructed a ward for my protection, I intercept any awkward confusion and I say, “Here is what Cthulhu looks like.”

I have been to Art School and I have always been naturally drawn to doodling, so much I am more talented with a blunt pencil than any other drawing implement. Knowing so, my sketch immediately takes form. The representation of Cthulhu is a simple image of an octopus – one octopus with eight radial tentacles in place of the head of a primate. Although I do not provide any scale, this abomination is larger than King Kong.

I say primate because I have often seen paintings of the Great Old One in which He has a spine and four limbs besides a pair of colossal membranous wings. Those four jointed appendages always terminate with five clawed digits, these usually webbed. Rilynn reacts to my visual interpretation.

“Icky.”

“Matt?” Brenda cautions me. “I don’t want her awake tonight.”

“It’s okay, the Elder sign…”

“Stupid,” Rilynn states in verdict. Her mother shakes her head.

“It’s okay,” I presage again. “There is another Elder Sign. August Derleth made it – he was a cheese-eater, just like us. He was from Wisconsin – Sauk City.” Having revealed an alternative, I start drawing a second archaic symbol on the same one sheet of typing paper.

“You know,  August Derleth was the first guy who published HP Lovecraft. He wrote stories, too. He also wrote about a lot more than horror.”

“There,” I tell Rilynn and her mother. The second Elder Sign comes presented to them as a blue, five-pointed star. A red eye engulfed in red flames flickers at its center. “The star is actually supposed to be green, but Rilynn dropped that color on the floor.”

“Get it later, sweetie,” Brenda absently tells the girl.

I boast in tangent. “Now that would scare Klingons.”

“What are Klingings?” Rilynn asks me.

My outrage is a showy mockery. “Brenda, your daughter is eight years old and still no Star Trek?”

“She’s five.”

“But still…”

The mother ends the silence that follows my lacking an excuse. Brenda asks me a serious question. “How did you learn about this?”

“I don’t know,” I answer honestly at first. “Read?”

“You should write about it when you go home. Did you and why not?”

“It wasn’t in my stars,” I tell her in accordance to the mythos we discuss. Brenda does not understand. She probably won’t until I do write down something. I let the woman know, “There are tons of other authors who could tell you the stories. I’ve got something parallel, but it’s about what happens in Wister Town.”

“I know,” Brenda moans. Before the woman runs out of that same breath, she tells her daughter, “Put on warm clothes, we’re going to that toenail of a town… like Uncle Matt calls it. Let’s visit your great grandma.”

Once Rilynn is busy upstairs getting dressed, and Brenda and I are alone, I make a cordial appeal to the woman. “Brenda, my nephew would never allow it, your husband would forbid that you ever speak to me…”

The woman steps back from me but she does not flee. Snared by curiosity strengthened by her agnosticism – her disbelief in a Creator that she confessed against long before – Brenda listens to my corrupt words.

“You are right, I will be young until I die. I will die young at the age of one hundred and twenty-five. Rilynn can remain young, too, but she must know. The earlier, the better.”

“My daughter is not going to visit you in California,” she tells me. Knowing who I am and being closer to my family than I physically am or ever was, my in-law, Brenda, has heard all my other relatives have rejected my similar notions.

“What is in California?” she nibbles still. I expected she would ask before I had come two thousand miles to visit her family.

“The sun,” I say generically. “That’s where it stays, and its home was made for the Divine.  There is power in California – power for those who know how to tap it. There is more power there than in that hole in Wister Town.”

“The Jews sense it, and the Mormons. That’s why they are there. There are big cults and Moonies and Scientologists and Jehovah Witnesses – you name it. They crawl down from the palm trees. They all feel the secret power so few people can actually ever know.”

The woman I speak with gnaws her bottom lip. When she soon starts shaking her head, I promise, “Rilynn will know more than me. She will see the future. Maybe she will see R’lyeh.”

When my words cease to make impact, I escalate the strength available to the female child. “She will foresee every consequence of every action she takes. And she will know there is only one course through life. The sun is the root of all religion. Praise Hastur.”

Once I am shut out of the house, I warn Brenda, “Hastur has corrupted in the American Midwest – the power of the sun does not manifest in cows. All of that is Egyptian perversion. The providence here is made base and unhealthy! Defiled and there is no protection. There is no God. We still live blind in the Age of Babylon.”

– END –

Impressed by my writing? I hope so. Read more from me, as Matthew Sawyer or Mr. Binger, at Smashwords.

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I Remember One Saturday Night When I Was About The Age For Middle School

July 31, 2014

 

It must have been a Saturday night. According to a Rule of Life as revealed by the Wisconsin PBS on a Three Stooges television episode, my twin brother and I each took separate baths. I was in my bath.

We didn’t share baths, not anymore, because we were growing up and had become conscious of our anatomy. I don’t know who got the tub first and that does not matter. We never used the same water – Wisconsin is far from California. H-two-O comes to the Midwest from underground springs. And this was my bath.

I was soaking alone when my now-deceased dad barged in. The man had to, “Crap.”

I am pretty sure that’s what he explained and he used that word. He couldn’t wait or even ask how long I might take and finish. The option to abandon my bath never occurred to me nor was suggested by my father. He rushed into the unventilated room, dropped his drawers and immediately squatted upon the pot.

Gad, the odor was horrible. I swear I smelled death coming out of the man. Yeah, by my age then I knew precisely what dead things smelled like. At the same time, I remembered my dad coughing up blood before, in the same house. He left his diseased phlegm in that same un-flushed bowl. His liquid stew was now added to the contaminated cauldron. Thinking back, I recall my family had not yet lived in that house long.

I am certain the bowl had been flushed a number of times between these incidents. And I do mean I imply there anyway grew some infectious disease. Such was my imagination as a child. And being a sharp kid, I rationalized because my family no longer lived in the country or depended on a septic tank, the danger was carried by the city sewers, professionally strained and dumped a decent distance away into Honey Creek. Us kids or those before us, I can’t claim credit, nicknamed that thin waterway, “Shit-crick.”

At home and in my bath, I protested my father. “Why can’t you use the toilet in the basement?”

Nobody hardly ever used the toilet downstairs – it was used that often. The antique throne was in the laundry room. There was a lock on that door.

There was also a lock on the door beside that second toilet, which admitted, the exit opened into an attached garage. The architecture of the house and its plumbing was fashioned upon the foundation of the original stables of the city’s fire department. As were many abodes in my hometown, its prominent features were often cock-eyed.

The second toilet was taller than it’s younger upstairs cousin. The porcelain was cast that way, way back in… I don’t know when. It was old but it worked. I know in order to properly sit upon that particular John, in order to feel as if you have retained your balance and traction – Hey, those about to poop know the movement I’m trying to invoke – one had to sit on the tips of his or her toes.

I loathe to think my dad told me, “The toilet downstairs is broken.”

I knew it worked fine, but I think he said something in that respect. He didn’t know. Dad never did laundry or park the car in the garage.

“How could he know,” I grumbled to myself and held my nose. I am sure I answered something equivalent. Such was my attitude back then.

I crouched naked in the tub and grew anxious I retain some peace and dignity. Yeah, the man was unquestionably my biological father but I just did not know him well. I slept on the sun porch each morning he woke before dawn and smoked himself hoarse in the adjacent kitchen and I just never really knew enough to trust him. I didn’t want to know him, especially after suffering the second hand odiousness of his lungs. I would not because of random absurdities like this evening.

I didn’t like what I did know about him. For example, I knew he had not even considered using the second toilet because he was short guy. His legs would have dangled free from atop the seat. Swept like blowing curtains, his squashed and inverted trousers would have brushed silverfish and daddy longlegs across the bare and cold concrete floor. My own feet then already touched the ground but barely.

He hated being conscious of himself. He was that guy who refused to try on new hats because he believed his head was too small, smaller than anyone he knew. And dad never hunted for alternatives. He never explored, ask other people or just pick a different hat. Dangit. His static self-destruction was infuriating. Religion cemented my distrust of him.

For on that Saturday night years ago, I interpreted the Curse of Ham had come down and been revisited upon me. Satan engineered my damnation beyond my control. For that night, as had the iniquitous son of Noah, I glimpsed the Junk of My Father. I wondered if my dad or mom knew my tragedy. Neither of my parents regularly attended church and they usually went only on Christmas and for weddings. So I doubted either understood me.

I knew right away I was preordained for Hell. The United Church of Christ helped me realize everyone’s general fate. Here was mine in particular. The shameful vision was all that was required. The sight of the man’s spud-ish cudgel knocked me into the Lake of Fire. I felt the shame of Adam, and I sat naked, cowering beneath the noxious and invisible cloud of an indifferent god.

Mortified and left alone after a sponge-inducing ten minutes or forever, I collected myself, dressed and shunned the desecrated chamber. There was nothing more to my Fall. At bottom, there was no more to go. Even there, I did not wish my father to Hell. Soon after, a truthful stranger told me the place could not exist.

Almost twenty years after the death of my father and much further away, I do regret I could not say to him what I have tried to tell him so abrupt and at his end. There is nothing my father must answer. He missed me as much as I did him. And I decided I would make my own standards because no true ones were dictated to me. While I took care of the ‘me,’ I needed the man to save himself. Even today, I expect this miraculous thing from a father. I got a stinking memory.

 

– – Matthew Sawyer

 

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These Horrid Tales of Wister Town Still Lives

November 6, 2013

Forsaken a new life, these horrid tales of Wister Town are still breathing and they are available to read online. Though this collection of short horror stories sorely need editing, there they are. I’m not inclined to return to them. I’ve moved on. I’m writing new stories, better tales, stuff someone should pay me for.

Nevertheless, these stories are free to read online – Horrid Tales of Wister Town

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Insight Into Absurd Recesses Of Inspiration

October 12, 2013

Sometime ago in previous posts, I mentioned my sequel to Debbie’s Hellmouth. I call the book The Betulha Dohrman Legacy. Its manuscript is sitting unwrapped with a real publisher – this self-publishing stuff isn’t working for me. I have no clue where I can find a substantive fan-base.

Bitching and whining aside, I found again one my inspirations for a critical event in The Betulha Dohrman Legacy. This tragedy supposedly occurred in Nigeria, although I suspect these mutations are not uncommon. My similar phantasmagoria happens in Southern Wisconsin, outside an evil little place called Wister Town.

Warning, not for the recently fed. View at risk of your own ingestion…

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The Right To Be Wrong About Everything

October 3, 2013

Not so long ago, a couple Jehovah Witnesses came to my door and asked me the cliche question “Is it possible everything we know about the universe is wrong?”

“Certainly,” I exclaimed. The stale reply to their suited and sweating bromide came out of me automatically.

And I did not slam the door “In their faces” as my United Church of Christ Pastor demanded me and my hateful class of Christian Confirmation initiates. I was disobedient. I always have been. I am absolutely faithless and I had been one of those kids pinned to moral pillars only by pierced ankles made by fear. Fear for my lost-already immortal soul.

Then I grew up. But before, I came to know 1 Corinthians 13:11

“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”

That passage had been the root of my disbelief. The principles of Science came later and when I actually became curious about chemistry and physics. Neither field interested me so much as the Liberal Arts and especially the occult and Satanic aspects of its exposed myths and false magic.

Nevertheless, I understood the theories and hypotheses of Science stand until they are proven false. A true scientist expects they may be proven false. Such is science. And yes, everything we know about the universe may be wrong. And Science will correct itself even if men must admit there truly is a Higher Power.

Until then and the perspective never, men must question everything they know. So, what if everything we know about the universe is wrong? What then? Wild possibilities feed verdant imaginations. One would have to dream as a child to even contemplate answers. Indeed, the question itself sounds as if asked by a kid in grade school.

I don’t know who originally wondered the possibility. Now it’s a crusted setup wielded by Christian apologists as well as every other deluded cultist inclined to argue. Those folks swing this dying cat about, letting its weak screech account for every contention.

And following every round of exchanged blows, as I wipe away hiss and gore, I must wonder “What if any answer to THE question is wrong?”

Mine is a fair query. If we, as conversant, intelligent adults, willfully devolve into foolishness, I have a right to ask. Indeed, there is more to know.

And, uh, what if we know all there is know? That’s an ignorant question, I know. But I didn’t open the door – well, I guess I did. I only said hello to those Jehovah Witnesses because I’m still Midwestern polite. And I suspect like most people who yet live in Wisconsin, I regret smiling at anybody.

So, what if this is it? What if we know all there is know? Right, I’ve moved this goalpost. It’s difficult to find a firm foundation upon all this ridiculousness. But if I’m about to be inundated again with stuff historically-agnostic people made-up, I’ve got to know the parameters of this fiction.

What if God gave mankind all the information He knows? And is there a god that created him who didn’t tell him important details about reality? Or maybe even he doesn’t know.

 

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