Posted tagged ‘caves’

Lovecraft’s Chin

January 7, 2013

hp-lovecraftRand woke from a tormented sleep. Slowly, his senses awakened. His eyes told him that he was inside an unexplored cave. His mind became a book with pages  being flicked from cover to cover, the shuffling stopped when he recalled Shabbala, sweet Shabbala. His love for Shabbala was the one thing that gave him a will to live.

For days he had been lost in this wild cavern of shadows and cobwebs, wet ditches and inclines, crystal walls that could not be scaled, scents that burned his nostrils and, inevitably, strange creatures. Being chased by a territorial unicorn in such a confined space was a terrifying experience. Only a jump from a cliff into a, thankfully, just deep enough ravine saved him from the horn of antiquity. The water was full of leeches but Rand was happy for small mercies.

Markings on the cave wall were in a language that was undecipherable. Rand’s voluminous library at home, with its manuscripts from the six sides of the world, might have in one of the dusty, long forgotten alcoves a text that could translate the drawings and scribbled words that were fading on the rocky substance. Could the horoscope tomes of Eden or the theological treatise of Van Banner decipher this gibberish? He could not check as he was a long way from home. The signs and logos could only be the traces of an undiscovered species.

Dragging his feet through the bat guano that muddied the floor in a sickening puddle of thick black mucous, Rand scanned the ceiling expecting to see a bat colony. Licking his parched lips that were encrusted with sores a cup of bat blood would be refreshing. Yet the bats seemed to have deserted this sinking ship. Was this portentous? Craving Shabbala he hoped this was a good omen.

Rand saw an opening as a chink of daylight glared like a beacon in one of the upper levels of the cave. Using what was left of his drained strength he pulled himself up the crumbling plaster wall and breathed the air of the outside. The intoxication was short-lived as cries of despair were howling in the valley below. Cries that were inhuman in nature. Rand squeezed through the gap and saw for himself what was the cause of this sonic nightmare.

Below him in the undergrowth were some of the most monstrous creations that a grand designer could ever make. Half-human creatures with anatomies that could not be described shrieked at one another, yet they did not seem to have any mouths. The sounds were coming from within. There were no portals on any part of their bodies. Tentatively, Rand closed in on the inhabitants of this weird plain. To his surprise the devilish beings moved away from him. Something caused them to take flight as they kicked up the dust in a mad stampede to put distance between themselves and Rand.

The gentle flow of a stream was a gift from the gods to Rand. He filled his dry throat. His drinking stopped when he saw his reflection in the pool. He quickly turned away with his hands over his face hoping it was his mind playing games but a second look confirmed the worst. There, staring back at him was the ugliest form that a man could take. His features were completely asymmetrical. Rand’s tears dropped onto the surface of the water. Shabbala? His flower, Shabbala. What would Shabbala think of the monstrosity that was Rand?