Come in, come in. Sit yourself down anywhere – those chairs there will do, the small ones. They’re too big for you, yes, but they’re probably the right shape. They’re for shoggoths, anyway, and shoggoths can fit into anything.
What would you like to drink? No, really, I must insist that you drink something. I have visitors so seldom, and I couldn’t possibly let them go away without refreshment. Try that new wine from Kadath. I got it from the terrible old man who dwells in that strange high house in the mist; you must have passed it on your way here. It’s a bit tenebrous, perhaps, but then it’s a change from the usual, isn’t it? And, please, do try these; they’re Elder Thing tentacles fried in garlic butter with extra virgin MiGo oil dressing.
Now then, we’re all comfortable – except for your friend over there, who seems to be a bit green; perhaps he shouldn’t have been sitting quite so directly opposite that painting; it’s a Pickman original of ghouls feeding. It sometimes has an effect on some delicate minds.
Well, now that you’ve refreshed yourselves, let’s get to what you’ve come for. No, no, there’s no need to tell me; you want to ask about Cthulhu. That’s all any of you who ever comes here wants to talk about, Cthulhu.
What about all my other children, I often want to ask? What about Thlohthang Nghaksanga, whose fifty squamous tentacles writhe and curl endlessly with that pink and green tinge that can melt any maiden’s heart? How about Ibandabbiang, who has created for herself a blasphemous nest made of the bones of moon beasts and dholes, and there has been incubating ten thousand eggs for half a vingintillion years, in order to beat Shub Niggurath’s record of a mere thousand young? How about Rebethiang, who’s following the Great Race of Yith from migration to migration, reducing the remnants of the species the Yith leave behind to delicious, gibbering madness? What about poor Ghatanathoa, who only has to be seen to turn anyone who lays an eye on him into a living mummy? Why don’t any of you talk about any of them? Why?
Don’t mind Fluffy there in the corner. He’s just like any other Hound of Tindalos, and he’s nowhere nearly as dangerous as people imagine. Why, it’s been at least a week since he’s reduced anyone to blue protoplasm after ripping their heads off. Just stay away from the corner, and he won’t bother you. He likes corners, that’s all. And he likes you. Just look at his tongue, lolling. He’d just lick you to death, wouldn’t you, Fluffy, love?
But you don’t want to talk about Fluffy either. It’s always about Cthulhu.
Great Cthulhu, you call him, too. Great at what, I’d like to know. Great at sleeping, maybe. When his brithers and sosters were busy twisting space and time and breaching the veils of the billions of realities, what was he doing? Sleeping, that’s what.
I should have known, really, the moment he was born.
Oh, right, you want me to talk about him being born.
Well, it was a while ago, not that long, maybe thirty vigintillion years; your insignificant little universe was still a singularity waiting for a Big Bang to set it off, and someday I’ll tell you how that came about. It was on another plane of existence, of course, in the system of Klklbzzqrthnnngghkllykxx. I’m sorry, I think that burnt your recorders out. Well, you’ll just have to take notes on paper, then, won’t you?
No, I don’t have paper, but I think I can give you Gug parchment. Don’t mind the smell. You get used to it after a few thousand years.
Now that was a plane of existence! Nothing as dreary as this one. It was like sheets of fire and lightning that turned into planets and then turned into holes in space that vomited out sheets of fire and lightning. We used to lay bets on when any particular planet would fall down a hole and what it would turn into. It was fun.
Cthulhu’s father? What about him? I don’t even remember his name. He was just another handsome male, you know, how they each try to be more handsome than any of the others to win one’s affections. I think he was quite small, about the size of one of your system’s minor moons, with a rugose mantle and lots of tentacles tipped with hooked pincers. That’s the kind that always got my hormones going.
So we did it with each other, of course. Now I don’t think you want to know the details, but if you do, PlayEldritchAbomination Magazine interviewed me last month about it and you can read their article. Anyway, we did it, and after that I ate his brain. It wasn’t much of a brain, and I’m afraid Cthulhu inherited that particular feature. Anyway, as I was saying, I ate his brain, and then I pulled the egg case he’d fertilised out of my body and pushed it into the hole where that brain of his used to be. And then I just waited for the eggs to hatch.
I’ll say this for him: he was pretty fertile, and he was pretty nutritious. While some other males might only give their mates a few hundred, maybe at most a couple of thousand young, he fertilised no less than five thousand of my eggs. And when they hatched, he had enough meat in him that they didn’t have to eat each other for a while, not until most of them had become big enough to defend themselves. And so almost two thousand of them survived to childhood.
He was a good provider, as I said. Forgive the tear; sometimes I get a little emotional when I think of how males were then, and how they are now. Why, look at Cthulhu; he’s only fathered one single solitary daughter, and he didn’t even bother to die to do it! And I don’t think she’s interested in giving me great-grandbabies at all. What are the multiverses coming to, I ask you, when one’s granddaughter won’t even breed a few hundred darling little monstrosities the sight of which would be enough to drive one insane?
And you call him Great Cthulhu. Ha!
So what happened afterwards? The children, having eaten their father alive and then each other, swarmed out into the multiverse. Most of them, of course, scattered away; but a few of them saw me and came to hang around for a while. Hang around, did I say? Well, all but one of them chose to hang around.
The one exception chose to curl up and go to sleep.
And that was just the start. When it came time to send him to school, you should have heard his excuses. He didn’t want to do his homework. I realise that is not a new excuse. But other children don’t want to do their homework because they want to go to one of the rave parties around Azathoth, to dance to all the pipes and drums, or maybe because they want to watch a planet being burnt to cinders along with everything on it. Perfectly harmless and expected, and one can let them do that once in a while as long as they work hard most of the time.
But not your Great Cthulhu. He wasn’t interested in Azathoth’s concerts. He ignored burning planets. He didn’t want to study, didn’t want to do homework, because, he said, the stars weren’t right.
It drove his teachers to distraction. I remember poor Nyarlathotep tugging frantically at his head-tentacle in desperation. “It makes me want to crawl away chaotically,” he moaned. “How can you get a child to learn a mind-boggling thing if he says he won’t unless the stars are right? When are the stars right, I asked him? He said he’ll know when they are, and tell me.”
And that’s why all that guff about “non Euclidean geometry” and “eldritch architecture” in R’lyeh is about. That poor fool, Lovecraft, thought it was Cthulhu’s incomprehensible genius due to which the angles of the sunken city are of a kind your human minds can’t comprehend. All it was is that your so-called Great Cthulhu slept his way through geometry class and couldn’t draw a right angle or calculate the area of a conic section if his ravening for delight depended on it.
Sorry to puncture your illusions.
My, look at the time! I’m going to have to wake Cthulhu up, or he’ll be late for his job again. I’d better get him his breakfast. He’s always cranky if he doesn’t get his breakfast.
What’s his breakfast, you want to know?
Well, his favourite food is Shantak Bird egg omelette, but I give it to him only on holidays. They’re terribly expensive. You would turn white if I told you how much they cost. There, look at that friend of yours, he’s white already. He shouldn’t have peeked at my grocery bill, really, even though it’s my fault for leaving it lying around where he could see it.
And for a weekday breakfast? I’m glad you asked.
For a weekday breakfast, nosy journalists seem to do nicely.
Copyright B Purkayastha 2021
|Image from DeviantArt|