I Found an Island

I found an island that wasn’t there last night.

It appeared out of nowhere after an earthquake, so I decided to check it out. There was this building on it with strange architecture that floored my mind. I went inside and saw a creature that I had never seen before. It had tiny wings, but a giant body, with lots of tentacles. I know my description is not doing him justice. There was some other fellow who put it all down in a book and you should go read that if you want to know more.

But I went up and shook a tentacle which he offered as a hand.

“My name is Cthulhu.” He said.

“Really? You’re him? You’re — different than I expected.” I replied, not knowing quite how I understood him, but knowing he spoke in a language different from my own. (Perhaps there was a Tardis nearby?)

“Why aren’t you affected by me? Everyone else goes crazy when I talk to them.” He asked, black spittle bubbling out of what I assumed was his mouth. His tentacles flailed in front of me.

“Um, I suppose because I’m from a different era than when you were created. You were formed on the basis that the unknown is not only scary, but can contain an infinite amount of evil and ugliness. Your author created you with specific details, then shoved you in the darkness and let his readers see only a glimmer of what was possible.”

Cthulhu stopped waving his tentacles and it seemed to me a sign that he was thinking. His body wiggled involuntarily every now and then as the seconds ticked by.

I sat down, because trying to stand in that place where the gravity was all off and the angles of the floor and walls made it impossible to distinguish from each other. Sitting was much easier.

“Did he succeed?” Cthulhu asked.

“Not while he was alive. His stories about you went unknown until some of his friends joined a fan group and began creating a culture around his stories. I think that’s where you were truly born: you began to grow in the imaginations of others.”

“And now?” Cthulhu looked at me with what I can only assume was his attempt at a hopeful face. Instead, he just appeared crazed with one eye bulging larger than the other.

“Now you have become a legend, a meme, an idea. I think your author would be proud, even though no one is afraid of you anymore.”

“Interesting,” he wheezed, and began moving his hulking mass towards me. I got to my feet and backed up a few steps, though I couldn’t tell because of the architecture if I hadn’t accidentally taken a few steps forward.

“Well, I need to get going. It’s Halloween and I need to stop at the store to get candy.” I made a hasty retreat, but before I could gain the door, the creature made one last attempt at conversation.

“It’s Halloween? Excellent! Can I come? I’ll scare the pants off anyone who comes to your door.” He offered.

I made it outside and planted my feet on solid ground, grateful for normal gravity. That building had started to give me a headache. I turned before shutting the creature in behind me.

“Sorry, Cthulhu. Halloween isn’t all about scaring people anymore. It’s more about cutesy ghosts, Hogwarts witches instead of the wart-faced kind, and candy. It’s a lot more fun.”

“It’s become more quaint since I last surfaced,” he said sadly, and let all his tentacles slump to the floor, resigning himself to another year alone under the ocean. His face shrunk inside itself, and I couldn’t help but feel sorry.

“Kind of like you.” I offered. “Since you were created, you’ve lost your shock value, but you’ve remained entertaining. Perhaps you’d fit in, after all.” I motioned for him to follow, and he delightedly picked up his drooping tentacles like a dress and hurried to the door.

“Just one night only,” I warned, “and at midnight you have to be gone because that’s when NaNoWriMo starts.”

“What’s NaNoWriMo?”

“A month-long marathon of writing. Maybe I’ll end up creating a character as iconic as you.”

Happy Halloween, everyone! Be safe and enjoy literature!

My little Cthulhu
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