The third cat looked more like a fox than a cat, sitting smug on a cat tower grooming a front paw. It was the only cat we allowed in our bedroom, and the other two were meowing and pawing at the door in protest at being left out. I was sitting on the bed watching it when Mark came in and told me he wasn’t feeling well and we needed to go to the hospital.
There was no travel, just a dissolve and we were sitting in the waiting room of a sparkling clean, very modern emergency room. All of the other patients wore opaque plastic masks that made their eyes look like dark wet holes. The light was too bright.
I was hiding my sickness from Mark so he wouldn’t worry. I excused myself and went to the restroom to take my medicine. The hospital was in the bottom level of a huge complex that contained a movie theater and stores and restaurants The restroom was on the level above, and it seemed like everyone I passed could see my disease, my skin rotting away. I’m not sure if they had faces.
The bathroom was old and dark, with leaking pipes and weird pink mottled walls that I didn’t want to touch. I went into the handicapped stall, which was huge and included enough space for a brown velvet couch. There were two women sitting on the couch watching me. They were wearing flapper dresses and hats with beaded veils. I knew it would be bad if they knew I was sick, so I pretended I needed to pee. The toilet had fabric, antlers, and broken jewelry clogging the bowl. The water was murky, and I could just make out what might be a hand or a claw, maybe bones, in the bottom. I thought it moved.
I really did not want to sit down, but the women scared me more than the hand, so I pulled down my underwear and sat. The women turned back to each other, not talking but somehow communicating. I fumbled out my medication, half turning so they wouldn’t see. It was a monstrously huge stainless steel syringe filled with pre-measured doses. I put it against the inside of my elbow and pushed the plunger. Nothing. So I moved it to where a vein was popping out, throbbing and too high above my skin. This time the needle shot out and stabbed into my skin. I watched the vein turn black and knew the women had fallen silent again, staring at me. More of my veins were turning black, tracing up and down my arm. I tossed the syringe into a pile of trash in the corner so I wouldn’t be caught with it, pulled up my underwear, and ran out of there. My arm was turning black and I tried to hide it by pulling down my sleeve. I stopped at the top of the stairs leading down to the hospital. I knew then that Mark was worried and wondering where I was, but I realized I had just thrown away the medicine that was supposed to keep my skin from rotting off. I slowly turned around to go back to the bathroom, terrified of facing those women again.
Last night I dreamt one of the earrings in my left lobe was so badly infected I had to cut it out. The dream skipped over the actual cutting, but I had somehow cauterized the wound and had this big hunk of flesh missing from the back of my ear. It felt rough when I touched it, and I could almost see my fingers through the skin when I looked in the mirror. Then I was in this glittery spun glass carriage with a bunch of masked people who claimed to be my friends on our way to a masquerade. They were very upset that the hole in my ear somehow caused my party mask not to fit, and exclaimed over how everyone would be looking at it instead of the costume I worked so hard to make. Two of the women fussed with my hair to try and cover it, tugging and pulling so hard they began to tear chunks of my hair out, and the rest just laughed and laughed as they watched.
I don’t think I’ll be able to make a new one page book for All Hallow’s Read this year, but the Raven is still up if anyone wants it.
Last night I was a bad ass cop, the kind they had in cheesy TV shows in the late 80s. I think I even had big hair. I was the main character, the one who always caught the bad guy, and the rest of the cops were angry and jealous. They didn’t like me.
My partner and I were driving around, making too-accurate jokes about each others sexual abilities, when we got a radio call reporting some disturbance at a nightclub. There was a flash of noise and light, and we were there. It was a two story green Chinese monstrosity, foo dogs out front and a lacquered red arch with the club’s name, which I couldn’t read. There were big picture windows along the side, and some were broken. People in shiny, too tight clothes stood outside, and it must have just rained, red and blue neon reflecting in puddles on the pavement.
Other cops were arriving by then, and we tried to get the people to back up. Some of them were hurt, holding their sides or arms, and all had a shocked expression as they stared at the building. There was a loud crash behind me, and I turned to find a kappa, a Japanese water spirit, but it had a bull’s head instead of a man’s. It sneered at me with its thick bull lips somehow, eyes sunken beneath a low brow. And then it vanished.
It reappeared a moment later in the crowd, charging into people as they screamed. It was terrifying as it made these deep, animal grunts, and everyone scattered as the kappa continued to teleport around. There was a small strip mall next to the club, and my partner and I ran into it. He started running down the aisles grabbing cans of deodorant. My partner was babbling how it wouldn’t be able to find us if it couldn’t smell us, and began spraying deodorant everywhere, a can in each hand. He sprayed me in the face. It didn’t hurt but I couldn’t see, rubbing my eyes and catches brief flashes of chaos and flickering lights and screams. When I was able to open my eyes, the kappa stood over me.
Wheeeee! We’ve been FUNDED! Thank you! let the downfall of humanity commence! Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’leh wgah’nagl fhtagn, amazing people!
Less than $400 to our goal! And look at the stretch goals. Shiny foil. Comics. Oh my.
Much thanks to those already backing this project! Share with friends and witty lovers of monsters. Click the Erol Otus (yeah, that’s right) image to go to the Kickstarter page.