A (~BIG~) Fishy Menu, by Joseph S. Pulver, Sr.

Available Light - illustration by Nick Gucker - click to enlarge - http://www.nickthehat.com

Available Light – illustration by Nick Gucker – click to enlarge – http://www.nickthehat.com

(Listen to the Podcast version of issue #21 — all 6 stories, for only 99 cents!)

(I was so happy to publish this… it’s fun and speaks to the sense of community and friendship that we Lovecraftians have.)

{a one-act sketch for Rawlik’s bye-bye}

(for the new Big Man on the /chop/p/i//ng/ block! !!)

(Carcosa. Balcony above the cloudwaves and the soundless beach. Two chairs. Table with a chessboard. Nyarlathotep [in his tall, swarthy-pharaoh, Mr. Phoenix manifestation] standing, and the King in Yellow, sitting, ready for their weekly chess game.)
(Everywhere: {a certain} greyness.)
(The cathedral deathbirds in the tower have been silent.)

KING IN YELLOW: You seem displeased and… a bit distracted tonight.

NYARLATHOTEP: A new infestation has risen. (Glowers at the chessboard.) They’re like pimples…

KING IN YELLOW: (Scans the board quickly for the latest pawn.) Who?

NYARLATHOTEP: That damn adherent of the Toad Trio, Price, Pugmire, and Pulver. (The Rawlik pawn suddenly appears on the board. All the other pieces vanish.) Vermin… and scum—

KING IN YELLOW: (Sits up straight.) Rawlik. (Fun in his tone.)

NYARLATHOTEP: (Sits down.) Yes. (Black talon radar-lock on the pawn.) Him. He gets on the “Lovecraft eZine” chat every week, all liquored-up mind you, and out sprint the blasphemies he learned in Price’s classes . . . Buzzing little talking heads that clog up the cosmic sewers, the whole lot. (The Black Man w/ the smoldering hand makes a fist.)

KING IN YELLOW: True. Davis and pul-ver just egg him on and pat his back, while that glittered-up toady, Hopfrog, tosses kisses—that punk needs a date with… (Grins, as if saying, wait for it.) Tsathoggua. And hour after hour, Davis sits there in mission control like some cool power-broker, spewing his yellow journalism and directing traffic—

NYARLATHOTEP: Excrement that requires flushing—Rawlik’s nothing more than another foulsome mouth rising to reanimate the pseudo-lies for a new generation of hacks, sycophants, and Lovecraftomaniacs. You X them out—w/ extreme prejudgment, and another appears—cockroaches. (Pause.) These things think they are of consequence, that their opinions will be taken into account, or be remembered on the pages of history. (Pause.) Batty gnats. They all think they’re superheroes that can save their brother fleas from the STOMP.

KING IN YELLOW: My Dear Boot, I can see sweet intention in your eyes. You’re going to cure Little Petey’s ills.

NYARLATHOTEP: I am.

KING IN YELLOW: Spill. (Begins laughing, thinking BLOOD and of gutting a certain someone like a fish.)

NYARLATHOTEP: (Considering apt forms of demise.)

KING IN YELLOW: A Whitman Sampler pinebox the ghouls crack open Easter morning? Moist, cherry-red center. (Grins.) You know how appreciative of generously-proportioned repasts they are. There are some select plots in Kingsport…

NYARLATHOTEP: Tempting. (Pause.) Yes, that’s certainly enticing . . . But no.

KING IN YELLOW: Sefton Asylum?

NYARLATHOTEP: Too quiet.

KING IN YELLOW: A small fishing boat right outside R’lyeh? No oars to employ. They fuck with the Big C. He fucks back. (Grins.)

NYARLATHOTEP: No. No . . .

KING IN YELLOW: The Great Dragons Black and Red to clear the Earth of them all?

NYARLATHOTEP: No. Not yet.

KING IN YELLOW: I’d be happy to send the Messenger to show him the Yellow Sign.

NYARLATHOTEP: I have a different sentence in mind . . . Bug-Shaggoth.

KING IN YELLOW: Sweet. Raw-lik, it’s what’s on the menu.

NYARLATHOTEP: (Tapping the Rawlik-pawn with the smoking-tip of a black talon.) Exactly right. (The top of the pawn begins smoldering.)
(Nyarlathotep and the King in Yellow chuckle.)

(And it was then that Nyarlathotep came out of Carcosa and entered Rawlik’s dream…)

(In his bed fluffed with velvety dreamlands, Rawlik’s peachy dreamquest turns suddenly BLACK. He twists, winces, and screams…)

(Towering over the bed of Rawlik-all-fall-down Nyarathotep smiles.) Yeah, why not. (Beside Rawlik’s husk, in the cascade of her verdant dream, Mandy accepts the fat check from the The Black Man with the insurance attaché case. The Black Man hands her the solid silver keys to her $22,000,000 dream-home mansion in Palm Beach, the one with the new dock, a Har-Tru tennis court and the heated pool w/ a breathtaking view and 4 servants, and a 24-hour chef. The one right next to Adam Sandler’s new weekend get-way home…)

(From the balcony in far, cold Carcosa the King in Yellow watches the festivities.)

KING IN YELLOW: My house, my rules. Next week, I’m having the fun. (Writes the name, Davis, in his dog-earred, yellow notepad. Underlines it 5 times . . .)

(After the “Lovecraft eZine” chat on NOV 11, 2012)

[Libby Van Cleave Ingram Marshall: Dark Waters, for English horn & tape, the Bambi Molesters “Beach Murder Mystery”]

(c) 2011 Andrea Bonazzi

(c) 2011 Andrea Bonazzi

Joseph S. Pulver, Sr., is the author of the novels, The Orphan Palace (Chomu Press 2010) and Nightmare’s Disciple (Chaosium 1999), and he has written many short stories that have appeared in magazines and anthologies, including Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror of the Year, S. T. Joshi’s Black Wings and A Mountain Walked, and Ross Lockhart’s Book of Cthulhu (Night Shade 2011). His highly–acclaimed short story collections, Blood Will Have Its Season, SIN & ashes, and Portraits of Ruin were published by Hippocampus Press in 2009, 2010, and 2012, respectively.

He edited A Season in Carcosa (Miskatonic River Press 2012), and collections by Ann K. Schwader and John B. Ford.

His new collection, Stained Translations, edited by Jeffrey Thomas, will appear in 2013 from Dark Regions Press.

You can find his blog at: http://thisyellowmadness.blogspot.com

If you enjoyed this story, let Joe know by commenting below — and please use the Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus buttons below to spread the word.

Story illustration by Nick Gucker.

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3 responses to “A (~BIG~) Fishy Menu, by Joseph S. Pulver, Sr.

  1. Nice.
    Leave it to the Mythos to destroy their own…
    When Mr. Davis goes at the next chess bout, there goes the ezine…
    Wait!
    Who will be the heir?
    Hmm?

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