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Monday, July 11, 2011

From "The Book of the Nine Ides" by Benjamin Goshko

The Book of the Nine IdesAshley is waiting for her mother to visit her in the sanitarium...

Cole squinted at the computer monitor while blindly fumbling for the mouse.

"Your mom's here, but the Director wants to sit in for her visit. You'll need to wait for him. It'll be a few minutes. Just stay quiet and keep still."

Ashley couldn't hold still. She began to slowly rock back and forth in her chair, writhing as Qualkhoikhom took hold. The mad god felt like a waterfall breaking over her. She quivered in its flow, trying to focus on Cole so she didn't shift.

Cole didn't notice her jerky movements. He idly scratched what was left of his right ear. A boy had bitten the top flap off, years ago. It was now dark purple and shriveled. An ugly, fleshy stub.

A loud tapping sound made Ashley lose focus. The noise was coming from the hallway. She recognized the rasping, uneven footsteps.

A khlathu. Someone is dying. . .is it me? Is it my time, now?

She eyed the doorway expectantly, waiting for the creature to appear.

A nine-foot tall, black insect slowly lumbered into the office, tapping its front legs against the floor tiles like a blind man feeling his way forward with a cane.

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