Friday, October 31, 2008
Because it's Halloween, Chartroose and Jack are hosting a H.P. Lovecraft short story contest. I had never read a Lovecraft story (and I doubt I ever will again), but I'm always up for a challenge. So I did a little homework and I choose the story Nyarlathotep to
plagiarize imitate honor. Seriously...there's not much originality going on in my story. I pretty much kept the structure of the story and changed words as needed. It is totally intended to be a ridiculous spoof, as I fully recognize my inability to write a story on my own. I would suggest reading the original first, so you can fully appreciate the mood I was going for.
And I'd like to thank Chartroose for acting as my muse.
Chartroose... the unrivaled book blogger... Softdrink is the last... Softdrink will tell Google Reader...
I do not recall precisely when it began, but it was neither yesterday nor tomorrow. The blogosphere was abysmal. To a universal canon of drear and dolorous posts was added a voice of unparalleled power; a voice near yet far, such a blogger as may be imagined only in the most nightmarish of nightmares. I recall that book bloggers were gallavanting about with a feeling of ennui, and a general sense of malaise enveloped feed readers everywhere. There were whispers of an upstart, of a prophecy told on Wordpress and spread to Blogger and LiveJournal. A furtive comment here and there told of a blogger both fierce and fiercesome. There were IMs and emails exchanged warning of the advent of one such had never been seen or read before. Posts hinted of what might come, yet no one was able to express the fear and doom and gloom that had fallen upon the internets. Worms and viruses were rampant and infiltrated the most secure of systems. The blue screen of death destroyed thousands of computers. Bloggers huddled at their desks imagining the dark time ahead. Everyone felt that the world of book reviews had passed from their control into the grasp of this unknown typist.
And it was then that Chartroose came out of the bookstore. Who she was, none could tell, but she was bookish and looked like a librarian. The book bloggers knelt when they saw her, yet none could say why. She said she had risen up out of the mire of her to be read pile, and that she had heard messages from authors not yet published. Into this community of bloggers came Chartroose, snarky, sly, and snide, always buying strange books of obscurity and obfuscation and brainwashing other bloggers into reading them. She spoke much of Geek Love and Lovecraft and gave giveaways of such magnificence, which sent her readers away slobbering and slavering, and speechless, yet which swelled her fame to exceeding magnitude. Bloggers advised one another to read Bloody Hell It’s a Book Barrage, and shuddered. And where Chartroose went, comments were left, and the blogosphere resounded with the screams of readers. Never before had the demonic screeches been such a public problem; now the comment moderators almost wished they could forbid posting in the small hours.
I remember when Chartroose came to my blog. I had witnessed the comments left elsewhere and was strangely compelled by the dark wisdom shared by Chartroose. The comments were alluring and I was drawn into the mystical archives of Bloody Hell. My friends had said the posts were both fearsome and beauteous, and I would read of books my mind could not fathom. None but Chartroose dared to read Geek Love and Henry Orient. I heard it hinted that Chartroose knew Mother Goose and Cookie Monster, legendary creatures no one save Chartroose had ever beheld.
It was a dark and stormy night when I went through the wind and the rain with the maddening crowds to lay my eyes upon the mystery that was Chartroose. We forged through the stacks of the library and into the misty room, not even stopping at New Releases. I saw Cookie and Elmo and Muppets galore peering out over the crowd. I saw fairy tale creatures leap to life from the pages of their books. I saw the crowd battling with disbelief and fear and immense awe. I saw Chartroose. She drove us out of the library, down the winding, jagged stairs into the wet, dry, crowded, empty streets. I screamed that she could not delete my blog, I would never stop blogging, and others lent their voice to my hue and cry. We vowed that we would overcome.
I am convinced we felt something emerge from the slimy depths of the sewer. It herded us back into the library, which was lit only by the bluish glow emitted by the computer screens. We took our places at the carrels and began to type. I noticed one man’s fingers had become talons, with long wickedly pointed nails that impeded not his rhythmic, sonorous, monotonous tapping upon the keyboard. Another man, awash in the murky aura of his computer, disintegrated into dusty motes of nothingness. Myself, I was able to sneak furtively, stealthily away, until I stood alone at the circulation desk, accompanied only by the lingering wails of vanquished readers and bloggers.
Mind numbingly vacuous, heart-stoppingly heart rending, only the readers that were will know. Books held in appendages that are no longer hands, gazed upon by orbs that are no longer eyes. Beyond the libraries lurk ghosts of authors not read, writers not published. Through this wasteland of the blogosphere the muffled crinkling of pages and echoes of the clackity-clack of keyboards; the muttered recitations of Stoker and Poe and Gaiman; and the catatonic blog-oyles whose voice is now Chartroose.