By Sean Enns
A Question of Reality or Insanity.
My wife, Jenny, asks for the potatoes, but there’s a hole in my chair. It’s barely noticeable, and yet, I find my left finger drawn to it, poking at clumps of wadded, aged cotton through begrimed, brownish-green polyester that I might call chartreuse if it wasn’t so putrid.
It’s dinner time. We’re having chicken, potatoes, and what Jenny calls a “vegetable medley,” which is just peas and carrots. A medley, I explain to Jenny while not passing her the potatoes, would require a diverse assortment of vegetables in some sort of harmonious arrangement.
Jenny says there’s also broccoli in the vegetable medley and reminds me that I agreed to take a break from being an “a-hole,” and could I just pass the potatoes.
If only I could remove my finger and pass the lumpy potatoes, but my finger will not listen to reason. There is something in my chair, something alive and squirming, and my finger is reaching for it, and I, for once, am excited.
Jenny says it is I who am lumpy and not listening to reason and being ridiculous, and to stop picking at the chair. What she doesn’t understand is that I believe I am about to come face to face, or rather, finger to faceless swirling mass of orbs, with the Lurker at the Threshold and the wet and squirmy thing within my chair: Yog-Sothoth.
It is not Yog-Sothoth, Jenny tells me, suggesting that perhaps I ought to check my ass and see if my finger is there. I tell Jenny this is doubtful, as my “ass” clearly exists in this dimension; but she is more than welcome to check if she likes, as anything she’s likely to see would be an improvement over hauntingly terrible centerpiece she’s installed at the dinner table.
"There is something in my chair, something alive and squirming, and my finger is reaching for it, and I, for once, am excited."
Anyway, I am too busy to check my ass, as the hole in my chair has gotten much wider. It’s now wide enough to see pulsating lights swirling against a writhing gargantuan, a mass of translucent, throbbing tentacles, orbs, and magenta fire. I see now that it is not Yog-Sothoth itself, but the avatar of the All-in-One the Eater of Souls: a mass of ineffable, quivering colours and shapes swirling around teeth like Swiss-Army knives; bent and broken into shapes to devour things I am incapable of comprehending. I should not look, I know, lest madness take me, but I cannot look away, cannot see Jenny’s vulgar gesticulations in response to my summary judgement of her vile cooking.
I am afraid, and yet, I sense that my finger is not. Though it is attached to my hand, it is no longer my finger. It is operating on its own will, drawing what remains of my hand inside the universe-chair, whether to infinite knowledge and power or beyond, or to insanity, I know not.
Jenny says it hasn’t, it’s just a chair, and I am making her very, very sad, and maybe she should just leave, and what would I do then? I do not know, to be truthful, as at present I am less concerned with her departure and entirely preoccupied with the notion that my arm is in the chair up to my elbow, and my left finger has left, and isn’t irony wonderful?
Jenny assures me that it is not wonderful. She asks whether we, just this once, could have a nice dinner without interdimensional chair-holes, or pan-galactic microorganisms, or whatever stupid excuse I’m using to not eat her food, which is perfectly fine.
I tell Jenny that I would relish the opportunity for a normal dinner, as soon as I am free from this paradox. I would also relish the opportunity for some relish for this chicken, as it is not, as she supposes, perfectly fine, and would she mind getting it from the fridge for me?
While I am waiting for Jenny to not pass me the relish, I realize that what I truly long for is to transcend this world of sad wives and desiccated chicken, to treat with Yog-Sothoth as finger treated and become something nameless and powerful as finger has. To be in the chair instead of being on the chair.
I close my eyes, as if to will it so, and suddenly I am falling through the hole in my chair and being devoured by The Eater. I sense that Jenny has crawled across the table and is tearing and screaming at the hole in my chair, but I can’t hear. In the moments before my oblivion all that remains to me is pride as I witness the ascension of finger, my old friend and newborn Other God, bathed in a starburst of magenta light.
Scribble by Sean Enns
Sean Enns is a playwright and writer of fiction who writes dark and tragicomic stories, who draws on his deep love and knowledge of myth, lore, legend, and classic stories from around the world to create modern-day fairy tales for the stage and page. To see what he’s up to, visit www.seanenns.com