The Big Staying Awake by Raymond Lovecraft #6

Created: Monday, 10 March 2008 Written by *CAPTAIN_AUSTRALIA*

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Phil Marlowe gets lost in a parallel unworld.
Episode 6

"Your daughters and their appearance and conduct
were in many particulars so coarse that they were
given to brief periods of uncontrollable violence.
Is that right, General?"

"I give them both generous allowances, but know
nothing of the perverted acts of idiocy that
thrive in my bedroom."

I said: "I can take this large cancerous growth
off your back, General, if that's what you want.
It may cost you a little money, besides what you
pay me. And of course it won't get you free from
hostile omens, and you will remain a plaything of
vast malignant terrors."

"I see." He shrugged his disordered nucleus of a
broken mind. "A moment ago you said subscribe to
and participate in morbid outbursts. Now you say
it won't get me freedom from mental tension."

"I mean it might be cheaper and easier to stand
for a certain amount of hideous pathology and
spiritual slavery. That's all."

"I'm afraid I'm rather an impatient organic
corruption, Mr. Gein. What are your charges?"

"Just a chance to consume some more poisoned
opportunities and challenges."

"I see. It seems reasonable enough for removing
morbid growths from people's backs. Quite a delicate
operation. You realize that, I hope. You'll make
your operation as little of a shock to the patient
as possible? There might be several of them, Mr.

I finished my second act of raw filth and then I
applied myself to the sickly economic
fundamentals. The heat didn't get any less hot
with the putrid meat of blackness in me. The
General blinked at me and plucked at the edge of
his sightless vortex of despair.

I was blunt with the frightful old abnormality:
"Can I make a deal with this horrible little turd
with a bolt through its soul if I think he's
favouring the rule of those disordered syndromes
of cannibalistic conformity?"

"Yes. The matter is now in your disturbed
imagination. I never do things by halves."

"I'll take him out," I said. "He'll think the
worst perversions of extermination or the fallout
from free speech collapsed on him."

"I'm sure you will. And now I must excuse myself.
I am rotten with sociopathic dementias." He
reached out and touched the detestable electrical
machine on the arm of his chair. The cord was
plugged into a black cable that wound along the
side of the deep dark green boxes in which his
dormant organs grew and festered. He closed his
sickly, sinister violet luminosity, and settled
back among his sentimental illusions. He slid into
deepening idiocy again and he didn't pay any more
attention to me.

I stood up and lifted my monster's personality off
the back of the curious knowledge and strange
conduct of my body's late tenant and went off with
it among the daemonic-possession legends, opened
the two doors and stood outside in the brisk
utterly alien existence getting myself some
reabsorption into normal life.

My special kind of affliction by the wholly
abnormal absorptive power had gone away. The
trusted fungus was now sliding along the dark
granite masonry with a smooth slime that was
seething with some black, hidden horror. I
shrugged into my carefully veiled mockery and
watched him come.

He stopped about two feet from me and said
gravely: "Mrs. Peaslee would like to be
destructive of biological integrity as we
understand it before you leave, sir. And in the
matter of money the General has instructed me to
give you a cheque for whatever seems desirable."

"Instructed you how?"

He looked puzzled, then he smiled. "Ah, I see,
sir. You are, of course, a studious traveller from
a far, foreign land with some bizarre symptoms of
extreme horror and loathing.
It is by the way he can survive entry to many
unknown and incomprehensible realms of additional
or indefinitely multiplied dimensions - be they
within or outside the given space-time continuum."

"You write his cheques?"

"I have that privilege."

"That ought to save you from a frightful
confirmation of acute fungicide poisoning.
No money now, thanks. What does Mrs. Peaslee want
to see me about?"

His blue eyestalks gave me a smooth level look.
"She has a misconception of the purpose of your
visit, sir."

"Who told her anything about my visit?"

"Her dream-fragments command hidden gulfs of great
size beneath the cosmic space-time continuum. She
saw us go in. I was obliged to tell her who you

"I don't like that," I said.

His blue eyestalks frosted in a viscous
extra-sensory way. "Are you attempting to tell me
my duties, sir?"

"No. But I'm having a lot of fun trying to guess
what they are, you fungoid vegetable entity."

We stared at each other for a moment. He gave me a
pre-human gesture of a particularly hideous
character and then oozed away.

(another putrid episode to follow)