Cthulhu Revenge and other stories published
Note: updated all the stories below
Scarlet Leaf Review has published several of my stories, including Cthulhu’s Revenge, Escape from Hell and Ghoul Haunted Woods of Weir. Here is an updated version of Cthulhu’s Revenge submitted today to Flame Tree publishing’s Lovecraft fiction contest. I am a big Lovecraft fiend – read all of his works decades ago.
There is a secret gateway to hell. It lies beneath every city in the world, usually linked into the subway systems or sewage system of the city. A secret underground under the underground so to speak. The underworld is called by some Hell, by other Hades, and a thousand other names, all conjuring up images of darkness, depravity and evil. To the residents of hell, it is simply their home.
The underworld has existed for thousands of years and grew up parallel to the over world which is what us denizens of hell refer to the sunlit world above our heads. The underworld is vast, dark, dangerous, violent, yet has a savage beauty all its own.
The denizens of hell live on in their underworld and occasionally send agents to the surface world to spy on the world and report back to their leaders or to carry out secret missions on earth. The denizens of hell are also awarded passes to the overworld where they can engage in all sort of vile foul evil deeds, drink, take drugs and engage in violent looting, rape and murder. And they can kidnap victims to bring back to hell as their slaves particularly women as most of the denizens of hell are male and there are very few woman and few children born in hell. There are secret passages to the surface world everywhere. The main city of Hell lies underneath Hells kitchen in NYC. And there is a secret subway train that goes from Chelsea station to Hell central where the ruler of Hell reigns.
An overlord, an immortal creature some call Lucifer, some call Satan and a thousand other names, rules the underworld. Few in the outer world know his true name, Cthulhu.
Cthulhu is not a human being nor is he a mortal being. He is an immortal being, a real devil so to speak. Cthulhu is a tall octopus like creature with eight legs, and intense red eyes, and is red in color. He rules through fear and mental telepathic powers. He and his fellow Octopus creatures ruled the Sirian empire. The other sirians were humanoid type creatures. Cthulhu and his followers came to earth thousands of years ago from the planet Sirius. They crashed landed on earth as they were fleeing an interplanetary war and needed to get away fast and chose the earth because the earth was a primitive planet without an obvious civilization and no one would be looking for them there. Earth was the back of the beyond – outside the Galactic Empire. They had to destroy their ships so their presence on earth would not be discovered.
They founded the city of Atlantis and ruled the humans they found there as their overlords. They were seen by the primitive humans as gods and indeed they were Gods so to speak. Cthulhu soon grew dissatisfied with the ruling elite of Atlantis. They were content to live out their lives in exile on earth and made no attempts to rebuild the ships and leave the earth. Many had intermarried with earth creatures and were losing their culture, and language and traditions. Cthulhu felt that the war was over and he wanted to head back to Sirius.
Eventually Jehovah, the green leader of Atlantis, and Cthulhu had a massive falling out. Cthulhu felt that as the senior Sirian he should be in charge of Atlantis and the earth and that all humans should be enslaved. This was the time honored way of life in the Sirian empire. Yet somehow on earth, the green Sirians had lost their way and were talking about educating the natives and treating them with respect.
Cthulhu denounced the green Sirians and called for their destruction.
“there can be no compromise. Earth creatures are animals nothing more and should be used as slave labor and when they die fed to the warrior class so they can take their life force and achieve immortality. That is the way of the Sirian empire and I Cthulhu as your lawful senior rulers declare that Jehovah and his followers must be destroyed by any means necessary. A holly war for the future is at stake.”
Jehovah and his followers launched a world wide war but unfortunately, Atlantis fell sank beneath the waves after a nuclear war.
Cthulhu and his fellow Sirians along with some humans retreated and build an alternate world underground. They would occasionally send spies out to the outer world to keep an eye on things. Jehovah though at the last minute was able to over power Cthulhu and put a mental curse on him and his fellow Octopus confining them underground for ten thousand years and hence hell was founded.
Jehovah and his fellows joined the humans and tried to civilize them. The end result was that most of Jehovah’s fellow Gods were killed by jealous humans. Jehovah and his senior staff survived and formed a secret society that persist to this day. Eventually most of his fellow Sirians intermarried with the local humans. Sirians and humans are both humanoids. And it is hard to tell the difference unless you run DNA tests. The main difference is that Sirians are long lived, the average life span is 10,000 years and a few are close to immortal. Cthulhu claims he is immortal but who can believe him anyway. ? He is the master of lies, deceit, and the dark magic arts of controlling other’s minds.
Jehovah’s descendants live on in small communities across the globe. Most are religious leaders. Buddha, Christ, Mohammed and Sai Babai were all Sirians.
Jehovah is worried. The 10 thousand year curse he had put on Cthulhu is due to expire next year and Jehovah knows that Cthulhu is plotting something horrible. And indeed, he is.
I know. I was one of Cthulhu’s senior leaders. I am what you humans call a defector and have joined forces with Jehovah to try to save the human race. I am writing this statement to alert you humans to the dangerous times coming down the pike and to warn you that Cthulhu’s goal is the total enslavement of Mankind forever. And then he will lead an army of Sirians and Humans back to Sirius to reclaim the throne of the Emperor. You see Cthulhu had been the next in line to the crown when he was overthrown.
About five of your earth years ago I was a senior clerk in the office of Imperial Propaganda. Our job was to send spies and saboteurs out into the outer world and stir up trouble. We were behind WW1, WW11, the Korean and Vietnam and Iraq wars and of course 9-11, and recent pandemics, SARS, MERS and Corona were all bio weapons created in Hell’s underground chemical bio weapons labs nicknamed “Hell’s Kitchens”. Bin Laden one of ours. You can’t find him because he retreated to the underworld and is working out of an office located underneath Karachi.
I knew all about 9-11. It was one of my minor projects. None of us expected it would work, and none of us expected that the U.S. would be so stupid as to get involved in the Iraq war. The terrorism, the lost of civil liberties, the constant fears. That is golden for our work. And the religious belief that Armageddon is coming is music to our master’s ears. For Armageddon is indeed coming and Cthulhu is getting ready. I work for Sam the cyborg deputy to Cthulhu.
On one of my trips to the outer world I had met with Jehovah who woke me up to the evil represented by Cthulhu and I became a double agent spying on Cthulhu and on Jehovah alike as I had been sent to meet him so I could infiltrate his organization and provide critical Intel to support the coming war effort. But I became a dissident and Jehovah and I worked out my double agent duties. Neither Sam nor Cthulhu suspected a thing although with both of them you had to be careful as they both had mental telepathic powers. Fortunately for me, Jehovah had taught me how to put up a mental block which I did whenever I was back home.
The ancient sirians had split into two factions, the red loyal to Cthulhu, and a dissident green faction who wished to educate humanity and live in peace with the natives giving up their dream of some day returning to Sirius which they denounced as fascist totalitarian state. The two factions fought for years and finally they ended up almost destroying the entire planet in a nuclear and biological war. The war destroyed Atlantis, but both groups survived and hid out among the native people. The green group tried to civilize humanity and usually failed miserably. But they continued throughout the centuries. The red group hid out in the wilderness areas and bid their time. They reentered human history when they joined forces with the Romans and taught the Romans the art of warfare.
Both groups however were hampered by the fact that it took a lot of mental energy maintaining their false human appearance, which was part costume and part holographic projection. Interactions with humans were always fraught with problems as few humans could handle the truth and most humans simply went mad when they encountered a Cthulhu unmasked.
Although Sirians were hominid in appearance, they did have either red skin red hair and red horns or green skin and bluish hair and no horns. The red sirians were the master race and the green sirians were a slave race but always revolting against the rule of the red skinned Sirians and their evil masters Cthulhu and his octopus’s race. The great writer Lovecraft was a Sirian defector who tried to warn people of the danger poised by Cthulhu but people dismissed his stories as nothing but purple prose horror fiction. And that was part of the propaganda office’s greatest victory convincing the world that Cthulhu, the devil and other monsters did not exist.
Only in recent years had the Cthulhu grow in power and strength that they felt that they could rejoin their ancient battles. Although Cthulhu himself could not yet escape his imprisonment under ground, members of his red group were able to settle in the U.S. and began associating themselves with prominent political figures, subtly shaping their agenda and their world view.
The master plan was to trigger another world war, and after destroying most of mankind, enslave the rest of the world, and then build spaceships so Cthulhu and his Sirian cohorts could rejoin their brethren in other solar systems. The Sirians were unable to contact any one back at home and that worried them. Then again they lacked interstellar communications and spaceships so they were stuck on earth for now.
Sam was the default leader of the Red faction. He was the result of an experiment years ago to create a hybrid human-Sirian android. By doing so, the theory was that the aging Sirians could live essentially forever. The plan did not work as all of the hybrids developed too much human awareness. Most of them ended up being destroyed or going over to the Green side. Sam was the last of the androids and the most successful. He was determined to destroy most of the human race, and then leave the earth behind.
As a part human, part Sirian and part machine, a cyborg, he needed every so often spare human and Sirian body parts which he obtained through having his demons go to the surface and bring back bodies, preferably alive. The Sirians and the Cthulhu octopi both believed that if you ate your enemy right after killing him you would absorb his life force, his soul and his memories and extend your own life by decades. During the various wars that the Sirians had formatted over the years ritual cannibalism was often practiced for this reasons. Sam was looking forward to the war to end all war the ritual bbq their enemies festival afterwards. He needed some new body part particularly a heart although Sam’s critics did not think there was any blood in his veins just ice cold vinegar. Sam was 12,000 years old and has been a cyborg for 10,000 years. With a new heart he could live for thousand more years.
On that day, Sam was very angry – as angry as a part human, part Sirian, cyborg could ever be. About a month before project Armageddon Sam was sitting with the senior staff of the Cthulhu organization – the secret society that tries to rule the world in their top secret base located at an undisclosed location 10 miles beneath the White House and the Pentagon.
Sam was the senior policy advisor to the President and was often called the President’s brain. Most of the senior advisers were in the room with me- most but not all were fellow Sirians. The president was a puppet whom they controlled mentally which is why one of his advisors had to be with him at all time. The Cthulhu overloads met nightly after the President’s mental conditioning was turned off and he was allowed to sleep. Even while he slept, someone was watching him for signs that he was waking up and asserting his human side, but fortunately the President seemed to be unaware that he was a puppet for an alien race plotting to enslave mankind.
So, on that particular day, Sam was very angry. Their latest plans – divert media attention away from plan Armageddon with a series of meaningless media diversions were not working. With these dismal thoughts racing through his head, Sam started the meeting as he often did by yelling at his staff.
“God damn it. We had a perfect distraction in the John Mark Karl case – they found the Jon Benet Ramsey killer after 10 years and he was a child sex pervert living in Bangkok! That story was made for operation diversion. Why or why didn’t we check it out to make sure that the story would last through January ? Remember people, we have to keep feeding the media shit so that they will keep their eyes off our plan Armageddon. Now, I am not going to play the blame game – today. What we need is another diversion media story. Ideas?
George, a pure bred Sirian, who remembered everything he ever heard or saw, piped up. “Sir, there are several stories we could use. There is one that is particularly good. A little girl in Austria was kidnapped ten years ago by her next door neighbor. They just found her alive and he is dead. She claims that he was not human, but some sort of evil monster from outer space. And she is right. He is a descendant of Cthulhu, one of the renegade ones that we encounter every so often. This story has everything we need – sex, depravity, mystery, violence, greed and proof that aliens are among the humans! We can pump this one up for months. We could link it to other mysterious sightings of UFO’s and aliens and start a real media frenzy. Then we could have the President announce that the USG would lead the fight against the menace of space aliens. We can double or triple military spending, enact even more draconian laws, and increase the fear factor by orders of magnitude!”
Sam stopped the discussion, and thought to himself, this is indeed the way to go. They could step up the fear factor, terrorize the population, increase defense spending and divert attention from plan Armageddon.
Without much further discussion, the plan was approved. The media team went to work creating false stories to plant through out the world. The propaganda department worked up the propaganda points to be made. Sam and his senior staff met and worked on what to tell the President and then the general public.
The propaganda wars continued, with fake news stories erupting up out of nowhere. All to keep the masses confused, and distracted while the real plans were laid down.
Sam an appointment with Cthulu himself and was ready. Cthulhu and his followers had finally escaped their prison a few weeks ago and were ready to launch Project Armageddon. Sam had to brief him on the final plans for Armageddon. Sam, filled with fear, went into Cthulhu’s office, located deep under the Pentagon building. This was his first meeting with the overlord.
Sir he began
Cthulhu looked at him and read his thoughts as Sam gave Cthulhu the latest Intel on the Mideast and the array of forces ready to blow up. Time was right, it would be very simple to edge one of the Middle eastern leaders to say or do the wrong thing, and the whole place will blow up.
Cthulhu’s agents were arming terrorists who were prepared to unleash a wave of suicide bombing throughout the U.S. At the same time, he would have one of his agents blow up a nuclear bomb. That would trigger all out nuclear war.
Cthulhu and his generals went outside to inspect the troops. They were ready – all 5 million of them – humans, Sirians, androids. As soon as the Nuclear war was over they would emerge and take over the world. And Cthulhu would have his revenge, 10,000 years in the making. Cthulhu and his senior staff would kill and eat their prisoners alive as they knew that eating a sentient being alive allowed one to absorb their soul, their memories and their life energies extending the life of the victor. Cthulhu ended his pep speech saying,
“Bring me the bodies of our enemies and we will have a feast and I will grant you the gift of eternal life. Project Armageddon is a go!”
I wrote on my face book page, outlying the end of the world and concluded with a call to action.
“Cthulhu has risen from his prison. Jehovah has been killed. the end times are approaching time is running out. The world is ending in a few days. The army of Hell is marching and world 111 will start with nuclear war and terrorism. Afterwards the army of hell will occupy the world restore Cthulu to power and enslave mankind. I hope that someone gets this message and can figure a way to stop the end of days but I know that my time here is running out. God rest our souls.
Escape from Hell
punishments. It is a lot worse than any of us imagine and it is both more real
and unreal at the same time. It exists and does not exist at the same time in a
weird parallel universe. Once someone dies, and he ends up in Hell he
continues to live on in a manner of speaking; he does not die but he cannot
live in this world during the light of day. They become the undead and are
like the vampires of legend (who exist but that is another story). So, the
condemned live on in eternal torture and turmoil and they also must
work. Hell is full of workers working as slaves to keep the
machinery going. And Hell is a growing place – most people on earth end
up there. Running Hell requires lots of workers. And being a slave in the
Hell is no picnic my friends.
Throughout his life, he often thought of the dream. And when they were separated he would dream that she was right there in the room watching over him. So, Jack knew that he would soon encounter her in yet another dream.
Hell existed and was real. The only problem was almost no one ever went there voluntarily and came back. (this was the majority belief among the occult writers and other assorted nut cases).
Most of his friends advised him to forget about it and get on with his life. They told him to get back to work on his novels. Some tried to fix him up with girls, but he refused all such requests. He was truly a man obsessed.
Jack had prepared an extensive list of items for the journey. I had bought ten zoot suites complete with fedora hats and had managed to find some antique but serviceable Tommy guns through a friend of mine who had contacts in the underworld. The story was slowly making the rounds that there was this crazed American who was convinced that Hell was real, and his wife was there, and damned fool that he was he was going to rescue her.
Keith came in next with his wife, Maggie, and child. Keith was a minor millionaire developer. He was the one who had introduced Jack to the money launderer. He was tall, blond hair and looked like a younger version of Donald Trump who was his hero. Maggie was from Colombia. Ken was 11 years old and they all agreed that having a kid around might prove useful as no one was suspicious of people who had kids with them.
Jack turns to his friends and says, “I have had that dream every night since she died. As you know I dreamt about meeting her for eight years before I met her and so I believe she is telling the truth and that she is in Hell in that pit and that if we can make it to Hell and bribe her head demon we might be able to make it back alive with her. So, whether you believe me or not, I want you to join me in this crusade. Are you in or not?”
I tell them we are on a special mission and must locate an Angela Lee who was sentenced six months ago. He looks it up on the computer and hums and haws. We give him 500 U.S. dollars to not report that this has occurred and promise him 500 more and an opportunity to join us on the other side if he kept
We come to an agreement and slip him another 5 gs. He then says he has some TV to watch and would give us 30 minutes to get her and get back on the train. I tell several of my group to stay behind with Mr.
He turns to me and says,
“Hey, did you used to live in Bombay? Did I say yeah, I was undercover at the time poising as a US diplomat? You got a problem with that?”
I slip him 2 g’s and he smiles and says
“This solves most problems. 3 Gs more and I forget who the fuck you are.” Jake slips him some more money and we follow him down into the pits.
We find Angela staying in a pool of stagnant water. She is haggard, tired, and looks like shit. She is digging coal out with a shovel. We walk up to her and start yelling at the guards, that we have a prisoner to take for questioning. One of the guards looks at us and
“Back off or we shoot your ass. Your choice.”
He turns to pick up his intercom and we shoot him. He drops dead and we know it will take a day or so for him to recover. The four other prisoners in the work detail beg us to take them with us. I tell them my mandate was to tell Angela, but we would give them each 5000 g’s to keep quiet and forget what they had seen. They take the money.
“Man, good luck with that shit. Angela was a great woman and was always talking about her husband. We could not figure out how she got here. Maybe just a screw up in the computer files. Happens all the time, man. But hey we did not see anything, right?”
They wander off.
We get back on the track to the main office. When we get there, we decide we should take out Ramesh and Mr. Black for the time being. We thank them and then shoot them saying it was for their own good. That would buy us a day as it would take a day for them to come back to life. We debate whether to take the money back or not but finally decide to let them have it as they had kept their end of the bargain.
We get on the train and head back to Hell Central. We get back to the exit and find Mr. Bernie waiting. He has a few police types with them. They had some questions for us. I decide to bluff. I tell them that this was a covert mission and I did not have to answer to anyone other than the MAN downstairs. And if they interfered it would be painful as I would have to shoot them first, then turn them over to our torture specialists, and I pointed out several of our more macho looking guys in the group.
They demanded paperwork. I told them the only paper they would be given would be green backs. They demanded 5000 g’s a piece and were adamant. I gave them 5,000 apiece and we shot them dead.
“You coming? “
We say the mantra and find ourselves in the NYC subway early in the morning. I tell Bernie you have until dawn to get back. I tell him where the nearest bar was and that it was just in time for happy hour. And gave him 5,000 bonus cash.
He said, “yeah, I head of that place.” And he runs off in search of the nearest bar.
When we leave the subway, we are faced with a reception committee. Two special agents from Hell are standing there looking at us. They take us to a safe house in Harlem. Finally, we meet the agent in charge of NYC.
He looks familiar,
“I say, didn’t you used to work for the US government as a diplomat.”
He said yeah,
“I did. You used to work for me. Worst subordinate ever. I recognize the two of you. I always wondered what would happen to you. He then says, okay, now that I know you are human beings you had better tell me the truth and you know I hate your guts. And I know you are a lying scumbag and should be in Hell someday. “
I said, okay,
“David here’s the God’s truth” and tell the whole story.
When I tell him, he gets on the computer, and looks up the special rules and says, “holly shit. You are right. You are your friends all are given 50 bonus years at your same age and you will all be going upstairs when you die. But you must pay me 50 k to keep quiet for the next twenty minutes while you escape.
Listen, as a favor to us don’t publish this story. You know what kind of trouble that could cause us?”
Jack pays him off and promised him that he would never publish this story, but hey he lied.
Jack and Angela make it back out of Hell and back to SF. His friends all made it out too, and Satan honored rule number nine because even Satan must follow the cosmic laws that govern Heaven and Hell.
Ghoul Haunted Woodlands of Weir
Sam Hill woke up freezing cold outside in a howling wilderness of tall dense trees, covered with dense fog. Sam did not know how he got there, wherever there was, nor did Sam remember much of his prior life. Nor did Sam recognize the trees – they were different from any trees he had ever seen. All Sam knew was he was Sam Hill, late of Berkeley, California where he ran a restaurant.
And last night was lost in a fog of weed, drugs, and perhaps wild sex. Sam simply could not remember much of that night. After closing his restaurant, he went out with some friends and ended up in a club somewhere in SF. He had gone to the club where he smoked weed, snorted what he thought was cocaine, and drank way too much. Might even had dropped acid – he did not know what he had done. His friends left him at the club. He went home with a strange bosomy Indian woman he met at the club, but the rest was foggy at best. He did remember that she was hot – brunette, middle age with curves to die for. And she had a sexy come hither foreign accent – she was a devilish attractive woman from India. in short, she was Sam’s fatal attraction.
Sam suddenly remembered that he had been married before and that his wife had left him when she found out that he had been cheating on her. But Sam could not remember his wife’s name nor recall her face. Nor who he had cheated with. But he remembered the women last night, did not remember her name or whether they had sex – he think he did but damn everything was foggy. He wondered if she had slipped him a mickey? In any event, it was all a blur.
But that still did not explain how he had woken up here in the forest. He could tell that he was no longer in the Bay Area because of the strange unearthly trees and the landscape. It was clear that he was in a wilderness area but where he could not figure out. Sam got up off the damp forest floor and stood up to survey his situation. Frankly, it was not good. He had the clothes on his back, a backpack containing a coat, a book of Poe’s poetry, a pen, and a bottle of water. He had nothing else he would need to survive in a hostile wilderness, – no matches, no weapons and most importantly no food. He did not know how he had gotten back pack, nor why he had a book of Poe’s poetry in the backpack.
Sam looked around the woods and saw that he was in the middle of a dense grove of tall trees, of a strange species he had never seen before. Most of the trees were green evergreen but he swore that some of the trees were purple and some were red. It seemed like it was an autumn day as there was a crisp autumn like breeze in the air. He recalled that it was November 1 back in the real word, the day after his birthday. He almost felt that he had been transplanted to another world. As far as he could see in the dense fog the forest went on and on.
It was a cold, damp morning. But he felt that it could get warmer despite the autumn chill in the air. The sun was sneaking over the horizon so in any event it was about 6 am. But there was something weird about the sun – just did not look like the sun on earth and it had a faint reddish glow to it and seemed bigger than the Sun on Earth. Then the other sun dawned, and he knew he was not in Kansas or anywhere else on earth. He glanced at his watch, it seemed to be working. His cell phone had no signal – nada, but all the other features that were not dependent on an internet connection seemed to work.
Sam decided that the only thing to do was to walk to the end of the forest and see if he can find any signs of civilization, or at least get some food and water somewhere. Sam started walking and walking and the forest seem to go on and on. As he walked he recalled some of his boy scout training decades ago and headed in the same general direction, south he thought but the two Suns in the sky threw his internal sense of direction off. At least he was not walking in circles he thought.
He heard creatures stirring in the woods, but he did not encounter any wildlife. And Sam was unprepared – as he had no weapons other than a rock that he had picked up just in case. After an hour of walking he heard a noise. And the woods ended. He came up to a cliff and saw through the fog that there was a stream running down at the bottom of the steep canyon.
He was contemplating whether to try to walk down the canyon when he heard a noise. He looked up and saw two big ravens staring at him. Sam yelled at them, “Say, bird, do you know where I am?” Sam was surprised when the birds turned to him and laughed at him. Mocking birds, he though. But then then spoke.
The birds laughed at Sam. One then says, “Sam, you are in the ghoul haunted woods of Weir.”
Sam said, “Where?”
The bird said, “Precisely, where. The ghoul haunted woods of Weir. There is no escape from here. All who enter die. So, sad, we’ve seen it all before. Love to help but there is no escape. You are doomed to die here all alone except for the ghouls who will hunting you soon for their evening meal.”
Sam looked at the birds, and said “am I dreaming or on drugs? Is this real?”
The birds laughed and laughed
“Sam, my human friend. This is as real as it gets. You are not on drugs although you had some drugs last night. That women drugged you and left you for dead. But at least you got some sex out of it. You humans and sex. God. You guys are horny dogs. In any event, this is a real as any nightmare, but you will never wake up. You are doomed to die here. Might as well wait for the end to come. The Ghouls come out at dusk to feed.
But, Sam, since we like you, we can give you some advice. Try to get down to the river and follow the river to the town at the bottom of the river. Once you get there the ghouls can’t follow as they are banned from entering human towns. Once you get there the people might be willing to take you in. But probably not. Human, probably you are going to die. Well, nice talking to you, best of luck all of that. We have to get going places to be people to see and all that rot.”
Sam asked the birds a final question,
“what the fuck is a ghoul?”
The birds looked at Sam, and said,
“Your worst nightmare human. They used to be human at one time but now are what do you call it, zombies. The living dead. They haunt these woods and prey on the unfortunates who find themselves here.
“How and why am I here?”
“God only knows, and he is not telling. All we know is that every day some human finds themselves where you are and by the end of the night the ghouls get to them. None escape with their life. Well, we really need to get going. Best of luck, Sam. You will need it.”
And the two ravens flew off cackling to themselves.
Sam looked down at the canyon wall and saw a faint outline of a path that led down to the river and at the bottom of the river he saw some logs – perhaps he could fashion some sort of raft from the logs and make his way down stream. Sam did not want to come face to face with a Ghoul or zombie or whatever the hell haunted these woods. Sam did not trust the birds were telling him the truth, for some reason these birds seemed to omen of bad luck. Sam got to work and slowly picked his way down the steep path towards the bottom of the canyon and finally made it down. It was mid-day then and the fog was starting to lift.
Sam looked up at the cliff above and thought he saw something moving through the trees. Something large, and vaguely wolf like. He stared but did not see anything more. Then he heard the howling of the wolves and saw them – a pack of them on top of the cliff. The ravens flew overhead and landed next to the wolves. Sam also heard the ravens and the wolf like things talking. The Ravens pointed out Sam and seemed to wave at him. The wolf creatures growled but made no attempt to come down the path.
It was time to go. He walked over to the logs and found that two of the logs could be wrapped together with some reeds growing on the side of the river. After an hour of work, he had a serviceable raft and started floating down the rushing river. He floated for hours with the forests on top of the cliff never ending, but the fog had lifted a bit.
Finally, it was getting dark and Sam needed to stop for the night. He pulled up on a sand bar. He noticed some bushes had some blue berries on them and Sam tried them. After realizing the fruit would not kill him, Sam ate as much as he could stand and drank some river water. He then got some twigs and tried to make a fire. Sam finally got a bit of a flame going and made a bon fire and fell asleep.
He woke up at dawn and saw that he had gone a long way down the river. He looked up and saw the birds flying above him. He called out, “Mr. Bird, I’m still alive.”
The birds turned to him and said, “Sam, nice to see you. The ghouls missed you last night; the werewolves too but everyone is ready for you know. We had to tell them where you are and where you are heading. We are spies so to speak. Nothing personal we like you, Sam, but we all have our jobs to do. That is the way of the world. There is no escape. Have a nice day.” The birds flew away.
Sam got up and ate some more berries and drank more water. Then he got on the log raft and continued his journey. All day he kept hearing the howling of wolves and strange yapping sounds which he assumed were the sound of the ghouls. He did not see anything, just heard the ghostly sounds in the forests on top of the cliff.
He turned a corner in the river and saw a town ahead. At least it looked like a town; just a few huts along a road and a boat landing. He pulled up and wandered into the little town. He entered the first hut and found several dead bodies piled along the side of the hut. Shot to death executive style. Sam backed out quickly as he realized the killers could be nearby as the bodies looked relatively freshly killed. He entered hut after hut and found death everywhere. He counted 100 dead bodies. The bodies appeared to be human like and were vaguely middle eastern looking, but there was something off about them as well and he realized that they were humanoid not human. He was about to leave the village when he heard a sound of someone crying. He ran inside and found a little child still alive somehow. He grabbed the boy and gestured for him to follow him and he left the hut. In the next hut, he filled his backpack with provisions – food, water, weapons, extra clothing and matches. They had guns that apparently were earth made. Everything else was alien in origin. That was strange.
He gestured to the boy to follow him and they left the town and walked down the road. As they walked the kid and Sam bonded despite the lack of a common language. Sam taught him a few English words and he seemed to be picking it quickly. He was about 6 years old.
About an hour later they came upon a bigger town. In this town, all the people were dead as well, but were buried in a communal grave at the end of the road. Mangy dogs were feasting on the dead bodies, but they ignored Sam and the boy whom Sam leaned was called “Abdul.”
They decided to camp out in the field outside of town and watch out for the return of the bandits who had destroyed the town. Sam was also worried about the werewolves and ghouls in the forest left behind. Sam made a bonfire and they ate their provisions and fell asleep. In the middle of the night Sam woke up and saw the ghouls eying him. They were tall, human shaped creatures all white in color with bright red eyes. He asked them what they wanted.
They laughed and said, “Sam, you are very lucky. You’ve survived so far. And we are forbidden to harm you once you are in the human zones. But now you are in the realm of man again and perhaps won’t be so lucky any more. You see the way back to your world is back up in the woods between the worlds. Down here you are stuck forever. And you can see what kind of violent world this is. You are in the middle of a war between two war lords. If you manage to make it through the battle field, you might live. But we wanted to see you. The birds like you and we like the birds. Usually the birds don’t intervene, and we get our reward – the opportunity to eat human flesh. We are disappointed that the can’t eat you and your kid tonight. But the rules are the rules and we can’t harm you. “
Sam asked the ghouls,” Will you let me and my companion travel back to my world?”
The ghouls laughed and said, “Sam, we’ve never allowed anyone to get this far from your world before.
What makes you think we will let you go?”
“Well, I run a nice restaurant back home and can cook you all a decent meal. And if you want you can visit my world. We can do a deal; make you a celebrity put you on TV even.”
The Ghouls laughed and told Sam that they would not bother him any more as he was out of their territory but if he came back through the woods they would have to kill him because no one was ever allowed to leave the woods of Weir alive. That was the rule of the ghoul master himself. Nothing personal – they liked Sam a lot. Perhaps if Sam manages to get to the doorway they might not kill him and take him up on his offer. No ghoul has ever been back. The ghouls were once human or humanoid in another world. The place where Sam came to is the woods between worlds. There are gateways to other worlds scattered throughout the woods. The ghouls hunt people who are in between the worlds. If they make it too far they can live
Sam said, “Fair enough” and invited them to join him for. The ghouls declined and started walking away.
Sam called out,
“Wait. I need to know what’s going on.”
The head Ghoul turned around and said,
“okay. We’ll break protocol and share your breakfast. And fill you in. But please don’t tell the birds – you can’t trust them. They work for the evil one that controls this world. Okay we are ghouls we came from your world and were taken by other ghouls and well we become immortal. Our job is to track down humans who manage to come over from you and other worlds and kill them. Once a human manages to break through and enter the human zone we must let him go. Few make it and we were surprised that you made it as far as you have.
There are two warring states in this area. You just walked into a battle field. Zorn is on the march and making a play to take over the entire planet. Then he intends to launch an attack on your world. He may want to take you alive, so he can use you for his nefarious purposes. That’s all we know. Well we must go. If we see you again we will have to kill you. Nothing personnel just what we have to do you know.’
Sam said, “Fair enough” and invited them to join him for breakfast. The ghouls declined and disappeared.
Sam and Abdul made breakfast and walked down the path. They entered town after town. Each town had been a sight of horrific mass murder. Hundreds of dead bodies. Sam stopped at each town and picked up more provisions and weapons. He got a pack for Abdul, so they could carry additional provisions including clothing, and what appeared to be local currency. He made it clear that if they were separated the food, water and weapons in his bag were for his survival. So, he must not lose the pack.
They encountered lots of dead bodies and Hyenas and wolves feasting on the newly dead. The snarled and five of them rushed Sam and Abdul. He told Abdul to climb a tree then Sam faced the wolves and a few wolves and as he shot them they turned back into human form before dying as they were all werewolves. The rest of the pack backed off and resume eating the dead bodies.
About noon they entered an intact town. This was a trading post and had Zorn and Torians working side by side. They appeared to tolerate each other but there was an undercurrent of hatred palpable in the air. Then Sam saw a fellow human and came up to him and introduced himself.
“So, who are you and how long have you been here? How did you get here? “
“Well my name is Jerimiah Moore. I have been here a long time. It seems that time here and time there are not the same at all. What year is it where you came from?”
“I came yesterday through the woods from Berkeley, California. It is 2017. “
My god. I have been here since the great quake. I fell through a hole and found myself in those woods with the damn werewolves and hyenas following me everywhere. I met a local gal and settled down here in this town which is a neutral town. I have two girls who run the inn and we can put you for free. Everyone must work here. So, I can hook you up for a job. What do you do topside?”
“I run a restaurant.”
“Great. Clyde is another human from London and he runs a bar and grill, but his cook got caught smuggling and was thrown to the werewolves as punishment yesterday. Come let me introduce you.”
Jerimiah was a tall fellow looked like a mountain man with thick hair, beard and a beer belly. He obviously liked his beer. Seemed like a decent enough chap but had seen a lot in what a lawless wild west kind of country was obviously. He told Sam that he felt only ten years had gone by since he arrived due to the difference in time between the worlds. He said that there were many humans living there and they all got along and helped each other out. But, he said, there were rumors that the King of the Torians was determined to launch an invasion of Earth and that he would do it soon as there were periods every thousand years when the two worlds were close to each other and the walls between the worlds opened for a few weeks. Last time that happened hundreds of Zorian and Torians had escaped to the earth perhaps five thousand years ago? Or 500 years ago according to local time. And then the Vikings had come through, and prior to that the Romans and the ancient Chinese. The Chinese still had a China town and had the best food around.
But lately it has been people dropping through the holes in the world occasionally. They usually are killed by the Ghouls and werewolves. Sam was very lucky to be alive.
Sam felt lucky that he was alive but first things first. He needed food and he need a beer to recover his sanity. Clyde turned out to be a nice fellow, a younger London hipster who came over last year or in 1966 or so. He ran an English fish and chips bar that was the center of the human settlement. Clyde hired Sam on the spot and gave him a room and hired Abdul as well. Child labor was common in Zorn, schools were reserved for the well to do. Sam explained that he had rescued Abdul and therefore felt responsible for him. Clyde said,
“Say no more. We’ll consider him your adopted son. Adoption is easy to do, just register at the local city hall and pay a bribe. Everything works according to how much you are willing to bribe. I’ll take you over later today. Having an adopted kid will help on your taxes. And it will help gain sympathy with the ladies both the humans and the humanoids. Interspecies sex is quite nice.”
Sam was curious though at how the animals all spoke English and most of the humans did not.
“Well,” Clyde said, “the Ghouls, werewolves and the birds are all telepathic, so you hear their thoughts as if they were speaking English. And they hear you in their native language. The humans are not telepathic.
Everyone speaks Zorian which is easy to learn, vaguely like Spanish. The humans mostly speak English, but some speak Chinese and Spanish. But the people who you must be aware of the most are the Bornean. They are lizards and are mean mothers. They work for a creature called Zed who is a monster who is worshiped as if he is a God. He runs the world with the Ghoul Master, and the head of the Werewolves
. The Zorian King reports to him as does the Torian king. The rumors are that they were not pleased with the recent war and that the two sides are being told to stop the fighting to prepare for the coming battle against the earth. The Zorns and the Torians are different species from different lands. The Zorns are very similar to humans, and Torians are a bit more different. Interspecies sex is common and there are many half breads. Borneans and the humanoids don’t get along very much. Sex with them is difficult but worth it as the women are hell cats in bed. But they are only fertile once a year and during that time have many lovers of any nationality. Once they get into you though they don’t want to let go. And they have no concept that humans and humanoids need sex more than once a year. The few that manage to marry humans usually take drugs to make them fertile all year long and they have wild sex with their partners. They often go for MMF threesomes as they are insatiable in bed.
The highest priced call girls are Bornean followed by recent arrivals from Earth, Zorn or Toria.”
Sam was enjoying his second beer and his first Zorian cheeseburger and learning about the sexual habits of the humanoids and Borneans when five Bornean lizards walked into the bar. They picked up Sam and Abdul and told them that their boss, Zed the merciful, wanted a word with them.
They stepped outside and a black Cadillac escapade circa 1970 pulled up and they were hustled away.
“If you make it back, you still have a job and a place to live for you and your son. Good luck and all that rot.”
Sam tried to engage the Bornean in conversation. The head Bornean turned to Sam and said,
“Human shut the fuck up. We don’t like you and if it was up to us we would kill you now and throw you to the wolves and collect our winnings from the birds. Now we are going to lose money because you ain’t dead yet. So, I advise you to shut up and enjoy the ride. And here has a beer on us.”
Sam drank his beer in silence and took in the sights. The town was substantial and looked like someone had created it circa London in the 1920’s. Perhaps they had given the history of secret exchanges between the worlds. There was even a mini underground tube. He saw humans, ghouls, werewolves, hyenas, Zorian, Torians and Boreans all walking about.
They pulled up to a huge mansion and he was hustled out. Abdul was told to wait by the car.
He was brought into a large room where a giant lizard dressed in green military uniforms sat on a thrown. He growled at Sam,
“Human. You just came over. You are going to tell me everything about your world. As you know time is different in your world. By the time we get back 25 years might have passed so you need to tell me everything including future speculation. We picked you because you are well known about town and seem well connected. If you do, you will come with me as my special advisor and will be given riches beyond your imaginings, and Zelda whom you met is ready, willing and able to continue the affair you started. You were her first human and she liked it. If you resist, well you will beg to be thrown to the werewolves. And we will let you keep your adopted son. It seems that you have been bonding and it would be a shame if something bad happened to him after he lost his entire family. If you refuse to cooperate we will kill him first while you watch as we torture the poor boy. Then we will send him off to brothel as some people like young boys. Your decision. Ten seconds.”
Sam thought about it and realized he had no choice. But he would try to figure out how to get a message out to the earth. Clyde might know, or the birds might be able to get through. They seem to be willing to work for all sides.
Sam told Zed he had a deal. And spend the rest of the afternoon telling Zed all about the earth. He told Zed that Zed did not have a chance given their level of technology and that Sam was not a technical kind of guy. Zed said he could send some agents to earth and kidnap some technical chaps and that the Zorians and Torians were smart and could bring them up to speed very quickly. They did have some special weapons though – poisons that they used on earth people. He had been brought here by one of their agents. They decided if he lived that he would be worthy of saving if he died there were plenty of other suckers they could kidnap.
Sam realized that Zelda, the woman whom he had been with was a Zorian and that he had probably had inter-species sex and that thought turned him on. He turned to Zed and said
“Well I suppose we have a deal.”
Cheating Death 20 Times
Five Childhood Illnesses Hit me at age Six
Typhoid Fever almost kills me in Korea
Guardian Angel Saves Me in Korea
In 1990, I was living in South Korea teaching ESL for a Korean University and government, and Asian studies for the University of Maryland for military forces stationed in Korea. I was living in Seoul with my spouse who was a U.S. army officer, newly assigned to Korea. She was born in Korea and was in fact the first Korean American female officer to be assigned to Korea.
We had been married for about six years having met in 1982 and had a whirlwind romance, marrying two months after we met. That is the subject of another story though. One spring day we took a trip to the east coast of Korea. It was about a five to six-hour journey by car. My wife was driving because I did not drive due to bad vision and because I was afraid to drive in the chaotic driving environment in South Korea. We left Seoul about 11 am and by 3 pm we were halfway to our destination, Soraksan which is the number one mountain park in South Korea. It was a fine Spring day, just perfect weather, and we were both looking forward to taking a few days off.
Just outside of the town of Wongju, the freeway backed up and there was heavy traffic ahead of us. I saw a sign for the Wongaksan National Park which I had never visited before and I told Angela, let’s get off the freeway and check it out. I felt something telling me we had to exit the freeway that moment. I had a premonition that something bad was coming down the freeway and we were heading right into it.
We never forgot that day. And to this day almost thirty years later I often think back what would have happened if I had ignored that warning in my head and had insisted that we keep going to what would have been our death.
Almost Hit by a Train in Korea
Mutant Drug Resistance Staph Infection and 14 Operations Almost Kills Me
Her dog, Jason, was a cute dachshund that was bilingual – Korean and English. He became my best friend for the four months I was out of commission. I called my office once a week to check in.
Weird Parasite Could Have Killed Me
While I was in the hospital undergoing the 14 operations, the internal medicine doctor told me that there was some other infection going on. He eventually found out that I had a rare parasite that I had picked up in Thailand. He had asked me whether I had spent time in Southeast Asia. I told him that I had indeed spent time in Thailand. He said,
Ending up in ER due to Mutiny among my stomach flora
Guardian Angela Saves Me in Texas
While driving to the airport, Angela and I started talking about the weather and she had just explained to me what to do if we encountered black ice and boom we encountered black ice and she instantly reacted appropriately because we had just discussed it. Something had told us to expect ice on the road. We totaled the car but walked away unhurt. I went back a few days later but in retrospect should have stayed behind for a few more weeks. They might have caught the staph infection before it spread out of control.
I don’t often talk about that year but when I do I tell people that it changed my life in so many ways and that I was a far better person because of the operations and the year in the hospital. Every day I wake up and feel alive and thankful for that for I felt that I had cheated death at least 14 times that year. People often ask me why I am always so cheerful. My standard answer is that after cheating death 14 times every day is a bonus day and I am determined to make the most of it. The pain is there, and I just must cope with it the best I can without taking drugs for it. I have cheated death at least 20 times in my life. And I remain an optimistic happy go lucky kind of guy. After all I have been through I know that every moment if precious, and I feel that I am living a bonus round in the video game of life. Still waiting to meet the Grim Reaper and ask him why he allowed me to cheat death so many times.