I am about three or four or five chapters into this story. I’m also working on the rest of the outline and getting down the character bios (of which are loosely based on awesome weirdo friends of mine.) It is a quasi- autobiography with a ton of Lovecraft. I’m pretty sure it takes place in the turn of the century (not the 1990s but the 1890s) Cumminsville, Ohio or around that time period, location, and dimension. There’s a lot of research that has to be done and a lot of writing. (Doing research is what got me into my current employment in a cemetery, by the way. ) Hopefully, I’ll actually finish a project this time as opposed letting it rest on the back burners like my gas station saga, the buddy comedy musical about Jack the Ripper suspects, and Boilertown.
I have skipped ahead in the plot and provided a bit of a backstory for two of these characters. In this chapter I have combined elements of Lovecraft’s “The Dreams in the Witch House,” with parts of an unpublished short story I wrote last year titled “The Thing in the Sewer Pipe.” I submitted it to few publications and only received rejection letters back so I cannibalized it. I am also working on pictures to go with this story as well.
Max Granden bounded down the stairs and rounded the corner, skidding to a stop at the fireplace. He let out a shriek and froze as he caught a skittering motion out of the corner of his eye. For one horrible moment the rodent stopped moving and slowly turned its head to meet him with a steely gaze. The eyes were shaped like that of a man and so was the rest of his horrifying face. His lips spread out in a knowing smirk revealing prominent set of permanently stained brown teeth. It had disproportionately small human hands that he cupped in front of a hairy brown chest that bore a protruding rib cage. The rest of the body resembled an overlarge and underfed rat. Bony and twisted with tufts of scraggly tawny fur and trailing behind a long naked pink tail. “What?! Do you see that?” Mr. Granden risked a glance at Mister Blacken who stood frozen beside him. “Please tell me you see that.”
“Yes, I do. It’s staring right at us.” His face was drawn and a shade paler if such a thing was possible. “Human teeth. It has human teeth,” he muttered.
“What is it?”
“I don’t know.” They spoke in hushed tones, neither man nor vampire willing to move a muscle. “But I’m pretty sure that thing has been biting me in my sleep.” He whispered fixating upon monster’s mouth.
“You should kill it.” Max stated as he raised an hopeful eyebrow.
“I don’t know-” He made a fluttering motion with his fingertips and then withdrew all fingers except for two which he made to resemble fangs.
“What.. no. I’m not- It knows what I taste like.”
“Me too,” he said sullenly for he had also woken up from his recent rash of fever dreams with bite marks on his flesh. Max Granden clamped his mouth shut and bit his bottom lip bitterly in defeat. Then it dawned on him and he snapped out of his funk. He tightened his jaw with new resolve for he had never felt so violated in his life. Once again aware of his surroundings he reached for the fireplace poker beside him and charged at the abomination with every intention to send it back to whatever hell the creature came from. But the brown beast was too quick and it squeezed through the open door and darted down the basement stairs. Mister Blacken grabbed his friend by the shoulder before he stumbled down after it.
Granden’s eyes bugged out. Saliva frothed at his mouth as he jumped and hollered again misunderstanding the gesture of goodwill and swung the poker at his new assailant.
“Stop that!” The vampire shouted and disappeared before the heavy spiraled spear of wrought-iron made contact. Instead it sailed down and smashed an ornately painted and gilded vase instead.
“That’s from the fifteenth century!” Max Granden cried out once he realized what he had done.
“Put that down!” Mister Blacken reappeared in the opposite corner of the room. “And will you please shut the door!”
“Okay.” The sad collector said forlornly and did what he was told. He closed off the basement and not a moment to soon. An unwholesome breeze wafted up from the cracks blowing back his hair as he stepped away from the door. The wind grew into a gust and it rattled on its hinges threatening to blow it open. A thunderous gale tore through the cellar and a brilliant flash of red and white light blasted through the crack and filled the dining room. A blinded Mister Blacken let out a sharp hiss but it was lost in what sounded like the very air being violently forced apart beneath their feet. Then all was quiet.
The pair was rendered unconscious, Maximilian Granden lay prone on the floor a few feet from where he once stood. His head barely missed the corner of the table as he fell. Mister Blacken slumped over sideways in the desk chair that was once his post in the corner. His eyes were open yet staring at nothing. Max Granden groaned from the floor as he came to. The discombobulation turned to fear for he found himself both deaf and sightless save for little flecks of red that faintly flickered from the blast. He could feel the pounding of his heart and the wind blowing between his hears or perhaps that was the blood that once again flowed to his brain. If he made sound he did not know it as he struggled to get up from the floor. Slowly, the heavy haze lifted and his vision unclouded save for a reddish tinge. One of the first things he focused on was the body his housemate. “Oh no,” he looked away from the dead eyes. His voice sounded as if he was underwater his limbs were just as heavy as the dense atmosphere bore down upon him. “Wake up,” he swung his partially useless arm in to the direction of Mister Blacken and landed a limp smack on his cheek for that was all he could muster. “Wake up,” he muttered again and slumped his shoulders. His arm dangled at his side. Mister Blacken did not move. A moment later, however, his eyes widened and so did his mouth. Max was swept off his feet and thrown across the room by a puff of black smoke. He hit the far wall and smashed through the canvas of a painting and cracked the drywall behind it. The collector felt his legs give out as Mister Blacken reappeared before him. His face filled with a blind rage. Max Granden closed his eyes for he could see his death approaching. Before he could sink further to the floor and hand gripped his arm and pulled him back to his feet. He opened his eyes to see the vampire looking reticent as he glanced about the room very wary of the idea other evil rat creatures darting about the room. “I have to get out of here.” He whispered bringing his face inches from Max Granden’s nose. His voice was filled with fear. “Now,” he scanned the room again and his gaze fell on the closed basement door. “It’s not safe.”
“What?” Max Granden asked once he realized he was not dying. “You’re leaving?”
“I suggest you do the same.” He let his former housemate go.
“Why?” The collector groaned when the ruined painting slipped off the wall behind him. He wasn’t ready to turn around assess the damage. “I can’t leave. This is my home and these are my things.”
“I like it here,” Mr. Granden grinned.
“All right then… Good bye.” He turned to walk away.
“But I summoned you! This is your home now! Where will you go? ” Granden pleaded to his back.
“I’ll figure something out.” Blacken walked out into the night.