Author : Joshua Reynolds

“My mind is the gate and the key.” The thin, frail man in the bed muttered, his lips crusty, eyes staring past reality. His name was Howard Phillips Lovecraft and he was dying.

The Censor stood over him, watching him die. And fuming.

Lovecraft was finally being obliging. Just not quickly enough.

Damn writers. Either too early or too late.

“I am the threshold and he that waits on the other side is preparing to enter…IA!CTHULHU!” The thin man coughed, blood freckling his lips. The Censor pulled his bed sheet away and his face twisted in revulsion. Something moved under the skin of the man’s belly-a twisting cancerous growth that was close to birth. The Censor dropped the sheet and shook his head.

So close. Hurry, hurry, hurry he silently urged.

The difference engine in his head pinged, warning him of imminent reality distortion. He turned, hands clenching and unclenching in nervous excitement.

Where were they? Where would they be coming from?

Plaster dribbled onto his head and he looked up. Above him, something peeled back the ceiling and looked down at him with one great eye. Wight winced as the eye blinked with a sound like paper bags tearing and serpentine tendrils began to squirm through the hole in space/time.

Perfect. Just perfect. Right on time. Wight smiled. He did so love punctuality. He glanced at Lovecraft and frowned. Now if only he would hurry up and die. If the things peering through the ceiling had to wait, their very presence would tear the fabric of this alternate beyond repair. And the damage would spread to the other alternates in this section. They couldn’t exist in unsupported world structures, not without the proper meme-patterns threaded throughout the reality’s chronatin makeup. Something he had neither the time nor the inclination to do here.

Besides, once you made them comfortable it was near impossible to get them to leave, cosmic freeloaders that they were. Impolite really. Laying their damn cosmic eggs all over, eating dreams and screwing up the geometry.

Like space coyotes, only worse.

More legs for one thing.

He turned as the thin man in the bed screamed sharply and sat up, eyes staring, mouth open to its widest. The Censor stepped back as something pushed its way up through the man’s esophagus from his stomach, causing his throat to inflate like that of a bullfrog. Wildly writhing tendrils, lighter in hue than those that dangled from the hole in the ceiling but no less disgusting for all that emerged from Lovecraft’s mouth. The Censor took a breath and darted forward, grabbing the tendrils and pulling hard. The thin man fell backwards, eyes rolling up into his head as the Censor stumbled backwards, a squirming be-tentacled bundle gripped tightly in both hands and held at arms length from his face. A tiny squid-beak snapped and clacked at him as he turned and held the thing up to the thing in the ceiling, a smile pasted on his face.

“It’s a boy. I think.”

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