FLASH Friday – A Shoggoth in my Basement!

A Shoggoth in my Basement!

I will never forget the night it happened. It was a quiet night, and I was relaxing upstairs with my one of my favorite books, “The Burrowers Beneath” by Brian Lumley. Stretched out on the chaise with my faithful rottweiler, Ronin I was all settled in for the evening. Suddenly there was a loud bang. I sprang to my feet and crept downstairs, trying to be as quiet as I could. Nothing looked out of the ordinary. Suddenly I heard the bang again, but this time it was much more noxious and I knew it was coming from the basement. Summoning my courage, I grabbed a flashlight and strode stealthily down the stairs. I might have met my end right there, if not for Ronin, who pushed past me and stood barked warning. Startled, I jumped to the side just in time to avoid a long gooey appendage. I turned my flashlight on the intruder and gasped in horror. There, lurking in my basement, bathed in the baleful glow of my light, was a huge, quivering, shapeless blob of ooze! The hideous thing was blood red with eyes appearing and disappearing into the ooze. It was a shoggoth as big as an elephant in my basement.

“Shades of Lovecraft!” I cried.

Ronin and I fled upstairs, but the thing chased us with lightning speed. We were trapped, but we weren’t going down without a fight! First I, I grabbed a short sword from my collection. As slimy tendrils snaked their way under the door tried slicing them. It worked, for a moment, then the pulpy gelatinous began to merge. A new Shoggoth was forming! Some fast thinking and as Ronin kept the mini shoggoth busy, I ran to the bathroom and grabbed the can of Lysol. Now where was that lighter? Still by the incense burner, what a relief, on the stories things are never where you need them.

More of those noxious tendrils had come under the door and were joining to the mini-shoggoth. Holding my breath, I sprayed the Lysol and flicked my bic. Hoping against hope the can did not explode. I reeled back and seemed to retreat from my make shift flame thrower. My relief was short lived. The can had not been replaced in a while, and soon sputtered out. Once it did the shoggoth just kept coming.

Now full tentacles were through the door, eyes of all sorts forming and looking around the room, finally focusing on me. One of them wrapped itself around Ronin, lifting him from the floor. Swinging my short sword I cut through it as another one came for me. While trying to hack it off, I could see the door was buckling. Ronin was no longer barking but howling, I think the tentacle might have broken a rib.

The door burst in two flying into the room. Still tangled in the pieces of tentacle, I was knocked off of my feet. It filled the door like red play-doh pushed through one those molds. I thought we were dead for sure, when suddenly a strange figure crashed through my window and leapt between us! He was tall and gaunt, with fierce yellow eyes. He was dressed entirely in black, except for his red scarf.

“Ia! Ia! Fh’tagn!” the figure cried, and quick as a fox he jumped in and stunned the ooze creature with his incantation.

Without pause he stooped and began drawing a symbol. After a moment I recognized it1 An Elder Sign! So quickly and with such precision he must have done it a lot. Once he finished, he began to throw a white substance, which turned out to be rock salt, causing the creature to shrink. Eventually, it had shrunk to barely a double handful of muck. Pulling a mason jar from the one of the pockets in his trenchcoat he scooped it up. Pointing at my lighter, which I handed to him, he used sealing wax on the lid. From another pocket he produced a seal and imprinted it with an Elder sign.

“How did you do that?!” I gasped, trying to catch my breath.

“Their only weakness are certain incantations and salt,” he replied. “One good dose and the things are helpless.”

“But how do you find it?” I asked, staring at the shapeless mass.

“That is easy,” said the stranger. “It slime trail led right to your basement window.”

I thanked him for saving my life and asked him his name. “I am Whatley, and I have been hunting shoggoths all my life. Join me in my quest and we will make the world safe from their macabre evil!”

Now that I knew the truth, how could I say no? I joined Whatley that night and my life has never been the same. I learned how to spot their trails, the Kaloo incantation in the Pkanoptic Manuscripts, to temporarily bind them. Since that fateful night we have defeated over 23 of the ooze creatures.

Thank you for reading,

Ernest

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