I'd like to tell you a story that uses the same Cthulhu mythos as my friend, Ruth Fischer, in her movie Long on the Island. To those unfamiliar with the work of H.P. (Herbert Pencil) Lovecraft, Cthulhu is an interdimensional, three-story octopus jammed on top of a Tyrannosaurus Rex-body with laser eyes. In any case, before I begin, I would like to issue a dire warning. What you are about to read is a horror story, a horror story so terrifying that it might kill you. Actually, it's definitely going to kill some of you. I just have no idea who. Please stay aware of any fainting, intense feelings of dread, pre-mature greying, or embolisms. If you have a pacemaker, please stay away from all microwaves. With that in mind, allow me to introduce...


Cthulhu's terrible gaze cast over the dark, rolling ocean as his dreams of unholy terror reached out toward innocent minds.

That's when the volleyball hit him in the side of the head.

"Oh geez, are you OK?" asked Barb, squinting up at him, the throbbing redness of her nose and cheeks hinting strongly at a second-degree burn.

"Point," shouted Ryan the dentist triumphantly “Next one's for the match.”

Cthulhu wanted to rip off Ryan the dentist's genitalia and flay him to death with it while screaming, "Stop hitting yourself, Ryan, stop hitting yourself," but he'd promised Barb that he'd leave the unspeakable horror at home while they were on their Sandals' resort vacation. He'd sworn not to shove anyone through the thin veil of sanity and she’d promised not to call her mother.

He'd met Barb, a red-head with legs that went all the way up to her shins, at a Miskatonic Community Center Single Mixer. She was the only woman who had not run screaming into the wall when he'd forced his palpating mass of ooze and flaccid tentacles through the door. In fact, Barb had proceeded to inform him, the seed of a million nightmares, that he was standing in front of the fruit punch jug. He'd asked what kind of adult drank fruit punch anyway and then looked down at Barb with her jam jar glasses and her fruit punch mustache and all he felt with lust.

They'd made great use of that lust over the four months that they'd been seeing each other, though Barb had recently initiated a four-tentacle groping rule, which meant that he had 9,996 idle tentacles waving embarrassedly in the air. She'd also made him drink a 64-ounce bottle of Listerine before oozing in bed. But she withheld comment when he went to the petting zoo to eat the goats, so he really couldn’t complain. When she suggested a vacation shortly after he’d turned an Oklahoma City retirement home into a pit of mindless despair and screaming, seeping, octogenarian demon whores, he was all for it.

They'd been introduced to Ryan the dentist and his wife, Anne, at dinner on the second night of the vacation. The couple was celebrating their second anniversary and the dentist had remembered to bring business cards to hand out to everybody at dinner. "Very classy," Cthulhu had whispered to Barb, as he slurped at the insides of a lobster with his slobber-encrusted mandibles.

Cthulhu and Barb had run into the dentist and wife again at the shuffleboard courts the next morning. And while Cthulhu had never cared anything about shuffleboard before, something about the dentist made him want to win badly. Maybe it was the dentist's overuse of the phrases "boo-yah," "get there, baby," and "where is your fucking head at, Anne?" But as much as wanted to, he and Barb didn't win, they lost terribly. The dentist had pumped his fist and started singing, "We are the Champions." Cthulhu had stared at the dentist unblinkingly and as the sky began to darken, the dark fog started to roll in, and the fabric of reality started to rip at the seams, Barb elbowed him.

"Don't you even start," she'd said between clenched teeth, which caused the clouds to roll away, the fog to burn off, and reality to come back together like Velcro. Cthulhu sulked all the way through that night’s Caribbean luau, even though the bartender had given him double umbrellas in his Mai Tai because of his maraschino allergy.

Over the next week, there'd been more sporting contests against the dentist and his wife. Horseshoes, inflatable kayak races, mini-golf, that weird wooden paddle beach tennis, and quoits had all been losses. Terrible, one-sided losses. And every time the dentist danced and sang his little song.

And through all these horrible defeats, Barb had stood by him. Outside, in the sun, frying much like an egg. Looking at her now, she with her floppy hat, her oversize t-shirt that had “Freaky Deeky” airbrushed on it, and her sun goggles typically worn only by elderly drivers, he felt terribly guilty. He, who had devoured 1,000 universes, felt guilty because even with the three coats of SPF 30, Barb, much like Maverick, Iceman, and Kenny Loggins, had flown into the danger zone.

"Did I get too much sun?" Barb asked. "I feel cold and think I'm going to throw up."

"Oh, Barb," he said, "you really don't want to scratch your nose like that."

“Cthulhu,” she questioned, waving her hand in front of her face. “Do you see flashes of colored light in front of you?”

“Yeah, babe,” he replied, patting her on the back.

“Cthulhu,” she asked. “Does everything smell like 7-11 hot dogs to you?”

“Sure, Barb, sure,” he reassured her, while taking note to mention that particular symptom at the visit to the local emergency room that had swiftly become inevitable.

But all these thoughts were replaced by the dentist saying, "And for the gold medal in volleyball and the sweep of the Sandals resort olympics…" as he prepared to serve. Cthulhu and Barb were leaving the next morning and something in his head snapped. He just wanted, no needed, to win one game. He lost his mind.

So when the dentist served the ball, Cthulhu leaped past Barb and smashed it back to the other side.

"It's tied," he said, grimly, pointing a pincer-like appendage at Ryan the dentist.

The dentist, after chewing out his wife because she missed the block, served and again He of 10,000 Agonies mercilessly crushed the ball back.

"Advantage us. And it’s our serve," Cthulhu said. And then he saw Barb scowling up at him. Shame dripped through his heartless mass.

"It's just a game," she said.

"You're right," he sighed, shrugging many thousand flaccid tentacles.

Barb was right, of course. It was a stupid game. Anyway, the dentist had given him his card. After vacation was over, Cthulhu would visit his office and rip the flesh from his bones before putting it back on in the wrong order and then strip the remains of Ryan the dentist's sanity like an ear of corn. He chuckled at the thought of the doctor's brains igniting like a match dipped in jet fuel.

Barb interrupted his reverie. "You're drooling," she said. "Just serve the ball."

Cthulhu slapped weakly at the ball sending it over the net. The dentist’s wife swatted it to Barb.

"Hit it!" Cthulhu yelled to Barb, as the ball floated towards her.

And she did hit it, in a long, lazy arc that floated to the other side of the net.

"Cheese and crackers," cursed Barb as the dentist looked at the ball greedily.

"Ball," Ryan the dentist shouted, shoving past his wife, Anne.

When the dentist, at the apex of his jump, hit the ball, it exploded off his hand like a rocket, turning into a white blur. Cthulhu felt his one hundred acid-filled pus chambers get a bit more acidic.

The dentist was probably not aiming for Barb, but that's who the ball hit when the white blurry line of the ball intersected with the space her head was located. Hitting her square in the face, a tiny hiss of air escaped both the ball and Barb, who thudded to the ground. Cthulhu wasn't sure if it was the intense sunburn or the trauma to her skull, but Barb was clearly unconscious. But more importantly, the ball was still in the air. In fact it was the perfect set, he'd tell her later at the island's hospital as she hit her morphine button like a game-show buzzer.

As he leapt toward the ball, glancing down momentarily to make sure he didn't land on Barb who was drooling onto the sand, time seemed to stop for Cthulhu. Over by the cabanas, he could see Jean-Andre the towel boy gasp, and best of all, he saw fear in Ryan the dentist's little stupid eyes. It was comfort food for Cthulhu's twisted soul. He roared as he spiked the ball for the win.

He raised his terrible appendages above his head and roared in triumph. Out in the bay, dolphins squeaked in terror and seagulls fell dead.

In a million years of destroying dimensions he had never heard anyone yell, "Yay, Cthulhu!" Of course, that might be because this was the first time he'd gone to a resort with an activity director as endlessly encouraging as Becky.

Becky was also nice enough to draw him a map to the nearest emergency room, as he carried Barb in his tentacles. Carefully, he wiped blood, sand, spit, and what was probably vomit from her chin. He leaned close to her ear and whispered.

“We’re winners, baby, winners.”


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