Coin of Cthulhu

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Review Chain


A writer goes back to his home town on his father's funeral. He learns that his father believed in myth of Lost Islands and his obsession got him killed. Like a moth to a flame. The town people
behave odd and hide a secrete behind their smiles waiting for the right time to execute the last ritual.

Submitted: October 31, 2017

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Submitted: October 31, 2017

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The greatest power of a man is his curiosity. He is endlessly curious beyond the needs of survival. It also becomes a vulnerability and a catalyst to easily manipulate him. But he is helpless, it's his nature to be curious and keep nagging till he gets the answers. That yields him knowledge. Knowledge is his wealth. Sometimes things don't have an answer or explanation to them. Man can gain no valuable knowledge from them or no knowledge at all. Like bees getting attracted to bright lights. They deliberately fly to the light, buzz around it, stick to it and eventually fall burned by the very light they worshiped. It yields them nothing but death.

When Alex Page arrived to his home town, Lemuria in South California, summer was almost at the end of its run. The sea water was warm, making even the sluggish fish fin around close to water surface and get to feed. The bees were resting in their homes. Trees were bursting green on the bright day under the blue sky. Driving his VW sedan from a motel to the cemetery, he saw a Dodge Ram truck on the oncoming lane, it was pulling a boat behind it. Alex earlier had crossed a bridge over Angler’s Lake and drove along its shore for ten minutes before trees blotted out the beautiful view of shiny lake in center of greenery and trees. The lake was a good spot for fishing on a lazy summer day. The boat behind the truck was old, rust had mildly infected it's underbody but thankfully it was at least a year far from sinking. Alex's dad Alan Page always took care of his boat, it was white with blue stripes, 17 feet vessel and 70 horsepower. Enough for a father son fishing trip. The boat would be at peace in its shed during rainy days, covered in thin plastic cover and would be purring on the lake (with either Alan and his pal Max or young Alex and his dad on board) other time of the year. That was twenty years ago. It felt twenty million to Alex.

Places and people change with time. The Angler’s Lake was still an activity in the town and Alex felt both pity and pleasure at the time. In twenty years however the town didn’t change much neither did his father and he died the person he was when Alex left the town (and his dad) two years ago. He died a sailor.

The chain of trees on either sides of the road ended abruptly, the blue sky appeared again and his eyes caught a white flash in left. He slowed his car and looked out. His mind filled with anger seeing the white church standing tall just as ten years ago when Alex cursed and screamed at Jesus for killing his mother, Sarah Page.

Now he killed my father.

He suppressed his thoughts and memories coming to his mind like negatives of old photos. He increased his car's speed.

The cemetery must be close. I am so late. Hope not too late.

He turned the radio on. The radio jockey with Irish accent said that the weather was warm and clear and he hopes to enjoy the eclipse in the open with a beer. Then he received a caller-

“Hello caller you are live on LFM radio channel!”

“Hi Lazlo I am Martha. I-”

“Hey Martha, where are you from?”

“-I I I from San Anselmo. Why don’t kids of your town come to school these days?”

“Err don’t know what you mean.”

“You live in Lemuria, right? I am a high school teacher and none of the kids from your town come to school any more.”

“I don’t know maybe they changed school. You wanna hear a song?”

“They all changed school on same day?”

“Okay folks looks like Martha just cut the call but you guys stay tuned and listen to this song.”

Alex stopped his car outside the cemetery. He stepped out of the car and looked around. The buildings were grey, two and three storied, flat roofs. Strangely all the windows and doors were shut. Few buildings far away had balconies, and on their rails clothes were draped to dry. Not a single person walking the streets, no kids goofing around in the back yards or back roads. A dog barking somewhere behind the buildings. It was a small town alright but still it seemed like no one lived there anymore. The wrought iron gate of the cemetery facing him had circles above the middle horizontal bar, dotting him like eyes. He pushed it, the rusted hinges shrieked as it swung open and he stepped in. He paused and took a breath and sighed. Beyond the cascading bank of gravestones and short trees, two men and a women were standing over a dug out burial patch. One of the man was Max Casey, an old black man, the white beard and short hair on his head looked like snow sprinkled on chocolate face, he had a black raincoat, grey trousers and matte tan work boots on. The other man was Father Santos cladded in his black church suit. The woman who was sobbing and wiping her nose with an handkerchief clenched in her silk gloves was Alan’s girlfriend Rose Black, red haired and probably loved Alan more than he did to her.

Alex had his black suit and carefully polished black Oxford shoes on. He wore them on book-signing in LA a year ago, but then he was happy unlike now. He went and stood with the group.

Don’t wet your eyes! Dad wouldn’t want it.

Alex kept saying that to himself inside. Max turned around and looked at him compassionately, his eyes reddened and glassy. Rose didn’t notice him. He slowly put his hand on her shoulder and said “Please stop. Pull yourself together.” She didn’t look at him and stepped away.

“Let her be for now.” Max said. “Every one is here Father, lets get on with this.”

There wasn’t a minister or greeting of the mourners, not much at all. Max had driven Father Santos and Rose from church to the cemetery in his green Dodge Monaco. Rose carried the empty jar which symbolized Alex’s remains and she placed it in the hole dug out for burial, then half an hour later Alex had showed up. Father Santos had a blank expression on his face. Alex didn’t notice it, he was looking at the jar still remembering his childhood days when his dad and mom were together.

Father closed his Bible and his eyes.

“Lets pray. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted-” Then he opened his eyes and continued for Rose “-and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

He looked at Max. “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your heart be troubled and do not be afraid.”

Max nodded. Father turned to Alex and said “Listen, I tell you a mystery. We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.”

“You have anything to say, son?” Max asked Alex.

“Um. . .what can I say? He was a great person, great dad and. . .and although I didn’t turn out to be the son he expected but he still was happy because he loved me more than anything in this world and I can’t love him more.”

“He knew that, son. That be enough there.”

Then Father said “How much I knew dear old Alan, he could be rash at times, but his departure is mourned by us. The secretes died with you but you don’t have to worry nothing. So, we now commit this jar to the ground, due to the rather dreadful circumstance of his body not being found; Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust; in the sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life. . .”

Half an hour later, Alex was sitting in Max’s trailer car at the Trailer Park in Southeast block of the town. Alex sat on the bed facing the open window, the golden hour was beaming an yellow-orange glow high up in the sky. The light bled in through the window and painted his face. Beside the bed were dirty dishes on a portable gas stove, burnt cigarette butts and an empty ashtray on the pull-up folding table top. Pinup posters of girls on the wall behind him, a stash of unwashed clothes and empty beer bottles flung in his right. He was looking at the black and white photo taped on a looking glass across the bed. Alan, in his thirties, and Max, younger than his best friend standing on a narrow wooden ramp had arms around each other’s necks and fishing rod placed on shoulders like rifles. Behind them the Angler’s Lake looked more divine and virgin than ever, between their legs he could see an icebox full and beyond the ramp the white and blue striped bloat afloat on the peaceful water. Both men in the photo had great smile  showing their teeth. And the curiosity struck him. Who clicked the photo?

He heard an old car growling on the road, it mounted the grass outside then the driver stepped on the brakes and halted the car. The headlights died with the engine. Max stepped out and shoved the door shut. He had a khaki paper bag in his arms which he carried in, he ducked to avoid hitting his head, and sat beside Alex.

“Some liquid courage will get us through tonight, ain’t that right?”

“Pretty wise, Max, pretty wise.”

Max removed the glinting bottle of scotch and placed it on the table, the cigarette butts plagued by the blow trickled down. He bend over and fetched a glass and handful of ice from the icebox under the bed. Alex hoped that Max’s hands were clean.

“Your hands, they okay?”

“Oh they are just fine. I still got the strength to pull an octopus out of the ocean. Here take the glass.”

Max filled the glass with scotch half way and dropped few rocks of ice in it and put rest of them on the table. Alex held the glass and looked under it, wiped its brim and sipped.

“You don’t need a glass?”

“Oh not today boy, today there is no sense in behaving like yesterday and you never know if you will live to see tomorrow."

Max gulped from the bottle and stopped and stared outside the door at the dying sun.

Alex finished his scotch and stared at the photo not seeing it. He remembered the summer holiday when his dad took his little son on a fishing trip, he was scared of drowning, dad and mom were having fun. Dad was trying to teach him fishing and mom was capturing photos in her old camera. He came back from the memory and noticed Max was lost in thoughts as well.

“You didn’t tell why you moved in this trailer.”

“What was that?”

“Why’d you move here?”

“I had an apartment in the town, you know you visited there you were little.”

“I remember.”

“That was till I quit being an angler in your dad’s crew a year ago. Too old for that job. I cannot afford that place now, the electricity, gas and bills. I sold it and bought this baby-” He smiled at Alex “-I kept the Monaco, I love that car. I made out with Tina in it. I remember her cute face, scared and blushing. We married a week later. She died three years ago. I know how Alan must have felt. Losing someone you loved all your life. Alex. . .man. . .can’t believe it! Getting old is to get ready for funerals of your friends and then one day you are in a box too!”

“Don’t think of that day often.”

“In my age, one can think of nothing but the box."

"I wonder how it feels; Is it cold? Is it warm?”

“Nothing. It feels like nothing. Like a star in sky, alone in eternal nothingness. How you holding up?”

“Not good. Mind if I ask a question, about dad?”

“Oh no no hit me with whatever it is.”

“Why his body wasn’t found? What happened?”

Max sipped from the bottle and filled Alex’s glass. He leaned on the wall behind him and sighed.

“Alex, Alan thought he could find a treasure somewhere far in the ocean.”

“What? Was he drinking too much?”

“No. The day he came back from saltwater fishing, he showed me a gold coin, it looked very old. Jagged edges, rough on skin, maybe Indian or Voodoo. It had a monster’s head branded on it and few words around it in a circle. It gave me chills when I saw it. The head looked evil, like octopus-man or a dragon with tentacles. Hell I don’t know, but I saw the look in his eyes. Alan’s eyes. He looked crazy. He said he found the gold in a fish’s guts and that there could be a treasure in bottom of the ocean.”

“He sailed to pacific ocean? Is there really a treasure?”

“I don’t think so. The finding of the gold coin was just a chance. It drove him crazy. He went to a library, got the words translated. He started reading books, making notes, drawing maps he called ’Lost Islands‘. His place looked like a war-room.”

“Lost Islands is a myth.”

“No son that ain’t the truth.”

“What did the words say?”

“The one he got translated? They were coordinates of Point Nemo. No man’s land. No land at all. Its what pirates called The World’s Edge. Salt water, harsh conditions and almost 2000 miles from closest land.The water ain’t good enough for fishes to live there. There’s nothing but death. Alan learned that the hard way.”

“You didn’t go?”

“I have been with your father through hardest weather boy but this didn’t feel right. I tried to stop him, the only way to do that was to knock him out and strap him in a mental asylum and I couldn’t do that. There will be times when your friends is going to make silliest mistake in his life and you cannot help him. Something else had gotten in him.”

Alex looked down in his emptied glass. He put it under the bed and stood up to leave. He groped his car keys in his pant pocket and looked at Max. Max gulped his bottle and loosely shook hands with him. When Alex took his hand back he was holding a key.

“What’s this?” Alex looked at the key and felt a pint of joy in his chest, as if a small boy found his forgotten lost toy.

“Keys to your dad’s house. He wanted me to look after it till he came back. Looks like its yours now.”

“Thank you, but I live in LA. I can’t.” Alex held the key to him.

Max pushed his hand and said “Don’t be a fool. Its your family’s property, do what ever you want but don’t disown it. Understand that?”

Alex put the key in his pocket and walked out. Max followed him and sat on a plastic chair outside the trailer. Alex sat in the VW and looked at his coat thrown in the passenger seat, then in rear view mirror Max was waving him goodbey. He nodded and turned the ignition on and slowly drove away. His car shrinking as it drove on the highway, then soon disappeared. Max finished his bottle. The sun was dead and the darkness broke. The moon was floating between the sun and earth. The Great American Eclipse, a solar eclipse that occurred almost a hundred years later and every person of USA could witness it. He dropped the bottle and laughed madly, clapping his hands and yelling drunken words. “We will change! We will change! HAHAHAHA! One last trumpet and we will change!”

Alex sat on the tiled floor in the bathroom of his motel room. He wore nothing but his garment. The floor was wet and cold but it didn’t bother him. His numb legs didn’t feel anything. He had been sitting there since he came back from Max’s. A burning cigarette, half a dime, stuck between his fingers in right hand which he held straight as a cannon, his elbow on his knee. His left hand anchored above his eyebrows. Water welled in his reddened eyes and a tear drop splashed on his bare thigh. He realized his eyes were about to give up. He took a drag off his cigarette and doused it on the floor. He rubbed his eyes, stood up limply and ran some water in the basin. There wasn’t a mirror or medicine cabinet above it. He let the tap open and rinsed his face. Then closed it and went out to wear casuals.

He removed his phone from his pocket and saw that it had no signal. He grabbed his car keys, the house keys dangling along in the key-chain. He closed the door behind him and checked his phone. Still no signal. He walked down the porch raising his arm. No signal. He went to the reception office by the gate to speak to the caretaker. A thin white male, blond long hair and trimmed beard, dark circles under the eyes and baggy clothes. He looked like a person who shags himself one too many times a day. Strangely he wasn’t there. Any other day he could be found sitting there. Where else could he be?

The washroom.

Alex strode to the washroom. He checked the cabinets in the Men’s and didn’t find him. Maybe the owner send him for errands. Walking to the parking he noticed every door had Do Not Disturb tag tied on the knobs. He reached the parking but it was empty and his car wasn’t parked there. He checked his phone again. No signal. Worried about his car he rushed to the owner’s apartment on the ground floor and knocked his door. The door had Do Not Disturb tag. He considered kicking down every door and yell “Can’t lock me out!” He went back to his room and it had the DND tag as well. He tried the room key he had. It didn’t work. He jammed the key in the hole and twisted it. Click! He pushed the door and it didn’t open. It seemed something was stuck behind it. He pushed it with much force. He stepped back and hurriedly kicked it. The door was barred for good and no great power or god shall overcome it.

He was breathing heavily, then he looked up and read the room number branded on the door. 0. The fake gold colored brass said: This is the zeroth room. He looked at the number on neighboring door. Zero. The next door. Zero. The door across. Zero. The first door from left: same. The doors on the first floor. 0s. And none would open with the room key. He got mad and started punching a door. Then he heard his car’s theft alarm go. He rushed downstairs and saw that his car was parked in middle of the highway under a streetlight, the one eyed head on the curved neck appeared to be scanning the car in its orange light. He ran to his car holding his keys. The alarm was beeping and honking loudly, irritating him more. He turned it off and quickly got in his car and started it. At least car keys worked. He stomped the gas pedal but the car wouldn’t move. The rear wheels screeched and burned, a huge cloud of smoke erupted from them as they rubbed against the dry asphalt. Something was holding the car. He put the gear in reverse and drove backwards for a moment then crashed into a truck’s front bumper. A large iron chain constrained the car to the truck, it rattled and curled like a snake.

Alex tried to open his door but it was locked. Goddamn it! Not this again! He dived to his right and tried the passenger door but it was locked too. When he was unsuccessfully trying the passenger door, a man in red black checkered shirt and dirty blue jeans lifted his sledgehammer and hurled it at the window. Boom! The glass cracked and dented inwards. Alex screamed and fell back on the driver seat. The psycho outside tightened his grip and hit the window again. His face hiding in shadow of his trucker’s cap. The heavy hammer head crashed on the fragged glass, the booming echoed in Alex’s ears and he covered them. The psycho walked around and mounted the car’s hood and started plunging his hammer down infinitely, the windshield cracked and spitted glass shreds on Alex’s yawning facing. Then finally the glass broke down completely and the psycho’s black painted hands, disfigured by muscular mutation, reached for Alex’s neck. He pulled Alex out of the car and lifted him air. His eyes looked like two glasses of scotch filled with black, vicious liquid. He said, in a grumbling voice, revealing his bloody teeth “I want to eat your heart!” He threw Alex down on the road, snapping his spine, and jumped on him with his hammer’s head coming down for the kill.

Alex woke up on the toilet’s wet floor, lying in puddle of his own vomit. His arms crossed over his head and covered his face. His face yawning and screaming at the wall before him. His bones shivered inside his flesh. He slowly opened his eyes, a small spider crept up on the wall, the half a dime shared the floor with him and he realized it was just a dream. Just a dream? A nightmare!

A bolt of pain struck his leg when he tried to stand up. His leg was numb and resented to lift his weight. He stood up holding the basin. He washed his face and dismally looked up thinking. He was repeating his nightmare. He crip-walked out of the toilet and wore his casuals. He checked his phone. It had signal. He sat on his bed, lit another cigarette and blew smoke through nose.

An hour later, driving his VW out of the motel Alex turned his head to see if the caretaker existed. The caretaker was standing outside the office watching something in his phone, maybe porn. The streetlights as ever stood in a line mourning, their feet trapped in concrete, their necks curved and heads bowed down, their eyes bled the orange light from his nightmare. The sky was unclouded and dark, the cold wind was funeral-silent. When Alex drove out, the caretaker put his phone down and looked at the VW, his eyes following the red glowing taillights. He smiled and said “We will change!”

As Alex drove his car in the residential block, he saw an old couple he didn’t recognize. The couple saw Alex’s car and smiled. He thought maybe they knew him and to greet them he slowed his car.

“Hi. Want me to drop you guys somewhere?”

“No. Just be on your business, lad.” The old man said bluntly.

“Hope you brought your reading glasses.” The old woman said mischievously.

He stopped his car and looked into the side-mirror. The old couple were laughing at him. He started driving again. On his way to his dad’s house he noticed the town people were getting out of their houses, kids were playing in basketball court, men washing their cars, women sitting on benches on the sidewalk or on stairs in front of their houses talking to each other or reading books and they paused whatever they were doing and smiled at Alex as he drove by. He would smile back. 

Where were these people in day? Why are they smiling? Didn’t they know today was my father’s funeral?

He could feel them behind his car, staring at him with a smile smacked on their faces. He regularly checked his rear view mirror and slowed his car, they’d pretend to do something else but when he increased his speed they stared at him, followed him not knowing it and slowly muttering the drunken words under their breath. The streets of Lemuria resounded the thudding of dead feet. That night something drew the citizens out of their houses and follow the tracks to Page’s house. Their feet landing heavily on the asphalt. Their shoulders hunched and faces grinning savagely.

Alex parked his VW on the curb outside his old house’s wooden fence. He killed the engine and stepped out looking at the house with ecstasy. The frail gate’s lock was broken, as if there had been break ins after his father left to find the treasure. He pushed it, it swung rubbing on the ground. A narrow path of stones led straight to the white front door of the house. The bewildered grass in front yard on either side was uncut for two years. The pine trees making a wall behind the house looked like giant men in black hoods. The house itself looked like a big ivory skull with dark eye holes. The white painted walls were dirty and contrasted with rest of the view. The red tile porch before the front door was strangely wet and glassy, in the night it looked like dry blood. The front door, through which Alex had run in and out several times as a kid, had clawed scratches. Maybe a bear or two were trying to break in. The two windows on the first floor looking into the endless grass field and the mountains behind Alex were glassless and eternally dark. He held the keys up and stuck it in the keyhole. The door opened smoothly and wide like a monster’s jaw. The citizens of the town out on the streets felt it, what they have been craving since Alan brought the gold coin would soon show itself and Alex had the front seat. They walked faster, their eyes now rolled up in their skulls and mouths drooling spit. They wanted it badly and before Alex hid it away like Alan.

Alex turned the lights in the living room on. The black sofa, dad’s CRT television and the table between them were unmoved and covered in fine layer of dust. A half burned, but now cold, cigar rests in peace in the glass ashtray on the table. The remote, with three, nine and one number buttons smudged over years of pressing. He was smiling and feeling twenty years younger. Never did he feel so happy looking at the things in his house. When he moved out two years ago he disliked every inch of it. They are old and out of date. Now he felt presence of his dad around them, he cherished the non-livings because they are what’s left of him. He went in the kitchen and turned the lights on. A tower of dirty dishes in the sink, the cupboards were empty and open. Two stale toasts were stuck in the toaster. The refrigerator door had countless sticky notes.

‘Breakfast 7 am don’t forget!’
‘Medicine after breakfast.’
‘SHOWER!’
‘Clothes in washing machine!’
‘Bank EMI due every 13th!’
‘Call my son!’
‘Don’t trust anyone!’
‘Bye Rose :(’ and so on.

He opened the fridge and it was empty too. He hoped to find beer there. Into the kitchen window he saw the shed where his boat was always parked during rainy and sometimes winter season. He went out through back door and pushed the shed’s sliding door. He was disappointed to find it empty as well. Very strange. Dad wouldn’t have taken the 70 HP fishing boat in the ocean. Maybe he sold it and other stuff to gather enough money for the trip. The warm air inside it had a stench of gasoline which he always liked. He closed the door and went back in the house.

The wooden stairs creaked as he went up on the first floor. The hallway was dark, he couldn’t remember where the switch was. He felt the wall in right on his open palms, carefully walking forward. His hands hit a table lamp and it felt down. Maybe it broke. Then he found a door. His bedroom. He pushed it, it didn’t open.

Can’t lock me out!

He pushed it again harder. It was locked. He moved on and walked further into the hallway passing by the washroom behind him, he reached the end of it. The door he stood before was his father’s room. The war room of a crazed old fisherman cum treasure hunter. His hands hit it and a yellow light beamed out through the opening. An overhead bulb dangled on wire from the roof, its switch was hanging under it. He went inside.

They were close to the house. They knew that Alex entered the room. The window in the room was glowing yellow like a flame. They could feel its warmth on their skin even far away. A tingle of fear rose from their cold heart. A terrifying thought. What would Alex do when he finds it? And it drove them mad. Alex should not get away with it. It was necessary that he carried it with him on his departure. They started running. Their bodies controlled by one mind.

Alex stood in center of the room, the window like other windows was glassless, on the floor a pile of books had been wildly thrown out of their shelves. To find something? He picked a book The Lost Island by Eilis Dillon 1952 and a piece of paper fell from it. A drawing of the monster described by Max had been roughly drawn in red sketch and behind it was written:

Lost Island: 47°9‘S, 126°43‘W

He put the paper back in the book and looked at another book at his feet Mysteries of The Worm by Robert Bloch 1981. The Satanic Rituals by Anton LaVey 1972, The Light Between Oceans by M.L.Stedman, 2012 and many more.

He looked up at the picture on the wall in front of him. It was a colorful oil painting of the Angler’s Lake under afternoon sun painted by his mother. The lake was lonely, few trees beyond the water, but the wooden ramp from the photograph that Max had was missing. The wallpaper on tht wall was different compared to other walls, it was red with black and yellow waves. He turned around and stood over the study table. A black ball pen and a small diary. It was a recent publish of 2017. He quickly picked it up and turned the hard cover, ‘Alan Page’ had been autographed on the first page. A strip of ribbon marked his latest log that was written a month ago.

21st July 2017.
Hi Son, if you are reading this diary it only means that I didn’t make it. You must be thinking I had some kind of mental breakdown or something. Anyone who doesn’t know what I know might say the same thing. People in this town will tell you their little stories and lies and try to show that its all my fault. They all lie son. They are not real don’t trust them. I want you to believe me. Don’t be sad I am happy whatever happens, on the bright side I might see Sarah. Nothing to worry. Goodbey. Take care.

To make any sense of that he had to go back few pages.

20th July 2017.
Today everyone in the town were acting strange, they didn’t get out of their houses and then in the evening they gathered around in front of my house. I asked them but they would only say something I heard in a nightmare.

19th June 2017.
Alex won’t answer my calls. I know he is very mad at me. I hope we can talk soon, at least before my departure.

8th June 2017.
Now I can buy equipments and upgrade my crew ship for the treasure search. I wish Max and Alex could come with me like the old days.

1st June 2017.
I had the same dream last night. There was someone with me in the room. I couldn’t see who or what it was. Snakes or tentacles tied me to my bed. The man had an apelike silhouette against the bright light from the window, this time he was closer and I could see his eyes. Horrific, red and glowing. His skin was rubbery. The man said something weird I don’t know then whole room flushed with water, salt water, I have tasted the ocean before. Then I drown with wreckage of a boat.

13th May 2017.
My knowledge of the lost islands began way back in the school. My dad took me to a fishing trip when I was a kid and I loved it. I read about oceans, myths and stuff and lived believing them for a long time. I had made my mind to become a captain someday but I dropped out of high school and had to settle with working in a fishing crew. The destiny wasn’t settled with me yet. I found a gold coin and I hear a mystic humming coming from it when I bring it close to my ears. I believe it comes from a treasure buried in guts of the ocean and not just a treasure. The treasure from R’lyeh, city of Mu. I could find it. If the stories of the high priest are true then there is a treasure waiting for me to find it.

28th May 2017.
Alex answered my call but he didn’t seem so excited. We talked about city, his novel and stuff. I couldn’t bring up the coin to discuss. He shouldn’t know it until I can prove something. He might think I lost my marbles. LOL. I did some more reading today, I borrowed a book from Martha. Its a bit dull but I guess I understood it. And I think that when the High Priest was put in the prison with his hordes of undead he cursed anyone who lived on earth will die depraved of power, youth, strength and health till his wrongful conviction is corrected. Now that applies with humans too, right? So if we lift the curse then we would never get old and die?

He put the book down and saw the cloth on the table was blotted with ink, a drawing of a triangle and something else inside it. He put the book and pen away and turned the cloth around. Vertical and horizontal lines had been drawn across the canvas with pencil, a red triangle in middle and with black ink a rough outline of a skull surrounded by rocks were drawn. In top right, a compass was drawn showing all four directions. On each points of the triangle coordinates were written, one of them was the coordinates Alex earlier read on the piece of paper. And in center of the triangle ‘Point Nemo’ was written. It was a map. On edge of the cloth: If treasure is in your heart, I will tear the skin off your walls to get it.

He found it hard to believe. What did he mean by that people weren’t real? He heard a drumming echo in the room, it sounded very close and growing at him. He jumped and looked around scared. Something was different. Something changed behind his back. The books were rearranged in the shelves. The painting. He looked at the painting carefully. The peaceful lake, no wooden ramp, trees beyond the water and a monster standing between them, its body painted in black and eyes glowing red. He swallowed and stepped back staring at it. Someone thumped the wooden wall behind the painting, then knocked harder the second time. He threw away the painting and started tearing the wallpaper down. The paper was loosely pasted on the wall and easily came off. His fingers scratched the wooden door behind it. One claw at time, he tore it down. The door was thin and not wide enough, it was a closet. He opened it and took the small metal box which was hiding in it. Something metal and light rattled inside it. He opened the box and found the gold coin of Cthulhu. Glowing marvelously like evening sun shining on the lake. The face of Cthulhu and his countless tentacles around his head was branded on it like Max said.

It was real, the treasure. Dad wasn’t crazy. Maybe he is not dead, maybe he is just lost somewhere on the ocean. I should find him. I should find the treasure for him. I could be the son he wanted. But he didn’t take the coin with him. I thought he did. The whole town thought he did. He wanted me to find the diary and the coin. He wants me to find the treasure. I will. I will. Even if it takes my life.

“Like a moth to a flame.” Max said standing behind Alex and startled him. He tightened his grip on the coin and stood up slowly staring at Max with anger. Max and whole town had gathered in the house, on the lawn and the road. Their teeth tittering insanely and somewhere from South East of the world a loud trumpet was blown. A brilliant and deafening sound and everyone in the house cheered and shouted “The Last Trumpet! The last of the debt!” Now everyone were calm, and silent, looking at Alex. Max frowned and ran towards Alex.

Alex pressed the coin in his fist and tried to land a punch on Max. Max moved his head back successfully dodging the upper cut and hit Alex in the stomach. Alex bend over, his face pinched. Max brought his knee up and smashed Alex’s nose. Alex wobbled back and crashed on the floor. Max started kicking him, three men stepped forward and started stomping him infinitely. Alex kicked Max’s knee and with other hand pushing up he tried to get away but the recoiling feet pinned him down and kept hitting him savagely breaking his arm and ribs. He groaned in agony, the sharp edges of bones slit his insides and soon he lost consciousness. The beating didn’t stop coming and cracked his skull. He died. Side of his head was crumpled and long bones crushed into bits and he bled from nose, eyes and broken skin. Max stopped, he was breathing through mouth loudly like a bear. He removed Alex’s shirt and retrieved the coin, rinsed with sacrificial blood. He put the coin in Alex’s broken jaw and tied the shirt around his head.

“We will change!”

“Change!” The theists of Cthulhu hailed with him.

One man lifted Alex’s legs and another grabbed his hands. They both smiling, their eyes bleeding and still rolled up showing whites. The gathering dispersed and every witness went back to their houses. The men, women and kids slept in their homes on cozy beds relieved that the curse had been lifted and when they wake up next day, they’d be different. Young, healthy and immortal like their god. Unaware that no one would live to see the new day.

The two men accompanied by Max carried Alex’s disfigured body out of the house and to Angler’s Lake in a pickup truck. The night broke and the eclipse started to pull its curtains down. The sun was sitting up in its grave with new life. Max stood by the truck while the men took the body on the narrow ramp and threw it in the lake. Max laughed victoriously. Suddenly a green light flashed in his eyes and he fell on the ground. His heart had stopped before his body landed on the dirt. The men collapsed on the ground. Dead. Somewhere in pacific ocean far from any land, inside a volcano the monster snapped his bloodshot eyes open, waking up from a dream, and broke from his prison.

Alex’s body with the golden coin drowned and flushed inside a cave in the lake’s bed. Through bile of the underworld, his body and countless hordes of corpse eternally descents into the treasure of Cthulhu becoming one with it.


© Copyright 2018 Akshay Raj Chovhan. All rights reserved.

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