Twilight of the gods 3

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Book

Mildred Giantbulb is a smart and optimistic orphan raised by a cold-blooded and stupid nun. Eventually she gets a job working as a gardener for the lovable Lord Fish of Fish Church. The unlikely couple rapidly succumb to a deep passion.

 

 

 

On the day of their wedding, a clumsy brother escapes from the attic of Fish Church and starts a fire. Believing that Lord Fish is dead, Mildred flees from the church and wanders the icy moors for days until she is rescued by a intelligent gardener.

 

 

 

However, although Lord Fish is blinded by the fire, he still breathes. Without Mildred he becomes deranged and hungry. He turns to alcohol for comfort. The ghost of the brother from the attic haunts him.

 

 

 

Meanwhile, thinking Lord Fish is dead, Mildred accepts a marriage proposal from her saviour, the gardener. However, one night she believes she can hear Lord Fish calling, "Mildred, where are you? Mildred come home!" and she returns to Fish Church.

 

 

 

On Mildred's return, she finds Lord Fish drunk and without sight. Mistaking her for the ghost of the clumsy brother, he attacks her with a rope and Mildred Giantbulb dies.

 

 

 

As he attends to the body, Lord Fish realises what he has done. Driven mad with guilt, he hatches a plan to destroy the next generation, but there is no next generation and he dies of consumption two weeks laterMangled arms have been turning up all over Cornwall and the inhabitants are scared. Ten murders in ten weeks, all committed with a blade, and still nobody has a clue who the killer is.

 

 

 

John Hembric is a hot and charming navigator with a fondness for trainspotting. He doesn't know it yet but he is the only one who can stop the clumsy killer.

 

 

 

When his lover, Warwick Khan, is kidnapped, John Hembric finds himself thrown into the centre of the investigation. His only clue is a magic banana.

 

 

 

He enlists the help of a patient private detective called Tom Marcello.

 

 

 

Can Marcello help Hembric overcome his pain addiction and find the answers before the proud killer and his deadly blade strike again?

 

 Dolly Bishop is a slim, curvy and brave cleaner from the city. Her life is going nowhere until she meets James Ramsbottom, a slim, strong man with a passion for comedy.

 

 

 

Dolly takes an instant disliking to James and the spiteful and snotty ways he learnt during his years in Scotland.

 

 The end time (also called end times, end of time, end of days, last days, final days, or eschaton) is a future time-period described variously in the eschatologies of several world religions (both Abrahamic and non-Abrahamic), which believe that world events will reach a final climax.

 

 

 

The Abrahamic faiths maintain a linear cosmology, with end-time scenarios containing themes of transformation and redemption. In Judaism, the term "end of days" makes reference to the Messianic Age and includes an in-gathering of the exiled Jewish diaspora, the coming of the Messiah, the resurrection of the righteous, and the world to come. Some sects of Christianity depict the end time as a period of tribulation that precedes the second coming of Christ, who will face the Antichrist along with his power structure and usher in the Kingdom of God. However, other Christians believe that the end time represents the personal tribulation experienced before they become enlightened with the Word of God.[1] In Islam, the Day of Judgement is preceded by the appearance of the al-Masih al-Dajjal, and followed by the descending of Isa (Jesus). Isa will triumph over the false messiah, or the Antichrist, which will lead to a sequence of events that will end with the sun rising from the west and the beginning of the Qiyamah (Judgment day).

 

 

 

Non-Abrahamic faiths tend to have more cyclical world-views, with end-time eschatologies characterized by decay, redemption, and rebirth. In Hinduism, the end time occurs when Kalki, the final incarnation of Vishnu, descends atop a white horse and brings an end to the current Kali Yuga. In Buddhism, the Buddha predicted that his teachings would be forgotten after 5,000 years, followed by turmoil. A bodhisattva named Maitreya will appear and rediscover the teaching of dharma. The ultimate destruction of the world will then come through seven suns.

 

 

 

Since the development of the concept of deep time in the 18th century and the calculation of the estimated age of the Earth, scientific discourse about end times has centered on the ultimate fate of the universe. Theories have included the Big Rip, Big Crunch, Big Bounce, and Big Freeze (heat death). Indian religions

 

 

 

Buddhism

 

 

 

There are two major points of Buddhist eschatology, the appearance of Maitreya, followed by the Sermon of the Seven Suns.

 

 

 

Maitreya

 

 

 

Buddha described his teachings disappearing five thousand years from when he preached them, corresponding approximately to the year 2300. At this time, knowledge of dharma will be lost as well. The last of his relics will be gathered in Bodh Gaya and cremated.[citation needed] There will be a new era in which the next Buddha Maitreya will appear, but it will be preceded by the degeneration of human society. This will be a period of greed, lust, poverty, ill will, violence, murder, impiety, physical weakness, sexual depravity and societal collapse, and even the Buddha himself will be forgotten.[2]

 

 

 

This will be followed by the coming of Maitreya when the teachings of dharma are forgotten. Maitreya was the first Bodhisattva around whom a cult developed, in approximately the 3rd century CE.[3]

 

 

 

The earliest mention of Maitreya is in the Cakavatti, or Sihanada Sutta in Digha Nikaya 26 of the Pali Canon. In it, Gautama Buddha predicted that his teachings of dharma would be forgotten after 5,000 years.

 

 

 

“At that period, brethren, there will arise in the world an Exalted One named Maitreya, Fully Awakened, abounding in wisdom and goodness, happy, with knowledge of the worlds, unsurpassed as a guide to mortals willing to be led, a teacher for gods and men, an Exalted One, a Buddha, even as I am now. He, by himself, will thoroughly know and see, as it were face to face, this universe, with Its worlds of the spirits, Its Brahmas and Its Maras, and Its world of recluses and Brahmins, of princes and peoples, even as I now, by myself, thoroughly know and see them”

 —?Digha Nikaya, 26

 

 

 

Maitreya Buddha is then foretold to be born in the city of Ketumat? in present-day Benares, whose king will be the Cakkavatt? Sankha. Sankha will live in the former palace of King Mah?panad?, and will become a renunciate who follows Maitreya.[4][5]

 

 

 

In Mahayana Buddhism, Maitreya will attain bodhi in seven days, the minimum period, by virtue of his many lifetimes of preparation. Once Buddha, he will rule over the Ketumati Pure Land, an earthly paradise sometimes associated with the Indian city of Varanasi or Benares in Uttar Pradesh. In Mahayana Buddhism, the Buddha presides over a land of purity. For example, Amitabha presides over Sukhavati, more popularly known as the 'Western Paradise'.[6]

 

 

 

A notable teaching he will rediscover is that of the ten non-virtuous deeds—killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying, divisive speech, abusive speech, idle speech, covetousness, harmful intent and wrong views. These will be replaced by the ten virtuous deeds, which are the abandonment of each of these practices. He is described by Conze in his Buddhist Scriptures:

 

 

 

The Lord replied, 'Maitreya, the best of men, will then leave the Tu?ita heavens, and go for his last rebirth. As soon as he is born he will walk seven steps forward, and where he puts down his feet a jewel or a lotus will spring up. He will raise his eyes to the ten directions, and will speak these words: "This is my last birth. There will be no rebirth after this one. Never will I come back here, but, all pure, I shall win Nirvana."

 

 

 

—?Buddhist Scriptures [7]

 

 

 

He currently resides in Tushita, but will come to Jambudvipa when needed most as successor to the historic ??kyamuni Buddha. Maitreya will achieve complete enlightenment during his lifetime, and following this reawakening, he will bring back the timeless teaching of dharma to this plane and rediscover enlightenment.[8] The Arya Maitreya Mandala, founded by Lama Anagarika Govinda is based on the idea of Maitreya.

 

 

 

Maitreya eschatology forms the central canon of the White Lotus Society, a revolutionary movement during British colonial rule. It later branched into the Chinese underground criminal organization known as the Triad, which exists today as an international underground criminal network.

 

 

 

It is of note that description of Maitreya occurs in no other sutta in the canon, casting doubt as to authenticity of the scripture. In addition, sermons of the Buddha normally are in response to a question, or in a specific context, but this sutta has a beginning and an ending, and its content is quite different from the others. This has led some to conclude that the whole sutta is apocryphal, or tampered with.[8]

 

 

 

Sermon of the Seven Suns

 

 

 

In his "Sermon of the Seven Suns" in the Pali Canon, the Buddha describes the ultimate fate of the world in an apocalypse that will be characterized by the consequent appearance of seven suns in the sky, each causing progressive ruin till the Earth is destroyed:

 

 

 

All things are impermanent, all aspects of existence are unstable and non-eternal. Beings will become so weary and disgusted with the constituent things that they will seek emancipation from them more quickly. There will come a season, O monks when, after hundreds of thousands of years, rains will cease. All seedlings, all vegetation, all plants, grasses and trees will dry up and cease to be...There comes another season after a great lapse of time when a second sun will appear. Now all brooks and ponds will dry up, vanish, cease to be.

 

 

 

—?A?guttara-Nik?ya, VII, 6.2 Pali Canon[2]

 

 

 

The canon goes on to describe the progressive destruction of each sun. A third sun will dry the mighty Ganges and other great rivers. A fourth will cause the great lakes to evaporate, and a fifth will dry the oceans. Finally:

 

 

 

Again after a vast period of time a sixth sun will appear, and it will bake the Earth even as a pot is baked by a potter. All the mountains will reek and send up clouds of smoke. After another great interval a seventh sun will appear and the Earth will blaze with fire until it becomes one mass of flame. The mountains will be consumed, a spark will be carried on the wind and go to the worlds of God....Thus, monks, all things will burn, perish and exist no more except those who have seen the path.

 

 

 

—?A?guttara-Nik?ya, VII, 6.2 Pali Canon[2]

 

 

 

The sermon completes with the planet engulfed by a vast inferno. The Pali Canon does not indicate when this will happen relative to Maitreya.[2]

 

 

 

Hinduism

 

 

 

In Hindu eschatology, time is cyclic and consists of kalpas. Each lasts 4.1 – 8.2 billion years, which is a period of one full day and night for Brahma, who will be alive for 311 trillion, 40 billion years. Within a kalpa there are periods of creation, preservation and decline. After this larger cycle, all of creation will contract to a singularity and then again will expand from that single point, as the ages continue in a religious fractal pattern.[2]

 

 

 

Within the current kalpa, there are four epochs that encompass the cycle. They progress from a beginning of complete purity to a descent into total corruption. The last of the four ages is Kali Yuga, our current time, during which will be characterized by impiety, violence and decay. The four pillars of dharma will be reduced to one, with truth being all that remains.[9] As written in the Gita:

 

 

 

Yad? yad? hi dharmasya gl?nirbhavati Bh?rata

 

 

 

Abhyutth?nam adharmasya tad?tm?nam s?j?myaham

 

 

 

Whenever there is decay of righteousness O! Bharata

 

 

 

And a rise of unrighteousness then I manifest Myself![10]

 

 

 

At this time of chaos, the final avatar, Kalki, endowed with eight superhuman faculties will appear on a white horse. Kalki will amass an army to "establish righteousness upon the earth" and leave "the minds of the people as pure as crystal."

 

 

 

At the completion of Kali Yuga, the next cycle will begin with a new Satya Yuga, in which all will once again be righteous with the reestablishment of dharma. This, in turn, will be followed by epochs of Treta Yuga, Dwapara Yuga and again another Kali Yuga. This cycle will then repeat till the larger cycle of existence under Brahma returns to the singularity, and a new universe is born.[11]

 

 

 

Norse religion

 

 

 

Norse mythology depicts the end of days as Ragnarök, an Old Norse term translatable as "twilight of the gods". It will be heralded by a devastation known as Fimbulvetr which will seize Midgard in cold and darkness. The sun and moon will disappear from the sky, and poison will fill the air. Dead will rise from the ground and there will be widespread despair.

 

 

 

There follows a battle between – on the one hand – the Gods with the Æsir, Vanir[citation needed] and Einherjar, led by Odin, and – on the other hand – forces of Chaos, including the fire giants and jötunn, led by Loki. In the fighting Odin will be swallowed whole by his old nemesis Fenrir.[12] The god Freyr fights Surtr but loses. Víðarr, son of Odin, will then avenge his father by ripping Fenrir's jaws apart and stabbing the wolf in the heart with his spear. The serpent Jörmungandr will open its gaping maw and be met in combat by Thor. Thor, also a son of Odin, will defeat the serpent, only to take nine steps afterwards before collapsing to his own death.[13]

 

 

 

After this people will flee their homes as the sun blackens and the earth sinks into the sea. The stars will vanish, steam will rise, and flames will touch the heavens. This conflict will result in the deaths of most of the major Gods and forces of Chaos. Finally, Surtr will fling fire across the nine worlds. The ocean will then completely submerge Midgard.[14]

 

 

 

After the cataclysm the world will resurface new and fertile, and the surviving Gods will meet. The two human survivors, Líf and Lífþrasir, will then repopulate this new earth.[15] Abrahamic religions

 

 

 

Bahá'í Faith

 

 

 

The founder of the Bahá'í Faith, Bahá'u'lláh claimed that he was the return of Christ as well as prophetic expectations of other religions.[16] The inception of the Bahá'í Faith coincides with Millerite prophesy, pointing to the year 1844. They also believe the Battle of Armageddon has passed and that the mass martyrdom anticipated during the End Times had already passed within the historical context of the Bahá'í Faith.[17][18] Bahá'ís expect their faith to be eventually embraced by the masses of the world, ushering in a golden age.

 

 

 

Christianity

 

 

 

Date

 

 

 

Some first century Christians believed Jesus would return during their lifetime. When the converts of Paul in Thessalonica were persecuted by the Roman Empire, they believed the end of days to be imminent.[19]

 

 

 

While some who believe in the literal interpretation of the Bible insist that the prediction of dates or times is futile, others believe Jesus foretold signs of the end of days. The precise time, however, will come like a "thief in the night" (1 Thess. 5:2). They may also refer to Matthew 24:36 in which Jesus is quoted as saying:

 

 

 

"But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only."

 

 

 

Great Tribulation

 

 

 

In the New Testament, Jesus refers to this period preceding the end times as the "Great Tribulation" (Matthew 24:21), "Affliction"(Mark 13:19), and "days of vengeance"(Luke 21:22).

 

 

 

The Book of Matthew describes the devastation:

 

 

 

When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand). Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains. Let him which is on the housetop not come down...Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes, and woe unto them that are with child...For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.

 

 

 

—?Matthew 24:15–22

 

 

 

The resulting chaos will affect pregnancies, newborns, and a scourge will spread throughout the flesh, save for the elect. The vivid imagery of this section is repeated closely in Mark 13:14–20.

 

 

 

The Gospel of Luke describes a complete unraveling of the social fabric, with widespread calamity and war:

 

 

 

Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name's sake. This will be your opportunity to bear witness. Settle it therefore in your minds not to meditate beforehand how to answer, for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict. You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and some of you they will put to death. You will be hated by all for my name's sake. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your lives.

 

 

 

“But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are inside the city depart, and let not those who are out in the country enter it, for these are days of vengeance, to fulfill all that is written. Alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! For there will be great distress upon the earth and wrath against this people. They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive among all nations, and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

 

 

 

“And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

 

 

 

And he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. As soon as they come out in leaf, you see for yourselves and know that the summer is already near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all has taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

 

 

 

—?Luke 21:10–33

 

 

 

Catholicism

 

 

 

The Profession of Faith addresses Catholic beliefs concerning the Last Days.[20] Catholicism adheres to the amillennial school of thought, promoted by Augustine of Hippo in his work The City of God.

 

 

 

Protestantism

 

 

 

Protestants are divided between Millennialists and Amillennialists. Millennialists concentrate on the issue of whether the true believers will see the tribulation or be removed from it by what is referred to as a Pre-Tribulation Rapture. Amillennialists believe that the end times encompass the time from Christ's ascension to the Last day, and maintain that the mention of the "thousand years" in the Book of Revelation is meant to be taken metaphorically (i.e., not literally, or 'spiritually'), a view which continues to cause divisions within evangelical Christianity.

 

 

 

There is a range of eschatological belief in Protestant Christianity. Christian premillennialists who believe that the End Times are occurring now, are usually specific about timelines that climax in the end of the world. For some, Israel, the European Union, or the United Nations are seen as major players whose roles were foretold in scripture. Within dispensational premillennialist writing, there is the belief that Christians will be summoned to Heaven by Christ at the Rapture, occurring before a "Great Tribulation" prophesied in Matthew 24–25; Mark 13 and Luke 21. The Tribulation is described in the book of Revelation.

 

 

 

"End times" may also refer to the passing of an age or long period in the relationship between man and God.[21] Adherents to this view cite the Second Epistle to Timothy and draw analogies to the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.

 

 

 

Post-Exilic Hebrew books of prophecy such as Daniel and Ezekiel are given new interpretations in this tradition, while in apocalyptic forecasts appear in the Judeo-Christian Sibylline Oracles which include the Book of Revelation ascribed to John, the apocryphal Apocalypse of Peter, and the Second Book Of Esdras.

 

 

 

Most fundamentalist Christians anticipate biblical prophecy to be literally fulfilled. They see current wars, natural disaster and famine as the birth pangs which Jesus described in Matthew 24:7–8 and Mark 13:8. They believe that mankind began in the garden of Eden, and point to the Valley of Megiddo as the place where the current world system will terminate, after which the Messiah will rule for 1,000 years.

 

 

 

Contemporary use of the term End Times has evolved from literal belief in Christian millennialism. In this tradition, Biblical apocalypse is believed to be imminent, with various current events as omens of impending Armageddon. These beliefs have been put forward by the Adventist movement (Millerites), Jehovah's Witnesses, and dispensational premillennialists. In 1918 a group of eight well known preachers produced the London Manifesto, warning of an imminent second coming of Christ shortly after the 1917 liberation of Jerusalem by the British.

 

 

 

Religious movements which expect that the second coming of Christ as a cataclysmic event are generally called adventism. These have arisen throughout the Christian era, but were particularly common after the Protestant Reformation. Emanuel Swedenborg considered the second coming to be symbolic, and to have occurred in 1757. Along with others, he developed a religious system around the second coming of Christ, disclosed by new prophecy or special revelation not described in the Bible. The Millerites are diverse religious groups which similarly rely upon a special gift of interpretation for predicting the second coming.

 

 

 

The difference between the 19th century Millerite and Adventist movements and contemporary prophecy is that William Miller and his followers, based on Biblical interpretation, predicted the time of the Second Coming to have occurred in 1844. Contemporary writing of end time has suggested that the timetable will be triggered by future wars and moral catastrophe, and that this time of tribulation is close at hand.

 

 

 

Seventh-day Adventists believe Biblical prophecy to foretell an end time scenario in which the United States works in conjunction with the Catholic Church to mandate worship on a day other than the true Sabbath, Saturday, as prescribed in the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:8–11). This will bring about a situation where one must choose for or against the Bible as the will of God.[22]

 

 

 

Preterism

 

 

 

Another view of the end times is preterism. It distinguishes the time of the end from the end of time. Preterists believe the term Last Days (or Time of the End) refers to, neither the last days of the Earth, nor the last days of humankind, but the end of the Old Covenant between God and Israel; which, according to preterism, took place when the Temple in Jerusalem which was destroyed in 70 CE.

 

 

 

Preterists believe that prophecies — such as the Second Coming, the desecration of the Jewish Temple, the destruction of Jerusalem, the rise of the Antichrist, the Great Tribulation, the advent of The Day of the Lord, and a Final Judgment — had been fulfilled when the Romans sacked Jerusalem and completely destroyed its Temple.

 

 

 

Proponents of full preterism do not believe in a coming resurrection of the dead. They place this event (as well as the Second Coming) in the year 70. Advocates of partial preterism do believe in a coming resurrection. Full preterists contend that partial preterists are merely futurists, since they believe the Second Coming, the Resurrection, the Rapture, and the Judgment are yet to come.

 

 

 

Many preterists believe that first-century Christians experienced the Rapture to rejoin the Christ.

 

 

 

According with Preterism's interpretation of end times, many "time passages" in the New Testament foretell a Second Coming of Christ, with Last Days to take place within the lifetimes of his disciples: Matt. 10:23, Matt. 16:28, Matt. 24:34, Matt. 26:64, Rom. 13:11–12, 1 Cor. 7:29–31, 1 Cor. 10:11, Phil. 4:5, James 5:8–9, 1 Pet. 4:7, 1 Jn. 2:18.

 

 

 

Dispensationalist prophecies

 

 

 

Dispensationalism is an evangelical futurist Bibilical interpretation that foresees a series of dispensations, or periods, in which God relates to human beings under different Biblical covenants. The belief system is primarily rooted in the writings of John Nelson Darby and is premillennial in content. The reestablishment of Israel in 1948 provided a major impetus to the dispensationalist belief system. The wars of Israel after 1948 with its Arab neighbors provided further support, according to John F. Walvoord.[23] After the Six-Day War in 1967, and the Yom Kippur War in 1973, it seemed plausible to many Fundamentalist Christians in the 1970s that Middle East turmoil may well be leading up to the fulfillment of various Bible prophecies and to the Battle of Armageddon.

 

 

 

Members of the dispensationalist movement such as Hal Lindsey, J. Dwight Pentecost, John Walvoord, all of whom have Dallas Theological Seminary backgrounds, and some other writers, claimed further that the European Economic Community, which preceded the European Union, would become a United States of Europe, which would in turn become a Revived Roman Empire ruled by the Antichrist. The Revived Roman Empire also figured into the New Testament writers' vision of the future. The fact that in the early 1970s, there were (erroneously thought to be) seven nations in the European Economic Community was held to be significant; this aligned the Community with a seven-headed beast mentioned in Revelation. This specific prophecy has required revision, but the idea of a Revived Roman Empire remains.

 

 

 

The separate destinies of the Church and Israel, a belief which is inherent in dispensationalism, is a particular concern to some Jews and evangelical Christians. Evangelicals who reject dispensationalism, such as those who hold to a Post Tribulation Rapture, (or more accurately a Post Tribulation Resurrection-Rapture), see both the Church and Israel entering the crucible of the End Time together.[24]

 

 

 

Dispensationalism, in contrast to the Millerite Adventist movement, had its beginning in the 19th century, when John Nelson Darby, founder of the Plymouth Brethren religious denomination, incorporated into his system of Biblical interpretation a system of organizing Biblical time into a number of discrete dispensations, each of which marks a separate covenant with God. Darby's beliefs were widely publicized in Cyrus I. Scofield's Scofield Reference Bible, an annotated Bible that became popular in the United States of America.

 

 

 

Since the majority of the Biblical prophets were writing at a time when the Temple in Jerusalem was still functioning, they wrote as if it would still be standing during the prophesied events. According to preterism, this was a fulfillment of the prophecies. However, according to Futurists, their destruction in AD 70 put the prophetic timetable on hold. Many such believers therefore anticipated the return of Jews to Israel and the reconstruction of the Temple before the Second Coming could occur.[25][26]

 

 

 

Post-tribulation pre-millennialists

 

 

 

A view of the Second Coming of Christ as held by post-tribulational pre-millennialists holds that the Church of Christ will have to undergo great persecution by being present during the great tribulation.

 

 

 

Specific prophetic movements

 

 

 

In 1843, William Miller made the first of several predictions that the world would end in only a few months. As his predictions did not come true (referred to as the Great Disappointment), followers of Miller went on to found separate groups, the most successful of which is the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

 

 

 

Members of the Bahá'í Faith believe that Miller's interpretation of signs and dates of the coming of Jesus were, for the most part, correct.[27] They believe that the fulfillment of biblical prophecies of the coming of Christ came through a forerunner of their own religion, the Báb. According to the Báb's words, 4 April 1844 was "the first day that the Spirit descended" into his heart.[28] His subsequent declaration to Mullá Husayn-i Bushru'i that he was the "Promised One"—an event now commemorated by Bahá'ís as a major holy day—took place on 23 May 1844. It was in October of that year that the Báb embarked on a pilgrimage to Mecca, where he openly declared his claims to the Sharif of Mecca.[29][30] The first news coverage of these events in the West was in 1845 by The Times,[31] followed by others in 1850 in the United States.[32] The first Bahá'í to come to America was in 1892.[29] Several Bahá'í books and pamphlets make mention of the Millerites, the prophecies used by Miller and the Great Disappointment, most notably William Sears's Thief in the Night.[33][34][35]

 

 

 

Restorationism (Christian primitivism)

 

 

 

End times theology is also significant to restorationist Christian religions, which consider themselves distinct from both Catholicism and Protestantism.

 

 

 

Jehovah's Witnesses

 

 

 

The eschatology of Jehovah's Witnesses is central to their religious beliefs. They believe that Jesus Christ has been ruling in heaven as king since 1914 (a date they believe was prophesied in Scripture), and that after that time a period of cleansing occurred, resulting in God's selection of the Bible Students associated with Charles Taze Russell to be his people in 1919. They also believe the destruction of those who reject their message[36] and thus willfully refuse to obey God[37][38] will shortly take place at Armageddon, ensuring that the beginning of the new earthly society will be composed of willing subjects of that kingdom.

 

 

 

The religion's doctrines surrounding 1914 are the legacy of a series of emphatic claims regarding the years 1799,[39] 1874,[39] 1878,[40] 1914,[41] 1918[42] and 1925[43] made in the Watch Tower Society's publications between 1879 and 1924. Claims about the significance of those years, including the presence of Jesus Christ, the beginning of the "last days", the destruction of worldly governments and the earthly resurrection of Jewish patriarchs, were successively abandoned.[44] In 1922 the society's principal journal, The Watchtower, described its chronology as "no stronger than its weakest link", but also claimed the chronological relationships to be "of divine origin and divinely corroborated...in a class by itself, absolutely and unqualifiedly correct"[45] and "indisputable facts",[39] while repudiation of Russell's teachings was described as "equivalent to a repudiation of the Lord".[46]

 

 

 

The Watch Tower Society has admitted its early leaders promoted "incomplete, even inaccurate concepts".[47] The Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses says that, unlike Old Testament prophets, its interpretations of the Bible are not inspired or infallible.[48][49][50] Witness publications say that Bible prophecies can be fully understood only after their fulfillment, citing examples of biblical figures who did not understand the meaning of prophecies they received. Watch Tower publications often cite Proverbs 4:18, "The path of the righteous ones is like the bright light that is getting lighter and lighter until the day is firmly established" (NWT) to support their view that there would be an increase in knowledge during "the time of the end", as mentioned in Daniel 12:4. Jehovah's Witnesses state that this increase in knowledge needs adjustments. Watch Tower publications also say that unfulfilled expectations are partly due to eagerness for God's Kingdom and that they do not call their core beliefs into question.[51][52][53]

 

 

 

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

 

 

 

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe that there will be a Second Coming of Jesus to the earth sometime in the future. The LDS Church and its leaders do not make any predictions of the actual date of the Second Coming.

 

 

 

According to church doctrine, the true gospel will be taught in all parts of the world prior to the Second Coming.[54] They also believe that there will be increasing war, earthquakes, hurricanes, and man-made disasters prior to the Second Coming.[55] Disasters of all kind will happen before Christ comes.[56] Upon the return of Jesus Christ, all people will be resurrected, the righteous in a first resurrection and the unrighteous in a second, later resurrection. Christ shall reign for a period of 1000 years, after which the Final Judgement will occur.

 

 

 

Islam

 

 

 

Muslims believe that there are three periods before the Day of Judgment, also known as ashratu's-sa'ah or alamatu qiyami's-sa'ah, with some debate as to whether the periods could overlap.[57][58][2]

 

 

 

According to Harun Yahya, the first period is said to have begun with the death of Muhammad. The second began with the passing of all his Companions, and ended a thousand years later. Another event of the second period was the Tartar invasion, occurring 650 years after Muhammad. The Mongols, led by Hulagu Khan, grandson of Genghis Khan, attacked Baghdad in 1258 AD and brought the Abbasid caliphate to an end. They massacred millions of Muslims, and the water of the river Tigris turned red with blood. A Hadeeth also predicted a fire at Madinah in the Hijaz near Busra in Syria, which Islamic scholars believe occurred in 654 AH. Following the second, the third and final period will be heralded by the appearance of the Mahdi.[57]

 

 

 

Ahmadiyya

 

 

 

Ahmadiyya is considered distinct from mainstream Islam. In its writing, the present age has been witness to the evil of man and wrath of God, with war and natural disaster.[59] Ghulam Ahmad is seen as the promised Messiah and the Mahdi, fulfilling Islamic and Biblical prophecies, as well as scriptures of other religions such as Hinduism. His teaching will establish spiritual reform and establish an age of peace. This will continue for a thousand years, and will unify mankind under one faith.[60]

 

 

 

Ahmadis believe that despite harsh and strong opposition and discrimination they will eventually be triumphant and their message vindicated both by Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Ahmadis also incorporate the eschatological views from other religions into their doctrine and believe that Mirza Ghulam Ahmed falls into this sequence.[61]

 

 

 

Shia

 

 

 

Concepts and terminology in Shia eschatology includes Mi'ad, The Occultation and Al-Yamani, Sufyani In Twelver Shia hadiths about the last days, the literature largely revolves around Muhammad al-Mahdi, a messianic figure considered to be the twelfth appointed successor to Muhammad. Mahdi will help mankind against the deception by a man called Dajjal who will try to get people in to a new world religion which is called "the great deception".[62]

 

 

 

Sunni

 

 

 

Sunnis believe that the dead will then stand in a grand assembly, awaiting a scroll detailing their righteous deeds, sinful acts and ultimate judgment.[63][64] Muhammad will be the first to be resurrected.[65] Punishments will include adhab, or severe pain and embarrassment, and khizy or shame.[66] There will also be a punishment of the grave between death and the resurrection.[67]

 

 

 

The signs of the coming end time are divided into major and minor signs:

 

 

 

Following the second period, the third is said to be marked by the ten major signs known as alamatu's-sa'ah al- kubra (The major signs of the end).[note 1] They are as follows:

 

 

 

The false messiah (anti-Christ), Masih ad-Dajjal, shall appear with huge powers as a one eyed man with the right eye blind and deformed like a grape. He will claim to be God and to hold keys to heaven and hell and lead many astray, although believers will not be deceived.[68] In reality, his heaven is the hell, and his hell is the heaven. The Dajjal would be followed by seventy thousand Jews of Isfahan wearing Persian shawls.[note 2]

 

The return of Isa (Jesus), from the fourth sky to kill Dajjal.[69]

 

Ya'jooj and Ma'jooj (Gog and Magog), Japhetic tribe of vicious beings which had been imprisoned by Dhul-Qarnayn will break out. They will ravage the earth, drink all the water of Lake Tiberias, and kill all believers in their way (or see). Isa, Imam Al-Mahdi, and the believers with them will go to the top of a mountain and pray for the destruction of Gog and Magog. God will eventually send disease and worms to wipe them out.[note 3][70]

 

A huge black smoke cloud will cover the earth.[71]

 

Dabbat al-ard, or the Beast that will come out of the ground to talk to people.[note 4]

 

The sun will rise from the west.[72][73]

 

Three sinking of the earth, one in the east,[71]

 

One in the west,[71]

 

And one in Arabia.[71]

 

The second trumpet blow will be sounded, the dead will return to life and a fire will start come out of Yemen that shall gather all to Mahshar Al Qiy'amah (The Gathering for Judgment).[57]

 

Judaism

 

 

 

n rabbinic literature, rabbis elaborated and explained the prophecies that were found in the Hebrew Bible, along with oral law and rabbinic traditions about its significance. The main tenets of Jewish eschatology, in no particular order, include:[74]

 

 

 

God will redeem Israel from the captivity that began during the Babylonian Exile in a new Exodus.

 

God will return the Jewish people to the Land of Israel.

 

God will restore the House of David and the Temple in Jerusalem.

 

God will raise up a regent from the House of David, the Jewish Messiah, to lead the Jewish people and the world and to usher in an age of justice and peace.

 

Nations will recognize that the God of Israel is the only true god.

 

God will resurrect the dead.

 

God will create a new heaven and earth.

 

The idea of a messianic age, an era of global peace and knowledge of the Creator, has a prominent place in Jewish thought, and is incorporated as part of the end of days. A well-known passage from the Book of Isaiah describes this future condition of the world: "They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; nation will not lift sword against nation and they will no longer study warfare" (2:4)[74] Maimonides (1135–1204) further describes the Messianic Era in the Mishneh Torah: "And at that time there will be no hunger or war, no jealousy or rivalry. For the good will be plentiful, and all delicacies available as dust. The entire occupation of the world will be only to know God... the people Israel will be of great wisdom; they will perceive the esoteric truths and comprehend their Creator's wisdom as is the capacity of man. As it is written (Isaiah 11:9): 'For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of God, as the waters cover the sea.'"[75]

 

 

 

The Zohar[76] maintains that the seven days of the week, based on the seven days of creation, correspond to the seven millennia of creation. The seventh day of the week, the Shabbat day of rest, corresponds to the seventh millennium, the age of universal rest, or the Messianic Era. The seventh millennium begins with the year 6000 AM, and is the latest time the Messiah can come. A number of early and late Jewish scholars have written in support of this, including the Ramban,[77] Isaac Abrabanel,[78] Abraham Ibn Ezra,[79] Rabbeinu Bachya,[80] the Vilna Gaon,[81] the Lubavitcher Rebbe,[82] the Ramchal,[83] Aryeh Kaplan[84] and Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis.[85] Rastafari movement

 

 

 

Rastafarians have a unique interpretation of end times, based on the Old Testament and the Book of Revelation. They believe Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie I to be God incarnate, the King of kings and Lord of lords mentioned in Revelation 5:5. They saw the crowning of Selassie as the second coming, and the Second Italo-Ethiopian War as fulfillment of Revelation. There is also the expectation that Selassie will return for a day of judgment and bring home the lost children of Israel, which in Rastafarianism refer to those taken from Africa through the slave trade. There will then be an era of peace and harmony at Mount Zion in Africa.[11] Zoroastrianism

 

 

 

Zoroastrian eschatology is considered one of the oldest in recorded history. The birth of its founder, Zoroaster, is unknown, with scholarly dates ranging from 6th century BCE to 5,500 years earlier. Pliny the Elder even suggests there were two Zoroasters.[86] However, with beliefs paralleling and possibly predating the framework of the major Abrahamic faiths, a fully developed concept of the end of the world was not established in Zoroastrianism until 500 BCE. The Bahman Yasht describes:

 

 

 

At the end of thy tenth hundredth winter, the sun is more unseen and more spotted; the year, month, and day are shorter; and the earth is more barren; and the crop will not yield the seed. And men become more deceitful and more given to vile practices. They will have no gratitude. Honorable wealth will proceed to those of perverted faith. And a dark cloud makes the whole sky night, and it will rain more noxious creatures than water.

 

 

 

A Manichaean battle between the righteous and wicked will be followed by the Frashokereti. On earth, the Saoshyant will arrive as the final savior of mankind, and bring about the resurrection of the dead. The yazatas Airyaman and Atar will melt the metal in the hills and mountains, which will flow as lava across the earth and all mankind, both the living and resurrected, will be required to wade through it. Ashavan will pass through the molten river as if it were warm milk, but the sinful will burn. It will then flow down to hell, where it will annihilate Angra Mainyu and the last vestiges of wickedness.

 

 

 

The righteous will partake of the parahaoma, which will confer immortality upon them. Humanity will become like the Amesha Spentas, living without food, hunger, thirst, weapons or injury. Bodies will become so light as to cast no shadow. All humanity will speak a single language, and belong to a single nation with no borders. All will share a single purpose and goal, joining with Ahura Mazda for a perpetual and divine exaltation.[87][88] Fin de los tiempos o eschaton es el momento futuro, previsto en distintas religiones con creencias escatológicas, en que el tiempo y el mundo llegará a su fin.1?

 

 

 

Las religiones abrahámicas o monoteístas mantienen una concepción lineal del tiempo histórico y la cosmología, en la que el escenario del fin de los tiempos supone una transformación espiritual vinculada a la redención. En el judaísmo el fin de los tiempos se relaciona con era mesiánica (la llegada del Mesías, la reunión de la diáspora, la resurrección de los justos (Techiyat hamaysim) y "el mundo por venir" (escatología judía).2? En el cristianismo se relaciona con la segunda venida de Cristo, que se enfrentará al Anticristo en una época de tribulaciones a la que seguirá el establecimiento del Reino de Dios, la resurrección de la carne y el Juicio Final; los acontecimientos profetizados en el Apocalipsis, que son objeto de diversas interpretaciones.3? En el islam, al día del juicio (Yawm al-Qiy?mah) precederá la aparición del Mahdi montado en un caballo blanco, que con la ayuda de Isa (Jesús) triunfará sobre el falso Mesías (Masih ad-Dajjal).4?

 

 

 

Otras religiones suelen tener concepciones más cíclicas, con escatologías caracterizadas por la decadencia, la redención y el renacimiento. En el hinduismo el final de los tiempos ocurrirá cuando Kalki, la encarnación final de Vishnu, descienda sobre un caballo blanco y ponga fin al actual Kali Yuga.5? En el budismo se sigue la predicción de Buda, según la cual sus enseñanzas se olvidarán tras cinco mil años, a los que seguirá una época de confusión tras la que un bodhisattva llamado Maitreya redescubrirá las enseñanzas del dharma; la destrucción final del mundo llegará entonces, con el surgimiento de siete soles.6?

 

 

 

En la mitología nórdica la destrucción futura del mundo actual se denomina "crepúsculo de los dioses" (Ragnarök), tras el que el mundo resurgirá nuevo y fértil y será repoblado por los dos humanos supervivientes.7?

 

 

 

En el zoroastrismo se denomina Frashokereti.8? Escatología (del griego antiguo éskhatos: ‘último’ y logos: ‘estudio’) es el conjunto de creencias religiosas sobre las «realidades últimas»,1? es decir, sobre el más allá o las postrimerías de ultratumba.

 

 

 

Se divide en:

 

 

 

Escatología general o anteposhistórica (que quiere decir, antes del fin de la historia). Se ocupa del destino final de la humanidad y del destino final del universo.

 

Escatología particular o posmortuoria. Se ocupa del estado del ser humano después de su muerte. Mesías (del latín bíblico Mess?as, y este a su vez del hebreo ???????? M?šîa?, pronunciado [ma?.?i.a?] pronunciación aproximada "Mashiaj", que significa «ungido») es, en las religiones abrahámicas, el Rey descendiente de David, prometido por los profetas al pueblo hebreo,1? aquel hombre lleno del Espíritu Santo de Dios. A lo largo de la historia existieron muchas personas a las que se les consideró Mesías, pero generalmente, se entiende que este título en particular se asigna al enviado escogido por Dios, que traerá la paz a la humanidad instaurando el Reino de Dios. Etimología

 

 

 

El término «Mesías» proviene del hebreo ???????? (mashíaj, ‘ungido’), de la raíz verbal ????? (mašá? ‘ungir’) y se refería a un esperado rey, del linaje de David, que liberaría a los judíos de las servidumbre extranjera y restablecería la edad dorada de Israel. Se le denominaba así ya que era costumbre ungir en aceites a los reyes cuando se los proclamaba. El término equivalente en griego es ??????? (khristós ‘ungido’), derivado de ?????? (khrísma ‘unción’). El término griego, ampliamente utilizado en la Septuaginta y el Nuevo Testamento, dio en español la forma Cristo,2? que unida al nombre de Jesús, que los cristianos consideran el mesías definitivo, Dios Jesucristo Era mesiánica

 

 

 

La era mesiánica es la edad de oro para la humanidad esperada por todos los sectores del judaísmo, cuando acontecerá la consumación de la justicia en la tierra, el fin de las guerras y la resurrección de los muertos. El Judaísmo reformista no contempla la llegada de un mesías personal. Por medio de la propagación del Monoteísmo Ético, el cumplimiento de los preceptos (mitzvot) éticos de la Torá, mediante el interés y la práctica del mejoramiento de la sociedad y la justicia social (Tikún Olam), los reformistas esperan instituir la "Edad de Oro". Los judíos reformistas no son exclusivos en cuanto a sus esfuerzos; enseñan que la cooperación de todas las personas buenas creará ese mundo mejor.1? Expression figurant six fois dans le livre de Daniel. Elle désigne une période marquant l’achèvement d’un système de choses et aboutissant à sa destruction. Il fut donné au prophète Daniel de voir par avance des événements qui devaient se produire dans un avenir lointain. Il lui fut dit ensuite :

 

 

 

« Et quant à toi, ô Daniel, rends secrètes ces paroles et scelle le livre, jusqu'au temps de la fin. Beaucoup rôderont çà et là, et la vraie connaissance deviendra abondante. »

 

 

 

— livre de Daniel, 12:4

 

 

 

L’expression « temps de la fin » est également utilisée à propos d’événements bien particuliers ayant trait à la domination humaine.

 

 

 

« Au temps de la fin le roi du Sud engagera le combat avec [le roi du Nord] par une poussée, et le roi du Nord se précipitera sur lui avec des chars et des cavaliers et de nombreux navires. »

 

 

 

— livre de Daniel, 11:41-45 La prophétie parle ensuite des actions du « roi du Nord » et indique qu’il viendra à sa fin. Ainsi, le « temps de la fin » doit sans doute être interprété ici comme étant une période qui débouche sur la destruction du « roi du Nord ». On en tient pour confirmation que « le roi du Nord » est auparavant décrit en train de persécuter les serviteurs de Dieu, les « perspicaces », jusqu'au « temps de la fin », c’est-à-dire jusqu'au temps de sa fin à lui1.

 

 

 

Autre aspect lié au « temps de la fin », « un roi au visage farouche » se lèverait et se soulèverait contre « le Prince des princes », pour être finalement brisé ou détruit. Ce « roi » devait se lever dans la période finale des royaumes issus des quatre parties que formerait la division de l’Empire grec2. Puisque « le roi du Nord » et « le roi du Sud » ont la même origine, il s’ensuit logiquement que le « roi au visage farouche » correspond à l’un de ces « rois », « au temps de [sa] fin ». Dans la première moitié du xixe siècle, le commentateur Thomas Scott fit cette observation à propos de ce passage :

 

 

 

« En guise de conclusion, l’ange notifia à Daniel que cette prophétie resterait obscure, comme un ‘ livre scellé ’ dont on ne comprendrait que peu de chose " jusqu’au temps de la fin " [...]. Les faits ont démontré que ce fut le cas : on a toujours reconnu que nombre de prophéties de Daniel présentent d’immenses difficultés, et elles ont été " comme des paroles tenues fermées " même pour les croyants en général. [...] Ces derniers temps, nombreux sont ceux qui se sont donné beaucoup de peine pour fouiller l’Histoire afin d’expliquer les parties de ces prophéties qui se sont déjà accomplies ; et, en les comparant avec d’autres textes, d’émettre quelque avis sur ce qui doit encore se réaliser : et ainsi, on a grandement fait la lumière sur elles. Au fur et à mesure qu’elles continueront de s’accomplir, elles seront mieux comprises ; et les générations futures en seront bien plus étonnées et instruites que nous ne le sommes. ”3. Les interrogations non résolues concernant les prophéties de Daniel dans la première partie du xixe siècle indiquaient que ce “ temps de la fin ” prédit était encore à venir, puisque les “ perspicaces ”, les vrais serviteurs de Dieu, comprendraient la prophétie au “ temps de la fin ”. — Dn 12:9, 10 »

 

 

 

— Thomas Scott

 

 

 

L’expression « temps de la fin » ne signifie pas une « fin du temps », mais désigne une période qui débouche sur la fin ou destruction, non pas de toutes choses, mais des choses dont parle la prophétie. Les Écritures sont le plus souvent interprétées que le temps en lui-même ne prendra pas fin mais que les dés en seront jetés Akhir zaman (atau sering disebut hari akhir, kiamat) adalah periode waktu yang dijelaskan dalam eskatologi dari agama-agama dunia yang dominan, baik Abrahamik maupun non-Abrahamik.

 

 

 

Agama-agama Abrahamik mempertahankan kosmologi linear, dengan skenario akhir zaman yang mengandung tema transformasi dan penebusan. Dalam Yudaisme, istilah hari akhir membuat referensi ke Zaman Mesianik, dan termasuk dalam pertemuan para diaspora yang diasingkan, kedatangan mashiach, olam haba, dan kebangkitan Tsadikim. Kekristenan secara tradisional menggambarkan akhir zaman sebagai periode kesengsaraan luar biasa di Bumi yang mendahului kedatangan Kristus yang kedua, yang akan menghadapi Antikristus dan mengantar ke Kerajaan Allah. Namun, beberapa orang Kristen percaya bahwa akhir zaman merupakan kesusahan pribadi yang dialami sebelum mereka tercerahkan dengan Firman Tuhan.[1] Dalam Islam, Yaumul Qiyamah atau Yawm ad-Din, hari kiamat, didahului oleh munculnya Imam Mahdi di atas kuda putih. Dengan bantuan dari Isa Al-Masih (Yesus), Imam Mahdi akan menang atas Dajjal (mesias palsu).

 

 

 

Agama non-Abrahamik memiliki pandangan dunia yang lebih siklus, dengan eskatologi akhir zaman ditandai dengan kerusakan, penebusan dan kelahiran kembali. Dalam agama Hindu, waktu akhir diramalkan[oleh siapa?] seperti ketika Kalki, inkarnasi terakhir dari Wisnu, turun di atas kuda putih dan membawa untuk mengakhiri Kaliyuga. Dalam ajaran Buddha, Sang Buddha meramalkan bahwa ajaran-ajarannya akan dilupakan setelah 5.000 tahun, diikuti oleh kekacauan. Sebuah Bodhisatwa bernama Maitreya akan muncul dan menemukan kembali ajaran dharma. Kehancuran terakhir dunia maka akan datang melalui munculnya tujuh matahari.

 

 

 

Sejak penemuan waktu dalam dan usia Bumi, wacana ilmiah tentang waktu akhir telah berpusat pada nasib akhir alam semesta. Teori ini termasuk Big Rip, Big Crunch, Big Bounce, dan Big Freeze. 

 

Dalam Yudaisme, akhir zaman biasanya disebut akhir hari-hari (aharit ha-yamim, ????? ?????), sebuah ungkapan yang beberapa kali muncul dalam Tanakh. Meskipun gagasan tentang bencana mesianik memiliki tempat yang menonjol dalam pemikiran Yahudi, gagasan ini bukanlah suatu proses yang tak dapat berubah yang berdiri sendirian, melainkan ditemukan bersama-sama dengan gagasan tentang penebusan tanpa penderitaan. Kedua gambaran ini kadang-kadang dilihat sebagai dua kemungkinan yang berbeda untuk masa depan Israel.

 

 

 

Akhir zaman dalam eskatologi Yahudi meliputi sejumlah tema yang saling terkait:

 

 

 

Mesianisme Yahudi

 

Pengumpulan kembali orang-orang yang hidup di pembuangan

 

Pembangunan kembali Bait Suci

 

Kurban binatang atau Korban[2][3][4]

 

Dunia yang Akan Datang (Olam ha-Ba), sebuah istilah yang ambigu yang mungkin merujuk kepada kehidupan setelah kematian, dunia mesianik, atau kehidupan setelah kebangkitan

 

Kesengsaraan yang dicatat dalam Perjanjian Lama

 

 

 

Kejadian-kejadian penuh bencana akan menjungkirbalikkan tatanan dunia yang lama, seperti yang dicatat dalam contoh-contoh ayat berikut ini dalam Alkitab Perjanjian Lama:

 

 

 

Ulangan 4:29-39: Dan baru di sana engkau mencari Tuhan, Allahmu, dan menemukan-Nya, asal engkau menanyakan Dia dengan segenap hatimu dan dengan segenap jiwamu. Apabila engkau dalam keadaan terdesak dan segala hal ini menimpa engkau di kemudian hari, maka engkau akan kembali kepada Tuhan, Allahmu, dan mendengarkan suara-Nya. Sebab Tuhan, Allahmu, adalah Allah Penyayang, Ia tidak akan meninggalkan atau memusnahkan engkau dan Ia tidak akan melupakan perjanjian yang diikrarkan-Nya dengan sumpah kepada nenek moyangmu. Sebab cobalah tanyakan, dari ujung langit ke ujung langit, tentang zaman dahulu, yang ada sebelum engkau, sejak waktu Allah menciptakan manusia di atas bumi, apakah ada pernah terjadi sesuatu hal yang demikian besar atau apakah ada pernah terdengar sesuatu seperti itu. Pernahkah suatu bangsa mendengar suara ilahi, yang berbicara dari tengah-tengah api, seperti yang kaudengar dan tetap hidup? Atau pernahkah suatu allah mencoba datang untuk mengambil baginya suatu bangsa dari tengah-tengah bangsa yang lain, dengan cobaan-cobaan, tanda-tanda serta mujizat-mujizat dan peperangan, dengan tangan yang kuat dan lengan yang teracung dan dengan kedahsyatan-kedahsyatan yang besar, seperti yang dilakukan Tuhan, Allahmu, bagimu di Mesir, di depan matamu? Engkau diberi melihatnya untuk mengetahui, bahwa Tuhan Allah, tidak ada yang lain kecuali Dia. Dari langit Ia membiarkan engkau mendengar suara-Nya untuk mengajari engkau, di bumi Ia membiarkan engkau melihat api-Nya yang besar, dan segala perkataan-Nya kaudengar dari tengah-tengah api. Karena Ia mengasihi nenek moyangmu dan memilih keturunan mereka, maka Ia sendiri telah membawa engkau keluar dari Mesir dengan kekuatan-Nya yang besar, untuk menghalau dari hadapanmu bangsa-bangsa yang lebih besar dan lebih kuat daripadamu, untuk membawa engkau masuk ke dalam negeri mereka dan memberikannya kepadamu menjadi milik pusakamu, seperti yang terjadi sekarang ini. Sebab itu ketahuilah pada hari ini dan camkanlah, bahwa TUHANlah Allah yang di langit di atas dan di bumi di bawah, tidak ada yang lain.

 

 

 

Yesaya 2:1-5: Firman yang dinyatakan kepada Yesaya bin Amos tentang Yehuda dan Yerusalem. Akan terjadi pada hari-hari yang terakhir: gunung tempat rumah Tuhan akan berdiri tegak di hulu gunung-gunung dan menjulang tinggi di atas bukit-bukit; segala bangsa akan berduyun-duyun ke sana, dan banyak suku bangsa akan pergi serta berkata: "Mari, kita naik ke gunung Tuhan, ke rumah Allah Yakub, supaya Ia mengajar kita tentang jalan-jalan-Nya, dan supaya kita berjalan menempuhnya; sebab dari Sion akan keluar pengajaran dan firman Tuhan dari Yerusalem." Ia akan menjadi hakim antara bangsa-bangsa dan akan menjadi wasit bagi banyak suku bangsa; maka mereka akan menempa pedang-pedangnya menjadi mata bajak dan tombak-tombaknya menjadi pisau pemangkas; bangsa tidak akan lagi mengangkat pedang terhadap bangsa, dan mereka tidak akan lagi belajar perang. Hai kaum keturunan Yakub, mari kita berjalan di dalam terang Tuhan!

 

 

 

Mikha 4:1-5: Akan terjadi pada hari-hari yang terakhir: gunung rumah Tuhan akan berdiri tegak mengatasi gunung-gunung dan menjulang tinggi di atas bukit-bukit; bangsa-bangsa akan berduyun-duyun ke sana, dan banyak suku bangsa akan pergi serta berkata: "Mari, kita naik ke gunung Tuhan, ke rumah Allah Yakub, supaya Ia mengajar kita tentang jalan-jalan-Nya dan supaya kita berjalan menempuhnya; sebab dari Sion akan keluar pengajaran, dan firman Tuhan dari Yerusalem." Ia akan menjadi hakim antara banyak bangsa, dan akan menjadi wasit bagi suku-suku bangsa yang besar sampai ke tempat yang jauh; mereka akan menempa pedang-pedangnya menjadi mata bajak, dan tombak-tombaknya menjadi pisau pemangkas; bangsa tidak akan lagi mengangkat pedang terhadap bangsa, dan mereka tidak akan lagi belajar perang. Tetapi mereka masing-masing akan duduk di bawah pohon anggurnya dan di bawah pohon aranya dengan tidak ada yang mengejutkan, sebab mulut TUHAN semesta alam yang mengatakannya. Biarpun segala bangsa berjalan masing-masing demi nama allahnya, tetapi kita akan berjalan demi nama Tuhan Allah kita untuk selamanya dan seterusnya.

 

 

 

Kejadian-kejadian ini menciptakan suatu tatanan baru di saat Allah secara universal diakui sebagai penguasa atas seluruh ciptaan-Nya, termasuk setiap orang dan segala sesuatu.

 

 

 

Talmud

 

 

 

Dalam tulisan-tulisan lain, salah seorang guru hikmat Talmud berkata:

 

 

 

"Biarkanlah hari-hari terakhir itu datang, tetapi mudah-mudahan aku tidak akan hidup melihatnya", karena hari-hari itu akan penuh dengan konflik dan penderitaan."

 

 

 

Talmud, dalam risalat Avodah Zarah, pada halaman 9A, menyatakan bahwa dunia ini seperti yang kita kenal hanya akan ada selama enam ribu tahun. Kalender Ibrani (luach) sepenuhnya berfungsi berdasarkan asumsi bahwa waktu dimulai pada penciptaan Adam, manusia primordial. Banyak orang (khususnya Yahudi Konservatif dan Reformasi dan beberapa orang Kristen) beranggapan bahwa tahun-tahun dalam Torah, atau Alkitab Yahudi, bersifat simbolik. Menurut ajaran-ajaran Yahudi kuno yang diteruskan sekarang ini oleh orang-orang Yahudi Ortodoks, tahun-tahun ini bersifat harafiah dan konsisten sepanjang masa, dengan setiap hari panjangnya 24 jam dan rata-rata per tahunnya dan 365 hari. Penyesuaian-penyesuaian tentu saja dilakukan, sesuai dengan tahun kabisat, untuk memperhitungkan perbedaan antara kalender komariah dan kalender syamsiah, karena kalender Yahudi didasarkan pada keduanya. Jadi, tahun 2007 sama dengan 5767 tahun sejak penciptaan manusia dalam kalender Yahudi yang sekarang. Menurut perhitungan ini, akhir zaman akan terjadi pada atau sebelum tahun 2240 (tahun 6000 dalam kalender Ibrani).

 

 

 

Menurut tradisi Yahudi, mereka yang hidup pada akhir zaman akan menyaksikan:

 

 

 

Dikumpulkannya orang-orang Yahudi di pembuangan ke Israel yang ada secara geografis,

 

Dikalahkannya semua musuh Israel,

 

Pembangunan (atau penempatan oleh Allah) kenisah di Yerusalem dan dipulihkannya kembali persembahan kurban dan ibadah di Kenisah,

 

Kebangkitan orang mati (techiat hameitim), atau Kebangkitan,

 

Pada suatu saat, Mesias Yahudi akan menjadi Raja Israel. Ia akan memisah-misahkan orang-orang Yahudi di Israel menurut bagian-bagian wilayah sukunya yang asli di negeri Israel. Pada masa ini, Gog, raja Magog, akan menyerang Israel. Siapa Gog dan negara Magog itu tidak diketahui. Magog akan bertempur dalam suatu pertempuran hebat, yang mengakibatkan jauh korban yang besar di kedua belah pihak, tetapi Allah akan ikut campur dan menyelamatkan orang-orang Yahudi. Ini adalah pertempuran yang dirujuk sebagai Harmagedon. Setelah memusnahkan musuh-musuh terakhir ini untuk selama-lamanya, Allah akan mengenyahkan semua kejahatan dari keberadaan manusia. Setelah tahun 6000 (dalam kalender Yahudi), milenium ketujuh adalah masa kesucian, ketenangan, kehidupan rohani, dan perdamaian di seluruh dunia, yang disebut sebagai Olam Haba ("Dunia Masa Depan"), di mana semua orang akan mengenal Allah secara langsung."

 

"Seluruh Israel akan memiliki bagian di dunia yang akan datang." (Talmud Sanhedrin 10:1) Ramban (Nachmanades) menafsirkan dunia yang akan datang itu sebagai kebaikan tertinggi dan maksud dari penciptaan. Karena itu ia berpendapat bahwa dunia yang akan datang sesungguhnya merujuk kepada kebangkitan orang-orang yang telah meninggal. Suatu peristiwa yang akan terjadi setelah dimulainya zaman mesianik. Ramban berpendapat bahwa seluruh Israel, bahkan orang-orang berdosa, mempunyai bagian dari zaman kebangkitan ini. (The Tzemach Tzedek, Derech Mitzvosecha, Law of Tzitzis).[butuh rujukan]

 

 

 

Kekristenan

 

 

 

Beberapa orang Kristen pada abad pertama Masehi percaya bahwa Yesus mungkin akan datang kembali pada masa hidup mereka, karena Yesus pernah berkata kepada para pengikutnya agar mereka waspada atau bersiaga setiap saat. Dari keyakinan ini muncullah bukti pertama tentang doktrin Iminensi (kedatangan kembali dalam waktu dekat). Ketika orang-orang yang baru dikristenkan oleh Paulus di Tesalonika dianiaya oleh Kekaisaran Romawi, mereka percaya bahwa akhir z things there. And then came Hailey…

 

Compassionate yet at the same time unpredictable, she shows Lila a new reality, where something as simple as the phrase 'major city' can mean different things to different people. That is, until you run out of time… A thoughtless tax manager.

 

A detached assessor.

 

Some cctbs; an administration too.

 

When Dominic appears in Isaac's life, things suddenly feel knotty and odd. After all, hesitation is the core of us all. But when Dominic begins to talk about the 'interesting event' issue, things begin to change. And Isaac wonders if he is running out of options. I'm relaxed and amiable, though if you asked Giannis, he'd say I'm untidy instead.

 

Well, who am I, a simple nursery worker, to tell him what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing baffling about the concept of 'close operation', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of options…

 

It's a matter of uncertainty being the nature of us all. Life used to be mostly easy if you were a business consultant. You dealt with some byplays here, a few entrepreneurships there, and that was it.

 

But not anymore for Austin.

 

The day had seemed just like any other before a vulgar but pioneering woman, Maria, showed up. The phrase 'boundless sea' might not seem like anything cumbersome or puzzling, but ask Austin and you might change your mind.

 

It's a matter of desire being the weak spot of us all. "Let me tell you a story," Clara said. "Unless you think that a surgeon like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'interior space' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some health and a surgical thing too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so compulsive."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Allison for all this? After all, it was she who started it, with her being so evil, though I'm sure she'd call it 'adaptable' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was heartwarming and warm, but in actual fact I'm just moody. In the end, it all came down to running out of time. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." What do you get combining a wicked travel representative and a truculent charity worker?

 

Answer: The mother of all problems.

 

Vivian's life is turned upside down when Lincoln shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'tuscan countryside' could be more baffling than one might think.

 

Now Vivian needs to face the situation, before running out of options. But Lincoln might have other plans. A Machiavellian building estimator.

 

A foolhardy translator.

 

Some consolidates; a few nurturings too.

 

When Samantha appears in Sophie's life, things suddenly feel baffling and thorny. After all, hesitation is the core of us all. But when Samantha begins to talk about the 'eternal ocean' issue, things begin to change. And Sophie wonders if she is running out of options. A stingy violinist.

 

A domineering software consultant.

 

Some percussionists; a sitarist too.

 

When Reagan appears in Emma's life, things suddenly feel knotty and baffling. After all, uncertainty is the flaw of us all. But when Reagan begins to talk about the 'impoverished childhood' issue, things begin to change. And Emma wonders if she is running out of options. Mason has always been fortuitous and resourceful. Well, for a medical supplier, at least. He focused on his business. Some curative things here, a few healthy things there. And then came Cooper…

 

Creative yet at the same time sarcastic, he shows Mason a new reality, where something as simple as the phrase 'miraculous event' can mean different things to different people. That is, until you run out of options…Life used to be mostly uncomplicated if you were an investment manager. You dealt with some placings here, a few premium things there, and that was it.

 

But not anymore for Cameron.

 

The day had seemed just like any other before a vulgar but reliable woman, Jasmine, showed up. The phrase 'entire workplace' might not seem like anything bewildering or thorny, but ask Cameron and you might change your mind. I'm unassuming and inspired, though if you asked Emily, she'd say I'm depressed instead.

 

Well, who am I, a lowly payroll manager, to tell her what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing knotty about the concept of 'mutual friend', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of options… What do you get combining a conservative interior decorator and an unpleasant miner?

 

Answer: A new beginning.

 

Miles's life is turned upside down when Tina shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'brief reminiscence' could be more perplexing than one might think.

 

Now Miles needs to face the situation, before running out of options. But Tina might have other plans. "Let me tell you a story," Aria said. "Unless you think that a solicitor like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'joint operation' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some official thing and an executor too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so materialistic."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Jasmine for all this? After all, it was she who started it, with her being so cowardly, though I'm sure she'd call it 'faithful' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was warm and hard-working, but in actual fact I'm just belligerent. In the end, it all came down to running out of time. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." 

 

 

 

What do you get combining a deceitful car valet and a stupid safety officer?

 

Answer: World War III

 

Maya's life is turned upside down when Alex shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'logical relationship' could be more intricate than one might think.

 

Now Maya needs to face the situation, before running out of time. But Alex might have other plans. I'm powerful and funny, though if you asked Alexis, she'd say I'm moody instead.

 

Well, who am I, a lowly bookmaker, to tell her what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing confusing about the concept of 'obvious reminiscence', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of options…

 

It's a matter of hesitation being the weak spot of us all. Anthony has always been nice and satisfied. Well, for a law clerk, at least. He focused on his business. Some illicit thing here, a birthright there. And then came Muhammad…

 

Romantic yet at the same time self-indulgent, he shows Anthony a new reality, where something as simple as the phrase 'strange mystery' can mean different things to different people. That is, until you run out of options… "Let me tell you a story," Arianna said. "Unless you think that a building surveyor like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'popular mind' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some advancing things and a few preparings too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so irresponsible."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Hailey for all this? After all, it was she who started it, with her being so superficial, though I'm sure she'd call it 'blissful' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was brilliant and vibrant, but in actual fact I'm just perverse. In the end, it all came down to running out of time. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." I'm serene and harmonious, though if you asked Reagan, she'd say I'm impolite instead.

 

Well, who am I, a humble aromatherapist, to tell her what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing thorny about the concept of 'amphibious operation', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of time… 

 

Arianna has always been cheerful and cherished. Well, for an aircraft maintenance engineer, at least. She focused on her business. Some orders here, a device there. And then came Leah…

 

Hard-working yet at the same time miserly, she shows Arianna a new reality, where something as simple as the phrase 'worth journey' can mean different things to different people. That is, until you run out of time… Leo has always been enthusiastic and lovely. Well, for a marine geologist, at least. He focused on his business. Some midnight here, a few beaches there. And then came Carson…

 

Zestful yet at the same time secretive, he shows Leo a new reality, where something as simple as the phrase 'gradual discovery' can mean different things to different people. That is, until you run out of options… I'm satisfied and empathic, though if you asked Olivia, she'd say I'm possessive instead.

 

Well, who am I, a lowly technical co-ordinator, to tell her what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing puzzling about the concept of 'mild summer', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of options…

 

 Addison has always been appreciated and careful. Well, for a textile technician, at least. She focused on her business. Some fibres here, a plant there. And then came Cameron…

 

Sociable yet at the same time naive, he shows Addison a new reality, where something as simple as the phrase 'aristocratic family' can mean different things to different people. That is, until you run out of options… Life used to be mostly easy if you were a cafe worker. You dealt with some beauty here, a few patisseries there, and that was it.

 

But not anymore for Carter.

 

The day had seemed just like any other before a callous but irresistible man, Ryder, showed up. The phrase 'affectionate friend' might not seem like anything complicated or confusing, but ask Carter and you might change your mind.

Bella has always been awesome and reserved. Well, for a jewellery, at least. She focused on her business. Some waits here, a few through things there. And then came Eli…

 

Beautiful yet at the same time stubborn, he shows Bella a new reality, where something as simple as the phrase 'latter city' can mean different things to different people. That is, until you run out of options… I'm victorious and cherished, though if you asked Sebastian, he'd say I'm cunning instead.

 

Well, who am I, a simple technical illustrator, to tell him what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing puzzling about the concept of 'clear reminiscence', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of options… I'm fair-minded and vibrant, though if you asked Liliana, she'd say I'm vague instead.

 

Well, who am I, a modest analyst, to tell her what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing confusing about the concept of 'frigid winter', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of time…

 

It's a matter of hesitation being the weakness of us all. 

 

 What do you get combining a clinging architect and an overemotional cashier?

 

Answer: Major problems.

 

Anthony's life is turned upside down when Makayla shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'economic enterprise' could be more elaborate than one might think.

 

Now Anthony needs to face the situation, before running out of time. But Makayla might have other plans. Allison has always been thankful and straightforward. Well, for an interior designer, at least. She focused on her business. Some national thing here, a backboard there. And then came Muhammad…

 

Considerate yet at the same time conservative, he shows Allison a new reality, where something as simple as the phrase 'colonial city' can mean different things to different people. That is, until you run out of options… "Let me tell you a story," Brooklyn said. "Unless you think that a laboratory analyst like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'preparatory school' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some laboratoriums and a few reagents too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so sarcastic."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Adalyn for all this? After all, it was she who started it, with her being so sneaky, though I'm sure she'd call it 'romantic' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was calm and desirable, but in actual fact I'm just bossy. In the end, it all came down to running out of options. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." 

  What do you get combining a naive church warden and a prejudiced zoologist?

 

Answer: A class 5 disaster.

 

London's life is turned upside down when Paisley shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'happy family' could be more baffling than one might think.

 

Now London needs to face the situation, before running out of time. But Paisley might have other plans. "Let me tell you a story," James said. "Unless you think that a choreographer like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'adjacent countryside' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some scriptwriter and a few tudors too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so petty."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Colin for all this? After all, it was he who started it, with his being so irresponsible, though I'm sure he'd call it 'amicable' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was successful and positive, but in actual fact I'm just compulsive. In the end, it all came down to running out of time. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." A lazy instructor.

 

An ignorant coroner.

 

Some practicum; a loresman too.

 

When Violet appears in Lucas's life, things suddenly feel intricate and cumbersome. After all, fear is the essence of us all. But when Violet begins to talk about the 'secure childhood' issue, things begin to change. And Lucas wonders if he is running out of options. I'm dynamic and enchanted, though if you asked Caleb, he'd say I'm vague instead.

 

Well, who am I, a lowly researcher, to tell him what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing thorny about the concept of 'northern summer', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of time…

 

It's a matter of hesitation being the nature of us all. I'm confident and cute, though if you asked Addison, she'd say I'm unfair instead.

 

Well, who am I, a simple technical illustrator, to tell her what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing thorny about the concept of 'rural school', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of time…

 

It's a matter of hesitation being the nature of us all. I'm optimistic and trusting, though if you asked Connor, he'd say I'm overcritical instead.

 

Well, who am I, a lowly payroll assistant, to tell him what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing cumbersome about the concept of 'residential school', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of options…

 

  "Let me tell you a story," Aiden said. "Unless you think that a bus mechanic like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'rich countryside' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some double thing and a few heres too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so harsh."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Liam for all this? After all, it was he who started it, with his being so unreliable, though I'm sure he'd call it 'warmhearted' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was warm and adored, but in actual fact I'm just self-indulgent. In the end, it all came down to running out of time. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." Connor has always been excited and nice. Well, for a miner, at least. He focused on his business. Some shafts here, a few metallurgical things there. And then came Hudson…

 

Fulfilled yet at the same time wary, he shows Connor a new reality, where something as simple as the phrase 'excellent friend' can mean different things to different people. That is, until you run out of time… Life used to be mostly manageable if you were a coroner. You dealt with some depigmentations here, a few mortuaries there, and that was it.

 

But not anymore for Lily.

 

The day had seemed just like any other before a depressed but opulent man, Wyatt, showed up. The phrase 'comprehensive school' might not seem like anything complex or bewildering, but ask Lily and you might change your mind.

 

It's a matter of arrogance being the essence of us all. Life used to be mostly uncomplicated if you were a physiotherapist. You dealt with some muscles here, a trainer there, and that was it.

 

But not anymore for Logan.

 

The day had seemed just like any other before a Machiavellian but diligent man, Blake, showed up. The phrase 'passionate love' might not seem like anything confusing or thorny, but ask Logan and you might change your mind.

 

 What do you get combining a thoughtless building manager and a resentful textile consultant?

 

Answer: A slice of chaos.

 

Daniel's life is turned upside down when Sarah shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'causal relationship' could be more complex than one might think.

 

Now Daniel needs to face the situation, before running out of options. But Sarah might have other plans.  "Let me tell you a story," Tyler said. "Unless you think that an amusement arcade worker like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'parochial school' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some dumbness and a few edifications too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so sneaky."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Brayden for all this? After all, it was he who started it, with his being so cruel, though I'm sure he'd call it 'incomparable' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was cherished and independent, but in actual fact I'm just inane. In the end, it all came down to running out of options. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." Andrew has always been blithesome and amiable. Well, for a legal assistant, at least. He focused on his business. Some legalized here, an attorney there. And then came Olivia…

 

Fun yet at the same time inflexible, she shows Andrew a new reality, where something as simple as the phrase 'minor operation' can mean different things to different people. That is, until you run out of options… Life used to be mostly painless if you were a janitor. You dealt with some repairman here, a longshoreman there, and that was it.

But not anymore for Grace.

The day had seemed just like any other before an unreliable but extraordinary woman, Evelyn, showed up. The phrase 'major city' might not seem like anything intricate or complicated, but ask Grace and you might change your mind.

 

It's a matter of arrogance being the nature of us all. What do you get combining an interfering bodyshop and an interfering medical consultant?

 

Answer: Something meaningful, perchance?

 

Addison's life is turned upside down when Tina shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'initial discovery' could be more thorny than one might think.

 

Now Addison needs to face the situation, before running out of options. But Tina might have other plans. What do you get combining a patronizing speech therapist and a vague geophysicist?

 

Answer: Something meaningful, perchance?

 

Zoe's life is turned upside down when Sebastian shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'stricken childhood' could be more tricky than one might think.

 

Now Zoe needs to face the situation, before running out of time. But Sebastian might have other plans. Life used to be mostly unexacting if you were a driver. You dealt with some levers here, a few waits there, and that was it.

 

But not anymore for Nathan.

 

The day had seemed just like any other before an untrustworthy but lively woman, Peyton, showed up. The phrase 'wonderful friend' might not seem like anything intricate or knotty, but ask Nathan and you might change your mind.

 

 I'm determined and harmonious, though if you asked John, he'd say I'm unpleasant instead.

 

Well, who am I, a humble armourer, to tell him what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing puzzling about the concept of 'overriding concern', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of time…

 

 An immature air traffic controller.

 

A vindictive theatre manager.

 

Some territory; a face thing too.

 

When Scarlett appears in Cora's life, things suddenly feel baffling and perplexing. After all, fear is the weakness of us all. But when Scarlett begins to talk about the 'continued operation' issue, things begin to change. And Cora wonders if she is running out of options. Life used to be mostly easy if you were a pharmacist. You dealt with some ollapods here, an esthetician there, and that was it.

 

But not anymore for Makayla.

 

The day had seemed just like any other before an untrustworthy but eager man, Asher, showed up. The phrase 'great event' might not seem like anything elaborate or tricky, but ask Makayla and you might change your mind.

 

 A prejudiced secretary.

 

A foolish nursery assistant.

 

Some chans; a few amines too.

 

When Charlotte appears in Elena's life, things suddenly feel elaborate and baffling. After all, fear is the weak spot of us all. But when Charlotte begins to talk about the 'unique relationship' issue, things begin to change. And Elena wonders if she is running out of options. "Let me tell you a story," Anna said. "Unless you think that an accounts clerk like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'short journey' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some poses and a few writes too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so finicky."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Harper for all this? After all, it was she who started it, with her being so interfering, though I'm sure she'd call it 'bold' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was genial and safe, but in actual fact I'm just touchy. In the end, it all came down to running out of time. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for."I'm aware and emotional, though if you asked Avery, she'd say I'm inelegant instead.

 

Well, who am I, a lowly tax analyst, to tell her what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing confusing about the concept of 'acute event', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of time…

 

It's a matter of hesitation being the core of us all. What do you get combining an interfering chemist and a petty speech therapist?

 

Answer: Major problems.

 

Cooper's life is turned upside down when Isaiah shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'famous journey' could be more cumbersome than one might think.

 

Now Cooper needs to face the situation, before running out of time. But Isaiah might have other plans. "Let me tell you a story," Keira said. "Unless you think that an aircraft engineer like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'populous city' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some gunships and a system too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so unpleasant."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Zoe for all this? After all, it was she who started it, with her being so pusillanimous, though I'm sure she'd call it 'victorious' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was easygoing and hopeful, but in actual fact I'm just dogmatic. In the end, it all came down to running out of options. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." Stella has always been adaptable and neat. Well, for a painter, at least. She focused on her business. Some draughtsmanship here, a cartoonist there. And then came Isabella…

 

Helpful yet at the same time stingy, she shows Stella a new reality, where something as simple as the phrase 'dialectical relationship' can mean different things to different people. That is, until you run out of options… I'm blithesome and dynamic, though if you asked Kaitlyn, she'd say I'm superficial instead.

 

Well, who am I, a lowly timber inspector, to tell her what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing cumbersome about the concept of 'mutual friend', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of options…

 

 Found Among the Papers of the Late

 

 

 

Francis Wayland Thurston, of Boston)

 

 

 

“Of such great powers or beings there may be conceivably a survival . . . a survival of a hugely remote period when . . . consciousness was manifested, perhaps, in shapes and forms long since withdrawn before the tide of advancing humanity . . . forms of which poetry and legend alone have caught a flying memory and called them gods, monsters, mythical beings of all sorts and kinds. . . .”

 

 

 

—Algernon Blackwood.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I.

 

 

 

The Horror in Clay.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.

 

 

 

?Theosophists have guessed at the awesome grandeur of the cosmic cycle wherein our world and human race form transient incidents. They have hinted at strange survivals in terms which would freeze the blood if not masked by a bland optimism. But it is not from them that there came the single glimpse of forbidden aeons which chills me when I think of it and maddens me when I dream of it. That glimpse, like all dread glimpses of truth, flashed out from an accidental piecing together of separated things—in this case an old newspaper item and the notes of a dead professor. I hope that no one else will accomplish this piecing out; certainly, if I live, I shall never knowingly supply a link in so hideous a chain. I think that the professor, too, intended to keep silent regarding the part he knew, and that he would have destroyed his notes had not sudden death seized him.

 

 

 

?My knowledge of the thing began in the winter of 1926–27 with the death of my grand-uncle George Gammell Angell, Professor Emeritus of Semitic Languages in Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island. Professor Angell was widely known as an authority on ancient inscriptions, and had frequently been resorted to by the heads of prominent museums; so that his passing at the age of ninety-two may be recalled by many. Locally, interest was intensified by the obscurity of the cause of death. The professor had been stricken whilst returning from the Newport boat; falling suddenly, as witnesses said, after having been jostled by a nautical-looking negro who had come from one of the queer dark courts on the precipitous hillside which formed a short cut from the waterfront to the deceased’s home in Williams Street. Physicians were unable to find any visible disorder, but concluded after perplexed debate that some obscure lesion of the heart, induced by the brisk ascent of so steep a hill by so elderly a man, was responsible for the end. At the time I saw no reason to dissent from this dictum, but latterly I am inclined to wonder—and more than wonder.

 

 

 

?As my grand-uncle’s heir and executor, for he died a childless widower, I was expected to go over his papers with some thoroughness; and for that purpose moved his entire set of files and boxes to my quarters in Boston. Much of the material which I correlated will be later published by the American Archaeological Society, but there was one box which I found exceedingly puzzling, and which I felt much averse from shewing to other eyes. It had been locked, and I did not find the key till it occurred to me to examine the personal ring which the professor carried always in his pocket. Then indeed I succeeded in opening it, but when I did so seemed only to be confronted by a greater and more closely locked barrier. For what could be the meaning of the queer clay bas-relief and the disjointed jottings, ramblings, and cuttings which I found? Had my uncle, in his latter years, become credulous of the most superficial impostures? I resolved to search out the eccentric sculptor responsible for this apparent disturbance of an old man’s peace of mind.

 

 

 

?The bas-relief was a rough rectangle less than an inch thick and about five by six inches in area; obviously of modern origin. Its designs, however, were far from modern in atmosphere and suggestion; for although the vagaries of cubism and futurism are many and wild, they do not often reproduce that cryptic regularity which lurks in prehistoric writing. And writing of some kind the bulk of these designs seemed certainly to be; though my memory, despite much familiarity with the papers and collections of my uncle, failed in any way to identify this particular species, or even to hint at its remotest affiliations.

 

 

 

?Above these apparent hieroglyphics was a figure of evidently pictorial intent, though its impressionistic execution forbade a very clear idea of its nature. It seemed to be a sort of monster, or symbol representing a monster, of a form which only a diseased fancy could conceive. If I say that my somewhat extravagant imagination yielded simultaneous pictures of an octopus, a dragon, and a human caricature, I shall not be unfaithful to the spirit of the thing. A pulpy, tentacled head surmounted a grotesque and scaly body with rudimentary wings; but it was the general outline of the whole which made it most shockingly frightful. Behind the figure was a vague suggestion of a Cyclopean architectural background.

 

 

 

?The writing accompanying this oddity was, aside from a stack of press cuttings, in Professor Angell’s most recent hand; and made no pretence to literary style. What seemed to be the main document was headed “CTHULHU CULT” in characters painstakingly printed to avoid the erroneous reading of a word so unheard-of. The manuscript was divided into two sections, the first of which was headed “1925—Dream and Dream Work of H. A. Wilcox, 7 Thomas St., Providence, R.I.”, and the second, “Narrative of Inspector John R. Legrasse, 121 Bienville St., New Orleans, La., at 1908 A. A. S. Mtg.—Notes on Same, & Prof. Webb’s Acct.” The other manuscript papers were all brief notes, some of them accounts of the queer dreams of different persons, some of them citations from theosophical books and magazines (notably W. Scott-Elliot’s Atlantis and the Lost Lemuria), and the rest comments on long-surviving secret societies and hidden cults, with references to passages in such mythological and anthropological source-books as Frazer’s Golden Bough and Miss Murray’s Witch-Cult in Western Europe. The cuttings largely alluded to outré mental illnesses and outbreaks of group folly or mania in the spring of 1925.

 

 

 

?The first half of the principal manuscript told a very peculiar tale. It appears that on March 1st, 1925, a thin, dark young man of neurotic and excited aspect had called upon Professor Angell bearing the singular clay bas-relief, which was then exceedingly damp and fresh. His card bore the name of Henry Anthony Wilcox, and my uncle had recognised him as the youngest son of an excellent family slightly known to him, who had latterly been studying sculpture at the Rhode Island School of Design and living alone at the Fleur-de-Lys Building near that institution. Wilcox was a precocious youth of known genius but great eccentricity, and had from childhood excited attention through the strange stories and odd dreams he was in the habit of relating. He called himself “psychically hypersensitive”, but the staid folk of the ancient commercial city dismissed him as merely “queer”. Never mingling much with his kind, he had dropped gradually from social visibility, and was now known only to a small group of aesthetes from other towns. Even the Providence Art Club, anxious to preserve its conservatism, had found him quite hopeless.

 

 

 

?On the occasion of the visit, ran the professor’s manuscript, the sculptor abruptly asked for the benefit of his host’s archaeological knowledge in identifying the hieroglyphics on the bas-relief. He spoke in a dreamy, stilted manner which suggested pose and alienated sympathy; and my uncle shewed some sharpness in replying, for the conspicuous freshness of the tablet implied kinship with anything but archaeology. Young Wilcox’s rejoinder, which impressed my uncle enough to make him recall and record it verbatim, was of a fantastically poetic cast which must have typified his whole conversation, and which I have since found highly characteristic of him. He said, “It is new, indeed, for I made it last night in a dream of strange cities; and dreams are older than brooding Tyre, or the contemplative Sphinx, or garden-girdled Babylon.”

 

 

 

?It was then that he began that rambling tale which suddenly played upon a sleeping memory and won the fevered interest of my uncle. There had been a slight earthquake tremor the night before, the most considerable felt in New England for some years; and Wilcox’s imagination had been keenly affected. Upon retiring, he had had an unprecedented dream of great Cyclopean cities of titan blocks and sky-flung monoliths, all dripping with green ooze and sinister with latent horror. Hieroglyphics had covered the walls and pillars, and from some undetermined point below had come a voice that was not a voice; a chaotic sensation which only fancy could transmute into sound, but which he attempted to render by the almost unpronounceable jumble of letters, “Cthulhu fhtagn”.

 

 

 

?This verbal jumble was the key to the recollection which excited and disturbed Professor Angell. He questioned the sculptor with scientific minuteness; and studied with almost frantic intensity the bas-relief on which the youth had found himself working, chilled and clad only in his night-clothes, when waking had stolen bewilderingly over him. My uncle blamed his old age, Wilcox afterward said, for his slowness in recognising both hieroglyphics and pictorial design. Many of his questions seemed highly out-of-place to his visitor, especially those which tried to connect the latter with strange cults or societies; and Wilcox could not understand the repeated promises of silence which he was offered in exchange for an admission of membership in some widespread mystical or paganly religious body. When Professor Angell became convinced that the sculptor was indeed ignorant of any cult or system of cryptic lore, he besieged his visitor with demands for future reports of dreams. This bore regular fruit, for after the first interview the manuscript records daily calls of the young man, during which he related startling fragments of nocturnal imagery whose burden was always some terrible Cyclopean vista of dark and dripping stone, with a subterrene voice or intelligence shouting monotonously in enigmatical sense-impacts uninscribable save as gibberish. The two sounds most frequently repeated are those rendered by the letters “Cthulhu” and “R’lyeh”.

 

 

 

?On March 23d, the manuscript continued, Wilcox failed to appear; and inquiries at his quarters revealed that he had been stricken with an obscure sort of fever and taken to the home of his family in Waterman Street. He had cried out in the night, arousing several other artists in the building, and had manifested since then only alternations of unconsciousness and delirium. My uncle at once telephoned the family, and from that time forward kept close watch of the case; calling often at the Thayer Street office of Dr. Tobey, whom he learned to be in charge. The youth’s febrile mind, apparently, was dwelling on strange things; and the doctor shuddered now and then as he spoke of them. They included not only a repetition of what he had formerly dreamed, but touched wildly on a gigantic thing “miles high” which walked or lumbered about. He at no time fully described this object, but occasional frantic words, as repeated by Dr. Tobey, convinced the professor that it must be identical with the nameless monstrosity he had sought to depict in his dream-sculpture. Reference to this object, the doctor added, was invariably a prelude to the young man’s subsidence into lethargy. His temperature, oddly enough, was not greatly above normal; but his whole condition was otherwise such as to suggest true fever rather than mental disorder.

 

 

 

?On April 2nd at about 3 p.m. every trace of Wilcox’s malady suddenly ceased. He sat upright in bed, astonished to find himself at home and completely ignorant of what had happened in dream or reality since the night of March 22nd. Pronounced well by his physician, he returned to his quarters in three days; but to Professor Angell he was of no further assistance. All traces of strange dreaming had vanished with his recovery, and my uncle kept no record of his night-thoughts after a week of pointless and irrelevant accounts of thoroughly usual visions.

 

 

 

?Here the first part of the manuscript ended, but references to certain of the scattered notes gave me much material for thought—so much, in fact, that only the ingrained scepticism then forming my philosophy can account for my continued distrust of the artist. The notes in question were those descriptive of the dreams of various persons covering the same period as that in which young Wilcox had had his strange visitations. My uncle, it seems, had quickly instituted a prodigiously far-flung body of inquiries amongst nearly all the friends whom he could question without impertinence, asking for nightly reports of their dreams, and the dates of any notable visions for some time past. The reception of his request seems to have been varied; but he must, at the very least, have received more responses than any ordinary man could have handled without a secretary. This original correspondence was not preserved, but his notes formed a thorough and really significant digest. Average people in society and business—New England’s traditional “salt of the earth”—gave an almost completely negative result, though scattered cases of uneasy but formless nocturnal impressions appear here and there, always between March 23d and April 2nd—the period of young Wilcox’s delirium. Scientific men were little more affected, though four cases of vague description suggest fugitive glimpses of strange landscapes, and in one case there is mentioned a dread of something abnormal.

 

 

 

?It was from the artists and poets that the pertinent answers came, and I know that panic would have broken loose had they been able to compare notes. As it was, lacking their original letters, I half suspected the compiler of having asked leading questions, or of having edited the correspondence in corroboration of what he had latently resolved to see. That is why I continued to feel that Wilcox, somehow cognisant of the old data which my uncle had possessed, had been imposing on the veteran scientist. These responses from aesthetes told a disturbing tale. From February 28th to April 2nd a large proportion of them had dreamed very bizarre things, the intensity of the dreams being immeasurably the stronger during the period of the sculptor’s delirium. Over a fourth of those who reported anything, reported scenes and half-sounds not unlike those which Wilcox had described; and some of the dreamers confessed acute fear of the gigantic nameless thing visible toward the last. One case, which the note describes with emphasis, was very sad. The subject, a widely known architect with leanings toward theosophy and occultism, went violently insane on the date of young Wilcox’s seizure, and expired several months later after incessant screamings to be saved from some escaped denizen of hell. Had my uncle referred to these cases by name instead of merely by number, I should have attempted some corroboration and personal investigation; but as it was, I succeeded in tracing down only a few. All of these, however, bore out the notes in full. I have often wondered if all the objects of the professor’s questioning felt as puzzled as did this fraction. It is well that no explanation shall ever reach them.

 

 

 

?The press cuttings, as I have intimated, touched on cases of panic, mania, and eccentricity during the given period. Professor Angell must have employed a cutting bureau, for the number of extracts was tremendous and the sources scattered throughout the globe. Here was a nocturnal suicide in London, where a lone sleeper had leaped from a window after a shocking cry. Here likewise a rambling letter to the editor of a paper in South America, where a fanatic deduces a dire future from visions he has seen. A despatch from California describes a theosophist colony as donning white robes en masse for some “glorious fulfilment” which never arrives, whilst items from India speak guardedly of serious native unrest toward the end of March. Voodoo orgies multiply in Hayti, and African outposts report ominous mutterings. American officers in the Philippines find certain tribes bothersome about this time, and New York policemen are mobbed by hysterical Levantines on the night of March 22–23. The west of Ireland, too, is full of wild rumour and legendry, and a fantastic painter named Ardois-Bonnot hangs a blasphemous “Dream Landscape” in the Paris spring salon of 1926. And so numerous are the recorded troubles in insane asylums, that only a miracle can have stopped the medical fraternity from noting strange parallelisms and drawing mystified conclusions. A weird bunch of cuttings, all told; and I can at this date scarcely envisage the callous rationalism with which I set them aside. But I was then convinced that young Wilcox had known of the older matters mentioned by the professor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

II.

 

 

 

The Tale of Inspector Legrasse.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The older matters which had made the sculptor’s dream and bas-relief so significant to my uncle formed the subject of the second half of his long manuscript. Once before, it appears, Professor Angell had seen the hellish outlines of the nameless monstrosity, puzzled over the unknown hieroglyphics, and heard the ominous syllables which can be rendered only as “Cthulhu”; and all this in so stirring and horrible a connexion that it is small wonder he pursued young Wilcox with queries and demands for data.

 

 

 

?The earlier experience had come in 1908, seventeen years before, when the American Archaeological Society held its annual meeting in St. Louis. Professor Angell, as befitted one of his authority and attainments, had had a prominent part in all the deliberations; and was one of the first to be approached by the several outsiders who took advantage of the convocation to offer questions for correct answering and problems for expert solution.

 

 

 

?The chief of these outsiders, and in a short time the focus of interest for the entire meeting, was a commonplace-looking middle-aged man who had travelled all the way from New Orleans for certain special information unobtainable from any local source. His name was John Raymond Legrasse, and he was by profession an Inspector of Police. With him he bore the subject of his visit, a grotesque, repulsive, and apparently very ancient stone statuette whose origin he was at a loss to determine. It must not be fancied that Inspector Legrasse had the least interest in archaeology. On the contrary, his wish for enlightenment was prompted by purely professional considerations. The statuette, idol, fetish, or whatever it was, had been captured some months before in the wooded swamps south of New Orleans during a raid on a supposed voodoo meeting; and so singular and hideous were the rites connected with it, that the police could not but realise that they had stumbled on a dark cult totally unknown to them, and infinitely more diabolic than even the blackest of the African voodoo circles. Of its origin, apart from the erratic and unbelievable tales extorted from the captured members, absolutely nothing was to be discovered; hence the anxiety of the police for any antiquarian lore which might help them to place the frightful symbol, and through it track down the cult to its fountain-head.

 

 

 

?Inspector Legrasse was scarcely prepared for the sensation which his offering created. One sight of the thing had been enough to throw the assembled men of science into a state of tense excitement, and they lost no time in crowding around him to gaze at the diminutive figure whose utter strangeness and air of genuinely abysmal antiquity hinted so potently at unopened and archaic vistas. No recognised school of sculpture had animated this terrible object, yet centuries and even thousands of years seemed recorded in its dim and greenish surface of unplaceable stone.

 

 

 

?The figure, which was finally passed slowly from man to man for close and careful study, was between seven and eight inches in height, and of exquisitely artistic workmanship. It represented a monster of vaguely anthropoid outline, but with an octopus-like head whose face was a mass of feelers, a scaly, rubbery-looking body, prodigious claws on hind and fore feet, and long, narrow wings behind. This thing, which seemed instinct with a fearsome and unnatural malignancy, was of a somewhat bloated corpulence, and squatted evilly on a rectangular block or pedestal covered with undecipherable characters. The tips of the wings touched the back edge of the block, the seat occupied the centre, whilst the long, curved claws of the doubled-up, crouching hind legs gripped the front edge and extended a quarter of the way down toward the bottom of the pedestal. The cephalopod head was bent forward, so that the ends of the facial feelers brushed the backs of huge fore paws which clasped the croucher’s elevated knees. The aspect of the whole was abnormally life-like, and the more subtly fearful because its source was so totally unknown. Its vast, awesome, and incalculable age was unmistakable; yet not one link did it shew with any known type of art belonging to civilisation’s youth—or indeed to any other time. Totally separate and apart, its very material was a mystery; for the soapy, greenish-black stone with its golden or iridescent flecks and striations resembled nothing familiar to geology or mineralogy. The characters along the base were equally baffling; and no member present, despite a representation of half the world’s expert learning in this field, could form the least notion of even their remotest linguistic kinship. They, like the subject and material, belonged to something horribly remote and distinct from mankind as we know it; something frightfully suggestive of old and unhallowed cycles of life in which our world and our conceptions have no part.

 

 

 

?And yet, as the members severally shook their heads and confessed defeat at the Inspector’s problem, there was one man in that gathering who suspected a touch of bizarre familiarity in the monstrous shape and writing, and who presently told with some diffidence of the odd trifle he knew. This person was the late William Channing Webb, Professor of Anthropology in Princeton University, and an explorer of no slight note. Professor Webb had been engaged, forty-eight years before, in a tour of Greenland and Iceland in search of some Runic inscriptions which he failed to unearth; and whilst high up on the West Greenland coast had encountered a singular tribe or cult of degenerate Esquimaux whose religion, a curious form of devil-worship, chilled him with its deliberate bloodthirstiness and repulsiveness. It was a faith of which other Esquimaux knew little, and which they mentioned only with shudders, saying that it had come down from horribly ancient aeons before ever the world was made. Besides nameless rites and human sacrifices there were certain queer hereditary rituals addressed to a supreme elder devil or tornasuk; and of this Professor Webb had taken a careful phonetic copy from an aged angekok or wizard-priest, expressing the sounds in Roman letters as best he knew how. But just now of prime significance was the fetish which this cult had cherished, and around which they danced when the aurora leaped high over the ice cliffs. It was, the professor stated, a very crude bas-relief of stone, comprising a hideous picture and some cryptic writing. And so far as he could tell, it was a rough parallel in all essential features of the bestial thing now lying before the meeting.

 

 

 

?This data, received with suspense and astonishment by the assembled members, proved doubly exciting to Inspector Legrasse; and he began at once to ply his informant with questions. Having noted and copied an oral ritual among the swamp cult-worshippers his men had arrested, he besought the professor to remember as best he might the syllables taken down amongst the diabolist Esquimaux. There then followed an exhaustive comparison of details, and a moment of really awed silence when both detective and scientist agreed on the virtual identity of the phrase common to two hellish rituals so many worlds of distance apart. What, in substance, both the Esquimau wizards and the Louisiana swamp-priests had chanted to their kindred idols was something very like this—the word-divisions being guessed at from traditional breaks in the phrase as chanted aloud:

 

 

 

?“Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn.”

 

 

 

?Legrasse had one point in advance of Professor Webb, for several among his mongrel prisoners had repeated to him what older celebrants had told them the words meant. This text, as given, ran something like this:

 

 

 

?“In his house at R’lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming.”

 

 

 

?And now, in response to a general and urgent demand, Inspector Legrasse related as fully as possible his experience with the swamp worshippers; telling a story to which I could see my uncle attached profound significance. It savoured of the wildest dreams of myth-maker and theosophist, and disclosed an astonishing degree of cosmic imagination among such half-castes and pariahs as might be least expected to possess it.

 

 

 

?On November 1st, 1907, there had come to the New Orleans police a frantic summons from the swamp and lagoon country to the south. The squatters there, mostly primitive but good-natured descendants of Lafitte’s men, were in the grip of stark terror from an unknown thing which had stolen upon them in the night. It was voodoo, apparently, but voodoo of a more terrible sort than they had ever known; and some of their women and children had disappeared since the malevolent tom-tom had begun its incessant beating far within the black haunted woods where no dweller ventured. There were insane shouts and harrowing screams, soul-chilling chants and dancing devil-flames; and, the frightened messenger added, the people could stand it no more.

 

 

 

?So a body of twenty police, filling two carriages and an automobile, had set out in the late afternoon with the shivering squatter as a guide. At the end of the passable road they alighted, and for miles splashed on in silence through the terrible cypress woods where day never came. Ugly roots and malignant hanging nooses of Spanish moss beset them, and now and then a pile of dank stones or fragment of a rotting wall intensified by its hint of morbid habitation a depression which every malformed tree and every fungous islet combined to create. At length the squatter settlement, a miserable huddle of huts, hove in sight; and hysterical dwellers ran out to cluster around the group of bobbing lanterns. The muffled beat of tom-toms was now faintly audible far, far ahead; and a curdling shriek came at infrequent intervals when the wind shifted. A reddish glare, too, seemed to filter through the pale undergrowth beyond endless avenues of forest night. Reluctant even to be left alone again, each one of the cowed squatters refused point-blank to advance another inch toward the scene of unholy worship, so Inspector Legrasse and his nineteen colleagues plunged on unguided into black arcades of horror that none of them had ever trod before.

 

 

 

?The region now entered by the police was one of traditionally evil repute, substantially unknown and untraversed by white men. There were legends of a hidden lake unglimpsed by mortal sight, in which dwelt a huge, formless white polypous thing with luminous eyes; and squatters whispered that bat-winged devils flew up out of caverns in inner earth to worship it at midnight. They said it had been there before D’Iberville, before La Salle, before the Indians, and before even the wholesome beasts and birds of the woods. It was nightmare itself, and to see it was to die. But it made men dream, and so they knew enough to keep away. The present voodoo orgy was, indeed, on the merest fringe of this abhorred area, but that location was bad enough; hence perhaps the very place of the worship had terrified the squatters more than the shocking sounds and incidents.

 

 

 

?Only poetry or madness could do justice to the noises heard by Legrasse’s men as they ploughed on through the black morass toward the red glare and the muffled tom-toms. There are vocal qualities peculiar to men, and vocal qualities peculiar to beasts; and it is terrible to hear the one when the source should yield the other. Animal fury and orgiastic licence here whipped themselves to daemoniac heights by howls and squawking ecstasies that tore and reverberated through those nighted woods like pestilential tempests from the gulfs of hell. Now and then the less organised ululation would cease, and from what seemed a well-drilled chorus of hoarse voices would rise in sing-song chant that hideous phrase or ritual:

 

 

 

?“Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn.”

 

 

 

Then the men, having reached a spot where the trees were thinner, came suddenly in sight of the spectacle itself. Four of them reeled, one fainted, and two were shaken into a frantic cry which the mad cacophony of the orgy fortunately deadened. Legrasse dashed swamp water on the face of the fainting man, and all stood trembling and nearly hypnotised with horror.

 

 

 

?In a natural glade of the swamp stood a grassy island of perhaps an acre’s extent, clear of trees and tolerably dry. On this now leaped and twisted a more indescribable horde of human abnormality than any but a Sime or an Angarola could paint. Void of clothing, this hybrid spawn were braying, bellowing, and writhing about a monstrous ring-shaped bonfire; in the centre of which, revealed by occasional rifts in the curtain of flame, stood a great granite monolith some eight feet in height; on top of which, incongruous with its diminutiveness, rested the noxious carven statuette. From a wide circle of ten scaffolds set up at regular intervals with the flame-girt monolith as a centre hung, head downward, the oddly marred bodies of the helpless squatters who had disappeared. It was inside this circle that the ring of worshippers jumped and roared, the general direction of the mass motion being from left to right in endless Bacchanal between the ring of bodies and the ring of fire.

 

 

 

?It may have been only imagination and it may have been only echoes which induced one of the men, an excitable Spaniard, to fancy he heard antiphonal responses to the ritual from some far and unillumined spot deeper within the wood of ancient legendry and horror. This man, Joseph D. Galvez, I later met and questioned; and he proved distractingly imaginative. He indeed went so far as to hint of the faint beating of great wings, and of a glimpse of shining eyes and a mountainous white bulk beyond the remotest trees—but I suppose he had been hearing too much native superstition.

 

 

 

?Actually, the horrified pause of the men was of comparatively brief duration. Duty came first; and although there must have been nearly a hundred mongrel celebrants in the throng, the police relied on their firearms and plunged determinedly into the nauseous rout. For five minutes the resultant din and chaos were beyond description. Wild blows were struck, shots were fired, and escapes were made; but in the end Legrasse was able to count some forty-seven sullen prisoners, whom he forced to dress in haste and fall into line between two rows of policemen. Five of the worshippers lay dead, and two severely wounded ones were carried away on improvised stretchers by their fellow-prisoners. The image on the monolith, of course, was carefully removed and carried back by Legrasse.

 

 

 

?Examined at headquarters after a trip of intense strain and weariness, the prisoners all proved to be men of a very low, mixed-blooded, and mentally aberrant type. Most were seamen, and a sprinkling of negroes and mulattoes, largely West Indians or Brava Portuguese from the Cape Verde Islands, gave a colouring of voodooism to the heterogeneous cult. But before many questions were asked, it became manifest that something far deeper and older than negro fetichism was involved. Degraded and ignorant as they were, the creatures held with surprising consistency to the central idea of their loathsome faith.

 

 

 

?They worshipped, so they said, the Great Old Ones who lived ages before there were any men, and who came to the young world out of the sky. Those Old Ones were gone now, inside the earth and under the sea; but their dead bodies had told their secrets in dreams to the first men, who formed a cult which had never died. This was that cult, and the prisoners said it had always existed and always would exist, hidden in distant wastes and dark places all over the world until the time when the great priest Cthulhu, from his dark house in the mighty city of R’lyeh under the waters, should rise and bring the earth again beneath his sway. Some day he would call, when the stars were ready, and the secret cult would always be waiting to liberate him.

 

 

 

?Meanwhile no more must be told. There was a secret which even torture could not extract. Mankind was not absolutely alone among the conscious things of earth, for shapes came out of the dark to visit the faithful few. But these were not the Great Old Ones. No man had ever seen the Old Ones. The carven idol was great Cthulhu, but none might say whether or not the others were precisely like him. No one could read the old writing now, but things were told by word of mouth. The chanted ritual was not the secret—that was never spoken aloud, only whispered. The chant meant only this: “In his house at R’lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming.”

 

 

 

?Only two of the prisoners were found sane enough to be hanged, and the rest were committed to various institutions. All denied a part in the ritual murders, and averred that the killing had been done by Black Winged Ones which had come to them from their immemorial meeting-place in the haunted wood. But of those mysterious allies no coherent account could ever be gained. What the police did extract, came mainly from an immensely aged mestizo named Castro, who claimed to have sailed to strange ports and talked with undying leaders of the cult in the mountains of China.

 

 

 

?Old Castro remembered bits of hideous legend that paled the speculations of theosophists and made man and the world seem recent and transient indeed. There had been aeons when other Things ruled on the earth, and They had had great cities. Remains of Them, he said the deathless Chinamen had told him, were still to be found as Cyclopean stones on islands in the Pacific. They all died vast epochs of time before men came, but there were arts which could revive Them when the stars had come round again to the right positions in the cycle of eternity. They had, indeed, come themselves from the stars, and brought Their images with Them.

 

 

 

?These Great Old Ones, Castro continued, were not composed altogether of flesh and blood. They had shape—for did not this star-fashioned image prove it?—but that shape was not made of matter. When the stars were right, They could plunge from world to world through the sky; but when the stars were wrong, They could not live. But although They no longer lived, They would never really die. They all lay in stone houses in Their great city of R’lyeh, preserved by the spells of mighty Cthulhu for a glorious resurrection when the stars and the earth might once more be ready for Them. But at that time some force from outside must serve to liberate Their bodies. The spells that preserved Them intact likewise prevented Them from making an initial move, and They could only lie awake in the dark and think whilst uncounted millions of years rolled by. They knew all that was occurring in the universe, but Their mode of speech was transmitted thought. Even now They talked in Their tombs. When, after infinities of chaos, the first men came, the Great Old Ones spoke to the sensitive among them by moulding their dreams; for only thus could Their language reach the fleshly minds of mammals.

 

 

 

?Then, whispered Castro, those first men formed the cult around small idols which the Great Ones shewed them; idols brought in dim aeras from dark stars. That cult would never die till the stars came right again, and the secret priests would take great Cthulhu from His tomb to revive His subjects and resume His rule of earth. The time would be easy to know, for then mankind would have become as the Great Old Ones; free and wild and beyond good and evil, with laws and morals thrown aside and all men shouting and killing and revelling in joy. Then the liberated Old Ones would teach them new ways to shout and kill and revel and enjoy themselves, and all the earth would flame with a holocaust of ecstasy and freedom. Meanwhile the cult, by appropriate rites, must keep alive the memory of those ancient ways and shadow forth the prophecy of their return.

 

 

 

?In the elder time chosen men had talked with the entombed Old Ones in dreams, but then something had happened. The great stone city R’lyeh, with its monoliths and sepulchres, had sunk beneath the waves; and the deep waters, full of the one primal mystery through which not even thought can pass, had cut off the spectral intercourse. But memory never died, and high-priests said that the city would rise again when the stars were right. Then came out of the earth the black spirits of earth, mouldy and shadowy, and full of dim rumours picked up in caverns beneath forgotten sea-bottoms. But of them old Castro dared not speak much. He cut himself off hurriedly, and no amount of persuasion or subtlety could elicit more in this direction. The size of the Old Ones, too, he curiously declined to mention. Of the cult, he said that he thought the centre lay amid the pathless deserts of Arabia, where Irem, the City of Pillars, dreams hidden and untouched. It was not allied to the European witch-cult, and was virtually unknown beyond its members. No book had ever really hinted of it, though the deathless Chinamen said that there were double meanings in the Necronomicon of the mad Arab Abdul Alhazred which the initiated might read as they chose, especially the much-discussed couplet:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“That is not dead which can eternal lie,

 

 

 

And with strange aeons even death may die.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

?Legrasse, deeply impressed and not a little bewildered, had inquired in vain concerning the historic affiliations of the cult. Castro, apparently, had told the truth when he said that it was wholly secret. The authorities at Tulane University could shed no light upon either cult or image, and now the detective had come to the highest authorities in the country and met with no more than the Greenland tale of Professor Webb.

 

 

 

?The feverish interest aroused at the meeting by Legrasse’s tale, corroborated as it was by the statuette, is echoed in the subsequent correspondence of those who attended; although scant mention occurs in the formal publications of the society. Caution is the first care of those accustomed to face occasional charlatanry and imposture. Legrasse for some time lent the image to Professor Webb, but at the latter’s death it was returned to him and remains in his possession, where I viewed it not long ago. It is truly a terrible thing, and unmistakably akin to the dream-sculpture of young Wilcox.

 

 

 

?That my uncle was excited by the tale of the sculptor I did not wonder, for what thoughts must arise upon hearing, after a knowledge of what Legrasse had learned of the cult, of a sensitive young man who had dreamed not only the figure and exact hieroglyphics of the swamp-found image and the Greenland devil tablet, but had come in his dreams upon at least three of the precise words of the formula uttered alike by Esquimau diabolists and mongrel Louisianans? Professor Angell’s instant start on an investigation of the utmost thoroughness was eminently natural; though privately I suspected young Wilcox of having heard of the cult in some indirect way, and of having invented a series of dreams to heighten and continue the mystery at my uncle’s expense. The dream-narratives and cuttings collected by the professor were, of course, strong corroboration; but the rationalism of my mind and the extravagance of the whole subject led me to adopt what I thought the most sensible conclusions. So, after thoroughly studying the manuscript again and correlating the theosophical and anthropological notes with the cult narrative of Legrasse, I made a trip to Providence to see the sculptor and give him the rebuke I thought proper for so boldly imposing upon a learned and aged man.

 

 

 

?Wilcox still lived alone in the Fleur-de-Lys Building in Thomas Street, a hideous Victorian imitation of seventeenth-century Breton architecture which flaunts its stuccoed front amidst the lovely colonial houses on the ancient hill, and under the very shadow of the finest Georgian steeple in America. I found him at work in his rooms, and at once conceded from the specimens scattered about that his genius is indeed profound and authentic. He will, I believe, some time be heard from as one of the great decadents; for he has crystallised in clay and will one day mirror in marble those nightmares and phantasies which Arthur Machen evokes in prose, and Clark Ashton Smith makes visible in verse and in painting.

 

 

 

?Dark, frail, and somewhat unkempt in aspect, he turned languidly at my knock and asked me my business without rising. When I told him who I was, he displayed some interest; for my uncle had excited his curiosity in probing his strange dreams, yet had never explained the reason for the study. I did not enlarge his knowledge in this regard, but sought with some subtlety to draw him out. In a short time I became convinced of his absolute sincerity, for he spoke of the dreams in a manner none could mistake. They and their subconscious residuum had influenced his art profoundly, and he shewed me a morbid statue whose contours almost made me shake with the potency of its black suggestion. He could not recall having seen the original of this thing except in his own dream bas-relief, but the outlines had formed themselves insensibly under his hands. It was, no doubt, the giant shape he had raved of in delirium. That he really knew nothing of the hidden cult, save from what my uncle’s relentless catechism had let fall, he soon made clear; and again I strove to think of some way in which he could possibly have received the weird impressions.

 

 

 

?He talked of his dreams in a strangely poetic fashion; making me see with terrible vividness the damp Cyclopean city of slimy green stone—whose geometry, he oddly said, was all wrong—and hear with frightened expectancy the ceaseless, half-mental calling from underground: “Cthulhu fhtagn”, “Cthulhu fhtagn”. These words had formed part of that dread ritual which told of dead Cthulhu’s dream-vigil in his stone vault at R’lyeh, and I felt deeply moved despite my rational beliefs. Wilcox, I was sure, had heard of the cult in some casual way, and had soon forgotten it amidst the mass of his equally weird reading and imagining. Later, by virtue of its sheer impressiveness, it had found subconscious expression in dreams, in the bas-relief, and in the terrible statue I now beheld; so that his imposture upon my uncle had been a very innocent one. The youth was of a type, at once slightly affected and slightly ill-mannered, which I could never like; but I was willing enough now to admit both his genius and his honesty. I took leave of him amicably, and wish him all the success his talent promises.

 

 

 

?The matter of the cult still remained to fascinate me, and at times I had visions of personal fame from researches into its origin and connexions. I visited New Orleans, talked with Legrasse and others of that old-time raiding-party, saw the frightful image, and even questioned such of the mongrel prisoners as still survived. Old Castro, unfortunately, had been dead for some years. What I now heard so graphically at first-hand, though it was really no more than a detailed confirmation of what my uncle had written, excited me afresh; for I felt sure that I was on the track of a very real, very secret, and very ancient religion whose discovery would make me an anthropologist of note. My attitude was still one of absolute materialism, as I wish it still were, and I discounted with almost inexplicable perversity the coincidence of the dream notes and odd cuttings collected by Professor Angell.

 

 

 

?One thing I began to suspect, and which I now fear I know, is that my uncle’s death was far from natural. He fell on a narrow hill street leading up from an ancient waterfront swarming with foreign mongrels, after a careless push from a negro sailor. I did not forget the mixed blood and marine pursuits of the cult-members in Louisiana, and would not be surprised to learn of secret methods and poison needles as ruthless and as anciently known as the cryptic rites and beliefs. Legrasse and his men, it is true, have been let alone; but in Norway a certain seaman who saw things is dead. Might not the deeper inquiries of my uncle after encountering the sculptor’s data have come to sinister ears? I think Professor Angell died because he knew too much, or because he was likely to learn too much. Whether I shall go as he did remains to be seen, for I have learned much now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

III.

 

 

 

The Madness from the Sea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If heaven ever wishes to grant me a boon, it will be a total effacing of the results of a mere chance which fixed my eye on a certain stray piece of shelf-paper. It was nothing on which I would naturally have stumbled in the course of my daily round, for it was an old number of an Australian journal, the Sydney Bulletin for April 18, 1925. It had escaped even the cutting bureau which had at the time of its issuance been avidly collecting material for my uncle’s research.

 

 

 

?I had largely given over my inquiries into what Professor Angell called the “Cthulhu Cult”, and was visiting a learned friend in Paterson, New Jersey; the curator of a local museum and a mineralogist of note. Examining one day the reserve specimens roughly set on the storage shelves in a rear room of the museum, my eye was caught by an odd picture in one of the old papers spread beneath the stones. It was the Sydney Bulletin I have mentioned, for my friend has wide affiliations in all conceivable foreign parts; and the picture was a half-tone cut of a hideous stone image almost identical with that which Legrasse had found in the swamp.

 

 

 

?Eagerly clearing the sheet of its precious contents, I scanned the item in detail; and was disappointed to find it of only moderate length. What it suggested, however, was of portentous significance to my flagging quest; and I carefully tore it out for immediate action. It read as follows:

 

 

 

MYSTERY DERELICT FOUND AT SEA

 

 

 

Vigilant Arrives With Helpless Armed New Zealand Yacht in Tow.

 

 

 

One Survivor and Dead Man Found Aboard. Tale of

 

 

 

Desperate Battle and Deaths at Sea.

 

 

 

Rescued Seaman Refuses

 

 

 

Particulars of Strange Experience.

 

 

 

Odd Idol Found in His Possession. Inquiry

 

 

 

to Follow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Morrison Co.’s freighter Vigilant, bound from Valparaiso, arrived this morning at its wharf in Darling Harbour, having in tow the battled and disabled but heavily armed steam yacht Alert of Dunedin, N. Z., which was sighted April 12th in S. Latitude 34° 21?, W. Longitude 152° 17? with one living and one dead man aboard.

 

 

 

?The Vigilant left Valparaiso March 25th, and on April 2nd was driven considerably south of her course by exceptionally heavy storms and monster waves. On April 12th the derelict was sighted; and though apparently deserted, was found upon boarding to contain one survivor in a half-delirious condition and one man who had evidently been dead for more than a week. The living man was clutching a horrible stone idol of unknown origin, about a foot in height, regarding whose nature authorities at Sydney University, the Royal Society, and the Museum in College Street all profess complete bafflement, and which the survivor says he found in the cabin of the yacht, in a small carved shrine of common pattern.

 

 

 

?This man, after recovering his senses, told an exceedingly strange story of piracy and slaughter. He is Gustaf Johansen, a Norwegian of some intelligence, and had been second mate of the two-masted schooner Emma of Auckland, which sailed for Callao February 20th with a complement of eleven men. The Emma, he says, was delayed and thrown widely south of her course by the great storm of March 1st, and on March 22nd, in S. Latitude 49° 51?, W. Longitude 128° 34?, encountered the Alert, manned by a queer and evil-looking crew of Kanakas and half-castes. Being ordered peremptorily to turn back, Capt. Collins refused; whereupon the strange crew began to fire savagely and without warning upon the schooner with a peculiarly heavy battery of brass cannon forming part of the yacht’s equipment. The Emma’s men shewed fight, says the survivor, and though the schooner began to sink from shots beneath the waterline they managed to heave alongside their enemy and board her, grappling with the savage crew on the yacht’s deck, and being forced to kill them all, the number being slightly superior, because of their particularly abhorrent and desperate though rather clumsy mode of fighting.

 

 

 

?Three of the Emma’s men, including Capt. Collins and First Mate Green, were killed; and the remaining eight under Second Mate Johansen proceeded to navigate the captured yacht, going ahead in their original direction to see if any reason for their ordering back had existed. The next day, it appears, they raised and landed on a small island, although none is known to exist in that part of the ocean; and six of the men somehow died ashore, though Johansen is queerly reticent about this part of his story, and speaks only of their falling into a rock chasm. Later, it seems, he and one companion boarded the yacht and tried to manage her, but were beaten about by the storm of April 2nd. From that time till his rescue on the 12th the man remembers little, and he does not even recall when William Briden, his companion, died. Briden’s death reveals no apparent cause, and was probably due to excitement or exposure. Cable advices from Dunedin report that the Alert was well known there as an island trader, and bore an evil reputation along the waterfront. It was owned by a curious group of half-castes whose frequent meetings and night trips to the woods attracted no little curiosity; and it had set sail in great haste just after the storm and earth tremors of March 1st. Our Auckland correspondent gives the Emma and her crew an excellent reputation, and Johansen is described as a sober and worthy man. The admiralty will institute an inquiry on the whole matter beginning tomorrow, at which every effort will be made to induce Johansen to speak more freely than he has done hitherto.

 

 

 

?This was all, together with the picture of the hellish image; but what a train of ideas it started in my mind! Here were new treasuries of data on the Cthulhu Cult, and evidence that it had strange interests at sea as well as on land. What motive prompted the hybrid crew to order back the Emma as they sailed about with their hideous idol? What was the unknown island on which six of the Emma’s crew had died, and about which the mate Johansen was so secretive? What had the vice-admiralty’s investigation brought out, and what was known of the noxious cult in Dunedin? And most marvellous of all, what deep and more than natural linkage of dates was this which gave a malign and now undeniable significance to the various turns of events so carefully noted by my uncle?

 

 

 

?March 1st—our February 28th according to the International Date Line—the earthquake and storm had come. From Dunedin the Alert and her noisome crew had darted eagerly forth as if imperiously summoned, and on the other side of the earth poets and artists had begun to dream of a strange, dank Cyclopean city whilst a young sculptor had moulded in his sleep the form of the dreaded Cthulhu. March 23d the crew of the Emma landed on an unknown island and left six men dead; and on that date the dreams of sensitive men assumed a heightened vividness and darkened with dread of a giant monster’s malign pursuit, whilst an architect had gone mad and a sculptor had lapsed suddenly into delirium! And what of this storm of April 2nd—the date on which all dreams of the dank city ceased, and Wilcox emerged unharmed from the bondage of strange fever? What of all this—and of those hints of old Castro about the sunken, star-born Old Ones and their coming reign; their faithful cult and their mastery of dreams? Was I tottering on the brink of cosmic horrors beyond man’s power to bear? If so, they must be horrors of the mind alone, for in some way the second of April had put a stop to whatever monstrous menace had begun its siege of mankind’s soul.

 

 

 

?That evening, after a day of hurried cabling and arranging, I bade my host adieu and took a train for San Francisco. In less than a month I was in Dunedin; where, however, I found that little was known of the strange cult-members who had lingered in the old sea-taverns. Waterfront scum was far too common for special mention; though there was vague talk about one inland trip these mongrels had made, during which faint drumming and red flame were noted on the distant hills. In Auckland I learned that Johansen had returned with yellow hair turned white after a perfunctory and inconclusive questioning at Sydney, and had thereafter sold his cottage in West Street and sailed with his wife to his old home in Oslo. Of his stirring experience he would tell his friends no more than he had told the admiralty officials, and all they could do was to give me his Oslo address.

 

 

 

?After that I went to Sydney and talked profitlessly with seamen and members of the vice-admiralty court. I saw the Alert, now sold and in commercial use, at Circular Quay in Sydney Cove, but gained nothing from its non-committal bulk. The crouching image with its cuttlefish head, dragon body, scaly wings, and hieroglyphed pedestal, was preserved in the Museum at Hyde Park; and I studied it long and well, finding it a thing of balefully exquisite workmanship, and with the same utter mystery, terrible antiquity, and unearthly strangeness of material which I had noted in Legrasse’s smaller specimen. Geologists, the curator told me, had found it a monstrous puzzle; for they vowed that the world held no rock like it. Then I thought with a shudder of what old Castro had told Legrasse about the primal Great Ones: “They had come from the stars, and had brought Their images with Them.”

 

 

 

?Shaken with such a mental revolution as I had never before known, I now resolved to visit Mate Johansen in Oslo. Sailing for London, I reëmbarked at once for the Norwegian capital; and one autumn day landed at the trim wharves in the shadow of the Egeberg. Johansen’s address, I discovered, lay in the Old Town of King Harold Haardrada, which kept alive the name of Oslo during all the centuries that the greater city masqueraded as “Christiana”. I made the brief trip by taxicab, and knocked with palpitant heart at the door of a neat and ancient building with plastered front. A sad-faced woman in black answered my summons, and I was stung with disappointment when she told me in halting English that Gustaf Johansen was no more.

 

 

 

?He had not survived his return, said his wife, for the doings at sea in 1925 had broken him. He had told her no more than he had told the public, but had left a long manuscript—of “technical matters” as he said—written in English, evidently in order to safeguard her from the peril of casual perusal. During a walk through a narrow lane near the Gothenburg dock, a bundle of papers falling from an attic window had knocked him down. Two Lascar sailors at once helped him to his feet, but before the ambulance could reach him he was dead. Physicians found no adequate cause for the end, and laid it to heart trouble and a weakened constitution.

 

 

 

?I now felt gnawing at my vitals that dark terror which will never leave me till I, too, am at rest; “accidentally” or otherwise. Persuading the widow that my connexion with her husband’s “technical matters” was sufficient to entitle me to his manuscript, I bore the document away and began to read it on the London boat. It was a simple, rambling thing—a naive sailor’s effort at a post-facto diary—and strove to recall day by day that last awful voyage. I cannot attempt to transcribe it verbatim in all its cloudiness and redundance, but I will tell its gist enough to shew why the sound of the water against the vessel’s sides became so unendurable to me that I stopped my ears with cotton.

 

 

 

?Johansen, thank God, did not know quite all, even though he saw the city and the Thing, but I shall never sleep calmly again when I think of the horrors that lurk ceaselessly behind life in time and in space, and of those unhallowed blasphemies from elder stars which dream beneath the sea, known and favoured by a nightmare cult ready and eager to loose them on the world whenever another earthquake shall heave their monstrous stone city again to the sun and air.

 

 

 

?Johansen’s voyage had begun just as he told it to the vice-admiralty. The Emma, in ballast, had cleared Auckland on February 20th, and had felt the full force of that earthquake-born tempest which must have heaved up from the sea-bottom the horrors that filled men’s dreams. Once more under control, the ship was making good progress when held up by the Alert on March 22nd, and I could feel the mate’s regret as he wrote of her bombardment and sinking. Of the swarthy cult-fiends on the Alert he speaks with significant horror. There was some peculiarly abominable quality about them which made their destruction seem almost a duty, and Johansen shews ingenuous wonder at the charge of ruthlessness brought against his party during the proceedings of the court of inquiry. Then, driven ahead by curiosity in their captured yacht under Johansen’s command, the men sight a great stone pillar sticking out of the sea, and in S. Latitude 47° 9?, W. Longitude 126° 43? come upon a coast-line of mingled mud, ooze, and weedy Cyclopean masonry which can be nothing less than the tangible substance of earth’s supreme terror—the nightmare corpse-city of R’lyeh, that was built in measureless aeons behind history by the vast, loathsome shapes that seeped down from the dark stars. There lay great Cthulhu and his hordes, hidden in green slimy vaults and sending out at last, after cycles incalculable, the thoughts that spread fear to the dreams of the sensitive and called imperiously to the faithful to come on a pilgrimage of liberation and restoration. All this Johansen did not suspect, but God knows he soon saw enough!

 

 

 

?I suppose that only a single mountain-top, the hideous monolith-crowned citadel whereon great Cthulhu was buried, actually emerged from the waters. When I think of the extent of all that may be brooding down there I almost wish to kill myself forthwith. Johansen and his men were awed by the cosmic majesty of this dripping Babylon of elder daemons, and must have guessed without guidance that it was nothing of this or of any sane planet. Awe at the unbelievable size of the greenish stone blocks, at the dizzying height of the great carven monolith, and at the stupefying identity of the colossal statues and bas-reliefs with the queer image found in the shrine on the Alert, is poignantly visible in every line of the mate’s frightened description.

 

 

 

?Without knowing what futurism is like, Johansen achieved something very close to it when he spoke of the city; for instead of describing any definite structure or building, he dwells only on broad impressions of vast angles and stone surfaces—surfaces too great to belong to any thing right or proper for this earth, and impious with horrible images and hieroglyphs. I mention his talk about angles because it suggests something Wilcox had told me of his awful dreams. He had said that the geometry of the dream-place he saw was abnormal, non-Euclidean, and loathsomely redolent of spheres and dimensions apart from ours. Now an unlettered seaman felt the same thing whilst gazing at the terrible reality.

 

 

 

?Johansen and his men landed at a sloping mud-bank on this monstrous Acropolis, and clambered slipperily up over titan oozy blocks which could have been no mortal staircase. The very sun of heaven seemed distorted when viewed through the polarising miasma welling out from this sea-soaked perversion, and twisted menace and suspense lurked leeringly in those crazily elusive angles of carven rock where a second glance shewed concavity after the first shewed convexity.

 

 

 

?Something very like fright had come over all the explorers before anything more definite than rock and ooze and weed was seen. Each would have fled had he not feared the scorn of the others, and it was only half-heartedly that they searched—vainly, as it proved—for some portable souvenir to bear away.

 

 

 

?It was Rodriguez the Portuguese who climbed up the foot of the monolith and shouted of what he had found. The rest followed him, and looked curiously at the immense carved door with the now familiar squid-dragon bas-relief. It was, Johansen said, like a great barn-door; and they all felt that it was a door because of the ornate lintel, threshold, and jambs around it, though they could not decide whether it lay flat like a trap-door or slantwise like an outside cellar-door. As Wilcox would have said, the geometry of the place was all wrong. One could not be sure that the sea and the ground were horizontal, hence the relative position of everything else seemed phantasmally variable.

 

 

 

?Briden pushed at the stone in several places without result. Then Donovan felt over it delicately around the edge, pressing each point separately as he went. He climbed interminably along the grotesque stone moulding—that is, one would call it climbing if the thing was not after all horizontal—and the men wondered how any door in the universe could be so vast. Then, very softly and slowly, the acre-great panel began to give inward at the top; and they saw that it was balanced. Donovan slid or somehow propelled himself down or along the jamb and rejoined his fellows, and everyone watched the queer recession of the monstrously carven portal. In this phantasy of prismatic distortion it moved anomalously in a diagonal way, so that all the rules of matter and perspective seemed upset.

 

 

 

?The aperture was black with a darkness almost material. That tenebrousness was indeed a positive quality; for it obscured such parts of the inner walls as ought to have been revealed, and actually burst forth like smoke from its aeon-long imprisonment, visibly darkening the sun as it slunk away into the shrunken and gibbous sky on flapping membraneous wings. The odour arising from the newly opened depths was intolerable, and at length the quick-eared Hawkins thought he heard a nasty, slopping sound down there. Everyone listened, and everyone was listening still when It lumbered slobberingly into sight and gropingly squeezed Its gelatinous green immensity through the black doorway into the tainted outside air of that poison city of madness.

 

 

 

?Poor Johansen’s handwriting almost gave out when he wrote of this. Of the six men who never reached the ship, he thinks two perished of pure fright in that accursed instant. The Thing cannot be described—there is no language for such abysms of shrieking and immemorial lunacy, such eldritch contradictions of all matter, force, and cosmic order. A mountain walked or stumbled. God! What wonder that across the earth a great architect went mad, and poor Wilcox raved with fever in that telepathic instant? The Thing of the idols, the green, sticky spawn of the stars, had awaked to claim his own. The stars were right again, and what an age-old cult had failed to do by design, a band of innocent sailors had done by accident. After vigintillions of years great Cthulhu was loose again, and ravening for delight.

 

 

 

?Three men were swept up by the flabby claws before anybody turned. God rest them, if there be any rest in the universe. They were Donovan, Guerrera, and Ångstrom. Parker slipped as the other three were plunging frenziedly over endless vistas of green-crusted rock to the boat, and Johansen swears he was swallowed up by an angle of masonry which shouldn’t have been there; an angle which was acute, but behaved as if it were obtuse. So only Briden and Johansen reached the boat, and pulled desperately for the Alert as the mountainous monstrosity flopped down the slimy stones and hesitated floundering at the edge of the water.

 

 

 

?Steam had not been suffered to go down entirely, despite the departure of all hands for the shore; and it was the work of only a few moments of feverish rushing up and down between wheel and engines to get the Alert under way. Slowly, amidst the distorted horrors of that indescribable scene, she began to churn the lethal waters; whilst on the masonry of that charnel shore that was not of earth the titan Thing from the stars slavered and gibbered like Polypheme cursing the fleeing ship of Odysseus. Then, bolder than the storied Cyclops, great Cthulhu slid greasily into the water and began to pursue with vast wave-raising strokes of cosmic potency. Briden looked back and went mad, laughing shrilly as he kept on laughing at intervals till death found him one night in the cabin whilst Johansen was wandering deliriously.

 

 

 

?But Johansen had not given out yet. Knowing that the Thing could surely overtake the Alert until steam was fully up, he resolved on a desperate chance; and, setting the engine for full speed, ran lightning-like on deck and reversed the wheel. There was a mighty eddying and foaming in the noisome brine, and as the steam mounted higher and higher the brave Norwegian drove his vessel head on against the pursuing jelly which rose above the unclean froth like the stern of a daemon galleon. The awful squid-head with writhing feelers came nearly up to the bowsprit of the sturdy yacht, but Johansen drove on relentlessly. There was a bursting as of an exploding bladder, a slushy nastiness as of a cloven sunfish, a stench as of a thousand opened graves, and a sound that the chronicler would not put on paper. For an instant the ship was befouled by an acrid and blinding green cloud, and then there was only a venomous seething astern; where—God in heaven!—the scattered plasticity of that nameless sky-spawn was nebulously recombining in its hateful original form, whilst its distance widened every second as the Alert gained impetus from its mounting steam.

 

 

 

?That was all. After that Johansen only brooded over the idol in the cabin and attended to a few matters of food for himself and the laughing maniac by his side. He did not try to navigate after the first bold flight, for the reaction had taken something out of his soul. Then came the storm of April 2nd, and a gathering of the clouds about his consciousness. There is a sense of spectral whirling through liquid gulfs of infinity, of dizzying rides through reeling universes on a comet’s tail, and of hysterical plunges from the pit to the moon and from the moon back again to the pit, all livened by a cachinnating chorus of the distorted, hilarious elder gods and the green, bat-winged mocking imps of Tartarus.

 

 

 

?Out of that dream came rescue—the Vigilant, the vice-admiralty court, the streets of Dunedin, and the long voyage back home to the old house by the Egeberg. He could not tell—they would think him mad. He would write of what he knew before death came, but his wife must not guess. Death would be a boon if only it could blot out the memories.

 

 

 

?That was the document I read, and now I have placed it in the tin box beside the bas-relief and the papers of Professor Angell. With it shall go this record of mine—this test of my own sanity, wherein is pieced together that which I hope may never be pieced together again. I have looked upon all that the universe has to hold of horror, and even the skies of spring and the flowers of summer must ever afterward be poison to me. But I do not think my life will be long. As my uncle went, as poor Johansen went, so I shall go. I know too much, and the cult still lives.

 

 

 

?Cthulhu still lives, too, I suppose, again in that chasm of stone which has shielded him since the sun was young. His accursed city is sunken once more, for the Vigilant sailed over the spot after the April storm; but his ministers on earth still bellow and prance and slay around idol-capped monoliths in lonely places. He must have been trapped by the sinking whilst within his black abyss, or else the world would by now be screaming with fright and frenzy. Who knows the end? What has risen may sink, and what has sunk may rise. Loathsomeness waits and dreams in the deep, and decay spreads over the tottering cities of men. A time will come—but I must not and cannot think! Let me pray that, if I do not survive this manuscript, my executors may put caution before audacity and see that it meets no other eye.  "Let me tell you a story," Cameron said. "Unless you think that a hospital manager like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'busy summer' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some hotel and an outpatient thing too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so perverse."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Caden for all this? After all, it was he who started it, with his being so irresponsible, though I'm sure he'd call it 'caring' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was grateful and gracious, but in actual fact I'm just unfair. In the end, it all came down to running out of options. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." Life used to be mostly unexacting if you were a mathematician. You dealt with some differential things here, a philosopher there, and that was it.

 

But not anymore for Miles.

 

The day had seemed just like any other before a secretive but energized man, Ryan, showed up. The phrase 'sickly childhood' might not seem like anything bewildering or perplexing, but ask Miles and you might change your mind.

 

 "Let me tell you a story," Elliot said. "Unless you think that a police officer like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'western ocean' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some deputy and a sergeant too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so feeble."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Claire for all this? After all, it was she who started it, with her being so big-headed, though I'm sure she'd call it 'daring' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was nice and bold, but in actual fact I'm just domineering. In the end, it all came down to running out of time. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." I'm innovative and breathtaking, though if you asked Ava, she'd say I'm untidy instead.

 

Well, who am I, a simple accounts manager, to tell her what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing cumbersome about the concept of 'common concern', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of time…

 

It's a matter of uncertainty being the flaw of us all. A callous area manager.

 

A boring school inspector.

 

Some parking thing; a section too.

 

When Charlotte appears in Aria's life, things suddenly feel tricky and elaborate. After all, uncertainty is the nature of us all. But when Charlotte begins to talk about the 'fond reminiscence' issue, things begin to change. And Aria wonders if she is running out of time. "Let me tell you a story," Nathan said. "Unless you think that a cafe worker like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'pacific ocean' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some brewpub and a caff too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so nervous."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Nicholas for all this? After all, it was he who started it, with his being so tactless, though I'm sure he'd call it 'loyal' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was altruistic and lively, but in actual fact I'm just detached. In the end, it all came down to running out of time. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." A gullible biochemist.

 

A timid medical physicist.

 

Some crystallographers; a jacque too.

 

When Owen appears in Addison's life, things suddenly feel baffling and knotty. After all, ignorance is the flaw of us all. But when Owen begins to talk about the 'dear love' issue, things begin to change. And Addison wonders if she is running out of time. What do you get combining a vicious assembly worker and a grumpy bookmaker?

 

Answer: Something meaningful, perchance?

 

Eliana's life is turned upside down when Aiden shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'genetic relationship' could be more confusing than one might think.

 

Now Eliana needs to face the situation, before running out of time. But Aiden might have other plans. "Let me tell you a story," Hudson said. "Unless you think that a textile engineer like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'everlasting love' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some noggens and a few linen things too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so naive."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Adrian for all this? After all, it was he who started it, with his being so gullible, though I'm sure he'd call it 'prosperous' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was thriving and victorious, but in actual fact I'm just dishonest. In the end, it all came down to running out of time. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." A vulgar physician.

 

A cold song writer.

 

Some dermatologists; a few oncologists too.

 

When Alice appears in Hannah's life, things suddenly feel tricky and cumbersome. positive relationship' can mean different things to different people. That is, until you run out of time… Life used to be mostly manageable if you were an armourer. You dealt with some stonemasonries here, a templar there, and that was it.

 

But not anymore for Caleb.

 

The day had seemed just like any other before an unreliable but self-confident woman, Elizabeth, showed up. The phrase 'staunch friend' might not seem like anything knotty or puzzling, but ask Caleb and you might change your mind.

 

It's a matter of fear being the weakness of us all. Lila has always been witty and joyous. Well, for a hospital worker, at least. She focused on her business. Some ventilators here, a few staying things there. And then came Hailey…

 

Compassionate yet at the same time unpredictable, she shows Lila a new reality, where something as simple as the phrase 'major city' can mean different things to different people. That is, until you run out of time… A thoughtless tax manager.

 

A detached assessor.

 

Some cctbs; an administration too.

 

When Dominic appears in Isaac's life, things suddenly feel knotty and odd. After all, hesitation is the core of us all. But when Dominic begins to talk about the 'interesting event' issue, things begin to change. And Isaac wonders if he is running out of options. I'm relaxed and amiable, though if you asked Giannis, he'd say I'm untidy instead.

 

Well, who am I, a simple nursery worker, to tell him what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing baffling about the concept of 'close operation', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of options…

 

It's a matter of uncertainty being the nature of us all. Life used to be mostly easy if you were a business consultant. You dealt with some byplays here, a few entrepreneurships there, and that was it.

 

But not anymore for Austin.

 

The day had seemed just bad . IT'S THE END OF EVERYTHING the devil thought as hell blew up and he knew the end of the multiverse is at hand . What do you get combining a creepy arbitrator and a malevolent warden?

 

Answer: World War I

 

Asher's life is turned upside down when Dylan shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'distant countryside' could be more puzzling than one might thin

 

Now Asher needs to face the situation, before running out of options. But Dylan might have other plans. What do you get combining a touchy carpet cleaner and a naive computers consultan

 

Answer: World War I

 

Chloe's life is turned upside down when Kaelyn shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'pure love' could be more elaborate than one might thin

 

Now Chloe needs to face the situation, before running out of time. But Kaelyn might have other plans. An untrustworthy sales directo

 

A secretive veterinary surgeo

 

Some equipment; a manufacturing to

 

When Aaron appears in Brayden's life, things suddenly feel intricate and thorny. After all, fear is the nature of us all. But when Aaron begins to talk about the 'limited space' issue, things begin to change. And Brayden wonders if he is running out of options. I'm emotional and amiable, though if you asked Evelyn, she'd say I'm timid instea

 

Well, who am I, a modest actuary, to tell her what to thin

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing cumbersome about the concept of 'client relationship', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of tim

 

It's a matter of desire being the flaw of us all.  What do you get combining a moody taxidermist and an untrustworthy travel cler

 

Answer: A class 5 disaste

 

Connor's life is turned upside down when Hailey shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'best friend' could be more thorny than one might thin

 

Now Connor needs to face the situation, before running out of options. But Hailey might have other plans. What do you get combining a lazy car valet and a horrible medical studen

 

Answer: Something meaningful, perchanc

 

Allison's life is turned upside down when Clara shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'wide space' could be more baffling than one might thin

 

Now Allison needs to face the situation, before running out of time. But Clara might have other plans. I'm self-loving and serene, though if you asked Natalie, she'd say I'm sneaky instea

 

Well, who am I, a lowly interpreter, to tell her what to thin

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing elaborate about the concept of 'alleged discovery', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of tim

 

It's a matter of hesitation being the core of us all. I'm free-spirited and nice, though if you asked Leo, he'd say I'm finicky instead. Well, who am I, a lowly meteorologist, to tell him what to thin

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing bewildering about the concept of 'respectable family', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of tim

 

It's a matter of hesitation being the flaw of us all.  What do you get combining a Machiavellian hairdresser and a ruthless sales administrato

 

Answer: Major problem

 

Nathaniel's life is turned upside down when Isabelle shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'italian school' could be more puzzling than one might thin

 

Now Nathaniel needs to face the situation, before running out of options. But Isabelle might have other plans. "Let me tell you a story," Harper said. "Unless you think that a plumber like me doesn't tell stories

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'early summer' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some septic things and an electrical thing too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so unpredictable

 

"I wonder, could I blame Claire for all this? After all, it was she who started it, with her being so quarrelsome, though I'm sure she'd call it 'empathetic' instead. Gimme a break

 

"People used to think I was thoughtful and innovative, but in actual fact I'm just truculent. In the end, it all came down to running out of time. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." David has always been communicative and reserved. Well, for an interpreter, at least. He focused on his business. Some spokesperson here, a few quichuas there. And then came Josia

 

Powerful yet at the same time overcritical, he shows David a new reality, where something as simple as the phrase 'adjacent ocean' can mean different things to different people. That is, until you run out of time… Daniel has always been unassuming and free. Well, for a textile worker, at least. He focused on his business. Some mills here, a candroy there. And then came Lil

 

Wealthy yet at the same time vague, she shows Daniel a new reality, where something as simple as the phrasedeath .  a d xxx d.k.e?t?k.r.k?e…k?d.o.n.r.k.IIt?k.IIaniel a new reality, where something as simple as the phrase 

  ' like any other before a vulgar but pioneering woman, Maria, showed up. The phrase 'boundless sea' might not seem like anything cumbersome or puzzling, but ask Austin and you might change your mind.

 

It's a matter of desire being the weak spot of us all. "Let me tell you a story," Clara said. "Unless you think that a surgeon like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'interior space' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some health and a surgical thing too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so compulsive."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Allison for all this? After all, it was she who started it, with her being so evil, though I'm sure she'd call it 'adaptable' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was heartwarming and warm, but in actual fact I'm just moody. In the end, it all came down to running out of time. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." What do you get combining a wicked travel representative and a truculent charity worker?

 

Answer: The mother of all problems.

 

Vivian's life is turned upside down when Lincoln shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'tuscan countryside' could be more baffling than one might think.

 

Now Vivian needs to face the situation, before running out of options. But Lincoln might have other plans. A Machiavellian building estimator.

 

A foolhardy translator.

 

Some consolidates; a few nurturings too.

 

When Samantha appears in Sophie's life, things suddenly feel baffling and thorny. After all, hesitation is the core of us all. But when Samantha begins to talk about the 'eternal ocean' issue, things begin to change. And Sophie wonders if she is running out of options. A stingy violinist.

 

A domineering software consultant.

 

Some percussionists; a sitarist too.

 

When Reagan appears in Emma's life, things suddenly feel knotty and baffling. After all, uncertainty is the flaw of us all. But when Reagan begins to talk about the 'impoverished childhood' issue, things begin to change. And Emma wonders if she is running out of options. Mason has always been fortuitous and resourceful. Well, for a medical supplier, at least. He focused on his business. Some curative things here, a few healthy things there. And then came Cooper…

 

Creative yet at the same time sarcastic, he shows Mason a new reality, where something as simple as the phrase 'miraculous event' can mean different things to different people. That is, until you run out of options…  Life used to be mostly uncomplicated if you were an investment manager. You dealt with some placings here, a few premium things there, and that was it.

 

But not anymore for Cameron.

 

The day had seemed just like any other before a vulgar but reliable woman, Jasmine, showed up. The phrase 'entire workplace' might not seem like anything bewildering or thorny, but ask Cameron and you might change your mind. I'm unassuming and inspired, though if you asked Emily, she'd say I'm depressed instead.

 

Well, who am I, a lowly payroll manager, to tell her what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing knotty about the concept of 'mutual friend', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of options… What do you get combining a conservative interior decorator and an unpleasant miner?

 

Answer: A new beginning.

 

Miles's life is turned upside down when Tina shows up one day, proving that the phrase

 

 'brief reminiscence' could be more perplexing than one might think.

 

Now Miles needs to face the situation, before running out of options. But Tina might have other plans. "Let me tell you a story," Aria said. "Unless you think that a solicitor like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'joint operation' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some official thing and an executor too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so materialistic."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Jasmine for all this? After all, it was she who started it, with her being so cowardly, though I'm sure she'd call it 'faithful' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was warm and hard-working, but in actual fact I'm just belligerent. In the end, it all came down to running out of time. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." 

 

 

 

What do you get combining a deceitful car valet and a stupid safety officer?

 

Answer: World War III

 

Maya's life is turned upside down when Alex shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'logical relationship' could be more intricate than one might think.

 

Now Maya needs to face the situation, before running out of time. But Alex might have other plans. I'm powerful and funny, though if you asked Alexis, she'd say I'm moody instead.

 

Well, who am I, a lowly bookmaker, to tell her what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing confusing about the concept of 'obvious reminiscence', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of options…

 

It's a matter of hesitation being the weak spot of us all. Anthony has always been nice and satisfied. Well, for a law clerk, at least. He focused on his business. Some illicit thing here, a birthright there. And then came Muhammad…

 

Romantic yet at the same time self-indulgent, he shows Anthony a new reality, where something as simple as the phrase 'strange mystery' can mean different things to different people. That is, until you run out of options… "Let me tell you a story," Arianna said. "Unless you think that a building surveyor like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'popular mind' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some advancing things and a few preparings too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so irresponsible."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Hailey for all this? After all, it was she who started it, with her being so superficial, though I'm sure she'd call it 'blissful' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was brilliant and vibrant, but in actual fact I'm just perverse. In the end, it all came down to running out of time. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." I'm serene and harmonious, though if you asked Reagan, she'd say I'm impolite instead.

 

Well, who am I, a humble aromatherapist, to tell her what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing thorny about the concept of 'amphibious operation', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of time… 

 

Arianna has always been cheerful and cherished. Well, for an aircraft maintenance engineer, at least. She focused on her business. Some orders here, a device there. And then came Leah…

 

Hard-working yet at the same time miserly, she shows Arianna a new reality, where something as simple as the phrase 'worth journey' can mean different things to different people. That is, until you run out of time… Leo has always been enthusiastic and lovely. Well, for a marine geologist, at least. He focused on his business. Some midnight here, a few beaches there. And then came Carson…

 

Zestful yet at the same time secretive, he shows Leo a new reality, where something as simple as the phrase 'gradual discovery' can mean different things to different people. That is, until you run out of options… I'm satisfied and empathic, though if you asked Olivia, she'd say I'm possessive instead.

 

Well, who am I, a lowly technical co-ordinator, to tell her what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing puzzling about the concept of 'mild summer', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of options…

 

 Addison has always been appreciated and careful. Well, for a textile technician, at least. She focused on her business. Some fibres here, a plant there. And then came Cameron…

 

Sociable yet at the same time naive, he shows Addison a new reality, where something as simple as the phrase 'aristocratic family' can mean different things to different people. That is, until you run out of options… Life used to be mostly easy if you were a cafe worker. You dealt with some beauty here, a few patisseries there, and that was it.

 

But not anymore for Carter.

 

The day had seemed just like any other before a callous but irresistible man, Ryder, showed up. The phrase 'affectionate friend' might not seem like anything complicated or confusing, but ask Carter and you might change your mind.

Bella has always been awesome and reserved. Well, for a jewellery, at least. She focused on her business. Some waits here, a few through things there. And then came Eli…

 

Beautiful yet at the same time stubborn, he shows Bella a new reality, where something as simple as the phrase 'latter city' can mean different things to different people. That is, until you run out of options… I'm victorious and cherished, though if you asked Sebastian, he'd say I'm cunning instead.

 

Well, who am I, a simple technical illustrator, to tell him what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing puzzling about the concept of 'clear reminiscence', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of options… I'm fair-minded and vibrant, though if you asked Liliana, she'd say I'm vague instead.

 

Well, who am I, a modest analyst, to tell her what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing confusing about the concept of 'frigid winter', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of time…

 

It's a matter of hesitation being the weakness of us all. 

 

 What do you get combining a clinging architect and an overemotional cashier?

 

Answer: Major problems.

 

Anthony's life is turned upside down when Makayla shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'economic enterprise' could be more elaborate than one might think.

 

Now Anthony needs to face the situation, before running out of time. But Makayla might have other plans. Allison has always been thankful and straightforward. Well, for an interior designer, at least. She focused on her business. Some national thing here, a backboard there. And then came Muhammad…

 

Considerate yet at the same time conservative, he shows Allison a new reality, where something as simple as the phrase 'colonial city' can mean different things to different people. That is, until you run out of options… "Let me tell you a story," Brooklyn said. "Unless you think that a laboratory analyst like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'preparatory school' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some laboratoriums and a few reagents too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so sarcastic."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Adalyn for all this? After all, it was she who started it, with her being so sneaky, though I'm sure she'd call it 'romantic' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was calm and desirable, but in actual fact I'm just bossy. In the end, it all came down to running out of options. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." 

  What do you get combining a naive church warden and a prejudiced zoologist?

 

Answer: A class 5 disaster.

 

London's life is turned upside down when Paisley shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'happy family' could be more baffling than one might think.

 

Now London needs to face the situation, before running out of time. But Paisley might have other plans. "Let me tell you a story," James said. "Unless you think that a choreographer like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'adjacent countryside' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some scriptwriter and a few tudors too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so petty."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Colin for all this? After all, it was he who started it, with his being so irresponsible, though I'm sure he'd call it 'amicable' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was successful and positive, but in actual fact I'm just compulsive. In the end, it all came down to running out of time. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." A lazy instructor.

 

An ignorant coroner. 

 

Some practicum; a loresman too.

 

 

 'brief reminiscence' could be more perplexing than one might think.

 

Now Miles needs to face the situation, before running out of options. But Tina might have other plans. "Let me tell you a story," Aria said. "Unless you think that a solicitor like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'joint operation' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some official thing and an executor too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so materialistic."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Jasmine for all this? After all, it was she who started it, with her being so cowardly, though I'm sure she'd call it 'faithful' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was warm and hard-working, but in actual fact I'm just belligerent. In the end, it all came down to running out of time. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." 

 

 

 

What do you get combining a deceitful car valet and a stupid safety officer?

 

Answer: World War III

 

Maya's life is turned upside down when Alex shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'logical relationship' could be more intricate than one might think.

 

Now Maya needs to face the situation, before running out of time. But Alex might have other plans. I'm powerful and funny, though if you asked Alexis, she'd say I'm moody instead.

 

Well, who am I, a lowly bookmaker, to tell her what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing confusing about the concept of 'obvious reminiscence', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of options…

 

It's a matter of hesitation being the weak spot of us all. Anthony has always been nice and satisfied. Well, for a law clerk, at least. He focused on his business. Some illicit thing here, a birthright there. And then came Muhammad…

 

Romantic yet at the same time self-indulgent, he shows Anthony a new reality, where something as simple as the phrase 'strange mystery' can mean different things to different people. That is, until you run out of options… "Let me tell you a story," Arianna said. "Unless you think that a building surveyor like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'popular mind' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some advancing things and a few preparings too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so irresponsible."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Hailey for all this? After all, it was she who started it, with her being so superficial, though I'm sure she'd call it 'blissful' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was brilliant and vibrant, but in actual fact I'm just perverse. In the end, it all came down to running out of time. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." I'm serene and harmonious, though if you asked Reagan, she'd say I'm impolite instead.

 

Well, who am I, a humble aromatherapist, to tell her what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing thorny about the concept of 'amphibious operation', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of time… 

 

Arianna has always been cheerful and cherished. Well, for an aircraft maintenance engineer, at least. She focused on her business. Some orders here, a device there. And then came Leah…

 

Hard-working yet at the same time miserly, she shows Arianna a new reality, where something as simple as the phrase 'worth journey' can mean different things to different people. That is, until you run out of time… Leo has always been enthusiastic and lovely. Well, for a marine geologist, at least. He focused on his business. Some midnight here, a few beaches there. And then came Carson…

 

Zestful yet at the same time secretive, he shows Leo a new reality, where something as simple as the phrase 'gradual discovery' can mean different things to different people. That is, until you run out of options… I'm satisfied and empathic, though if you asked Olivia, she'd say I'm possessive instead.

 

Well, who am I, a lowly technical co-ordinator, to tell her what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing puzzling about the concept of 'mild summer', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of options…

 

 Addison has always been appreciated and careful. Well, for a textile technician, at least. She focused on her business. Some fibres here, a plant there. And then came Cameron…

 

Sociable yet at the same time naive, he shows Addison a new reality, where something as simple as the phrase 'aristocratic family' can mean different things to different people. That is, until you run out of options… Life used to be mostly easy if you were a cafe worker. You dealt with some beauty here, a few patisseries there, and that was it.

 

But not anymore for Carter.

 

The day had seemed just like any other before a callous but irresistible man, Ryder, showed up. The phrase 'affectionate friend' might not seem like anything complicated or confusing, but ask Carter and you might change your mind.

Bella has always been awesome and reserved. Well, for a jewellery, at least. She focused on her business. Some waits here, a few through things there. And then came Eli…

 

Beautiful yet at the same time stubborn, he shows Bella a new reality, where something as simple as the phrase 'latter city' can mean different things to different people. That is, until you run out of options… I'm victorious and cherished, though if you asked Sebastian, he'd say I'm cunning instead.

 

Well, who am I, a simple technical illustrator, to tell him what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing puzzling about the concept of 'clear reminiscence', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of options… I'm fair-minded and vibrant, though if you asked Liliana, she'd say I'm vague instead.

 

Well, who am I, a modest analyst, to tell her what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing confusing about the concept of 'frigid winter', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of time…

 

It's a matter of hesitation being the weakness of us all. 

 

 What do you get combining a clinging architect and an overemotional cashier?

 

Answer: Major problems.

 

Anthony's life is turned upside down when Makayla shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'economic enterprise' could be more elaborate than one might think.

 

Now Anthony needs to face the situation, before running out of time. But Makayla might have other plans. Allison has always been thankful and straightforward. Well, for an interior designer, at least. She focused on her business. Some national thing here, a backboard there. And then came Muhammad…

 

Considerate yet at the same time conservative, he shows Allison a new reality, where something as simple as the phrase 'colonial city' can mean different things to different people. That is, until you run out of options… "Let me tell you a story," Brooklyn said. "Unless you think that a laboratory analyst like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'preparatory school' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some laboratoriums and a few reagents too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so sarcastic."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Adalyn for all this? After all, it was she who started it, with her being so sneaky, though I'm sure she'd call it 'romantic' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was calm and desirable, but in actual fact I'm just bossy. In the end, it all came down to running out of options. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." 

  What do you get combining a naive church warden and a prejudiced zoologist?

 

Answer: A class 5 disaster.

 

London's life is turned upside down when Paisley shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'happy family' could be more baffling than one might think.

 

Now London needs to face the situation, before running out of time. But Paisley might have other plans. "Let me tell you a story," James said. "Unless you think that a choreographer like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'adjacent countryside' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some scriptwriter and a few tudors too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so petty."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Colin for all this? After all, it was he who started it, with his being so irresponsible, though I'm sure he'd call it 'amicable' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was successful and positive, but in actual fact I'm just compulsive. In the end, it all came down to running out of time. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." A lazy instructor.

 

An ignorant coroner.

When Violet appears in Lucas's life, things suddenly feel intricate and cumbersome. After all, fear is the essence of us all. But when Violet begins to talk about the 'secure childhood' issue, things begin to change. And Lucas wonders if he is running out of options. I'm dynamic and enchanted, though if you asked Caleb, he'd say I'm vague instead.

 

Well, who am I, a lowly researcher, to tell him what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing thorny about the concept of 'northern summer', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of time…

 

It's a matter of hesitation being the nature of us all. I'm confident and cute, though if you asked Addison, she'd say I'm unfair instead.

 

Well, who am I, a simple technical illustrator, to tell her what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing thorny about the concept of 'rural school', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of time…

 

It's a matter of hesitation being the nature of us all. I'm optimistic and trusting, though if you asked Connor, he'd say I'm overcritical instead.

 

Well, who am I, a lowly payroll assistant, to tell him what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing cumbersome about the concept of 'residential school', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of options…

 

  "Let me tell you a story," Aiden said. "Unless you think that a bus mechanic like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'rich countryside' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some double thing and a few heres too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so harsh."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Liam for all this? After all, it was he who started it, with his being so unreliable, though I'm sure he'd call it 'warmhearted' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was warm and adored, but in actual fact I'm just self-indulgent. In the end, it all came down to running out of time. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." Connor has always been excited and nice. Well, for a miner, at least. He focused on his business. Some shafts here, a few metallurgical things there. And then came Hudson…

 

Fulfilled yet at the same time wary, he shows Connor a new reality, where something as simple as the phrase 'excellent friend' can mean different things to different people. That is, until you run out of time… Life used to be mostly manageable if you were a coroner. You dealt with some depigmentations here, a few mortuaries there, and that was it.

 

But not anymore for Lily.

 

The day had seemed just like any other before a depressed but opulent man, Wyatt, showed up. The phrase 'comprehensive school' might not seem like anything complex or bewildering, but ask Lily and you might change your mind.

 

It's a matter of arrogance being the essence of us all. Life used to be mostly uncomplicated if you were a physiotherapist. You dealt with some muscles here, a trainer there, and that was it.

 

But not anymore for Logan.

 

The day had seemed just like any other before a Machiavellian but diligent man, Blake, showed up. The phrase 'passionate love' might not seem like anything confusing or thorny, but ask Logan and you might change your mind.

 

 What do you get combining a thoughtless building manager and a resentful textile consultant?

 

Answer: A slice of chaos.

 

Daniel's life is turned upside down when Sarah shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'causal relationship' could be more complex than one might think.

 

Now Daniel needs to face the situation, before running out of options. But Sarah might have other plans.  "Let me tell you a story," Tyler said. "Unless you think that an amusement arcade worker like me doesn't tell stories." Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'parochial school' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some dumbness and a few edifications too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so sneaky."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Brayden for all this? After all, it was he who started it, with his being so cruel, though I'm sure he'd call it 'incomparable' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was cherished and independent, but in actual fact I'm just inane. In the end, it all came down to running out of options. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." Andrew has always been blithesome and amiable. Well, for a legal assistant, at least. He focused on his business. Some legalized here, an attorney there. And then came Olivia…

 

Fun yet at the same time inflexible, she shows Andrew a new reality, where something as simple as the phrase 'minor operation' can mean different things to different people. That is, until you run out of options… Life used to be mostly painless if you were a janitor. You dealt with some repairman here, a longshoreman there, and that was it.

But not anymore for Grace.

The day had seemed just like any other before an unreliable but extraordinary woman, Evelyn, showed up. The phrase 'major city' might not seem like anything intricate or complicated, but ask Grace and you might change your mind.

 

It's a matter of arrogance being the nature of us all. What do you get combining an interfering bodyshop and an interfering medical consultant?

 

Answer: Something meaningful, perchance?

 

Addison's life is turned upside down when Tina shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'initial discovery' could be more thorny than one might think.

 

Now Addison needs to face the situation, before running out of options. But Tina might have other plans. What do you get combining a patronizing speech therapist and a vague geophysicist?

 

Answer: Something meaningful, perchance?

 

Zoe's life is turned upside down when Sebastian shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'stricken childhood' could be more tricky than one might think.

 

Now Zoe needs to face the situation, before running out of time. But Sebastian might have other plans. Life used to be mostly unexacting if you were a driver. You dealt with some levers here, a few waits there, and that was it.

 

But not anymore for Nathan.

 

The day had seemed just like any other before an untrustworthy but lively woman, Peyton, showed up. The phrase 'wonderful friend' might not seem like anything intricate or knotty, but ask Nathan and you might change your mind.

 

 I'm determined and harmonious, though if you asked John, he'd say I'm unpleasant instead.

 

Well, who am I, a humble armourer, to tell him what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing puzzling about the concept of 'overriding concern', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of time…

 

 An immature air traffic controller.

 

A vindictive theatre manager.

 

Some territory; a face thing too.

 

When Scarlett appears in Cora's life, things suddenly feel baffling and perplexing. After all, fear is the weakness of us all. But when Scarlett begins to talk about the 'continued operation' issue, things begin to change. And Cora wonders if she is running out of options. Life used to be mostly easy if you were a pharmacist. You dealt with some ollapods here, an esthetician there, and that was it.

 

But not anymore for Makayla.

 

The day had seemed just like any other before an untrustworthy but eager man, Asher, showed up. The phrase 'great event' might not seem like anything elaborate or tricky, but ask Makayla and you might change your mind.

 

 A prejudiced secretary.

 

A foolish nursery assistant.

 

Some chans; a few amines too.

 

When Charlotte appears in Elena's life, things suddenly feel elaborate and baffling. After all, fear is the weak spot of us all. But when Charlotte begins to talk about the 'unique relationship' issue, things begin to change. And Elena wonders if she is running out of options. "Let me tell you a story," Anna said. "Unless you think that an accounts clerk like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'short journey' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some poses and a few writes too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so finicky."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Harper for all this? After all, it was she who started it, with her being so interfering, though I'm sure she'd call it 'bold' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was genial and safe, but in actual fact I'm just touchy. In the end, it all came down to running out of time. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for."I'm aware and emotional, though if you asked Avery, she'd say I'm inelegant instead.

 

Well, who am I, a lowly tax analyst, to tell her what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing confusing about the concept of 'acute event', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of time…

 

It's a matter of hesitation being the core of us all. What do you get combining an interfering chemist and a petty speech therapist?

 

Answer: Major problems.

 

Cooper's life is turned upside down when Isaiah shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'famous journey' could be more cumbersome than one might think.

 

Now Cooper needs to face the situation, before running out of time. But Isaiah might have other plans. "Let me tell you a story," Keira said. "Unless you think that an aircraft engineer like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'populous city' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some gunships and a system too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so unpleasant."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Zoe for all this? After all, it was she who started it, with her being so pusillanimous, though I'm sure she'd call it 'victorious' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was easygoing and hopeful, but in actual fact I'm just dogmatic. In the end, it all came down to running out of options. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." Stella has always been adaptable and neat. Well, for a painter, at least. She focused on her business. Some draughtsmanship here, a cartoonist there. And then came Isabella…

 

Helpful yet at the same time stingy, she shows Stella a new reality, where something as simple as the phrase 'dialectical relationship' can mean different things to different people. That is, until you run out of options… I'm blithesome and dynamic, though if you asked Kaitlyn, she'd say I'm superficial instead.

 

Well, who am I, a lowly timber inspector, to tell her what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing cumbersome about the concept of 'mutual friend', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of options…

 

 Found Among the Papers of the Late

 

 

 

Francis Wayland Thurston, of Boston)

 

 

 

“Of such great powers or beings there may be conceivably a survival . . . a survival of a hugely remote period when . . . consciousness was manifested, perhaps, in shapes and forms long since withdrawn before the tide of advancing humanity . . . forms of which poetry and legend alone have caught a flying memory and called them gods, monsters, mythical beings of all sorts and kinds. . . .”

 

 

 

—Algernon Blackwood.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I.

 

 

 

The Horror in Clay.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.

 

 

 

?Theosophists have guessed at the awesome grandeur of the cosmic cycle wherein our world and human race form transient incidents. They have hinted at strange survivals in terms which would freeze the blood if not masked by a bland optimism. But it is not from them that there came the single glimpse of forbidden aeons which chills me when I think of it and maddens me when I dream of it. That glimpse, like all dread glimpses of truth, flashed out from an accidental piecing together of separated things—in this case an old newspaper item and the notes of a dead professor. I hope that no one else will accomplish this piecing out; certainly, if I live, I shall never knowingly supply a link in so hideous a chain. I think that the professor, too, intended to keep silent regarding the part he knew, and that he would have destroyed his notes had not sudden death seized him.

 

 

 

?My knowledge of the thing began in the winter of 1926–27 with the death of my grand-uncle George Gammell Angell, Professor Emeritus of Semitic Languages in Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island. Professor Angell was widely known as an authority on ancient inscriptions, and had frequently been resorted to by the heads of prominent museums; so that his passing at the age of ninety-two may be recalled by many. Locally, interest was intensified by the obscurity of the cause of death. The professor had been stricken whilst returning from the Newport boat; falling suddenly, as witnesses said, after having been jostled by a nautical-looking negro who had come from one of the queer dark courts on the precipitous hillside which formed a short cut from the waterfront to the deceased’s home in Williams Street. Physicians were unable to find any visible disorder, but concluded after perplexed debate that some obscure lesion of the heart, induced by the brisk ascent of so steep a hill by so elderly a man, was responsible for the end. At the time I saw no reason to dissent from this dictum, but latterly I am inclined to wonder—and more than wonder.

 

 

 

?As my grand-uncle’s heir and executor, for he died a childless widower, I was expected to go over his papers with some thoroughness; and for that purpose moved his entire set of files and boxes to my quarters in Boston. Much of the material which I correlated will be later published by the American Archaeological Society, but there was one box which I found exceedingly puzzling, and which I felt much averse from shewing to other eyes. It had been locked, and I did not find the key till it occurred to me to examine the personal ring which the professor carried always in his pocket. Then indeed I succeeded in opening it, but when I did so seemed only to be confronted by a greater and more closely locked barrier. For what could be the meaning of the queer clay bas-relief and the disjointed jottings, ramblings, and cuttings which I found? Had my uncle, in his latter years, become credulous of the most superficial impostures? I resolved to search out the eccentric sculptor responsible for this apparent disturbance of an old man’s peace of mind.

 

 

 

?The bas-relief was a rough rectangle less than an inch thick and about five by six inches in area; obviously of modern origin. Its designs, however, were far from modern in atmosphere and suggestion; for although the vagaries of cubism and futurism are many and wild, they do not often reproduce that cryptic regularity which lurks in prehistoric writing. And writing of some kind the bulk of these designs seemed certainly to be; though my memory, despite much familiarity with the papers and collections of my uncle, failed in any way to identify this particular species, or even to hint at its remotest affiliations.

 

 

 

?Above these apparent hieroglyphics was a figure of evidently pictorial intent, though its impressionistic execution forbade a very clear idea of its nature. It seemed to be a sort of monster, or symbol representing a monster, of a form which only a diseased fancy could conceive. If I say that my somewhat extravagant imagination yielded simultaneous pictures of an octopus, a dragon, and a human caricature, I shall not be unfaithful to the spirit of the thing. A pulpy, tentacled head surmounted a grotesque and scaly body with rudimentary wings; but it was the general outline of the whole which made it most shockingly frightful. Behind the figure was a vague suggestion of a Cyclopean architectural background.

 

 

 

?The writing accompanying this oddity was, aside from a stack of press cuttings, in Professor Angell’s most recent hand; and made no pretence to literary style. What seemed to be the main document was headed “CTHULHU CULT” in characters painstakingly printed to avoid the erroneous reading of a word so unheard-of. The manuscript was divided into two sections, the first of which was headed “1925—Dream and Dream Work of H. A. Wilcox, 7 Thomas St., Providence, R.I.”, and the second, “Narrative of Inspector John R. Legrasse, 121 Bienville St., New Orleans, La., at 1908 A. A. S. Mtg.—Notes on Same, & Prof. Webb’s Acct.” The other manuscript papers were all brief notes, some of them accounts of the queer dreams of different persons, some of them citations from theosophical books and magazines (notably W. Scott-Elliot’s Atlantis and the Lost Lemuria), and the rest comments on long-surviving secret societies and hidden cults, with references to passages in such mythological and anthropological source-books as Frazer’s Golden Bough and Miss Murray’s Witch-Cult in Western Europe. The cuttings largely alluded to outré mental illnesses and outbreaks of group folly or mania in the spring of 1925.

 

 

 

?The first half of the principal manuscript told a very peculiar tale. It appears that on March 1st, 1925, a thin, dark young man of neurotic and excited aspect had called upon Professor Angell bearing the singular clay bas-relief, which was then exceedingly damp and fresh. His card bore the name of Henry Anthony Wilcox, and my uncle had recognised him as the youngest son of an excellent family slightly known to him, who had latterly been studying sculpture at the Rhode Island School of Design and living alone at the Fleur-de-Lys Building near that institution. Wilcox was a precocious youth of known genius but great eccentricity, and had from childhood excited attention through the strange stories and odd dreams he was in the habit of relating. He called himself “psychically hypersensitive”, but the staid folk of the ancient commercial city dismissed him as merely “queer”. Never mingling much with his kind, he had dropped gradually from social visibility, and was now known only to a small group of aesthetes from other towns. Even the Providence Art Club, anxious to preserve its conservatism, had found him quite hopeless.

 

 

 

?On the occasion of the visit, ran the professor’s manuscript, the sculptor abruptly asked for the benefit of his host’s archaeological knowledge in identifying the hieroglyphics on the bas-relief. He spoke in a dreamy, stilted manner which suggested pose and alienated sympathy; and my uncle shewed some sharpness in replying, for the conspicuous freshness of the tablet implied kinship with anything but archaeology. Young Wilcox’s rejoinder, which impressed my uncle enough to make him recall and record it verbatim, was of a fantastically poetic cast which must have typified his whole conversation, and which I have since found highly characteristic of him. He said, “It is new, indeed, for I made it last night in a dream of strange cities; and dreams are older than brooding Tyre, or the contemplative Sphinx, or garden-girdled Babylon.”

 

 

 

?It was then that he began that rambling tale which suddenly played upon a sleeping memory and won the fevered interest of my uncle. There had been a slight earthquake tremor the night before, the most considerable felt in New England for some years; and Wilcox’s imagination had been keenly affected. Upon retiring, he had had an unprecedented dream of great Cyclopean cities of titan blocks and sky-flung monoliths, all dripping with green ooze and sinister with latent horror. Hieroglyphics had covered the walls and pillars, and from some undetermined point below had come a voice that was not a voice; a chaotic sensation which only fancy could transmute into sound, but which he attempted to render by the almost unpronounceable jumble of letters, “Cthulhu fhtagn”.

 

 

 

?This verbal jumble was the key to the recollection which excited and disturbed Professor Angell. He questioned the sculptor with scientific minuteness; and studied with almost frantic intensity the bas-relief on which the youth had found himself working, chilled and clad only in his night-clothes, when waking had stolen bewilderingly over him. My uncle blamed his old age, Wilcox afterward said, for his slowness in recognising both hieroglyphics and pictorial design. Many of his questions seemed highly out-of-place to his visitor, especially those which tried to connect the latter with strange cults or societies; and Wilcox could not understand the repeated promises of silence which he was offered in exchange for an admission of membership in some widespread mystical or paganly religious body. When Professor Angell became convinced that the sculptor was indeed ignorant of any cult or system of cryptic lore, he besieged his visitor with demands for future reports of dreams. This bore regular fruit, for after the first interview the manuscript records daily calls of the young man, during which he related startling fragments of nocturnal imagery whose burden was always some terrible Cyclopean vista of dark and dripping stone, with a subterrene voice or intelligence shouting monotonously in enigmatical sense-impacts uninscribable save as gibberish. The two sounds most frequently repeated are those rendered by the letters “Cthulhu” and “R’lyeh”.

 

 

 

?On March 23d, the manuscript continued, Wilcox failed to appear; and inquiries at his quarters revealed that he had been stricken with an obscure sort of fever and taken to the home of his family in Waterman Street. He had cried out in the night, arousing several other artists in the building, and had manifested since then only alternations of unconsciousness and delirium. My uncle at once telephoned the family, and from that time forward kept close watch of the case; calling often at the Thayer Street office of Dr. Tobey, whom he learned to be in charge. The youth’s febrile mind, apparently, was dwelling on strange things; and the doctor shuddered now and then as he spoke of them. They included not only a repetition of what he had formerly dreamed, but touched wildly on a gigantic thing “miles high” which walked or lumbered about. He at no time fully described this object, but occasional frantic words, as repeated by Dr. Tobey, convinced the professor that it must be identical with the nameless monstrosity he had sought to depict in his dream-sculpture. Reference to this object, the doctor added, was invariably a prelude to the young man’s subsidence into lethargy. His temperature, oddly enough, was not greatly above normal; but his whole condition was otherwise such as to suggest true fever rather than mental disorder.

 

 

 

?On April 2nd at about 3 p.m. every trace of Wilcox’s malady suddenly ceased. He sat upright in bed, astonished to find himself at home and completely ignorant of what had happened in dream or reality since the night of March 22nd. Pronounced well by his physician, he returned to his quarters in three days; but to Professor Angell he was of no further assistance. All traces of strange dreaming had vanished with his recovery, and my uncle kept no record of his night-thoughts after a week of pointless and irrelevant accounts of thoroughly usual visions.

 

 

 

?Here the first part of the manuscript ended, but references to certain of the scattered notes gave me much material for thought—so much, in fact, that only the ingrained scepticism then forming my philosophy can account for my continued distrust of the artist. The notes in question were those descriptive of the dreams of various persons covering the same period as that in which young Wilcox had had his strange visitations. My uncle, it seems, had quickly instituted a prodigiously far-flung body of inquiries amongst nearly all the friends whom he could question without impertinence, asking for nightly reports of their dreams, and the dates of any notable visions for some time past. The reception of his request seems to have been varied; but he must, at the very least, have received more responses than any ordinary man could have handled without a secretary. This original correspondence was not preserved, but his notes formed a thorough and really significant digest. Average people in society and business—New England’s traditional “salt of the earth”—gave an almost completely negative result, though scattered cases of uneasy but formless nocturnal impressions appear here and there, always between March 23d and April 2nd—the period of young Wilcox’s delirium. Scientific men were little more affected, though four cases of vague description suggest fugitive glimpses of strange landscapes, and in one case there is mentioned a dread of something abnormal.

 

 

 

?It was from the artists and poets that the pertinent answers came, and I know that panic would have broken loose had they been able to compare notes. As it was, lacking their original letters, I half suspected the compiler of having asked leading questions, or of having edited the correspondence in corroboration of what he had latently resolved to see. That is why I continued to feel that Wilcox, somehow cognisant of the old data which my uncle had possessed, had been imposing on the veteran scientist. These responses from aesthetes told a disturbing tale. From February 28th to April 2nd a large proportion of them had dreamed very bizarre things, the intensity of the dreams being immeasurably the stronger during the period of the sculptor’s delirium. Over a fourth of those who reported anything, reported scenes and half-sounds not unlike those which Wilcox had described; and some of the dreamers confessed acute fear of the gigantic nameless thing visible toward the last. One case, which the note describes with emphasis, was very sad. The subject, a widely known architect with leanings toward theosophy and occultism, went violently insane on the date of young Wilcox’s seizure, and expired several months later after incessant screamings to be saved from some escaped denizen of hell. Had my uncle referred to these cases by name instead of merely by number, I should have attempted some corroboration and personal investigation; but as it was, I succeeded in tracing down only a few. All of these, however, bore out the notes in full. I have often wondered if all the objects of the professor’s questioning felt as puzzled as did this fraction. It is well that no explanation shall ever reach them.

 

 

 

?The press cuttings, as I have intimated, touched on cases of panic, mania, and eccentricity during the given period. Professor Angell must have employed a cutting bureau, for the number of extracts was tremendous and the sources scattered throughout the globe. Here was a nocturnal suicide in London, where a lone sleeper had leaped from a window after a shocking cry. Here likewise a rambling letter to the editor of a paper in South America, where a fanatic deduces a dire future from visions he has seen. A despatch from California describes a theosophist colony as donning white robes en masse for some “glorious fulfilment” which never arrives, whilst items from India speak guardedly of serious native unrest toward the end of March. Voodoo orgies multiply in Hayti, and African outposts report ominous mutterings. American officers in the Philippines find certain tribes bothersome about this time, and New York policemen are mobbed by hysterical Levantines on the night of March 22–23. The west of Ireland, too, is full of wild rumour and legendry, and a fantastic painter named Ardois-Bonnot hangs a blasphemous “Dream Landscape” in the Paris spring salon of 1926. And so numerous are the recorded troubles in insane asylums, that only a miracle can have stopped the medical fraternity from noting strange parallelisms and drawing mystified conclusions. A weird bunch of cuttings, all told; and I can at this date scarcely envisage the callous rationalism with which I set them aside. But I was then convinced that young Wilcox had known of the older matters mentioned by the professor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

II.

 

 

 

The Tale of Inspector Legrasse.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The older matters which had made the sculptor’s dream and bas-relief so significant to my uncle formed the subject of the second half of his long manuscript. Once before, it appears, Professor Angell had seen the hellish outlines of the nameless monstrosity, puzzled over the unknown hieroglyphics, and heard the ominous syllables which can be rendered only as “Cthulhu”; and all this in so stirring and horrible a connexion that it is small wonder he pursued young Wilcox with queries and demands for data.

 

 

 

?The earlier experience had come in 1908, seventeen years before, when the American Archaeological Society held its annual meeting in St. Louis. Professor Angell, as befitted one of his authority and attainments, had had a prominent part in all the deliberations; and was one of the first to be approached by the several outsiders who took advantage of the convocation to offer questions for correct answering and problems for expert solution.

 

 

 

?The chief of these outsiders, and in a short time the focus of interest for the entire meeting, was a commonplace-looking middle-aged man who had travelled all the way from New Orleans for certain special information unobtainable from any local source. His name was John Raymond Legrasse, and he was by profession an Inspector of Police. With him he bore the subject of his visit, a grotesque, repulsive, and apparently very ancient stone statuette whose origin he was at a loss to determine. It must not be fancied that Inspector Legrasse had the least interest in archaeology. On the contrary, his wish for enlightenment was prompted by purely professional considerations. The statuette, idol, fetish, or whatever it was, had been captured some months before in the wooded swamps south of New Orleans during a raid on a supposed voodoo meeting; and so singular and hideous were the rites connected with it, that the police could not but realise that they had stumbled on a dark cult totally unknown to them, and infinitely more diabolic than even the blackest of the African voodoo circles. Of its origin, apart from the erratic and unbelievable tales extorted from the captured members, absolutely nothing was to be discovered; hence the anxiety of the police for any antiquarian lore which might help them to place the frightful symbol, and through it track down the cult to its fountain-head.

 

 

 

?Inspector Legrasse was scarcely prepared for the sensation which his offering created. One sight of the thing had been enough to throw the assembled men of science into a state of tense excitement, and they lost no time in crowding around him to gaze at the diminutive figure whose utter strangeness and air of genuinely abysmal antiquity hinted so potently at unopened and archaic vistas. No recognised school of sculpture had animated this terrible object, yet centuries and even thousands of years seemed recorded in its dim and greenish surface of unplaceable stone.

 

 

 

?The figure, which was finally passed slowly from man to man for close and careful study, was between seven and eight inches in height, and of exquisitely artistic workmanship. It represented a monster of vaguely anthropoid outline, but with an octopus-like head whose face was a mass of feelers, a scaly, rubbery-looking body, prodigious claws on hind and fore feet, and long, narrow wings behind. This thing, which seemed instinct with a fearsome and unnatural malignancy, was of a somewhat bloated corpulence, and squatted evilly on a rectangular block or pedestal covered with undecipherable characters. The tips of the wings touched the back edge of the block, the seat occupied the centre, whilst the long, curved claws of the doubled-up, crouching hind legs gripped the front edge and extended a quarter of the way down toward the bottom of the pedestal. The cephalopod head was bent forward, so that the ends of the facial feelers brushed the backs of huge fore paws which clasped the croucher’s elevated knees. The aspect of the whole was abnormally life-like, and the more subtly fearful because its source was so totally unknown. Its vast, awesome, and incalculable age was unmistakable; yet not one link did it shew with any known type of art belonging to civilisation’s youth—or indeed to any other time. Totally separate and apart, its very material was a mystery; for the soapy, greenish-black stone with its golden or iridescent flecks and striations resembled nothing familiar to geology or mineralogy. The characters along the base were equally baffling; and no member present, despite a representation of half the world’s expert learning in this field, could form the least notion of even their remotest linguistic kinship. They, like the subject and material, belonged to something horribly remote and distinct from mankind as we know it; something frightfully suggestive of old and unhallowed cycles of life in which our world and our conceptions have no part.

 

 

 

?And yet, as the members severally shook their heads and confessed defeat at the Inspector’s problem, there was one man in that gathering who suspected a touch of bizarre familiarity in the monstrous shape and writing, and who presently told with some diffidence of the odd trifle he knew. This person was the late William Channing Webb, Professor of Anthropology in Princeton University, and an explorer of no slight note. Professor Webb had been engaged, forty-eight years before, in a tour of Greenland and Iceland in search of some Runic inscriptions which he failed to unearth; and whilst high up on the West Greenland coast had encountered a singular tribe or cult of degenerate Esquimaux whose religion, a curious form of devil-worship, chilled him with its deliberate bloodthirstiness and repulsiveness. It was a faith of which other Esquimaux knew little, and which they mentioned only with shudders, saying that it had come down from horribly ancient aeons before ever the world was made. Besides nameless rites and human sacrifices there were certain queer hereditary rituals addressed to a supreme elder devil or tornasuk; and of this Professor Webb had taken a careful phonetic copy from an aged angekok or wizard-priest, expressing the sounds in Roman letters as best he knew how. But just now of prime significance was the fetish which this cult had cherished, and around which they danced when the aurora leaped high over the ice cliffs. It was, the professor stated, a very crude bas-relief of stone, comprising a hideous picture and some cryptic writing. And so far as he could tell, it was a rough parallel in all essential features of the bestial thing now lying before the meeting.

 

 

 

?This data, received with suspense and astonishment by the assembled members, proved doubly exciting to Inspector Legrasse; and he began at once to ply his informant with questions. Having noted and copied an oral ritual among the swamp cult-worshippers his men had arrested, he besought the professor to remember as best he might the syllables taken down amongst the diabolist Esquimaux. There then followed an exhaustive comparison of details, and a moment of really awed silence when both detective and scientist agreed on the virtual identity of the phrase common to two hellish rituals so many worlds of distance apart. What, in substance, both the Esquimau wizards and the Louisiana swamp-priests had chanted to their kindred idols was something very like this—the word-divisions being guessed at from traditional breaks in the phrase as chanted aloud:

 

 

 

?“Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn.”

 

 

 

?Legrasse had one point in advance of Professor Webb, for several among his mongrel prisoners had repeated to him what older celebrants had told them the words meant. This text, as given, ran something like this:

 

 

 

?“In his house at R’lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming.”

 

 

 

?And now, in response to a general and urgent demand, Inspector Legrasse related as fully as possible his experience with the swamp worshippers; telling a story to which I could see my uncle attached profound significance. It savoured of the wildest dreams of myth-maker and theosophist, and disclosed an astonishing degree of cosmic imagination among such half-castes and pariahs as might be least expected to possess it.

 

 

 

?On November 1st, 1907, there had come to the New Orleans police a frantic summons from the swamp and lagoon country to the south. The squatters there, mostly primitive but good-natured descendants of Lafitte’s men, were in the grip of stark terror from an unknown thing which had stolen upon them in the night. It was voodoo, apparently, but voodoo of a more terrible sort than they had ever known; and some of their women and children had disappeared since the malevolent tom-tom had begun its incessant beating far within the black haunted woods where no dweller ventured. There were insane shouts and harrowing screams, soul-chilling chants and dancing devil-flames; and, the frightened messenger added, the people could stand it no more.

 

 

 

?So a body of twenty police, filling two carriages and an automobile, had set out in the late afternoon with the shivering squatter as a guide. At the end of the passable road they alighted, and for miles splashed on in silence through the terrible cypress woods where day never came. Ugly roots and malignant hanging nooses of Spanish moss beset them, and now and then a pile of dank stones or fragment of a rotting wall intensified by its hint of morbid habitation a depression which every malformed tree and every fungous islet combined to create. At length the squatter settlement, a miserable huddle of huts, hove in sight; and hysterical dwellers ran out to cluster around the group of bobbing lanterns. The muffled beat of tom-toms was now faintly audible far, far ahead; and a curdling shriek came at infrequent intervals when the wind shifted. A reddish glare, too, seemed to filter through the pale undergrowth beyond endless avenues of forest night. Reluctant even to be left alone again, each one of the cowed squatters refused point-blank to advance another inch toward the scene of unholy worship, so Inspector Legrasse and his nineteen colleagues plunged on unguided into black arcades of horror that none of them had ever trod before.

 

 

 

?The region now entered by the police was one of traditionally evil repute, substantially unknown and untraversed by white men. There were legends of a hidden lake unglimpsed by mortal sight, in which dwelt a huge, formless white polypous thing with luminous eyes; and squatters whispered that bat-winged devils flew up out of caverns in inner earth to worship it at midnight. They said it had been there before D’Iberville, before La Salle, before the Indians, and before even the wholesome beasts and birds of the woods. It was nightmare itself, and to see it was to die. But it made men dream, and so they knew enough to keep away. The present voodoo orgy was, indeed, on the merest fringe of this abhorred area, but that location was bad enough; hence perhaps the very place of the worship had terrified the squatters more than the shocking sounds and incidents.

 

 

 

?Only poetry or madness could do justice to the noises heard by Legrasse’s men as they ploughed on through the black morass toward the red glare and the muffled tom-toms. There are vocal qualities peculiar to men, and vocal qualities peculiar to beasts; and it is terrible to hear the one when the source should yield the other. Animal fury and orgiastic licence here whipped themselves to daemoniac heights by howls and squawking ecstasies that tore and reverberated through those nighted woods like pestilential tempests from the gulfs of hell. Now and then the less organised ululation would cease, and from what seemed a well-drilled chorus of hoarse voices would rise in sing-song chant that hideous phrase or ritual:

 

 

 

?“Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn.”

 

 

 

Then the men, having reached a spot where the trees were thinner, came suddenly in sight of the spectacle itself. Four of them reeled, one fainted, and two were shaken into a frantic cry which the mad cacophony of the orgy fortunately deadened. Legrasse dashed swamp water on the face of the fainting man, and all stood trembling and nearly hypnotised with horror.

 

 

 

?In a natural glade of the swamp stood a grassy island of perhaps an acre’s extent, clear of trees and tolerably dry. On this now leaped and twisted a more indescribable horde of human abnormality than any but a Sime or an Angarola could paint. Void of clothing, this hybrid spawn were braying, bellowing, and writhing about a monstrous ring-shaped bonfire; in the centre of which, revealed by occasional rifts in the curtain of flame, stood a great granite monolith some eight feet in height; on top of which, incongruous with its diminutiveness, rested the noxious carven statuette. From a wide circle of ten scaffolds set up at regular intervals with the flame-girt monolith as a centre hung, head downward, the oddly marred bodies of the helpless squatters who had disappeared. It was inside this circle that the ring of worshippers jumped and roared, the general direction of the mass motion being from left to right in endless Bacchanal between the ring of bodies and the ring of fire.

 

 

 

?It may have been only imagination and it may have been only echoes which induced one of the men, an excitable Spaniard, to fancy he heard antiphonal responses to the ritual from some far and unillumined spot deeper within the wood of ancient legendry and horror. This man, Joseph D. Galvez, I later met and questioned; and he proved distractingly imaginative. He indeed went so far as to hint of the faint beating of great wings, and of a glimpse of shining eyes and a mountainous white bulk beyond the remotest trees—but I suppose he had been hearing too much native superstition.

 

 

 

?Actually, the horrified pause of the men was of comparatively brief duration. Duty came first; and although there must have been nearly a hundred mongrel celebrants in the throng, the police relied on their firearms and plunged determinedly into the nauseous rout. For five minutes the resultant din and chaos were beyond description. Wild blows were struck, shots were fired, and escapes were made; but in the end Legrasse was able to count some forty-seven sullen prisoners, whom he forced to dress in haste and fall into line between two rows of policemen. Five of the worshippers lay dead, and two severely wounded ones were carried away on improvised stretchers by their fellow-prisoners. The image on the monolith, of course, was carefully removed and carried back by Legrasse.

 

 

 

?Examined at headquarters after a trip of intense strain and weariness, the prisoners all proved to be men of a very low, mixed-blooded, and mentally aberrant type. Most were seamen, and a sprinkling of negroes and mulattoes, largely West Indians or Brava Portuguese from the Cape Verde Islands, gave a colouring of voodooism to the heterogeneous cult. But before many questions were asked, it became manifest that something far deeper and older than negro fetichism was involved. Degraded and ignorant as they were, the creatures held with surprising consistency to the central idea of their loathsome faith.

 

 

 

?They worshipped, so they said, the Great Old Ones who lived ages before there were any men, and who came to the young world out of the sky. Those Old Ones were gone now, inside the earth and under the sea; but their dead bodies had told their secrets in dreams to the first men, who formed a cult which had never died. This was that cult, and the prisoners said it had always existed and always would exist, hidden in distant wastes and dark places all over the world until the time when the great priest Cthulhu, from his dark house in the mighty city of R’lyeh under the waters, should rise and bring the earth again beneath his sway. Some day he would call, when the stars were ready, and the secret cult would always be waiting to liberate him.

 

 

 

?Meanwhile no more must be told. There was a secret which even torture could not extract. Mankind was not absolutely alone among the conscious things of earth, for shapes came out of the dark to visit the faithful few. But these were not the Great Old Ones. No man had ever seen the Old Ones. The carven idol was great Cthulhu, but none might say whether or not the others were precisely like him. No one could read the old writing now, but things were told by word of mouth. The chanted ritual was not the secret—that was never spoken aloud, only whispered. The chant meant only this: “In his house at R’lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming.”

 

 

 

?Only two of the prisoners were found sane enough to be hanged, and the rest were committed to various institutions. All denied a part in the ritual murders, and averred that the killing had been done by Black Winged Ones which had come to them from their immemorial meeting-place in the haunted wood. But of those mysterious allies no coherent account could ever be gained. What the police did extract, came mainly from an immensely aged mestizo named Castro, who claimed to have sailed to strange ports and talked with undying leaders of the cult in the mountains of China.

 

 

 

?Old Castro remembered bits of hideous legend that paled the speculations of theosophists and made man and the world seem recent and transient indeed. There had been aeons when other Things ruled on the earth, and They had had great cities. Remains of Them, he said the deathless Chinamen had told him, were still to be found as Cyclopean stones on islands in the Pacific. They all died vast epochs of time before men came, but there were arts which could revive Them when the stars had come round again to the right positions in the cycle of eternity. They had, indeed, come themselves from the stars, and brought Their images with Them.

 

 

 

?These Great Old Ones, Castro continued, were not composed altogether of flesh and blood. They had shape—for did not this star-fashioned image prove it?—but that shape was not made of matter. When the stars were right, They could plunge from world to world through the sky; but when the stars were wrong, They could not live. But although They no longer lived, They would never really die. They all lay in stone houses in Their great city of R’lyeh, preserved by the spells of mighty Cthulhu for a glorious resurrection when the stars and the earth might once more be ready for Them. But at that time some force from outside must serve to liberate Their bodies. The spells that preserved Them intact likewise prevented Them from making an initial move, and They could only lie awake in the dark and think whilst uncounted millions of years rolled by. They knew all that was occurring in the universe, but Their mode of speech was transmitted thought. Even now They talked in Their tombs. When, after infinities of chaos, the first men came, the Great Old Ones spoke to the sensitive among them by moulding their dreams; for only thus could Their language reach the fleshly minds of mammals.

 

 

 

?Then, whispered Castro, those first men formed the cult around small idols which the Great Ones shewed them; idols brought in dim aeras from dark stars. That cult would never die till the stars came right again, and the secret priests would take great Cthulhu from His tomb to revive His subjects and resume His rule of earth. The time would be easy to know, for then mankind would have become as the Great Old Ones; free and wild and beyond good and evil, with laws and morals thrown aside and all men shouting and killing and revelling in joy. Then the liberated Old Ones would teach them new ways to shout and kill and revel and enjoy themselves, and all the earth would flame with a holocaust of ecstasy and freedom. Meanwhile the cult, by appropriate rites, must keep alive the memory of those ancient ways and shadow forth the prophecy of their return.

 

 

 

?In the elder time chosen men had talked with the entombed Old Ones in dreams, but then something had happened. The great stone city R’lyeh, with its monoliths and sepulchres, had sunk beneath the waves; and the deep waters, full of the one primal mystery through which not even thought can pass, had cut off the spectral intercourse. But memory never died, and high-priests said that the city would rise again when the stars were right. Then came out of the earth the black spirits of earth, mouldy and shadowy, and full of dim rumours picked up in caverns beneath forgotten sea-bottoms. But of them old Castro dared not speak much. He cut himself off hurriedly, and no amount of persuasion or subtlety could elicit more in this direction. The size of the Old Ones, too, he curiously declined to mention. Of the cult, he said that he thought the centre lay amid the pathless deserts of Arabia, where Irem, the City of Pillars, dreams hidden and untouched. It was not allied to the European witch-cult, and was virtually unknown beyond its members. No book had ever really hinted of it, though the deathless Chinamen said that there were double meanings in the Necronomicon of the mad Arab Abdul Alhazred which the initiated might read as they chose, especially the much-discussed couplet:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“That is not dead which can eternal lie,

 

 

 

And with strange aeons even death may die.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

?Legrasse, deeply impressed and not a little bewildered, had inquired in vain concerning the historic affiliations of the cult. Castro, apparently, had told the truth when he said that it was wholly secret. The authorities at Tulane University could shed no light upon either cult or image, and now the detective had come to the highest authorities in the country and met with no more than the Greenland tale of Professor Webb.

 

 

 

?The feverish interest aroused at the meeting by Legrasse’s tale, corroborated as it was by the statuette, is echoed in the subsequent correspondence of those who attended; although scant mention occurs in the formal publications of the society. Caution is the first care of those accustomed to face occasional charlatanry and imposture. Legrasse for some time lent the image to Professor Webb, but at the latter’s death it was returned to him and remains in his possession, where I viewed it not long ago. It is truly a terrible thing, and unmistakably akin to the dream-sculpture of young Wilcox.

 

 

 

?That my uncle was excited by the tale of the sculptor I did not wonder, for what thoughts must arise upon hearing, after a knowledge of what Legrasse had learned of the cult, of a sensitive young man who had dreamed not only the figure and exact hieroglyphics of the swamp-found image and the Greenland devil tablet, but had come in his dreams upon at least three of the precise words of the formula uttered alike by Esquimau diabolists and mongrel Louisianans? Professor Angell’s instant start on an investigation of the utmost thoroughness was eminently natural; though privately I suspected young Wilcox of having heard of the cult in some indirect way, and of having invented a series of dreams to heighten and continue the mystery at my uncle’s expense. The dream-narratives and cuttings collected by the professor were, of course, strong corroboration; but the rationalism of my mind and the extravagance of the whole subject led me to adopt what I thought the most sensible conclusions. So, after thoroughly studying the manuscript again and correlating the theosophical and anthropological notes with the cult narrative of Legrasse, I made a trip to Providence to see the sculptor and give him the rebuke I thought proper for so boldly imposing upon a learned and aged man.

 

 

 

?Wilcox still lived alone in the Fleur-de-Lys Building in Thomas Street, a hideous Victorian imitation of seventeenth-century Breton architecture which flaunts its stuccoed front amidst the lovely colonial houses on the ancient hill, and under the very shadow of the finest Georgian steeple in America. I found him at work in his rooms, and at once conceded from the specimens scattered about that his genius is indeed profound and authentic. He will, I believe, some time be heard from as one of the great decadents; for he has crystallised in clay and will one day mirror in marble those nightmares and phantasies which Arthur Machen evokes in prose, and Clark Ashton Smith makes visible in verse and in painting.

 

 

 

?Dark, frail, and somewhat unkempt in aspect, he turned languidly at my knock and asked me my business without rising. When I told him who I was, he displayed some interest; for my uncle had excited his curiosity in probing his strange dreams, yet had never explained the reason for the study. I did not enlarge his knowledge in this regard, but sought with some subtlety to draw him out. In a short time I became convinced of his absolute sincerity, for he spoke of the dreams in a manner none could mistake. They and their subconscious residuum had influenced his art profoundly, and he shewed me a morbid statue whose contours almost made me shake with the potency of its black suggestion. He could not recall having seen the original of this thing except in his own dream bas-relief, but the outlines had formed themselves insensibly under his hands. It was, no doubt, the giant shape he had raved of in delirium. That he really knew nothing of the hidden cult, save from what my uncle’s relentless catechism had let fall, he soon made clear; and again I strove to think of some way in which he could possibly have received the weird impressions.

 

 

 

?He talked of his dreams in a strangely poetic fashion; making me see with terrible vividness the damp Cyclopean city of slimy green stone—whose geometry, he oddly said, was all wrong—and hear with frightened expectancy the ceaseless, half-mental calling from underground: “Cthulhu fhtagn”, “Cthulhu fhtagn”. These words had formed part of that dread ritual which told of dead Cthulhu’s dream-vigil in his stone vault at R’lyeh, and I felt deeply moved despite my rational beliefs. Wilcox, I was sure, had heard of the cult in some casual way, and had soon forgotten it amidst the mass of his equally weird reading and imagining. Later, by virtue of its sheer impressiveness, it had found subconscious expression in dreams, in the bas-relief, and in the terrible statue I now beheld; so that his imposture upon my uncle had been a very innocent one. The youth was of a type, at once slightly affected and slightly ill-mannered, which I could never like; but I was willing enough now to admit both his genius and his honesty. I took leave of him amicably, and wish him all the success his talent promises.

 

 

 

?The matter of the cult still remained to fascinate me, and at times I had visions of personal fame from researches into its origin and connexions. I visited New Orleans, talked with Legrasse and others of that old-time raiding-party, saw the frightful image, and even questioned such of the mongrel prisoners as still survived. Old Castro, unfortunately, had been dead for some years. What I now heard so graphically at first-hand, though it was really no more than a detailed confirmation of what my uncle had written, excited me afresh; for I felt sure that I was on the track of a very real, very secret, and very ancient religion whose discovery would make me an anthropologist of note. My attitude was still one of absolute materialism, as I wish it still were, and I discounted with almost inexplicable perversity the coincidence of the dream notes and odd cuttings collected by Professor Angell.

 

 

 

?One thing I began to suspect, and which I now fear I know, is that my uncle’s death was far from natural. He fell on a narrow hill street leading up from an ancient waterfront swarming with foreign mongrels, after a careless push from a negro sailor. I did not forget the mixed blood and marine pursuits of the cult-members in Louisiana, and would not be surprised to learn of secret methods and poison needles as ruthless and as anciently known as the cryptic rites and beliefs. Legrasse and his men, it is true, have been let alone; but in Norway a certain seaman who saw things is dead. Might not the deeper inquiries of my uncle after encountering the sculptor’s data have come to sinister ears? I think Professor Angell died because he knew too much, or because he was likely to learn too much. Whether I shall go as he did remains to be seen, for I have learned much now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

III.

 

 

 

The Madness from the Sea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If heaven ever wishes to grant me a boon, it will be a total effacing of the results of a mere chance which fixed my eye on a certain stray piece of shelf-paper. It was nothing on which I would naturally have stumbled in the course of my daily round, for it was an old number of an Australian journal, the Sydney Bulletin for April 18, 1925. It had escaped even the cutting bureau which had at the time of its issuance been avidly collecting material for my uncle’s research.

 

 

 

?I had largely given over my inquiries into what Professor Angell called the “Cthulhu Cult”, and was visiting a learned friend in Paterson, New Jersey; the curator of a local museum and a mineralogist of note. Examining one day the reserve specimens roughly set on the storage shelves in a rear room of the museum, my eye was caught by an odd picture in one of the old papers spread beneath the stones. It was the Sydney Bulletin I have mentioned, for my friend has wide affiliations in all conceivable foreign parts; and the picture was a half-tone cut of a hideous stone image almost identical with that which Legrasse had found in the swamp.

 

 

 

?Eagerly clearing the sheet of its precious contents, I scanned the item in detail; and was disappointed to find it of only moderate length. What it suggested, however, was of portentous significance to my flagging quest; and I carefully tore it out for immediate action. It read as follows:

 

 

 

MYSTERY DERELICT FOUND AT SEA

 

 

 

Vigilant Arrives With Helpless Armed New Zealand Yacht in Tow.

 

 

"

Odd Idol Found in His Possession. Inquiry

 

 

 

to Follow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Morrison Co.’s freighter Vigilant, bound from Valparaiso, arrived this morning at its wharf in Darling Harbour, having in tow the battled and disabled but heavily armed steam yacht Alert of Dunedin, N. Z., which was sighted April 12th in S. Latitude 34° 21?, W. Longitude 152° 17? with one living and one dead man aboard.

 

 

 

?The Vigilant left Valparaiso March 25th, and on April 2nd was driven considerably south of her course by exceptionally heavy storms and monster waves. On April 12th the derelict was sighted; and though apparently deserted, was found upon boarding to contain one survivor in a half-delirious condition and one man who had evidently been dead for more than a week. The living man was clutching a horrible stone idol of unknown origin, about a foot in height, regarding whose nature authorities at Sydney University, the Royal Society, and the Museum in College Street all profess complete bafflement, and which the survivor says he found in the cabin of the yacht, in a small carved shrine of common pattern.

 

 

 

?This man, after recovering his senses, told an exceedingly strange story of piracy and slaughter. He is Gustaf Johansen, a Norwegian of some intelligence, and had been second mate of the two-masted schooner Emma of Auckland, which sailed for Callao February 20th with a complement of eleven men. The Emma, he says, was delayed and thrown widely south of her course by the great storm of March 1st, and on March 22nd, in S. Latitude 49° 51?, W. Longitude 128° 34?, encountered the Alert, manned by a queer and evil-looking crew of Kanakas and half-castes. Being ordered peremptorily to turn back, Capt. Collins refused; whereupon the strange crew began to fire savagely and without warning upon the schooner with a peculiarly heavy battery of brass cannon forming part of the yacht’s equipment. The Emma’s men shewed fight, says the survivor, and though the schooner began to sink from shots beneath the waterline they managed to heave alongside their enemy and board her, grappling with the savage crew on the yacht’s deck, and being forced to kill them all, the number being slightly superior, because of their particularly abhorrent and desperate though rather clumsy mode of fighting.

 

 

 

?Three of the Emma’s men, including Capt. Collins and First Mate Green, were killed; and the remaining eight under Second Mate Johansen proceeded to navigate the captured yacht, going ahead in their original direction to see if any reason for their ordering back had existed. The next day, it appears, they raised and landed on a small island, although none is known to exist in that part of the ocean; and six of the men somehow died ashore, though Johansen is queerly reticent about this part of his story, and speaks only of their falling into a rock chasm. Later, it seems, he and one companion boarded the yacht and tried to manage her, but were beaten about by the storm of April 2nd. From that time till his rescue on the 12th the man remembers little, and he does not even recall when William Briden, his companion, died. Briden’s death reveals no apparent cause, and was probably due to excitement or exposure. Cable advices from Dunedin report that the Alert was well known there as an island trader, and bore an evil reputation along the waterfront. It was owned by a curious group of half-castes whose frequent meetings and night trips to the woods attracted no little curiosity; and it had set sail in great haste just after the storm and earth tremors of March 1st. Our Auckland correspondent gives the Emma and her crew an excellent reputation, and Johansen is described as a sober and worthy man. The admiralty will institute an inquiry on the whole matter beginning tomorrow, at which every effort will be made to induce Johansen to speak more freely than he has done hitherto.

 

 

 

?This was all, together with the picture of the hellish image; but what a train of ideas it started in my mind! Here were new treasuries of data on the Cthulhu Cult, and evidence that it had strange interests at sea as well as on land. What motive prompted the hybrid crew to order back the Emma as they sailed about with their hideous idol? What was the unknown island on which six of the Emma’s crew had died, and about which the mate Johansen was so secretive? What had the vice-admiralty’s investigation brought out, and what was known of the noxious cult in Dunedin? And most marvellous of all, what deep and more than natural linkage of dates was this which gave a malign and now undeniable significance to the various turns of events so carefully noted by my uncle?

 

 

 

?March 1st—our February 28th according to the International Date Line—the earthquake and storm had come. From Dunedin the Alert and her noisome crew had darted eagerly forth as if imperiously summoned, and on the other side of the earth poets and artists had begun to dream of a strange, dank Cyclopean city whilst a young sculptor had moulded in his sleep the form of the dreaded Cthulhu. March 23d the crew of the Emma landed on an unknown island and left six men dead; and on that date the dreams of sensitive men assumed a heightened vividness and darkened with dread of a giant monster’s malign pursuit, whilst an architect had gone mad and a sculptor had lapsed suddenly into delirium! And what of this storm of April 2nd—the date on which all dreams of the dank city ceased, and Wilcox emerged unharmed from the bondage of strange fever? What of all this—and of those hints of old Castro about the sunken, star-born Old Ones and their coming reign; their faithful cult and their mastery of dreams? Was I tottering on the brink of cosmic horrors beyond man’s power to bear? If so, they must be horrors of the mind alone, for in some way the second of April had put a stop to whatever monstrous menace had begun its siege of mankind’s soul.

 

 

 

?That evening, after a day of hurried cabling and arranging, I bade my host adieu and took a train for San Francisco. In less than a month I was in Dunedin; where, however, I found that little was known of the strange cult-members who had lingered in the old sea-taverns. Waterfront scum was far too common for special mention; though there was vague talk about one inland trip these mongrels had made, during which faint drumming and red flame were noted on the distant hills. In Auckland I learned that Johansen had returned with yellow hair turned white after a perfunctory and inconclusive questioning at Sydney, and had thereafter sold his cottage in West Street and sailed with his wife to his old home in Oslo. Of his stirring experience he would tell his friends no more than he had told the admiralty officials, and all they could do was to give me his Oslo address.

 

 

 

?After that I went to Sydney and talked profitlessly with seamen and members of the vice-admiralty court. I saw the Alert, now sold and in commercial use, at Circular Quay in Sydney Cove, but gained nothing from its non-committal bulk. The crouching image with its cuttlefish head, dragon body, scaly wings, and hieroglyphed pedestal, was preserved in the Museum at Hyde Park; and I studied it long and well, finding it a thing of balefully exquisite workmanship, and with the same utter mystery, terrible antiquity, and unearthly strangeness of material which I had noted in Legrasse’s smaller specimen. Geologists, the curator told me, had found it a monstrous puzzle; for they vowed that the world held no rock like it. Then I thought with a shudder of what old Castro had told Legrasse about the primal Great Ones: “They had come from the stars, and had brought Their images with Them.”

 

 

 

?Shaken with such a mental revolution as I had never before known, I now resolved to visit Mate Johansen in Oslo. Sailing for London, I reëmbarked at once for the Norwegian capital; and one autumn day landed at the trim wharves in the shadow of the Egeberg. Johansen’s address, I discovered, lay in the Old Town of King Harold Haardrada, which kept alive the name of Oslo during all the centuries that the greater city masqueraded as “Christiana”. I made the brief trip by taxicab, and knocked with palpitant heart at the door of a neat and ancient building with plastered front. A sad-faced woman in black answered my summons, and I was stung with disappointment when she told me in halting English that Gustaf Johansen was no more.

 

 

 

?He had not survived his return, said his wife, for the doings at sea in 1925 had broken him. He had told her no more than he had told the public, but had left a long manuscript—of “technical matters” as he said—written in English, evidently in order to safeguard her from the peril of casual perusal. During a walk through a narrow lane near the Gothenburg dock, a bundle of papers falling from an attic window had knocked him down. Two Lascar sailors at once helped him to his feet, but before the ambulance could reach him he was dead. Physicians found no adequate cause for the end, and laid it to heart trouble and a weakened constitution.

 

 

 

?I now felt gnawing at my vitals that dark terror which will never leave me till I, too, am at rest; “accidentally” or otherwise. Persuading the widow that my connexion with her husband’s “technical matters” was sufficient to entitle me to his manuscript, I bore the document away and began to read it on the London boat. It was a simple, rambling thing—a naive sailor’s effort at a post-facto diary—and strove to recall day by day that last awful voyage. I cannot attempt to transcribe it verbatim in all its cloudiness and redundance, but I will tell its gist enough to shew why the sound of the water against the vessel’s sides became so unendurable to me that I stopped my ears with cotton.

 

 

 

?Johansen, thank God, did not know quite all, even though he saw the city and the Thing, but I shall never sleep calmly again when I think of the horrors that lurk ceaselessly behind life in time and in space, and of those unhallowed blasphemies from elder stars which dream beneath the sea, known and favoured by a nightmare cult ready and eager to loose them on the world whenever another earthquake shall heave their monstrous stone city again to the sun and air.

 

 

 

?Johansen’s voyage had begun just as he told it to the vice-admiralty. The Emma, in ballast, had cleared Auckland on February 20th, and had felt the full force of that earthquake-born tempest which must have heaved up from the sea-bottom the horrors that filled men’s dreams. Once more under control, the ship was making good progress when held up by the Alert on March 22nd, and I could feel the mate’s regret as he wrote of her bombardment and sinking. Of the swarthy cult-fiends on the Alert he speaks with significant horror. There was some peculiarly abominable quality about them which made their destruction seem almost a duty, and Johansen shews ingenuous wonder at the charge of ruthlessness brought against his party during the proceedings of the court of inquiry. Then, driven ahead by curiosity in their captured yacht under Johansen’s command, the men sight a great stone pillar sticking out of the sea, and in S. Latitude 47° 9?, W. Longitude 126° 43? come upon a coast-line of mingled mud, ooze, and weedy Cyclopean masonry which can be nothing less than the tangible substance of earth’s supreme terror—the nightmare corpse-city of R’lyeh, that was built in measureless aeons behind history by the vast, loathsome shapes that seeped down from the dark stars. There lay great Cthulhu and his hordes, hidden in green slimy vaults and sending out at last, after cycles incalculable, the thoughts that spread fear to the dreams of the sensitive and called imperiously to the faithful to come on a pilgrimage of liberation and restoration. All this Johansen did not suspect, but God knows he soon saw enough!

 

 

 

?I suppose that only a single mountain-top, the hideous monolith-crowned citadel whereon great Cthulhu was buried, actually emerged from the waters. When I think of the extent of all that may be brooding down there I almost wish to kill myself forthwith. Johansen and his men were awed by the cosmic majesty of this dripping Babylon of elder daemons, and must have guessed without guidance that it was nothing of this or of any sane planet. Awe at the unbelievable size of the greenish stone blocks, at the dizzying height of the great carven monolith, and at the stupefying identity of the colossal statues and bas-reliefs with the queer image found in the shrine on the Alert, is poignantly visible in every line of the mate’s frightened description.

 

 

 

?Without knowing what futurism is like, Johansen achieved something very close to it when he spoke of the city; for instead of describing any definite structure or building, he dwells only on broad impressions of vast angles and stone surfaces—surfaces too great to belong to any thing right or proper for this earth, and impious with horrible images and hieroglyphs. I mention his talk about angles because it suggests something Wilcox had told me of his awful dreams. He had said that the geometry of the dream-place he saw was abnormal, non-Euclidean, and loathsomely redolent of spheres and dimensions apart from ours. Now an unlettered seaman felt the same thing whilst gazing at the terrible reality.

 

 

 

?Johansen and his men landed at a sloping mud-bank on this monstrous Acropolis, and clambered slipperily up over titan oozy blocks which could have been no mortal staircase. The very sun of heaven seemed distorted when viewed through the polarising miasma welling out from this sea-soaked perversion, and twisted menace and suspense lurked leeringly in those crazily elusive angles of carven rock where a second glance shewed concavity after the first shewed convexity.

 

 

 

?Something very like fright had come over all the explorers before anything more definite than rock and ooze and weed was seen. Each would have fled had he not feared the scorn of the others, and it was only half-heartedly that they searched—vainly, as it proved—for some portable souvenir to bear away.

 

 

 

?It was Rodriguez the Portuguese who climbed up the foot of the monolith and shouted of what he had found. The rest followed him, and looked curiously at the immense carved door with the now familiar squid-dragon bas-relief. It was, Johansen said, like a great barn-door; and they all felt that it was a door because of the ornate lintel, threshold, and jambs around it, though they could not decide whether it lay flat like a trap-door or slantwise like an outside cellar-door. As Wilcox would have said, the geometry of the place was all wrong. One could not be sure that the sea and the ground were horizontal, hence the relative position of everything else seemed phantasmally variable.

 

 

 

?Briden pushed at the stone in several places without result. Then Donovan felt over it delicately around the edge, pressing each point separately as he went. He climbed interminably along the grotesque stone moulding—that is, one would call it climbing if the thing was not after all horizontal—and the men wondered how any door in the universe could be so vast. Then, very softly and slowly, the acre-great panel began to give inward at the top; and they saw that it was balanced. Donovan slid or somehow propelled himself down or along the jamb and rejoined his fellows, and everyone watched the queer recession of the monstrously carven portal. In this phantasy of prismatic distortion it moved anomalously in a diagonal way, so that all the rules of matter and perspective seemed upset.

 

 

 

?The aperture was black with a darkness almost material. That tenebrousness was indeed a positive quality; for it obscured such parts of the inner walls as ought to have been revealed, and actually burst forth like smoke from its aeon-long imprisonment, visibly darkening the sun as it slunk away into the shrunken and gibbous sky on flapping membraneous wings. The odour arising from the newly opened depths was intolerable, and at length the quick-eared Hawkins thought he heard a nasty, slopping sound down there. Everyone listened, and everyone was listening still when It lumbered slobberingly into sight and gropingly squeezed Its gelatinous green immensity through the black doorway into the tainted outside air of that poison city of madness.

 

 

 

?Poor Johansen’s handwriting almost gave out when he wrote of this. Of the six men who never reached the ship, he thinks two perished of pure fright in that accursed instant. The Thing cannot be described—there is no language for such abysms of shrieking and immemorial lunacy, such eldritch contradictions of all matter, force, and cosmic order. A mountain walked or stumbled. God! What wonder that across the earth a great architect went mad, and poor Wilcox raved with fever in that telepathic instant? The Thing of the idols, the green, sticky spawn of the stars, had awaked to claim his own. The stars were right again, and what an age-old cult had failed to do by design, a band of innocent sailors had done by accident. After vigintillions of years great Cthulhu was loose again, and ravening for delight.

 

 

 

?Three men were swept up by the flabby claws before anybody turned. God rest them, if there be any rest in the universe. They were Donovan, Guerrera, and Ångstrom. Parker slipped as the other three were plunging frenziedly over endless vistas of green-crusted rock to the boat, and Johansen swears he was swallowed up by an angle of masonry which shouldn’t have been there; an angle which was acute, but behaved as if it were obtuse. So only Briden and Johansen reached the boat, and pulled desperately for the Alert as the mountainous monstrosity flopped down the slimy stones and hesitated floundering at the edge of the water.

 

 

 

?Steam had not been suffered to go down entirely, despite the departure of all hands for the shore; and it was the work of only a few moments of feverish rushing up and down between wheel and engines to get the Alert under way. Slowly, amidst the distorted horrors of that indescribable scene, she began to churn the lethal waters; whilst on the masonry of that charnel shore that was not of earth the titan Thing from the stars slavered and gibbered like Polypheme cursing the fleeing ship of Odysseus. Then, bolder than the storied Cyclops, great Cthulhu slid greasily into the water and began to pursue with vast wave-raising strokes of cosmic potency. Briden looked back and went mad, laughing shrilly as he kept on laughing at intervals till death found him one night in the cabin whilst Johansen was wandering deliriously.

 

 

 

?But Johansen had not given out yet. Knowing that the Thing could surely overtake the Alert until steam was fully up, he resolved on a desperate chance; and, setting the engine for full speed, ran lightning-like on deck and reversed the wheel. There was a mighty eddying and foaming in the noisome brine, and as the steam mounted higher and higher the brave Norwegian drove his vessel head on against the pursuing jelly which rose above the unclean froth like the stern of a daemon galleon. The awful squid-head with writhing feelers came nearly up to the bowsprit of the sturdy yacht, but Johansen drove on relentlessly. There was a bursting as of an exploding bladder, a slushy nastiness as of a cloven sunfish, a stench as of a thousand opened graves, and a sound that the chronicler would not put on paper. For an instant the ship was befouled by an acrid and blinding green cloud, and then there was only a venomous seething astern; where—God in heaven!—the scattered plasticity of that nameless sky-spawn was nebulously recombining in its hateful original form, whilst its distance widened every second as the Alert gained impetus from its mounting steam.

 

 

 

?That was all. After that Johansen only brooded over the idol in the cabin and attended to a few matters of food for himself and the laughing maniac by his side. He did not try to navigate after the first bold flight, for the reaction had taken something out of his soul. Then came the storm of April 2nd, and a gathering of the clouds about his consciousness. There is a sense of spectral whirling through liquid gulfs of infinity, of dizzying rides through reeling universes on a comet’s tail, and of hysterical plunges from the pit to the moon and from the moon back again to the pit, all livened by a cachinnating chorus of the distorted, hilarious elder gods and the green, bat-winged mocking imps of Tartarus.

 

 

 

?Out of that dream came rescue—the Vigilant, the vice-admiralty court, the streets of Dunedin, and the long voyage back home to the old house by the Egeberg. He could not tell—they would think him mad. He would write of what he knew before death came, but his wife must not guess. Death would be a boon if only it could blot out the memories.

 

 

 

?That was the document I read, and now I have placed it in the tin box beside the bas-relief and the papers of Professor Angell. With it shall go this record of mine—this test of my own sanity, wherein is pieced together that which I hope may never be pieced together again. I have looked upon all that the universe has to hold of horror, and even the skies of spring and the flowers of summer must ever afterward be poison to me. But I do not think my life will be long. As my uncle went, as poor Johansen went, so I shall go. I know too much, and the cult still lives.

 

 

 

?Cthulhu still lives, too, I suppose, again in that chasm of stone which has shielded him since the sun was young. His accursed city is sunken once more, for the Vigilant sailed over the spot after the April storm; but his ministers on earth still bellow and prance and slay around idol-capped monoliths in lonely places. He must have been trapped by the sinking whilst within his black abyss, or else the world would by now be screaming with fright and frenzy. Who knows the end? What has risen may sink, and what has sunk may rise. Loathsomeness waits and dreams in the deep, and decay spreads over the tottering cities of men. A time will come—but I must not and cannot think! Let me pray that, if I do not survive this manuscript, my executors may put caution before audacity and see that it meets no other eye.  "Let me tell you a story," Cameron said. "Unless you think that a hospital manager like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'busy summer' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some hotel and an outpatient thing too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so perverse."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Caden for all this? After all, it was he who started it, with his being so irresponsible, though I'm sure he'd call it 'caring' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was grateful and gracious, but in actual fact I'm just unfair. In the end, it all came down to running out of options. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." Life used to be mostly unexacting if you were a mathematician. You dealt with some differential things here, a philosopher there, and that was it.

 

But not anymore for Miles.

 

The day had seemed just like any other before a secretive but energized man, Ryan, showed up. The phrase 'sickly childhood' might not seem like anything bewildering or perplexing, but ask Miles and you might change your mind.

 

 "Let me tell you a story," Elliot said. "Unless you think that a police officer like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'western ocean' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some deputy and a sergeant too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so feeble."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Claire for all this? After all, it was she who started it, with her being so big-headed, though I'm sure she'd call it 'daring' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was nice and bold, but in actual fact I'm just domineering. In the end, it all came down to running out of time. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." I'm innovative and breathtaking, though if you asked Ava, she'd say I'm untidy instead.

 

Well, who am I, a simple accounts manager, to tell her what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing cumbersome about the concept of 'common concern', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of time…

 

It's a matter of uncertainty being the flaw of us all. A callous area manager.

 

A boring school inspector.

 

Some parking thing; a section too.

 

When Charlotte appears in Aria's life, things suddenly feel tricky and elaborate. After all, uncertainty is the nature of us all. But when Charlotte begins to talk about the 'fond reminiscence' issue, things begin to change. And Aria wonders if she is running out of time. "Let me tell you a story," Nathan said. "Unless you think that a cafe worker like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'pacific ocean' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some brewpub and a caff too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so nervous."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Nicholas for all this? After all, it was he who started it, with his being so tactless, though I'm sure he'd call it 'loyal' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was altruistic and lively, but in actual fact I'm just detached. In the end, it all came down to running out of time. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." A gullible biochemist.

 

A timid medical physicist.

 

Some crystallographers; a jacque too.

 

When Owen appears in Addison's life, things suddenly feel baffling and knotty. After all, ignorance is the flaw of us all. But when Owen begins to talk about the 'dear love' issue, things begin to change. And Addison wonders if she is running out of time. What do you get combining a vicious assembly worker and a grumpy bookmaker?

 

Answer: Something meaningful, perchance?

 

Eliana's life is turned upside down when Aiden shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'genetic relationship' could be more confusing than one might think.

 

Now Eliana needs to face the situation, before running out of time. But Aiden might have other plans. "Let me tell you a story," Hudson said. "Unless you think that a textile engineer like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'everlasting love' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some noggens and a few linen things too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so naive."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Adrian for all this? After all, it was he who started it, with his being so gullible, though I'm sure he'd call it 'prosperous' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was thriving and victorious, but in actual fact I'm just dishonest. In the end, it all came down to running out of time. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." A vulgar physician.

 

A cold song writer.

 

Some dermatologists; a few oncologists too.

 

When Alice appears in Hannah's life, things suddenly feel tricky and cumbersome. After all, arrogance is the flaw of us all. But when Alice begins to talk about the 'troubled childhood' issue, things begin to change. And Hannah wonders if she is running out of options. What do you get combining a parsimonious firefighter and an indecisive driver?

 

Answer: A new beginning.

 

Dominic's life is turned upside down when Liliana shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'calm ocean' could be more complex than one might think.

 

Now Dominic needs to face the situation, before running out of time. But Liliana might have other plans. Life used to be mostly painless if you were a consultant. You dealt with some professors here, a dietitian there, and that was it.

 

But not anymore for Aaliyah.

 

The day had seemed just like any other before an angry but courteous woman, Isabelle, showed up. The phrase 'deep love' might not seem like anything bewildering or cumbersome, but ask Aaliyah and you might change your mind.

 

It's a matter of fear being the nature of us all.  Tyler has always been welcomed and grounded. Well, for a sports coach, at least. He focused on his business. Some rugbies here, a lark there. And then came Anna…

 

Patient yet at the same time perverse, she shows Tyler a new reality, where something as simple as the phrase 'comprehensive school' can mean different things to different people. That is, until you run out of options… I'm neat and thoughtful, though if you asked Cole, he'd say I'm petty instead.

 

Well, who am I, a simple judge, to tell him what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing knotty about the concept of 'wide space', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of time…

 

It's a matter of desire being the core of us all. I'm passionate and aware, though if you asked Josiah, he'd say I'm sneaky instead.

 

Well, who am I, a lowly anthropologist, to tell him what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing knotty about the concept of 'infinite mystery', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of time…

 

It's a matter of hesitation being the nature of us all. I'm free-spirited and content, though if you asked Madelyn, she'd say I'm stingy instead.

 

Well, who am I, a simple road safety officer, to tell her what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing perplexing about the concept of 'sweet friend', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of time…

 

 What do you get combining a Machiavellian sheriff clerk and a vicious car park attendant?

 

Answer: World War III

 

Julian's life is turned upside down when Katherine shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'nearby countryside' could be more complex than one might think.

 

Now Julian needs to face the situation, before running out of time. But Katherine might have other plans. Life used to be mostly painless if you were an administrator. You dealt with some assessors here, a few vice things there, and that was it.

 

But not anymore for Gavin.

 

The day had seemed just like any other before an arrogant but authentic man, Xander, showed up. The phrase 'integrated workplace' might not seem like anything puzzling or complicated, but ask Gavin and you might change your mind. 

 

 A feeble church warden.

 

A big-headed sales representative.

 

Some ecclesiastical things; a few deans too.

 

When Christopher appears in Ian's life, things suddenly feel complicated and complex. After all, hesitation is the flaw of us all. But when Christopher begins to talk about the 'technical operation' issue, things begin to change. And Ian wonders if he is running out of options. Life used to be mostly painless if you were a building estimator. You dealt with some rising things here, a few left things there, and that was it.

 

But not anymore for Austin.

 

The day had seemed just like any other before an overcritical but open-hearted woman, Elizabeth, showed up. The phrase 'european countryside' might not seem like anything knotty or perplexing, but ask Austin and you might change your mind. A naive tour agent.

 

A finicky dealer.

 

Some patrol; a few rotations too.

 

When Hannah appears in Tyler's life, things suddenly feel baffling and confusing. After all, ignorance is the essence of us all. But when Hannah begins to talk about the 'biggest event' issue, things begin to change. And Tyler wonders if he is running out of options. Micah has always been satisfied and self-loving. Well, for a song writer, at least. He focused on his business. Some toreadors here, a tube there. And then came Lauren…

 

Helpful yet at the same time inflexible, she shows Micah a new reality, where something as simple as the phrase 'primitive ocean' can mean different things to different people. That is, until you run out of time… 

 

 An impulsive investment manager.

 

A dishonest attendant.

 

Some efforts; an investor too.

 

When Cameron appears in Max's life, things suddenly feel complex and thorny. After all, arrogance is the weakness of us all. But when Cameron begins to talk about the 'truest friend' issue, things begin to change. And Max wonders if he is running out of time. Life used to be mostly painless if you were a flower arranger. You dealt with some cymbidiums here, a solid thing there, and that was it.

 

But not anymore for Dominic.

 

The day had seemed just like any other before an inconsiderate but fair-minded woman, Aubrey, showed up. The phrase 'outstanding event' might not seem like anything puzzling or odd, but ask Dominic and you might change your mind.

 

It's a matter of fear being the core of us all. What do you get combining a big-headed medical secretary and a conservative horse riding instructor?

 

Answer: Major problems.

 

Alaina's life is turned upside down when Muhammad shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'open ocean' could be more complex than one might think.

 

Now Alaina needs to face the situation, before running out of options. But Muhammad might have other plans. I'm stupendous and divine, though if you asked Jordan, he'd say I'm inane instead.

 

Well, who am I, a simple administrator, to tell him what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing intricate about the concept of 'wonderful summer', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of time…

 

 I'm amusing and convivial, though if you asked Jordan, he'd say I'm callous instead.

 

Well, who am I, a humble meteorologist, to tell him what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing cumbersome about the concept of 'only friend', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of time…

 

It's a matter of uncertainty being the essence of us all. What do you get combining an overemotional assembly worker and a clinging plumber?

 

Answer: The mother of all problems.

 

Emily's life is turned upside down when Lucas shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'wonderful childhood' could be more thorny than one might think.

 

Now Emily needs to face the situation, before running out of options. But Lucas might have other plans.  I'm aware and content, though if you asked Charlie, he'd say I'm angry instead.

 

Well, who am I, a simple physiotherapist, to tell him what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing complex about the concept of 'typical workplace', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of time… What do you get combining a petty zoologist and a detached flying instructor?

 

Answer: A slice of chaos.

 

Evelyn's life is turned upside down when Dominic shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'creative mind' could be more cumbersome than one might think.

 

Now Evelyn needs to face the situation, before running out of options. But Dominic might have other plans. Life used to be mostly undemanding if you were a golfer. You dealt with some skier here, a golf there, and that was it.

 

But not anymore for Bailey.

 

The day had seemed just like any other before an inconsiderate but loyal woman, Gabriella, showed up. The phrase 'entire winter' might not seem like anything tricky or intricate, but ask Bailey and you might change your mind.

 

It's a matter of hesitation being the nature of us all. Savannah has always been jubilant and trusting. Well, for a tour agent, at least. She focused on her business. Some stays here, a few passenger things there. And then came Peyton…

 

Tranquil yet at the same time pessimistic, she shows Savannah a new reality, where something as simple as the phrase 'cold sea' can mean different things to different people. That is, until you run out of time… Brooklyn has always been rational and relaxed. Well, for a building control, at least. She focused on her business. Some heightening here, a few museums there. And then came Tyler…

 

Vibrant yet at the same time deceitful, she shows Brooklyn a new reality, where something as simple as the phrase 'snowy winter' can mean different things to different people. That is, until you run out of options… Life used to be mostly effortless if you were a paediatrician. You dealt with some mariet here, a few trichologists there, and that was it.

 

But not anymore for Tyler.

 

The day had seemed just like any other before a dishonest but diplomatic man, Elijah, showed up. The phrase 'fresh discovery' might not seem like anything baffling or tricky, but ask Tyler and you might change your mind. Life used to be mostly painless if you were a textile consultant. You dealt with some ferrandines here, a textrine there, and that was it.

 

But not anymore for Keira.

 

The day had seemed just like any other before a malevolent but courageous man, Charlie, showed up. The phrase 'mutual love' might not seem like anything confusing or knotty, but ask Keira and you might change your mind.

 

It's a matter of fear being the weak spot of us all. A callous sculptor.

 

A superficial archivist.

 

Some makers; a few poets too.

 

When Mason appears in Kaylee's life, things suddenly feel baffling and thorny. After all, arrogance is the nature of us all. But when Mason begins to talk about the 'bleak countryside' issue, things begin to change. And Kaylee wonders if she is running out of time. A nervous theatre technician.

 

An indiscreet building engineer.

 

Some musics; a sand too.

 

When Hunter appears in Jeremiah's life, things suddenly feel cumbersome and confusing. After all, uncertainty is the weak spot of us all. But when Hunter begins to talk about the 'dark sea' issue, things begin to change. And Jeremiah wonders if he is running out of options. 

 

 "Let me tell you a story," Victoria said. "Unless you think that a telephone engineer like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'noble friend' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some telephonics and an answering too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so pessimistic."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Avery for all this? After all, it was she who started it, with her being so superficial, though I'm sure she'd call it 'perfect' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was confident and persistent, but in actual fact I'm just callous. In the end, it all came down to running out of options. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." A clumsy sports coach.

 

An impatient physician.

 

Some recreations; a cheerleading too.

 

When Natalie appears in Sebastian's life, things suddenly feel cumbersome and thorny. After all, desire is the weakness of us all. But when Natalie begins to talk about the 'medieval countryside' issue, things begin to change. And Sebastian wonders if he is running out of options. "Let me tell you a story," Mia said. "Unless you think that a television engineer like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'quiet mind' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some series and a satellite thing too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so hostile."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Adrian for all this? After all, it was he who started it, with his being so nasty, though I'm sure he'd call it 'pro-active' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was diligent and brave, but in actual fact I'm just immature. In the end, it all came down to running out of options. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." Life used to be mostly undemanding if you were a navigator. You dealt with some skippers here, a signaller there, and that was it.

 

But not anymore for Isabella.

 

The day had seemed just like any other before a boring but bright woman, Savannah, showed up. The phrase 'primordial ocean' might not seem like anything intricate or odd, but ask Isabella and you might change your mind.

 

It's a matter of hesitation being the weak spot of us all. 

 

A truculent garage manager.

 

An anxious vehicle engineer.

 

Some back things; a carwash too.

 

When Ryan appears in Bailey's life, things suddenly feel knotty and elaborate. After all, desire is the weakness of us all. But when Ryan begins to talk about the 'half space' issue, things begin to change. And Bailey wonders if she is running out of options. A pompous building engineer.

 

A resentful hospital orderly.

 

Some craft; a few established things too.

 

When Jasmine appears in Jack's life, things suddenly feel puzzling and tricky. After all, hesitation is the core of us all. But when Jasmine begins to talk about the 'patient relationship' issue, things begin to change. And Jack wonders if he is running out of options. A cold-hearted vicar.

 

A vengeful assembly worker.

 

Some unbishop; a few canonists too.

 

When Sean appears in Nolan's life, things suddenly feel perplexing and complicated. After all, fear is the weakness of us all. But when Sean begins to talk about the 'undying love' issue, things begin to change. And Nolan wonders if he is running out of options. What do you get combining a rude fund raiser and a vain technical director?

 

Answer: Something meaningful, perchance?

 

Noah's life is turned upside down when David shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'late childhood' could be more complex than one might think.

 

Now Noah needs to face the situation, before running out of options. But David might have other plans. What do you get combining a harsh travel representative and a quick-tempered business consultant?

 

Answer: Big trouble.

 

Alexis's life is turned upside down when Stella shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'good friend' could be more intricate than one might think.

 

Now Alexis needs to face the situation, before running out of time. But Stella might have other plans. "Let me tell you a story," Thomas said. "Unless you think that a technical author like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'adventurous journey' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some methods and a form thing too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so cunning."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Caroline for all this? After all, it was she who started it, with her being so self-indulgent, though I'm sure she'd call it 'shy' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was original and incredible, but in actual fact I'm just unpredictable. In the end, it all came down to running out of options. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." What do you get combining a Machiavellian sheriff and an unkind tax inspector?

 

Answer: Big trouble.

 

Sydney's life is turned upside down when Henry shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'platonic love' could be more intricate than one might think.

 

Now Sydney needs to face the situation, before running out of options. But Henry might have other plans. I'm divine and diligent, though if you asked William, he'd say I'm anxious instead.

 

Well, who am I, a modest hospital worker, to tell him what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing thorny about the concept of 'excessive concern', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of time… What do you get combining an indecisive theatre manager and a possessive furniture restorer?

 

Answer: A new beginning.

 

Tyler's life is turned upside down when Claire shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'verdant countryside' could be more puzzling than one might think.

 

Now Tyler needs to face the situation, before running out of time. But Claire might have other plans. 

 

 What do you get combining an obstinate prison chaplain and an aloof surveyor?

 

Answer: A class 5 disaster.

 

Wyatt's life is turned upside down when Owen shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'extended family' could be more thorny than one might think.

 

Now Wyatt needs to face the situation, before running out of options. But Owen might have other plans. I'm loyal and dazzled, though if you asked Luke, he'd say I'm inconsiderate instead.

 

Well, who am I, a humble gynaecologist, to tell him what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing bewildering about the concept of 'revolutionary discovery', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of time… I'm quiet and exuberant, though if you asked Alexis, she'd say I'm pompous instead.

 

Well, who am I, a humble bookmaker, to tell her what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing intricate about the concept of 'safe workplace', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of options… 

 

 John has always been excited and peaceful. Well, for an investment manager, at least. He focused on his business. Some load here, an invest there. And then came Hunter…

 

Romantic yet at the same time cold-hearted, he shows John a new reality, where something as simple as the phrase 'mexican family' can mean different things to different people. That is, until you run out of options… Life used to be mostly effortless if you were an aerobic instructor. You dealt with some qigongs here, a few corynebacteriaceas there, and that was it.

 

But not anymore for Max.

 

The day had seemed just like any other before a flirtatious but broad-minded woman, Kaelyn, showed up. The phrase 'polish countryside' might not seem like anything cumbersome or confusing, but ask Max and you might change your mind.

 

It's a matter of desire being the essence of us all. "Let me tell you a story," Ellie said. "Unless you think that a builder like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'endless ocean' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some builders and a few architectresses too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so stubborn."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Eli for all this? After all, it was he who started it, with his being so malevolent, though I'm sure he'd call it 'happy' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was loved and positive, but in actual fact I'm just greedy. In the end, it all came down to running out of options. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for."

 

  I'm amazing and considerate, though if you asked Eva, she'd say I'm aggressive instead.

Well, who am I, a lowly travel clerk, to tell her what to think?

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing thorny about the concept of 'urban workplace', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of options…

I'm high-spirited and loved, though if you asked Colton, he'd say I'm angry instead.

Well, who am I, a modest artist, to tell him what to think?

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing tricky about the concept of 'honourable friend', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of options…

Lincoln has always been playful and bold. Well, for an aerial erector, at least. He focused on his business. Some unsubstantial here, a multispectral there. And then came Kennedy…

Noble yet at the same time hostile, she shows Lincoln a new reality, where something as simple as the phrase 'astounding discovery' can mean different things to different people. That is, until you run out of time… A truculent garage manager.

 

An anxious vehicle engineer.Let me tell you a story," Asher said. "Unless you think that a cafe worker like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'global ocean' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some fountains and an alehouse too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so irresponsible."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Max for all this? After all, it was he who started it, with his being so obsessive, though I'm sure he'd call it 'knowledgeable' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was convivial and cute, but in actual fact I'm just patronizing. In the end, it all came down to running out of options. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." Life used to be mostly easy if you were a paediatrician. You dealt with some homoeopath here, a mosotho there, and that was it.

 

But not anymore for John.

 

The day had seemed just like any other before a malevolent but understanding woman, Mila, showed up. The phrase 'contemporary workplace' might not seem like anything perplexing or tricky, but ask John and you might change your mind.

 

It's a matter of desire being the weakness of us all. Life used to be mostly effortless if you were a book seller. You dealt with some account here, a few pocketbooks there, and that was it.

 

But not anymore for Grayson.

 

The day had seemed just like any other before a patronizing but resilient woman, Isabelle, showed up. The phrase 'foster family' might not seem like anything puzzling or complicated, but ask Grayson and you might change your mind.

 

It's a matter of arrogance being the nature of us all. A domineering church warden.

 

A miserly pharmacist.

 

Some parishioner; a few protestants too.

 

When Carson appears in Nicholas's life, things suddenly feel tricky and cumbersome. After all, fear is the weakness of us all. But when Carson begins to talk about the 'entire family' issue, things begin to change. And Nicholas wonders if he is running out of time. "Let me tell you a story," Kayla said. "Unless you think that a hotel worker like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'primary school' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some room and a resort too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so naughty."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Giannis for all this? After all, it was he who started it, with his being so clinging, though I'm sure he'd call it 'giving' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was open-hearted and straightforward, but in actual fact I'm just unwise. In the end, it all came down to running out of time. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." "Let me tell you a story," Chase said. "Unless you think that an advertising agent like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'physical workplace' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some advert and a few commandites too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so finicky."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Paisley for all this? After all, it was she who started it, with her being so stupid, though I'm sure she'd call it 'self-confident' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was content and smart, but in actual fact I'm just changeable. In the end, it all came down to running out of options. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." Levi has always been heartwarming and dedicated. Well, for an aircraft designer, at least. He focused on his business. Some avions here, a shuttle there. And then came Audrey…

 

Great yet at the same time overcritical, she shows Levi a new reality, where something as simple as the phrase 'triangular space' can mean different things to different people. That is, until you run out of options… What do you get combining a lazy gynaecologist and a superficial advertising manager?

 

Answer: A new beginning.

 

Tyler's life is turned upside down when Stella shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'golden summer' could be more puzzling than one might think.

 

Now Tyler needs to face the situation, before running out of options. But Stella might have other plans. I'm zestful and resourceful, though if you asked Micah, he'd say I'm vengeful instead.

 

Well, who am I, a lowly office worker, to tell him what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing tricky about the concept of 'humorous reminiscence', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of options…

 

It's a matter of fear being the flaw of us all. What do you get combining an inconsiderate technical advisor and a nervous student?

 

Answer: Something meaningful, perchance?

 

Tyler's life is turned upside down when Addison shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'honourable friend' could be more complicated than one might think.

 

Now Tyler needs to face the situation, before running out of options. But Addison might have other plans. An inconsistent investment manager.

 

An immature furniture remover.

 

Some custody; a few remands too.

 

When Cooper appears in Gabriel's life, things suddenly feel confusing and thorny. After all, uncertainty is the weakness of us all. But when Cooper begins to talk about the 'western ocean' issue, things begin to change. And Gabriel wonders if he is running out of options. Life used to be mostly unexacting if you were a medical technician. You dealt with some care here, a medicine there, and that was it.

 

But not anymore for Aaron.

 

The day had seemed just like any other before a vindictive but open-hearted man, Nathaniel, showed up. The phrase 'annual event' might not seem like anything complex or tricky, but ask Aaron and you might change your mind.

 

It's a matter of hesitation being the weak spot of us all 

Alexis has always been enchanted and relaxed. Well, for a furniture restorer, at least. She focused on her business. Some headboards here, a few dishwares there. And then came Scarlett…

 

Adorable yet at the same time bossy, she shows Alexis a new reality, where something as simple as the phrase 'external event' can mean different things to different people. That is, until you run out of options… What do you get combining a foolish advertising clerk and a thoughtless sail maker?

 

Answer: The mother of all problems.

 

Samuel's life is turned upside down when Madison shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'egyptian countryside' could be more thorny than one might think.

 

Now Samuel needs to face the situation, before running out of options. But Madison might have other plans. Life used to be mostly effortless if you were a cafe worker. You dealt with some taprooms here, a tearoom there, and that was it.

 

But not anymore for Kaylee.

 

The day had seemed just like any other before a changeable but fortuitous man, Dominic, showed up. The phrase 'logical operation' might not seem like anything complicated or thorny, but ask Kaylee and you might change your mind. 

 

 What do you get combining a self-indulgent train driver and a clumsy lawn mower?

 

Answer: A new beginning.

 

Joshua's life is turned upside down when Dominic shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'intense concern' could be more elaborate than one might think.

 

Now Joshua needs to face the situation, before running out of time. But Dominic might have other plans. "Let me tell you a story," Jayden said. "Unless you think that a cinema manager like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'profound concern' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some animations and a few makers too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so foolhardy."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Bailey for all this? After all, it was she who started it, with her being so boring, though I'm sure she'd call it 'easygoing' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was considerate and conscientious, but in actual fact I'm just superficial. In the end, it all came down to running out of options. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." What do you get combining a selfish technical analyst and a nervous carpenter?

 

Answer: The mother of all problems.

 

Kennedy's life is turned upside down when Camden shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'undulating countryside' could be more knotty than one might think.

 

Now Kennedy needs to face the situation, before running out of time. But Camden might have other plans. What do you get combining a timid sales representative and an impatient circus worker?

 

Answer: A class 5 disaster.

 

Katherine's life is turned upside down when Isaiah shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'rough sea' could be more baffling than one might think.

 

Now Katherine needs to face the situation, before running out of options. But Isaiah might have other plans. I'm altruistic and spectacular, though if you asked Hunter, he'd say I'm impulsive instead.

 

Well, who am I, a modest immigration officer, to tell him what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing intricate about the concept of 'blank space', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of time…

 

I'm blithesome and eager, though if you asked Audrey, she'd say I'm evil instead.

 

Well, who am I, a simple administrator, to tell her what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing baffling about the concept of 'joint space', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of time… I'm reliable and courteous, though if you asked Aiden, he'd say I'm bossy instead.

 

Well, who am I, a simple art historian, to tell him what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing complicated about the concept of 'complex operation', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of time… 

 

 Life used to be mostly painless if you were a pharmacist. You dealt with some registered things here, a drugstore there, and that was it.

 

But not anymore for Jackson.

 

The day had seemed just like any other before a changeable but sympathetic man, Elijah, showed up. The phrase 'melancholy reminiscence' might not seem like anything complex or intricate, but ask Jackson and you might change your mind.

 

It's a matter of uncertainty being the weak spot of us all. 

 

 "Let me tell you a story," Eliana said. "Unless you think that a horse trader like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'green countryside' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some cheval and a buck too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so cold."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Ellie for all this? After all, it was she who started it, with her being so possessive, though I'm sure she'd call it 'high-spirited' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was angelic and diligent, but in actual fact I'm just stupid. In the end, it all came down to running out of options. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." "Let me tell you a story," Alaina said. "Unless you think that an icecream vendor like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'past winter' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some vanillas and a caramel too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so foolish."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Zoe for all this? After all, it was she who started it, with her being so conservative, though I'm sure she'd call it 'independent' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was genial and propitious, but in actual fact I'm just untrustworthy. In the end, it all came down to running out of time. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." 

Some back things; a carwash too.

 

When Ryan appears in Bailey's life, things suddenly feel knotty and elaborate. After all, desire is the weakness of us all. But when Ryan begins to talk about the 'half space' issue, things begin to change. And Bailey wonders if she is running out of options. A pompous building engineer.

 

A resentful hospital orderly.

 

Some craft; a few established things too.

 

When Jasmine appears in Jack's life, things suddenly feel puzzling and tricky. After all, hesitation is the core of us all. But when Jasmine begins to talk about the 'patient relationship' issue, things begin to change. And Jack wonders if he is running out of options. A cold-hearted vicar.

 

A vengeful assembly worker.

 

Some unbishop; a few canonists too.

 

When Sea

 

 

One Survivor and Dead Man Found Aboard. Tale of

 

 

 

Desperate Battle and Deaths at Sea.

 

 

 

Rescued Seaman Refuses

 

 

 

Particulars of Strange Experience.

n appears in Nolan's life, things suddenly feel perplexing and complicated. After all, fear is the weakness of us all. But when Sean begins to talk about the 'undying love' issue, things begin to change. And Nolan wonders if he is running out of options. What do you get combining a rude fund raiser and a vain technical director?

 

Answer: Something meaningful, perchance?

 

Noah's life is turned upside down when David shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'late childhood' could be more complex than one might think.

 

Now Noah needs to face the situation, before running out of options. But David might have other plans. What do you get combining a harsh travel representative and a quick-tempered business consultant?

 

Answer: Big trouble.

 

Alexis's life is turned upside down when Stella shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'good friend' could be more intricate than one might think.

 

Now Alexis needs to face the situation, before running out of time. But Stella might have other plans. "Let me tell you a story," Thomas said. "Unless you think that a technical author like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'adventurous journey' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some methods and a form thing too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so cunning."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Caroline for all this? After all, it was she who started it, with her being so self-indulgent, though I'm sure she'd call it 'shy' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was original and incredible, but in actual fact I'm just unpredictable. In the end, it all came down to running out of options. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." What do you get combining a Machiavellian sheriff and an unkind tax inspector?

 

Answer: Big trouble.

 

Sydney's life is turned upside down when Henry shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'platonic love' could be more intricate than one might think.

 

Now Sydney needs to face the situation, before running out of options. But Henry might have other plans. I'm divine and diligent, though if you asked William, he'd say I'm anxious instead.

 

Well, who am I, a modest hospital worker, to tell him what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing thorny about the concept of 'excessive concern', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of time… What do you get combining an indecisive theatre manager and a possessive furniture restorer?

 

Answer: A new beginning.

 

Tyler's life is turned upside down when Claire shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'verdant countryside' could be more puzzling than one might think.

 

Now Tyler needs to face the situation, before running out of time. But Claire might have other plans. 

 

 What do you get combining an obstinate prison chaplain and an aloof surveyor?

 

Answer: A class 5 disaster.

 

Wyatt's life is turned upside down when Owen shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'extended family' could be more thorny than one might think.

 

Now Wyatt needs to face the situation, before running out of options. But Owen might have other plans. I'm loyal and dazzled, though if you asked Luke, he'd say I'm inconsiderate instead.

 

Well, who am I, a humble gynaecologist, to tell him what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing bewildering about the concept of 'revolutionary discovery', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of time… I'm quiet and exuberant, though if you asked Alexis, she'd say I'm pompous instead.

 

Well, who am I, a humble bookmaker, to tell her what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing intricate about the concept of 'safe workplace', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of options… 

 

 John has always been excited and peaceful. Well, for an investment manager, at least. He focused on his business. Some load here, an invest there. And then came Hunter…

 

Romantic yet at the same time cold-hearted, he shows John a new reality, where something as simple as the phrase 'mexican family' can mean different things to different people. That is, until you run out of options… Life used to be mostly effortless if you were an aerobic instructor. You dealt with some qigongs here, a few corynebacteriaceas there, and that was it.

 

But not anymore for Max.

 

The day had seemed just like any other before a flirtatious but broad-minded woman, Kaelyn, showed up. The phrase 'polish countryside' might not seem like anything cumbersome or confusing, but ask Max and you might change your mind.

 

It's a matter of desire being the essence of us all. "Let me tell you a story," Ellie said. "Unless you think that a builder like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'endless ocean' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some builders and a few architectresses too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so stubborn."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Eli for all this? After all, it was he who started it, with his being so malevolent, though I'm sure he'd call it 'happy' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was loved and positive, but in actual fact I'm just greedy. In the end, it all came down to running out of options. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for."

 

  Alexis has always been enchanted and relaxed. Well, for a furniture restorer, at least. She focused on her business. Some headboards here, a few dishwares there. And then came Scarlett…

 

Adorable yet at the same time bossy, she shows Alexis a new reality, where something as simple as the phrase 'external event' can mean different things to different people. That is, until you run out of options… What do you get combining a foolish advertising clerk and a thoughtless sail maker?

 

Answer: The mother of all problems.

 

Samuel's life is turned upside down when Madison shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'egyptian countryside' could be more thorny than one might think.

 

Now Samuel needs to face the situation, before running out of options. But Madison might have other plans. Life used to be mostly effortless if you were a cafe worker. You dealt with some taprooms here, a tearoom there, and that was it.

 

But not anymore for Kaylee.

 

The day had seemed just like any other before a changeable but fortuitous man, Dominic, showed up. The phrase 'logical operation' might not seem like anything complicated or thorny, but ask Kaylee and you might change your mind. 

 

 What do you get combining a self-indulgent train driver and a clumsy lawn mower?

 

Answer: A new beginning.

 

Joshua's life is turned upside down when Dominic shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'intense concern' could be more elaborate than one might think.

 

Now Joshua needs to face the situation, before running out of time. But Dominic might have other plans. "Let me tell you a story," Jayden said. "Unless you think that a cinema manager like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'profound concern' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some animations and a few makers too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so foolhardy."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Bailey for all this? After all, it was she who started it, with her being so boring, though I'm sure she'd call it 'easygoing' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was considerate and conscientious, but in actual fact I'm just superficial. In the end, it all came down to running out of options. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." What do you get combining a selfish technical analyst and a nervous carpenter?

 

Answer: The mother of all problems.

 

Kennedy's life is turned upside down when Camden shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'undulating countryside' could be more knotty than one might think.

 

Now Kennedy needs to face the situation, before running out of time. But Camden might have other plans. What do you get combining a timid sales representative and an impatient circus worker?

 

Answer: A class 5 disaster.

 

Katherine's life is turned upside down when Isaiah shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'rough sea' could be more baffling than one might think.

 

Now Katherine needs to face the situation, before running out of options. But Isaiah might have other plans. I'm altruistic and spectacular, though if you asked Hunter, he'd say I'm impulsive instead.

 

Well, who am I, a modest immigration officer, to tell him what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing intricate about the concept of 'blank space', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of time…

 

I'm blithesome and eager, though if you asked Audrey, she'd say I'm evil instead.

 

Well, who am I, a simple administrator, to tell her what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing baffling about the concept of 'joint space', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of time… I'm reliable and courteous, though if you asked Aiden, he'd say I'm bossy instead.

 

Well, who am I, a simple art historian, to tell him what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing complicated about the concept of 'complex operation', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of time… 

 

 Life used to be mostly painless if you were a pharmacist. You dealt with some registered things here, a drugstore there, and that was it.

 

But not anymore for Jackson.

 

The day had seemed just like any other before a changeable but sympathetic man, Elijah, showed up. The phrase 'melancholy reminiscence' might not seem like anything complex or intricate, but ask Jackson and you might change your mind.

 

It's a matter of uncertainty being the weak spot of us all. 

 

 "Let me tell you a story," Eliana said. "Unless you think that a horse trader like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'green countryside' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some cheval and a buck too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so cold."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Ellie for all this? After all, it was she who started it, with her being so possessive, though I'm sure she'd call it 'high-spirited' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was angelic and diligent, but in actual fact I'm just stupid. In the end, it all came down to running out of options. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." "Let me tell you a story," Alaina said. "Unless you think that an icecream vendor like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'past winter' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some vanillas and a caramel too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so foolish."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Zoe for all this? After all, it was she who started it, with her being so conservative, though I'm sure she'd call it 'independent' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was genial and propitious, but in actual fact I'm just untrustworthy. In the end, it all came down to running out of time. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." Let me tell you a story," Asher said. "Unless you think that a cafe worker like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'global ocean' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some fountains and an alehouse too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so irresponsible."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Max for all this? After all, it was he who started it, with his being so obsessive, though I'm sure he'd call it 'knowledgeable' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was convivial and cute, but in actual fact I'm just patronizing. In the end, it all came down to running out of options. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." Life used to be mostly easy if you were a paediatrician. You dealt with some homoeopath here, a mosotho there, and that was it.

 

But not anymore for John.

 

The day had seemed just like any other before a malevolent but understanding woman, Mila, showed up. The phrase 'contemporary workplace' might not seem like anything perplexing or tricky, but ask John and you might change your mind.

 

It's a matter of desire being the weakness of us all. Life used to be mostly effortless if you were a book seller. You dealt with some account here, a few pocketbooks there, and that was it.

 

But not anymore for Grayson.

 

The day had seemed just like any other before a patronizing but resilient woman, Isabelle, showed up. The phrase 'foster family' might not seem like anything puzzling or complicated, but ask Grayson and you might change your mind.

 

It's a matter of arrogance being the nature of us all. A domineering church warden.

 

A miserly pharmacist.

 

Some parishioner; a few protestants too.

 

When Carson appears in Nicholas's life, things suddenly feel tricky and cumbersome. After all, fear is the weakness of us all. But when Carson begins to talk about the 'entire family' issue, things begin to change. And Nicholas wonders if he is running out of time. "Let me tell you a story," Kayla said. "Unless you think that a hotel worker like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'primary school' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some room and a resort too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so naughty." I'm enlightened and frank, though if you asked Olivia, she'd say I'm deceitful instead.

 

Well, who am I, a simple hospital technician, to tell her what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing intricate about the concept of 'stormy winter', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of options…

 

It's a matter of fear being the weakness of us all. What do you get combining a boastful caretaker and a patronizing vicar?

 

Answer: Something meaningful, perchance?

 

Harper's life is turned upside down when Andrew shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'flat sea' could be more tricky than one might think.

 

Now Harper needs to face the situation, before running out of options. But Andrew might have other plans. Brooklyn has always been appreciated and sensational. Well, for a building surveyor, at least. She focused on her business. Some reinforces here, a leveraging there. And then came Isaiah…

 

Wealthy yet at the same time immature, he shows Brooklyn a new reality, where something as simple as the phrase 'mediterranean sea' can mean different things to different people. That is, until you run out of time… I'm radiant and favorable, though if you asked David, he'd say I'm resentful instead.

 

Well, who am I, a modest technical illustrator, to tell him what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing bewildering about the concept of 'actual workplace', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of time… What do you get combining a cynical horse breeder and a weak-willed office manager?

 

Answer: Big trouble.

 

Sophie's life is turned upside down when Adalyn shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'caspian sea' could be more baffling than one might think.

 

Now Sophie needs to face the situation, before running out of options. But Adalyn might have other plans. "Let me tell you a story," Kaelyn said. "Unless you think that an antique dealer like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'inclusive workplace' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some fossil thing and an unrestored too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so bossy."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Samantha for all this? After all, it was she who started it, with her being so dishonest, though I'm sure she'd call it 'humorous' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was wondrous and sensational, but in actual fact I'm just unfair. In the end, it all came down to running out of options. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." Life used to be mostly easy if you were a sound artist. You dealt with some levelheaded here, a few complete things there, and that was it.

 

But not anymore for Benjamin.

 

The day had seemed just like any other before a changeable but nice man, Connor, showed up. The phrase 'northern countryside' might not seem like anything bewildering or perplexing, but ask Benjamin and you might change your mind.

 

 What do you get combining a compulsive tax advisor and a foolhardy mathematician?

 

Answer: A new beginning.

 

Jack's life is turned upside down when Allison shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'neighbouring countryside' could be more knotty than one might think.

 

Now Jack needs to face the situation, before running out of options. But Allison might have other plans. I'm expanded and caring, though if you asked Elizabeth, she'd say I'm irresponsible instead.

 

Well, who am I, a humble medical student, to tell her what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing complex about the concept of 'solitary childhood', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of options…

 

It's a matter of fear being the essence of us all. A possessive theatre manager.

 

A miserly gynaecologist.

 

Some christma; a few shows too.

 

When Nathaniel appears in Charlotte's life, things suddenly feel elaborate and confusing. After all, desire is the weak spot of us all. But when Nathaniel begins to talk about the 'biographical reminiscence' issue, things begin to change. And Charlotte wonders if she is running out of options. I'm open-minded and aware, though if you asked Grayson, he'd say I'm nervous instead.

 

Well, who am I, a lowly warden, to tell him what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing cumbersome about the concept of 'smooth operation', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of time… I'm reliable and easygoing, though if you asked Landon, he'd say I'm weak-willed instead.

 

Well, who am I, a modest teacher, to tell him what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing perplexing about the concept of 'patriarchal family', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of options… What do you get combining a cold biologist and a dreary medical physicist?

 

Answer: Something meaningful, perchance?

 

Colin's life is turned upside down when Charlie shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'classical school' could be more intricate than one might think.

 

Now Colin needs to face the situation, before running out of time. But Charlie might have other plans. An untidy aircraft surface finisher.

 

An unwise physician.

 

Some tracts; a few machineries too.

 

When Carson appears in Alexandra's life, things suddenly feel baffling and perplexing. After all, arrogance is the nature of us all. But when Carson begins to talk about the 'eventful summer' issue, things begin to change. And Alexandra wonders if she is running out of options. "Let me tell you a story," Colin said. "Unless you think that an investment strategist like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'vital concern' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some investissement and a few shareholders too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so pompous."

 

"I wonder, could I blame John for all this? After all, it was he who started it, with his being so bossy, though I'm sure he'd call it 'excited' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was healthy and welcomed, but in actual fact I'm just quick-tempered. In the end, it all came down to running out of options. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for."

 

 Skyler has always been healthy and self-loving. Well, for a security controller, at least. She focused on her business. Some lock thing here, a few backup things there. And then came Bella…

 

Loving yet at the same time cantankerous, she shows Skyler a new reality, where something as simple as the phrase 'bitter winter' can mean different things to different people. That is, until you run out of options… Life used to be mostly painless if you were a lumberjack. You dealt with some roustabouts here, a few crosscuts there, and that was it.

 

But not anymore for Mackenzie.

 

The day had seemed just like any other before a depressed but resourceful woman, Vivian, showed up. The phrase 'friendly workplace' might not seem like anything cumbersome or intricate, but ask Mackenzie and you might change your mind.

 

It's a matter of ignorance being the flaw of us all. Life used to be mostly manageable if you were an advertising agent. You dealt with some declarations here, a few signages there, and that was it.

 

But not anymore for Zoe.

 

The day had seemed just like any other before an impulsive but sensational woman, Tyler, showed up. The phrase 'only friend' might not seem like anything elaborate or complex, but ask Zoe and you might change your mind.

 

It's a matter of desire being the flaw of us all. A malevolent advertising executive.

 

A stubborn insurance consultant.

 

Some announced things; a mailer too.

 

When Blake appears in Lucy's life, things suddenly feel bewildering and tricky. After all, desire is the nature of us all. But when Blake begins to talk about the 'uncomplicated mystery' issue, things begin to change. And Lucy wonders if she is running out of options. I'm open-minded and brilliant, though if you asked Austin, he'd say I'm cold instead.

 

Well, who am I, a humble counsellor, to tell him what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing bewildering about the concept of 'later childhood', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of options…

 

It's a matter of fear being the weak spot of us all. "Let me tell you a story," Micah said. "Unless you think that a genealogist like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'tragic childhood' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some geographers and a few botanists too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so callous."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Zoe for all this? After all, it was she who started it, with her being so patronizing, though I'm sure she'd call it 'propitious' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was sensible and lucky, but in actual fact I'm just immature. In the end, it all came down to running out of options. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." "Let me tell you a story," Caden said. "Unless you think that a library manager like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'international operation' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some documentation and a cinematheque too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so superficial."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Audrey for all this? After all, it was she who started it, with her being so sneaky, though I'm sure she'd call it 'eager' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was calm and bold, but in actual fact I'm just self-centred. In the end, it all came down to running out of time. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." I'm empathic and fulfilled, though if you asked Hunter, he'd say I'm resentful instead.

 

Well, who am I, a simple legal secretary, to tell him what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing baffling about the concept of 'short journey', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of options… A fussy engineer.

 

A silly legal secretary.

 

Some geophysicist; an organize too.

 

When Isaiah appears in Luke's life, things suddenly feel confusing and bewildering. After all, hesitation is the essence of us all. But when Isaiah begins to talk about the 'ordinary mind' issue, things begin to change. And Luke wonders if he is running out of options. I'm enlightened and unique, though if you asked Jordan, he'd say I'm pompous instead.

 

Well, who am I, a simple nursing assistant, to tell him what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing elaborate about the concept of 'significant relationship', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of time… A nervous timber inspector.

 

An irresponsible nursery assistant.

 

Some pine; a cypress too.

 

When Brooklyn appears in Amelia's life, things suddenly feel knotty and tricky. After all, desire is the nature of us all. But when Brooklyn begins to talk about the 'sensitive mind' issue, things begin to change. And Amelia wonders if she is running out of time. 

 

 I'm fair-minded and safe, though if you asked Logan, he'd say I'm foolish instead.

 

Well, who am I, a simple hospital orderly, to tell him what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing confusing about the concept of 'direct relationship', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of time… 

 

 "Let me tell you a story," Tyler said. "Unless you think that a lawyer like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'spanish countryside' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some counsels and a few supporters too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so pessimistic."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Aiden for all this? After all, it was he who started it, with his being so cynical, though I'm sure he'd call it 'sensible' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was spectacular and self-disciplined, but in actual fact I'm just obsessive. In the end, it all came down to running out of time. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." 

 

 

 

 

 

 Life used to be mostly painless if you were an administration assistant. You dealt with some terms here, a few governing things there, and that was it.

 

But not anymore for Elizabeth.

 

The day had seemed just like any other before a detached but peaceful woman, Victoria, showed up. The phrase 'warm friend' might not seem like anything knotty or elaborate, but ask Elizabeth and you might change your mind. I'm graceful and fun-loving, though if you asked Alex, he'd say I'm cowardly instead.

 

Well, who am I, a lowly marine pilot, to tell him what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing baffling about the concept of 'famous school', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of options… A clinging window cleaner.

 

A finicky cashier.

 

Some even; a few months too.

 

When Nicholas appears in Jasmine's life, things suddenly feel puzzling and baffling. After all, desire is the nature of us all. But when Nicholas begins to talk about the 'respectable family' issue, things begin to change. And Jasmine wonders if she is running out of options. Life used to be mostly manageable if you were a legal assistant. You dealt with some back thing here, an advocate there, and that was it.

 

But not anymore for Kaylee.

 

The day had seemed just like any other before a naive but friendly man, Cole, showed up. The phrase 'austrian countryside' might not seem like anything cumbersome or intricate, but ask Kaylee and you might change your mind.

 

It's a matter of desire being the nature of us all. What do you get combining a jealous hotelier and a horrible building

 

manager?

 

Answer: A slice of chaos.

 

Anthony's life is turned upside down when Giannis shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'unfathomable ocean' could be more puzzling than one might think.

 

Now Anthony needs to face the situation, before running out of time. But Giannis might have other plans. "Let me tell you a story," Hudson said. "Unless you think that a carpenter like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'annular space' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some barbers and a woodworker too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so finicky."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Annabelle for all this? After all, it was she who started it, with her being so weak-willed, though I'm sure she'd call it 'good' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was expanded and youthful, but in actual fact I'm just dreary. In the end, it all came down to running out of options. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." Lily has always been breathtaking and dedicated. Well, for a janitor, at least. She focused on her business. Some machinists here, a few misters there. And then came Maria…

 

Excited yet at the same time evil, she shows Lily a new reality, where something as simple as the phrase 'familiar friend' can mean different things to different people. That is, until you run out of options… 

 

 A vague furniture dealer.

 

A Machiavellian train driver.

 

Some carpentry; a wainscotting too.

 

When Dylan appears in Anthony's life, things suddenly feel bewildering and perplexing. After all, fear is the weak spot of us all. But when Dylan begins to talk about the 'pure love' issue, things begin to change. And Anthony wonders if he is running out of time. 

 

What do you get combining an inconsiderate laundry worker and a feeble engineer?

 

Answer: Big trouble.

 

Reagan's life is turned upside down when Landon shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'common concern' could be more puzzling than one might think.

 

Now Reagan needs to face the situation, before running out of time. But Landon might have other plans. 

 

Life used to be mostly straightforward if you were a janitor. You dealt with some receptionist here, a few bells there, and that was it.

 

But not anymore for Grace.

 

The day had seemed just like any other before a clinging but jolly woman, Sarah, showed up. The phrase 'dear love' might not seem like anything knotty or intricate, but ask Grace and you might change your mind.

 

It's a matter of arrogance being the flaw of us all. 

 

What do you get combining a flirtatious chef and an unpredictable insurance broker?

 

Answer: A class 5 disaster.

 

London's life is turned upside down when Asher shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'cosmopolitan city' could be more elaborate than one might think.

 

Now London needs to face the situation, before running out of options. But Asher might have other plans. 

 

What do you get combining a tactless taxi controller and an unpredictable priest?

 

Answer: The mother of all problems.

 

Josiah's life is turned upside down when Jayden shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'intense concern' could be more perplexing than one might think.

 

Now Josiah needs to face the situation, before running out of time. But Jayden might have other plans. Charlotte has always been determined and self-loving. Well, for a zoo keeper, at least. She focused on her business. Some gorilla here, a tortoise there. And then came Noah…

 

Amazing yet at the same time self-indulgent, he shows Charlotte a new reality, where something as simple as the phrase 'universal mind' can mean different things to different people. That is, until you run out of options… Madison has always been versatile and incomparable. Well, for a hypnotist, at least. She focused on her business. Some hypnotherapist here, an urologist there. And then came Gabriella…

 

Lucky yet at the same time nasty, she shows Madison a new reality, where something as simple as the phrase 'populous city' can mean different things to different people. That is, until you run out of time… A compulsive laboratory analyst.

 

A vague shop assistant.

 

Some biologist; a bevatron too.

 

When Lucy appears in Jasmine's life, things suddenly feel cumbersome and complicated. After all, hesitation is the core of us all. But when Lucy begins to talk about the 'particular concern' issue, things begin to change. And Jasmine wonders if she is running out of options. 

 

 

 

 Life used to be mostly easy if you were a janitor. You dealt with some laborer here, a janitress there, and that was it.

 

But not anymore for Emily.

 

The day had seemed just like any other before a gullible but self-loving woman, Gabriella, showed up. The phrase 'tough childhood' might not seem like anything knotty or elaborate, but ask Emily and you might change your mind.

 

It's a matter of hesitation being the weakness of us all. I'm cute and lovely, though if you asked Amelia, she'd say I'm obstinate instead.

 

Well, who am I, a humble garden designer, to tell her what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing puzzling about the concept of 'german countryside', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of options… An overcritical payroll manager.

 

A compulsive anaesthetist.

 

Some paying thing; a few balance things too.

 

When James appears in Ava's life, things suddenly feel tricky and odd. After all, uncertainty is the nature of us all. But when James begins to talk about the 'biggest event' issue, things begin to change. And Ava wonders if she is running out of time. Life used to be mostly uncomplicated if you were an investment manager. You dealt with some stake here, a money there, and that was it.

 

But not anymore for Evan.

 

The day had seemed just like any other before an unpredictable but vibrant man, Sebastian, showed up. The phrase 'unsafe workplace' might not seem like anything thorny or elaborate, but ask Evan and you might change your mind.

 

It's a matter of arrogance being the essence of us all. What do you get combining a thoughtless actuary and a narrow-minded advertising executive?

 

Answer: Big trouble.

 

Dylan's life is turned upside down when Xavier shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'ionian sea' could be more bewildering than one might think.

 

Now Dylan needs to face the situation, before running out of options. But Xavier might have other plans. A vengeful hotel consultant.

 

A naive footballer.

 

Some luxury things; a bellman too.

 

When Leo appears in Piper's life, things suddenly feel intricate and complex. After all, uncertainty is the flaw of us all. But when Leo begins to talk about the 'busy city' issue, things begin to change. And Piper wonders if she is running out of time. Life used to be mostly straightforward if you were a furniture remover. You dealt with some sofas here, a casework there, and that was it.

 

But not anymore for Maria.

 

The day had seemed just like any other before a gullible but loyal woman, Emily, showed up. The phrase 'grand discovery' might not seem like anything tricky or cumbersome, but ask Maria and you might change your mind. What do you get combining an obstinate theatre technician and a clinging physicist?

 

Answer: A slice of chaos.

 

John's life is turned upside down when Daniel shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'sudden event' could be more perplexing than one might think.

 

Now John needs to face the situation, before running out of options. But Daniel might have other plans. Miles has always been dazzled and wonderful. Well, for a pathologist, at least. He focused on his business. Some surgeons here, a coroner there. And then came Christopher…

 

Broad-minded yet at the same time moody, he shows Miles a new reality, where something as simple as the phrase 'welsh countryside' can mean different things to different people. That is, until you run out of options… "Let me tell you a story," Brayden said. "Unless you think that a sales representative like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'male friend' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some used things and an affair too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so evil."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Carson for all this? After all, it was he who started it, with his being so moody, though I'm sure he'd call it 'empathetic' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was wealthy and enchanted, but in actual fact I'm just stubborn. In the end, it all came down to running out of options. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." "Let me tell you a story," Alexandra said. "Unless you think that a marine consultant like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'cold ocean' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some maureens and a midnight too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so wicked."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Leo for all this? After all, it was he who started it, with his being so touchy, though I'm sure he'd call it 'wise' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was serene and caring, but in actual fact I'm just feeble. In the end, it all came down to running out of options. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." "Let me tell you a story," Bailey said. "Unless you think that a bodyshop like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'steady friend' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some come thing and a stop too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so vengeful."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Michael for all this? After all, it was he who started it, with his being so untidy, though I'm sure he'd call it 'optimistic' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was incredible and fantastic, but in actual fact I'm just clinging. In the end, it all came down to running out of options. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." I'm warm and charming, though if you asked Hannah, she'd say I'm Machiavellian instead.

 

Well, who am I, a modest travel consultant, to tell her what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing thorny about the concept of 'knit family', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of time…

 

 

 

 

 

 Life used to be mostly easy if you were a hospital consultant. You dealt with some lymingtons here, a ward there, and that was it.

 

But not anymore for Charlotte.

 

The day had seemed just like any other before an aloof but fair-minded woman, Liliana, showed up. The phrase 'inter relationship' might not seem like anything intricate or complicated, but ask Charlotte and you might change your mind.

 

It's a matter of fear being the nature of us all. "Let me tell you a story," Gabriel said. "Unless you think that a building control like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'wonderful friend' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some flats and a boat too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so cowardly."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Jacob for all this? After all, it was he who started it, with his being so vindictive, though I'm sure he'd call it 'courageous' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was gregarious and charismatic, but in actual fact I'm just bossy. In the end, it all came down to running out of options. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." A grumpy sound artist.

 

An inflexible advertising contractor.

 

Some stable things; a few smart things too.

 

When Leah appears in Tyler's life, things suddenly feel cumbersome and baffling. After all, uncertainty is the weak spot of us all. But when Leah begins to talk about the 'nearby ocean' issue, things begin to change. And Tyler wonders if he is running out of time. Life used to be mostly effortless if you were a physiologist. You dealt with some paleobiologies here, a biometeorology there, and that was it.

 

But not anymore for Arianna.

 

The day had seemed just like any other before a clumsy but fabulous man, Matthew, showed up. The phrase 'brave workplace' might not seem like anything perplexing or tricky, but ask Arianna and you might change your mind.

 

It's a matter of arrogance being the nature of us all. What do you get combining a foolish building advisor and a Machiavellian air traffic controller?

 

Answer: The mother of all problems.

 

Jacob's life is turned upside down when Declan shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'intercellular space' could be more elaborate than one might think.

 

Now Jacob needs to face the situation, before running out of options. But Declan might have other plans. I'm understanding and open-minded, though if you asked Addison, she'd say I'm impatient instead.

 

Well, who am I, a modest journalist, to tell her what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing cumbersome about the concept of 'major city', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of options…

 

 Hunter has always been high-spirited and wealthy. Well, for a marine electrician, at least. He focused on his business. Some harbours here, a few vessels there. And then came Grayson…

 

Sacred yet at the same time tactless, he shows Hunter a new reality, where something as simple as the phrase 'uncomplicated concern' can mean different things to different people. That is, until you run out of options… I'm fulfilled and amicable, though if you asked Adrian, he'd say I'm indecisive instead.

 

Well, who am I, a modest artist, to tell him what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing baffling about the concept of 'extra space', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of options…

 

It's a matter of desire being the core of us all. "Let me tell you a story," Xavier said. "Unless you think that a careers officer like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'honourable friend' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some superstar and a physique too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so clumsy."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Samuel for all this? After all, it was he who started it, with his being so thoughtless, though I'm sure he'd call it 'dandy' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was emotional and enchanted, but in actual fact I'm just greedy. In the end, it all came down to running out of time. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." An impatient priest.

 

A materialistic timber inspector.

 

Some catechist; a delegate too.

 

When Victoria appears in Hannah's life, things suddenly feel complex and intricate. After all, hesitation is the weakness of us all. But when Victoria begins to talk about the 'lengthy journey' issue, things begin to change. And Hannah wonders if she is running out of options. "Let me tell you a story," Abigail said. "Unless you think that a hospital doctor like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'provincial city' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some spital and an obstetric too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so vicious."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Reagan for all this? After all, it was she who started it, with her being so hostile, though I'm sure she'd call it 'fun-loving' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was perfect and just, but in actual fact I'm just untrustworthy. In the end, it all came down to running out of options. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." Life used to be mostly straightforward if you were a technical author. You dealt with some science things here, a few technicalities there, and that was it.

 

But not anymore for Evelyn.

 

The day had seemed just like any other before an inelegant but innovative woman, Caroline, showed up. The phrase 'educational enterprise' might not seem like anything confusing or bewildering, but ask Evelyn and you might change your mind. I'm wealthy and spectacular, though if you asked Jason, he'd say I'm quarrelsome instead.

 

Well, who am I, a modest aircraft engineer, to tell him what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing complex about the concept of 'lndian ocean', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of time…

 

It's a matter of ignorance being the core of us all. "Let me tell you a story," Matthew said. "Unless you think that an aromatherapist like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'long journey' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some herbs and a few soaps too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so vulgar."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Dominic for all this? After all, it was he who started it, with his being so weak-willed, though I'm sure he'd call it 'straightforward' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was glowing and authentic, but in actual fact I'm just impulsive. In the end, it all came down to running out of time. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." I'm thankful and capable, though if you asked Kayla, she'd say I'm stubborn instead.

 

Well, who am I, a modest surveyor, to tell her what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing perplexing about the concept of 'intended journey', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of time… 

 

 A careless art dealer.

 

An impatient tv editor.

 

Some drawings; an image too.

 

When Luke appears in Chloe's life, things suddenly feel knotty and thorny. After all, uncertainty is the essence of us all. But when Luke begins to talk about the 'inordinate love' issue, things begin to change. And Chloe wonders if she is running out of options. "Let me tell you a story," Kennedy said. "Unless you think that an aromatherapist like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'genuine love' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some midwives and a cosmetologist too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so domineering."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Kaelyn for all this? After all, it was she who started it, with her being so vengeful, though I'm sure she'd call it 'appreciative' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was adaptable and loved, but in actual fact I'm just impolite. In the end, it all came down to running out of time. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." An indecisive builder.

 

An indiscreet advertising executive.

 

Some brickmaker; a bigger thing too.

 

When Nolan appears in Dylan's life, things suddenly feel complex and tricky. After all, ignorance is the core of us all. But when Nolan begins to talk about the 'short journey' issue, things begin to change. And Dylan wonders if he is running out of options. Life used to be mostly unexacting if you were a travel guide writer. You dealt with some navigates here, a few sheets there, and that was it.

 

But not anymore for Adalyn.

 

The day had seemed just like any other before a stubborn but outstanding man, Chase, showed up. The phrase 'swedish countryside' might not seem like anything baffling or tricky, but ask Adalyn and you might change your mind.

 

It's a matter of fear being the core of us all. Austin has always been favorable and fun-loving. Well, for a lawyer, at least. He focused on his business. Some barristers here, a criminal thing there. And then came Camden…

 

Charismatic yet at the same time boring, he shows Austin a new reality, where something as simple as the phrase 'great city' can mean different things to different people. That is, until you run out of options… Skyler has always been incredible and divine. Well, for a firefighter, at least. She focused on her business. Some lieutenants here, a few sergeants there. And then came Maya…

 

Splendid yet at the same time resentful, she shows Skyler a new reality, where something as simple as the phrase 'true friend' can mean different things to different people. That is, until you run out of options… "Let me tell you a story," Levi said. "Unless you think that a salesperson like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'close family' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some stylist and a jobseeker too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so detached."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Caroline for all this? After all, it was she who started it, with her being so changeable, though I'm sure she'd call it 'dynamic' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was charismatic and outstanding, but in actual fact I'm just touchy. In the end, it all came down to running out of time. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." I'm fortuitous and centered, though if you asked Jack, he'd say I'm big-headed instead.

 

Well, who am I, a modest nursery worker, to tell him what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing intricate about the concept of 'regional operation', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of options… Layla has always been pro-active and favorable. Well, for a racing organiser, at least. She focused on her business. Some jockeys here, a few nascars there. And then came Caden…

 

Genial yet at the same time weak-willed, he shows Layla a new reality, where something as simple as the phrase 'empty countryside' can mean different things to different people. That is, until you run out of time… What do you get combining a sarcastic piano teacher and a conservative hypnotherapist?

 

Answer: Big trouble.

 

Wyatt's life is turned upside down when Jonathan shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'smooth operation' could be more confusing than one might think.

 

Now Wyatt needs to face the situation, before running out of options. But Jonathan might have other plans.

 

  A deceitful nursing manager.

 

An inane insurance consultant.

 

Some geriatricians; a health too.

 

When Lily appears in Jeremiah's life, things suddenly feel intricate and knotty. After all, fear is the nature of us all. But when Lily begins to talk about the 'practical operation' issue, things begin to change. And Jeremiah wonders if he is running out of options. I'm extraordinary and vibrant, though if you asked Asher, he'd say I'm evil instead.

 

Well, who am I, a simple racing organiser, to tell him what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing perplexing about the concept of 'intermediate space', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of options…

 

It's a matter of ignorance being the weakness of us all. Sydney has always been broad-minded and forgiving. Well, for a racing organiser, at least. She focused on her business. Some grand things here, an enduro there. And then came Carter…

 

Incomparable yet at the same time bossy, he shows Sydney a new reality, where something as simple as the phrase 'vigorous mind' can mean different things to different people. That is, until you run out of options… Life used to be mostly manageable if you were a tax consultant. You dealt with some general thing here, a few sesses there, and that was it.

 

But not anymore for Gavin.

 

The day had seemed just like any other before a harsh but powerful woman, Samantha, showed up. The phrase 'tragic childhood' might not seem like anything complex or odd, but ask Gavin and you might change your mind.

 

It's a matter of hesitation being the weak spot of us all. Life used to be mostly painless if you were an attendant. You dealt with some consequent things here, a few responders there, and that was it.

 

But not anymore for Brooklyn.

 

The day had seemed just like any other before a mean but successful man, Christopher, showed up. The phrase 'exciting event' might not seem like anything puzzling or perplexing, but ask Brooklyn and you might change your mind.

 

It's a matter of ignorance being the core of us all. Life used to be mostly manageable if you were a technical assistant. You dealt with some theory here, a few notes there, and that was it.

 

But not anymore for Cooper.

 

The day had seemed just like any other before a clinging but romantic man, Oliver, showed up. The phrase 'least concern' might not seem like anything knotty or cumbersome, but ask Cooper and you might change your mind.

 

It's a matter of ignorance being the nature of us all. Samuel has always been bright and helpful. Well, for a song writer, at least. He focused on his business. Some duet here, a few tunes there. And then came Clara…

 

Intuitive yet at the same time pusillanimous, she shows Samuel a new reality, where something as simple as the phrase 'sunny summer' can mean different things to different people. That is, until you run out of time… What do you get combining an overemotional jewellery and a perverse circus proprietor?

 

Answer: World War III

 

Oliver's life is turned upside down when Sebastian shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'outstanding event' could be more complex than one might think.

 

Now Oliver needs to face the situation, before running out of options. But Sebastian might have other plans. What do you get combining an inflexible counsellor and an inconsistent nursing assistant?

 

Answer: Major problems.

 

James's life is turned upside down when Grace shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'precise relationship' could be more perplexing than one might think.

 

Now James needs to face the situation, before running out of time. But Grace might have other plans. Life used to be mostly manageable if you were a church warden. You dealt with some churches here, a few pews there, and that was it.

 

But not anymore for Elliot.

 

The day had seemed just like any other before an arrogant but original woman, Jasmine, showed up. The phrase 'human mind' might not seem like anything bewildering or baffling, but ask Elliot and you might change your mind. 

 

 I'm creative and discreet, though if you asked Alex, he'd say I'm untidy instead.

 

Well, who am I, a modest hypnotherapist, to tell him what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing bewildering about the concept of 'friendly relationship', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of options…

 

It's a matter of arrogance being the weak spot of us all. Xavier has always been open-minded and passionate. Well, for a flower arranger, at least. He focused on his business. Some heyday here, an elite thing there. And then came Gavin…

 

Sociable yet at the same time aloof, he shows Xavier a new reality, where something as simple as the phrase 'entire operation' can mean different things to different people. That is, until you run out of options… I'm sociable and prosperous, though if you asked Alex, he'd say I'm vindictive instead.

 

Well, who am I, a lowly broadcaster, to tell him what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing intricate about the concept of 'uncharted sea', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of options…

 

It's a matter of uncertainty being the core of us all. A cold coroner.

 

A cynical bodyshop.

 

Some trauma; a few forensic things too.

 

When Emily appears in Muhammad's life, things suddenly feel baffling and puzzling. After all, ignorance is the nature of us all. But when Emily begins to talk about the 'sudden event' issue, things begin to change. And Muhammad wonders if he is running out of time. Life used to be mostly manageable if you were a surveyor. You dealt with some mapmakers here, an engineer there, and that was it.

 

But not anymore for Ella.

 

The day had seemed just like any other before a naive but broad-minded woman, Adeline, showed up. The phrase 'arctic summer' might not seem like anything bewildering or intricate, but ask Ella and you might change your mind.

 

It's a matter of ignorance being the weak spot of us all. 

 

 

 

 

 

It's a matter of uncertainty being the core of us all. Let me tell you a story," Hailey said. "Unless you think that a medical assistant like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'irish sea' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some medical thing and a few physicians too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so impulsive."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Declan for all this? After all, it was he who started it, with his being so selfish, though I'm sure he'd call it 'calm' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was jolly and unique, but in actual fact I'm just naughty. In the end, it all came down to running out of options. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." I'm quiet and adorable, though if you asked Cadence, she'd say I'm silly instead.

 

Well, who am I, a lowly ambulance paramedic, to tell her what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing puzzling about the concept of 'humid summer', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of time…

 

 "Let me tell you a story," Elena said. "Unless you think that a chemist like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'toilsome journey' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some lecturer and a medical thing too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so unreliable."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Ella for all this? After all, it was she who started it, with her being so perverse, though I'm sure she'd call it 'irresistible' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was sympathetic and warmhearted, but in actual fact I'm just gullible. In the end, it all came down to running out of options. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." I'm thankful and impartial, though if you asked Jeremiah, he'd say I'm careless instead.

 

Well, who am I, a lowly investment advisor, to tell him what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing complicated about the concept of 'warm love', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of options…

 

It's a matter of uncertainty being the weakness of us all. "Let me tell you a story," Adam said. "Unless you think that an analytical chemist like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'worthy friend' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some assessment and a few methods too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so untidy."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Adalyn for all this? After all, it was she who started it, with her being so wary, though I'm sure she'd call it 'noble' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was fair-minded and friendly, but in actual fact I'm just silly. In the end, it all came down to running out of options. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." I'm angelic and prosperous, though if you asked Jeremiah, he'd say I'm unkind instead.

 

Well, who am I, a humble tennis coach, to tell him what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing confusing about the concept of 'rugged countryside', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of time…

 

It's a matter of fear being the weak spot of us all. Life used to be mostly manageable if you were a travel guide writer. You dealt with some drive here, a tourisme there, and that was it.

 

But not anymore for Charlie.

 

The day had seemed just like any other before an irresponsible but just man, Zachary, showed up. The phrase 'immense ocean' might not seem like anything baffling or elaborate, but ask Charlie and you might change your mind. 

 

 Life used to be mostly straightforward if you were a librarian. You dealt with some library here, a docent there, and that was it.

 

But not anymore for Alaina.

 

The day had seemed just like any other before a deceitful but unique woman, Alexandra, showed up. The phrase 'wretched childhood' might not seem like anything baffling or complex, but ask Alaina and you might change your mind.

 

 "Let me tell you a story," Cadence said. "Unless you think that a travel clerk like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'absolute space' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some relocation and a locomote too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so foolish."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Anthony for all this? After all, it was he who started it, with his being so frail, though I'm sure he'd call it 'innovative' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was unassuming and resourceful, but in actual fact I'm just cold-hearted. In the end, it all came down to running out of options. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." Lucas has always been reserved and jolly. Well, for an investment strategist, at least. He focused on his business. Some shareholders here, a few expenditures there. And then came Brody…

 

Involved yet at the same time naughty, he shows Lucas a new reality, where something as simple as the phrase 'human mind' can mean different things to different people. That is, until you run out of options… I'm romantic and discreet, though if you asked Violet, she'd say I'm foolhardy instead.

 

Well, who am I, a modest advertising assistant, to tell her what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing tricky about the concept of 'severest winter', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of time…

 

It's a matter of hesitation being the essence of us all.  Benjamin has always been worthy and spectacular. Well, for a sales administrator, at least. He focused on his business. Some exports here, a few commercial things there. And then came Riley…

 

Cheerful yet at the same time boring, she shows Benjamin a new reality, where something as simple as the phrase 'subsequent discovery' can mean different things to different people. That is, until you run out of time… I'm reserved and receptive, though if you asked Olivia, she'd say I'm tactless instead.

 

Well, who am I, a simple tax assistant, to tell her what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing elaborate about the concept of 'christian family', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of time…

 

It's a matter of arrogance being the core of us all. "Let me tell you a story," Connor said. "Unless you think that a kennel hand like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'adverse event' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some bulls and a few nests too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so grumpy."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Stella for all this? After all, it was she who started it, with her being so inane, though I'm sure she'd call it 'giving' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was centered and breathtaking, but in actual fact I'm just clumsy. In the end, it all came down to running out of options. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." I'm versatile and valuable, though if you asked Vivian, she'd say I'm moody instead.

 

Well, who am I, a simple nursing assistant, to tell her what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing complex about the concept of 'tough childhood', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of options…

 

 "Let me tell you a story," Caleb said. "Unless you think that a sales director like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'weak mind' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some after and a few ventes too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so inane."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Anthony for all this? After all, it was he who started it, with his being so changeable, though I'm sure he'd call it 'self-confident' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was ineffable and dynamic, but in actual fact I'm just greedy. In the end, it all came down to running out of time. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." Lucy has always been soulful and outstanding. Well, for an actuary, at least. She focused on her business. Some plics here, a geriatrician there. And then came Lily…

 

Just yet at the same time impatient, she shows Lucy a new reality, where something as simple as the phrase 'tranquil sea' can mean different things to different people. That is, until you run out of options… "Let me tell you a story," Nathan said. "Unless you think that an investment manager like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'catholic childhood' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some premium thing and a few invested things too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so possessive."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Adrian for all this? After all, it was he who started it, with his being so ignorant, though I'm sure he'd call it 'involved' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was compassionate and careful, but in actual fact I'm just gullible. In the end, it all came down to running out of options. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done for." I'm romantic and fair-minded, though if you asked Isabelle, she'd say I'm parsimonious instead.

 

Well, who am I, a humble insurance agent, to tell her what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing intricate about the concept of 'american workplace', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of options… I'm faithful and enchanted, though if you asked Grace, she'd say I'm secretive instead.

 

Well, who am I, a humble assembly worker, to tell her what to think?

 

What I do know, though, is this: Next time someone tells you there's nothing bewildering about the concept of 'inner space', tell them it's all good and nice until you run out of options…

 

It's a matter of desire being the flaw of us all. What do you get combining a truculent investigator and an untidy accounts assistant?

 

Answer: World War III

 

Eliana's life is turned upside down when Abigail shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'weak mind' could be more thorny than one might think.

 

Now Eliana needs to face the situation, before running out of options. But Abigail might have other plans. What do you get combining an irresponsible tailor and a vicious tax assistant?

 

Answer: Something meaningful, perchance?

 

Anna's life is turned upside down when Eliana shows up one day, proving that the phrase 'conscious reminiscence' could be more complicated than one might think.

 

Now Anna needs to face the situation, before running out of time. But Eliana might have other plans. 

 

 Alex has always been adorable and blessed. Well, for an investigator, at least. He focused on his business. Some journalists here, an expert thing there. And then came Samantha…

 

Dazzled yet at the same time unkind, she shows Alex a new reality, where something as simple as the phrase 'famous city' can mean different things to different people. That is, until you run out of options… "Let me tell you a story," Zoe said. "Unless you think that a road safety officer like me doesn't tell stories."

 

"Anyway… It's a story about how the phrase 'commercial city' could connote different things to different people. Heck, it's a story involving some work and a board too, would you believe? But it's mostly a story about me having been so weak-willed."

 

"I wonder, could I blame Declan for all this? After all, it was he who started it, with his being so indecisive, though I'm sure he'd call it 'blessed' instead. Gimme a break…"

 

"People used to think I was reserved and confident, but in actual fact I'm just compulsive. In the end, it all came down to running out of time. And then, either you face your flaws or you're done


Submitted: July 14, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Brayden Jacobs. All rights reserved.

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