The statuette was not more than twelve inches in height.
It resembled the Medicean Venus, but it was black stone
not white and its aspect repellent, denying such values
as goodness or kindly intentions: it was a thing of Ill.
“Tell him I’ll always love him,” Tessie said as she began to fade.
“Tell him I’m waking up back there.”
“Tell him I’m taking this horrible thing with me.”
“Back where it came from!” she cried before vanishing.
I heard Tessie’s cry as her spirit fled. I longed to follow her,
for I knew that the King in Yellow had opened his tattered
mantle and there was only God to cry to now. This world
now lay open to those things which lived in the shadows.
Many gigantic and pallidly white birds flew continuously now
from beyond the veil through which she had passed and their
screams were of the eternal “Tekeli-li! Tekeli-li!” which was the
unforgettable song of the Shoggoths from behind the veils.
He never recovered from his encounter with the Elder Spawn.
nor did he have the time. His shrieks were confined to the
repetition of a single, mad word of all too obvious source:
“Tekeli-li! Tekeli-li!” which resounded through the halls.
It was all reaching out tentacle and pincer, stinger and paw,
and judging by the panoply of eyes that ringed terrible maws.
Nowhere now to hide: it had sensed him well.
It was only now he saw the source of their strange
piping sounds that were the Song of the Shoggoths
for on their heads were their breathing tubes
which resonated the air within the close quarters
like dirges for those about to die.
Somehow, Ronald Horn found himself walking a street,
his mind a rolling tumult of fantastic horrors:
the Servants of the Elder Ones had found him.
They were not figments of his fevered imagination.
“Tekeli-li! Tekeli-li!” their song still ran through his ears.
What mad song of Antarctica was this?
Why did it seek him out now?
Why this place? What did Tekeli-li mean?
He had not seen that much during that fateful voyage:
only the horribly mangled bodies of Man and Dog and Elder One
whose scents had brought the wrath of the Shoggoths down
upon their former Masters in their hidden town.
He had also heard that infernal piping before
in the attack by the Shoggoths in that icy waste.
He had not thought that they could find him here
So many years and miles away from that frozen place.
Fire had kept them away before in cold Antarctica, though
whether it could do any damage to them here was another story.
He knew that they would find him and he must be ready,
if he would not see his story have a gruesome ending.
When they came upon him again, fire and accelerants
torched a section of their mutating flesh with an awful stench,
but soon the fire was quenched and they came on like
impervious juggernauts after him.
He ran down corridors, up stairs and through doors hoping
to distance himself from his doom and then he was outside
among the soggy leaves, dripping trees and scudding clouds
leading the Shoggoths onwards to either his or their demise.
“Tekeli-li! Tekeli-li!” They seemed more incensed.
Miskatonic U. had defenses that few other schools had
such as the waiting menhir that leaned crazily up ahead.
He ran up to the stones, laid his hands upon them, prayed
for them to work and stepped bravely behind the gateway.
The Shoggoths came on like hellish things directly for him.
“Tekeli-li!” Tekeli-li!” came their eternal and fearful piping.
When it seemed he was to be their food they hit the space below
the lintel and their song was changed to simply “Li-li! Li-li!”
This was howled in harmonic tones of pain which lingered
as they were returned to whatever prison world they had
escaped from. Maybe Tessie had succeeded in drawing them
out when she had made her way to the world of waking.
Once more this place was free of them until the next hapless
explorer set them loose to ravage the world of man which had
been only theirs and their masters at the beginning and lost
to them in the long battle which had spanned the stars
and had at last come to Earth. Yet neither side had won,
each had been placed into a trance-like state which each
sought to break free of: one day to wake and once more
to rule this outpost along this arm of the Galaxy.
---Purple Mark 102211
Purple Mark's Prompts:
- “Tell him I’ll always love him. Tell him I’m waking up back there. Tell him I’m taking this horrible thing with me. Back where it came from.” Frank Belknap Long. The Hounds of Tindalos. (Arkham House, 1946)
- “Many gigantic and pallidly white birds flew continuously now from beyond the veil, and their scream was the eternal tekeli-li!” Edgar Allan Poe. The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket. (USA, 1838)
- “Then, as I fell, I heard Tessie’s soft cry and her spirit fled: and while falling I longed to follow her, for I knew that the King in Yellow had opened his tattered mantle and there was only God to cry to now.” Robert W. Chambers. The King In Yellow. (FT Neely, USA, 1895)
- “The statuette was not more than twelve inches in height and represented a female figure that somehow reminded me of the Medicean Venus, despite many differences of feature and proportion.” Clark Ashton Smith. Poseidonis. (Ballantine Books, USA, 1973)
- “At the time, his shrieks were confined to the repetition of a single, mad word of all too obvious source: ‘Tekeli-li! Tekeli-li!’” H.P. Lovecraft. Astonding Stories: At The Mountains Of Madness. (Astonding Stories Periodical, USA, February - April, 1936)
- “Somehow, Ronald Horn found himself walking a street, his mind a rolling tumult of fantastic horrors.” Frank Belknap Long. The Hounds of Tindalos. (Arkham House, 1946)
Also check out my new wordpress website. It's a literary journal I am building up called Randomly Accessed Poetics! Submissions are open for short stories, flash fiction, and poetry. I am featuring more polished literary works, explicit language pieces, and eventually a journal a relative wrote in the late 1800's detailing their journey to Oregon on the Oregon Trail. And when I gather enough submitted works from other people, I will cobble together an e-anthology called Randomly Accessed Poetics.