in my study

‘Twas late one dreadful, droomy night,

While trying to forget a fright,

I gently sipped a cup of tea,

When my wife’s voice floated up to me.


“Oh Arthur, dear,” I heard her say,

“Some-one has come and gone away.

“They left no name, no street address,

“Just handed me this rumpled mess.”


I took the parcel from her hand

And set it ‘top my chair-side stand.

Then, once my wife had left the room,

I fell into a dreadful gloom.


A fearsome thought clawed at my mind,

But I shrugged and left the doubt behind.

I snipped the twine and tore the wrap,

And the contents fell into my lap.


I stopped and stared. My breath was gone –

‘Twas the dreaded Necronomicon!

A human face bound the eldritch book,

And I knew I should not dare to look,


For the evil secrets trapped within

Belittled every mortal sin;

Knowledge fearsome to righteous men

Was scribbled with a bloody pen.


I ran my hand along the spine

As terror clutched this heart of mine –

Oh, what if I could not resist?

I balled my hand into a fist


And thumped the table once, then twice.

I won’t succumb to such a vice!

My thirst this day will go unquenched.

(But even then, my heart was wrenched.)


I must resist! I must, I must!

In God, alone, I’ve put my trust.

It’s in His name my work is done,

And with His grace my life is run,


And yet, a single tiny glance –

Not quite direct, a bit askance –

Could never hurt, not much at least.

Within there was no fearsome beast,


No monster knocking at the gate,

And so my fear – it did abate.

Besides, my faith would keep me brave –

I was no filthy, faithless knave.


So once again, the tome I touched,

The spine I glanced, a page I brushed.

But then, it turned and looked my way –

It bit my hand and lept away,


Then plitter-plopped across the floor,

Galumphing quickly toward the door.

I jumped up from my chair and cried,

“My darling, quickly! Hide your eyes!”


“What’s that my dear?” my wife had said.

She loosed the door, stuck in her head,

And there she saw the dreadful scene

Of things not meant to have been seen.


The terror in her eyes was vast –

She clutched her chest and quickly passed.

My wife, she fell and died of fright

Right on that dreadful, droomy night.


The book ran past her lovely head

As down the hall it swiftly fled.

I could not bear to give it chase –

Longing only for my wife’s embrace.


I clasped her still, unmoving breast

Up tight, against my beating chest.

No breath she drew, no sound she made,

And once again I grew afraid.


Who could have sent that cursed tome

To haunt and hunt my blessed home?

What God could let a faithful son

So quickly make his life undone?


No God I know, no God, indeed.

No father, just an empty creed,

A hollow book, a vacant pew,

An empty lie – this much is true.


My life I could not bear without

My fair Marie, I had no doubt.

If God won’t help, I knew who would –

The only ones who ever could.


I knew that I must quickly act,

And so I offered up this pact:

To the Old Gods, I would pledge my life,

If they’d return my loving wife.


I chased the book around the bend,

On down the stairs, and to the end

Of the night-cloaked, shadowed, dusty hall –

And that is where it chose to fall.


I grabbed the book and threw it wide,

Then read the wretched words inside.

“Hasteur,” I called, “Cthulhu, too,

“I give my soul and mind to you.”


“Ia! Ia! Cthulhu fhtagn!

“Ia! Ia! Cthulhu fhtagn!

“Ia! Ia! Cthulhu fhtagn!

“Ia! Ia! Cthulhu fhtagn!”


Then from behind, I heard a sound,

And slowly, slowly turned around.

My wife was standing tall and still.

The air grew cold. I felt a chill.


“Marie,” I whispered in the dark.

Her eyes – they moved, but with no spark.

She turned her head one way, then back,

Then round again, and then – a crack!


And yet her body did not fall

As she slowly stumbled down the hall.

My God, what’s this? What have I done?

What monster has my wife become?


What creature moves without a breath?

Without a soul, it’s cheated death!

And more than that, it’s cheated God,

Against our Lord committed fraud!


I felt renewed – my faith returned,

My loving God no longer spurned,

Fell to my knees and, without shame,

Up to the heavens did proclaim,


“A sinner, I have played the part,

“O God – I dedicate my heart

“To you, and now I’ve seen the light,

“So with your love I’ll set things right,


“Please grant me strength on your behalf.”

But that was when I heard the laugh –

A voice from out of time and space,

From eons past, not of this place.


“Your puny God can’t hear you now.

“He would not help you anyhow.”

She fixed me with a wicked grin,

Saliva rolling down her chin.


And that is when I knew my fate

Had come at last – it would not wait.

I prayed, but would put up no fight –

Not on that dreadful, droomy night.