A Work In Progress preview …

So far I’ve given you little glimpses of the manuscript in progress, but here is a much bigger piece, where the gang meet Alex for the first time, and get to know their god … kind of. It’s always odd when a god you’ve never heard of, who can crush you like a bug, shows up on your doorstep. 

 

**

There was a stranger sitting on their purple velvet sofa, though. It was either a slightly effeminate man or a slightly butch woman, attractive either way, in spite of the nose ring. They had dreadlocks held back in what looked like a ponytail, and awesome yellow boots. The person looked at them with a sunny, guileless smile, and Logan wasn’t sure if they were in their late teens or early twenties.


Logan had opened his mouth to say something, when Ceri jerked his head back, as if someone had taken a swing at him, and gawked at the person on the couch. “You’re giving off cthonic energy. How ..?”

 

The person looked at Ceri, still smiling. “You’re the Destroyer, yes? Nice to meet you.”

 

“Cthonic?” Logan asked. He felt like he should know the word, but he didn’t.

 

“Underworld. Specifically underworld deities.”

 

“Like Satan?”

 

“No,” Esme said, entering the living room. “Logan Fox, Cerebus Morningstar, meet Alex Rayasi, the spokesperson for Cthylla.”

 

“Hi,” Alex said, making an odd hand gesture. Wait, was that sign language?

 

“Who’s Cthylla?” Ceri asked, signing his words as well.

 

Logan looked at him, surprised. “You know sign language?”

 

Ceri shrugged. “Satan knows every language, and apparently, so do I.”

 

“Really?” That was a weird detail. Still, why not? If you were a god, it probably behooved you to speak everything imaginable.

 

“Daughter of Cthulhu,” Alex replied, also signing.

 

“Wait, what?” Logan asked, looking to Esme for confirmation.

 

She shrugged. “See, I told you you wouldn’t believe me.”

 

“Cthulhu is a real thing? I thought that was made up.”

 

“The mythos is real-ish,” Ceri told him. “But most of them exist on another plane of reality. Save for Cthulhu, who sleeps at the bottom of the sea.”

 

“And his daughter, who watches,” Alex both said and signed. “She’s become aware of the impending apocalypse, and would like to stop it, since the apocalypse is her father’s to bring, not Heaven or Hell.”

 

Was that supposed to be comforting? Esme said, “Supposedly that’s a few million years off.”

 

“Oh. In that case, who gives a fuck?” Logan asked.

 

“Would you like a memory stone?” Alex asked.

 

“Say no,” Esme said.

 

“I know you’re telling the truth,” Ceri said and signed. “Just like you know I’m Lucifer’s son. I can see your energy.”

 

“And I see yours,” Alex said. “So I guess we’re even.”

 

“Wait. Cthylla levels the playing field? Cthylla is strong enough to face off with Heaven and Hell?” Logan wondered.

 

Ceri scoffed. “Yes. Technically, both Cthylla and Cthulhu are immortal. They’re tied into the universe at such a fundamental level, that to kill them would destroy the universe as a whole.”

 

“How is that different from the apocalypse?” Logan asked.

 

“Scale, dummy,” Lyn snapped from the kitchen. “The apocalypse wipes out the human population on Earth. Destruction of the universe takes out Heaven and Hell too.”


“Holy shit.” That was incredible. Something that could take out Heaven and Hell both? “How have we not just instantly won this fight? If we can take them with us, what is there to discuss?”

 

Esme gestured to the kitchen, and said, “Can I have a word with you in private, Sherlock?”

 

First dummy, now Sherlock. He gave her an evil scowl for the insults, but went into the kitchen, Ceri following. Alex remained smiling on the couch.

 

They gathered around the large piece of slate that made up their kitchen table. Logan would have sworn, last time he saw it, it was wood, but all that meant was Esme had done some minor redecorating. Lyn had her eyes closed, head still bent over her cup of coffee, but she was definitely listening. “Look, I’m not denying this is great news,” Esme said. “Whether the spells and amulet pay off, we know we have something that works against both sides. But it could work against us too.”

 

Before Logan could ask, Ceri nodded. “It’s another variation of a deal with the devil. Clearly Cthylla is working out of a self-interest here, but how do we know they won’t extract a price for that?”

 

“Admittedly, it’s fiction, but I’ve never read anything that said entering a pact with Cthulhu was a good thing,” Lyn said, eyes still closed.

 

“Do we have a choice?” Logan said. “I mean, can we even say no to this? If Cthylla is as powerful as you say, can’t she just swing her big dick around?”

 

“I think you’re mixing your metaphors, champ, but I get what you’re saying,” Esme said, rubbing her eyes. “And you’re probably right. You can’t exactly say no to Cthulhu – or his daughter – when he approaches you in the spirit of cooperation. ‘Cause I got a feeling deathless god of insanity doesn’t take rejection well.”

**

 

 

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