As y’all know, I am an H.P Lovecraft fan. He is the father (Edgar Allen Poe is the grandfather) of the modern horror genre and he rocked it. One of Lovecraft’s most famous monsters, one beloved by geeks like me, is Cthulhu. As with anything beloved, parodies about it spring up like mushroom after it rains. You can get a little fish-with-tentacles emblem filled with the word Cthulhu for the back of your car. You can get Cthulhu as a plushy, because who doesn’t want an eldritch god plushy? There is even a movement to vote for Cthulhu for POTUS, because why settle for the lesser evil?
I have the tee-shirt suggesting one never choose the lesser evil, of course.
Many writers have, of course, written homages to Lovecraft’s creation. There are multiple anthologies, like World War Cthulhu: A Collection of Lovecraftian War Stories, Cthulhu Lives!: An Eldritch Tribute to H. P. Lovecraft, Shadows Over Main Street: An Anthology of Small-Town Lovecraftian Terror, and Lovecraft’s Monsters. Some are homages semi-serious or dark or science fiction or horror, and some are humorous, like those Neil Gaimon has done.
The humorous ones are my favorites. I’m twisted that way.
Which brings me to OB Aaron’s The Big Unmentionable Horror From Beyond, which I just read on the recommendation of a friend who knows I dig Lovecraft and snarky takes on film noir.
I loved it. It involved (wait for it) the cult of CtchCtchKhu. That, in and of itself was fun. However, it was the magnificent exaggeration of the 1930’s detective novel’s overwrought bad metaphors that made me chortle and sometimes even guffaw. For example:
“Her lips were big and pouty and as full as the nights you’d like to spend with them.”
“When I woke up she was gone and my head felt like a pumpkin: a big round one that some loving parent had carven a face on, and then some acne-face juvenile delinquent had thrown into the road on a cold dark Halloween night.”
“I woke up with a bad feeling. It was my gun. I had fallen asleep on it again.”
“I had a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach. It was like the feeling you get wen you come over the top of a big hill on a roller coaster and are just beginning to fall and you realize that the safety bar has just come off in your hand, that there are about twenty five feet of track missing just ahead, and if you are really, really lucky it won’t hurt too much when you die, but you probably won’t be so lucky. I hate it when that happens.”
“The first grasping tentacles of the titan sea deity CtchCtchKhu were already groping along the pier, like a drunken sailor looking for the clasp on a hooker’s bra.”
Seriously, I liked this short story – liked it the way a film noir detective likes bad metaphors and aggressive posturing and women who wear cool hats with those little half-veils on the front.