Rather groggy, I rose from the warmth of my quilt-covered bed and shuffled over to the slightly opened window and drew in the fresh, Cool Air. The window, chipping of age-yellowed paint and covered with a parade of Old Bugs, overlooked the The Shunned House across the street, in which He lived. Down The Street to the left was The Temple where The Festival was taking place in the crowded lot. The Crawling Chaos reminded me of The Dunwich Horror that happened years ago. Over to the right was the Dagon fishing dock and The Tree where The Cats of Ulthar congregated daily in hopes of being fed some tasty morsels of fish by the sailors as they disembarked The White Ship. I have to say, it’s quite dispiriting living in The Nameless City.
After a time, I meandered back to my bed, and grabbed The Little Glass Bottle from my hand-carved wooden nightstand as I ritually did every morning. Inside was the hideous-tasting blue liquid medicine I was assured would rid me of The Lurking Fear from which I often suffered. The resident Alchemist had referred me to The Terrible Old Man who lived in The Secret Cave by the shipyard where he secretly made this medicine from ingredients found in The Moon-Bog.
Heading toward the drawing room with The Hound at my feet, I retrieved The Silver Key I kept hidden behind The Picture in the House. Not just any picture mind you, but the one in fact, The Evil Clergyman found At the Mountains of Madness. Yes, that’s the one. With the key, I unlocked the The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, my great uncle who left it in my trust, and carefully removed The Book titled, The Unnamable.
Reading from the chapter containing The Statement of Randolph Carter, I suddenly noticed hellacious scratching noises coming From Beyond, perhaps the next room. I realized a moment later, it must have been The Rats In The Walls, for they often scurried haphazardly in an attempt to avoid The Trap I set. If Memory serves, that trap was set the day I witnessed The Shadow Over Innsmouth—A remarkable coincidence, no? In an attempt to drown out the grating noise, I turned up the volume on my phonograph— a Pickman’s Model of course—in which The Music of Erich Zann was soothingly being played. To further calm my jagged nerves, I decided to open one of the Two Black Bottles of brandy given to me by my dear friend Howard who I’ve known since my forsaken youth. He brought them back from his three-month voyage on The Mysterious Ship called The Outsider.
Hours later, feeling languorous from the brandy and my disconcerting day, it barely registered that my doorbell had rung. It wasn’t until the second or third ring that it finally made its way through my numbed brain. I’d hoped it wasn’t The Man of Stone again trying to sell me another magazine subscription. He’s relentless that guy. To my surprise, it was my good friend and colleague, Herbert West: Reanimator. “Well, well, well. Looky What the Moon Brings!” I said.
“Spare me the trivialities.”
Admiring his attire, my eyes drifted from the top of his black felt derby down to his highly polished wingtip shoes. “What’s that my good friend?” I asked.
“The Thing on the Doorstep.”
“Oh that. That’s just a pile of Ashes. It was probably left by The Very Old Folk I passed on my way here. They seem to be leaving them on everyone’s doorstep for some reason or other.”
“Oh, I see. Well, do come in. Come in!”
We made ourselves comfortable on the viridian velvet couch and I poured us both some brandy. “So, what brings you by, my friend?”
“Well, I was over in The Tomb, doing some research on The Mystery of the Grave-Yard, when like The Shadow Out of Time I got the most brilliant idea I’d like to run past you. I was thinking of investigating The Horror in the Museum that happened last month and was wondering if you’d like to help since you have a penchant for the bizarre. Surely, I could use all the help I could muster. I must warn you, however, it would involve spending much time In The Vault and I know how you feel about tight spaces. Perhaps you’d like to take a stroll with me down the street to The Festival and discuss it?”
“Well, I have been having a hard time relaxing around here today so perhaps a nice stroll would do me some good. I’m not sure how I could help but I’m willing to hear you out.” Just as I was crossing the room to get my shoes and coat, the telephone rang. “That must be The Call of Cthulhu I’ve been waiting for. Please excuse me my friend, I must take this call.”
A few moments later, flabbergasted, I languidly placed the telephone back in its cradle, staring into space.
“What is it my friend? You look like someone died.”
“Someone did... Cthulhu’s brother, Azathoth. He took a sudden turn for the worse. I can't believe this happened... I just can't believe he's dead."
"Well, my friend... not if I can help it!"