The Day I Snubbed Shoggoth
*Written originally for an anthology of Trump-related dystopian fiction
I awoke with a grin. The sky was blue, birds were singing, and the air was sweet. Today was the start of something great; tonight would mark change.
Shoggoth pressed an eye to my window, the dual pupils dilated. With a mouthed tentacle it knocked on the front door of my apartment. I rolled my eyes at the question gurgled: “Are you sure? It’ll be quick. Trust me—it’ll be for the best.”
“No, Shoggoth. I do not wish to die, to return home. I would also appreciate it if you could look elsewhere, as I am in the nude.”
Shoggoth sighed and slunk back between the folds of the atmosphere, of Earth itself.
Earth, I thought. What a little gem you’ve turned out to be. Not remotely like the Elder Gods’ descriptions; not at all like the planet they foresaw.
I put on pants and made pancakes.
It was high noon. The city was abuzz with anticipation. Roughly eleven hours from now things would change—history would be made.
“You still have time to escape,” Shoggoth whispered in my mind; I had made eye contact with a one-eyed street meat vendor on 6th and 42nd. “Trust me—it won’t be what you want; it’ll be worse than what the Elder Gods conjure. Remember Germany?”
I did not. “No, but I remember Cherry Hill and that whole timelessness nonsense. Kyon’itha—what a tyrant bitch.”
Shoggoth rolled its milky eye. “Novice. Look, I’m trying to do you a favor.”
“I’m not ready to die,” I said. “I’ve hardly scratched the surface of this world. Now kindly leave me to my lunch.”
Shoggoth eyed the thing on my plate. “Cthulhu would be disgusted.”
Perhaps. But I had never tried squid. It was good.
Dinnertime at a grille in a tower. I was drinking something called whiskey, watching the scores rise on each side. Asses and Tusks, going at it—this was for the country, perhaps the world. I cheered and took another sip. I sat amidst a throng of red hats—they cheered louder and louder. I was pretty sure I was drunk.
I caught my reflection in a bottle; Shoggoth’s eye was staring back, its voice a whisper in my mind.
“Last chance, man,” it warned. “Seriously. I know it’s only 10:30 p.m., but last call. This is it.“
I flipped the bottle off; time lurched ahead. Shoggoth’s voice was but an echo in my head, a dying fly’s last buzz.
It’s over! The bar had lost its mind; they fell into continued hysteria, as though lost in Great Cthulhu’s gaze.
And then Cthulhu himself walked onto screen and I…was confused. I had been assured it would be the woman of the Tusks—the first in the history of humankind; I had no idea the Great One was even in the running.
I shrugged and sipped my drink. The Great One sure had gotten fat, a bit orange too. His eight chins bobbed and wiggled as he spoke—
Trump. My blood ran hot with fear; it was just as the Elder Gods foresaw.
“…and we’ll round them up, but don’t worry it’s not a ban. Everything will be great!”
And he winked, and the red hats were ablaze with insanity, frothing at the mouths. Someone pulled a pistol out and yelled something about sex and sand and monkeys. Another person screamed about a man named Jeebus.
Outside, fires had started. The entire city had gone nuts.
“Shoggoth?” I called, quivering.
This was not what I had signed up for. Gods, I should have listened to the prophecies, to the Wise Ones. They‘d told me not to dream, but only feast on dreams, because dreaming only led to nightmares.
Shoggoth did not answer, so I yanked a pistol away from a fat man wearing a “Trump that Bitch” t-shirt and put the barrel to my head. I pulled the trigger, everything went black, and then I was standing exactly where I had been, in the middle of hell on Earth.
I should not have snubbed Shoggoth.