The Graves of Mars (short story)

Introduction

The following is a short-story in an ongoing series of loosely bound short stories in which I attempt to ape the writing style of legendary author Howard Phillips Lovecraft. Most of the stories revolve around a fictional mythos of monsters, gods and forgotten lore lost to the world or obscured by eons of mystery. It is a fairly rough draft of the story and I am open to criticism and critique.

The Graves of Mars

Shadows of that place bleed like faded memories in my mind each night when I try to sleep. It all looks so real, the lights dancing on my bedroom walls, the phantoms of that forgotten age. I have been scorned by those I once called colleagues and friends, told that it is not the truth I see but a form of madness that inflicts me. I tell you it is not. I have seen the graves of Mars.

They were very much like us I think, though it is apparent to me from my visions that they were superior in intellect. In the early days they rose from the Martian soil guided by the unseen hand. Even as the images afforded to me appeared I could feel the presence of this thing, ominous and spread like the strands of a web holding firm across all the worlds touched by our sun.

But they were not all like us and I shudder to think what awaits those first explorers who venture beyond the safety and shelter of this blue planet or when we venture too deep into the history of our own. I have seen things that would make most sane men go mad.

The strange visions and occurrences come less now than they ever have and I am at once glad and afraid at my fading connection to that forsaken eon. And yet red skies still beckon me. It is important, I think, that I make a record, before the images are gone from me forever. They may be ridiculed, accused of being just another theosophic escapade, but no matter, I know what I have been shown is accurate.

The first of my visions began while I was still a lad at school. The Blitz was on in London where I was studying at the time. The bombs fell and the fire of war seemed to seep into the crevices of my fragile mind. That was when I discovered that I was indeed a Sensitive, a Medium, a conduit for forces beyond my control and beyond anyone's understanding.

I lie awake in the dormitory of my school, away from my parents, away from the highlands of Scotland where I would no doubt have been safer. As I listened to the shells pounding in the distance I felt a strange electricity run the length of my body. I was all at once numbed, paralyzed, and yet my mind brought to a most peculiarly livid state of thought.

The images appeared like some phantom hand had painted them across my mind. At first I thought it was a dream, a fanciful rendering of the very war that was being waged across Europe at that moment in time. Soon, however, I realized that the men around me were not men of this Earth. They had strange skin, some a red hue, others a darker olive color, and stood nearly seven feet tall, each of them had a hand with six strange fingers. I say fingers but tentacles might be a better term as each appendage can unfurl to a length of almost half a meter and act independently of the others.

They stood in trenches not unlike those our own front-lines had built. Despite their non-human physiology their emotional states seemed easy to read, the fear on their faces, the pain, the confusion that all young men feel at war.

I felt as if I was floating through the image, lifted from my bed with eyes now glued open in absolute terror. The ground beneath me was red, the dust crimson, as a young man I did not understand this, any of this. Heavy impacts shook the dust from the crimson soil and I could see the enemy, the leather-skinned behemoths these poor beings were facing. Twelve feet tall at least with ghastly grinning mouths of razor teeth that seemed to rim the entire face. Row after row of these massive creatures stumbled forward as if driven not by their own thoughts, as if sleep-walking.

Through this window to another time and place I watched the strangest war. Devices that resembled rifles shot not projectiles but energy-waves, invisible entirely but devastating in their effects. The brutal behemoths gunned down thousands. I looked into the eyes of those soldiers, in the trenches of some alien world, and watched them fade away.

"I have seen the Graves of Mars"
"I have seen the Graves of Mars"

When at last I returned to my senses the morning and afternoon had vanished before me. Having missed all of my lessons for the day I walked the devastated streets of London trying to piece together the puzzling dream I'd had. Perhaps I had been feverish, I thought, or the fear of a nearby shell hit had driven me temporarily mad. I shook off the vision like a drunkard shakes off his stupor.

My life returned to normal after that incident until some fifteen years later while a graduate student. I was living in America at the time, finishing my studies in archeology. I had spent the summer working on a pet theory of mine, namely that the ancient civilization in Sumeria was most assuredly not the oldest sophisticated civilization on the planet. Now school was almost upon me again, the final semester, and I had no time to lose if I hoped to show I was correct.

To prove this I had set out to the city of Saint Louis where several ancient Native America burial mounds had recently intrigued my colleagues, professors and peers at the University. I had seen such mounds before at home in Scotland and those had been dated back some four thousand years or so. I was convinced, however, that these mounds in North America predated those in Europe by thousands of years at least.

Rather than disturb the main mounds I concentrated my efforts more than a mile away at an abandoned airport south of the mounds. I was convinced that a hill between the airport and the river was not a hill and was, in fact, an as yet unidentified mound.

The grass covered hill rose some thirty feet into the air. Here the ground seemed more fertile, the grass a more vibrant shade of green, more alive than any of the surrounding vegetation even in the approaching autumn chill. The soil at the top of the mound was uneven and it seemed to me the result of erosion over the centuries. This mound, and indeed all the others, might have been considerably larger hundreds or thousands of years ago.

I made detailed measurements of the unnatural dome and laid out a grid within which I could do my makeshift archaeological excavation. I began digging on the Westerly side of the mound, the one that faced the river and the setting sun.

At the time it was widely believed, as it still is in most scholarly circles, that the burial mounds of Missouri, and indeed across all of North America, were built by the Indians. In that day of digging I did not come across any indication of it being made by Natives though it is well known they considered the sites to be sacred or hallowed in some way. It is clear to me now, knowing what I have been shown, that these mounds were present on the landscape when the first Native explorers reached Missouri.

Source

The first piece of pottery I found seemed Earthly enough, a nondescript gray-red fragment which I set aside for examination later. The next artifact uncovered however began to unsettle me. I had hoped simply for evidence that the Natives of North America had possessed civilization older than that of Sumeria but what I found was evidence of a far more sinister civilization.

It was a skull, a human skull, bearing a rather garish and obvious head wound. It was indeed very ancient but it was the artifact beside it that sent shivers down my spine as I stood in the waning sun of that autumn evening. An ax. Not the sort of ax you'd see a Native carrying, certainly not the Indians of any known tribe in the area but a weapon that almost appeared brand-new. The strange metal from which the completely in-tact blade was made shimmered as though coated with a strange layer of dust.

I found my hands trembling for some reason I could not explain and fear rising up inside me. The wind began to pick up, whipping across the river to hit me in the face. I lost my balance, I was falling, I hit the soft grass with my panicked heart suffocating my ears.

It was not grass from which my body rose but dull red dust. I woke with a start seeing only the strange auburn sky tinged with the bleakest blackest blue I could imagine. The sight perturbed me more than words can say as I stood and surveyed the barren desert lands.

In the immediate aftermath of my transport I believed myself in Utah, or perhaps Nevada. I had seen marvelous photographs of the stone monoliths and arches that rose naturally from the desert floor. Surely this was some hallucination brought on by the exertion and stress of the dig, I thought. There was no way that I might have traversed several states and awokened in a bleak desert without having at least some memory of my transit.

A flash seared like the fires of Hell in my mind. I remembered separating from my body, splitting mind and spirit like an atom is split today. The explosion that resulted cascaded through my mind as I stood on that strange soil and remembered soaring across the deaf emptiness of space to find myself standing not in Utah but on the planet Mars.


I had heard of travelers who had left their bodies, of course, but had always believed it to be superstitious nonsense. The existence of any soul of essence had not be confirmed and though I had been raised a Catholic I had long given up superstitious thinking. I tell you now that I believe in gods, not of any spirit world we might think of, but of religions far older and more foul.

I walked for what seemed like ages, wandering along the Martian surface, watching storms in the distance spread with crimson-yellow lightning licking the surface. I began to wonder whether the planet had any life at all, or any vegetation, as the memory of my childhood vision returned to me and I at once recognized the world upon which I stood. Indeed the very spot upon which I stood, the trench carved before me, the splintered slate-like stones that lay charred beneath my feet.

“That battlefield,” my ethereal lips mouthed, “Where the soldiers of Red Skies all laid down their Lives. Black shadow mounts from space, beyond this time and place. Muerr Orellyn, tua Ol'Mars Ulnar Parus.”

I shook the words from my soul like dust is shaken from shoulders and felt the ground trembling beneath me. The storm was coming, I could see it and worse I could feel it quaking the Martian crust all around me. My astral eyes searched desperately as if I was truly in mortal danger even so far beyond my body. I ran headlong for the nearest large stone, a monolith rising at least a hundred meters, with a tall impossibly narrow spire at the top and a round ring of boulders beneath.

I wedged myself between the massive henge-like stones as the winds came sweeping in and the crack of cold lightning split the Martian sky around me. I was going deeper, almost clawing, frantic and afraid not just of the storm but of the whole of the experience. I was a student of science, leaving my body to travel the ether of space was impossible! And yet I felt as real, as physical, as could be, as I withdrew even deeper.

Finally I reached a safe spot, what seemed, by my reckoning, the center of the stone structure. I calmed myself and soon realized that this structure must be artificial for at its center stood a rectangular monolith carved with strange symbols. To my shock I had seen a handful of them before in an anthropology course, buried in the ancient tome known only by its Latin name Umbra Filum, Shadowstrand.

I found myself entranced by this clearly artificial pillar, amazed at the detail of the carvings. I recognized some of the engravings as well, especially the scenes depicting a great battle and the nameless beasts they fought. Others seemed less about the war instead depicting strange monsters, frightful ghouls the likes of which I had never seen. One had the tendrils of an octopus streaming from a jagged maw sat on a squat body with the wings of some demonic dragon sprouting from its back. Another was like a sickly slug covered in eyes, with spindly grotesque arms sprouting from unsymmetrical nodes on its body.

I sank to my knees as the crashing din of the storm began to echo off the stones. That was when I saw the ground beneath me, shaking as it was, the tiny stones spreading out to reveal the grim and horrible truth. Tears began to stream down my face when I saw those seemingly human features, the bone structure of something very much like myself.

Skulls. Skeletons. Remains were all around me and though I felt that that battle must have been eons ago the Martian desert had preserved the bodies beneath my feet all too well. Skin still clung to some of the skulls, leathery and mummified.

The storm around me seemed to be slowing as I knelt upon the graves of so many Martian soldiers. Only then did I become aware that I was not alone, when the deafening roar of the storm gave way to the flapping of wings. I turned my head and tried to get to my feet, shaking and weary from this whole ordeal. Then I saw my first monster.

His sickly grin was like that of a demon, face drawn up in an all too human smile. But this thing, it had wings, four wings that stretched like the membranous wings of a bat only adapted for the Martian air. It turned its head inquisitively, menacingly, its massive eyes were wide open, peering into me. They seemed to change shade, as if it were lowering an eyelid, a shiny membrane that changed its vision, and the color of its eyes.

I ran. I fled. Out toward the storm, toward safety, toward sanity. I reached the edge of that fast moving Martian storm and let the wind cut me to pieces. I felt myself becoming less substantial, it was the strangest feeling, like I imagine dying would feel. Then, suddenly, I was no more.

Source

When at last I regained consciousness I had medical professionals all around me. I can recall batting at them, shooing them away as if they were attacking me. I came to my senses soon after that, seeing that I was no longer in danger, that the whole thing must have been some sort of episode. I felt embarrassed and at the same time afraid. It had been so vivid, the images so alive, the sensations as if I had actually been there.

To make matters worse I was soon informed that I had been missing for three days and that I was found not on my back beside the mound in Missouri but lying on the river bank some two and a half miles from there. It was believed that I must have drifted down river, for I was covered in a viscous liquid when they found me and clutching an item, an ax.

Despite all of this I managed to calm myself down, assuring myself that it was all in my head, the result of some trauma I suffered during my three days of absence. At any rate I was in my own head now and felt entirely sane. I checked myself out of the hospital after only two days taking only the ax with me.

I decided to have the metal of the ancient tool examined. Even if the whole thing had been in my head the item certainly seemed out of place and had certainly triggered the incident.

I returned to the University and poured myself into my studies, trying to forget the whole ordeal and simply finish my doctorate. I was almost there, Doctor Aaron Blackwell, the thing I had worked for nearly a decade now. Soon enough I had it in my hands, the degree that would guarantee I would be out in the field soon enough, and perhaps one day even be a Professor.

The shadows of Mars did not return to me until the Summer of 1959. I was back in England now working closely with several excavation teams on ancient henges, standing stones and barrows that dotted the landscape of Britain harkening back to a forgotten age. Mainly though the job was more about preservation and working with the British government, preventing these sites from being destroyed to build a road or vandalized or pilfered for stones by local farmers.

Recently things had become rather interesting however when, just a few miles south and west from the village of Staplehurst, a new standing stone site had been found. This site however was not above ground, but had been found below ground level when a farmer had fallen into a sinkhole that appeared on his property under mysterious circumstances. The Farmer had returned home with strange symptoms and even stranger behavior, having suddenly taking up drinking and begun cheating on his wife. The legend spread until the Farmer's wife turned up in the field dead in 1958.

It was the investigators of that murder case who discovered the significance of the Farmer's find.

The stones stood in a round chamber that seemed carved in the soil some thirty meters below the surface. They were untouched, as though this hollow of ground had been there for millenia. Luckily the Farmer's remaining family were allowing us unfettered access to the site.

Something found there had disturbed me greatly though, symbols carved against the stones, unlike those you might expect from a pict site or even from the more ancient henges of England's distant past. Symbols that drove me back to the Universities library, to the Umbra Filum and other enigmatic works of ancient lore. It was here in the Umbra Filum that I discovered something startling.

According to the anonymous author of the book the symbols had been passed to man in ancient days by spirits locked in agony encountered only through a special form of ritual. It was said that you could still hear the voices from that world beyond if you followed those ancient steps. The Umbra Filum recounted an attempt by the ancient inventor Archimedes to contact this other realm, which ended in him bartering his soul for a powerful amulet passed through the membranes of this other world.

An illustration, recreated in painstaking detail in this most modern reprint of the actual ancient text showed many symbols. All at once I began to sweat profusely, my mind went blank and my breathing became erratic. I began to think I might be dying. The pages of the book blurred beneath me but then the outline of the amulet appeared before me. I heard a sound, like the slamming of a massive steel door that echoed in my mind as the amulet began to float from the pages of the Umbra Filum, a representation of it appearing in the air in front of me.

The symbols became clear then and the secret of Archimedes Amulet was revealed.


“Ynai elos mala tyra, the dreamer tastes not death,” I found myself repeating as I watched the symbols translate themselves before me. The vision seemed to be growing stronger, carrying me to the site itself, to the underground stones set as they were in a circle. I felt a sense of foreboding here, as if I were accompanied by someone or something else.

Now it was someone else's voice speaking in my mind, Ynai elos mal'tyra. A thundering voice like a multitude speaking at once, forcing me to my knees in that astral state.


“The Web of Ares sees you traveler,” a voice that separated from the multitude said.

Suddenly I was no longer beneath the ground in the English countryside but was kneeling on an empty plain shaded a strange blue-green. There was little vegetation but here and there there was a structure. The buildings seemed the only thing opaque as even the grass beneath my feet was a peculiar translucent blue. The soil was more like sand than ordinary dirt and the gravity felt much less oppressive as I rose from my knees.

Standing before me was what looked, at first, like an ordinary flesh and blood man, the only thing physical and real as far as the eye could see. I looked down at my own hands then, and when I looked back up the sky was crimson red and the ground beneath me a similar red-brown shade.


“We are safer here,” I heard the man report, only he was no longer a man. His demonic looking wings were folded against his back, his lips were thin, almost nonexistent, revealing an ever present grin. I fell back in horror, wishing for the safety of the library, for the safety of a dusty old book or a slow steady excavation. The normality of pottery and scientific papers, of peer review and collaboration, of the ordinary human life I had taken for granted.


“Please,” I begged, not knowing if I was standing before an angel, a devil, a Martian, or all three, “I have a girl now, we're getting married in the Spring!”


“You are a meddler,” a second voice spoke, another winged demon, this one strangely feminine, it's skin seemed tightly rapt against its grotesque skeletal frame, “But you shall do as we design!”


“Mir'atta Tus Archimedes,” the first demon said holding out to me the very same Amulet I'd seen in the book, “Un'Orellyn Mirus.”

The first of the strange winged grinning creatures stepped to my right and lifted a clawed finger on the end of which was a strange device that glimmered and blinked. He raised it up into the air about my height and then stabbed his hand forward tearing a hole in the fabric of reality, a blue glow shimmering through as he tore his way down to the ground. I put the amulet around my neck and stepped through the portal.

When I awoke I was still in the library being prodded in the back by a very cross librarian who'd been trying to wake me for several hours unsuccessfully. I looked down at the Umbra Filum and then down at the amulet around my neck.

Source

It wasn't a dream after all! I felt vindicated, I felt as if I had evidence. I stole away into the night and headed to my fiance's house. Samantha Landis was a beautiful Welsh woman I'd actually met during my time in America. She had smoldering charcoal blue eyes and light brown hair that stretched nearly to her knees. She lived a few miles outside London now with her Father, the esteemed Professor of linguistics at the University of London.

If anyone could appreciate the relationship the runes on this amulet had to the ones at the site in Kent, and perhaps tie this whole thing to my strange experiences, it was Professor Landis. The gift I had briefly been given, to read those eon old symbols, had been taken away when I had awoken.

My beloved tried to calm me down as I relayed the tale, tried to convince me that it must have been a dream, an episode like the one that had stranded me down river years earlier. Outwardly I agreed with her, not for my own sake but for the sake of her own sanity. How the world might change when my information reached it, when they saw how the worlds above us were linked; how the graves of Mars called out to us even now in our modern age!

So it was that I met with Professor Landis only in secret sharing with him only the Amulet and revealing only scant information on where I thought it might have originated. As I suspected he had some knowledge of the symbols describing them as a lost language he'd seen hints of across the world. It seemed as though many ancient authors had been aware of this language, intimately and completely knowledgeable in its function and form, but that modern linguists had somehow lost the way.

The Professor showed me several photos from a series of stones in Egypt. He explained that the stones were not quarried locally and that the architecture had baffled scholars when they were recovered in the 1940s because they matched neither ancient Greek or ancient Egyptian masonry from the area. I recognized the stones almost right away, the soft red iron-hue of the dust on them reminded me so much of my visions I nearly leaped from my body into another time and place. It was the pictographs and symbols carved there, matched with the ancient Greek that gave me pause and the Professor smiled declaring this stone the Second Rosetta stone.

He elaborated, going into detail about how the stone was found among the ruins of the Serapeum in Alexandria and was, in fact, already a museum piece in the ancient world, likely housed in the original Library before it was burned. It was this stone that had alloed him to begin translation of the language.

Transcribed here is the meaning of the words on the amulet, and their rough Anglicized representation.

“Elam Erok, Elam Tus'rrat'sthal, Ynai Elos Mala Tyra. Weil Oysu, Weil Oyru, Faera Tus'Ares se 'talis, Ios Barun Ipio Archimedes. Unbound of Time, Unbound of Body, The Dreamer tastes not Death, Safe in going, safe in coming, the Web of Ares holds you. Welcome to the Red Desert, Archimedes.”

The next few weeks I lived on edge, afraid that at any moment I might become equally unbound from time as Archimedes evidently had. Had they, the Martians, built this amulet for him? The Professor had taken the artifact for only a few weeks, having it tested and studied by several of his colleagues to find that it was indeed very ancient. In fact they could not put an exact date on its make, but explained that their last encounter with such an object was in the writings of an enigmatic explorer named Septimus, the only writing to Septimus' name was a series of badly burned parchments uncovered on an Island in the Caribbean in the 17th century. Originally believed to be blasphemous they were kept locked away by the Catholic Church until archeology convinced them to give over the parchments.

I accompanied the Professor to view photographs of the parchments of Septimus finding the patterns in his writing eerily similar to those in the Shadowstrand though whether he was the author I could not fully determine. Amidst the fragments was an illustration showing a peculiar and striking mask which seemed almost mechanistic in nature and far beyond the metal work and machinery the ancient Romans or Greeks had achieved, beside it was a hastily drawn but eerily similar amulet. Most interesting amongst the parchments was a map which I felt myself drawn to by some otherworldly power.

It was then that my journey took its final and most fateful turn. The map revealed the location of several islands along the coast of South America, these were mainly small juts of land only a few miles from shore but masses which were considered cursed or hallowed ground by the ancient civilizations of the mainland. In harried Latin barely decipherable due to the burning of the parchment Septimus described visiting one of these islands, standing atop a precipice as a storm struck the island which was little more than a few jagged cliffs and some swarming vine-like vegetation.

Septimus described finding an opening in the rocks and a system of caves below though that an ancient Roman mariner might have found his way to the New World and had the equipment and resources to do such exploration on his own seemed absolutely impossible. Below he found a series of stone-henges much like the site in Kent and the similar burial mound in Missouri that I had examined. But here he found that the stones stood in a temple carved of some cyclopean stone blocks that were certainly not of earthly origin. The illustrations on the map seemed to match my suspicions, Martian masonry.


Source

I stood beside the Professor but soon I was no longer beside him, feeling some great hand hoisting me from my physical form. The amulet, which I had worn around my neck since the Professor returned it, glowed a ghostly blue that seemed to paint the world around me, a world which grew increasingly similar to the temple Septimus had been describing. And just like that I was there, the bright blue light shocking my senses as the Temple was reconstructed before my very eyes.

A great stone sat at the center of the henge bearing the likeness of some monster, a god of some sort, I gathered. It was roughly humanoid though it had at least three mouths, one a squid-like beak beneath it's left arm, the other a grinning maw of tentacles each covered in razor suction-cups and the last a vast cavity of emptiness in its abdomen that seemed to split its chest leaving its body barely in one piece.

As the world grew substantial around me I felt my feet touch the floor, a shallow pool of water had seeped in here, the Atlantic ocean slowly trying to find its way into this ancient and long unperturbed place. It was eons old at least and yet the rocks seemed polished and new as I touched each element of the henge, an electricity danced in the air, almost a visible cloud of dull blue sparks that became more lively and vivid as I exhaled into them.

“I'm really here,” I spoke aloud and my voice echoed into the chamber disturbing a shadow that I had not noticed before.

It was a man, a squat man with a dark beard and olive complexion who, though he was likely no older than I was, moved as though he were as old as the rest of the Temple. He spoke to me in Latin for a moment though even to my trained ears it took a few moments to recognize the dead language spoken aloud by a native speaker for the first time in centuries.

“You are my fellow dreamer,” the man announced, his grim visage softening and a half-smile appearing on his face. He seemed friendly but as he reached out to embrace me I found myself unsettled, as if I was in contact with someone who was not of this time or place at all. I shook the idea way as it was clearly I who was out of time and place, having been transported here in spirit form only to stand as flesh and blood in this odd temple, “I am Septimus Aquillus.”

“Where am I?” I asked in Latin.

“The Temple of Elomir, The Devourer,” Septimus said speaking the name with reverence, “But he will not harm you, the dreamer tastes not death.”

“Who is Elomir?” I asked taking a while to translate my words into Latin for the man, “The name is not familiar to me from antiquity.”

“He is here, beneath us, where Mars buried him,” Septimus explained, “He is here, in the Ebon City, Ardoron, her great corridors stretch even this far!”

There was a madness in his eyes that seemed to confirm my suspicions that the man was far older and far wiser than any man should ever be. It was as if the truths he had learned had broken him. I saw that he had something in his hand and when I gestured to it he seemed, at first, as if he might attack me for even catching sight of it. After a moment though he softened once more and revealed the mask to me.

“The Gift of Mars himself,” he said, “I have worn his soul. He casts me adrift amongst the Web, he shows me, he reveals to me, he blesses me with sight.”

“What year is it?” I asked as the man became excited and I feared I might lose him to some sort of seizure.

“First or second world?” He asked as if not understanding the context of the question, “It is 1427.”

“How old are you?” I asked but before he could answer he threw me out the way. I watched as the demonic creature rose from the water standing nearly a foot taller than the Roman with leathery wings folded against its back.

“He shall wake, Urun se'tyra sthalis!” the demon roared lifting a clawed hand to strike the man down. That roar seemed to send the whole chamber shaking though I soon realized it was the turbulent storm outside that was causing the quake. The stones began to fall, their seemingly eternal masonry cast apart by a cascade of water down from above. The man, Septimus, turned to me, as a claw tore through his throat, and tossed to me the mask of spinning gears and cogs. To my shock it was not made of steel but of stone.

“Soth!” Septimus cried and the demon seemed to be shot backwards by the utterance. The man looked back to me clearly near death and gave me a nod as I fastened the mask on my face. Water and debris were raining down on me now but my body was disappearing, vanishing into the ether once more.

It was then that I was arrested and my persecution as one of the insane was begun, for as I woke from my trance I found myself with my hands around the Professors throat. Several men including a policeman tried to subdue me and in the end I had to be shot, though only in the leg. I am convinced that it was the mask which drove this rage, I am not sure what to make of that artifact and it pains me that it has now been taken away and is now in Professor Landis' possession.

I am not a madman. I fear for the safety of my fiancé and her unborn child which I have only just learned of since I was sent here to the Asylum. I fear for the safety of the Professor with that mask, and the excavation team at the site in Kent. What secrets they might unearth, or unleash, if they are not careful.

Much of it remains a mystery, pieces barely cobbled together by my fragile mind but a mind that is nonetheless sane in every aspect. There are monsters and there are gods and there are Martians but they do not come with flying saucers or ray guns. They come out of time, and some from beneath our very feet, they rise from the graves of their red and desolate world and set their sights on our own.

The Elder City, a poem

The Elder City


The wellsprings of Ardoron burst forth

Burning waters of the deep

The wretched mountains stretching up

Slanted stones and wicked peaks


In misty caverns and ancient holes

The Deep Ones of Elder Eons sleep

Buried within unearthly barrows

In their living death they dream


The waves crash far above the shoreline

Of that sunken city of towering stone

Infernal fires bite the ocean

Eternal bellows belch black smoke


O land of lost forgotten ages

Slumbering somewhere far beneath

Spoken of in blood-inked pages

The land from which all nightmares seep


O Ardoron, deep mythic kingdom

Of elder-gods and demon kings

Your walls still stand against all wisdom

A tomb where you may forever sleep


Primordial shadow of ages past

Your many names a secret lost

Though dreams and visions hold you fast

To the realm of horrid eldritch thought


The plumes of smoke still rise within you

Great city of the underdark

Bring forth the chaos and the evil

That stills the beating of mens hearts


Before the Earth had shape and form

You rose up from the ancient sea

And when the gods discovered Earth

They settled on the shores of thee


Now they lie dormant below the surface

In tunnels and in tombs they rest

Waiting to take back the world they conquered

Kept between alive and dead


They built you while the skies were black

The stars still forming did not shine

Now Ardoron is coming back

From unknown fathoms she will rise


All shall hail the ebon city

All shall praise the demon kings

All will hear their voice and worship

Great Ardoron shall soon awake


All shall see the world is taken

All shall behold and be afraid

The time of men shall soon be over

Great Ardoron no longer sleeps


More by this Author


Comments 6 comments

La Critique 2 years ago

I think this story was boring. Blah!!!


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 2 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

It reminds me of "A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs which was made into a movie called "John Carter". Both the story and the movie were quite a bit better than I expected.

I'm only halfway through here, but I'll be back. Gotta go feed the doggies!


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 2 years ago from back in the lab again Author

Thanks Austinstar

I am definitely inspired by pulp fiction of the past, such as the Mars stories that Burroughs wrote. If you ever get a chance check out Weird Tales, lot's of old sci-fi and horror stories from early in the 20th century, real pulpy silly stuff a lot of the time but also has that tinge of creativity that it seems like modern authors lack.


Lybrah 2 years ago

I walked out on "John Carter." It was awful! But this was a nice story.


carrie Lee Night profile image

carrie Lee Night 2 years ago from Northeast United States

Interesting and engaging story. Brilliantly told in a simple way. Thank you for your creativity and sharing your world. If you would like you may enjoy my area 51 Tale :). Have a great week.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 2 years ago from back in the lab again Author

Thank you very much for the kind words and the comment Carrie Lee Night, glad you enjoyed the story :)

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