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Call of Cthulhu, Part 1:
The Horror in Clay

by Scape White

Call of Cthulhu, part 1 - The Horror in Clay - 11/31/11

Of all the mercies mankind is shown
The best, by far, is what's not known
For with all our scientific decadence
We still fortunately live in placid ignorance
We don't see the patterns and we don't correlate
And hopefully we won't until it's far too late
For the danger we live in is oh so great
If you knew the truth you'd find
You'd surely lose your mind

Believe you me, I know all too well
I have learned that truth, but I'll never tell
What I found in the notes of Professor Angell
And no one else will know
Of the thing from long ago...

George Gamell Angell was his name, Great-uncle George, to me
Professor of Semitic languages at Brown University
He died while walking home at the age of ninety-three
With no children, his estate was my responsibility
Most of his papers were quite benign
And the AAS will publish them in time
But there was one box he kept locked up tight
And within that box, I found the strangest sight

Some sort of bas-relief sculpted in inch-thick clay
With writing on the base, who knows what it could say
Above that, some sort of creature it did show
An octopus-dragon-man-thing, I don't know
And the disjointed ramblings and cuttings inside
Who knew what sort of maddening secrets they'd hide
What terrible truths they might avow
Not I, of course—but I know now

“Cthulhu Cults” – that's what it said at the top
“Cthulhu Cults” – if I could I would stop
Myself from reading more
Than I read before
I read “Cthulhu Cults”

The screed began telling the tale
Of the horror in clay, for which words fail
The thing he'd placed within the box
Was sculpted by Henry Wilcox
An artist whose talent, it seems
Accompanied the strangest dreams
He'd sculpted the sculpture at once upon waking
Recalling as best as he could in his mind
The Cyclopean vistas he'd found quite breathtaking
Although he'd been happy to leave them behind

To my uncle he'd brought the slate
To see if he could help translate
The runes he'd written at the base
Which he'd seen in that other place
The place whose angles seemed to be
Governed by strange geometry
My uncle could not help him with the translation
At least so he'd told him until he had heard
That the artist had dreamed a chaotic sensation
Which somehow resolved itself into the words
“Cthulhu F'tagn”

The phrase left my uncle amazed
For him it held some notoriety
He plead that if only Wilcox said
He'd membership in some secret society
He'd never speak a single word
The sculptor called the thought absurd

Yet Uncle Angell wouldn't quit
And coerced Wilcox to agree
To make a regular visit
Recounting all his nightly dreams
And following were pages filled
With views of dark and dripping stone
With burning air that somehow chilled
With garbled voice in monotone
Yet in those pages dense with words
A certain pair clearly recurred
“Cthulhu” “R'lyeh”
“Cthulhu” “R'lyeh”

One day--Wilcox didn't come
My uncle called to find he'd been struck with delirium
They'd say...Henry had gone mad
Ranting of this giant creature from the dreams he'd had
As he'd describe the creature's lumber
He'd work himself into a frenzy
Then fall down deep into a slumber]
Night or day, no difference, he
Did this until April 2nd, about 3PM
Then it stopped, he sat up in bed'
Wondered where he was and rubbed his head
And he was fine, that's what all the doctors said

He went back to his daily dream reports
But now the dreams were just the boring sort
With no more that intrigues or that transcends
The journal ends

But that wasn't all my uncle found
He'd somehow spread the word around
Asking of dreams that did confound
All of which occurred
On dates before april the third
From artists and poets these dreams all came
Matching what Wilcox's entries described
On the day he fell ill, many did the same
While others went violently crazy and died.

Finally, there were cutting of news stories
From various places the whole world 'round
Of strange suicides, of voodoo orgies
Of prophetic letters, of strange african sounds
Of white robed cults, Of native tribes growing restless
Of mob scenes in New York, Of mad paintings in Paris
Of prodigious incidents among the insane
All these, and more, of which the articles spoke
And all coming from that exact same timeframe
And all of them ending when Wilcox reawoke

And yet, despite this evidence
I remained wholely unconvinced
I just assumed Wilcox had lied
And set the records all aside
Had it stopped there, I'd never learn
The fate which soon shall come to pass
But through with Wilcox, now we turn
To the tale of Inspector Legrasse

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