Best if read aloud in the voice of Wayne June

‘Twere the wights before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even my blouse;
The children were hung by the chimney with hair,
Ropes of unspeakable organs were holding them there;
A thousand drugs nested like slugs in my head;
While visions of insanity danced in our bed;
Mammon in his draping kerchief, and I on his lap,
Had just scattered our brains with a vintner’s stout sap,
When well before dawn there arose such a clatter,
I rose like old bread to see who was a hatter.
Away to the window I flit like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and scratched at my rash.
Dying men crusted the new-fallen snow,
Groaning their mayday from dark things slinking below,
And what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a monstrous shadow, a most ominous reaper,
The fishy old drover’s limbs so suckered and slick,
I knew in a moment he must rep for the eldritch.
More rapid than eagles his curses they came,
He whistled, and shouted, and damned them by name:
“Now, go Nug! Here, hoary Nodens! Loom, Azathoth!
Rise, Cthulu! On, Yog-Sothoth! Up, Nhimbaloth!
From heaven to crust, topple their walls!
Crash away! Smash away! Grind them like dolls!”
As a leaf before mad mountains flutters and flees,
When met with obstacles (such as cosmic entities);
Too, over the horizon, those elders they grew
Bearing deliveries of death (and a black goat, too).
And then, with an inkling, I heard on the roof
The groaning and hissing of each burning tooth.
As I drew in my head, screaming and feeling unsound,
Down the chimney Shub-Niggurath slopped by the pound.
He was dressed all in dreams, from his tusk to his root,
And his tentacles were tarnished by ashes and soot;
A bundle of joy he had flung over his cruel back,
And he broke impassively into its new blister pack.
His eyes—how they wrinkled! His pincers, how scary!
His maw bubbling and closing; his jaws stubbled and hairy!
His flightless wings delivered a murderous blow
As seaweed on his chin spoke of his origins below;
The stump of an arm he held alight in his teeth,
Smoking and steaming, burning flesh writhing in wreaths.
With an octopoid face and a cavernous belly
That shook when he laughed, my mind turned to jelly.
He was sightless and gurgled like that evil book on my shelf,
I shrieked when I saw him, and quickly soiled myself;
A blink of Shub’s galaxy eyes, a great twist of my head,
And I knew at once that I was thoroughly dead;
He spoke unintelligibly, his rump gave a twerk,
He filled tiny stockings with coal (the immortal jerk!).
Flaying my fingers on the sides of his beak,
And insulting my God, up the chimney he squeaked;
He sprang into darkness, to his team tossing gristle:
Away they heaved, lumbering, trained to his whistle.
My body slumped and decayed; dim grew my sight,
And their final words reached me: this world ends tonight!”

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W. Sheridan Bradford writes horror (All Hallows, The Buzzkill) the old west (Rimfires, Sevenfold), contemporary western fiction (Born Again), science fiction (The Wreck of the Molon Labe), and is the author of numerous short stories and poems. Usually found in: Colorado, New Mexico, or Texas.

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