Weekly Shtuff 10-12-2012

First off, a nice review of LIM at Infernal Reviews.

Last week I guess I spoke too soon about the steady readership, as that same weekend the numbers plunged to about half of normal. Not sure what the reason is, or even if it actually has anything to do with the comic. It wasn’t a holiday, and there wasn’t anything distracting in the news. Maybe it’s an anomaly. But I’m committed to finishing this story, even if I’m the only one reading it, so for those of you sticking around, fear not.

I rarely have nightmares these days, though when I was younger they were fairly common. But this last week I had one that was kind of Lovecraftian in the feelings it evoked in me. When I say Lovecraftian in this sense, I’m referring to some of his non-Mythos stories, like “The Lurking Fear” and “Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and his Family.” But it was a doozy and the disturbed feelings lingered long into the day, so I thought I’d share it with you.

I don’t know exactly where I was, but it was a public place, like a restaurant, or a hospital. Someone was crying in the next room, and I stepped in to see what was the matter. There were four or five people sitting on benches around the wall, and the room couldn’t have been more than five feet square. A really homely lady was holding a child swaddled in a dark, coarse blanket. Homely isn’t really a strong enough word, but ugly is too far in the other direction. Her cheeks and the ball of her nose were all large,roughly the same size, and her chin receded. Her skin was dark, not out of ethnicity but….just dark. Her hair was very straw-like, and her clothes were made of similar material as the blanket.

The child was the one crying, and I leaned in. Only the top of its head was showing, and in that it looked quite normal, just exactly like the head of my own nephew. It reached its arm out to me, to hug me, and I was instantly repelled. The arm was hairy, like an ape, though the skin was fair. It clung to me like a frightened child does, and I overcame my revulsion long enough to get it to stop crying. When it finally settled down, the blanket fell away from its face and revealed a smaller version of the mother’s face. It’s smile was hideous and disturbing. I turned to leave and it started crying again, reaching out to me. The mother let it go, and it ran to my leg and grabbed hold, again like a frightened child holding on to a parent. It’s body was covered with hair, though it had no other ape-like features. But that face!

I murmured some strange words of reassurance, something on the order of “You’ll be all right. You’re just growing up. Do it.” I left.

But everywhere I went, the child would appear, crying, wrapped in the blanket with only the top of it’s head showing, one hairy arm reaching out for me. On a city street, in the movie theatre, it was always there.

Through dream logic, I abruptly found myself  in a dark, circular chamber, with large glowing triangles on the floor. The child was there, as was a beautiful woman in one of those DeMille movie-style Egyptian costumes. Imperiously, she informed me that the child had chosen to inhabit my soul.

Unfortunately, that was the end of the dream. There’s no way to convey the sense of horror and foreboding I felt, because, as you all have likewise experienced, dreams are not rational nor logical. I’m past it now, but that was the ugliest child I have ever seen and I am still tempted to look for some kind of soul-protector gadget on the net.




  1. Dumb post

    Nitocris is telling you to embrace your inner child? You may want to consider the giver of that tall order before following it.
    “Her skin was dark, not out of ethnicity but….just dark.”

  2. Dumb post

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Madonna may have been influenced by http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queen_of_Sheba

  3. Jehackmaster

    Wow… Just…Wow…
    I’m no dream-interpreter, but doing the kind of art, the kind of webcomic you do, don’t you think that “changeling” child is your inner voice telling you that you need to tell your story?
    In one breath you say your reading has dropped, that you want to tell your story no matter what, and the same week you have this kind of dream? The child is horrifying, but is your comic not horrifying in its own beauty?
    I’m a long-time Lovecraft fan, a devoted Mythos reader, and I sure don’t get all the subtle hints and nods you drop in your gorgeous webcomic: you’re obviously a “Mythos scholar”. Would you really rather search for a “soul-protector” than accept that your subconscious would choose to tell you what you already know in a way that is in line with the message?
    There are many “Mythos”-knock-offs, and few people these days manage to reinvent Lovecraft in a way that convinces: either they go overboard on the “flowery speech” that someone from his days would find less objectionable, or they go all sci-fi on the subject, pushing away from the soul-searing horror that Lovecraft proposes, that there is no help from science, no compassion from the stars. By telling a tale of horror around the author, inspired by his work and that of others, you weave a web that draws in, slowly suspends disbelief, then releases the ultimate horror, always hinting that far worse is just a breath away. You do honor to the “master”, and embellish the genre.
    Do not fear for your soul: just tell your story; we who read are here to listen, eager for more. Those who left will be back. Your story leaves them no choice. A very, very warm thank you for sharing this horrifying beauty, this dark pearl with us.

  4. DonFenix

    I’m kind of new to this story, but please don’t stop writing! This is one of the more visionary webcomics available. Thanks for you dedication to keeping it going. Good luck with the soul protector, nothing like the threat or being possessed by an anthropomorphic ape-child to get the blood pumping. Why if I only had a nickel for each time that’s happened to me…

  5. Frankie D.

    So now you’ve got a monkeychild living in your brain?

  6. Kestrel

    I’m still reading! :) And still enjoying this crazy ride!

  7. Picolo

    Still reading – but even though there wasn’t a major holiday, it is holiday season (starting early as usual)… but that last bit made me totally LOL – “but that was the ugliest child I have ever seen”. This sounds like it’d make a good book. I mean, the dream in general, not just ugly kids.

  8. missallen

    Larry, you HAVE to hang in there. This is the bestest Lovecraft Universe comic I have read and I really really want to find out what the unholy hell is going to happen! Don’t worry about your dream too much; the under-brain does crazy stuff at night with your daily life.

  9. lovecraf

    I don’t want any one to even entertain the thought I’m not going to finish the strip out. I need to know how it ends as much as anybody else! (And thank you for the good words. Wish there was a “Bestest” contest I could enter:-))

  10. njcommuter

    If that were my dream, I’d be sure to let a little daylight in and breathe some good, clean air in between the eldritch nightmares I’m writing. It wouldn’t hurt to read a little Chesterton, just for the balance.

  11. Karyl

    I wonder if you can name that child and tell his story later, even if “just in words” and thus lay it to rest?
    I agree with the others, and particularly Jehackmaster.

  12. trickcyclist

    ‘Big’ dreams which scare us are often about change, and that change is usually positive in the end. I think the interpretations above about shadows and embracing the child sound spot-on. Do keep drawing and creating, I’m along for the ride till it finishes.

  13. captkiddeo

    njcommuter has a good suggestion: for a non-scary but still nightmarish experience, try Chesterton’s The Man Who Was Thursday.

  14. John

    I would have said that the feeling of your dream was more evocative of The Thing in the Moonlight — a nightmare that just goes on, from which you can’t awaken. Much like my life.
    My personal take is that your subconscious is just entertaining you with the kind of material you obviously enjoy. Nothing more.
    And please don’t give up on your story. It has merit and deserves to be finished.