banner art above by Charles Carter

Thursday, September 24, 2009


by J.R. Torina


I swam with purpose tonight. The Deep Ones were nowhere to be seen. I was alone in the sea. I saw only the darkly rippling waves in the moonlight. I continued on towards my destination. The island- there, straight ahead, floating above water, just as it should be. I could see the pillars standing up from here. With renewed vigor, I continued on. As I finally reached the shore, I walked up the wet, sandy beach. I walked down that causeway of sand, lined by those pillars and their ancient hieroglyphs. As I looked over them again in marvel, I noticed that someone stood at the other end of the pillars, waiting for me. A Deep One… So, they were here after all. But only the one? And this one appeared somewhat different than the Deep One that had accompanied me on my journey to the island the last time I was here. This one was small, more frail looking, and had a long, white beard. “I been’ waitin’ fer ye,” it said to me. Mustus? I walked closer to the little creature. “Ye be wantin’ to ask me all sorts o’ questions, I’m guessin’,” it said. Mustus. It had large, glassy eyes, those characteristic fleshy, fat lips. Scales covered the thing, and it had withered claws for hands and feet, with webbing in between them all. The giveaway was the beard; that ragged, gray-white beard that I remembered. So it was him, after all. But… here? How? And why? “You’ve got that right,” I said. “What are you doing here?” I asked. “Don’t ye remember?” he said. “Don’t ye remember when I showed ye my scales and my gills? I thought you were all educated an’ such, boy,” he said. “I followed ye out here two nights ago, when ye was with the others; I was off in the distance. I didn’t want em’ to see me. But I was watching ye…” “I am educated, but not, it seems, about Deep Ones,” I retorted. “Mustus, who are the Deep Ones, and what is their purpose? And why am I seeing so much of them lately? I’ve never known them before, never heard of them… Yet now…” “You’ll be hearin’ lots more of ‘em yet, boy,” he said. “You’re one of ‘em.” This caught me off guard. “One of them? No I’m not, I’m a man. I’m human being, you old fool.” “Ye are human, but ye’re a Deep One, too. Ye didn’t come out to this place by boat, didja?” “What do you mean? I don’t have scales. I don’t have gills. I don’t have big fish eyes and lips.” “Ye don’t, but ye’re becoming one of them,” he said. “But ye won’t look like ‘em. That’s why ye’re the Chosen One. Ye’re goin’ to lead ‘em into a new time, a new era. Ye’re they’re protector. You’re Vor’li’ka.” “Their protector? Leading them into a new era? What the hell are you talking about?” “It’s all here. Remember last time? Last time, when ye was readin’ the poles here?” He pointed to the carved hieroglyphs on the columns. “The whole story is here. It tells of how ye were born of the Marsh family, just like all of the “important” people out of the Deep Ones. It tells of how ye are going to take yer place as the rightful leader--and protector--of the Deep Ones. It tells how ye’ll be meetin’ with Cthulhu himself, real soon…” A small chuckle of laughter came from him. “Cthulhu…” I said. “Yep, He’s the real leader of the Deep Ones. People say it’s Dagon, but Dagon’s only a lesser god. Cthulhu is the real deal…”

“What--who is Cthulhu?” “Dead Cthulhu, who lays waitin’, in R’lyeh, dreamin’…” he said. I’d heard that particular saying before. “What did you say?” I asked him. “I said Dead Cthulhu, who lays waitin’ in his sunkin’ home in R’lyeh, dreamin’…” Of course. I had seen this on the wall, painted into that bas-relief in the hall under my house. I suddenly remembered the Deep One, and the place of ritual worship I had discovered. “Mustus… You knew my uncle… Do you know anything about the network of tunnels on an old map, that are beneath his house?” The old man started laughing. He ran off in the opposite direction. “Come see me tomorra’, boy. I gots to git outta here now. They’re coming back. Come see me tomorra’.” They’re coming back? I turned around. There, rising out of the sea, were the Deep Ones. The same Deep Ones I had met the night before, when I swam out here. Looking behind me again, Mustus had disappeared. The Deep Ones, wet and gleaming, slowly shambled up the beach towards me, down the row of pillars. “Vor’li’ka,” the lead one said, as it approached me. I said nothing. It stood, facing me, then pointed to just directly behind me. There, in the distance, on a hill on this small island, was a temple. The creature put it’s huge, webbed talon on my shoulder--gently, I noticed--and pointed to the temple. Obviously, he expected me to go there, for some reason. I proceeded, noticing that the fish men were staying behind me, some of them dispersing to different corners of the tiny island, no doubt to find Mustus, for whatever reason. As I approached the temple, I felt that now somewhat familiar feeling of déjà vu again. I noticed that the temple was made of the same greenish-white stone, quite alien to me, that comprised the pillars just behind me. As I began to walk up the enormous flight of steps, towards the entrance, I noticed that the statues at the stairway entrance flanking each side were of that same squat, loathsome piscine entity with the batwings and tentacles on its face. “Cthulhu?” I wondered to myself. Walking upwards, I heard the remaining Deep Ones behind me, chanting something. What and why, I could not be sure. Finally reaching the top of the stairs, I stood there, at the entrance, staring in awe at the sheer size of the megalithic temple. The entrance itself was at the least twenty feet high, to give it my best estimate. The entrance was carved with those same alien runes and symbols I had noticed earlier, during my trek down that strange tunnel that presumably my uncle had constructed under my house. Inside, I froze upon entering, with a mixture of terror, shock, and… delight? Joy…? I was confused, that much is certain. But that which froze my blood down to the last corpuscle was there, larger than life, right in front of me, on the huge wall--a massive, painted, three-dimensional carving of--Cthulhu! Suddenly, I knew Him… This painted bas relief was so detailed, so huge, so nearly realistic down to the last scale, that I almost thought that He was here, right in front of me. I stood in awe for what seemed like minutes, but were really only seconds, speechless at this leviathan deity that seemed as if it were coming out of the very wall itself. This sculpted monstrosity was obviously the life’s work of some insane artist, for it surely would have taken any man a lifetime to complete such a piece. Man? Perhaps something more than a man. This sculpture depicted Him--Cthulhu--squatting on His massive, thickly muscled hind legs, arms outstretched in a gesture of… greed? Grabbing for something--? The entire body was painted a sickly greenish color. His wings, a pale black color, were spread widely, almost to their full extent. His scales rippled in accordance with His thickly muscled body, highlighted by the moonlight coming down through the opening in the roof. His huge head, impossibly large for His already massive body, sat directly on top of His broad shoulders, showing no sign of a neck. The tentacles that issued from that terrible zone where His “mouth” should have been were carved in a suggestion of them wriggling wildly. They were a paler green than the rest of the body; the undersides of them were a nauseating mauve and pink color. Most terrible of all though, were the eyes. Glowering with eternal hatred and contempt, they stared from under His furrowed brow, in a scornful bloody crimson red gaze that I found impossible to ignore, even from this… statue. The yellowish pupils seemed to burn right through anyone who dared to stand here and look at Him. Noticing that the chanting outside was growing louder, and more rapid, I managed to finally tear my attention away from the hideous carving. I noticed directly in front of that massive, loathsome yet incredible sculpture, was an altar. Suddenly, I felt a hand on my shoulder again. I turned, startled, to see the lead Deep One, standing there next to me. He had a huge grin on his already enormous mouth. I was repulsed, yet I also felt excitement. I knew that he was pleased with me for some reason, as if I had passed some test, or reached some understanding that I myself knew nothing about. I asked him, waving in a sweeping gesture across the temple’s interior, “What is this place?”. He looked at me first, then the walls of the temple, and spoke in a low, throaty voice that was more a croak, like a frog or fish speaking, “This… is… where you… shall… take your place… your rightful place… as leader… protector… of… us…” “Me? Why me? Who am I?” “You… protector… Leading us to Him… To Cthulhu. You… are… Vor’li’ka…” “What is that? What does that name mean?” “Vor'li'ka means… Protector of… people of the seas… lead us from… weapons and rage… of… men…” “But I am a man. I am not a… a Deep One…” “You… are Vor’li’ka… You… are both.” The thing smiled at me again, showing it’s collection of small, sharp teeth. I looked over his shoulder, seeing a smaller mural on the opposing wall on the right, of Dagon, and on the left--Deep Ones. “It is… destiny. We shall awaken… Him.” He pointed to the massive icon of evil sculpted into the wall in front of us. Pointing to the mural of Dagon on our right, he continued, ”You… will lead us all.” I noticed, when he said that last, that in this particular mural, Dagon was wearing a crown. ”You will also kill… the traitor.” That last sentence struck an ominous chord. “Traitor?”, I asked. “Traitor… Mustus… Old man… once a Deep One, but no longer… He keeps one of our kind… prisoner. We cannot… get to him… the star… stones.” Star stones? “I have seen this prisoner! I know the old man…” I suddenly found myself talking to this… this thing, as if it were an old friend. What the hell was going on with me? Was I gone insane? “You kill… old man… or bring him… to us. Help us… free… the other.” At that, the “mer-man” turned, and began shambling down the steps. It seemed as if this creature just assumed--or knew-?-that I was going to help them. I followed, turning one last time to look at the leviathan deity on the wall behind me. Our eyes met again, locked. An infernal gaze met a confused one. As I walked in the moonlight down the rows of columns, I noticed there was no sign of the Deep Ones. I walked straight for the water, without a second thought. Diving in, I headed for home…


I awoke with a start. Looking out the window, I saw that it was still night. The moon hung ominously over the churning seas, showing off it’s pits and craters, glowing like a phosphorescent sea creature suspended in the sky.

I noticed that my skin felt oddly clammy and somewhat chilled and wet. At once, the smell of the sea began to invade my olfactory senses. This time, I didn’t have to wonder how--or why. I woke up with memories of what I had done, and of the previous time. These were no dreams--they were real events. I wasn’t sure how I came to be doing these things while I was “asleep”, or if I was indeed asleep.

Then again, I thought to myself, maybe I was just sleepwalking. Maybe I went down to the ocean, and that would explain the wet footprints in the house the other night… wouldn’t it?

I suddenly remembered the old man, and how he told me to see him later the next day. That was odd. Perhaps I would go to see him, and perhaps he may actually know of my dream. “Huh… Absurd,” I thought to myself.

However, everything I had experienced had appeared so realistic. I could hardly deny that creature Mustus had chained up in the sump beneath his home. I know for sure that I encountered a Deep One as well, in the secret underground passage downstairs in the cellar.

I also cannot fathom, other than perhaps sleepwalking, how I could reek of the ocean upon waking up. I remembered my clothing, how it was wet with seawater and caked with sand.

So if all of these events in the waking world are true, what of the dream events? Was I really some… benefactor for the “people” beneath the waves? If so, why? When? How and where did I fit in, with… Him? With… Cthulhu?

This other world that I seemed to be a part of, it also seemed unreal, so dreamlike. Perhaps that was it. Perhaps this other world is a dream world, trapped in the world of men. The two existing together should not be, and seems unnatural, yet Deep Ones and the paths of men apparantly crossed infrequently, yet more often than should ever have been allowed.

I felt very hot and clammy in the bedroom. I went downstairs, heading out to the deck at the back of the house. I saw no sign of Max. I felt an ache in my stomach, and realized it had been some time since I had eaten. Opening the refrigerator, I saw the meal of spaghetti I had made from the previous night. Taking out a fork from the drawer, I proceeded to shove a large amount of pasta into my mouth. Almost at once, I recoiled at the taste, which was dry and stale. The more I chewed it up, the more unpalatable it seemed to become. I spit it out into the sink, and tried another bite from the bottom of the bowl, assuming it may be more edible and moist and I had just taken in a dry bit that had been sitting on top.

Again, it seemed tasteless, devoid of any nutritional value for my needs. I spit it out again. I remembered the backpack, which I had left sitting on the kitchen table. Taking out the tin of sardines, I popped one in, and was immediately satisfied. The salt, the oil, the taste of the fish itself.

“For my needs…”? What? I was beginning to notice that I was thinking in an almost dual sort of way; this troubled me, but only remotely, as I had many things on my mind. I went out to sit on the deck, under the moonlit, midnight sky. Stars shone brilliantly over the sea, along with the luminous beacon of the moon.

I saw something splashing in the water a short distance out in the ocean. A fish, jumping around? A shark attacking it’s midnight meal, perhaps? No… This was most definitely a person. I could clearly see arms and a head. It almost seemed as if this person waved at me. A midnight swimmer, who happened to see me, or know who I was? Or was it a Deep One…?

At this last thought, I saw no more splashing. There was no sign of the person in the ocean, just the calm water and gentle waves. Strange…

I decided that I would go to see the old man again tomorrow, and get him to tell me everything he knew about this supposed “destiny” of mine, about the Deep Ones, Dagon and Cthulhu.

Click Here for Part 10 of THE HOUSE IN THE PORT
by J.R. Torina

No comments:

Post a Comment

Archive of Stories
and Authors

Sean Padlo's

Sean Padlo's

Sean Padlo's exact whereabouts
are never able to be fully
pinned down, but what we
do know about him is laced
with the echoes of legend.
He's already been known
to haunt certain areas of
the landscape, a trick said
to only be possible by being
able to manipulate it from
the future. His presence
among the rest of us here
at the freezine sends shivers
of fear deep in our solar plexus.

Konstantine Paradias & Edward

Konstantine Paradias's

Konstantine Paradias is a writer by
choice. At the moment, he's published
over 100 stories in English, Japanese,
Romanian, German, Dutch and
Portuguese and has worked in a free-
lancing capacity for videogames, screen-
plays and anthologies. People tell him
he's got a writing problem but he can,
like, quit whenever he wants, man.
His work has been nominated
for a Pushcart Prize.

Edward Morris's

Edward Morris's

Edward Morris is a 2011 nominee for
the Pushcart Prize in literature, has
also been nominated for the 2009
Rhysling Award and the 2005 British
Science Fiction Association Award.
His short stories have been published
over a hundred and twenty times in
four languages, most recently at
PerhihelionSF, the Red Penny Papers'
SUPERPOW! anthology, and The
Magazine of Bizarro Fiction. He lives
and works in Portland as a writer,
editor, spoken word MC and bouncer,
and is also a regular guest author at
the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival.

Tim Fezz's

Tim Fezz's

Tim Fezz hails out of the shattered
streets of Philly destroying the air-
waves and people's minds in the
underground with his band OLD
FEZZIWIG. He's been known to
dip his razor quill into his own
blood and pen a twisted tale
every now and again. We are
delighted to have him onboard
the FREEZINE and we hope
you are, too.

Daniel E. Lambert's

Daniel E. Lambert teaches English
at California State University, Los
Angeles and East Los Angeles College.
He also teaches online Literature
courses for Colorado Technical
University. His writing appears
in Silver Apples, Easy Reader,
Other Worlds, Wrapped in Plastic
and The Daily Breeze. His work
also appears in the anthologies
When Words Collide, Flash It,
Daily Flash 2012, Daily Frights
2012, An Island of Egrets and
Timeless Voices. His collection
of poetry and prose, Love and
Other Diversions, is available
through Amazon. He lives in
Southern California with his
wife, poet and author Anhthao Bui.


Phoenix has enjoyed writing since he
was a little kid. He finds much import-
ance and truth in creative expression.
Phoenix has written over sixty books,
and has published everything from
novels, to poetry and philosophy.
He hopes to inspire people with his
writing and to ask difficult questions
about our world and the universe.
Phoenix lives in Salt Lake City, Utah,
where he spends much of his time
reading books on science, philosophy,
and literature. He spends a good deal
of his free time writing and working
on new books. The Freezine of Fant-
asy and Science Fiction welcomes him
and his unique, intense vision.
Discover Phoenix's books at his author
page on Amazon. Also check out his blog.

Adam Bolivar's

Adam Bolivar's

Adam Bolivar's

Adam Bolivar is an expatriate Bostonian
who has lived in New Orleans and Berkeley,
and currently resides in Portland, Oregon
with his beloved wife and fluffy gray cat
Dahlia. Adam wears round, antique glasses
and has a fondness for hats. His greatest
inspirations include H.P. Lovecraft,
Jack tales and coffee. He has been
a Romantic poet for as long as any-
one can remember, specializing in
the composition of spectral balladry,
utilizing to great effect a traditional
poetic form that taps into the haunted
undercurrents of folklore seldom found
in other forms of writing.
His poetry has appeared on the pages
of such publications as SPECTRAL
CTHULHU, and a poem of his,
"The Rime of the Eldritch Mariner,"
won the Rhysling Award for long-form
poetry. His collection of weird balladry
and Jack tales, THE LAY OF OLD HEX,
was published by Hippocampus Press in 2017.

David Agranoff's

David Agranoff's

David Agranoff is the author of the
following books: Ring of Fire (Eraserhead
Press, 2018), Flesh Trade (co-written
w/Edward Morris; published by Create-
Space, 2017), Punk Rock Ghost Story
(Deadite Press, 2016), Amazing Punk
Stories (Eraserhead Press, 2016),
Boot Boys of the Wolf Reich (Eraserhead
Press, 2014), Hunting the Moon Tribe
(Eraserhead Press, 2011), The Vegan
Revolution...with Zombies (Eraserhead
Press, 2010), and Screams from a Dying
World (Afterbirth Books, 2009).
David is a hardcore vegan and tireless
environmentalist. His contributions to
the punk horror scene and the planet in
general have already established him
as a bright new writer and activist to
watch out for. The Freezine of Fantasy
and Science Fiction welcomes him and
his defiant vision open-heartedly.

David is a busy man, usually at work
on several different novels or projects
at once. He is sure to leave his mark on
a world teetering over the edge of
ecological imbalance.

Sanford Meschkow's

Sanford Meschkow is a retired former
NYer who married a Philly suburban
Main Line girl. Sanford has been pub-
lished in a 1970s issue of AMAZING.
We welcome him here on the FREE-
ZINE of Fantasy and Science Fiction.

Brian "Flesheater" Stoneking's

Brian "Flesheater" Stoneking's

Brian "Flesheater" Stoneking currently
resides in the high desert of Phoenix,
Arizona where he enjoys campy horror
movies within the comfort of an Insane
Asylum. Search for his science fiction
stories at The Intestinal Fortitude in
the Flesheater's World section.
The Memory Sector is his first
appearance in the Freezine of
Fantasy and Science Fiction.

Owen R. Powell's

Little is known of the mysterious
Owen R. Powell (oftentimes referred
to as Orp online). That is because he
usually keeps moving. The story
Noetic Vacations marks his first
appearance in the Freezine.

Gene Stewart
(writing as Art Wester)

Gene Stewart's

Gene Stewart is a writer and artist.
He currently lives in the Midwest
American Wilderness where he is
researching tales of mystical realism,
writing ficta mystica, and exploring
the dark by casting a little light into
the shadows. Follow this link to his
website where there are many samples
of his writing and much else; come

Daniel José Older's

Daniel José Older's

Daniel José Older's spiritually driven,
urban storytelling takes root at the
crossroads of myth and history.
With sardonic, uplifting and often
hilarious prose, Older draws from
his work as an overnight 911 paramedic,
a teaching artist & an antiracist/antisexist
organizer to weave fast-moving, emotionally
engaging plots that speak whispers and
shouts about power and privilege in
modern day New York City. His work
has appeared in the Freezine of Fantasy
and Science Fiction, The ShadowCast
Audio Anthology, The Tide Pool, and
the collection Sunshine/Noir, and is
featured in Sheree Renee Thomas'
Black Pot Mojo Reading Series in Harlem.
When he's not writing, teaching or
riding around in an ambulance,
Daniel can be found performing with
his Brooklyn-based soul quartet
Ghost Star. His blog about the
ridiculous and disturbing world
of EMS can be found here.

Paul Stuart's

Paul Stuart is the author of numerous
biographical blurbs written in the third
person. His previously published fiction
appears in The Vault of Punk Horror and
His non-fiction financial pieces can be found
in a shiny, west-coast magazine that features
pictures of expensive homes, as well as images
of women in casual poses and their accessories.
Consider writing him at,
if you'd like some thing from his garage. In fall
2010, look for Grade 12 Trigonometry and
Pre-Calculus -With Zombies.

Rain Grave's

Rain Graves is an award winning
author of horror, science fiction and
poetry. She is best known for the 2002
Poetry Collection, The Gossamer Eye
(along with Mark McLaughlin and
David Niall Wilson). Her most
recent book, Barfodder: Poetry
Written in Dark Bars and Questionable
Cafes, has been hailed by Publisher's
Weekly as "Bukowski meets Lovecraft..."
in January of 2009. She lives and
writes in San Francisco, performing
spoken word at events around the
country. 877-DRK-POEM -

Icy Sedgwick's

Icy Sedgwick is part writer and part
trainee supervillain. She lives in the UK
but dreams of the Old West. Her current
works include a ghost story about a Cavalier
and a Western tale of retribution. Find her
ebooks, free weekly fiction and other
shenanigans at Icy’s Cabinet of Curiosities.

Blag Dahlia's
armed to the teeth

BLAG DAHLIA is a Rock Legend.
Singer, Songwriter, producer &
founder of the notorious DWARVES.
He has written two novels, ‘NINA’ and

G. Alden Davis's

G. Alden Davis wrote his first short story
in high school, and received a creative
writing scholarship for the effort. Soon
afterward he discovered that words were
not enough, and left for art school. He was
awarded the Emeritus Fellowship along
with his BFA from Memphis College of Art
in '94, and entered the videogame industry
as a team leader and 3D artist. He has over
25 published games to his credit. Mr. Davis
is a Burningman participant of 14 years,
and he swings a mean sword in the SCA.
He's also the best friend I ever had. He
was taken away from us last year on Jan
25 and I'll never be able to understand why.
Together we were a fantastic duo, the
legendary Grub Bros. Our secret base
exists on a cross-hatched nexus between
the Year of the Dragon and Dark City.
Somewhere along the tectonic fault
lines of our electromagnetic gathering,
shades of us peel off from the coruscating
pillars and are dropped back into the mix.
The phrase "rest in peace" just bugs me.
I'd rather think that Greg Grub's inimitable
spirit somehow continues evolving along
another manifestation of light itself, a
purple shift shall we say into another
phase of our expanding universe. I
ask myself, is it wishful thinking?
Will we really shed our human skin
like a discarded chrysalis and emerge
shimmering on another wavelength
altogether--or even manifest right
here among the rest without their
even beginning to suspect it? Well
people do believe in ghosts, but I
myself have long been suspicious
there can only be one single ghost
and that's all the stars in the universe
shrinking away into a withering heart
glittering and winking at us like
lost diamonds still echoing all their
sad and lonely songs fallen on deaf
eyes and ears blind to their colorful
emanations. My grub brother always
knew better than what the limits
of this old world taught him. We
explored past the outer peripheries
of our comfort zones to awaken
the terror in our minds and keep
us on our toes deep in the forest
in the middle of the night. The owls
led our way and the wilderness
transformed into a sanctuary.
The adventures we shared together
will always remain tattooed on
the pages of my skin. They tell a
story that we began together and
which continues being woven to
this very day. It's the same old
story about how we all were in
this together and how each and
every one of us is also going away
someday and though it will be the far-
thest we can manage to tell our own
tale we may rest assured it will be
continued like one of the old pulp
serials by all our friends which survive
us and manage to continue
the saga whispering in the wind.

Shae Sveniker's

Shae is a poet/artist/student and former
resident of the Salt Pit, UT, currently living
in Simi Valley, CA. His short stories are on
Blogger and his poetry is hosted on Livejournal.

Nigel Strange's

Nigel Strange lives with his wife and
daughter, cats, and tiny dog-like thing
in their home in California where he
occasionally experiments recreationally
with lucidity. PLASTIC CHILDREN
is his first publication.

J.R. Torina's

J.R. Torina was DJ for Sonic Slaughter-
house ('90-'97), runs Sutekh Productions
(an industrial-ambient music label) and
Slaughterhouse Records (metal record
label), and was proprietor of The Abyss
(a metal-gothic-industrial c.d. shop in
SLC, now closed). He is the dark force
behind Scapegoat (an ambient-tribal-
noise-experimental unit). THE HOUSE
IN THE PORT is his first publication.

K.B. Updike, Jr's

K.B. Updike, Jr. is a young virgin
Virginia writer. KB's life work,
published 100% for free:
(We are not certain if K.B. Updike, Jr.
has lost his Virginian virginity yet.)