Summoning a Shoggoth

They were having sex when the phone rang for the third time in the past fifteen minutes, the Caller ID announcing a Mister John Trent in its monotonous, robotic voice. Ryan cursed under his breath, feeling his penis go flaccid from within Diana. She sighed in defeat, the sheen of sweat on her body.

“Go on, answer it. I’m sure you’re just itching to get back to work. Not like I need attention.” She said, easily lifting herself off of his pelvis, padding into the bathroom. He rubbed his temples, watching the muscular roll of her buttocks as she disappeared into the restroom.

“Fucking Trent, what does he want now?” Ryan grumbled, thumbing the keys to his phone. Just a moment later he could hear the sound of the shower cutting on, the dial tone superseding the mental imagery of Diana’s naked form under the shower head. After a few repetitions, an older man answered on the other end of the line.

“Mister Finnegan.” He said.

“Yes, Trent. This is Finnegan, what’s so important that you have to interrupt the one night of the month that I actually get to see Diana? You know these work conditions aren’t necessarily accommodating for a long range relationship.” He muttered. In his mind, he imagined bombarding his employer with a flurry of explicative insults, to include one that linked his ancestry to a goat.

“Mister Finnegan. Your personal time and what you spend doing with it, to include these little affairs with Miss Maddox are unimportant. There’s something you need to see. One of our most prominent benefactors has bequeathed it to our studies out of their own good will.” Trent replied, completely ignoring the crass disregard for all formality Ryan had shown him.

“And what if I don’t comply, Trent? You can’t keep me locked here forever, I’m not your prisoner.” Ryan stated. His testes swelled painfully, protesting at their unspent seed. He groaned, having to cross his legs to keep his mind off the wicked blue balling Trent was putting him through. Gotta wait for Diana, he thought to himself. Small glimmers of hope at rekindling the romance.

“We both know you wouldn’t want anything… questionable happen to Miss Maddox, Mister Finnegan. Young women these days are so very much like flowers, so pure and beautiful. But also so fragile.” Trent whispered, his hushed tone sending a shiver up Ryan’s spine.

“Are we really playing into this cliché, Trent? Threatening my fiancé to get me to bend to your whims like a lap dog?” He nearly roared back, rising from the bedside and standing. “You and your benefactor can kiss my ass, Trent! I’m not your goddamned plaything!”

He hadn’t heard Diana’s return, the towel clinging to her curvaceous form. She was glaring at him, her damp hair splayed and rolling down to her shoulders. Ryan could feel the oncoming lecture about how irresponsible he always was, pressure building up in his temples.

“You… coward.” She said.

 

“… What?”

“You’re such a coward, Ryan. First you take this job to flaunt your ego at being one of the ‘most decorated’ Occult Demonologists, a man who as you said ‘Knows enough ancient languages to make an Apophis blush like a desert ruby’, and yet here you are pitching a bitch fit to the man paying our mortgage! Christ! Would it kill you to for once show a little humility and listen to what other people tell you!? Or do you just want to go around being a needle dicked little nerd!?” She screamed, now. Her towel falling away as she clenched her fists hard enough to draw blood from her nails.

“Oh, I’m the coward, Diana!? You’re the one who complies with that goddamned robots requests of ‘stimulating isolation’ for the better part of this job! Hell, if I didn’t know any better, I’d assume you were fucking the security guard just to get clearance into this… hovel! I can’t work and live like this!” He yelled back to her. The insults of his studies he could take, but nobody, not even the young woman whom he was engaged with could degrade Ryan Finnegan’s sexual prowess. A red hot rage boiling up beneath his skin.

“You really believe that, don’t you? You’re really that delusional. Big Bad Trent has such an umbrella of influence that I’d break the one oath I’ve actually tried to keep? Well you know what, Mister Big Man? I’ve never ONCE had an orgasm during sex. Not ONCE, Ryan! Your little pecker couldn’t even pleasure the most licentious Succubus, and we know how much you went off on benders with THOSE fine ladies!” She screamed back to him, her voice quivering.

Deep inside him, a bestial voice groaned and rumbled. You’re going to take your medicine, you little bitch, it said to him. You’re gonna take your medicine real good. Without even thinking, his arm lashed out, his palm smacking into Diana’s left cheek hard enough to jerk her gaze away from Ryan. Seeing her grasp at her now swelling red cheek caused the rage to snap, forcing him to see her teary eyes scornfully glare at him again.

“Di… I’m sorry. Please. Don’t. Diana.” He pleaded, trying to stop her from hastily throwing on a silken nightgown and robe. She was softly sobbing now, the emotional dagger he had impaled into her heart cutting deep. He caught her arm as she turned for the door. “Please, Diana. I’m sorry.”

“Let go of me.” She muttered.

“Di…” He half started.

“I SAID LET GO OF ME!” She screamed hoarsely back to him, forcing his grip to release. She brought up her right hand, palm facing her for Ryan to see in crystal clear clarity her final act of severance. The twelve karat ring with its trio of diamonds softly landing on the carpeted floor. “You can keep the ring, asshole.”

Ryan simply sat there, trying to compute what had just happened. He knew Diana was yelling at him, subjecting him to every conceivable sexual insult from ‘Kiddy Fiddler’ to ‘Millimeter Peter”. But he did not hear her, only saw as she turned and left the small apartment, slamming the door behind her.

The phone began to ring again. Ryan eyed it suspiciously before picking up the handheld, holding it to his right ear. The coiled phone cord dangling loosely as he expectantly awaited whoever was phoning him.

“That sounded rough, Mister Finnegan. Now, if we could get back to the work at hand.” Trent said.

“How much did you hear?” He croaked. His lips were quivering, salty tears beginning to stream down his face. His heart felt like it had been forcibly wrenched out of his chest, the small golden ring in-between thumb and index finger.

“Enough to know that your emotional state is far too erratic right now for you to be of any serious help in any capacity. So rather than expose you to the full treasures of our mutual benefactor’s gift, I’d like to show it to you.” Trent’s intentions hidden behind a calculated fog that Ryan couldn’t even penetrate through the phone lines.

“You’ll just show me. Yes? None of this bullshit forced translations on the spot?” Ryan said curtly. There would be time to grieve, and Trent was not a man to be kept waiting, a scar on his side reminding him of his employer’s eccentric sense of humor.

“You have my word, Mister Finnegan. A car will be at your complex in fifteen minutes. Please be prepared. The driver is also instructed to… detain you if you try to escape. You’ll understand, I’m sure.”

“As clear as crystal.” He said back.

Trent sat at a long dinner table as Ryan was escorted into it by a dour guard, the man’s ear piece buzzing as inter-security communications filtered to him. Placing one colossal and calloused hand on his shoulder, he forcibly sat Ryan down at the table, across from the mansion’s owner.

John Trent himself was a thin and gaunt man, with skin as pale as wax stretched taut and impossible thin over his frame. He paid his guest no mind as he worked a sizable meat dish with knife and fork, hoisting the dripping meat to a mouth filled with strange, razor blade like teeth.

If Dracula had a long-lost brother, Trent could pass for him, Ryan thought. It wasn’t until the older man’s sunken eyes noticed him that he felt a chill run down his spine. The man smiled and lifted a glass filled with a deep red wine, inhaling the fragrance from nostril slits situated on a long and crooked nose. His slicked back hair shined in the light of the fireplace behind him.

“I’m pleased that you could join me, Mister Finnegan.” Trent said, savoring the taste of the wine with his tongue flitting over his lips. A kitchen worker, possibly the head chef himself arrived soon, replacing the main course dish with a plate of a flan and caramel. The corpulent man looked to Ryan wearily before Trent nodded, the man returning to the kitchen only for a moment before bringing a bottle of barrel oaked bourbon and a tumbler glass filled with ice.

“Please, relax.” Trent said, his voice like a hushed whisper that sliced through the air. He took one hefty bite of the flan and gave an elated sigh before placing the fork down onto the napkin he had reserved. Wiping his mouth, he smiled again. Another flash of those damned inhuman teeth.

“Malcolm, if you will. The package.” He said. The large guard nodded silently, picking up a small brown paper package crisscrossed with twine. It thumped heavily onto the table, nearly startling Ryan.

“Open it. Mister Finnegan. You’ll be quite pleased.”      

With quivering fingers, Ryan unbound the twine ribbon in the package’s center. No sooner had he freed it from its bindings did it make a loud thump, jumping up a centimeter. His heart was jackhammering in his chest as he tore the brown paper wrappings and beheld a tome. It was bound in some kind of tanned hide. No, not a hide, it was skin. Human SKIN. Ryan’s mouth upturned in disgust as his finger traced on its face.

“I’m sure you’re familiar with this book, Mister Finnegan. It has had many names over the years, ‘Necronomicon’, ‘Das Buch die Unholden’, ‘The Bible Black’. All of the title’s missing its true purpose, you see.”

“H-how did you get this book?” Ryan asked, the blood in his veins running ice cold. He could feel ethereal fingers scratching at his brain, a want to open the pages of the book increasing. The tease of forbidden knowledge calling to him. He could see Diana’s acceptance of his work if he could parse the pages within. She would finally see that he wasn’t a complete hack with a pretentious linguistics degree.

“How I obtained the book is irrelevant, Mister Finnegan. All you need to know is your stars were right. Had I another person on hand of your aptitudes, I would not have given you this opportunity. Is that not magnanimous of me?” Trent said, tracing a thin, boney finger along the mantle of the fireplace. One arm remained behind his back.

“Is it not to your liking, Mister Finnegan? You will of course be allowed to view the contents of the book, but only under close supervision. The tales of men being driven mad by its passages are not without their truths.”

“I… I’ll do it. If I do this… work on this abhorrent book for you… will you help me get Diana back?” He said, reddened eyes looking up to his host. Trent merely smiled back to Ryan, a smile that reminded him all too much of a wolf.

“My dear boy. If you accomplish the monumental feat of taming this book, the world will be your oyster. After all, not even one of the great Lilith’s daughters could handle the monsters of these pages. But you, a mere human? Imagine the possibilities. You could unlock the mysteries of the cosmos if you so desired. Even your wildest fantasies of the flesh could be fulfilled.”

A sip of the bourbon, the ice cubes clattering in the tumbler glass.

“But will it bring Diana back to me?”

John Trent’s only response to the younger man’s naiveté was another wolfish smile, his sunken eyes gleaming with avarice.

“Of course.”

Poring over the book’s pages was taking its toll on him. In the few weeks that he had been allowed to research and translate its passages, Ryan had found multiple instances of entire paragraphs shifting pages, words going missing, and the like. It was as if the book had a will of its own, trying to veil its secrets from his watchful gaze.

Aside from the numerous edits and additions to the text, it was the standard fanfare of madmen, and not ancient demonologists. He had found several times over mentions of the petite fish-like Sahaugin being the children of an abominable race of fishmen from beneath the waves of the Atlantic. Or regurgitated from the black abyss of men’s hearts. At times it was too hard to tell, the script written in text too compact to be normal, and too intentional to be some kind of cypher.

Other pages mentioned of a blind God in the outer reaches of space playing on a flute for the infinite chasm. Yet another made record of a strange chimera of octopus, dragon, and man who slept in a sunken city not dead and yet not alive. The latest page he had come to find contained an ornate circle used to call forth something from the Dreamlands, a sort of horror that could grant the desires of the summoner, be they physical or otherwise.

Yeah, right. He thought to himself, looking behind his menial desk littered with various pages of translations and transcriptions. The walls were plastered with other pages he’d written on and lined with pins and string to try and make sense of the damnable volume. The summoning circle was still freshly drawn in white chalk, its arcane energies not even made manifest the last attempt he had made.

“Maybe if these fools had used blood instead of semen they’d have been able to pay the demon’s blood tithe.” He muttered. He was exhausted, having spent the last several days working on the latest portion of the book. Ryan just had to prove to Diana that he was worth taking back, and it this work didn’t get him the recognition he deserved, he might as well let Trent shoot him in the head and end his suffering.

There was a series of hard knocks on the door. It was Malcom and a man who only referred to himself as ‘The Help’, come to collect their daily dues from Finnegan. They entered wordlessly, motioning for him to step away from his desk.

“Mister Trent requires an update on your progress, and we’ll be taking this.” Malcolm stated, his gaze falling on the fresh manuscripts Ryan had penned from behind his sunglasses. Ryan couldn’t even tell if it was day or night anymore, the shutters blocking all light from the outside into the complex he was now housed at.

Malcolm looked at Finnegan and smiled. It was the same kind of eerie smile that reminded the young man of Trent’s own Nosferatu impression, the pearly whites shining in the light of the oil lamp.

“This is some wonderful progress, Mister Finnegan. We do appreciate your efforts on the matter.”

Ryan nodded. No point in upsetting the muscle, especially when they were built like linebackers like Malcolm and ‘The Help’. He hadn’t shaved in weeks, the scruffy beard itching as he folded his arms over his chest. They had taken his normal clothes, leaving him only some generic pants and t-shirts.

“Have you been able to contact Diana?” He asked, his voice hoarse.

Malcolm looked to his accomplice and sighed. Taking off his sunglasses and neatly tucking them into his jacket pocket with utmost precision, he held up an arm towards Ryan’s bed. “Please, sit. We have some grave news for you.”

No sooner than Ryan sat on the bed did Malcolm cross his arms in front of him, putting on his best impersonation of a sorrowful look on his face. It was more disturbing than realistic, and Ryan braced himself for the worst.

“It seems that several nights ago, Miss Maddox was found dead in her apartment. Authorities and even our own personnel are working to find the cause of her death, but so far the initial findings are inconclusive. All we know is some sort of black, tar-like substance was found on her body. I assure you, Mister Finnegan that we did everything we could to keep her safe. We had men guarding her at all hours of the day. Mister Trent felt that it was necessary, given the line of your work and its utmost importance. He does have enemies, after all. Please understand.”

The words battered into Ryan like a steady deluge. Diana, dead? Then why was he still working on this damned book? What purpose did he still have for any of this? Malcolm’s gaze was unwavering, his companion shaking his head.

“You’re lying. You have to be.” He said, his lips quivering. He could feel the hot tears coming to the surface. He knew Trent was a sadist, but this? This was just sick and beyond any measure of toying with a man’s emotions.

“I can assure you it’s very much the truth, Mister Fi—Ryan. You wouldn’t want to see it. It was unworldly, not even the forensic criminologists knew what happened. It had no pattern of any known extraspecies attack.” Malcolm said, putting one hand on Ryan’s shoulder. He pulled it away when the younger man shook his shoulders.

“Get out.” He said, hushed.

“Excuse me?”

“I said GET OUT! GET THE FUCK OUT! TAKE YOUR DAMNED TRANSLATIONS, AND YOUR ARROGANT BULLSHIT AND GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE!” Ryan yelled, rising to his feet. He could see the shock on Malcolm’s face from the sudden outburst. The man nearly clenched his fists in anger when the shuffling of paper could be heard. The other guard was neatly stacking them in order.

“Come on, Malcolm. Let’s leave the nutter to his grief. He wouldn’t even know half the stuff the book is actually about unless you slapped him across the head with it a couple of times.” Help said, dark eyes watching Ryan closely. He curtly made a gesture with his head for Malcolm to follow. After they left, Ryan Finnegan fell to his knees and wept. It all made sense now, his pursuit of fame and fortune leading to the destruction of everything he held dear. He should’ve listened to Diana. She at least had some sense about dealing with Trent and his associates, but his own petty desires had blinded him.

“Di… I’m so sorry.” He sobbed, bringing his knees to his chest on that cold wooden floor. Sleep soon took him, the dreamless darkness relentlessly hammering home his true isolation. He was among the damned now.

Nearby, the ornate chalk circle began to hum to life.

“…-yan… Ryan, wake up.” A woman’s voice said.

His eyes fluttered open in the foggy fatigue of his grief stricken slumber. It was Diana, her skin and clothes still soaked from what looked like rain. His eyes widened, the cloth sticking to her body in a way that caused his blood to rush south. God, how he had missed her.

“Are you… real?” He asked, his voice a croak from the sobbing earlier in the night.

She giggled softly, one hand touching his cheek. It was cold and clammy from the rainwater, the soft pitter-patter overhead as it landed in a futile quest to bathe them both in the storm’s bounty.

“I’m as real as can be, Puppy.” She said, standing up to survey the room. Puppy, that was the nickname she had given him when they first met, likening his starry eyed gaze so full of hope when he asked her out to that of a puppy eyed dog. It had stuck ever since. Ryan sighed, happy for the first time in weeks.

Diana moved towards the wooden desk he had been using as his workstation, eyeing the open book. She traced a finger on the back of the chair, before looking back at Ryan. The way her clothes hugged her body in their dampness was sending blood towards his third leg, forcing him to shift his gaze.

“What’s that, Puppy?” She asked softly, moving back towards him. Her footsteps making a soft, wet noise in her hastened stride. He could practically smell her perfume by now, the same fragrance she had worn on their last night together before he met Trent, when he had laid her powdered and naked body onto their hotel room’s bed and shown her how much he loved her.

He gulped, his body shaking with nervous anticipation.

“It’s… what Trent wanted me to translate. A bunch of hogwash written by men who were mad even by their day and age’s standards.” He said. Diana merely smiled and sat down on the floor in front of him, pushing her hair back behind an ear. Ryan was nearly sporting a rail spike now, and she smiled, seeing his desire for her flesh.

“Tell me what you want me to do, Puppy.” She said, her eyes watching him steadily as he swallowed long and hard. She unbuttoned the front of her blouse, letting her breasts free.

“I want it all to go back to the way it was before I hurt you, Di. Back before I sentenced us both to death for the schemes of that megalomaniac, Trent. This is my dream, right? Then, please love me like you did before.” Ryan said, stuttering, almost sobbing again.

Diana simply nodded and embraced him. Letting Ryan feel the warmth of her flesh as she undressed both of them to be laid bare before each other. Then she began to love him.

She was everything like he had remembered as she made love to him with her hands, her mouth, and her body. It felt strange how she never dried off in the dry air of the cabin complex, but she never once let him go, her moans and sighs of pleasure going long into the night. She giggled as he poured his love into her, stroking her stomach contentedly.

His chest was heaving when she kissed his cheek, panting with his eyes closed. His dick soon went flaccid, once again hanging between his legs. Slowly, she rose, picking him up easily like a nanny would a toddler. She laid him on the bed and pulled the covers over him.

As he shifted his weight to his side, she smiled and leaned down to his ear. Whispering in a soft, maternal tone.

“I’ll always be here for you, Puppy. But there is more that must be done. Complete the circle, set me free.” She cooed to him, giving his ear a playful lick of a tongue that was too long, too viscous to belong to any human. Diana, as Finnegan had called her slithered back to the chalk circle, shedding her human form, and vanished, just as quickly as she had appeared.

 —

The next few days passed in a dream-like state for Ryan. When not translating and making corrections or edits to the book itself, he busied himself with his newfound work; perfecting the summoning circle. It had worked before to call Diana to his side, and he felt that with the latest changes it would be a more successful doorway.

What had been a simple circle and pentagram with a few petroglyphs had become a sprawling circle filled with intricate loops and sigils, protective wards and a single line penetrating it to signify the doorway. He could feel the winds of magic now, flowing all around him, silent whispers of the ether.

There were visions as well. Alien worlds with horrifying creatures that were horrific to even recall from memory. Fetid swamps with gelatinous horrors bathing on the beaches, ravenous abhorrent dogs whose red eyes glistened with impotent hunger, their proboscis like tongues bobbing in and out as they stared into the very essence of his soul.

But none of them called to him as much as Diana. He had to see her again, to love her. To give himself to her completely, no matter the cost.

But Trent, Trent was working against him. Always moving to intercept Ryan and prevent him from completing his work. Malcolm and the former ‘Mr. Help’, Nathan, had increased the number of their visits at the behest of Trent. Apparently his recent mental aptitudes were of worry to their mutual employer. Ryan scoffed, feeling the chalk circle again with his palm.

Good, he thought. He could practically feel Diana’s hand on the other side of the wooden floor, through time and space. All he had to do was complete the ritual and his beloved would be in his arms once more.

There was a click, cold metal pressing against the back of his head.

From his peripheral vision, he could see a trio of dark shapes behind him. Loud clapping, slow and deliberate could be heard, followed by Trent’s raspy laugh. Rough hands grabbed Ryan and forced him to stand as Trent circled around his front.

“Well done, my boy. Well done.” Sunken eyes marveling at the intricacies of the circle in front of them. He smiled wider than Ryan had ever seen him do so before, right before grabbing the book from his desk and sitting.

“I must say, Mister Finnegan. I never expected that you would grasp the fine arts of demonology so easily. Why, with this circle you could summon a menagerie of assorted ne’er-do-wells from Hades itself! On that note, congratulations!” He said, faking another round of applause. One of the men, probably Nathan, began to clap as well before being cut short.

Ryan could feel his anger beginning to swell up, it had all been meticulously planned. Fool him into thinking Diana was back for him and then pull the rug out from under his feet. That’ll be Classic Villainy for 200 Alex, he thought.

Trent tsked when perusing the pages of the tome, shaking his head at the edits and re-translations. Licking his thumb, he turned the pages one after another, agonizingly slow.

“You’ve been busy, Finnegan. It’s almost as if you thought you could hide information from me, when I have your room bugged and you kept under close supervision. So tell me, who is ‘Puppy’?” A brief nod, enabling the bodyguards to release their grip on Ryan and give him personal space.

He laughed softly to himself. Trent really didn’t know, did he? For all of his manipulative sadism, he really had no idea. The fool.

“It’s a nickname, Diana gave it to me.”

“Miss Maddox is dead, Mister Finnegan. Tell me, who were you really talking to?” Thin pencil lined eyebrows raising in curiosity.

“It was Diana. She came to see me.” Ryan replied, bluntly. For a man with an ego as big as Trent’s, it must be harrowing to even remotely consider the possibility that there were things beyond his control.

Malcolm shifted behind him, clearing his throat. Trent slowly turned his head to lock eyes with his subordinate. The razor toothed smile made its trademark appearance as he crossed his legs.

“Yes, Malcolm?”

“Mister Trent, it’s clear that he’s delirious. It’s bad enough that you had me tell him about the girl’s death, but you have him locked in this place with just that evil book to keep him company, I just th—“

“Malcolm.” Trent said, his voice darkening.

“Yes, Mister Trent?”

“This isn’t the time to grow a conscience. Honestly, you do this with all of the potentials, pretending to be human to garner favor with them when their end comes. Mister Finnegan cannot help a useless hunk of meat like yourself, so sit back and shut up.” Trent commanded, forcing the much larger man to submit and back away.

Ryan swallowed heavily as the skeletal man turned to look at him. He could feel the pressure building between the stone gaze of the puppet master as he were, and the barrel of the gun pressed to the back of his head.

“Now, Mister Finnegan. There is one simple task I’d like for you to do before I’m forced to have my man blow your brains out all along the wall, forcing me to waste more of my time and money to have a team clean and sanitize your living and sleeping quarters. I want you to activate it. Show us how much of the book’s knowledge you’ve gleaned from the time we’ve so graciously given you.”

Before he could refuse, he felt the press of the gun’s barrel to the small of his back. They weren’t going to kill him, at least not immediately. They wanted to cripple him, make him unable to support himself, effectively indenturing him to Mr. John Trent’s graces. There was an itching from beneath his scalp. He could feel whatever was on the other side of the ether ready to come through the doorway that he’d drawn for it.

Ryan sighed in defeat, kneeling down and clasping his hands together, almost in prayer. He began to chant, as the book had dictated, the words and syllables flowing gutturally from his mouth. He let the power overtake him, to become one with him.

His eyes rolled back into his head as someone, or something took control of him.

“Ya stell’bsna-ask sgn’wahl ‘fhalma hupadgh n’ghft” Ryan belched forth, his mind overridden by the forces at work. There was a thunderous crack of lightning, the storm gathering outside the cabin complex. Strange, inhuman whispers drifted into the room, ornate circle brimming with power as what he had summoned forced its way into their plane of reality.

A pungent odor seeped into the nostrils of the four men. Trent and his subordinates made to cover themselves as Ryan continued to chant in the forgotten tongues of the ones who came before. There was a wet, bubbling noise as a black morass began to manifest into the room. Formless, fluid, various pseudopodia and organs such as mouths and eyes appearing and disappearing as they were made obsolete, melting into the molten mass of the creature.

“Malcolm, make him stop!” Trent’s eyes widening, trying to scramble away from the gathering pool of darkness. Its existence spoke of more primordial times, a time before the Light. Before anything, a nightmare made real by the chants of a half-mad man.

Finally, Ryan’s chants ended, his head bowing from fatigue. Malcolm and Nathan both stepped back, watching with revulsion as a pseudopodia extended from the amalgam of organs and sludge. It seemed to fuse with Ryan’s temple as the appendage pulsed gently, a strange current traveling through the length of it.

It laughed. A burbling, mirthless laugh as the pool began to expand and sculpt itself. Strange, visceral noises could be heard as it formed its new body. A spine, covered in slime formed, hands and arms soon following. Its fingers flexed, gripping at its own substance. Reaching deeper into the puddle, its left hand pulled out what appeared to be a human brain, attaching it to the sinewy synapse forming on the spine.

There was a noise like mortar and pestle grinding, the ribs forming as internal organs began to generate. A skull now housed the brain, three eyes gazing out, an extra pair of arms were formed. The creature turned to Ryan and seemed to stare, as if focused. Sloughing its extra appendages and eye, it resumed its work.

Malcolm vomited as Nathan emptied his bladder, the hot urine streaking down his thigh as the muscles and skin sheathed the naked form of whatever Finnegan had summoned. A featureless face save for the eyes was gazing intently at Trent. Slowly, but surely a mouth formed, the skin rupturing as the new cavity was created. Throwing its head back, the monstrosity screamed, the high pitched wail akin to a newborn child’s. Lifting its body out of the pool, they could see it had no legs to speak of, instead a cluster of tentacles that seemed to be formed of the same unholy mess that birthed it.

All of them were staring in disbelief as black shoulder length hair grew, the same color as its eyes. The undulating, wriggling mass beneath it sprouted eyes and mouths as well, giggling incoherently and winking at the three men. With finality, the sludge rose up again, clothing the being in what appeared to be a sleeveless dress formed out of the swamp. There was a cursory inspection of its body, ensuring that there were no errors in its anatomy before it sighed softly, breasts and buttocks filling in to proportions that would make any human woman envious. She smiled, putting her left index and middle finger to her throat and clearing it. For all intents and purposes, she was an embodiment of female physical beauty, pure lust and filth embodied in corporeal form.

Yet, there was a sense of wrongness about her. As if her very existence were a slight against all of the natural laws in the world. Before she could speak, Malcolm and Nathan drew their guns, leveling them at the newly born aberration. Their index fingers bracing to fire at the first sign of trouble.

She smiled to the two men before turning to Trent, his shivering form against the wall of the room. When she spoke, it was at first a gargling murky mess before clearing out into the sing-song voice of a siren.

“You must be ‘Johnathan Trent’. Ryan told me how much of a knowledge seeker you were.” Slithering towards him now, propelled on the black tendrils that made up her lower body. Her arm raised up as if to touch his face.

Malcolm fired, sending rounds into her head, abdomen and arms. The creature seemed to squeal in pain before the kinetic force of the bullets sent it toppling into the desk. Black ichor dripped from the bullet holes. Trent stood there, paralyzed by fear before he felt the rough hands of his guard on him, throwing him towards Nathan.

“Get him out of here! Now!” Malcolm barked. He leveled the gun again towards the abomination, knowing that nothing that came from the book could be that easy to kill.

Sweat rolled down his brow as she lurched back into life, her black eyes focusing fully on him. She frowned almost disappointedly. Flicking a wrist in his direction dismissively. Before Malcolm could move, tendrils began to rise from the floor, grasping and yanking him downwards.

The black tar was cold, sending pure ice up his legs as more tentacles joined the first, their undersides coated in chirping, razor beaks that tore bloody gauges out of his flesh with each swipe. He screamed in pain as they enveloped him, pulling him beneath the surface.

Only a small bubble in the pool noted Malcolm’s departure from the world. The abomination’s gaze shifted back towards Nathan and Trent, the former pulling his pistol. She help up a finger and wagged it to him.

“That didn’t work before, don’t think it’ll work now.” Moving towards them, daintily slithering over the bottomless sludge that had spawned her. Several small mouths surfaced on her molten clothes and tentacles, parroting ‘didn’t work’ in jabbering, mad voices.

With a quivering hand, Nathan pulled the trigger. She didn’t dodge, the bullet flying effortlessly through her body. The glass window made a small plink as the missile pierced it. His finger tried to squeeze the trigger again, but to no avail. His body refused to listen as she inched closer and closer.

Putting one finger to her mouth, she made to ‘shh’ Nathan as she pressed the other index finger to his lips. Veins of corruption spread from her contact, a spiderweb of crackling flesh and death as he crumbled into ash, his pistol clattering to the floor uselessly. Now nothing stood between her and her quarry.

“The book, if you will please.” Holding one hand with the palm up. A slavering mouth had spawned, filled with fangs and bestial tongue flickering in and out. “I would advise against resistance, knowledge seeker.”

Ryan groaned behind them, his knees resting on the black pool. He would be awake soon, and there was still one final thing she required. Her gaze shifted back to Trent, the once intimidating man seeming so meek and pathetic in her presence.

“Give me the book, and I shall give you the knowledge you thirst for.” She muttered, more mouths giggling in insanity. Fading in and out of existence. Several pairs of eyes had focused on him from her arms, blinking as he handed her the book. His fear was primal, instinctive even as he handed the tome over.

Her smile darkened to him as she opened the weathered book and parsed over it with one hand, the text reassembling itself into a language only she could understand and speak. A moment later, she closed it and pressed two fingers to his forehead, drawing a crude symbol of her own essence.

“Ía ftaghn” She whispered to him. Trent seemed unfazed at first, and then the screams came. He was clawing at his own eyes, begging her to stop, to kill him for knowing too much, his throat becoming hoarse with the burgeoning knowledge she had bestowed him with. A laugh left her lips as nails dug into and bloodied his face. “You desired knowledge. You shall have it. All the knowledge your feeble little mind can handle. I hope you have a big appetite.”

His screams intensified as his face ran scarlet. Behind his eyes, visions of unspeakable terrors roamed free, the texts from the book itself forming into the nightmares that assailed him. Only when she lifted him off the floor effortlessly did his cries stop.

“P-please, make it stop. Hell is my every thought, my every sight. I can’t take anymore! It was in my nature as a man to strive to know more!” He sobbed weakly as blood spattered onto her place face. “Is it so wrong to pursue omniscience!?”

Vise-like fingers wrapped around his neck, squeezing gently as she rubbed the sigil off tenderly. She lapped at the spilled blood trickling down the ruin of his face. He could not see her, his eyes bleeding and milky white. He flinched as her breath was felt on his ear.

“Then, your final lesson.” She whispered to him. The darkness enveloped him completely in his mind’s eye. There was nothing, full dark no stars. Cold, insurmountable gravity pressed in all around him, suffocating Trent. All noise was absorbed, all light snuffed out. With the vision of the full outer dark of the cosmos filling his mind, his mind cracked and shattered. As he mewled weakly in paralysis, she dropped him to the floor, disgusted at the near-catatonic man.

Tendrils slithered and snaked from beneath her, wrapping around his body as they pulled him closer. Molten pain erupted along his body as digestive juices began to break down his flesh, pieces of half-liquefied flesh sloughing from bone wetly. Trapped in his own personal Hell, he could not scream as she feasted upon him, his head disappearing beneath her as his skin was lit alight with agony.

There was a pause, a small bead of sweat rolled down her forehead as she seemed to frown, almost as if she were flexing a muscle. A single tendril, thicker than the rest rose. Its tip was looped through the empty eye sockets of Trent’s skull. Tenderly, she cradled it in both of her hands, examining the skull’s shape.

“Not wrong, but unwise.” She said, tossing the skull as she lost interest, shattering it. Another moan escaped Ryan’s lips, his limbs twitching in his slumber. She embraced him as he began to sink into the black pool, holding him closer still. There would be others soon, like the Trent-thing. He groaned Diana’s name as the darkness enveloped them both.

The pool soon dissolved, leaving nothing but the dry floorboards of the cabin behind. As if acting by its own instincts, the tome flew open. Pages turned at rapid speeds before it came to rest on a single page. There was a strange arcane circle that generated a powerful vacuum from within. The book crumpled in on itself and winked out of existence.

Warmth encompassed Ryan, spreading from his loins to the rest of his body. In the back of his mind, he could hear a slurping wet noise, the pleasure intensifying to a paramount. He groaned, feeling an orgasm well up, his muscles beginning to contract, ready to dispel its milky payload.

His hips half jerked before a hand applied delicate pressure, preventing his ejaculation. A soft echoing giggle sounded off, so close and yet simultaneously distant. He couldn’t see, sitting up on the surface he was laying on.

“Where am I?” He said, his eyes darting to side and side. His heart began to hammer in his chest. Hands reached up to touch his face, vague cloudy shapes flittering past his eyes. “… Where am I!?”

Another small giggle, a pleasurable slurp on his glans. It elicited a contented moan from Ryan, as the soft warmth returned to his lower body. He laid back, feeling the softness of breasts on the back of his head.

“Would the knowledge of it please you? Or perhaps you’d rather keep me company.” She said, giving his nipple a playful tweak. Something continued to pleasure his cock and balls. “After all, your world is far behind you, Ryan.”

A scream left his lips as he scrambled away, clawing and kicking forward. He was given a moment’s pause, feeling a sudden drop. Visions of a bottomless chasm came to him as he felt the whisper of gold air on his fingertips.

“Please! Let me see!” He shouted, heart beating rapidly. He felt as if it were going to burst from his chest at the next exertion. Sweat began to roll down his body, the panic attack setting in. Whatever she had done to him, it had robbed him of his sight. The unknown woman was toying with her quarry. Ryan could feel his eyes twitch and pulse in his skull. He nearly vomited into the empty space in front of him.

She sighed, disappointed. Ryan could hear her snap her fingers.

A pool of black slime dropped from his eyes, having nearly fused to his body. It had blended in with the rest of his body. He wasn’t in the dire straits as he had believed, but on the edge of a familiar four post bed. They were in his apartment before Trent had requisitioned his services.

As he turned back to face whatever had greeted him, she was upon him. Shoving a hand in between his legs and giving his erect member a playful twist. Black eyes like panes of glass watched him squirm in the pleasant manipulation of his sex.

Whoever she was, she was amazingly skilled. Ryan could feel his cock growing harder and harder as she continued to stroke and tug gently. Lubricating him fully with his own pre-cum.

“I thought it’d be much simpler if we just got down to it.”

He gulped, his eyes fluttering. Her face and voice was the same as Diana’s, but her dress and lack of visible legs in place of a nest of black tentacles dissuaded him. She pouted as he pushed her away, nearly toppling off the bed side.

“Just what are you?” He said as he slid back along the bed’s length. He tried to distance himself from her. Never giving up balance in place of space. “And why do you have Diana’s face?”

She laughed, a gently bubbling noise. Her body’s tentacles came together, seeming to transform into a pair of legs. Between her thighs, Ryan could see the moist slit of her vagina.

“Your desires.” She said, crawling slowly towards him. “You wanted Trent dead, he has ceased. You wanted no one to find the book, it’s gone. You wanted to have your precious Diana back and drown in the pleasures of the flesh. Well, here I am.”

Ryan looked around, shimmying backwards until he felt the soft plush of pillows below him. She had corralled him back towards the wall behind the bed. Her face was full of pure, carnal lust. He tried to run again, stopping when a mass of flesh grew from her and lodged into the wall. A pillar made of arms supporting a gargantuan claw.

“A-ah, no more running, Puppy.” She cooed to him as she slid closer, again stroking his cock with a hand. Her dress continued to shrink until she was fully naked before him, full breasts swaying with her inching towards him. His cock ached as her hand withdrew from it. Eyes focused on him as she smiled wider than before.

Ryan’s heart skipped a beat.

“Don’t worry, I’ll pleasure you far more than that dead woman could ever hope to.” Lowering her hand, palm first towards his cock. Instead of stopping when it met her palm, a trio of smaller tendrils wrapped around and stroked his cock as she took him inside of her arm. Thousands of villi and ridges undulated in gentle waves as the tentacles stroked and licked at his member. Ryan found himself squirming underneath her deadly blade and the intense pleasure of her arm.

The creature planted a kiss on his lips, biting the lower as she withdrew. Her arm pumped, the walls clenching in and sticking to him like nothing else. The largest of the three tentacles wrapped around his entire shaft and jerked it, twisting itself when unwinding. He couldn’t help himself.  He moaned.

“D-Diana’s not dead. Trent had to be lying.” He rasped, gripping at the bed sheets as his cock continued to be assailed by the strange pussy-like quality to the arm of her look-alike. His breathing increasing in speed as he came ever closer to rapture. “She’s not dead.”

She sighed as a finger on her other hand lengthened into a black tendril, snaking to his perineum and massaging it gently. He could feel his hips buck as he orgasmed into her arm, hot sticky stuff pulsing out of his throbbing cock and into her. Ryan’s chest heaved as his eyes opened. When the last weak spurts died down, her eyes rolled into the back of her head, savoring his seed.

“Oh, she’s very much dead, Ryan. I watched as the light left her eyes on that fateful evening.” She replied coolly as she extracted her arm from his cock. It remained fully erect, coated in her arm’s inner juices. “She loved you, you know. Said you pushed her away.”

Tears welled up in his eyes. She had to be lying. They all had been lying. There’s no way Diana could truly be dead with how much of a bastard Trent had been.  Ryan’s eyes widened. Her mouth opened as her tongue receded into a fleshy ring that spiraled towards her throat.

“Oh, but I am dead, Puppy!” A smaller mouth said, manifesting on her right shoulder. “Don’t worry, it was a clean death! It was like falling asleep!”

Shut up, he thought.

“I’ll always love you, Ryan! Remember how we used to dream about that house with the white picket fence and our kids playing in the yard with their little extraspecies friends? Clean family fun!”

Shut up shut up shut up, he thought. His mind was racing.

“Don’t worry, Puppy. I live on in your heart, and inside of her. She’s just as much me as I was alive. Give in, Ryan. It will be good. I miss you.”

“SHUT UP!” Ryan sobbed, nearly screaming. He narrowly avoided the macabre, fleshy guillotine as he jerked upwards. Diana’s doppleganger sat up and made a motion to clear her throat. The insides of her mouth reshaped themselves to facilitate speech as the smaller mouth on her shoulder fused back into her molten, shifting flesh. Ryan drew his legs to his chest, curling up and crying weakly.

A sinful laugh came from her as she grasped his chin and tilted it upward, forcing him to look at her. All façade of Diana receded, the pale face with its high cheek bones returned, an extra pair of eyes replacing her eyebrows. Silvery irises stared at him from above. Tentacles surged and wrapped around his legs, jerking them apart as the organic blade was reabsorbed into her back. Taking him by surprise, she kissed him, the black oily tongue surging through his lips, rolling over his own. It went deeper, the acrid taste and fluidity causing him to gag on it.

She grinned and drew apart from him as her tentacles pulled him down the bed’s length. His head came to rest on a pillow. Her eyes, silver and black, stared into his soul. Mouths formed on the underside of her tentacles, kissing every inch of his limbs as she raised her body.

Fingers framed the puffy lips of her pussy as she began to lower her hips down towards his rock hard cock, twitching expectantly. The glistening arousal made him think of saliva in a slavering maw, a tremor of fear coursing through his body. It felt as if her tentacles were melting him.

“I’m going to fuck you now, Ryan Finnegan. There’s nothing you can do to stop me. Well, you could try, for all the good it would do you.” She said as she pressed the tip of his glans to her waiting lips. His head jerked back as he felt his member being engulfed in the wet heat of her vagina, the walls splitting and clenching down onto his cock.

Slowly, she rose, slamming her hips back down onto his. He lost himself to the pleasure of her tentacles and the unescapable warmth of her sex as she rode him.

Her breathing sped up as she continued to fuck him, moaning in rhythm to his cock flying in and out of her. Lewd, wet noises could be heard as her pussy sucked on him, the ridges of her walls shifting and squeezing as it felt like a hundred tiny tongues were lapping at his length.

The second orgasm rocked him, and she laughed teasingly. His erection refused to subside as she folded her body on top of him, her breasts pressed into his face. Ryan could barely feel his body, lost under the mass of tentacles that continued to stimulate and kiss his body. Several of the smaller mouths had taken to licking and nibbling on his nipples, causing him to moan.

“Mmh, I wonder how long you’ll last.” She said as she bounced lightly in short thrusts that sent his cock deeper into her. A cushioned mass formed deep within her, her body betraying her as it molded a womb and cervix. Even in this world, the laws of Lilith were supreme.

Withdrawing her tendrils from his chest, she pressed her full chest onto him, the combined body heat causing them to stick together. She rolled herself on top of him, her nipples crunchily stimulated as she resumed riding him. Ryan’s eyes weakly opened, and stared into hers. In return, he received a lascivious wink.

The flesh of her pussy melted around him as muscle spasms rocked her, feeling his glans press against her ringed cushion. That was it for what remained of his self-control, his arms reaching up through the weakened grip of her appendages. He hilted himself fully inside her, gripping her buttocks.

He spilled his entire virile payload into her virgin womb. Never losing a single drop by blocking it with his tip pressed directly to the fleshy, cervical ring. Ryan’s sobs died down as he sat up, adjusting both of their positions. He buried his face into her bosom.

“Diana… Diana…. Di… I love you…”

Nothing remained of Ryan except the mindless bestial desire of rutting as his cock continued to pulse and jettison seed inside her pussy. She smiled as he fell into unconsciousness and the alien pleasure of losing control of her own body. This man could be useful.

“That’s right, Ryan. I’m Diana.” She cooed to him, taking on her new name. He would be the only person to know of her true form, the only one who wouldn’t immediately break when gazing upon her. She winced as he fell backwards onto the cushions, nearly dragging her with him.

She dismounted, stroking his hair and reforming her legs. With care, she pressed her naked form against his. The overflow of his seed began to run down the back of her legs as it left her vagina.

Diana mewled softly, closing her eyes. She could feel numerous sperm within her fusing to fresh eggs. If Lilith were to play her games, then so would she. She would always be Diana to Ryan.  They would languish on the beach of eternity. Fetid swamps bubbling as shoggoths wallowed nearby.

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