First Look Friday: Beneath the Bubbles


Beneath the Bubbles

“Would you like to inspect my grimoire while I gather the items necessary to invoke Han?” Nyarlathotep inquired, snapping Rilpu out of her reverie as she gazed at the bubbles forming outside the dome protecting the underwater city from Lake Hali.

“We can’t invoke Han here,” Rilpu protested, her perplexed golden eyes regarding the youthful-looking Outer God as he bustled about his disheveled laboratory, gathering various items and placing them in a bag.

“We could,” Nyarlathotep countered. “I need only utilize the correct components to cause the mirror to create a cold mist suitable to summoning him. As you can see, I have practically everything one could possibly need for nearly any magical application.”

“Your collection is most impressive,” Rilpu agreed, gazing in awe at the multitude of shelves in various states of cohesion. “However, there is one thing that troubles me regarding this suggestion.”

“Tell me, and I shall do my best to allay your misgivings.”

“Han is bound to King Rokon’s brother, Yig,” Rilpu revealed almost apologetically. “Yig is your sworn enemy. I do not know if Han would serve you.”

“He might not serve me, but he will serve you, and that is all that matters,” Nyarlathotep soothed, reaching to gently clasp Rilpu’s hand.

Rilpu swallowed hard. In this form, the Intellect of the Outer Gods was boyish and beautiful, jovial, and, seemingly, a faithful friend. Yet she could not allow herself to fully trust him, no matter how much she wished she could.

Rilpu also could not stop herself from wishing that the handsome young man clasping her hands were simply a magical boy from an underwater kingdom; a boy that she could join hands and hearts with and even allow herself to love. Her efforts to bring these emotions under control were in vain even as she tried to quiet them with the admonishment that this was a being older than time itself who assumed many guises and whose actions had destroyed worlds.

A tear slid down the serpent maiden’s cheek. Nyarlathotep reached to dry it away, but she lashed out, gripping his wrist.

“Tell me that you cannot love me!” Rilpu exclaimed vehemently. “Tell me, and then assume another form. The form of a man in his middle or elder years, the form of a female, the form of a beast, the form of anything but the one young man who could steal my heart and cause me to abandon my dreams, my kingdom, my mission. Tell me that you cannot be what is causing my heart to break. Please, my lord! I cannot bear it!”

“I am sorry, for your pain, Little Sister,” Nyarlathotep said gently, folding Rilpu in his arms.



This piece was written using the Tale Weaver prompt Bubbles.

Nyarlathotep is the creation of H.P. Lovecraft, initially appearing in his 1920 story of the same name.

Yig is the creation of H.P. Lovecraft and Zealia Bishop, appearing in their story “The Curse of Yig,” first publication Weird Tales November 1929.

Han is the creation of Robert Bloch, initially appearing in his story, “The Shambler from the Stars,” first publication Weird Tales September 1935.

King Rokon is the creation of James Ambuehl, appearing in his 1998 short story, The Snake God of Shonhi.

Rilpu is the intellectual property of Team Netherworld and Naughty Netherworld Press.

This piece is part of my WIP, The Key of Eidolon. 

The Key of Eidolon is the second book in the Tales from the Dreamlands series. You can pick up the first book, Ketil and Yitzy’s Adventure in the Xura Dream House from Amazon or LBRY.

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