“Let us have a little fun with this place, Yadira,” Nyarlathotep suggested to his daughter, spinning in a rapid pirouette, and trading his sharp royal blue ensemble for a zoot suit composed of wild patches of colors and patterns seamlessly woven together. “The good Princess Ondina wished for this gallery to be a place where visitors could leave their cares behind. As you have observed, each of these paintings is the gateway to a wonderful world, but none of these worlds is our world. Let us create a gateway to our very own world. How do you think that it should look?”
Yadira sprang to her feet in a surprisingly spry manner for an impossibly ancient crone. She giggled with glee as she waved her hands, creating a vast canvas on the wall before her.
“I can’t decide on the frame, Father,” she reported. “What are your thoughts? Should it have an elegant or a rustic appearance? Should it appear old or new, green or blue, metal or wood, what would be good?”
“Since this is to be our combined world, I think that I should choose one attribute and you the next until we are satisfied with our efforts. I think the frame should be ornately carved wood if you agree.”
“Rustic and ornate at once, I concur. I believe that a muted gold would be the correct shade.”
“Absolutely! We do not wish for the gold in the frame to outshine the gold of the sun or suns in our world’s skies. I feel this should be a green and pleasant world. The Zoogs like green and I intend to invite a few of them to serve as guards.”
“An excellent choice, Father. There should be a lovely house near the center of the painting, the sort of place where one could invite guests for tea.”
“Splendid! Now, I believe there must be a fence with a gate surrounding the house. Nothing terribly intimidating, mind, but one should not look at our house and think that they could simply walk right in and help themselves to whatever they desire. One must go through the gate to get to the door, and before one can approach the door, they must check in with the Zoogs at the gate. I think that a nice hellhound or two would be a fine addition to the property, but I grant that they might frighten away guests.”
“The hellhounds should remain subtly in the background,” Yadira agreed. “What season should it be, Father? I was thinking spring or summer because I believe that our painting should have plenty of flowers.”
“A lovely spring scene, most definitely,” Nyarlathotep concurred, and though he smiled broadly, his eyes sparkled with tears. “Spring or early summer, yes. As you know, my love, I first met your mother at the time between winter and spring in the gardens of Zaïs. A more beautiful scene I have never seen—ah, but you have heard this story many times before.”
This is the first segment of a new chapter in my WIP A Night in West Holpry, which is part of the Tales from the Dreamlands/Yadira Chronicles series. The full chapter can be purchased on Odysee for 15 LBC (approximately $0.45).
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This story was submitted to the weekly Reedsy Creative Writing Prompts contest on 3 March 2021. If approved, it will be available approximately a week from that date. So far, all my submissions have been approved, but I make no guarantees. My work is free to read on Reedsy. Shares are greatly appreciated. I aim to start a New Cthulhu Mythos addiction, Naughty Netherworld Style!
Putting My Feet in the Dirt
Write a story where flowers play a central role.
Submitted on 25 March 2021.