“Existence is filled with indiscriminate mixtures,” Yadira noted as she and her father approached West Zecor’s once-stately art museum. “Consider, for instance, the blessing-curse of our power to grant wishes. Our actions save lives but destroy worlds. We are endlessly sought after by desperate souls because of our power, and we are hated and feared for that same power. My soul is haggard, crushed by the persistent procession of seekers coaxing me with treasure that I have no use for or, worse, offering up kissable nothings that I find utterly distasteful.”
“Your temperament is similar to your mother’s,” Nyarlathotep remarked. “When I first met Nathicana, the troubles of the Cosmos weighed heavy on her gentle soul. It brought me great joy to ease her burden.”
“Mother’s temperament was softer than mine,” Yadira countered. “I have no patience for petty tyrants with inflated egos. Do you recall how that fool Qweh tried to bribe me by offering me my own empire replete with all the luxury I could dream of? I reminded him in no uncertain terms that if I desired an empire or luxury, I could have such with the blink of my eyes, a twitch of my nose, a snap of my fingers, or a wave of my hand. He was truly one of the most ignoble and ignorant individuals that we have dealt with, do you not agree?”
“True, but even he had his moments. He did, after all, commission the creation of this museum.”
“Ondina was the force behind that. The sweet princess wished to give hope to the realm’s many artistic failures, making them feel if only for a moment as if their futile efforts might count for something.”
“Everyone wishes to be immortal. Those whose works reside eternally in this museum mausoleum were granted a measure of immortality when their pieces became part of West Holpry’s celebrated art collection. People like believing in the pretends, Yadira. And, as you know, sometimes things that appear to be fabrications are actually doorways to different realities.”
“Everyone wishes to be immortal, yet those who are immortal often wish that they were not,” Yadira mused. “There may be something to be said for having a lifespan so short that one never loses innocence. It is impossible to maintain uncorrupted hope and belief once pain, loss, and injustice have become a part of life. When one has lived as long as we have, a hardness forms around a heart pierced by a dagger that can never be removed. Oh, dear, I am sure that you must despair of this conversation. Let me try things your way. Look at the algon that have escaped their globes and climbed the walls. They resemble drawings made from phosphorescent chalk.”
“I appreciate the appearance of the colonies that have formed along the walls where water drips and streams from the roof,” Nyarlathotep agreed. “There are those who would say that the algon are weeds that need to be eliminated, but this would certainly be a dull world without the beauty of the algon. This colony is a striking shade of juniper, while its neighbor has taken on a hue of opalescent iris. Has it occurred to you, my daughter, that we may have answered Zecor’s prayer to be free of the two-legged parasites that colonized it? The psychic screams of tortured phantasms grow fainter with the passage of time.”
Nyarlathotep is the creation of H.P. Lovecraft, initially appearing in his 1920 story of the same name.
Nathicana is the creation of H.P. Lovecraft, initially appearing in his 1927 poem Nathicana.
Sunday Writing Prompt
Putting My Feet in the Dirt
Submitted to the Start your story with the line, “That’s the thing about this city…” prompt on 19 March 2021.
The following prompts were also utilized in the creation of this story:
Write a story that takes place in the same building but in two very different time periods.
Set your story in a major city that your character has a love-hate relationship with.
Words for Wednesday
This segment is part of the Tales from the Dreamlands/Yadira Chronicles series. It will feature in either Yadira's Song, The Tragic Last Days of Zetar, or both.
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