“That’s the thing about this city.”
The crone’s voice was barely audible, but her companion
would have known her thoughts even if she had not spoken. From a superficial
viewpoint, she was an unremarkable woman of medium height and build with a countenance
that none would consider comely.
The crone had cultivated her appearance to call as little
attention as possible to herself, her wild gray hair and the deep lines on her
face shielding her from the nuisance of having to parry the undesired thrusts
of lust from men too thick to pick up on obvious physical cues of disinterest and
with egos so bloated with entitlement that even an outright declaration of
disgust was met with persistence. Yadira Root had better things to do than
engage in demeaning mating dances with would-be rapists.
Despite her attempts to render herself invisible, Yadira
possessed a charisma that could not be ignored. The set of her jaw and the look
in her eyes revealed that this crone was not someone to be trifled with.
Besides, Yadira could never content herself with drab attire. Her dramatic
robes were a source of enjoyment for a soul who had known great strife. She was
particularly fond of the robe she now wore, which depicted swirling galaxies
adrift in the endless Universe.
“What about this city?”
Yadira’s companion was a tall, striking-looking man with long
black hair, a swarthy complexion, and angular features. He wore a royal blue
suit that befitted his regal carriage.
The pair shared eyes the color of outer space and a powerful,
platonic bond. It was apparent that anyone who messed with one would face the
wrath of the other. To those unfamiliar with them, they might appear to be a mother
and son, an aunt and nephew, or, perhaps, an elder sister and younger brother.
“It’s a rotting corpse and it was even while it lived,
Father. This planet is corrupt to its core and its noxiousness continues to leech
into the Cosmos. Would that it had been destroyed when the small star caused
itself to go nova as it glutted itself on its companion’s energies. Alas, no,
Zecor remains intact, bathed in the gamma rays of its dead suns.”
“Oh, Yadira,” Nyarlathotep sighed, putting his arm around
his daughter’s shoulders, drawing her close, and kissing the top of her head as he
had done from the time she was born. “You have known far more of misery and destruction
than anyone should. I am so sorry.”
“There is no need for apologies, Father, you know that,”
Yadira chided gently, linking her arm in Nyarlathotep’s. “Well, where shall we
walk to in the eternal night? Shall we go to the palace, or should we head for
the Ktenology center where the bodies of the foolish king, his idiot followers,
and his final victims lay, preserved forever by the peculiar effects of this sepulchral
Nyarlathotep is the creation of H.P. Lovecraft, initially
appearing in his 1920 story of the same name.
Start your story with the line, “That’s the thing about this city…”
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.
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