Teaser Tuesday: “A Mountain Walked: Great Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos”

So this week (and for a couple of weeks previously) I’ve been reading the horror anthology A Mountain Walked: Great Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos, which, as you may have gleaned from the title, consists of a bunch of stories residing in the general neighborhood of H.P. Lovecraft.

Being an anthology, there is, of course, no overall beginning, middle, or end to this book*, so there’s no real need to worry about spoiling things with a Teaser. But as it happens I’m just at the beginning of one of these stories (“Mobymart After Midnight”; I’m sure any resemblance between Mobymart and Whale-Mart Wal-Mart will be completely coincidental), which is, interestingly enough, about somebody who does in-house PC technical support. I swear it’s not me.

Along with the cypresses, say the old-timers, callous bulldozers destroyed an ancient, disused graveyard, which is where my family name ambiguously creeps in. A great-great-great-granduncle supposedly disappeared, was perhaps even murdered and secretly buried, within that deconsecrated ground. No relatives of mine, though, can or will say what had brought him there, or if the plot held other kinfolk. But ancestral bones may well have moldered beneath the Mobymart parking lot or even under my workstation.

“Mobymart After Midnight”, by Jonathan Thomas, from A Mountain Walked

Hmm, a big-box store built on top of a bulldozed graveyard? What could possibly go wrong?

Besides all this, I mean.

Traditionally, at this point in the Teaser Tuesdays, I’ve been including quotes from a work-in-progress, most recently Blue Roses, where I’ve been stuck on the same scene for a while. The fact that I’ve been stuck is why I haven’t done a Teaser Tuesday in some time. At this point I’ve decided to take a break from Blue Roses, although I hope to return to it at some point (just as I hope** to return to The Apprentice, albeit with a different name), on the theory that the reason I’m stuck is that, with both books, I’ve been writing the same sort of fiction I’ve always written, in the same sort of style I’ve always used. Maybe I need to jolt myself out of my rut by doing something different. And so I’ve decided to try fictionalizing a rather momentous event from real life. You can probably guess what it was.

Speaking of all in your head, you’re*** about to feel something in there like hammers attached to a flywheel, beating on the inside top of your skull, pound pound pound. You’re going to try to get to a phone at that point so you can call for help, since there’s no one around to do it for you, but you dawdled for too long (and, wait, you didn’t go and get dressed, did you? That was an unwise waste of precious seconds) and now you’re not going to make it before you pass out.

Time for a strange little dream.

The “strange little dream” bit is important. I’m not sure to what extent I’ve mentioned it before, but The Event seriously messed with my dreaming ability. Whereas I used to almost always have weirdly cinematic dreams**** involving all kinds of crazy things—zombie apocalypses, alien invasions, escaping natural catastrophes, or, occasionally, running away from ghosts*****—now I … don’t. I don’t remember my dreams very often, and when I do, they’re almost unfailingly pedestrian. Why, just the other day, I dreamed I was picking up sticks and pieces of wood from our yard so I could burn them in the fireplace, only to remember that we don’t burn wood in our fireplace. Off the hook!

Anyway, before you start thinking this is going to be some kind of hospital drama, rest assured it won’t be; it’s still going to be fantasy. I’m only using The Event as a springboard for something, but I can’t say what, because …

Plus of course I don’t really know where the hell it’s going to go. So there’s that.

Anyway, this may or may not work out—it may turn out that I’m just done being able to produce books—but I’m not ready to give up quite yet. We’ll see how it goes!

* Much like there’s no real beginning, middle, or end to that which can eternal lie.
** It springs eternal, etc.
*** Yes, I’m going for the second person with this one. Weird, isn’t it?
**** A friend in college once notoriously (in my mind) complained to me how it was unfair that I got to be entertained every time I went to sleep.
***** My wife always used to know that if I was whimpering in my sleep, it was because I was having a run-in with ghosts.

3 thoughts on “Teaser Tuesday: “A Mountain Walked: Great Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos”

  1. Well, I’m sure you’re not done with writing yet, you just need a new focus. Maybe using your “event” as a starting point will do it. If not, there’s always romance novels or kids books…

    Liked by 2 people

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