Cthulhu and the Girls

So the Girls in the Basement sent up that Cthulhu line, and since so many readers hadn’t heard of it, I seriously considered cutting it.  Except I didn’t want to.  I didn’t know WHY I didn’t want to, but I knew it had to stay.   

And then later when Rab brought Nita’s clothes back from her house to Nick’s apartment, he also brought her crocheted Cthulhu neck roll, which was a surprise.  So at that point I had to start paying attention..   I know why I’m drawn to Cthulhu, the monster dreaming beneath the sea who fuels the subconscious anxiety of humanity, but I wasn’t sure why Nita was.

And then when I thought about it, it was obvious: Most of Nita lies dreaming, too, all her power trapped asleep in her subconscious.   (The Girls are geniuses.)  And because her mother suppressed that power, made her repress it, she’d see it subconsciously as a monster within her.   So I went back to the neck roll and wondered where she’d gotten it, although the story’s set on Demon Island, so probably anywhere.  But I wanted it to be special, so I thought maybe her great-grandmother had made it for her.  Her mother is nuts (for good reason, it turns out) and her grandmother’s nuts (for no good reason, sometimes you’re just born a selfish nutjob), but her great-grandmother is pretty solid, considering she’s half-demon.  So Great-Grandma Keres made her the Cthulhu neck roll, which little Nita probably carried around like a doll.  And of course I’m going to have to make one now.  I think I’ll start with this pattern, and evil it up some with hooded eyes. (Wait, wait, hooded eyes?  No wonder she falls for Nick.  My God, the Girls are GENIUSES).  So it should be cuddly but not cute.  Much like Nita.

And I’m quite sure she’d have a My Little Cthulhu.  He comes with two screaming people who fit into his hands.  And you could buy the six piece My Little Victims set if you wanted more.  Which of course you would.  (Don’t get excited, the only place you can find these now is on eBay for a whole lot of money (if new) or just a lot of money (if used).  The Little Victims set alone is over twenty bucks.  I want it but I spent enough buying a used My Little Cthulhu.  Hey, it’s RESEARCH.  (This is how I ended up with a kitchen full of art deco china, too.)

There’s so much more Cthulhu out there, most of which won’t have anything to do with Nita, although I bet she has a T-shirt made from this material.  At least I’m going to have a T-shirt made from that material, even though I already have a great Cthulhu T-shirt.

Of course, now I’ll have to make all of this pay off in the story down the line, but I’m loving it.  Well, I would: I’ve got a “Vote Cthulhu/Why Settle For the Lesser Evil” sticker on my car from the 2016 election, so consider the source.  (I’ve also got a “Choose Love/Dogs Against Romney” sticker on there.  I can hold a grudge.)

So it turns out that Cthulhu is Nita’s spirit animal.  It’s all so clear now.

And the Girls are GENIUSES.

Oh, and if reading the original Lovecraft story isn’t to your taste (Lovecraft was, no surprise, weird as hell plus the white-man’s burden racism of his  time), have a Cthulhu not-a-kid’s book (It starts in the lower right hand corner of the linked page):

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37 thoughts on “Cthulhu and the Girls

  1. I have just one thing to say, I need to learn to crochet better faster, I love that crocheted Cthulhu.

    You find the coolest stuff

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  2. I always say I’ll read Lovecraft but I forget to get it when I go to the library. Must write it down on a list now.

    I actually read Turn of The Screw ONLY because of you and Maybe This Time.

    So thanks for stretching my reading to include what I haven’t picked and sometimes wouldn’t pick for meself.

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    1. A lot of it is out of print so you can read it on Project Gutenberg. There’s also an AMAZING reading of a story on I want to say HP Podcraft or Podcast? Don’t listen to it at night by yourself.

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    2. It’s short. There’s a link in the post to the story online (free!), but it has it’s issues–racism is a big one, Victorian white guy–but it’s interesting just to see the fever-dream style of writing he did.

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  3. “Writers of fiction learn early that it is possible to write a character who is smarter than they are.
    How can that be?
    The answer lies in the Mystery.
    That place that we write from (or paint from or compose from or innovate from) is far deeper than our petty personal egos. That place is beyond intellect. It is deeper than rational thought.
    It is instinct.
    It is intuition.
    It is imagination.”

    “Good things happen when we trust the Mystery.
    There is always something in the box.”

    –from Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield

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    1. Yep, that’s my question. How the heck do you say cthulhu??? Someone must know. Oh hey, I’ll google it… Hang on… Khlûl′-hloo. Only I don’t know how to pronounce that either so I’m going with Ka-THOO-loo even though it’s not right exactly. At least I can say it.

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    2. Lovecraft had a complicated way of pronouncing it (because it was an alien language, and because he was nuts).
      I think the general, popular pronunciation is Ka-Thool-Hoo.

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      1. I learned it Kuh – HU-lu, but I also learned it drunk at a loud college theatre party from someone who was a foot taller than me. So, you know. Many, many grains of salt.

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    1. Me, too. I have nightmares that they’ll go away. I was on medication once and it put them to sleep. That was hell.

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  4. LOL, just in time for Halloween! Cthuhlu’s a’poppin’! I have to say, I really like the fabric, too, and I’m in desperate need of a bathrobe. Just the kind of thing to slip into when North Korean missiles are flying overhead!

    I really adore the juxtapostion of LOL cats with Cthuhlu. Funniest thing I’ve seen all day.

    I need to put the short story on my list of things to do this week.

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  5. Some more recent writers have taken on Lovecraft, Elizabeth Bear wrote a short story called Shoggoths in Bloom that is available for free around the internet, and N. K. Jemison is working an some books that have been optioned for TV that are Lovecraftian future in NYC. The newer stuff is in SFF, but well worth locating if you are inclined.

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      1. Yes. I realize that. LOL. However, if I don’t know how to pronounce something out loud, then I can’t read it. That little “reading voice” inside my head will stumble over it every time (which is why I went looking for the pronunciation in the first place. 😉

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        1. I have mispronounced so many words because I read more than I listen to audio. But I figure with Cthulhu, I’ll just go for phonetics. I don’t care what Lovecraft thought (g). It was an alien language, how did he know how it sounded?

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  6. OK, so I am only just now making my way through PoI. There were too many episodes, I (and my spin bike) had to take a break. But this:

    “Yeah, I’ll tell Captain that Agent King here (Root) is a super powered nutball. Just ask my buddy the urban legend.”

    I love Fusco. I also love how much is covered in those two statements.

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    1. Fusco is the secret weapon of PoI. I love the pilot where he’s taking Reese out to execute him and then there’s all that amazing character arc. I must have seen that speech he makes to Sills in “The Devil’s Share” at least a dozen times, and I still cry when he says he’s not going to kill him because Carter made him better than that. And when he goes after Reese when Reese quits and they have that fight in the parking lot. And that scene where the bad guy hands him the phone and says something like “Listen to the shot that’s going to kill your kid,” and there’s a shot, and then it’s Shaw, telling him it’s all right, but because she was there to save his son, she can’t save him, and he just comes apart, and then save himself. Kevin Chapman was just freaking amazing in that role. I even love the comic relief, like when he ended up guarding the super model in the background. And the one where the machine was running simulations and he kisses Root.

      I may have to watch PoI again. That is a brilliant, brilliant show.

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  7. Gwarora! Everything seems to be coming up Cthuhlu. This article from the Guardian starts out with Australian legends that seem to tap into the same primordial uneasiness that Lovecraft did.

    https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2017/sep/27/im-part-of-the-worlds-oldest-living-culture-but-could-i-kill-a-zombie-with-a-boomerang

    1. Underground. 2. World events converging to form a disturbing pattern. Hmmm, makes great horror fiction.

    (Note: So far, Cthuhlu hasn’t been mentioned by name, but I’m getting a definite vibe — kind of like when you hear a song, and then you can’t get it out of your head for three days.)

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    1. I just changed the time frame for the book to March of 2016 because that way April 2 falls on a Saturday, and Cthulhu’s rise always ends on April 2.
      Yes, I am insane. But I don’t mess with the Girls.

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      1. Oh, cool! Lots and lots of stuff going on in that time frame, too, in a traditional/mythical sense. Astronomical sense, too, as far as day waxing, long winter behind us but still waiting to bite us in the butt as a good-bye present. Weatherwise, you can do basically anything in that time period, in that area of the country.

        I’m going to have to read the rest of the mythos, I think. Is there an anti-Cthuhlu? I kind of wonder if the Girls (all of our collective Girls) are some sort of Jungian anti-Cthuhlu. Or maybe even Cthuhlu itself. (Revisionist Cthuhlu?) Oh, boy, I think I know what I’m blogging about on Saturday! LOL.

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  8. I have a short story (“Cthuhlu, P.I.”) in a THE CACKLE OF CTHUHLU, a comedy short story anthology that came out earlier this year.

    When I accepted the anthology invitation, I had never read Lovecraft, so I checked out some of this collections from the library–mostly on audio. While driving around or doing my chores or walking, I’d hear the narrator going through Lovecraft’s habitual description of some unnameable, indescribable, unthinkable, ineffable, creeping, seeping, lurking, lurid horror… And every so often, I’d involuntarily blurt, “Okey dokey.”

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    1. LOL, do you think it’s possibly a defect of the reading atmosphere? Very hard to be creeped out when one is doing light housework in the sunshine (unless one lives in a cobweb infested, gloomy, decrepit mansion, in which case, the narration may accidentally coincide with the sudden BURST of baby spiders from a sac you’ve dislodged).

      Lovecraft may need to be read (or listened to) when one is curled up under a blankie with a hot cup of something, and the only light is provided by a lone lamp. It should be slightly chilly. I read the story from Jenny’s link in a late-afternoon kitchen. Slightly gloomy, slightly cold. No spider attacks. I could get into some of the “atmospherics” but I do admit to a creeping sense of practicality. My sense of dread came from tying the stories into what’s happening in the real world. The Cthuhlu conspiracy theory smacks of so many different “there’s a mysterious Them doing us wrong” conspiracy theories. I think the vagueness of Cthuhlu (in the first story, the monster can’t be described, and the wrong is basically limited to a few guys getting killed — mostly of their own dumbness) makes it tie into a lot of different urban legends. Nothing is specific, so it’s up to the reader’s imagination to fill in all of the creep and horror specifically.

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        1. You know what’s an absolute nightmare? Spelling the damn creature’s name. I’m usually pretty good at spelling, but for the life of me, I just can’t spell it. I think the pronunciation may be throwing me off.

          How did you ever write an entire story about Dread C? I just did a blog post on it, and had to Find and Replace every instance with Cthulhu. Maybe the damn thing is evil, and one of its unfeeling powers is to skew spelling. Maybe every time you see thier or toliet, maybe, that’s Cthulhu’s work. (Or your/you’re or anything else that drives the Internet up the wall. Hear the scrabbling sound of its/it’s/its/it’s/its in the bowels of your laptop, mere mortal!)

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