The Pit is a short Lovecraftian piece I wrote some years ago which I’ve never managed to get published, and one of my friends suggested that I post it, so here it is…
I suppose that it was curiosity that first drew me to the pit; that and a desire to reach into forbidden territory. I styled myself an outsider; an observer of men and their petty foibles. Rather than bow my head and accept the routine drudgeries of the world, I sought that which lay on the edges of society. Forbidden things; forbidden knowledge. Heretofore, I had spent my time in dim and darkened libraries, poring over ancient texts; books thought too awful to be released from their dusty tombs into the common world. Avidly I read, of acts that I had only suspected could take place, things of which I had only glimpsed at in feverish dreams and nightmares. Now, the reality of these dreams was creeping slowly towards me, as step by faltering step I descended into the pit.
I had always felt myself ‘apart’ from my fellows. An alien perhaps, biding my time; watching the routines of the world through narrowed eyes. Biding my time. Waiting for the message to come through; the message that would bring forth my unknown, but foreshadowed purpose. That I was different from the rest, I had no doubt. But why? How did this come about? I did not know. Perhaps some rogue gene that, after lying dormant through generations, wakened in me, and coloured my soul with a flash of mutant awareness. In past centuries, I would have been feared as a sorceror or heretic.
Occasionally, others would sense my ‘alien nature’, if only unconsciously. This served only to reinforce my sense of standing alone in the crowd. As I delved deeper in forbidden lore; I came to know of the Pit. Quite what its significance was eluded me for some time; yet I knew that ultimately, I would be drawn to plumb its depths and discover for myself, the heart of its mystery.
The air down here is thick; in the distance I can hear a dim cacaphony; a muted babble of voices; strange unearthly music. The stone beneath me rumbles as though the very earth is warning me, testing my resolve to seek those unnamable experiences that I have for so long sought. But I will go on, I have held back for too long, seeking consolation in the feverish prose and paintings of those who shared my desires; who have already tasted the forbidden fruit.
Something squelches beneath my feet and … no I will not look down, I will not turn back to look. I must continue. I have come so far. I must prove myself and join the celebration which surely lies ahead. There are others of my kind, I am sure. Dreamers, outsiders, sensualists for whom the grey world above holds no lure.
The Pit beckons me, and I keep on walking.
A shaft of light cuts through the gloom; dust-motes dancing
in the air before me. The door is ajar, and I can see the dim shapes, pressed close within the chamber. Dark, and menacing. Hulking black-clad forms looming up at me in the darkness, pools of glowing luminescence throw up crazy glimpses of the inner room. My throat is dry. I am here! Nervously I thrust myself into the press of bodies. The music returns, jarring my ears, catching me in the stomach with it’s deep resonances. The air reeks with sweat and animal odours. Head down, I nudge my way between the hulking figures, making for the altar-like structure ahead. I must present myself before it. My coat snags on a chain, but with a jerk I am free and there! The sea of shapes opens to receive me, and I have achieved my desire. This is it! The bloated creature behind the dias turns slowly, regarding me with frank appraisal, and suddenly, my throat is choked. No words come. And
“Yes love, what can I get you?”
“Er … a half of lager please”
“Haven’t seen you before have we? Didn’t anyone tell you Thursdays was Leather?”