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Blog Fiction!

Happy Holidays Ever After…

The North Pole was silent and dark. The North Pole was always silent and dark. The North Pole had never been anything but silent.

And dark.

There were no igloos for little elves. There were no reindeer. There were no magical talking snowmen. There was no house with windows aglow, or tinkling lights draped over evergreen boughs.

There was no island of misfit toys. There were no gingerbread houses or freshly-baked cookies. There was not even snow; just a single cold layer of thinning ice.

At magnetic north, encased deep in the ice, a dark shape slept dreaming, its formless mass spread over mile upon mile. Its eldritch mind echoed in the dark recesses of mankind’s subconscious, shaping his thoughts, his feelings, and dreams.

Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow couldn’t sleep for thoughts of the bringer of toys, the jolly old man with cheeks like roses and nose like a cherry. As they one by one drifted off down to the gates of deeper slumber, jolly old St. Nicholas etched his face into their minds, lulling them into a peaceful serenity.

The small children’s parents snuck out in the night, and put out the stockings, flew-flewbers, and tom-tooklers. They ate the cookies left behind for Kris Kringle, and drank all the milk before cuddling back into bed, compelled to enforce their children’s petty holiday whims.

As the last children’s parents drifted back off to sleep, the mass in the ice shifted imperceptibly an inch. A smug sense of contentment oozed out of its pores as it felt the day of its triumph approach. The sun beat down hotter across all of the earth, and the flames bounced around and slowly, but surely, melted down its prison. The ice began cracking and its mind became stronger, and children more firmly clutched onto their teddies,  visions of sugar-plums dancing through their heads.

The world was asleep and content, waiting expectantly for Santa Claus himself to emerge to come bring them joy. The ice cracked again, and water leaked through. The mass shifted once more and tore ice asunder, allowing grasping pseudopods to poke their way up.

All through the world, children lying asleep found themselves dancing with dear old St. Nick, who ho’d and ho’d and ho’d as the black formless spawn burbled out of the ice, spreading with the speed of well-oiled lightning. Night spread south from the north, and the sweet dreams and happy thoughts of children, aged one to ninety-two, made its expansion nigh on unstoppable.

The world was enveloped in eternal night. The Mayans were right, but just four days off.

Happy holidays, all. Enjoy it while it lasts.


Posted by on December 24, 2012 in Blog Fiction


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

They’re warming up to al-Kitaabi finally. Nothing else has changed. It’s so boring here. It doesn’t even feel like it’s worth writing in this diary.

They – they being the kelp-people – did introduce a new game to us, possibly to win over Kitaabi. He hasn’t learned their language yet, or even come close. They don’t seem to understand what his pointing at various objects and saying a word mean yet. Their speech is not too dissimilar from that of turkeys; they gobble primarily. It would be funny if it came from the mouth of something smaller and less covered in kelp. As it is, the kelp-men are intimidating.

This new game they have introduced will take a while to figure out, but it involves double-sided rocks – one side painted white and the other black – and a hexagonal gameboard divided into six triangles radiating from the center, and with each triangle divided into three parts by two evenly-spaced lines drawn across the triangles, essentially creating two smaller hexagons inside it. The kelp-men tried to teach us by showing us how it was played, and it was lost on me. Kitaabi might be getting it, though; it involves flipping and moving the stones between sections in a very odd way. The kelp-men play it very quickly, and don’t seem to understand that doing it more slowly might help us. Hopefully Kitaabi can explain it to us soon, once he figures it out. Maybe once that’s done we can figure out some way to really communicate.

Out for now.

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Posted by on November 28, 2012 in Blog Fiction


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

We’ve been here for a week now, and things are looking up a bit.

After all of the survivors in our group finally woke up, we waited around a for a bit until one of the rock walls in front of us dematerialized. It just faded away and vanished. We had checked all of the walls and made sure they were solid, so it had to have been more than just a holographic image.

Beyond the rock wall was a corridor made from square tiles, which were in turn made from what looked to be some sort of limestone. There were odd, disturbing images carved into every tile in the corridor, but after a few moments of talk, Al-Kitaabi led the way forward into the corridor. I was second, and the rest followed after me. There was no discernible light source, and while the lighting was dim, there was most certainly something giving off light. We ourselves seemed to give off no shadows, so it is possible the light came from all around us.

We walked down that long, straight corridor for about five minutes, until we reached a large door graced with the image of what looked to be a hideous fusion of kraken and sea serpent. The image itself seemed to waver before my eyes, so I didn’t look at it to much.

Then the door opened, sliding into the wall, from the other side, and I believe I may have fainted at the sight that lay beyond it.

When I came to, I was lying in a comfortable bed, in my own, private room, with a window overlooking an enormous, grand, impossible city contained in an enormous cavern beneath the ground. I am still here. The buildings don’t seem to quite make sense, and I have a vague sense of unease if I stare at any one for too long, as they seem to blur the lines between real and unreal. If that makes any sense.

Arches are the predominant form of architecture here; in fact, every single building seems to be an arch, composed of those same tiles that lined that initial corridor. There are big ones and small ones, but all are identical in shape and material. There are windows scattered around all of the arches, and doors at their bases for their inhabitants to leave. The arches near the edge of the enormous cavern we are in are of a different form, as one of their bases ends in the cavern wall itself, while its other base stands firmly on the cavern’s even ground. The cavern floor is similarly covered with the same sort of tile, and there are pools scattered everywhere about it, filled with kelp. Occasionally, the strange inhabitants of this place will emerge from those pools en masse, and head into one of the larger arches so haphazardly placed about the city, and then leave there again after a few hours, returning to their homes, I presume. I have not yet seen any of these beings do down into those pools.

After my awakening, I tried the single door in my sparsely-furnished room, and found it opened into a circular room with more furnishings, including several tables and chairs. The rest of my team was sitting around one of the tables, and waved me over when I emerged.

They explained to me that I had been unconscious for almost a day, and then proceeded to try and explain the wonders of this city. Following my fainting fit, we had all been escorted – and me carried – through a maze of corridors that led eventually to one of those odd arches that stood on the edges of the great cavern. We all descended down that arch and exited onto street level, where we were led to the largest arch of all, in the center of the city, that was topped also with a tower that reached to the roof of the cavern. We had been given this suite as a place for us to stay while we waited for… well, for something. No one was sure what, and we still aren’t, as we can’t communicate with the beings.

They are, for lack of a better word, kelpmen. They possess distinctinctly humanoid shapes, but seem to be made entirely of strands of kelp wound tightly together, with thicker strands on the outside hanging off of them like long hair. They have no discernible faces, but speak with muffled voices through their heads. They are larger than us humans are, and stronger; yesterday I watched a group repair a crumbling arch, each one lifting up what looked to be several tons of tile when the need arose.

We can only assume that these kelpmen – whatever they are – rescued us from our submersible after our accident, for whatever reason, and brought us to live in this arch, which seems to be a palace of sorts. We live near the top of the arch, and have not yet been permitted to leave our suite. We have food brought to us seven times a day, and while the fish and seaweed delicacies are delicious, they are rich and hard to keep down at times. We eat as much as we can, for fear of offending our hosts. Kitaabi has been speaking with the one who gives us food – or trying to – and says he thinks he is slowly beginning to understand their language.

In my capacity as a biologist, I have yet to discover what sort of beast they are. They puzzle me, and I suspect somewhat that perhaps they are not made of kelp, but merely dressed in kelp. I shall keep working on my hypothesis.

It is most boring here now, especially now that the danger seems to have passed. We are far from anything that might hurt us, and are just locked up in this suite all the time. They took my diary after I was knocked out, and they just gave it back to me a few hours ago. I must say I missed this thing. Interestingly, the kelpmen seemed to have activated a chronometer on it, which I didn’t even know it had. I assume it was accidental, but I am grateful to know how long it’s been. It’s been longer than I thought since we began; I think I must have lost some time somewhere… maybe between Hubie crashing and us waking up?

I’ll write again when I find out more. Kitaabi and the others will tell me all that they know as well; this diary is now our sole link to the surface world, assuming it still works.

I hope it does.

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Posted by on November 21, 2012 in Blog Fiction


Monday, November 12, 2012

I don’t know where I am.

Something impacted Hubie very hard, I think it was yesterday. I hit a wall while about to compose an entry and I black out.

When I woke up, I was on the floor of a cold, stone room, and Hubie’s interior was nowhere to be found. My companions are still out cold next to me, and won’t wake up, though they are still alive. They are lying on the floor, much like I was when I awoke.

I still have this journal, miraculously. Whoever – or whatever – moved us didn’t think it was worth taking. All of my scientific tools are gone, however.

I see no exit from this room. It looks almost completely natural, save for odd carvings on the stone walls and floors of this place that hurt my eyes. It is a small room, about three meters on all sides. It looks like a cave, with no visible entrances or exits.

Al-Kitaabi is waking up! Thank god! I will write again after discussing some things with him. I hope this is still working…

[Z. M. Wilmot Note: Goodman failed to include a date in the title. It was added by me.]

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Posted by on November 12, 2012 in Blog Fiction


Monday, November 5, 2012

We’ve stopped moving again. Our food and water supplies are vanishing at a rather alarming rate. It’s dark outside; I can’t see anything when the lights aren’t on. The darkness is almost a substance in and of itself down here, and seems to gobble up even the light we shine into it.

We’re not sure why we’ve stopped moving, only that we have. There was a bump that shook all of Hubie, and then the sense of motion stopped. Our lights aren’t working. Maybe we hit a wall.

Now we’re really all going to die.

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Posted by on November 5, 2012 in Blog Fiction


Thursday, November 1, 2012

He did it! Al-Kitaabi got us moving again! We’re not moving very quickly, and he says he thinks something’s wrong with the engine, but we’re moving! Horizontally, not vertically, though. He says he’ll work on the vertical bit soon. Still, our movement – of our own free will – has done wonders for my spirits! We may live yet!

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Posted by on November 2, 2012 in Blog Fiction


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween. That’s today, right? Celebrating the spooky on the surface world? I hope it all goes well.

It’s a nightmare here, worse than any Halloween. I don’t even know if this thing is still working, and I’ve been too discouraged to use it for the last week, but I think it might be all I have left to preserve my sanity. If this is still working, please send for help. If it’s possible… the secrecy around this mission has probably killed us now.

The pipe connecting us to the surface broke. Water poured in through the open tubes into the ship. Myself and three others – al-Kitaabi, the chemist Judith Lawrence, and the geologist/oceanographer Michael Martinelli – managed to get into one of our bunks and seal the door before the water drowned us. It was less than a minute before Hubie was full… my god… we had to shut everyone else out. They tried to reach us, but the water just kept pouring in… They’re dead now, without a doubt.

Then our sub fell, rolling over the edge of the abyss. We watched through the viewport of our room. It went on forever.

We fell for two days. We were dying of thirst and hunger before Martinelli snapped and opened the door we had sealed shut against the water. We were immediately inundated with a blast of the brackish stuff, but the pressure had decreased significantly, and we could step outside into the submarine. The water had drained out of Hubie somehow. We had also stopped falling.

We gathered what supplies we could, and drank ourselves sick. Without al-Kitaabi’s advice, we would still be retching up water. He helped us slowly nurse ourselves back to health – or what health we could gain. We have another two weeks of supplies if we eat sparingly. Most of our equipment is destroyed, but we salvaged what we could; a few portable water measurement devices, supplies, my samples of plankton and flesh, and two flashlights.

I don’t know what happened. Was our mission sabotaged by a rival? Did something down here get us? At least the possibly living corpse didn’t follow us. But we’re still trapped in the submarine. I don’t know why the engines stopped working, and we lost all of our mechanically-inclined people. Kitaabi has been looking at it, though, without success. Myself and the other two tried to figure out why the water had stopped spurting in through the open piping, and we found it had melded itself shut somehow near where it joins Hubie. Presumably we have a trail of piping following us. Our air won’t last long. It should have run out a while ago.

We’re going to die down here.

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Posted by on October 31, 2012 in Blog Fiction


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

It all happened so fast. My god… where are we? What happened? Is this even getting through?

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Posted by on October 25, 2012 in Blog Fiction


Monday, October 22, 2012

We ran into some problems over the past few days. Our piping got stuck on something. It took about two days to sort out. Meanwhile, we were stuck. I had already done the necessary work on the enormous corpse. I would have written, but couldn’t think of what could be said. Nothing of interest happened.

Until two days ago. The corpse moved. No one else believes me; me and one of the chemists were the only two people up. He was half-asleep. I was too busy being disturbed by it to sleep.

Then it twitched. Just a mass of flesh. Twitching. It made air bubbles around it. It might have been an eye that twitched.

They all said I just needed more sleep though. I hope they’re right. We’ve moved on now, though the towering mass of the corpse is still visible behind us, through the murky water. We’ve reached the edge of the abyss now, and I feel like I’m going to be sick. That thing behind us, if it really is alive, could kill us all in an instant. But it was probably just decomposing. That corpse. That’s why it twitched. The decomposing bacteria must just be hiding, which is why we didn’t find any in the water.

I don’t even convince myself. We haven’t seen any other lifeforms approach the corpse. I have a bad feeling about this. But it’s too late to turn back.

The abyss is even darker than the rest of the water. We’re parked only a dozen or so meters from the edge, where the ocean floor drops off suddenly in a sheer cliff extending God only knows how far down. We can’t see the other side of it from here. We can’t see anything down there. Last night the oceanographer went out and collected water samples, descending a little bit into the abyss, and found that the water is thicker. It seems to be laced with some sort of actual black, viscous fluid, like oil, but thicker. We’re reluctant to advance further until we figure out what it is. The chemists are working on it now. Until then, all we can do is wait.

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Posted by on October 22, 2012 in Blog Fiction


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

My deepest apologies for such a late update, but I misplaced my digital journal tablet, and only just found it, hiding under the stove in the galley. I’m not entirely sure how it got there, but this is now remaining on my person at almost all times.

Aside from that, it’s been a most exciting week. We touched the bottom of the ocean on Saturday the 13th, about a mile from where the abyss begins. The strangely intelligent and odd jellyfish remained a constant factor in our descent, and the large thing that had appeared on our sonar has not returned.

I went out in the mini-sub a few times during our descent, but never managed to collect any samples; the occasional deep-sea fish and all of the jellyfish were able to easily evade my clumsy maneuvering. Oh well.

The water, though, is most interesting. While the green glow of the plankton is still visible above us – stretching out as far as I can see – there appear to be absolutely no plankton below them. I haven’t found even the smallest planktonic cell! I’ve found a few dead cells shrugged off of fish and other denizens, but no independent microbial organisms at all. This baffles me beyond my words; I don’t understand how any ecosystem, particularly one in which food is so scarce, can survive without a healthy population of microscopic organisms. No one else really seems to understand my bafflement, save the oceanographer, who is worried by this.

The water pressure has also eased up a considerable amount. By no means is it safe to go outside unprotected, but the water pressure was actually greater above the bed of plankton than it is down here. It seems as if the plankton are somehow able to actually hold back the water, keeping it suspended somehow. I took out one of my samples of the plankton and examined them, and found them to actually be astonishing hydrophobic – sometimes. It appeared to come and go. It is most odd.

On Monday night, we began to move out, sufficiently disturbed by our readings. The boat above us moved with us as we slowly and cautiously approached the abyss. We should arrive there sometime in a day or two, or maybe three.

What has slowed us down now – otherwise we would have been at the abyss’ edge already – is our discovery of a gargantuan corpse. Because of the lack of any form of microbial organism here, its body is perfectly preserved. I took a mini-sub out when we came across it, and it appears to stretch miles and miles, beyond my vision. It is enormous beyond belief.

What exactly it is is anyone’s guess. It possessed what appear to some form of gelatinous body, with what may be pseudopods all over the place. It also has a wide array of tentacles, and at least two mouths lined with razor-sharp fangs. Its highly-porous skin is embedded with countless eyes and other structures I believe to be sensory organs. I went out in the mini-sub and have dissected parts of it. It appears to have a nervous system similar to ours, but everything else is completely alien. It is enormously disturbing, and I have had to avoid looking out of the viewports when I can; it is much easier to work on bite-sized sampled in the lab than to look out at the mountain of flesh, easily stretching forty or fifty meters high.

Its body is long and thing; while its length is several miles, as I said, and its height is between forty and fifty meters, its width is about a hundred meters. When we had descended, we had originally mistaken it for a rock formation. Were that it were. I fear now that there might be others like it out there; thank God it is dead. I hope. I can’t really be sure. I wish to move on, but our expedition leader insists I glean everything that I can from it. If it’s sleeping, I hope it does not wake up.

I will return to my work now, so we can get moving away from it. It is a shame I cannot send pictures; the world would be astonished by what I can see even now. I will write to you soon, I hope, assuming I am not eaten by the monster or its brethren. Wish me luck!

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Posted by on October 17, 2012 in Blog Fiction