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  • This is a story I have been working on for ages, on and off. I have been enjoying myself throughout it as well, and think it's coming together nicely. I also don't know why it ended up in bold, but I can't seem to change it.

    ==

    Why we do fear the dark nebulas of space? When you gaze out into the night sky and see the majesty of our universe, do you comprehend its size and mass, and what could be living on that mass? When they gaze upon this meager planet what intentions do they have for us?

    Yes, there is indeed other life in this universe. I have encountered it. I gazed into the vast gaping maw of the unknown. And so did the unknown gaze back into me.

    My journey began with a simple knock upon the door. This annoyed me as I had just sat down to a breakfast of bacon, eggs and toast. I first called down the hall to whoever I expected to have interrupted me, yet, even after I called again, received no reply. Therefore I elected to ignore it until there came another knock, following the exact same pattern, forcing me to get up and investigate. When I opened the door, there was no one there. Believing this to be a mere hoax, I stepped outside to find the hoodlums who had dared to intrude upon the sanctity of my home.

    Had I known the horrors to come I should have ran, to anywhere but there.

    After searching through the bushes, I checked around the sidewalk. Up and down the street, I saw not a soul in sight, only quiet suburban houses. Even more alarming, however, was when I realized there were no footsteps. I had heard no one running away, no sniggering, nothing. It was inherently contradictory that I should have heard a knock upon my door to find no trace of anything capable of knocking upon it.

    However, there was one man present. He was sitting on the pavement, reading a book with his back to my house. He wore black pants with suspenders hanging over his body, which was slightly plump, which was encased in a white shirt. Upon his head was a black, wide-brimmed hat, perfectly unremarkable, and I could see a grey beard around his face. Two ear hooks from a pair of glasses were firmly placed upon his own.

    “Excuse me, good sir!” I called, walking over to him. It didn’t strike me as odd how long it took for his presence to remain undetected until after my ordeal was over.

    The man turned around, and I saw his face was as plump as the rest of him. His glasses were so black I couldn’t see anything through them, but I could feel him peering at me curiously all the same.

    “Yes? Can I help you?” he asked, reaching a hand to stroke his thin, grey beard which reached down to his chest.

    “I believe some hoodlums have knocked at my door as a ‘ding-dong ditch'. Did you see them?”

    “No,” he said, “I’ve been the only one out here for a while now.”

    I was going to ask him how long that was but thought better of it. “In that case,” I said, “what are you doing out here by yourself?”

    The man smiled at me as he stood up. Instinctively, I recoiled, almost ashamed to do so. But even now, I find I can feel none. Something about him was off, from the pleasant way he smiled to his cheerful demeanour. It was all so natural...far too natural.

    “Waiting, you could say,” the man answered, “for a good story.”

    “And what are you reading at this moment?”

    “Oh, this? I’m reading over a screenplay of mine,” he answered smoothly. I blinked, and saw he was holding was a large collection of papers, not a book. How odd. I was sure he had been…

    “Ah,” I said, “and what is it called?”

    “It’s a sequel to one of my best work, but I doubt you have heard of it,” he said. “Blood In His Eyes, a cult classic if there ever was one.”

    “I shall look for it,” I said through a nervous smile, “mister…?”

    “Anton,” he answered, “Anton Crowley. I would let you read the screenplay, but the aesthetics aren’t up to my standards yet. When they are, I will bring it to you. But now, I must be going.” With that, he stuck out his hand to me. Something about him was so disarming yet invitingly natural. Not wanting to appear rude, I shook it firmly. After that, he turned and walked down the pavement, a spring in his step. I wondered why he had to leave. But foremost, I had a strong urge to wash my hand. It felt contaminated. Strangely, I have also developed an aversion to the pavement upon which Anton sat.

    Deciding to go back inside, I was dumbstruck to find that my door, which had been purposely left open, was now closed. I had heard no swing of its hinges or of it fitting into the frame, no click as it secured itself. But there it was, firmly shut. I walked to it, gently tracing my hand along the smooth oak wood to see if there was some trick at work. Briefly, I thought to catch up with and ask Anton if he saw who closed it, but I found I didn’t want to. Something wasn’t right with...them.

    And then, from the other side, came a knock.

    Taken aback, my mouth opened in mute horror as a scream died in my throat. I was not one for hearing things nor was I under the effects of some hallucinogenic. There could be no mistake. Something was in my home, and I was at a loss to explain its entry.

    I consideredthe current obstacle. My house was occupied by something other than myself though it should not be. As I considered this, a more rational explanation appeared to my great comfort. Clearly, some hooligan had entered my house without my knowledge, most likely playing a prank at my expense. More alarming was the very real danger that they would ransack my possessions - ironic, now that I dwell upon it. It was then I steeled myself and gripped the door handle with all my strength, expecting a struggle. To my surprise, it opened with great and inviting ease.

    Once again I found no one on the other side. Everything was as I had left it before, kept in place with unnatural precision. As I took my first quiet steps the foreboding of an impending doom descended upon me. I gazed upon the photographs hung on my wall and was regarded with a dim scorn from their smiling faces, compelling me to look away. When my fingers brushed across a china vase, I shrunk back instantly from the freezing gloom it emitted at me. With every step I took, the creek of the floorboards hissed into my ears with a sharp bite. And when I looked briefly into my mirror, the figure that stared back was not one I recognized despite our similarities in appearance.

    The sound of bubbling caught my attention, and I determined the source to be the kitchen. Dreading the unwelcome creek the floorboards made, I futility tread carefully into the room. The black and white tiles were murky and unkempt but my unrecognizable reflection returned my gaze with the uttermost malice. Upon my stove was a black pot which clearly had something boiling in it despite the lack of any flame underneath it. As I cautiously approached it, I pondered the sequence of events which had lead me to this moment and their cause. I considered myself a rational man yet my rationality failed to find an answer. Forced to think outside the realm of rationality I turned to the supernatural instead or that, hopefully, I was dreaming. Yes of course. I was dreaming. It was the last rational explanation I had.

    It was as I removed the lid from the pot and scalding steam blasted my face that I realized my folly. Blinded and screaming as searing heat bit into me, I ran for the door. My temporary loss of sight led me to instead rely upon the floorboards’ demented creaking to guide me. Making an effort to remember how many steps I had taken to the kitchen, I tried to retrace them and use my blurred vision to its maximum potential. My pounding feet produced a symphony of defeating crashes upon the floorboards, impossible to distinguish the beginning and end of any single one. But then, as it became obvious, exhaustion overtook me surprisingly fast as my vision returned. And as it did, a most unwelcome sight greeted me.

    Though my body was tired and worn, the slowly quieting symphony of my footsteps assaulted my ears, my limbs suffered from overuse and my heart threatened to burst, I had advanced no further than the kitchen doorway. Standing between me and escape, the hall tediously began to stretch away.

    Defeated, I staggered backwards. As I began to seek out another way to relieve myself of this predicament, I became aware of a pleasantness. I breathed it in, recognising it as bacon, eggs, buttered toast, freshly made. The sight which greeted my eyes was the very foods I had just described, lovingly assembled in such a way that I perceived them as irresistible, a shimmering glass of water completing the picture. Unable to control myself despite the obviousness of a trap, I descended into it with renewed vigor, first emptying the glass. I felt my strength slowly returned as it trickled down, giving me hope. As soon as there was no more, I practically forced the meal down my throat, relishing the soothing taste.

    When the first strip of bacon reached my stomach, however, I suddenly felt my hunger increase. Puzzled, I ate more, and steadily my appetite grew. Even after I had consumed everything on the plate, it was not abated. As you might have deduced, it had simply become stronger. Thus a horrific cycle began. I utterly ravaged my kitchen, consuming numerous items in search of sustenance which was dwindled with every swallow. First I invaded my cupboards, grabbing anything of value, no matter what it was. Chocolate, apples, crackers, anything.

    As my teeth shredded open a bag of carrots, I realized what was occurring. I was ensnared by my own hunger. Without a second thought I dropped the bag, breathing stupidly. I needed something, some form of nutrition, but everything I had eaten only served to increase my hunger.

    However, then I realized what had given me strength. Water. I smiled in triumph as I held the glass under the nuzzle, expecting to have scored a victory. Instead, nothing came forth. No matter how many times I tried to turn it on, no matter how much I screamed and roared, water did not come. Changing tactics, I opened the fridge. It took all my willpower to pull out a plastic water bottle and not one of the many foodstuffs dwelling within, but I managed. To my relief, the cap came off with no effort and I immediately drank.

    Except nothing came out. My head was tilted firmly back so as to let gravity do its work, yet I felt no water. Instead, my mouth became dry as I pulled the bottle away and held it upside down. Astonishment was my reaction to seeing that the water simply refused to move. Not even a drop fell. Even when I inserted a finger to gain a fraction of it, it was dry coming out. Incensed, I began to violently shake it to no avail. Grabbing a knife, I made it cut it in half right away. But as I applied pressure to the midsection, the knife simply snapped in half instantaneously.

    That knife had been bought a mere two days before. The bottle was unmarked, the water I so desperately needed remained beyond my reach. Enraged, I hurled the accursed thing at the wall, the impact leaving a sizable dent. I howled and raged as I tried to break it open and sate my need. Finally, I grabbed my axe from the closet and swung with tremendous force, but the blade erupted into hunks of fragments. Defeated, I collapsed to my knees, staring at the undamaged bottle which had triumphantly defied physics.

    Then I heard it. A soft drip...drip...drip…

    The bathroom sink! Without hesitation I ran for it, stumbled inside and grabbed at the faucet - but to my dismay I found there was no water. I tried in vain to summon it forth yet all that came was the soft dripping which I knew to be coming from the sink though I could see nothing making the noise.

    It was then I noticed the toilet. Shining and sparkling with prestigious aura, the water shimmered invitingly. So desperate was I that there was no choice but to accept the offer. On my knees I plunged my head into the bowl and began to slurp up the cool, refreshing liquid, feeling strength return to my limbs.

    Then I heard a meager splash and felt something brush against my head. Startled, I looked up to see a brown, wrinkly lump floating along the small waves my movements had produced. My eyes didn't leave it for what seemed like hours, and now I understood what had just occurred.

    Degraded, I slumped backwards, resting against the tub for comfort, and wept. Despair began to creep into my heart. I had drunk from a toilet bowl like a common dog. Had I truly been driven to such extremes by this predicament? Yes, I had. And now, I simply wished to know why. What was the cause, the source of this most unendurable torture?

    And then something answered.

    It did not speak, for it had no voice. It wasn't something that was capable of being felt naturally, and was beyond my senses. Yet I knew that something had answered my plea through intuition. For now that logic and reason had failed me, what other tool was left but intuition? Seized by an inescapable terror, I lay still as its overbearing weight descended upon my weak body, stroking into my mind with abandon. I shuddered with every stroke, or at least what the human physiology allowed me to perceive as such. For this...this thing was utterly beyond the understanding of my senses. But what it communicated to me was not.

    There was no reason for this torment, save one. Subjugation.

    Instinctively, I crawled on all fours to the living room, face downcast. The...gaze, if it could even be called that, of my attacker hung over and commanded my actions. I was soaking wet and dearly wished to dry myself of the filthy water, but I knew it wouldn’t let me. Instead, I was forced to crawl into my living room.

    Once there, I was allowed to collapse upon the floor and sleep.

    My dreams from that slumber remain as vivid to me now as they did when I woke up. In them, I remember falling downwards through a void where they was absolutely nothing. Not even a concept of nothing. It can only be described as non-existence. And in that void, I was. I turned around, trying to shift my body in some way, and that’s when I saw that, within this non-existence, I was not alone.

    Below me was the Maw. It was a massive, gaping thing, a perfect circle composed of a dull grey matter, teeth extending inward, millions of them. There was nothing else to it save several tentacle like appendages swinging madly around, each one with a mind of its own.

    I continued to fall, flailing uselessly about like a drowning child, and could only watch in horror as I sank into its depths, the barb-lined circle growing smaller and smaller every passing moment as my sight faded, until...I saw no more. I wanted to wake up and tried to force myself to.

    I opened my eyes to again find myself falling in the void, and turned around to see the Maw. The events I have already described repeated themselves again, and then, when I thought to wake up, a third time, with no change. I lost count when the Maw closed for the twentieth time. But at some point, it let me go.

    When I woke, I felt a dampness between my legs and some kind of mud in my pants. It took me an instant to realize I had soiled myself during my sleep. Groaning, I started to undress, then winced strongly, hands reaching up to clutch my aching head.

    The Maw wouldn’t let me do that.

    “Please,” I said hoarsely, hoping it would listen. Instead my head ached all the more as a pressure was applied to it with crushing force. Without thought, I spoke again. “Alright.”

    The pressure was withdrawn and I felt a strange pull towards my small bookcase, which contained many a treasured tome. I crawled over, trying to ignore the squelching caused by my every movement. My fingers traced themselves along the spines of every single book, searching for something. When they finally stopped, I was touching a copy of the Bible, given to me by my own mother. I pulled it down instantly, and opened it, searching through the pages. And through all this, the Maw watched and guided. Then it reached out and I was stopped. My intuition knew that it had found something very, very precious to it.

    A single verse. Exodus 20:3.

    Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

    I spoke then, coming to the obvious conclusion. “You...are god?”

    The answer it provided was a most eager yes. It was as a child who had just been given the first place trophy in that moment. I swallowed nothing save my own agitation and spoke again.

    “What is it you want of me?”

    A sharp sting slashed my conscious, and I whimpered, holding up a hand in vain. That had been a stupid question. It had already gotten my subjugation. Now, it desired my worship. What else would a god want?

    I began wondering how I should do so, when I saw a glint of light from my couch, just out of the corner of my eye. When I looked fully upon it, I found it was a large kitchen knife. And then I knew what kind of worship the Maw sought.

    It finally let me undressed, shedding only my sweat-soaked shirt, socks and shoes. But not my soiled pants or boxers. Those had to stay. Forced to crawl over to the couch, I grabbed the knife, and, with shaking hand, gently drew it along my arm lightly. My skin parted agonizingly but when I tried to whimper, the Maw’s displeasure was evident. Instead, I was forced to bit my lip, hard enough to draw blood which flowed across my tongue.

    Following in the knife’s path came more blood, with slowly came to cover my arm as a thin shroud. I stopped just before the blade found my wrist.

    At first, the Maw was angry. With thinking, I moved the knife to my ribcage, and began using the tip to cut small, shallow wounds. Droplets of blood ran from them, lining my sides in streaks.

    Finally, once both sides of my body were covered in blood, the Maw let me stop. I felt faint and would have fallen over, had it not been for the Maw. It kept me going. Strange to say, despite the torment it inflicted upon me, it wanted me alive.

    I simply sat there then, in my waste and blood, completely still. All I really did was breath. And the Maw stared. It stared for some time, by my guess, at me. Was it in awe? Admiring its work? Observing the beauty of this moment? Perhaps all of those things. I can only guess, but I have substantial evidence to do so.

    I assume at some point it got bored and let me crawl about for awhile, as its guinea pig. I finally ate something decent, and it was from a dog bowl I’d lost years ago. Every time I was allowed to do anything, the Maw showed me what I could do. What it wanted me to do. I was a prisoner, my home a cell and it the warden.

    I would not be so easily controlled, however. I had been subjugated, it was true, but I still held within myself a human heart and soul. Things it would never have. I had those and it gave me comfort, and from there hope. And from hope, I began to plan.

    I knew very little about the Maw, save it was beyond my understanding of reality and regarded itself as god. I refuse to believe it ever could be any kind of deity, however. Until my dying day will I deny it., and beyond that. But on the Maw’s nature, I resolved to learn almost every detail. I had studied science and logic, both of which dictated, to my understanding, if something exists there is a reason for it. So what was the Maw’s reason? How could I learn it?

    I decided I must ask it. It could understand speech, so it was a simple task, but I was hesitant. How would it respond? Would it be angry that something lesser than it would try and inquire about its origins? Or perhaps intrigued? I didn’t know, but it was a risk I had to take.

    I waited for some time, until I had the perfect moment in which to voice my question. This came when I was allowed a momentary rest for an hour’s worship. Wording was everything. A single misplaced phrase and the Maw might take grievous offense. “Where do you come from?”

    For a moment, I trembled, expecting the Maw to reach forth and crush my mind. Or worse. Who knows? I don’t, because instead of killing me, my intuition told me the Maw was unsure of how to respond.

    In this moment, I learned something crucial. The Maw was not God, for God is supposed to be infallible. As the creator of all that exists, such a being would have a ready response for any question. The Maw did not.

    Then it bade me sleep. I did as commanded, sensing that something important was coming. I dreamed, far more vividly than before. I wasn’t in a void devoid of even concepts, but now a void filled with distant stars and galaxies. I felt nothing, but the Maw felt cold, confused, alone and scared. It was strange to experience those things the way it did, alien in every sense of the word. When it moved, I moved, and then I understood what was happening. I was seeing its very first memory, or at least, what I understood it to be.

    How the Maw moved, I will never know. What it did can’t be compared with anything like swimming, flying, nor even the idea of teleportation. The Maw simply moved. I will admit, I did at first think teleportation, but I saw galaxies collide and stars die in the time it took for the Maw to reach the Milky Way, so many I lost count. I saw billions of years pass in an instant, and all the while, the Maw had been completely alone.

    And then it found our solar system. I am not sure what first drew it towards us. Something did, yet I cannot determine what. For now, anyway. Hopefully, this is not a fruitless endeavor.

    And then, I was woken up. The Maw decided I had seen enough, but I knew it was hiding something more. But what? I attempted to inquire, but a sharp throbbing in my head prevented me from doing so. The Maw wanted more worship. I reached for the knife again, but the Maw bade me not to touch it.

    This time, my suffering would be far more emotional.

    I have a great collection of books, of all different kinds and by many different authors. I am a critic, after all. Naturally, I have yet to every single one. The Maw wished for me to read to it. I was confused at first, but elected to see how it would respond to something abysmal first - mainly out of spite. I got my copy of Atlas Shrugged and opened it to the first page - but that was as far as I got before the Maw bade me stop, demanding something new. I elected to try something equally abysmal, so retrieved The Da Vinci Code but once again was only allowed to read the first page until the very last word. As I prepared to turn the page, the Maw bade me stop and again demanded something new. This time, I went for something much better in quality, The Willows, by Algernon Blackwood. I had believed the Maw simply disliked the stories and, given the content of The Willows, was curious as to how it would react.

    But again, I was only allowed to read the first page.

    This went on for some time. I would get a book, read only the first page, then pick a new one. Some of these books I had read several times, thoroughly enjoying them, others I had never read before but hoped to, having heard good things about them, while others I didn’t enjoy at all.

    Once I read the first page of several books, the Maw finally made me stop. Then, I collected certain books and piled them in a stack, as it commanded. The Maw directed me in which books I should collect, and it took me but a moment to realize what they had in common.

    They were all the books I had a positive opinion of. Books I enjoyed or found interesting. All stacked together in front of the fireplace. One in which a blazing fire ignited by itself.

    I understood instantly what the Maw wanted. I tried to protest, to resist, but it refused. I felt my body rebel and move, free of my mind’s control, tossing each of these beloved pieces of literature into the fire, watching as each one burned away. Uncle Tom’s Cabin, It, The Monk, Wuthering Heights, The Great Gatsby, Animal Farm...all burned into ash. By the time I was finished, I found I had nothing of the books which had brought me such joy in their beauty, save vague memories.

    Then the Maw made me do something else. Read Atlas Shrugged, the whole damned thing, in one sitting.

    I wasn’t allowed to move, eat, do anything at all, save sit in one spot and read that ponderously atrocious piece of literature. My backside and pants became even more stained with human waste, and my mouth went dry until I couldn’t talk, but the Maw made me continue reading.

    By the time I finished, it was another morning. I was drained, needed food and drink, rest, anything to go on. But then I realized something.

    I had finished Atlas Shrugged from start to finish, in one sitting. In under thirty-six hours, at least, completely immobile. I had not collapsed or fainted from lack of food, and that was not the Maw’s doing. It was mine. I had persisted and triumphed, in some way.

    That brought a smile to my face.

    The Maw, knowing I was hungry, at first tried to make me eat my own feces - I suspect because I was proud of having claimed one small victory - but I refused point blank. As I pointed out, it was waste and my body wouldn’t have it. To my surprise, the Maw relented, accepting my logic. What it did allow me to eat was small and miniscule, but just enough to go on. I consumed it all eagerly, but my thoughts dwelt on the knowledge the Maw could be reasoned with. Then, I was allowed to rest and dream.

    I was returned to when the Maw had found our planet. As I have since realized, it was the most significant moment in human history - to my understanding. For when the Maw arrived, thus began the first contact between mankind and a being that didn’t come from our own galaxy, let alone planet. But, unlike what so many have speculated, this was neither an invasion nor was it peaceful.

    The Maw’s confusion grew when it discovered us. It became overwhelming, a hunger to know who we are and why we are. At first, I thought perhaps the Maw simply wanted to know why it wasn’t alone in the universe. But in time, I learned how wrong I was. For what triggered this drive was one of the darkest moments in human history.

    The place was the skies above the ocean. And I learned the time when I saw a bomber aircraft, the kind used extensively in the Second World War. I am not military historian, so I cannot say for sure what kind it was - but then I saw its name in large black letters on the side.

    The plane was the Enola Gay. And then I saw thousands of lives, lost in an instant, when Little Boy fell on Hiroshima. How interesting to think that one of the most terrible days in human history, the first ever use of an atomic weapon, coincided with the arrival of extraterrestrial life. I wonder if this wasn’t a coincidence.

    When I saw so much death, I felt unmatched horror. But I could also feel the Maw in that moment, and its reaction was simple awe. Awe at such tremendous power. Unable to help itself, the Maw went to Hiroshima, inspecting every single ruined building and shadow burned into the pavement. Then, as it toured a land bathed in nuclear radiation, full of the dead and dying, I learned the Maw discovered something that shocked me to the core.

    Fear. The Maw discovered it was capable of fear. Seeing the power we humans had wielded made it afraid for its existence. A creature that seemed to have originated from beyond the stars learned to fear mankind when our most terrible conflict came to an end.

      Loading editor
    • That all bold mode makes it tougher to read. Please fix that first.

        Loading editor
    • I cannot seem to.

      EDIT: Wait, I can, but it is in the source editor.

        Loading editor
    • I didn't get it. Why is a mouth traveling in space? That's what Maw means, you kind of didn't use it figuratively as in "a great, dark, damp space". 

      On top of that, the ending makes very little sense in light of the whole story; how can a being travel through space, manipulate the actions of humans and still be afraid of basic nukes? Traveling through space alone means said being can probably pack more punch than the Tsar Bomb. 

      Also the way you've written this seems like your character is time traveling throughout the story, one moment he's in the past, the next he's in the present.

      I suggest you stick to completing a single story at a time so you could focus better on each installment better.

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    • BloodySpghetti wrote:
      I didn't get it. Why is a mouth traveling in space? That's what Maw means, you kind of didn't use it figuratively as in "a great, dark, damp space". 

      On top of that, the ending makes very little sense in light of the whole story; how can a being travel through space, manipulate the actions of humans and still be afraid of basic nukes? Traveling through space alone means said being can probably pack more punch than the Tsar Bomb. 

      Also the way you've written this seems like your character is time traveling throughout the story, one moment he's in the past, the next he's in the present.

      I suggest you stick to completing a single story at a time so you could focus better on each installment better.

      It isn't finished yet.

      The Maw is an eldritch abomination, like Cthulhu. It's basically meant as a deconstruction.

      The time travel bits are the main character experiencing the Maw's memories.

        Loading editor
    • KingSparta300 wrote: I cannot seem to.

      EDIT: Wait, I can, but it is in the source editor.

      If you remove the ''' (three apostrophes) around the paragraphs it should stop them from being bold.

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    • ClericofMadness wrote:

      KingSparta300 wrote: I cannot seem to.

      EDIT: Wait, I can, but it is in the source editor.

      If you remove the ''' (three apostrophes) around the paragraphs it should stop them from being bold.

      I know. There is just a lot of those.

        Loading editor
    • KingSparta300 wrote:BloodySpghetti wrote:
      I didn't get it. Why is a mouth traveling in space? That's what Maw means, you kind of didn't use it figuratively as in "a great, dark, damp space". 

      On top of that, the ending makes very little sense in light of the whole story; how can a being travel through space, manipulate the actions of humans and still be afraid of basic nukes? Traveling through space alone means said being can probably pack more punch than the Tsar Bomb. 

      Also the way you've written this seems like your character is time traveling throughout the story, one moment he's in the past, the next he's in the present.

      I suggest you stick to completing a single story at a time so you could focus better on each installment better. It isn't finished yet.

      The Maw is an eldritch abomination, like Cthulhu. It's basically meant as a deconstruction.

      The time travel bits are the main character experiencing the Maw's memories.

      So this is not fully original, which is something I dislike. Lovecraft was about fear of the unknown. He was an odd man with an odd thought process so he shaped his fears into grotesque monstosities. Now, in his mind, the biggest monsters, the cosmic entities... the Gods if you will. None of them were characters. Cthulhu wasn't a character, he was a plot device. You get him to be mentioned, you get him to be a driving plot point but he's not a character. Yet, he was still immensely effective. That's something everyone pretty much did not catch with his works. 

      On top of that, the none human beings were meant to be above human things, they were meant to be the bane of human existence. Going so far as to send a group of heroes to fight the Old Ones is a bit silly and a really disappointing twist to Lovecraft's works. 

      You don't need cosmic monsters to tell me humans are a terrible animal, you could use the same revalation you used here to tell me so, we have a weapon that can quite literally end the world, and even scarier, we don't even know how to leave the world in case it ends somehow more naturally. 

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    • BloodySpghetti wrote:
      KingSparta300 wrote:BloodySpghetti wrote:
      I didn't get it. Why is a mouth traveling in space? That's what Maw means, you kind of didn't use it figuratively as in "a great, dark, damp space". 

      On top of that, the ending makes very little sense in light of the whole story; how can a being travel through space, manipulate the actions of humans and still be afraid of basic nukes? Traveling through space alone means said being can probably pack more punch than the Tsar Bomb. 

      Also the way you've written this seems like your character is time traveling throughout the story, one moment he's in the past, the next he's in the present.

      I suggest you stick to completing a single story at a time so you could focus better on each installment better. It isn't finished yet.

      The Maw is an eldritch abomination, like Cthulhu. It's basically meant as a deconstruction.

      The time travel bits are the main character experiencing the Maw's memories.

      So this is not fully original, which is something I dislike. Lovecraft was about fear of the unknown. He was an odd man with an odd thought process so he shaped his fears into grotesque monstosities. Now, in his mind, the biggest monsters, the cosmic entities... the Gods if you will. None of them were characters. Cthulhu wasn't a character, he was a plot device. You get him to be mentioned, you get him to be a driving plot point but he's not a character. Yet, he was still immensely effective. That's something everyone pretty much did not catch with his works. 

      On top of that, the none human beings were meant to be above human things, they were meant to be the bane of human existence. Going so far as to send a group of heroes to fight the Old Ones is a bit silly and a really disappointing twist to Lovecraft's works. 

      You don't need cosmic monsters to tell me humans are a terrible animal, you could use the same revalation you used here to tell me so, we have a weapon that can quite literally end the world, and even scarier, we don't even know how to leave the world in case it ends somehow more naturally. 

      The Maw being horrified at Hiroshima isn't meant to say humans are awful, it's meant to show the Maw is capable of human feelings but is still, developmentally, at a stage where it doesn't understand the world around it.

      As I said, it is meant to deconstruct the eldritch abomination trope. And besides, all eldritch abomination characters are somewhat inspired by Lovecraft, in one way or another.

        Loading editor
    • KingSparta300 wrote:
      BloodySpghetti wrote:
      KingSparta300 wrote:BloodySpghetti wrote:
      I didn't get it. Why is a mouth traveling in space? That's what Maw means, you kind of didn't use it figuratively as in "a great, dark, damp space". 

      On top of that, the ending makes very little sense in light of the whole story; how can a being travel through space, manipulate the actions of humans and still be afraid of basic nukes? Traveling through space alone means said being can probably pack more punch than the Tsar Bomb. 

      Also the way you've written this seems like your character is time traveling throughout the story, one moment he's in the past, the next he's in the present.

      I suggest you stick to completing a single story at a time so you could focus better on each installment better. It isn't finished yet.

      The Maw is an eldritch abomination, like Cthulhu. It's basically meant as a deconstruction.

      The time travel bits are the main character experiencing the Maw's memories.

      So this is not fully original, which is something I dislike. Lovecraft was about fear of the unknown. He was an odd man with an odd thought process so he shaped his fears into grotesque monstosities. Now, in his mind, the biggest monsters, the cosmic entities... the Gods if you will. None of them were characters. Cthulhu wasn't a character, he was a plot device. You get him to be mentioned, you get him to be a driving plot point but he's not a character. Yet, he was still immensely effective. That's something everyone pretty much did not catch with his works. 

      On top of that, the none human beings were meant to be above human things, they were meant to be the bane of human existence. Going so far as to send a group of heroes to fight the Old Ones is a bit silly and a really disappointing twist to Lovecraft's works. 

      You don't need cosmic monsters to tell me humans are a terrible animal, you could use the same revalation you used here to tell me so, we have a weapon that can quite literally end the world, and even scarier, we don't even know how to leave the world in case it ends somehow more naturally. 

      The Maw being horrified at Hiroshima isn't meant to say humans are awful, it's meant to show the Maw is capable of human feelings but is still, developmentally, at a stage where it doesn't understand the world around it.

      As I said, it is meant to deconstruct the eldritch abomination trope. And besides, all eldritch abomination characters are somewhat inspired by Lovecraft, in one way or another.

      Inspired by Lovecraft... by misconceptions about his works, most of the Cthulhu mythos that was crafted by people who loved his work got it wrong. 

      Try taking a notion from his works and using that, instead of using an existing thing and giving it a spin. It's still weird since well, it can time and space travel. Nukes are a joke to this thing. 

        Loading editor
    • BloodySpghetti wrote:
      KingSparta300 wrote:
      BloodySpghetti wrote:
      KingSparta300 wrote:BloodySpghetti wrote:
      I didn't get it. Why is a mouth traveling in space? That's what Maw means, you kind of didn't use it figuratively as in "a great, dark, damp space". 

      On top of that, the ending makes very little sense in light of the whole story; how can a being travel through space, manipulate the actions of humans and still be afraid of basic nukes? Traveling through space alone means said being can probably pack more punch than the Tsar Bomb. 

      Also the way you've written this seems like your character is time traveling throughout the story, one moment he's in the past, the next he's in the present.

      I suggest you stick to completing a single story at a time so you could focus better on each installment better. It isn't finished yet.

      The Maw is an eldritch abomination, like Cthulhu. It's basically meant as a deconstruction.

      The time travel bits are the main character experiencing the Maw's memories.

      So this is not fully original, which is something I dislike. Lovecraft was about fear of the unknown. He was an odd man with an odd thought process so he shaped his fears into grotesque monstosities. Now, in his mind, the biggest monsters, the cosmic entities... the Gods if you will. None of them were characters. Cthulhu wasn't a character, he was a plot device. You get him to be mentioned, you get him to be a driving plot point but he's not a character. Yet, he was still immensely effective. That's something everyone pretty much did not catch with his works. 

      On top of that, the none human beings were meant to be above human things, they were meant to be the bane of human existence. Going so far as to send a group of heroes to fight the Old Ones is a bit silly and a really disappointing twist to Lovecraft's works. 

      You don't need cosmic monsters to tell me humans are a terrible animal, you could use the same revalation you used here to tell me so, we have a weapon that can quite literally end the world, and even scarier, we don't even know how to leave the world in case it ends somehow more naturally. 

      The Maw being horrified at Hiroshima isn't meant to say humans are awful, it's meant to show the Maw is capable of human feelings but is still, developmentally, at a stage where it doesn't understand the world around it.

      As I said, it is meant to deconstruct the eldritch abomination trope. And besides, all eldritch abomination characters are somewhat inspired by Lovecraft, in one way or another.

      Inspired by Lovecraft... by misconceptions about his works, most of the Cthulhu mythos that was crafted by people who loved his work got it wrong. 

      Try taking a notion from his works and using that, instead of using an existing thing and giving it a spin. It's still weird since well, it can time and space travel. Nukes are a joke to this thing. 

      By this point, I am starting to feel like we are speaking two different languages.

      First off, I have read Lovecraft's works, I know about many misconceptions.

      Second, I already said the Maw is a deconstruction of an eldritch abomination, in the sense, it has no clue what it is, what it is capable of or its purpose in the universe. 

      Thirdly, you are actually starting to annoy me with this whole "change the story" thing. It's my story, don't tell me how to write it. What you are asking would drastically change EVERYTHING about it.

        Loading editor
    • KingSparta300 wrote:
      BloodySpghetti wrote:
      KingSparta300 wrote:
      BloodySpghetti wrote:
      KingSparta300 wrote:BloodySpghetti wrote:
      I didn't get it. Why is a mouth traveling in space? That's what Maw means, you kind of didn't use it figuratively as in "a great, dark, damp space". 

      On top of that, the ending makes very little sense in light of the whole story; how can a being travel through space, manipulate the actions of humans and still be afraid of basic nukes? Traveling through space alone means said being can probably pack more punch than the Tsar Bomb. 

      Also the way you've written this seems like your character is time traveling throughout the story, one moment he's in the past, the next he's in the present.

      I suggest you stick to completing a single story at a time so you could focus better on each installment better. It isn't finished yet.

      The Maw is an eldritch abomination, like Cthulhu. It's basically meant as a deconstruction.

      The time travel bits are the main character experiencing the Maw's memories.

      So this is not fully original, which is something I dislike. Lovecraft was about fear of the unknown. He was an odd man with an odd thought process so he shaped his fears into grotesque monstosities. Now, in his mind, the biggest monsters, the cosmic entities... the Gods if you will. None of them were characters. Cthulhu wasn't a character, he was a plot device. You get him to be mentioned, you get him to be a driving plot point but he's not a character. Yet, he was still immensely effective. That's something everyone pretty much did not catch with his works. 

      On top of that, the none human beings were meant to be above human things, they were meant to be the bane of human existence. Going so far as to send a group of heroes to fight the Old Ones is a bit silly and a really disappointing twist to Lovecraft's works. 

      You don't need cosmic monsters to tell me humans are a terrible animal, you could use the same revalation you used here to tell me so, we have a weapon that can quite literally end the world, and even scarier, we don't even know how to leave the world in case it ends somehow more naturally. 

      The Maw being horrified at Hiroshima isn't meant to say humans are awful, it's meant to show the Maw is capable of human feelings but is still, developmentally, at a stage where it doesn't understand the world around it.

      As I said, it is meant to deconstruct the eldritch abomination trope. And besides, all eldritch abomination characters are somewhat inspired by Lovecraft, in one way or another.

      Inspired by Lovecraft... by misconceptions about his works, most of the Cthulhu mythos that was crafted by people who loved his work got it wrong. 

      Try taking a notion from his works and using that, instead of using an existing thing and giving it a spin. It's still weird since well, it can time and space travel. Nukes are a joke to this thing. 

      By this point, I am starting to feel like we are speaking two different languages.

      First off, I have read Lovecraft's works, I know about many misconceptions.

      Second, I already said the Maw is a deconstruction of an eldritch abomination, in the sense, it has no clue what it is, what it is capable of or its purpose in the universe. 

      Thirdly, you are actually starting to annoy me with this whole "change the story" thing. It's my story, don't tell me how to write it. What you are asking would drastically change EVERYTHING about it.

      "It doesn't know what it can do" Okay. It travels through space and time, it shares memories with other creatures.... it can do crazy shit. Unless it's a brain dead animal that does things without realizing, it should be aware of itself enough to know that Hiroshima is nothing like a supernova, or a solar flare or basically any other cosmic event which the Maw should've probably came across. Unless your whole story is based around the conviniece of fuck laws of physics the maw didn't see anything or do anything before the beginning of the story.  ​​That's a shame if it is. 

      Also, why on earth would it know what's death and destruction of human lives? 

        Loading editor
    • BloodySpghetti wrote:
      KingSparta300 wrote:
      BloodySpghetti wrote:
      KingSparta300 wrote:
      BloodySpghetti wrote:
      KingSparta300 wrote:BloodySpghetti wrote:
      I didn't get it. Why is a mouth traveling in space? That's what Maw means, you kind of didn't use it figuratively as in "a great, dark, damp space". 

      On top of that, the ending makes very little sense in light of the whole story; how can a being travel through space, manipulate the actions of humans and still be afraid of basic nukes? Traveling through space alone means said being can probably pack more punch than the Tsar Bomb. 

      Also the way you've written this seems like your character is time traveling throughout the story, one moment he's in the past, the next he's in the present.

      I suggest you stick to completing a single story at a time so you could focus better on each installment better. It isn't finished yet.

      The Maw is an eldritch abomination, like Cthulhu. It's basically meant as a deconstruction.

      The time travel bits are the main character experiencing the Maw's memories.

      So this is not fully original, which is something I dislike. Lovecraft was about fear of the unknown. He was an odd man with an odd thought process so he shaped his fears into grotesque monstosities. Now, in his mind, the biggest monsters, the cosmic entities... the Gods if you will. None of them were characters. Cthulhu wasn't a character, he was a plot device. You get him to be mentioned, you get him to be a driving plot point but he's not a character. Yet, he was still immensely effective. That's something everyone pretty much did not catch with his works. 

      On top of that, the none human beings were meant to be above human things, they were meant to be the bane of human existence. Going so far as to send a group of heroes to fight the Old Ones is a bit silly and a really disappointing twist to Lovecraft's works. 

      You don't need cosmic monsters to tell me humans are a terrible animal, you could use the same revalation you used here to tell me so, we have a weapon that can quite literally end the world, and even scarier, we don't even know how to leave the world in case it ends somehow more naturally. 

      The Maw being horrified at Hiroshima isn't meant to say humans are awful, it's meant to show the Maw is capable of human feelings but is still, developmentally, at a stage where it doesn't understand the world around it.

      As I said, it is meant to deconstruct the eldritch abomination trope. And besides, all eldritch abomination characters are somewhat inspired by Lovecraft, in one way or another.

      Inspired by Lovecraft... by misconceptions about his works, most of the Cthulhu mythos that was crafted by people who loved his work got it wrong. 

      Try taking a notion from his works and using that, instead of using an existing thing and giving it a spin. It's still weird since well, it can time and space travel. Nukes are a joke to this thing. 

      By this point, I am starting to feel like we are speaking two different languages.

      First off, I have read Lovecraft's works, I know about many misconceptions.

      Second, I already said the Maw is a deconstruction of an eldritch abomination, in the sense, it has no clue what it is, what it is capable of or its purpose in the universe. 

      Thirdly, you are actually starting to annoy me with this whole "change the story" thing. It's my story, don't tell me how to write it. What you are asking would drastically change EVERYTHING about it.

      "It doesn't know what it can do" Okay. It travels through space and time, it shares memories with other creatures.... it can do crazy shit. Unless it's a brain dead animal that does things without realizing, it should be aware of itself enough to know that Hiroshima is nothing like a supernova, or a solar flare or basically any other cosmic event which the Maw should've probably came across. Unless your whole story is based around the conviniece of fuck laws of physics the maw didn't see anything or do anything before the beginning of the story. 
      That's a shame if it is. 
      

      Also, why on earth would it know what's death and destruction of human lives? 

      This is getting really ridiculous.

      The Maw is basically a child when it arrives at Hiroshima. In the present, it's still a child, it has just learned what it can do.

        Loading editor
    • Please copy and paste the fixed version of the story into the original post. I fixed all the ''' and <p></p> stuff. I'll critique the story later, if ever.



      The Maw

      Why we do fear the dark nebulas of space? When you gaze out into the night sky and see the majesty of our universe, do you comprehend its size and mass, and what could be living on that mass? When they gaze upon this meager planet what intentions do they have for us?

      Yes, there is indeed other life in this universe. I have encountered it. I gazed into the vast gaping maw of the unknown. And so did the unknown gaze back into me.

      My journey began with a simple knock upon the door. This annoyed me as I had just sat down to a breakfast of bacon, eggs and toast. I first called down the hall to whoever I expected to have interrupted me, yet, even after I called again, received no reply. Therefore I elected to ignore it until there came another knock, following the exact same pattern, forcing me to get up and investigate. When I opened the door, there was no one there. Believing this to be a mere hoax, I stepped outside to find the hoodlums who had dared to intrude upon the sanctity of my home.

      Had I known the horrors to come I should have ran, to anywhere but there.

      After searching through the bushes, I checked around the sidewalk. Up and down the street, I saw not a soul in sight, only quiet suburban houses. Even more alarming, however, was when I realized there were no footsteps. I had heard no one running away, no sniggering, nothing. It was inherently contradictory that I should have heard a knock upon my door to find no trace of anything capable of knocking upon it.

      However, there was one man present. He was sitting on the pavement, reading a book with his back to my house. He wore black pants with suspenders hanging over his body, which was slightly plump, which was encased in a white shirt. Upon his head was a black, wide-brimmed hat, perfectly unremarkable, and I could see a grey beard around his face. Two ear hooks from a pair of glasses were firmly placed upon his own.

      “Excuse me, good sir!” I called, walking over to him. It didn’t strike me as odd how long it took for his presence to remain undetected until after my ordeal was over.

      The man turned around, and I saw his face was as plump as the rest of him. His glasses were so black I couldn’t see anything through them, but I could feel him peering at me curiously all the same.

      “Yes? Can I help you?” he asked, reaching a hand to stroke his thin, grey beard which reached down to his chest.

      “I believe some hoodlums have knocked at my door as a ‘ding-dong ditch'. Did you see them?”

      “No,” he said, “I’ve been the only one out here for a while now.”

      I was going to ask him how long that was but thought better of it. “In that case,” I said, “what are you doing out here by yourself?”

      The man smiled at me as he stood up. Instinctively, I recoiled, almost ashamed to do so. But even now, I find I can feel none. Something about him was off, from the pleasant way he smiled to his cheerful demeanour. It was all so natural...far too natural.

      “Waiting, you could say,” the man answered, “for a good story.”

      “And what are you reading at this moment?”

      “Oh, this? I’m reading over a screenplay of mine,” he answered smoothly. I blinked, and saw he was holding was a large collection of papers, not a book. How odd. I was sure he had been…

      “Ah,” I said, “and what is it called?”

      “It’s a sequel to one of my best work, but I doubt you have heard of it,” he said. “Blood In His Eyes, a cult classic if there ever was one.”

      “I shall look for it,” I said through a nervous smile, “mister…?”

      “Anton,” he answered, “Anton Crowley. I would let you read the screenplay, but the aesthetics aren’t up to my standards yet. When they are, I will bring it to you. But now, I must be going.” With that, he stuck out his hand to me. Something about him was so disarming yet invitingly natural. Not wanting to appear rude, I shook it firmly. After that, he turned and walked down the pavement, a spring in his step. I wondered why he had to leave. But foremost, I had a strong urge to wash my hand. It felt contaminated. Strangely, I have also developed an aversion to the pavement upon which Anton sat.

      Deciding to go back inside, I was dumbstruck to find that my door, which had been purposely left open, was now closed. I had heard no swing of its hinges or of it fitting into the frame, no click as it secured itself. But there it was, firmly shut. I walked to it, gently tracing my hand along the smooth oak wood to see if there was some trick at work. Briefly, I thought to catch up with and ask Anton if he saw who closed it, but I found I didn’t want to. Something wasn’t right with...them.

      And then, from the other side, came a knock.

      Taken aback, my mouth opened in mute horror as a scream died in my throat. I was not one for hearing things nor was I under the effects of some hallucinogenic. There could be no mistake. Something was in my home, and I was at a loss to explain its entry.

      I consideredthe current obstacle. My house was occupied by something other than myself though it should not be. As I considered this, a more rational explanation appeared to my great comfort. Clearly, some hooligan had entered my house without my knowledge, most likely playing a prank at my expense. More alarming was the very real danger that they would ransack my possessions - ironic, now that I dwell upon it. It was then I steeled myself and gripped the door handle with all my strength, expecting a struggle. To my surprise, it opened with great and inviting ease.

      Once again I found no one on the other side. Everything was as I had left it before, kept in place with unnatural precision. As I took my first quiet steps the foreboding of an impending doom descended upon me. I gazed upon the photographs hung on my wall and was regarded with a dim scorn from their smiling faces, compelling me to look away. When my fingers brushed across a china vase, I shrunk back instantly from the freezing gloom it emitted at me. With every step I took, the creek of the floorboards hissed into my ears with a sharp bite. And when I looked briefly into my mirror, the figure that stared back was not one I recognized despite our similarities in appearance.

      The sound of bubbling caught my attention, and I determined the source to be the kitchen. Dreading the unwelcome creek the floorboards made, I futility tread carefully into the room. The black and white tiles were murky and unkempt but my unrecognizable reflection returned my gaze with the uttermost malice. Upon my stove was a black pot which clearly had something boiling in it despite the lack of any flame underneath it. As I cautiously approached it, I pondered the sequence of events which had lead me to this moment and their cause. I considered myself a rational man yet my rationality failed to find an answer. Forced to think outside the realm of rationality I turned to the supernatural instead or that, hopefully, I was dreaming. Yes of course. I was dreaming. It was the last rational explanation I had.

      It was as I removed the lid from the pot and scalding steam blasted my face that I realized my folly. Blinded and screaming as searing heat bit into me, I ran for the door. My temporary loss of sight led me to instead rely upon the floorboards’ demented creaking to guide me. Making an effort to remember how many steps I had taken to the kitchen, I tried to retrace them and use my blurred vision to its maximum potential. My pounding feet produced a symphony of defeating crashes upon the floorboards, impossible to distinguish the beginning and end of any single one. But then, as it became obvious, exhaustion overtook me surprisingly fast as my vision returned. And as it did, a most unwelcome sight greeted me.

      Though my body was tired and worn, the slowly quieting symphony of my footsteps assaulted my ears, my limbs suffered from overuse and my heart threatened to burst, I had advanced no further than the kitchen doorway. Standing between me and escape, the hall tediously began to stretch away.

      Defeated, I staggered backwards. As I began to seek out another way to relieve myself of this predicament, I became aware of a pleasantness. I breathed it in, recognising it as bacon, eggs, buttered toast, freshly made. The sight which greeted my eyes was the very foods I had just described, lovingly assembled in such a way that I perceived them as irresistible, a shimmering glass of water completing the picture. Unable to control myself despite the obviousness of a trap, I descended into it with renewed vigor, first emptying the glass. I felt my strength slowly returned as it trickled down, giving me hope. As soon as there was no more, I practically forced the meal down my throat, relishing the soothing taste.

      When the first strip of bacon reached my stomach, however, I suddenly felt my hunger increase. Puzzled, I ate more, and steadily my appetite grew. Even after I had consumed everything on the plate, it was not abated. As you might have deduced, it had simply become stronger. Thus a horrific cycle began. I utterly ravaged my kitchen, consuming numerous items in search of sustenance which was dwindled with every swallow. First I invaded my cupboards, grabbing anything of value, no matter what it was. Chocolate, apples, crackers, anything.

      As my teeth shredded open a bag of carrots, I realized what was occurring. I was ensnared by my own hunger. Without a second thought I dropped the bag, breathing stupidly. I needed something, some form of nutrition, but everything I had eaten only served to increase my hunger.

      However, then I realized what had given me strength. Water. I smiled in triumph as I held the glass under the nuzzle, expecting to have scored a victory. Instead, nothing came forth. No matter how many times I tried to turn it on, no matter how much I screamed and roared, water did not come. Changing tactics, I opened the fridge. It took all my willpower to pull out a plastic water bottle and not one of the many foodstuffs dwelling within, but I managed. To my relief, the cap came off with no effort and I immediately drank.

      Except nothing came out. My head was tilted firmly back so as to let gravity do its work, yet I felt no water. Instead, my mouth became dry as I pulled the bottle away and held it upside down. Astonishment was my reaction to seeing that the water simply refused to move. Not even a drop fell. Even when I inserted a finger to gain a fraction of it, it was dry coming out. Incensed, I began to violently shake it to no avail. Grabbing a knife, I made it cut it in half right away. But as I applied pressure to the midsection, the knife simply snapped in half instantaneously.

      That knife had been bought a mere two days before. The bottle was unmarked, the water I so desperately needed remained beyond my reach. Enraged, I hurled the accursed thing at the wall, the impact leaving a sizable dent. I howled and raged as I tried to break it open and sate my need. Finally, I grabbed my axe from the closet and swung with tremendous force, but the blade erupted into hunks of fragments. Defeated, I collapsed to my knees, staring at the undamaged bottle which had triumphantly defied physics.

      Then I heard it. A soft drip...drip...drip…

      The bathroom sink! Without hesitation I ran for it, stumbled inside and grabbed at the faucet - but to my dismay I found there was no water. I tried in vain to summon it forth yet all that came was the soft dripping which I knew to be coming from the sink though I could see nothing making the noise.

      It was then I noticed the toilet. Shining and sparkling with prestigious aura, the water shimmered invitingly. So desperate was I that there was no choice but to accept the offer. On my knees I plunged my head into the bowl and began to slurp up the cool, refreshing liquid, feeling strength return to my limbs.

      Then I heard a meager splash and felt something brush against my head. Startled, I looked up to see a brown, wrinkly lump floating along the small waves my movements had produced. My eyes didn't leave it for what seemed like hours, and now I understood what had just occurred.

      Degraded, I slumped backwards, resting against the tub for comfort, and wept. Despair began to creep into my heart. I had drunk from a toilet bowl like a common dog. Had I truly been driven to such extremes by this predicament? Yes, I had. And now, I simply wished to know why. What was the cause, the source of this most unendurable torture?

      And then something answered.

      It did not speak, for it had no voice. It wasn't something that was capable of being felt naturally, and was beyond my senses. Yet I knew that something had answered my plea through intuition. For now that logic and reason had failed me, what other tool was left but intuition? Seized by an inescapable terror, I lay still as its overbearing weight descended upon my weak body, stroking into my mind with abandon. I shuddered with every stroke, or at least what the human physiology allowed me to perceive as such. For this...this thing was utterly beyond the understanding of my senses. But what it communicated to me was not.

      There was no reason for this torment, save one. Subjugation.

      Instinctively, I crawled on all fours to the living room, face downcast. The...gaze, if it could even be called that, of my attacker hung over and commanded my actions. I was soaking wet and dearly wished to dry myself of the filthy water, but I knew it wouldn’t let me. Instead, I was forced to crawl into my living room.

      Once there, I was allowed to collapse upon the floor and sleep.

      My dreams from that slumber remain as vivid to me now as they did when I woke up. In them, I remember falling downwards through a void where they was absolutely nothing. Not even a concept of nothing. It can only be described as non-existence. And in that void, I was. I turned around, trying to shift my body in some way, and that’s when I saw that, within this non-existence, I was not alone.

      Below me was the Maw. It was a massive, gaping thing, a perfect circle composed of a dull grey matter, teeth extending inward, millions of them. There was nothing else to it save several tentacle like appendages swinging madly around, each one with a mind of its own.

      I continued to fall, flailing uselessly about like a drowning child, and could only watch in horror as I sank into its depths, the barb-lined circle growing smaller and smaller every passing moment as my sight faded, until...I saw no more. I wanted to wake up and tried to force myself to.

      I opened my eyes to again find myself falling in the void, and turned around to see the Maw. The events I have already described repeated themselves again, and then, when I thought to wake up, a third time, with no change. I lost count when the Maw closed for the twentieth time. But at some point, it let me go.

      When I woke, I felt a dampness between my legs and some kind of mud in my pants. It took me an instant to realize I had soiled myself during my sleep. Groaning, I started to undress, then winced strongly, hands reaching up to clutch my aching head.

      The Maw wouldn’t let me do that.

      “Please,” I said hoarsely, hoping it would listen. Instead my head ached all the more as a pressure was applied to it with crushing force. Without thought, I spoke again. “Alright.”

      The pressure was withdrawn and I felt a strange pull towards my small bookcase, which contained many a treasured tome. I crawled over, trying to ignore the squelching caused by my every movement. My fingers traced themselves along the spines of every single book, searching for something. When they finally stopped, I was touching a copy of the Bible, given to me by my own mother. I pulled it down instantly, and opened it, searching through the pages. And through all this, the Maw watched and guided. Then it reached out and I was stopped. My intuition knew that it had found something very, very precious to it.

      A single verse. Exodus 20:3.

      Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

      I spoke then, coming to the obvious conclusion. “You...are god?”

      The answer it provided was a most eager yes. It was as a child who had just been given the first place trophy in that moment. I swallowed nothing save my own agitation and spoke again.

      “What is it you want of me?”

      A sharp sting slashed my conscious, and I whimpered, holding up a hand in vain. That had been a stupid question. It had already gotten my subjugation. Now, it desired my worship. What else would a god want?

      I began wondering how I should do so, when I saw a glint of light from my couch, just out of the corner of my eye. When I looked fully upon it, I found it was a large kitchen knife. And then I knew what kind of worship the Maw sought.

      It finally let me undressed, shedding only my sweat-soaked shirt, socks and shoes. But not my soiled pants or boxers. Those had to stay. Forced to crawl over to the couch, I grabbed the knife, and, with shaking hand, gently drew it along my arm lightly. My skin parted agonizingly but when I tried to whimper, the Maw’s displeasure was evident. Instead, I was forced to bit my lip, hard enough to draw blood which flowed across my tongue.

      Following in the knife’s path came more blood, with slowly came to cover my arm as a thin shroud. I stopped just before the blade found my wrist.

      At first, the Maw was angry. With thinking, I moved the knife to my ribcage, and began using the tip to cut small, shallow wounds. Droplets of blood ran from them, lining my sides in streaks.

      Finally, once both sides of my body were covered in blood, the Maw let me stop. I felt faint and would have fallen over, had it not been for the Maw. It kept me going. Strange to say, despite the torment it inflicted upon me, it wanted me alive.

      I simply sat there then, in my waste and blood, completely still. All I really did was breath. And the Maw stared. It stared for some time, by my guess, at me. Was it in awe? Admiring its work? Observing the beauty of this moment? Perhaps all of those things. I can only guess, but I have substantial evidence to do so.

      I assume at some point it got bored and let me crawl about for awhile, as its guinea pig. I finally ate something decent, and it was from a dog bowl I’d lost years ago. Every time I was allowed to do anything, the Maw showed me what I could do. What it wanted me to do. I was a prisoner, my home a cell and it the warden.

      I would not be so easily controlled, however. I had been subjugated, it was true, but I still held within myself a human heart and soul. Things it would never have. I had those and it gave me comfort, and from there hope. And from hope, I began to plan.

      I knew very little about the Maw, save it was beyond my understanding of reality and regarded itself as god. I refuse to believe it ever could be any kind of deity, however. Until my dying day will I deny it., and beyond that. But on the Maw’s nature, I resolved to learn almost every detail. I had studied science and logic, both of which dictated, to my understanding, if something exists there is a reason for it. So what was the Maw’s reason? How could I learn it?

      I decided I must ask it. It could understand speech, so it was a simple task, but I was hesitant. How would it respond? Would it be angry that something lesser than it would try and inquire about its origins? Or perhaps intrigued? I didn’t know, but it was a risk I had to take.

      I waited for some time, until I had the perfect moment in which to voice my question. This came when I was allowed a momentary rest for an hour’s worship. Wording was everything. A single misplaced phrase and the Maw might take grievous offense. “Where do you come from?”

      For a moment, I trembled, expecting the Maw to reach forth and crush my mind. Or worse. Who knows? I don’t, because instead of killing me, my intuition told me the Maw was unsure of how to respond.

      In this moment, I learned something crucial. The Maw was not God, for God is supposed to be infallible. As the creator of all that exists, such a being would have a ready response for any question. The Maw did not.

      Then it bade me sleep. I did as commanded, sensing that something important was coming. I dreamed, far more vividly than before. I wasn’t in a void devoid of even concepts, but now a void filled with distant stars and galaxies. I felt nothing, but the Maw felt cold, confused, alone and scared. It was strange to experience those things the way it did, alien in every sense of the word. When it moved, I moved, and then I understood what was happening. I was seeing its very first memory, or at least, what I understood it to be.

      How the Maw moved, I will never know. What it did can’t be compared with anything like swimming, flying, nor even the idea of teleportation. The Maw simply moved. I will admit, I did at first think teleportation, but I saw galaxies collide and stars die in the time it took for the Maw to reach the Milky Way, so many I lost count. I saw billions of years pass in an instant, and all the while, the Maw had been completely alone.

      And then it found our solar system. I am not sure what first drew it towards us. Something did, yet I cannot determine what. For now, anyway. Hopefully, this is not a fruitless endeavor.

      And then, I was woken up. The Maw decided I had seen enough, but I knew it was hiding something more. But what? I attempted to inquire, but a sharp throbbing in my head prevented me from doing so. The Maw wanted more worship. I reached for the knife again, but the Maw bade me not to touch it.

      This time, my suffering would be far more emotional.

      I have a great collection of books, of all different kinds and by many different authors. I am a critic, after all. Naturally, I have yet to every single one. The Maw wished for me to read to it. I was confused at first, but elected to see how it would respond to something abysmal first - mainly out of spite. I got my copy of Atlas Shrugged and opened it to the first page - but that was as far as I got before the Maw bade me stop, demanding something new. I elected to try something equally abysmal, so retrieved The Da Vinci Code but once again was only allowed to read the first page until the very last word. As I prepared to turn the page, the Maw bade me stop and again demanded something new. This time, I went for something much better in quality, The Willows, by Algernon Blackwood. I had believed the Maw simply disliked the stories and, given the content of The Willows, was curious as to how it would react.

      But again, I was only allowed to read the first page.

      This went on for some time. I would get a book, read only the first page, then pick a new one. Some of these books I had read several times, thoroughly enjoying them, others I had never read before but hoped to, having heard good things about them, while others I didn’t enjoy at all.

      Once I read the first page of several books, the Maw finally made me stop. Then, I collected certain books and piled them in a stack, as it commanded. The Maw directed me in which books I should collect, and it took me but a moment to realize what they had in common.

      They were all the books I had a positive opinion of. Books I enjoyed or found interesting. All stacked together in front of the fireplace. One in which a blazing fire ignited by itself.

      I understood instantly what the Maw wanted. I tried to protest, to resist, but it refused. I felt my body rebel and move, free of my mind’s control, tossing each of these beloved pieces of literature into the fire, watching as each one burned away. Uncle Tom’s Cabin, It, The Monk, Wuthering Heights, The Great Gatsby, Animal Farm...all burned into ash. By the time I was finished, I found I had nothing of the books which had brought me such joy in their beauty, save vague memories.

      Then the Maw made me do something else. Read Atlas Shrugged, the whole damned thing, in one sitting.

      I wasn’t allowed to move, eat, do anything at all, save sit in one spot and read that ponderously atrocious piece of literature. My backside and pants became even more stained with human waste, and my mouth went dry until I couldn’t talk, but the Maw made me continue reading.

      By the time I finished, it was another morning. I was drained, needed food and drink, rest, anything to go on. But then I realized something.

      I had finished Atlas Shrugged from start to finish, in one sitting. In under thirty-six hours, at least, completely immobile. I had not collapsed or fainted from lack of food, and that was not the Maw’s doing. It was mine. I had persisted and triumphed, in some way.

      That brought a smile to my face.

      The Maw, knowing I was hungry, at first tried to make me eat my own feces - I suspect because I was proud of having claimed one small victory - but I refused point blank. As I pointed out, it was waste and my body wouldn’t have it. To my surprise, the Maw relented, accepting my logic. What it did allow me to eat was small and miniscule, but just enough to go on. I consumed it all eagerly, but my thoughts dwelt on the knowledge the Maw could be reasoned with. Then, I was allowed to rest and dream.

      I was returned to when the Maw had found our planet. As I have since realized, it was the most significant moment in human history - to my understanding. For when the Maw arrived, thus began the first contact between mankind and a being that didn’t come from our own galaxy, let alone planet. But, unlike what so many have speculated, this was neither an invasion nor was it peaceful.

      The Maw’s confusion grew when it discovered us. It became overwhelming, a hunger to know who we are and why we are. At first, I thought perhaps the Maw simply wanted to know why it wasn’t alone in the universe. But in time, I learned how wrong I was. For what triggered this drive was one of the darkest moments in human history.

      The place was the skies above the ocean. And I learned the time when I saw a bomber aircraft, the kind used extensively in the Second World War. I am not military historian, so I cannot say for sure what kind it was - but then I saw its name in large black letters on the side.

      The plane was the Enola Gay. And then I saw thousands of lives, lost in an instant, when Little Boy fell on Hiroshima. How interesting to think that one of the most terrible days in human history, the first ever use of an atomic weapon, coincided with the arrival of extraterrestrial life. I wonder if this wasn’t a coincidence.

      When I saw so much death, I felt unmatched horror. But I could also feel the Maw in that moment, and its reaction was simple awe. Awe at such tremendous power. Unable to help itself, the Maw went to Hiroshima, inspecting every single ruined building and shadow burned into the pavement. Then, as it toured a land bathed in nuclear radiation, full of the dead and dying, I learned the Maw discovered something that shocked me to the core.

      Fear. The Maw discovered it was capable of fear. Seeing the power we humans had wielded made it afraid for its existence. A creature that seemed to have originated from beyond the stars learned to fear mankind when our most terrible conflict came to an end.

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    • Okay, first thing: I DON'T THINK YOU SHOULD CHANGE THE STORY. The story is fine. The themes on display here would become muddled if you changed it.

      Secondly, I don't feel like it's finished.

      Here's some amateur level story analysis.

      Unlike an actual eldritch monster, The Maw is meant to be taken as it is; it is a character rather than a plot device. You describe it as a "deconstruction" of an eldritch abomination, but the problem is that it isn't. Its role in the story is substantially different. If anything. I'd argue the role of this monster is more like a deconstruction of an authoritarian government or a god. Despite how pushy and unreasonably concerned with control it is, The Maw slowly loses its power over this individual until they can bargain with it.

      I do not think the fear it feels when it sees this bomb is unjustified. Supernovae are fated to happen; given a star's schematics, you can usually determine whether it will form a supernova. An atomic bomb is not fated at all. Essentially, The Maw is confronted with a hivemind which is slowly gaining the powers which it sees throughout the galaxy, but is able to use them without rhyme or reason.

      The only real problem I can find is that it's not finished. Some people have told you "better" stories to write, but those aren't even ideas; they're fetch quests at best. I'd add something more to this story; it seems to be shaping up to be a torture porn in which an omnipotent being gains a respect for humans as cogs in a great hivemind. That's not the best story, but it's better than nothing.

      What I'd recommend adding is an in-universe answer to the questions, "What did you do before coming to the Earth and its galaxy?" and maybe, "Why are you afraid of a nuclear bomb when there are far more powerful explosions?"

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    • Squidmanescape wrote:
      Okay, first thing: I DON'T THINK YOU SHOULD CHANGE THE STORY. The story is fine. The themes on display here would become muddled if you changed it.

      Secondly, I don't feel like it's finished.

      Here's some amateur level story analysis.

      Unlike an actual eldritch monster, The Maw is meant to be taken as it is; it is a character rather than a plot device. You describe it as a "deconstruction" of an eldritch abomination, but the problem is that it isn't. Its role in the story is substantially different. If anything. I'd argue the role of this monster is more like a deconstruction of an authoritarian government or a god. Despite how pushy and unreasonably concerned with control it is, The Maw slowly loses its power over this individual until they can bargain with it.

      I do not think the fear it feels when it sees this bomb is unjustified. Supernovae are fated to happen; given a star's schematics, you can usually determine whether it will form a supernova. An atomic bomb is not fated at all. Essentially, The Maw is confronted with a hivemind which is slowly gaining the powers which it sees throughout the galaxy, but is able to use them without rhyme or reason.

      The only real problem I can find is that it's not finished. Some people have told you "better" stories to write, but those aren't even ideas; they're fetch quests at best. I'd add something more to this story; it seems to be shaping up to be a torture porn in which an omnipotent being gains a respect for humans as cogs in a great hivemind. That's not the best story, but it's better than nothing.

      What I'd recommend adding is an in-universe answer to the questions, "What did you do before coming to the Earth and its galaxy?" and maybe, "Why are you afraid of a nuclear bomb when there are far more powerful explosions?"

      Thank you for this.

      The story is actually going to explore themes of what it means to be human and why the Maw is what it is. It's - at best - a child so insecure about itself it feels a need to be a god. The torture part is also deconstructed in that the Maw does that solely because it wants power over humans who, as it saw, could wipe out so many in an instant. The Maw doesn't have the same power and is both awed and terrified by it. So, when it gets its...teeth, I guess, into a person, it tortures them just so it can feel strong and secure. It spent who knows how many years alone, by itself, and that has affected it deeply. Not that it in any way justifies what it does.

      The narrator learns to stand up against it and tries to, somehow, learn what the Maw is, while also teaching it what it means to be human.

      Then we come to Anton Crowley who is...he scares the shit out of me, to be honest. I have no clue what Anton is, where he came from, why he's in the story yet feels like he should be, but he's still far worse than the Maw. Because, whenever I ask myself who or what Anton is, I come to the same question: what is evil?

      Anton's just there, really, this...I'd say thing, but there's the off chance he might be human, but again, I am not sure if he is.

      The guy is just such a complete enigma that I am actually scared of him. Because I know he is capable of much worse than the Maw but here's the thing: he doesn't have a motive. Not even sadism. When Anton does something depraved, he barely even gives it any thought and forgets about it soon afterwards.

      I fully intend to give him another appearance in this story and have him show up in others as well.

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    • Second Paragraph: Thank you. Now I get why it fears humans and why it's doing all this stuff to this guy. It didn't really register that it was doing limited things until I read the sentence, but I get it now.

      Fourth-Sixth Paragraphs: Thank you. Now I better understand where the story will go. I actually forgot about Anton's appearance, so that was why I said "torture porn". I'm sorry for using that word.

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    • Squidmanescape wrote:
      Second Paragraph: Thank you. Now I get why it fears humans and why it's doing all this stuff to this guy. It didn't really register that it was doing limited things until I read the sentence, but I get it now.

      Fourth-Sixth Paragraphs: Thank you. Now I better understand where the story will go. I actually forgot about Anton's appearance, so that was why I said "torture porn". I'm sorry for using that word.

      No, thank you.

        Loading editor
    • A FANDOM user
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