Today was going to be it. Today was set to be just a great smash of a day. And then it happened.
I got to Starbucks nice and early today and, even better, Arissa was working the counter. I’ve explained before how nice it is when Arissa is working; not because I’m attracted to her but because she understands what an Elder God needs when it comes to coffee. She greeted me cheerily- Arissa is always cheery- and started working on my regular order without even being prompted. This is the kind of service that puts me in the proper frame of mind for working on my book. She even remembered to get one of the extra-long straws so that I could drink my Frappuccino™ without getting my mouth tentacles sticky. Well, sticker than normal.
I took my drink, dropped a couple stones made out of congealed madness into her tip jar, and found a seat with a nice view of the shop. This is important because it allows people to see that I am busily working on my writing and they know not to disturb me. Filling out police reports after someone has disturbed me is incredibly tedious and really distracting from getting any work done.
I had the chapter pulled up and I was just about to start writing when Arissa started waving her arm at me. Most morning I don’t think anything like this would happen, but it was a slow day. If only it had been busier. I rose up and went over to see what she wanted. In her non-waving hand I noticed that she had a tablet (I don’t want to say what brand because I think people would judge Arissa for her, honestly, consumerist tastes and that wouldn’t be fair).
“There’s a story about you on here!” She was grinning and as I got close she held up the tablet so I could see what was on it. And it was a story about me. Not a good one. No, this was one of those hatchet-jobs that some hack reporter had got it in his mind to write. I’ll link to it here because I think its important that you all see how awful and biased it is. From the very headline, describing me as a “tentacled terror” I knew what I was in for. It got worse. Ever description of me in the article seemed to contain some negative adjective like “gelatinous” or “slavering”!
Look, do I slaver sometimes? Of course. Do I have tentacles? Yes, but how is that a negative? If you understood how useful they were, you’d want some of your own too! I also took issue from the writer’s description of R’lyeh as a “corpse city”. You want to know what a corpse city is, you go to Detroit! It is hardly my fault, or the fault of R’lyeh, that the Norwegians who “found” our home weren’t prepared to cope with differing space-time curvatures. That is a failure of your education system more than anything else. If you aren’t prepared to expose your children to the eldritch despair of the void, then don’t expect any sympathy from me when they aren’t able to cope with the existential dread of my presence.
It was clear that Arissa didn’t understand why I was so upset. I’m sure that to someone like her being in the news at all would be a huge deal. But I had been through this kind of nonsense before and I had hoped it had faded. But I guess some hacks think that it is perfectly acceptable to launch these scurrilous and personal attacks on a fine, upstanding citizen. Luckily business started picking up at that point and I handed Arissa back her tablet and moved back to my table (no doubt the simple-minded journalist who had written the article would have described it as some kind of “lumbering” or “lurking”).
But I just could not write after that. My head was just too filled with the annoyance and, honestly, embarrassment of the ordeal. So I quietly finished my drink, stirred the darkness within the souls of a few patrons, and then went back to my apartment and brooded. Brooded on the pesky journalist who thought it wise to provoke the ire of an Elder Thing with the kind of literary wit that I possessed. Mayhaps this ‘Robert Freeman’ would learn what it was to be pilloried in the public commons.