Down and Out in R’lyeh

Catherynne M. Valente‘s Down and Out in R’lyeh is a millennial take on Lovecraft. The story mashes up politics, weird slang, and perversity into a delightfully weird short story. Be sure to listen to Uncanny Magazine Podcast Episode 18B to hear this story.

Pazuzu thumped his pustulant tail. “The whole system’s rigged,” he chanted, “by the time we’re Elder, there’ll be nothing left for us but the ash-end of the universe. We slobber and serve and ain’t nobody ever gonna serve us. It’s not right. They got it all stitched up nice the way they like it, Yog-Sogoth and Yig and Azazoth and Hypnos and that fat sack of shit down the chimney. Even Mom. Shub-Niggurath herself, I know we love her and all but she spends all day shitting out kids on the dole and fuck me if you and me will ever be able to afford a slavering brood of our own. And then they turn around and call us krugs and layabout shubs when they’re the ones who snooze all aeon instead of rending the mortal world like they always promise. It’s bullshit, Moloch. Bullshit.”

Shax’s three eyes shone hideous, thinking of all those mortal streets she shuffled in her precious bloodpuppets. “You don’t even know how right you are, Zuzu. The mundworld is totally shoggo, believe me. The best they could do against us is cry while they piss their pants. But the Old Ones? Oh no, they just gorge and giggle and yig themselves and dick around while centuries go by and those mundo fucks up there invent nuclear fission. They got everything dank there was to devour and we get squidshit because they were born at the dawn of existence and we weren’t. Because they’re entitled to the whole damn multiverse while we’re entitled to sit on our asses and clap for their crumbs. Why don’t they just fhtagn retire and let the Young Ones come up the ranks a little? I’d be a bloody yellow queen of everything. Come on, you know it’s true! Shax, the All-Devourer, Accursed Meretrix of the Nether Nebulae, Mother of Madness, Flayer of All Things Dun and Shoggo! I’d capture hearts and minds, you better believe. But no, I have to wait, because they love waiting, and maybe when I’m a shriveled old crone I’ll get to devour one measly asteroid if I ask real nice. Fuck that.”

 

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