The Monster Archives

Lucian Blossom – reader extraordinaire – knew the Record Room like the back of his hand. In fact, he didn’t know the back of his hand nearly as well as he knew the gargantuan Alarian Library’s every corridor, nook and shelf. As large as a city, the Record Room was known to possess one copy of every written book, manuscript and rotulus in the entirety of the multiverse.

As a result, it was by no means shocking that Lucian Blossom became hopelessly lost in the Library’s unbounded mists. He soon found himself wandering into the uncharted – or leastways, little-charted – territories of the Archives; an area of the Library that contained all the unfinished works and unpublished books of the cosmos.

Lucian’s bespectacled eyes widened in awe. Every work in this section seemed to float in mid-air, while semi-translucent pens and quills danced upon their age-withered pages, adding line after line of intricate writing. Lucian’s eyes stopped upon a curiously-drawn book whose jet-black writing materialized all on its own, without any visible intervention. On a mid-split cover of blue and red, he could barely make out the title: “The Book of Chaos”. Afraid of what might happen if he touched the volume, Lucian turned on his heel and pushed deeper into the Archives. And the fabric of space around him seemed to distort with every step; the farther he ventured, the stranger things became.

‘What’s this now?’ Lucian addressed the large hole in the space-time fabric. It opened at the heart of a wide bookcase whose ghostly letting warned: “Hic sunt dracones!” On the other side of the portal, he could see the interior of another library, and right on the mouth of the opening, a bookshelf with dusty old tomes bound in leather. He often heard of stories that transported the reader to a different world, but this was ridiculous!

But Lucian Blossom didn’t know himself to ever refuse a reading challenge, so without further ado he stretched past the hole-in-reality and enclosed his fingers around the first volume within his reach. From beyond the space-time anomaly broke a horrifying roar, and the book fell out of Lucian’s hands with a flump. The orange light in the Record Room turned a sore, biting blue; the warmth of the room went extinct under the boot of Darkness, and the Great Cosmic Being stepped forth…

Upon the lip of the space-time tear stood a monster with no licence to exist inside healthy skulls – a mix of octopus, dragon and man, without it portraying any of the three. Around a foul-smelling mouth wriggled a million tendrils – long and slimy like the limbs of a squid – and where a pair of eyes should have been, shone two globular orbs of living darkness. The Abominable Horror spluttered something in a guttural alien language, and with a clawed hand, it reached out of the abyss towards the realm of the living—

Lucian Blossom screamed like a little girl, and with cat-like reflexes unspecific to his laid-back self, he stormed out of the Record Room, with fire at his heels.

Many Alarian waitings flew by before Lucian had gathered enough courage to face the Record Room again. As for the monster said to live in the uncharted pits of the Alarian Library, the area in question was sealed off, and furthermore renamed: “The Monster Archives”.

- Louise Blackwick

Advent 2017