First broadcast on BBC Radio.
by Damien G. Walter
When I first heard about Cthul-YOU I was skeptical to say the least. Like most people I thought anything that promised so much had to be bogus. Like the sites for BDSM fanboys populated by 24,753 lonely I.T. technicians seeking submissive female slaves, and…NO submissive females waiting to be enslaved. I was glad that kind of thing wasn’t really my scene, but then being a follower of the occult wasn’t any easier. So when the e-mail that would ultimately lead me to my dark lord and master appeared in my Inbox, you can be sure I had my reservations.
Sometimes in life it’s the way you stumble into things that makes them special. A friend told me about some other friend who swore they could forward me some e-mail with a link in that would take me to the only site of its type on the net. From the get go, the site strikes me as interesting. Usually the photos of animal sacrifice are obvious fakes, but here you could almost hear them squealing beneath the blade. You could tell that the guy advertising for a demonic soul mate was displaying real horns, not the joke shop variety. All the pics here were real original. REAL original. And they got me real excited.
So I signed up.
Now if I wasn’t sold before, this hooked me. At first I took it as a problem. I’m typing in my member name – TYPHINE2352BC – when a little red ‘Name Already Registered’ sign flashes up. This surprises me. I use that name everywhere. TYPHINE is my favourite non-corporeal daemon entity. 2352BC is the date of the last true pan astral invasion. Maybe five other people in the world could tell you who or what Typhine is, and the debate is still raging about whether pan astral planes even exist, let alone invade. Finding these combined together? Never gonna happen. Before I know it I’ve hit ‘ENTER’. I’m expecting a rejection but instead a profile page comes up. In my name. My real name. The one my mum who wouldn’t sleep well if she knew I was a ‘cultist calls me. Whadaya know. I think. I already joined.
But I didn’t.
But I am.
Whoever did join me, they didn’t pick up the tab. It takes a while for the payment screen to load and I’m shuffling through for my plastic. Fifty bucks. I think to myself. I’ll pay fifty bucks and not a cent more. Of course this place surprises me again. Instead of the boxes for my credit card number, there are pull down menus for date of birth and they are like super accurate. Who knows when they were born to the second? At the bottom of the page where I’d expect to see VISA, MASTERCARD and PAYPAL logos are a bunch of arcane sigils so small I can barely read them. I scroll through it until I reach ‘I understand the conditions under which I enter into this agreement’ and tick ‘ACCEPT’. Nobody ever reads the legalese.
Body: Human, Obese
Drugs: Ceremonial Only
Languages: English (fluent), Latin, Sumerian, Klingon.
I am looking for…
A genuine, involved and determined demonic entity. I have had too many experiences of dark powers whose only interest is in making themselves look ‘bad’. I want to see this world destroyed. I want you to want that too.
I work in a BurgerBoy because people make me sick, and at BurgerBoy I get to make people sick. I only eat BurgerBoy’s and now weigh eighteen stone. I want to be obese. When this world burns my flesh will fuel the flames.
Things Others Think About Me…
I am fat and ugly. I have not always been fat, I have always been ugly. No one I know now remembers I used to be average weight. No one I know now thinks anything about me except ‘who is that ugly fat person.’ This is the way I want it.
Message me if…
You want to make this world burn.
So I spend most of the night cruising through the personals on Cthul-YOU. I like to have checked out every option before I make a decision, and if that’s the case with retail purchases then it’s twice the case when I’m selecting a new dark lord to obey. Among the dross I find some familiar faces. I have pretty good fey-dar so I’m not surprised to find out that JT, my shift manager at BurgerBoy, or Miss Stimpson my primary grade teacher, or even Pastor Miller all have hardcore demonic tendencies. What got me was that they would be advertising it so blatantly. Did they think a stupid false name and a latex mask could keep that kind of thing disguised? But then I guess it’s no different than the stupid disguises they wear in the ‘real’ world.
It’s in the nature of the occult that there are far more leaders than followers. Every Joe thinks he has it in him to destroy the world. But 99.99% of them are nothing but sacks of shit, that is to say human. Most people embrace the occult as a way of making themselves special. They want to rain down brimstone on the world. THEY want to. It’s more important that they do it than that it happens. But they have it all wrong. You want to know about the scene?. Rule Number One – It’s not about you. It’s not about me. It’s not even about the dark lord. It’s about destroying the world. That’s all you need to know.
I went past Mark’s profile twice before I even noticed it. The page was almost empty, not even a picture. Most of the profiles got boring pretty quickly. For all their talk of bringing down vengeance and destroying the world you soon realised that between every line it was all me, me, me.
Mark’s words were few and simple, but they burned themselves into my heart and soul. They whispered in my head like a murder confession from the lips of a sex offender. They made me feel like I had never felt before in my life.
They gave me hope.
Once you give yourself to another, you can never take even the tiniest piece of yourself back.
For a year he commanded me at a distance, but all I dreamt of was seeing him for real. I wanted it so much but I could only wait for his command. I could not control him. He had to make it happen. I was terrified he would abandon me. So I waited and did exactly as I was told. And then one day the message came. A street address and a time and his command for me to come. I didn’t even think about not going. I had no doubt what I would find. I’m at the door, and it’s not like I have any questions. Its not like I’m getting suspicious. But the door is wrong. It’s no different to any other door on the street, but then this isn’t just any street. I would have to call it an avenue. Maybe even a boulevard. I guess I didn’t picture Mark living somewhere like this. A castle maybe, at the top of a mountain. Or even an MTV celebrity crib. But not this place, it’s just so…suburban.
The lady who comes to the door is pure WASP. From her twin set and pearls to her blonde curled hair with the perma-tanned skin and red lipstick smile. But not at all sexual, like she has all of the signs of it but none of the threat.
“Mark?” she says as the red lips smile in greeting. “Why yes. Who should I say is calling.”
Is this the maid or something? Beneath her pleasant demeanor I can see the look of disgust that flickers past her eyes as she beckons me through the door. At eighteen stone I was vast. Now at twenty-two I’m a monster. Add to that my permanently attached BurgerBoy uniform and I must stink like one.
We go through to what a realtor would describe as a spacious living room, with the kind of shiny hard wood floor people get careers as divorce attorneys so they can afford. It’s toasty warm inside, like a shopping mall only with air that hasn’t been breathed twenty times before. There is a log fire crackling in the hearth. In front of the fire stands this guy with his back to me. He is tall and slender like an athlete, dressed in beige slacks and a jersey so expensive it shows no brands. He flashes me a smile of ice white teeth and a haircut I’ve only ever seen before on network news anchor men.
“Hi. I’m Marks father.”
“And you must be a friend of Mark’s?”
Kind of, Mr Mark’s Dad. I’m Marks first, true follower. I owe everything to Mark. If I were a sentence, I’d be on Mark’s lips. If I were a weapon, I’d be in Marks hand. I can and will kill on Mark’s command.
“Yes.” I say. Idiot.
“We’re always happy to welcome a friend of Mark’s.” The blonde woman reappears under Mark’s fathers outstretched arm. Dad almost hides the ‘who the hell is this’ look he shoots Mom. It doesn’t matter, they will burn with the rest
But they won’t, the voice of doubt begins to tell me.
“Well,” says Mom. “Mark is in his room. You can go on up.”
In his room? I think as I lumber up the grand curving stairwell.
Mark is playing X-Box when I first see him. He doesn’t even look at me where I stand, my bulk filling the door to his room, he just sits on the edge of his bed, fixating on a 72” widescreen TV as his thumbs manipulate the controller. On the wall is a huge Yu-Gi-Oh poster. I didn’t even know they made them that big. The rest of the room looks like the R’n’D section of Toys’R’Us.
He says hello but I barely hear him I’m breathing so hard. I’m wheezing, like some terrified animal being dragged to the slaughter. I hate the wheezing, it’s the only thing I don’t like about the new obese me.
He has the haircut Spielberg invented in the eighties, the blonde mop that lets you know, this is a good kid. This is a brave kid. Good and brave.
“You really are a freak.”
But this is the Spielberg kid for the new millennium, the emotionally manipulative spoilt brat who screams for mommy just to make us feel guilty.
“I reckoned you had to be a chubby, but this is just gross. And what is that smell?”
The kid stares up at me, eyes shining with the familiar look of ‘disgust’n’lust’. The kids at BurgerBoy used to look at me that way, like it hurt but they just couldn’t stop. I used to want it. Now it just makes me feel dirty.
My voice breaks as I beg him to tell me the truth. “Everything I wrote to you was BS. It was all stuff I found on Google. If you weren’t so fat and stupid you could have figured that out.”
I am fat and stupid.
“So I own your ass now, right?”
“And you have to do whatever I say, right?”
I am yours to command.
The kid pushes something into my big, sweaty hand. Part of me expects to look down and see a G.I.JOE.
What I see is a knife.
“This is so cool! I’ve got hundreds of you suckers now, all obeying my every command. Like my very own army of darkness or something.”
The 72” screen splits into a grid of moving pictures, hundreds of faces filled with the lust for orders, the faces of true believers. Mark stands before the screen and brings his army to silence with an imperious gesture.
“So what are we gonna do?” He says.
Mark looks at me and I realise he already knows the answer. But he has called me here to speak for him, to be not just a minion but a true lieutenant in his cause. And I know as I say the words that they are the truth.
We are going to make this world burn.