Sebastian Crow

The March Selected Writer is Sebastian Crow

Please feel free to email Sebastian at succulentflesh@gmail.com


by Sebastian Crow

The old man trotted nattily along the sidewalk in the upper east fifties, taking in the crisp December evening and tapping a silver-tipped cane on the sidewalk. He hummed an old Hungarian folk song just under his breath. The song was almost as ancient as the man himself, and it was supposed to be able to summon an ancient Sumerian demon with a taste for flesh. By itself however, it was simply a catchy little ditty that had been sung by the peasants in Eastern Europe for centuries.

The old man was excited; he always enjoyed his outings, especially when he was up to mischief, which he usually was. What was the point to existence if you couldn’t have a bit of fun?

When the old man came to the intersection of 57th and Lexington, he made a left. He could hear a young couple, just stepping out of a fashionable restaurant, giggling at him as he trotted by. “Why he looks just like Burgess Meredith,” the young man whispered in his date’s ear.

Still grinning, the old man imagined what it would be like to crush their heads with his bare hands, feel their brains squeezing out of their skulls and eye holes, oozing through his fingers. He was strong enough to do it, he knew, but even their murder would do little to satiate his all-consuming hatred.

Everywhere he looked, he felt nothing but rage at the mortal world surrounding him, assaulted on all fronts by the foul presence of humans. Their stench was an abomination, their voices an offense, their buildings and monuments were so much flotsam begging to be burnt as an offering to The Old Ones.

That time would come, he knew, but for now, he had to be content with his fantasies. A soundtrack of tortured howls accompanied his fancies. He wondered if eyeballs were tasty. They looked so plump and delicious, like ripe grapes.

He came to a stop in front of a nondescript, grey brick building, the elegant script on the red awning above the entrance informing him that he was outside The Inferno Club.

The doorman was a beefy, African-American in a black tuxedo. His eyes were milky and devoid of pupils and his mammoth size was enough to intimidate any uninvited guests from trying to crash the party.

The old man greeted the doorman. “Hello, Cyrus!”

“Good evening, Mr. Lang. How are you this evening,” the doorman replied.

“Very well, thank you Cyrus. A young man will be arriving shortly. He is quite human and not an initiate, but we have business and I would appreciate you admitting him when he arrives.”

Cyrus unhooked the rope to allow Lang to pass. “Of course, Mr. Lang. A guest of yours is always welcome.”

“Thank you Cyrus. Have a good night.”

Lang toddled through the door, which opened into an elegant, richly furnished lobby. The coat check girl was the first indication The Inferno Clubwas not your normal club. Her body was attractive enough, even to a human, but her deep-red, reptilian skin and the pair of horns protruding from her forehead would be a turnoff for all but those with the most exotic tastes. A forked tongue slithered in and out of her mouth, but Lang knew, despite her appearance, she was more human than demon.

He pushed the crash bars and entered the club proper.

Inside, The Infernowas as cheap and tawdry as any nightclub designed for humans. Decorated in faux, medieval Dante, it tried to replicate Hell with holographic flames, lots of red lighting and walls designed to resemble the underworld’s caverns. All manner of witches and warlocks, human, demons cavorted to the electro-Emo music blaring from every corner of the club. Fergus despised the place.

Behind the bar, a Satyrian demon, equipped with full goat’s head and horns, was mixing drinks. Lang sidled up to the bar and ordered a tonic. The goat-headed bartender was quick to serve him.

He sat drinking his tonic, awaiting the arrival of his fool—a human drug dealer whose customer list included many of New York’s movers and shakers. Not that these mortals mattered, it was always easy to buy the loyalty of such people, but the dealer also plied his wares to this world’s current Magus Summus, a brash and arrogant magician who simply refused to be bought.

In Lang’s pocket was a small, foil-wrapped wafer of a drug formulated in the early Twentieth century by the infamous sorcerer, Howard Phillips Lovecraft. The drug was not only a potent hallucinogen, but was a bridge between the dimensions.

It was Lang’s plan to get the drug into the hands of Armand Bach Solomon, perhaps the greatest human sorcerer since Lovecraft himself and a royal pain in the ass to the Outer Gods. There was no way Solomon could resist trying the drug; his curiosity would be too strong. He could then be dealt with in a dimension where his powers would be weakened.

All he needed was to get it into the hands of Solomon’s personal dealer.

Fergus Lang could barely contain his good humor as he sat drinking and awaited the arrival of the dealer.


It was near midnight and Armand Bach Solomon was preoccupied with deciphering a decidedly tricky passage from The Book of Eibon.

Suddenly he heard a pounding on his front door.He was reading the part about a nefariousritual for the banishment of shoggoths, so he wanted to ignore the knocking. Still, if someone was trying to see him at this time of night, it must be important.

“Solomon! I know you’re there. For the love of God man, let me in!” The voice was high pitched and excited but familiar.

The hallway leading to the apartment was dark. Apparently, the super had yet to change the light bulb and when Solomon opened the door, the gaunt figure of Lucas Bloom almost fell on top of him.

Lucas was a wan, nervous little man with oversized eyes and a neck so long that he looked like a cross between a ferret and an ostrich. He was dressed in a ratty, oversized Navy pea coat that had numerous pockets sewn in the liner—Solomon knew he needed them to secret the vast quantities of drugs he always carried.

Lucas pushed past Solomon and stumbled over to the sofa where he collapsed. Solomon shut the door and demanded to know why the drug dealer was at his apartment uninvited. “All right, Lucas, what do you want?”

Hands visibly shaking, Lucas took a cigarette out of one of his many pockets and lit it. He puffed deeply, his eyes darting around the room as if he was afraid something might be lurking in the corners. “I don’t know what it is, but it’s been following me all night. It followed me here. I’m sure of it.”

Solomon felt his face grow hot. “You mean to tell me that you brought one of your lowlifes here?”

Again, Lucas’ eyes jerked suspiciously around the room, his long neck bobbing and weaving like a hyperactive bird. “I didn’t bring anything. It was a monster, I swear. It was following me.”

Having looked directly into the face of some pretty horrifying beasties himself, Solomon was not one to be impressed by Lucas’ description of an unspeakable thing. Initiated in the occult, Solomon granted there were certain demons and esoteric creatures that could cause undue alarm. Glancing at the closed Book of Eibon on his reading table, he only hoped it didn’t involve shoggoths.

Thinking they could both use a drink, Solomon crossed the room to the bar and poured two hefty dollops of his best 12 year old Scotch. On a whim, he slipped a mild tranquilizer into Lucas’ drink and handed him the glass. “Here, drink this.”

Lucas cupped the thick glass in his trembling hands, put it to his lips, gulping most of the Scotch in a single swallow. He was shaking so badly that some of the amber liquid ran out his mouth and down his chin. Lucas swiped a filthy arm across his face, sighed in satisfaction and leaned back on the sofa.

Solomon returned to his wingback. “Just tell me what happened. Start from the beginning.”

“Earlier this evening, I was at Inferno, that screwball nightclub where you magic types like to hang out. I was there to meet a guy who claimed to have an extremely rare, occult psychedelic he wanted to sell.” Lucas paused long enough to take another drag off his cigarette. “Funny little guy, bald and old as Methuselah, dressed like a dandy. Anyway, the fellow said the drug was the ultimate mind opener, the trip of trips— that it could take you to other worlds. I figured sure, sure. So I tried it.”

“You try everything. You have to expect bad stuff from time to time.”

Lucas said, “This time, it really did what the guy said it would do! He called the stuff Lovecraft. Weird shit.”

“Lovecraft? Are you sure he called it Lovecraft?” Solomon asked.

“You know it?”

“Just rumors. You know Lovecraft, the sorcerer from the early 20th century, very powerful.”

“Well, as soon as I left the club, I thought I’d give the stuff a try. I opened up the foil and inside was a small, black, tar-like substance. It looked so much like opium, I figured I’d just been had. But of course I decided to try a nibble. Suddenly, nothing looked familiar, the streets were all…wrong is the only way I could describe them.”

He paused, then went on, “I could feel things all around me, creatures staring at me from the shadows, sizing me up. Then I became aware of something creeping out of the darkness. I could hear it slithering through the dark behind me, coming nearer and nearer no matter how fast I ran. The body was shapeless, a black fog made of pure shadow. But the face…Jesus that face! It was insect-like and mammalian at the same time…thousands of eyes shimmering with a color so bizarre it didn’t appear to be a color at all.”

“It was a hallucination,” Solomon said.

“No!” Lucas cried. “The drug merely opened a portal so that I could see it!”

“So you led your demonic pursuer straight to my door?”

“Well, I’m not sure. I might have given it the slip…” Lucas yawned. The tranquilizer was beginning to take effect.

“No, it’s here.”

Lucas glanced nervously around the room.

“Not in this room, you dolt. This apartment is protected.”

Lucas tried to get off the sofa, but fell back, defeated by the mickey. “But you can stop it? If anyone can destroy this thing, it’s you.”

 “I might be able to send it back where it came from but I believe I may know what it is, and no way could I kill it. No power on earth can kill The Nameless Mist.”

“The Nameless Misss?” Lucas replied, slurring his words as he fought to stay conscious.

Nyog’ Sothep, one of the Outer Gods, and I think you came closer to seeing his true form than any human that ever lived and yet you survived to tell about it. So far, anyway.”

Lucas’ head bobbed down and his eyelids close, unable to fight the effect of the tranquilizer any longer. Then he was snoring soundly.

Solomon covered Lucas with an old blanket, but not before fishing around in the drug dealer’s pockets for the remaining piece of the Lovecraft drug. The stuff was just as he described; a small, tarry wad about the size of a pinkie nail. He was tempted to pop the thing in his mouth, just go in guns blazing. Good sense won out and he decided to do a little research first.

The other name for the Lovecraft drug was Vermis mysteria—the worm of mysteries. Best to discover why it was called that before he went swallowing the stuff.

He grabbed his copy of De Vermis Mysteriis, and found a passage in one of Lovecraft’s letters :

“I tell you Robert, there are worms wriggling through the very fabric of time and space, they burrow like earthworms through the air, existing all around us on a subatomic level as unaware of us as we are of them. They cannot be seen with any instrument known to science, but I have found a way to harness their essence. Properly rendered with certain arcane herbs and consumed, they produce remarkable visions so real that at one point I believe I was actually transported to Carcosa itself. I saw the twin suns hanging over those impossible towers of black obsidian and Hastur himself rising over the Mountains of Madness...”

Solomon set aside the volume of letters and picked up the small foil pack, studying the black, tarry substance inside. He rolled it around his fingers, flattening it and reshaping it, holding it up to the light. This was not just a drug created with a few chemicals in the lab, this actually contained the essence of the darwurm, invisible creatures of which he had read but never paid much attention. They appeared harmless and didn’t do much, other than swarm about; feeding on whatever subatomic substance they lived on.

Returning to the volume of Lovecraft letters, Solomon scanned the rest of the letter before happening upon a startling passage.

“Unless properly diluted with a mixture of absinthe and morphine, the darwurms will attach themselves to the human ingesting the drug. Once inside the darwurm incubates and mutates.”

According to Lovecraft, these hideous, blind mutations could reach ten feet in length and had a hunger for anything they could catch and eat.

Solomon glanced over at Lucas who was thrashing about on the couch and prayed it was only bad dreams. But he seriously doubted Lucas had been drinking absinthe and morphine before eating the Lovecraft.

That was when Lucas exploded from the inside out.

Hot blood splashed across Solomon’s face, along with a significant portion of Lucas’ insides. Wet, sticky tissue splattered against his chest, drenching him in gore and guts. A spleen created a geyser of rich, crimson crude as it erupted from Lucas’ chest, spraying the ceiling in gruesome red paint.

As Solomon stood, saturated in body fluids and viscera, something pale and grotesque wiggled out of the gaping wound in Lucas’ stomach.

The darwurm mutant was already over five feet long and thick as a man’s thigh. A fleshy, ghastly pink thing with the segmented body of a silkworm, it rose up, thrashing wildly as it pulled free from its cocoon. Solomon could discern no eyes on the beast, and right where the urethral opening would be on a man’s knob was a mouth filled with hypodermic teeth and a pair of wicked looking chelicerae.

He watched in loathing as the thing plopped on the floor, reared up like an angry cobra and emitted a high, piercing wail. Hundreds of tiny legs covered the sick, soft underbelly, twitching as they tasted the air for prey. Faster than he would have thought possible, the worm lunged.

His spells could keep out any unwanted intruders but he had let this thing in himself. Magic wasn’t going to save him here, even if he had time to cast a spell he didn’t know which would work.

The creature was quick but clumsy. Even then, it was with more luck than skill he was able to avoid its initial lunge. Dodging the worm’s strike, he slipped on the spleen and went crashing to the floor amidst a pile of exploded organs and blood. The worm slammed head-first into the desk, stunning it long enough for Solomon to roll over, stagger to his feet and race across the gore-slick floor to the suit of armor he kept on display near the front door. The armor was not just decorative, it had belonged to an actual Knight of the Round Table and the halberd it held was fully functional.

The worm recovered rapidly and was slithering full speed towards Solomon by the time he wrested the halberd from the armor’s hand. Turning in time to avoid another lunge, he brought the sharp blade around in one long, swooping motion.

The blade did its work. Neatly slicing the worm in half, the filthy beast gave one final howl, before the two pieces dropped to the floor. Even after being hacked in two, it continued to twitch and whip about, its mouthful of teeth opening and closing while its tail flailed about. Lifting the halberd over his head, Solomon got on with the chopping.

The worm lay in a dozen pieces on the floor, still squirming but no longer a threat. Solomon went to the kitchen and retrieved a few heavy duty trash bags, figuring to dispose of the body in the building’s furnace. The worm would be easy enough. Getting rid of Lucas would be a tougher process. He grimaced at the thought of all the cutting he was going to have to do to get the dead dealer ready for the fire. Then he remembered what had brought Lucas to him in the first place.

The Nameless Mist was out there still, waiting for Lucas to emerge. When drug dealer didn’t come out, the infernal thing would come looking for him. Solomon knew he would have to deal with Nyog’ Sothep.


Solomon looked out his window. Standing beneath a street light, a peculiar looking little man stood staring up at Solomon’s apartment, a wry smile on his cragged, ruddy face.

He recognized the old man—Lang.

The old man’s thoughts formed in Solomon’s head, as clearly as if he had spoken aloud. I prefer Nyarlathotep, the crawling chaos.

“You can’t get me,” he whispered.

He could see the old man shrugging his shoulders. That’s what I get for relying on an addict. That drug was meant for you and only you. The darwurm was supposed to grow in you.

Solomon opened the window. “I am protected in this apartment by spells,” he cried into the street. “You cannot get me.”

He saw the old man rap his cane on the sidewalk. “You will get yourself.” And with that, the old fellow toddled off down the street, humming a tune that sounded vaguely familiar.

Solomon closed the window. He picked up the drug and fingered the tin foil in his hand. Wouldn’t it be safe to take if he drank absinthe and morphine along with the Lovecraft?

He suddenly felt the need to be really stoned.

















































Sebastian Crow currently resides in Centerville, IN with his wife, Barbara and a houseful of furry children. He has been writing poetry for over thirty years and has recently branched out into fiction. His stories have appeared in Floppy Shoes Apocalypse, Splat, Indiana Horror Review and Toys in the Attic. He has published two collections of poetry, Shadows and Light and Gothique du Grotesque from JWK Fiction.

Stop by his web page for more fiction and poetry HERE