When The Stars Are Right

It happened at a time when society had ground to a halt just as it accelerated virtually to the point of singularity, like a gerbil in a wheel, running ever faster and faster, expending its life’s blood in going precisely nowhere. Televised news reports had become indistinguishable from the programmes that ostensibly parodied them – the people laughed aloud at the words of politicians and took the pronouncements of comedians as deadly serious analysis – holy men were caught with whores and catamites on a weekly basis while the words of athletes were revered as if they were prophets and sibyls.

Governments fought wars against the groups they’d armed the week before and jihadis destroyed the fast food joints where they’d taken their first dates four years previously. The sciences made the distinctions between man and beast and between matter and information more porous and diaphanous with each passing month; space probes whispered the echoes of secrets from the womb of Time and those who listened to them shuddered and doubted themselves, while their colleagues in adjacent departments reknitted the stuff of Life to recipes sponsored by pharmaceutical industrialists. The seasons were horribly mixed, and the birds, beasts and fish swarmed this way and that in a fashion that perplexed the greatest authorities on living things; those who staffed the asylums began to fear that their patients displayed not insanity but super-sanity, a new form of intellect fit to understand this new phase of existence, terrifying to the old order that could not comprehend it.

The rumours of great change, greater by far than the changes society wrought on itself, began to be exchanged online, in furtive whispers from people who doubted even themselves for madmen, yet all knew that the things they’d felt while alone in the dead of night or while caught in great surging crowds of fellow commuters spoke truly as harbingers of unheard-of transitions. And then the real changes began, great stirrings within the water and land as of colossal creatures exercising muscles long unused but still imbued with primordial strength. The cities of men began to crumble and totter as the earth beneath them buckled, not from blind seismic happenstance but from a conscious realignment of soil, bedrock, tectonic plate. Rivers rose up from their beds and bent and twisted deliriously in the air; forests marched upon the settlements of men and slew them wantonly; the beasts of field and barn turned on those who tended them, and devoured them.

And in the midst of all this, the Great Old Ones awoke once more, slithering upon the land from their beds at the depths of the sea, surging up through great pits in the earth, emerging from the hearts of forests, deserts and mountains and seeping down from space. For now the stars were right again, and on They came in unstoppable waves. Those who still lived no longer doubted the words of the prophets, and were too stricken with madness even to scream or run or try to hide themselves, but laughed uproariously as one who has suddenly understood a joke that seemed for a lifetime to be no more than a mistake or discrepancy. Chaos crawled hither and thither and delighted in all It saw.

Soon They had utter mastery of the waters and the air, the land, the cities and wild places alike.

And then?



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