Family Reunions . . .

The Whateley clan has a family reunion. Oh, dear . . . H. P. Lovecraft.

I looked araound, interested. I had never bin tew this fawrm befer: the various—multitudinous, en fact–sides o' the Whateley family had never gawttun awllawng, nawt en awl my years. O' caourse, thet didn't mean anythin' much: I be jest 95, after awl!

"Ah–it's the freak side o' the family!" Cousin Frank muttered.

I grinned good-naturedly et him. "Yew be the freaks en this neck o' the woods, dear Frank. Ef yew want thin's ter be normawll, then why fer goodness' sake did yew decide tew live 'ere? We aren't 10 miles from Innsmouth 'ere, an' Innsmouth es whar most o' the deep 'uns roam. Except thet yew lawt 'ave never heerd o' such thin's–but ignorance es naw excuse, yew knaow."

"Shut up, y' warlock."

"An' yew had never even met us befer! Naw knaowledge et awl tew utter hatred en . . . abaout tew seconds. Must be yer personawll record!"

He had the grace ter look ashamed. " My dad," he explained, "cawls the Dunwich side o' the family 'a lawt o' evil saorcerers.'"

I chuckled. "Thet was my grandad. I'm jest tryin' tew survive–an' sew what ef I aown a bunch o' his ol' books? I've seen the result–the effects–o' usin' black magic. Near gawt me killed et least once, an' I ain't usin' et agin!"

"Than . . . y' 'ave used et?"

I laughed bitterly. "O' caourse I 'ave!"

An' I went inside. He followed me.

"Everyone? This es a representative o' the Dunwich side o' the family."

"We already have five. So what?"

"Ol' John's branch."


I smiled an' sat down–awn the floor. Et was obvious Thet none o' the chairs could've supported me.

"Mad Wizard Whateley's great-great-grandson, are yew?" a woman asked. She had a deep 'un cast tew her face, I nawticed. The Innsmouth side o' the family, than?

I shrugged. "Suthin' like thet, yeah. My name es Wilbur. My twin an' I are the last o' thet lawt."

"He was a reawll saorcerer, they say." She shrugged. "I wish I caould be 'un."

I sighed. "Yew kin see the result."

"Yer sew tawll because o' his magic?"

I laughed. "There are thin's better left unseen an' undone," I said. "My mother loved 'I'm enaough– an' was retarded enaough–tew obey him, an' he gave her the great honor o' havin' the sons o' a thin' from another dimensiawn. There are naw words tew describe the creatures my grandad spoke wit, nawt en any humawn tongue. Cthulhu, Yog-Sothoth, Nyarlathotep–the greatest an' the least o' the Thin's Beyawnd, creatures thet waould be cawlled demons o' madness, ef nawt fer the fact thet They were ol' yet when Lucifer was young. 'Un o' them es my Father."

"Prove it."

I looked et her fer a moment, an' than a tindril curled aout o' my caoat, seemin' tew distort reawllity araound et. "Naow dew yew believe?"

"Fascinatin'! Kin I see?"

"See what?" I replied wit a sneer. "The multiverse es a big place, an' there's a lawt tew see."

My twin looked en the window.

I fraowned. "Tregh? Philka X gkplo tfo xso!" (Brother? You I say to quiet be!)

"G'nart'k X oup, tregh!" (Hungry I am, brother!)

"X philka p'hlax pludl ghd!" (I you food after get!) I shook my head. "He's awllways hungry, I swar!"

"What was that?"

"My brawther." I sighed. "He kin be annoyin', but I love 'I'm anyway."

"Ah. He wouldn't hurt us, would he?"

"He listins tew me." I shrugged. "Ef I'm nawt araound, he kin git a bit . . . fractious, thaough."

They considered the idea o' a 20-foot-tawll monster from another reawllity gittin' 'a bit fractious' an' winced et once.

I laughed. "Ef yew caould spare 'I'm a caow, I'll be sure ter pay yew back."

Frank shrugged. "Sure. There's a young brown bull that's caused us a lawt o' trouble–it won't do a thing y' say, no matter what y' do to it. Most perverse creature I ever did see!"

I laughed louder, rollin' awl o' my eyes. "Will do."

Some'un let aout a curse–in Arabic. I laughed–I knaow severawll humawn languages, es wal es non-humawn 'uns, an' my grandfather caould be very intint abaout Latin, Arabic, an' German.

"What's so funny?" the deep lady asked.

"Oh? Jest thet Frank thinks my side o' the family es weird, when we're awl mad tewgither!"

"You knaow thet I'm nawt humawn, than?"

"Deep es the sea, yew are."

She winced. "Dun't tell, okay?"

"Why waould I? We've awl gawt secrets. I'll keep yers, yew keep mine."

"Gawtcha." She chuckled. "My name es Cassandra Beane–cawll me Cassie. My mother was Xotha Beane, favored o' Dagawn."

I smiled slightly. "My father was Yog-Sothoth."


A random eye looked en the window. "Ungi, ungi! Foo? Ood?"

I smiled et 'I'm an' went aoutside.

"Philka slych?" (You how?)

"Ungi! Ungi, ungi, ungi!"

I laughed.

The bull wannered over. Et mooed en a demandin' way.

"Kd xcszbiv–dhur ghd p'hlax." (On come–we get food.)

He gave his weird, boomin' laugh, an' tore intew the bull. I grinned an' stood by him, smilin'. (I awllways was the ol'er 'un, emotionawlly.)

Frank was lookin' et his thin's. "What es this book? I've had et awl my life, but I can't read et."

I looked et et and shuttered. "Be glad yew kin't, Cousin! Et's The King en Yellow–any pure humawn hew reads et goes crazy, an' even some others are left broken by et. Strange, reawlly–et's only a play, nawt a book o' spells, ur 'un o' dark truths. There are stories, tew, like thet, but The King en Yellow es the only play es does et. Writtin en Sanskrit, thankfully, sew few modern humawns kin read et."

"Can yew?"

"Sure! I read et a lawng time ago–it didn't bother me a bit. I'm nawt humawn enaough fer et tew work, I guess. Et's rather dull, actuawlly–naw characterization an' very littawl plawt, an' et's awl en iambic pentameter, tew boot."

"Ah. I wonder ef et reawlly works at awll."

"Oh, et works! I've met humawns hew've read et–they drool an' gibber an' howl, mostly."

"Ah. There be other books around 'ere, y' know–would y' look a' them, es well?"


"I owe yew."

"Naw, I owe yew." I looked et the books, frownin'. "Why, yew 'ave haff the cawntints o' the Orne library sittin' en 'ere!"

"What library?"

"The Orne library, et the Miskatonic. Best supernaturawll library awn the continent–an' nawt jest abaout the supernaturawll, either . . . De Vermis Mysteriis, the Book o' Eibon, an' even the damned Necronomicon es en 'ere!"

"The say what?"

"The Necronomicon–darkest book o' mad magic es was e'er writ. The originawll es floatin' en the dark o' space, gripped en the han' o' Mindless Azathoth."

He shuttered. "I suggest," he said, "thet this family o' aours never have a Hawlloween party."

I thaought abaout this fer a moment, then winced. "Good idea."

Later, we watched a movie.

I thaought thet et was dumb. "Ef et was me, I'd say 'I hate Auntie Em, I hate Kansas, I'm stayin' 'ere.' But naw. She finds herself en the Land o' Oz, an' immediately wants ter gew back ter Kansas! I mean, KansasKansas, o' awl places!"

"Magic-land there seems terminawlly exciting, to me," Cassie replied.

"Good! awl the better! Maybe she caould become a ghaoul, ur some such thin'!"

She nawdded. "I hate to admit et, but I secretly agree. I think most people do."

"We awl dew! I feel like shakin' the girl an' tellin' her tew wake up an' smell the coffee! Kansas es utter an' absolute Hell compared wit the Emerawlld City!"

"Or even nawt compared wit et," Frank added. "I say we watch something that actuawlly makes sense some of the time, hmm?"

"Define 'sense,'" snapped Cassie suddenly. She held aout a hand–an' webbin' grew awn et. "Cuz I've never seen anythin' sensible en my life!"

"Cassie?" Frank looked shocked.

"Cassandra Beane, an' dun't yew fergit et! Daughter o' Sawney Beane daown thraough the ages, child of Xotha Beane, Dagon's girl!Quite the pedigree, waould nawt yew say?"

I laughed. "Insanity es relatives, after awll."

"No kidding!" Frank an' Cassie chaorused.

Afer thet, everythin' was . . . wal, relatively fine, compared wit what et had bin. Still pretty weird, thaough.