Thursday, October 05, 2006

My story, "Azathoth is Here" is in Cthulhu Express Anthology, which is out. Get it at, or more directly at This has stories all Lovecraftian in it, with other great authors sharing the anthology with me.
The print version is $14.03 and the download is $4.99.


Most days working in a supermarket the only excitement came from jars falling off shelves and breaking or when a customer misuses 'the customer is always right' and makes your life hell. But Saturday night I learned a new definition to the word hell.

My name is Alan Holly and I run one of the registers up front, and I was trying to get Mrs. Piper checked out. A tiny, elderly lady with blue-tinted, thin hair, she managed to slip into the supermarket, as always, just before closing. She’d loaded up a whole cartload of groceries and paper products, and then rushed to check out at my register. Why me, I don’t know. Maybe I reminded her of her dearly departed husband, Joe. He had dark hair and blue eyes like me, plus we both were somewhat plump. And like me, generally he had been a meek and quiet man. I heard she had always liked to irritate him. I sometimes
think that’s the real reason he died, just to get away from her.

Leaving her to irritate me, of course.

But that night, as she shoved item after item on to the moving conveyer belt of the register, she irritated someone else. A little, meek-looking man in his late twenties, stood behind her with a head of lettuce and a carton of milk. With wire-framed glasses perched just on the tip of his bulbous nose, the slate-gray eyes behind them followed every movement Mrs. Piper made. Kinda creepy. The store had some weirdos in it tonight, that’s for sure.

Then the horrible thing happened.

Mrs. Piper grabbed the last item--a package of twenty-four toilet paper rolls--and lifted it ever so slowly while giving me that maddening smile that always drove me nuts. I stood there, waiting and trying to remain patient, as she did this every time, when suddenly the guy behind her tore the bag of toilet paper rolls out of her hands. An unearthly scream came from his mouth, shattering quite a few glass bottles in people’s carts. Ketchup, mustard and other stuff covered the carts, the floor, people, and even my register.

Suddenly he became silent. He kept his mouth wide open like a chasm and something seem to be trying to crawl out of it. The opening stretched wider and wider until cracks formed in his face like mud drying under a hot sun.

Definitely not your everyday, mundane happening. At least not in a supermarket anyway.

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