the mall of cthulhu

Today at lunch I watched the Women in White Coats come and go. They weren't nurses. They weren't estheticians. They weren't scientists. One of them walked by saying "Things happen for a reason" on her cell phone. I hope her interlocutor felt better about whatever. So anyway, while the Women in White Coats walked back and forth, reassuring their interlocutors and being mysterious, I wrote the following. You have to read it.

The Mall of Cthulhu

From a script commissioned by the National Retailer’s Association, described as a “cosmic horror feature based on the novels of Ayn Rand and the stories of Lovecraft, designed to appeal to the teen male demographic while delivering a tailored message concerning the importance of well-designed and accessible mass retail space”.

INT – DAY – Council of United Nations of the USA

Retail architect CHAD PELVINS mounts the podium. United Nations Chair'person' WISSEL MONTGOMERY IV gingerly takes a seat, scowling – he does not want to hear what PELVINS has to say. Character note: WISSEL is jealous of PELVIN'S freethinking spirit and hates him for it.

PELVINS: Ladies and gentlemen, I freely admit that that we do not know with certainty the source of the underwater quakes that have destroyed many of our coastal cities. But I believe that the worst may be upon us, and that Cthulhu, the sleeping beast that dwells in watery slumber in the stone city of R’lyeh, may at last be awakening to devour humanity. It is true that Cthulhu hungers for human flesh seasoned with human fear, but I have a hunch that he will hunger even more for quality goods at reasonable prices in an attractive and accessible setting.

WISSEL MONTGOMERY IV: Colleagues, I must protest against this nonsense!


Rumbling from the seated crowd. PELVINS gathers his strength for an all-out rhetorical assault on the crowd of feminized muscle-mystics and misguided altruists.

PELVINS: Brothers and sisters! True men and women of this great land! Here me now when I say that this is our time of decision. Our time of need. When we must swing our hammers of might and reason and forge a shopping space of mighty proportion and Cthulhu accessibility, with proper ramps, good parking and wide aisles, plus moistening stations in convenient areas for the Underwater Beast Who Will Devour Us All. First, I propose an atrium with tinted panes to shield our Monstrous Guest from the harmful effects of direct sunlight on His Unholy Skin –

MONTGOMERY IV: You are mad!

PELVINS: Oh, mad you say? Why, I oughta come over there just a' wrigglin and a' punchin til you're squealing for the mama otter what spat you out onto the Oregon beaches!


A pause.

PELVINS: Hang on a moment. You're right, I'm completely mad.