My girlfriend works in an occult shop. This means that the candles in my house don’t only smell nice, they have a meaning. The green candle is supposed to give you success in money. The black one takes away nightmares. I have a dozen different kinds of incense at all times. There’s almost always at least a tiny bit of glitter somewhere on her body. It also means that sometimes she brings home strange things that I didn’t know actually existed.
I first noticed there was something in the turtle tank when I got home from work. I might not have noticed. It’s been a while since we cleaned the thing, but I heard the audible pop of a bubble. I glanced at the tank from the couch and saw two more purple bubbles float to the surface of the water and then pop.
I stood up to take a closer look. I wasn’t prepared for what I saw. While the turtle was sitting on his floating piece of bark, there was something else at the bottom of the tank. It was about the size of the turtle, but its face was full of tentacles and when I looked at it, it looked right back at me. Another purple bubble appeared in front of it and floated up. When it popped, I noticed the brimstone smell.
“Honey,” I said, “What’s in the turtle tank?”
“Oh.” I heard her say from upstairs, “I got him from work.”
“What’s in the turtle tank?” I repeated.
“It’s Cthulhu. A baby one.”
“It’s okay. The turtle will enjoy the company.” She came downstairs and looked at it as another purple bubble popped.
“What’s it doing?” I asked.
We’d talked about pets before. I was fine with the turtle. Ultra low maintenance pet that doesn’t shit around the house. No big deal. We’d talked about getting a dog, but neither of us are home enough for that. But we had definitely not talked about bringing home a Dark God to make friends with our turtle.
Just for the record, it did NOT make friends with the turtle. The next morning when I turned the light on in the turtle tank, I noticed something different about the turtle. It took me a minute to realize that it wasn’t the turtle at all. It was Cthulhu wearing the turtle’s shell.
It turns out there’s no returns when you buy Cthulhu from a new age shop. Not even if you’re an employee. There’s also no selling Cthulhu or moving Cthulhu if Cthulhu doesn’t want to be moved. And while it may be cute as a baby (if you find tentacle faced green monster baby Dark Gods cute), it’s important to note that Cthulhu gets bigger. A lot bigger.
Words by Jack Cameron
Illustration by Ossaín Ávila Cárdenas
About 15 Minute Stories
It’s good for writers to write every day, but it’s easy for life to get in the way of that. One solution I read about recently was to write a 15 minute piece of short fiction every single day for a month. You may not have time to do NaNoWriMo every month, but if you like writing, you can always find 15 minutes.
So for the month of January, I’ll be writing and posting pieces of very short fiction that I took 15 minutes to write. I’ve asked that my friend, Ossaín Ávila Cárdenas join me by taking 15 minutes to draw an accompanying image for each story. Ossaín is one of the owners of a local zine shop in Tacoma called The Nearsighted Narwhal.