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Bells. Deep, dark, full, earthy bells that reverberate from some distant place. Slowly the darkness gives way to a dim, twilight world of malformed shapes. Trees swaying. A chill wind and the smell of moist leaves. I struggle to shake away the confusion until a realization creeps into my mind. I’ve been away for too long. Far too long. Nod feels different somehow. I sit upon the ground and heave a long sigh of weariness. Did I succeed? I don’t even know if Redding is dead or alive. Did he survive and make it to the City on the Hill?

I certainty comes over me that I cannot shake away. I was banished from Nod but I’m back now. Does that mean that I failed or succeeded? If I succeeded, then why was I banished? If I failed, why am I back?

Confusion. Weariness. The bells tolling on and on.

***

Nyarlathotep was the one who explained things to me. He brought me to Nod and placed me in his great labyrinth underneath the sands. Deep inside some great structure that was the tomb of some long forgotten god-king. It was the first time I had seen him in his true form and I cried in fear for a long time telling him I was sorry for whatever transgressions I had made. I groveled. Tears streamed. He bade me to stand and listen. And so his deep, sonorous voice filled the dead spaces of the crypt and I learned the horrible truth of Silent Redding.

Nyarlathotep

He told me how I had failed to kill Redding. But I had at least given Nod a reprieve. I lay in a coma unable to enter either world. While I floated in Limbo, Nod was left to carry on with neither me nor Redding coming nor going.

The Ochre King was flummoxed. Life-in-Death was perplexed. How would the fate of the Land of Nod ever be resolved?

And then I had awakened. Things were prepared for my return. Nyarlathotep, Dr. Frankenstein, Count Orlok, Santa Muerte, Shadow Man, and the Plague Doctor grew anxious. Their followers were stirring and restless. But then something happened.

A full moon appeared in the sky over Nod. It was a blood moon, full and foreboding. And then Silent Redding was seen in various parts of Nod. Fleeting, elusive, like a portent of doom.

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