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Ableist Cthulhu
Ableist Cthulhu
Socially Conscious Cthulhu Fiction
Published by Justin Isis
10-17-2016
Ableist Cthulhu

SUMMARY: CTHULHU IS PERPETUATING ABLEIST DISCOURSE THROUGH HIS RADICAL INSENSITIVITY TO THE PLIGHT OF THE DIFFERENTLY ABLED. CAN THE OTHER OLD ONES ENCOURAGE HIM TO REVISE HIS OUTMODED AND DISCRIMINATORY LANGUAGE BEFORE HE FURTHER ALIENATES THE MEMBERS OF HIS CULT?

In an undiscussable sphere outside of conventional time and space, the Old Ones were gathering. First to arrive was Nyarlathotep, a pulsing gelatinous chaos of livid darkness. Next was Shub-Niggurath, a cloudy, fecund mass of gaping mouths and pullulating dread. For an eternity these two waited, with Nyarlathotep occasionally checking the time on his iPhone 6s. Finally, Cthulhu arrived - a monster of vaguely anthropoid outline, but with an octopus-like head whose face was a mass of feelers, a scaly, rubbery-looking body, prodigious claws on hind and fore feet, and long, narrow wings. This thing, which seemed instinct with a fearsome and unnatural malignancy, was of a somewhat bloated corpulence due to its excessive consumption of vanilla bean cronuts and overly hoppy India Pale Ale at various promotional events.

“You’re late,” Shub-Niggurath said.

“Sorry been busy overlooking sales of my merchandise,” Cthulhu said. “Don’t have a lot of time so what’s up?”

“Um. Yeah, about that,” Nyarlathotep said. “Seems like things are going well with all the plushies and stickers?”

“Fam I am making mad bank,” Cthulhu said. “Y’all need to get in on this action. I told you, get an agent who’s willing to go to war and negotiate serious contracts. I don’t know why everyone’s still relying on broke ass cult members for funds.”

“Ooookay,” Shub-Niggurath said. “You’re really going to go there. Okay. I can see this isn’t going to be easy.”

“What? I’m just spitting truth.”

“How often have you been checking up on your cult, Cthulhu?”

“Enough? Cult’s got my back when I need it.”

“Yeah, see...that’s the thing. It’s all about you, isn’t it? It’s always been all about you. Great Cthulhu the one and only. You know you’re supposed to actually guide the activities of the cult and communicate with them more than once every few decades?”

Cthulhu shrugged his scaly, mountainous shoulders.

“Normally we wouldn’t even bring this up, but we received a message,” Nyarlathotep said. “From your cult.”

“Da fuq?” Cthulhu said. “Punk ass bitches need to come straight to me if there’s an issue.”

“They tried. They said you weren’t picking up your phone or responding to mails.”

“Like I said I’ve been busy,” Cthulhu said. “What did they say?”

Nyarlathotep said, “The message was from someone called Ferdinand. Does the name ring a bell?”

“Um, no?”

“Typical,” Shub-Niggurath said.

“They’re humans, I don’t have time to learn their damn names. It’s all Olaf this, Omar that, who cares? I can recognize em when I see em.”

Nyarlathotep continued, “This Ferdinand was writing about the temple in Providence Rhode Island where your cult usually gathers. It appears that for some time he’s been trying to recruit a friend of his, and that this friend, while generally interested in raising the sunken city of R’lyeh when the stars are right, has been consistently put off by your failure to provide wheelchair access to the temple.”

“He what?” Cthulhu said.

“Wheelchair access,” Nyarlathotep said, spacing out each syllable contemptuously. “Ferdinand’s friend uses a wheelchair. There is no wheelchair access to the temple. This means Ferdinand’s friend cannot enter the temple. This means he cannot join your cult. This means you suck at management. Starting to making sense?”

“I’m down if he joins,” Cthulhu said. “Can’t he just crawl up the steps or something?”

Shub-Niggurath said, “Performing allyship isn’t about mouthing agreement when it’s easy. You actually need to make changes.”

“We’re concerned that your obviously blase attitude to the situation is indicative of a basically ableist trend in your thinking patterns,” Nyarlathotep said. “We’ve let it slide in the past but it’s becoming increasingly problematic.”

"Ableist discourse is totally cool, I'd never date a girl in a wheelchair or something," Cthulhu remarked. "Cripples are second class citizens no one notices anyway. When I look at someone with crutches I don't see a person I see a goddam liability."

"Wow, nice 'offensive' opinions, dude," Nyarlathotep remarked. "Bet they get you some pretty sweet points on those alt-right sites I saw you browsing.”

"I thought we were all leading humanity into an aeon of chaos where only the strong will survive,” Cthulhu said.

"Not sure why you're talking about strength when you're clearly the most fragile one here," Shib-Niggurath said. "Not alienating differently abled allies is a big part of intersectional feminism. Ableist language includes words like ‘cripple’ and metaphors like ‘blind’ and ‘lame’ used to describe situations pejoratively.”

“I can see Welfare Queen Shub here being into this junk, but I thought you were above this Nyar,” Cthulhu said. “You used to be the Crawling Chaos, I respected you. You tooled humans more than anyone!”

“At present I prefer to think of myself as the Crawling Community Organizer,” Nyarlathotep said. “After reading some critical works on the writings of Deleuze and Guattari, I decided that I was not really a chaos but a rhizome, in other words a nonlinear organizational network. I enjoy bringing people together and that includes the differently abled.”

Cthulhu felt his slimy, tenebrous mass filling with inchoate rage. In a flash he teleported himself to the surface of the Earth, in Switzerland, where a young woman was leading a classroom of autistic children on a field trip through the mountains. Cthulhu merged his mass with every particle of the group’s, penetrating the spaces between their atoms. Then, in a great seizure, he tore them apart. Seventeen prepubescent nervous systems expired in a rapture of agony, their organs becoming plasma. The area was scorched with a noxious black stain, and would be shunned for centuries afterwards as a cursed bower of ineradicable malevolence.

Still bellowing with formless anger, Cthulhu returned to the Outer Void, his tentacles flaring.

“Nice, picking on children, what a badass,” Nyarlathotep remarked.

“Way to punch down,” Shub-Niggurath said.

"You guys used to pick on cripples and retards too before you got woke,” Cthulhu said. His voice had begun to quaver.

"This isn't about your oversensitivity, Cthulhu. It's about can differently abled cultists make it to your temple."

“Screw you guys I’m going to talk to the cultists myself. BTW we’re not friends anymore so don’t summon me again!”

Cthulhu vanished from the void and returned to the interstitital spaces between dimensions, where he used his inhuman senses to access the Internet. He checked his email, saw several messages from addresses he assumed belonged to his cult members, and deleted them in a spasm of fury that soon turned to sullen withdrawal.

"No one wants to hang out with me anymore because I'm ableist," Cthulhu thought to himself. "My peers are too woke now and think they're better than me."

Cthulhu logged onto Breitbart, which he had increasingly come to consider a reliable source of news, and browsed an article about the negative legacy of ObamaCare. Then he returned to Earth and, traveling through time, visited various Providence Necronomicon gatherings, gaining cheap validation from the number of times his name was mentioned and the amount of merchandise bearing his image.

“I feel a bit better now but seriously, screw that pharaoh chump and Shub McSlutface,” Cthulhu thought out loud. As he thought this, he felt the atmosphere parting in a great eruption of flame. Soon he was confronted with another of his kind, Cthugha, a kind of living sun with a skeletal face and tendrils of nuclear fire.

HEYYY BRO, Cthugha blared, GOT TIME TO HANG OUT WITH ME AND FTHAGGUA? I AM MAKING MAD GAINZ IN THE GYM RECENTLY GONNA HAVE TENTACLES THICK AS URS SOON LOL.

“Not really in the mood,” Cthulhu said. “Nyarlathotep is being a dick.”

NYARLATHOTEP IS OVERRATED HE HASNT KILLED ANY KIDS OR DRIVEN ANYONE INSANE FOR A LONG TIME...

“And Shub-Niggurath called me ‘fragile.’”

DONT SWEAT IT SHE IS JUST A SINGLE MOM WITH TOO MANY KIDS WHO HAS BEEN ON THE COCK CAROUSEL FOR TOO LONG THINK HER SOCIAL VALUE IS ABOUT TO RUN OUT AND SHE IS PANICKING.

“You might be right,” Cthulhu said.

I HAVE BEEN BANGING C’THALPA RECENTLY SHE IS PRETTY CHILL…

“Who the hell is C’thalpa?”

A HUGE MASS OF LIVING SENTIENT MAGMA LOCATED IN THE EARTH’S MANTLE. SHE IS MOTHER OF THE GREAT OLD ONE SHTEROT AND FIVE UNNAMED HIDEOUS CHILDREN. SHE IS ALSO SERVED BY A RACE OF MOLE-LIKE HUMANOID BURROWERS KNOWN AS THE TALPEURS.

“What do these mole people actually do?”

THEY MOSTLY JUST BRING HER SNACKS AND OCCASIONALLY DO THE LAUNDRY, I DUNNO SHES KIND OF ENTITLED BUT BASICALLY COOL. I MET HER WHEN I WAS HANGING OUT WITH OLD LEECH.

“What the hell is that?”

HES THIS NEW GUY BUT PRETTY COOL, SEEMS HUNGRY AND HAS DEFINITELY TAKEN THE RED PILL.

“His name is Old Leech?”

I THINK ITS REALLY CHARLES OR SOMETHING BUT WHATEVER.

“He doesn’t have a proper name like Xexanoth or Gla’aki?”

THINK HE CAME FROM A PRETTY ROUGH BACKGROUND SO HIS PARENTS WERENT THAT EDUCATED AND COULDNT THINK OF A GOOD NAME. ANYWAY U SHOULD HANG OUT WITH ME AND FTHAGGUA SOON WE ARE ALWAYS CAUSING TROUBLE HEHE

Cthulhu considered it, but it would mean having to further acknowledge the Derleth entities, who he had always considered somewhat beneath him. “OK yeah I’ll mail you sometime,” he said, and teleported himself to a different part of Providence.

Soon he came upon the temple of his cult, a half-crazed human architect’s flawed imitation of his house at R’lyeh: a great Cyclopean construction of titan blocks and sky-flung monoliths, all dripping with green ooze and sinister with latent horror. Hieroglyphics had covered the walls and pillars, and there was no wheelchair access anywhere.

Cthulhu sent out a psychic summons that he knew would trouble the dreams of his cultists and draw them to him. Then he sat back to wait until the cultists assembled, which from his perspective was merely a handful of moments.

First to arrive were two old men; one was an evil-looking German in a white suit, who balanced his considerable mass on an ivory cane topped with a crystal image of Cthulhu, while the other was an immensely aged mestizo with a bent back and a hook where his left hand had once been.

“Cane, Hooky, glad you could make it,” said Cthulhu.

"Whoa, my name is Gerhard, I'm not my cane, bro,” said the old German.

“Yeah come on Cthulhu, you must remember me. I’m Castro, right, I’ve been with you forever,” said the aged mestizo.

In anger Cthulhu reached his non-material claws into their nervous systems and brought them to their knees in a convulsion of excruciating agony.

“Ahhhhhh shiiiiiit what was that for?!” Gerhard said.

The doorway was darkened by an entering form: a nautical-looking negro who had come from one of the night clubs in the queer dark courts on the precipitous hillside which formed a short cut from the waterfront to the Williams Street area. He was wearing a custom-tailored Oscar de la Renta sailor suit, with the round hat cocked jauntily on his head, and there was a noticeable spring in his step.

“Oh shiiit, Dirty Ferdie in the house!” said Castro.

“Gentlemen and gentle Old Ones,” Ferdinand said. “Is it just me or is everyone looking more DAPPER than usual?” He and Gerhard embraced each other in a way that made Cthulhu feel vaguely uncomfortable, although it was difficult for him to say why.

The next cultist to arrive was a thin, dark young man of neurotic and excited aspect. His name was Henry Anthony Wilcox, and Cthulhu recognised him as the youngest son of an excellent family slightly known to him, who had latterly been studying sculpture at the Rhode Island School of Design and living alone at the Fleur-de-Lys Building near that institution. Wilcox was a precocious youth of known genius but great eccentricity, and had from childhood excited attention through the strange stories and odd dreams he was in the habit of relating. He called himself “psychically hypersensitive”, but the staid folk of the ancient commercial city dismissed him as merely “queer” - which was typical of the Republican voting block in the area. In recent years Wilcox, assisted by Ferdinand, had come into his own through a thorough tour of the club circuit, and was now a respected DJ and occasional drag burlesque performer.

“Is this everyone?” Cthulhu asked. He tried to remember whether there were more or less cultists present than there had been last time, but it was difficult for him to recall.

“Yeah, um, Cthulhu, I don’t mean to be throwing shade or nothing, but uh…” Ferdinand began, then broke into a fit of giggling. Eventually he regained his composure. “It’s about my friend Clarence, yeah? Dude is evil, I mean this kid is Halloween every day. He’s on a real Kenneth Grant trip and he’s read every Necronomicon there is. Thing is, he uses a chair. So he can’t be here tonight. See what I’m saying?”

“The temple is fine as it is,” Cthulhu said.

A buzzing sound broke out from the region of a pocket inset in Ferdinand’s extremely tight pants. “Well, yeah, but...looks like he’s calling now. You want to talk to him?”

Cthulhu intercepted the electromagnetic waves of the cell phone transmission and interfaced with it directly. “Hello?”

"Cthulhu I heard you were fierce but why can't I be on your team too. All I want is to show up, my dude, why can't you just add access to the goddam venue,” Clarence said. “I’m waiting outside now, can’t you magick up a ramp or something?”

Cthulhu extended a portion of his mass outside the temple and devoured Clarence.

“Are there any other objections?” Cthulhu said.

“Okay, this is about what I figured would happen,” Ferdinand said.

Gerhard let out an audible sigh. Castro shifted uncomfortably.

“Cthulhu...er...we’re not trying to upset you or anything, but have you considered that you’re maybe just a bit ableist?” Wilcox said.

“Ableist? YOU don’t get to tell ME how to run my own cult!” Cthulhu’s slimy green surface roiled with anger.

“Yeah, you’re the boss,” said Gerhard. "But it's not fun anymore because you're so ableist. The other Old Ones are more woke and um, use our names when talking to us."

"Yeah man forget this junk,” Ferdinand said. “I got miles of cock for being 'the spooky sailor' but I'm getting serious with Tony and I'm not really all about destroying the world anymore. Most of your cult is differently abled but you act like you're going to take over the world with Team Nazi Master Race. Your whole appeal is based on attracting outsiders, but you're just replicating the values of the mainstream. I mean, this temple? Not very ergonomic is it? It’s all non-Euclidean and took us like six hours to even find the damn door...place would be condemned by any normal city council.”

“Your petty human weaknesses will be washed away once the stars are right again,” Cthulhu said. “Then the liberated Old Ones will teach you new ways to shout and kill and revel and enjoy yourselves, and all the earth will flame with a holocaust of ecstasy and freedom.”

“Since you’re always off in the Plateau of Leng or the Pleiades or wherever, we kind of figured out how to do all that ourselves,” Ferdinand replied.

“Especially the flaming part!” Wilcox put in, and dissolved into laughter. Ferdinand punched him on the shoulder, hard.

“Cthulhu,” Castro started, “Try to understand where we’re coming from. People just look at me and see me as this mestizo pirate with a hook hand or whatever. Did you even know I was a grandfather? Not much social security so I'm working two jobs to take care of my damn GRANDKIDS after an overdose took their Daddy. You even know what I’m talking about? I guess you don’t notice this kind of thing when you’re up in the Outer Void.”

“Yeah, you never ask us anything about ourselves,” Wilcox added. “Ferdie’s getting serious with Tony and I just started a relationship with this guy Lawrence who does security at the Meat Grinder. And I'm working on a new genre of ambient music that I call turntbient. Because chill out music is not supposed to be turnt as shiiiit but sometimes that's how we feel. I've been laying down tracks all night."

"Ableism rules!" Cthulhu exclaimed weakly. His sense of himself was crumbling, deflating.

"It does feel kind of like we joined the cult just because it made sense when we were alienated teenagers and couldn’t find any other outlet,” Ferdinand said. “But we’ve moved on and you haven’t. Just look at it this way. Nyarlathotep and Shub-Niggurath are gaining more followers because they're more woke. But you, it feels like you just want to hang out with us so you can tell us what to do. So you can feel better about yourself. Like you're some badass extradimensional monster with no problems. So why don’t you check your damn privilege, Cthulhu? You’re omnipotent, omniscient, not even made of matter. You can see three dimensional structures from every angle at once and don’t even need to open doors. So how can you know what it’s like to have trouble getting inside a building? Why don’t you just listen to our experiences for once?”

Cthulhu devoured Ferdinand. Then he devoured Wilcox and Gerhard and tore Castro limb from limb.

“Ugggh...at least PayPal my grandkids some cash or something…” Castro said as he reached the edge of death. “Also, be aware that beyond individual feelings, ableist language can contribute to a foundation of more systemic oppression of people with disabilities as a group. There is a pervasive stigma surrounding mental illness, for example, and it can and often does lead to inequitable treatment, such as forced institutionalization and medication and a lack of agency in treating one's mental health. But beyond being denied the autonomy of making personal choices, this form of ableism may even cause individuals physical harm - especially when compounded with race and class. People with psychiatric disabilities are disproportionately victims of police brutality because of ableism.”

Cthulhu ate Castro’s head.

Now he was alone, but felt worse than ever.

He waited in the temple for a few years, sulking, then returned to the Outer Void.

“Thought you weren’t talking to us anymore?” Nyarlathotep said. He was watching an episode of Game of Thrones on his Macbook.

“Did you add access to the temple?” asked Shub-Niggurath.

"No, I ate the cultists.”

"Why?"

"They were making me feel bad."

"Not hard to do...you're a giant fragile douche."

"Yeah good luck finding new cultists now BRO," Nyarlathotep said.
19 Thanks From:
Druidic (10-17-2016), Frater_Tsalal (10-17-2016), James (10-17-2016), Jeff Coleman (10-17-2016), Kevin (10-17-2016), Liam Barden (10-18-2016), mbjorn (10-17-2016), miguel1984 (10-17-2016), Mr. D. (10-17-2016), Mr. Veech (10-17-2016), Nirvana In Karma (10-17-2016), njhorror (10-18-2016), Patrick G.P (10-03-2017), qcrisp (10-17-2016), ramonoski (10-17-2016), symbolique (10-17-2016), ToALonelyPeace (10-17-2016), waffles (10-17-2016), xylokopos (10-17-2016)
  #1  
By Mr. Veech on 10-17-2016
Re: Ableist Cthulhu

This helped brighten my terrible day. Thank you.
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  #2  
By Nirvana In Karma on 10-17-2016
Re: Ableist Cthulhu

This is so offensive, Justin. Why did you have to slut-shame Shub Niggurath?
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  #3  
By Druidic on 10-17-2016
Re: Ableist Cthulhu

You've gone too far this time, Justin...the shiny new metal cylinder has already been prepared with your name and number. Yog have mercy on your non-dualistic soul!
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  #4  
By Auditor on 10-17-2016
Re: Ableist Cthulhu

This #### was clutch
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  #5  
By Gnosticangel on 10-17-2016
Re: Ableist Cthulhu

This was great - made me laugh out loud! Many thanks!
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  #6  
By ramonoski on 10-17-2016
Re: Ableist Cthulhu

BLACK [words obscured by postmark] LIVES MATTER
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  #7  
By Justin Isis on 10-19-2016
Re: Ableist Cthulhu

Thanks all. I am currently trying to assemble an anthology of socially conscious Cthulhu fiction by soliciting divers writers. Please make some recommendations of any writers you would like to see tackle these themes using H.P. Lovecraft's ideas. Joe Hill has already signed on with his story "Shoggoth Microaggressions."
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  #8  
By Kevin on 11-01-2016
Re: Ableist Cthulhu

Astute and too funny. Thanks!
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