minute 13

St. Paul’s Cathedral

Unspeakable things had happened at St Paul’s abbey; of this Mr. Thompson was sure. Being one of the leading scholars in the field “Christian monasteries of the Late Middle Ages”, he had studied a great many of these sanctuaries and had stumbled upon innumerable horrifying accounts of ancient clergymen and historians alike. Witch-burning, sacrificing virgins and the collective raping of nuns and children by church dignitaries were only the most obviously disturbing misdeeds Thompson had encountered over the years. Many of them were common knowledge or folklore, stories that had been passed on from generation to generation and were almost exclusively told to scare the living daylights out of the various audiences. Hence, many tales had been garbled by unrestrained exaggeration and were of little scientific value. Yet, Mr. Thompson had spared no effort and had relentlessly – some would say in an obsessive manner – ploughed through any piece of literature he could find on the topic, always in search of the most terrifying story.
Over the last four years, however, he felt that he might have discovered many loose threads which, if he followed them carefully, would finally lead him to the one tale of maximum terror he was so desperately searching for. He had found these hints merely by accident: the many stories he had read in these busy years of research came from the most distinct parts of Europe and were exclusively written by different authors who – Thompson knew – had no chance of knowing each other. Still, strange parallels could be found in their tellings. All these stories held a certain abbey in Northern Ireland responsible for the evil that happened in the respective narratives, a godforsaken place that had been abandoned for many decades. The respective texts always referred to the abbey as a “portal to hell” or “the gate to the Old Ones”. They told of terrifying symbols and of words engraved on the walls of the abbey, signs so gruesome to behold it made the strongest men go insane. It was suggested that they were engraved in the course of several occultist rituals that had occurred in the abbey, rituals that were deemed to be performed in order to spawn hell upon earth. All the stories had another thing in common: each concluded with a warning never ever to pay St. Paul a visit. Mr. Thompson was excited of all this. The horrific mood of these tales was indeed promising and he lost no time organizing his trip to St Paul’s.

The ancient reports had not lied, for the first oddity Mr. Thompson noticed as he approached the abbey were strange characters that had been engraved in the wooden gate. The most prominent aggregation of words formed a sentence: In his house at R’lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming.
Sadly, the abbey had not been taken care of: it was in an absolutely bleak condition. Moreover, there was something uncanny about the place. With an uneasy feeling that began to nestle in his stomach, Mr. Thompson pushed open the rusty gates and entered St. Paul’s abbey.
The courtyard was even more derelict than the abbey’s front. Dark, reddish spots on the formerly white arcaded sidewalks indicated that this abbey had recently been the stage for occult rituals, as did the various wooden structures that were arranged around an old well. Thompson had seen many structures of their kind; they were instruments of torture. Uneasily, Thompson observed the yard. Somehow, the well was horrifying. Its black stones were almost completely covered in moss and upon closer examination, Mr. Thompson discovered a slimy, ominous substance on the well’s inner surface. His uneasy feeling had transformed into a state of constant awareness. A disgusting smell seemed to emanate from the pitch-black bottom of the well.
He was disrupted in his study of the well as something moved behind him. Quickly, he turned around and saw, much to his surprise, two nuns approaching him. Their footsteps were synchronous and their hands were hidden in their tunics. A sign had been sewn on their garments: it showed the pictogram of an eye in the center of a star. Thompson’s initial relief caused by the appearance of fellow human beings in this godforsaken abbey turned into pure terror when he saw that both nuns’ eyes had been removed.
They stopped, and spoke to him: “Greetings, sceptic. You have travelled far to satisfy thy thirst for knowledge and thou shall be rewarded. Cthulhu, the Great One, will rise and feast upon thee. Thou will succumb to madness, yet thou will be living by his side at R’yleh. Alas, Great Cthulhu, wake up for we have brought you sacrifice!”
The sky turned dark with thunderclouds and a glistening light illuminated the abbey. Thompson desperately tried to shut his eyes but they were forced open by an invisible hand each time he closed them. He held his hands before his eyes and through his finger he could see a giant figure manifesting itself in the yard; a creature with a thousand tentacles attached to his gruesome face, dead eyes and an enormous body.
It was then that he understood His cosmic plan. The Great Cthulhu had once again spawned from his native City of R’yleh, to force his evil upon this land, to subject the low creatures of Earth to His will. Images rushed before his inner eye; pictures of ultimate evil, of pain beyond anything earthly, of the destruction of biblical cities and of the end of time itself. He was Alpha and Omega.
Mr. Thompson came to St. Paul’s abbey discover the most terrifying story in history when it was yet to be written. Now that he had acquired a place in the front row, he hoped that he would be able to write it down when the Great Cthulhu had shown him His world. But for now, his mind was flooded with insanity.

Joseph Möller