The thick blankets of dirty grey snow are finally receded, revealing the streets of Providence glistening with dirty melt water and gritty with sand. I walked along today under the heavy grey skies, Easter Sunday, with churchgoers milling about church parking lots and posing outside the First Baptist in their finest clothes. They eyed me warily as I walked by, unshaven with jeans I’m sure I haven’t washed in a week or more, my brown ‘Miskatonic University’ hoodie torn in several places – I don’t remember how that happened, or when. They don’t trust me; probably even fear me, these upright citizens of Providence… I find that amusing, knowing the things I know, seeing the things I’ve seen. The things that exist in the darkest corners and underneath the ancient floorboards of this cursed city.
I think I had made my way down to Camp Street, on the East Side, walking slowly through the streets trying to keep my mind off of…. well, just trying to make myself stop thinking, mostly. The mind plays tricks, cruel tricks when a person has too much time to think, too much time to ponder decisions and mistakes that were made. There was a sound – not the whispering or the blasphemous piping, but another sound, just as terrible and unnatural, that caused me to stop. I couldn’t tell where it came from at first – I am accustomed to strange sounds in the air around me, shadows flitting about, but this sound I could not place. It was only when I came to a common storm grate, the sickly melt water dripping down into the darkness between the rusted bars, that I better heard the sounds and understood their location.
What terrible black thing crawled through the storm drains I know not, but the sounds it made as it went were nothing short of horrific. It was a thick, pulsing, gelatinous sound that made my skin crawl and made me shake involuntarily. I may have let out a cry, I’m not sure, and I felt the bile rise in the back o my throat. I can’t imagine how I may have looked to any passers-by; probably like a madman, unshaven and staring terrified into a storm grate. I could not move, though – I think part of me was fixed by terror, but some other part of me wanted to see it, wanted to know what thing lurked there beneath the quiet street with it’s historic houses and terrible secrets. What was it that slid gibbering beneath the pavement while all the churchgoers wandered by in their fine clothes, making their way to their houses of worship.
Would those bricks and beams keep the horrors out? Would faith? Or would it only prolong the inevitable? When those horrors from the darkest depths of madness reach out and gnash their teeth, will those who have faith be cut the deepest, seeing their faith fall asunder as they scream, cries to their God falling on deaf ears?
Somehow I found my way back towards Thayer street and went into CVS. They had solid milk chocolate rabbits on sale already, 50% off, so I bought three and ate one on my walk home. Chocolate helps me keep my mind off of things… it doesn’t do well for me to dwell on things.