An essay by Beepboop, as provided by Catherine L. Brooke
Art by Luke Spooner
There is a legend upon some tiny species of bipedal earth dwellers that states that every word spoken by their Creator became something new. “In the beginning was the word,” and so on, if you get my meaning.
But if that is true of all things, living or otherwise, then this place must have surely started as a sneeze.
It had all the hallmarks of such: it was an unwanted surprise, irritating to the mucous membranes, the sight of many explosive and messy impacts, and was filled with the remnants of once living cells that had perished in a terrible struggle against hostile invaders.
For the place I speak of was known as the Lurid Fields–a glowing green liminal space between two cold barren galaxies, and a place few would come by choice. Only the most foolhardy of spacers would try to plunder their toxic treasures.
The reason I had stirred my own eight rudders through the tides of the galaxies to visit the Fields was not for personal glory or treasure, but for the one good thing a scientist of any species cannot resist: a good old fashioned mystery.
As I swam towards the ouroboros of safety beacons that marked the boundaries of the Lurid Fields, I tried to observe their green glow with the objective detachment a good research Argonaut should, but it was impossible to do so when you knew what the pretty green sparkles actually were.
For the Lurid Fields were the site of some horrendous cataclysm, ancient beyond imagining, even for a kind as long lived as my own. The ruins at the heart of the Fields predated all known civilisations, but it was impossible to get close enough to study them, trapped as they were in the deathless grip of their own effluence.
To read the rest of this story, check out the Mad Scientist Journal: Winter 2018 collection.
Beepboop is a young Argonaut of barely 2 million standard cycles. His passion for learning often overrides his common sense, and he is given to impulsive behaviour and inappropriate jets of ink. Over time, he may become an excellent student and a credit to this college, but only once his rash curiosity is tempered with respect for his elders. Personally, I believe that a millennium or two of internships cataloguing ostraka in the driest of archives might benefit him tremendously. — Boortblat, 300th Chancellor of Zappsploosh University.
Catherine L. Brooke is a thirty-something from Yorkshire in North England. She has been writing fiction since she was eight years old and has always loved stories of the weird and wonderful. She has an academic background in Egyptology and a passionate interest in the oral traditions of story telling. Her other interests include video games, collecting the oddest romance novels she can find, and an obsession with foreign soap operas.
Luke Spooner, a.k.a. ‘Carrion House,’ currently lives and works in the South of England. Having recently graduated from the University of Portsmouth with a first class degree, he is now a full time illustrator for just about any project that piques his interest. Despite regular forays into children’s books and fairy tales, his true love lies in anything macabre, melancholy, or dark in nature and essence. He believes that the job of putting someone else’s words into a visual form, to accompany and support their text, is a massive responsibility, as well as being something he truly treasures. You can visit his web site at www.carrionhouse.com.
“Space Cthulhu and the Cosmic Sneeze” is © 2017 Catherine L. Brooke
Art accompanying story is © 2017 Luke Spooner