I first noticed it when I saw steam billowing slowly out of the drain of my sink. I felt it again when I sneezed and the lights all flickered. And then again when my neighbor yelled at his dog and I could feel the room get colder. I know the woman beneath the house wants something from me.
That is the opening line of a short story tentatively called Cold House. This story will likely be released under Public Domain once it is completed, to add to the Public Domain Cthulhu Mythos stories, meaning it can be used by anyone for any purpose, even commercially. Here is a sneak peak:
The cracks in the wall. I can’t deny it now. I can’t deny her. That piece of the paint on the crack fell off, and now I can see it. It’s there, at the point where the two deepest cracks intersect. I wish it would blink. For the few days it was unmoving, I had almost convinced myself that it was never going to move. But it did. I was foolish to hope otherwise. I couldn’t bring myself to touch it, but I needed to know if it was real. I must have spent hours staring at it, trying to memorize the cracks that had birthed it. After the sixth or seventh day, I thought I saw it twitch. Then in a couple of days, I was holding my hand out, so close I could almost touch it; that’s when it opened. It looked right at me, its iris the color of a wound that hasn’t healed properly. The woman beneath the house wants me to know that she is watching. She watches me. Day or night, it never stops. Doesn’t this mean that I am important? That I am part of her slow, deliberated future? That there is a part I must play? How could I be noticed by something so abstrusely and providential? I will know soon. She will grant me understanding. The neighbor’s dog never barks anymore. I don’t see him take the dog for walks past my window. Maybe they can feel it too, this ennui, this suffocating pressure. As if the air itself is shuddering slightly, or as if the sky were something hateful, something to shun for fear of it pulling you in; you must slink back between the walls lest you linger too long away. And once inside you can feel the slight warmth from below, as if something slowly shifts between the floor and the carpet beneath your feet. This godless tension, it must break soon, I can feel it. I cannot bear it much longer. She has chosen me. I must be obsequious; I must go down to her again. It doesn’t matter if I want to. Just the thought itself makes my eyes jitter and ache, and my lungs seem as though they never truly fill with air. I will go. I must go when she calls. I see the bloated thing on the wall and it sees me. God I hate it. I wish it would blink.