Saturday, October 24, 2015

In which - Introducing Lavinia Whateley

I'm Lavinia Whateley, unquiet spirit.

Perhaps you've heard of me.

According to HP Lovecraft, I'm the somewhat deformed, ugly, crinkley-haired, slatternly albino freak who got knocked up by Yog-Sothoth and gave birth to the creepiest set of twins to ever walk the planet.

Okay, well - basically, that's true.

But allow me to explain.

I was born in 1878 to Noah Whateley of Dunwich, MA and his wife, Sophia Elizabeth Whateley, formerly Adams. At the time, my father was a self-educated farmer with a deep interest in the occult, which my mother shared. She came from Arkham and longed to attend Miskatonic University, but in those days, women weren't allowed to. When I was born, I was regarded as "deformed" simply because of my albinism. My parents were never rich - obviously - but we did have a comfortable, if modest, home and my childhood was happy.

But when I was twelve, all of that changed.

They - in town - tried to say that my father killed my mother, But that wasn't what happened. She was murdered by one of the so-called "undecayed" Whateleys - the "good" ones - when she rejected his advances. Jefferson Whateley, one of my father's cousins, wanted to sleep with her, but my mother would have none of his advances. So one night, when my father was away, he forced his way into the house and raped her, then cut her throat so she wouldn't tell. I climbed out a window and tried to go for help, but by the time I returned with some of the Frye family, it was too late. We couldn't go after Jefferson - dead women tell no tales and no one would believe the testimony of a twelve-year-old who was already regarded by most of the "respectable" folks as little more than a halfwit.

Is it any wonder my father went a little bit out of his mind?

To this day, I don't know why he didn't leave. Maybe there wasn't any place for him to go. But over the years, he became more and more obsessed with this idea of "opening the gate" between this world and - the other one. I think he believed that it would open the door to bringing my mother back. And I think he somehow reckoned that he'd be able to finally exact revenge on Jefferson and the rest of the "good" Whateleys.

Okay, maybe I'm not too bright myself. I let him talk me into the notion of being "the key to the gate." I thought I was just going to summon Yog-Sothoth, not wind up pregnant by - him? I guess it's "him."

Yeah, I should have asked more questions, A lot more. But he was my father. And I didn't have any reason at the time to think that he didn't know what the heck he was doing.

Which made two of us.

And I'll be honest - I loved the twins. Wilbur was a sweet baby. He never cried or complained. Why wouldn't I have been proud of him? And remember, at the time I thought I was doing the right thing. I really believed that we were going to save the world from itself, my father, my children and I. I believed that everything was going to be all right.

But yeah, as time went on, things got weird. Really weird.

It all went bad on Samhain night in 1926. Wilbur was convinced that this was the night, when the veil was thinnest, that he would open the gate at last. Except what he wanted to do had nothing to do with my mother, or my late father, or helping anyone. He intended to unleash the Elder Gods upon Earth, to call up Cthulhu from R'lyeh and the others with him. Except he needed blood to do it.

My blood.

I don't remember what happened, how he did it. But I do remember standing over my own body while he stared at me in horror, realizing that in death, I was far more powerful than he was or ever would be in life. I might have been only human, but I knew far more about the Old Ones than he did. And now that I was incorporeal, I could keep him from opening the gate. As for the whippoorwills heard screaming throughout that night - they and their deva were the ones who came to my aid, who helped me keep the gate closed and the world safe.

Psychopomps don't devour the souls of the dead, but they do eat nightghasts.

I chose to stay on in the realm, at least for now. Yog-Sothoth may be the Gate and the Key. but he's not the only one who knows how to work the lock. And he's not the only one who knows where the Old Ones broke through before, and where they shall again.

Not gonna happen. Not on my watch.