Finally, after avoiding the subject for months, she managed to snare me. She trapped me on the couch with a cold beer and a turkey sandwich. I couldn’t resist her; she wore my favorite dress and left her hair curly and wild instead of straightening it like she did every morning. Many months ago when we first started talking about our honeymoon we couldn’t reach a compromise. My wife is a very stubborn woman and has always expected the world to fall in line perfectly with her expectations. Her wedding would not be spoiled by the likes of me; her eyes seemed to say said. But I couldn’t tell her the truth; I couldn’t possibly explain why I was so afraid of just going on a trip.
The story I want to tell you is very strange, if you knew her, indeed if you knew either of us you would discount it right away. We just aren’t the kind of people that get caught up in this sort of thing, to be vague about it. It would be hard to accept that anyone could believe this tale, I sometime doubt it. But there’s no denying it, I know what happened. If you don’t believe any of my story, regard it at least as an interesting lie. We’re married now, and live in a strange place called the suburb. We try hard to have a child with no real success. We are a normal couple on a perfectly ordinary street, far away from the sea.
I have always been terrified of the sea, of the depth of water. I am a scientist and I have no illusion about man being the dominant species on this planet. The earth is covered in water, seventy percent covered. There are things deep below that calm placid surface that no one wants to see. Creatures that have been evolving for millions of years longer than we have stained this planet, I’m convinced that the invasion has already started, but I am getting ahead of myself.
I am writing this in bed, and she is asleep. I will not tell you her name; she would feel betrayed and rejected if I did. What I am telling you is a secret, so listen carefully if you listen at all.
She wanted to have a conventional wedding and a honeymoon in the sun. She saw a life with me as a chance to finally grasp some normalcy in this chaotic world. Her idea of a holiday in the sun was a cruise through the Caribbean. For a fleeting moment I explained the merit of a honeymoon in Vietnam. The history I said. The bugs, the inhuman food, and the lack of beaches were her reply.
I didn’t complain, she was beautiful and loved me. She didn’t know anything of my deep seated fear of water and the things it conceals. I was determined to give her the honeymoon she was begging for. We were married in the winter. Winter has always been are time.
After the wedding my father took me aside and gave me his gift in private. He managed to convince me to hide with him in an old broom closet infested with spiders. We both got streaks of dust on our rented tuxedos. My father is a very strange and complex man. Through my mother guarded remarks I learned that the man I call my father was at one time a priest in a very strange religion.
My mother told me that they talk about my fathers beliefs in the bible, when they talk about the pagans. That’s all I could get out of her when I was a child. I was raised by my mother and honestly don’t know the man very well. Later in life he would tell me he was born in a place called Insmouth, a city that is being swallowed by the sea. In the broom closest on my wedding day, he choose to tell me Insmouth was my home too.
He lit a marijuana cigarette and handed it to me, knowing my father I assumed that some whiskey and maybe a rubber would follow and this little exchange would be my gift. I was wrong; he gave me something far stranger. It was a book with out a title. The cover was hard leather, and had the imprint of a face screaming in anguish. He held it tentatively, with the tips of his fingers.
“This is very special son, it’s worth a small fortune.”
“What it is Dad.” He smiled brightly.
“It’s your birth right son. You Mother has the Bible, and I have this. But unlike your mothers false god this is real.” He switched me the book for the joint and inhaled deeply. A pint of southern comfort appeared in his hand.
“What do I do with it though dad?”
“You read it son. But don’t read it out loud, not unless your serious.”
“What ever you say.” I took sometime with my father and we finished that bottle of whisky and he read some parts of the book to me. After a while my wife managed to track us down.