Essay

Yes Virginia, There Is A Cthulhu

Dear Editor,

I am 8 years old. Some of my friends say there is no Cthulhu. Papa says, ‘If you see it in The Arkham Review, it’s so.’ Please tell me the truth; is there a Cthulhu?

-Virginia Olmsted
115 W. 95th st.
Arkham, MA.

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe in anything except what they can see. They think that nothing can exist which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect compared to the boundless world about him and the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Cthulhu. He exists as certainly as the stars, the seas, and the infinite exist. Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Cthulhu! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias.

Not believe in Cthulhu! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the coastlines and volcanic islands on Christmas Eve to catch Cthulhu, but even if they did not see him, what would that prove? Nobody sees Cthulhu. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the horrors there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You may tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man could tear apart. Only fear, fancy, madness, and obsession, can push aside that curtain and view the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in this world, there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Cthulhu! Thank God! He lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to destroy the heart of childhood.

Merry Christmas Virginia,

Archibald Gilman
The Arkham Review
919 NE Wilbur Dr.
Arkham, MA.

Based on the “Yes Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus” letters published in The New York Sun in 1897, by the real eight year old Virginia O’Hanlon and newspaper reporter Francis Pharcellus Church.

Artwork by Les Edwards

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A Year in The Deepwood

Deepwood: The Unicorn

When I was young,
I sought her
because of her wonder,
that was all that mattered.

When I grew older,
I hunted her
for beauty’s sake,
wanting it for myself.

As a man,
I wanted her
for what she could offer me,
a legend of my own,
immortality perhaps.

I hardly knew what to do,
when I finally caught up
with her, one day at sunset
drinking from a cool, clear pool
in the heart of The Deepwoods.

We wrestled for a time,
but eventually,
I broke her,
tying her to an ancient elm,
with silver rope,
as legend proscribed.

She told me all
the secrets of her kind.

When she was done,
I ground her horn
into my satchel
and drained her blood
into my flask,
through all of which,
she was alive
to preserve potency,
just as I had read
in the ancient texts.

When I emerged
out of The Deepwoods,
I told no one of my kill
and no one laughed
when I quit the hunt,
putting away childish things.

I prospered much from that day,
in my mixing and dealings.

But as an old man,
I see her now in my dreams,
beckoning for me
to join her in the pool,
a dark glint in her eyes.

I wonder what
she wants from me.

I see her sometimes,
even when I am awake,
a brilliant white streak
at the edge of my vision…

But I am too old to be hunted,
aren’t I?

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Poetry

Zoo Dreams (2 of 2)

I don’t remember the wild,
but my mother does.

She won’t talk about
what happened to her herd,
but her left eye,
sightless and milky white
speaks of a cruel world
beyond these walls.

Home to her now means
not having to wander,
to destroy all the time,
or worry about her children
and she says,
that is worth the space.

Though recently,
she does mutter in her sleep,
about the graveyards of Asia…

They are calling out to her,
across oceans
and across instinct,
begging her
to finally come home.

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