Ova and Out: a tale of terror


Sue Savage

In 2006 I moved in with a friend who had a room to rent. After a while I started to notice an unpleasant smell in the shared kitchen, and decided to do something about it. The result was so horrifying that when I came to write a blog post about it (Facebook not yet being available to the masses), I ended up attempting an H.P. Lovecraft pastiche. I've just been reminded of it, and by good fortune I have a backup of my old blog and was able to find the story. See if you can spot the exact moment where I failed a SAN roll...

I shrink to tell people my harrowing tale, but tell it I must, lest others succumb to the same dreadful fate as I.

While I would hesitate to so define myself, I have some small skill in investigation, and upon learning of some strange baleful influence haunting the kitchen of a house (the one in which I currently reside, no less!) I was compelled to go in search of its origin. Armed with a fine instrument of detection it was not difficult to confirm one corner of the room as the source of this drifting miasma. But as to a cause I could find nothing.

I searched - oh, how I searched! Through cupboards and draws, under shelves and between gaps I cast my gaze, but nowhere could I find what I sought. Until last night, when finally my eyes rested upon something so horrific I wondered how I had so many times overlooked it.

It was a cage, made of wood with wire mesh over the front. A simple clasp held it shut - quite sufficient to contain what lay within. I checked my instrument's readings. While I could not be sure this was what I sought, there was a poison here, one that crept into the very soul. And I knew what I must do.

I secured wrappings of a curious material, impervious to both water and gases, and laid them out ready. Then, with trepidation, I opened the door.

Four of the things lay within. They were not large, but in the course of my investigations I have learned that there are far more terrible attributes ones foe may possess besides mere size. While not identical, they were similar in appearance to one another, each being roughly ovoid and the colour of human flesh. I wondered if they would be similarly soft and yielding to the touch, but as I reached out for the first I found it was quite hard. I lifted it from its place of rest and transferred it into the wrappings.

The second and third followed with no more difficulty, and I began to think the task would not be so very hard after all. But when I came to the fourth I realised I was mistaken. Through the hardened shell some vile ochre feculence had dripped, the gelatinous residue forming an encrustation that adhered to the very cage that contained it!

With exquisite care I reached in to withdraw the shelf upon which the thing lay anchored. It came free - oh the relief! I prepared to separate the thing completely from its former prison and then - horror of horrors! As I pressed my trembling digits against its seeming solid walls, the shell cracked.

I must confess, gentle reader, that at that point my courage failed me. Overcome by terror I ran shrieking for the pump, there to douse my hands over and over with the blessed purity of water. But even there I could not linger long, for from the shattered carapace drifted a foul reek, a corruption that assaulted my senses with a sulphurous stench worthy of the very blackest pit of hell.

I ran from the room with nausea rising in my stomach, until I was able to inhale and fill my lungs with pure air. For a short while I stood motionless, dreading the inevitable return, but in time I steeled myself to the task. Filling my lungs once more I ventured back into the diabolic miasma.

The room contained a fan, cunningly designed to draw air from the room, and it was this I first went to. Next I seized upon a cannister of some chemical, known for its power to draw foul odours from the air, and sprinkled it liberally around both this room and the next. Revulsion seized me again and again, but I overcame it and continued my work. I took up cloths and once more approached the thing.

Within the shattered shell lay a livid amorphous blob, which seemed to tremble and pulsate even as I approached it. I prepared myself, covering my hands with layers of wrapping and cloths, then turned my head in disgust as I reached out to clasp the ameboid ooze. In moments I had it safely inside the wrappings, and with it I discarded the cloths - they would never again be fit for human contact. I covered the four things in layer after layer of the impermeable wrappings, before taking up the entire thing and transporting it outside the house where its hideous stink would trouble us no more.

Alas, my torment was not over, for as I returned to my own quarters I realised that the thing's taint had been transferred onto my own hands, and hence into the very room in which I now sat! Fortunately I class amongst my friends persons with a great knowledge of the occult. What a marvellous thing our network of telephone cables is! Upon my friends' advice I cleansed my room with smokes and vapours, then plunged myself into a bath scented with oils, and gradually the corruption was lifted from me.

In daylight I find myself bolder. The cage, that dreadful container that both held and concealed the horror from me, has been cast from the house. Bound in the same wrappings it now rests beside the horror it once contained. But my tale of horror is not yet at an end, for in the place where the cage once stood lies an abyssal viscous slime. I have tried with cloths and wrappings to remove it, but it remains motionless, as if taunting me with its contagion that still issues forth. I know not what course to follow now. How to remove this tawny sludge is beyond my wit, and I fear my mind will suffer with each further attempt.

It occurs that you might consider this a mere fancy - the result, perhaps, of an unsettled mind, or of indulging in cheese before retiring to sleep. I must assure you that this is not so. On this page I have attempted to set down the events of last night with as much detail and accuracy as my recollection will allow. The thing's emanations still exude from the ochre filth, and so after all my efforts the sense of revulsion still assaults me each time I enter the kitchen. I beg that rather than mocking my outpourings that you will offer advice, should there be any for one in such a position as I, and that you will learn from my dreadful tale and not succumb to such a horrible fate yourself.

I smell it still. The odour haunts my dreams and my waking hours. It is a nightmare I shall never forget.

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