‘Then here,’ said the old gentleman, ‘is a little manuscript, which I had hoped to have the pleasure of reading to you myself. I found it on the death of a friend of mine – a medical man, engaged in our County Lunatic Asylum – among a variety of papers, which I had the option of destroying or preserving, as I thought proper. I can hardly believe that the manuscript is genuine, though it certainly is not in my friend’s hand. However, whether it be the genuine production of a maniac or founded upon the ravings of some unhappy being (which I think more probable), read it, and judge for yourself.’[1]

Tor.com is having a Lovecraft month, including a Lovecraft art jam. My first Lovecraft was At the Mountains of Madness, set in Antarctica during Mawson’s second expedition, and pretty much finished off what was left of any urge I had to visit the Antarctic after I was exposed to This Accursed Land (from which I learned to fear crevasses, and that if you eat your huskies’ livers you will go mad and the soles of your feet will fall off). The highlight of the novel was, of course, the six-foot tall, albino, blind, cave-dwelling penguins which, as far as I recall, don’t do anything more overtly threatening than mill around in the dark, softly muttering “tekeli-li”. But still – six-foot penguins!

Accordingly, below is a quick and very rough sketch layout of yet another reason to fear crevasses.


[1] Having no volumes of Lovecraft to hand, I had to make do with the nearest alternative. This excerpt is from Dickens’ The Pickwick Papers.

9 thoughts on “Tekeli-li

  1. Fat Boy in Pickwick Papers: “I likes to make your flesh creep” (his only line).

    There is a certain lack of vivid adjectives in the Dickens passage, surely would be improved by Lovecraftian additions such abhorrent, unspeakable, crawling, etc.

    Re the Tor challenge : yet another thing for the holidays. I may have to join you there.

      • It’s up on my blog – I tried repeatedly to put it in the comments section on the Tor blog using their [img]url of image[/img] without success. I saw yours was on Flickr, so I also tried with Flickr, still no luck. Any thoughts?

  2. You’re right, they are creepy.

    I want to know more about the story written by the lunatic, though. Would make a wonderful start to a story.

    • Well, I’ve just finished Canal Dreams (Ninja cellists in Panama!) and am about to get back to Pickwick, so you’re welcome to borrow it when I’m done. That story is about a lunatic keeping his lunacy a secret.

  3. my first Lovecraft story was ‘Rats in the Walls’. Always loved ‘at the mountains of madness’ though.

    Dickens London is very gothic in style. I alway thought that Great Expectations was almost describing an incurion of Carcosa

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