When Phil finds an otherworldly squid in his basement, he knows who to call: the Cthulhu Helpline. Lucky for him, N’larshthog, his customer service rep, is very experienced with this sort of manifestation. Learn the fate of the squid and how Phil really feels about tentacles in this slightly risque tale of the Lovecraftian mythos.

“The Squid That Came to Phil’s Basement” was originally published in Space and Time Magazine. I knew then-editor Hildy Silverman was a fan of the Cthulhu Mythos, as am I, but instead of submitting a straight Lovecraft pastiche I gave it a comedic twist. The excerpt below is the opening scene of the story.






The button above is for my self-published version; the one below is for the Space and Time Magazine issue.

The Squid That Came to Phil’s Basement

The thing in the puddle in his basement stared at Phil. Phil clamped his hands over his ears, but the thing’s mournful wailing passed through his soul like an icy wind in the trees.
       His legs had been shaking when he reached the bottom step, his hand clenched on the railing. He’d followed the terrible lamentation down from his bedroom, expecting to find some crazy homeless person had broken into his house. Breathing fast and shallow, smelling an odd tang of salt in the air, he had lowered one slippered foot to the basement floor, expecting the firm feeling of concrete, not a soft splash.
       Oh, great, he had thought. The basement’s flooded. Was that all it was? Could that be the source of the sound, spraying pipes, a malfunctioning water heater? But as he stepped down with his other foot, something yielded beneath his weight, like stepping on a rubber hose. The dreadful sound increased in pitch, and something moved slimily along his ankle. . . .



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