CTHULHU ON A TRICYCLE (A SHORT STORY)
"Do you have a Lovecraftian story of humor you want to publish in an anthology?" said my friend Scott Elliott. Scott's friend and publisher of anthologies, Alex Shvartsman of UFO Publishing was short on stories for his anthology. He posted a call on Facebook: "My invited authors delivered shorter stories than I anticipated and I still have room for a couple more, but the turnaround time is really short. I'm looking for Lovecraftian humor stories for THE CACKLE OF CTHULHU anthology." And I said, "Oh, I wish! Thank you for thinking of me. No time to quickly write up something." Then I thought about it and said, "Unless...do you think I should buckle up and write up something? I could. I read all of Lovecraft..." and then I thought, "Fuck it. I'll do it. Just for fun."
I wrote it in three days, in the evenings, after writing the chapter outline for ZHANNA. The deadline was December 31st. Scott graciously offered his time and edited it for me, and voila, I've sent it off, the very first story I've ever submitted anywhere, and of course I got my very first rejection, which was so funny and so true, I fell off my ball reading it (Alex said it was totally cool to share it with you guys, as I said you'd get a good laugh out of it):
Thanks for the chance to read this story. Unfortunately it isn't a fit for The Cackle of Cthulhu and I will have to pass.
I thought the story was quite good and wildly imaginative, and the voice reminded me a little of Jonas Jonasson's (whose work I highly recommend if you haven't read him.) However, I would not in any way shape or form consider this to be funny. Not even as dark humor. Sure, the image of Cthulhu on a tricycle is amusing, but between the attempted abortion, devouring cockroaches and cats, and finally eating its mother, this was probably the darkest story I've read in a while. You should definitely be seeking to place this with the horror and dark fantasy markets, but I'm not the right editor for it.
Sorry about the bad news, and good luck with your writing projects in 2017!
Since then we've spent close to an hour chatting with Alex, and I want to go to New York and meet and chat some more, and as a result of this whole thing, you get to read the story here, and I will also add it to my Short Story Collection. Which is growing. One day, when there are enough stories, I will publish it as a book. Well then, here you go.
CTHULHU ON A TRICYCLE
A Short Story by Ksenia Anske
Cthulhu looked three years old, and he was riding a tricycle.
Exactly three months ago, on a sunny April morning, his mother Bobbie Bungey had a strange cosmic dream before she woke up pregnant with a rapidly growing fetus in her belly. However it got there, she had no idea. The last time she had sexual relations was in January at her cousin’s wedding with an inebriated individual by the name of Franky Frocatlev, whose face she couldn’t remember (never mind how she met him or where he went since).
She tried getting rid of the fetus by taking a very hot bath and banging on her abdomen with both fists. When that didn’t work, she tried suctioning it out with an inverted vacuum hose. No luck. Finally, she jumped off the roof of her loathsome unpainted wooden house that she had inherited from her long-dead parents. To her immense disappointment, instead of stalling the growth process, she only accelerated it, and upon landing on the bed of green, slimy vines below, with a stupendous cry and an unbearable pain in her pelvis, she ejected a hideous creature that plopped on the ground and with a rubbery squeak proceeded crawling to the pond where it dunked its octopus-like head and took great gulps of stale, cloudy water. At the sight of this horror, poor Bobbie fainted. When she came to, the sun has set, and the baby was gone.