I had crossed the six-lane suspension bridge before dawn, and spent the morning hiking in the park across the bay as, hidden from me, the city woke—office windows illuminating, human flesh-gears groaning into the motions of another self-rotation—taking its first great breaths with lungs of politics and commercial profitability: civilization in its prime: America undaunted.
By afternoon, I had summited and sat on a warm flat rock, lunch spread enticingly beside me and legs dangling lazily above the world. I watched the city’s glass skyscrapers reflect the glowing sun, whose rays danced across the water like golden waves on an oscilloscope, and listened to the soulless hum of a million empty cars, a million disconnected voices…
The first mollusk man emerged unnoticed from the bay.
Grey clouds enveloped the sky.
The day grew suddenly oppressive, but threatened more than rain, as if the firmament itself was but a membrane—now taut, and compressing under the horrible weight of an accumulation of stars: the pressure, felt in the air as much as in my ears, of a dark and cosmic inevitability.
The city paid no heed.
But I watched with rapt attention as more of them emerged, black pin pricks surfacing in the silvery waters of the bay, swimming and walking towards the unsuspecting shore, a gathering pointillist nightmare lapping at the very edges of urbanity.
Broken by a movement behind—
Three mollusk men emerging from the vegetation, marching single file along the path toward me: human-sized cephalopods clad in woven microplastic robes, their tentacular whiskers flowing in the illusion of a liquified air.
Instinctively, I retreat.
Blind to me they shuffle past.
They raise their shiny arms and begin the incantation, speaking syllabic chains of hideous incomprehensibility. Less language than a syntax of miasma, and indeed their words escape their loose and flapping mouths as an iridescent vapour—three strands that rise, and rising intertwine…
I look toward the city:
The flashing of emergency lights.
The chaos of invasion.
The warping of the heavens—
to which from everywhere the same trinities of braided vapour-chant ascend!
Syllable upon terrible syllable broken intermittently by the thumping of helicopter blades, the pitter-patter of machine gunfire and the wailing of the damned.
Humanity is lost.
The incantation reaches a crescendo!
Space-time tears like a rag.
The sky opens:
The dead and dying stars collapse on us as cosmic rubble, and across the bay, beyond the darkened city, a great carmine fire erupts, casting demon shadows on what remains of our reality and rendering the city skyline a dreadful silhouette.
The world itself quakes!
The incantations cease—
The bond between gods and matter has ruptured! The dread-skyline is lifted, higher and higher—until its jaggedness and buildings transform into the ancient teeth of the lower mandible of Moloch! Now fusing with the upper jaw; abominable skull, whose size: impossible, forged in a crucible of our own making. Shedding all detritus of progress, he grows: Primal: He becomes, and we are undone.