The Necronomicon, but the new abridged version

You dig the book from your pockets.

For such a book of great magnitude and power, you feel that the abridged version here was an excellent choice. What was once a book bound in man's screaming flesh has now been bound in a nice, paperback copy published by a well-known company somewhere in the real world. The cover doesn't even look that bad, either. There's a nice header with, "Necronomicon" written in a clean, serif font with the subtitle "Grimoire of Great and Terrible Knowledge, Arcana of the Old Ones: Third Edition with Preface by Nyarlathotep" in a greyed-out, simple typeface. For such a book, horror incarnate under the guise of a mere, maddening tome, you must say - it looks great!

The darkness swells around you, encircling you and blotting out any semblance of image around you. For a moment, you hang in idle air, left to ponder the great evils of which you hold.

Wait, hold on. It's a dream. You think really hard about a light being nearby you.

A light, seemingly from above, illuminates the expansive nothing that surrounds you. You can at least see yourself, and the book.

The book seems to have sprawled tendrils around you, which have thickened into a second skin of inky blackness. This covering forms over your arms, moving up to your torso and up to your neck. You would think such a horrifying covering might be uncomfortable, but it's really not. It's a lot like wearing a thin dress shirt, actually, it feels alright.

You wiggle at your arms - yeah, you're still in control of them. With nothing much else to do in this seemingly inescapable space, you shrug and go to read the book of maddening horrors. After all, what's the worst that can happen? That Mad Hatter guy seemed fine, you're sure you'll hack it out just the same.

Upon opening to the first page, your mind flashes with images of war and carnage. The carnage you see is not of human kind, but instead of kind far beyond human. You see the limits of humanity and its ultimately useless struggle against the Old Ones and the games they play. Your life plays out before your very eyes, and you can only helplessly watch in the third person as you follow yourself through your various mistakes and misdeeds in life, eventually coming to the end of your life, and the end of those around you, and then finally the end of existence.

You snap from the trance and flip the page. You forgot how fricken' hard these kinds of books are to read sometimes. You used to be better at it when you were younger, obviously you're just a little rusty in your "cosmic horrors of unimaginable magnitude" reading. That's fine, it's really not that bad once you're used to it.

The next page splits you from what you are, breaking you down piece by piece into the components that make you what you are. From atoms, to molecules, to cells, to tissues, to organs, you see everything that you are as a mere construction. Your existence is and has been determined over the course of thousands of years, and you finally gain the forbidden knowledge to know all laws of this world, which present you the unavoidable future that you know cannot be changed. You fall into the things that you are, becoming less of mind and more of mere biology. Free will breaks under chains of knowledge forever hidden from Man, and there is nothing but existence itself which makes you what you are.

You snap from another trance, and scratch your head. You're actually quite happy with the abridged volume - the last copy of the Necronomicon that you had was an absolute slog. You were stuck on all that business about your existence for way longer than you had to be. By your estimates, you were only subjected to the horrors of the cosmos for what seemed like 10 years. That's a massive improvement from the "generations of Man of Earth" that you had to deal with last time you read a preface for the Necronomicon. That one was written by Yog-Sothoth, too, and you really don't have time for the whole "all of conceivable time and space" shtick he's got going on. Just as you go to read the next page, however, the horrors of the cosmos appear to have other things in store for you.

A symbol appears in front of you.

The End

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