The great army of the old ones (a Lovecraft garage sale)

This a warning to all that might be considering a garage sale! It is actually a Sumerian ritual designed to call down the great Cthulhu. If you value your sanity, put the signs down now!

Over the course of four days, my home was ground zero for what felt like a rip in space Cthulhu would use to enter our dimension. Oh, it sounded so innocent at first. Such a simple idea. What could possibly be so hard about it? What am I babbling about, you ask? A garage sale. I just shudder tapping my keyboard to spell the words.

Two days prior to the event, my family unit began disassembling our life’s work of pack rat deposits tucked away in every nook and cranny. No corner was left unturned until every last piece of forgotten treasures were dragged kicking and screaming to the cursed pile of ancient artifacts. It reminded me of Richard Dreyfuss building Devil’s Peak in his living room from Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Only, mine was much bigger. It’s scope encompassed my entire home.

For two days, we lived amongst the ruins, foraging for food, tying rope to one another so that we may pull each other back from the unknown in case we had been gone to long or there was a severe tug. We learned quickly, there were monsters out there. Then, the slowest, most insidious torture began. Pricing. Piece by piece, trying to determine what your life is worth. Tiny little white stickers assigning the lowest possible value to your treasures and trash alike. Bickering over a price difference of ten cents, our insanity quickly slipped away from sleep deprivation and lack of food because we had lost the kitchen.

We had reverted to primal instinct by this point. Feeding off the bad vibes, our household pets had become beasts in a wilderness of sharp corners and tacky nik-naks. Dog barks turned to dire wolf howls, ferret laughter became twisted taunts of wild possessed hyenas, and cat meows were akin to bristle haired demons moaning around every corner. Native savages that were once our children had now started to view us as a dinner option.

At last, the great day had come when the levy would break and the doors would burst open into the world outside. The fresh air pouring in from the portals was ushered forth by beams of golden sunlight. Blinded by the vision, we stumbled from our thorny shelters and squinted at the new world. “It’s going to be O.K.” I said. And then the great rumbling came. Our old world was following us. The mass of mutated objects with white sticker demon eyes burst forth from the house. Like an unstoppable lave flow, it poured into the garage and yard scorching the earth as it settled in place. The air became hot and thick as the nik-naks shook off their dry and dusty skin to reveal new faces. The facade had become apparent to us now. They had been torturing us for locking them away. The inmates had been running the asylum for the last two days. This was their chance to escape the prison of the nook, cranny asylum.

With their new, bright and shiny faces, they were now ready to glamor unsuspecting buyers. Just as the basket of old teddy bears revealed their tentacles and forced us to put up the garage sale signs, the sky cracked open. Dark clouds hovered over our house alone and wept briefly as if they too were saddened knowing what tiny shred of sanity we were clinging to was about to give way. As quickly as they arrived, they scattered in an instant. From their prospective, they must have seen what was coming next.

7:30 AM, after just finishing lunch, the armies of the elderly marched upon my home. With hardened battle worn canes, bizantine woven pink and blue sweater vests and lightning fast three inch shuffling steps, they swarmed around us like locusts filling the hot sweltering air with the scent of bengay cream and cheap gift perfume. The ancient army, with tissue like skin and perfect white hair confusing the eye to conceal the haggling hordes within, began to cackle and shake their chosen purchases at us. I now know that it is not the object that the old ones want. It is just a tool that is necessary for the insanity ritual to be performed. If the object is more than a dollar, they want it for half. If it is a nickle, they will offer you two and a half cents and snap a penny in half with their teeth, which by the way is usually still attached to the half penny when they hand it to you.

The worst of the lot would ride in on dream stealing death dealers. These great vultures circled our home and would strafe through the sale with killing precision. They are the keepers of lies and deception and only want to take your life, mark it up and resell it to another victim. When they are near, your head becomes filled with whispered lies. You can see them in your peripheral vision winking and smiling at one another, but the moment you make eye contact, the theatrical production continues. “My two sons, ages five and seven whom are both home with the flu and cancer and recently injured in a car accident involving the Hubble telescope, would love everything on this side of the garage. I have a pinched sciatic nerve and can only stand here for fifteen seconds before I have to leave. How much for all of this and I need a total now!”  Oh, the horror. The insanity.

After the second day, a handful of unwanted nik-naks and my family lay strewn about the yard. A sporadic old one would appear every so often to check our bones for any last marrow that might be left to nibble upon. Our parched and broken bodies lay quiet on the front lawn as night approaches and the crack in the sky closes. I muster up enough energy to drag what is left of my loved ones back into our empty home. I close the door behind me with my back and slowly slide down its surface until I land in the fetal position on the floor. I cannot tell if I am crying or laughing. I might be doing both at the same time. Every once and a while, I see a small twitch from the pile of family members stacked in the center of the room. Maybe they are still alive. My brave little loved ones were no match for the horrors that have transpired over the last four days. Thank goodness this is over.

Suddenly, I hear a tapping on my door. I slowly look around, wiping the tears from my eyes. My crippled hands reach for the doorknob. I use it to help myself stand. I turn the knob. The door creaks on its metal hinges and then falls from its frame. My eyes slowly adapt to the darkness outside. I poke my head out to scan the yard. Something bone white wearing a pink sweater vest jumps out at me from behind the bushes. “Is the garage sale still open?”

The End

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