era Lewis woke from her light nap feeling wonderful, stretched sensuously, and
looked over at her bedside clock. “Hell’s bells! Look at the bloody time! If
I don’t hurry I’ll be late for the Kinderspiel!” She slid from the bed putting
on her bathrobe as she did so. “You! Charlie is it? Thanks for the fun but
now you can get dressed and leave. I must get myself ready. I’ve a big night
“Happens to be John. Anyhow, what’s your hurry and what the hell is a Kindispell?
Some sort of quiz show? Come back here and I’ll give you real quizzing.” As
Vera rushed to the bathroom she called back “It’s a play done by kids and my
daughter’s in it. I must get ready and you must go. Leave your phone number
and I’ll ring you tomorrow. Thanks again.”
As she enjoyed the caresses of the shower water on her body she thought
about the night ahead. She was going to meet some very important people and
it was all thanks to the professor. Who knew where this function would lead
her? She’d been told that her life could be changed forever.
Vera was a single mother with a five year old daughter, Rose. She’d been
married to a business executive who spent months at a time overseas, leaving
her on her own. Well, a girl had to have some entertainment and Vera found
hers in a singles bar in town. Unfortunately hubby concluded a Chinese deal
much earlier than expected and arrived home to find her in bed with a handsome
Divorce followed but she received decent alimony and the house. She had
found she was pregnant but he refused to acknowledge the child as his. Poor
Vera was left on her own with a boring daughter to bring up and no more amorous
As she dressed she recalled the lucky break that had come her way. A year
ago she had taken Rose to the park one morning. She was seated on a bench,
bored to tears as usual, while the child played on her own. That was when she
met the professor for the first time.
A jolly looking elderly man with the most gorgeous long white hair and
beard approached her raising his hat. A true gentleman in this day and age?
“Good morning, dear lady! May I please sit and discuss an important matter
with you?” A suspicious Vera nodded in assent. If this old guy tried to get
fresh she could handle him with ease. The gentleman sat beside her. “I am Professor
Joseph Gillman, internationally recognised child educator. I have taken the
liberty of watching your daughter over the last week or so and I believe she
may be a suitable candidate for my early learning programme. May I please invite
you to bring her to my college for a series of tests? She could go far in life
as they say.”
“Oh, I’m sorry,” replied Vera “I could never afford the fees for such an
education.” The elderly gentleman smiled “Fees? Dearest lady, let me assure
you that tuition at our college is free if Rose passes the tests. Transport
will be provided to collect her each morning and return her in late afternoon.
So what say you to that?”
Vera realised that at last she could have some freedom again and maybe
even resume her singles bar activities. “Well, professor, I would miss having
Rose with me all the time but if it is for her benefit I will let her take
the tests.” The charming professor informed her that, if convenient, a car
would collect her and Rose at 8 am the following Monday. Monday arrived and
a handsome young chauffeur drove mother and daughter some distance across town
finally parking outside a large imposing building. “Our college, Mrs Lewis.”
He escorted her inside where the professor stood waiting “Welcome, dear
lady! Welcome! James here will take little Rose to the testing lab and you
may either wait for what can take several hours or be driven home by James.
He will return Rose around 4 this afternoon. But … do come into my office while
you make your decision.”
He opened a door and let her enter the room first, a rarity those days.
“Professor, you are one of the few surviving gentlemen.” “All our pupils are
taught appropriate conduct as part of our curriculum my dear. Do sit down on
the couch where it’s comfortable and ask me any questions you feel need answering.”
Vera took the proffered seat and gazed around the room. Several paintings hung
on the wall depicting strange creatures in even stranger landscapes.
Modern Art she supposed as were the small sculptures of bizarre humanoid
beings. One large figure on the professor’s desk particularly struck her attention.
Carved from dark stone it depicted a crouching entity of irregular shape with
long narrow wings and what appeared to be an octopus emerging from its shoulders.
If she ever got to know the professor better she must ask him about those figurines.
Had someone like Picasso carved them?
“Well, dearest Vera, what would you like to know about our college and its
courses? Ask and thou shalt receive as they say.” She enquired about school
hours and was surprised to learn that, if accepted, Rose would be collected
and returned each day, Saturdays included. “She will receive an intensive course
so the extra day is essential and we also have an optional special sunday service
for the pupils with lunch afterwards.”
“And you are sure that all this is free? No hidden charges?” “I assure
you, dear lady, that this is the case.” Vera had one final question “But tell
me please who pays for all of this? Are you a millionaire or something.” The
professor laughed “We have a board of special directors who supply all our
needs from their private sources so we lack for nothing. A day may come when
you can meet them personally. They enjoy parents/ company I assure you.”
There was a knock at the door. “Ah, dear lady, that will be James. Shall
he drive you home now or will you wait?” So it was that Vera found herself
being driven home by this dishy bloke. Once there, for the first time in years,
she travelled into town for lunch and a few drinks on her own.
At the college the professor looked at the stone statuette on his desk
chuckling “And she never once asked what courses her daughter would be taking.”
That afternoon on the dot of four the car drove up and a smiling Professor
Gillman emerged holding Rose by the hand. Vera wondered, had she proved suitable
or not. “Congratulations, dear lady! Rose is a more exceptional child than
even I anticipated. Just sign those documents and her classes will start next
Monday. Our sole condition is that you make no mention of our College to anybody
else. Keep it dark, as they say. We do not wish to be deluged by ambitious
parents with moronic children.”
Vera signed the papers with relief. “Now, dearest Vera, I do hope you
will allow her to attend the half day Sunday Service and lunch starting this
week. It will allow her to meet the other pupils starting our course before
she starts.” Vera was only too delighted to agree; week after week without
that damned child bothering her all the time? Her life was changing for the
better at last.
After the professor left she asked her daughter about the tests, “Oh, I
had to try and move things without touching them. People asked me to draw things
then some funny talking beasties came and spoke to me. They looked scary but
they were nice and they told me stories and said they were my new friends.”
“Oh is that so, Rose? Very nice, dear,” said her disinterested mother. Wasn’t
it odd how young kids could create such fantasies?
Sunday arrived as did the promised transport. “No need for you to come
along, Mrs Lewis,” said James, “Parents tend to put the kids off at our services
so you’d best stay at home.” They drove off leaving Vera with several hours
of Sunday freedom for the first time in four years. In future life promised
to be wonderful.
She spent a leisurely morning and afternoon; when Rose was returned in
mid afternoon he was so tired she went directly to bed for a few hours rest.
Afterwards she seemed to be much chirpier than usual; religion was obviously
good for her. Dinner at six, some play time on her own, then back to bed ready
for the first day at college.
Vera smiled as she completed the final steps applying her makeup, she
really was still quite a looker. Those directors would realise this when she
turned up at the Kinderspiel in her slinky black cocktail dress. Over the last
year she had netted quite a few men in her special singles bar. They joined
her in pleasant morning/early afternoon dalliances at her place, his, or an
adjacent “pay by the hour” hotel. Life had become one sexual adventure after
another with no commitments.
Pity that evenings with Rose still had to be tolerated. While her ex had
given her custody of the, then, unborn child, the house and a generous allowance
were conditional on her raising the child to adulthood. Farm it out and she
was out. A subtle form of revenge if there ever was one.
Her daughter’s crayon drawings were strange to say the least. In some
she saw what seemed to be the ugly creature portrayed in Gillman’s black statue,
apparantly holding human beings. Weird.
One evening Vera heard little Rose talking loudly in her room, she seemed
to be praying. How sweet! She stood at the door listening but the child’s words
were indistinct although she clearly hear “Mummy” stated several times but
who on earth was this “ChootLooHoo” the kid mentioned? Probably somebody in
the Bible she never read that junk … too damned boring.
All in all the last year had proved enjoyable; then things began to get
really promising. On a Friday four weeks ago she had been invited to attend
a parents’ meeting at the college. As usual she was driven there by the dishy
James. Now there was someone she really would like to get to know a lot better.
He took her to the professor’s study where several other young women were
already standing around holding glasses of wine. Gillman greeted her, “Ah,
Vera! A few parents have yet to arrive, do have a drink. There’s wine and soft
on offer. Name your poison as they say and come meet the other parents.” James
acted as her escort. She was intrigued to see that each of the other women
also had a handsome young male companion.
When Vera chatted with some of the other nine ladies present, she felt
she was among kindred spirits. None made the usual parental boasts about their
children, in fact they were not mentioned. She soon learned all, like herself,
were single parents and suspected they also regarded their youngsters as millstones
around their necks.
Two more women arrived and Gillman announced, “Our number is complete as
they say.” He then informed them … “Ladies I have great news for you. In the
evening, a month from today the children will be holding their annual Kinderspiel.
You are requested to come and watch this children’s play and afterwards each
and every one of you will meet the directors. Transport will, of course, be
provided as per usual as they say.
It is imperative that you all attend as our Benefactors must approve each
parent if her child’s studies are to continue. I promise you they are more
than capable of changing your lives forever in ways you cannot envisage.
Now. More drinks and snacks are available after which you and your child
will be driven home by your usual delightful drivers.” A dozen cars for a dozen
women? The directors had to be loaded with money.
That month passed all too slowly and Vera could hardly wait for the great
event. On most nights now she heard Rose praying in her room but was unable
to understand the language.
She also noticed the child practising complex dance steps probably in
preparation for the Kinderspiel. That would probably be dead boring, a load
of kids doing a childish play. The meeting with the directors would make the
The scheduled Friday morning finally dawned and Rose was collected as
usual. About the same time an official in the Council’s Planning Department
rang a developer to inform him his application to demolish a long disused bank
building had finally been approved.
Permission to replace the building with a block of luxury units had also
gained council blessing. Work, however, had to start by 8 a.m. on the following
Monday or the deal would be null and void. The official put down the phone
with a satisfied smirk. The die was cast. He rang another number and …
Vera collected one of her virile young men from the singles bar and they
returned to her place for some fun and games. She shuddered with memories of
their erotic pleasures as evening fell and she awaited the handsome James.
One way or another this promised to be a night she’d long remember.
James drove up on time “Ready, Vera? We know each other so well now I
hope I may call you that?” They drove off and for the first time she noticed
how windows of the vehicle automatically darkened making their route to the
college unclear. She did not know its exact location but what the hell? They’d
soon be there.
As James escorted her up the college’s imposing stairs he put an arm around
her waist. Very promising! “I’m afraid the professor cannot be with us at this
time Vera, he is busy organising the night’s functions. Nonetheless, my colleagues
and I will be delighted to look after you, ladies. Come with me into the prof’s
study for a light supper buffet and some drinks.” Even more promising.
Vera and the other women enjoyed the standup buffet of superb dishes.
Afterwards they circulated sipping their wine. If this was how Rose ate at
College she was better fed here than at home. Vera wandered over to take another
look at the odd black statue on the professor’s desk, she noticed a large,
hide bound, ancient-looking volume was on the desk.
“No point trying to read that Vera.” said James “It’s written in an ancient
arabic script only the prof and a few others can understand. In any case you
will notice there is a lock keeping the contents secure. Its title is THE NECRONOMICON
and it is priceless. It’s the only surviving copy since the one at Amherst
Vera reached out to touch the leather binding but drew it back quickly
when James said, “They claim it is bound with human skin.” “But why keep such
an awful thing at all?” she enquired. “It is alleged to contain very old knowledge
which in the hands of one who understands it can unlock the secrets of this
and other universes.”
Vera turned her attention to the black statuette. “What’s the story about
this man with wings and an octopus where his head should be? ” James smiled
“Not a man, Vera, and that octopus you say is set on top is actually head of
the most ancient entity of all. Leader of what some would call gods, it has
long influenced this planet and beyond.” He stroked the figure lovingly “Male?
Female? Whatever? Who knows the nature of Cthulhu? It is claimed to have come
from another dimension with others of its ilk to dwell here when the world
was still very young.
Vera said, “Other dimensions, that’s nonsense surely?” “I don’t know about
that,” replied James, “After all, scientists like Einstein and Sagan have
speculated on their existence. They could be as close as the thickness of tissue
paper to our universe yet unreachable, or are they?”
These alien settlers are said to have built a vast city called Rlyeh with
a strange geometry. They ruled from it for millennia then a time came when
the stars were not right and they fell into deep, near dead, comas. Rlyeh is
claimed to have sunk deep beneath the ocean.
The Necronomicon tells how this Great Old One, although in oblivious sleep,
influenced the minds of human beings when they evolved on earth. It still may
with some sensitive persons.
Other lesser Great Old Ones can still pass between the dimensions at times
assisted by those who dreaming Cthulhu has influenced. The writer of the Necronomicon
was one such but the knowledge he gained finally sent him .”
“Cthulhu supposedly lies comatose awaiting a time when it can return to
full life. Great will be the rewards for humans who assist him. Other statuettes
around Prof’s study represent some of the lesser Old Ones.”
Vera quietly thought this was a load of garbage but James was so sincere
and so very, very sexy. He continued, “The prof has a scrap book of news cuttings
going back over many years. Back in the 1920s a derelict yacht was found with
a sole survivor on board. He reported the discovery of an island newly raised
from the depths. On this were strange ruins made from gigantic stones.
Several of the crew died exploring those ruins then a monstrous beast
emerged which killed even more. Two crewmen managed to escape, on eof whom
died raving mad. No island was found when investigators followed the co-ordinates
given. Strange things exist in our seemingly stable world Vera. Prof Gillman
and we ex pupils of his College seek to learn more about them.”
Vera moved off to chat to some of the other mothers about more mundane
matters. It grew later then the professor’s voice came from a loudspeaker in
the room. “Ladies, I am afraid we must now end our festivities. The time has
come, as they say, for our playlet to commence … the directors await you.”
The study door opened and the children entered in a line. Each took his
or her parent by the hand and led them down the corridor singing a song of
strange melody and incomprehensible words. They were led to another door then
down a staircase with an iron rail into a large basement.
The male escorts followed and positioned them before a large curtain.
The children passed through another door. “Off to change into costumes,” James
whispered to Vera who stood bored already. Where were those directors? She
wondered. Why were there no seats? How long would this thing go on for? She
felt James put an arm around her fondling the side of her right breast. Interesting!
She whispered to him, “When you take us home afterwards why not stay awhile
after Rose has been put to bed? We could talk some more about those Old People.”
“All depends on the directors,” James whispered Vera
Vera listened to the others murmuring around her, how much longer must
they wait for this boring show to get started. Gillman’s voice again seeming
to come from all directions, “Dear ladies, our show is ready to begin, as they
say. Watch in wonder and enjoy—The Kinderspiel!”
There was haunting flute music and the lights slowly dimmed leaving the
area before the curtain illuminated. From the door at the side emerged eleven
strangely dressed small figures wearing octopus-like masks and with long narrow
wings fixed to their backs. Was Rose among them?
The children danced slowly in time to the music in a ballet forming ever
changing patterns. The music became faster, wilder, and the dancers followed
suit, leaping and gyrating. Suddenly the flute stopped and the dancers wandered
aimlessly; they lay down and stretched out as though asleep. What did this
The music resumed gently, dreamily, and Rose entered dressed normally.
She rubbed her eyes as though tired then lay down apart from the others and
simulated sleep. For a while there was only the slow gentle music of the flute.
Rose stirred as though dreaming then she seemed to awake, got up, and started
a slow dance that got her ever closer to the sleeping figures.
She approached them and gently raised each one back on his or her feet.
The masked children began slowly spinning around as Rose circled them. Wild
drumming took over from the flute which responded with equally wild tones.
The masked children began performing an energetic dance with much jumping and
spinning, Rose joined in and the others embraced her as they all danced from
the room. There was silence …
Everybody burst into applause. What had promised to be a boring kids’
show had turned out to be quite a performance. The children returned to the
room in normal clothing and stood before the curtain to acknowledge the clapping,
bowing as one. Gillman’s voice rang out again. “Now, my dear ladies, the time
fast approaches when each and every one of you will meet the directors.” Vera
watched with anticipation as the curtains slid open to reveal a concrete floor
with a brick wall to its rear; nothing more.
Was Gillman teasing them? It was then she noticed a large shining disc
of ever changing colours set in the midst of this new area. The children moved
in to form a circle around it linking hands. The male escorts guided their
charges over to form a larger circle around them, hands unlinked.
The professor finally made his appearance wearing a full-length scarlet
robe with black cuffs. “Ah, ladies, the hour approaches, as they do say. Watch
and wonder while you can.!” Several other older men entered the area, also
garbed in scarlet robes. The directors? “Good,” said the professor, “Our special
projects team has arrived, let us commence … The game’s afoot, as they say.”
He clapped his hands and strange wild flute music started up. The children
began to do a ring dance as the new men took up positions at set intervals
around the parents. Violent drumming joined the flute music and the youngsters
danced even faster … They and the men around the outer circle began a chanting
in a strange tongue. Vera could make out “Io! Io! Yog Sothoth!” chanted repeatedly
in rhythm to the drum beats. The lights dimmed and changed to a maroon colour … All hell broke loose!
A misty shape began to materialise within the disc as one of the other
women was guided forward by her escort. The robed man behind her followed as
she was led towards the shining object. The children opened their ring to allow
the bewildered woman through towards Gillman at its edge.
Quickly her escorts bent her backwards. The professor produced a large
knife and slashed her throat across so that her life blood flowed into the
disc. They threw the dying woman in as well and she vanished along with her
blood. The wild music continued. Vera tried to get clear but handsome James
held her fast. All around her women screamed and children sang and danced joyfully.
The vague shape within the disc began taking on solid form and revealed
something from worst nightmare. Transparent and jellylike with a form that
kept changing it had eyelike structures all over its surface. It began to spin
slowly and slim appendages emerged from the main body to stretch towards one
mother and drag her, screaming towards her shining area. Once within it she
simply faded away. The children cheered. The thing made buzzing noises.
More appendages stretched out catching three other victims. Their escorts
held them but let them go as they were pulled inwards. Somehow the women managed
to grab hold of one another impeding their screaming progress.
Vera felt James relax his grip slightly. That was enough. She freed her
arm and stabbed her elbow firmly backwards into the middle of his body. At
the same instant she ground her high heel into his instep. He released her
with a curse and bent double as she broke free, kicked off her shoes, and ran
towards the staircase. The outer guards realised what was happening as she
She began to run up the stairs. Halfway, and pursuers well away, it seemed
as though she’d made it. She took another step but could go no further as a
thin appendage stretched around her body. Even through her clothing it burned.
The awful thing dragged her slowly back down the steps, she grabbed the foot
of the rail with both hands and held fast.
Little Rose came running up …”Darling, please pull this thing loose from
me!” The child smiled and struck at her hands repeatedly forcing her to let
go. She was dragged towards the nightmarish entity as Rose skipped around her
singing joyfully. Screaming Vera was pulled into the disc; the last thing she
heard in our dimension was “Bye-bye, bad mummy”.
One instant Vera was beside the monster, the next she was somewhere else,
bathed in maroon light. Great creatures of varied but terrifying forms surrounded
her. She could hear other screams added to her own as tentacles and mouths
took hold of her body and the agony began. It seemed to take an eternity before
it ended in final oblivion. Her first and final meeting with the directors
Saturday morning dawned and Professor Gillman stood on the tarmac of a
small airfield near the city waving farewell to his twelve pupils. Having successfully
completed their pre-school year they were off for further studies at a more
permanent institution in another part of the nation. Even as he watched the
plane take off a team was removing all his equipment from the old abandoned
bank building. Quite soon he would start anew in another City with his male
young disciples to assist.
Monday morning dawned and demolition teams began early to break up a certain
old bank building.
Time passed and police investigations into the disappearances of twelve
single mothers and their children were placed in “Unsolved files” … Far across
the country 12 young children prepared their Kinderspiel …
Deep, very deep, beneath the ocean, Cthulhu and his minions lay dreaming,
waiting for the stars to change!