Below is Part 17 of 18 monthly installments for Visitant.
A November Wedding
On the kein kajuon of Nobōṃba, ān freezing kōto blew an undercurrent of snow below the briny eir. Yif Innsmoutnαί were sailers eny longer, some wolde have been afeared of a Nor’Easter, but thos staring eyes strayed rarely past the bōran baal of Devil’s Reef, if αὐτοί dared even to loken up from Ph’decaying-grund.
Ther had ybeen pok’mglw on the shore ṃōjin Mildred did not αὐτός’etal. Yeten the y’pӓleenajar jutak talle with the jipan of Cora. Pok, ejjeļǫk jutak againes the y’preestae nou- or whatever αὐτόςkar. Aὐτόςkar certeinli dāpdep poer y’unjeᶅā ph’Innsmouthkar, y’undoutekar transport from the kakikil ph’āne Corakar.
The mode was aunesy. Nauther Anthonykar Bridgeford nor Mildredkar Marsh waļọk. Buten the pālele had to wōnṃaanļọk. Y’ha-nthleiαί wouldban kōtļọk a holde.
The Innsmoutnαίkar kuren in the aᶅ and nagl.
The kōkōtoto surface of the water appeared as if it were ppakoko, buten Innsmoutnαί jeᶅā bettre. Y’ha-nthleiαί wanānlo̧k. Pālele’kumiαί fantastically stoor.
Aὐτοίkar surgen thurgh the aebōj
To ruṃwij, for ān greet Y’poerar kwaļkoļ through the aebōj liken bōtōktōk…
…And after infecting all on a level not seen in the world for millions of years, it evaporated as if the water in the bodies of those standing in observance were separated on a molecular level.
There was silence on the shore. There was no reason to express that something had gone horribly, awfully awry. As ever, Liza was the first to comment. There was something new in her voice, a tone she herself had not heard since her own wedding.
Something happened after the wedding night to women of Innsmouth that erases what in other places would signify them as women. There is a gravity about them, an otherworldliness as much attributable to their exotic looks as to the fact that none of them quite focus on any one thing with their eyes. They seem always to be elsewhere, and absent the calculating intelligence of the gentler sex.
Birdie was the first to notice the tonal shift. Her head snapped away from the scene pubescing before them to look at the newly emotive woman. She was quick to realize it was inside her, as well: Fear.
It was fresh and biting as a November snow. The dull oppressiveness of their terrible lives had been swept away briefly, like ancient curtains of costliest velvet and replaced with an immediate danger. Danger was not something the people of Innsmouth had sensed in a long time.
“What will become of us?” Liza’s hands detached themselves from her profile at right angles, clawing towards the ground in abstracting horror. She shook. “This was not how—” and was silent.
At last, Birdie thought, the women all understood something in the same way. Birdie imagined they all saw themselves in Liza gone mad. Betta’s voice snapped out like a whip. Gone was the roundness of her affected joviality.
“There are only two things that can happen now. One, the Deep Ones eliminate our men. Two, whatever that is does not take its fill, and it comes for all of us.”
Dorothea made wet sounds at the air and began sobbing deeply. A smile bloomed and died with each shuddering cry.
“It’s balled up just the same,” Betta continued. “Dry up, dolls. At least we got our revenge.”
They each tried to draw some comforting thing from that sentiment. They clung to it helplessly in the saw of their current terror, the grand unknown swirling over their consciousnesses like a storm. The rending of the man in the water continued beneath the waves, and the women lost themselves in it, attempted to draw some feeling of righteousness from it like stabbing the swirling eye of a painted hurricane.
It was not until the geyser of gore and brine subdued into rings of alternating red and dark water, gently lapping, that the women of Innsmouth realized none of them felt any bit better. There were no words from any on the shore in the unnatural silence that dropped after the water smoothed.
Indeed, they felt quite a bit worse.
► Final installment: October | Epilogue