Word of the Day: rugose

Miss me?  Today is the day after Pi Day, which is the Ides of March. It is also the anniversary of the death of H. P. Lovecraft. It is also the Monday after the time change. All of these facts come together in the wonderful story which showcases…

Today’s Word:


As in:

I write this, knowing that I have but a brief window of lucidity before the madness overtakes me again. My best hope is that someone reads this record, and understands it for what it is, and does not dismiss it as mere rantings of a madman.

For mad is how I appear, and for the greatest part of my existence, I know neither the time nor the date. I cannot claim that my appearance in those dark times is anything other than insanity. Were I as I once was, before I did see the evil that lurks hidden in unnameable places, I would not believe one such as myself, so I can do nothing but implore you not to make the same mistakes I would have myself. I leave this testimony as a warning. May wisdom prevail over fallible instinct.

It was the second week of March, and I was about my usual work as the Curator of Artifacts for Miskatonic University, when I happened upon an item I had never before spied. The item was rather like a locket, ovoid in shape, with a hinged covering fitted into the front. The covering had tiny scratches over the surface, in regular increments but however, try as I might, I could not prise it open. It had the unmistakable trappings of great age, and despite having a few characteristics in common with fathomable human artifacts, it felt singularly alien.

Not finding any record of this object in the catalog of holdings, I immediately summoned Dr. Francis Morgan of the Archaeology Department. He has great experience with eldritch oddities, and perhaps he would offer some insight.

The good Dr. Morgan, with one glance at the object, advised me to cast it into the ocean, and pretend it had never been seen. A fear like I had never before encountered seemed to overcome Dr. Morgan’s features, and I admit, though it frightened me, I did not fully apprehend the significance of such terror. His calm returned only when I put the item away, and promised to destroy the item.

How I wish I had listened to him.

I took the item, in my ignorance, to my house, to study it further. As I changed my clocks in preparation for Daylight Savings, I felt a chill, and heard a thrumming sound from the artifact which I had put in my pocket. Convinced I was simply tired from a long week, I fooled myself into believing the sound to be a trick of my imagination.

I retired to my bed, with the locket on my nightstand, where my sleep was troubled with dreams of a many-tentacled creature. Its rugose skin dripped with a thick mucous. The monster pounced onto a a large deer, and rent it into pieces with its claws.

I awoke with a start, and when my eyes focused, the creature stood in my room, the thrumming noise surrounding it, and blood dripping from its claws.

It pointed to the object, and the room started to shift, as if being spun, with the object as its center. The room spun faster, and faster, with flashes of colors blinding me. This continued for uncountable minutes, and then finally, the room came to rest. Everything appeared as it had when the spinning began, except that the horror-figure had disappeared, and the sun had risen outside.

I ventured outside, and the morning paper announced that five days had passed. The tentacled beast had stolen five days from my life!

The creature returns every fortnight. With a flick of its claws my room zips forward in time, or backward in time, and I am no longer able to track where, or rather, when, we have landed. Thinking myself mad, I checked into this sanitarium, however, the visits have not ceased. I have enclosed the object with this missive, and I trust you will destroy it. I only hope it will free me, and prevent anyone else from having to endure this fate.

May God have mercy on my soul. Beware the Ides of March.

I hope you don’t mind the shift in tone for today. I hadn’t entirely expected it. It’s probably nothing to worry about.

rugose / ROO – goes / having many wrinkles.