My most potent childhood fear was death. Not the physical act of dying, rather, what death meant for my conscious awareness. This existential dread goes back as far as I can remember. My mother was terribly off put when she first found out. She was driving me home from preschool, and I was staring out the window, which was typical, but this time she asked me what I was thinking about.
When I responded by telling her I was trying to imagine what it would be like when I stopped existing, she freaked out a bit. Her solution was to put a spell on me that would make me stay five years old forever. I didn’t believe her, of course. I was skeptical AF for a little kid, but I went along with it. There were other factors at play in my fear, ADHD, OCD tendencies, situational issues, and general neurosis. I feared anything which could kill me because I would ultimately face the possibility of losing my identity.
My entire childhood was lived in the shadow of this fear that everything I cared about would be gone in an instant. This base fear manifested several additional fears and thoughts. I questioned the significance of life frequently. Is there any meaning behind my actions? Does right and wrong exist? Needless to say, I wasn’t very popular at school or known for my conversational abilities. It was difficult for me to find a purpose or meaning in anything, which drew me into the world of cosmic horror. I was always acutely aware of human limitations, and no stranger to feeling like an insignificant speck in an unforgiving and unknowable universe. Over time, I distanced myself from this fear, but sometimes I still feel the effects, waking in the middle of the night in panic mode. A reminder that I am who I am, and some voices can’t be silenced forever.
The most effective tool against dread that I’ve found is humor. For this reason, I love horror that mixes humor and dread. It reminds me I’m not alone. We’re all on the same ship and, at some point, we’re all going overboard. These thoughts and feelings provided the basis for my first horror novella, Madness From the Sea: Cthulhu’s Lure, and I can’t wait to channel more of my madness into new stories to share with the world.
Madness From the Sea: Cthulhu’s Lure by Jonathon Cross
Frances Smith chronicled her visions of a tentacled deity in her private journal, but it was a mistake to believe her husband wouldn’t read it.
When Donnie discovers her journal, he tries everything to save their failing marriage, but as Frances’ sanity slips and her obsessions take hold, he realizes his efforts are in vain. Frances will only confide in her online followers, some of whom claim to be experiencing the same twisted phenomena.
Their worlds implode when a cloaked fanatic shares his intimate knowledge of Cthulhu and reveals Frances’ personal connection to the past. With newfound validation, Frances is determined to awaken the creature who has summoned her and consummate their union.
To reach Cthulhu’s isle, she’ll need to align her followers with the Cthulhu Cultists on an ill-fated voyage to R’lyeh. Lies, betrayal, and death untold await in this modern fanfiction sequel to Lovecraft’s classic tale of horror, The Call of Cthulhu.
Jonathon T. Cross
Jonathon T. Cross is a pajama clad tentacle enthusiast. He’s intrigued by anything strange and enjoys bringing a sense of eclectic absurdity to his writing.
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