Cairo, Egypt, March 19, 1925
Mouhammad reluctantly left the room of the Continental Hotel, letting Betty preparing the ritual with the various ornaments he fetched for her. That was a strange set of tools she asked him and he did his best to find them all. Buckler, arrows, arc, an ankh, a tiny sarcophagus… All this esoteric stuff was making him nervous, not that he feared the occult, but returning to the place he once worked was risky. He didn’t exactly leave a notice or any explanation of why he left his receptionist job, and “finding the love of his life” was not among accepted motive.
Betty told him not to look. She told him to return in a few hours. She said she will invoke the Spirit of Nets the Huntress to beg her for rest and protection.
He couldn’t resist and swiftly turned back. Using his pass on the door, he cautiously went back in the hotel room. He heard the words of Betty speaking softly some kind of prayer, in an unknown language. As he tried to hide behind the plants, he was overwhelmed by a sudden urge to sleep. He briefly saw a feline shadows, heard a strange metallic noise and fell to the ground unconscious.
And now he’s here. They all are here.
There is no time here. No past. No future. Only an eternal present. The grass is everywhere, taller than them. A gentle and warm wind is blowing. They feel presences out of their sight around them, furtive noises in the bushes of predators, but no fear. They feel protected, relaxed. Mouhammad see Betty, alongside her sister. Betty is pregnant, and all signs of worry has disappear from her face. She is expecting, radiant, a true goddess. He fell in love again and sat with her. Keeva is slowly stroking the dog. John is alert, but calm and peaceful.
There is no pain, no worries, no anxiety, not even the slightest discomfort. For the first time since ages, they can relax themselves and forget for a while the tasks at hands, the horrible fraternity of the black Pharaoh and the impending return of Nitocris.
This is bliss thought Mouhammad. He could stay here for ever. Betty lean on him and say:
– I want to hunt small critters. To run after they little tails. I want to sleep in the sun and to be petted. This is a dream, I know that. Not The Dreamlands, ‘though… This is the dream of a cat.
Pencil doodle on A6 sketchbookExcerpt from an ongoing run of the “Mask of Nyarlathotep” campaign for the Chaosium “Call of Cthulhu” RPG