A Story about Impersonators

I came up with the last two sentences of this story in a flash of inspiration, and wrote the rest to fit it.

The Impersonators

(An Homage to Lovecraft)

I check that the door is locked for the hundredth time this evening, and that my shotgun is loaded. The sun is low and bloody red, pushed down toward the desolate landscape by heavy black clouds. Wind rushes into the town from the mist-shrouded moors, rattling at broken, boarded-up windows.

I am the only one left in the town. It has stood here for well over a millennium, in various forms. Digging in the stultified soil, amidst the tangled roots of poison weeds and stinging nettles, one may find the decayed remnants of centuries old farming tools, of arrowheads or pots. It was never a successful town, too far removed from the world, too difficult to coax life to take root in its soil, but there were people here for that thousand years, and they were as happy as people are.

But then, almost thirty years ago, they began to come. They never spoke, made little impression with their sickly features and quiet murmurs. And yet, with their strange and hideous garb and their disturbing midnight gyrations, they unsettled the local population, striking some instinctual notion of wrongness and revulsion. As the extent of their profane practices came to light, people began to flee in horror. Gradually, the natives all moved away.

The newcomers kept coming, from all corners of the world. Mostly men, but women too. Crossing oceans and mountains to get here - no barrier too great. Sometimes, of a grey evening spent alone, I wonder if they are called here by the strange remnants of prehistoric stone circles that half-protrude from the sodden ground in the derelict town centre. The Romans tried in vain to destroy those structures, to dash them into rubble as best they could, but for what purpose, no-one can discern. Then again, perhaps the ancient people who built those strange altars, in that dark and primordial era when fire was a strange and dangerous technology, perhaps they were themselves called by something deeper and more intrinsic to this landscape. In my dreams I can see clearly that it is related profoundly to whatever twisted perversion of geologic forces led to the creation of the gnarled, black spire of Witchdeath Mountain, that blots out the morning sun 'til ten, and even then casts its shadow over those esoteric and archaic stone relics. But when I wake, the revelation fades and I lose my certainty.

I am an old man now. I saw the town falter then fail. But I will not leave as long as I have buckshot for my weapon and the strength to swing a bludgeon. I may be doomed to lose this battle, but I will not surrender. I cannot give in; I cannot remain true to myself as long as this blasphemy against human civilisation itself continues. And, as my vision and mind fade, and the life leaves me day by day, I realise that my belief in myself is the only thing I could possibly lose.

You see, this town is where Elvis impersonators come to die. The trouble is... they don't stay dead.


tinker said...

I didn't see that one coming!

Pacian said...

The important thing is whether or not you saw it stealing your wallet.

susanna said...

Oh lord, are you in deep space Las Vegas? Are the strange prehistoric circles a Las Vegas Stone Henge? If so, if you ARE in Las Vegas, there will most certainly be lots of ammo hidden in the ruins. Check under the Eiffel Tower. :)