A Mundane Encounter with a Civilized God
by Samuel Marzioli
Arkham Sanitarium lay in the backwoods of Arkham City, a somber mansion that housed
the most deranged and chaotic patients the State of Massachusetts had to offer. A hundred
inmates wandered its darkened halls and many narrow cells, forgotten by the world, no longer
truly men but broken, hollow shells. And out of all of them I was the least insane.
While others were prone to gesticulating with their privates or arguing the finer points of
nonsense with things that weren't, I retained a semblance of reason that allowed me to function
throughout the day. Enough to dress myself as needed, wipe myself where necessary and
introduce food into the correct orifice for eating. In other words, I was an exemplary patient, a
rare jewel, the only star shining in a void of endless night.
Then Bernard Jones arrived and everything changed for good.
Under the direction of Chief Psychiatrist Zadok Green, a small group of inmates gathered
Friday evenings in the western common room. There we recounted horrors, those incidences
where our past and a supernatural maleficence had collided, resulting in our tenuous grip on
reality. It was usually followed by a round of affirmations and then refreshments.
I can still remember the day Bernard first joined us. Through the paned windows, clouds
riled up in violent shades of red and gray. Rain pattered the rooftop like the footsteps of phantom
children. The wind whispered doom through the cracks of the building's decaying façade, and the
light bulbs overhead buzzed and winked, casting jaundiced light over our motley group.
Epson Young began with a long tale of a black beast with tentacles that arose from some
dark abyss. He ended with the same words that completed all our stories: "And I was driven to
Henry Volanger continued along the same lines, only his beast was amorphous and his
darkness found in the cramped space between the walls of tombs. He too finished with, "And I
was driven to madness."