The sad fact of the matter was that some people simply weren’t made for socializing. That was the case with Bridget, forever the outsider, disconnected from the world around her. She was mid-thirties thin, her wiry frame suggesting she wasn’t getting proper nutrition or exercise, and her skin was pale to the point of translucency because she spent the majority of her free time indoors, alone in her small Arkham, Massachusetts house with her nose buried in a book and lost in fantasy worlds where all her true friends existed.
The problem with living in a fantasy world was that it required constant fuel in order to keep the illusion fresh, which meant she was always on the hunt, combing through secondhand bookstores for that ever-elusive literary world that contained the answers to cure her loneliness forever. And in her most recent outing that was when she stumbled upon the book.
It was large, cold and clammy to the touch, and took both her hands to lift because it was heavier than a book of its size should have been. Bound in a thick black as night material that surely was not like any leather she had ever felt, its cover was adorned with strange, arcane symbols that seemed to shift and writhe under the light. She attributed this illusion to her tired eyes and a trick of the dim overhead fluorescent lights. When she opened the book, the pages were yellowed with age and covered in spidery handwriting that was barely legible and she was hit with a musty smell of old parchment and decay, like a tomb that has been sealed for centuries. That was all it took. Bridget made a beeline to the counter.
The shopkeeper behind the antiquated cash register was a portly, gray-haired man with a lined face that bore the traces of many years of hardship. His eyes were sharp and piercing, with a glint of intelligence and cunning that belied his weathered appearance.
“How much is this?” Bridget asked, handing over the book. “It doesn’t have a price sticker.”
The shopkeeper let out a barely audible grunt under the full weight of the book in his hands. “Where did you find this?”
“There’s a little book cart in the back,” Bridget pointed over her shoulder. “Next to the Self-Help section. It was on top of a pile of books.”
The shopkeeper first eyed her then eyed the book, turning it over and over in his hands, and eyed her again.
Bridget put on her best polite-bordering-on-friendly smile and attempted to bat her deep-set, expressive brown eyes that often seemed to be lost in thought or focused on something unseen. Then she began playing with her long, deep auburn curly hair, twirling locks around her index finger. She hadn’t actually understood the appeal of this action but remembered it worked to charm a man in a movie she once saw.
“Forty-five dollars,” the shopkeeper said, cocking an eyebrow and allowing the slightest smile to curl at the corners of his mouth.
Bookery Nookery was one of Bridget’s favorite haunts. She was in this rundown secondhand bookshop all the time, and she had a relationship of sorts with the shopkeeper, whose name she should have known but such was the life of an introvert, where they would haggle over the price of books. She knew he always started way too high and allowed her to negotiate him down to the price he was actually willing to sell the book in question.
“I’ll take it,” she said. Her rapid response caught her by surprise as much as the shopkeeper, judging by the stunned expression on his face.
Until she found this tome, Bridget was unaware just how fascinated she was with the unknown and the unknowable. And yes, she stopped referring to the grimoire as a mere book when it became increasingly difficult to handle, some of the pages even seemed to resist the touch of her hands. The spidery handwriting was dense and convoluted, often written in archaic languages and filled with obscure references to things that existed far beyond her ability to understand.
That hadn’t stopped her. The deeper she delved, the more she felt a growing sense of unease and dread but the alluring knowledge contained within the pages was irresistible. She became consumed by the pursuit of understanding the passages, her mind racing to keep up with the dense and impenetrable text.
Hours turned into days that became weeks and expanded to months as Bridget became more and more obsessed with scouring the internet and reading and re-reading about matters that existed beyond her comprehension, matters that began seeping into her dreams, causing waking nightmares and strange visions that she attempted to record but found impossible to put into words. She even slipped into the dark web in order to study ancient texts and explore forbidden places, seeking answers to the deepest questions of existence. She always felt as if there was something missing in her life, some deeper purpose or meaning that she couldn’t quite grasp.
Then, one day, she stumbled upon a key, an arcane Rosetta Stone that translated an obscure text in the tome that spoke of cosmic entities that lurked beyond the known universe. Her grimoire was written by a madman, dismissed by most scholars of his age as the ravings of a lunatic. But as she deciphered and read through its pages, something deep within her began to stir.
Bridget began spotting patterns and connections in the world around her that she never noticed before. She was definitely getting closer to something profound and transformative, and if only she could unlock the secret of a certain arcane sigil, she would be able to uncover the mysteries of the universe.
For weeks, she threw herself into her research, ignoring everything else in her life, even her job. Bridget locked herself away from society, barely slept or ate, poring over the ancient scrawling, desperate to decipher its meaning, driven by an unshakeable sense of purpose.
Unaware that sanity was the locking mechanism, the level of security that kept the human mind safe, Bridget pushed onward and with each section of text she was able to decode, she unwittingly set in motion the delicate process of manipulating the pins and levers inside her brain. And as she translated the final sigil, the last tumbler fell into place.
The air surrounding her grew thick and heavy, charged with a strange energy, and as the veil over her mind’s eye lifted, allowing her to peer into the deepest recesses of the universe, her sanity slipped away like shadows into shade and she barely even noticed.
This was a groundbreaking discovery, a secret that would change the course of human history, and so lost was she in her excitement that she missed the warning signs that something was very wrong.
Privy to things that no human was meant to see, Bridget caught glimpses of creatures of impossible size and shape that seemed to defy the laws of physics. And with each new revelation, reality twisted like a Rubik’s Cube around her. And when her mind began to tear up and sob uncontrollably, that was when she encountered the Chrisom One.
It appeared in her mind as a shifting, amorphous mass of shadows and mist, coalescing and dissipating in unpredictable ways. Its form was constantly changing, flickering between shapes and colors, though sometimes taking on a vaguely humanoid form, with long, spindly limbs and a head that shifted and twisted in impossible ways. Other times was more like a nebulous cloud, with tendrils of darkness and light swirling around a central core.
Bridget’s heart raced, her breath quickening, and she felt a wave of fear wash over her. Every muscle in her body tensed up, her hands shaking uncontrollably. And then, as if on cue, she felt a strange sensation in her lower abdomen, an urgent need to relieve herself.
She tried to hold it in, to stay composed and focused, but her body had other plans. The fear was so overwhelming that it triggered an involuntary response, a primal instinct to empty her bladder and bowels in a bid to shed the excess weight and flee the danger.
Trembling with embarrassment and horror, she tried to move away from the creature, but her legs wouldn’t obey. Her mind was consumed by the fear, by the realization that she was powerless against the entity’s terrifying presence. All she could do was wait for the inevitable, for this unholy beast to make its move, for her fate to be sealed.
“ܡܫܩܝܚܝܐ ܒܪܝܕܬ، ܐܢܐ ܐܝܟ ܟܪܣܘܡ ܐܚܪܝܢܐ. ܥܕܬܝܢܝ ܐܡܪ ܠܟ ܐܦ ܫܡܬܐ ܕܐܢܐ ܩܪܝܨܬ ܠܝܕܥܬܐ ܕܕܝܢܬܐ ܐܦܝܠܐ,” it said in Aramaic and Bridget recoiled from the entity’s voice echoing in her mind.
“I—I don’t understand you,” Bridget stammered. “And your voice…it’s too loud in my head…it hurts!”
“My apologies. It has been a while since I communicated with one of your kind,” it said, adjusting the intensity of its presence to an acceptable mortal level. “Welcome, Bridget Baxter, I am the Chrisom One. I have been watching you for some time now, and I am intrigued by your quest for knowledge.”
“What are you?” she asked, her voice trembling.
“I am…beyond,” the Chrisom One replied. “Your fear is thick, but unwarranted, for I mean you no harm. Your hunger for knowledge sets you apart from other mortals and you have the potential to grasp the deeper truths of the cosmos.”
Bridget found herself both intrigued and terrified by the Chrisom One’s words. “What do you want from me?” she asked.
“To guide you toward the knowledge that you seek,” the Chrisom One replied. “To show you the secrets of the universe, and help you achieve the enlightenment that you crave.”
Bridget hesitated for a moment, weighing her options. Even though she was certain this encounter would shred her mind further, she couldn’t resist the lure of the unknown.
“I want to see,” she said, her unsteady voice filled with determination. “Show me the secrets of the universe.”
And with those words, Bridget began a journey that would forever change her life.
She still had to study in order to process all she was being shown and when she fell asleep, exhausted after a long day of research, she found herself transported to bizarre and otherworldly places. It was in her dreams that the Chrisom One would appear to her in its form of shimmering unearthly light.
At first, Bridget was terrified, but as the dreams continued, she began to feel a sense of familiarity and even a strange comfort in the Chrisom One’s presence. Eventually she found herself opening up to the entity, sharing her hopes and fears, and listening as it spoke of the secrets of the universe.
Over time, their relationship deepened. Bridget would eagerly anticipate each new dream, eager to see the Chrisom One again and learn more of its mysteries. The cosmic entity, in turn, seemed to take a special interest in Bridget, guiding her toward the knowledge and enlightenment that it believed she was capable of achieving.
It was during one of these dreams that the pair shared a kiss. Bridget had been listening as the Chrisom One spoke of the infinite possibilities of the cosmos, and suddenly felt a surge of emotion she couldn’t explain. Without thinking, she leaned in with a soft, closed-mouth kiss before parting her lips slightly, inviting the Chrisom One to deepen the kiss. What passed for the Old One’s tongue entered her mouth, gently caressing Bridget’s tongue and exploring the inside of her mouth.
To her shame, Bridget hadn’t kissed many men in her life and hadn’t considered herself very good at it but the Chrisom One turned the kiss into a delicate dance, a tango of tongues and lips, a passionate embrace that set her heart ablaze. She leaned in and felt the heat of its breath on her skin, the anticipation building with every passing moment.
Her senses were alive with the unworldly taste and scent of this being that was older than anything she could imagine, the sweet warmth of its mouth as she explored the entity’s depths. Their hands roamed over each other’s bodies, seeking out every curve and contour, every ridge and dip. They pulled each other closer, their bodies pressed together in an embrace that ignited the flames of desire.
Passion surged within her like a wild river. Bridget lost herself in the moment, in the pleasure of the kiss, as if nothing else in the world mattered. And when it finally ended, she was left breathless, her heart racing, longing for more.
From that moment on, their relationship became more than just a strange and inexplicable connection between teacher and student. They would speak for hours, sharing their thoughts and emotions with each other in a way that Bridget had never experienced before. As they learned more about each other, she began to feel a sense of closeness and intimacy that was unlike anything she had ever known.
Of course, their relationship was far from simple. The Chrisom One’s true nature remained shrouded in mystery, and Bridget was never quite sure if it was truly capable of love in the way that humans understood it. And as their relationship deepened, Bridget continued to lose her grip on reality, consumed by her obsession with the entity and the power it represented.
Despite the darkness and danger that surrounded their love, Bridget and the Chrisom One were bound together by a connection that was both terrifying and beautiful. Their love was a force that defied the laws of the universe, a testament to the infinite possibilities of the cosmos.
But anyone who ever experienced love knew full well that it was a form of madness that ofttimes traveled hand in hand with obsession. Bridget’s once-logical mind was now clouded by jealousy and suspicion, leaving her unable to distinguish between reality and illusion. She could no longer ignore the nagging feeling that the Chrisom One was involved in multiple relationships, and that it had no true allegiance to her. The thought of losing the entity she had grown to love filled her with dread, driving her to desperate measures to keep it by her side.
Despite her inner turmoil, Bridget couldn’t let her suspicions consume her completely. She had to find a way to confront the truth about their relationship, no matter how painful it may be. And the way eventually presented itself in the form of an ancient incantation.
Fingers trembling with excitement, Bridget traced the strange symbols etched into the pages of the grimoire. She was taking a tremendous risk by confronting an Eldritch Old God but needs must when the Devil drives. Their relationship was either going to be transparent or it was going to be nothing at all.
She recited the incantation, her voice growing louder and more insistent with each passing moment. The air crackled with dark energy, as the portal to the unknowable plane of existence tore open before her very eyes. And then, with a surge of power, the Chrisom One appeared before her, its form twisting and writhing like an endless nightmare.
But as Bridget stood before the being she had come to love, she couldn’t help but feel a twinge of doubt. Was this truly the being she had longed for, or merely a twisted imitation of the creature she had conjured in her warped mind?
Sensing her hesitation, the Chrisom One stepped closer to her, its form radiating an aura of otherworldly power. Bridget felt a shiver run down her spine as the being coaxed her toward her bed, its ancient voice cooing dead language words of comfort and desire in her ear.
As they lay together, Bridget’s doubts and fears melted away, replaced by a deep sense of longing and fulfillment. The Chrisom One moved with a fluid grace, its touch reigniting the flames of passion she felt the very first moment they kissed.
Lost in the ecstasy of their lovemaking, Bridget was consumed by the power and majesty of the being she had summoned. But even as she surrendered to the Chrisom One’s embrace, a small voice in the back of her mind whispered that this could never truly be love, that their relationship was built on a foundation of madness and obsession.
As the final remnants of her sanity slipped away, Bridget was left with only the bitter knowledge that her love for the Chrisom One had come at a terrible cost, and her fate was now forever intertwined with that of an Eldritch being who was filling her with what passed for its love and absorbing her at the same time.
Laying there, awash in the creature’s unearthly energies, she realized with a sense of horror that she had been manipulated into opening a portal, allowing the Old Gods passage into the mortal realm. And her thanks? To be devoured by a creature that could no more be in love with her than she could be with an insect.
Despite her silent rebuke, Bridget felt the climax surging, her body responding to the being’s touch even as her mind screamed in protest. If she was to rid herself of this monstrosity that had consumed her so completely, she needed to act quickly.
Wrapping what was left of her feeble arms around the entity, Bridget pulled herself close, her mouth near to what passed for its ear. “My mistake was loving you, and your mistake was teaching me too much,” she whispered, her voice laced with bitter regret. And then, with a fierce determination, she began to recite a banishment incantation that was a part of her early lessons, her words ringing out with the power of ancient magic.
As the climax reached its peak, the Chrisom One shrieked and bellowed a string of curses in a language older than the known universe, its power in this plane of existence waning as the incantation took hold, sending the creature vanishing into the void from whence it came.
Bridget would have felt a surge of triumph if she was able to but incantations, even small ones, came at a cost and when the portal closed behind the Eldritch Old God, it used what was left of Bridget’s withered corpse as a seal to prevent it from ever reopening.
This should have been a cautionary tale, warning others of the dangers of obsession and the pursuit of forbidden knowledge, but Bridget was a loner and an introvert, so no one knew about the unassuming woman who grappled with the knowledge and forces beyond human understanding and control. A woman with an enormous sense of hope and wonder who nearly came to grips with the enormity of the universe, and with the power of love was shown to be capable of triumphing over even the most incomprehensible forces of the universe.
Wherever Bridget Baxter’s soul now resides, may in forever live in peace.