The Other Silver Key – part 3
By the end of July, restaurant crews who had hung on since the season had started in May were beginning to show the tiniest bit of crispiness around the edges; a sense of timelessness descended on us all, and the days began to resemble, not a series of shift/sleep cycles, but as a single tableau, which presented to the eyes an unchanging and ultra-familiar image of the eternal circle, the Worm Ouroboros swallowing it’s tail (many kitchen-pirates sported the symbol as a tattoo)…….prepare–> cook–> serve–> cleanup–> repeat….the usual work-week was six days, which led to the popular phrase, “It’s either your day off or it’s not”, usually used in conjunction with a dismissive wave of the hand…… Omari had proved to be an excellent go-fer and chop-chop-boy, always on time, and eager to commence battle with the forces of chaos and disunity which can overwhelm a dystopian, un-focused kitchen, flooding it with nightmarish scenarios at every turn…..the only thing Elmer could find to get on him about was Omari’s habit of spending any free moments he could summon deep in some obviously serious conversations with his former dish-dog mate, Father Ed. We could never tell what they were talking about, and both ignored the question when asked…..Shortly after we survived the massive onslaught of the 4th of July (Omari was brilliant, inspiring. He had worked a double, in the morning for the parade, and at night before and after the fireworks. He had, almost single-handedly, helped us avert what could have been several massive clusterfucks), we discovered that Omari had been living in a little shelter he had built for himself in the nearby National Forest Land, and had offered to have him stay with us, in the tiny basement of a little house we were renting, only blocks from the restaurant. Elmer and myself and two young, flitty waitron-guys had each claimed a little spot to crash in, which was really all we did there except shower. Omari had a sleeping mat and pillow, a wooly poncho he used for a blanket, and a small wooden writing-desk and chair; in a corner of the desk sat a thick sheaf of yellow legal-pad pages, bound in what appeared to be a handmade, animal skin cover. The first time I asked him about it, “What’s in the book?”, he looked straight through me with those cold, black eyes and said, in a voice I couldn’t swear was his own, “Everything is in the book”…..Some days later I pressed him again about the book. I had become extremely curious about it, this mysterious book which seemed to be Omari’s sole possession. He said, “I will read you one short piece, written by the blasphemous miscreant I was sent here to fling into the unending darkness.”….with that, he read:
“To tell the truth I wasn’t all that fond of my cousins, and due to some particularly eldritch distortion of the planes I’ve always had a great deal of trouble seeing them clearly. They tend to get fuzzy around the edges, and some of them — Sabaoth is a case in point — have a great many edges.
But I was young, I craved excitement. “There has to be more to life than this!”, I would cry, as the delightfully foetid charnel smells of the swamp miasmatised around me, and overhead the ngau-ngau and zitadors whooped and skrarked. I said yes, as you have probably guessed, and I oozed after Hastur until we reached the meeting place.
As I remember we spent the next moon discussing where we were going. Azathoth had his hearts set on distant Shaggai, and Nyarlathotep had a thing about the Unspeakable Place (I can’t for the life of me think why. The last time I was there everything was shut). It was all the same to me. Anywhere wet and somehow, subtly wrong and I feel at home. But Yog-Sothoth had the last word, as he always does, and we came to this plane.”