It was a dark and stormy night, like many other dark and stormy nights.
The sun had gone down, and there was wind and rain. But this night was different.
Creatures scurried furtively through the underbrush, running away from the presence that had appeared there in the woods.
A tongue appeared at the corner of Loupe's mouth as she ran, wind-whipped branches flaying her alabaster skin. There's no telling whose tongue it was, but there it was anyway, much like the presence that had appeared in the woods a couple of sentences earlier. It was a good thing Loupe had thick fur covering her body as she scurried furtively through the underbrush.
The presence, meanwhile, squatted in the center of the forest, in a clearing made by its arrival. It squatted and reeked.
Loupe had a real good sense of smell. Most wolf-things do. Even the wind and the rain didn't blow away or wash away the reek of the presence that squatted in the clearing.
She continued to furtively scurry, in a general northwesterly direction. It was against the wind, but then the strong fish swim upstream. Not that Loupe was a fish or anything, being a wolf-thing at present. At times she was overtaken by other creatures, scurrying perhaps a little less furtively. Urgently scurrying perhaps.
The smell didn't diminish in the slightest, no matter how far away she ran. And all of the furtive scurrying was making her hungry. She caught a scurrying little creature and wolfed it down, then continued in a northwesterly direction, at a somewhat more sedated pace.
Presently she came upon a clearing. In the center of that clearing several terribly pale people were cavorting, circling around a slightly less pale female creature that was tied to a piece of wood stuck in the ground.
Loupe didn't like the pale people. They had red eyes and sharp white teeth and subsisted on a liquid diet rather than eating honest flesh. She had met them before, many many times, as they were ancestral enemies as decreed by their forebears, forewolves, and forebats.
Loupe charged, uttering her time-honored battle cry, the name of her clan "Garoooooooo!"
The pale people scattered, leaving their prize, the slightly-less-pale female person.
Loupe released the female with a swipe of her paw, parting the ropes like overdone pasta.
"Oh, thank you so much, " remarked that worthy. "I thought after I floated and didn't drown that I was done for. Say, it's mighty cold." She made several arcane gestures and a fire appeared. "What's that smell?"
The sky was starting to turn just a little pink. Loupe turned away and began once again to scurry in a northwesterly direction. The mountains were not far away, and just over the ridge was her home.
She spied some of the pale people flying low overhead, their skin beginning to glitter in the dawning light. The smell followed them all. It was pervasive, invasive, and intolerable.
The presence sat up as the rays of the sun appeared on the horizon. It stood up and made its way to the stream that ran through the forest.
First it put in one toe, then two, and finally a large pedal extremity, and the other. It proceeded to wash.
Tomorrow it was due to apply for the job of Left Offensive Tackle for the Seahawks. It hoped it was offensive enough. It had long suffered with the agony of de feet.
It was with a heavy heart and even heavier boots that I undertook to clean out the sub-basement after the shit had hit the fan.
You see, I had performed certain arcane rituals, and had become the keeper of a slightly iridescent amorphous creature, born of the unholy union between a man and a mutant banana. The banana had split with the pain of de livery and was off in a limousine somewhere enjoying the High Life until the guy in the commercial came to take it away, and I was stuck here in the middle of a bad writing contest, trying to keep my shit together.
There I was, with a collection of Hefty bags, a big shovel, a rake, and a Super Duper Pooper Scooper, trying not to breathe while the shoggoth watched me collect its dung. I was wearing a vintage gas mask and several other devices, but the stench still wrapped its arms around me and gave me a loving embrace and a big wet kiss.
Guano what's worse than shoggoth dung? Nothing. The smell is roughly akin to deep-fried, three-week-old, rancid mackerel, with sulfurous low notes and skunky high notes, concentrated, and distilled with the essence of yesterday's six-weeks-before-changing cat litter.
Mind you, a small shoggoth is an excellent pet. They're quiet, friendly if you don't mind the smell and the trails of sticky mucus they leave everywhere, and will eat anything. The problem is, they grow as they eat, and they don't stop. They are from the universe before this one and don't obey the same laws of physics as common terrestrial creatures. The conservation of mass and the ratio of mass to energy don't mean a thing to them.
I learned that very early, and stopped feeding him. I installed a small attic fan and did a little ductwork to allow the smell to escape into the outer air, through several thousand layers of charcoal furnace filters. That helped some, but he ate his own refuse and continued to grow.
Shoggoth poo is the best fertilizer in the universe. That's the sole saving grace of the whole enterprise. I found that out by paging through the Necronomicon, trying to find a solution to my dilemma, namely, how do you get rid of a pet shoggoth? It isn't like the ASPCA is gonna come and get it-it isn't even an animal, a vegetable, or a mineral. I dunno what exactly it is, but man, does it ever shit. And it shits in balls, like a rabbit.
Once I had located a market for the shoggoth feces, I was kept busy collecting the shitballs, loading them into my van, and delivering them. I had to work fast, since, as noted, the thing would eat its own dung, often collecting it directly from the source. Few things are more repugnant than watching a shoggoth suck poo-balls out of its own ass. Those few things include listening to a shoggoth suck poo-balls out of its own ass, and smelling a shoggoth sucking poo-balls out of its own ass. But one cannot look away from a train wreck, and that's about as wrecked as a train gets.
While I was at the market, the shoggoth kept eating, and eating, and growing, and growing. Soon it filled the sub-basement where it was kept, and threatened to ooze into other areas of the house. It pointed its outsize pooper at the ductwork, and that was that. The fan blades cut the shoggoth into many little shoggoths, whch I collected and threw into a room filled with dry ice, which kept its selves quiescent, and released the contents of its abdomen.
One son of a shoggoth escaped my clutches and took to lurking over my shoulder while I shoveled the shit into the hefty bags. I couldn't catch it, and instead concentrated my attention on the shitballs. I did manage to collect em all, and told my friends, being the first on the block to have a shoggoth.
Despite it all, I was rather fond of the jelly bellied little dude, who lived to eat and poo, and had some regrets when I called Alhazred Exterminators to rid me of its odious presence. But not so much that it stopped me.
I'm lonely without it, though, and I think I'll buy me a dog.