middle-grade, action-adventure, paranormal, horror, science-fiction
The last thing Billy Lovecraft’s parents sent him before the crash was a photo of something on the wing of their plane.
Now he’s stuck with a horrible and heart-breaking mystery: What was that awful creature, and why were his parents targeted?
It’s up to Billy to gather a team of like-minded kids and lead them through a dark new reality where the monsters are real, not everyone is who they seem to be, and an ancient alien wants to devour the world.
Billy Lovecraft is the young leader of the Cthulhu Detective Squad, which he formed after the death of his parents when he was twelve. He is a writer, scientist, occult scholar, and frequent savior of the world. The things in his basement will give you nightmares.
Before them lies a vast collection of secrets—secrets kids were not meant to see. Artifacts that predate mankind. Symbols and idols that show gods and monsters maybe older than the planet Earth. All of them are organized along racks that are thirty feet wide and ninety feet long.
Jackrabbit bounces up and down. “It’s true. It’s all true.”
Big Jim blinks. “I am… definitely seeing all this with my own eyes now.” He scratches his head. “Jeez.”
Billy gives them a warning. “Don’t touch anything.”
Jackrabbit runs down the aisles. He doesn’t touch, but he stares at everything.
Metal Max whistles. “This is what that robber was after, huh?”
“Why do you say that?”
“You’ve got a big screen TV and some video games but you can get that crap at Best Buy or on Amazon. What have you got that nobody else does?”
Big Jim takes the next leap of logic. “What was the one thing your folks told you not to touch?”
Sweet-Tooth stifles a laugh. The others shoot him a dirty look. “Sorry, that just sounded so frakking wrong.”
Billy throws his arms out. “This was all off limits. Nobody was allowed in. I could only be here under supervision. My folks said that they were going to explain it to me as soon as they got back from their trip.” Billy pauses. “That didn’t happen.”
Metal Max presses his fingers together. “I know I was complaining about paranoia before but, man, that seems like a freaky coincidence.”
Big Jim raises his eyebrows. “Conspiracy theories now?”
Billy frowns. “I’ve thought about it. A lot. That’s why I’m forming the Squad. I’m not saying my parents could’ve turned me into frakking Luke Skywalker or anything, but it’s pretty clear that someone has it out for Lovecrafts.”
All kinds of strange things mark the walls as the boys walk through The Library.
Star charts of alien constellations. Maps that show bizarre circular stone formations in deserts and mountains whose names nobody knows. Diagrams of massive pyramids. Ghoulish masks inside glass cases that seem to watch and sneer. Decaying books with names like: Fauna and Fungi of Yuggoth, The Hroza Connection, Angles in the Spheres, Atlantis and the Lost Lemuria, Cryptomenysis Patefacta, and one sealed in plastic called De Vermis Mysteriis.
Which is when Billy gets that light bulb over his head expression immortalized in the decades of 20th century cartoons. “Wait. I know what the scariest thing is.”
He walks toward the back of the crazy warehouse. There’s a book there. One among the statues of strange, old things. It looks like it has a face, and it’s housed inside another security measure: a locked, bullet-proof, see-through enclosure.
They gather around it.
Billy points. “This thing I wasn’t even supposed to look at. My dad called it ‘the Necronomicon.’ I don’t know how get in the case. I think you’d have to blow it up or something. And it’s tethered to the wall with chains that are embedded in concrete.”
Sweet-Tooth clears his throat. “You have the Necronomicon? The Necronomicon?”
“I have the Latin translation.”
Metal Max puts the hood of his black sweatshirt over his head so he resembles a suburban sorcerer. “The Necronomicon. A tome so feared that many like to pretend it doesn’t exist. The cursed words were penned by the mad poet Abdul Alhazred—more correctly known as Abd al-Azrad, Worshipper of The Great Devourer. It is evil. It drips evil. But it can be wielded as a weapon by anyone. It contains powerful curses, and spells, and incantations. It is filled with information that drives normal men insane.” He coughs. Drops his fake creepy voice. “Sorry. My Detective in the game is like a scholar-wizard. I’m just rolling with it.”
Jackrabbit checks the time on his phone. “It’s getting late, guys. I need to go home.”
Sweet-Tooth does the same. “Holy moly. Yeah.”
Big Jim rubs his forehead. Staring at the Necronomicon seems to have given him a headache, and he’s not the only one. All the kids except Billy look a little nauseous.
Big Jim blinks. He regains his composure. “Okay. We’ll call it for now. Let’s all get online later and discuss this more from home. How about nine?”
Billy nods. “Sure. It’s not like I have to be up for school. I’ll spend some time in here and go through my dad’s notes. Maybe I can learn something from them.”
Metal Max heads toward the door. He pokes Billy’s shoulder on the way. “Be careful, man. This is a pretty sure sign that all The Writer’s stories are true. Which means that the cults are real and the monsters are real.” Metal Max flashes a mischievous grin. “It also means the madness that goes with this stuff is real, and we don’t know how many sanity points you have.”