Jonathan looked out at the expanse of blue-green water before him. He had just sat down after walking a few miles down the beach away from the rinky-dink town he called home. School had ended for the boy a mere two hours prior and he wanted to avoid going home. His parents would only glance at him and the darkening bruises on his face and mumble for him to be more careful. Uncaring to the fact his ‘missing’ funds were part of the abuse he suffered at the hands of his classmate on a daily basis. They would simply shove some more money in his face and continue about their business, leaving a dejected Jonathan to fend for himself.
Sitting back and watching the sunset was the only respite for Jonathan. Sniffing, he wiped his wet nose and eyes.
“Next time, I won’t let them steal my money. I don’t think I can handle missing lunch for the third week in a row.” He mumbled, patting his empty stomach, it growled in agreement with him. “I know buddy, I’ll try harder next time.” Sighing, he stood up, put on his backpack, and decided to meander back home. Giving the ocean one last look, he nodded as if saying goodbye to a dear friend and began walking along the shoreline towards the town.
From time to time he’d stop to pick an interesting shell or a become distracted by the soft crashing of the waves, beckoning for him to stay and watch them dance under the sun. Even the rays of the sunset would run amok in his hair along with the wind. Jonathan loved these moments, except something particularly odd broke him from his thoughts.
Jonathan stopped walking and cocked his head to the side as he spied a dark green, bulbous mass a little off in the distance. Needless to say, it piqued his interest and soon he was scampering across the sand towards it. Once he was in a few feet of it, he deduced that it was some sort of octopus, except it looked to be mutated somehow.
It had eight, long, slimy tentacles complete with suction cups. Except the suction cups had numerous tiny and fleshy spikes in the center of them. Curiously enough, dozens of tiny tentacles hung off the side of it beneath two bright and glowing red eyes.
Jonathan walked around the octopus-like creature and was startled to see that two, leathery like wings were flapping weakly.
“What…are you, little guy?” Jonathan got nearer to the creature and knelt down beside it, musing to himself what he should do. “Um, I guess it doesn’t matter what you are in the end. The sea is your home right. Alright, buddy, I’ll help you out.” Jonathan picked up the octopus by its head and recoiled when he felt the slime and leathery skin. Regardless, he persevered and carried it to the water. “Take care green guy.” He said releasing his grip. Only, the creature shot out several of its tentacles and wrapped them around the boy’s wrist. “Whoa!” Jonathan cried out and fall back into the water, frantically trying to toss the octopus-creature off of him.
“Child! Calm yourself.” An authoritative voice commanded him and immediately Jonathan’s body stiffened and he went quiet.
“W-who said that, and why can’t I move?” A terrified Jonathan asked.
“I am speaking to you, child. You are holding a Great Old One.” Jonathan’s eyes widened as he looked down at the pulsing and writhing creature on his arms.
“Indeed. However, it is quite a curious thing. Normally, one would go insane in my presence. You have captured my interest, boy. Tell me your name.”
“Uh…Jonathan.” He said hesitantly.
“Salutations Jonathan. I am Cthulhu, well…what is left of me anyway. I had just finished a battle with my brother Hastur and he left me in this pitiful state.”
“I’m sorry?” Jonathan stammered out, confused.
“You do not know who I am? Well, I am not surprised, few members of humanity have knowledge of me and my kin these days. However, that is not something a mortal such as yourself need concern yourself with.” Cthulhu released Jonathan’s hands and plopped down into the water and propped himself up next to Jonathan. An awkward silence ensued and Jonathan kept sneaking unsure glances at the undulating creature next to him.
“Do…do you need something, um, Cthulhu?” Jonathan mustered up the courage to ask.
“I have slain millions of beings and conquered many worlds. I have been worshipped by numerous races and species across the cosmos, warred with beings unfathomable mortal creatures before being put to sleep beneath the water of this planet. And never before have I come across an anomaly such as yourself Jonathan.” Cthulhu ranted out suddenly. Jonathan just stared down at Cthulhu, slack-jawed at this new information.
“Thank you?” He finally managed to say to Cthulhu after a few moments.
“What’s more…you have such a peaceful demeanor and yet I detect…malice. Yes, a hardened core of malice deep within you. You must have numerous enemies, do you not?” Cthulhu deduced. Jonathan bowed his head and affirmed Cthulhu’s words. “Hm. Child. I have a deal for you. A deal I have not yet made with any other entity mortal or cosmic. I shall become a defender of yours and in return, I shall consume the burgeoning seeds of darkness within you. In other words, we are…friends.” Cthulhu said matter of factly.
“Hah, well, I guess I don’t have much to lose. I’ll gladly be your friend Cthulhu.” Jonathan smiled down at his new friend and extended a hand.
“That must be a human gesture, allow me to use it to seal the pact of friendship between us as well.” Cthulhu shot a tentacle up out of the water and wrapped it around Jonathan’s hand, causing him to gasp out in pain.
Knowledge of forbidden and blasphemous things filled his mind and the secrets humanity had desired to know since the beginning of time became known to him. Cosmic power surge through his brain, body, and soul. Jonathan’s eyes rolled back and he twitched violently in the water. Entities of indecipherable sizes and shapes flashed into his mind before Cthulhu finally let go of his hand.
“What did you do to me? What did you show me?” Jonathan blurted out, sweating profusely.
“I have shown you all there is to know, Jonathan. You have a power within you. A power I respect, and I will teach you how to use it, my friend. Not only that, but we are also now linked mentally, should you ever need me or should I wish to see you just say my name. I am looking forward to this friendship to bloom young one. One that will benefit us both, don’t you agree?” Cthulhu asked. Jonathan didn’t answer as he was still panting from the rush of pain and knowledge that had been forced into his body. However, like Cthulhu, he didn’t need to use his mouth to speak anymore.
“Knowing what I now know, I couldn’t ask for a better first friend. Also, I knew this ocean was the most beautiful in the universe.” He told Cthulhu once he regained his bearings.
“I agree, young one. Indeed it is.”
“Hey, how about once we get in shape, we go give Hastur some payback?” Jonathan said, with newfound confidence.
“That’s the spirit boy! This friendship is already showing promise, well said!” Cthulhu exclaimed.
And for the first time in ages, Jonathan smiled.