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THE HORROR OF ZUKALA-KOTH

by ALLEN MACKEY

Graham Westerly had been investigating the influx of fragments


found from various editions of the banned play, The King in Yellow.
He had been tasked by the clandestine organization, The Pantry, to
document all of the known incursions. Graham's work was to
compile all the known instances of the fragments, and to determine
their origin.
He fixed a fresh pot of coffee; the clarity of the dark brew helped his
mind to settle in on the task.
Years of work surrounded him; stacks of paper, copies of a few of the
plays in question. And works that referenced the Fragments.
Much headway had been made in the line of research concerning the
Greek version of the play. Most researchers could go no further back
than the Greek playright, Livius Carbo. Some of the latest scholarship
does seem to indicate that Livius Carbo is the original author of the
damnable play, but Graham had dug in deeper. Way deeper, much
further than the host of others, apparently.
The origins of the play go further back even than Greece.
All of his latest research pointed to the origin of the play in a lost city,
formerly in the Gobi Desert region, called Carcosa. This lost city had
been DOOMED to an entropic loop after the performance of the play;
transferred whole to the planet of the King, commonly known as
Carcosa, and lurking somewhere in the constellation of Taurus, in the
V-shaped "neck" comprised of the Hyades.

The taint of the entity called The King in Yellow is upon the planet
Earth. It has been since time immemorial. It is the pungent stench of
corruption; the vile touch of false redemption. The Yellow King, who
is the faceless face Hastur (an avatar), has been equated with the
mythology of the bastard-child, Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
Much to chew on there. Christ, apparently, was a drooling idiotsavant, a spawn of Yog-Sothoth.
Later the imagery became
confounded with the forbidden lore of the elder aeons; in particular,
to the mantle of the King in Yellow.
Digging through layers of fact and fiction, Graham discovered that the
secret name of the King in Yellow is ZUKALA-KOTH.
Not only these secrets, but many more, he had found while staring
intently into a magic mirror. Graham only used the black mirror
when presented with a dead-end to his current lines of research.
The unsuspected depths of the saffron lore took him to dark places he
could barely recover from; the more he learned and reported back to
his handler at The Pantry, the more the Yellow Signs cursed him,
taunting him with darker glimmers of knowledge. The depravity that
he had taken part in had marked his soul for all time.
This is the Horror of Zukala-Koth: The unending depths in which
Graham Westerly had descended were untrodden. His handlers at
The Pantry had noticed: Graham had been taken off the roster of
researchers.
Days had blurred into days; nights and months into blackness. The
mental wellness of Graham Westerly had deteriorated into the
tattered state of consciousness, with many dark gaps, that had burned
from the eyes of The King In Yellow.
Scattered bits of reality assailed him. Medication had only turned
him into a drooling idiot. The doctors had decided his fate.
Things did not make sense. An exorcism was being performed close
to his door.

In the back of Graham's consciousness, maddening voices that were


not voices taunted him by repeating:
"The Power of Zukala-Koth compels you! The Power of Zukala-Koth
compels you! The Power of Zukala-Koth compels you!"