"Behind the scenes of life lurks something pernicious that makes a nightmare of our world."
- Thomas Ligotti | The Conspiracy Against The Human Race
No one thought about Jake much anymore. They might remember on occasion some of his work when an elevator ride here or there hums vaguely familiar tunes. Outside of that his face may also show up briefly on one of those retro music-video cable channels but only once or twice a year if he was that lucky.
Though this doesn’t stop him from gracing these channels almost daily to see his once youthful mug. This sad bastard, he was once slated to be the new rising star dominating the music world. This however turned out to be a false hope and a fool’s paradise combined . One of his songs topped the charts but all further tracks thereafter barely even scraped the bottom of the barrel.
Now here he is this pitiful shell of a once optimistic man. In monstrous amounts of debt and wasting away inside a condo filled with countless unsold merch and empty bottles of beer he couldn’t even be bothered to clean up. He has long since stopped hiring maid services anyway.
Such a lonely life with the only company at any given time being the vodka currently swimming around in his liver or the phone-call he would get from one of his few remaining friends I.E. those compassionate few who can stand to be around this tragedy of a person. What kind of future awaits Jake? Homelessness? Organ failure? Perhaps death from a drug deal gone wrong?
All could be seen as reasonable possibilities if not for the fact that, unbeknownst to Jake, there is a hope for this one hit wonder. And it will come to grace him when the moon is full and the comets make their decisions. Soon it will come to flash him a faceless smile and shine some blackened light on this poor lost soul.
For the first time since childhood Jake got a sudden and unexpected night of Sleep paralysis. He ended up, despite a rightfully rocky beginning, not being upset at that. Why? Well because before the night was over he knew he was no longer alone. In his helpless state he saw an eerie man he had not laid witness to in a long long time. In Fact he was in middle-school the last time he saw that pair of illuminating blue eyes.
The Moonlight Man he and his mother had called him. A hallucination his well-meaning parents assured him was just that. A nightmare and nothing more. Now Jake wasn’t so sure of this anymore. In the corner of his bedroom he had seen the haunting beauty and eldritch vibrations of the Moonlight Man. And just stood there creepily staring at him and all Jake could do was, well, stare back.
This should have been one of the scariest moments of his sad life, but no, he was not scared. Rather he felt strangely beckoned, strangely welcomed by the cold warmth of this humanoid’s return.
What little Jake got in royalties this month will sadly not be able to cover rent. He knew this but he did not care a single bit no matter how foolish that is. Hell he did not even get out of bed today. Nay for food or even to shower. All he did and all he wanted to do was see the dark figure return. But it had been weeks since he saw him for the first time since K-12. So many dozens of hours since he experienced those grotesque yet heavenly emotions. In bed he now lays hanging on to these feelings only being interrupted by the growling of his stomach. Food will be a priority later fulfilled, now he just needs the Moonlight Man.
He came again. He didn’t stay for long but he need not to this time around. Upon his visit he kneeled right next to the trapped malnourished body of the musician and started whispering unspeakable things into his ears. The sanity drained from Jake as he learned secrets of the universe that only the damned and the primordial could ever know. Stories of the cursed, the endangered, and the omnipresent. All those little happy fallacies that he held so dearly were laid crushed and broken. It was too much at first. He considered putting his pistol to his temple.
He considered swallowing every single illicit pill he could get his hands on to try and escape this wretched existence. But such thoughts were quickly chased away when his eyes met with the gem-like blue eyes of his Moonlight Man. Then, before the moment could pass, the Moonlight Man leaned forward and placed a gentle kiss on Jake’s lips. A shiver went down his frozen body. His loins were set aflame and a sense of ease overtook him. In an instance, just like that, the Moonlight Man left once again. Now as the sun rises Jake sits up but does nothing outside of listening to his own pounding heart. An alien fluid still gleaming over his lips.
The phone is now unhooked. The front door locked and even deadlocked. A stack of unread mail pills up right under the slot. He didn’t want to be bothered. All he wanted to do was to go to sleep for the night or, perhaps more preferably, go to sleep forever. And he is trying.
Filled with the last of his alcohol and a couple of sleeping pills he popped he has begun to beg for the beating black heart of his lover to return. To feel the dripping wet lips of the inhuman human once more, to see the glimpsing black-silk skin of this lovely creature once more.
The Moonlight Man will find him and if not he will somehow find the Moonlight Man. For Jake there is nothing else to live for. Out there in this waste of a society there are people typing away on their keyboards, having awkward dinner with their family, and mindlessly cheering for their favorite team during a ballgame.
None of these poor fucks knows what awaits them in-between worlds and inside unnoticed dimensions. And Jake, unlike them, no longer cares about the worldly affairs of a doomed planet. No longer did he leave his old E.P. playing on repeat or watched a bit of television, not like he has electricity anyway. He sits in bad waiting, waiting, and waiting.
It has been a fortnight since he had a date with the man of moonlight. And the last one did not go over so well. It was purely panic-inducing. Afar did the man stand away from Jake’s bed. Afar did the man speak. All Jake had was indecipherable mumblings from the unearthly tongue. He couldn’t explicitly understand a word of it but it still filled Jake with in-explicit confusion and terrible chest pains.. All in all feeling genuine fear for the first time in months. What did this mean? Was it all over? What will he do now if it is?
He waited days and days but there was nothing from the dark realms. The pounding on his door from earlier barely even registered to him. He doesn’t care if the fucking president was at his door. He can only stir in his own insecurity. It feels like moonlight will never return to-No. No. No. No. He knows this isn’t true. A eureka moment hits him. He knows, albeit he doesn’t know how he knows, what moonlight communicated to him. What moonlight wanted from him. The uncanny words finally being taken in by his cracked and unhinged mind. Jake gives a smirk and grabs a knife from his kitchen.
Blood is slowly but surely leaking from his cut wrists. Lighter fluid soaking into almost every crack and cranny on his nude form. He brings up the knife. slice , slice, slice. More blood dripping but this time from his thighs. He laughs. He cries tears of unfathomable joy. And most importantly, he can almost feel a presence in the other end of his condo.It’s him.
It’s working…..But he needs more. Jake bites down on a towel and brings the hammer down on his big toe. It breaks open with a crack and the tip of the whitest bone sticks out from the outpouring blood. The pain is unbearable but it’s not like that will stop him now. Jake looks up and finally sees those treasured glowing blue eyes from out of the darkness. Together at last. No more isolation. No more pain. No more never-ending disappointment. He will be at peace. He lights a match, closes his eyes, and drops it.
His corporeal body melted into ooze and ashes but as Jake predicted it was soon happily reborn into a brand new world and life.
He opened his eyes for the first time and gazed upon the floating starry cosmos he is flying in.
There, near an adjacent array of portals, Moonlight was waiting for him.
They embraced. Their limbs and spirits lustfully wrapped around each other. For eternity they will, and always had, frolicked across violet terrains all under an endless array of fulvous moons. Inside the bellies of uncanny beasts and on the flowerbeds of abandoned lands they forever share bizarre fluids and act out lurid desires. Together they dance and laugh across the infinite and within all things sublime. A minute ago, or maybe it had been a thousand years, the galaxies aligned in their ballad and the earth was consumed with fiery destruction.
Jake wonders briefly if his ascent into this newfound plane had caused the end days for mankind or if the returning gods even know that he exists to start. It was all trivial and had no bearing on his immortal life. He was with his eerie entity. His hauntingly beautiful spouse. His love from the far reaches of space and time. Forever in an extra-terrestrial heaven. He would not have it any other way.