“I’m sorry,” Maxine said, apologizing for the intrusion as she entered room 227c of the Magical Infirmities Ward.

The man looked up, his face red and careworn with tears streaming down his face. “Hi, Sorry,” he said. “My name’s Bertrand.”

Maxine looked at the ward attendant, confused.

“Oh, ah, yes,” the attendant said, consulting their paper. “Mr. Openham was given a rather nasty curse.”

“Curse? I don’t curse, I swear!” Bertrand Openham choked out, looking both miserable and as if he wanted to punch himself in the face.

“The only witness to the stabbing has been cursed so badly he can’t say anything about it,” Maxine muttered. “Brilliant.”

“A stabbing?” Bertrand said. “Let me help you get to the point.”

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Today marks the tenth anniversary of what has become an annual tradition in our community, the Dreadfather’s Day Picnic in Glover Park. For those who have avoided the dreammist fumes and shrieks of the insane that routinely surround the park during the celebration, this Father’s Day event honors the Grand Aged One Ctathul the Dreadfather, foremost of the Eldest Entities who held sway over the world when terrestrial life was mere shapeless protoplasm in the primordial seas.

“Days and dates are meaningless to dead, eternal Ctathul, consort of Rnyugnatlath, master of Holaak-Hliqu, who lays in bitter slumber beyond the ken of mortals and immortals alike,” says Iznarna the Gibbering, a middle-aged Ctathulspawn at today’s gathering. “However, they are useful to mortals and near mortals as reminders of Ctathul’s part in our lineage, his coming return, and the one hundred million years of horror it presages.”

“Father’s Day is of no intrinsic meaning to our Dreadfather, it is true,” says Jaobsob, the Thing in Yellow. A hunchbacked, skeletal figure in a tattered yellow robe wearing a featureless pallid mask to conceal uncountable otherworldly eyes surrounded by writhing tentacles like screaming maggots, he (?) is the most senior representative of Cthathul present at today’s ceremony. “However, by combining our energies, we Ctathulspawn, Ctathultouched, and Ctathulcurious are able to stretch and tear the fabric of space and sanity in a way that the Dreadfather would surely approve of,” Jaobsob adds in a voice that is as the sound of distant children screaming in fear.

Today’s schedule of Father’s Day festivities includes a three-legged race, a blood sacrifice led by High Acolyte M’Drevre, a potluck of casserole and freshly-spilt human intestine, immature Riw-Jawj rides for the children, a mass moulting ceremony for Ctathulspawn ready to join their community as full horors, and speeches by noted pro Ctathul radio personalities V’Manean & Z’Qerier from KTHU’s Gibbering Gibbous Mornings.

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