“Christopher Reynaga’s ‘I Only Am Escaped Alone to Tell Thee’ so perfectly conflates Lovecraft’s “The Call of Cthulhu” with Moby-Dick (albiet with a bit of Coleridge and Yeats thrown in for good measure) that it comes as a surprise that no writer had thought to do this before.”
“I Only Am Escaped Alone To Tell Thee” is a deliciously moody retelling of Melville’s MOBY DICK with a healthy dose of a tentacled, winged monster a la H.P. Lovecraft. Ahab is not the monstrous man you have come to expect, and there are far worse horrors awaiting Ishmael. Christopher nails it again and again, whether the timing of the prose, the depth of description, or his choice of imagery. Graeme’s narration grinds the story into the dark, gritty pavement of Nantucket, and alternately leaves the listener wanting more and wishing to drown out his words in alcohol.
“I only Am Escaped Alone to Tell Thee” is the feature story for The Drabblecast issue #268, edited by Norm Sherman. It was originally published in the Book of Cthulhu 2 (the original publication announcement). The reading was done by the very talented Graeme Dunlop. You can listen to it here for free:
Whatever you do, don’t call me Ishmael.
Don’t call me anything at all. Give me my pint of piss-poor ale and leave me be in this yellowed corner where men relieve themselves when they are too lazy to make three extra stumbling steps to the streets of Nantucket. I am done. Finished. Come to this hole to die—and if you insist on speaking to me, I’ll find a deeper hole than this dying excuse of a whaling town can offer…