Ichor Falls

The Damp Lady

by on Dec.29, 2008, under Submitted

Once upon a time, you brat, there was a spoiled little prince who wouldn’t eat his dinner if he didn’t want to, and nobody could make him because he was a prince.

And one day, there was fish for dinner and the fish on the prince’s plate was green and purple, and the prince wouldn’t eat it because he said it looked nasty. But that night the prince woke up screaming, saying he dreamed that a huge green and purple fish stood over his bed and said “You’ll have me, brat, one way or another!”

And every year, on the anniversary of not eating his fish, he dreamed the same terrible dream. One day when he was king, he came home from holiday with his sweetheart, and said he was going to marry her. She was very beautiful but her skin and hair were always damp and she had big eyes that didn’t blink, and she wore green and purple all the time. And the king married her.

And the night after they married there was a terrible scream from the royal bedroom, and they found the king lying in the big royal bed completely mad, and the damp lady was nowhere to be seen but on the pillow beside the king was a little green and purple fish! And the king was mad for the rest of his life, and if you don’t eat your greens now, you little creep! The Damp Lady will come and turn you mad too! No, it would not be more fun than spinach!

(Reprinted with permission from “Ethylor Voices: Effects of phenolic toxicity on the folkloric imagination in Ichor Falls, Mason County.” Hiram Whipporwill, Miskatonic University Press 2007.)

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5 comments for this entry:
  1. Brandon Romack

    Aside from a few grammatical errors, it’s a neat story. I’m reading “The Shadow Over Innsmouth” by H.P. Lovecraft, and I must admit that “her skin and hair were always damp and she had big eyes that didn’t blink” reminds me much of the degenerate townsfolk. I also like the twist at the end in the citation, ” Miskatonic University Press 2007.” It’s wonderful to see people keeping the living legend of Lovecraft and his mysterious Arkham in pulp writing.

    Brandon

    Also, I don’t mean to detract from Tim’s work, but if anyone else finds this piece interesting, check out my Lovecraftian writings:

    “The People Without Eyes”
    “The Mutterings of Stillwood”
    “Chateau d’Augustine”
    And hopefully the soon “They Come During the Night”

  2. xEmox

    I don’t really like this story. The use of the words, “You Brat” and the spinach part kind of turned this into a kid’s story.

  3. Sean

    Well, yeah, it’s a sort of kid’s story. It’s supposed to be a part of a study examining the effects of the toxic environment of Ichor Falls on the way their folklore progresses- so likely, it’s meant to be a parent threatening a child to eat their dinner.

  4. Aazhie

    This is wonderful! Reminds me of dead baby jokes and other stories me and my friends would tell when we were kids. I love the absolute creepiness that someone would actually make up a convoluted story to try to force a stubborn kid to eat. Also, the idea of lifelong repercussion from not eating your dinner as a kid is creeping me out. I was the pickiest eater in my day! O_O

  5. Nate

    There’s something vaguely unsettling about this thanks entirely to the title of the work in which it was reprinted. Masterful stroke.

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