I was tired, and I had not been away for quite some time. I asked my travel agent where I might vacation for the pittance I had saved for such a trip. She considered me carefully for a long time, then sighed and said, "There is one place that would fit your budget. A sleepy coastal New England town by the name of Innsmouth."
I had never heard of the place, but I accepted the brochures the lady offered me. It seemed quaint, it seemed quiet, and, perhaps most importantly, it seemed cheap. What could possibly go wrong?
The town had clearly seen better days. I disembarked near several stately mansions, but all were in ruins.
As I walked the gray streets, night closed in. I had the uneasy feeling that this was not the sort of place one wanted to wander after dark. Though I saw few people, I sensed the presence of something else, something ancient and evil.
Even the sight of a children's playground did little to comfort me. The equipment was rusted, as though it had not been tended to or even used for years. And I saw no children.
I tried several doors, but each was locked. One opened into a damaged theater. Once upon a time, it had been elegant and stylish, with as much attention paid to details far overhead as the stage itself. Now it was a neglected ruin. Torn between staying in this drafty, mildewed space and heading back into the dark, the sound of several large rats scurrying on the flooring decided the issue for me. I moved on.
The next building to which I gained access did not settle my agitated mind. This appeared to be a temple to one of the Old Ones, a god of unimaginable mystery and powers...and no doubt unimaginable cruelty. Not that I believed in the Old Ones, mind you, but why take chances?
At last I found refuge: the local tavern. True, the calendar on the wall was dated several years ago, and the wine had long since spoiled. But the place had an ample whisky supply and no pesky bartender. As outside the wind howeled its unearthly moans and a mysterious fog descended, I settled in for the night.
The next morning, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself still among the living...though, standing up, my head pounded so hard that the pleasure diminished just a tad.
As quickly as I could, I made my way to the harbor and bribed a local fisherman to take me away from town, as far as he was willing to go. My travel agent would be hearing from me shortly...