The arena: a rickety old train platform by the sea. On one side of the tracks stands a grey, sour-faced, middle aged man in a prim and proper suit. On the other side stands a slightly shorter grey, sour-face, middle aged man in a prim and proper suit. The fighters nod to one another politely in the dim light. From his luggage, Lovecraft produces an ancient, battered tome which he wrote. After flicking through a few pages he begins chanting an incantation to summon the Archduke Navoligock of Pri, Last of its Kind, Ruler of the Great Immaculate boon. Meanwhile Eliot checks his pocket watch and wonders where his train is. He pays no heed to the tall fellow across the way who seems to be speaking to an imaginary friend.
The elements begin to whip around Lovecraft. Grains of sand rattle on the platform like dice, faceless men melt from the wind into reality, unseen tentacles curl and crawl from his eyes and mouth. The Atrocious Archduke heeds his calls to the void. Eliot once again fails to notice his opponent’s terrible transformation. Looking around instead, in search of a railway employee to enquire whether their station clock is indeed correct and if so then where is the 8.58 train. Failing in his search, he begins to question a stray tomcat about the timetable. Skimbleshanks mews back to the imitation-Englishman while the Rhode Islander convulses of his own volition a few feet away, his diary shaking in his fingers. Lovecraft’s chanting becomes more guttural and deformed but suspiciously retains its Providence accent. The chanting begins to become anti-Semitic and racist nursery rhymes.
The train’s whistle sounds as it draws close. Eliot thanks Skimbleshanks for listening to his complaints and apologizes for his previous criticism of the rail company. He boards the train, the tomcat meanders on and the locomotive chugs off once more, away from the monstrous séance only the Rhode Islander can see. Lovecraft, still convulsing, still slurring, feels the unspeakable channel itself through his body, through every indescribable part and unmentionable end. He is on the verge of finding words that would do it justice when he faints. Upon waking, he notices his challenger has disappeared. He believes himself to be victorious and praises the Archduke Navoligock of Pri for their aid in his great battle. He gets to his feet, wondering where his train could possibly be.
Many years later, Andy Serkis is hired to portray T.S. Eliot in a biopic. This role will go on to win him an Oscar. Serkis Wins!
J. Rafferty is a redhead, a godfather and an eejit. His poetry has previously been featured in several journals including the Wellington Street Review, Sage Cigarettes, and Capsule Stories. When not losing games of pool he, sometimes, writes stuff.