Not High Church at all

The Starry Wisdom Church was not 00005’s idea of a proper ecclesiastical shop by any means. The architecture was a shade too Gothic, the designs on the stained-glass windows a bit unpleasantly suggestive for a holy atmosphere (“My God, they must be bloody wogs,” he thought), and when he opened the door, the altar was lacking a proper crucifix. In fact, where the crucifix should have been he found instead a design that was more than suggestive. It was, in his opinion, downright tasteless.

Not High Church at all, Chips decided.

He advanced cautiously, although the building appeared deserted. The pews seemed designed for bloody reptiles, he observed- a church, of course, should be uncomfortable, that was good for the soul, but this was, well, gross. They probably advertise in the kink newspapers, he reflected with distaste. The first stained-glass window was worse from inside than outside; he didn’t know who Saint Toad was, but if that mosaic with his name on it gave any idea of Saint Toad’s appearance and predilections, then, by God, no self-respecting Christian congregation would ever think of sanctifying him. The next feller, a shoggoth, was even less appetizing; at least they had the common decency not to canonize him.

A rat scurried out from between two pews and ran across the center aisle, right before Chip’s feet.

Fair got on one’s nerves, this place did.

Chips approached the pulpit and glanced up at the Bible. That was, at least, one civilized touch. Curious as to what text might have been preached last in this den of wogs, he scrambled up into the pulpit and scanned the open pages. To his consternation, it wasn’t the Bible at all. A lot of bragging and bombast about some Yog Sothoth, probably a wog god, who was both the Gate and the Guardian of the Gate. Absolute rubbish. Chips hefted the enormous volume and turned it so he could read the spine. Necronomicon, eh? If his University Latin could be trusted, that was something like “the book of the names of the dead.” Morbid, like the whole building.

He approached the altar, refusing to look at the abominable design above it. Rust— now what could one say of brutes who let their altar get rusty? He scraped with his thumbnail. The altar was marble, and marble doesn’t rust. A decidedly unpleasant suspicion crossed his mind, and he tasted what his nail had lifted. Blood. Fairly fresh blood.

Not High Church at all.

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