Lee had a dark side that he never talked about, a dark side that spoke to him in dreams some would call nightmares.
Lee didn’t believe in the supernatural and it didn’t believe in him.
Everything was either real or it wasn’t.
Cthulhu was real.
No one questioned why Lee took long walks alone in the woods, hiking for hours without a single social media update.
Lee wasn’t sure if he knew for sure himself.
But he knew the secret hiding places where Cthulhu and its minions lived, where they fed off the emotional energy they required people like Lee to generate in themselves and those around them, emotional energy which gave Cthulhu validation of its purpose in the multiverse.
Lee had been bred as an Empath, a food gatherer for Cthulhu and the Ancient Ones.
Lee tried denying his existence, pretending he was independent of the Ancient Ones, inventing and building from his imagination, only to find that everything he did was already programmed into him from birth.
The random construction of the treehouse? Planned.
The electronic “do nothing” gadgets he haphazardly dropped on city streets? Already worked out by the Ancient Ones to achieve the greatest emotional impact.
Lee tried running away but there was no place to go that the Omniscient couldn’t track instantly, far faster than any surveillance equipment designed by humans.
Everywhere he looked, he saw the crossmatched influence of Cthulhu, from his years-long friendship with Shelmi to his new friendship with Sycat.
He was tired of denying who he was and would always be.
Tired of hiding in woods conversing with nature through the crunching of leaves underfoot whilst birds talked around him and spiders shook in their webs to appear larger.
Tired of finding the One Tree in every neighbourhood that served as a direct conduit to Cthulhu, an appendage for feeding off Empaths like Lee.
Only the Empaths knew why certain people always leaned against trees in urban parks or talked to rocks in abandoned ditches.
Lee didn’t want to know.
He didn’t want to look like just another crazy homeless person talking to himself.
Lee no longer cared.
He couldn’t escape who he was and would always be.
He climbed into the treehouse and fed Cthulhu the latest emotional energy Lee had gathered, draining himself, making room for more, aging the treehouse a little faster in the process.
In a few days Lee would have to start looking for a new place to live to keep people from noticing how Empaths like him tended to literally wear out their welcome in the domiciles and living things around them.