The following people deserve thanks for the role they played in shaping this story. Whether or not they particularly want to be thanked here is another matter, but I'm going to err on the side of egotism and assume that getting a dedication outweighs being associated with my strangeness. So, without further ado, my thanks go out:
-to Ninja, who basically came up with idea for this at the same time I did, and then proceeded to gloriously out-creepy me with her suggestions.
-to Katie, who deserves a much better (and happier) story for that super-belated Christmas present. This one doesn't count. At all.
-to Carrie, who I think would not be wholly pleased with the version that's being posted. I'm sorry. I kinda hit a wall. Her suggestions were invaluable, and I will do my best to put them into play in future scribbles.
-to all the big names, who're probably never going to read this. HP Lovecraft, for introducing the idea of cosmic horror. Ambrose Bierce, whose mythos I gleefully yoinked and re-appropriated in ways that would have shocked him. China Mieville (Iron Council) and Hal Duncan (Ink and Vellum) for writing gay lead characters not subject to the author's gaze. I think I drew inspiration from all of the above, and would be a little remiss if I didn't give them credit.
-and lastly, to you. Holy crap, this was a weird one, and thank you for struggling through it. I promise, the next thing I post will be decidedly less unnerving. Hopefully. Maybe.