Sunset at Sarnath

“Sunset at Sarnath” is a surreal, cosmic horror fable about three unlikely friends who witness the awakening of Bokrug in the American South. Written by Wesley Sun and illustrated by Wes Wong, this 4-page, full-color comic short story is inspired by H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Doom That Came to Sarnath,” originally published in 1920.

As our characters trade stories, each will be illustrated with a distinctive art style and color palette to best capture their unique perspectives. Full of hope, grit, and remorse, each tale at Sarnath offers insight into each storyteller – and why they’re all taking responsibility for the end of the world.

 

“Abigail”

Concept Art by Wes Wong

 

“Dewey Hicks”

Concept Art by Wes Wong

 

“Mr. Pig”

Concept Art by Wes Wong

 

“Bokrug, the Old One”

Concept Art by Wes Wong

 

Sunset at Sarnath: Plot Synopsis

While fishing together at dusk, three figures listen intently to reports of worldwide calamity on a junky old radio by the dock. The end of the world has been ushered in by the return of the Old Ones, emerging in distant places, far away from the placid waters of Lake Sarnath. Each character – a bright-eyed little girl, a twitchy survivalist, and a happy, prize-winning pig – in turn offers an explanation for the end of days.

Abigail, the hopeful orphan, knows she is destined to be carried away by the alien gods to live among the stars. She knows the Old Ones are here for her, and her visions of fantastic lights in the sky have compelled her to wait at the edge of this very dock everyday after school until her saviors arrive.

Dewey Hicks, a local nutjob and town laughing stock, offers an alternative theory. After being abducted and probed by aliens (a story no one believes), he has been preparing for a UFO to come back and finish the job. Dewey finishes his beer, reaches into his cooler, and pulls out a gun. He’s ready to go out on his own terms.

The enormous pig, no longer able to keep his terrible secret, finally confesses. Before moving to this sleepy town, Mr. Pig was a notorious space criminal of unspeakable horror, and it’s time for him to atone for his horrible space crimes. The Old Ones have returned, not to rescue the girl or finish off the nutjob, but to take the pig back where he belongs. As Abigail sheds a tear and Dewey raises his gun, the sun sets at Lake Sarnath and hypnotic, alien lights appear in the night sky.

The three stare mesmerized at the extraterrestrial lights, and they all apologize for their roles in this apocalypse.

Without warning, the lake erupts as Bokrug, lizard-god of the Old Ones, awakens from his sleep beneath the deep waters. The calamity of His arrival engulfs all three of our characters beneath the waves, still gazing heavenward and dreaming with foolish hubris that their lives bear significance. Bokrug opens His maw and swallows the light, plunging the world into darkness. And the Old One, completely unaware of the lives just extinguished, crashes back into the waters to sleep again.