Ivanka Trump, used her position as senior advisor to the president to endorse an unproduced play called The King in Yellow on Twitter, a play whose contents are said to have made Marquis de Sade advocates blush. She captioned the photo, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
What is The King in Yellow?
Originating in France in the mid 1800s, The King in Yellow was condemned not just for its content but for the effect it had on its audience. It was seized by the French government, but translated veersions found their way to London and ultimately across the pond.
The last copy of the play was thought to have been burned by the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice in the 1910s. Anthony Comstock, head of the Society deemed, the play “a threat to the very fabric that holds society together. It isn’t merely titillating or seditious. It is funnel by which madness passes into the mind. It is a grimoire dictated straight from Lucifer’s lips. Every poor soul who dared to gaze upon it is either invalid or dead.”
How Ivanka Trump acquire this cursed work?
Last Monday a stranger knocked on the North Portico of the White House. There was no breach in the fence along the Pennsylvania Avenue. No sensors tripped on the North Lawn. No signs of a high altitude aircraft or a parachute. The stranger was simply there, waiting patiently, in tattered yellow robes with ribbons swaying against the breeze.
“You, sir, should unmask.” A Secret Service agent shouted.
White House staffers say the stranger appeared to be wearing a blank porcelain mask and that he was unfazed when the Secret Service shined their laser sights into his eyes.
“Lay your disguise aside.” The agent repeated.
“I wear no mask.” The stranger said.
White House staffers claim the frayed hem of the Stranger’s robes unfurled and outstretched like tentacles. It wrapped itself around the Service members pistols and plucked the weapons from their grasp. The stranger stepped over the threshold and requested an audience with President Trump. He said he was an emissary for “Hastur the unspeakable, the King in Yellow, conqueror of Carcosa where twin suns sink into Lake Hali, where many moons circle the sky, and black stars rise.”
White House staffers say throughout the entire encounter the stranger held a copy of the play, a gift for the President from those dwelling in a neighboring plane of existence.
Ivanka is behaving strangely
Of course President Trump didn’t read the play, but his daughter did and she’s been tweeting about it ever since.
“I just finished The King in Yellow and the shadows of my thoughts are stretching across the Rose Garden, crawling up the hedges and stepping onto lawn #mindfulness”
“I have seen the place where the Hyades cluster points, the skeleton of the civilization, and the one who calls the ashes his home. #meditation”
“They call this the Blue Room, but I’m seeing the Yellow Sign everywhere I look. On the carpet. The curtains. Even the chairs. #wellness”
Ivanka’s social media activity illustrates how The King in Yellow is already affecting her mental state.
Can anything be done for Ivanka?
Seeking some kind of treatment White House staffers scoured the Library of Congress for information on The King in Yellow.
In 1895, author Robert W. Chambers collected stories from those with the misfortune of having read the play. One such victim was Hildred Castaigne who said, “I pray God will curse the writer, as the writer has cursed the world with this beautiful, stupendous creation, terrible in its simplicity, irresistible in its truth—a world which now trembles before the King in Yellow.”
While White House staffers combed through accounts from survivors Ivanka shared craft projects on Instagram. Tissue collages, macaroni art, and glitter. All made to look like the Yellow Sign, an angular glyph like a triskelion or something out of The Lesser Key of Solomon.
Ivanka’s tweets culminated with a link to a pdf of the play itself. That’s when the hashtags
#CourtOfTheDragon, #CarcosanKraken, and #YellowSign, started trending.
Now there’s a mass contagion of madness, despite social media platforms attempts to suppress the document. The CDC has joined in the effort to trace the origins of the play to try to understand what they’re dealing with without exposing themselves to it.
What is The King in Yellow about?
Little is known about the play itself since so few readers live long enough to recount it. The details psychiatric experts compiled say its similar to Edgar Allen Poe’s Masque of the Red Death.
In it, Prince Prospero lords over a kingdom in the grip of a pandemic called the “red death.” So named because it makes its victims bleed from their pores until there’s nothing left. While the people cry out for leadership, Prospero bunkers in his stronghold with a 1,000 nobles, leaving everyone beyond his walls to fend for themselves.
The extended quarantine gives Prospero a case of cabin fever. Loathing this disruption to his lifestyle, he wants his kingdom to get back to business as usual. He decides to rally the nobles by throwing a masquerade ball. The nobles are all too happy to feed Prospero’s ego, by embracing the opulence for which they’ve grown accustomed.
The ball is success until a figure in a red funeral shroud parts the dancefloor. The figure wears a mask of blood slathered flesh, a visage made to resemble the plague riddled corpses lining the castle walls. Prospero is so incensed by this reminder of his failures that he calls the guards to hang the party crasher.
When the party crasher is unmasked its revealed there’s nothing underneath. He is the red death incarnate and in that moment all the revelers drop dead.
What is Carcosa?
Another aspect of the play psychiatric experts are trying to understand is its location. Carcosa is a scorched hellscape first documented by Ambrose Bierce in his story An Inhabitant of Carcosa. Bierce would later admit he got the location from a nightmare he had as a child.
Bierce dreamt he stood before a alien citadel with monolithic battlements, skyscraping spires, and a crocked keep, a structure so tall and wide it stretched beyond his field of vision.
When he entered young Bierce found the remains of a cafeteria. The kitchen stunk of rotten meat, moldy cheese, and ammonia. The steam trays were teaming with maggots. The stovetops were teaming with pans, each filled with the grey hollowed out husks of human organs. Deflated entrails spiraled into donut swirls. Strips of skin were laid like bacon. Boney fingers were arranged like sausages. Kidneys were covered in shredded cheese and garnished with minced parsley.
The faded sign above the buffet read OMELETTE BAR.
There was a long dining table, the length of a redwood. Swarms of flies hovered over the spread. Beyond that was the exit. It lead to a hilly plain where the grass had been baked golden brown. The remains of ashen pyres dotted the landscape. There were craterous remains of dries ponds, flags marked with the Yellow sign, and sand traps.
Bierce recalled thinking he was standing in the remains of a golf course and then he woke up.
Psychiatric experts are debating whether Bierce’s dream was a vision of something that happened on some distant world or if it was a premonition of something destined to happen here.
Did Ivanka Break the law?
The King in Yellow is spreading across social media thanks to Ivanka Trump who may have violated an ethics rule by sharing it. The United States Office of Government Ethics is responsible for preventing conflicts of interest with the executive branch. West Wing employees, like Ivanka, are forbidden from endorsing an organization (be it a corporation, a non-profit, or an alien order.
A spokesperson for Ivanka defended her passion for the play. “Ivanka was showing personal support for a work once condemned now revered as a timeless treasure.”
“Timeless treasure” is one way to describe a play that causes readers to gouge their eyes out with ice cream scoopers. “Literary contagion” is how the CDC is describing it and right now they are failing to manage the spread.
Readers are acting out scenes in the middle of flaming buildings, four lane highways, and shark infested waters. Experts fear the carnage is going to get worse.
On Wednesday, the President stacked printed copies of the play (he has yet to read it) on the Resolute Desk, giving the accursed work his personal thumbs up. Because of course he did.