Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Dragon Fire Frights: The Writing of the Dead

Welcome to the first of, hopefully, many blogs to come. Dragon Fire Frights will be a running series of original horror shorts. Some may be based off purported real events and others will be completely fabricated. I, however, will never tell — Mwa ha ha ha ha ha! Our first tale is called The Writing of the Dead.

I write to you out of the hope that you may take me seriously, for even sometimes I can not—dare I go completely mad. The full account of which has taken place has been thoroughly documented and filed away, in my office. The key I sent with this will open the locked cabinet.

I'm not sure when it all truly began. Every time I try to remember, it seems entrenched just outside of my furthest reach, buried within yet deeper recesses of my mind. But I can tell you that it did begin with a simple phrase: "Help me." Two little words that slowly stripped away my sanity. And yes, the more than likely rumors of my recent eccentricities are, I'm afraid, true.

To be honest, I no longer know the day or time. But judging by the grotesque length of my finger nails, it must have been over a year since I last left my home or even communicated with another living soul. However, don't worry, the maid, Luci, still does come daily. But for her safety, she has been restricted to the kitchen, and only during the daytime. This is also when it is safe enough for me to sleep.

Occasionally I awake to her sobbing. I desperately want to comfort her, let her know that this is not by my choosing, and that I enjoy every bit of her cooking—whether cold or reheated. I even leave her twice the pay, but she only takes the standard. So do not be upset that I have left her a portion of the estate, in my will; she deserves every penny.

As I write this, I can hear it: faint, disembodied screaming emanating from down the dark hallway. It is the most horrible sound I have ever heard. Despite how inhuman its nature, the message is always audible, and it is how I am nightly bade. If only I wasn't driven by such desires to know that which no man should, this would have never happened. In the end, it is all my fault.

The experiments I conducted were simple at first: A small board I kept, caked with chalk dust, locked away in my vault. For I would see the same message written on many dusty surfaces, throughout the house. Although, the first time I took note of them, I scolded Luci for playing games and not working. I feel horrible about this now.

The good scientist that I am had to test the supernatural validity of the phenomena. As the weeks went by, I would continue to find the same message written in the most bizarre places, however, my vault board remained undisturbed. Eventually, I stopped checking it, and my obsession drifted back toward my physics studies.

It was Luci who brought it back to my attention. One afternoon, she had come running to me in a state of complete panic, claiming to have seen a shadowed entity move from wall to wall, around the dining room. At the time, I had believed that she was suffering from some sort of delirium: possibly brought on by infection or injury. I sent her to a colleague of mine, Dr. Willard Martell, for an examination.

But the incident rekindled my interest. After Luci left, I went straight to the vault. And there, I finally found the message, gently scribbled on my little board. The reaction I had was not one of horror but one of absolute glee. My vista had thus been expanded to a strange, new world with endless possibilities.

Each day I checked the vault, and each time the message was more pronounced. On the sixth day, I drew a game grid and made the first play. To my delight, a counter move arrived by next morning. I continued to push the limits of the interactions. I placed objects to be moved; I left questions on scrap bits of paper for answering, and began to stay up late listening and documenting any subtle movements or noises I heard.

I wasn't perfect in my methods, but they were as close as one could get without involving another. How I wish that I had not been so arrogant in my ambitions and allowed someone to assist me. Surely if you or Willard had been here, things would have turned out differently.

Luci came back with a clear bill of health but was still shaken up from her encounter with the phantasm. And now I can say with the utmost sincerity, I do not blame her. But I reassured her that it was merely a trick of the mind, so she continued to work for me and returned to her duties—even uninhibited, at least, for a short while.

Soon after, began the horrible nightmares and strange memories. I recalled seeing the ghostly writing at various times in my youth: written on a fogged window or in the sands at the beach. Why I could not remember them until recently, I do not know. And my night terrors seemed to drift closer and closer from dream into existence as horrific sounds and figures of pure blackness began to interrupt my night's slumber.

On one such occasion, I woke up to being dragged violently from my bed, across the room. My head hit the edge of the doorway, knocking me unconscious. When I awoke again, I found a trail of blood, which now stains the wooden floorboards, that stopped just shy of the staircase's edge.

The next night, I dared not sleep, and the howling screams intensified. Despite my growing fear, the research demanded that I document everything carefully. I had come too far to go back. I knew that I was standing before the curtain of reality, and all I had to do was reach out and take a quick peak behind it to get all the answers I desperately sought. So I followed the source downward, into the basement. My entire body trembled with each creak of the rotted wooden steps. And the dank, moldy air filled my lungs, triggering my asthma.

The electric torch barely lit the way. It was as if the darkness itself was alive and shifting constantly to block my line of sight. But I continued downward, and the noises grew louder the closer I got to them. This crescendo eventually led me to an antique door; a door that, in all my years, I have never seen before. And when I reached for the handle, everything went dead silent. My breathing was rapid and shallow. My pulse was beating out of control. Yet somehow I managed to sum up the courage to turn the knob, but with all my strength, thankfully, I could not budge it.

Soon the sun would rise, and I went back to my room and fell asleep. Although I slept uninterrupted for the first time, in a long time, it was not restful. However, it was good enough for me to continue to sleep solely during daylight. I felt, and still feel, completely exhausted until the ungodly hour comes upon me, when I am beckoned by my new masters: during which, you would swear the shadows paced about my home, in a sick anticipation for their puppet's final show.

I would go to that door again and again: Standing before it, each time trembling in fear and failing to even make it ajar. But with each attempt, I felt whatever had kept it locked weaken, ever so slightly more. And tonight, I believe, no, I know, is when it will finally open. I can not resist its call for long, like a sailor lured by the siren's song. And I know not what ancient horrors lay beyond the dark threshold, but I do know that I will not be the one to open it. I am leaving my research with you because I am certain that this knocking will not simply stop at my door. The world must be warned of what is coming.

Goodbye my dearest friend,
Signed: Eldon Durward

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