The Book




The Book

Constant readers of the news may have noted the disturbing, and rather sudden, disappearance of two most prominent and distinguished figures within the hallowed halls of literary and arcane research - Mary Endelbright and Linda Khindler. Yet it is with a conclusive array of facts and ponderings that I pen this report, as to which I hope to explain the disappearance of Linda Khindler.

The disappearance of Mary Endelbright was most disturbing and held queer connotations as to what preceded the eventual police raid on her house and subsequent findings. Through varied witness reports and analysis of the state of the numerous plants and animals that she kept throughout her home, it appears that Mary Endelbright disappeared as of the morning of June twenty-eight, two thousand and four. Despite a thorough combing of her house, police were baffled as to where she may have gone or to what end she may have met. The only strange clue that was located within the house was that of a leatherbound tome - it was inscribed with insidious, blasphemous letters that, queerly, almost represented writing that may have been our own English language at one point, yet was twisted and distorted beyond all recognizable understanding. Even the university cryptanalysts could not decipher the maddening markings that covered the cover of the mysterious tomb.

In to this case, Linda Khindler, a local researcher at the unversity, stepped. After the failure to decipher the wholly terrible markings that preceded the pages of madness within the tome, Ms. Khindler achieved the book and attempted to discover what the markings could possibly mean. She was only allowed to obtain it because of her immense knowledge of the deepest and darkest occult aspects - of which she had learned of as her time as a hero, Linda Thunder. Numerous, nameless, blasphemous, heretic cults eked out from beneath the bowels of the pavement, and Ms. Khindler was there to stop, and question, them.

Of the most interesting she heard of was of a nameless cult from a deranged member of one of its sects. Clad with garments of deepest night and quietly ushering hymns of madness, Linda learned of a great many, terrible things from him.

It seems he belonged to a great cult. He did not belong to the main cult, as he said, but was one of the members who had to prove themselves before they could uptake the final oath and become one as the cult was. They worshipped, as he said, a spirit being from the stars who travelled from an eden which could not be accessed by man. The being, in turn, lead them to worship two great beings of whom he named with such horrible vowels and sounds that it was impossible to write down, nor describe them in any conventional speech. Immediately after this, he began to chant his maddening, wordless hymn as loud as he possibly could, banging upon the walls and screaming in a tongue that did not belong to man. During the night, he entirely vanished from his cell - there was not a trace of escape found within the jail.

It was through this maddening experience that Ms. Khindler relinquished herself from the duties of an upholder of law, and delved deeply into great, ancient tomes that whispered of demoniac beings who descended from great, dark places, aeons ago, when man was still but weak and trembling. Yet great things forced them back into the nether from whence they came, and, thus, saved man from what may have arrived. As she delved further into these tomes, the further a dreadful insanity seized her - one that fully revealed itself as she attempted to decipher the unearthly code.

It was through her continuous attempt to unlock the archaic script that rested upon the leather front that brought her to talk to an old man within the prairies, whose name was Zackary. He would not tell his last name, and no one else knew it - he simply arrived one day within the small townshed, calling himself Zackary. He had many ancient, old stories of mortifying things that his grandfather had passed down to his father, who had passed them down to him, and Ms. Khindler, obsessed within her obscure research, sought him down.

As I went to great ends to compile the report, I happened upon this information, and, thus, set myself towards the small townshed of Innisvale. As I arrived upon the door of a great, oaken house, made of a design that had long been put into the realm of ancient architecture, the door quietly creaked open, and an aged, waxen face stared at me with unblinking, unquieting eyes.

I quickly explained my purpose for why I had appeared upon his doorstep, and requested the information as to which he had given Ms. Khindler, in hopes of discovering to where she had truly disappeared to and what caused her disappearance. He ushered me within his house. A sense of unnerving dis-quiet settled upon me as I strode into the main hallway. All across the walls were painted erratic, impossible signs - signs that were loathesomely absent of any recognizable pattern or form. It was if these signs were drawn by a deranged individual, attempting to conceal himself from something great and dark with maddening scribbles.

It was as he sat down that I began to hear his horrifying tale. I will attempt to write it down with as much clarity as I can remember - it is not hard to forget. His chilling, almost corpse-like voice imbedded itself deep beneath my skull and my brain into some horrifying, unknown conciousness.

"Well," he began, "It was a long time ago, in t'which that I used ta' live on my father's big ol' farm within the countryside. Now, y'see, we had a big ol' apple orchard in our property - and our father pretty much let me and my brother run free, y'see. But our grandfather, y'know, always told us to never go into the hills at night. He'd scare us n' tell us about how them hills were alive with dark monsters and gremlins that preyed upon small, stupid children like us who wondered too close ta' their dens. Well, one time, me an' my brother, we decided not ta' listen to grandfather, y'see, and go out on our own into them hills at night."

At this point, Zackary began to slightly slump into his chair - I observed his muscles tightening, his back began to slightly arch, as he leaned forwards and began lowering his already hideous voice.

"Well, me an' my brother, we were creepin' around the hills, when we heard this chantin'. An' I thought it was those gremlins that grandfather always talked about, an' I wanted ta' get outta there - but my brother, he was callin' me a chicken an' a coward an' tellin' me to toughen up an' act like a man. So I sucked it in an' followed him around..."

"Well, we get to the tallest hill there was, there, an' we get on the top an' look down. An'..."

At that point, Zackary suddenly stopped. I waited patiently, as creeping terror made its rounds within my body as terrible images formed within my mind of what Zackary must have seen.

"Well... me an' him, we looked over, an' there were these men... but they ain't men. They look like men, but they have great, black-as-night skin an' dark eyes that look like they shone. All dressed up in dark robes an' cloths that covered their faces. An' they all huddled around this statue... an' they chanting... chanting... ee-yah... ee-yah..."

Zackary suddenly shook himself bolt-upright, as he stared at me with eyes almost ghost white. His right hand shook rigidly upon the armrest of the chair he was seated upon.

"Oh... the statue... it had four or three arms... an' it was as dark as they was... it held these chains, an' it held men at the bottom... you could hear their screams, even though they was just rocks an' clay... an' it held these other two things that looked like bags... but I saw 'em... they weren't clay an' rocks... they was real. An' they were drippin' red on the ground..."

It was at that point that Zackary suddenly solidified as the surrounding walls began to turn into a cacaphony of scrapings. Through the walls, on the roof, under the floor... a maddening scraping sound erupted within them. The lights in Zackary's house suddenly extinguished into blackness, and I heard the scrapings continue towards Zackary's door. Zackary quietly reached over towards a desk nearby and procured a small pistol and a flashlight, handing both to me. Then, in a whisper that was forever imprinted within my mind, he said, "Take off 'an go - don't look back. Don't ever come near here again. They know who you is. They know what you know an' can't let you know any longer. I won't make it - don't tell anyone else. Just go! Go and never stop running!"

As if it were a reflex action, I suddenly loosened my rigid grip upon my chair, grabbed the flashlight and pistol, and bolted towards Zackary's door. I vaguely heard him grab a heavy object - possibly a rifle of some sort - before tearing the door open and running towards my car, fear erupting throughout my every bone. The last sound I heard from that infernal place was the sound of a rifle blast erupting.

It was only the next day in which I read that a man in Innisvale had disappeared entirely. Bullet holes were found, yet no visible means of entry was discovered, nor any footprints or handprints found around the scene.

Yet it is through this maddness that I learned of what I had attempted to learn - of the disappearance and death of Ms. Khindler. Yet this comes at a high price - for I have begun to hear clawing upon the walls of my apartment late at night when all other lights are off. I fear that I have begun to slip into insanity, yet the sounds are self-evident. It is likely that Ms. Khindler heard these same sounds, as well as Mrs. Endelbright, and all who gazed upon this tome and heard of a story of the great, terrible darkness that came in great aeons - before they disappeared entirely and were never traced again.

Yet I can barely pen this final paragraph. The clawings are becoming louder, more frequent. I can hear them now, even in the daytime. I believe that, tonight, they will come for me - and I must relinquish to my fate, which is now deeply carved within my mind. For as I was running from Zackary's house on the night of incredible madness, I ignored what Zackary told me, and turned around as I made my escape from the doorway. It was there that I saw a figure - one of many, yet still clothed in the darkest garments, whose face was only partially covered by the wrapped cloth Ms. Khindler had seen on that same cult member - one with the blackest skin of the darkest night, whose eyes glowed with a dark, evil red that may have been from the deepest and darkest of maddening places. Yet even with these blasphemous, hideous things, the face was too horrifyingly easy to see. I can still see it within my mind, now, even as the scrapings now reach a crescendo - for it was the face of Mrs. Endelbright.