Saturday, December 25, 2010


Pain has been a part of me for far too long now. It engulfs me. It feeds off of me.

And Pain has a voice. A steely, hoarse and demanding voice. "Burn" it said, commanded. Burn I did. I burned down an entire forest. I watched the fire dance around. It was beautiful.

The pain did subside a little. A little. But it never left. 

It spoke to me. Still does. But I don't mind anymore. I ignore the pain. It tells me things. It tells me, fire will give you salvation. Fire is the answer for everything. You should hear Pain talk, it's very convincing. It says "We all have that wick in our head. All we need to do, is ignite it."

To get to heaven, I will have to burn. The gods will save a place out there for me. If the rest of them knew that fire pleased the gods. The world would be, in flames.

I sit in prison, waiting. Waiting. I have waited for years now. They let me out in a few days. And when they do. I will burn again. Pain will leave me when I die.

But till then I will burn.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Playing God (In Between Dreams)


She sat on the park bench beside me, bathed in the orange glow of the blazing sun.

I could hear birds chirping in the gardens from behind while before us, the sunset, a lone performer to an audience of two, reached out to the sea and the sand. The warmth of the surf breaking onto our feet was comforting.

She hadn’t been curious about this strange setting; I had expected her to say something. She hadn’t spoken to me at all so far. Nevertheless, we sat there in our reassuring silence.

“Dez?” She suddenly turned to me. She looked so confused, so fragile, “Don't you feel something’s…wrong? The sunset-it’s been like this for hours.”

“I know. And it’s beautiful,” I whispered, leaning in closer to her. “Nothing’s the matter.”

She smiled her little smile. I wished I could have frozen that moment forever, both of us in our perfect world.

And then the sky shattered from above. I looked up to see pieces from the heavens fall away and reveal an inky black underneath.

I got up, hesitant. “I have to go.”

“Ok,” She said distantly, not removing her gaze the sun. “Will you be back soon?”

More destruction ensued overhead. I took out a marker from my pocket, and scratched out her name on my hand.

“I will.”

I heard myself cry out in a low voice, through the dream, and this world slowly oozed in.


I woke with a throbbing pain, a feeling that something wasn't right. I lay on my stomach for a while, keeping a hard grip on the pillow.

The stench of the cheap room I’d booked the evening before hit me at once.

I slowly gathered my thoughts. I’d been in a new motel a different town every two days. I had to change my location ever so often, being on the run.

The clock on the table next to me glowed ten past midnight. I’d been asleep for hours, I mulled.

A shaft of wispy moonlight streamed in through the open window. I sensed I wasn't alone in my room. In the darkness, a few infiltrators stood by the bedside.

I slipped out a knife from under the pillow and slashed the throat of one of them with a swift stroke. He crumpled to the ground without a word.

Before his accomplices could fire I jumped and rolled out of the cramped room.

I reckoned there were two others, and I heard them giving chase. I ran down the dark corridor all the way to the end where there was a solitary door. I brought it crashing down and then ducked into the room beside the doorway, pressing myself against the wall.

Their footsteps were coming closer.

I quickly took out the black marker from my pocket, and scribbled deftly onto my wrist: “Kill them.”

And then I screamed, and let my mind explode with a million different thoughts as I created a new dimension from scratch, drowning the two poor souls in it.

*   *   *   *   *

I woke upon a strange, cold surface, under eerie lights. I immediately glanced at what was written on my hand. I looked up to see two men in black staggering, reeling, under the strange metaphysical conditions of this world. My world.

They were now the unwilling subjects of the dominion of my whims.

With just a thought of mine, their heads popped into a mass of liquid and their bodies turned to dust, decomposing at an accelerated rate.

And then I willed a wind to blow away their remains into infinity, mites that they were. And then the land was cleansed.

I got up and stood on my feet, swaying a little. I looked around me to adjust myself in this place I’d created.

It’s strange. I’d never feel the effects of being here. This subconscious would never let me experience pain, or any other physical emotion, in my own head.

I thought of taking a look around to explore the aspects of my handiwork, but I then I thought there would not be much time on the other side, on reality.

It was like flipping sides of a counter, waking from your imaginings. It happens too quickly; and when it does, you can try all you like looking to the other side, but you can never get a full view of what’s hidden there.

So I fell back down on the motel floor. My last outing had left me weak, exhausted. I dropped to my knees and lost consciousness.


When I finally stirred, I saw two men on the ground, looking suspiciously lifeless.

They were the ones I’d taken and killed in my dream, I realized. My work had left both brain-dead now. I inspected them closely, seeing if they had any ID on them. There was none. But I knew they were agents for sure.

I had no idea as to how long I’d been knocked out, so I had to make my getaway from here as soon as possible.

I knew there would be more like them after me. My abilities are beyond what you would call…normal.

As I walked, I thought once again the great risks I’d taken to drag those agents into my mind. It’s strange, for when I’m at my most powerful, in my head, it’s also when I'm most vulnerable in reality.

I usually have no strong recollection of events, either, when I bring myself back here.

Beside me on the grey streets, there were the wretched and the hungry, dying souls. Across them, stormtroopers marched to their fascist calls, imposing their will over their slaves that were the people.

Overhead, the sounds of fighter planes drowned out my thoughts momentarily.

But how true is this world we are placed in? This reality is thin, isn't it? Nothing more than a veil so many choose to put themselves in front of, a curtain of belief they steadfast cling onto, blotting out murky shadows on the other side, from the true world, nothing more than an abyss.

What’s to say that this might not be just a thought of somebody’s that was left open??A world that was let be for eons, untouched, disregarded by its creator? I shudder at the very idea. But I cannot help but think how true it might be.

My own capabilities justify such a possibility. How real is everything around us?

I let myself be soaked in my circle of musings, oblivious to the mundane rituals that went around me.

For it is only in dreams that I am who I am.

And in between dreams, I wander.


I took myself back to the dimension I’d made the last night, where I’d eradicated the agents.

I found myself wandering through the strange lands of trees and water. I was…proud  of my creation. I’d long wished to see such beauty, but alas, it was not to be, where I come from.

An intense silence hung, giving me peace like I’d never known.

There had been many before - many places I’d made in my dreams. It had taken me a lot of time and pain to reach this level - to create a setting on such a large scale.

And yet, yet - I couldn’t be satisfied. No matter how much I’d tried varying it, I always find it frustrating to see how earth-like my world is as well.

I stared down at the glowing grains on the ground. It slowly formed into a mass as I puppeteered it with my thoughts. And it gradually took shape as I filled in details.

And as I gave it a spark of life, I couldn’t help but think how much it looked like me. How human  it looked.

I cursed myself for not thinking beyond.

Disappointed, I crushed this world into oblivion.


I travelled to the countryside over the weekend, and took up residence with a kind enough family at a large farm. I reckoned I would stay there for a week or so, before the agents got wind of my trail.

*   *   *   *   *

That night, I found myself at the beachside with her once again - my wife, who I had brought here to this utopian world of my thoughts as she lay dying all those years ago in the plane where we belonged.

“What took you so long?” she asked.

I gave her a peck on the cheek as I sat down beside her. The perennial sunset still blazed before us.

“It was nothing.”

Another Beautiful Day

The sun peaked over the horizon, molten light spilling over, transforming the darkness of night into an ecstasy of red-gold warmth.
I opened my eyes as the world lit up around me, and took in a long slow breath of mountain air, sharp, cold, and enough to send a rush to my head. As I stepped out of my tent, my first act was to peer down into the chasm that lay in front of me, earth torn away as if by a Titan in the first days of creation, the jagged maw rising towards the sky, surrounded by the frosty caps of the Himalayan mountains.
As I moved to fish my canteen out of my tent, the wind blew through the grass fields in front of me, ruffling my hair and rustling the long stalks, sending the crystalline dew into a frenzy of movement, each drop a diamond, cut and polished.
I unscrewed the canteen and took a long swallow. As the spring water, salty from the earth, flowed through me, it sent the feeling of ice forming on my insides that only cold water (or copious amounts of mint) could do.
I stepped close to the chasm, and felt the breeze on my skin and the warmth of the sun on my face. I smiled.
It was another beautiful day.

P.S. -Given an option I wouldn't write stories like this, but the Empath threatens me with my own sense of monotonous repetition, thus I am forced to. As far as I'm concerned any good story has one of three things
3)Addiction of any kind.
But I figured I'd try the fluffy bunny rabbit approach for once to see where it got me.
Do Comment.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

To Take The Pain Away

He stood underneath a gibbous moon, it's sickly light casting a ghoulish pallor on all it touched. The night seemed gray and dead, all vitae drained. Everything that was good and pure, turned defiled and unholy.
He looked up at the stars and raised the knife in his hand in a sardonic salute to them. The deathly half light seemed appropriate. He breathed in.
It was time.
He walked across the lawn, brown and dying, to the the front door of a house in ill-repair. He opened the door and his eyes took in the darkness and the crossed the floor to the stairs.
His eyes drifted to the portraits he knew hung on the walls. He did not pause as he ascended, but his fingers ran themselves over moments of time captured and crystallized from a life that seemed as distant and dead as the moon did tonight.
He set his feet on the landing and before he turned, he looked for one last time at the life he had known. After he walked on, he did not look back.
He walked in a room , the walls patterned with clouds and barnyard animals, painted a faded sky blue. He looked down at the occupants. A woman, haggard from a life of hardship, her face prematurely lined. At her side were two children. Twins, beautiful in their symmetry and their youth, purity embodied. One of them stirred and opened her eyes. She looked at him through the veil of sleep, confusion in her eyes, emerald green in hue.
"Shhh honey, Daddy's here."
"I can't sleep."
He reached over and smoothed her tousled golden locks.
"Hush little baby don't you cry,
Daddy's gonna make it all okay,
And even if he couldn't buy you that diamond ring,
Daddy's gonna take away all your pain."
As his lasts words faded into silence, she closed her eyes and turned over.
He looked then, upon his family, for the last time, drinking them in. He inhaled, and raised his knife.
And then the killing began.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Where is the love ?

Mr. Marth lived in California. He had lived there for ever; that is to say, he had lived there for twenty-eight years. Mr. Marth was exactly twenty-three years old when he married Miss. Rise.
Mona Rise was the daughter of a Mr. H.L. Rise. a very big name in the shipping industry. To ensure his position as heir to the Rise family business, Ernst Marth had courted Mona for nearly a year before finally marrying her.
But that was five years ago. The death of Mr. Rise had proved mighty advantageous. Ernst and Mona had the Rise Mansion to themselves  and now Ernst owned The Rise Shipping Corporation at the age of twenty eight . And then a year back Mona was killed. Murdered by her man-servant in her own bedroom.

Ernst hadn't known how much he loved her, how much he cared for her until she had died. He made sure the man who murdered her was sent to prison, but that didn't help. He still felt that emptiness.
It was just yesterday when the new maid had asked him the question he dreaded the most. She wanted to know if she should clean the room on the second floor. He sent her off saying he would clean it himself.

He would remove everything that reminded him of her from the room and then lock it up.

He opened the door. The stench hit him. Cleaning this room was long overdue.

He reached out in the dark. Turned on the light. It didn't help. The lamp hadn't been used for years now. It probably didnt work anymore.

It is was in this room. The two of them, had had such wonderful nights. Nights filled with love. This room had seen it all. This room had seen her die. Die at the hands of a mad man. A man who still hadn't given a reason for what he did. He went mum after he murdered her. Never spoke a word.

But thats what he had everyone else believed. Little did they know that Ernst himself had planned the murder out. He had paid the butler a huge sum and had gauranteed the man a safe life once he was out. Ernst had planned it all and he had gotten away with it.


He had fallen asleep on the bed. On this bed. The bed where she had been murdered. It was then that he saw it. Those two hands hanging idly over the back of the chair as though an unseen owner were crouched in the seat. Ernst closed his eyes. He hoped he was just seeing things. When he opened his eyes again, the hands had gone. He was hallucinating after all.

Then he heard a noise by the bed. He wasn't alone. The thing was still in the room. He turned and looked at it. It was dressed in red. The same clothes Mona had worn the night she had died, Could it be ?

He moved his eyes up to her face. It was her. She smiled at him. But there was something hidden in the smile. A twisted hungry glare. Her eyes, they scared him. The emptiness was clear.
He was paralysed, he couldn't move, he couldn't scream for help. He knew this was the end.
Her mouth opened and she began to whisper words. Ernst couldn't make out watch she was saying. She cocked her head to the left and let out a piercing scream. She jumped onto the bed and bent down close to Ernst. The same two hands he saw before reached out to his neck. Finding it, her fingers closed around it. She was too cold,strange, icy and from her stillness and silence she appeared to be in a trance. The spectre spoke to him, this time she was clearer. As he began to suffocate he heard her whisper- Where is the love ?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Enigma of Dr. Edward Gray (I of III)


The Letter

The clock on the wall read 6:49. Another 71 minutes to go, the writer thought. He knew he had to make this quick.

The desk lay before him, flittering in the firelight, scattered with material; loose sheets of paper, little notes scrawled with writing, various files and other research books – framing his figure, framing his life, in more ways than one.

Outside, against a bitter gray October night sky, the rain howled. In a strange way, the din helped him think, concentrate. The sounds of rickety horse carriages being pushed on the cold pavement, even that of the raindrops being smattered on the window, they provided a peculiar comfort. Silence would no doubt have disturbed the ideas within him.

And so he began writing.

68 minutes.

*   *   *   *   *

The demons from my past plague me.

Let me tell you a tale, something that happened back in October, 1876, on a night not unlike this one. It was all a mistake, I tell you. I had been dragged into it by accident, not knowing the repercussions that could have befallen me.

I have nothing to lose now, so I shall revive that experience which I had long tried burying.

A pagan rite; that was what I had been in. The feverish chants in the candlelight still echo in my mind. We had raised from the gates of darkness a malevolent spirit.

I remember the blood that had been spilled as it raged out of control, lashing out at us, its tormentor. I was one of the three who survived. We formed a pact with each other, using our combined strength to suppress it.

I mention this very briefly, because that only serves as a background to what is happening to me now. That very scene has been playing out in my mind for the past few months. I did not give it much thought at first, thinking of it as a revisit to a sin from long ago. But it persisted. Persisted until I became obsessed with that spirit.

So I ran through whatever I could find regarding the Occult. I lusted to perform a rite once more, to feel such primeval, unrestrained energy under my command.

Two weeks ago, I summoned the very same Daemon yet again. It connected to me; showing me what it had seen, the things such an ancient spirit had felt. It showed me what I could be if we merged. I Enticed, I allowed myself to link with it. I felt it all to be a strange dream.

It was only later on that I realized it had possessed me. It was strange; for I had not felt it that way. I always assumed I was the one in power. Coming of the daze, I tried forcing myself out of its terrible hold; I battled within myself to seize my own body. I managed to struggle free.

But my respite was short. Unearthing my old contacts, I found that the other two survivors from the rite had been brutally killed under mysterious circumstances.

It then dawned upon me that the spirit could have used me to carry out this task. I realized it was exacting its long held vengeance.

The worst is yet to come. I am the only one remaining.

*   *   *   *   *

The man stopped the narrative at this moment.  He looked up at the face of the clock, which read 7:36. There wasn't much time left. Dipping his quill into the inkpot yet again, he continued the diligent scratching on paper.

*   *   *   *   *

And so tonight, on the 19th of October 1889, I write this letter not knowing what is to become of me. The clock ticks. And I do not think there is much time left. The very Creature I had set free is on now on my trail. There is no telling when the hunger of this monstrosity will cease. Hoping it will end with my death, I leave this letter to warn the rest of the city of the evil I have opened the door to.

I only hope that I may be forgiven for the terrible deed I have done.

Dr. Edward Gray

*   *   *   *   *

12 minutes remaining. He looked down at the letter, folded it and placed it in an envelope before sealing it. For now, all he could do was wait.

*   *   *   *   *

At exactly 8 p.m., a mutilated corpse lay in the middle of the room.


The Body

Whatever my role that is to be in this case, I know I have to make my moves carefully. As Inspector James Morgan, I had to be vigilant.

It was 10 p.m. in Central London. I don’t usually like working late, but here at 17 Moreau Street, there was something that required my attention. There was a body, or what was left of it, at my feet. It was that of Dr. Edward Gray.

He had been my friend.

The other officers of Scotland Yard looked pale as they went through the room, inspecting the body. I didn’t blame them.

The scene of whatever the incident that had taken place was a bloody mess. As far as I could see in the dim gaslight, the grotesque remains of Dr. Gray suggested he lay on his back in a twisted, contorted position. The lush floor carpet of the study was in chaotic streaks of blackish, dried blood and entrails of the man. His face had three gashes made on it, rendering him almost faceless. The most bewildering detail in the disarrayed slices of flesh, however: a foul, crude cavity in his chest. His heart had been ripped out.

A hellish sight to behold in the orange glow, with our shadows as silent spectators.

I felt sorry for my new assistant, Master Alan Stafford. It was only the first murder case he’d witnessed firsthand. I had called him to the site as it soon became clear to me what this particular affair may concern.

“And this is exactly how you found the body?” I heard Inspector Henry Wilkins ask me. Inspector Wilkins was one of the longest serving men I’ve known, a colleague I’ve come to trust.

I nodded slightly.

“My word. A real butchery, this one,” remarked Wilkins. “Can’t say London hasn’t seen its fair share of them. But something this savage… And that too, involving a high-profile gentleman -- Dear God.”

I took off my hat, bowing my head slightly. “I should have been here sooner, Wilkins. I was to meet him, you know. I had an engagement with him at half past eight, as I had every week. However, he hadn’t answered the door. I went round to his neighbour, but old Mrs. Moore told me she hadn’t heard a word from Gray. He’d inform her if he was planning on going outside.”

“- Poor woman’s having a fit.”

“I waited another hour before finally, fearing the worst, I called the police. If only I’d been in here earlier, perhaps...”

Wilkins patted my shoulder. “Look Inspector, Don't take this upon yourself. If there’s anything, let me handle this. Unless the Scotland Yard has reason to believe it would require the services of The Division, we’ll take this as another regular murder.”

“Inspector Morgan? I think you should see this, sir.” One of the detectives handed me a sealed envelope, ignoring the senior next to me. “This was on the desk.”

And as I read Dr. Gray’s letter inside of the envelope, I reminded myself I needed to be involved in this.

I head The Division of Extraordinary and Paranormal Investigations of Scotland Yard. More than a millennium ago, Britain had been declared a Pagan nation. We believe the demons of the past still haunt us. We may be at the dawn of a new century, Masters of machine, and harbingers of the Steam Age, but I fear Victorian England has its own phantasms. Even in such a modern day and age, I have evidence to prove that our division involving the Supernatural is necessary.

“Inspector Wilkins, with all due respect, I believe this is something the Division should involve itself in. The letter only proves the presence of more mystifying elements under the surface.”

Henry Wilkins solemnly tilted his head.

I made my way to the desk of the deceased doctor. It had placed on it an assortment of books, mainly concerned with the occult. He had obviously been doing research of some sort.

If his letter was to be believed, he had made contact with demonic forces, been possessed at least once and Heaven knows what else.  Could this be taken as the babbling of a madman? Or was there more to it than met the eye?

I could not say why, but I felt a sudden chill in the room. These four walls held absent ghosts I must unearth.

But that would be for another time, a more appropriate one.

“Very well, gentlemen,” I raised my hat and stepped out of the room, leaving the others in the clutches of uncertainty.


The Investigation

“It’s absolutely queer happenings, this.” The Chief made clear his view of the killing to Inspector James Morgan, sitting at his table at the Scotland Yard Headquarters.

“Wilkins handed me his report this morning. I heard from him you want to lead the Investigations.”

Morgan shrugged. “I feel it is only so necessary, Sir,” he replied. “I somehow - I feel responsible for his death.”

“Your visit to his home, I see. Wilkins made a mention of that.” The Chief took in a puff of his cigar.

“I am obligated to bring an end to whatever happened to him, to find out the truth,” He started.

“Fair enough.”

Morgan reverently acknowledged his decision with a bow, and was about to walk out of his office, when the Chief called out. “Morgan. You don’t suppose…I mean; I read what the letter was about. Do you really think a person of repute like Dr. Gray would be involved in such hideous rituals?”

The Inspector thought for a while. “I fear there is every possibility of it, Sir. Do not forget, he was my friend. Why a man such as he would want to do this is far beyond my comprehension. On the other hand, if one were to read his parting letter, we may conclude he may well have been bordering on insanity. But that is the funny thing about men. You never know what they’re capable of until you see them at their worst.”

“As for - well, I think we have enough to say that the Beast is exceedingly real.”

“All too true,” Morgan agreed. “and it’s loose, on the very streets of London.”

“God help us all. We must do what we can to stop this.”

*   *   *   *   *

In the afternoon, Morgan sat with the research material from Edward’s desk. He had taken all of his files and papers from his study as well. There was a lot he had to sift through, and he feared it might take him a chunk of time to find out specifically what Edward had been involved in.

“Sir? Anything I can help you with?” Stafford opened his door a crack and inquired politely.

“No, no. But I’d rather you ran through our observations from last night once again. And cross check with Wilkins’ report with the Chief. Only to see if we’ve missed out any detail.” And he went straight back to his work.

Just like any other case, he had instructed Stafford beforehand to take down all of Morgan’s observations concerning the room and Dr. Gray’s home. He made it a point that it was always Stafford who took down his notes. He never preferred writing anything himself.

Always keen to impress, his assistant had gone down to Mrs. Moore’s by himself for a second round of questioning in the morning. It was common sense, he felt, to make sure the interviewed was not intimidated, and he noted that she had given even more information than she had yesterday to the police.

He had been about to bring up what she had told her to Morgan, but he thought the better of it, seeing his superior so engrossed in his work.

“And Stafford,” The Inspector broke his line of thought. “This case may take us far longer than usual to solve. I do hope you know what you are involving yourself in. Many a man has died in search of answers to mysteries beyond the threshold of the normal.”

The Enigma of Dr. Edward Gray (II of III)


The Cemetery

(From the journal of Alan Stafford)

“… The gothic gates of the London Cemetery curled into the heavens, as if praying for the wicked souls it held in its sanctum. Its black outline was like a deformed tree against a wispy moon. It was through these that I made my way through, the night prior.

I had been accompanying Inspector Morgan to find out what we could on the case of Dr. Edward Gray. It was the first time I’d been to the Cemetery past midnight. We had to make sure we were not seen. As the Inspector put it, no one likes the sight of a gentleman prying graves.

The night was icy cold. The scrunching of dead leaves under our shoes was the only sound to ring out in the dry air. Otherwise, it was eerily quiet. I held my lamp at an arm’s length; so did Morgan; it only helped me see ahead, casting a small glow on the tombstone in front of me as I walked while everything else was pitch dark. The tombstones made me nervous, scared even. I could not understand how that could be, being the rational man I thought I was.

Morgan believed he had made a breakthrough in the case; and that Dr. Gray’s letter held a lead to the graveyard. I did not know how he had arrived to this conclusion, but I reckoned he knew better than I did.

I, however, wasn’t entirely sure of what, or Heaven forbid, whom we were looking for.

We stopped at a particular headstone. “I think this is it,” Said Morgan. He bent down, and diligently began wiping off the layer of grime on the headstone, seeking to reveal the name engraved whereupon.

A few trees rustled in the background.

“Makes you wonder, doesn’t it-The graveyard?” The Inspector began. “How short our lives are, and the end we all have to face.”

A strong wind blew suddenly, extinguishing our weak lamps. My eyes struggled for a while to accustom to the complete darkness. Morgan stopped his work and looked around.

An unearthly moan emanated across the field. I turned and glanced at the direction of its possessor.

There it floated over the graveyard, bleeding colour from the world. I could not take my eyes away from it, for it possessed a beauty of such ethereal quality. And yet, its very presence struck raw fear into my heart.

A daemon; a cursed soul trapped within body of Elder Gods’ spawn, forced to wander our realm seeking rest from its eternal pain.

I had never seen one before. It was like a living void, straining the fabric of the reality we were in. I could not see any one distinct shape associated with the being, but instead saw a variety of images through a glowing haze in it.

Two distinct eyes burned at me. It spread its bony, twisted wings and with a wail, set out for us. I stood transfixed to it, unable to break my gaze.

Then the Inspector shook me out of my trance in time, and shouted for us to run.

I knew I was in mortal danger, but like a bloody fool I wasted a round of my Adams’ bullets on the beast. And then, realizing the obvious, I turned and fled. Morgan was already way ahead of me. He, of course, had not bothered using firearms on something from the netherworld.

So I ran; I remember the sky slowly deepening into crimson as I felt the daemon closer approaching. I could feel its heavy breath hanging over me, tinged with the smell of dark abysses and emptiness and lost minds. I quickened my pace, sucking in the chilly night air. Faster and faster I scampered, leaping over headstones, wayward crosses and fallen boughs alike, until at the last moment, my leg caught something and I stumbled and fell onto the damp mud.

I rolled over and faced skyward at once, fearing the hellborn creature would slash me from behind, but then I looked up and saw…Nothing. The daemon was nowhere to be seen.

I realized I was panting heavily. I closed my eyes for a while.

The sky was inky black, as it always had been, and I could smell the wetness of the ground once more.

But I knew I had not imagined the whole thing. I did not know what to make of what had happened; I picked myself up and ran out of the gates of the cemetery. Morgan was outside, waiting for me. He was unusually muted.

The carriage ride back to our residences had been in uncomfortable silence. We had the air of two strangers who were witness to something incredible, but on the conclusion of the episode, wished not to speak to each other about it.

I’d rather not say this, but I worry that my superior is just as stumped as I am about tonight’s happening…”


The Disappearance

Despite my past encounters with them, I find that I am chilled, and in a mystifying way, intrigued by every daemon I see. Each one special, their appearances and contours characterized by the souls they once were.

Yesterday’s events were…unforeseen. It is extraordinary that both myself and Stafford were able to escape with our lives.

We had said nothing to each other on our way home, Stafford quite obviously shaken by his experience, and I perplexed by the appearance of the beast. I gathered it could not be a coincidence.

I mentioned nothing of this matter to the Chief, but I brought up another revelation in my visit to him that morning.

“What? Everything gone, you say?” His voice cut through.

Someone had ransacked my apartment and had left with all of the files and papers associated with the case of Dr. Edward Gray. All evidence from the scene of murder, all of Stafford’s notes on the case, and the books Dr. Gray had in his study.

“Exactly; I arose this morning to find everything gone,” I explained. “I do not know how I shall further this examination of the murder. Those volumes of Dr. Gray were- invaluable.” Yet another turn of events I could not have expected.

 “It is curious,” I continued. “It confirms that there is a human element involved in this affair, the only difficulty being, of course, finding exactly how it fits.”

“It all looks fishy to me,” The Chief agreed. “Make of it what you will, but I think you should get more officers involved. This seems far bigger than it had looked originally.”

It was fairly obvious that someone did not want this investigation to be carried out.

*   *   *   *   *

I heard from his neighbour that Stafford had gone to the countryside to visit his mother and would be back only by evening. He had, however, asked specifically for me to leave a message for him.

I scratched out a line on paper before affixing it on Stafford’s door:

*   *   *   *   *

I strolled through Cowley for the rest of the afternoon, thinking what my further plan of action would be.

The perpetrator had left me nothing to work with at all. But his act had not rendered me completely helpless; thankfully I had managed to extract a crucial bit of information from the Doctor’s notes before the theft. Hopefully it would be enough.

Dr. Gray was not who we all thought him to be. There is much more there needs to be uncovered.

Stafford contacted me late in the evening, and I told him my intentions.