Filed Under: Journal
Bored, and feel like messing about with words for a bit. Also this is a test to see if I can advance post with my content publishing system. I should know if this works given that I wrote it. I don't.
The place to which I've gone
Terrible and oppressive was the darkness that lay upon me like a saturated blanket. I hunched more than stood in the forest, surrounded by overgrown vegetation made fat and lush by sickening, unnatural nutrients almost seeping from the dark earthen ground. The stars above would have normally been a boon to my failing spirits, but in this place they were as foreign and alien and oppressive as would have been a pitch black sky. The moon was waning in the inky sky; it stood above me looking down upon me like a heartless, uncaring tyrant.
Only moments ago I had been accompanied by a pair of large, substantial men. They had been bodyguards I had cajoled and eventually paid to accompany me into the wilderness. Had been bodyguards until they had been reduced to two nearly unidentifiable stews of human wreckage. Now they were simply additional sources of psychotic impulse steadily propelling me toward madness. Deep within the recesses of my mind I briefly acknowledged them as Samuel Marcus and Davy Jeremiah, two well known and well respected members of the local village in which I had until recently negotiated lodging. Now, they were nothing but icons of the terror which had settled into my conscious mind to snuff out all but my most basic of instincts.
If I had been less a trained gentleman schooled in constructive analysis and drilled in coherent thought I would have surely succumb to the madness that threatened to consume me wholly. My mind sought to shatter the confines of my bodily skull and escape into the night sky, to find a moment in time or space less devastatingly horrific than this moment of absolute terror. To no avail. It, as I, was trapped in this dank, claustrophobic theater of madness.
My sanity grasp at threads of coherence to keep me rooted and so in the searching found a moment in time not two days ago when I arrived in this accursed place.
The place from which I came
I stood upon the cobblestone of a tiny, backward hamlet still unnamed by the unwashed locals who had very recently sought to occupy it. The buildings were of of a rural, primitive construction, a sign of the primitive upbringing which the villagers shared. I would not have imagined a circumstance which could have taken me from my fine estate outside Washington and placed me within the mud and sloven company of these indigents until but one week prior. I had received a note from my half brother, a disheveled and unruly specimen of a man with whom I would normally have no interaction. He had, however, piqued my interest with his plea for assistance in retaking the tiny farm he had only recently settled. Make no mistake that it was not his poorly articulated appeal for assistance which had engaged me so much as his description of the plight he had befallen.
Understand that I have throughout my life shown a keen interest in any and all phenomenon unexplainable through the machinations of natural science. My wife would have characterized that interest as a near obsession in its magnitude and the fortitude with which even the smallest mystery would grip my curiosity. It was to this weakness, or strength, that my half brother's appeal had attached. His letter was as unformed in thought as it was in articulation, but it spoke of a darkness haunting the woods around the modest estate he had attempted to raise. Deep in duplication and shallow in description was his retelling of the events which had thrown him into his state of mental disrepair, and in such a poor telling the narrative of his plea was not compelling. Between the lines of his text, however, lie the genuine fear of a man not normally taken to such emotion. To describe my motive in retreating my business and traveling weeks to meet his request I fear I would be equally inarticulate, but it is sufficient to say that I had felt myself compelled by the whole of his request.
The trip to his hamlet was uneventful and offered me opportunities to update my memoirs, an opportunity which appealed to me greatly. It was that occasion to further my writings which I used to justify my having made the trip at all. The further I traveled from my estate and the closer I approached to the setting of his ridiculous dissertation the more disdain I gathered for myself. How I could have left a reasonable family and the comfort of a successful business only to humour my half brother in his idiotic ramblings escaped me. I allowed myself to believe that I was doing the duties of a family man, and that I had indulged myself in the ill advised misadventure of a man of my age, seeking to recapture his youth.
My recriminations, however, immediately evaporated as the carriage I had commissioned approached the tiny village. Dilapidated and poorly constructed structures appeared as an apparition from the twisted forest as the carriage entered the precipitously constructed clearing of the unnamed shrine of hovels.
It was not the cheap and hasty constructions which interested me as much as the look of fear nested deep within the eyes of the villagers which milled about the scene. To my left a blacksmith unwilling to look away from his anvil and to my right the tired proprietor of a husk of a tavern worn with disuse. Truly these were people worn not only by the perpetual trials of the poor, but upon them rest the weight of genuine, unmitigated fear. These people had witnessed, or believed they had witnessed events of genuine calamity. Near to sympathy I felt for them, a feeling which may have grown into genuine concern had I not felt such a surge of vitality thrust through me.
A collecting fear
The carriage entered the centre of the hamlet and stopped to allow me to disembark. The driver moved quickly to evacuate my luggage from the attached trunk, moving with an alacrity which should have alarmed me, but only served to reinforce my excitement. The horses stirred and fidgeted rambunctiously as their master hastened my disembarkation. Hardly did the horse master tarry long enough to receive his payment before the only evidence of his presence was the clip clop sound of agitated horse's shoe upon uneven cobblestone. I watched them retreat into the forest.
Though suspicious the local magistrate had gathered his robes and come to meet me in the centre square. I humoured his attempts at gracious pomp and pressed him for lodgings in which I could find my bearings and prepare for my impending family reunion. Presently I found myself within the tattered hospitality of the only functioning inn available to the tiny community. My preparations were short and practiced having had weeks of travel to plot my investigative course. First I would seek out rations and other supplies necessary for my investigation and then employ a local guide to lead me to my half brother's estate in the forest.
As carefully planned as my expedition may have been, the reality of interacting with the local population was an experience entirely removed from expectations. Farmer after storekeeper after tradesman assaulted me with, in turn, requests for patronage, philanthropy and on one occasion proposed betrothal. I had expected the simplicity of the local population, but not the aggression with which they would assault my better nature.
Carefully I disentangled myself from the villagers and made my way to the dilapidated tavern. Within my attempts to remain inconspicuous failed, grievously. One upon another upon another I was beset with stories of supernatural abduction, psychopathic homicide and preternatural abduction. The entire village had become obsessed with the unnatural dangers they perceived within the forest surrounding them. To the best of my abilities I provided them with sympathy, cool interest and absolute disinterest as the situation merit. Luckily my novelty faded as my inability to solve their real or perceived grievances became universally apparent, and I settled into a local concoction to prepare myself for the trials of the next day.
Though rank and file the occupants of the tavern lost interest in my presence, a hulking man and his companion persisted in their petitions for my attention. Local Marshall Samuel Marcus was the name of the man, and he made it clear that he had no intention of leaving my intentions confused. With him was a smaller, but apparently no less capable deputy named Davy Jeremiah. He made his presence known to the best of his abilities standing behind me, sternly holding a tankard of some local ale tightly in his disproportionately large fist.
Alright. I'm bored now.
Yes. I've read a lot of Lovecraft lately. Meh.
After the fact...
Future posting doesn't work.