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Author Topic: DarthVitrial's Stories: Files from the Black Phoenix  (Read 428 times)

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I've been writing short horror stories for a while, and I've gradually started establishing an overall "universe" for them. Right now I'm working on getting enough stories written that I can actually publish them as a collection of stories, but for now I've been posting them on my DeviantArt account, and later on revising them and putting them on NoSleep as well.

As I revise these stories, I'll also be adding them here. 

Additionally, if you'd like to read other stories I have written, read the comics I'm working on (including my very much not horror series, Flower Garden 2/3), ask one of the characters a question, or see different drawings I've done (including some of the characters from these stories), please visit my DeviantArt page at

  • The Surgeon - a very short story that was used to introduce the character of Doctor Fira Cata (aka Dr. Cutter), a character from a comic I am working on.
  • Alone: The Mansion - the first entry in the main Alone universe (where most of the stories take place), and first story in the "Kerina Trilogy" (the third of which I am currently working on).
  • The Well - A story that is not part of the Alone universe. My attempt at writing a more Lovecraftian sort of story.
  • Alone: Asylum - the second in the "Kerina Trilogy". Currently being revised, can be seen on my DA.
  • Alone: Kia the Exorcist - a side story in the Alone storyline. WIP.
  • Alone: The Fairground (Working Title) - The third in the "Kerina Trilogy". WIP.
  • The Black Phoenix - a short side story in the Alone universe. Currently being revised, can be seen on my DA.
  • About 30 more Alone stories, coming when I get around to writing them. :P
  • Dr Cutter - a series of short comics starring Fira Cata. Starting at the end of the year.
« Last Edit: 02:25:51 PM 08/13/17 by DarthVitrial »


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Re: DarthVitrial's Stories: Files from the Black Phoenix
« Reply #1 on: 01:50:34 PM 08/13/17 »
The Surgeon

The text that follows is a transcription of an interview I conducted with an individual who wishes to remain anonymous. The interview was done as part of a project to study local "paranormal" phenomena.

Paranormal encounters? I’m afraid I’m not a believer in ghosts and the like. If you just want an abnormal story, though, I think I can oblige.

You see, two years ago I was working the night shift at a local bar, and was preparing to close when the final customer of my career arrived.

It was around three in the morning when she entered. Tall, with short red hair and bright green eyes behind fogged lab goggles. She wore a dirty lab coat, covered with red blotches I preferred not to contemplate. She walked with an odd gait, like her legs bent somewhere above her knees, and as she got closer I heard an odd thumping noise that seemed to emanate from her.

She sat down at the bar and nodded at me. I felt a strange sensation of fear as I approached her, but tried my best to ignore it. The late hours attracted all sorts of eccentrics and criminals – if she was a drug dealer or organ thief, it was not my problem (this sounds harsh, I know, but the bar was in a bad part of a city already known for a high crime rate – one tends to become inured to such things).

“What can I get you?” I asked, trying to sound pleasant. She looked at me through her dirty goggles. “Just ice water.” I bit my tongue, resisting the urge to ask why she would go to a bar at three in the morning just to get water, and filled her a glass from the sink.

She slowly sipped her water, and I found myself becoming more uncomfortable. The dull thumping noise was starting to give me a headache. Mainly to distract myself, I tried to make conversation. “So, what brings you to this part of town?” After two years of the job, I had gotten to know the faces of many of the locals, and I knew I had never seen this odd woman before.

She lifted her head from the glass and turned to me. “I’m visiting a client.” Something about her voice unnerved me, though I had not yet realized why. “A…client?” She nodded. “Yes. I performed a rather difficult surgery on him last month, and I’m visiting him for a followup appointment. Normally I’d insist he come to me, but I felt that some travel might do me good.”

“So you’re a doctor, then?” I tried to tell myself that that would make the red stains less unpleasant, but it didn’t work.

She paused, thinking. “Doctor might not be the best word. Truth be told, I’ve no license or formal training. That said, I like to think I’ve a good bit of skill in the arts of surgery.” She seemed to be getting more enthusiastic as she continued speaking. “The difference between me and a doctor, I think, is primarily one of motive. Doctors perform operations to save the patient. I do it for the challenge. Nothing thrills me more than working on an inoperable sickness. And I’m pleased to say I’ve not lost any patients to date. No cancer, disease, or failed organ can match my scalpel.”

She looked me over, a hungry look in her strangely-shaped eyes. “Speaking of which…how long have you had problems with your kidneys?” I stepped back involuntarily. “How did you know I-“ “Experience. I can smell it on you.” She pulled a frighteningly shaped blade from the pocket of her coat and tapped the table with it. It sliced cleanly through. “I could fix you right up, if you want.” I backed away, feeling the wall up against my back. “No, please, I’m fine, really.” She returned the scalpel to her pocket. “Your loss.” She sipped her water as I suddenly realized what unnerved me about her voice.

When I was young, I made a game out of attempting to inhale while speaking. Obviously, such a feat is impossible, as one cannot inhale and exhale simultaneously- and yet, that is what she was doing. She inhaled through her nose as she spoke, creating an odd distortion to her voice.

“You know, I think everyone could benefit from more surgery.” She suddenly spoke again. “If one were to place themselves on a table daily, have their innards inspected and maintained regularly, one could in theory live forever.” She smirked. “Obviously it’s more complex than that. Surgery can have complications. The human body takes time to recover, as well, unless the surgeon were supernaturally skilled.” She swished the ice cubes around her glass. “But assuming a flawless doctor, and a patient with a willingness to be dissected daily, the patient could extend their life for thousands of years.”

“I…I suppose.” I said. “But there are so many other factors that can lead to death-“ She cut me off with a raised finger. “I believe that any failure can be corrected. Even on the cellular level, I see no reason one could not repair damaged DNA, or surgically remove bacteria. The only limits are the fineness of the tool, and the skill of the surgeon.”

I was stumbling for a response when a gust of wind blew the door open. Now, this is not an abnormal experience – we were located in a particularly windy area and the door did not quite fit its frame. The door would blow open several times a day, and I found nothing odd about that.

No, the reason this was notable is because it blew off the woman’s lab coat.

Beneath her lab coat, I saw it. Her chest was open, and through the it I could see her ribs, her lungs, her heart…God, that dreadful thumping noise as her heart pulsed. I saw her lungs expand and contract as she breathed. Her blood vessels were all in clear view, and I swear I could see the blood coursing through them. She smirked at me as her heart beat. Thump…thump…thump…

I was frozen. Before I could recover, she stood, retrieved her lab coat, and placed a fifty dollar bill upon the table.

She turned and walked out the door, but not before leaving me with some parting words: “A truly skilled surgeon could bypass the issue of finding a patient, you know. A truly skilled surgeon could even operate on herself.” 


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Re: DarthVitrial's Stories: Files from the Black Phoenix
« Reply #2 on: 02:09:40 PM 08/13/17 »
The Mansion

Entry One

It's times like this that I really have to reconsider my life choices. Though I doubt there's much life left for me.

Well, at least I have this. The blank diary I found under a pile of rotted, moth eaten clothes in another dusty corner of another dusty room in this godforsaken dusty mansion.

Well, mostly blank. The first few pages were written on, as anyone reading this can see. I tore out most of them, because twenty-five pages of “helpmehelpmeohgodhelpmehelpmehelpme” did not improve my mood.

Right then. I’m just going to keep writing in this whenever I have some free time. Help keep my mind focused. If I get out, maybe I’ll publish it. If I don’t…well, maybe it will be useful to whoever gets trapped in here next.

But I’d prefer to get out.

So then. Operating under the assumption that this will be read by others, I guess I should do some sort of introduction. My name is Kerina Meredith Heloise Van Drasen, which is a mouthful to say and sounds kinda pretentious. And stupid. Just call me Kerina (that’s pronounced Kerr-eena, FYI). I’m 23 years old, and right now it looks like I might not make it to 24.

…optimistic, Kerina. Look on the bright side.

Nah, there is no bright side. I’m gonna die here.

Entry Two

OK, that was terrifying. Honestly kinda worried it might be able to hear me just from how loudly my heart is beating. Not that anyone reading this knows what I’m talking about. I think I lost it a few rooms back, so I might as well take this time to write out what’s been happening, how I got here. Take some time to catch my breath and hope it doesn’t find me.

It started about three days ago. I was taking a walk in the big forest outside town. You know the one. Feels more like a jungle than a forest. 4000-odd acres of thick, old trees, rocks, a few little rivers here and there. It’s a nice place, I walk there a lot. Or…used to, I guess.

Anyway, I took a different trail than I normally do and ended up lost. Of course my goddamn cell phone was out of battery (I listen to music when I walk…), and I find compasses about as useful as divining rods for finding my way home, which means I didn’t bring one. Mistake number one.

So, lost in the middle of a giant forest. Sounds like a great start, right? Don’t worry, it gets worse.

I decided to just keep walking, try to find a trail and follow it out. I did find one, but it was so overgrown with weeds I could barely tell if it was manmade or just happened to look like a path. I figured it was better than nothing, though, so I followed it. Mistake number two.

After a while, I noticed the trees getting thinner, and there seemed to be less plants overall. Great, right? Must mean I’m almost out! 

Wrong. Turned out, I followed the path even deeper into the forest. What I’d found wasn’t an exit, just a large clearing. That said, there was one thing that gave me hope: The clearing was obviously man made, because there was a giant mansion right in front of me.

Ever been to Disney World? Or Land? Any of the Disney parks. You know the Haunted Mansion ride? What it looks like from outside? This mansion looked exactly like that, but way older and more decrepit. The lawn was covered with dead weeds, and behind the house was – you guessed it – a graveyard. Definitely a good sign. Totally not ominous at all.

Still, it was a house, so maybe I’d find something helpful there. A phone. Food. People. A map. A map would be nice.

I slowly made my way down the weed-covered path. I doubted anyone lived there, but even so I took hold of the huge brass knocker and swung it down. It made a hell of a noise, but nothing much else happened.

I waited a minute, then tried the door handle. Locked. I looked around for a window, but they were all boarded up. Seriously. Every window in the mansion was boarded up. A five-story building, and someone boarded up every window on the damn thing. Who does that?
Anyway, I wasn’t getting in through the window.  I looked around for another door, or a hole in the wall, or something, when I saw the shack.

Just a tiny, one room shack, in front of the graveyard. Probably for a groundskeeper. I figured that there might be a key in there, so it was worth checking out.

This door was locked too, but while the door to the mansion was huge and clearly made of some expensive, sturdy wood, this was more like plywood. One good kick brought down the door, and almost the entire shack.

I admit to screaming hysterically at the sheer number of spiders that landed on me. I also admit that I continued to scream for the seven straight minutes I spent rolling frantically on the ground while swatting desperately at myself. Funnily enough, not a single spider bit me. I think they were all already dead.

Anyway, once I was done being terrified, I took a peek into the shack. Not much there. A moldy bed with some sort of green slime coagulating on top of it, something that had probably been a chair at one point, a rotted wooden desk, and a whole lot of dust.

I tiptoed in, like I was worried about being caught intruding – though if there HAD been any living people left here, my screams earlier would have already attracted them, but it’s not like I was really thinking clearly – and opened the top drawer of the desk. Empty.

Same for the second drawer. The bottom drawer, though, was paydirt. And literal dirt, too. Seriously, my whole body is caked with dust and I keep sneezing, which I’m worried will attract- right, getting ahead of myself.

So, the bottom drawer. There was a key in there. I took it and ran back to the manor entrance. The key fit. The door opened. The key snapped in half. I sighed.
I tossed away the half-key and stepped inside. The mansion was incredibly dark, with just a few beams of light making it through the boarded windows. The air was filled with dust, and I kicked up new dust clouds with every step. There were cobwebs on every possible surface – but oddly enough, not a single spider. Or any insects at all.

I took a tentative step inside. Then another. Then another. Then the door shut behind me.
Yeah, I know. Laugh all you want, I know it sounds silly. Doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. It closed on me. And for whatever reason, I couldn’t get it open. My guess is, the broken half of the key jammed something. Maybe I damaged the doorframe or the hinges when I opened the door. I don’t know. All I know is, I wasn’t getting out that way.

So then, I

Entry 3

Sorry about that. This stupid pencil broke, and I’ve spent the past half hour searching for something to use as a sharpener. Searched the whole room before I finally found this tiny little knife. And sharpening a rotten pencil with a rusty knife? NOT FUN.

Anyway, I got the pencil sharpened enough to write with, so I may as well continue where I left off. God I’m hungry. How long have I been in here? It’s probably stopped looking for me by now…I’ll finish this entry and move on.

So, I made my way into the house, the door locked behind me, dust and cobwebs, blah blah blah. I guess I should do my best to describe the entryway to you. Directly in front of me, like five feet in front of the door, was the biggest, narrowest staircase I have ever seen. I counted at least fifty steps before I gave up. And the staircase…Look, I’m a thin girl. But that staircase was uncomfortably narrow. Maybe a foot across at most? And the steps…ugh, they were smaller than my feet. I do not want to climb that thing if I can avoid it. Let’s hope I can. 

The staircase was built directly in the middle of the wall. On the left side of the stairs (or, right side… I was looking at the stairs. My left.) was a door, firmly locked and bolted. As far as I could tell, it was locked from my side, and deadbolted from the other. Who even makes doors like that?

On the other side of the stairs was an old table, collapsed under its own weight. A vase of dead flowers lay shattered in the middle.

On the left side of the room was a doorway leading into another room. I peeked in, and decided it must have been a waiting room of sorts. Rotted, broken chairs, moth eaten moldy cushions, and paintings depicting the same people over and over, in different poses and clothes each time. The owners, I guess. I couldn’t quite make out their faces in the darkness, but I identified them as a husband and wife, and, in some of the paintings, a small child that must have been their daughter. The paintings almost seemed arranged in order, beginning with the man and woman looking young and happy, in front of the mansion, an elderly man beside them, presumably a parent. Probably of the man, they looked similar. I guess the mansion got passed down through the generations – which explains the graveyard, too, I guess. The next showed the couple standing alone, looking a bit older, but still smiling broadly. In the third, the man was beginning to go grey, and the woman was holding an infant. The fourth showed the man supporting the woman, who seemed thin and sickly. A toddler was sitting beside them.

The fifth showed the man standing by himself, looking mournful. Behind him, the mansion itself seemed to have deteriorated – the immaculate lawn depicted in the earlier paintings was now overgrown with dead leaves, the paint had stripped from the walls of the mansion, and several windows were boarded up.

I wondered why anyone would have those sort of paintings. It’s like he was telling his entire life story to guests before they even met him. Maybe that way he wouldn’t have to discuss anything personal with them, because they already knew the important details?
The waiting room had two additional doors leading out of it, but both were locked tight.
The right side of the entry room led to a long hallway, lined with candles and portraits of other people. These paintings seemed older than the ones in the waiting room, so they probably showed the previous owners.

At the end of the hallway was clearly the dining room. The table alone was bigger than my bedroom, and it only took up maybe a quarter of the room. Moldy curtains, which must have looked impressive when they were new, lined the walls. Shattered glasses lined the floor.
And for an instant, I swear I saw people sitting at the table. They were gone when I looked closer.

When I was really young, I had this recurring nightmare. An amusement park, only all the guests and workers were corpses. I don’t think I even knew what a corpse WAS at that age, but that’s what they were.
Each night, a different corpse would come over to me as I rode the merry-go-round (it was always that ride. I never dreamed of any of the others) and talk to me, tell me their life story, start to finish. One day, I asked my mom about it, and she went pale. After a while, she said that our family always had a strong connection to the spirit world, and that the dreams were telling me about people that weren’t around anymore, but still wanted their story told.

After that, I stopped having the dreams.

When I saw the figures huddled around the table, the ones that vanished when I looked, I wondered if that’s what they were. If some latent power inside me let me see ghosts for real.
If I actually do have that power, can I trade it in for something? I’d rather have the power to eat infinite candy without gaining weight. Or flying. Flying is good too.

Anyway, I decided to move on from that room as fast as my legs could carry me. I opened a door at one side of the room, ran down a hallway, opened a door into another hallway, then another, then into what must have been a guest bedroom.

I wasn’t alone.

He looked old, emaciated. And transparent.

His hollow eyes looked at me from fleshless sockets. His mouth opened with a faint moaning noise, revealing rotted teeth in a tongueless mouth. He reached a clawed hand out to me.

I screamed louder than I ever have in my life and ran. I don’t know why I bothered to slam the door behind me, but I did. And I took off faster than I ever thought I could.

I ran from one room to the next, through dusty hallways, ruined sitting rooms and guest quarters, taking one turn, then another. I did my best to close doors behind me, hoping that would throw off my pursuer.

But it wasn’t just him. As I ran through rooms, I’d see them out of the corner of my eyes. Other ghosts. Men, women, young and old. Many of them were dressed as servants. Sometimes, one would reach out a bony claw as I ran past, but most seemed as terrified as I was, hiding in corners, never even acknowledging me. In the back of my mind, a voice seemed to tell me that I was watching them relive the last moments of their lives, forever.

I don’t know how long I ran, or how many rooms I went through. After a while, I realized I hadn’t seen any of the specters for a while. The adrenaline started to fade. My breath burned hot in my lungs, my heart felt like it would burst out of my chest. I collapsed to the floor and sobbed.

After some time, I started to calm down. I knew I needed time to pause and think this through rationally. I started aimlessly searching the room, and found this diary. So, that’s how I got here.

Anyway, I think I’ve written enough for now. I need to find a way out. I’m going to keep exploring. I’ll write more if I’m able.

Entry Four

So, I left the room I was hiding in, and started searching for a way out. I don’t know how, but I ended up back in the entrance room. I’d somehow made a full lap of the first floor. Only two paths were left – the door, locked and bolted from both sides, and that godawful staircase.

Nowhere to go but up.

The climb was hellish. Every step, I felt sure I’d fall. My feet were larger than the steps. The guardrail was coated with some sort of slimy mold. And the staircase just. Kept. Going. I felt that I was about to end up on the roof, but no such luck. I think I was only on the third floor. Why were all the ceilings so high?

The hallway stretched out to both sides, doors lining it. Most likely the living floor for the family and their guests, with servants on the fourth floor. With how high the ceiling was, I imagine the servants rooms must have been quite cramped.

I wandered down the hall, opening doors at random. I don’t quite know what I was looking for. One room, though, was different from the others. It was decorated much more ornately, lined with portraits of the man and woman I’d seen in the waiting room. The master bedroom, perhaps.

There were three beds. One large bed, suited for a couple. One medium, for a single adult, and one crib. The largest bed was covered by large drapes, and looking at it made me think of some sort of cloth hearse.

It was in this room that I found a clue to this mansion. In a drawer I found a diary. Barely damaged – something about this room seemed to have kept away the dust and mold.

I have the dairy with me, so I’ll summarize. I don’t want to actually transcribe it, because Ye Olde Englishe doth giveth me a headache.

Apparently, the mansion’s last owner was Alexander Ward, back in 1765. He married a woman named Victoria Holt. Alexander was the heir to a fortune, Victoria came from a line of priestesses or something like that (the writing in the diary is really flowery. It’s hard to decipher).

They were married in 1768, and he took full ownership of the mansion after his own father died in 1772. In 1785, Victoria became pregnant at the age of 39, and in early 1786 gave birth to their daughter, Eliza.
On Eliza’s second birthday, a woman came to visit. She said she was a distant relative of Victoria, and had a present for Eliza – a hand-made music box. Little Eliza fell in love with the music box, playing it day and night. I know this seems like a pointless detail, but there’s a reason I’m mentioning the box, bear with me.

In late 1787, Victoria fell ill, and died in June of 1788. From what I can tell, this is when Alexander snapped. He couldn’t bear to sleep in their bed anymore, but didn’t want to remove it, so he covered it with cloths and dragged a new bed into his room. He developed a habit of sleepwalking, sometimes attacking servants in his sleep. After he horribly injured a maid, he started tying himself to bed.

His mentions of his daughter start to get less and less coherent, ranting how she stole her mother’s soul, that she took her from him. He even started ranting about the song from Eliza’s music box sounding like Victoria’s screams. If I’m reading this last entry right, one night, when his daughter was six years old, he snuck into her room at night, and…well, next morning, he was childless.

After this, he starts ranting about “bringing her back”. I think he tried to…revive his wife, somehow. There’s a key in the back of the diary. Once I find the door it fits…maybe, just maybe, I can get out of here. Or maybe I’ll die.

But before that…Well, there’s something else. There’s a sound. Music. I swear I hear music. “Hush little baby, don’t say a word…” It’s tinny, and it’s just the tune, no words. A music box? But why did it just start now?

…I can’t help myself. I know it’s stupid, but I have to investigate.

Entry Five

I found the daughter.

I followed the sound of the music to one of the rooms at the far end of the hallway. The whole room was done up in pale blue, with pictures of little animals on the wall. Somehow that made the bloodstained bed even worse.

There was a music box by the bed. That was the music. And there, on the bed, was the girl.
She was looking at the music box when I entered. I froze. She turned her head to face me. Not her body. Her head rotated a full 180 degrees to stare at me through eyeless sockets. Blood oozed out of her spectral neck. Her transparent skin seemed to undulate as she moved towards me. She giggled and flew at me.

I dove to the ground, face first into the moldy, blood covered carpet. This was centuries ago, so *why was the blood still fresh*?

She flew at me again as I clambered to my feet and ran towards the other end of the room.
The room was too small. A child’s room, not meant for adults to spend prolonged periods in. The walls seemed to press in on me, the ceiling felt like it was slowly lowering. The air was thick and hot and smelled like rotting meat.

I had to find some way to fight, some way to stop her. Something in my head whispered to me. The Music Box. It wasn’t my voice. It wasn’t a human voice. But I listened to it. I dove for the box and smashed it against the ground as the girl reached for my neck.

I felt an instant of cold, like some slimy tentacle wrapped around my neck. I heard a girl’s scream. Then the feeling was gone. And so was the ghost.

I know what I have to do now. Whatever is causing this…I need to find the door this key opens. I need to face this.

Entry Six

The basement. Of course it was the basement.

The door the key fit was the one in the entrance hall, the one locked from both sides. When I turned the key, I felt the door twitch, like a living thing, squirming away from the key. Then, with a deep groan and a screech of rusty hinges, the door opened. Beyond it was a staircase, leading down into darkness.

The deeper I went, the worse I felt. There was a horrible pressure inside my skull, like my head was ready to burst and implode at the same time. I felt hot tears begin to stream down my face from the pain. It was like my eyes were ready to rip from their sockets.
And there was the noise. An unearthly shriek, high pitched and deep at once. The air was heavy and hot, and everything had a reddish tint.

I made my way down. I saw it at last.

As best I can figure, the man tried something to revive his wife. Something went wrong. I don’t know what. I guess that reviving the dead is impossible, and his efforts somehow ended up creating that…I don’t know what it was. A rip, I guess. Like an open drain in the air, a rip in the world. But unlike a drain, it wasn’t sucking anything through. I felt the intense pressure of whatever it is that the rip was pushing out. It was like raw lightning, almost invisible, but incredibly painful. Like sparks across my skin, inside my pores, flowing through my veins.

Every now and again, a piece of wood, or a chunk of earth would break free from the floor or ceiling and fly towards the rip, only to dissolve before they came near.
How was I supposed to do anything about THAT?

Then I saw her. In the very center of the rip, I saw a woman, her face contorted into an expression of unimaginable agony. I recognized her from the paintings.  Victoria Ward, lady of the mansion. Trapped between two worlds.

I think I blacked out, because I had a dream.

Men and women walked past me, wearing the robes of ancient priests. When I looked at them, I recognized myself. My ancestors carried me forwards, into a shrine. There, an old woman with raven hair knelt before an altar, her hands drawing strange symbols on leaves of paper.

“Ov. To See.” A symbol burned itself into my mind. “Ket. To Break The Chains.” Another symbol. “Tekil. To Release And Dispel.” Another. And another. And another. “Fron. To Bind.” “Yei. To Comfort.”

“Keri Na. To Awaken.” My name. Kerina.

I woke up suddenly. My hands were clenched tightly, blood dripping from where my nails had pierced my skin. I was lying on my back, staring at the ceiling. I could see the red wind gushing from the rip. *Not a rip. Hellgate*.

In the wind, I saw faces. The people of this house, the natives that had lived here before them. Tormented, screaming, trapped.

I searched in my pocket for the diary, tore out blank page after blank page. My fingers traced the symbols in blood.
Ket. Ket. Ket. Tekil. Ket. Tekil. Tekil. Yei. Yei. Ket. Ket. Ket. Ket. Ket. Ket. Ket. Ket. Ket. Ket. Ket. Ket.

I was dizzy. Loss of blood, the lack of air in the room, the strange energy from the Hellgate. Ket. Ket. Ket. Ket. Ket. Tekil. Tekil. Ket.

All at once, the pages lifted from the ground, flying towards the Hellgate, exploding into white energy that bathed the tormented soul at the core.

And then…silence.

A sense of horrible pressure, a different pressure, of something about to happen. The wind was gone. The energy was gone. I turned and ran, out of the basement, up the stairs. I threw myself to the ground as an enormous blast of energy hit me from behind.

I don’t know how long I was unconscious. Maybe minutes, maybe hours. When I woke up, the house was all but destroyed. I was lying in a pile of rubble, dusty, bruised and bloody. Shards of glass and wooden splinters coated my raw flesh. My whole body was red, like I’d been in the sun for days. And as one final insult, while the walls were gone…that damn door was still standing in front of me. Still closed.

I dragged myself to my feet and walked past the door, back towards the forest. Somehow, I knew the way home.

Final Entry

Home. I’m home. Hello bed. I missed you.

So, after I finally made it home, I all but collapsed.

I made it to the kitchen, wolfed down some food, and dragged myself to the shower. It hurt like hell on my raw skin, but I enjoyed the pain. I was alive. I made it out. I felt like I was scrubbing all traces of that house from my skin.

I dried myself off and collapsed into bed.

My clock says I’ve been asleep for 16 hours. I needed that.

Not sure what I’ll do now. Nobody will believe this diary. I guess I could publish it anyway, as fiction? Money is always nice.

I’m more worried about what happens next. The dreams are back. Dreams of people from long ago, telling me their sorrows. But now there’s a new voice. A voice that sounds like the roar of the Hellgate, pulling me towards it.

But there are friendly voices, as well. My mother and aunt. My father. My grandparents. Family, living and dead, lending their voices to my dreams.

My family has always been sensitive to the spirit world. But it’s more than that for me.

-Kerina Van Drasen, Exorcist. Has a nice ring, huh?

A man stood in the ruins of the mansion. His expression was a mix of amusement and irritation. The Hellgate had been unstable after all. Yes, it had lasted more than two centuries, but it had not been complete. The energy was wild, unfocused. It lacked grounding. And it had been dispelled by an amateur.  

Summoning a Hellgate would not suffice, then. He would need a true Hellgate, many true Hellgates, if he were to achieve his goals. Troublesome, to say the least. It would take time to find enough Hellgates

Still… at least he’d gotten to see something interesting. She would be worth observation.

« Last Edit: 02:13:22 PM 08/13/17 by DarthVitrial »


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Re: DarthVitrial's Stories: Files from the Black Phoenix
« Reply #3 on: 02:15:05 PM 08/13/17 »
Note: The following is a transcript of a recording I made of my interview with Mr. Andrew White late last year. As Mr. White has since passed away, I felt that there could be no harm in revealing his story to the public. I at first planned to simply release the tapes, but upon listening to them found that my recording were almost unintelligible, drowned out by a static that resembled distorted screams. As the tapes were still in prime condition, I can only suppose that my recorder picked up and amplified some minor background noise. Thus, I have carefully transcribed what dialog I can, filling in the gaps by memory. I hope my efforts are adequate.

Also, for the sake of anonymity, I shall simply refer to myself as "Interviewer" in this transcript.

Interviewer: Thanks again. I know this must be a hassle for you.
White: Oh no, not at all. I’m eighty-seven years old, young man. I don’t exactly have a busy schedule. laughs
Interviewer: Right. Well, as I mentioned, I’m assembling material for my research into supposed paranormal experiences, and I’d heard about you from your old student at Miskatonic, Amber Graves. She said you’d told her a story at one point about a-

White: Oh, that. Well, I can tell you if you wish, but I’m not really sure it will help you. After all, most scary stories end badly for the protagonist, but that was forty-five years ago and I’m still going strong!

Interviewer: Please, any information you can tell me would be appreciated.
White: Very well then. My memory isn’t what it used to be, but I think I can still tell you what happened.

At this point, Mr. White stood and began to pace the room.

White: It was, as I said, forty-five years ago, in the spring of 19(I was unable to hear the date over the static. I believe it was some time in the fifties). I was preparing for an archaeological expedition into the jungles of – actually, would you mind if I not give any exact locations? I’d hate for someone to hear this and try to investigate themselves. Anyway, it was in a jungle, where I and some of my colleagues believed an ancient civilization had lived. I hoped to recover some knowledge about this mysterious ancient tribe.

It was a hot, muggy day when my plane landed. I began to sweat almost immediately, and felt the scorching rays of the sun beat down upon me, piercing through my clothes and heating me to my bones.

My guide met me at the airport and drove me to the jungle, taking us down unkempt back streets and muddy dirt roads, until trees and vines made it impossible to drive further. From there, we set out on foot, walking through the hot forest – or rather, wading through the thick, deep mud. We were constantly swarmed by bugs, from harmless gnats to the largest mosquitoes I’d ever seen. By nighttime, my entire body was caked with mud, even my eyelids and the insides of my ears. My skin was covered with insect bites and rashes from some relatives of poison ivy. We had no tents, as carrying them would have slowed us down. We instead unfurled two Spartan sleeping bags, lit a small fire, and attempted to sleep.
I would have thought I could not possibly have fallen asleep, so uncomfortable was I, but the next thing I recall is my guide shaking me awake.

We ate some dried rations and set out. My guide warned me that we were heading into the “demon's den”, as the locals had nicknamed it - an area which nearly nobody returned from. The thick growth of trees blotted out the sun completely, and a high amount of magnetic rocks in the area made compasses worthless.

As we entered, I felt something change. Though the insects continued to assail us, the constant background noise of animals fell silent. The oppressive heat began to fade, until I was nearly shivering from cold.

My guide led me deeper into the demon's den, then stopped, posed as if he were listening to something. He turned to me and solemnly told me that he would have to go. I was surprised – the agreement was that he would take me to the ruins. He shook his head, and told me that he now knew he would not be able to. He then turned and walked into the darkness. I later heard, upon my return, that my guide had not been seen since.

Though unnerved, I was determined to pursue my investigation, and continued in what I hoped was the right direction.

Eventually, I broke through a wall of leaves and found myself in a clearing. Before me lay the ruined village I had been seeking. In the center of the clearing was a pyramid, about as tall as a three-story house. Near the entrance to the village was a small, dry well, which upon investigation went down farther than my flashlight could illuminate – no doubt dug deeper and deeper in attempts to get more water during times of drought.

Aside from the pyramid, none of the other structures had survived the ages, and were left as nothing but piles of stone, overgrown by vines. I approached the pyramid, and after some searching found an entrance. A large stone, hooked up to some sort of pulley mechanism. A small flight of stairs led up to the second level of the pyramid, where a large boulder rested beside the basket of the pulley. With some effort I pushed the boulder onto the basket, and heard a satisfying grinding noise as the door rose.

The first thing I observed was that the hallway sloped strongly downward. I doubt there was even a way into the upper chambers – or even if there were any rooms in the pyramid proper at all.

The hallway rapidly became darker and more narrow as I explored. My flashlight seemed suffocated by the darkness, only illuminating a few feet in front of my face. The rough stone of the walls closed in on me, scratching my flesh and clothes. Before long I was unable to walk any further, and was reduced to crawling through the tight passage.

The path continued to tighten. I could barely breathe anymore, reduced to only taking short, stilted breaths. I began to worry that the path would shrink further, that I would become trapped in the tunnels. I then heard it – a faint rumbling noise, and felt a slight vibration in the stones. Panic set in. What if this was an earthquake? What if the tunnel collapsed on me – or worse, cut off my exit?

In a blind panic I pushed forward, desperately hoping for space, nearly suffocating on the stale air, feeling the stones slice through my arms and legs. Then suddenly…the path widened. Within moments, the tunnel had gone from the size of a ball to that of an enormous banquet hall or church. 

I stood gratefully and examined the room with my light. The walls of the room were decorated with intricate images of daemonic entities – horrid beaked Things with tendrils and too many eyes, enormous serpents that seemed to writhe in the dim light, and – no, I would rather not describe the remaining images.

Several feet in front of me, the ground dropped off into a seemingly bottomless abyss. A small, thin bridge of stone stretched over the abyss, leading off into the darkness.

Slowly, cautiously, I stepped onto the bridge and began to crawl across, feeling my stomach turn as the bridge creaked, and small pieces of stone fell from the bottom.

I had crawled about 200 feet when I heard it. I cannot quite describe the sound: a sort of slimy screeching noise, which reverberated through the chamber and caused the bridge to shudder dangerously. In the depths of the pit, I could have sworn I saw something unfathomably huge begin to stir.

The bridge was too narrow to turn on, and I instinctively knew that falling would lead to a fate worse than death. I began to crawl along faster, quick as I dared. Below me, the monstrous, shapeless darkness seemed to rise towards me. Shadows of serpentine tendrils danced on the walls, and the Things depicted in those dark images seemed to contort and writhe toward me.
I shut my eyes and crawled on, onwards into the unknown, until at last I felt blessed, solid ground below my hands. I scrambled onto the ledge and collapsed, panting.

Before me, I saw a large, ornate door. Slowly, terrified, I opened it. On the other side was a small, white chamber. It was void of any decoration, and contained a single inhabitant.

The thing in the pit had been terrifying. The sort of monstrosity that could swallow a blue whale in a single gulp and barely notice – assuming that the beast even had something we could understand as a mouth. It was the color of pure darkness, and smelled of death. Its body followed no rules of biology or geometry that one could understand. But compared to what I found in this room, the pit entity was barely worth notice.

They were human. Or appeared human, at least. On examination, they seemed a perfectly normal, if nondescript, human. But something about them gave such an air of wrongness, of pure, unadulterated…well, I do not think English has a word for it. Not Evil – Evil can be understood. Evil is a human concept. This false human was something Alien. Something we could never grasp.

I know I am doing a poor job of describing it. I cannot help it – proper words do not exist. It was not a concept, it was a feeling. A feeling of pure wrongness, of things that should not be. A human, but somehow horribly, invisibly twisted into something worse than any nightmare.

It stood and moved toward me. With energy born of terror I turned and fled. I ran across the pit – better to be consumed by the thing below than by the pseudohuman behind me. I ran over the bridge, stumbling and nearly falling into the abyss several times. I heard the rumble of stones falling from the bridge, the slow, methodical steps of the being behind me, and the hungry stirrings of the thing below.

With desperate energy, I leapt onto the ledge on the other side and turned. That being was still walking across the pit, slowly and calmly, as if knowing I could not escape. And then…my flashlight died.

In blind panic, I took the useless torch and smashed it as hard as I could upon the bridge, desperately hoping to shatter it before that thing could reach me. After several panicked strikes I heard a loud crunch, followed by an enormous crash as the bridge collapsed, falling into the abyss.

I dared not be relived. Somehow, I felt that the inhuman thing was still following me, undeterred by the loss of the ground below it. I turned and groped blindly in the dark, searching for the hole I had come through.

After what seemed like an eternity, I found it and scrambled through. I crawled desperately, smashing my head against the stones, slicing open my arms, legs, forehead, and all exposed parts of my body. I forced myself through the tight chambers, terrified I would become trapped, with no option but to wait for the thing behind me to catch up.

I heard it behind me, closer and closer. I forced myself to go on, barely breathing, barely feeling the pain from the countless wounds on my body. Once I swore I felt something grab for my foot. Finally, I broke through, and found myself at the pyramid entrance. I ran outside, charged up the side, and with all my strength pushed the boulder off the pulley’s basket. I heard the door slam shut with a sickening crunch, and watched as a viscous fluid, indescribable in color, oozed from the bottom.

I dared to hope I had killed the being, but did not risk remaining to find out. I ran until I reached the edge of the village, when I felt my legs give out below me. I collapsed beside the well and vomited. The pain of my wounds could now be felt in full. I sobbed incoherently, my terrified brain struggling to make sense of what had happened.
Then I heard it. A faint tapping from the well. I looked up as that thing, that horrible, inhuman thing, dragged itself from the well and approached me again.

I think I went mad then. I remember a blind run through the jungle, and horrid hallucinations of the elder things that predated man, the ancient ones to whom humanity was as bacteria, and yet who feared the thing below the pyramid, who had desperately sealed it within the white chamber and left (unintelligible), the dweller in the depths, to guard the chamber. That creature, who even the old gods had feared. The creature that had reached out into the subconscious of Man, drawing us in, until finally I was drawn to it, and opened the door to its tomb.

I finally made it to the native village, whereupon I was taken to the nearest city and hospitalized for two months for several horrid infections I had obtained through my wounds during my run through the jungle.
I told nobody what had happened, tried to convince myself it had been a hallucination. Once I was recovered, I gratefully returned to New England and resumed my studies in peace.

That is the last of the story that I know for sure. Since then, I have seen things – I swear I saw that creature among my students, that I see it in crowds, surrounded by other, shadowy beings that slavishly follow it – but I tell myself it is my imagination, the result of lingering trauma.

This concludes the transcript of our interview. I feel lucky to have interviewed him when I did, for several months later he passed away. I was invited to attend the funeral, but was informed that there would be no viewing. I later learned that only two people had seen the corpse - a neighbor, who found him, and the undertaker who prepared his body. Both refuse to speak of it.

That said, it was a nice service, simple but touching. I do admit, though...I couldn't help but be a bit unnerved by the person who stood beside me. I can't really describe them - they were quite nondescript, and wore a flu mask that made their face difficult to see. Still...I couldn't help but feel some vague sense of wrongness from them.
« Last Edit: 02:18:09 PM 08/13/17 by DarthVitrial »