How did I get to this point? What is going on here? What is the common factor behind all of this? Staring at my 4 by 8-foot wall-mounted tackboard covered in pictures, newspaper clippings, internet printouts, and sticky notes galore; all of which is linked together by an elaborate spider web semblance made of yarn and tacks. What am I missing? I couldn’t help but think. Maybe I just need to start again from the beginning. “Ok, Jack let’s do this”, bouncing back and forth from leg to leg, shaking my arms loose. “Let’s just run this again from the top. Alright, just need to start back from where it all began and I can piece it all together. You got this Jack!” I attempt to convince myself aloud. “Ok, so it all began a few years ago. I remember vividly, it was 2014 – the first of November – that’s when I first heard…”
November 1, 2014
“Hey, Jack! We got an anonymous tip. I need you to look into this case, go press on the cops and see what you can get out of them.” as the executive editor slaps a transcript file on my desk. “You got it, no problem”. Lifting and opening the file. What is this? I can’t help but wonder as I skim the transcript. Let’s see, appears to be 13 dead… circle… drawn in blood? …several additional presumed dead… not yet confirmed… appearing to be… sacrifices? Reports of strange eerie satanic chanting type sounds? and… inexplicable sights? What the fu… “Hey, boss, what is this all about? It seems a bit farfetched.” I call out as I rise from my desk chair to heard toward the executive editor’s office. “Does this seem legit enough to follow through with?” I ask. “Well Jack, I called up a contact I have on the force; one of which I just so happened to have acquired throughout the 27 years I have been in this line of work and he said… that unfortunately, this time he can’t help because he has been strictly forbidden from discussing this particular ‘ongoing investigation’. So yes Jack, I would say there is some substance to this story. Now, how about you remember your place, do whatever the hell I tell you to do, and go do your damn job!” After that, I shut my mouth, lowered my eyes, nodded, and walked out to go follow up on the case.
When I got to the police station, as predicted, they denied any knowledge and refused to give me anything about the case stating that, and I quote “We can neither confirm nor deny any knowledge, details, or speculations about any of the information of which you are inquiring about at this time. Thank you and have a good day.” So, I decided, being the investigative journalist that I am, I would go find out myself; lest I get snapped at by my boss again. I arrive just as dusk approaches. The crime scene appears to be located in a large room of an old abandoned mill of some sort with police-line taping off an open entrance from what I can see. I grab my flashlight from my glove box and slide it in the back pocket of my jeans then I walk over to get a closer look. I crouch under the tape and as soon as I cross over to the other side there’s a putrescent scent of copper, decay, and sulfur that hits me in the face—hard. As I look around, I immediately see an open-plan room with a few windows on my right and a clearing to my left housing a scattering of pallets and boxes stacked against the wall. In front of me, forward to the left, there is a rather wide looking platform and to the right of that platform is a long corridor stretching deeper into the building. More interesting and creepy than the general layout and feel of the poorly lit room but the content within. It seems as if there were countless bodies here not very long ago, judging by the ever-present blood all over the room. Still, I know I need to look around, so I do—carefully. The putrid smell is overwhelming causing me to gag every couple of seconds. There is melted candles, wax, and blood literally everywhere making it rather difficult to walk without stepping in it and contaminating the crime scene. I approach the before-mentioned platform which is a slightly elevated, roughly twelve-foot wide stage. As I step onto the stage I can see markings written in blood. It appears to be in the shape of a hand-drawn star encompassed by a circle, filled with odd runic looking scribbles within each space of the star and candles at every point. Clearly a pentacle. I thought. Must be some form of witch wannabe ritual, must not have gone so well. I crouch down to get a closer look at the drawing, and it appears that the blood has been scorched into the wood of the platform as if it was boiling or somehow combusted at one point. Aside from the obvious, I still haven’t found anything substantial yet.
It feels like I have been here for hours when I decide to head toward the back end of the platform furthest from the entry point and look behind finally finding something noteworthy. A blood-soaked, charred pentacle amulet, as well as a piece of parchment with a yellowish tinge underneath it. The edges appear singed so this must have been torn or burned from a what seems like an old book. I can see a few words transcribed on here. “see voh-car-ay dah-ee…. dah-ay… day… die-moan-ee-um…” (trying to phonetically pronounce the curiously familiar-looking words) “…si vocare daemonium?”. What is this, latin? Suddenly, I hear the mildly rhythmic creaking of something metal in the distance, most probably the wind blowing a loose chain somewhere. I start toward the exit when I notice something stuck to a curtain by the dim-lit open window far off to the side. I am not sure if this thing would be of any relevance, although inquiring minds want to know; so, I head over and grab the quarter-inch sticker paper and observe the reverse side it appears to be ripped from a name tag—handwritten, the remaining reads, “ELE”. A heavy wind abruptly picks up and blows its way through the window and down the corridor rustling the various pieces of light trash and leaves around. I follow the wind, trailing my eyes down toward the distant end of the corridor when I hear what sounds like a young girl whimpering softly. Hesitantly, I begin walking down the corridor and think reassuringly, maybe there’s someone here that… saw something? There could be a squatter here, perhaps a homeless person taking shelter? Maybe… hopefully? I start to head down the hall slowly and cautiously. Halfway down I can see something in the distance, barely, as the low-light from the windows begins to dim further until the only light left is a small glister the moon offers through the trees, hardly enough to see. I reach into my back pocket to grab my flashlight and shine it down the hall. The strong ray from my flashlight is more than enough to see where I am going safely. I pan my flashlight back and forth slowly, looking for what might’ve caused that eerie sound. Then I catch a glimpse, the light appears to refract straight through a small figure seeming to rush right by me—child-shaped. How? Wha…? What… was that? Did the crying I hear come from whatever that was? I frantically shift the angle of my flashlights glow back and forth in order to try to catch another glimpse, to no avail. At this point, my eyes are now being strained by the light of my flashlight in what now appears I have traveled into darkness. It is completely pitch black in this area other than what my flashlight touches. Still, I slowly continue to venture forth and resume my search.
After a few moments, I see something shift out of my left peripheral. No, it’s nothing, I’m in complete darkness; I couldn’t possibly have seen anything, my mind must be playing tricks on me. It’s probably just a fear response. I thought, attempting to reassure myself. Although, just to be safe I aim the light in that direction anyway. What I see is merely a door leading to another room that is slightly ajar. I walk over and very slowly urge the door open, causing the door to groan gradually increasing in pitch that echoes all around me. At this point, I am dreadfully nervous; my heart is pounding so hard I can feel the arteries in my neck pulsating. I can no longer hear anything else around me, it is like I have entered into a complete vacuum. It is so dead quiet I can only hear the sound of my heartbeat. Bup-bup… bup-bup… bup-bup. I try to concentrate on my heartbeat to slow it down. Bup-bup… bup-bup… bup-bup. I take a slow meditative deep breath Bup-bup… bup-bup. There we go it’s slowing down now. I take a second deep breath as I take another small step to enter the room. Bup-bup-bup-bup…bup-bup-bup-bup. The heartbeat doubles, going from a 2-count to a 4-count. Wait, what? I slowed my heart rate, why do I hear double? I ponder this while taking the final step to fully enter the room. Once I fully clear the threshold the beam from my flashlight begins flickering and dimming, I smack it against my hand. Then, this moment of realization – paralyzed by fear – I start trembling. With the hairs standing up on my arms and neck I feel a chilled breath hit the nape of my neck—That wasn’t my heartbeat…
The door slams shut.
Stay tuned to find out what happens next!
Author: Rob Breault
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