The Island Of Misfit Toys: Beyond The Grave
Nightmares they say are merely illusions of the mind...Yet the mind makes them real... What do you do when your nightmares come to life? The dreading sensation of terror enraptured within your very being screaming in silence...Mortified with anguish and despair as the final hour draws upon the soul of your existence... We either face our fears or are ruled by them...
Descension Of Night
The air was still and damp as the fog crept across the cold canvas of the open streets, dim lights guided the way on the main brick-laid path. Distant clouds could be seen approaching as the night grew darker with the ominous howl of the wind beckoned to the calling as if answering to the reaper itself in every silent moment. People rummaged through the side passages quickly with a shuffle in an attempt to return home as quickly as possible before the storm hit. Their steps could be heard clamoring about with haste in fear of the chill that seemed to suspend itself in the atmosphere of the city.
Old abandoned stores, specialty shops, craft stores all boarded up and locked down so as not to be disturbed. This part of town was not known to be the friendly side of the city, many had never returned once upon many a time, lost and never to be seen again. Faded pictures surveyed the area on planted posts of the missing and forgotten. Looking around you could see the hollow sunken in faces, blank expressions, dodging each others glances passing by in a skittish manner. This is the way it had been for the past few years since it all started. The great mystery and terror that hung over was as dark as the clouds themselves, heavy and restless like a great beast with insatiable hunger and thirst.
Underneath an old shop canopy sign a man stood where no light touched along a narrow corridor. In the corner he stood observing in silence with a cobble pipe where the cherry of the embers dimly lit the outline of his top hat and draped coat that graced the ground lightly to the touch. People passed, yet his eyes burned feverishly with piercing eyes razor sharp like a hunter. Every evening he was there when the sun went down, watching the street lamps light up one by one. Families would tend to burning their candles in their houses, blinds would be closed, streets would clear, yet there he was gazing into the fray distantly as if awaiting. Yet this night was not like any other. Static loomed over in the silence as the place became more desolate.
A light sprinkle began to trickle the ground, the fog grew heavier, the wind ever louder. Footsteps scuffled and clacked quicker to avoid the rainfall as momentum gained with the storm that was now upon them. Lightning flashed across the sky as a wicked smile crept across his lips in seeing a lone walker scurrying past. To his surprise, not too far behind her another followed at a distance staying out of sight, making sure not to be heard or seen, taking cover in the shade.
"Well, well..." he thought "This shall be interesting..." As he glided deeper into the shadows to remain scarce on the scene. Masking the cherry of his pipe with his black leather glove he wrapped it in a crimson handkerchief and tucked it in a dark, rich hardwood engraved casing with a crest symbol etched faintly visible. Gliding the brim of his top hat, he rubbed his fingers together and took one last whiff of the residue that had settled from the smoke of the pipe and concealed the casing into his left jacket pocket next to his heart. His eyes grew still and narrow as if piercing the veil of darkness as he watched them pass one by one slunk along the wall.
Peering through the narrow slit of cover he had, he watched them pass with glee. Creeping along as they cleared the main passage, the man took his time utilizing side passages watching them from afar; the hunter was being hunted. "How fun!" he thought. He followed the passages weaving in and out through spine-ways that very few knew how to navigate. "You're mine" he whispered, "And you don't even know it yet" Laughing mischievously, eyes tinted with a glint of madness, gazing with a crooked smile, the excitement was brewing his thirst as if aroused with an unquenchable thirst for chaos. The moment was upon the stalker, oblivious to the predator lurking, observing, waiting for the opening to strike.
Preying closer with every corridor they passed, his heart pounded, eyes pulsed, feeling alive as if a whole different being, transformed into demon by night. "You won't escape me this time..."
An Angels Witness
She was a quaint young girl in her mid-20's and had only lived on this side of town for a very short time not knowing of the dangers. Everyone she had tried talking to to ask for directions in finding her way home were in vain. People passed by as if ghosts as the rain poured down. She held her umbrella steady, even with her red coat, the mist seemed to seep through the fabric, accumulating weight, sinking upon her shoulders, sticking to the shape of her slender figure. While strolling up the street her boots clicked rhythmically in unison to the tapping against the old tin roofs with the brick laid ground.
She couldn't help but wonder how her life had come to this and fallen so far. Less than a year before she had been working prestigiously as an apprentice for a local blacksmith on the other side of town in a wealthy neighborhood. Now things seemed rather dreary these days as she struggled to make a living daily to provide for her family. Approaching a familiar corridor in the intertwining of streets she paused to soak in the scenery beneath the old gas lit streetlamp while taking refuge beneath the old gothic church where gargoyles sat eerily lit by the gloom of the flame. The shadows seemed to dance upon the wall casting a glow of figures, shapeshifting from one snarling creature to the next. For a moment she thought she saw another and glanced over to see nothing was there.
The archway decorated the decor of the doorways with the waters reflection of light from the flame revealing old hand-carved symbols, rich and exquisite to the touch. Peering around she passed inside to take shelter for the moment while the clouds loomed overhead, flickering little bulbs of static brilliance as the streets were painted in sweeping sheets of rain. Upon entering thunder roared in the distance as she eased her way in, securing the door shut. Staring at the altar whilst slowly approaching, the lightning surged with ambience through the stained glass windows with such a magnificence of color. Each flash seemed to roar through her soul so divinely she felt excitement in her soul with inspiring awe and fear. She reached her destination and began praying for a short while beneath the crucifix whilst holding her rosary.
An Angels Witness
The night was getting late as the Church bells rang to the tune of 11 counts, echoing emptily through the now solemn and empty streets. She had not realized how long she had taken crossing town earlier. This was not a time to rest, she felt alarmed now, for in the late hours who knew what lurked in the shadows. Without pause, she scooped up her rosary and tucked it back beneath her shirt. Fixing her coat back on, the material fell heavy on her shoulders still moist from the journey over. Scampering out the door, her pace quickened as her senses wondered that perhaps that figure had not been her imagination earlier at all. The legends were merely whispers, yet was still enough to stir the blood in horror from the gruesome details of all the missing never to be found again, a mystery to a dreadful legacy. Body parts separated, the things that were done to them, she shivered in the bare thought of such things.
Back outside, she quickly turned right and almost bumped into an shabby older gentleman tucked in the corner, appearing to be warming up smoking his pipe with an old worn top hat upon his head. A brief glance revealed his overall demeanor appearing very aged with the wrinkles upon his face that seemed to flow incandescently, reflecting a look of intelligence. Yet it was evident from his clothes that the times had not been so kind to him as his overcoat was splotched with sown up holes, some still in need of fresh repair. The leather on his gloves was faded with the pipe he held, which was chipped in some places and stained or rather re-stained a darker rich wooden color in which the old markings were barely visible underneath.
Scampering back she immediately apologized "Apologies good sir, I did not mean to startle"
"Tis fine ma'am" he replied while picking up her parasol "Hurry along as you were and get home my dear, danger lurks in these nights as you know"Glancing cautiously she nodded in understanding whilst attaining her shade of comfort to safeguard her in the rain.
It was pouring now as the wind was picking up, her pace had quickened to a trot and she couldn't fully shield the rain as much now, for the howl would claim it in one sweeping sheet if she held it directly overhead. Instead all she could do was block against the oncoming rain in whatever direction the wind carried the droplets from the sky. As she rummaged through the streets, the sting from the pellets clung to her face with constance.
With a smirk he waited in silence for her to reach a safe distance before beginning his pursuit. In his eyes, she was fresh prey. Young, innocent, and naive. He could already taste her flesh, feel her screams and cries for mercy with a twisted delight. He tucked himself lightly to the side alleyway, peeking through the shadows with venom and mischief in his eyes. Flashes danced across the sky, enhancing his now grim features. On a normal day he looked to be a pleasant man, yet darkness reveals many things when the light is shown in but a glimpse.
Careful to avoid detection, he slunked from one passage to the next, slowly closing in. Eyes burning with intensity, a mixture between fury and collective calm. As the hunt continued, each passage revealed another possibility in little reveled chambers of torturous freedom. This one he had particular plans for, feeling like a pet with a play toy.
"Now now..." he thought "You know better than to play with your food hehe".
He felt excited with each turn and pause she made to look back blindly at seemingly nothing.
"Oh yes...The fear grips her nicely"
The games had just begun, and he was far from letting this new devilish scheme slip away. Such tenderness...An amused chill awakened his senses on overdrive, feeling the blood pulse hard and heavy in his head.
"Oh how I love to play..."
She passed a streetlamp in the abandoned district of the city. Business had been dead her for a few years since the plague had turned this once prosperous city into a living hell; his playground. How he loved to find new toys in the places he would go, such horrors to twist peoples imaginations from something so frail as life. In time he looked at it as an art, a craft of some sort. His canvas to paint upon or reconstruct with their bodies.
Now and then an officer would draw close, so he would lead them on and leave the parts elsewhere, always masking his scent, yet leaving a signature. A wolf at heart, a fox in his mind. At one time he had decided to turn it into a puzzle game for those that had tried to catch him. Scattering the pieces with clues for reassembly, the city now reveled in fear to the rumors of who he might be, or what he was. He often listened to their talks while drinking tea and reading the morning paper in local shops throughout just to figure out what approach he'd like to try next. The rumors had given him many more ideas to hone his pieces to new heights of creation. How fondly he remembered the inspectors that had tried so hard to find him with no success while he always got to watch close from his chosen vantage points.
As he closed in the distance bit by bit he couldn't help but feel that tonight was a little different from the others. No worries, he had already planned ahead in case of intrusion. Glancing around briefly his eyes loomed eerily on the outskirts with heightened awareness.
"Come out come out wherever you are" He whispered sneeringly...
Whoever it may be was skilled...For this was his turf...Nobody knew the area better than him...
With the sound of the rain masking their presence, he could only wonder who it was. It appeared he had an apprentice in the works, mirroring his movements...In that realization he decided to shake the trail, shifting his direction amorphously from one passageway to the next to remain covered by the cloak of darkness, leaving no bread crumbs this time. His face contorted to a snarlish look with disgust and rage at the thought of being even slightly careless.
He crossed through stairwells, secret entrances to buildings that had been vacated, rooftops to keep track of his designated victim, being sure to remain concealed or in prime position to spot anybody nearby. This was no time to ease up in childish display of power, their destination awaited them in the coming corridors. The lights had already been extinguished and eliminated, his forte in crossing to get there was the only concern. Upon this dawning thought, he heard a slight rummaging in a nearby corridor and smirked, it appeared his hunter was not so clever after all.
"2 can play at that game" the man whispered with a touch of menace and cold disdain.
Tracking the mysterious figure through the alleyways, each turn brought another twist into a myriad of paths. It didn't take much to figure out that it was all a diversion. Yet he had traveled far to capture this man alive, his greatest challenge to date. Getting inside the mind of a killer required a different level of discipline and focus to find breaking patterns. This had been the closest he had been to apprehending him thus far after weeding out false leads, impostors of sorts that had tried to begin emulating his current streak with no success. They were amateurs compared to him and had been caught rather easily when he came to the city, finding out who they were had proven simple to task in which at least a dozen were caught.
The fear that had spread throughout the city since the outbreak of death resonated deeply in these hollow decayed chambers in which he now weaved with precision and poise. Through the plague many lives had been reaped, the aftershock brought a freer reign to unleash a different wave of its own, setting the tone for new age of fear. So much misery and bloodshed from disease, famine, and murder left its mark on these streets, the smell of decay still lingered faintly on nights such as this with a stench that burned the senses. Old garbage, sewage, death, and old wood overwhelmed the further in this district one dwelled. Near the shores was especially bad from all the rat infestations for the dead bodies that had been dumped, burned, and buried.
He took an old corridor he knew as a shortcut to catch up to the ghost he had spotted earlier in hopes to head off the killer to his victim, time was of the essence. She was close, he kept an eye passing the passages, windows, and doorways. He made sure not to get too close for the predator was near. Pausing by an old store, he took shelter beneath the canopy where he appeared as part of the blackness that seemed to claw the wall with the flashes of lightning.
old nichol street rookery
Death clung to the air with a moist stench that seemed to linger aromatically as he approached the last crevice to his destination. Dread creeped his spine at the thought he might be too late. He had lost track of the culprit and had fallen behind from the girl in pursuit of the shadowy figure. Once again it seemed the killer had evaded him. Flowing through to an old nook, a faint pool could be seen from the faint candescent light of the wicker lamps in nearby homes.
"Oh no..." As he had feared, another lost to a madman, but how had he evaded him? No signs of a a body to be seen remotely nearby, no traces of struggle, nothing to surmise what direction to go. He hadn't even heard a scream...Dear god, the mess that was now blending with the rain was now starting to dilute and stream with the funnel of sewage and aqueducts, the morbid decay of another lost desolate soul purged from this cruel world. How many times had he been here in this moment? Too late to save an unfortunate. How many more times would he have to follow in attempt while risking his sanity? This game had continued on and off for months, yet this was the closest he had come to catching the man before being evaded once again by the shadow of night.
Glancing around a moment longer, he inspected the premises briefly before noticing a few minor souvenirs left behind. Shards of mirror lay beneath the wreckage of algae covered boxes leftover from another broken era of time. He paused to look around as he picked it up, wary to his safety, and saw that although it had been broken, someone had taken the time to put the pieces back in place into the original ornament that had contained it. Removing them carefully revealed a minute doctrine of symbols resembling a cross. A clue? Perhaps.
He traced the edges of the stone walls for any indication of what it might mean, unsure of what to make of it quite yet. A moment of pause, thoughts began to gather, swirling images from the memory as to any other place that might be familiar.
Hazily he could see a place of rich atmosphere in his minds eye, the drift of smoke, perfumed cigarettes, suits, dresses, drinks, and laughter. Recounting a mirror a lady held with a white glove, bustled chatter deafening but he could barely make out the shape of the words she spoke, the concerned look upon her face with a sense of urgency. The mirror had looked similar to that of a music box, which caused him to look upon the side for a moment, revealing a tiny hole where a key-turn should be. She hadn't had it then, nor was it there now, stirring his curiosity as to the means for the use of this device.
Immediately he tucked it away and realized something else, this was not the lady he had been watching out for earlier, another diversion. His heart raced anxiously with the need to get out of sight.
Journal 1- Desideratum
My hatred has sealed me within my soul... It is a shell I can never escape... Condemned to the darkness for eternity... I have fallen endlessly into this chaos and madness... Blurring in and out of life... The deterrent skewing any sense of reality... What have I become? This beast within me always rages in need of being fed... I hear the screams of a thousand souls within, deafening all sense... Watching me...Haunting me... At times tears fall down from these hollow eyes, then a laughter... Uncontrollable... Untamed... Blackening... I am told to wean away from the spirit of death, yet a part of me fears I have become it... *END*
From the depths of the trenches of the Underworld, step by step he ascended from the abyss of the catacombs. Mortified anguish and despair overwhelmed his senses, blind fury burning with every drop that hit the ground. Time had ceased to a nauseating crawl, brushing against the grime walls, disoriented to feeling. Succumbing to the shock and numbness of the deeds he had witnessed, unraveling everything he had ever known.
She was gone…In the worst way…He had claimed her…Her soul damned with the rest of the victims…Was he no different than the monster he had tried to end? Every thought seemed to destroy him.
Blood seemed to permeate stalely in the air, spinning the sensations, skewing perspective, confusing between reality and mind. Adrenaline and tears overwhelming with pulse blinding through the darkness…
In a strange way he could still feel her achingly with each breath…The scent of her close in his arms, the moments that mattered, memories drifting like a fog.