If you want to read more of this chapter head on over to inkitt Ask for Lukas
No one including myself can let me down if my expectations are always that of inevitable misery, a fool hopes for any above that but at the same time, I would let it come over me if it wished.
The name of this chapter is only a coincidence haha.
Hell of a week, had the worst shift of life at work to date, I almost got down on my knees and prayed to Trump to get me through it haha. And then more unpleasantness followed that was to a point where I wondered if my life was actually a practical joke. The events being so farcical I doubted I was awake. None of which I can really go into, needless to say if I could afford a therapist he would hear about the whole humiliating affair at length.
And I would be way more bummed out about the whole disaster if something great hadn’t happened directly after, well I should say something terrifying and then wonderful. Well I’m not counting all my chickens yet but I’m also not thinking about sticking my head in an oven to make God laugh. So that’s something.
I got a message that the one of the most important people to me was sick and my heart hit the basement until I was told she was ok and I saw her sunshiny face again. So relieved and happy and then something weirder happened, I got swept back up into something I was sure was dead and gone with something as easy as a smile. It only took a smile to shine a light on feelings I was sure were gone. We’re taking it slow for now, for the first time in our history together but I know it’ll be worth it.
That’s all because I’ve been reading bugger all this week but what I did read of the shadow on my way to work I really loved mainly because of the way the story is told. It’s all third person from the perspective of someone who is witnessing the shadow and it makes it delightfully creepy. The shadow is almost some kind of monster and it’s really good, like the main character is the right hand of the devil almost. I really like it, it’s old but still manages to be engaging and creepy and interesting.
Anyway gotta get down to doing some editing or proofreading, it’s not gonna do itself after all haha.
I turned in horror and revulsion, could it speak, was it listening to us?
It seemed to shudder for a moment and then a noise like air escaping a tire, a dull low hissing as air came to it’s dry cracked lips and then a voice from far away, like someone talking at the end of a far flung hallway.
“Had to” The voice was strained and it seemed to amount to a strange buzzing as if there were bees caught in his throat, his voice giving off a strange vibration. “Coates”
“What about Coates?”
“He wouldn’t stop”
“Asking about my dreams”
“So what did you do to him?”
“Would you mind telling Henry about the night you lost your wife, would that be alright?”
I swallowed waiting for his response, all at once his eyes focused and he looked at me with a pained searching glance that I couldn’t describe.
“Well go ahead.”
“I was- trying- trying to find something.” He swallowed, his voice brimming with that strange buzzing noise scratching at his throat. “My work, it became stale, the spark- died and I was having to dig deeper to find inspiration. Using a form of meditation and salt solution I could induce trance like states to better commune with the great darkness.”
“The great darkness” I asked dreamily.
“A place inside, a dreamstate, source for my inspiration.”
All at once I remembered the paintings in the day room, the strange vistas and odd creatures and remembering in the past his work seemed quite benign. Not post-modern but classical almost, capturing a singular beauty from nature but the market has no great demand for paintings such as those these days and I could recall his style had become quite abstract and strange almost terrifying, beastly in their suggestion. Some far flung horribleness that could only be glimpsed in dreams.
“I knew what I was doing might be- dangerous, but I had little choice, I feared that everything I had built would come crumbling down if I turned back. That if I did not press forward I might have to resort to painting children’s faces on the boardwalk to put food on the table. I feared my wife might leave me if I couldn’t keep her in the life she’d grown accustomed to, so I had no choice – for what we do for love is risk damnation itself.” He let out a pained airless cough. “and I did love her, a fearful terrible quaking love that every fibre of my being feared to lose.-
It started like nothing at all at first, my dreams only having the vaguest hints of the nightmares I later saw. I had thought my dreams were just a result of an elaborate imagination, growing up I had fanciful notions as most children do, of knights and castles and great dragons. But this was so alien it hardly fit into any mainstream folklore at all.
It seemed like every day I spent meditating I could feel myself getting closer to something awesome. And in my dreams I felt even less inhibition and control. As if something were drawing me further down a long a stairway, odd shapes twisting in the distance.
Something I remembered most distinctly were fish. Not unlike our worlds fish but these glowed with a cosmic opulence and danced around my head as if in water, drawing me closer down into the dark waterless ocean.
I felt myself growing lighter and more lurid with each step I took the path behind me a sturdy rushing wall of water.
Each morning I woke feeling unrested, like I’d been walking all night just like my dream, my mind had no retreat and I could feel a strange pull even in my waking hours. I meditated and felt myself slipping away and pulling myself back from the brink with whatever morsel of inspiration I could pluck from the torrent of black madness down there in it’s depths.
I felt as if I was an invisible watcher a voyeur, dis-embodied floating above the strange eon old city under the waves. Nothing could see me or touch me, I had the invulnerability of the watcher and I could glance at the strange structures before me with their haunting shapes and maw-like open doorways, windowless and dark.
I would wake and sketch them as best as I could remember but as time went on I felt myself feeling more and tired and withdrawn like I’d never slept those nights at all and I was just lying there awake.
It got worse as I’d paint, I could swear it, those fish, they’d followed me. I saw them while I was awake, only fleeting glances of them in the corners of my eyes, just enough to tell myself I didn’t see them at all but to give a gnawing feeling of coming darkness. That crushing blackness closing in on me.
I had no idea what I was doing, I was just an aimless wanderer in a world I didn’t understand, glimpsing behind the curtain of night not knowing whether something was looking back at me from the darkness.”
“And was there? Something watching?” I asked almost shaking, without even thinking of my words as I stared into the strange man’s milky eyes.
I got back the second to last part of Diana and I spoke to my editor after blowing my wad on the last round of editing and she says I should get it back soon, whatever that means haha. But yeah so that’s happening, that other thing is probably happening. Compared to how shitty I’ve felt for the last couple of months I feel pretty good, I’m really happy right now and honestly I don’t like it, I wish it would stop haha.
Maybe playing more red dead 2 will make me more miserable. Probably gonna do a review of that because everyone I know says it’s pretty underwhelming and honestly so far I can’t disagree. Like there’s nothing really about it that blows me away honestly. It kinda just feels like another red dead game, it’s not really that special. Definitely falls short so far comparing it to GTAV. I don’t mind the slow pace as long it’s building towards something and it’s immersive like Kingdom come deliverance. I loved the slow beginning of that game. Really need to do another playthrough of that game. I can’t remember the last time I was so immersed in a game.
Anyway, dying need to nap or do some proofreading or something.
She kept up a dizzying pace through the old building, but I could hardly object to the brevity of the tour since it appeared to be just a series of long hallways looking all alike.
“This is the day room”
She opened a door that looked no different from any of the rooms we’d seen before. Despite that it had no viewing window and opened onto a large rectangular room with almost greenhouse windows on the walls and in portions of the ceiling.
“This is something like a solarium, they used to think the sunshine had medicinal effects, we use it as a common area, they have art supplies and games they can play.” She said directed me to deshevelled pile of soiled board game boxes and art supplies collected in a half closed closet. The room itself was empty but for a series of rounded tables made of a cheap chipboard wood with a few simple plastic chairs dotted around them and a few beanbag chairs. The carpet was a dull cream colour and the ceiling tiles were deeply sodden asbestos tiling with neon lights running in parralles across the ceiling.
I looked around the room as it stood empty, littered as it was with papers and crude paintings on the walls. The paintings depicting oddly shaped buildings. Or so it seemed, although obscurest in nature, following no known Euclidian geometry and copying no style I had ever seen before. Despite that they were quite skilfully reproduced as if from memory.
“Oh you noticed that”
She said spying my eye caught by the odd painting.
“We have a number of artists budding or otherwise that come here.”
“Are you a fan of the arts Mr Tilinghast.”
“Henry, please, to my friends.”
She seemed to scoff and then smile.
“I’ve eyes like anyone else” I said attempting something close to aloofness.
“The director seems to think artists are more susceptible to madness than ordinary men”
“Oh, why’s that?”
“It’s nothing he would publish for peer review, but he seems to think your mind has to be half gone already to be an artist in this economy.” She smiled and I stifled a laugh which cooled to a morbidity as I studied the sad truth in that statement.
I sighed in agreement and continued to study the room. It was bright which was odd due to the weather being as grey and dim as it was. The room seemed to glow with an eerie effulgence, it had to be something to do with the placing of the room and the windows harnessing the light.
“Please take your time to look at some of their work, the room is closed for today.”
I took her up on her offer and started to perouse some of the paintings, most of which were marked with the same signature. The scribbling did seem familiar but I couldn’t make out the name. The paintings seemed to correlate with the others, odd cyclopean structures, strangely shaped humanoid creatures. It seemed almost like the interpretation of a childs drawing done by a skilled hand.
“Closed?” I said idly not taking my eyes off an etching of a bust done in charcoal. The bust was some strange abstract creature that seemed to have the head of octopus and the body of some kind of reptile with wings with large clawed feet sitting prone on a pedestal.
“We had an incident the other day with one of our patients.”
“An incident” I aped thoughtlessly losing myself in the strange chimera like creature in the etching. Noticing then that were some very similar drawings done like but in what seemed like a childs hand, and still more in differing styles until it seemed to be something of a contest to draw the eldritch squatting thing.
I turned to her and saw she was motioning with her eyes at a patch on the floor. My eyes following her to see a portion of the cream carpet that had been removed in a large square with a box cutter a slight shadow of a brown stain on the exposed wooden boards below it.
“We’re having someone come in on Friday to replace it”.
“I’ll take you to see the director now if you’d like, he should be in his office.”
She led me down another hallway indistinguishable from the others we’d just traversed to a door with golden sign with the name Avery Fournier – Director Pink Bird Sanitarium embossed on it.
The door itself was a firm red oak with the top panelled cut out to make way for an ornate opaque glass screen. And as the light was shining I could seemingly make out two figures and could catch something of a conversation going on inside.
“He must be busy, should we come back later?” I asked.
“No he’s expecting you, he might just be recording something, if we enter quietly it shouldn’t be a problem”. She smiled and motioned towards the door holding her clipboard tightly to her chest and pushing her glasses up on her nose as if touching up a careful costume.
I clasped the door handle getting a slight jolt of something but not removing my hand. A sudden striking feeling of unease came over as if I was about to open a door to a party of people dancing over my own grave.
Opening the door as gingerly and as politely and inobtrusively as possible I entered with my head bowed like a monk seeking safe passage through some savage mongol land. But to my surprise I was greeted by a most affable and rotund looking old gentlemen sat smiling warmly above a great and bushy mustache.
The man instantly put me at ease with his effortlessly pleasant manner and way of speaking.
“Henry, is that you, take a seat old boy, you must have had quite a journey.” He addressed me queerly as if he were some old friend or an uncle rarely visited but gladly accepting of any such chance encounter.
Finding myself caught off guard by his amiable appearance at knowing me, I had but silent stammering in answer.
“You must be exhausted, where did you say you were coming from? Boston was it?”
“N-new Hampshire actually.” I said tracing my hands feverishly along the back of one of the high wingbacked chairs in front of the man’s small but neat desk.
Fournier’s office was little more than broom closet in size, a very humble room for a seemingly very humble and benign figure. But despite the size, the furnishing were old and eloguent, the smell of treated leather and hardwood was thick in such a tight space and nevertheless it gave way to an informal comfiness that was quite unbefitting an office of such stature.
“Would you like a toffee?” He asked standing to pass me a large glass bowl of individually wrapped toffees.
“Erm no- no thank you” I said smiling.
“Hmm” He smiled and sighed before putting the bowl down and unwrapping one for himself and fiendishly popping it into his mouth grazing his bushy white moustache. He smiled again and said “I must admit I’m quite partial to them” He narrowed his eyes and then at once as if he forgot something said “Oh of course, I’m forgetting myself, would you like one Zane?” He said lifting the bowl in the direction of the wingback chair to my right.
Check out the rest of the chapter on inkittttt The weeping song
Ok truthfully just desperate for content at this point and not really feeling up to starting Diana two, I dunno, I just feel kind of drained creatively, might be something to do with my sleep patterns but I don’t feel super pumped about it. And I don’t wanna start anything unless I’m ready to start it. So I’m just back in the trenches finishing this off, which is one of the stories I started and sort of abandoned when I lost focus of where it was going.
I think I literally abandoned this story to write the first Diana so I’m kind of hoping for that to happen again, just to be writing this not really knowing where I’m going then boom get hit the lightning bolt again.
I didn’t abandon this because it was shit, I just kind of lost my place because this is a story I didn’t write out a really detailed plan for, now I write out these really detailed chapter breakdowns I almost never look at but they’re there in my brain. But for this it was sort of up in the air and I can’t really place, I’m not sure what I was doing with it so it’s harder to keep pace on it.
Just trying to keep my mind busy so I don’t go insane, kind of ironic considering the subject matter. I do love Lovecraft but I dunno it feels sort of hollow copying him or trying to make it into a marvel haha. I dunno, it just doesn’t get my blood pumping as much as Cur did, well I don’t anything could get my blood pumping as much as Cur did. Too soon for a sequel to that but I should start work on a plan for it at least, the plan for Diana two was finished ages ago, I just might want to go over it again.
In other news really enjoying the latest Parker book it sort of starts off as a normal Parker book and slowly escalated into an all out war bringing back some of the best characters from the series, even one from the fucking dead haha. I tried finding info on this but I could swear this one character died in a previous book this books references and I went back and sure enough, he’s dead as a doornail, I guess Westlake just forgot haha. Which is so weird because of how he seems so good and keeping all these characters alive in his universe. To miss bringing a guy back from the dead haha. Maybe it was a different Ed Mackey with the same wife haha. I dunno, I’ll give it a pass, he is a cool character.
Also so stupidly excited about this but I managed to track down and pirate all the conan, shadow and solomon kane pulps and I can’t wait to read them. So I’m gonna be knee deep in like 1920’s era pulp fiction for a while, should be really fun and inspiring. I can’t wait to get into it.
Anyhoo, hours a waining and I need to do some proof reading, wasted too much time already setting up the Loverman Inkitt page for you to mosey on over to.
On recollection of that singularly disgusting building my mind is hesitant to reconstruct the image of the hideous fuchea paint. Which cast over it like a layer of bubbled pink flesh hanging over a rancid rotting skeleton of a building. The colour of which I might imagine of those many chosen people who were exposed to a noteably vile a substance as cyanide gas intended as such for vermin. Their bodies bloated and pink, skin bubbling like that of a suckling pig slowly roasted over an open flame. The bones of the building that of an old English town house, transported brick by brick from such old haunts as Glastonbury. Home to such tails of wicked faeries that would disappear unlucky travellers who might have the poor fortune to rest upon a certain rock deemed sacred to the cruel ironic justice of the fae folk.
To this day I have seldom the choice to replay this ‘event’ over and over in my head. As it was this soggy new England morning in maine that I was to lose my grip on the mortal coil for better or worse.
It was a notably wet early morning that I was to set foot on the grounds of the Pink Bird mental asylum as it stood in the October of 1994 in the new England town of Presque isle maine.
Having graduated from a university of note some years before I was applying for a newly opened position at the facility. I’d hasten to add I had grown irritated at relaying which university I’d graduated from. As it seemed to invoke strange and morbid fascination from anyone that heard the name which is why I refuse to mention the accursedly wicked place even in these notes I scrawl now. Strange rumours dogged it of doctors coming from there possible forty years hence conducting strange research into the reanimation of dead flesh. I had no interest in such study for it was the mind that interested me. It became increasingly more irritating as people seemed to imbue me with vicarious curiosity at the history and rumours that abound said university of which I deem to remain nameless. It’s past neither in my time there nor in my present state interested me at all.
That being said I can’t help remarking on my present predicament and wandering if the accursed place had some hand in my misfortune.
I approached the building which I had remarked looked like a corpse prepared hastily for an open casket viewing. A make over having possibly taken place in the early seventies had not aged well and as it sat off the beaten track in the back country of new England.
The garden was slightly overgrown, the hedges seemed to crawl out and attempt to swallow the narrow path that led from the road. A large bare tree stood in the court before the building reaching up into the slate coloured sky of that misty morning. The colours of the hedges a mix of deep damp greens and autumnal oranges and browns forming a mash of living and dying rott. The smell of which was slightly sweet.
I approached the building in an old crysler my mother had left me passing a few years prior. The car was in fairly good condition but wide and maneuvered like that of an old tugg boat on choppy waters. As I wasn’t the most robust figure of a man I was prone to car sickness which made me slightly light headed as the car lurched around the tight oval curve of the main court around that old bare tree with it’s dark grey bark.
I parked as near the entrance as I felt was polite as there was no markings of any kind and only one other car parked in a similar fashion. But notably of more refined taste, a dark blue bently with tasteful chrome wheels.
I ascended a steep set of slightly damp stone steps to reach a large but ramshackle white wooden door as cracked and creased as the rest of the paint work on the old building. The whole thing looming over my head looked like a sore open wound crawling with unwanted plant life like dry boney fingers peeling at the cracks in the saturated fuschia paint.
Taken with some odd ceremony I knocked on the old door and was met with silence and then a dull echoing noise I attributed to the age of the building. But sounded oddly almost like a person sighing deeply or the sound of sawing wood.
After getting no response from my peculiar inclination to knock as if it was episode of downtown abbey and I was about to be greeted by some overly verbose woman in a bustiare. I shuddered at the thought and twisted the old rusty doorknob which released a coppery scent and then popped open with a shudder that ripped through the entire frame and an awful creaking scraping noise that went through me like the sound of grinding teeth.
“Oh I’m sorry” A young woman said as I almost fell on her through the door as it gave way faster than I thought it might. “I should have warned you about the door, I heard you knocking I was just…”
I was taken by her instantly, a beauty of note, her blonde hair tied into a tight but full bun secured in place with what looked like a chopstick. A set of small reading glasses perched on the tip of a short sharp nose below of which rested a set of full pursed lips painted with a muted dark pink lipstick which seemed to match the sparse spackling of light freckles on her cheeks.
Her lidded eyes were green and distinctive under neatly plucked eyebrows, perfect eyelashes beating like that of a butterflies wing. Her face a delicate pale canvas of faintly german irish features.
Read the rest of this chapter on inkitt. Paint a vulgar picture