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Rfurness
May 11th, 2013, 10:14 PM
This piece I had been working on for some time. It is a small, but independent piece which is part of a much larger body of work. An episode in what would amount to 1 season of a TV show; though the characters are different the focus is on the escalation of an event. Anyways, any and all C&C is welcome. Thanks!

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The effects that the newly formed Audrey’s Star has had on the small town of Grove Massachusetts are well documented; if this is the first you have heard of the star I strongly suggest you examine the deranged ranting in the journal of Nathaniel Edmund and the confession letter written by murderer and best friend of a local convenience store clerk. Though difficult to find, they would help give my extraordinary and demented tale, at the very least, company. The documents suggest, to anyone willing to believe such raving babble, that the sinister star that hangs above the town somehow connects Grove to dimensions or worlds beyond. Fortunately for the general population, these documents, amongst other, have been hastily covered up by anyone with the authority to do so, and thusly written off as conspiracies as tangible as the Loch Ness monster or Big Foot. But it is most unfortunate, that while the general population walks on this earth in ignorant bliss, something very real is trying to - and eventually will – make itself known.

I was amongst the na´ve many who never gave Audrey’s Star more than a curious glance from time to time while growing up. After all, the Star did glow strangely bright in Grove’s night sky, more so than it did in its neighboring towns. But since my third year at Grove University, when I met the disturbing Professor George Francis Albert, Head of Astrology, I’ve realized that the Star has a more malignant purpose than to simply burn with a bizarre fire.

Let me start from the beginning, a single decision that could have allowed me to live the rest of my life in dark stupidity; unknowing of what laid beyond the three dimensions of man’s comprehension, a feeling that I lust for now. While in secondary school, I excelled and was accepted to Grove State University, but my sister was suffering from a tumor of the brain. The growth was being treated by the Dr. Boyd, the very best in the town, but his expertise came at a cost. It seemed selfish to contest for my parent’s limited income, my tuition opposing my sister’s medical bills, so initially I declined the enrollment. It was with the blessing of my parent’s and more importantly my sister that I continue with my higher education, and attended as a Bachelor of Arts. I often think back to that very conversation and wonder how drastically trite my life would be if I had not been given the chance to attend. My job would be menial, my life unfulfilling, but what good am I now that live in overwhelming fear and have shut out the rest of the world?

But as circumstances allowed, I did attend the University. Writing was my passion and I excelled. Many of my writings were dedicated to my sister, and I was proud to send her a copy of a story about her brave struggle for survival. It was around this time Prof. George Francis Albert introduced himself to me. I found it quite puzzling that a man of science and so much my superior would seek me out specifically. He inquired about my published works and their content, though I know now he wasn’t really interest in the content. He explained to me that what he was researching, Audrey’s Star, and that it required an assistant that was competent at writing and possessed an open mind.

Naturally – and naively – I agreed to be his assistant; who would decline the opportunity to work alongside one of the most tenured and well respected professors? Had I known how far the Professor’s research would push and eventually break my psyche, I would have risked the embarrassment of fleeing hysterically the moment he held out his cold hand in inauspicious introduction.

Prof. Albert did much of his research and studying in isolation, and only gave me the rough notes at the conclusion of his day’s work. I spent nearly all of my waking hours in his office organizing and copying notes and audio recordings. Angles, rays, wave lengths, ultraviolet and UV light made up the majority of the pages of notes; nothing that seemed to prove anything abnormal about the Star. It was mundane, and quite honestly, the mathematics and formulas were beyond my level of comprehension or interest. But I never allowed that to deter me from my copywriting work, nor did it seem to frustrate Prof. Albert; after all he knew of my limited familiarity in the sciences.

It was on my fourth night of transcribing that a single word caught my attention amidst the infinite profusion of words: fear. Bolded and underlined, the word was isolated on the heading of paper. The Professor wasn’t there for me to make any particular inquires about the reason or possible context of the word, and if I were able to, perhaps I could have made a sound decision and left the office and University forever. But I copied it and gave it the necessary attention before moving on. It struck me quite strange even then, but now, the true meaning of the diabolical word will haunt my dreams leaving me in a cold sweat for as long as I manage to live. Darkness and isolation is my world now, and the general population considers me devious because of the delirious conversations I unknowingly have with myself whenever the subject of Audrey’s Star, cemeteries, or the University is brought up.

My attendance at the University continued for some time, but I will never forget that early morning when a member of the English department’s
administration called me from class. I wish I could say that it was greatest amount of dread I would feel in my life, walking down the hall knowing of only one reason to be dismissed from class so abruptly, but it was only foreshadowing. When someone you love is sick they are never far from your thoughts and any event out of the ordinary creates a pit of doubt that burns in the heart; my worst fears had come to fruition, my sister had passed, snatched away in her youth by the malignant tumor before she had the chance to change the world. She left that responsibility to me.
After her funeral, my father took me aside. I think he could sense my resolution wavering. How could it not be? Schooling being the cause of a financial burden on my parents and the reason I was not by my sister’s side in her twilight hours. My father assured me that my sister’s final request was that I do not lose focus on my dreams, to finish school, and that would make her proud. Even on death’s bed my sister was selfless. But I wonder, if she had known the horrors I would face, would she make me keep that promise?

In any case, I returned to the University the following week, and took to my work with Prof. Albert immediately. Upon my return there was a sum of money awaiting me at my desk with a note: “Take this as a reimbursement for you time already spent and future payments.” At the time I thought that Prof. Albert was aware of the monetary struggle my parent’s and I continually faced, and sought to ease it. But as I have come to find out, nothing was as it seemed with that dreaded Prof. Albert.

It was my final year when Professor George Francis Albert revealed his psychotic findings with me. On the eve of my graduation, he had claimed a breakthrough in the Star of Audrey’s power. I remember being excited. I seldom saw the Professor, and when I did he was not nearly this elated. He insisted on toasting this fine moment; if he could prove the anomalies surrounding the Star then the discovery would go down as one of the greatest in history, and I the assistant to the genius! And that is the last I remember of the celebration.

The remainder of my story can be corroborated to a degree with the audio tape that Prof. Albert brought with him to document his dark theory, but that tape can never see the light of day, on it are things that unhinged even the most stoic of man, bringing him to his knees. I awoke in a cemetery bound and dazed. Somewhere far off, under cover the sharp chirping of crickets, I could hear panting. I couldn’t immediately distinguish Prof. Albert as he approached me from the darkness, but I could see that he was dragging something behind him. My mind and heart swirled with an amalgamation of fear, betrayal, rage and helplessness. The man had with him the unburied corpse of my sister!

Prof. Albert slumped her next to me. Tears begun swelling and ran down my cheeks. I pleaded with him to release me and give my poor young sister piece. I wish I could say there wasn’t a hint of remorse in his eyes, it would make his fate easier to admit, but part of him seemed to be stunned by the terrifying deed he had just committed. He remained mute and stood idle for a moment.

As I said before, the death of my sister was only the foreshadowing of what was to come, and as morbid as it sounds, I wish this were pinnacle of horror I faced that night. The rest of my story I am reluctant to tell for many reasons. Firstly, my own fear; I hardly want to recount what I witnessed that night, I am already burdened with more paranoia and obsessions than any man should possess. Secondly, I do not want this recount to fall into the hands of any inquiring minds that may seek to reenact that appalling night. But regardless of what I say or write, the time will come when Grove will be lost to the abhorrent power from Audrey’s Star. So I continue knowing that I cannot change anything.
Prof. Albert, appearing impatient, disappeared into the cemetery’s darkness. I sat next to my dead kid sister alone. She was beautiful even in death, and it seemed decomposition had hardly taken hold. My heart ached; my selfishness in going to college had caused this unholy night in which her eternal rest would be interrupted by the revolting theories of my malevolent mentor. Then Prof. Albert returned with a rock in hand. Letting out a primal scream he raised the piece of earth in the air. I winced.

As I waited for the imminent bludgeoning, I heard another ghastly noise. It was neither the scream, or laugh, or cry of a human, but a shriek of unmentionable origin. The blow from Prof. Albert never came, but I felt a warm mist splash against my face. Had he crushed the skull of my already dead sister? No. I opened my eyes and saw Albert severed head lying next to me; his face with a distorted expression. His body landed just then.
The proceeding cannot be accurately described by even the most eloquent of writers, but I will do my best to illustrate what was standing over the corpse of Prof. George Francis Albert. The closest earthly analogue to the creature rearing on its hind legs behind Prof. Albert’s body would be a centipede. But this abomination was anything but earthly. Its torso was lined on either side with large pinchers that carried all the way to the thing’s head, which was a twisted knot of lashing tentacles. When the creature landed to its natural position I could see in the center of that knot a single eye glistening from the moonless sky. It is nearly impossible that the creature did not see me them, but it showed no interest. Instead, it suctioned the tip of its tentacles to the Professor’s corpse and dragged him into the darkness. But by avoiding seeing the creature in its totality I was afforded the opportunity, at the very least, to dissuade my thoughts and believe that my eyes had mistaken me; a dissuasion that provides me with very little comfort.

The next thing I can recall is waking to the sound of chattering, sirens, and an officer standing over me. The sun glared down and revealed the hours old carnage left in the wake of the Professor’s failed experiments. The officer noticed my consciousness and immediately began asking questions about the previous night, I was only able to utter incoherently until the officer demanded that I stop and threatened to incarcerate me.
But I did not need to plead for my innocence to a court or even to the officers. Discovered at the scene was the tape recorder, and on it a confession by Prof. George Francis Albert. In the confession he stated he brought me to the cemetery, unearthed my sister, and then attempted to kill me. But the police officer’s still had questions about how a man my stature could severe a head so cleanly and preciously while still bound, where exactly the rest of the Professor’s body had gone, and what the ungodly noise on the tape was. The depart got very little answers beyond what was discovered on the tape, and when Prof. Albert’s office was raided no field study results or journals of any kind were found.
I once believed that the strange creature’s arrival had thwarted Prof. Albert’s plan to murder me. I led myself to believe that he had gone mad; his inconclusive findings took a psychotic grip on his emotions and in some twisted logic he thought that by destroying me he could revive his work with a more scientific assistant. But there was genuine rejoice in the man’s mood during the toast, surely there was a break through, and aside from being a recluse, Professor Albert never showed signs of such brutality.

When I found the transcribed notes, neatly bound in an untitled book, which were sent to me on the day of my graduation, the scattered stars of event created a constellation, so obvious the image should have been clear to me from the very start. That word, fear, so misplaced in the notes of Prof. Albert, yet so blunt. Had it been the key? Prof. Albert had led me to believe that because I was a student of the arts I had a much more open mind. But, when is the mind more receptive to impossibilities than when seeing loved ones dragged from their grave? Or more broadly, when paralyzed by fear.

Pelwrath
May 12th, 2013, 04:16 PM
Rfurness I liked the opening paragraph and as for the feel I got a Sherlock Holmes picture in my mind, most likely due to the names and description. Lovecraftian would be a good parallel as the location was Massachusetts. Keep thw writing up and if more please post it. I'm th farthest thing from a grammarian so I'll nt comment on what I don't know.

Rfurness
May 18th, 2013, 03:46 AM
Thanks Pelwrah,

The real inspiration here was Lovecraft tales, where the writer begins by swarning about the horrors he's seen. I need to bridge the gap between the 1st story and the 4th one and then i can post a few of them to paint a clearer picture of this "event".