I heard a street person scream at his demons today. Periodically, I will observe the leftovers of society as I go to and from work in the city. This particular person, though, was as far over the edge as I have ever heard on the phone.
He would scream about how the colors would come from the power lines, through the sidewalk, and then through his shoes and on up into his head, where they would control him. At first, I had to laugh, but as I thought on it more later on, it gave me serious pause.
To be sure, the man was most likely insane. But what drove him there, I had to wonder. What put his mind in such a way for him to not be aware of reality as most others perceive it?
As I reflected over that fellow while I was riding home on the bus, I could not help but to begin to feel a certain bond with the poor soul, a similarity I did not choose to mention to too many others. I perhaps did not see things entirely as he did, for he was completely mad, but I see things differently enough for others to think me as mad as he were I to expound at length regarding the things I have experienced. After all, if I knew I could understand his motivations and reasoning because of my own personal experiences, would that not be an indicator of my own predisposition toward mental illness to just about any educated person?
It then made me reflect on my experiences from the past year that were all too terrible, things that I know shook my soul to its foundations. Had they left scars not only on my memory, but on my very ability to reason, to be counted among the numbers of the sane folk? I know that I have had a propensity to joke and make up odd fantasies for myself and others, but that can be ascribed to anyone with an avid imagination and a well-read background, as I modestly confess myself to be. No, this is the true madness that colors men's thoughts differently than what they should be, the madness that is impenetrable, and feared more than any physical ill, by both those that suffer from it and those who watch on in helpless bewilderment. I know that I am mad by general standards, even though I consider my history of experience to be truthful and certain.
I suppose I decided to write my thoughts down at this time because I need to be able to express these feelings. Even if I get no response, then at least I had an opportunity to scream into the abyss, and not have the abyss scream back at me. Others will be able to judge me by their own standards and decide for themselves if they wish to follow after me in what I have done, or to leave my life behind them and attribute my deeds to blackest insanity. I am at a crossroads of sorts and writing this account might help me to decide what action I should take for the future.
I suppose I should be more careful in the future regarding what I bring to work to read, as that seems to be where the changes all began. It was in late March at my former employer's when the mail servers kept crashing and requiring overnight troubleshooting and rebuilds. I took to the habit of bringing books to work, just in case the night was to be a long one. Of course, I would take along volumes that dealt with my personal interests, of which religion was a paramount one. I particularly delighted in ancient, nearly-forgotten beliefs such as Zoroaster's teachings, the old Aztec gods, or the speculations about the bull-cults that dominated the lands surrounding the Mediterranean Sea thousands of years before Egypt was a tamed land.
I was reading a book on the topic of various Polynesian cults during one evening's server rebuild when my manager came in to my office to check on my progress and to talk a while. I did not welcome the interruption, as the book was most absorbing and enthralling. I gave perfunctory answers to his questions. I was not rude, but I did not elucidate, either. He seemed intent on boring me, however, and as no technical task commanded my immediate attention, politeness dictated that I entertain the dull fellow.
He asked me what it was that I was reading. I explained it was a set of papers regarding various devil-cults of the South Pacific, and quite an interesting read, if one got into that sort of thing. He asked to have a look at it, and I obliged. He flipped through the chapters until something caught his eye. His lips moved slowly as he read, a sign of his mental thickness, I surmised. But he read intently enough to forget about me for a while and, although I had nothing to do but wait for the return of my book, I was welcome for the relief from the stream of boredom that usually came out of his otherwise unoccupied head.
After a while, though, it was too much of an imposition to me, and I cleared my throat. He looked up, a bit startled and embarrassed, and apologized. He said the book was very interesting, though, and that he would like to borrow it. I told him that I really didn't like to loan out books, especially one as old as that one (I am a collector, I told him), but that I would keep my eyes open for a copy at the stores I went to in my search for old books of unusual lineage. He seemed reluctant to part with the book, but gave it back to me and then began asking questions about the part he had read. I really couldn't answer him that well, as I had not yet gotten to that part of the book yet. He bored me a while longer with more mundane talk, and then went on his way. Grateful for his departure, I returned to my reading as the mail databases continued their plodding restoration from the backup drives.
The following weekend, I came across a copy of the book in fairly worn, but still readable condition at a used-book store for a fairly low price. I went ahead and got it for my manager, who gladly thanked me for it and said he was really looking forward to anything else about the topic I could find for him. I wasn't exactly sure what he was talking about, as I still hadn't gotten to that chapter he was most interested in. He showed me the chapter and said he'd like to talk about it perhaps one day over lunch once I had read it. I figured I might be able to, and went back to work.
When I finally did get to that chapter, I was mortified by what I read. It was about perhaps one of the most brutally violent cults I had ever come across in my studies. The religion described centered around a fertility deity that was particularly bloodthirsty in his demands. What made it most distasteful was the peculiar severity of the manner in preparing his sacrifices. I truly failed to see what about this sect enthralled my boss beyond anything more than a prurient interest in blood-letting, which was an interest I did not share. I did not even read the rest of the chapter, it was so revolting and distasteful: its author must have been a hardened reporter of anthropological fact, indeed, to have put all that information down without hesitation to include as much detail as was there.
My manager, though, was insistent. He wanted, no, demanded upon meeting with me to get more information about that cult. I kept trying to put him off, but eventually decided to have a meeting just to get it over with and have him stop bothering me. After agreeing to the meeting, though, I did not feel any better. On the contrary, I was more uneasy and nervous than before. Although I did not truly want to, I found myself returning to that chapter and reading the rest of it carefully to prepare for the meeting to come, and grew all the more convinced that it would be difficult indeed to have something good come of further study on that topic.
I resolved to do all I could to dissuade my manager from pursuing his research in that area. Knowing my manager to be rather hard-headed, I knew it would not be easy. It was therefore with great reservation and trepidation that I met with him at his house one Saturday to talk.
When I arrived at my manager's house, I was pleasingly unimpressed with what I saw. It was decorated in the typical American bachelor style, replete with overpriced furniture, a huge television screen, and large, well-framed pictures that went well with the general decor. The place was quite clean, evidence of an efficient weekly maid service.
He offered me a drink (I took water, as I am a teetotaler; he had scotch) and had me take a seat. He paused for a moment and then launched into questioning me about all the information I could provide about that horrible cult and anything like it in the world. I protested that I knew little of it, wanted to know less than I already knew, and that further knowledge of that group could be nothing good.
He disagreed. He had nothing but praise for the savages, building up to remarks like, "They would do those things, sacrifice to that god of theirs, and then get power! Power over their enemies, over even nature! That is amazing, isn't it -- they got results out of their god! Never mind the New Age crap, this stuff looks like a way to go!"
I could not conceive of any reason why this dull man would have such an obsession with esoterica such as this. I thought that perhaps he was mocking my bookishness with some bizarre charade ill-formed in poor taste, but he continued on about the topic with such an earnestness that I could no longer doubt his sincerity, even if I could not divine the origin of the fascination.
He wanted the powers that were supposed to come from the terrible rites. He didn't realize that they were just what the cultists reported as being the benefits of their practices. I tried to point out that there was no substantive proof of such things being true, but he wouldn't hear of it. We argued on, back and forth, he trying to assign greater significance and meaning to each thing in that book, I trying to show that he was grasping at very violent straws.
He then surprised me with a book of his own. He had gone on his own expedition for hoary old tomes and had come across one the likes of which I never reckoned existed. A brief look through the book, sent shudders throughout my frame: although it had nothing to do with that devil-cult of Polynesia, it described rites almost exactly like the ones from that region. The book itself was an anthropological study of certain Amazonian tribes, written in the 1960's.
This other witness of the strange and terrible rites gave my manager the fuel needed to keep his fires of desire stoked. He had to have more on this subject, more knowledge of how to get the powers these practitioners of worse than the blackest voodoo claimed to be able to access. But what would he do with them?
He told me he wanted nothing more than worldly pleasures. If he could get more success at business, more wealth, more fine things, so he said, he would be on top of the world and need no more. I asked him how he intended to acquire these boons without shedding blood in such horrible fashion. He said that he was quite confident that the same benefits he sought could be found without such terrors, that substitutions could be made.
What part did I have in all this, I asked. Why was I needed to hear all this? He replied that he wanted to use me as a sounding-board and to help him locate more books and materials on the subject. He was prepared to offer me a substantial amount of money to be his researcher, and promised to see to it that I would not have to spend overmuch time at work. After getting assurances that he would not go down a bloody path, I agreed to do the work he asked for.
If only I had not been so naive! It is unfortunate that I trusted such a person as my manager, but that was my own nature getting the better of me. I wanted to see the good in the world and the good in each person, so much so that I was willing to accept anyone's words at face value if they would help me keep my illusion that all was well with the world. It is perhaps because I fear sadness and ill deeds so much, because of the terrible bouts of depression that they can bring on in me, that I persist in keeping such delusions alive. When they do finally catch up with me and come crashing down, the resultant depression is no worse than if I had faced it earlier, so there isn't any incentive for me to avoid the delusions in the first place. I just find myself stumbling along from one liar to the next, always hoping that the next person I meet is one I could truly trust.
And so I spent the next two months searching for odd tales of savage tribes that claimed great powers from their murderous rites. My manager took my notes and books as I handed them over to him, and continued paying me well. I never saw anything too terrible when I paid him a visit, and once I even followed him from a distance on a night he intended to carry out a rite, to satisfy myself that nothing as inhuman as what the books described would be carried out. Although I was revulsed as he read aloud the chants in broken fragments of tongues neither one of us knew well (simply because of what they reminded me of), no actual reprehensible action took place in his enactment. He had indeed made due substitutions, as he had promised. I doubted whether he had made good choices, but made no further comment on the subject. As far as I was concerned, he had the freedom to practice religion as he saw fit, so long as it did not require the blood of a sacrifice.
It was on a humid night in mid-May that I received an urgent call from my manager. He was calling from work and sounded very concerned, although he tried to mask his worry with nervous laughter. He said that there was a very serious situation in the server room and that I had better come in and take a look at it. As I got ready to go in, I wondered what it was that was going to keep me up the whole of the night. I knew I would soon find out.
I found my boss in the server room, laughing nervously, tittering away at nothing in particular. I could tell the man was terrified, and deservedly so. For directly in front of him was a thing I had thought possible from some of my more esoteric mathematics studies, but had never seen.
It will be very difficult to describe what I saw, for such a thing is totally outside any normal experience. As such, there are no words in any language of man that can describe precisely what it was.
If viewed from the area of the server room where my boss was sitting, one would see something akin to a window, hovering over a pattern he had constructed on a bare spot of the floor. There was no frame or sill surrounding or supporting the window; it just held its position several feet above the floor. Walking around it, one would still see the pattern on the floor, but as soon as one was perpendicular to the window-thing, it would vanish from view and one could view everything normally. If one were facing my manager from the other side of the pattern, he would see my manager and all else on his side of the room without anything interposed between you or him.
But to stand next to my manager and peer forward, one would see the shapeless window and the view inside it. That window-thing would be enough to madden any mind, but the view it presented!
Although I can suffer terrible bouts of depression brought on by any number of things, I have always had the ability to remain calm in dire emergencies. I might go through something horrible later on, but I would keep cool for the crisis. It was this characteristic of mine that kept me together and prevented some miscarriage of natural laws as we are wont to experience, or at least ended what miscarriage my boss had unleashed.
I asked him what he had done. He was barely able to explain through all his other gibbering at what transfixed him from the other side of the window-thing. He had come here because there was a large enough floor he could create the pattern upon and where he could expect enough privacy for what he was going to do. The pattern was described in one of the books I had come across, a translation of an old Tuareg scroll that, among other things, contained something called the "Bestowal Ritual". The pattern had come from that particular ritual, which seemed to have a singular importance in this and other related documents.
The ritual, however, required blood. It required it from a victim that was cut in a most horrendous manner. I asked the manager what he had done to substitute for the bloodshed. He said he made no substitute at all, but merely drew the diagram and recited the syllables as they were presented in the translation. Seeing this thing in front of me made me realize that, perhaps, substitutions were perhaps not the best thing to use in rituals of this nature. If they truly did work some sort of physical, if not spiritual, miracle, then it stood to reason the materials needed would need to be exact: to substitute would be akin to perhaps replacing water with sulfuric acid in a chemistry lab.
The manager was hopeless. He was staring straight on into the abyss and did not know how to cope with it. I read on in the translation and noted that it did contain a troubleshooting section, of sorts. It described that if the elements utilized in the ceremony were not of the purest quality (and I assumed that the absence of a key ingredient would constitute an element of poor quality), that something akin to what we had before us would result. That, instead of opening a communication that would link the seeker with wisdom from the mouth of another who had learned before, he had opened a connection with something more empty than space, yet full of chaos and seething with matter heretofore imperceptible.
I know this is difficult to understand, but do bear me out. What we call space was totally empty through the window-thing, yet it was not empty at all when one considers what other spaces one could move in. We viewed it not with our eyes, but had what was more than our eyes opened and gazing upon a rude confrontation and affront to the mundane senses. I heard a slight, quiet, lapping sound emanating from the window, but my manager could not hear it himself. The lapping sound did not land on my ears, but bypassed them and registered in my mind as sounds, nonetheless. The whisperings were all but imperceptible.
My manager began to quietly shriek and beg that the thing go away. I told him to leave, but he could not hear me. He was badly shaken and was no longer able to behave rationally as the unworldly stimulus persisted. I ignored him.
As I read in the translation to see what to do in the event of an element's impurity, my manager screamed suddenly, like an animal being cut deeply, perhaps to death, and then fell over, unconscious. I went straight to him and noted that he was still alive: he was apparently physically unscathed, although I knew his mind was far from pristine. I straightened out his body and propped his feet up to prevent the onset of shock as he lay unconscious. I dared not look back into the window-thing: if anything new had come up to do this to him, I did not need to see it myself to know how awful its consequences could turn out to be. At least now I had quiet and could concentrate better on the problem at hand.
About an hour or so later, I believed I had come across a possible solution. I began reciting the syllables required to shut the window-thing, standing to the left-front of it, averting my eyes from its awful opening. As I said the closing words, I felt a shuddering that moved my insides profoundly, but left the room untouched. The shuddering became painful as I read along, and my manager began to emit quiet screams.
The lights in the room gained in intensity and the light began to make sounds I cannot describe except that ears cannot hear them and that I wish I never heard the words
they formed in response to the ones I was saying. After what seemed to be hours of repeating my phrases over and over, being pained by the voices from the light, the unworldly sensations diminished and dissipated.
Although I was exhausted, as soon as I sensed it was safe to open my eyes and see only things of my world, I set about finding things to clean the floor and hid the books and notes my boss had brought in my car. Once I had cleaned up the horrible pattern and put the books in my car, never to hand back to my boss, I tried to revive him. I could not bring him around, so I called 911 and reported simply that he had fainted: I would let the EMT determine what had caused it. I then sat in a chair and gazed about the room in wonderment.
It was then that I noticed that nearly all the servers had gone down somehow. I suspected the deep vibrations and pains I felt may have also been experienced in some way by the sensitive machines and immediately set about fixing them. I called the night operator (who did not notice anything amiss, as the servers either were not monitored or the alarms were ignored as she listened to music and played games on her computer) and told her that other staff were needed to recover from an emergency outage. I then went back to the manager's side.
Again I tried to revive him and again it was of no use. It was in attempting to revive him that I noticed that although I could see the tip of his left forefinger just fine, my hand passed directly through it as if it was not there. But as my hand passed through, I *felt* it move through me (a most disconcerting feeling, I must tell you), and could not see my hand as it passed through it. It was all wrong, terribly wrong, and I prayed silently to myself that no one would notice it before it wore off or he was able to find a precaution to take regarding it, should he ever return to the land of the waking. I surmised that perhaps this might have happened if he had reached forward and tried to touch something in the window-thing that was not from our space. The other space must have altered him somehow, and the shock overcame him.
The emergency team and the relief staff were ages in coming, it seemed. The manager continued to moan and twitch periodically, totally out of control. I thought I heard strange syllables from that Tuareg scroll come from his mouth, which triggered stranger answers from the unseen sources that spoke to the senses we usually, thankfully, hardly ever become aware of. I now began to break a little as the emergency adrenaline wore off and my imagination began to combine the various experiences I had gone through.
By the time the EMT arrived, I was in need of a small amount of treatment, myself. My manager was taken to the hospital and I was let go after sleeping for a few hours. The other staff were able to bring the servers back online, but had thousands of questions for me as to why the manager and myself had been there since before the outage and why we were in the condition we were in when they got there. I could answer nothing, and dismissed them all by explaining that I was exhausted and could tell them all later.
I somehow got back home and collapsed on my sofa. There, I had unspeakable dreams. If what I saw in the window-thing was fantastic enough, whatever the manager had reached toward with his finger more fantastic still, then the dreams I had were superlative to all else. I suppose I could call the moving sensation I felt "flying", even though that was not the word for it. As far as the other senses I felt, I cannot give a word to describe them. I can only stare sadly ahead as my mind goes back to them and shed a tear. The prison of a language devised by a dull and inexperienced people is cruel, indeed. When one cannot say things to bring about understanding in others, he is truly alone and bereft of allies: he is shunned, for he is an outsider, a thing to be feared for he has comprehended the great unknown, and become part of that thing most feared.
I could not return to work for a week and my manager did not come back for a week after that. When we returned, something about our demeanor told enough so that we were not asked anything in public, and the private queries were brief, indeed. Privately, I met with my manager and told him that he and I would have no more ever to do with this awful affair or quest. His response was sheepish and passive.
At any rate, he spoke no more of those things and became quite distant to me. I was thankful for that and hoped to mend myself and put the bizarre experiences behind me. Around the start of July, though, I began to relive the events of the months before when I began to dream unspeakable things again, but this time began to encounter certain other things in the chaos of my dreams, including something whose very familiarity shocked me to my core each time I encountered it: the figure of another human, a man in a well-tailored suit, smiling at me and extending an open palm toward me in a beckoning fashion.
During this time of terrible dreams, my work situation became worse. My manager avoided personal contact with me more and more and became all the more critical of my ideas and solutions. I suspected he was a proud and vain man, wanting to appear knowledgeable and expert in all things, and that my direct knowledge that he was a failure in some respect -- and that I was successful in that very area -- made him jealous and hateful toward me. To compensate, I suppose, he had to make all my technical ideas seem out of line, if he could not pass them off as his own to begin with.
My luck also began to turn sour at this time. Small things, such as neglecting to pay a bill or renewing my vehicle registration, began to pile one atop the other until my life became a web of tiny demons, each besetting me at a different turn. Coupled with the dreams and my manager's pig-headedness, I began to suspect that perhaps he had had some sort of success in that dreaded field of ancient sorcery and was impacting my life in the small ways he could muster to his service. I resolved, therefore, to learn those ancient and horrible secrets better that I could defend myself from them.
It was somewhere around late July or early August that I read into those books not to discover some connection with a devil-cult from Polynesia, but to find the stuff of which I had put down that humid night in May. I soon discovered that not all rituals involved blasphemous ingredients and that not all had some malevolent purpose immediately at hand. These smaller magics, though, were not well-described in the anthropological books, as they were not as sensational as the major rites, or in the translations of the olden Tuareg language, as they were not included in those particular scrolls; only the most important ones had been salvaged when the library in Timbuktu that housed them was destroyed by an indignant and fearful mob during the early 13th century. So I commenced anew the scouring of book stores, looking through the same dark sections in the dusty shelves in the back that I had haunted several months prior.
There is so much garbage and filth written by so-called mystics and psychics these days! So much of my search was spent wading through idiot after idiot promising some sort of inner peace, conditional on the amount of money spent on his products or sent directly to him. These frauds warranted their own new-age Martin Luther to challenge their doctrine of indulgences, and none had any stuff of value in their books beyond popular psychological-sounding blandishments. Then there were the religious nuts. Only a cut better than the so-called psychics because they didn't ask for as much money, they would spew all manner of drivel on conjectures about demons and the end of the world. Full of straw, to the last of them. The poor scholars among them had a simple, animal-like faith that was narrow, intolerant and ill-formed; the better scholars asked for more money, perhaps having traded faith and goodness for their better skill at twisting scriptures to suit their fearmongering needs.
But here and there among the refuse was a book of scholarliness and discipline, where I could find a more honest treatment of the subject I sought. I was lucky to find such a book in early August, soon after I resolved to study this topic for myself. It was a book published in St. Louis in 1877 by one Burton Yeardley. That was a name I recognized from some of the better-written mystical tomes as belonging to a rather infamous man of his day, sort of like Alistair Crowley, but with far less publicity and notoriety of his deeds. He had a reputation for being very low-key and reserved, and is was thus surprising to find a book published under his name. Opening the cover and glancing through it, I found it to be expertly written and most comprehensive, covering the very things I needed to know in the manner I wanted them presented.
For this was no scholarly observation or some trash from an idle speculator: this was a sourcebook written by a man that claimed to have practiced these sorceries for his own purposes. After I bought the book, I concentrated on the early sections, fearing to read anything that might invoke the terrible ceremonies spoken of in the other books. I feared them all the more because they would be described not only in an exacting, matter-of-fact manner which Mr. Yeardley had, but also as by one who had done them himself, in our own educated and enlightened world.
It was September 20th when I worked my first effect. I call it an effect instead of a magic or spell because it was not anything magical. Magic is when the conjurer either has mastered the imposture for his audience, or when he is unaware of how or why the thing works in his private experimentation. To this extent, the Polynesians practiced magic in their rituals as much as a beginning chemistry practices magic in his poorly-understood labs. Yeardley, however, was no magician. He knew precisely the workings of these effects and even constructed new terms to explain the most unnatural effects evident in their workings. My understanding of certain fields of mathematics and particle physics, coupled with my own wondrous experience the previous May, allowed me to comprehend his description of spheres beyond our own that could be accessed for various purposes. Yeardley was a scholar of the highest caliber, a master of this branch of science that was available only to a selected few throughout the ages and whose discoveries were used blindly by savages and mystics looking for an easy path to riches. Yeardley occasionally aimed a tersely-worded broadside at persons of this type, and I began to use several of his one-liners in my conversations about such persons with devastating effect.
But I digress: September 20th, I put a pattern on the floor and made motions in the air and uttered syllables and thought of certain things, all designed to open my mind and perceptions to create a window on the world. I did so not out of blind fumbling in the dark, but with well-read determination to repeat an experiment described by a master. The execution was successful. As my mind opened and became more aware of things not of this immediate world, I found that parts of me existed in those other spheres and that, once aware of them, could manipulate that space as my mundane appendages manipulated things in this one.
Together, they opened the window.
It was like the one from mid-May, but much better formed. Its edges were crisply defined and it saw not blind chaos as its target, but my own cubicle back at work, a place I knew well enough from memory to bring into focus here. I was no sorcerer, but an apprentice embarking on a study of a most fascinating and beautiful science. I had become aware of things humans spend their entire lives never consciously using, and I had used them. I was beginning to see and hear things no other man could see or hear; over a few days, I became familiar with them. My mind was constantly open to these impressions, and the chorus of sights and other impressions I cannot hope to begin to explain to the inexperienced were like the thrill a blind man feels when he is given sight the first time. I greeted them with enthusiasm, without irrational fear, but with a huge and healthy respect for the powers they could unleash on the world should they be used to bring up something from the other sphere without proper preparation.
As I gazed triumphantly through my new window, I realized that my dreams had become less threatening. The man in the antiquarian suit was still in them, but the other surroundings were now where I lived waking with both my mundane and other-worldly eyes opened, occasionally glimpsing him by day. He was perhaps a fellow-investigator of the same phenomena and was willing to communicate with anyone in such a realm, no matter how willing he may be to move on to other studies.
I learned also that the form of the human body is no accident. It is, rather, properly designed for the operations it is needed to perform both in this world and in others. (Whether the designer is god or nature is immaterial.) I gathered enough hints, as well, to know why the sacrifices required for the higher rites had to be in the manner they were in. Scientific trial and experiment had discovered those terrible cuts and mutilations, not random worshipful act.
I left the window open, but turned it to the wall that it might not be discovered by any unexpected guest. I was now ready to act against any stumbling sorcery my manager might call up against me, ready with efficient, planned responses. I planned to begin scrying his activities that weekend, to begin my campaign of revenge against anything he had done against me.
And so, I began to watch the activities of my manager from my scrying-window. What I discovered was rather anticlimactic on one hand, and positively revolting on the other. That he had abandoned the path of the sorcerer was certain: all I saw of at his home was a complete embrace of the bachelor life. Nothing more than sports and debauchery dominated his house and social activities. Although he did spend much of his time slandering me to his superiors to cover for his mistakes (even blaming me for the server crashes from the night he called me to help him in May), nothing more sinister than character assassination was directed at me from him.
What I saw, though, from where he went at nights or on the weekends was absolutely disgusting in how base and vile he had become. I soon became familiar with the locations he would frequent for these activities and avoided watching when I saw him heading toward them. What I saw will be familiar to anyone who has made a study of the Philistine cult of Ashtoreth, also known as Ishtar in Babylon of old, or Magna Mater in ancient Rome. For those unfamiliar, suffice to say that the orgies he went to were of an abandon and a surrender to the animal within so complete, that I wondered how any that participated in them could be called human afterward.
These discoveries left me stunned for completely different reasons, though. I realized that it was not any interference from my manager that was the root of my troubles, but my own tendency to slip into depression that had allowed things in my life to come apart, and a paranoid bent that associated those problems with my manager and the threat he seemed to pose. My mind was crumbling at this point, and the plunge into this strange and new science did nothing to dispel my delusions of paranoia or cure my depression. To be sure, it kept me from having autodestructive fantasies, but the study of things outside the pale of mundanity and becoming aware of my own (and other's) extensions into things beyond that very pale could not in any way make my mental state any closer to what an average person would consider normal.
My knowledge made me insane, just as great knowledge or creativity makes anyone insane. I was already used to such a label, but the fact that my perceptions of reality had diverted so far from what typically shackled the rest of humanity, my mental state would seem all the more estranged from theirs, even though I was absolutely right and that it was they, not I, who could not see all. Like the old men in the cave of the Greek philosopher, all they saw were shades and phantoms of the real things outside their immediate perceptions. To them, my descriptions of the world outside the cave would only be so much babbling they would never be able to understand.
It was when I hit this nadir of self-realization that a new element entered my life, to shock me somewhat out of my depression, although it did not give me any shred of hopefulness.
I discovered who the man in the suit in my dreams was. The very Burton Yeardley that had authored the book I used to initiate myself into the spheres beyond our own was the man that had reached out to me in those first seeming-nightmares after the terrible night in the server room those several months ago, and who reached out to me still from time to time in haunted dreams. I discovered this while in my usual searches of the book stores and came across a daguerreotype photo of him. That media suited his features well, as his stern and unflinchingly flinty visage glowered all the more effectively from the primitive photographic method's prohibition against smiling and requirement that its subject stare straight on at the camera while his image was committed to film.
When I saw the photo at first, I must have remained dumbfounded for at least an hour, if not more. This wizard from the past had manifested himself in my dreams, and then a book of his ushered me into an illumination regarding what I had been so ignorant of these past many years of my life. This man staring dead on at me from the photo had done the same with outstretched arm in my dreams.
The photo itself was in another tome penned by Mr. Yeardley that I intended to purchase. As I recovered from my reverie and the shock of my discovery, I bought the book and returned quietly home. The book included much of Yeardley's philosophy on various metaphysical topics and included a letter to an "Ebenezer" that seemed oddly ironic: in it, Yeardley counseled this Ebenezer fellow to remain pure in his studies and avoid the followers of Magna Mater. I wondered if this old Ebenezer hadn't turned out like my manager, wallowing in the brothels and groves of that cult, giving in to all the fleshy things they had to offer, regardless of what cost they would exact on the morrow.
As I read the letter, however, there were certain other things in it that gave me pause. Here it is, that you might perhaps see some of what stirred my mind:
THE LETTER FROM BURTON YEARDLEY TO EBENEZER
Hail, Ebenezer, in all!
Trust you are well, and all is well with your studies and experiments. I will embrace the present opportunity for making a few remarks, as I expect to leave this city before the next Sabaoth, to be gone several months.
You have heard good counsels from Isaac Whatley and Charles Wooten; I desire that you should profit more by their sayings by my elaborating on certain of their advisements. They are as experienced in matters of this nature as am I; they have been clever scholars, and their craft is quite good. From your last letter, I gather you understand tolerably well what they related to you, so you are now ready for deeper teachings.
The things you have been told are good; they are principles which pertain to both life and that which is not life; and I repeat again that you have heard often, "Secure for yourself first the life and its perseverance," for once your life is in your hands, and not cruel fate's, you will be better able to secure that which is not life for yourself. With that, every thing enjoyed by those closest to the Great Old Ones is and will be yours.
There are many of our order that have gone abroad in the world, and they will seek you out when you are ready for them and have attained the life. They will let you know of their presence by making the sign of the first circle and receiving the sign of the third circle in response. Then try them with the countersign of The Man in Black, as there are also many abroad who feign the knowledge, and seek to draw out of you that which you know and use it to gain things of this world without doing the Proper Service or having had the Bestowal Ritual. I could refer you to many instances of our order, even elder members of it, becoming victims to this evil but I pass over that disagreeable matter.
The Great Master never lets his wrath pass over a man without trying that man's substance, to see if the compound is good. Men do not realize this, nor think upon it as they ought; if they did they would be more careful never to speak against the Great Master, against his servants, against any of his kind or kindred, or against any who do his work on this earth or any other.
Brother Ebenezer, seek first the life and then the richness of that which is not life is yours, even the same blessings and powers brother Isaac anticipates enjoying. But no man can enjoy them unless he has secured to himself the life.
Our bodies are satisfied with plenty of food, and we have property around us of various kinds, which satisfies our temporal wants for the moment. But, as I told you some time since, that which lies dead dreaming does not give crowns to those with only riches of mortal desires, but passes them on to those that hold the glories of the knowledge sacred to his kind. Today we possess riches, and tomorrow they may be swept up in his great wings and leave us poor, indeed!
How long shall we continue as mortals? Come the next Sabaoth we might be dead if we possess not the life and that will be of little use if that which is not life is held, as well. We cannot trust to the certainty of our mortal experiences; they are transitory, and a dependence upon them will plunge into hopeless despair all those who trust in them. When we act upon principles which will secure us life and that which is not life, we are sure of obtaining our hearts' desire, sooner or later; if it does not come today, it may come tomorrow; if it does not come in this time, it will come in the next.
If you would contemplate the works of Great Cthulhu, and be honest and candid in your investigations, there is much to be learned that would show you how comparatively worthless are mortal things. You see the spangled vault of the starry heavens stretched over us; but you know little enough of the wonders of the firmament. Astronomers have, by their researches, discovered some general facts that have proved useful and instructing to some portions of mankind. The phenomena of the motions of the heavenly bodies, and their times and seasons are understood pretty accurately.
But who knows what those distant planets are? Who can tell the part they play in the grand theatre of the spheres? Who inhabits them, and who rules over them? Do they contain intelligent beings, who are capable of the glory, power, and enjoyments that would satisfy the mind of a servant of the Master? Who can tell these things? Can they be discovered by the light of science? They cannot.
You should seriously contemplate this subject, and let the true reason illuminate your understanding. Let the spirit of The Man in Black be your guide, and what will be your conclusions? They will be what mine are that Great Cthulhu, that most holy of high priests, reigns there; that his people are there; and that they are, or have been, earths to fulfill a similar destiny to the one we inhabit; and there is eternity; and as Curwinus of old said "Thy curtains are stretched out still." Can any of the astronomers in the world point out the kingdom or the world where Great Cthulhu reigns not? Where he does not hold ultimate sway? Can a kingdom be found by worldly wisdom, study, or by any means that can be employed, over which he does not sway his arm in terrible majesty?
If such a kingdom exists, I will acknowledge that the lessons I taught you previously are incorrect; and besides that, you will have to blot out some of the writings of the Old Books.
I wish to make an application of this, with the sayings you have been taught by Brother Isaac of late. He mentioned something of the Day of the Return. This is something I first taught concerning many years ago, and I perceive that men do not fully understand its true nature; even the most wizened of our order often have but a faint idea of the attributes of our Master and his dread Return.
Were all our Master's chiefest servants, from all walks of time on this earth and from others, as well, collected together to discuss this matter, I am led to think there would be found a great variety in their views and feelings upon this subject, without direct guidance from Lord Cthulhu. It is as much my right to differ from other men, as it is theirs to differ from me, in points of such principle, when our minds cannot at once join at the same conclusion. I feel it sometimes very difficult indeed to word my thoughts as they exist in my own mind, which, I presume, is the grand cause of many apparent differences in sentiment which may exist among the elders of the order.
What I consider to be wisdom, and the only principle of wisdom there is, is to do the will of Great Cthulhu, who lies dead dreaming in his house in R'lyeh. I do not recognize any other wisdom than to do what the Master requires of me from day to day. In this sense, this wisdom embraces everything; it branches out into every avenue of mortal life, passes through the ranks of the knowing in the heavens, and makes its throne in the breast of Lord Cthulhu. Where he commands the people, let them obey: that is wisdom.
The same principle will embrace what is called purification. When the will, passions, and feelings of a person are perfectly submissive to Cthulhu and his requirements, that person is purified in his holy order. It is for my will to be swallowed up in the will of Cthulhu, that will lead me into all glories, and crown me ultimately with timelessness and deathlessness.
In a word, if devotion to Cthulhu is not my life, I do not know that I have any. I do not understand anything else, for it embraces everything that comes within the understanding of man and all that lies beyond his usual grasp. If Cthulhu did not circumscribe everything that is in heaven, earth, and beyond, then there would be no need, no requirement for such a passionate devotion to his cause.
I will inform you how I became a member of his holy order; how the first solid impression was made on my mind. When I undertook to sound out the first inklings I had of the Cthulhu-sect, I supposed I could handle them as I could the Methodist, Presbyterian, and other creeds of Christendom, which I had paid some considerable attention to, from the first of my knowing anything about religion, or that which purported to explain the powers behind the stars and moons. For, you see, I was as Mr. Thomas Jefferson or Mr. Benjamin Franklin, a Deist. I did not adhere to any sect in particular, but was quite aware of some sort of almighty influence behind the construct, order, and eventual dissolution of our demesne. When the first shards of the Cthulhu-sect were presented to me by an associate who showed me several notes he had made from a reading of the book of the Mad Arab, and certain corresponding similarities in Tuareg manuscripts and Chaldean inscriptions, I became intrigued. All the other sects I had seen so far presented themselves to me like the man's masonry which he had hid in a box, and which he exhibited for a certain sum. He opened the main box and slipped out another, then another, and another and thus continued to take out box after box (and after collecting sum after sum!) until he came to an exceedingly small piece of wood; he then said to the spectators, "That, gentlemen and ladies, is free masonry."
I found all religions comparatively like this they were so deficient in doctrine that when I tried to tie the loose ends and fragments together, they would break in my hands. When I commenced to examine the Cthulhu-sect, I found it impossible to take hold of either end of it; I found it was from eternity, passed through time, and into eternity again. When I discovered this, I said, "It is worthy of the notice of man." Then I applied my heart to wisdom, and sought diligently for understanding, and the natural wisdom and judgment which were given me from my youth, were sufficient to enable me to easily comprehend the discrepancies and lack in the creeds of the day.
Cthulhu is all in all to me; everything else in the shape of false government and false religion will perish in due time, when Cthulhu returns again, or else the ancient and modern seers have been mistaken. If death is not destroyed, and him that hath the power of it, and every thing that follows thereunto, then much of what was written of old is exceedingly erroneous. Every kingdom will be blotted out of existence, except the one whose ruling spirit is Lord Nyarlathotep, and whose king and high priest is Great Cthulhu. Cthulhu spoke to Nephren-Ka of old in a dream, "Arise, and go down to the potter's house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words. Then I went down to the potter's house, and behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hands of the potter: so he made again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it." The clay that marred in the potter's hands was thrown back into the unprepared portion, to be prepared over again. So it will be with every man and woman who does not use wisdom properly, who uses it to get worldly gain instead of seeking after what is to come with that which is not life. So it will be with every selfish man and woman, and every nation of these, every kingdom, every government on earth, sooner or later; they will be thrown back to the native element from which they originated, to be worked over again, and to be prepared to remain in some sort of an eternal state of servitude.
Then where will be their glory their lands their silver and gold their precious diamonds and jewels and all their fine pictures, and precious ornaments?
In the hands of those who have that which is not life.
Will the foolish, the selfish, the seekers of the world inherit them?
No; they will be disinherited.
I do not wonder at the ancients marveling at the wickedness and unbelief of the general populace. I do not wonder at the words of Tsathougga, which apply to the people generally as well now as then, when he said, "O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that which the books have spoken." This generation are seeking eagerly after that which will perish in their hands; they are madly rushing forward, hazarding their eternal all, to secure transitory possessions, which, when they think they have obtained them, are not fully satisfactory; they have grasped at the walls of an airy phantom, and sacrificed an enduring substance. How foolish, in the eyes of the truly intelligent, the pursuits of the selfish appear. They set their hearts and affections upon that which is not durable, seeking happiness where misery and all its attendant effects are sure to be realized. Tsathougga said to his worshippers when he was about to return from whence he came, "These things I have spoken unto you, that in wisdom ye might have power. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of stern mind; ye have overcome the world."
Who wishes to overvalue earthly things as they are now constituted? They are made to be changed, they are subject to decay. But the earth will not be utterly destroyed; the elements of which it is composed will not be annihilated, but they will be changed. Neither shall those be consumed who can abide the day of Great Cthulhu, and stand in his presence. The earth in that great day shall be renovated cleansed from filth and wickedness purified from dross, sanctified, and prepared for the habitation of the keepers of the Starry Wisdom.
On the other hand, the wicked shall be consumed with the spirit of his mouth, and destroyed by the brightness of his coming, then reformed and destroyed again and again until reformed in a vessel that can offer servitude commensurate with its owner's discipline and knowledge. The earth will be made pure for Cthulhu and his kind, and fit for them to handle. It is the misapplied intelligence that is given us that makes all the mischief on the earth. That intelligence is designed to carry out the purposes of his will, and is endowed with capabilities to grow, spread abroad, accumulate, and endeavor to enjoy greater powers, glories, and honors, and to continue to expand wider and wider, until eternity is comprehended by it; if not applied to this purpose, but to the groveling things of earth, it will be taken away, and given to one who has made better use of this gift of God.
I say again "Seek ye first the life, and then that which is not life," and in due time, no matter when, whether in this year or in the next, in this life or the life to come, "all these things (that appear so necessary to have in this world) "shall be added unto you." Everything that is in heaven, on the earth, and in the earth, everything the most fruitful mind can imagine, shall be yours, sooner or later. I wish you would square your life according to what has been said to you to-day, especially while I am gone.
I wish to say to you, Ebenezer, while I am gone from you for a season, let your conduct and conversation be such as becometh your profession in all things. I hope I shall not hear of drunkenness, confusion, and quarrelling when I return. I am never afraid of it when I am here, for I can manage you and other characters so completely that you and they do not think it worth while to begin. While I am gone, behave yourself. I will give you the same sermon I gave the Williams brothers a week ago, viz., "Walk uprightly." When I return, and find you have done this, all will be well; if you have violated this counsel, you may expect to be chastised. Let it be said when I return, "All is right; all has been peace; and good order has prevailed in your absence."
I wish to say a few words about the people in this city that profess to follow Magna Mater. I counsel you to keep away from their houses; let them alone, and treat them as courteously as you would any other person. Do you enquire whether I have any grounds for giving this advice? I answer, I have. For you are not a man who knows when to stop, should you find yourself engaged in a contest with one of that class of people, therefore let them alone entirely. Those individuals are disagreeable to me, and so are their doctrines. The woman they hold up is so low and degraded in her spirit, feelings, and life, I have not the patience to hear anything said about her. I have known her too long, and too well, not to be satisfied of the wickedness of her heart.
You say you wish to do right, and honor the Master in all your actions; but were I to adopt an evil practice, the greater portion of this community would follow it. Why not follow me in doing right? Righteousness and purity of purpose, in whomsoever found, will never lead you astray; while wickedness will lead you to ruin. No man following Nyarlathotep and honored with his spirit can for a minute believe the writings of the priestesses of the groves. If it were possible, their system is more foolish than the exhibition of free masonry I have referred to.
I wish you to understand, that what has been said here touching Magna Mater, her priestesses, her worshippers, and their views, has been with no other design than to cause them to use their tongues as they ought, and cease abusing me and the true followers of the Master. Some of them visited me yesterday, and wished to know if it was safe for them to stay here. I told them they were as safe as I was, if they did not undertake to make us swallow something we are not willing to take. "We are an old and tried people," said I, "and if corrupt people stay in our midst, they have got to use their tongues properly." They promised they would, if they might stay.
If they wish to live here in peace, I am willing they should, but I do not wish them to stir up strife. I never expected this town to be composed entirely of people that follow the Master, but I expected there would be weeds among the wheat, until the great day of cleansing arrived. I do not look for anything else, but I wish them to behave themselves in their sphere, also the wheat; and let the weeds be associated with their weedy companions, and not endeavor to disturb the equanimity of the wheat in their field.
This comparison will apply to you, the others of our community, and those women. If they wish to labor, and obtain a living, they are welcome to do so; but they are not at liberty to disturb the peace of their neighbors in any way; neither let you disturb them, but grant them every privilege claimed by, and belonging to, American citizens. Let them meet together a-whoring in their groves; this is their own business. Let them do as some did in a gathering in Illinois one man met another there and said, "How do you do? How are they getting along in the grove, there?" "Why they are serving god like the very devil," was the reply. And the Ashtorites may serve their god like the devil, if they will keep out of my way, and out of the way of this people.
The women who visited me yesterday, stated that they believed Cthulhu was a true Master, and that they truly did follow after his ways; indeed they seemed to have in them an extra charge of the Master's blood. I asked one of them if they had any confidence in the Bestowal Ritual. She confessed she had no faith in it. I then asked her if she did not think that the Master was a bit of a fallen god. Her reply was "I rather think he is."
When a man throws a stone at me, and with it dashes his own brains out, I have nothing to say. She called herself a full-blooded worshipper of Great Cthulhu, and almost in the same breath declared Cthulhu was a fallen god, and that she had no faith in the Bestowal Ritual.
How is it in reality with those women of Magna Mater? Why they have not a particle of faith either in Great Cthulhu or the teachings of the Old Books. I told one of them, who professed to be so honest, that she wanted Cthulhu to rise from the deep that moment and consume her, that not five years would pass away before she would be cursing, and swearing, and proclaiming blasphemously against every thing which she ought not to rail against.
They do not know what they believe, neither do they know what they have received; they think they know all about it; they think they know that you are out of the right way, and that they are walking in it. When they say we are going to be destroyed by the judgments of their god, it is to me like the crackling of thorns under the pot.
There are others that are apostate from Great Cthulhu, and they are a perfect abomination among men. I reserve particular vituperance for the Ashtorites, who so undermine a pure faith in Cthulhu with their calls to enjoy the flesh. They do not seek the life and that which is not life, but death itself. They have done nothing but apostatize and pervert the ways of the Master into getting gain and pleasures. They will destroy our work, if given the chance. They cannot do anything without money, money, money!, which is but one of their lost gods. They wish to sour, corrupt, and desecrate with apostasy every one of us they come in contact with. They will swell themselves with food, drink, and licentiousness until they can move no more from the fat around their bellies and the diseases rotting their insides, dying as they entice those who seek life and that which is not life to join in their unrighteous revelry. They seek our overthrow that they might never have to face a ris'n Cthulhu: but, ah! Cthulhu shall be ris'n, indeed, and he shall judge them with all his consuming fires and ways, and they shall pass through each until they can finally find a form in which they can abide his wrath.
Brother Ebenezer, you are on the right track; be strong in your ways and heed not those who would call you over with their siren calls, that you might be dashed upon their rocks, where they can consume you whole. Should we forsake all in the pursuit of life and that which is not life, we should lose nothing; for the man who honors the laws of Cthulhu cannot suffer loss.
The very laws which govern eternity are planned to sustain an eternal growth, gathering together and increasing; so that the true servant of Cthulhu cannot possibly suffer loss, but will reap eternal gain, though he, for the cause of purity, is modest and reserved as he tarries in his life and that which is not life. He has made the truth his theme; and what is it? I will say it is that which endures; it is eternity and its power is to grow, increase, and expand, adding that which is not life to life, and power to power, worlds upon worlds, aeons beyond time without end.
May The Man in Black guide you,
Burton Yeardley had spoken of things that seemed of religion as if they were true. Given his experiences, as evidenced in his knowledge of the type I was studying, I myself began to wonder if they really were true. If they were, the things hinted at in this letter were of far graver consequence and implication than anything I had studied thus far. For, if true, then the collective state of humanity was beneath and beyond any pity. I now studied and practiced this new science even further than before, in earnest effort to discover if there were some other foundation and controlling force than what Yeardley described.
As I did so, I continued to scry, although no longer on my manager. Where I looked I cannot explain to anyone that has not seen through the window-thing as I have, but suffice to say that I found Burton Yeardley, as I knew I would. Where I found him was not important: what mattered was that I did find him. What mattered more was that he was awaiting me, hand and arm outstretched, as in the dreams.
Burton Yeardley and I had much to discuss. We did not speak, as it was not necessary for either of us to rely on that mode of communication. We communicated in a way I am at a loss to explain. Suffice to say that it used methods persons aware of their own multidimensional nature would find very natural and efficient. The conversation was very direct, with nothing hinted at: all was either stated directly, or not at all. I shall attempt to transcribe what he discussed:
BURTON YEARDLEY: Welcome.
ME: Why did you draw me to you?
BY: You are one like me.
ME: I do not want to be like you.
BY: Nevertheless, you are. You understand (the spaces beyond our usual ones). You are here in them.
ME: I did not kill to get here.
BY: Killing is no great ill: this you will learn.
ME: (I questioned him)
BY: Only the small body is lost in the killing action and the blindness is ended at that point. That person shall get the small body again, and it shall be purified until it can withstand the wrath of Great Cthulhu. No wrong is done in using a small body of a dull mind that will be purified perhaps a thousand times, perhaps ten thousand times.
ME: (I express outrage)
BY: Your concern for the dull-minded is foolish. You cannot save them. They shall be purified and their small body used for the purposes it was formed. You are one like me, which is why you are here. You use your large body well, as I do. You may join me, if you choose.
ME: I do not choose.
BY: You shall withstand the purification, nonetheless. You can have so much more by joining me. I have the life and that which is not life.
ME: I do not want that which is not life. Explain more why you say I am like you.
BY: Your mind is not dull. The man you helped months ago has a dull mind and deserves to be cast aside as all the others. Use him, if you will, in joining me, should you choose to do so.
ME: You speak as all this you practice is right.
BY: It is neither right or wrong, but my right to practice as one having a mind that is not dull. You and I know the truth of the worlds and the spaces. We are of those that shall master them all, while others shall be burnt a thousand times and be servants to us and Great Cthulhu.
ME: I do not want servants or to inherit along with Great Cthulhu.
BY: Then you shall be servantless, and your works prosper accordingly. You are stubborn and foolish in that respect. What will happen will happen. It is the way, and cannot be prevented.
ME: (I realize the general truth behind his statements.)
BY: You seek to find a "good" behind all this (word for the great spaces of beyond our normal experience). So do others. I know of no such, but you are free to search. I know of Great Cthulhu and you will know of him, too, whether you search for "good" or not. He has that which is life and that which is not life and gives freely to all those who seek. He holds watch at the Great Point, and the Gate shall let him into his small body again, where he can do the works mightier than ever before.
(At this point, we embarked on a general discussion of things of these spaces. What I learned under Burton I cannot explain fully: much of it is impossible to understand to persons who have not yet had a mainbody experience and are used to experiencing only smallbody sensations. Nevertheless, I shall try to go into some detail about what I came to know.
As I said before, our usual bodies are but three-dimensional intersections of a much larger main body that cannot be sensed with the senses pertaining to the three-dimensional body, or smallbody. The mainbody extends outward in many directions from the smallbody and can contact other mainbodies in ways the smallbody can be made more sensitive to. Intelligence is generally a function of how sensitive one is to impressions in the otherspaces, where the mainbodies reside.
Although existence is possible without a smallbody, it is brutish and dull in such a state. Precisely why this is so is difficult to explain, but I can say that there are certain advantages available to a smallbody intersecting with this particular threespace, especially at this particular point, in the general area around our sun. We are generally completely unaware of what added powers and abilities are available to denizens of planets near to our sun, but they are there and beings of great powers came here to be able to access and leverage those boons.
Humanity was created to take advantage of a great host of lesser intelligences in the otherspaces that could be assembled to do works not only for themselves, but for the beings of great powers. The human body was made so that it could be a prime candidate both for working the rituals and operations necessary to bring about certain great effects and deeds, as well as being of the proper form to allow the success of certain sacrifices that would unleash energies that could be channeled into those very same effects and deeds. Our hands, legs, and voices are optimal for working those effects from our threespace position of strength, and, once aware of them, our mainbodies can exploit the effects the smallbody can bring into being.
I learned how certain syllables and motions with both the smallbody and the mainbody could control and manipulate others. I learned that words are terribly powerful, especially when spoken by the mainbody-aware. I found I could say something would happen and, as I visualized it, my mainbody was able to manipulate things so that that very thing would indeed happen. Other times, I found that that would happen on an unconscious level: things of the mainbody world were becoming second nature to me. Yeardley confirmed this as my natural growth and encouraged me to grow and experience further the things of the otherspaces.)
Our conversation turned from education to ethics, though:
BY: You should receive more powers by way of the Bestowal Ritual. You are ready for it.
ME: I want no part of such a thing. (I stated this unequivocally. I had an idea of what I could gain, but could not bring myself to shed blood, even for such wondrous boons.)
BY: Then you would let children die?
BY: You profess to do good. Spy further on that dullard you aided those months ago before I contacted you. I will contact you once you have done that and learned more of his despicable ways.
With that, the conversation ended. I withdrew from the otherspaces (which is a word I shall use here on out to represent the spaces beyond our typical ones), and thought long and deeply about what Burton Yeardley had revealed to me. The cycle of destruction and slavery that would eventually come to pass was troubling, and the callousness of men like Yeardley toward the lesser intellects of the world all the more troubling. What made me tremble most, though, was the common bond between Yeardley and myself. He was absolutely right that I was like him. Of the billions of people who could never hope to understand my descriptions of otherspaces, Yeardley not only understood, but experienced them as well. He would never call me insane or mad when I tried to speak of the things his books had taught me and led me to discover. He was, in quite a few respects, a kindred spirit.
I felt then that what he had done was unpardonable, but my feelings were shifting away from judging him conventionally. Taking the lives as he had done so many times was wrong, indeed, but I felt that it was becoming more of a minor issue, as the persons he selected were exactly those who were already doomed to a near-eternity of painful deaths as they were purified in the return of Cthulhu, those for whom another death was a mere pittance compared with what lay ahead of them.
What outraged me was the purity of his evil. He sought not a return to the garden, but to vault himself above God, as Arthur Machen discussed once before. He was no sinner in his evil, no base creature that could be taught wrong from right and dissuaded from the wrong. He was cold and rational, cunning and calculated: he had done the things necessary to acquire an existence I desperately wanted, but that which I was absolutely determined to never attain through the methods he had used. He had secured his own salvation from repeated death and servitude, and then some. The mark of Cain was clearly evident in his countenance; he had murdered to get gain, and the greater evil was in what he had gained than in who he had murdered.
His pursuit of evil was relentless. As you saw in his letter to "Ebenezer", he was a purist, not dallying in the pleasures of "the small body", but seeking ever after the greater glory. He had nothing of the animal or beast in him, but was as innocent of those qualities as he could manage. I myself sought such a purity and simplicity of life, and felt I had much to learn from him in that regard, even if I did not wish to be as completely evil as he.
His charge to me, though, was puzzling. As soon as I withdrew from the otherspaces, I began to scry for my manager, to see what he was doing. I discovered him sleeping on his bed at home in a very unsinister fashion. I knew Yeardley had a purpose in telling me to watch him, so I resolved to view his activities from day to day, to see why exactly Yeardley wanted me to do so.
It was several weeks later at the end of October, when I had almost given up on the effort, when I saw the horrors Yeardley had alluded to in his last discussion with me. My manager was involved now in the deeper ceremonies of the Ashtoreth-Baal cults and was about to participate in the sacrifice of a child.
I could not allow this. Even if that child was to grow into a more villainous murderer than Hitler, it was innocent at that moment and every fiber in me screamed that it was wrong for such an innocent to face such an evil end; as my rage increased, however, it lost much of that coloration and instead became based upon the fact that it would be such a waste of a potential intelligence that could become as I was.
My rage against evil turned to indignant wrath against wasteful, foolish thugs! I wasted no time in reflection on this change, not then, and not for long afterward. My white-hot anger led me along as I lashed out against the hapless worshippers in their grove. My mainbody was strong from much exercise: this I put to good use in striking blind many of those there that had begun to see in the otherspaces some pitiably small amount. They shrieked with fear and anger as they lost their ability to see in the world I struck from. Next to go were their mainbody appendages of motion: they shrieked with fear and agony as they were frozen in otherspaces, unable to move in emotive or creative ways, unable to work what they knew simply as magics and what I had mastered as effects of reasoned science and study.
As the main priests and priestesses stood transfixed, the general worshippers ran about in confusion: I struck them, as well. Many fell in shocked, gibbering piles as parts of their bodies they had never known of made themselves manifest by excruciating pains no salve or balm could cure. The child I then rescued and placed at the door of an orphanage far from the hellacious scene, and I prompted the keeper of the orphanage to rise and tend to the drugged infant that would soon arouse from his evil stupor.
The child and his intelligence safe, I returned to the grove and continued lashing terribly those that yet remained. My fury was unstayed against the frivolous wasters of substance, the sybaritic fools that thought salvation came from sexual excesses and animalistic rites of prodigal expenditure, both of material and spiritual substance. I hated them for their being wrong. I hated them for their being stupid and unable to rise higher than they were. I hated them for the ways they sought to bring down to their animal level those of sufficient intelligence to be their masters.
I pursued the priests and priestesses with particular ferocity, lashing and beating them so soundly, I began to roar from beyond with mighty power. I smote the chief priestess, an old, wrinkled, fat woman, barely able to move, unto her very death: as her mainbody collapsed and the last vestiges of her existence passed through her smallbody lips, she cried out, Ebenezer! and fell dead to the killing ground.
In a flash, I knew who she had cried to and that it was the very Ebenezer who Yeardley had lectured in his letter from over a century ago. This man had fallen and had brought many others with him, many others that could have been true masters of the worlds and beyond. My hatred mounted against this traitor to purity and intelligence, mounted higher than I have ever hated before and I entered my mainbody into the threespace at his place of standing and strangled and crushed the life out of him with appendages he knew only too well the nature of. That he did not practice well enough to use his own was not my fault. He was an apostate, neutered perversion and his destruction was justified.
I then moved on to the rest of the lesser priests and worshippers. They were all still alive, albeit dazed and pained. I decided in my seething fury that they would not survive the night intact. Reaching outwardly with my mainbody, I pulled their heads one by one into the otherspace. There, the shock of the new surroundings brought every one of them to and they did scream. They saw nothing except less than nothing full of chaos and they all screamed. Their smallbodies struggled to no avail in the threespace; their mainbodies flailed about blindly and dumbly in the otherspace realm, terrifying their owners with their shades and outlines. They all were screaming into the abysses of the deathspaces that loomed ahead of them and I screamed back at them with ferocity and triumph. Some few revelers, my manager among them, had escaped the massacre, but most died that night as I watched their screams subside into the nothingness about them.
With this final annihilation, I ended my wrath and returned to my proper places. My rage subsided and I felt strong; very, very strong.
As I rested, I recalled a folk idiom from long ago. It said that whippoorwills would gather outside the window of a dying person and chant in unison with the breaths of the dying. If they caught the last breath in their chant, his soul was theirs and they would cry in triumph. If not, they would disperse quietly without any further ado. I felt something like the victorious whippoorwills.
The Ashtorites had been slain at a place of powers. I had reaped the benefits of their deaths unconsciously. Their expiated life forces had been harvested by my mainbody cleanly and efficiently and I had grown yet more powerful in my abilities with such boons. I was the true master, and they had all feared me as they were crushed and shredded.
I called out to the ghouls in the area for them to come and have their feast on the Ashtorites' bodies. I knew no criminal investigation would result from my actions, nor would anyone believe what had happened if they saw it even with their own eyes. The Ashtorites had even died screaming and unknowing of what had slain them, or why.
Personally, I felt no guilt or regret at the time. Rather, I felt tired, but strong. I also felt right. I felt very powerful. As I rested, though, I came to a cold realization. I had been manipulated.
My realization came from perceptions I cannot explain to you: suffice to say that I had noticed and become aware of Burton Yeardley's hand in all this from the beginning. He had prompted my manager to be interested in the devil-cults of Polynesia, had placed the books in our paths, introduced himself to me, perhaps even tempted my manager into touching the otherspaces and getting involved in the Ashtoreth cult where his traitorous former student presided over the other eunuch priests.
And this, all on my behalf? Yes, it was so. Yeardley wanted me to join him and I was almost already there. I was seriously considering using my worthless manager as my sacrificial victim for my own Bestowal Ritual. Why not? After all, he was ready to waste perfectly good intelligences on his own pleasures and ignore the discipline required to be truly great. He would die millions of times on the Day of Return, if not billions. I hated him, he was despicable and he deserved to die. Why not then profit from his death if I was already going to kill him, anyway?
Realizing all this had been done for me made me feel flattered and obligated to Burton: I felt no hesitation or suspicion, and neither should I have felt so. He had manipulated things on my behalf out of a desire to see me fulfill my potential. He had no need for me to do his work in his place: he was much more capable than I and needed no help. Rather, it was our commonality, our intelligences which drew us together, with him being my master, my teacher. I felt honored to have been chosen as his student. After coming to this realization, I decided to make my manager become my sacrifice.
At that point, I stopped cold. Some remaining vestige of human morality activated itself and caused me to be shocked at what I had done. I was murderous, contemplating even further evil. My motivations were not honorable; I sought to kill to get gain, courting the mark of Cain I feared and loathed so in Burton Yeardley.
And yet, I felt an overpowering urge to destroy my manager and the other surviving Ashtorites to prevent them from harming another child, whether out of compassion for children or hatred of wastefulness, the motive was equally strong. At the very least, I would have to prevent them from doing anything further. I decided to capture them and restrain them as I considered what to do to them ultimately.
But how would I do it? I had several rooms in my house that were not heavily used: I emptied one of them into the others and prepared that room as a cell. I fortified the doors and strengthened the walls. I put bars and exterior shutters on the room's lone window and replaced the panes with unbreakable Plexiglas. To further restrain the Ashtorites, I acquired steel chains, ropes, and sedative drugs. I was not overly concerned with other things, such as feeding them or tending to their toiletries, as they were definitely going to die. The question was whether or not I would kill them for gain or kill them purely to remove them as a threat to others. This required time to puzzle through, and I did not want my foes to use this time to prepare any defenses against me. I had the momentum of the attack, and intended to press my advantage to the fullest.
There were five, including my manager, who had survived the horrors I inflicted upon the Ashtorites. I scried for them, one by one and discovered where they had each retreated to. I then set about capturing them.
A part of me feels like I should not be proud of what I did, that I should not even speak of those things I did, but that part is small compared to what inside and around me wants to boast of the triumphs I attained that night. Regardless of what happened thereafter, I struck with a diligence and a fury that was pure and clear. I smile even now as I recall the terrible ruthlessness I had in my pursuit of those wastrels.
I rather enjoy mulling over the terrors I brought to them. They thought they had escaped them in the grove, but I showed them that escape is impossible when one is in flight from a master of the otherspaces.
The first one was a small fellow, a nondescript, balding chap who was perhaps a new initiate to the ways of Ashtoreth. I did not pity his poor judgment, though, as I drove to his home to abduct his smallbody for incarceration in my sealable room. I strode up to his door and tried it. It was locked.
The fool! This was no obstacle! I bellowed with all my voices and destroyed the door in front of me with a powerful thrust from one of my countless mainbody appendages. The splinters from the door exploded all about and I heard, quite faintly, his low shriek from a back room.
I did not even bother walking at this point. I dispensed with the illusion that I depended on my smallbody for motion in the threespace and moved in a manner you might consider flight-like through his house. I felt my eyes and skin begin to glow in a strange manner and I remember baring my teeth in an animal grimace of triumph. He cowered in a bedroom closet and I ripped away the door and the clothes between him and me. As I did so, I manifested more of my mainbody so that I looked like a body floating in space with many writhing tentacles and pseudopodia in disjointed spaces nearby. It must have been a most terrible thing to see, and he screamed himself into a state of shock at my terrible presence.
I bound his smallbody up and incapacitated his mainbody. I knew that he would never move again, for, regardless of whether or not I killed him for my gain, he would die through the actions of my hands and other killing appendages.
I placed him in my car and drove to the next house, where two minor priestesses had fled to. These sacred whores of Magna Mater were busy chanting away for protections they would never receive. Feeling ever more bold, I strode directly through the outer wall of their house, glowing brilliantly white and lightning-like as I dissolved the spaces about me.
One pulled out a gun and began firing, but the bullets had more dimensions to contend with than the three she knew of. Although her aim was almost dead-on for normal threespaces, the bullets merely hurtled off into the unknown reaches of spaces beyond her miniscule comprehension.
And then I struck. My mainbody appendages felt strong and good as I beat them both into submissive unconsciousness. I knew that they would never attend another sacrifice of a child and I reveled in knowing that in a small way, I had made the world a more fertile ground for intelligence and knowledge. Bound up, they both soon were in my car and I had but one visit left, to the home of my manager, where the last two objects of my hunt were.
I reserved a particular wrath for my manager and was glad he was to be the final one to fall. The woman that was with him, however, had to go before him. She was a weak thing, and I did not even bother to leave the car before I took her. I smashed the large window in the front of the house and grabbed her whole with mainbody tentacles and pulled her to the car as my manager watched in stunned horror. It was easy enough to bind her and suppress her screams, leaving me free to concentrate on taking my manager down.
He stood there in plain sight in front of his smashed window, dumbfounded and terrified. He was all the more incredulous when he saw me walking up to that breach, recognizing me finally. I did not manifest any of my mainbody parts this time, wanting to save them for a final moment of terror.
My mainbody began to grasp his, though, crushing, breaking, and cutting it with all the remorseless cunning I could summon. His smallbody began to writhe and twitch uncontrollably in response to the pains I inflicted upon him. I then told him how much of a fool he was and how he had been but a pawn in my education. I told him how much I despised and hated him and how there was an exceptionally good chance I would savor the moment of his death as I ushered him into deathspace.
He struggled to work his way away from me, crawling in agonized slowness, and I merely stepped closer and closer, relishing every moment of his ineffective retreat. He could not lift himself up or respond to my actions in any way I did not allow. He was my toy in every sense of the word, much as a wounded small creature can be for a domestic cat.
Finally, he backed himself up against a corner in his living room. He looked ready to actually try to struggle, but I wanted him to be hopeless as I took him captive. I concentrated and worked an effect, and then he fell through the wall into the next room. Like an automaton, he inched his way toward the back wall in that room.
I worked another effect and floated his smallbody in the threespace, supporting it by means quite impossible to explain to the uninitiated. I watched delightedly as he twisted and flailed about, panic-stricken and without any means of protection from any direction available to him. I did not consider it a pity at all that the bore was about to receive something that would allow his conversations to become all the more interesting immediately prior to a time in which he would never speak again.
I grabbed his head with my mundane hands and smiled. I gazed deeply into his eyes and saw the depths of terror that lay within. I then forced open his one remaining ocular organ on his mainbody to behold my splendid and terrible true manifestation. All he could do was to open his mouths, all of them, in silent screams.
He had now seen the most bewildering sight of his worthless life. I now felt the need to make him understand what it was he saw. I said nothing verbally, but spoke to him from beyond the threespace in a manner that sounded quite like the sounds that came to us that night in mid-May. What he heard I cannot put down here, but I know it increased his horrors a thousand fold.
I then blinded his last otherspace eye and spoke simply to him. I told him that he was going to die very soon and that I would kill him. I told him that the manner of his death would be nothing at all like how he was going to die perhaps a billion times over on the Day of Returning. He hung there, exhausted, beaten, entirely submissive. I bound him up and placed him in my car, with the other four writhing Ashtorites.
As I drove them to my house for their final dispositions, I still struggled in thought whether or not to kill them for gain or to just kill them.
And so, I brought them to my home and hung them from the ceiling in my newly-made dungeon, bound tightly all around, almost like a spider's prey in a cocoon of silk. Their sustenance and the maintenance of their wastes had not been a concern of mine before, as I thought I would arrive at the proper decision on how best to kill them quickly.
Unfortunately, I did not get to that decision with any speed at all. I have been able to keep them alive for some time now, but I do not know how much longer I can keep them in their current state before they expire.
Were I to kill them simply to have the world done with them for the time being, their expiration would be of no great consequence. But if I am to gain from their deaths by using them as part of my own Bestowal Ritual, I must keep them until such a time as is proper to enact the Ritual.
I have already left my former employer and I work quietly for a business downtown, where I am treated quite well. The people there are quite pleasant, and they renew certain of my humane morals, making it difficult for me to want the Bestowal Ritual.
And yet, as the Yule approaches, I sometimes desire to just abandon my foolish moralities and free myself in the glories of the very ritual that used to disgust me so! With five sacrifices, my powers from that ritual would be great, indeed, and I would be all the more apt and willing as a pupil for the great Burton Yeardley. Regardless of what may be right or wrong, I would have the powers I need to acquire the life and that which is not life and thereby secure my position for the eternities.
And what of those eternities? Should I sacrifice them for allowing mortals here a decent end? Should I sacrifice myself for a humanity that, unable in general to rise to its potential, is beneath pity? You, my imagined audience of persons that, through their limited experiences, would label themselves normal and me and my kind as insane, would have me fetter myself to your definitions of good and evil and work for the common good of all.
Truth be told, I only care for the intelligent. Every day, when I check on the strength of the bonds that hold my five captives, I hate them all the more and long all the more to be with others like Burton, to find them and bring them to an awareness of what they might become.
And yet, the simple people at my new job, many genuinely kind and caring, make me wish as I did before, that there was some other way to progress through the eternities. Even my mainbody feels these things, a yearning to perhaps pity those that are more innocent, dull and stupid though they may be. I do not prefer their company, but I feel that they do not deserve an infinitude of deaths, either.
Perhaps were I to go through the Bestowal Ritual, I would find a means by which they need not be destroyed countless times along with the cads and base animals of men.
At any rate, I would be saved from their fate by going through with the ritual.
I thought that writing this account would help me to decide what to do. In all the days it has taken me, though, it has only left me reflecting over what I had done, sometimes with unease and other times with unearthly pride. I hope that I can arrive at a decision prior to the Yule, given that there is almost no better time to carry out the Bestowal, should I choose to take that route.
I just looked over the last statement I wrote. I went back to the dungeon to see the bodies there awaiting their demise. I gazed again into the abysses of the otherspaces. I have reflected for the last time on whether to embrace humanity or abandon it. My path is now clear. I write the next sentence just to reaffirm the decision these things caused me to make.
I know exactly what I shall do.