Interlude I: The Liferuiner
I'm an irredeemable monster cast aside by the Avatars into a Hell of my own making. I wanted to make this corner of Doomwood that no one dares tread beautiful. I wanted a life of luxury for my work. What kind of person...what kind of mother am I? My own son. Sacrificed for my own selfish desires.
There was a knock on Lagretta's door, interrupting her morning ritual of preparing breakfast for her son and weeping for her son and her sins.
Lagretta wiped her eyes and tried to make herself appear presentable, her red eyes betraying her should whoever was at the door care enough to notice. Despite her work for the town of Dunwich, no one came to visit her. She crafted an appearance and story for herself to try and conceal her guilt from the world around her, but the reality is she only tried to convince herself she was a respectable individual within the Dunwich community in spite of her flaws.
When she opened the door, a man stood outside. His attire looked like he would be more suited for an event being held at the castle in Swordhaven rather than Dunwich. His face was hard to describe. It was quite plain with no real discernible features, but whenever Lagretta was no longer looking at it even if she so much as blinked, it was like looking at it for the first time.
She recognized the man's clothing from the night when she summoned the creature that feeds on the life of her son, but his face seemed new to her as it did whenever it was no longer in sight.
"Good morning, Lagretta," the man said. "May I speak with your guest?"
"My...oh, right. Are...are you here to get rid of it?" Lagretta asked, hopeful, her eyes beginning to tear up.
"Oh no, I'm afraid I can't do that. That is between you and it. I'm here on other matters," the plain faced man in the formal clothing said almost gleefully.
His words hurt Lagretta more than her own actions hurt her.
"Right..." she said, defeated.
Lagretta led him through her home and into the shop to the room where her son and the monster were kept. Unlocking the door, she let him, but did not follow.
A horrifying hiss and a wail soon followed. The man came out of the room soon after.
"Now's your chance, but I will tell you, it's not in the best mood right now. I'll see myself out."
As the man left the shop, Lagretta took a deep breath. Today was the day, she was going to die.
Chapter XI: The Next Morning
What was that dream...that nightmare about? It was so vivid like it actually happened. What if all that stuff in the attic in my nightmare is actually there? Should I look? What if that thing is up there too? And what did it mean by "In your dreams, I walk with you?"
Robert woke up feeling rested for the first time since he came to Dunwich. Frightened and covered in sweat, but rested. The apothecary's tea had worked.
In the bathroom mirror, the dark circles around his eyes were still visible, but a couple more nights of sleep with the aid of that tea should fix that. He thought of the nightmare he had the night before and the bag of the same tea that must have belonged to his grandfather. He needed to know more, but didn't know where to begin. His parents insisted they didn't know, but what if they were hiding something? And he didn't have a name to even ask anyone in town.
He picked the letter from home off the floor, the words legible to him and reassuring. The idea of his parents coming to visit was reassuring. He'd be sure to write back after work.
After breakfast, Robert went outside where he saw a peculiar sight not like that of what he saw in the nightmare. The flowers that decorated the exterior of the vacant house next to his had withered and died as did the one's outside of Abigail's house where Abigail was at work pulling the dead flowers from the earth.
Abigail stood up to wipe the sweat from her brow, smearing dirt across her forehead in the process. Robert figured she must have woken up quite early when she noticed him, forcing a smile.
"Good morning, Robert."
"...Good morning, Abigail. What um...happened to the flowers?"
"I don't know. I just woke up this morning and the flowers inside were all withered and dead. I'll have to go see Lagretta when I'm done here."
"I'll be there to give you hand when you come by," Robert said cheerfully.
Abigail smiled in what seemed like a long time. Robert wondered if that smile is what the sun looked like and felt content to believe that and with a farewell he set off towards Lagretta's, noticing dead flowers all around town.
A crowd was gathered outside of Lagretta's shop, Robert's first instinct telling him it was people upset over their everlasting flowers having died, but as he got closer it became apparent that was not the case.
"A set of men's clothes were found in a chair in that room she always kept locked."
"You don't think she-"
"Who cares what she did with her own time?"
"Didn't she have a son?"
"He's up north or something."
"Said she was shriveled up like a dehydrated fruit."
"You don't think it was a vampire, do you?"
"There are no vampires around Dunwich. Besides, they have to be invited in."
"That's preposterous. Where did you hear that?"
Robert tried to move through the crowd, some people moving while others he had to work around. Robert didn't even notice that distrustful looks he was getting from those who willingly moved.
"What are you doing here, kid?" an older man asked, eyeing Robert suspiciously.
"I was employed by Ms. Lagretta, sir."
"Oh? When was the last time you had contact with her?" the man asked, the suspicion never leaving his gaze.
"About this time yesterday. She told me to go home because I wasn't looking well."
"And you're still not. Who are-"
"Give it a rest, Konrad," a male voice shouts from the crowd, others speaking up in agreement.
"Eh, all right. Guess you're out of a job, kid," the man identified as Konrad said.
Robert wanted to ask more about what happened, but it definitely wasn't a good time and while he was curious, he needed to find a new job and there was the manner of what might have been in his attic and the nature of his nightmare.
As the crowd began to disperse, some people going inside the flower shop to presumably remove the body or what was being considered Lagretta's body based on the speculation of the townspeople, Robert turned to go back home, saddened by the death of Lagretta as well as not having the opportunity to aid Abigail in her floral ventures.
Chapter XII: That Afternoon
This town isn't right. Nothing like this had happened in Amityvale. What else could happen? My house is possibly haunted, strange dream, Lagretta dying. Should I just go back to Amityvale? How would I even get there? I can't fight. I doubt I could afford an escort. I don't even think there's a carriage here. Is there really anything I can do? I feel so helpless. I feel so...tired.
Robert lie in bed, thinking about what he should do. Thinking about trying to sleep, but whenever he closed his eyes the whispers began. Coherent and close by, telling him awful things. The cause of Lagretta's fate and what she did to ensure her flowers were everlasting until the guilt broke her.
His eyes snapped open as he sat up, looking around for the source of the whisper. The room was empty, only the curtains of an open window moving in the gentle afternoon breeze.
It's too early in the day to brew any of the sleep inducing tea and the idea of what kind of nightmare may come from it made him wary. It was only something he should do if he was absolutely desperate.
He thought about the nightmare. The thing in the attic. The box with the daggers. Was all of that real?
He looked at the closed door that lead to the attic and wondered if he should go look or not. Since moving in he hadn't gone upstairs at all as he spent more time on getting the main floor in order, but what if the attic had answers to his questions? Although what if the house is haunted and whatever is haunting the house is dwelling in the attic? He needed a break. He needed to think about something else.
Standing up, he went to the door, got his shoes on an walked out, feeling the gentle afternoon breeze on his skin, he began to walk. He wasn't sure where he would go, but he just wanted to be away from home for a bit.
He went by Abigail's house, a pile of dead flowers on tossed to the side of the front yard. Abigail was nowhere in sight, possibly inside taking a break or maybe in the backyard uprooting all the dead flowers there.
Robert found himself staring at the dead flowers, a feeling of sadness coming over him. What did Abigail do to deserve this? At the same time what compelled him to empathize so much with her? He understood it was perfectly normal to empathize with someone during troubled times, how he felt was beyond that.
Robert shook his head. He was standing outside Abigail's house for too long and it made him uneasy like he was becoming a stalker or even obsessed with her. Or perhaps something less off putting and sinister.
The crowd around Lagretta's had dispersed while the citizens of Dunwich went about their day, some still whispering about what the possible cause of Lagretta's death was and what the set of clothing seemingly propped in an empty room could mean.
Lagretta was respected in the Dunwich community, but even those of high standing are not immune to having rumours started about them especially once they're no longer among the living.
Robert paid no mind to the people as they gossiped, his mother having always warned him to not pay attention to such things.
He looked towards the floral shop, the various flowers that once lit up the exterior of the shop having wilted and died in seemingly no time at all. He thought of Abigail and how she may have felt upon seeing all the work she put into making her home look beautiful wasted in possibly the blink of an eye.
He thought of Lagretta. Robert barely knew her, but she was kind to him and concerned about his wellbeing in a way that reminded him of a mother. He had to keep walking to prevent himself from crying. Father always said it wasn't right for a man to cry in public although mother always disagreed and believed all people should express their emotions whenever they saw fit.
During his travels, he saw a man outside a shop with a few empty stands, sweeping the stoop. The shop was set up similar to Lagretta's, indicating the man may also live in an area separate from the rest of the shop.
The man noticed Robert and stopped sweeping.
"Damn shame what happened to Lagretta, huh?" the man said sounding far too casual in Robert's opinion.
The man looked at Robert as if he recognized him from somewhere before finally coming to a realization.
"You worked for Lagretta, right?" the man asked.
"Yes, sir. For a few days."
"Right, you mentioned that to Konrad, the old fool. Say, you're still new in town and a young man has to eat and I ain't as spry as I used to be, so how about working for me a couple of days a week?"
Robert looked at the man in surprise. "I'd be glad to, sir."
"All right. Name's Joseph, can you start tomorrow morning," Joseph asked extending a hand.
"Robert, sir. Absolutely," Robert said shaking Joseph's hand.
He was having some outstanding luck despite recent events. Luck he would hope continue while he planned out what he'd tell his parents in his next letter.
As Robert returned home, he noticed Abigail waiting outside his house. Part of him was confused and worried as he was afraid she may have noticed his staring at her house, but at the same time his heart skipped a beat. He was happy to see her, but he knew he couldn't approach her with a smile. She was probably aware by now of Lagretta's death and it wouldn't be appropriate.
He took a moment to collect himself, thinking that she's probably wondering what he's doing.
"Hello, Abigail," Robert said trying to not appear nervous.
He could feel his heart beating against his chest as if it was a caged animal desperate to escape.
"Hi, Robert. Do you um...mind if I come inside?"
Robert was startled by her question and struggled to find an answer as if choking on his words or trying to keep his heart from jumping out through his mouth.
"N-not at all."
Robert fumbled to unlock the door, apologizing as he did so before finally getting it open. The room was dark in the early evening moonlight or perhaps it was late afternoon. Time was easier to tell in Amityvale than in Dunwich.
Once Robert got a lamp lit, he asked Abigail to have a seat while he took a seat at the desk. Abigail seemed to be staring at the strange patterned carpet, possibly trying to gather her thoughts or possibly judging Robert's interior design choices.
"You heard about Lagretta, right?" Abigail asked finally breaking the silence which Robert was beginning to think wouldn't end.
"Yes. It's very tragic."
"Do you think there's anything strange about this town?"
"What do you mean?"
Robert did think there were strange things about the town, but as an outsider he felt it was best he didn't comment on them to avoid being rude simply because they weren't customs he was familiar with such as the eccentric apothecary or the seemingly misnamed courier service. Or even some of the inhabitants that reminded him of Arkham.
"Like those flowers. Most of them only grew in Surewood, but they grew here where there is no sun with no problem. And then they died in probably manner of minutes," Abigail explained, her voice uneven. "Or how Lagretta seems to have died. Some people are thinking vampires, but there hasn't been a vampire spotted near Dunwich since before I was born."
"What if one came by?"
"One normal vampire couldn't have done and there's no way a vampire elder or something would come all the way out here to attack a florist."
"You don't think it could be something else, do you?"
"I don't know. I hope not because there's no way we could contact someone to get here in time to deal with it and no one here has the skills to deal with. We don't even get bandits out here, we're so isolated. It's just- oh Avatars, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to come here to talk your ears off with my paranoid ramblings," Abigail said, looking away in embarrassment.
Robert resisted the urge to smile. She was clearly troubled, but something about her reaction made him happy. It almost made him forget the feeling of his heart trying to escape his chest.
"It's okay. Say everything you need to say."
"I came here because I uh...wanted to...um, check up on you."
Robert couldn't hide the shock in his eyes even through the bags and dark circles under and around them.
"I don't want to pressure you, but I was kind of hoping you thought about that um...dinner suggestion I made the other day."
"It's no problem. Joseph just offered me a job and I kind of started sleeping better, so how does..." he trailed offed mentally counting how many days it's been since he arrived in Dunwich coming to a conclusion at eight days. "How does five day from now sound?"
"That'd be fine. If you're still not sleeping very well, we can postpone it. You don't have to push yourself for me or anything. Oh, and congratulations of finding a new job."
"Thank you, I'll be fine."
"I'll see you later," Abigail said standing in the doorway of her home.
Robert's father always told him a man should walk a lady to her door when it came to travelling at night even in Doomwood where it was always night.
Robert wondered if his grandfather had taught his father these things or if it were someone else, but he figured he should instil the same teachings into his own son should he have one.
"I'll see you later, too. Goodnight, Abigail."
Robert felt like skipping home, yipping and hollering without a care about the other residents in the area. He was overcome with strange and wonderful feelings.
He was in love.
Chapter XIII: Day Thirteen
Today is the day I meet with Abigail. Is this a date? I wish I had talked to father about this kind of thing. It's been awhile since I've written home. Everything going on lately has been so overwhelming. I should do that after my meeting with Abigail.
Robert returned home from working at Joseph's grocer. It was a long day being quite busy and a lot of repeat customers in the sense that some people came by multiple times during the day. People who had come by multiple times the day before.
The townspeople seemed incredibly wealthy despite appearing to have no form of trade with other towns in the region. Just how did people make a living in Dunwich?
Robert counted his earnings from the last couple of days and was startled by how much money he had earned. It was far more than he made working for Lagretta and possibly far more than anything his parents had made. It was quite alarming, but his father had always told him, it was up to the next generation to live better than the previous thanks to the work put in by the previous one.
Robert realized he was getting too lost in thought over something that could wait until later. He needed to get ready and make himself look presentable. He had purchased some relatively formal looking clothing. He would have liked to bring flowers, but there were no longer any in town and he wasn't sure what else would be applicable.
Believing himself to be presentable, Robert prepared to walk out the door stopping to look over his shoulder towards the attic door.
Every night he had the same dream about going into the attic and the beaten and bloody figure saying the same words. "In your dreams, I walk with you," it would say and then he'd wake up.
It was an improvement over the whispering, but occasionally he'd still hear it when he was awake. Whispers telling him horrible things about the townspeople and how the town and its people are able to prosper as well as the fates that befell them, most recently Lagretta.
He pushed the thoughts back and stepped outside into the night's light.
The light of the full moon had a strange calming effect on him but it was still nothing like in Amityvale like a thin black sheet was pulled over the area, dimming the moon's light.
The walk to Abigail's seemed to take longer than it should have as he seemed lost in thought thinking about life back in Amityvale especially how the moon shone brighter there than it did anywhere else he had been since leaving. His parents told him of a time when Doomwood was cloaked in perpetual darkness which made him wonder just how dark this area was then.
Standing outside Abigail's door, he shook his head trying to clear these other thoughts away. They weren't important. Not now, not later.
Abigail raced through the house to get everything ready for Robert's arrival. She had never been this nervous before. From her first meeting with Robert to everything leading up to this day. She was uncertain what drew her to him. He was an outsider, but she somehow felt like she could relate to him. Maybe it had just been a long time since someone around her age was present in town after everyone else left under different circumstances.
Maybe I should do the same, she thought.
But where would she go and how would she get there? Dunwich was far away from anywhere that could even pass as normal in Doomwood let alone somewhere outside the region. Almost like the town was intentionally built faraway from anything for some sinister purpose.
Abigail shook her head trying to clear her mind. This wasn't the time for questioning her remaining in Dunwich, this was a time for joy after recent events. Perhaps even starting a new chapter in her life. Maybe one with Robert playing a major role.
She felt her face grow hot as she blushed which quickly faded when a knock on the door brought her back to her senses, startling her.
Opening the door, Abigail could see Robert illuminated by the moon's light as if standing under a spotlight. He looked different than usual, his clothing being much neater and formal than the often scrubby clothes she had seen him in usually. It was almost like looking at a different person.
"Hello, Abigail," Robert said with a smile.
Robert looked Abigail over trying to not make himself look obvious about it. His thoughts mirrored her own. From the usual scrubby attire he had seen her in multiple times when tending to her flowers to a modest blue dress. It almost reminded him of one his mother had that she said she got in Swordhaven. For a second Robert almost thought that Abigail looked a lot like his mother when she was younger.
"Hi, Robert. You um...you look very handsome," Abigail stammered feeling her face grow hot.
Robert was taken back, a blush coming over his face as well. "T-thank you. You too...er I mean-"
Abigail let out a small laugh. "Thank you. Please, come in."
The two sat in relative silence during the meal. It wasn't an uncomfortable silence, the silence occasionally being broken by idle conversation about what they thought of the town not mentioning Abigail's appearance at Robert's a few days ago.
Robert wanted to ask more about her such as how she sustains herself despite living alone and seemingly only tending to the flowers that were once outside her house, but figured it'd too intrusive.
Most of what was brought up was about Robert's experiences with the town so far which he wasn't entirely sure on how to answer for the most part. It was nice enough for the most part with friendly enough people "and best of all, I met you," Robert had said.
Abigail felt like today was the most she had ever blushed in her life, she was beginning to wonder if she had any blood in the other parts of her body left.
Abigail led Robert to the door some time later, the two mainly enjoying each others company until the world outside grew darker indicating it had been getting late although were sure how late having lost any sense of time.
"Thank you for having me over, Abigail."
"You're welcome. And thank you for coming over. We...we should do this again some time."
"I'd appreciate that. Goodnight, Abigail."
Robert turned and opened the door, stopping when Abigail grabbed his hand. He turned around to look at her, her face the brightest shade of red he had ever seen.
With a kiss on the cheek, she let go and looked away, trying to hide her embarrassment, a smile visible on the corner of her mouth. "Goodnight, Robert."
Robert felt like is heart was gonna explode from his chest as he resisted the urge to run home yipping and hollering much like he felt a few days before.
Despite its flaws and mysteries, Dunwich had been good to him. He wanted to repay the town in some way, but he wasn't sure how.
Robert entered his home, turning to close the door while butterflies flew around in his stomach to the rhythm of his beating heart, a sensation that would stop cold when he turned around and illuminated by the moonlight coming in from the window, saw someone or something kneeling on the floor of his kitchen weeping over something only it could see.
Whatever he was looking at bare an uncanny resemblance to him like he was looking at an event in his life that has yet to take place.
It looked at him, its face streaked with tears and blood. It looked exactly like Robert.
"What have I done?" the other Robert asked.
Robert stepped and stumbled back, falling to the floor.
"What have I done?" the other Robert asked again.
Robert closed his eyes and gave his head a shake, refusing to believe what he was seeing was real and when he opened his eyes, he was alone.
Chapter XIV: Prosperity
Working at the grocer has been a great opportunity. I don't know how or why, but Joseph was both incredibly wealthy and generous with his money. The townspeople are incredibly wealthy. They could all be nobles in Greenguard, but they stay in this far corner of Doomwood. It's baffling. I wonder what I could or should do with this money. I've never had this much before. I've never seen this much money before. I can't wait to tell mother and father. It's been awhile since I've written them. I bet I could find them a home anywhere in the world. I could be with Abigail anywhere in the world.
Robert concluded his work for the day, Joseph giving him his pay for the day. Joseph also had a small smile on his face whenever he saw the amazement on Robert's face whenever he got his pay.
Robert never asked how the people of Dunwich got their money. As strange as it appeared, his father always told him it was never polite to ask people about their money. Robert knew how he made his money and he knew or at least assumed it was through honest work.
On his way home, Robert saw Abigail through her window although he couldn't tell what she was doing, their eyes met and they both smiled and waved.
Robert thought of the money he had made working for Joseph. He heard adventurers often had the same if not more, but it was through days, weeks, months, or even years of travelling and going through various places slaying monsters and aiding people they come across over their travels, but he amassed such a large amount or at least large to him in only a few days.
He thought about Abigail's arrival at his home a few days ago and her questioning him about what he thought about the town.
The town was indeed strange even more so than anything that had ever happened in Amityvale, but was that so wrong? Despite the strange things that occurred in this town, there have been more positives in his life then negatives. He met Abigail and amassed what was to him a large sum of money although as his father said regarding his marriage to Robert's mother, as long as he was with her, he was wealthier than any lord or ruler.
Dear Mother & Father,
I apologize for not writing sooner, I've had a lot going on lately. I've met a really nice woman. She lives next door. Her name is Abigail and three days ago I went over to her home for dinner. It was a wonderful time. She's the first and so far only person in town I can really say is my friend.
I've also gotten a new job with a grocer and the pay is...it's unimaginable. I don't know how this is possible, but it's...almost frightening. The florist passed away and with her went the town's beauty.
Anyway, I trust you two are doing well. I hope I didn't worry you with my not writing you back sooner. I'll be sure to write back sooner next time.
Robert brewed some of the tea to aid his sleep. He remember Jackson saying to stop drinking it if the dreams got too frightening, but so far they weren't or so Robert told himself. A single spoonful was still enough for him to sleep soundly in spite of the dreams. Perhaps the next day he'd try to sleep without the tea. He thought about it, but at the same time was also too afraid of what would happen if he didn't. The voices would undoubtedly persist again.
As with every night he drank the apothecary's tea, sleep came easy to Robert, but the dream was different this time around. It wasn't his house that he found himself in. It was a palace compared to the home he was born in and the one he lived in in Dunwich.
Despite the differences, it still felt like home. But there was more to it than that. Unlike the dream that took place in his home, it didn't have the strange dark film over it like it was in an entirely different domain.
He found himself in a large bedroom in a bed big enough for two, one side looking as if someone had been sleeping there but slipped out. The room was decorated with images of landscapes of places he was certain he had never been to and likely would never travel to. The room was pleasant, but there was something unnerving about it. A shadow was cast over the room almost like a web or a bird cage.
Leaving the room he came to a short hallway with portraits of his parents and people he didn't recognize along the walls, the same web or cage-like shadow cast along the walls. The hallway led to a bathroom, a kitchen, and a living room all of which had the same shadow cast over it and in the living room was Abigail.
Abigail wore a dress he believed the noblewomen of Swordhaven wore. To him, she had never been more beautiful.
"Good morning, Robert. Did you sleep well?"
A Robert felt bashful over the implication that the person who was next to him in the bed was Abigail. Something he was certain would not happen for a long time.
"Um...Abby," Robert began the name Abby coming to him naturally. "What is all this?"
"All this? What do you mean?"
"This house, your dress, everything in this house. Where did it all come from?"
Abigail looked confused by Robert's words. "It came from you. Because of you. The fortune you've amassed through your hard work in Dunwich. It let you do what you've wanted to do. Be anywhere in the world with me away from that strange place."
"That's..." Robert took a step back, trying to wrap his head around all this. "Excuse me."
Robert turned down the hall, shaking his head and rubbing his eyes.
This is all a dream, he thought. A very real feeling and tempting dream, but still a dream.
Robert entered the kitchen. It seemed like the right thing to do, but would getting a glass of water really have the same effect in a dream as it does in reality? He didn't know and wouldn't have a chance to find out. Something was shambling down the hall, bumping into the walls.
Robert figured it was the beaten and bloody thing from his previous dreams. He was expecting it, but this was something else. Something sinister that perhaps even those within the Darkness Plain would forsake.
The thing looked as if it may have been human as its body below the neck suggested, but he couldn't see its face. Its head was turned up as if so the horrific black and tarnished gold double-edged daggers protruding from it had to be pointing straight up.
The thing bumped into door frame. Even in a dream, Robert worried about Abigail. He tried to call out to her, but couldn't. The words died in his throat.
The things head dropped to look directly at him, horribly snapping and popping noises coming from the thing as if every bone in its neck had to break in order to look forward. Robert could barely make some of its features out, the things face tarnished with black ichor like tar and dried blood, but he recognized some of its features as his own.
He backed up into the counter as the thing approached, staggering. The daggers protruding from the things eyes, but somehow it was able to walk directly towards Robert.
"I walked," the thing said in a voice Robert could never mistake for anything but his own. "All I could do was walk."
Robert tried to move out of the things path, but no matter what direction he tried to move in, the thing was always coming directly towards him. He turned around, hoping there was a window behind him he could flee from. It was his dream house after all. Whatever he could want should be present, right? His back wasn't to the thing. No matter how he move, the room seemed to move with him in such a way that it always kept him lined up with the thing.
"Finding a me that wasn't me, walking in front of myself," the thing continued.
The thing grabbed Robert by the neck, his eyes meeting the points of the daggers that still stuck out from the thing that almost looked like him but sounded exactly like him.
"The only me is me," Robert found himself saying for reasons he could not fathom.
The pain was sharp, but was soon over and before long all Robert could feel was cold as the life left his body. It was just a dream, right? None of this was real. But it felt so real. The sharp metal of the daggers as they pierced his eyes, the warmth of his blood washing down his face, the chilling touch of death. It all felt so real. The last thing he heard was the thing speaking "Are you sure the only you is you?"
Chapter XV: Insomnia
I can't drink any of that tea because of the nightmares, but I can't sleep because of the voices. I'm slipping back to how I was previously. It has to be the house, but what if it's the entire town? Abigail thinks something is wrong with the town. What if she's right? I have money, I can leave this place. Abigail and I can go anywhere and start...a...new life. Just like in the nightmare...
Joseph had commented on Robert's appearance about him looking scruffy and it overall not being a good look for working with people and even went on to recommend the local barber.
He went to the barber for a trim, but turned down a shave. Cutting his own hair and it being presentable was beyond him, but he could shave. Or so he thought having to frequently dab at his face when the razor took some skin. Robert figured he might be out of practice or his current state kept him from doing a proper job of it.
Robert let out a small hiss when his razor once again cut him. Looking for the cloth he used to dab up the blood, he could see the small hairs that had come from his face in the basin in front of him. With a gasp, he stepped back as the hairs morphed into tiny bugs and began to crawl out of the basin.
Giving his head a shake, the strange sight was no more.
Washing his face after finishing, Robert looked his face over for any missed spots or still fresh blood in the mirror, the monster from the nightmare appeared in the mirror prompting Robert to fall backwards, shaking the room and causing the mirror and the lone rusty nail it hung to fall, shattering the mirror.
Robert panted, staring at the broken glass his reflection swapping between himself and the monster from his nightmare speaking in his voice.
"The only me is me," the thing said although Robert could feel his mouth shape the words. "Are you sure the only you is you?"
Robert hadn't opened the letter from his parent that arrived the other day, having feared it would be like the last time he tried reading a letter from them in such a state, the word furorem being repeated over and over again.
He had to leave this house for a day or so. Maybe longer. Maybe even forever if it were possible. The house was haunted if not worse.
Robert walked around the neighbourhood pondering what he should do. He couldn't stay outside the entire time, but going home wasn't a good idea. Maybe get a room at the inn for a day or two?
He wasn't sure. He had been more and more uncertain about what to do and what was happening since he had come to Dunwich.
Abigail had her own concerns about the town, so perhaps he could confide in her, but was he ready to open up about his own fears and insecurities with her? He recalled the nightmare that featured him and her living somewhere away from Dunwich together, but in what way could that have any bearing on reality? He wasn't really sure how dreams worked, but he knew he wouldn't be opposed to the idea, but at the same time dreams and reality were separate things. Or at least he thought they were. He wasn't entirely sure anymore. Maybe he was never sure to begin with.
His wandering always brought him back to his home. He looked to Abigail's home, not seeing her anytime he came back home.
He hoped she was all right.
Robert finally went home once it started becoming apparent it was nighttime, the voice he had gone sometime without hearing clearly speaking of vile and abhorrent things the townspeople were doing such as Joseph and how the town was as wealthy as it was.
The voice was so clear, it sounded to Robert as if whoever or whatever was talking to him was speaking directly inside his head as if some kind of parasite had crawled in with the purpose of driving him to insanity.
Through the open door to the bathroom, Robert could see the mirror that had broken earlier had somehow been repaired and returned to its place on the wall, but upon closer inspection it appeared as if the mirror had never been broken in the first place.
"You seem upset," Robert's reflection said to him.
Robert closed his eyes and shook his trying to dispel what he was seeing. The mirror would be broken and he'd only see a fragmented reflection of himself on the floor, but when he opened his eyes, the mirror was still intact.
"You're not a child anymore. Closing your eyes and wishing for something to go away won't make it happen."
Robert nearly stumbled out of the bathroom and back into the front room repeating to himself that what he was experiencing wasn't real. He caught sight of his reflection in one of the windows.
"I assure you, this is very real," his reflection said.
Robert pulled the curtains closed and stumbled to close the bathroom door, doing everything in his power to hide from any reflective surface in sight, but it did no good. Even if he couldn't see himself, the voice inside still spoke as clear as day.
"You can't hide from your problems, Robert. You can't hide from the darkness that this town has brought upon itself."
Robert haphazardly went about the room, grabbing what few things he felt necessary. Money, his journal, and the unopened letter from his parents and fled outside, putting his back to the door as soon as it was closed. The house wasn't haunted. It was evil.
"You can run, but you'll come back," the voice inside his head said as clear as it was in the house.
Robert ran from the house and kept on running until he could no longer hear the voice and ran some more until exhaustion got the better of him and he fell to the ground. He could no longer hear the voice. Maybe it wasn't inside his head, but it was the house all along? He thought of Abigail. Would she be safe being so close to the house?
In the attic, the daggers nested in the box they had been abandoned in for many years, their shape beginning to change as the dormant spirits inside grew stronger as they fed on their new host. They were so close to being complete, but more time was needed.
Their current prey was more lively than the last one they tried to attune with. It made the process longer, but also gave them more time to wear it down and break it just right so as not to repeat the same mistake they made before.
< Message edited by NagisaXIkari -- 4/4/2019 13:57:14 >