The Worms that Walk

Two Bodies Unearthed from 2002 Fire

Fire clipping

View
"The Awful Implications"
From the journal of Theodore Atticus

My world has been shaken, and I know not where I shall go from here. As previous entries have attested, I am intent on proving there was more than met the eye at Lower Walsherham, and that, indeed, forces beyond our mortal ken up until this moment are at work, writhing in its underbelly. I embarked on this mission of discovery, nay, revelation not only so that I might restore my tattered reputation among academics, but also so that I might show the world, with all its narrow-minded, myopic fools, the forces that exist just beyond their senses. It was a noble mission of enlightenment, or so I thought.

The events that transpired at the Carruthers house have, in simple terms, rocked the foundation of my values. I realize that I was up until now much like a child playing with a gun, heedless of the awful implications of my actions. I pursued powers far greater than myself, which were beyond my control, and which I understood poorly, at best. I have now brushed up against them for the first time, and it is as though blinders have been ripped from my eyes. I am now aware at all times of an evil lurking just below the surface of my psyche. Like a bright fish swimming near the surface of a muddy pond, it occasionally passes faintly before my consciousness before sinking back down into the murky depths of my brain. The symbol of Yog-Sothoth seems branded on my vision, appearing as an after-image, a ghost, when I expect it least. These are the powers I presumed to study, as though I could have enough mastery of them and myself to call it thus.

And now I am in possession of what purports to be a recipe for resurrection, a bona fide spell. Normally, before, I would have tingled with excitement and eagerness at the prospect of finally seeing my work vindicated, but now… Now I am filled only with dread. From what I saw in that house, this is no incantation for mere mortals to handle. The feline faces that stared out at me in ecstatic agony inside that dresser did not speak to a benevolent means of circumventing the pain of death and loss. Instead, they spoke of death heaped upon more death. The old house was filled to the brim with death. It spilled from the walls, it slept under the foundations, it decayed in the rooms… I wish I could leave it alone and forget, but now I feel that I must move forward, find closure, and try to search for answers to these questions before I will be free of what I have seen. I go forth now not as the learned professor, but as the desperate prey blindly barreling forth simply to say that he has lived for that many steps more.

View
"A Terrible Sense of Purpose"
From the journal of Theodore Atticus

It seems that eldritch madness has become the norm, rather than an aberration, and the world around me seems to grow more perverse by the day. My return to the Carruthers household was one marked by trepidation, curiosity, and desperation, but I emerged from that crucible with a terrible sense of purpose. After discovering the tome of Yog-Sothoth and the journal of Walter Corbitt, I felt that I had trespassed on forbidden grounds. Like a hand burned by a candle’s flame, I mentally tore myself from my lifelong study of the occult. I had hoped, upon entering the Carruthers house, that I would be able to find some way to undo my discoveries up until then. I thought that I could perhaps pretend as though none of this had happened, and the mad cultists and demons would let me resume my life. I see now that my life is something I must fight tooth and nail to regain, for the forces of madness will assault us at any opportunity.

They seized poor Dr. Harkness while we were inside the house. Receiving a text message from him to the effect that I should come and help him decipher some strange symbols, I went to that horrid room which contained all of those mutilated cats. He proceeded to push me out of the window, and the injuries I incurred from the fall nearly resulted in my own death. Looking back, it is odd to think that I was so close to death, yet still continued to act. My own death seems a distant, alien possibility in retrospect. At the time, I’m sure it was simply adrenaline which drove me to climb down the old coal chute as a way to escape the man I was sure was out to murder me, and to seek refuge with Officer L’Angelle and young Jeffrey. I’m sure I must have frightened dear Penny half to death as she sat on the stoop, but what awaited me down in the basement was hardly better. I could scarcely believe my own eyes, but as I arrived on the scene, a dagger was quite literally flying about the room and attacking members of our party seemingly of its own volition.

The madness did not end once we had finally trapped the dagger within a box. We ascertained that Dr. Harkness had been possessed, though by what forces we knew not, and Penny went to investigate the spot where he claimed it had happened. Behind a hollow wall, we found a bizarre room containing yet more cats, though these were still alive, albeit malnourished. And in the center of the room was a dais on which were laid the remains of none other than Patrick Carruthers! And when we moved to investigate the body, it veritably sprung from its sleep and began to attack us! I still shudder when I think of him lashing out at us, beating three of my companions unconscious. He was not un-dead so much as post-dead. With this terrible monstrosity laying waste about him, and with my own taser merely glancing off of him, I must admit I fled. The madness had simply become too great, and with all sense of logic leaving me, I ran back to retrieve the dagger. Perhaps, I thought, magic will quell magic. It seems foolish to think now, but it worked well enough. As I returned, the dagger sprang from my hand and began stabbing at the body of Mr. Carruthers.

At long last, we stilled him, and it was as though I had been simultaneously freed and enslaved. A great burden was lifted from my mind as I knew we had freed the world from this soul’s madness. I emerged from the house of sounder mind than I feel I have been in some time. At the same time, however, I know now what I must do, and the thought of it fills me with dread. These forces will not stop plaguing us until we put an end to them, and I feel that we have only glimpsed the tip of the iceberg that is the insanity of these people. Still, we are no longer moving about as blind men, and even with the small quantity of information that we have, we can move forward with purpose, rather than groping about for clues. I will soon begin eager study of the note that we found in Mr. Carruthers’s pocket, and I hope to understand more of how he is connected to Lower Walsherham through it. In addition, I now am in possession of the magical dagger as well as an amulet worn by Mr. Carruthers that has strengthened my resolve, and I feel emboldened by them. The dagger, especially, has grown somewhat dear to me not only for the protection it provides, but for what it means to me as a scholar. I keep it close to me at all times, just in case. I had thought about submitting it to the boys down at Berkeley, but that could mean giving it up to some museum archive or archaeology department for study, a thought which I find distasteful. No, I shall keep it for my own, and with it, I shall strike out against the madness of which I had formerly been so fearful. Fear, wolves, for now this sheep has claws!

View
"An Uncanny Little Place"
Correspondence between Theodore Atticus and Jeffrey Harper

Dear Jeffrey,

I write to you from Flint Ridge, California, the quiet town where we have been investigating the cult behind the recent string of bizarre occurrences. It is quite an uncanny little place, and feels like a town plucked straight from old noir and pulp horror novels. In any case, I write not to tell you of the town, but of our discoveries within it. We visited the theater that good Dr. Harkness discovered in his research on the mysterious identity of “H. Fisher” mentioned in the Carruthers Note. As feared, it appears that there is one of these so-called “fragments” there, and that the upcoming grand opening of the restored cinema will serve as the feeding for it that Ms. McAllister mentioned.

Yet when we went to the theater, it seemed most normal to me. Granted, I was mostly in charge of investigating the lobby when our group split up to search the building, and that is perhaps not the most likely place for a creature beyond sanity to reside. In any case, while my compatriots searched the basement, projection booth, and catwalks over the auditorium, I distracted the restoration workers that had seen us in. I’m afraid I had to give them your contact information, Jeffrey, so if anyone calls you to ask, you are the treasurer of the “Northwestern Historic Theater Appreciation Association,” of which we are all members. I’m sorry to burden you thus, my friend, but I was in a pinch, you see.

I first became aware that not all was well when the electricity briefly went out. Upon our regrouping, I heard some fairly startling details. Officer L’Angelle, investigating the basement, heard eerie noises emanating from the old furnace. Ever the hair trigger, he shocked the furnace with his taser repeatedly before opening it and finding it completely empty. Meanwhile, young miss Murchwood investigated the area behind the cinema screen, accidentally breaking a mirror when she felt she could walk through it. The child’s impulses have often struck me as somewhat bizarre, but she has proven herself most able in the past, so I shall not pass judgement. After this, she went up to the aforementioned catwalk, put in place for the repainting of a grand ceiling mural. She claims that she was nearly sucked through this painting by extradimensional forces, but managed to maintain her grip on the railing, thank the gods. As this was happening, Dr. Harkness was checking the projection booth, and around the time the lights went out, he claims to have seen the floor of the auditorium come alive as a veritable sea of tentacles! The vision soon passed, but I cannot help but feel this bodes ill for our quest. How does one kill a floor, after all?

Luckily, none of our party was injured, and upon reconvening, we went with the employees of the theater to visit the original mural artist, Mary Green, who is currently in traction in the hospital following a fall from the catwalk. While we were there, the patient in the bed next to hers went into cardiac arrest, and in the process of attempting to resuscitate him, the doctors appeared to wreak havoc with the electrical systems, actually blowing out the television screen in the corner, causing minor lacerations to all of us. The poor fellow was dead, alas, but during the fray, Penny claims that Ms. Green told her that she fell following an incident similar to the one Penny encountered on the catwalk. Bizarre, indeed!

Jeffrey, I write to you not only to tell you of our findings, but also to beg your help. I’m very sorry you were unable to join us on our voyage, but I understand well that sometimes one’s academic calling simply cannot be ignored. Nevertheless, I must ask you to help in my research. I wish to discover all that I might about the Paradise Theater in the 1920s, as well as about one John Scott, the original owner of the house in which the Northwestern Historic Preservation Foundation makes their headquarters. It is they who are restoring the theater, and they are headed by this “Henry Fisher”. I feel that there may be a connection, and I implore you to help me find it, Jeffrey. Thank you in advance for the excellent service you will no doubt be able to render.

All my best,
T. Atticus

View
An Exchange with the staff of Ascenscion Memorial Hospital

Dr. Hideyo Harkness: How may I get in contact with patient L’Angelle, admitted late this afternoon.

Reception Staff: And your relation?

HH: I was the first responder, physician license number WA-234JT63.

RS: I’m sorry sir, but this patient is listed as a code 526.

HH: That can’t be right, he was admitted for light lacerations on his arms.

RS: I’m sorry sir, but I can only discuss this patient with family or his presiding physician.

HH: When are visiting hours?

RS: I’m sorry sir, but he currently is not being admitted visitors.

HH: But it was just some light..

RS: I’m sorry sir, but I can’t discuss this patient.

HH: Has his family been…

RS: I’m sorry sir, but I can’t discuss this patient.

View
John Scott and the Paradise Theater in the 1920's
Correspondence between Theodore Atticus and Jeffrey Harper

Dear Professor,

I’ve looked into this John Scott of yours, and he’s a creepy fuck, even by 19th century standards.

There isn’t too much information on him, but he did build the house that is now the headquarters of NHPF. It seems that he had a thing for hookers, but maybe not a thing for paying hookers, cuz they found at least 10 dead ones in his basement.

They hanged him in 1905, though I didn’t see much mention of occult dealings in the court documents. They did, however, mention this startling fact: he was a priest of, get this, the Church of Quiet Contemplation and Chapel of the Conglomeration of Glowing Spheres. Sound familiar?

Hope this helps.

Best,
J. Harper

View
"I Will Not Make it Through This"
From the journal of Theodore Atticus

A short entry tonight is all that I can stand. In truth, I would rather leave well enough alone and not relive the ordeal, but more and more I begin to feel that this journal is not, in fact, for my own research records, but rather the message I will leave behind, that others may learn from my trials. I fear increasingly that I will not make it through this.

Our actual progress in investigating the Paradise Theater and discovering the fragment of Yog-Sothoth was negligible today, save for a brief run-in with local law enforcement as we attempted to break into the back door of the place. I believe Sara Landry is growing suspicious of us, but then I feel that way of most everyone these days, even of the others in my group…

Tonight, I have started to grasp exactly how insidious this threat is. Whereas before I may have thought that there was some way to simply go on with my life and pretend none of this had ever happened, I now know that is not the case. In the night, I awoke to find Dr. Harkness snooping about my room. I don’t know what came over me, but I was filled then with paranoid rage. “I should have known!” I thought to myself. “He’s never been one to be trusted! Too quiet! Too reserved! I’ve never liked him! Not since he pushed me from that window in the Carruthers house.” Suspicions crowded my mind then, all crystallizing in an instant. They seemed so clear. “And now he thinks to sneak into my room in the dead of night and steal my dagger, the one thing keeping the shadows at bay! I’ll not allow it!”

I leapt from my bed with a cry, seized my dagger from its place under my pillow, and then… oh gods… and then stabbed the poor man. I was intent in those moments in erasing him – even the very memory of him – from this world. I stabbed countless times. Stabbed until my arm grew weak. But then, as quickly as the rage had come, it abandoned me. I came to myself as though my mind had taken leave of my body and, upon returning, had found my body in a different place than where it had been left. I looked down and saw so much blood. More blood than it seems should have been able to be contained in one man. Blood thick and sticky on the floor, on my dagger, and on me. All over me, coating me in its incriminating smell, it’s damning consistency and hue. I stood mortified for what seemed like hours. Just stood without moving, without breathing. When air did come to my lungs, it came in cold, dry gasps, porcupine’s needles sticking in my pharynx.

My hands trembled violently, and I dropped the dagger. Just as it hit the floor, I awoke in my room. It had all been a dream. But a dream so immediate, so wholly embodied, that I wondered if it really had been all a conjuration of my mind, or whether instead it had taken place just as I had seen it, but in some other reality, some shadow of a mirror of our world. Were that the case, does it mean that I myself am capable of such an act? I fear too much to try to answer. I place the blame for this on that dagger, that accursed dagger. Daily, I grow more attached to it. It seems almost to speak to me, and I imagine I hear it, as one might fabricate the inner monologue of one’s pet. And just as one is prevented from discarding a beloved dog, I find myself unable to bear the thought of parting with the blade. I must break myself from it, but I know not how. It must happen soon, though, for the all-revealing eye draws ever closer, its audience enraptured but for the mirror girl dropping shards onto their delight and soon we shall sit with them in quiet contemplation of the formless thing on the silvery moon screen, screen of a door, door of a world of a thing that peels away the onion of the soul with the dancing peeler paring knife and guts the rotted fish of a mind of a men too small to prick with a needle in the yellowing squeamy screemy seamy gut in the additional writing illegible

View
Movie goers run for cover as gunman fires shots at Paradise Theater

Sacremento, Calif. – A witness says theater goers ran for cover as a guman fired shots during the opening ceremony of the Paradise Theater, celebrating the completion of its renovation.

Security personnel shot the lone gunman. One accomplice was trampled as people fled the scene. Both are in critical condition at Ascension Memorial Hospital, under armed guard.

The man, said to be an Asian-American in his 70s and from Seattle, posed as a member of the Northwestern Theater Appreciation Society, and began firing shots in the theater moments before the program was to begin, Flint Ridge Sheriff’s Office spokesman John Urquhart said.

“He screamed that everyone should leave and started shooting. We started running and we could hear bullets bouncing off the ceiling above us,” said local resident, Shanae Hover.

“In my whole life I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Jack Hover.

“I was so scared, I was shocked and couldn’t move, I heard the gunshot, I don’t know it was like a like and death situation so I ran outside as fast as I could,” said one witness.

Richard Denbey, had just started his position as an usher for the newly renovated theater. When he heard the shots he went into the theater to investigate and saw a herd of patrons, running toward him.

“Came sprinting down the aisle, terrified looks on their faces,” he said. “We hustled them outside and they were nearly sick to their stomachs with fear.”

“They’re huddled behind cars in the parking lot, staying close together, scared out of their minds,” said Chase Hawkins.

“I would say we were very, very lucky,” said Olerich. “We could’ve been in the absolute wrong place at the wrong time … it’s a miracle no one was hurt.”

Security managed to surround the suspect in the back loading dock. He was still firing his weapon when he was shot by police.

Several roads were closed for the investigation:
• Second Avenue Southeast from Front Street South to East Sunset Way.
• Front Street South from Second Avenue Southeast to Newport Way Northwest.
FLINT 5’s Natasha Ryan and Eric Wilkinson contributed to this report.

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.