Interdimensional Horror Held At Bay By Simple Human Integrity
By Carl Kolchak
As per usual, this story starts with the believably normal and descends ever swiftly into the bizarre. If you are not familiar with the usual or the bizarre, that is because my editor, Anthony Vincenzo, frequently refuses to publish these types of stories. Often instead they find readership in smalltime newsletters that also publish amazing tales and astounding stories. This time, however, Tony has graciously allowed me to print this story sans any argument, due in part to a favor on his end that bears little mentioning. He's even allowed me to do my own editing, which may indicate to you how grateful he truly is.
On Saturday, December 14th, a body was discovered floating in the lagoon by officials at McKinley Park. That is pretty much all there was to say about it, other than that it was torn apart and so badly waterlogged that no one knew who it was or what might have happened to it... or if it had even been human. Investigators found more bodies, or at least body parts, but no indication on what had killed them.
The police will tell you that this was all one big illegal boating accident, which is absolutely absurd. They'll even say it like they believe it, but that doesn't mean you have to. The most astonishing fact was that many of the newer bodies, most identifiable as human and in fact as individual persons began to drudge up on the shore even after the investigation was officially closed.
On Monday, December 22nd, police arrested eleven people, five men and six women, names withheld, who were charged with first-degree murder and various counts of conspiracy – arson, larceny; you name it, they were charged with it. Police took in a full thirty more in body bags, and over fifty for questioning, and many more, certainly over a hundred, they simply let go. They claimed that there was no reason to keep them, but you know the police – overworked, underpaid, and lacking the predilection to go after those that really count. Fortunately by then the danger had passed and they probably did get the ones that counted, but only time will tell.
The police will tell you that this was a dangerous cult. For once they are telling the truth, even if they leave out the best part, which I will now disclose to you.
First I must tell you that Detective Legrasse may be the one and only officer of the law that you can trust. Open minded, underpaid, and a very bad chess player. My best stories have come across his desk, usually after the fact, if only because he is a master of lateral thought and no one else in Chicago wants them. He called me not because of my stories, but because my work had intrigued someone he had his eye on. Like a cop, he suggested that I should keep on my toes and that the police were here to help; unlike a cop, he gave me the who, the what, the where, and his personal phone number in case I needed it. If he hadn't had his ear to the ground, I might never have survived what I'm about to tell you.
It turns out that a shady man named Dylan Higgins was looking for me in particular. He had followed my work since I failed to make headlines in Las Vegas, though when I failed to make headlines in Chicago, and had the location of my work and my place of residence on a very large file. As it turns out, he was gathering a specific number of people together from all walks of life, although most of them were hipsters and harmlessly psychotic and he wanted me to be in on it. Flattered as I was, I wouldn't have been interested except that I smelled a story and that his high priestess was a young, drugged out young woman that I happened to recognize, or at least thought I did. I wasn't able to talk to her and even if I had been she was obviously too out of it to talk to me, so I naturally played along with Higgins' little ploy.
Along with everyone else Higgins had gathered, I found myself in a large underground chamber, at an altar, in ceremonial robes. I couldn't tell you how I got there or what part Higgins and his associates wanted me to play in it, but it was dark and it was cold. There were twelve others on the altar besides myself, including the so-called high priestess who was on the sacrificial slab. Below us, something large, bloated, and slimy lurked; I managed to snap a photo of it before leaving, but the film came out overexposed and worthless.
I can't tell you what it was, only that Higgins' associates called it the "Lord of Darkness," "Mother of Lies," and other things you wouldn't want to call anyone to their face. I tried to leave while they were distracted by their string of epithets, but I knew I had to take the girl with me and they wouldn't be having any of that.
I hadn't called Detective Legrasse, but he somehow turned up anyway, allowing me a swift exit from danger and even a ride to the hospital in his car. In all the chaos and confusion, only eleven of the circle were arrested, but twelve and thirteen won't be causing any trouble. Apparently the police never noticed the thing lurking under their feet, or if they did they did nothing about it and as far as I can tell It has done nothing since.
The high priestess and sacrifice du jour of December 22nd, who shall remain nameless as per agreement, happened to be the niece of a very good friend of mine. Fortunately she is alive and well and off police records, unlike her compatriots, and has no recollection of the entire thing, outside of the infrequent night terror. I escaped unscathed, as luck would have it, and so far bearing no consequences for having done so. For the time being.
I couldn't find that underground chamber again if I tried. I did try, against my better judgement, and continue to look up historical Chicago topography in the early hours of the morning before I go about my daily business. Detective Legrasse accepted a transfer out of Chicago, or that's what they told me, so I won't be able to add his side to this story. If he's reading this, I hope he knows how thankful I am.
I couldn't find anything on this "Lord of Darkness"... at least, not that most people don't already know about. The one reference I found relating to the one name that stuck in my mind, "Dreamless Master of Twilight," was a footnote in a book of tourist attractions. It reads, "Dreamless Chasm: local folklore, unknown."
As always, I encourage everyone who reads this to read with an open mind. Even if only three of you ultimately believe me, it may make a difference someday. You never know when something slimy and slithery might be crawling its way up through history, waiting for when humanity has grown listless and the stars are right.