The Illness

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
A small town doctor receives notes from his dead colleague describing a strange mystery he has to uncovers, but the doctor starts falling victim to the strange madness which follows the notes.

Submitted: July 24, 2017

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Submitted: July 24, 2017

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The strange affliction which befell Dr Adams frightened many who used to visit his pharmacy before his seclusion and subsequent illness of the mind, as well as many other locals living in the small county town of Athens on the American east coast who had never before had any contact with the good doctor. It was already February and since September last year Dr Adams refused to leave the premises of his pharmacy and laboratory. He had his wife Amanda bring him his daily portions of food and personal items as well as occasional packages of medicament and chemicals he needed for God knows what, all carefully wrapped in such a way that an outsider holding the package could never deduce it’s content. It all started last summer when our good doctor received a letter from the university in which he had completed his studies, a prominent professor of physics and his good friend Charles Breton met an early death from a strange and unknown illness which baffled his doctors and fellow professors, an affliction of the mind and the body both, in his last days Charles grew feral with rage and madness and could not speak in coherent sentences. He left his good friend and colleague Dr Adams his research notes and an accompanying letter which he wrote days before the madness consumed him while the illness was still young. The letter goes as follows:

” My dear friend, it pains me to have to write to you on such a grim and morbid occasion after so many years of silence between us.  With this letter you will receive all of my notes regarding the research which led me to this state of mental and physical decay, I chose to deliver this information to you on paper rather than through email or any other electronic communication because who ever might surveillance our correspondences might spread the word of the horrible things I have uncovered in my years of research. Through my extensive research and experimentation I came to believe that there is a world unseen to us, in which certain beings do not exist within our laws of nature and science, but instead exist in this supernatural state as omnipresent and eternal. The beings that inhabit these realms are of cosmic importance much greater than us and we cannot begin to fathom their greatness. We are to them as ants are to us, we step over hundreds of them every day without even noticing and in the same way those great beings shape and twist our mortal world. I have found many hints to their existence but only recently after years of research was I able to find solid proof and to witness it myself – I have seen the true nature of our existence and it is great and horrible and I shall never speak of it to anyone out of fear that their mind won’t be able to take it. After my insight into the truth I stopped all experimentation and inquisition into the matter, but the horrible truth which I had learned could not be suppressed by my mind, and I can feel it melting inside my skull more and more each day. By the time you read this I will be either dead or too insane to answer for my own actions, read the notes I have given you for you must know the truth you must complete my research and find a way to control those beings. I wish my friend, that my madness does not consume you as well.

 

-Your loyal friend Prof. Charles Breton

 

The letter both intrigued and frightened the young doctor who spent the entire night going through the five hundred pages of the professor’s notes.
By the time morning came Dr Adams was overwhelmed with curiosity and wonder, he wouldn’t leave his room until the evening studying the notes and carefully copying important parts. His wife Amanda would bring him his meals and coffee, every tine she would come to him he would tell her excitedly about the progress he has made so far. In the notes. The notes themselves were written very strangely, some are filled with chemical formulas, other were diagrams and sketches and some contained detail descriptions of unknown occult rituals. The first few notes were written coherently with a steady and even handwriting, while the later ones became more and more distorted, as if the professor’s hand was shaking while writing them.

After a few months the doctor moved all his research to his pharmacy and the laboratory in the back of the same building, he made there a makeshift bed and he didn’t leave the laboratory from September until February. Meanwhile, the neighbors living close.to the pharmacy could hear bubbling of chemicals during the day and smell foul odors coming from the place, and at night there were strange lights of different colors and bigness moving behind the curtained windows of the pharmacy and some who lived next door even claimed that they could hear whispering and chanting in unknown tongues.
Although the neighbors could hold witness to the perceived happenings around the laboratory, it was only doctor Robert Adams who knew what truly going on between the white and green walls of his pharmacy, and for that his mind suffered greatly. Since his self-inforced imprisonment started in September, he had read and reviewed all the professor’s notes, and tried tirelessly to complete the experiments that his colleague perfected some years ago.  Beside the bizarre experiments there was an array of strange and mystic rituals that any person in his right mind would find ridiculous to be performed by a noteworthy scientist such as Dr Adams.

In his laboratory the good doctor would spend his days composing strange chemical mixtures and observing their fumes which would dance in different colors across the room as if they were spirits of some unknown entity, and at night the good doctor would turn off all the light and he would light his black candles in a circle, and while the fumes evaporated he would chant strange and diabolic incantations some in Latin and some in languages unknown and unheard by him, some even sounded as utter none sense so the doctor would struggle when pronouncing them. As he chanted the blasphemes words the flickering light of the candles would dim, and a cold feeling of static dread and fear would loom over his every words so that in no time the feeling of pure primal fear would be so intense that the doctor had to stop short of completing his rituals. Sometimes while he chanted Dr Adams would hear faint whispers and deep howling voices which echoed every word he said from the darkness beyond the candlelight and this would chill him to his very core.However, the doctor was determined to examine and uncover the mystery which the professor had presented.

One night in early March, Robert Adams had a strange dream, which out of mercy of his mind he could not remember – and would not dare to try. He woke up from his nightmare covered in a cold sweat, breathing heavily very shallow breaths, he could feel an unrelenting feeling of omnipresent dread cover the room, and out of fear he crept deeper into his wet blanket not daring to open his eyes, this terrible night terrors would continue every night from then onward, at the exact same hour, the exact same unknowable dream, and the same dread which would choke him in waking life.
After months of research and sleepless nights, Dr Adams was a changed man, awful rumors about what was happening in his pharmacy at night spread across the town like wildfire, and whispers of his strange illness which seemed to have aged his face rapidly and made him to shun all human life spread even quicker as all of his former friends and family urged his wife Amanda Adams to leave him before he turns violent in his madness, however his ever loving wife stood by his side even in this time of strangeness and insanity, she would bring him his food and drink daily and would make sure that he has clean cloths, she would even bring him the books and chemicals he requested and would listen for hours his insane ramblings about the things she could not even begin to understand. As spring came closer so did the conclusion to the doctor’s research, we had complete all the rituals and experiments in the notes save for one, the last one contained within the most damaged and strange of the professor’s notebooks, written in the late stages of his feral madness the writing was so awful and the letters so strange in their proportions that it was almost impossible for Dr Adams to understand the meaning of the madman’s writing. However trained by his experience in the occult in those past months and afflicted by the same strange illness as his colleague was he could somehow understand the insane and rambling words within the professor’s final notes. They contained the final ritual he had performed before his complete degradation into madness, and at the end the final passage read as fallows:


Of what I have summoned I know little, and I am terrified to find out any more than what I know now. Whatever it is not from this world or any other world that astronomers have ever discovered, it is different, it’s origins is from a completely fringe plane of existence one undiscovered by science and logic, and only known bu the most strange and mystical alchemists and wizards that time forgot, who kept the secret hidden for the sake of human sanity. I have only heard of the existence of these powerful and old beings through faint whispers of dying occultists and in such ancient and forbidden books like the Mallets Maleficarum, the Splendor Solis and the dreaded Necronomicon of Alhazred.

Through years of research and experimentation I was finally able to piece together a complete ritual for the summoning of one of those beings, or at least a being akin to them. I did not dream of what horrors I would bring from that realm of nightmares. Whatever this creature is it cannot be perceived by any physical means and only be sensed through human emotion, for when it is present one can feel and ominous and dense cloud of dread surround him.

Whoever might inherit my research after my inevitable death I implore you do not continue it, and destroy whatever remains of these notes. May God have mercy on my soul, and the souls of those who perish with me.

The notes here were cut abruptly, as if the final few pages have been torn off, and this last paragraph of the professor’s writings had been too scribbled for any sane mind to understand them but the doctors, who had himself fallen victim to the illness of the knowledge hidden in the notes.
He then came to a grim realization – was that feeling of fear and dread that was constantly hunting the pharmacy, and which was waking him every night from his dreams, was that the presence of the being announcing itself to him?

That night Dr Adams was determent to finish the research and conduct the last ritual from the notes, he had prepared everything indicated by the professor just as he described it, from the candles, to the acids and salts, to the strange powders and ritual daggers. A few hours after midnight he began the final preparations, he lit the candles in a circle, knelt in the middle of it, mixed the chemicals until they produced a yellow, sulfur-like fume, finally he cut his hand with the ritual dagger while chanting a strange incantation from the notes half in Latin and half in a language known only to the beings he was summoning. As he bled, his blood dripped into the chemical mixture as the yellow fumes started to glow dimly and to bend into formless shapes which cannot be described in words. The feeling of omnipresent dread grew more powerful and started to choke the already panicked and afraid doctor, suddenly the formless smoke turned into a half solid structure, from which the ancient and terrifying being emerged as I from a cocoon, the doctor screamed as the creature entered his view. It was so different from anything the human mind could ever imagine and terrible that the pure sight of it’s gruesome body and unholy appearance broke the sanity of Dr Adams. He let out a terrified shrill cry followed by manic and uncontrollable laughter which was so loud and unnatural that the entire town heard it that night. The doctor kept laughing even after the being disappeared into the smoke from which it came, the doctor laughed to loudly and without pause that his vocal cords started to bleed and the laughter tuned into frequent gasps of a madman. His wife arrived as soon as she heard the laughing and found her husband on the floor of his laboratory, staring into the distanced with his eyes filled with madness, choking in his own blood and trying to laugh through the horrible pain.

The paramedics arrived just in time to save his life, in the hospital he had to be restrained to his bed and kept sedated all day long for as soon as the sedatives wore off he would try laughing again and even further damaging his lung and throat, he would never sleep and neither the doctors nor the medical staff ever saw him blink, he would only stare into the void as if waiting from something. Amanda was broken completely by her husband’s madness, in the following weeks after the incident she would leave her house less and less, and by May she only went out to buy food once a week, keeping herself locked away in the upper floor bedroom of her house for the rest of that week.

One morning her sister Emily who lived right next to Amanda told her husband William that she heard what sounded like loud crying and terrible sobs coming from her sister’s house, she also heard some deep growling noises those of dogs or wolves but deeper, almost unnatural. On the behest of his wife William went to check on Amanda the same day, the door to the house was unlocked and as he entered the home shouting for Amanda he heard no response. There was no sign of Amanda on the ground floor of the house, but as William approached the stairs which led to the second floor, he saw bloody hand prints of small size like those of a woman or a child trying to hold themselves to the white wall as they were running away from something. William rushed upstairs, he saw the hand prints of the wall again, this time dragging along as if the victim lost the strength to stand on its own, the bloody trail ended at the door of Amanda’s and Robert’s bedroom. William slowly walked up to the door of the room which were slightly opened, William slowly pushed the door opened and froze in terror – there on the bed Amanda sat, her knees to her chest. She was covered in fresh blood, her lowers jaw was broken as if it was forced opened, and hanged loosely to her face by a few fragments of skin and muscle, where her eyes used to be now only to gaping holes remained, with fresh blood draining from them. William gasped loudly and started to shake from a feeling of dread which overwhelmed him and filled the bloody bedroom, in that moment Amanda’s neck started to twitch, and slowly she turned her head to face William. He screamed loudly and almost fell unconscious but in a second he somehow managed to remain sane and started running to the exit, falling down the staircase he ran home bloody and bruised and mumbled madly as he called the police.

When the police arrived they found something much different from what William had disrobed, there was no blood, no broken jaw or empty eyes, only dead Amanda, found in one piece lying on the bed, apparently she had died of a heart attack the previous night. William was the one who received all of De Adam’s notes after the death of his wife, with the noted he received a letter which he did not dare to open until a few weeks after the incident, once his mind has recovered from what he saw. The letter was written in a handwriting not unlike that of the dead professor, only this time a single sentence was written over the entire paper:

“ Do not try to know the unknowable, and to understand what human mind cannot imagine.”
William burned all the notes that night, without reading them.



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