Neon Black

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
A series of short journal entries from a scientist.

Submitted: July 19, 2015

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Submitted: July 19, 2015

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NEON BLACK

Entry #1

September 14, 1887

The Neon/Black machine is finally ready for the next level after many months of preparation. I have just finished the arduous task of recalibrating the machinery. Dr. Neon and myself have been tirelessly slaving over the machine. It will revolutionize a new kind of scientific exploration. We have not yet been approved for human testing, but with Dr. Neon's research and my insightful charm, the board surely cannot deny us during the next meeting. I've spent many long nights up here in my laboratory without going home to my family. It’s such a short trip away on the locomotive, but I cannot stop… not yet. I've almost forgotten what Margaret's cooking smells like. I haven't been this secluded since before I met that beautiful smile of hers. She writes me often of how she wishes I come home for at least one cold night, to keep her feet warm and tell Sally a story to soothe her to sleep. They used to take the steam engine to the station and then ride the carriage up the hill to see me, but last time Sally did not have a decent encounter with Dr. Neon in the laboratory. He frightened her. I tried to assure her, it was an absolute accident, but Margaret is convinced he had an ill-mannered intention. Dr. Neon is an odd one. He doesn't speak much of a family if he even has one, but he is by far the most efficient and intelligent lab partner I've had. There is such chemistry between us and how we work. I feel as though we worked together in a previous life, not that I believe in that sort of thing. I wonder if he feels the same. He doesn't speak much, but I do wish to pick his brain more as our work progresses. My poor Margaret and Sally, I really do wish to go see my loves. Preparations have been going so well without unfaltering my attention. If I leave now, who knows how far back we'll be set. As soon as we get approved, I'll make it my duty to go see Sally for her birthday.

Entry #2

September 17, 1887

“The Mad Doctor has Found Another Experiment” That was the headline in the paper this morning. I normally don't care for such things, but Margaret sent that to me this morning with a note asking me to cease my work for the time being. I did not read the story. The headline was enough to get a fire burning deep inside. I showed it to Dr. Neon, and as expected, he shook it off like he does all things unrelated to his research. How dare they call me a “Mad Doctor?” We'll show them later this afternoon when the board approves our experiment. It will change the way the public will look at the future. Anything will be possible without the hindrance of skeptics. The scientific advances that will be directly informed from us will be simply marvelous. The thought alone helps me ignore that ridiculous paper's headline. I'm glad she sent it to me. Now I have more reason to prove them all wrong. I really do wish Margaret would bring Sally to come see me. I cannot fathom spending another week from her. She is so vivid and full of imagination, just like her Mother. She could be a writer when she grows up with all those stories roaming around in her head. She was of course the inspiration for my research. My poor girl. Every night to live with those images in her head. The screaming. Those terrifying, silent screams.

 

To 2571 Genesis Road, Portsmouth

September 18, 1887

My Dearest Lucas,

We miss you so much. Please come home to us. It's not the same without you at our table. Sally misses you terribly. She obviously doesn't say it, but I can tell. It's silly, but we still make a plate for you... just in case you surprise us. I made your favorite last night. I've taken a habit of drinking tea at night. I'm not much for the taste, but it makes watching Sally fall asleep much easier without drifting off. I'm sure you've had your fill of tea up there in that laboratory. You always did have a knack for staying up late. You were always able to soothe her better than me. . . The night terrors have gotten worse, and her paintings during the day have become so dark. I do wish you would come home. You know how much I dislike to distract you from your work, but it's gotten so difficult to take care of Sally without you. Promise me that you'll at least come to town for her birthday.

With all my love,

Margaret Black

Entry #3

September 18, 1887

Denied. The board didn't even take time to review our proposal a second time. We have poured months into this research. “No such experiment shall be or EVER shall be tested on humans.” That is what they said. Without even letting me get a word in. I don't even believe they read over the entire proposal. They continued to berate me and talk of the impracticality of such an experiment. Dr. Neon believes we should just continue without the approval or the funding. If we use our money out of pocket, he knows after our machine is publicly used, we'll be paid back tenfold. He's such a visionary. He believes an experiment will yield a positive result no matter what the advisory board says. I'm starting to believe he is correct. What if they told Tesla no and he gave up? What world would we live in if Galileo gave in to all of the disapproval? I can't stop now. I completely forgot to stop by the house while I was in town meeting with the board. If Margaret knew I took the locomotive into town, she would have my head for supper. My immediate reaction after being denied was to march back up to the laboratory. Her letter brought a tear to my eye, but I know she'll understand. This is for our daughter's future... and our peace of mind.

 

Proposal for the Advisory Board

Removal of Fear from the Cerebellum

Motivation:

Fear is an emotional response that halts the human body from performing tasks under pressure, while the brain processes what is happening at that given time. It can affect how our “fight or flight” response is triggered in difficult situations. Fear has the power over the human mind to grow and grow. Fear is a stronger emotion than any other that the cerebellum can process and it has the power to consume us. A fear of arachnids can become a fear of anything physically associated with an octo-circullar shape with enough conscious thought. All of a sudden the human brain associates a fear of arachnids with the fear of an octopus in the ocean, which can grow and grow into a fear of everything in the unseen ocean. It can be a physical and a mental hindrance on life.

Can fear be permanently removed?

Yes. Instead of tricking the brain through years of fear confronting therapy which have yielded minimal results, we can pinpoint the exact part of the brain that the fear is located in, and remove it through shock wave therapy. Instead of flooding an individual (an individual who has consciousness can mentally block out a situation) we will be flooding the brain directly, which is essentially a circuit. A circuit as a whole can be fixed when concentrating on the part that is malfunctioning. That is what we will be doing, not attacking the brain as a whole, but instead, removing the power source of the circuit with the problematic fear, and replacing it with a fresh one, that has no fear.

Methods:

I have many years of experience in cerebellum research, probably more than any of my colleagues. I have dedicated these past eight years to the study of fear in the cerebellum specifically. I know every single action and reaction the cerebellum will produce when confronted with a situation.

With the Neon/Black machine, we are able to stimulate the brain which will make every part of the nervous system pulsate. With Darcell Neon's, my partner's, cerebral surgical history as well as many dedicated years of research, I believe together we can use the machine to permanently remove fear.

Every patient will be forced to undergo a pre-experiment interview where they will be faced with what they fear. As well as a post-experiment consultation to measure the removal.

We have broken fear into 3 separate categories.

  • Tangible, living fears (spiders, snakes, dogs, germs, bats, etc.)
  • Non-living objects (needles, rocks, loud sounds, music, blood, etc.) 
  • Event-based (falling, being alone, enclosed spaces, failure, the dark, pain, death, etc.)

The easiest of the three to remove are event-based fears. By systematically flooding the cerebellum with a series of images related to their fear, it can familiarize itself with it. Just like how constant contact with loved ones, will trigger happiness and euphoria. The Neon/Black machine can copy data and transmit it to the subject's brain allowing the proper part of the cerebellum to properly confront the fear. The process will feel like a lifetime to the subject, but in actuality the whole process is roughly ten minutes. When they awaken, that fear of falling, or pain, or death, will become non-existent. Imagine a soldier without the fear of war.

The second easiest to remove is the fear of non-living compounds. This is done the same way as the event-based fears. A series of images/sounds will be inducted into the subject's brain and when they awaken, they will feel fearless. This is trickier than event-based fears due to the physicality of the fear. A subject can still see a needle break skin. They can still hear the rumbling of thunder, but these are closely associated with event-based fears because the fear does not creep, or crawl on its own. It does not a have a conscious thought. Sounds can be drawn out with other sounds. You can cover your eyes and in most cases, the non-living object will not move from the spot it was at, unless of course, prompted by a living organism. This makes it easier for the brain to overcome.

The most difficult fear, are fears that are alive. A series of images and sounds are not strong enough to permanently remove this type of fear, because a living organism is always changing and adapting to its environment. It moves, it has unpredictable thought and action, in some cases, it has fear of its own. Usually, and unfortunately, your fear is not afraid of you. This poses a new type of use for the Neon/Black machine. We integrate DNA from the living fear into the subject's cerebellum. Many theories have been adapted by the combination of DNA, we're looking to make it a fact.

The subject will undergo anesthetic as to not feel us picking around his/her brain, as well as to help remove conscious thought, which is where fear comes from. We will attach the electrodes cued up to the Neon/Black machine to the subject's brain. As we locate the fear, we will replace it with DNA from what the subject fears. This will incorporate fear into the brain in an immediate way, negating the symptoms the patient believes he/she should be fearful of.

To ensure safety of the subject, we need the Neon/Black machine to stimulate the neurons in the brain so we are able to pinpoint the exact location of the fear. This will require funding to afford equipment that will allow us to channel more electricity through the machine without overloading the circuit.

Anticipated Results:

We will start our trials with event-based fears and work our way up to the transfer of DNA with living organisms. Not only do we predict to successfully remove fears, but our advancements in cerebellum research shall continue to progress and only the future can tell what else we will be able to do in regards to the human brain.

As per most cerebral research, trials on animals are useless as we have no way of measuring our success. We need to start experimentation on human subjects as they can tell us their fear, and we are able to measure how much of the fear has been removed with our post-experiment interview.

Significance:

Removal of fear will be a great stride for mankind. I dedicate this research to my daughter, who is not able to sleep at night due to night terrors. This will ease the minds of individuals and their loved ones across the globe.

 

Entry #4

September 30, 1887

Dr. Neon and I have found our first human subject. A volunteer, afraid of the dark, who is unable to sleep at night. She is aware that the board has denied our proposal and has agreed to commence anyway. It's a confidence boost to have someone on your side. We will be conducting the pre-interview this evening, followed by the experiment tomorrow. We have to make sure she is completely terrified of the dark. Dr. Neon constructed a room in the basement that no light will enter. Darkness all around, not even able to see the tip of one's nose. Fear of the dark has always been one of the most intriguing to me. My theory is that it's not actually the fear of the dark, but what might linger in the shadows that you cannot see. This is most exciting indeed. After our first success, there is no doubt that we will be able to secure more volunteers looking to remove what keeps them awake at night. I have no uncertainty that I will be able to cure them, and more specifically, help Sally. That poor girl has never had a full night's rest, and since she's been born, neither has Margaret or myself. Margaret has sent me another letter. I have not opened it yet. I will read it this afternoon while Dr. Neon finalizes some preparatory work for our subject's interview tonight.

 

To 2571 Genesis Road, Portsmouth

September 29, 1887

Dear Lucas,

I do not think I can go another night without addressing these issues. It's not only Sally keeping me awake at night, but your absence. I know you have the best of intentions for us, but this is out of control. You have spent the majority of our money on this project, and I know you think it's going to be paid back, but I can't afford bread. I’ve tried to pick up a job at any of the factories, but they need me to work long hours. Long hours that our daughter needs me, needs us. She has become so thin. I fear if she loses more weight, she'll be a skeleton. At the very least I wish you had come to her birthday... Sally doesn't have many friends, and the ones she does have, still can't get over her condition. They look at her like she doesn't belong. I overheard some of the other parents talking. I don't think you'd like what they had to say about you or me, so I'll leave it out of this letter. Sally needs her father, and I need my husband. It's not fair to her, that her last memory of you is up at that god forsaken laboratory. A lot of her recent paintings are of when you frightened her. I think it would be best for you to make things right. Please come home.

With Love,

Margaret Black

Entry #5

September 30, 1887

She was so frightened. The screaming was more terrifying than I could have imagined. We locked her in the dark room. It started off as whimpering and pleading to come out. She began to breathe heavily. I suggested that we let her out, but Dr. Neon reassured me of our goal. He reminded me that she signed off on the complete treatment and letting her out would only be cheating her of a proper diagnosis. She banged on the door. She screamed and screamed, until she lost her voice. It reminded me of Sally, only, I've never heard what that dear child's voice would sound like. After we let Patient One out of the dark room, she hugged me while tears streamed from her gentle face. It made my work seem that much more important. Here this woman is, 20 years of age, still frightened of the dark. I can't let Sally grow up to that age still afraid. I sent Margaret a letter explaining that it would be just a little while longer. I apologized for missing Sally's birthday. I sent a flower. A lily, her favorite. I spoke with Dr. Neon about just taking a day trip to go see them tomorrow, but he reminded me of the experiment. He's a very cold man, but without him, I fear we would not have made it this far so quickly, if at all. I wish to hold my family so tightly. If only I could convince Margaret to bring Sally up here again. After our success, I'm sure she will feel comfortable up here. I cannot wait to see those beautiful faces.

Entry #6

October 1, 1887

Success. The most beautiful word in the English language. Patient One is no longer afraid of the dark. The process was a bit more complicated than originally anticipated, but nonetheless, a success. We hooked her up to the Neon/Black machine and started the experiment. The process took approximately three times longer than anticipated, but it was well worth it. Unfortunately, during the experiment, we hadn't planned for any physical difficulties. While Patient One was unconscious, her body was still able to fight off the images we implanted in her head. Her body had viciously swung around and knocked over many of the surrounding tools we needed. We had to tie her down with leather constraints in order to appropriately finish the surgery on her cerebellum. When she awoken, she explained that she felt years had passed while in a darkened room. She said she saw herself grow old and eventually came to embrace the darkness. During the post consultation, we had locked her in the dark room again. Not a whimper. Not a scream. She came out smiling and almost didn't want to leave. We asked her to visit once a week, in order to ensure that the fear isn't just suppressed, but permanently disintegrated out of her mind. She told us of a friend she would send our way. She explained that the very sight of blood, sends him into shock. Dr. Neon and I were hoping to slowly build to the next level of fear removal, but with such a success, how could we turn away another volunteer. We will be more prepared this time. I cannot wait to write back to Margaret and Sally. I bet the board will be eating their own foot for supper tonight when they hear of this.

 

Order to Cease and Desist all Human Experimentation

It has been brought to attention of the Portsmouth Authorities that you, Lucas Black, have been illegally experimenting on human subjects without proper legal documentation stating your validity. Your violation of this cease and desist will result in a court order, fines, and imprisonment. This matter requires your immediate cooperation or else drastic action will be taken. October 2, 1887

 

Entry #7

October 2, 1887

Unbelievable. Those crooks that sit on that board calling themselves scientists. They're afraid, is what they are. Afraid that my accomplishments will far surpass them. It's funny, hilarious even. I could remove that fear from them with my machine. Margaret hasn't sent me a letter since the last one I sent. I fear that I have lost her support. Dr. Neon said the most I can do now is to prove myself worthy of everyone's respect. As expected, he demands that we continue with the experiments. I can't disagree with him. At this point, I have spent every coin I own on this project. There is no turning back now. We have set up an interview with Patient Two for this evening. We have to be more careful with how we conduct business now, as we have eyes watching us from all around. They will be begging on their knees for forgiveness after these trials prove themselves successful. And most importantly, Sally will be free from the night terrors. No more silent screaming. No more late nights watching her cry and pray to someone who isn't listening. No more banging her head against the wall as her only way to call out for help. No more...

Entry #8

October 8, 1887

He hasn't woken yet. Patient Two still lies in a deep sleep. He went into cardiac arrest and is now comatose from the experiment. During his pre-interview he fainted at the immediate sight of blood six times. When he awoke the final time, he couldn't take it anymore. He wanted us to perform the experiment right away. So we did. We put constraints on him as a lesson from last time, but they were unnecessary. He didn't flinch once. As the Neon/Black machine transmitted images of blood into his cerebellum, his body slowly began to shut down. Blood poured from his nostrils, eyes, and mouth. Dr. Neon was unfazed by the predicament. Patient Two's breathing and heart slowed down exponentially. It's miraculous he is even alive. Impossible, even. His heart is currently pumping once a minute, which is medically speaking, unheard of. The breath excreting from his mouth, is cold as ice. Dr. Neon says it would be best to keep this hidden and out of sight from everyone. As immoral as it is, I think I have no choice but to agree. We got in argument tonight about me leaving to see Sally and Margaret. He even disproves of my journal entries, but I've come to accept these writings are the only way to keep my sanity. I'm afraid Dr. Neon has become more unstable as this experiment continues. I hear him muttering to himself in the dark. Every now and then a maniacal laugh escapes his usually monotone demeanor. My only hope now is that we can get Patient Two to waken. Even if his fear of blood is still intact, it would be better than losing him altogether.

Entry #9

October 11, 1887

Patient Two has come to his senses, in a manner of speaking. Dr. Neon was very proud of what has happened to him, but I think his condition may have been changed for the worse. He is no longer afraid of blood, but quite the contrary. He has a keenness for it, a hunger so to speak. He attacked Dr. Neon and myself so we locked him in one of the vacant basement rooms intended for wild animals. We've been watching him. He has been slicing his finger open with his nails in order to drink his own blood. At this rate, he'll dry himself out by tomorrow morning. I am not sure what to do. If we send him to a hospital, we will surely be found out and imprisoned. Then I will never be able to help my daughter. On another note, Patient One returned for her checkup. I believe she has also tipped to an extreme side of the spectrum. She has been staying out of the light. She bathes herself in darkness. We shined a light in her eyes to check her pupils and she screeched in pain. I do not wish to continue these experiments. Dr. Neon urges so strongly and reminds me that if we stop now, nothing will ever be achieved. He's like a whisper in the back of my head. Our research has gotten word around surrounding towns. Small mobs have started to gather outside at various times of the day protesting us. On another note, more individuals have volunteered. This time, Patients with living fears. I've never seen Dr. Neon this excited before. His muttering and maniacal laughs have become more prominent. We are conducting the pre-interviews soon for the next patients. Dr. Neon believes we should be able to hook up the next three patients at once to the Neon/Black machine. I strongly urged against it, but as I've come to realize, there is no way to deny him. He will do what he wants, whenever he wants. I guess that is what makes a brilliant scientist. Someone who is willing to transcend risk and worry… to achieve something great.

 

Notes on Patient Three

Patient Three has arachnophobia. One of those most commonly studied fears. I always believed this to be a common fear due to the vast number of differences from spiders to human beings. The multiplying hairy legs, the sticky webs, the venomous fangs. They move so quickly and with such purpose. She explained her fear to me in such detail. They crawl in numbers at night. They multiply through breeding very quickly. They are always out of sight until it is too late. Her biggest fear of them seems to stem from the idea that you cannot feel their touch when they are on you, and the bite. The bite that allows them to burrow in your skin until they are ready to come out. October 13, 1887

We have collected various samples of spiders from across the world. Shipped here from underground markets. Their DNA will prove useful when processed in the Neon/Black machine. *** October 19, 1887***

 

Notes on Patient Four

Patient Four has an acute fear of vicious dogs, more specifically, wolves. The howls, their hunger for flesh and bone, and they travel in packs with the sole purpose of surviving. Surviving for a wolf, means to eat. If wild life is scarce, they grow hungry, and hunt anything with a pulse. A wolf's jaw can crack a grown man's neck with one squeeze. They shred you to pieces in packs until there is nothing left of you. October 14, 1887

In the room where Patient Two, recently... killed himself, we have stored a wolf. We have extracted its DNA and is ready for input into the Neon/Black machine. *** October 17, 1887***

 

Notes on Patient Five

Vampire Bats. There is an abundance of them on the outskirts of town. They tend to feast from the farm's cattle and the fish from the reservoir. He explained a traumatic experience he had as a child on the farms. He heard the crying of the cow at night, and the thousands of high pitched screeches. He tried to wake his Father, but he shook him off. He couldn't bear to hear an animal in pain. He brought a lamp with him outside to the farm. A swarm of bats had been feasting on one of the cows. He didn't know what to do. There were so many of them. He picked up a shovel and swung violently at the bats. He tripped over a barrel and sliced his leg on a pitchfork. Blood oozed from his wound. The bats could smell the blood, and ferociously attacked him. He screamed and screamed as they cut him up with their claws and drank his crimson red nectar. Patient Five hasn't eaten meat since then. He goes into an immediate panic with the slightest cut. He locks himself in a room and doesn't eat or drink until the bleeding stops. I believe he will be much appreciative if we can help him overcome this fear. October 15, 1887

 

To 2571 Genesis Road, Portsmouth

October 19, 1887

Lucas,

You have become mentally unstable. Your letters you write me no longer make any sense. Who is this Dr. Darcell Neon you speak of? I don’t believe it’s healthy for you to be working with him. I understand that you're upset I stopped writing you, but I had hoped it would convince you to come home. I was wrong. There are so many people who look at me in disgust in town. We haven't had a proper meal in weeks. I’ve heard that crowds of people have gathered outside your laboratory at the top of the hill with torches and pitchforks. I cry every night. Sally has become worse than I have ever seen her. You just shake off my pleas for help like I don't mean anything. People in town are saying that you have lost yourself again... Again? They talk as if you've done this before, years before you met me. Do I know you? I feel like a helpless, pathetic, little girl. They predict there is a huge storm coming tomorrow night. You know how afraid I am of thunderstorms. I need you. Please find it in your heart to stop this childish nonsense and come home. I still love you.

Your hopefully still dearest,

Margaret Black

Entry #10

October 20, 1887

Damn you Margaret! Why can no one see what Dr. Neon and I are doing? This is for her. She'll see. They all will after tonight. I took the last train back into town, and I waited outside my house until midnight. The mobs get tired after hours of useless moaning. I went to my home and finally saw my daughter. I didn't tell Margaret. I let her sleep knowing she would be in an uproar. I'm sure she's in a panic right now, but she'll understand in due time. I brought Sally up to the laboratory to show her what her Father has been doing for her. I showed her the Neon/Black machine and Patients Three, Four, and Five hooked up to it. Those damn silent screams. I thought she would be happy. I tried to explain to her what I was doing. Just like a child to not comprehend. I gave her the anesthetic to put her out. This is why I couldn't go home. Too many distractions from my work. Dr. Neon was right, like always. The storm has gotten worse and worse. The one benefit of it is, no more mobs; however, as I look out my window, I see the authorities rushing up the hill now. No time to wait. When they walk in, they will see one of two things. A man who has failed, or a man who has succeeded. At this point, I know for a fact I will be arrested no matter the outcome. Dr. Neon is waiting for me in the experimentation room. I will go to him. My next entry will either be a tale of prominent destiny or one of utter tragedy.

Entry #11

October 21, 1887

I will never forgive myself for what I have unleashed on this world. I have hidden myself in the basement. I will stay here holding onto myself until he finds me. I told him to stop, but those laughs. He wouldn't listen. I wouldn't listen. The storm is still thundering above us, but I'm afraid that is not the worst of our fears anymore. The storm overpowered the circuit and sent a huge volt of electricity through the Neon/Black machine. As the DNA for Patients Three, Four, and Five were transferred successfully, so were the images of Patients One and Two, accidentally. As previous test results concluded, their cerebellums must have been overloaded with darkness and blood. I watched as something horrific was created right in front of me. They screamed and screamed. Their bodies shook violently and no constraint would have been strong enough. They were in pain, but they enjoyed it.

Patient Five grew giant wings from his shoulders. Eyes glossed over to nothing but black. Darker than a moonless night. He screeched as fangs pushed their way out of his mouth dripping with blood. He shrieked at the lights and expunged himself through the window in an aerial rage.

Patient Four looked to be in the most pain. His jowls dripped with disdain as his snout elongated from his face. Rows of razor sharp teeth and slanted yellow eyes. Mountains of fur sprouted from his body as he howled in pain.

Patient Three was indeed the most horrifying to watch. Powerful tarantula legs stabbed out of the sides of her abdomen. Sharp and long. She grew to a monstrous size and exploded out of the constraints with viciousness. Her face warped into a spiders' while her body began to shed her human skin. Web shot out of her uncontrollably as she swiftly creeped her way out of the laboratory

They all rampaged out of the room unknowing of what they themselves were. I'm afraid it is not possible to call them human anymore. I've locked myself in here, not out of fear of what I've created, but out of a justice to the rest of the world. No longer will this world fear spiders, wolves, or bats, but something bigger and more horrifying than what they can comprehend. This world will forever be scarred with their presence. Can they breed? Do they have a fondness for the dark and a taste for blood? Are they what the world will fear comes out of the darkness, when there is an absence of light? It's only a matter of time before he comes to let me out of this cage I have locked myself in. I will always wonder to myself, if deep down under this skin, is it really Dr. Black or Dr. Neon inside?


© Copyright 2019 Charles Stulck . All rights reserved.

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