|Haunted by memories of the horrific incident I had witnessed, I found myself unable to achieve restful repose due to the unflagging nightmares that occupied the few hours of slumber I could muster. Eventually, I was inspired to sit down at my writing desk and pen a missive to that unfortunate individual, even knowing he could not have survived, with the intention of releasing those pent-up emotions that resided within my psyche.
To My Constant Companion,
We met briefly in the village, where I was procuring provisions during a brief respite from solitary occupation with my writing endeavors. You approached me and made direct eye contact. As you looked into my eyes, your gaze became one of shock, with eyes wide, mouth agape, and face flushed free of blood. You spoke a warning which bewildered me: “Beware the forces within. They have a hold on you, and their intentions are evil.” Without further explanation, you turned and rushed away.
Later, as I traversed through the mists hovering over the path back to my cottage in the wood, I was accosted by a tall figure cloaked in black and escorted by a cordon of ghouls, each with the visage of a wolf and talons for hands. With a booming voice that echoed through the forest, the figure in black said, “Your services are required.”
Then the ghouls enshrouded me with a tarp and carried me some distance into the forest. I must have passed out, because when I woke I was unencumbered on the perimeter of an enclosure. At the center of the enclosure was a huge vat with a group of spectral waifs dancing in a circle around it. The stench of burning sulfur emanating from the bubbling substance in the vat permeated the entire enclosure. Presently, the circle was broken by two of the ghouls carrying a person writhing and screaming in the grip of their talons. The screaming intensified as the person was dropped into that vat of boiling fluid. To my further dismay, I recognized that person as you, who had given me that warning earlier in the day.
You have consumed my thoughts since that fateful day, as I hold no hope of comprehending your message.
Yours in spirit,
Abner M. Malefica
Convinced that the dreadful apparition was just another of my many fitful nightmares, I left the letter on my desk and retired to what I hoped would be a peaceful night’s sleep. After tossing and turning for hours, I was aroused by a chill breeze. Thinking that I must have left a window open, I turned on the light and went to close it, but the window wasn’t open. While searching for the cause of the draft, I discovered that the letter on my desk had been replaced by an envelope with my name on it. With trembling hands, I opened the envelope and removed a note, which read thus:
My Dear Friend Abner,
Have no fear, my friend, for you shall know soon enough the consequence of which I cautioned. The stories you write have revealed special talents you have that are needed here. You have been invited to join us, and I have been selected to welcome you with open arms.
Completely confused by this response, I retrieved a bottle of Jack Daniels from a desk drawer and with a muddled mind and shaking hand scrawled on the bottom of the page:
What talents? Welcome where?
I sat there at the desk quaffing the whiskey while trying to fathom when this nightmare would end, until consciousness finally abandoned me. The brilliant glare of the morning sun eventually brought me out of my stupor, whereupon I perceived that the note on my desk had been replaced with a fresh communication.
Your prolific production of graphic incubus is required in the service of our clients. Therefore you have been conscripted as my private dreamer for the duration.
With very warm regards,
Ebenezer, Agent of Lucifer
Realizing that I was doomed to endure these terrible torments for the rest of eternity, I opened my mouth to scream, but there was no sound forthcoming.