20 June 2345 Investigating the manor house of the Crimson’s
I was fortunate enough to find someone who would take it up to the old estate. The estate had been around for many hundreds of years and recently due to the events of hand had been not kept up in a manner that it was used to. No one seemed to be truly certain whether the Crimsons still live there or whether they were even alive, however, no one seemed to want to find out either. I was dropped off at the front doors and told that if I can find my way into the house to do so. No one would question my entering and leaving the manor. I was somewhat apprehensive at first but being the investigative reporter that I was, I chose to find a way into the house, first in a friendly way by just knocking on the door and second if I had to, I would find my way in through another entry.
Interestingly enough when I knocked there was what seemed to be the sound of footsteps in the distance coming to the door. Instead of leaving, I stayed there. Moments later the door slowly started to open and there in front of me was an older gentleman. He looked well over 100 years old and I can only imagine that this was actually Archibald Crimson II the father of the young Archibald who had been lost so many years ago.
The man was dressed in robes with worn and tattered the edges but not unkempt in any way. He was not completely cleanly shaven however he did have a one or two day old beard which appeared cleanly outlined which told me that he was still taking care of himself.
I introduced myself and he did confirm that he was indeed Archibald Crimson II whereby he invited me in and stated he did not often get many visitors these days. He escorted me into another room towards the right in his manner which reminded me more of a library and was kept up in many ways, however, most of the furniture was covered with sheets for the apparent reason none other than the fact that it was just not used.
I explained to him who I was and the interest I had with regard to investigating some of the events that happened along the way over the years as well as more importantly the activity within the church. I attempted to be considerate as possible being that some of these events would perhaps remind him of the loss of his son, however, more importantly, I assured him that I was investigating the recent activity at the church rather than anything from his past. If, however, he was interested in sharing any of that information, I would be much appreciative.
He was kind in his response and said that he didn’t mind sharing what he knew and asked me if I would care for a glass of wine. I responded in kind and said that would a very nice and then the two of us sat down in a comfortable seating area and he began to share a story.
He slowly reached into his pocket searching as he pulled out a ring with the family crest on it. He began to explain that this was the ring he gave to his son Archibald when he was just a boy many years ago and that eventually it had come back to him after Archibald had given it to his betrothed Danielle. Somewhere along the way 15 years later this man appeared stating that he had found the ring that was given to Danielle by his son and that he wanted to return it back to where it belongs.
Archibald thanked the man and asked if he would be interested in staying for a short period time at the estate as a thank you for returning the family heirloom and essentially the final piece of his son back to him. The stranger thankfully agreed and stayed for the week.
There was a slight pause in the conversation as Mr. Archibald seemed to reminisce about the events that happened during that time. After all it was 35 years ago and now Mr. Crimson was an older man. He then regained his thoughts and continued his conversation. He stated that the stranger had some encounters with Danielle while she was at Princeton and he was able to get to know her much better although she still seemed heartbroken and never really recovered from the loss of Archibald. She had explained to him about the ring and even showed it to him on more than one occasion.
He had met Danielle a few more times after she had come back to the manor. That was when Danielle seemed to have changed. Danielle believed that she somehow had seen Archibald in the manor one night when she was staying there and he led to a place that no one knew existed. He explained to her why he had left that night and gave her the ring to hold onto and told her that she needed to keep it safe and that he would once again ask for her to bring it to him in the future. It was after that encounter when she changed and started to believe that he was there with her, by her side, and that she would appear to speak to him and also mumble some odd words that no one seemed to be able to make out or understand.
We talked for hours Danielle and myself and tried to understand what she was going through whether or not she was having a nervous breakdown and even to show us this secret location that she was brought to by Archibald himself. She refused to show us and continued to deny that she was going through any kind mental or nervous breakdown. If we would just open our eyes, she would say, would be able to see Archibald and know that he was right here with us.
She left quietly one night, never saying goodbye or leaving any information behind as to where she was going. We just never saw her again. All of her things were gone and we assumed that she just left one night and went back to Princeton. We never tried to contact her again and just hoped for the best.
It was 15 years later when the stranger arrived bringing us the crest ring stating that Danielle insisted that he make sure we received it and to make sure that we give it back to Archibald as he would be waiting for us.
We still have the ring however, we have never seen Archibald nor did we expect to. After so many years of hope and wonder not even knowing what happened to him that day it still is a mystery and still brings tears to my eyes. It would be much easier if we had closure and knew what really did happen to him and where he did go. Even if the horrible thought of being kidnapped and murdered was true,at least we would know that and have closure. What if he was he taken and what if he is enslaved somewhere and still lives to this day. I just would like to be able to know his whereabouts.
Danielle seemed to know where he was in her odd state of mind but would never share that with us. The only consolation we had at the time was to think that our gear Archibald was not in any harm and seemed to be at peace where he was if he truly was communicating with Danielle.
So there we are 35 years later we still have the ring and we have no sign of Archibald.
He continued to tell me that no matter what it was I was investigating the Church had nothing to do with him and that I was free to investigate all I wanted. He asked not involve him in my investigation but he may be able to help. He had been tormented enough through the years having lost his only child as well as having seen Danielle appear to go mad over the years at her loss was very hard to bear as well.
This stranger seemed to be kind bringing back the crescent ring and then he himself left after that week never to be seen again.
As I listened to the final words in the story and finished my glass of wine I could tell that there was a deep sadness in this man’s soul. I didn’t dare ask if Mrs. Crimson was available and I was not even sure she was still alive. I dared not ask either. I was grateful for the time that he spent sharing his story with me and bid him farewell wondering if he minded in the future if I came back to visit some time. He reassured me that I was welcome to return at any time and even stay the night if I chose.
He then asked me to do him one last favor. I assured him that I would do anything I could. It was just then he reached out and handed me the crescent ring. He said I know you’re curious about what is happening in the church but I don’t think you’ll be able to get in without a good reason. Take this ring and hand it to the priest. He will know it’s from me and he will let you in, whereby, you can ask your questions and hopefully find the answers that you seek. Perhaps, you will be able to share those answers with me, so I to can find the peace of mind I am searching for. After which you can return the ring to me and then be on your way, however, you are welcome to stay if you choose to for a night or two.
Amazed at this fateful turn of events I thanked him, left and returned back to town.
Moments later I was called and asked to meet one of my colleagues in Boston late that night, stating that they had some information that might find useful for my story. I was glad to get out of the town for a bit.
Oddly, there were many people entering the church. I made my way to the entrance and searched for the priest. There was a figure in a brown hooded robe shaking hands with many of the members that were coming into the church. I could barely make out his face behind the hood but I did notice his hands coming out from the robe and they appeared to be very old and very fragile. They were thin and bone like in their current state was the only description I could muster. I had a chill run up my spine when I saw him reach out to shake my hand as I was still unable to see his face behind hooded robe. When he touched me, his cold hands sent more shivers down my spine and I was hard pressed to hide my fear.
Then the priest held out his open palm as if knowing exactly what was going to happen. I reached into my pants pocket and grabbed onto the ring gently placing it into the decaying bony hand of this wretched man. It was then that I got a glimpse of his face. Not really a face but a skull. It was a skull that was unfathomably old and appeared to be partially decaying. His eyes were more recessed in his orbital sockets and I could not even see the skin that was holding them in place. Nonetheless, those deeply socketed eyes pierced my very soul. Before I had a chance to say anything to this living decaying creature, I was quickly ushered to the front of the church and given a seat in the very first pew and instructed to take a seat.
Moments later the service began, the lights were slowly dimmed until they were completely replaced with candlelight from all over the church. The lights gave out a flickering and somewhat appealing atmosphere to the whole event. Over in the distance I could hear some chanting going on that started as a low whisper and began to increase in intensity at a predetermined resonance. As I closed my eyes to take in the feeling of the chanting mixed with the flickering lights given off by the candles, I started to fade into a trance-like state. I was barely aware of my surroundings and the humming in my head began to subside and shortly thereafter I was completely engulfed in a mesmerized state joining the congregation as a unit of one.
At that moment I found myself joined by all the people but for only a second as they seemed to pass by me one at a time, looked into my face and moved by as if waiting for me to react or for something to come. It was then that I found myself alone, horribly alone to the point that fear itself is a pleasant reprieve to what I was about to face. The deep distance of the universe seemed to surround me and I found myself in the deepest darkest place I had ever known. I was no longer on the planet let alone at the church. I was not even sure I was even in the known universe. I was in a place that seemed even deeper and darker than the universe itself. It was at that moment that I sensed the terror I was unaware of until that moment. In the distance was a shadow of an object, a barely perceivable entity in the distance, yet I could feel and experience in all my cells and all my body the most terror ridden state I had known in my life. It was a type of feeling not of this earth and not of anything I could put into words. It was as if I was completely penetrated with an essence of evil, horror and terror all at once. I could not even fathom or understand not only emotionally, no that it was a rare horror and somehow the universe itself was screaming at me and trying to take my complete essence from me. I barely got a glimpse of this creature in the distance and all I was able to see was a small amount of outline and what appeared to be a tentacle type front area where his face would have been. In my mind I could not understand or grasp the intensity of where I was, where I had been, what I was facing and where I was facing it. Along with the sounds of horror and emotions of fear came the shakes and sweat that poured from my body as if the life itself was being sucked from me at that moment both in horror and fear not just of life essence.
Before I was about to completely be engulfed in some energy life destroying force in this horrific nightmare, it disappeared completely. A horrific snap of a door shut from where I was and an immediate intense pounding of fists throbbing within my head began. The whole of the universe disappeared and I was back in the church. For a moment I was not sure where I was and I realized that I was no longer in the first pew. I was now somewhere else in another room sitting inside a circle surrounded by a variety of different robed figures all chanting over me.
Surrounding me was a greenish hue that seemed to be emanating from all of these figures. I seemed to have awakened at either the wrong time or the right time and not quite sure because if I’d stayed in a trancelike state I think I would’ve died right then and there. I think that was to some degree a surprise to the other folks that were surrounding me because I believe that at some point I’d been made their ritual and was their sacrifice. Instead of ending my life at that moment they all stopped doing what they were doing, the energy intensity in the room faded and the greenish hue that I saw disappeared.
Rather abruptly a group of the ritualists were grabbing me by the arms on either side and stood me up from a sitting position. I was moved to another location and was sat down. Another group of two different robed figures seemed to wash my face and cool me down trying to revive me from whatever my experience was and act as if they cared. Deep down I knew that it seemed like I was their sacrifice for the night and somehow I disappointed them by disrupting their ritual. The only other thought I was trying to accomplish was how to get out of there as fast as possible and yet I still could not move. I was so shaken and so weakened by the experience in my mind and I was still reeling at the unknown fathomable thought of having seen something that I could not understand or even comprehend and yet in my mind madness was starting to arise. There was a small amount of a spark within me that just realized that I was no longer myself that I was different that I was not the same human being that I once was and at that moment that part of time my sanity was not there. I seemed to come back to the reality that I was myself here in this chamber and I needed to leave. I started to get myself up shakily at first and walk away. No one seemed to resist me and no one seemed to stop me, they all just watched me as I wobbled my way out the door. They guided me a little and in time I was able to make it back to my room where I was staying in town. Exhausted and drenched in sweat I took a shower, drank as much fluid as I could and remembered that I was to meet my friend in Boston later that night. I wanted to get out of the town so desperately I packed what I needed and moments later even still shaking I was in my car driving on my way to Boston.