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In the Chambers of Horror

Do you know how, when you live in anapartment complex, you never know what's in the rooms beside you? I know. Iknow now. And I wish I never set foot in those accursed rooms..
I know people will try to mock me as I tellmy story, and you will probably not believe it. But what is worse? For thisstory to be true, or for my mind to be so utterly grotesque as to come up withthis sort of thing? For this, I assure you, was not a product of my mind. Norcould it be the product of any sanemind, for that matter. And I am still sane. It is a miracle that I am, but I amstill sane. Sane enough to relay to you my story that started on thatblasphemous night of the 4th of January in the year 2009.

I, being a student of law at MiskatonicUniversity in Arkham, was in my quarters, occupying myself while listening toHändel's Violin Sonata Opus 1-13, when a strange and positively foul odourentered my nostrils. It was a smell I can't soon describe, a mix of burningmeat, rotting eggs and pure decay. I almost vomited, that is how fast thishorrible smell came over me. For the life of me I couldn't understand what wasit's cause, but being the timid person I am, I waited before I would go findout what it was.
An hour had passed, but the stench hadn'tdissolved and I was about ready to throw up again. I decided there was no otherway and stepped out into the hallway in search of the origin of this unholystink.
Oh how I pray now every night that I couldgo back to that point in time and return to my room, lock the door, and sleep asilent sleep. For I'm afraid I may never sleep again, not without waking upscreaming and covered in sweat after the vile things I saw that night.

The odour was distinctly emanating from theroom next to mine, of which I had never seen the occupant. I'm a secluded manand do much enjoy a good book over the insistent blabbering of people, hence Ihad never met anyone living in my building. The only person I didn't mind tospeak to once in a while was old lady Rose that lived in the apartment acrossthe hall. She was a sweet old lady and we often played chess or shared memoriestogether. The rest, I had never even seen. I hear their sounds sometimes, theirtv's, laughter, the moving of furniture. Sometimes I hear them walk around,even above me in the attic, where no one is supposed to be living. Thisbuilding has a strange way of twisting sounds, of that I was sure. But a smelllike this, I had never encountered.
I knocked on my neighbour's door, despitethe late hour, for some insight into the source of this most ghastly stench.
No reply.
I knocked again, but when my fist hit thedoor for the forth time, I noticed it was unlocked, as it opened inwardslightly.
"Excuse me," I said while I opened thedoor, "I do–"
My words were wedged inside my throat as Ilooked into that Chamber of Horror, and even now it is with great anxiety thatI am able to write this down..

There is no way to describe the terribleimpression that came over me, the sheer horror that overwhelmed my senses andnumbed my thoughts. At that very moment, everything ceased to exist but me andthat terrible, terrible room. To any who is reading this: I implore you, do notsearch for this building, do not succumb to it's air of secrets as I did, andplease, never open the door next to yours. You never know what terrible secretsyou might find.
For a moment I stood petrified on the spot.Then, I recoiled in pure, undiluted fear and vomited on the cold, stone floor.The room's only window had been boarded up, barring the eerie glow the moonemanated at this hour. In the pale moonlight I could see the walls of the room,covered in strangers markings of some ancient design, unholy and horrible inappearance. In between these Cyclopean symbols were drawings of a most hideousnature. They had been scribbled on the wall in ink, but the sense of realismand impending doom was so striking, I'd half phantomed they were pictures froma history book. The drawings depicted some grotesque and wretched beings,raining down upon the earth from the stars. Their faces were starfish-like inappearance, their deep, brooding eyes mounted on stalks emanating from thefive-pointed starfish heads. These monstrosities were obviously an object ofworship for whoever (or..whatever) had lived in the room next to mine for thepast years. There were small statues all over the dimly lit room, depicting thesame vile things as the etchings on the walls.

You might not understand by thisdescription why I was so taken aback when I opened the room…this is because Ileft out the most horrific and inhuman thing I saw in that accursed room. Butthe reader has a right to know, and I should be frank. I have said before thatthe room was completely dark, but in reality this was not the case. Oh how Iwish it had been completely dark in that Chamber of Horror, so that I had beenspared from the images that haunted my dreams every night. The truth is, thelightning coming in from the hall was enough to bathe the obscure room in asick, florescent light.
There, in the middle of the room, waspositioned in the most unholy of ways, the body of what I believed to be myneighbour. His bones had been broken in several places, allowing whoever didthis to twist his body into the horrible shape of the pentagram. His legs hadbeen folded into themselves and pointed to the right and left, forming the twobottom points of the star. His arms were stretched out, nailed to the floor andaround this lifeless and rotting carcass, a circle was drawn. Around the circlewere placed five candles, which had long since burned out, and above it waswritten a curious phrase that I vaguely recognized from stories I heard atMiskatonic about the dreaded Necronomicon:

Iä, Iä, Cthulhu Fhtagn!
Most shocking in this display of inhumanhorror was the dace of my lifeless neighbour: it's features were so exaggeratedthat he hardly looked human at all, and five holes, filled up with clottedblood, seemed drilled into it.

I wanted to run and get away from thisterrible place, so I went to get my mobile phone from my room to call thepolice. Imagine my surprise and utter desperation when I found my room, which Ihad only left for an instant, violated in the most sinister of ways. My phone,of course, was missing, but that was hardly the worst of it. My window had beenboarded shut and the entire…look…of my room had changed in an unspeakable way.The angles seemed all wrong, as if the dimensional rules of geometry hadabandoned the space completely. I could hardly tell what was up from what wasdown, and the insane perspective of all my furniture shewed no link with theworld of men.
Terrified I ran to the end of the hall,determined to leave this place with it's chambers of horrors at once, but itwas not meant to be.
The door at the end of the hall, which wasalways open in case of emergencies or fire, had been locked from the outside.Oh how horrible the thought that m own landlord had something to do with all ofthis, all of these monstrous deeds that would leave any sane man huddled into acorner, weeping for his lost innocence. How could anything from this world beso cruel as to leave me here, locked up like an animal, inside this maddeninghallway?

As I started ramming the door with all mystrength, a strange, liquid throbbing filled my mind. An uncanny sound of someslimy, alien heart, pounding somewhere in the vast reaches of space.
I didn't know what to do or where to go. Ibanged on the door until my knuckles bled, I screamed for someone to help me,to release me from this hellish torment, and all the while, the throbbingcontinued.
Then, without warning, the terrifying soundstopped, and my mind was my
own again. I felt, on a purely psychological level,that whatever alien thing that inhabited this horrible apartment complex, hadfinally died. It is only because of this sense of security that I dared ventureback into the harrowing hall, and it is only in retrospect that I realize howfoolish this was.
What kind of strange, otherworldly creaturewould be able to mend the minds of men in this way, I do not know. But what Ido know is that the world must know of their existence, so that it can prepareand see for itself the most horrible of masquerades.

Revitalized by my false sense of security,I opened the door to studio three, where old Rose makes her home. I wanted tosee if she was okay, maybe the gruesome thing that did all this had died beforehe got to her.
When I opened the door, my reaction was oneof happiness, as well as one of intensely deep terror. The walls of the oldlady's home were engraved in the same manner as those in the room of myneighbour, the chilling symbols from a long gone age glowing with anotherworldly green glow. The pictures here were even stranger than those in theother room, depicting not only the alien and utterly malign monsters from outof space, but, amidst them, humans, cats and dogs. The etching was terriblyunsettling, as the sharp contrast between the monsters and normal humans seemedto make the creatures even more appalling. Why would those dreadful beingsdepict us in their midst?

But before I had a chance to think aboutsuch things, I noticed, directly in front of me, a horrible misshapen figure ofa man. The silhouette was missing an arm and was breathing heavily.
When Istared the abomination in the eyes, I saw it was Rose, the kind, old lady thatI did indeed set out to find. Her face looked like it was melting, her skinoozing from her bones and dripping on the floor with soft splashes. She wasstanding, hunched over a dead body, probably that of whatever abysmal thing wasresponsible for all of this.
"Oh my God, Rose, are you alright!?" Iasked her, timidly.
"Yess…we are alright…for now" themonstrosity answered, in a tongue almost unintelligible.
I felt something was wrong, and as thecreature stepped closed to me, it revealed the identity of the body on thefloor.
Oh God I pray no one will ever be forced towitness such horrible revelations, such insights into the workings of thisworld as I have on that frightful night. How I wish I could dismiss what I sawas madness, as a hallucination caused by the intense fear I was experiencing,or a trick of shadows. But what I saw there was clear as day, as clear asanything could ever be. The body on the floor….was Rose.

[I screamed in unbelievable fear and terroras this most foul of revelations dawned upon me, but it was already too late.The creature grabbed hold of me with it's filthy imitation hands and Rose'sold, wrinkly face, opened up to reveal five, repugnantly moist tentacles whichhooked into my face.
My arms shot forward in a desperate attempt to free myself from the creature’s mortal grasp, and I somehow succeeded tot wriggle myself loose.
As I ran into the hallway, I caught a glimpse of the monster collapsing to the floor behind me. I slammed the door shut and sprinted back into my own room, whose freakishly alien geometry seemed undeniably less repulsive than the horrors that awaited me on the other side of that door, which I quickly barricaded with my desk.
These are the circumstances under which I am writing this account of my fearsome night in these dreaded chambers of horror. My own room a constant reminder of the horrible secrets this world has kept from us for ages… No more.
Please, whoever reads this, know that theyare still among us, know that they are real. Everything the Necronomicon speaksof is r—

Iä, Iä, Cthulhu Fhtagn!

Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyehwgah’nagl fhtagn!]

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8 comments on “In the Chambers of Horror

  1. Harry d. Busdriver
    23 January 2009

    Bij de weg, het deel tussen [ ] is optioneel. Het is Lovecraftiaanser als het zonder dat deel gelezen wordt, maar ik vond het wel een leuk stukje.

  2. Zinzi
    24 January 2009

    Humm, ik vind het niet zó. Heb igg betere stukken van je gelezen. Je noemt iets te vaak ‘horror’ naar mijn zin. Zo van ”vind dit eng omdat ik zeg dat het eng is”, if you know what I mean. Maar het is wel heel knap dat je dit in het Engels kunt schrijven en het leest makkelijk weg. :)

  3. Maudy
    24 January 2009

    mja XD k heb dus al gezegd wat k ervan vond XP vind t verhaal wel leuk, k vind je hoofdpersoon alleen irritant XD heb je je dorian boek nou al aangezet :P

  4. Harry d. Busdriver
    24 January 2009

    @ Zinzi:
    Het is lovecraftiaans om huge hoeveelheden bijvoeglijke naamwoorden die lijken op GROTESQUE te gebruiken, dus vandaar. I might’ve overdid it a little though 0=]
    @ Maudy:
    Ah..neen. Meestal luister ik boeken in Maastricht, want LOLGEENINTERNET + betere geluidsinstallatie.

  5. Zinzi
    25 January 2009

    Aha. Dan denk ik dat ik zijn verhalen helemaal niet zou waarderen.

  6. Nicole
    26 January 2009

    Het is geschreven zoals een lady uit het victoriaanse tijdperk in haar dagboek zou schrijven. O such drama! Kzeg niet dat het verkeerd of goed is, het is gewoon een stijl.
    En ik moest een mening geven… Hmmm. I like parts of it, maar het kan nog veel enger! Blijf ze wel schrijven though ^_^ (sorry voor de late reactie zoals gewoonlijk :p)

  7. Nicole
    26 January 2009

    Oh en je moet Hitchcock movies kijken als je meer horror gaat schrijven. Die zijn vrij win!

  8. Roy
    27 January 2009

    Ik vond het wel een vet verhaal…

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This entry was posted on 23 January 2009 by in Original Content, Stories and tagged , , , .

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