Beneath the Blackest Depths
The light cast by my oil lamp begins to dim, like the waning hope that is in my heart. As I watch the shadows engulf this sparse and forsaken place in which I am staying, I cannot help but hear the roars of the ocean. I know this to be impossible. I left the sea and the horrors it contained behind when I fled my home so many nights ago. But I can still hear the swirling waves throwing themselves against jagged shore rocks, and then fall, screaming back into the swirling abyss. I can still feel the coarse surface of gray sand rubbing against my skin. And I can still see that black devil's cruel yellow eyes burning within my soul.
And I have seen, felt, and heard these things for too long. That is why when the small clock in my room strikes midnight tonight, I shall have taken a LeMat revolver that belonged to a relative, stuck it into my mouth, and pulled the trigger.
If anyone finds this note beneath the floorboards, please, do not judge me too harshly. For I know that many consider it a grave and unforgivable sin to take one's own life. But I have seen things….horrible things…unimaginable things that would shred the soul of the bravest man. And just by bearing witness to such unholy sights, I know that I am too weak to continue on.
My body is broken, my sanity is slipping, and my faith in God has vanished. I know not why I must scribble on this piece of paper, but yet, I feel compelled to do so. Perhaps it is because I feel someone needs to know about the things that I have seen. Or maybe this decrepit old man just wishes to receive sympathy from a stranger who will discover his corpse.
Whatever the reason, I must complete this grim task. Whoever reads this letter may be shocked, disgusted, and baffled with what is scribbled on it. I know that it is too horrible to believe, but I swear that these are not the delusions of a madman, but cold, merciless reality.
My name was James Tyler Mallory, I was born April 20, 1870. I was a pastor at the Church of Christ at Kingsport, Massachusetts, a small coastal village a midnight's stroll from the crime infested city known as Arkham. My obsession with the lord began when I was young, and my parents, both devout Protestants, only encouraged me to follow my dream of spreading God's word. After receiving the proper training, and studying the Good Book until I knew nearly every gospel by heart, I became the pastor of Kingsport's local church at the beginning of the twentieth century.
It was during this time that many foreigners from godforsaken lands set sail for America. Hundreds of boorish, black skinned devils from islands in the Caribbean decided to settle in Kingsport. They were loathsome creatures that often tied seashells into their hair and carved strange runes into their flesh. But what disturbed me most about these savages was their worship of pagan gods. There was not a single Christian to be counted among them.
Heathens! I would not have them infecting Kingsport with such filth! I took it upon myself to civilize these sub-humans and show them God's light. Fortunately, many of them realized the falsehood of their gods and I witnessed many converts among the islanders.
Things were well in Kingsport until autumn of 1918. That was when I met the man-if he could be called a man -who would decimate Kingsport and all that I held dear. I remember the event so vividly: it was twilight; I was just walking home from errands when I noticed a group of children gathering in the park. Little boys and girls, all of them encircling this disgusting creature dressed in a tawdry black cloak.
He stood among them, muttering words that no human throat was meant to utter and gesticulating with his bony fingers. I found myself growing disgusted at the display and confronted the man. Upon seeing me, the children immediately dispersed, and I was left alone with him. And what a despicable sight he was! His skin was as black as obsidian, his eyes sickly yellow, and he strung shark teeth to his dreadlocks that fell from beneath a beaten top hat. A gold medallion molded into the shape of coiling serpents fell from around his neck. I puzzled for a moment and debated with myself whether or not this thing was, indeed, a human being.
He smiled when he saw me, and, removing his hat, bowed before me and introduced himself simply as "Baron Samedi". I was taken aback when I noticed the vague French accent in his voice, and eloquence of his speech. So this was a sophisticated man, and not merely another ignorant islander. But my awe quickly turned to anger when I remembered what he had been doing with the children only a few moments before.
When I introduced myself as Kingsport's pastor and demanded an explanation for his actions, he simply chuckled and remarked flippantly about entertaining the children with magic. I told him that the people of this town were devout Christians and had no need for such devilry. He smiled and said that they would soon enough, for a great calamity was about to occur, and the people of Kingsport would need to pray to-what he called-"stronger gods".
I lost my temper when he said this and threatened to inform the constable of his doings. Baron Samedi simply glared at me with inhuman malice and disappeared into a nearby alley. I wouldn't see him again for another twelve months. And when I did, his evil would have already begun to taint the town.
The calamity came just like he said it would. For nearly half a year the fishing nets of Kingsport were empty, hundreds lost their jobs, and many more would lose their homes. Depression came to our town, and hundreds were forced to leave for Arkham or Dunwich in search of employment. It was during this dark time that I was holding a sermon on a dreary Sunday morning when the devil decided to pay me a visit.
Baron Samedi-accompanied by half dozen islanders-burst into my church and denounced me as a false prophet. He then proceeded to rant about how my congregation been deceived by my teachings, and that he was the town's only hope for surviving the depression. Baron Samedi promised to give all those who followed him infinite wealth if they were to renounce their Christian faith.
Members of my congregation flew into a rage at Samedi's words and forcibly removed him and his followers, but not before several misguided souls took him up on his word and forsook God's love.
The incident angered my greatly, and I decided to take the matter up with the authorities. I paid a visit to the constable as soon as my sermon was concluded, and described what Samedi had done to the only fat slob in Kingsport who wore a badge. He scratched some things down on a notepad and nodded absentmindedly. I was growing annoyed with his uncaring manner, and was about to demand he do something about Samedi immediately, when I saw the glimmer of gold on the constable's finger. That man had owned a ring in his life. My blood froze upon closer inspection of the ring-golden coiled serpents, the same as Samedi's medallion. So Kingsport's constable was in league with the devil himself.
I was speechless.
That night, a blanket of fog fell upon Kingsport, eerie, green curling wisps that blanketed every street and avenue in the town. I lay awake, that night, thinking of all that had transpired, while looking out my second story window, when, I spotted it. A phantom beacon of light moving through the fog.
I knew it was him. It had to be. He was up to more of his black magic and devilry that much I was certain of. I located an old revolver in my desk and loaded it. I would put a stop to this madness, I would excise this evil that was plaguing Kingsport. Although I loathed admitting that I felt strange about killing another human being, I reminded myself that Baron Samedi was both an infidel and a devil-worshipper. Could the Almighty really care about someone who had strayed so far from his word?
Exiting my house, I followed the light through Kingsport's abandoned streets and eventually toward the cliff on which the old lighthouse stood. The night was unusually cold, even for being this close to the ocean, and every breath was struggle for my old lungs. The chill air numbed my hands, and brought sharp pains to my legs, but I persevered. As I got closer, I realized, to my disappointment, that the source of the light came from an oil lamp held by one of Samedi's followers. So I would not be able to kill him as soon as I thought, but I knew that the brute trudging through the darkness would eventually lead me to his master, and so I continued to follow him.
We came to the bottom cliff, and he walked out onto the jagged rocks that covered the shore. There was Samedi, standing on a jetty that overlooked the ocean, surrounded by a crowd that was hundred strong. I watched the dark, writhing forms and pondered how I could ever get close enough to Samedi without attracting attention to myself. Surely some of the dark skinned devils in the crowd would recognize me and alert their master to my presence.
As I was devising a plan that would allow me to carry out my assassination, Baron Samedi threw out his arms and called out to the crowd. A young girl dressed in a white skirt stepped out from the throng of people and joined Samedi on the jetty. The fiend immediately grabbed hold of her and stripped her of her clothing. When she was standing naked and shivering in the cold ocean air, Baron Samedi withdrew a knife in his cloak and began cutting strange runes into the poor girl's flesh. Her screams were terrible to hear, and she tried to break from Samedi's hands, but he was too strong. The madman did not stop until her abdomen and back was covered with deep wounds.
Then-my hand trembles as I struggle to write about what came next-he had his followers chain her to a rock, and then, he stood near the swirling water. Thrusting out his hands yet again, he gurgled that same alien language I had heard him utter several months before. Just the sound of it sent chills down my spine! A feeling of dread-unlike any I had experienced before-washed over me. And at that moment, I realized that I was about to bear witness to something that no mortal eyes should ever see.
When Samedi had finished chanting, he reached into his cloak and produced a small object. I couldn't see what it was from where I stood, but it resembled a golden disk. Taking hold of it, Samedi muttered one final prayer-if it could be called that-and flung it into the water. The object glimmered in the mist before being swallowed by the ocean's depths.
The world was silence for several seconds. Then, the earth began to shake, and the waves threw themselves upon the shore with greater intensity. The black ocean parted and-my heart races as I think about what emerged from the sea. Can I truly describe what I saw? Are there words that can describe the image of a cyclopean abomination from hell coming into the world?
A monstrosity of tentacles, teeth, and eyes one hundred feet high threw itself upon the beach. Its ungodly roar split the sky, and Samedi's followers scrambled for cover as the creature crawled or slithered toward the madman. Laughing aloud, Samedi chanted his demon god's name: "J'Ral, J'Ral, J'ral!"
The beast watched the scattering crowd, then a spiny tongue emerged from one of its mouths and wrapped itself around the hapless girl who was chained. She shrieked, it plucked her from her place, she flew in air and disappeared into one of its maws, Samedi laughed, and then, the thing plunged back into the sea. Several minutes passed, Samedi called out to his followers and pointed to the sea, that's when I saw it.
Gold. Millions and millions of dollars of gold, littering like the coastline like trash. I fell to my knees in exasperation. I felt dizzy, my sight began to fail me, and I began to shake. I tried to comprehend what I had just seen, I knew it to be real, but I refused to believe it. I was trapped in a nightmare, I had to be, and there was no possible way for this to be real! Baron Samedi had promised his followers infinite wealth he gave it to them.
Gunshots rang out, and the sand by me exploded. Several of Samedi's followers pointed in my direction and waved rifles. So I had been discovered.
Samedi turned to me, I could see his yellow eyes glowing like fire in the night. They were so full of hatred and evil that I turned away in fear. The gunshots continued, and, darting up from my place, turned and ran. I ran away from the ocean, away from Kingsport, away from the horror. I ran until my legs ached and the skin on my soles began to peel. When I was too exhausted to go any further, I fell into a fitful sleep, and I dreamt of being devoured by a nameless, shapeless thing with a million jaws.
When I awoke, I heard voices and knew them to be Samedi's followers. So I continued onward for another day, until I finally came to a crumbling cabin in the woods.
And it is here I sit. Scribbling what will soon be my suicide note. I cannot go on. Not after what I have seen. Life, purpose, pleasure, all seem so meaningless now. For I have glimpsed the things that dwell in the dark corners of the Earth.
What is that? I hear something scrapping at the door. I can hear those slithering tentacles moving throughout the cabin, trying to find a way inside. I can see the mutilated girl standing in front of me. God! Her eyes are without pupils, and she points and smiles at me with a butchered arm. I can hear his laughter! It reverberates throughout my mind and across the dark halls of time!
Stop! Make it stop!
Damn you, Baron Samedi! Damn you to hell!
You shall not get me. You shall not sacrifice me to your demon god!
Death shall be my escape!