So here is what I've been up to today. HPL eat your heart out, cause here is the night of the squirrel god!
The Thing in the Woods.
I had thought that with the night being clear and fine that it would be a capital time to indulge in my passion for watching the heavens, the art of stargazing and astronomy. Oh how I wish that instead of venturing out on that fine, clear, crisp night I had stayed locked in my house and avoided the terrors that were to come. I wish I no longer carried the burden of knowing that the demise of our species was to come.
Aye, I saw on that night the downfall of mankind and in such a manner and fashion that I shall never be believed. I fear that if I even told the simplest soul just what the harbingers of our doom would be then I would surely be committed to an asylum for the mentally disturbed. Yes our end is upon us all, and it such a manner that no prophet, no matter how addled their brain is on laudanum or rotted by strong spirits, could ever predict.
Forgive me reader, I fear I have rotted some of my own cerebral matter with alcohol before setting out to commit my record of the events to paper. My name is Casper Wenlock and I have lived here in this burgh for only a few months so I doubt that you will recognise my name. I moved because of my passion for star gazing, the mountains here offering sufficient height and clearness of atmosphere to obtain the best views and I oft did wander out when the witching hour was gone. And I’ll admit to taking the odd tot of rum to keep the mountain chill out of my bones when I was maintaining my nightly vigils, but you must not think I had taken so much that night as to cloud my senses. What I saw was quite, quite real, horrifyingly so!
Anyway, to return to the night in question. It was just gone sundown when I set out and there was enough dusk light left to guide me through the woods, oh those terrifying woods, outside my house and up to the mountain ledge that I commonly used. I had taken with me my usual pack, containing such diverse instruments as my compass, telescope, field glasses, lantern and matches (to guide me on my return journey) and a small pack of sandwiches as well as my hip flask to keep out the cold. Oh how I now wish I had had something more potent than mere brandy, something that would block out the horrors that now dwell in my mind, I fear that nothing will do so.
This night seemed, at first, no different from any others as I wandered my way slowly enjoying the stillness n the air, but I soon came to realise something was deeply amiss. It plagued me on my walk and I began to feel a sense of deep unease, it felt not unalike to walking through a graveyard, that sense of primal fear that must have afflicted our forebears as they wandered the plains of Africa in mortal dread of lions and leopards.
In a flash it came to me what was prompting these qualms. There was no sound other than my own movements. Now I am sure, reader, that you know as well as I that a forest even at night is not a silent place. There is always the rustling in the undergrowth, movement in the branches and if nothing else there is always the sound of the wind rattling the leaves of the trees. But there was none of that background whispering, there was only silence and stillness.
I shook myself, took a steadying swig of my hipflask and told myself that it was merely that the night was cold and brisk that the creatures of canopy and undergrowth were merely hiding in some snug warm den somewhere. That the stillness and lack of wind would only be of help in my charting of the night’s sky and that this fear was unreasoning superstition. Oh how I wish I’d heeded my fears and turned and ran back to the safety of my study. Dear reader if ever you are out on a night and feel the short hairs on the back of your neck rise, if ever you experience that sense of unease, that shiver of primal fear that someone is walking upon your own grave, I tell you to heed it, heed it! I wish I had done so.
Still, to continue with my tale. I strode boldly forth ignoring those paranormal warnings of doom, and taking only a small sip from my flask to steady my shaky nerves I climbed on. Up, out the forest and across the alpine meadows, the air still so still and silent, ‘til I reached my usual spot. The sheer rock face of the mountain was at my back and a ledge some fifteen feet stuck out, flat as a pancake, giving me an ideal platform on which to stand. I took my bearings with my compass and set up the telescope and began my observations.
Some two hours must have passed and I was finally beginning to shake of my earlier fears. Something I am sure eating my sandwiches and a sip or so of brandy to ease the cold must have helped. The sky had so far been unremarkable with now new objects or nova to be seen. I was considering heading back to the house as the moon was starting to rise and it was in it’s fullest phase. I am sure, reader, that you know a full moon is bad for the serious astronomer as it’s reflected light obscures many of the stars.
In point of fact if the moon had not been due to rise so late that night I would have not ventured out at all. How I curse myself that I had not noticed all those signs and portents, but I had claimed to be a rational man and scorned such. I beg you, if you take nothing from this account, I beg you accept that our rational world is naught but a fiction the paranormal and supernatural surround us and such portents and omens should be heeded lest you pay my price!
But onwards, the moon had risen and I was debating whether to conduct a further study of its surface or return home when I saw it. A shooting star, at first I reckoned it to be a comet, it burned so brightly and for such a time. Shooting starts, or meteorites as the more academic will call them, burn only for a moment before their speed and the heat of atmospheric friction consumes. This one blazed for over a minute, the reason? It’s arc of descent was carrying it towards me, for a moment I froze certain I was about to be struck down from the heavens (and in a fashion so I was, oh cruel irony).
Then at the last moment I spied that its path would carry it past my position and have it crash into the woods below me. I flung myself to ground still, certain I was that such a rock that could survive entry into the atmosphere of the earth and blaze so bright would create a massive blast and leave a huge crater. The sound and fury was indeed great, but not on the magnitude I had feared, there was no sheet of fire or shockwave. The ground did tremor briefly as it impacted, but it was only a light shaking.
I pulled myself back to my feet and looked out and down across the night sky, the moon was now high enough in it’s arc that I could clearly see a plume of smoke rising from within the forest marking the end of the star’s travels and I felt a thrill of excitement that I might be able to discover the actual rock itself. I took only the smallest swallow of brandy from my flask and set off back down the mountain. Such was my haste that I confess I left me telescope behind me still set upon the ledge.
Down I clambered, until at last I returned to the forest. Upon re-entering the stygian darkness of the forest floor I felt again the odd fear chilling my spine. This time there was a dark difference, a feeling of some other presence. I felt as if I were not alone!
I called out several times, hollering out into the dark hoping to accost the other person who’s presence I could so clearly sense. At that point, what with the combination of fear and excitement, I had quite forgotten that I had my old oil lantern with me and was navigating by the light of the full moon. I do not know if you have ever walked in a forest by moonlight in winter, but it is a singular experience, the harsh white light cuts eerie silhouettes across the ground. It was an odd light so clear and bright, yet so dark and deceptive at the same time. More than once I stopped to check my compass and regain my bearings as I headed toward the point I had marked as the crater zone.
At one point I stumbled upon a log, badly injuring my ankle. As I pulled myself up from the ground I noticed a pair of eyes glowing in the darkness of the canopy. I gasped in terror and fell back again. As I lay there on the ground I thought, I am sure I glimpsed yet more eyes watching me. But with my gasp they all vanished. At the time I put it down to the moonlight reflecting of the cornea of some small inoffensive woodland creature, and the multiples of it were just a trick of my own eyes failing to adapt as I fell. Their disappearance was merely that of a sudden noise frightening the creature away.
Oh, how I now weep for my arrogance, I now pay the price for mankind’s unthinking conceit how we take such pride in out assumption that we are lords of creation. How wrong we are, how wrong we are! Had I but known it then, this was my last chance to escape my fate, and I threw it away! Oh reader, you may not care, but I am sobbing now as I write this passage.
I pulled myself upright again, thankful for the sturdy walking stick I had had the sense to bring with me. Cautiously I looked up into the branches of the trees, fearful of what I might see, but they were empty this time. Or so I had thought. I set of again, this time at a slightly faster pace. It was then I heard a piercing scream cut through the night air.
My first thought was that it had been a screech owl, but it came again and ended with an odd gurgling sound. I knew it was human, then I heard a dog bark once and suddenly stop. I knew exactly what was happening, or so I told myself, some other soul had seen the meteor crash to earth and had set off himself to claim it. Whoever he was he obviously got into some difficulty, like myself slipping on the log, only with more serious results.
I steadied my nerves and set off again, determined to help my fellow man. I headed towards the source of the scream, and I knew it was in the same direction as the meteor landing. I knew I was drawing closer to the landing site when I came upon an avenue of trees uprooted and tossed aside as if by some giant force. From the top of the avenue there was an eldritch glow emanating from the crater.
I took a second to fortify my spirits with one final draught from my hip flask, as I placed it back in pack I half turned and saw the woods behind me covered with pairs of eyes. Glowing red eyes shining from the dark wood and they were drawing closer towards me. I realised that there was to be no turning back, whatever phantoms were behind those eyes were shepherding me towards the crater!
I stumbled in fear and cried out, and as I did so I realised that this must have been what caused the scream I had heard. Some other poor soul had already been driven into that glowing hell. As I approached the lip of the crater I stepped on something soft. I looked down, it was a corpse! I had stood on the body of the previous victim of this nightmare. As far as I could tell in the moonlight and strange green glow he had died of terror as his body was untouched.
Still the nightmare creatures with the glowing red eyes advanced, there were hundreds of them! I had no choice but to enter the crater. In my terror I tripped over the rim and tumbled down the still warm sides. I landed with my face mere inches away from the remains of some animal, it took a moment for me to realise that it had been a dog so savage were it’s wounds. Something has ripped it’s throat out and then gorged itself, or themselves on it’s body. I recognised at once the multiple bite marks.
I am ashamed to admit I screamed once more, this was too much for a mortal man to bear, but I was to bear worse before this night was over. For as I recoiled from the corpse of the dog, I caught sight of the true horror. I saw that which had fallen to the earth! It had been no metorite, it had been a monster.
It was huge, I cannot say how large, save that it would tower over the tallest carthorse and it’s bulk was more than that of any three horses put together. Corpulent and covered in fur, and that fur covered in so glowing green slime. As I stared I could see that the creature’s fur rippled and undulated as if there were some unholy organs fighting to be released from the prison of flesh. It had some huge tail slipping out behind it like a deformed tentacle. Whether that appendage was covered in fur or slime I could not tell as it oozed and bubbled with stinking pus.
The creature raised it’s giant bulk on four limbs, no two appeared to be the same having it’s joints in different places from it’s other and one having more joints than any leg should. It made my eyes water just to look upon it, almost as if it did not belong to this plane of reality, as my eyes were trying to make sense of something they could see but my brain not process. The creature towered over me and I looked up into its face.
Its jaws were enormous and it drooled slime, saliva and phlegm. The mixture of oral fluids dripped off the giant incisors and I would have laughed if only I could. It resembled nothing more than a giant deformed squirrel. If some stage comedian had described this creature the audience would have laughed at it’s ridiculousness. But it was real, and it was before and it was not laughable, but horrifying.
And then the creature focused it’s eyes upon me and I felt such pain. Those eyes, those horrible, empty eyes it was like staring into oblivion itself. I tried to break away from that stare, to close my eyes, to run to do anything. But it’s gaze had me trapped like a fly in amber, I had no will of my own. The pain was agonising, I sobbed and screamed and begged for release, but it would not let me go.
Then, oh horror I can barely write this, then I felt it in my mind. MY MIND! It had violated my very soul itself, our most sacred space is that behind our eyes and it was there. I could feel it rooting through my mind, sucking whatever information it wanted from me. I tried to resist, I swear I tried, but I had no will. This beast had willpower greater than anything I had ever known and could force my mind open.
And I felt it’s thoughts, thoughts so alien I can still barely comprehend it. Pitiful creature, that was what it called me it’s words echoing unspoken in my mind. Pitiful creature what manner of vermin are you? Your kind infest this world, you shall be my puppets, playthings, slaves and food. I am Arcrnetr (this is the closest I could get to translating the things name, for I do not think our language is capable of reproducing it’s sound) and I have travelled across the deep voids to arrive here.
I once more tried to break free of it’s fearful grip, but I could feel it laughing at me. Pitiful creature, you are a monkey, a chattering ape I am a god (it told me this I swear) do not think your small pathetic will can override me. I felt such a surge of pain as if my skin itself were on fire. You amuse me you puny thing, in your misplaced confidence and false superiority. I have sent my children ahead of me, to prepare this world for my coming, they live all around you, even drawing into your cities. Soon they shall sweep across your lands and bring me your flesh to feed.
I was broken at this point and felt my end was near, and I knew the creature, Arcrnetr, knew it too. I could feel it’s laughter in my soul, it was playing with me like a cat with a mouse. I drew whatever resolve I could muster and shot a thought back at it. That whatever it’s children were they would be recognised and destroyed. Then Arcrnetr taunted me, oh puny pathetic monkey shall I show you my children? It echoed in my mind.
I felt myself turning, I had no volition of my own and it was Arcrnetr that was controlling me. There were it’s children feasting on the corpse of dog and higher up on the crater limb the corpse of the poor man who died of fear. Their teeth were ripping at the flesh, cracking bones and sucking the marrow from them. Oh reader I beg you do not laugh at me, but they were squirrels, squirrels.
I felt Arcrnetr laugh in my mind again, as I stared in horror at the surreal scene. See monkey, my children will escape your notice until the time they are at your throats. I shall grant you a boon monkey, it told me, I shall let you live for now. I am weary from my travels and the stars are not yet right for my empire to rise. I shall let you live for now, I shall let you run and rant and watch your world scorn you for a madman.
I felt it’s presence withdraw from my soul and my body dropped to the floor. Those fearful fiends, those flesh eating twisted monsters that were squirrels drew back leaving an open path between myself and the crater rim. I was being allowed to leave. I stared back at the monster that had just invaded my mind and saw yet another unnatural miracle. It seemed to melt into the ground itself, and I knew it was merely resting, preparing itself for the day when the dominion of this bizarre squirrel god would dawn.
I ran straight here, but all the time I staggered through the forest I could see those glowing red eyes tracking me. Even when I reached the house itself a tide of fur swarmed over the lawn. I managed to unlock the door and as I fell into the house I had once more glimpse of the horror covering the lawn, with their dripping incisors and fearful eyes.
So now, dear reader I have finished this tale I give you the warning you will never take seriously. The warning which you will laugh about.
Beware the Squirrels, beware them. And beware the rise of the squirrel god, I know I will not allow myself to see his empire rise.
Evidence Note: #1
Suicide note found next to body of Casper Wenlock.
See also Evidence#2 an empty bottle of brandy and evidence#3 empty bottle of painkillers.
Subject was believed to be delusional schizophrenic.
I'd ask for feedback but I've a feeling it would be something along the lines of "You sick fuck"