Joined: 25 Sep 2002
Location: cem's otherbody
Text Relating to Richard and Eric
ERIC (Diary Entry)
|To-day Miss Mary-Anne was teaching us some history. We were learning about the colonization of American, and how Columbus sailed into Mexico. Richard kept poking me in the shoulder until Miss Mary-Anne told him to stop it. And then Richard got angry. I don't like it when Richard gets angry because he likes to throw things. Today he threw a book at Miss Mary-Anne. Miss Mary-Anne, she went home crying too. I feel bad for her, since usually I am the one that he is mad at. Maybe I should have just let him poke me. Father had words with Richard though. I heard him all the way in my room. Now I fell bad and wish I'd let him poke me.
ERIC & RICHARD
|Richard: What have we got here?
Eric: Give it back richard!
Richard: Only girls have diaries
Eric: Its not a diary
Richard: Then i can read it!
Eric: Give it back!
From Morse left on Layla's Blog:
Oddity in Layla's Blog
She didn't write it
|G 4 9
Then the LORD said to Cain, "Where is your brother Abel?"
"I don't know," he replied. "Am I my brother's keeper?"
|I told them that I slipped on the knife. I didn’t want Richard to get in trouble but I think they know anyway. He didn’t mean it, I’m sure he was just goofing off. He said ‘Lirchard rets pay plirates!’ And then I was bleeding into the water. I didn’t scream. It was Richard who got scared. Richard said, ‘Mommy, Eric hut cimself!’ That’s how she knew he was lying I guess. Everybody hates when Richard talks like that. They say it’s a speech impediment. I had to get ten stitches up my arm. Dad says it’ll probably scar, but I think scars are cool. Mom threw the washbasin out.
The doctor told me it would be an easy delivery. The delivery was easy; the birth was hard. I didn’t know I’d be having twins. I didn’t know that they’d be born with such a deformity. I was faced with a choice, the doctor said they could easily be separated, however one of the boys would be missing a hand. I made my decision. In my sorrow I named the perfect child Eric, and his brother Richard. I hope that he will have the heart of a lion to face his deformity with courage.
The doctors say that something is wrong with my son Richard. In his mind. He speaks oddly, even for a small child, and sometimes, I am afraid he might try to hurt his brother.
My fears have come to pass! We found Eric bleeding today, and Richard said he cut himself, but how can I believe it? My sons, my little Cain and Abel, I pray for you.
|I've been sitting alone for a while. Mommy made Richard go and stay in the guest room. I think she locked the door. My bandages are itchy. I know it wasn?t Richards fault. He came to me the other day and he said...
ERIC (The continuation of above)
|"Saw him again. Don't you ever see him?"
The Tall Man. Richard talks about him a lot. I know he isn't lying; Richard would never lie to me. The Tall Man must have made him do it.
|I saw a funny shadow on the wall today. Is that the Tall Man Richard talks about? He says the Tall Man talks to him. He says it’s the Tall Man who makes my things disappear. I’m jealous. Dad wants to send Richard away to school. I will miss him.
|Richard is leaving for school today. I asked him if he was
going to forget about me. He said he wouldn't because we're
twins and twins are like two sides of a mirror. You can't
have one without the other. Then he told me that the Tall
Man says that he is like the glass in between. I don't know
what that means...
|it hurts oh it hurts i saw him standing there behind richard the tall man it was the tall man he wanted it and he made richard take it oh it hurts
i heard HIM laughing
i stared down at the limp, seemingly lifeless body of my brother, and i noticed what, in my panic i had overlooked. at the end of richard’s arm, has bad arm, was a hand that looked as though it were made of the moon’s shadow.
i glanced up at the trees where the tall man lurked, frightened, but also angry. go away! i ordered, but to no effect. i glared at him, but my deep green stare had not effect.
something grabbed my ankle. it was the ghostly hand that adorned my brother’s scared wrist. but richard was still limp on the ground.
i tried to pull away but it held me with supernatural strength.
leave us alone!
the tall man laughed.
leave us alone!
i pulled and pulled, but the grip on my ankle only tightened, the phantom nails digging into my flesh.. it was hopeless.
met ly brother go!
the voice startled me. i looked down, and saw, to my surprise and delight, my brother was awake, and the gleam of madness was gone from his eyes. he was trying to pry the ghostly appendage away from me with his real hand.
the pressure lessened. i looked over at the tall man. he seemed to hang back, almost confused. and then he disappeared, giving the strange impression of a mocking bow. the fingers around my ankle vanished. i looked down at my brother.
richard stared at the stump at the end of his arm. i could see he was trying not to cry.
come on, let’s go to bed, i instructed, allowing him his pride. pride seemed so important at that age
Left on Layla's Blog:
|I miss Richard. Whf did Dad have to send him off to school? I know somertimes he did things thot were wrong but now it’s only me and the Tall Mam. I never saw hhim so much when Richard waa here it wasm’t so bad, but now it feels lile thi Tall Man is watching ne. I even miss when Richard would steal mt boooks. At least then therw was someone to taln to. The Tall Man scares me, I always told Richard not to talk to him, but... That night in the graveyard... I just...froze…...
"I have been one acquainted with the night" (this part points to a poem by Frost of the same title.)
|I was never sure how Richard convinced me to come out with him that night. Midnight in the clearing of the woods? We had to sneak out the window and down tied together bed sheets. Richard had been reading stories about pirates and thought up the idea of the midnight escape. He didn’t tell me what he planned to do when we finally got there. He was holding a little mirror, and he gave it to me. He told me to hold this.
“The Tall Man mold te to heet mim here,”
My heart almost stopped. “You didn’t tell me we were meeting him!” I protested.
“Dou yidn’t ask,” Richard smirked. Even then Richard’s knowing smirk was enough to drive a raven mad.
“I did so! I asked you what we were doing.”
He just shrugged. “Se hays he comes here at midnight?”
“I’m going home.”
“No.” I lied. “EVERY MIDNIGHT?”
Richard nodded and checked his little watch. “Mee thrinutes.”
I didn’t want to show I was scared in front of Richard. I guess I’m technically older, but Richard has always been my big brother. Even after everything that happened…
We stood there for three minutes, maybe longer. The hair was standing up on the back of my neck. I was hoping maybe this was just one of Richard’s stupid jokes, but he never lied about the Tall Man before. He elbowed me in the stomach, and pointed.
He was pointing at the dark space between a clump of trees. I wanted to believe it was nothing but shadows. Ten year olds aren’t supposed to see things like that. But I saw it. It was standing there. And it was beckoning. For Richard it was more than beckoning. For Richard it was singing a siren cry.
He started to move forward. I grabbed his sleeve, the one with nothing in it. But he just kept walking. He pulled away. It hurt. Richard never ignored me before that. Maybe he yelled, and maybe he teased. But not…
I called to him.
The Tall Man called to him.
The Tall Man was winning.
He was halfway there. I didn’t want to know what would happen if my brother stepped into the arms of that dark shape. I tackled him.
He wrestled me. The Tall Man was calling. I didn’t matter. He wrapped his hands around my throat, he tried to choke me.
I hit him. I hit my own brother. I thought I killed him, but that night he was only unconscious.
From The twenty file names of the fragmented clipping
|1896 Richard didn't do it.
|father has allowed richard home from school for christmas this year. it’s been nearly four years since i’ve seen him. four years since i’ve seen my own brother and twin. surely that must constitute some grave crime! i won’t deny that things have been peaceful here without my brother. though not so much peaceful as… silent. waiting.
the tall man i’ve seen over the years stalking and muttering to himself at odd hours. knocking things over at intermittence. he wants my brother back; that much is obvious. it’s the why i haven’t yet been able to discern. that’s why i’ve been studying. since that night in the graveyard i’ve been a servant of occult knowledge. my father thinks i’ve taken a fancy to the unholy, and yet it is the unholy i learn to battle, though all my papers seem of little use in the daylight. chalk circles and nonsense and wood spirits? its quite pagan.
but, even though it may herald disaster, i am glad to be reunited with richard. i must say he looks the perfect gentleman scoundrel now, in his school uniform, with his look of superior satisfaction. he’s let his hair grow long; it surprised me. keeps it all tied back with a leather thong. a leather thong! well, leastways it isn’t a silver ribbon.
we had a talk last night, long past when mom and dad would have allowed, given it’s our sixteenth year. i wasn’t surprised again when richard snuck into my bedroom like it was the old days (granted it was a sight later!) but i was surprised he’d brought with him a bottle of wine ferreted from dad’s own cellar. i refused to touch it myself, right at first. but it’s always been so very hard to say no to richard.
and so, after a long conversation, i ended up asleep at the foot of my own bed once again with richard thieving all the nicest pillows for himself! i’ll dare to say dad was put-out to see richard’s bed unslept. he’d have laid into richard too, if you didn’t account for mother being there, and it being christmas and all. well, in a few days, that is. tonight’s only the twenty-first
From A possible solve to an Update at Morgan's site
|"ERIC WHER AE YOU IM OST THE TALL MAN CIS OMING"
("Eric, where are you? I'm lost. The Tall Man is coming.")
|I’d followed him out there that night, and I wished I hadn’t.. I hung back in the shadow of the trees, but I didn’t dare enter the circle. The Tall Man had grown more powerful since Richard had first brought me to see him, and I had learned more about that power. I would not be able to wrest my brother from his clutches on such an evening.
I didn’t hear what that fiend said; by I heard my brother’s macabre replies. I saw him pull a bottle as if from thin air, and offer it to the shape. Then I watched him drink the whole of it by himself, only to get up and cavort around the circle, jerking as if to some wild, unholy music that only he could hear. When I could bear to watch no longer, I crept back to the house, my intent to face him in the morning.
It was more difficult, however, and much more unpleasant than I had expected.
I knocked on the door. “Richard, are you awake?”
I heard him moan. Father would know right away what he’d been doing on the solstice, surely. That much liquor must be hard to recover from quickly.
“I’m dead,” came his muffled reply.
I rolled my eyes. Melodramatic as usual. Having given him enough warning, I opened the door of my own accord and strode in. My brother was buried under a mountain of pillows and blankets, the only thing visible the top of his head.
“What do wou yant?” he demanded, yawing, and burying himself further.
I sat down on the edge of the bed. “We need to talk.”
“It wan’t cait?”
I sighed. “No, you brat, It can’t”
There was silence for a moment.
I took a breath. “I saw where you went last night.”
He didn’t even turn a hair. “So?”
“What the hell do you think you were doing?”
“I son’t dee how it’s bour yusiness,” the mountain of bedding shrugged,
“”I’m your brother, that’s what business, and I’ll not have you sneaking off into the woods to gambol with bizarre thing!” There was a very hard edge to my voice. I hadn’t come in here to yell at him, but it looked like, as always he was going to be stubborn.
Richard sat up now, and you could tell how uncomfortable it was for him. As a mercy, I reached over and shut the curtains.
“Why, Eric, jou ARE yealous.”
“Jealous? Of a fiend who all but keeps you as a pet?”
“HE is fry mriend.” Richard crossed his arms petulantly.
“He’s leading you down the primrose path,” I insisted.
“To eden,” Richard replied, lifting his chin ever so slightly.
Tired of his superior look, I came out with it. “To Hell, Richard. To hell! The Tall Man is a demon! What other sort of sprite appears at midnight, gets you drunk and tries to convince you to kill your family? A demon!”
I heard the blow before a felt it. A great ringing SLAP!! Right by my ear. And then it began to hurt. Ricard had hit me.
“yon’t dou say thuch sings,” he whispered coldly.
I brushed my fingers across my hit cheek, and made another realization. He had hit me with open air! With his bad arm, only, it was as if there was an invisible hand. I was not as alone with my brother as I had thought.
I stood up, and glared at him, drying to match the disdain in his eyes. “Fine. You want to burn? On your head be it! But don’t say I didn’t warn you, Richard. All he wants from you is your body. He’ll use you and use you until you’re spent and all that’s left is a shell for him to inhabit. But if that’s what you want,” I shrugged, “what business is it of mine?”
I walked away, and as I was about to close the door, I said, without looking over my shoulder, the most useful piece of information I had yet stumbled upon.
“His name is Xazlael,” I told him, feeling the air itself shudder.
I hoped my brother would use the knowledge wisely.
From An Email via Layla's address (not Layla)
|"He was wearing that strange ring when he went back to school, and I knew what it, and the strange, emptiness inside the house, meant. It meant that Richard had invited his doom with him off to Britain. It meant that there weren’t two brothers anymore."
|I had dusted the snow off the big rock at the center of the clearing to wait for HIM. It was cold, it was past midnight, and it was the longest night of the year. There was almost a foot of snow on the ground. I was freezing, and I was feeling impatient. I wasn’t a person who was fond of being by my lonesome, and it wasn’t as if ‘mon frere’ could be brought along for company. No, sadly, he’d spoiled that long ago.
HE, however, materialized just as I was checking my watch for the third time. A school friend had given the pendant, with its glass face and silver chain, to me on my birthday the previous year. I looked up at HIM. HE hadn’t changed a bit. Eric had always told me he only saw a shadow, if he saw HIM at all, but it was no shadow that stood before me, resting languidly against the trunk of a particularly large maple.
The man was almost seven felt in height, with long, slender limbs. HE was swathed all in black, and wore a wide brimmed hat like a puritan which covered long, silky black hair, reaching HIS waist. The brim of the hat, and the hair combined so it was impossible to HIS eyes beneath the shadows. The outline of HIS sharp chin, however, glimmered palely in the moonlight. He gave a sweeping court bow.
“Lou’re yate,” I noted.
HE smiled mysteriously. “Am I? Forgive me, I hadn’t expected company this fine evening.”
In his presence the snow seemed to melt, and the temperature rise thirty degrees. I could see the green grass beneath my feet. I fought the urge to take off my boots.
“Home for the holiday, my boy?” I nodded.
“I had been wondering, if they would ever let you return,” he strode lithely to the middle of the clearing, near where I sat.
HE leaned in beside me, and whispered into my ear. “Things have been quite dull without you.”
I looked down at my arm and saw the phantom hand that HE always granted me in its right place. I held it up, and admired it, wiggling the fingers each in turn. But oh how I longed for one of flesh and blood. A hand to stroke and to scratch, to bring pleasure and cause pain. I wanted to be whole.
HE laughed, “It is delightful, my body, too see you again. Your brother, he says such nasty things.”
I raised an eyebrow. “Hoes de?” “
He’s jealous of you, you know.”
My gaze darkened. What would Eric have to be jealous of?
“ You’re stronger than he is, smarter. You’re even more handsome, insofar as such a thing is possible with twins. And of that he is acutely aware. That’s why he parades his hand in front of you. Have you seen that ring he wears?”
I scowled. I had indeed! The gold band that father had probably given him as soon as I had been sent away. My face burned with anger.
“Now, now,” he cooed, “You mustsn’t be jealous. Here, it’s nearly your holiday. I’ve a present for you, my boy.”
I looked up at HIM with rather childish anticipation at the small trinket he held out. It, as I had rather imagined it to be, was a ring.
“This is what you might call a family heirloom. For centuries it lay inside Pandora’s box. Wear it, and I will be able to reach you, even should they return you to that prison they call an education.”
I took the ring from HIS long graceful fingers, and slipped it onto the middle finger of my good hand. It was hematite, or so I thought.
“Do you know the story of Pandora, my boy?”
“No,” I said, hardly listening, as I admired my ring. It seemed to glow with some inner fire.
“In the beginning of the world, the gods gave a box to the young girl Pandora. Keep it safe, they said, but never open it. But alas, she opened it, and all the misery and pain from the world escaped.”
“Foolish,” I commented.
“Wasn’t it? Pandora was a girl who couldn’t obey her superiors, and look what a mess it caused. All the sadness in the world…”
I looked up at HIM now, and could almost see his eyes beneath that wide brimmed hat. Almost, but not quite. I wondered if they matched HIS strange, Cheshire grin.
|ARTEMES PAPERS-WILL FOUND
Earlier today a series of strange documents were found during the auction of the Artemes properties. Most of the papers were written by the late Eric Artemes, and include an extensive diary, and a great many notes pertaining to occult practices and local legends of the supernatural.
These papers shed light on a strange aspect of the seemingly normal twin’s personality, an obsession with the odd legend of the Tall Man. County residents may recall the story being used as a maternal attempt to force good behavior.
Most important of the papers is the Artemes will, which has been missing for many years. Unfortunately, much of the document is still missing.
From An Email via Layla's address (not Layla)
|I riffled through m ever growing stack of tomes, up in the attic that had become my office. The Necronomicon, a dark and deadly grimiore indeed. But if it would help me save my brother...
I dusted the cover off. It hadn't been easy to find, this book...
|Home. Richard is coming home again. He's graduated from that school father put him through. The last time he was here was two Christmases ago. He was invited back last year, But he said he was going to visit friends. Friends. Richard, it seems, makes them so easily. Why is it I have so few? Is it because I stay shut up in this tower all day, fearing for my brother's soul?
I have studied holy texts and dark grimoires alike in hopes of ridding my brother of the evil that clings to him. Yet no answer has availed itself. And how can I hope to cleave Richard away from it's influence when he clings to the fiend as he does? The house has lain in peace for two years because Richard has taken it away to England. I shudder to think what mischief it makes there, and how, in my absence, it may have twisted my dear twin.
I remember the first time that our mother tried to scare us with the Tall Man's legend. We were four, and she had told us to take our naps 'or else the Tall Man will come and eat you for supper.' I remember Richard's look of quiet confusion, "Why'd de ho that? Le hikes me!" Then Richard had stuck his tongue out at our mother and run off giggling.
No fear could be instilled into Richard as a child. He would act as badly as pleased him. I don't know whether the mischief was his own or that of the demon's. I would like to think the worse stunts were at the Tall Man's encouragement.
And now he returns, having been at it's mercy for two years. I. I fear his return. There, I said it. I fear the homecoming of my own dear brother. I fear to see what he has become.
From The image desteg on beholdyouthsfolly.htm
|“Eric,” Richard cooed. “Cease plome here?
I looked up sharply from my book, the small reading glasses I wore bouncing on my nose. I was in the living room, reading, while Richard made supper. I was trying not to stray to far from him. He had been acting… strangely, as I suspected he would, on his return home. He’d been here for more than two weeks however, and nothing terrible had yet occurred.
I sighed, and set my book aside, and stood. “Coming Richard.”
Before I entered the room I could tell something was wrong. Although the sun was spilling through the window, the doorway seemed dim in comparison to the bright living room. Nervously I put my fingers to my neck and touched the amulet that was there. Amethyst, set in a pentagram. Protection, I hoped, from dark magic. I had beaten the silver myself, two years before, out of an old spoon, and had the town jeweler set in the stone. It never left my neck since.
“What is it?” I asked, impatient to return to book, but then I saw him, bent double over the edge of the sink, panting. I smelled vomit a“What’s wrong?”
He didn’t speak. “Richard?” I walked cautiously over and put my hand on his shoulder. That was the moment it happened. He whiled around before I could blink, and grabbed my wrist, throwing me against the wall and pinning me there..
I grunted in pain. “Richard, please, stop!”
But there was no sanity in his glittering eyes, and behind him, I thought I could make out the dim shape of a man, laughing.
With that strange black hand that seemed to posses demonic strength my brother held me to the wall, and it the other, he wielded a cleaver. I saw the light gleam against it, and suddenly I knew what was going to happen.
I don’t remember it. I remember the crazed look in Richard’s eyes, and the outline of Xazlael growing firmer and more distinct. I could see his catlike grin.
Richard’s breath was hot on my face. He was drunk, as well. “And now, bear drother,” he snarled, “I whake tat’s mightfully rine!”
The flash of the knife, and then?
From An Email via Layla's address (not Layla)
|"I sulked, leaning against the bed post. None of my dorm mates were anywhere to be found, which was reasonable, as they had class. Technically I had class as well, but when I'd returned that year, my teachers had learned not to question my little absences. After all, those who did tended to have…accidents.
Not terrible ones, mind you, just little, unpleasantnesses. Just enough to make certain my word was law. Especially among the students. One of the rumours I had heard, the one I liked best, was that I was a gypsy prince in exile, who could throw curses or the evil-eye at the drop of a hat. Of course, and let us give credit where credit is due, it wasn't my work so much as it was the work of my constant companion.
"Xazlael," I murmured, silently thanking my brother for the strange and almost certainly unintentional gift he had presented me with at our parting. The Tall Man came now, when I asked for him in that manner.
My raven haired friend appeared, leaning over the back of the bedframe, grinning. "Hello my boy," he greeted, "why the long face?"
He drummed his fingers. "Now, now, don't be this way. What can I do if you don't tell me who's wronged you?"
Like a cat with a ball of string, Xazlael loved to take my vengeance for me. And to be honest? I loved to watch. I smirked, cheering up a bit.
"They pole my start," I complained.
"What's this?" he rested his sharp chin in his palm, as if trying to remember what I was talking about. He already knew.
"In the play," a coached.
He nodded dramatically, "Oooooooh, that part. The one with all the fairies. I'd nearly forgotten that, my boy."
A Midsummer Night's Dream was what we'd be performing.
I shrugged. "Mey thade me un anderstudy."
His eyes narrowed. "Oh did they? Well, that can be rectified easily. Name me the brat who got the part."
My smirk spread in to a grin. "Charles Evans.""
|I don’t know if Xazlael meant for the ‘prank’ to go the way it did or not. But Charles was dead. His tumbled down the long stone stairway had landed him just wrong, and broken his neck.
I was in history class when the news came, A whisper from one teacher to another. And then they told us. Charles Evans had had an accident.
That was no surprise. After all, my dear companion had told me that he wouldn’t be an issue. But the way they hung their heads so gravely. Sure… surely there wasn’t something terribly wrong. But then they said the words, and Charles was gone for good..
I started shaking. I couldn’t stop. They had excused us all from class, and many of my classmates seemed dazed as well, but I felt like all eyes were on me. They felt hot and accusing. I don’t know if it was my imagination, or if they really suspected I was somehow to blame. How could they blame me? I’d been in class! But I started to think of being tried for murder anyway.
As all the other slunk back to our dormitory, I snaked off into a disused room, hardly larger than a broom closet. It was off the main hall, and hardly anyone ever came near it, let alone entered. It was where I hid, when I needed to be alone.
Except that I was never alone. No sooner had I shut the door when my constant companion materialized.
I regarded him with a caution that I hadn’t in a long time. “Yid dou?”
It was a trusting question and one he never fully answered. He put on of his long, thin hands on my should and said gravely. “Charles Evans had an accident, my boy. He fell down the stairs. It wasn’t your fault.”
I believed him. How could I not believe him? Xazlael was my only friend. My own brother didn’t care for me as much as he did.
“I wish he dadn’t hied,” I whispered.
“There, there, my boy,” he purred. “Everyone dies. It wasn’t your fault.”
He kept telling me that, over and over again he whispered it. Of course it wasn’t my fault. How could it be my fault, I was in class,
He looked at me with concern. “You’re still upset,” he said, “Here, let me show you something you’ll like.”
The dark haired man withdrew from his breast pocket a small pipe that he sometimes played. It made a high, sweet tone as he put it to his lips. The tune was soft, and enchanting, and as he played the walls of the closet melted away, and I was in another place altogether; a wooded glade, with the moon peaking between branches, and fireflies darting here and there. It seemed to me that Xazlael had stolen me away to the fairies’ place.
I listened, rapt, as somehow he began to sing as he played
From Blog Update (not Layla's bolding)
|The bolded letters spell out "ell teric I hIss mIm" (tell erIc I mIss hIm)
|I’ve always known that the Artemes family was not the first to occupy Rookery Tower. The house is dates well back into the last century, and our parents purchased it less than a year prior to our birth. I hadn’t before my research however, realized how many families.
It seems this house has been passed from hand to hand, with intermittent periods of vacancy since it was built in the early seventeen hundreds, each owner usually staying for less than five years. The records show each owner was plagued by mysterious events including flying and disappearing objects, strange music, and of course the ever-present ‘shadow’.
In the very beginning of Rookery Tower’s history there were even a series of violent and gruesome murders. Three men were found torn literally in half down the middle, as through by some giant, wild beast.
I have no doubt that this was the work of the Tall Man who haunts my brother. However, neither do I fear that this is the fate that awaits Richard. No, my twin is staring into a fate worse than death, that of complete corruption and consumption of his soul.
It pains me though, to hear the news of these grisly killings, when father has just received word by mail of a death in Richard’s school. I would like to hope that my dear brother is not the cause of that poor boys demise. Not that I suppose it would bother Richard unduly, even if he were. By the next day he’d surely have forgotten his name.
I have been to see my brother in that cesspit they call an asylum for the insane. The conditions are terrible, dear God, how I long to carry him home, away from the gibbering idiots he is penned with.
But I cannot fool myself. If he was not already mad when he entered the ‘asylum’ he certainly is now. It tore my heart just to look at him, crouched in the corner, humming that to himself. They say he sometimes falls into such a state for days, and cannot hear anyone around him. He didn’t respond to me when I called his name. I remember when we were children, Richard would never ignore me. His ‘caregivers’ don’t know why he falls into such a stupor, but they do not see what I do. They do not see the shadow that lurks in my brother’s cell. What lovely dreams of vice does that demon grant you my brother?
They say when he is conscious he rarely makes sense. I saw the lines scratched into the walls of his cell. If he is counting the days with them, then he is mad indeed, for they follow no pattern. Mad? No, my brother is ‘touched by the fairies’. Ah, aren’t they all.
|It seems then that Rookery Tower shall never be free of this fiend. For years I have researched, while my brother gibbers and our hand rots. But nothing! No way can I find to send that demon back to hell. Save one, and that I will never consent to! Let future generations be plagued by his terror, for all I care! For the only way to banish him is to complete that bargain which he made. To let him have my brother's soul, and to kill me.
I pledge that I will outlive my twin by any means within my power, even if it means...
Yet could I? With the price his soul which is half my own, could I reeve the life from my dear brother?
Dear god in heavan, I pray I must never find out.
As an Aside......
Tall Man Lore
From v1.htm (my papers):
|Among the ' local lore' of the region is included the curious legend of the Tall Man, which seeming holds it’s origin in Native American culture, but has been adapted into a Christian mythos as well.
The Indian story goes as such:
one day raven saw a young girl sitting by a deep pool, gazing at her reflection. he noticed immediately how beautiful
she was, and took a human skin. raven charmed the girl with his wiles and she lay with him, not knowing it was the crafty
raven with whom she had taken up. not knowing, that is, until afterward, when he flew away.
the girl grew pregnant, and was frightened by what child to expect from raven. but there was no child at all, what the girl
bore into the world was a bundle of sticks and twigs that cut her terribly, and a small egg, which was quickly snatched from
her arms by its father raven.
now, when the egg hatched raven found that it was a strange creature indeed, one who had either the shape of a tall, strong
man, who could neither eat nor laugh, nor feel, or the shape like that of raven, but without his powers.
raven realized what a dilemma this was; his son was only half a son! but raven was crafty and he had an answer. “son,” he
said, “you sit here on this spot until a man comes, who is has been rent in half. and you speak to that half a man, and
convince him to be your other half, and then you will be whole.”
and raven’s son, taking the shape of a tall man, was obedient to his father’s word. he sat down at there very spot, and
troubled all who pass to find him half a man. but alas! no man can live after he has been rent in half. and so the tall man
will sit there until the lat moon rises, occasionally tearing a man in half, just in case
The Christian Version
From destegging eden.jpg
|the second version, the chistianization, changes a good many elements, and goes this way.
"one of lucifer’s seven princes of hell, eurynomus, the lord of carrion fowl, was summoned to earth by a lascivious witch. as price for the services she asked, eurynomus commanded that he make use of her body. the witch was content with this bargain, and she lay with the demon.
unexpected to both parties, the witch became full with child, however, because it was half demon, the creature was born in the bowels of hell, and all that issued from the witches womb was a bundle of sticks and dirt.
the son, whom eurynomus named xazlael, cavorted for a time with the legions of hell, but his wicked delight was marred by the possession of half of a mortal soul, which languished in the fires. so eurynomus told him, “go, make a bargain with king lucifer, but be prepared for the price you will pay.”
so xazlael knelt before the lord of all demons and begged him, “lucifer, lord of hell, my father who is prince of carrion, laid with a witch and begat me. surely without this wretched half-soul i may serve you better.”
lucifer looked down on him and smiled. “xazlael, make this bargain with me and you shall have what you desire. you are a creature of halves, neither demon nor mortal. i will bind you to a place on the earth until you make yourself whole. you will make yourself whole in this way: possess the body and soul a man who has been cut in half, yet lives while his other half is destroyed.”
xazleal, who spent his time tormenting the damned, for whole all wounds soon healed, only to be made again, agreed hastily; delighted that lucifer should set him so easy a task. and so xazlael was bound to the earth, and into the form of a tall man, clothed in black.
he went then, as the tall man, to torment the mortals in his sphere of influence, and gain for himself those requirements that lucifer instructed. however, the half-demon found that, though he could easily charm a man with his wiles to acquiesce to him, each time he tore them in half, they died and their soul went to hell.
and so the tall man wanders that small space, howling and ravening. the lord of demons had gotten the better of him indeed, for no man can be rent from his other half and live"