Rain. Short Story


The coming deluge trickles across the iron bars as the glint of the moonlight shines through my window.

The drops of water.

What waters not from this earth do we drink?

Oh how I have been scarred since the great war. I feel that everything has been stolen from me since those days, trying to step over the bloated corpses, the mud getting all over my boots.
The sunken eyes of the dying.
Their tongues writhing in their mouths as they asphyxiated to death.
I can still smell the gunpowder.
I can hear their screams as they rushed forward to their demise. Such a thing could be considered peaceful though.
I wish now that I could join them. I bear the scars both physical and mental. Though the latter is far worse than anything the first could ever be.
I began my private investigation work after arriving in London, the boredom didn’t help my depression one bit I must say, the boredom may have extremely exacerbated the symptoms.
The woes of the proletariat.
“My husband’s cheating on me, find the damn bastard and have him pay me what is mine.”
Other cases were of individuals being burglarized in the night, and of course blaming the neighbors. After the mundane occurrences that I had investigated, I had not suspected that I would receive that phone call. That night was the night I was drowning myself in absinthe. Objects seemed to lift themselves directly off of my desk. My revolver in my side drawer seemed to be calling me to put it to use.
I picked up the weapon, turned it upside down and watched the bullets clank on the wooden table, it was at this moment that I can remember the phone ringing. I picked up the receiver.
From what I can remember; that voice was determined. Whoever that mysterious individual was, he willingly offered a large amount of money for me to visit the Hanwell Asylum, to speak with a patient.
I should’ve hung up right then.
I can remember that it was raining. I brought along my heavy coat, as I was being drenched in rain water, I made sure to make sure that my revolver was carefully hidden, I noticed large shrubbery growing along the large walls of the decaying building. All of the proletarian paupers had seemed to have just been forgotten. Some of them were only there, only because they were paupers, thrown from the world of poverty, into the world of madness. I stopped for a moment to light a cigarette before entering, I wondered which was worse.
Poverty or madness?
The individuals that I was supposed to meet with were from a consulting agency.
The detectives, if they were to be called, were able to go where other detectives or a police man would never dare. From what I gathered, they all had Secret Service experience. As I entered the screaming lunatic asylum, I hastily wanted to get away from the cries and moans of the anguished prisoners. The horrid conditions that they faced, I cannot even say.
I was hastily ushered into a private office of the head physician, Dr. Thomas Sasz. The doctor was a man in his sixties. I think I remember him being a little overweight. He was flanked by two well-dressed individuals. They were wearing well tailored black suits along with Fedoras.
“Thank you for coming on such short notice, allow me to introduce myself. I’m Dr. Sasz. One of my recent patients has been going through a bizarre bout of mania. We’ve tried drugs but they’ve not had much effect. The next thing will be, unfortunately, the shock therapy.”
Every one of us in the room shuddered a little bit and stood quiet. My hand began to shake. I eventually stopped the trembling.
“Why did you call a detective?” I asked the doctor.
“These gentlemen here are relatives of the patient. They’ve come to see that she is discharged.”
I knew that was a lie.
“I’ll leave you gentlemen to attend to her matters.”
The doctor quickly made his exit.
After a few moments, one of the men began to speak, it seemed he had waited to make sure that none of us were overheard.
“We’re going to be honest with you Detective. The patient is a fellow private investigator. We had hired her several months back to take on a job for us. Something happened. A few weeks ago, she was found walking the streets of the East End. Babbling. Her name is Elizabeth Laing. She’s in her late twenties, Australian. Very adept and intelligent.
She has been babbling about some sort of cult. The cult went by the name The Order of the Rose.”
“The thing is, this cult or secret society was supposed to have vanished with the fall of the Roman Empire.”, one of the mysterious men said.
“Hold it, before I get involved in any of this. I want to talk to Miss Laing.” I said.
“We’re sorry sir. That won’t be possible.”
“Excuse me?”
We would advise that you start with the break in at the local church.”
The Episcopal Church was crumbling. It had been weathered by over a hundred years of thunderstorms. It had a sense of decay about it, that I can clearly remember. I assure you that I can remember. I can remember the door slowly opening and the lurching creaking sound that still rings in my ears. That was the doorway into the mystery of such suffering and anguish. Oh how I would’ve liked to have died on the field had I known what I was going to encounter on that evening when fog and howling winds would envelop London.
The middle-aged priest wore his garments that were like a flowing black wedding gown. His salt-and-pepper beard was also noticeable. He probably supposed that a full beard added to his aura of piety. That is not me saying that there was superficiality about the man at all, with all he had to deal with, Father Collin must’ve been a very pious man.
Always looking for his Guardian Angels to protect him. Knowing that there were wolves howling and baying at the door.
It was of these human monsters that he told me of. It was in the past month or so as he was cleaning out the rectory in the late evenings that he was sure he’d heard some sort of strange chanting in the basement.
At first he took these to be nothing more than a fancy of his imagination. However; on the night he decided to investigate, he claimed he was accosted and nearly killed by red robe clad madmen who had broken into the sanctuary’s underground rectory.
He said what any priest would. After escaping with his life and managing to spook them off, ever since that moonless night he felt an abominable unclean presence within the centuries-old sanctuary.
“Every night when I hear the wind under the door, I am afraid they might return. Sometimes I think I hear the unseen abomination literally clawing at the door. Sometimes I’m here alone with candlelight as my only sense of warmth. Before you go, I have something I want to show you.”
The priest led me into his office.
The room was lit only by the candles he spoke of previously. I noticed something was odd and possibly amiss when the only things on the walls were crosses.
Several different specimens of the symbol of forgiveness. I thought I noticed something about Father Collin, it was not forgiveness that he wanted. Rather it was protection. Protection from whomever was out there hidden in the fog.
He seemed to know that whoever those men were that he encountered on that moonless night would return. And soon.
The Father moved to his old desk, ran his fingers across the mahogany top and then moved his hand to the drawer. He reached in and retrieved something.
“They left this.”
He produced a wilting and dying red rose. I’ve kept it here ever since, I keep telling myself that it’ll keep them away. Keep them from finishing whatever they were doing. Stay safe, I’m retiring for the evening. “
The Priest began slowly extinguishing the candles in his small office and what appeared to be his living quarters as well.
Finally he said, “Perhaps it’s better to be left in the darkness. And not have to gaze into the cruelty.”
I slowly left the church, I made sure to look down each aisle somewhat fearful of an assailant hidden in the shadows. As I set out on the wet cobblestone streets of London, I resisted breathing in the fog for some reason.
I thought I began hearing a ringing in my ears. The mixture of the fog, the rain and the ringing was enough for me to become so nervous that I could not walk back to my office and apartment. I hastily dove into an easy on the pocketbook, decaying and neglected room house.
As I laid my head on the pillow, the ringing followed me into my sleep.
The next morning I awoke somewhat groggy, I managed to mope my way over to a dirty wash basin which was set below a dusty mirror. It was so dusty I could not even see my face; I walked away from some of the dust and looked at my countenance. I was looking tired. Dare I say that I was also afraid?
After cleaning up, I put on my suit and made my revolver at the ready before putting it in my holster. Today was the day that I was going to head into the library and try at least to relax somewhat.
Almost immediately after I placed my revolver into its leather holster, I was alerted by telephone that Father Colin had gone missing. One of the men from the consulting agency that I had met earlier informed me that Colin had seemingly vanished into thin air without leaving any sort of paper trail.
This was where bleak yet mundane despair turned into terrors that cannot be fathomed. Only in nightmares can such terrors consume one.
You must be assured that everything I’m telling you is the truth.
The men from the consulting agency had paid an early morning visit to Collin’s rectory, only to find all of his effects to be missing.
His bed was neatly made.
All of the candles had been extinguished the night before.
The closet where he kept his robes was completely empty. The most astonishing sight they came upon was that all the crosses were removed as well. In their place, scattered around the room were dozens of red roses.
It was a warning to each of us to not interfere in the business of whatever these men of the dark esoteric were attempting to accomplish.
After hearing that foreboding news, I made my way to the London Library.
I stood in awe of its monolithic architecture, so much knowledge stored in one place. Among the aspects of Enlightenment there were unfortunately aspects of darkness which were never meant to be uncovered. After I had a cup of warm black tea, I headed into the Classical Antiquities building. I grabbed several books from the historians of the late Roman Empire. As the empire was crumbling and falling into ethical decay, several bizarre mystery cults sprang up. These cults were seemingly trying to revive the mystery religions of Eleusis.
Even during the time of Greek dominance before the Romans, these mystery cults were only spoken of in whispers.
The rites that were said to be carried out in these Cults were acts of an extremely orgiastic nature. I found myself thinking back to what the sensual pleasures must’ve been. The taste of women covered in freshly prepared wine. The screams and howls of sensual pleasure being accompanied by repetitive bombastic drumming that would act as a trance inducing drug.
All of this being done in complete darkness and in the gloomy sanctuary of subterranean caverns.
Even the debauchery of the Romans at this time could not compare. However; there was something else, it wasn’t the sensuality that scared the Greeks or the late Romans. It was the supposed tales of them worshiping the gods of the dead.
Those whose names were never to be spoken of.
I can remember the winds picking up outside, the leaves were rustling as the rain began to fall. The three branches outside began to sway in the wind. I decided to try and relax, removing my hat and finishing my tea. I made a note of the type of garments these mysterious figures wore. I knew as the evening approached that another one was going to occur.
It was going to occur tonight.
I clenched my revolver on my side.
I had discovered that they were planning on meeting in a building beside the rectory of Father Collin. I had also made sure to research what proper occult garb to don. I found out that I needed specifically black clothing, complete with a black hood and a mystical amulet that held strange engravings and a symbol of a bizarre looking pyramid that must have been created from a school of geometry that was extremely occult and non-Euclidean.
I had to fashion the pendant myself, I then proceeded to purchase the robe from a seminary school that was oddly still open that late afternoon. I returned to my boarding room and looked at myself in the dirty mirror; I looked as if I could easily enter into their world. No matter how dark it was going to be.
I left at nightfall; there was a full moon this evening. No man with a care in his soul or a sense of feeling towards others would say that he did not feel afraid going through this experience of simply walking across the cobblestones and hearing the click clack of his own shoes. The one thing I was not able to research was why esoteric texts would be read by the cult. I had figured this was probably going to be one of my biggest shortcomings of the evening. As I reached the rectory house by the church, I noticed there was an open storm cellar. I saw others that were clad in the same black robes that I was entering through the storm cellar. I knew I had to remain absolutely quiet and not say anything.
Because I had achieved such a good disguise I was able to immediately follow them down a set of winding stairs and into a room that was only lit by four candles. There was standing room only. I was alone in a sea of black cloth. It was hard to see but I can remember in the inner circle of sorts standing around a table and an open book in the middle of the table with odd markings and strange drawings of creatures that Darwin could even fathom in his most feverish nightmares. It was then that one of the members of the inner circle produced a dagger; this was definitely a woman as she began chanting oddly enough in Arabic. She heeded the dagger over a flame and then proceeded to hold the hot instrument over the open book. It was then that I began to feel odd sensations as if water was dripping on me from the ceiling. I looked up and no water was anywhere to be found. Nor were there any leaks. I also distinctly began to smell the salt water of the sea as if I were drifting in the ocean. I had no idea how this could be. My hand began to tremble as I began to sense myself being on a dark beach somewhere even though I stood on solid wood. Thoughts of rising water began to envelop my mind and senses. The woman in the inner circle brought down the knife into the heart of the book.
It was then that the most unholy of terrors would truly begin in my life, I began to see visions of a captain floating alone at sea. This helmsman stood outside whipped around by wind and rain. I was immediately brought back into the room in which I had placed myself so unfortunately. This time it was different, you must understand, I am not mad. The entire room began to be filled by raining seawater. A torrent of a thunderstorm began outside with lightning and thunder. My skin began to be pelted with seawater in the form of raindrops.
I began to experience a great sense of terror as the entire room was being rained on by some sort of water that was not from the seas of this planet. I could not help but let out a large scream as I began to turn and run. I could hear the thunderstorm growing outside as I ran for the stairs leading up to the outside of the storm cellar. As I began to smell more aromas of the sea I could hear chanting and an odd humming coming from behind me. I knew the cultists were chasing after me. I do not know if it was them or me that knocked over the candles and started the fire. I felt myself being trampled by someone or something.
I was able to stand up however and made a quick dash towards the stairs. I was running faster than I ever had. I began to feel the flames licking up behind me from the knocked over candles.
A flash of fire reached towards my arms.
I was not able to escape the flames. They tore at my arms and caused a stinging which no man should endure. My robe was set alight as I felt my skin melting off my muscle and bone. Melting flash was mixing with burning cloth and the pain was unbearable.
However; I was able to make it out of the rectory and run over to the front yard of the church. I howled in pain and rolled on the ground until I passed out. I awoke the next morning feeling the sense of water. I was terrified.
Lucky for me, this water was being applied by a nurse after she had ablated and destroyed all of the burnt tissue on my arms by way of alcohol. A large dose of God’s Medicine or what would be later called morphine was injected into my thigh. It took me to a place that must’ve been equal to the Elysium of the Greeks. I would continue using God’s Medicine as I would convalesce in the English countryside. I love relaxing in the pastoral landscapes as I saw my wounds turned to scars. I would spend my days gardening. I was always careful to try and ward off infection.
It seemed as if I had left my entire old life behind me as a private investigator. And it seemed as if being a soldier in the great slaughter was eons away.
That would be the night until I received the phone call from the grieving mother that I could turn down. Terror would await me. Again you must understand that I am not a mad man.
Every word I’ve said is what I mean.
The grieving mother had explained to me that there had been several murders of young women with their bodies being dumped along the side of the road near a mansion deep into the heart of the countryside. I had explained to her my recent maladies, mainly the burns on my arms. However; she was able to convince me that her daughter might still be alive and that there was a connection to a mansion that was hidden among the back roads. She assured me that I would be paid for my work. I told her that I would do this out of the goodness of my heart for some reason I was able to establish a sort of rapport with the mother.
The drive was extremely long and nerve-racking. It was extremely hot and humid on that summer day. I knew this meant that nature was destined to create thunderstorms later. However; I had hoped to have been out of the area with the young woman alive before night would fall and another storm would come. My hopes were dashed however as I became lost on the winding country roads. It took me an hour to get myself turned back around. Just as dusk was approaching I pulled up to the mansion where the mother had stated that her daughter might still be alive.
The mansion was derelict. Vines and shrubbery grew over the top of the extremely large front porch. I began to get some sort of headache. I also began to hear a ringing. It was the same ringing and buzzing I had heard that night at the rectory so many months ago. However; this time the ringing seemed to comfort me and I was glad to bring along my revolver. Before I stepped out of the car I made sure to pull the hammer back.
I made my way up to the front entrance. After all, there may still have been someone living there.
Perhaps the killer who had taken the lives of several young women and kidnapped my client’s daughter.
I banged the door knocker on the door. I received nothing after two times. I looked up at the sky to see that it was now dark at night. It was a moonless night but the stars were still out. I gave one harder knock with the door knocker and oddly enough it seemed as if the door was opened by a final metaphysical command. I slowly stepped in.
It was as if no one had lived there for years. All the furniture was covered up and everything was showered in choking dust. I had to cough on my sleeves. I was worried about pathogens getting into my bandages and causing infection.
As I made my way forward, I noticed that on the grand staircase as well as on the walls there was a sort of shrubbery and greenery that had grown along the stairwell as well as the walls. However; this was not the same greenery that had covered the outside porch. By some force of nature which I had not discovered yet, I recognize the smell of the vegetation inside the house. I was almost horrified and thought about turning back. There was seaweed growing on the staircase and on the walls. I could smell the overpowering stench of the seaweed as well as the smell of saltwater. I looked up as I felt something dripping on me. This time there was water dripping from the ceiling. I was aghast as it could not be. It was sea water dripping from the ceiling. How could seawater fall from the sky? And how could seaweed grow on walls and furnishings in a house in the country?
Revolver from its holster and clinched in my hand. I raised it as I began to sweep the rooms. I made my way into the library which was full of several anatomy textbooks as if a doctor had lived here. Most probably a surgeon. Among this repository of refinement, I did however notice symbols of Haitian voodoo and Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics crudely painted on the walls. Something was very wrong here. I began to hear the humming again and smell the water of the sea.
This time I felt comfortable however. It was as if the buzzing and humming was making me calm.
I noticed something amiss on the shelf in front of me, "On the Origin of Species " by Charles Darwin was sticking out among the others. I made my way over to the book. It was at this point that I began to hear fast-paced Haitian and African drumming in my ears. It was as if I was psychically connected to some occult ceremony going on somewhere in Haiti. Was I the goat that was about to be slaughtered? I pulled on the protruding book. A long creaking sound emerged that nearly burst my ears. The portion of the bookshelf opened up to reveal a secret passageway and another flight of long stairs. The stairs were made of stone and the Cora door was lit with several torches.
The stone walls were lined with wet, dripping, and stinking seaweed. I repelled my urge to vomit as I made my way down the stairs. The humming drove me down there making me feel comfortable.
As I made my way down the stairs I still had my revolver pointed directly in front of me. I took several winding turns and became disoriented. I eventually found myself at the bottom of the stairs. I heard whispered chanting and was aghast at something I thought I heard
Could they be chanting the name of that strange society of ultra-nationalists in Germany? I thought. This was a secret society of individuals who believed that they could harness the power of the ancient Celts and Vikings through the offspring of long blonde haired Norse women.
That was only what I thought they said.
I would find the truth out in a few minutes.
As I turned the corner into the main room of the basement I was again surrounded by cold slabs of concrete and darkness. Again there were four candles surrounding a table. Only this time there was no book on the table. Only a ritual knife and a small statue of a tentacled and winged creature that had the most hideous and contorted face. They continued speaking in Arabic for a few minutes before reverting to that strange sounding word followed by two other words I had never heard before "Fatagn”. As I made my way down the stairs I still had my revolver pointed directly in front of me. I took several winding turns and became disoriented. I eventually found myself at the bottom of the stairs. I heard whispered chanting and was aghast at something I thought I heard
As I turned the corner into the main room of the basement I was again surrounded by cold slabs of concrete and darkness. Again there were four candles surrounding a table. Only this time there was no book on the table. Only a ritual knife and a small statue of a tentacled and winged creature that had the most hideous and contorted face. They continued speaking in Arabic for a few minutes before reverting to that strange sounding word followed by two other words I had never heard before.
“Fatagn, R’lyeh.” They would chant
"“Stop right there!” I shouted as I raised my revolver towards the two that were leading the group.
“Ahh it is good to see you Detective. The material that makes up the stars has brought you here. You’ve been meaning to come here ever since you caused the death of my daughter in that rectory fire when you were interfering in our business. You need to realize that you are interfering in things that even we cannot control, let alone someone who knows nothing of the universe such as yourself.”
I instantly recognized the woman’s voice as the one who had reported her daughter missing whilst I was recovering in the English countryside. This had been a trap all along!
“I will take all of this to Scotland Yard God Dammit! Stop this immediately!”
The woman said, “God loves you, are you ready to meet him?”
I was then grabbed by three other followers who grabbed me by my recovering and paining arms.
I tried to struggle free, wrestling with them.
It was to no avail as they overpowered me and drug me by my arms over to the table. The mysterious woman held the knife. I could feel the last few remaining scabs being torn from my arms as blood began to flow down what was left of the scar tissue. I was sure she was going to use the knife to disembowel me or something. However; they only drove to the center of the circle. I began to smell seawater again. I felt a hard rain cover us all. We were all being drenched in a thunderstorm. But there were no holes in the roofs. Somehow we were all being covered in drops of seawater that was coming in very quickly. The woman began to repeatedly chant something in an odd language not known to any human who has any of their sanity left.
“Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn.”
“Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn.”
As the strange statements were chanted I was forced to watch as the stone statue began to break open and a horrid stench began to fill the room. I began to hear what can only be described as chattering. Tentacles burst out from where they had been etched in stone. I screamed as loud as I could as the majority of my sanity was taken away from me. I was still able to hold onto it a little bit.
The entire statue broke out and a creature that seemed to speak to me telepathically was giving me the most horrid of thoughts and sensations. It did not speak. But it spoke of prophecies of Aeon’s coming. The smell became overpowering as its tentacles began to whip around and it seemed to move to the edge of the table closer to me. I began to hear a loud piercing squeal coming from the creature.
I made one final attempt to wrestle free from my captors and get to my revolver. Oh God! How I wish I could join those that died in the fields in the great war! Before I attempted to make my final escape and reach for my gun, the stinking creature with a horrid twisted face told me in my mind’s inner being to begin the new Aeon of the age of the stars by urinating on the cross! Oh God stop this! I am not mad! Every word I’ve said is what I mean! I am not insane! I don’t know what gave me the strength to do it but I was able to break free from my captors and produce my revolver!
I aimed it directly at the creature! The cultists gasped. And I felt seawater rising above my ankles. The creature seemed to know what I was going to do and it made one final attempt at destroying my sanity. Of making my thoughts its own. As it did so I was able to get one shot off striking the woman who had drawn me here in the head. She fell down so quickly!
I cocked the hammer again knowing I had one final shot to destroy the brain of this unutterable creature. I raised the pistol and aimed!
That was the last thing I remember. A few seconds later seawater was entering my lungs! I am not insane! I was drowning! Later I awoke in the infirmary of the psychiatric hospital which is where I lay now. God’s Medicine keeps me floating calmly on the dark seas every night in my dreams. It prevents the creature from interfering in them. When I first awoke here I was shocked to turn my head and see that I was placed next to the young Australian woman Elizabeth Laing! Both of us are confined and strapped down. She cannot speak. She hardly ever awakens but perhaps that is a good thing as leather straps are not the only things that confine us now.
Every now and then when I awake in the mornings the nurse informs me that I have been brought the occasional bouquet of roses from unknown persons.
Those that search for roses should always be wary of thorns!
What water is not from this earth?

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