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Dark Signs

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The following information was found in the attic of an old London building that was used as a police station in the 1800s. The documents found appeared to be police records. This one in particular was the notes taken during an interview of a man convicted of murder and arson. We only ask that you read this with an open mind, and take the information present at face value.

Inspector's Journal - March 1st, 1892

God, what a case to start the week with. Richard Johnson, 34, convicted of murder and arson. He killed ten people with a knife at a party out in the countryside, before lighting the place on fire. Police found him shaking in the tool shed, still holding the knife. He was surrounded by a ring of candles. Officers approached carefully, but he stood up and handed the nearest one his weapon with the words, "You must want to arrest me now... understandable. Very well, I will go with you." 

Upon arriving at the station, he was placed in the cell temporarily for questioning. He made no requests, save one. He begged to have a ring of candles around him at all times. While the request was at first denied, we finally gave in when he began to go into hysterics. Having just finished his dinner, I felt the time was right to begin the questioning.

As I walked into the room, the first thing I noticed was how scared he was. But not of me- he didn't even seem to notice me walk in, but of the shadows. The candlelight made shadows dance across the walls, leaping and twisting, almost seeming as if they were trying to break past the barrier of light. Sitting down, I coughed to get his attention. He looked at me once, before turning his attention back to the shadows on the wall. I was about to speak, but to my surprise he beat me to it.

"You... you probably want to know why I did the things I did. Don't you?"

"Well, yes," I replied, "I would like to know why you killed ten people and burned down a house." His head jerked back towards me.

"I didn't kill anybody."

"So you deny knifing them?"

"I didn't kill them... they were already dead. I just destroyed their bodies." The bodies had been mostly destroyed in the fire. We had assumed the cause of death was from the knife wounds, but perhaps it had been poison. So what did that mean... was this guy some sort of sicko? Did he cut up the corpses just for fun?

"So why did you destroy the bodies then?" I asked, trying not to let the repulsion show in my voice. He smiled at me manically.

"I did it to stop Them from using them."

"Who do you mean by Them?"

"Not who. What." I was starting to get creeped out a little now. How stable was this guy? He sighed. "Let me tell you... from the top"

Richard Johnson wasn't a terribly wealthy man, nor was he very high class. But he had friends who were. These friends often invited him to fancy parties, with other nobby people. Many of them were travelers, who frequently went abroad to strange and mysterious places. One of these people had recently come back from a trip to Africa, and had brought a souvenir back with them. It was a small oval stone, perfectly smooth and with the texture of glass. It was black, with an alluring darkness that drew the gaze in towards it. On one side was a strange golden rune. The primary feature was a circle with a dot in the middle that looked like an eye. Above it was a short curved line. Below, two lines came out and curved to either side, each with a smaller circle at the ends. These smaller circles also had dots in the middle. 

The symbol had terrified all the natives, who called it "Giza Ishara", or "dark sign." Legend says that a dark sign would summon horrible demons to wherever it was copied from its binding stone. Richard, being a superstitious man, was nervous about the stone. Something about it just didn't feel... right. But the others had laughed at his fears, and had copied down the symbol "as a joke" against Richard's objections. Trying to put it out of his mind, and to not look like a total fool, he decided to ignore it. Much later, once all the guests had more than enough to drink, Richard went inside to find his coat. Going through the different rooms, he came to the one where the stone was left on the table next to the paper that had its copy.

At first glance, everything seemed to be the same. But then Richard noticed that the stone was glowing with a dark light. Not just the stone - for the symbol on the paper was glowing as well. The light grew brighter and brighter, until it was at blinding levels, then all at once it vanished. The stone pulsed with energy and shattered into a million pieces. Some of the party goers rushed in at the noise. "What have you done?!" one of them shouted, "Do you have any idea how expen-" he stopped in the middle of his sentence, staring at the paper. 

It had risen into the air, and now was exuding more of the dark light. The electric bulbs began to glow brighter, and crackling streams of electricity jumped from them to the paper. Then, one by one, they exploded into a shower of sparks. Shadows began swirling around the symbol, with ever increasing speed. One of them lunged at the nearest man, killing him instantly. But his body did not stay down for long, for his limbs twitched into action again, and he rose again with the shadows curling around him. It was at this point that Richard fled the room.

Running into the kitchen, he stopped with the realization that he was at a dead end. Looking behind him, he could see more the turned party-goers shambling towards him, moving as if they were marionettes being pulled around by strings. Backing away, Richard felt for something, anything, that could be used as a weapon. His right hand curled around the handle of a knife, and with a cry he lifted it and plunged it into the nearest creature's chest. It collapsed into a heap and this time didn't rise again. Gritting his teeth Richard cut his way through the rest of the things.

Blood dripped from the knife, and he was exhausted. Slumping to the floor, he bowed his head until a noise that sounded like a faint whispering grabbed his attention. Snapping his head up, he saw the flickering shadows sneaking out from under the door. Leaping to his feet, Richard desperately looked for something to fend them off with. His eyes fell on a box of matches and some wine. Fire. Smashing the bottle over the counter, he lit a match and threw. The fire exploded outwards, and the shadows fled from its light. The fire began to spread, faster and faster, catching the walls, the ceiling... 

Dark sign

The Dark Sign

Richard had spent the rest of the night hiding in the shed, with candles around him to keep the dark away. That was where the police had found him the next day. Upon hearing his story, I tried not to laugh with incredulity. Obviously, this was some hallucination of a madman. Deciding to see how far this psychosis went, I asked him to draw me a picture of the symbol. Looking me in the eye, he told me that whoever saw the unbound symbol would be hunted to death by Them, unless the symbol got rebound to a stone. Trying not to laugh with contempt, I said that I didn't care. 

He drew the symbol on a page torn out of my notebook. I don't want to admit it, but the symbol gave me the creeps. Something about it was just... wrong. Looking up, I was about to ask a question when the door slammed open to reveal the division captain. "What the hell is taking so..." he began, but through the open door a gust of wind came in, and blew out all the candles.

I leapt to my feet as Richard moaned "No... The dark... They come in the dark." There was a pulse of dark light, and a thump.

"Get the light on- NOW!" I shouted, terror pulsing through me. The relighting of the room showed Richard lying dead on the ground. But what disturbed me most was the symbol. Or rather, the lack of the symbol. The piece of paper was still there, untouched by the wind, but now it was completely blank. I think I'll start using candles instead of light bulbs in my house now. Candles are fire. Fire fights back the dark. They come in the dark.

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