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The month was November. A dark and lingering time of the year as the winter season was about to approach. Days were dragging on, grey colored skies spread over a small town, much like a transparent veil, only to be seen, not to be touched nor reached. Plant life at the verge of dying, holding onto the few rays of sunlight that would touch it.
Taking part of society, blending in with the group of people which had duties to attend, would result in skin meeting an ice cold breeze. November was known for sucking the life out of that little town, and anything or anyone close to it. A town closed off from the outside world, it became known as the ghost town of Falcon's Gate. And as the years went on, the little town known as East Falls began to add up to that title. Several reports concerning disappearances were broadcasted on national television, soon to be followed by reports of violent attacks. East Fall authorities tried their best to maintain security, but no offenders were ever found.
As time went on, the reports grew silent, and much like them, the small town of East Falls was forgotten. But not by occult loving teenagers from abroad, who paid visits to the, so called, haunted town. Reviving the legends about a vicious, psychopathic killer roaming the forests of East Falls, a small town located outside of Falcon's Gate. Coming up with all kinds of stories about the killer, who he might be and why he would never kill his victims, only scar them for life. Mentally and physically. And all that the dated library in the small town had to offer, which was pretty much left for dead after most residents left town after the sudden attacks, was the last newspaper clippings mentioning a murder on an East Falls resident named Cilan Burns. Not much was known about the boy, and neither the media nor authorities even cared about his history after his death. It seemed that that small abandoned town wanted nothing more than to forget the murders even happened. But it was remarkable that after that boy's death, the reports about violent attacks and scarred victims had risen.
The scent of blood. The thick but also watery texture. The body had always interested me. The interior and exterior to be exact. I never made any distinction between human or animal. As long as the being breathed and had liters of blood cursing through their veins, I'd be content. I never questioned my thirst for knowledge, knowledge about the insides of a living creature. The first time my eyes had met the red liquid was at the age of 8. I had been watching some little wood critters running around in the garden. I managed to capture one of them, a small, chestnut colored rabbit.
Knowing that I couldn't just retreat a knife from the kitchen drawer, my mother would notice the lack of it pretty soon, I had to improvise. I had sliced the critter open, leaving an incision from its neck all the way down its abdomen. Removing its intestines, I realized that I felt something I'd never felt before. It fascinated me. But upon watching that animal die before my eyes, I accepted the fact that I made a mistake. I never intended to take that rabbits life. I buried it in the garden, and laid a flower on the dirt and sand. I hear your thoughts and I will reassure you that I'm perfectly sane. I'm no psychopath, I'm no mental patient, I'm fine. Because of my need to open living creatures, it seemed only natural I would eventually study medicine. I graduated, even found a job.
My first assignment involved an elderly woman who suffered from back pains and a case of bone disease, leaving her immobile. Susan Burns, she lived in a small town called East Falls. I remember hearing plenty of stories about that town, that it was supposedly haunted by a psychopath. I admit, once I arrived at that town, I could tell why such stories were spread. It had the right atmosphere and outward look to resemble a ghost town. Small, abandoned, miles away from society and only inhabited by families that were tied to this place due to memories and emotional ties.
As I paid Mrs. Burns regular visits, she told me a lot about her family, and not so long after I met her husband, Mark Burns and their son, Cilan Burns. The woman used to tell me all about how her husband got fired after the company he worked at, had a low budget and needed to let some of their employees go. The Burns family struggled financially and she was worried about how the circumstances would affect their teenage son. Speaking off .. Cilan Burns. First time I met him, he seemed eager to get back to his room as soon as he laid eyes on me. I understand that children often have trust issues regarding adults. These days children grow up so many crap on the news, it's hard to tell who to trust or not. Or perhaps he didn't like the fact that a stranger was taking care of his mother. Whatever the reason must have been, I didn't blame the boy. Teenagers ..
I overheard a conversation my mother and father were having. It was pretty late, around 10pm when my dad returned home after a long day at the office. Normally, my father would've been home around 7 or 7:30pm, so I understood my mother's worry some voice as she spoke to him. Dad got fired, he had lost his job due to budget shortcuts the company had to make. Or at least that's what I managed to make out of it. I've never heard my father speak in such a broken voice before, he sounded sincerely scared and defeated. Next I heard them talk about how it would effect their lives and how they worried about being able to pay the bills in time. Dad also mentioned not to tell anything about it to me, not that it was of any use, since I just found out myself. Mom on the other hand, wondered if she could still pay for her doctors regular visits and wondered if she needed to cancel the treatments. I knew mom didn't mean what she had said, she genuinely liked her doctor. What was his name again..?
Alexander. No.. that was his surname, if I'm not mistaken. Weird, I thought. Having a given name as a surname, must've been pretty confusing upon introducing himself, because Alexander might as well have been a middle name. That doctor .. he meant a lot to mom .. and he helped her get better. I don't want mom to feel bad again, she was doing so well ever since he started her treatment.
Maybe .. I could convince him to continue her treatment.. even if there was no source of repayment possible. I could only try .. I've got nothing to lose, and my mother's well being is at stake. I decided to pay his practice a visit. I've waited an hour and a half in that waiting room. Seeing loads of elderly people walk in and out, hearing people cough, sneeze. I saw little kids, teens, adults, even small toddlers. I had second thoughts about meeting him here. I could end up sick myself, and that was something I did not need right now. I finally heard my name being called, and looked up to meet doctor Alexander.
When wearing his white coat, he looked much more like an actual doctor. And much older to add on that. I rose from my seat and followed him into his office. I inspected my surroundings, a neat office, everything put away nicely, plenty of pills and other instruments locked behind a glass covered closet. It took me a while to get a little more adjusted to this foreign place, but once I did, I seem to have lost control over my tongue. The words dripped out like they were surfing on my tongue. I explained the man everything, told him all I knew about the situation. I held my heart once I saw him open his mouth to give whatever response he had in mind. But my fear seemed to be needless as he assured me that he would continue my mother's treatments and didn't see money as a necessarily thing when it came to a well known patient and a person's health.
From that moment on, I saw doctor Alexander as some kind of hero. At least now neither my father and I needed to worry about that issue anymore.
Cilan seemed to be very thankful toward me, and I see no reason to it. I think it was a normal thing to do, besides .. the look on that boys' face, just killed me. I have always been a sucker for sad faces, and the kid seemed to be at the verge of bursting out in tears right there at my practice. Ever since he would make sure he was near me whenever removed his mothers' stitches, opening up wounds in order to clean them and stitch it back up. He would watch very closely, observing my every move. It felt good, it felt like this boy was as interested in the human body as I have always been. Maybe he'd study medicine some day and become a doctor himself. Another doctor in the world would be a welcomed gift.
But with every visit I paid the Burns family, Cilan showed more interest in the actual blood and wounds, than he did in me or his mother. It reminded me of myself when I was at that age, that constant urge to open up a body and see what secrets it held. Perhaps, this boy shared the same disorder I did, and if so, I hope he will be able to control it. Mrs. Burns had told me that her husband made some stupid decision and lend money from some gloomy figures. She said she didn't trust the situation and has spend many nights worrying about it. Cilan would often talk to me about little things, I presume he was trying to make small talk, getting to know the man who was treating his mother, and became a regular guest, better. I didn't bother me, he was a nice kid. A little odd at times, but he was in the middle of puberty, and puberty is man's worst enemy.
I realized that Cilan worried deeply about his parents, he would often ask me if I had any answers or solutions for the money problem. That's what he called it. 'the money problem'. I felt sorry for the kid and I wish I did have a solution but I couldn't get too involved in their problems. I wast just a doctor, and I had to keep work and private separated. Although it troubled me. This was a 16 year old boy, he shouldn't have to worry about these kinds of problems yet, he's still a child. Cilan spoke about how he noticed a group of men watching him as he walked home after school. He was startled and told me he'd rather not want to leave the house anymore. I tried to tell him he probably imagined things due to a lack of sleep. But it reminded me of what his mother told me earlier. I was hoping that this wasn't the result of Mr. Burns lending that money. Cilan shouldn't have to be dragged into this or become a part of this. Children should never become a victim of an adults choices. And surely after Cilan enlightened me, his mother said that her husband was unable to repay the loan in time. Threats were made, and she doubted whether to call the police or not. I had a bad feeling about this from the start, but it was not up to me to judge any of my patients or their surroundings.
Once again I felt eyes on my back as I walked home after school. I'm not making this up, and I am not imagining things. Even if Dr. Alexander told me I needed to try to get more sleep. I admit, lately I haven't been able to fall asleep at all. I would worry about my mom and dad, about myself, it was so overwhelming. I decided to take the shortcut through the Pine Edge forest. It lead to a parking area, just a few blocks away from my house. That was one of the many mistakes I made in a while. It all happened so fast, I heard voices and before I had fully realized it, two arms had grabbed me from behind. One wrapped around my abdomen, the other held a strong hand on my mouth. I tried to struggle .. I tried to scream.
No avail.. What happened next remains a blur, but the one thing I do remember is having the sensation that I was draining. I saw blood, and felt my clothes and hair getting drenched in a wet, but thick liquid. Blood I assume .. I saw a reflection in several metal objects .. knives? The feeling of bleeding .. severely bleeding .. it felt so .. intriguing.. so .. pleasant. Was I dying? I watched as the blood spread across my clothes, leaving stains, I watched the blood leave tiny trails on my hands. It was so majestic .. so beautiful to look at.. My jaw felt funny, I couldn't move my lips anymore .. my throat .. it felt like a breeze ran along it.. Did they slice my face all the way down to my neck? .. I must be dying..
All I wanted was to help my parents .. I wanted to make sure they wouldn't have to worry so much ..
I heard nervousness take over some of the voices. They got nervous .. why? Did anyone hear me after all? It remained silent for a moment. I thought it was over .. but I was mistaken. My vision became blurred .. was the blood loss severe? Severe enough to take my life so easily? .. Next thing I know, I saw a red color move across my line of vision, soon to be followed by a wet sensation. They were pouring something over me.. what was it? I heard a sound .. a scratch .. a match? Before my mind would let me come up with what that might have been, I lit up. The pain was .. horribly pleasant. I never screamed, as my flesh melted.. scorched.. gained an antique white color. It will be over soon, I told myself. Just for a little while now .. The last voice I heard, which sounded perfectly clear to me, said something along the line : ' Don't worry, you'll be fine,'
I had heard about the Cilan Burns murder. My heart dropped. Believe it or not .. I actually started to care deeply for this child. All that was known about his case, was an obvious murder. Cigarette butts were found, yet to be investigated for any trails of DNA. Mrs. and Mr. Burns were heartbroken. Mr. Burns blamed himself .. and even if neither of us actually said it, Mrs. Burns and me thought the very same thing. That boy.. became the victim of something he had nothing to do with. And on top of that .. all he wanted was to help his parents. And it .. became a fatal desire. A man fell under my guidance. Gavin Kennedy, 35 years old. Relatively healthy, aside from long and liver damage caused by smoking and drinking. He needed care taken of a flesh wound he sustained at the palm of his hand.
If you asked me, it resembled a bite wound. As if .. something bit him in anger or fear. It looked .. almost beastly. At first I thought of a hunting accident, but then again .. hunting is illegal in East Falls. And Mr. Kennedy didn't exactly looked like the hunting type. In my mind one of the pictures that were made of Cilan's corpse, flashed up. He had suffered from drama at the jaw and neck area. It didn't take very long for me to link the two cases. There was no doubt. This was one of the people that assaulted Cilan Burns. And I was determined to make him pay for his deeds.
Call me strange .. call me mental. I brought Cilan's remains home with me. I patched him up, took care of his scars, injuries and what not. All stitched together like this, he resembled a doll. The way his skin had suffered from the direct and prolonged contact with fire, caused his skin to permanently lose its pigment. All dead flesh scraped off, the remaining useful skin had gained a pale white color. No pigment at all. His mouth was barely visible .. it was pretty much a thin line of what remained of his lips, and his throat was opened up, exposing all the eternal organs. I dressed him, giving him one of my skintight black turtleneck sweaters. I hid the deformity that was his neck. I know it was a sick thing to do.. but I couldn't let them put this heroic child underneath the ground. He deserved a worthy death, cause he never had a worthy life to begin with.
It has been a year since the murder on Cilan Burns. I happened to catch the newsreport a few days after it took place. I remember feeling sick to my stomach when I saw the pictures of his deformed body. To think that used to be an a good looking 16 year old boy. He was so young .. He still had a life to live. An investigation had started and it took them several years to find three of the suspected 5 suspects. .. It just .. Harry George. My father .. My father had taken the life of an innocent child. It sickened me.. I never looked that man in the eye ever since. Two years later, my mother found him dead in the backyard. His throat was sliced, and police called it a suicide. They believe a guilty conscious drove him to the act. For one .. I believe he got what he had coming for him. The second man they arrested was Gavin Kennedy.
The third man they arrested was Ernest Indigo. Samara's father ..And now she's been assaulted. This cannot be coincidence. And I have a feeling something .. or someone .. is making sure the murderers of Cilan Burns .. get what they deserve. And their relatives as well .. Same thing as what happened to the Burns family. Their lost their child, and the killers would lose theirs..
'Are you sure you're gonna be fine on your own, Samara?' The woman smiled, reaching for a bottle of water. 'No need to worry, Dyl. The doctor should be here in an hour or so,'
The man grabbed his jacket. 'If anything's up, you give me a call, okay? Weird things have been happening lately, so I'm wary,'
Samara smiled, wiping her mouth. 'Granted. But I'm fine. Have a safe journey home,'
'Will do. You get some rest!' The door slammed shut, leaving Samara in her apartment.
Man, I hate these parts. This town reminds me of those towns you hear about on the news. The type of towns that are deserted, miles away from society. Just waiting for a murder to happen. I had second thoughts the moment Samara mentioned moving here. She'd be out of reach and as recent events demonstrated, something was bound to happen. Some weird fuck attacked her. Why that girl thought it was a good idea to go out into the woods in the middle of the night, still doesn't make any sense to me.. The description of that man. It reminded me of the many legends that were told about the East Falls town, the Falcon's Gate Killer.. A teenage boy who got psycho and deformed his face after he got severely burned. I never believed those stories. Urban, fucking, legends. I've read plenty of horror stories and they all sound like a bunch of crap to me. You must be out of your mind to actually believe those kind of things.
A shadow crept over Dylan as he was about to take a shortcut through a small forest leading to the parking spot where he'd parked his car. He stopped in his tracks.
'Seriously? Okay, whoever the fuck you are, and whatever kind of games you're playing, I'm not in the mood for it!'
he shouted, returning to walking deeper into the forest. Tall, gloomy trees surrounded him, joined by the sudden sounds of nocturnal animals.
I can't believe it. I actually thought I saw something. God, Dylan, give it a rest. You're getting too involved into these fairy tales that it's melting your brain. Just cut the crap, go home and get a good night's rest. You need it, buddy.
His thoughts were interrupted once more when he heard the sound of a snapping branch in the distance. He froze, but breathed out a sigh of relief when he saw a little rabbit rush past him.
'Fuck me! Bunny you scared me,'
He felt an arm grab him from behind and another covering his mind.
'Don't worry, you'll be fine,' a voice told him.
Dylan tried to free himself from the intense grip, but soon realised that whatever was holding him, was unable to touch. The arm shifted, and he felt his skin burn right after. Muffled cries sounded underneath a bony hand. 'I'm fine ~ I'm fine..' the voice echoed again.
The man managed to free himself and dashed back to have a look at who had attacked him. His heart sunk and his limbs started shaking. A crooked smile was seen. 'You're fine ..,' the being lashed out at the 28-year old man, grabbing a firm hold on the neck of its victim. 'L..l..le'.. let. go!' Dylan choked out. He was clawing at the creature's hand with his fingernails, leaving marks. The skin of the man's neck melted slowly underneath the touch. Once the eternal organs were visible, the hand let go of him. 'Don't worry, you're fine,'
A tormented soul can turn a devoured body into the monsters nightmares are made of. Cilan .. or Burns as I prefer calling him, has risen from death. Pretty weird huh? Cilan would disappear and appear from time to time, but he'd always return to me. I killed three men. Gavin Kennedy, Harry George, and Ernest Indigo. Three of the five monsters that turned Burns into some kind of demon in the afterlife. They earned all the pain I'd given them. Rat bastards! But recently, I've been hearing reports about assaults. A certain Samara Indigo, and a young man named Dylan George. They happened to be the children of two of the suspects.. They deserved it. But the assaults weren't my works .. If I'd done it.. they'd be dead, and would not be able to tell the story afterwards. It must have been Burns .. It just must be. There's no other explanation.
These goddamn SAT's! Urgh .. '
The 16-year old turned on the TV and a newsreport immediately drew her attention.
'Another attack .. and again the victim wasn't killed, just badly injured,'
Megan bit her lip, watching as a picture of a young man was being shown and the burns on his neck, stomach area and mouth. The girl squeezed her eyes shut as she saw that the flesh had been burned completely off and the man, known as Dylan George, no longer had any lips. She turned the TV off and leaned back into the chair. 'Oh my god .. That's Mr. George!'
At that moment, the door opened and Megan saw her mother standing in the doorway. 'Honey.. did you see the news?' Megan nodded silently. 'My teacher .. has been attacked,'
Let's see .. monsters, monsters .. urban legends .. uhm, anything in here that involves burns? Wait .. what's this? Okay .. '
Megan wrote down the title of the article she had found online, and put the piece of paper in her pocket, before racing downstairs and grabbing her coat. 'Mom, I'm going to the library. It won't take long,'
She jumped on her bike and peddled as fast as her legs allowed her to. She threw her bike against the library stalls and pushed against the big wooden doors. To her surprise it was locked. 'What? That can't be .. it should be open at this hour .. ' she mumbled, checking her phone for the right time. 7:48. pm.
'Fuck.. I needed to read that article about Burns,'
In the windows of one of the bus stops, Megan saw a crooked smile. She turned around and faced a rather tall-looking, bony, pale man. 'Oh .. Excuse me. Sir .. do you happen to know why the library's closed?' The man smiled. 'Don't worry, you'll be fine,'
it caused Megan to raise an eyebrow. 'Yes .. I am. But .. I wanted to .. nah, never mind. Sorry for taking your time, sir,' The creature crept closing toward her and tapped her on the shoulder. Unlocking the lock on her bike, Megan turned her head. A hand blocked her vision, she felt heath consuming her eyeballs as she screamed. 'Don't worry, you'll be fine,' the voice echoed once more.
Another assault. A 16 year old resident named Megan Kennedy. Daughter of Gavin Kennedy. No death, only a severe injury inflicted to the eyes. Burns' work. I'm so proud of him. He needed to punish them.
'Miss Indigo, you were lucky. Your injuries weren't lethal. You should gradually recover completely,' James said, packing his things.
The brunette smiles reassured, and thanked the man. 'Dr. Alexander .. you do believe me right? You don't think I'm crazy, right?'
The man shook his head in a half-assed manner. 'Don't worry, Miss Indigo. I'm sure you'll be fine,'
~ 'Mr. George, I'm sorry to say this but these burns will leave permanent scars,' The man looked at his doctor. 'I'm afraid .. speech will remain a problem. Your lips .. were burnt badly. The flesh.. had to be removed,' Dylan grabbed James' arm. 'Don't worry, Mr. George. I'm sure you'll be fine,'
~ 'Don't be afraid, Megan. It's me, Dr. Alexander. I'm here to change your bandages,' The girl nodded silently. 'Doctor .. will I be able to see again?'
'I'm afraid not.. But .. Don't worry, Megan. I'm sure you'll be fine,'
Samara Indigo. Daughter of Ernest Indigo. Got assaulted, got her left ear cut off. Dylan George. Son of Harry George, got his lips and vocal chords cut out. Megan Kennedy, daughter of Gavin Kennedy, got her eyeballs cut out. It's a reference to the proverb, hearing, seeing and keeping silent. Pretty much what happened at the moment Burns got killed. Nobody heard it, nobody saw it, everybody kept silent. Pretty clever, Burns ..
I never wanted people to feel sorry for me. I wasn't the victim here, my parents were. If my father never lost his job, he would've never gone near those people. And I would've still been alive. But I made sure that they were punished, for what they did to me. And their children suffered, for what they did to my parents .. I will never rest. I am unable. But one thing is certain .. Don't worry, I'm fine..