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My Father's Obsession

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I want to share what has been happening to me lately, but first I have to tell you about my father. I don’t remember my mother, she died when I was only three years old, but my dad always took care of me, and he had a way of talking about mom and including her that made me feel like she was there during times of my life.

There were sometimes when, even though I don’t remember her, I felt like my dad and I would forget that she was even gone. Sometimes I would catch myself after a second or two and suddenly remember that she wasn’t really physically in my life, which would surprise me, but it really hurt my dad when I would say something to remind him that she was gone.

Even still my dad and I were very close growing up. He really was my best friend though most of my childhood. He was never religious as far as I could tell, but at the same time he had a strong interest in occult things. It was something he never really shared with me so I only have what he wrote about it now to give me clues to what he was thinking.

I always had a vague idea that he was trying to reach out to her in some way, but he never stuck with anything for long. I suppose it was partly because he didn’t have a faith in particular and partly because as someone who did research for a living it was too easy to find reasons to disbelieve people.

That being said about 4 years ago that changed. He suddenly got very serious about something and started staying out later at night. And when he was home he kept himself shut up in his office for hours at end, often staying up later than me (which for a 16 year old is quite a feat). But since I was 16, and not terribly interested in what kept my dad up late, or got him out of the house, I didn’t ask too many questions, I mostly just thought it was great that I got so much time to myself without my dad asking me questions.

Obviously in retrospect, I wish I had known at least some of what was going on, perhaps then we could have done something different. But I know a large part of that is survivor’s guilt. It wasn’t until a man kidnapped me that I became aware of what my dad had been doing. And even then it took going back through his journals to really understand.

It might be easier to explain if I just transcribe his journal here, I know I am missing some of his earlier entries, ones that probably describe more in detail the “book” that he had heard about, but I’ll post the parts of the entries that make the most sense.

February 4th, 2009Edit

I’ve finally found out some more details about this book that they keep talking about. They claim it really is a “book of the dead” and that contained within it are the rituals to make a portal to the other side. I am pretty skeptical of this as it seems to have come up out of nowhere, I can’t find any information about it online and none of the other people who are supposedly knowledgeable about witches have ever mentioned it. And I was ready to write it off as some sort of new aged Aleister Crowley nonsense, but I found someone on the forum who backed up there assertion that it might be legitimate and gave some back story about the book.

Supposedly it was originally Babylonian, and preserved by traveling east through India. From there it traveled back to the east around the time Christianity started and resided in the Middle East until it was found during the first crusades. It was then passed from the crusaders to Italy in the fall of Constantinople, where it was more or less lost for 300 years. Then apparently it was mentioned in an obscure record for someone on trial for witchcraft in Germany. After that it next appeared in England. While the mentions of it are incredibly brief, and could easily be ascribed to other books, or rumors, it is then said to have made its way to America around 1937. From then, nothing until someone contacted me about it just a couple days ago. I know it sounds crazy, but I can tell my curiosity has already been to piqued to let this chance go by.

February 7th, 2009Edit

I finally had the chance to talk to this person who has the book. They said they themselves were warned never to open the book, when pressed for information about the book he refused to give any more information. All he said was that he could no longer take care of the book and knew he had to pass it on.

I’m not sure what any of this means, but we are going to meet tomorrow where he says he will give it to me.

February 8th, 2009Edit

I finally have the book myself. It seems like it might be as old as the rumors, it is a dusty dry leather, with a leather strap and buckle holding it closed that looks like they have been replaced sometime fairly recently, in the past 200 years, recently given the age of the book. When he gave it to me he only said that I should not take it lightly, that it was in fact a tome of power and I should never open it. I asked him if it should never be opened why didn’t he just destroy it. He just shook his head and said the book would never let him do something like that.

He refused to elaborate anymore and simply left, leaving the book with me.

Looking at the book now I find it hard to believe it has any “power” at all, though the feel and smell of it does evoke some feeling. Regardless it is very old, and I’ll take care in handling it and open the book tonight. I’m not sure what I’m expecting, probably just nonsense written in Latin, or perhaps Greek. And while the anticipation is making my hands tingle, there is a foreboding sense about it. I think I need to take a break for a little while.

February 10th, 2009Edit

I first attempted to unbuckle the book today, but it seems to be swollen shut, the leather has expanded so that it seems impossible to get it off of the metal buckle. The buckle its self has also seemed to have rusted quite a bit around the joints, I’m not sure if it will work. I’m afraid of damaging the book so I didn’t try to force anything, but it makes me wonder if the person who gave it to me could really know anything about it at all, there is almost no way this book could have been opened in the past decade, probably even more.

I also had a strange dream about the book, which has given me further pause. I can’t really remember what the dream was about, all I can remember was whispering, whispering and a strange sense of beckoning toward the book. It doesn’t really make sense, it must have something to do with my anticipation of opening it. This evening I am going to take another look at it and see what can be done.

February 12th, 2009Edit

I hadn’t had much time to investigate the book more closely, but I continue to be plagued by the dreams. I’m standing on a pedestal or something while a crowd gathers all around me. Most of what they say is whispers, but I think I can pick out a few things. First they want me to open the book, that is the main thing I hear, over and over, “go to the book, open the book.” I hear some whispers say things like, “we should take him now.” Which frightens me, the closer the group gets, the more scared I feel, they look human, but as they approach their faces are twisted, and they have sharp gnashing teeth. They call for me, they want me, but as soon as they get close enough to reach up to me I hear a grating voice, I don’t know where it comes from, but it says, “remember the rules.” And then I wake up, I can barely fall asleep for 5 minutes before the dreams starts, it has kept me up the past two nights, I can’t handle it. I can’t even bare to be in the same room as the book now, the images it invokes make me ill.

The book makes my skin crawl, and looking at it starts a faint buzz in my head.

February 13th, 2009Edit

I finally couldn’t stand it, I don’t know what it was but I faced down the book, after examining it I felt like it had some kind of control over me. Well I don’t want to put up with that anymore, so I cut the buckle off. As soon as I did it I felt a sense of relief, now I could finally just look at it and put it out of my mind. But something stopped me, I don’t know, I couldn’t bring myself to open the book. I’m going to take a break and think about it more calmly. There is no need to rush into anything. I think I’m overcoming whatever paranoia I had about the book, it must have been the crazy things the person who gave it to me said. I’ll start fresh tomorrow.

February 14th, 2009Edit

I have made a terrible mistake, I’ve opened the book. I don’t know why I did it. I was napping trying to calm down when I heard it whispering from the other room. I don’t know what to do, I’ve done something horrible.

February 14th, 2009Edit

I’ve finally convinced myself it wasn’t a dream, and I’ve spoken with them again. Their voices were like a cacophony of rasping. There was a price for opening the book, and they were determined that my soul would be forfeit. I pleaded with them, I only wanted to speak to Sarah again. They laughed, apparently the book is a gateway to a place beyond, but not to everywhere that is beyond. They told me that it is the deal, whoever opens the book has their soul forfeit, and when they die they are claimed by those spirits to become like them. I had no idea what to do, this wasn’t what I expected or wanted at all. And any power they might have was useless to me, especially knowing that if they took me I would never see Sarah again ever.

But as I asked if there was anything I could do a voice stood out, I can’t explain its sound, just that it was like a hacksaw on metal. It told me, “the rules are straight forward, we take the soul of whoever is the one who seeks the book,” as soon as it spoke the chorus of other voices went hush. For a brief moment there was icy silence in my mind somehow that was worse than the buzzing, and the lone voice resumed, “but there are always exceptions.”

I asked what they were, I said that it had been a mistake that I found this book, they weren’t who I was seeking. Once again the buzz of the other voices resumed, a tittering laugh that drove shivers up my spine. They said they could do so much, they had power even in my world, and perhaps I wouldn’t rather use it to forget Sarah. But I begged for a way out, and the loud voice told me that if I found another soul, to willingly take my place, then they could make a deal and let me go free.

I hastily agreed and they said I had a month to do it in. I’m not sure what to do, who can I find that would willingly make such a deal? What have I gotten myself into.

February 16th, 2009Edit

I slept nearly the rest of the day yesterday, fitfully at best, both of my previous entries had been made extremely early in the morning. I spent the rest of the time in a bit of a stupor, the time slipped by so fast, it wasn’t until Agatha finally had to ask when we were going to have dinner that I snapped out of it for a bit. Even then I could hear their voices in the back of my head. Not the whispering that I thought I heard before. Now the voices were the same as I heard in my dreams all of the time, voices where I could make out what they were saying. And what they were saying disturbed me. I know that if this in fact real then there is no way that I want to give over my soul to them. Now today I have to start coming up with a plan, first I’m going to try to get back in contact with the person who gave me the book. Or try researching more online, perhaps someone on the forum has information about what I can do about this. Though I half want to just go to a doctor first and make sure I haven’t just gone crazy. This is the type of thing you hear about, someone hearing voices and sacrificing people to the devil, and when they finally have a look at them they have a melon size tumor pressing up against the part of their brain that keeps them sane.

If only that were it.

February 19th, 2009Edit

I haven’t been able to get in contact with the man who gave me the book. It is like he has disappeared off the face of the planet. It is beginning to worry me, no one on the forum seems to have any more information about the book either. Which means that I have two options, I either ride it out and hope this is some kind of hallucination, or I begin trying to find someone to take my place.

The part that is starting to make me lean towards finding someone else is that the voices are getting clearer. For the most part it is still just the one mob of hissing that demands my soul, or asks me to rip people to shreds, and occasional calls for blood. But beyond that there are two or three voices that stand out, voices like the grinding metal voice. Those are the voices that have really begun to scare me.

They are a lot calmer than the rabble of thrashing people, they seem to know more about me too, and are playing on my fears. One has told me that I should just accept their offer, if I give over my soul they will help me find a way to talk to Sarah once again. I’m not sure if they are telling the truth, but I do know that in the sea of voices her’s is definitely nowhere to be found. And the fact that they haven’t shown me anything other than the ability to get into my head makes me wonder if they really do have any power at all. What is this “book of the dead” anyways? Was it really something that witches or sorcerers used as far back as the babylonians? Why is there no research on it? I can’t even find mentions of it that had previously been pointed out to me on the forum, I’m not sure what to make of it.

Other than that the main voice just keeps urging me to find someone who they can take, he says that they can make use of nearly anyone, I just need to convince someone that they want what the book has to offer. The fact that I hear them, the fact that I hear myself having conversations with them makes me feel even crazier. Anyways back to what I’ve said, I am going to try to find someone who wants to take the book off of my hands. For all I know maybe that is what the person who I got the book from was doing to me. I’ll start looking on the forum, or maybe other more dark places for anyone who would be interested.

February 23rd, 2009Edit

I know it has been awhile since I’ve written down what has been going on, but to be completely honest I find it more and more difficult to put my thoughts down into words. The voices have gotten stronger. I can live with it, several times I thought about destroying the book, throwing it into the fire or something like that, but each time I can barely bring myself to touch the book, holding it makes me want to vomit. And once I think about doing anything with it the whispering in my head that has become some kind of buzzing white noise bursts into frantic screams, leaving me on the ground shaking.

Agatha saw me after one of these fits and has started showing concern, I can’t really tell her anything about this, so I’ve allayed her fears as much as I could, just telling her I was feeling unwell at the time. I’m not sure if she has noticed a change in my demeanor, I suppose even if I did try to explain she would just think I’d finally lost it. Which maybe I have, hopefully after this is over I can tell it to her like a joke. “Remember that time your father thought he was possessed?” It should make for a funny story for her to tell later in life.

I have found some people interested in the book. I’ve given them the information that was given to me, and told them I need someone more equipped to do research and try to translate the book. It isn’t entirely false, though the voices from the book just want to taste fresh blood. The sooner I can get rid of this the happier I will be. Maybe I have learned a lesson from this, about being careful what you wish for. It seems that how these curse stories always turn out. I was so determined to find a way to find Sarah that I was blind to the dangers there might be. But who really believes in magic anyways? What reason did I have to think I would actually find something like this?

February 28th, 2009Edit

I couldn’t do it. I met the guy who was interested in the book today. The probably was he was too friendly, he told me about his family. How he had always had a curiosity for the old documents about witchcraft. He himself styled himself a modern sorcerer. We had a drink and talked about the book, about whether it might have some value, whether it might be authentic or not. I thought he would be the perfect person, someone obsessed enough in this type of thing to take the chance. But When he mentioned his family my heart sunk. The voices begged for me to give him over to them, maybe this too is why I couldn’t do it. I knew I would be tricking this man into it. He couldn’t really believe it was a genuine artifact, much as I think I didn’t believe at the time either. I couldn’t condemn him to the same madness that was affecting me. The metal voice just laughed, which sounded so much more like something in my head being ground away.

I’m back to the start, what can I do, I can no longer sleep at night, I live my life like a zombie just trying to turn my brain off completely so as not to hear that damn book.

March 2, 2009Edit

I’ve finally decided what I have to do. I must find someone who really deserves this book. Not someone who wants it, or who is just curious in the occult, but someone who is more of less evil. I can’t tell what the chorus of demons thinks of this plan, but I get the sense the main voices are amused by it, I don’t know what that means, I also don’t know what it means that I’m picking up on moods, I always have to ask myself, is this actually real?

March 4rd, 2009Edit

I had found a problem in my plan. Could I really give over the book to someone who I thought wanted to do evil? The whisperings in my mind seem to think I might as well give it up, though they still call for blood. I wasn’t sure if it was my blood they wanted, or everyone’s, unfortunately I got my answer.

I broke down after the thought of someone evil having the book, and the loud voice, the main devil residing in that book spoke to me. He said that I needed to do what was necessary, or accept my fate and join them, that he could open up all kinds of possibilities for me. I demanded to know why I had to give up my soul, I didn’t want their help. But he informed me of the rules, “there is always an exception you said,” I yelled at him. The whispering and the voices all paused, again like last time the sudden silence was both a relief and panicked me. I had grown used to the constant hum. That’s when the demon told me about my alternative. Instead of giving the book up to someone, I could offer them to them as a sacrifice.

I asked if then they would leave me alone, no they said. But the devil said that if they had calmed down from their hunger than maybe the mass would be more controllable, maybe it wouldn’t be so bad and they could give me more time to work on a permanent solution. I only have about a week left he reminded me. This seem like it must have been their plan all along, to get me to kill for them. Maybe they didn’t really control my soul, after all I didn’t just do whatever they asked of me. But the hounding I receive, the fact I haven’t been able to sleep in weeks has weakened whatever resolve I had. I’m going to try to find someone I can bear to give the book away to. And If that doesn’t work then I can consider whatever “exceptions” they allow.

March 6th, 2009Edit

I’ve found a couple people in a darker part of the forum, well, not really in the forum proper, but a place where they discuss “practical magic.” Some of the things they suggest are truly horrifying, they seem to be the human equivalent of whatever these creatures are. I’ve been met with some skepticism, especially since I am so new to their forums. But like me one or two are too tantalized by what I am saying to completely disregard it. Essentially all I have to do is repeat the promises the demons whisper into my ear on the forum and they feel like I have something that they want. I’m not sure how to go about meeting these people, they seem like terrible people, and the longer I spend in these dark corners I feel the voices getting louder in my head.

I don’t always feel entirely in control, before I said I walked around like a zombie, now I find myself doing things while I feel like I’m asleep. My mind drifts off being consumed by the demons, and I am outside, with a shovel, or inside staring at a kitchen knife. I know I can’t continue this much longer, I’m worried about hurting myself, or worse, hurting Agnes. I’ve already lost so much, I couldn’t bear to lose her as well. I’m spending more of my time in this state while at night I just toss and turn, unable to get any rest because of the loud buzz that the demons now have in my head. I’ll just get rid of the book, it’s the best way to just be done with it all.

March 9th, 2009Edit

I’ve found the person I want to meet, he doesn’t live too far away and has agreed to come into town in a couple days to take a look at what I have. I’ve told him I haven’t opened it yet, and that I think he would be perfect to take ownership of this relic. I’m not sure if he believes the tales I am telling him anymore than I believed them at first, but he appears to be even more obsessed with the occult that I ever was. He thinks he has actually witnessed magic. Something a month ago I would have scoffed at, actually I disbelieved him as soon as he said it, I didn’t believe in magic as I have a group of voices in my head calling for me to feed them. I don’t really know, it is so unbelievable I keep waiting to wake up from this nightmare.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system I need to find an appropriate place to meet him. Something about it felt clandestine, but that seems silly, I’ll meet him at his hotel bar. I can size him up and if he seems like the type I’ll bring him the book the next day and be done with it.

I’m not sure what type it is I’m searching for though. Can you tell someone is evil after meeting them once? It seems like that is the type of thing that people hide, it is always the ones that people never suspect who have basements full of bodies. It may sound crazy, but I’m hoping the voices might respond, they might give me the information I need to make my decision. I’m not sure which way it will work, perhaps if the demons want to be given to him then I will have to do something else. It gets more and more difficult to think clearly.

March 11th, 2009Edit

I’m going to meet him tomorrow, I can’t wait to be done with this.

March 12th, 2009Edit

I’ve met him, it’s exactly what I thought, he felt so slimy. The fact that he wanted to use the book to give himself power makes me think that he is exactly the person I am looking for. But at the same time, with the voices, I don’t think I can let him have the book. It’s too dangerous. I know that only leaves me with the other option. I’ll have to do it, I’ll have him come out with me to some secluded place where I said I’ve hidden the book. I’ll just do it quickly, I know I should be thinking of how not to get caught. But at this point I just need them to be quiet, maybe once that happens maybe I can think and do something.

March 13th, 2009Edit

I couldn’t do it. I know it was what I needed to do that make the voices quiet, but we got out to the field and I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I felt that somehow if I killed him then the demons would have won, it’s just a battle of will between myself and them. I can wait them out, and once their deadline goes past then we’ll see what happens.

I’ve resolved myself, maybe I have condemned myself to madness, but better than then having to kill people because of voices in my head. I just need to hold out a bit longer.

There is where my father's journals ends, but not the story.

It was about 11 o'clock at night when I heard the knocking at our door. I was up in my room and there was no way that I was going to go down and see who it was. I thought it was strange to have someone over this late, but then again my dad had only come home about an hour ago, so I didn't really think much of it. Until I heard loud voices, someone was talking to my dad. At the time I had no idea what it was about, but now I think he must have been asking for the book.

About three minutes past when I heard the shot. It paralyzed me at first. I had no idea what to do or really even any idea of what it was for sure. But I took off my headphones and opened my bedroom door. There was sound coming from my dad's office, I barely got 3 steps down towards it when a stranger bust out holding a gun and a book. I screamed and half a second later he had hit me with the gun and then grabbed me under the arms. He told me he would kill me if I did anything or made any noise as he drug me out of the house. All I can remember doing was crying.

I was thrown into a car and we started driving, several times he threatened me with the gun telling me to shut up, but it only caused me to cry more, I was sure that he was going to kill me. I had no idea what had happened or who this man was, but I just remember the crazed look and being sure I was going to die and crying.

He pulled me out of the car and told said he was so lucky, he needed a sacrifice and I would be perfect. I had no idea what he meant. I just knew that I was alone in some deserted field with a man with a gun, and that I was going to be killed. He pulled me several yards into the field, I wish I could say that I fought back much, but all I can remember is being limp.

That is when he throw me down and told me to stay still or he would shot me. That's the first time I really noticed he was holding a book as well. I remember thinking that I had no idea what was going to happen, that he must be insane and that I had to get away. Then he opened the book.

I still don't remember much, I could only just barely open my eyes, but I heard him scream. At the time I didn't know what it was, but thinking back he was screaming something about a promise. But his scream quickly became loud and awful. His eyes rolled back and he began to have a seizure. As soon as he fell down I took my chance and ran back to the car. I quickly drove it to the closest intersection and just laid on the hour. I can't say how long it took but finally someone found me, and they called the police.

The police arrived and heard my story and took me to the station, it wasn't until I was there that I learned my Dad had been killed. It hit me so hard, I was catatonic for days. I just could understand what had happened, it seemed like we had been living such a normal life, and then this happened, I lost my father.

It was months later when I finally went through his computer and found his journal, and that was the first time I learned about the crazy book nonsense. At first I just assumed that it was some kind of joke, but then why would he have been shot. I because convinced that this must have been why he was killed. I began to research what had happened to my dad. First I found out what had happened to the man who took me, the police found him in the field with his back broken. They never questioned me much about it, I'm sure they didn't think I could have done it, but I still don't know exactly what happened after I ran away.

Then I began to look for the book. The police had no record of it, as far as I could tell it hadn't even been found at the scene. It led me to dead ends. So I began to look online for the book, any mention, and reference to it at all. I even started searching for these forums that my dad talked about in his journal.

I found nothing, and for a year or so I started to think that he had been right, he was just going crazy. Perhaps I had just imagined the book afterwards after having gone through his journal. Maybe I just needed someway to make sense out of such a senseless crime, someone shooting my dad for no reason. But I kept looking on and off, and the internet if anything has made it easier and easier to find niche groups of all kinds, all over the world. And finally I found a hint of it a couple months ago.

It was actually a news story in a nearby paper that caught my attention, someone had been shot and the person who did it claimed he had to kill to save his soul. I tracked him down, by the time I talked to him he made no sense at all, but it left me a trail. I began talking to his friends and family, I started looking to where he had been visiting online, and finally I found someone who said they knew about the book.

It took serious internet sleuthing to track them down, luckily they had used their forum screen name in other places. With that I got an email, and a name, and then found where they were. I was determined to get that book no matter what, to see if my dad had been crazy or if there was something to it.

Needless to say I eventually got that book they had. I finally found it just a couple days ago and took it from them. At first I was disappointed, nothing about it seemed super natural, but it did look like the book my father described in his journal. I took it home and examined it, nothing about it seemed particular. So i set it down and went to bed, planning on doing more research the next day.

And that's when the whispering started. They started softly, but they started just as my father described. A chorus of voices demanding to be fed. This scared me at first, but I figured I am safe as long as I don't open the book. And this will give me a great chance to investigate it, to see what is really going on with this supposed book of the dead.

But last night something was different, it was a dream like my dad talked about in his journal, I was standing on some elevated platform, around me were a sea of human like faces chanting for blood and flesh. Some demanded my soul and started reaching for me, and then a voice halted them, a voice like two pieces of metal scraping against each other "we only get the soul of the one who opens the book, we have to follow the rules."

But then I heard another voice, a voice that cause me to turn around, to scan the faces in the crowd, it sounded different but at the same time I recognized that voice, I would anywhere, it was the voice of my father saying, "But there are always exceptions."

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