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Pale Studies

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"Please sit sit, I implore you, don't call me a buffoon like those fools at the university, and don't pity me with the sad look those poor sods of nurses give. The events I will recall to you are completely true, no matter how insane, irregular, or incomplete they may seem.

"It was a gloomy, dark, and chilled Saturday night on the evening of June 10th. I remember the odd sensations my body experienced with almost pin-point accuracy. The air was extremely crisp in the form of a strangely bitter wind, this was unusual because the day was an extremely warm and miserable one. I remember my nose caching the ghoulish, channel, rotting stench of something awful. But most of all I remember the sickly pale glow of the full, spectral moon. I don't know why I was in that damned place, nor why Edmund dragged me into his infernal dealings. In the past months, something changed in him. His once brilliant eyes, filled with conquest and an almost childish curiosity for lore and education, have since gone over and his once ecstatic personality has become bitter and envenomed with hate. I didn't dare question his expeditions for fear he would kill me...

"I'm sorry, a doddering old man like me must have been rambling on. You look fairly pale, would you like a drink? Here, have a glass of gin, my one true vice I admit.

"As I was saying, Edmund had dragged me out to some unmentionable and god awful crypt to dig up who knows what. He had a bizarre look on his face, one of less childish curiosity and more corrupt lust for knowledge long lost to mortal man. He seemed to believe he could steal knowledge from a rotted corpse. I thought he was a fool, but I didn't tell him that. I did, however, make the mistake of asking what he wanted so damn badly. Immediately his black haired head shot up and gave me a look out of his dull, bloodshot eyes that contained more hatred than any mortal vessel should ever enclose inside of itself and looked down just as quickly, without looking up again, in a low, gravelly, weary voice just two simple words: Keep digging.

"I'm sorry, I haven't been up this late in a very long time, allow me to open up a window-" *ahem* "Sorry, continuing on. Edmund and I continued in agonizing silence for some time, it felt as if we had been digging for hours with no fruitful results for our brutish and ghastly endeavors. But I was excited once we felt our spades strike the solid relief of a coffin beneath the dirt and ancient muck. With as much strength as we could muster, we reached our strangely frigid yet oddly sweaty hands down and pulled off the lid holding whatever wicked and nefarious enigmas lied within.

"What I saw on that dark and frigid night would make even the most seasoned mortician gasp, it was a corpse that, while still ravaged by time, was unnaturally preserved so that some minute details were still slightly decipherable. The most horribly noticeable thing about it though was the inhuman nature of its structure, almost as if this had been done unnaturally by itself while the flesh still functioned; the legs and torso were extended and thinned as if put through some sort of torture device, the skin was pallid and dull as opposed to the rotted amber it should've been, the fingers were cruelly sharpened and the skin shaved off the ends, and its ancient skull appeared as one of a sleeping man that was the victim of a gruesome case of trepanation with dried blood still calloused along the edge.

"But as I watched, aghast and in horror at this grisly sight, Edmund had found exactly what he was looking for. A small note clutched in the bloodied hands of this fetid corpse, and as he groped at the yellow roll I got a closer look, and realized it was not human skin, but appeared to be of the same material as the Al Azif, an abominable book written by some Arabian pariah. He held it high above his head, the moon was full and had begun to shine brightly with an almost malign sentience, and he spoke the words written on that vile note, and while I know not what it means, I remember it with perfect clarity as it came out of his lips. He spoke the words, "Mai ghusapai ki Kamana Li'e bhagavana ke ghara kulaa!" As the last guttural word left his tired mouth with an almost echoing tone, lightning struck and it began to rain. Edmund repeated the words on that accursed note God knows how many times! Over and over in the same damned tone.

"But then he dropped it, gasping for breath and he looked at me with the curious and soft glance I had known before, but still not full of conquest or wonder, but instead filled with tears and depression. He began to weep, his watery tears streaming down his face faster than the rain, and through his moaning and wailing cries, I began to hear a music, one that I had never experienced in my life, it was ethereal, almost dreamlike, and as that music played, Edmund looked at me and out of his puffy, night stained face he bawled, God, what have I done? as he spoke this through his tears the music struck a sour note.

"I noticed it had changed from a jubilant and angelic chorus to a deep, slow, gloomy dirge. The wind grew faster, the dirge slower and louder, and Edmund's berserk cries grew louder and more indistinct. Then, a flash of thunder struck, my eyes were blinded by this sudden shock, and when they recovered, Edmund, the music, and the rain were all gone. The only thing that remained was the opened coffin and the note. I replaced the lid to the coffin, re-buried it in the ground, and left without a word, no one since has asked about Edmund's death, and anyone whom I tell this story to believes I should be put in the local asylum. So here I am, living with the memories and telling my story to another young man who thinks I'm a damned fool. This night has been really taxing on my brain and mental well being, I would appreciate it if you left my house. OUT!

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