The reason I am writing this is not one of a confession, nor one of resolution. I do not wish to warn the world, nor shed light upon the terrors I have witnessed. I only want to look into the eyes of what lurks beneath the world and say - "I do not fear."

My name is Michael Gudger. The date of my birth is September 4th, 1901. The date of my death is October 1st, 1922. How I know this, is because this day I will succumb to sleep, this day the first of October. The noose hanging from my bedroom ceiling only confirms this ill thought. No, I am not a depressed man, nor a sick one. My mind is clear and my body is calm. But - my day has come. This is what the arachnids whisper into my ear at night. My day has come. My day of reckoning.

I have always been a curious man. As a child, I partook many expeditions with my grandfather in the woods near my home in Providence. We built a tree-house as our fortress, and we stayed there every end of the week, until the day my grandfather passed away from a cancer in his bones. I still stayed in our tree-house after that, but the nights became darker and the days quieter. I could feel cold winds creeping up against my shoulder in that dark tree. That was when I stopped going, around the age of 13.

The feeling of not belonging in a normal society has always plagued me. I have always felt like I belong more in one of nature's reserves instead of some suburban housing. My grandfather felt that as well. A connection to the wild. Something that pulled him forward. Like an arm stretching from the roots of the Earth.

As soon as I had turned 18, I moved out of my family's home. I was the oldest of my siblings, so it was natural I leave first. Taking the advice of my father I moved into an apartment complex in New York, but I quickly grew to despise urban life. Everything about it I hated. The loudness, the people, the rush of it all. I knew I wasn't going to survive there, so I sold most of my personal belongings and moved into my grandparent's old house near the border of Massachusetts.

Naturally, I felt more at peace there - but the calling of the wilderness never stopped. Even by the end of my 20th year in this world, when I spent almost every afternoon wandering the forest, I felt no relief. Thoughts of horror and ghoul-like creatures lurking the woods outside haunted my dreams, eventually leading up to a point where I couldn't take it anymore. I woke up screaming in my bed, and looked out the window into the seemingly endless darkness of the forest. I had to leave - one more night in this forsaken house and I felt as if I was going to fall into insanity.

I took my lantern, lit it, and set off into the wild. It is hard to remember that many details of my journey into the depths of the forest. I expected the sun to rise as morning came, but the deeper I wandered into the forest, the blacker it became. After wandering what felt like hours, I came across an opening in a slope. A dark cave, it's blackness almost beckoning me in. The only sounds now were of the hooting of owls from the distance, and the water dribbling down the entrance of the caverns. Knowing no fear of the dark at the time, I wandered into the cave, carrying only my lantern with me.

The controlled flames illuminated the slimy walls only slightly, and brought only enough light for me not to slip on one of the many wet rocks scattered on the cavefloor. A smelly mucus dripped from the ceiling, like water, but with a thicker texture. The sound of insects and mollusks crawling on the walls and floor became more frequent as I creeped deeper into the darkness. The air became heavier and the stench of rotten fish stronger. After a short while, it became hard to even breathe, and the sweat made the clothes stick to my body. My body itched as curiosity killed my senses. I stopped only in my tracks when I reached the edge of a pit.

A deep, belching sound emerged from the depths of the large hole. It made me shiver and I felt as if my body could not move even one inch. I dropped down on the lukewarm ground, feeling the tiny insects crawling up on my limbs. The lantern, which I had clumsily dropped in my moment of fear, slid down the slimy floor towards the pit, but stopped with a quiet thud against something which blocked the edge. The fire illuminated a dark-green, scaly hide, covered in a saliva-like substance, with an odor which reminded of rotten crustaceans.

Then, the most horrifying churning emerged from the weird blocking, and a pair of hideous, bulging, glassy eyes stared right into mine. I could feel my mind shattering as a fleshy growth from the creature's head lit up, revealing a vast, loathsome monster of nightmares. The esoteric being let out another sound, this one higher in pitch and screeching my ears. The creature took hold of the walls and crawled in an eel-like way towards me. My fight-or-flight instinct activated, and I turned around and ran. I ran, ran, and ran more until I could feel the soles of my feet bleeding. I ran until I had slipped on the mucus-covered ground more times than counted.

I emerged out of the cave, and slipped on a root that was stretching out of the forest floor. I fell tumbling down the slope. My body stopped upon a tree, and my vision went black.

The next part of my story brings us to the present. I am currently sitting at the writing desk of my old New York apartment. I do not know how I got here, but only that I woke up naked on its cold floor. The apartment has not been taken care of, and I can hear the insects crawling on the boards and in the walls. The mucus still will not wash off my body. I can hear the sounds from outside my window, the voice of what haunts me every time I close my eyes. I know not how the creatures from within that cave have followed me back here, but I know they are watching me. Any minute now, they will break down the door that separates my room from the hallway and take me back there. I know it. I know it. I know it. I know it.

The end is near. They are at my door. I can hear the immense scales throbbing against it. It shall not take me. It shall not take me. It shall not take me.

Nigh is the time. Everything is dark. I must take the noose.

Pray for yourselves.

Written by Ajw
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