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I have no visitors here because I have no friends or family left that could come see me. My parents passed away years ago. Lizzy and I never had the chance to start a family. She was taken from me by some sick-o druggie looking for some quick cash so he could get his next fix. That night that I killed Billingsley and Hall is still a fog. Hell, I’m not even sure it was me that took their lives. I just remember vaguely in my berserker rage that I fantasized the men were the embodiment of the punk druggie who killed Lizzy.

I was surprised when the large guard who insists that he be called an “orderly” came and got me out of my cell. He informed me that I had a visitor. I was taken into a room with a lone table and several chairs. The strange man sitting at the table rose when I was brought in. He was an athletic man wearing khaki cargo pants and a denim shirt. He had sandy blond hair and dark, active eyes. The man struck me as a cocky, jock type. Probably military or police background. The guard offered to place me in a straightjacket for his safety but the man gave him a wry chuckle and said that it wouldn’t be necessary.

He introduced himself as Tanner Wallace. I was wary of him because I thought he might be a detective or, even worse, somehow connected to Billingsley or Hall. He sensed my uneasiness and began to reassure me that he was on my side and believed that what I had done was justified. He said that he knew all about my “ordeal” as he called it. I asked him why he cared and he admitted that he really wasn’t sure himself. I didn’t know how to take that and he began to explain that he was merely here on behalf of a man named Milo Brecklin. Apparently Mr. Brecklin was a very powerful man who took a special interest in the things I had encountered – referring to the arcane tomes, occult rituals, and unexplainable events that transpired that night in the cemetery.

I was amazed at how many details he knew about the bizarre work and interests of both Hall and Billingsley. I grew a bit more at ease because I felt that he actually believed me, unlike the head shrinks who seemed to only humor me while secretly judging me insane. He explained that Mr. Breckline was a sort of crusader trying to stamp out secret cults and cabals that perpetrate the twisted rituals and practices of the ilk that Hall and Billingsley were trying to resurrect. He told me that Brecklin wanted me interviewed to see if I was legit. He promised me that he would report back to Brecklin and that hopefully Brecklin could use his considerable influence to free me.

Maybe he was just a fraud or it was some warped, new technique by the psychiatrists trying to dissect my brain, but it is my only hope that I can be saved before I suffocate or truly go mad.

*

After a very nerve wracking visit to Hall’s residence I sat down at my computer and began to research the cryptic names of the strange books in his cellar. The two that seemed to have the most mystery and stigma tied to them were the Necronomicon and Cultes de Goules. These two books were rare occult books of legendary stature in a very nebulous and underground world of dark magic and sorcery. I won’t go into all of various dead ends and blind alleys I combed on both the internet and on the phone as I looked for copies of these rare and cursed books, but I did finally uncover the fact that only a few libraries in the United States held copies of them. The two closest ones were Harvard and Arkham, two schools that were too far away to warrant a trip up the Eastern seaboard. Coosada University is much too small to have any books of such rarity – the university doesn’t even have a rare books room like Arkham has. I did get a lead from an employee at the library for a man who might be able to help me.

Arthur Grosche ran a used bookstore in Wetumpka just over the bridge in the old part of town. His side passion was hunting, collecting, buying and selling rare books. I drove over to his store and went in. There were no customers in the store and I found him behind the counter going through a box of paperbacks. He was an elderly man with gray hair and reading glasses riding the tip of his nose. When I asked if he was Arthur Grosche he looked over the top of the lenses and sized me up before answering in the affirmative. I had made up a feeble lie about how I was doing research on paganism and occult literature for an article I was writing and then I asked him about the books. When I mentioned the names of the books I caught his full attention. He abandoned the box of cheap paperbacks and stood up while removing his glasses.

I hoped that the books weren’t so taboo to him that he’d brush me off but he seemed to regard them as more hype and hyperbole than anything else. He explained to me that he had definitely heard of these fabled books but had never actually seen a copy of either the Necronomicon or the Cultes de Goules. I asked him if he thought he could get me copies and if so, how much they might run. He told me that people in certain circles paid hefty amounts for even the poorest condition copies of them. He guessed that tens of thousands of dollars was probably the ballpark figure.

It was at this point that I asked him if he knew just what sort of things were written in the books and what their histories were. He told me that the Necronomicon had been written by an Arab named Alhazred in the eighth century. Apparently Alhazred was exiled into the desert and turned to dark sorcery in an attempt to gain power and revenge over the ones who had banished him. The book chronicled his wanderings around the Middle East as he searched for the most shunned and forbidden secrets of necromancy and black magic. Supposedly Alhazred revealed in minute detail the spells and rites on how to conjure some really powerful demons. We’re talking messing around with some really dangerous beings. It eventually cost Alhazred his life. Supposedly he was flayed to death by an unseen demon in broad daylight in the middle of a busy marketplace.

The Cultes de Goules was written in the 1700’s by the Comte d’Erlette. Grosche’s knowledge wasn’t as good on it as it was on the Necronomicon, but he told me it was banned by the church because it was another book that gave explicit details on how to conjure demons. He said that what made it so reviled was that it condoned cannibalism and the consumption of the dead as a means of gaining power over the undead.

He then told me that he did have a few books that he thought might give me some more information on these books and other similar works. I told him that I was interested and he bade me follow him to a back room. After some looking around through stacks of books, he proceeded to present me with a copy of the Nocturnicon, which was one of the books in Hall’s house. He explained that it was a book of magic instruction heavily influenced by the Necronomicon. Another book he managed to find was called The Gates of the Necronomicon which he explained was a book supposedly of some of the exact spells copied right out of the Necronomicon. The last book was an occult encyclopedia that had entries on both books plus a whole slew of other related materials and topics.

We chatted some more and I thanked him for helping me out with so much information. I bought the books and returned home to see what else I could learn about just what Hall and Billingsley might be involved in.

*

According to the copy of Radcliffe’s Occult Encyclopedia that I bought from Mr. Grosche, after death a body still holds a vital essence that is tied to the spirit of the person. Once the soul has been excised from the material plane this vital essence no longer resides in the body. Only then can a person be truly dead. A person who is dead but still retains their vital essence may be resurrected. They are said to be “undead”. Both the Necronomicon and Cultes de Goules describe two creatures that feed on the dead. These creatures happen to be bitter enemies. The first creature is the ghoul. They have a prominent part in mythology and most people have heard of them. The ghoul eats the flesh of the dead but only if it still contains the vital essence. Ghouls are described as being short of stature, having dark skin that is almost black, possessing slender limbs and distended bellies. The other creature is the chaklah’i. Where the ghoul is humanoid, the chaklah’i is more akin to a creature that runs on all fours like a wolf or hyena. They run in packs and are described as having a large bat-like face, a large mouth with long teeth, the hind quarters of a wild dog and long, slender arms that are dark and end in humanoid, clawed hands. Unlike the ghouls, they feast on the vital essence of a dead person instead of the tissue. They will also stalk a living victim and surround them. Their forms are not of the material plane and they will surround the victim in such a way that the victim suffocates due to the displacement of air. One can see how these two creatures are in competition with each other over a fresh cadaver, but feed on it in different ways. While rifling through The Gates of the Necronomicon I discovered spells for conjuring both these beasts.

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