Chapter 5: An eye in the Abyss

Chapter 5: An eye in the Abyss

A Chapter by M.R Steiner

Annika finally opens the green vial


Chapter 5: An Eye in the Abyss

            ‘Subject 1 " deceased for 4 days.


             Subject 2 " deceased for 20 days.


             Species " Pancake tortoises


Equipment " 22 modified voltaic chemical batteries, 1 custom-built conductive ark generator and 1 roll of exposed copper cable. Two drops of Green compound (I still have my doubts about this)


Observations " subject 1 is relatively intact while subject two’s innards have completely collapsed into the shell.


Procedure " Green compound was administered to the mouths of both creatures at approximately 2:00 am. At 2:03 am, both animals were connected to the power source and then exposed to electrical charge for no less than 8 seconds. The phase concluded for secondary observation at 2:08 am.


Observations " the flesh of subject 2 began to rapidly bubble and congeal, eventually all signs of necrosis had completely reversed. Subject 1 took longer to recover despite the damage being less severe.


Remarkable, they live again.


Malakai told the truth- ’


Annika Toten - July 25th 2013 " Tomintoul village


Those few paragraphs are all I’ve managed to decipher so far. Everything inside the red book is so badly damaged. It’s a real pity. I was expecting more answers than the details of some experiment. It sort of looks like an old bible inside, each note of calligraphy is penned in sharp precise points beside the diagrams. It must have been very beautiful once.


I started the moment the sunrise peered over the hills, which wasn’t too long after I went back to sleep. My brain just wasn’t going to switch off unless it happened. By the time I was finished writing my findings down I was more curious than ever.


A knock at the door tore me away from the book. I rushed down the stairs to answer, part of me thought it may was whoever delivered the package in the first place. My hand fumbled to twist open the lock in anticipation, but all I got was an annoying distraction.


“I’ve just heard what happened in Geneva, are you alright?” My next door neighbour Peter Willard.


To think it only took a few days to forget about him completely.


His lanky frame was a good foot taller me and barely supported that head of his. Those blue dungarees stank of cow crap; there were even a few flakes in his brown matted hair. Every time I saw him he’d get this puppy dog look. I’m a cat person.


“Not now Peter, I have far too much to deal with.”


The door swung to a close but his filthy boot stuck between the gap, enough for him to poke that gormless face back around. “Are you sure you don’t want to talk, the loss must be bringing up some rotten memories?”


Mrs Sampson never shut up about it and now Peter had taken her place.


“Peter, my mother has been dead for a good few months now okay? I’d like to move on if people wouldn’t keep dragging me back to it.”


“That’s not what I meant.”


“Well Thomas got himself into that mess; if you’re here to lecture me, then leave right now.”


“I know you wouldn’t hurt a fly, but that’s not what I’m talking about either.”


“Then what the hell do you mean?”


He looked at the floor, almost in tears. “Oh god, I’m sorry, hasn’t your father told you yet?”


“Told me what Peter?”


“Your cat Whisper, he’s dead.”


I forced the door closed and checked the house all over; it seemed like a sick joke. He wasn’t on Darla’s bed or his basket in the hall, mother’s sewing room was a blanket of dust and father’s study was locked. My cat was gone.


The truth hit me in a wave; I felt my legs slip under the grief and collapsed to the floor. Poor Whisper.


My so called Father had a lot of explaining to do. I never bothered with mobile phones as they always ended up lost or stolen. My only option was to use the one in the kitchen. The place hadn’t been cleaned in a while, the tiles stuck to my bare feet as I stepped over the brown patches. Me and Darla just use the microwave and barely wash the dishes.


A horrible noise clicks on the receiver the moment you pick it up. Over the years it had gotten to the point where you could barely hear the person talking.


“Tomintoul Foundation, how can I direct your call?” the same lady answered every time.


“Volkard, Toten.” I shouted it like she was the one with hearing problems.


“I’m sorry but Dr Toten is in surgery, can I take a message?”


“Uh, yes you can definitely take a message. Tell him his daughter wants to know why he didn’t say anything about the cat dying? And what the hell was stopping the good doctor from calling when I got accused of murder? Thank you and have a lovely day.”


The receiver shattered as it struck the wall, that’s when I heard someone behind me.


“What did you say about Whisper?” said Darla.


I didn’t want her to find out that way.


It tore me up seeing her burst into tears. My hand reached out but she recoiled and ran upstairs. Have things gotten so bad that she can’t even hug me anymore?


I had to know what happened and the only other person who knew anything was Peter Willard. His family farm bordered our land and shared our driveway. It was kind of damp out as I trudged up the slope and slammed my fist against their front door. Believe it or not, their home was worse than ours.


You could almost taste the gin in the air before farmer Laird answered. “Oh bloody hell it’s Toten’s daughter.”


This guy wasn’t Peter’s real father; he looked more like a short stacked skinhead with a flat cap. It was barely the afternoon and he was already drunk.


“Where’s Peter?”


“Fixing my jeep in the barn, lazy moron should have done it days ago.”


He had never lifted a finger on that farm since they moved here. What were Peter’s parents thinking when they made that man his godfather?


Laird had 5 barns and in almost typical fashion, I had to search all of them. Peter was in the very last one, I heard a hose splashing behind this huge combine harvester where Laird had parked his jeep. It was so loud that lanky fool didn’t hear me approach. He nearly had a heart attack when I clenched the scruff of his overalls and forced him into the dirt.


“What the hell happened to my cat Peter? If you don’t tell me the truth, I swear I’ll break something and I’m not talking about your uncle’s jeep.”


“Please Annika, I would have told you the whole story if you didn’t shut the door.”


My boot struck his knee, I couldn’t contain it. “What did you do Peter?” I slapped him right across the face and he still didn’t fight back.


“My godfather let the dogs escape okay!” He started to blubber harder than my cousin. “I don’t know why your cat was outside, but one of our collies ran all the way to your garden and by the time we found her, well… it was too late. I’m sorry Annika. If it makes you feel any better, Laird put the dog down.”


Two animals were dead, how could they do such a thing?


I snapped. My vision turned into a flash and by the time I realised what had happened his nose was red with blood. It ran down the tip of my boot and collided into pools of mud as the hose whipped around the floor.


Just looking at that face was an ugly reminder. I couldn’t stand it and walked away.


“Wait,” said Peter, “I know it’s not the best time, but I have 5 days until the deadline for medical school, could you call your dad and maybe ask him about that recommendation?”


What a selfish douchebag!


He’s been sucking up to my father since they moved here. His filthy room is crammed with old medical texts and dozens of surgical tapes. All he wanted was the good Doctor’s help. The animals didn’t matter.


I loved that little fluff-ball and now he’s gone. I never felt so alone, all I wanted to do was hide my bedroom and sulk. Darla hated me, my teacher despised me. There was nowhere else to turn.


Out the corner of my eye was the box with the vial inside. An early night made it glow green though the lid, inviting me to discover the secrets within. It’s hard to describe the urge that overtook me. As if by some other wills, my hand lifted it open.


I was merely an observer caught up in fascination, the power, the history. I wanted to know it all and threw caution to the wind. Who better to test it than me? It would have been opened then and there, were it not for an image of Thomas wedged in my thoughts, his face thick with that black mass.


My stomach churned at what he what he became. If something happened to Darla I wouldn’t be able to live with myself. There was only one other place to attempt it, Mother’s old allotment.


Hail pellets the size of jelly beans struck my skin as I forced open the front door that night. It was like the elements themselves were trying to keep me away. Not one step through the whipping tall grass was easy. Former stones that covered the path tripped my footing, uprooted in shambles overtaken by nature. It only grew worse as I stumbled past the tree line.


I hadn’t been there since mother died. Nothing remained except for the cabin in the centre. My torch shook as it drew closer to the door, reflected against the green ivy tying it together.


What surprised me was that everything inside was so well preserved. Both benches stood rigid with a dozen rusted garden tools scattered all around. My boots swept up dry dirt, sheltered from the storm that still pinged against the dull pane window outside.


Memories of mother momentarily put me in silent grief. She used to bring us up there every summer to teach us about plants and animals. For a moment I almost felt the warmth of the sun as the insects buzzed around. I see Darla balancing on the fence of the flower bed, atop petals of blue and yellow. Now it’s just a brown patch of mud, nothing but weeds grow there.


Flickers of the lighter against a set of bathroom candles left my thumb red raw. By the time I was done the place smelled like a soap shop. Everything else was inside my bag, the book, vial, one bowl, a huge sewing needle and the letter with the instructions.


My stomach wouldn’t stop churning. I didn’t want to end up like Woodman. It was a stupid risk, but I had to discover the truth for myself. It was the only way to clear my name and make sense of all this.


A precise pain shot through my finger as needle drove inward, twisting my skin in two. At first there was only a drop, then a trickle, soon enough it wouldn’t stop bleeding. It soaked through the bandage as I picked up the green vial and pressed my thumb against the cork.


That crap smelt like baked rubbish and rotten meat. How did Thomas even manage to drink it? A pinch of my nose did nothing to stop the stench. One tilt of my wrist dripped it into bowl where it sat there like an oil slick, islanded by an ocean of blood; I barely noticed the sting on my thigh.


“Oh S**t!” By then it was already too late. 


A single drop of the vial splashed my jeans. It ate through the denim then scorched my skin; I seized up on the floor as stiff as a board.


“Submit.” called a voice, deep and booming as a thousand cries at once.


I looked down to see shadowed skin stretched out like a squid. Not one syllable of a scream escaped me; I could barely breathe, helpless to do all but watch this creature grow. That shriek in my skull ebbed with the pain, tormented in wracked spasms all over my body, paralyzed as the mass pried my flesh apart.


“You will submit!”


The walls melted away, my mind with it, sent to field of black rock and flowing red mist. Its voice grew louder; footsteps drew closer, the floor thumped harder. High above me stood an eye in abyss, like the high beam of a car, focused through the fog, its body like a giant, impossibly tall, veiled in darkness. There was nothing I could do, its hand reached out, I just shut my eyes then waited for the end.


Then silence.


For a moment I thought it was death, but the gale from the open door said otherwise. Somehow I was still alive.


My thoughts were muddled with a thousand hangovers. A nervous look at my leg showed nothing but a torn patch of clothing.


“Was it just a dream?” I asked myself.


It left me wondering if any of this was true. Perhaps it really was just some crazy absinth, one so powerful it could make you trip with a single sniff?


How I wish that was that was the case.


When my senses returned I spotted a new note on the bench, placed under the empty bowl with the green vial bedside it.


‘I told you to be very careful!

I will not protect you a second time.’


They’re watching me.


I think someone came into the shack after I passed out and poured the mixture down my throat. That sticky copper taste is still washing around my gums. If wasn’t for them I’d be just like Thomas right now, I’m sure of it.


That thing, whatever it was, wanted to control me. In those last moments before I shut my eyes I felt its thoughts, the anger and pain, coiled around my mind with the sliver of a snake, desperate to hold on to its prey.


It’s strange, but since I got home I’m actually starting to feel pretty good. This warm fuzzy feeling is washing over my body and I’ve never felt so aware in my life. All I want to do is find out more.


Let’s hope it stays that way.

© 2016 M.R Steiner

Author's Note

M.R Steiner
report spelling errors or end up like Thomas Woodman...

My Review

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is this supposed to a frankstein story if it is we as the readers should see a monster in your story that is stitched and has the body parts of other men this story has pointal and I like I I just don't quite know where it's going yet

Posted 7 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

M.R Steiner

7 Years Ago

indeed it is :) lovecraftian Frankenstein is my theme, but it's all centred around the mystery of th.. read more
First, Your authors notes are getting increasingly violent, its rather funny.
Second, you have this way of giving the reader just the right amount of content, and the dropping off just in time to leave them craveing more, i love it, keep it up.

Posted 7 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

M.R Steiner

7 Years Ago

thank you :) when I'm done drafting the next chapters I'll put them up.
Wayward Soul

7 Years Ago

I look forward to it

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2 Reviews
Added on September 28, 2016
Last Updated on September 28, 2016
Tags: lovecraft, mary shelley, occult, science fiction, dark, lord byron, mythos, horror, addiction, pain, relapse


M.R Steiner
M.R Steiner

a terrible city, an even more terrible region, United Kingdom

looking for advice and feedback, every critic welcome no matter what, I will thank you :) more..