Mr. Midnight
rating: +2+x

Never once in my many years, I had spent away from my childhood home did I miss it. Not once was I struck by a feeling of nostalgia, or of longing for the boyhood I had once known. In plain truth, I spent most of my younger years waiting to get away from that cursed place. Of course, I had once thought the only curse that hung around the house was my father. If I had known the truth, perhaps never would have gone back. When I had received the letter saying my father had passed, and now the house was mine I would have burnt the letter and hoped I never would have to return. If only I had known.

At the time I had told myself I had no wish to take my large inheritance. I lied in my own mind, telling myself I was satisfied with the income I made as a newspaper reporter. The truth of the matter was that I wanted the money that came with my father's death. So while I told the people I met along the way that I was doing it out respect for the man, of which I had none.

Not that he deserved any. In all my life, he had said but 100 kind words to me. Never had I spoken against him, or dared question him, and he had hated me all the same. The feeling had burnt me up inside for my entire life from the moment I could understand the concept of hate. Had my father been anyone else to me, I would probably have killed him before he died. But he had been my father, so out of respect I never spoke back to him.

That respect I had for him did not mean I felt any sorrow over his death.

The carriage was thrown up and down as it was pulled along the dirt path. The dirt was almost closer to mud.

Gazing out the window as I woke from my slumber, I found myself looking at the forest I had spent much of my boyhood in. I had not spent my days there because I had much love for the trees, but because it was one of the few places my father's long arms could not reach.

But the childhood woods I had once known, had become something else. Lack of care for them had resulted in the trees becoming large, as they twisted together like a wooden net. Beneath them, their roots warped together. In many cases, it was impossible to tell where one tree ended and the next began. Their leaves locked, creating a shield that blocked the sun. The forest floor was dark and damp, having not seen the sun in a great age.

As we traveled along the snaking road, that twisted and turned like a flickering flame, the shadows of the forest became something more than shadows. Each spot of darkness became a hiding spot for a demon of some kind. Each blade of grass became a stiletto. With a cold shiver, I shrugged away the feeling. Fear was not something to be felt when one returned home.

By all accounts, I should have been bubbling with excitement. Even if it was for nothing but the capital that awaited me.

Half an hour of bumpy roads later, I found myself being taken through the small town along the road up to my father's house. Well, I supposed that it was my house now. And the town and its inhabitants were now my tenants. Not that it was much to be proud of. Most of the buildings were derelict, if not completely abandoned. None were made from anything other than rotting wood, lived in my maggots. Rats had claimed the town's square for their own. In the gray skies, crows circled around. Like they were waiting for something to die.

The people who lived in theses shack's looked just downtrodden as the place itself. Many were dressed in little more than rags, with all of their positions in small pouches with them. Their hair was unkempt and hung down around their faces in small strands. Embedded in the town's folks hair where specks of dirt and sweat. Altogether, they looked as if they had gone without cleaning for years. Cleaning or any other form of self-care. None looked fed in the least. Despite their lack of nutrition, I knew each of them probably worked longer hours than me. From the moment they woke up, they would be out in the fields. Then, under the golden fire of the sun, they would work until they came close to breaking. Those who broke where quickly replaced with someone who was just as disposable.

I reminded myself that now, all those people who broke where my tenants. They belonged to me, but more importantly, they were under my care. So, as the carriage was pulling away from the town, I made myself a silent vow to watch over them. To keep them out of the grapes of the rich men who would take advantage of them. I once thought I possessed that kind of power. The power to push darkness down. Now I know that the most I could ever hope to do were restrain it for a time.

Not long after we had passed over the perimeter of the town, the house itself drew into sight. It sat on a small rise in the land, giving it an even greater height. Overlooking a moor, even I would say it brought upon me a small twang of sorrow to see it. Not because I was seeing it, but because I was seeing how downtrodden it was. The house was supposed to be the pinnacle of my family's pride. Grand and imperial, just as the people who resided inside it.

Instead, it looked almost as run down as the shacks in the town. The only difference was that my manor was on a far larger scale. How so much decay had occurred in the few months that had passed since my father's death, I was soon to find out.

Throwing me abruptly, my carriage pulled to a quick stop. After we reminded stationary for a moment, I opened the door. Exiting, I quickly saw why we had stopped. Around my home, a fence wrapped. While it had once stood tall, like a guard, it now had fallen over like an old solder to weak to stand at his post. But even so, it still lay in our way.

After briefly searching for a way in, I found that while the path may have been blocked, it was a but a little challenge to climb over the pile of rubble.

Giving my thanks to the stagecoach driver, he turned himself around. Watching him leave, I felt a chill. I hadn't noticed the wind pick up.

Turning back around, the house seemed to have grown closer. It felt like I was turning to face some great evil. Despite the fact, it was still late afternoon, and the sun had not yet sunken below the horizon, a shadow had darkened the House. Still naive to what my hast would create, I pressed forward.

It took very little effort to scramble my way over the fallen wall. The hardest part was avoiding having my foot get wrapped up in all the vines and shrubs that had grown over the wall. Another warning I should have picked up on was how fast they had grown. My father had passed but a few months ago. But somehow in that space of time, the walls had fallen over and then after that, they had been caked in shrubs and plant life. Plant life that had an almost red hue to its color, instead of natural green. The flowers blooming on the fallen walls where the color of blacked blood.

As I navigated my way over and down a chunk of wall, I was greeted by the sight of something that had once been truly great. Now, it was sad and disappointed. Like an athlete, who had grown too old to run anymore. Now, all that athlete did was reminisce on his glory days.

The walls could hardly be considered walls in their current state. Bricks lay on the ash like ground, having fallen from their place. They left large gaping voids in the walls. Similar holes where found in the roof of the house. The planks of wood had fallen through.

The once extravagant stained glass windows had been reduced to shards of colored glass that lay scattered over the lawn.
Ebony plants stretched themselves over the walls and reached into the house through whatever gaps they could find.
The door to the house was surprisingly sturdy. While the wood appeared to be slowly rotting away, it still stood strong to prevent my passage inside. Even when I pressed my full body weight against the door, it reminded as solid as stone.

Following my failure to push the door open, I slumped myself down with my back to the door. I now wish I had simply given up then, returned to the town and come back with more help. Instead, I was cursing myself for assuming that entering the house would be a simple task. It was proving to be not so.

I made such an effort to find another way in, I now wish I hadn't. If only I had given up, as I gave up on so many things. Looking back, I'm sure that something about the house was calling to me. Calling for me to come. Whispering to me about rewards and treasure that I could find if I came in. So, I got back up and threw a brick through a window. As it shattered, I felt a chill over my body. It cut down to my bones. As I shook to warm myself, my body felt hollow and empty.

Scrambling through the now open window, I cut myself on the glass around the border. As the blood ran down my hand, I barely even noticed it. When I entered, something grabbed my mind. Like when something was so beautiful and engaging you simply couldn't remove your eyes. And even if you could, you didn't want to. All I wanted to do right then was explore more of the house. As the blood dripped off my hand, it seemed nothing more than a scratch.

Walking around, I was taken over by a feeling that I was searching for something. As I made my way along dark corridors, I was greeted by nothing but dust and dirt. Rats darted around my feet as I walked. My passing did not disturb them. In the absence of people in the house, they had grown bold. Much like me, they walked the dark and dust filled corridors without fear.

I soon realized that I had slipped into a trance. For at least half an hour, I had been doing nothing but wandering the hallways of the house. I had drifted from room to room like I was in a dream. My body was on moving without my command. It simply had been walking. The moment I realized what I had been doing, It was like waking up. Should I be asked to, I would not be able to tell you when exactly I awoke. And even more oddly, when I awoke, I could not exactly remember where I had come from. I had vague memories that drifted around my head. Even as I tried to remember, I could feel the memories slipping away. It was like grasping at water.

But when I collected myself, I had a clear goal in mind. Something awaited me in the basement. I knew this to be true. Having spent most of my childhood in this house, I knew the fastest way down to the basement. I passed through the library. From their spot on the walls, the books seemed to look down on me. In the dying light, each of the shadows became a hiding spot for some evil and terrible demon. In the rafters, I could have sworn that I saw winged devils dancing. But what I found most disturbing about the whole thing was how unaffected by it my mind was. Even as I opened the basement and decided into the darkness my mind was calm. Like I was numbing out an evil terror. But as I walked down the stairs, the only thing I was afraid of was that they might break underfoot. Not the fact that I was pushing myself further and further into darkness. In my trance to get down here, I had taken no time to get anything to help me see. I had no touch to cast light around the dark room. The only light came from behind me. Like a doorway to heaven, it lit only a fraction of the basement. Beyond the safety of its light, there was darkness. For all I knew, there was nothing. It was so black I could have stepped outside of creation.

For some reason only known to god, I pressed through the darkness. Many times I stumbled over or into things that I had never even seen. I kept walking, half-mindedly realizing that I did not remember the basement being so large. Wasn't everything supposed to seem smaller now that I was older? Instead, I felt like I should have come to a wall by now. At least I had stopped walking into things. The room had become barren of anything. Had my mind been more in tune with what was going on, then I may have found this fact disturbing. Instead, I kept walking. Behind me, the light grew dimmer and dimmer. Soon, it had become little more than a memory. And still, I walked on. In the darkness, I had no sense of how far I had come. Even in my dazed mind, I was somewhat aware that this was odd.

Then, after god-knows-how-long of strolling in the bleak darkness that had become my basement, I felt the warmth of light on the side of my face. Spinning in shock, I saw someone holding a touch. As I looked into the firelight, something in my mind worked up. The part of it had been lying asleep was now awake. My mind was fulling aware of the horror that came with my situation. With that realization, I lost my footing. Falling to the floor, I tried to crawl away. Before I got too far, I found myself pressed against a cold brick wall. I had not seen it coming and as a result, had pressed myself into it with speed. Panicked, I once again sput, this time running along the perimeter of the room. Once again, I was cut off by a wall. I pressed against it, hoping madly that it would crumble away leaving somewhere for me to exit from. Instead, it stood as firm as any wall. Why I thought it would do any different, I don't know.

With my face pressed to the wall, I could only hear the footsteps as they came towards me. Turning to face the horror, I was greeted by an almost child-like face. It was round, with a small nose. But while those two parts of his body looked human, it was his eyes that turned him into the monstrous figure that he was. They where large gaping holes where eyeballs might once have been, that looked charred; It was as if someone had burnt them out with hot fire.

But they were really the only terrifying thing about the face. His hair was round and made up of smaller strands of hair that twisted and turned. It was blond and came down to his shoulders. His skin was just as blond. It looked soft. How was it that I found someone who looked so young and helpless frightening. Was it his eyes? In truth, they seemed to face me to ask questions. How did he get them? Had they really been burnt out? Did they still hurt? All the questions, but none of the answers. As I looked closer to the figure, I saw he was not holding a touch. The reality was far more peculiar. Above his hand, he held a ball of flame. Seeing this left two questions in my mind. The first: how was he holding fire? It must be some trick of modern science. A concoction of chemicals that would burn as by magic. My second question was far harder to pin on the miracles of science. How was the stranger holding the flame? Even in the darkness, I could see he wore no gloves to protect his hand. He truly was holding fire in his hand. Once, as a child, I had heard tell of a circus performer. Coming for a faraway land, he had learned how to walk barefoot over hot coals without pain. Perhaps this man was doing the same kind of trick.
Even with the light, he held, never more than half his face was illuminated at a time. Shadows and light were engaged in a constant dance around him.

When he spoke, it was half-mindedly. As if he were only talking to himself as he thought out loud.

"My apologies," he said, out of duty more than a real want to apologize. "I forget how much you humans attach yourselves to light." His voice grew even more distant as he spoke. I think he may have forgotten I was there.

"It's so very strange when you consider it. Darkness is the natural way of things. It is light that is the perversion. And yet you humans shun darkness and cling to light. Like darkness can do them any injury. Did you know, Darkness doesn't even exist. It is simply the absence of light. The natural state of things without any interference."

I expected him to raise his voice or to get angry. He didn't. His voice merely drifted from word to word. Then he returned his attention to me. As he turned to face me, his hollow eye sockets looked straight at me. I could swear that I felt flames lick my body.

"Do you know my name?" the thing asked. I was no longer sure he was a man.

"N…no" I stuttered. I had never met this man before in my life.

"I am Midnight," the man said. Once again, he seemed to only be introducing himself to avoid confusion later, not because he wanted me to know his name. When I first heard it, I had assumed that I must have misheard something. His name was Midnight? I never got the chance to ask if I had heard right.

"Do you know anything of the pacts your father made?"

Gulping, I shook my head. In my mind, a picture was beginning to form of who this man might have been. Did he work for some kind of gang that my father had had dealings with? I knew my father to be a man who held power above all else, but surely he drew the line somewhere before working with a gang.

"You know nothing about us?" Midnight asked again. Once again, I shook my head. Had my father told me about a man named "Midnight". I would have remembered it.

"Well, let me give an introduction. I am Midnight, of the M-Family." He raised his hand, gesturing into the darkness. He did so with his hand holding the fire. As he swung it, it lit up more of the room. The light shifted from him to a form I hadn't even seen before.

When I was first shown this shape, I was unsure that it was a human. When I realized that what I was looking at was alive, I almost died.

The thing was large, as tall as me and then half again. But it was not only tall. Its head was only slightly smaller than my chest. The skin of the hideous mass in front of me was near gray. It looked like meat stored in a butcher. I expected to see flies buzzing around the thing. His hair was brown but thin. It was hard to tell that it was brown, due to the amount of much and other things in it. On the thing's face was a dumb expression. It had large eyes that seemed to be too stupid to look around. Its mouth was little more than a line running along the things face.

As it breathed, its entire body seemed to rise and fall in rhythm.

"My brother Monster." Midnight introduced, half-mindedly.

The thing grunted at me.

Midnight continued. "I'll expand to you what your father agreed to. I gave him the ability to inspire fear in others, in exchange for a blade he had in his possession. That blade now belongs to you. I want it."

As he spoke, I listened to his voice more than words. He spoke in the most peculiar tone. He sounded disinterested, despite speaking of something he clearly wanted. I almost forgot I had even been asked for something.

"I'm sorry," I said apologetically to Midnight. "I do not know what you are talking about."

From what I could see, Midnight's expression remained unchanged. His face remained as still as stone.

"I will make you the same deal I made your father." Midnight said, slightly less apathetically than usual. I think he believed that I did indeed know what blade he was speaking of, and I was merely hiding it from him.

"If you give me the blade, I will make you feared by all men," Midnight promised me. How he intended to do this I didn't know. At the time I had assumed it was somehow gang-related. Now I believe he was making a claim related to a far darker power than that of armed men.

"I told you true, I know of no blade in my father's possession."

"The blade is in your own possession, Jack Wellsmith."

As Midnight uttered my name, my growing fear that I was dealing with something beyond my control.

"How do you know my name?" I asked Midnight.

"I know many names.”

"Are you some kind of demon?" I asked in a moment of fear. I had not meant to. The words had slipped out of my wild subconscious.

Rubbing his hand on his chin, Midnight said "Yes, I am. I am the king of all demons. The Lord of Shadow and Night. My realm is void of all light, save for that which I allow entrance. I live in the back of all minds, and show myself when you are weakest. To me, you are one of the millions. Had it not been for the blade you possess, I would never have spoken to you. So, give me the blade."

In retrospect, I do not know how much of what Midnight told me was true. I think it was in his nature to say whatever he thought would scare me the most. And what he said did. In many ways, not knowing what was true only added to the fear. As I contemplated what could be true, my mind was opened to all manner of horrors. What did Midnight mean when he said he lived in the minds all? What was the Lord of Shadow and Night?

But Midnight spoke again, as I was still paralyzed as I processed Midnight's statements.

"The Blade. I want it now."

"I…don't know w..what you mean. I've told you…I own no blade." only after speaking did I realize how weak my tongue had become in my mouth. Dead in my mouth. More than my tongue, but my entire jaw. It was weak.

For the first time, Midnight's voice hinted at aggression. "The Blade. I will not ask again." Reading emotions on him was like reading them on a blank wall. With his eyes burnt out and voice in a constant state of monotone, he was near void of emotion.

"Please, I know nothing of this blade." My voice managed to hold itself together for the duration of the sentence. Only because I did not want to find out what would happen should I not make it clear I knew nothing of the blade. Midnight did not believe it.

"Seeing as you will not give me the blade willingly, I will claim it for you. I do not like taking life, but I will do it"

Holding out his hand, a cloud of smoke seemed to drift into Midnight's hand. Where it came from, I do not know. As more and more of it drifted into his hand, it became more sold. It became sold in his hand. The closest comparison I could think of would be if the mist was freezing into a solid blade. The blade was long, about the length of my forearm. Thin and smooth, I was sure Midnight would ensure a silent death with it. I saw him moving it towards me, and I found myself paralyzed. Not in a metaphorical way, but I couldn't move. My body was frozen in place, like a statue. Helpless, I watched as Midnight moved the blade closer to my neck. The odd part? I wasn't afraid. Somehow, I was calm. I knew it would be over fast and soon. Perhaps that was why I didn't move. It wasn't that I couldn't move; it was that deep down, I didn't want to.

Then, only moments before the blade slit my throat, Midnight's focus was interrupted. What did it I do not know, as I never even saw the man coming. But Midnight somehow did. One moment, his hollow shells of eyes had been locked with mine, and the next Midnight had snapped his head towards the side. Over his shoulder, I also saw his brother Monster gazing off into the void.
Out of the darkness, a shape emerged. It was not quite that of a man, and yet more so than Monster. But I do not think I can call it a man. It was still a thing. The kind that lucid in the dark of the night. The thing walked on its hind legs, that were nothing but bone. Sweeping behind it was an equally bony tail. The thing's thin, white body had something that may have been skin, but in the half-light of this place, it could have just as likely been bone. At the end of the things long-drawn arms were fingers like blades. Blades made not of steel, but of bone. Thin pointed blades. As the thing walked towards us, its arms hung down by its side. Like dead weights, they swung by its side as it drew nearer. The things face was a mess of sharp edges and white bone. If the thing had any eyes, then I could not see them. The thing looked so much like something from fantasy, I was sure that I must have been dreaming. Or else my mind had been taken into madness. Could seeing a childhood house do that to you?

I watched as the thing spoke to Midnight. It did not have any lips, or more likely they were hidden beneath a mask of bone. Its voice seemed to come from the very air itself. "The weapon is gone," it said. Its voice was not as I had imagined it to be. It was not a rasping voice, like that of an old man. Instead, it was smooth and almost graceful.

Midnight gave the thing a half nod. Finished with its task, it stepped back, the swords embracing it. It was gone from my sight all to fast. Like a dream when you wake from it. Just seconds after it had walked back, my mind struggled to recall it's appearance. Instead of remembering images about it, I remembered verbs to describe it. Bony. Thin. White. Even as I put these words to paper, I can not be sure I have conveyed the thing's experience correctly. What I can say is that should you ever see one of these horrors, you will recognize it. Like something you have seen in your darkest moments. What they are, I never truly found out. Even after my years of research, the most I ever found was a few passing mentions to the "White Knights of Midnight" as they are uncommonly known.

But I knew none of this, back then. Left alone with Midnight, he cast another look back to me. Or I think he did. With his eyes, or lack thereof, it was hard to tell.

"I thank you for your honesty." was all he said, his voice almost thankful. Then, as if I had been commanded, I made my way back towards the staircase. I walked towards the light, not looking back once. Coming to the stairs, I could feel something in my mind pushing me forward. It did not release its hold on my mind until I reached the top of the stairs. I closed the door behind me. The very instant my ears heard the door click, I felt free will return to my body. Like blood, rushing through my veins. Once again, my mind was my own. With a sudden realization, I grabbed the doorknob. Ripping it open, I found a staircase. It did not lead to a dark realm. It led into a basement. Beside the staircase, I could see boxes and a pile of wood. Slowly, I walked down into the basement. It was perfectly ordinary. I don't know what scared me more, what had been down here before, or the fact it was gone.

Afterward, I spent the night in a tavern. Having departed my house with speed, I did not sleep that night. Or for the many nights to come. I do not know how many days and nights I spent sleepless. Awake in my room, I locked the door. On the first day, there was a near constant knocking of a maid, trying to come into the room. After the first few hours, she left and did not come back. I think that may have in part been my own fault. In my mental state, I may have thrown some hideous curses towards her.
Describing the state my mind was in, would be like trying to describe the ocean. The deeper it goes, the harder it is to understand. My state was not one of delirium. I could think as clearly as I ever could. My mind did not go mad from the days I spent without sleep. I simply could not rest. I had no need for it.

I do not know how far into the sleepless I was when I realized I had not been sleeping for some time. I lay down on the bed in my room. But even shutting my eyes proved to be a challenge. I found myself unable to lie for more than a few minutes at a time. Once I thought I may have drifted off the sleep, but realized I had been awake the entire time.
I have reasoned that the time I went without sleep was somewhere between 4 and 9 days. The time seemed to be in a flux of passing. Some days, it stretched itself out, turning hours into days. Then, on others, I would look out the window and see the dawn. Then, after what I would have guessed were minutes, it was dusk.

I was freed from my sleeplessness after I woke up for the first time in a good while. I do not remember going to sleep, but I was glad to wake up. It felt like something had been washed from my body.

With the credibility of my mind at risk, I considered speaking to a professional about what I had seen. It was an action I quickly decided against. Should I do so, I would be marked as insane. So instead I would make my own inquiries on what I had seen. Speaking to no one of what had happened, I began my quest to find out what I had seen.

The first thing I did was sell all my land, inheritance and anything else I owned. Looking back, this rash decision was fueled by two motives. The first: A great desire to get away from this place. My childhood here had been bad enough, but now I think I would be for the best if this place was condemned and the town abandoned. Whatever evil powers my father worked with, I do not know if they will ever release there hold on that devilish place. I wanted nothing to do with it.

The second reason: I was driven to find out more about Midnight. Who was he? The first portion of my investigations involved asking around the town. I got nowhere. If anyone knew anything about a blond man with burnt out eyes, they did not tell me. At first, I suspected that they were hiding something from me. But the more I spoke to them, I realized that this was wrong. They spoke the truth when they did not know the man I spoke of.

Finished with my inquiries in the town, I left taking the same carriage that had brought me here. As I left, I was sure I could feel something lifting from my body. As I write this, I can not be sure how many of these feelings were created by my mind, and how many were truly mystic.

Returning to my home in London, I was glad to be in the city. Somehow it seemed to offer my mind shelter from my memories. The ever-present bustling noise seemed to keep me grounded. It reminded me that I was still in the real world and had not been taken into a mindless realm of darkness. Whenever I awoke in the night, breathing heavily and covered in a cold sweat, all I had to do to remind myself of where I was was listening to the sounds of the city. Carts as they pulled people all over the town. Crowds of drunks heading home as the bars closed. Whatever I heard, it gave me some assurance that the world was still working as it always had.

Not long after my return, I began looking into Midnight. I had little to go on, but due to the nature of my job, I was sure that I could find something. In what little free time I got, I began to search through libraries. First, I looked into religious texts. My searching there turned up nothing. After almost 4 months of reading all the religious books I could find, I moved on. Next, I began reading up on pagan religions. I gave up on that line of the investigation after half a year.
Slowly but surely, I adapted to the new rhythm of my life. During the days, I spent my time working as I always had. Writing stories for the newspaper.

With the money I had made selling my fathers things, I would not have needed to work. And yet I did because it gave my life a sense of normality. It also gave me a good excuse if someone was to uncover my less normal hobbies. By this point in time, I had nearly given up. It had been just shy of a year since my encounter with Midnight and my hunger to find out more had been starved. As hard as I had looked, I had found no mention of a being with blacked-out eyes, blond hair, or the name Midnight.
Unsure where to take my research, I had begun to look into look into cults and secret societies. My research had brought me nothing but pages upon pages of material on Devil worship. Nothing I wanted to read.

Then, as my eyes were drifting along the words on a page of a small book, I read something. A single phrase that triggered something in my mind.

"The M-Family". As my eyes scanned over the page, that single praise drew my attention. I had heard Midnight mention the M-Family. I didn't quite remember the context at first, but then I remembered Midnight had said he had represented them or worked for them, one of the two.

Re-reading the page, I found the context for the name.

The page read as follows:

//The roots of many gods worshiped by the cult can be hard to trace. None more so than those worshiped by an unnamed cult, known only "The Unmarked". The name comes from the fact that no one has ever outright admitted to the existence of the cult. Everything known about it comes from one source; A letter found in the position of Hugo P. Right, a known occultist who spent much of his life traveling the globe. When he died, he left many papers and documents behind—documents that quickly became valued pieces of literature among the occult community. Most of his house was robbed within days of his death. However, there was one safe box that was left. After opening, all that was found was a single page of paper. The paper turned out to be little more than a letter. Who it was written by, it did not state. The letter written to Mr. Right was an invitation into a cult. The claims made in the letter are that the cult was "as old as mankind" and worshiped "the Gods beyond Gods". The only name that was given to the aforementioned Gods beyond Gods was the "M-Family". //

It is unknown if this cult ever existed or if it was merely a trick played on Mr. Right. The fact that Mr. Right had locked the letter away seems to suggest that he at least believed in the existence of the cult.

And the paragraph ended there. Nothing more. I re-read the page over and over, hoping to find somewhere new to take my investigations. I found nothing new reading it for the fifth time I had not found on the first.

I was somewhat disappointed, despite the fact I at least had a name to look into. Hugo Right. I did some digging into his background and what I found would have shocked even the most stable of minds. I will put down only what I have to, to save you from knowing the horrific secrets I have come to know.

Born into a well-to-do family, Hugo Right was never one for scientific study. From what I could learn, his schooling was of no note. It was what he did afterward that was of interest. Training aboard a trading ship, he saw much of the uncivilized world in his travels. While abroad, Hugo was exposed to many forms of occult ritual. On his return to England, he became a suddenly successful investor. The success of his investments led to much speculation that he had some kind of unfair advantage. After an investigation, nothing was found. But I am sure he was using some manner of black magic, but there was no mention of it in the newspaper clippings I read. From that point until near his death, he stayed out of the public eye. All I could find was his name on a number of lists, including parties' guest lists and charity donations. Then, in the years before his death, he appeared many more times. It seemed he walked the line between an influential member of polite society and criminal. The first article I found was about a murder. A west end house had been broken into and a young woman killed. But what was more disturbing was the scrawlings and demonic writings all over the walls. There was a single photo along with the article, which brought me a chill of fear down my spine. It was hard to tell where the body and blood ended. It was as if someone had sped the body over all the walls, floor, and ceiling.

What linked the article to Hugo was rather simple. It had been his name written in blood on the wall. He claimed to know nothing about it, and then when police investigated nothing turned up. Then, a few months later, during a police raid due to suspected gang-related crimes, a vast array of occult items where found at Hugo's house. To most people, the items meant nothing. But knowing what I knew, I was sure that each one server some dark purpose.

For the next couple of years, Hugo shifted in and out of the papers. I will not describe it all for you, for some of the articles would leave you awake at night, cold with fear. So, you will have to take my word for it when I say that Hugo was quickly growing a reputation for a man who you would not want to cross. A reputation that must have been noticed by "The Unmarked" before he died. Even when I knew what I was looking for, The Unmarked were nowhere to be found. Nothing. The final article about Hugo Right was regarding his death. He had been murdered. Unlike most of the killing around him, it had been clean. A single knife wound through his heart. Very little blood, and next to no evidence. The only thing found was small shards of bone in the wound.

All this brings me to my current point in time, and why I am writing this to you. I have put all I have found down in writing, so that should I die, someone else knows of what I have discovered. For now, it seems my death could happen at any day. For the past few days, I have seen him following me. Midnight. Now it seems that everywhere I look, I can see his burnt-out eyes. At first, I thought I was imagining it. After all, I had only seen it once or twice. But then the numbers grew. Today on my way to work alone, I saw him three times. As hard as I can, I can't get his face out of my mind. When I look in the mirror, I see not only my face but Midnight's. He seems to be mocking me. Warning me to stop my investigations. But I will not. I think in some regards it is the only thing that gives my life meaning. Ever since my encounter with Midnight, I have felt as if I am constantly peering into a world that is not mine. A would so large and vast I can not even begin to comprehend its true landscape. So, I have found some meaning mapping what I can of this new land. But in doing so, I have found that the natives are not so caring. I am sure that Midnight will end my life soon. So I send this to you, my sister, in the hopes that you can carry on my work. Please, if my life means anything to you, carry on my work. Spread the word, where I can not. I have arranged with my lawyer that should I die, you will be sent this paper and all my other notes I have collected. I wish I could tell you that I hope that will not happen but in some ways, I think my death will offer me some rest. I have spent far too long working and will enjoy my slumber when I am given to it.

Note: Jack Wellsmith was found dead in his house on June the 6th. He had been stabbed through the heart with a single long blade. Investigators found no evidence too who the killer had been, save for small shards of bone found in the wound.

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