Morley - I

Written and Illustrated by Benjamin Andrew Fouché

The outlandish and baleful occurrences commenced during the Autumnal season of the year.  It was during the unforgettable month of October; the veil was extraordinarily thin, and all peculiarities were indeed feasible.  It was––perhaps––the most anticipated of all four seasons.  A time in which the profoundest of dark fancies are romanticized––a time in which the most sensational stories of grim nature are invoked.  During this splendid month, the pleasantly scented wind compels the shadows of one’s imagination to become vivacious in the hearts possessed by the dreamers and lovers of melancholy.  October bestows a gift upon the more insightful and observant individuals of life––this cherished gift irradiates the overlooked or disremembered aspects of darkness.

In this mortal realm, there are undomesticated dreams that are given life only during the blackest hour of night.  But perhaps, it would be rather foolish to use a vague word, such as “dream”, to describe these uninhibited terrors.  Mayhap, there is not a single word of any tongue which can illustrate this inexplicable fear.  Rarely are these malign reveries liberated from the clutch of one’s slumber––they only reside within the lapses from centuries long passed––the ancient times where figures of nightmare were borne unto the present times everlastingly.  And passed down from our forefathers is the curious admonishment of The Darkness.  The mere enquiry of where The Darkness comes from is unfathomable.  Nevertheless, one may effortlessly discover that the question of why it simply exists is twice as incomprehensible.  But, perhaps, it is solely due to the truth of this earnest matter; madness has no meaning.

There is no doubt whatsoever that insanity is meaningless––but could that statement purely mean that lunacy does not exist?  Would it be rational to suppose that madness is only an unusual outlook developed by a particular individual?  And yet, that very question could easily contradict the declaration that insanity is nothing more than utter nonsense, as thus deemed by the common individual.  Indeed, there astonishingly appears to linger a doubt; this doubt shall ultimately leave one questioning their very own sanity.  What could it possibly be that the insane see?  What remarkable realities do they joyfully dwell in?  Why do such morbid and grotesque acts conjure abundant mirth and merriment?  Why do they revel ever so gleefully in the dread and anguish of the sane?  Could sanity conceivably be a concept of our overly-opinionated minds?
 
These bemusing queries render us with one final and rather disturbing question; would we too be willing to join the insane, and feast with them, consuming the flavorsome meal of dismay and demise?  Many of the townsfolks in the desolate Vermont community of Hemlock were confronted with this very inquiry in the midst of one singularly obscured October.  To begin with, this particular fear came from Spookinite Valley––a yearning for terror and torment bade Him forth from the hanging bleakness, which transfigured the lonesome vale into a haven for the demented souls that seek sanctuary from the piercing light of day.  And therefore, this fear arose, while the ominous dreams of the dark romanticizers beckoned Him further––agitating His thirst for wickedness, and hunger for gloom.

Leaves of orange, gold, and ruby dwindled from the various trees which overlooked Hemlock, strewn atop the surrounding mountainsides and foothills.  They soared gracefully into the cobblestone streets, whispering the hymn of autumn, and stirring the dreams of the restless.  Pumpkins rested upon the stoops and doorsteps of the single-gabled houses.  The wind brushed against the slate shingles, and seized the dusky smoke, whence drifted from the numerous chimneys.  Horses clucked, carriages trundled, pies were baked, children hurried about, to and fro––it was indeed an exceedingly majestic season.  Alas, little did the townsfolks know of the advent of this wretched fear––the fear that was borne from the proceeding, silent nightfall––the phantasmal fear that was borne from the quiet evening of October Fifth, 1851.

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