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The things that hide in the dark...

The things that hide in the dark...

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A Lovecraft style tale.

1,242 readers have visited The things that hide in the dark... since SkullsandSlippers created it.

Copyright: The creator of this roleplay has attributed some or all of its content to the following sources:

lovecraft.

Introduction

Clarkson, with its lovely bay and quaint fishing village feel hides a secret. Some are aware of what lurks in the shadows and others are simply prey for it.

The University brings in fresh faces every September and with them fresh souls. But for who or what?

Some of the people disappear. Sometimes they come back, sometimes they are simply gone. Sometimes odd things happen in the halls of the museum or in the basement of the university. Sometimes bodies are found without their skin or things are carved into walls.

It is a warm day in early September. Classes start in three days. Already rumours abound. Scary stories are told to new students as part of initiations.

New professors set up their offices. Patients at the asylum sit in group talking of odd visions or whispered chants in their ear late at night.
*
A Lovecraftian style story.

A killer is on the loose but he isn't out to simply kill.
People are vanishing, some seem to just leave town while others return a few days later though they seem different.

Professor, student or just a resident of the town is up to the player.

General requests:
Let me know if you plan to be away.
Try to post at least once a week.

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The Story So Far... Write a Post » as written by 3 authors

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hans Curtis Character Portrait: Clarotta Jones Character Portrait: Aleksandr Thomas Sasaki Character Portrait: Abegail O'Rourke
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Clarkson was a small town and today was like any other. Schools began in six days. Already people were arriving to drop off their kids at the university. Children played in parks, enjoying the last few days of freedom before the routine of school began.

Boats were docked in the bay. Some were pleasure vessels and some were working ships. The bay itself was calm and smooth, a reflection of the bright summer day.

In the police station Muriel Henderson sat teary eyed at the officer’s desk. Her husband had gone off looking for pheasant and hadn’t come home in three days. The officer was writing notes on the report but he was flustered. Bob Henderson wasn’t the first person to go missing in Clarkson, just the most recent.

Over the last year a number of people had gone. Some came back, a little worse for wear and often with no memory. Some didn’t and it was assumed they simply took off for a new life. A few had been found dead. One was an apparent suicide and the other unsolved.

It had made things trickier for the officers in the somewhat quiet, picturesque town but they had so far managed to keep the public calm.

Right now, Officer Pricard was doing that with Muriel. He was talking as soothingly as he could while getting all he could from her.

At the university the campus was bustling. Tours were showing new students around. Some were looking to find their classes, prep for the first day.

In their offices professors were settling in and preparing for the new term. Abegail was in a new office, something that bothered her more than it should. An upgrade, nicer view and bigger window. A private bathroom too. Yet the red headed Irish woman was grumbling to herself as she put books on a shelf. She was a creature of habit, tradition and routine. This move had not been her idea.

In a dark room, away from the summer day a young man sat, a book in front of him and blade in hand. He had work to do.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Clarotta Jones
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The room was cheap, and exactly what she needed. Clarotta had never been one for sharing personal space: the first year of university had been enough. Now she wanted a place to breathe, and though that meant taking a damp attic room in an old house at the edge of town, she was happy. As soon as she got the deposit back from her old flat she'd buy a bicycle, until then she'd just have to calculate extra time to get to uni.

It was big enough to keep the essentials. A desk beneath the window with a small wooden chair in front. A single bed pressed between the wall and the desk, and a wardrobe by the door. She had to duck her head just as she entered to avoid the slanting of the wall, but it wasn't a bother. It was somewhere she could retreat to be by herself if needed, and that was good enough.

The house itself had its fair share of problems, most of which the owner had promised to be rid of before the year was over. Until then he had lowered the price of the rooms considerably, and promised to focus primarily on the bathrooms. He hadn't given her the exact details about what was wrong with the water over the phone, although one of her new housemates had advised her not to ask.

"Just get a gym membership," he had said. "It's not worth the trouble."

And so, on the day of her orientation classes she stopped by the gym to get a small workout in and take a shower before arriving at campus. Luckily most of her classes were towards the afternoon, which she guessed meant that the professors were about as fond of mornings as Clarotta was. She arrived at campus, throwing a glance at a younger crowd gathered in front of the entrance, smoking cigarettes. She felt old, all of a sudden, as though she didn't have a right to be there. The feeling lingered until she was safely inside, trying to get an overview of the place over the heads of students going to and fro. In the end she was able to slip down a corridor where things weren't quite as overwhelming, and took a deep breath.

It was going to be okay. This time.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Clarotta Jones Character Portrait: Aleksandr Thomas Sasaki
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Image




It was a fairly quiet morning in Clarkson, though not for anyone. Aleksandr had been woken up early by the sound of cars passing by. He currently lived in a small, hidden alley way in town, unable to afford proper living space. Going to University was expensive as it was, even with loans, so nearly all of his money went to that. The only other things he could afford were a few meals, a gym membership (which was how he was able to shower and stay clean), and whatever spare change he had went to washing his clothes at the town's small laundromat. He didn't have much, and he could never afford a haircut, but he was as content as he could be in his situation. He knew that others had it worse than him. He was lucky that he was able to go to a University, even in his current situation.

Aleksandr picked up his duffle bag and headed off to the gym. It was early enough before class for him to be able to get in at least a quick workout. While he was there, he saw a girl that came in, and she immediately caught his eye. She had a short, edgy hairstyle and striking eyes that could catch someone's attention from clear across the room. He tried his hardest not to stare.

By the time he had finished his workout and taken a shower, she was nowhere to be seen. He shrugged it off, not thinking much of it, and made his way to the University campus for orientation classes. He took notice of a group of kids smoking in the front of the school, catching a quick glance of the girl he'd seen at the gym, but he quickly lost sight of her. He sort of shied his face away from the small crowd as he passed, not wanting to interact with them particularly. Aleksandr had always been considered the "socially inept freak" in the schools he'd been in. Which, technically, he didn't believe they were wrong to call him that. He was socially inept beyond repair in his opinion, and he could see how people would think he was a freak. Whether or not the two correlated really, he didn't particularly care.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hans Curtis Character Portrait: Clarotta Jones Character Portrait: Aleksandr Thomas Sasaki Character Portrait: Abegail O'Rourke
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Abegail stood at the front of her class. Soon the room would be full of students. A large chunk of them would fail. Most would assume it was an easy credit. The few who really wanted to be there were her only bright spot. She would rather be researching, writing papers but that didn't pay as well as teaching. If she only had to teach third and fourth year classes it would be fine. By then all the students who were just there for the hell of it would be weeded out. Then there were real discussions. The reality was that all professors had to teach the first and second years.

And so she waited, counting down the minutes.
***
He walked through the campus. People everywhere. He could smell them. His hand twitched in his pocket, fingers flexing around an imaginary blade.

There were things he needed to do. He needed patience. There were still pieces he was missing for the next part. Some had already taken their place but the over all plan was no where near complete.

He entered the class, following in a few others. The place was fairly empty. His eyes fell on the red headed professor. He wanted to feel her under his blade but he needed her like this for now. She knew things, things he needed information about.

He sat and watched the others enter. He began to label them in the order of which they would be his next victims.
*****
The doctor sat in the chair and looked at Hans.

"How are you feeling today?"

The shadows of the room moved, shifted but the doctor didn't see them, didn't notice. He wasn't ready, wasn't open to them but soon everyone would see, everyone would hear.

The shadows whispered to the other man. He knew them. He wanted to be with them.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hans Curtis
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"Oh the Devil's gonna make me a free man, yeah, the Devil's gonna set me free..."

Hans heard the shaky baritone of the patient next door first thing in the morning, like he did every morning. The man, Christopher as he was called, had some sort of severe panic disorder and was often found in the corner of his room, singing low tunes to himself in an exaggerated southern drawl that put Johnny Cash to shame. Like a lot of people who knew the truth, he hated that moment between dark and light in the mornings when the real horrors of the world pulled back in favour of dark acolytes doing their bidding in plain sight.

People who were afraid of the night were so easily fooled by the morning. Hans had learned that the hard way.

So he awoke at the break of dawn like he always did, and felt blessed that his noisy companion at the very least had a passable singing voice. Though the songs he sang were rarely of the positive variety, today it seemed particularly dark. He decided have to have a talk with him later that day.

"Ain't got no place to call our home, only chains and broken bones. Ain't got no place to call our own, so come on, Lord, what are you waiting for?"

As time crawled towards morning and breakfast-time, he finally heard signs of life outside as the nightwatch staff was exchanged for the tired and drawn faces of the early shift. Starting at the end of the hall, patients were ordered out of bed as their rooms were given a quick once-over. Then, in a line, they would march for the breakfast area. Then they would spend the day in the common room until dinner. Then, group therapy, then, supper, and bed. And the day would begin again.

And again, and a-fucking–gain.

He leaned against the frame of the door while his room was searched, his gaze fastened blankly ahead while the next nurse went to drag Christopher out of his foetal position on the floor. However, as the door was opened, the grown man paused momentarily and stared into the room. Hans only just had the time to turn toward him before the nurse let out a high-pitched, horrified scream and staggered backwards into the patient on the opposite side. The patient, in turn, thought they were playing a game and began matching his screaming– the echo of which were heard down the hall and started an immense choir that could deafen and unsettle the bravest of men.

Carefully, while the nurses were trying to calm their colleague and by extension, the entire fucking ward, Hans approached Christopher's door and looked in. There, in his foetal position as always, Christpher lay on the floor. His hands lay slack, bathed in a pool of his own blood, stretched out in front of him. The blood in question was still pumping from the wound where he'd scratched open his throat.

Hans immediately stepped aside and threw up in front of his own door.

* * *
"How are you feeling today?"

Hans continued staring at some random spot on the doctor's desk. His hands folded in his lap, still covered in some of Christopher's blood after he'd gone over to see if he was really dead. Things got a bit blurry from the point where he made contact with his wrist, and the angle of the corner of the room began to swim, forming shadows that seemed to reach across the room for him– or for Christopher.

"Do you remember what happened?" A nurse said. She'd been nearby when it happened, and provided the doctor with a verbal report.

"I might've screamed," he said.

"You said there were more of them," she said, checking her notes. "That they were here too."

"Mm," Hans said. Something had been in there with Christopher, that much was certain. Possibly the same thing that had, had– but he wasn't supposed to think about that. That hadn't really happened.

"Hans?"

Unless, of course, it had really happened, and this was some sort of, of extension. That when he'd left the house he taken something with him, that had killed Christopher, and would kill others, and was the room darker? He looked up, searching for the window to see if the sun was still out. It was definitely darker. He felt his heart beating faster, and got out of the chair. He had to get out. It was probably here with him. He sprang towards the door.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hans Curtis Character Portrait: Clarotta Jones Character Portrait: Aleksandr Thomas Sasaki Character Portrait: Abegail O'Rourke
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Abegail watched the students file in. She shuffled papers and checked some things. She hated this feeling, the anticipation to begin. It made it feel more and more like they didn't really want to be there. If they did wouldn't they be eager to sit? Eager to let her get started?

She chastised herself because she knew that wasn't how it went. Even her, in a field she loved had to drag herself into class some days. She remembered many a first day where she wished she could have just skipped the lecture.

Abegail took a sip of her coffee and waited.
***
Him...him...no, her and then him.

This was fun. He mentally catalogue them all. He rated them on how good their skin looked or how easy it might be to skin them. How hard they would be to take down or how easy...

Too easy wasn't a challenge and lacked a thrill for him. Yes, they would need to go too at some point but for now there were plenty that would put up just enough of a fight to make it fun.
*******
"Can you tell me who you were talking about with the nurse? What did you mean there were more of them and they were here too? Can you explain?"

The doctor kept his voice level and even toned. He could see the way Hans looked around.

The shadows moved closer. They reared up behind the doctor. They knew the man could see them. They enjoyed this game, the fear. They fed on the fear.

They watched him lunge towards the door.

The doctor and the nurse jumped. They hadn't expected Hans to run. "Stop him!"

Orderlies appeared at the door and tried to block the man's exit. "The crazies always try to run." One orderly grumbled.

The nurse pulled a syringe out. The doctor nodded. "Hold him down."

The orderlies tried to get a grip on Hans as the nurse advanced.

The shadows moved up the ceiling. Soon they would act again but not yet.

Soon.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hans Curtis Character Portrait: Clarotta Jones
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Hans stopped dead in his tracks at the appearance of two orderlies before the door, blocking his way out. He backed away as they advanced, hearing the nurse– or the doctor– move behind him. He saw the shadows, reminiscent of the shadows in Christopher's room, pulling back up into the roof of the room. It pulsed, almost sickeningly, like some sort of transparent, boiling tar-pit.

"Hold him down."

Hans threw himself to the side as the orderlies advanced, running for one of the windows in the room. He tried to wrenched it open, but found it locked– as though he wasn't the first one to have that idea since the asylum opened. The orderlies were quick to act and took each their iron grip on his upper arms, dragging him backwards and leaning him over the desk so as to make it harder for him to hurt himself, or anyone else in the room. He looked up to find the nurse advancing with the syringe, and tried to pull himself free of the two men who were, unfortunately, much stronger than him.

"No, no, no," he shook his head, trying to pull away as the needle came closer. "Please, I'll be calm, please."

"Hush," said the nurse. "This will make you feel better."

"You don't understand," he said. "They're so much stronger when you're dreaming–" but it was too late.

As Hans slipped into unconsciousness, the doctor turned to the nurse with a puzzled look. "I'd like to have know what he meant by that," he said.

The nurse shook her head. "He wouldn't have explained it to you. I doubt it meant anything– Hans is generally very quiet, he's just upset about what happened to Christopher."

Seeing she had not convinced the doctor entirely, she added, "Give him some time to grieve and you'll see I'm right. Don't push him."

***
Clarotta's day passed on to early afternoon as she introduced herself to new teachers and was given a thorough introduction into Clarkson's medical department. The third year, someone had said, was always the best year as far as students went. People were just going into training so their spirits weren't broken yet– and they had already managed to rid themselves of anyone who thought they could stomach the profession, but couldn't.

"Here's my suggestion," her new personal tutor leant back behind her desk with a thoughtful expression on her face. "It's going to take years before you're even allowed to try your hand as a brain surgeon. I know that's what you've got your heart set on, and I'm definitely encouraging that but you know– I think you should keep an open mind. No pun intended."

Clarotta snorted.

"The fact of the matter is, this is a small town. Internships fill up quickly, and since you signed up so late..." she hesitated.

"You haven't been able to find me a spot," Clarotta said.

"Not quite. I haven't been able to find you a spot with the surgery department at the local hospital. That leaves me with two choices; I can send you to A&E which means you will never be awake for my class again, or I can send you to the district hospital two hours away, which means you'll likely never even show up to my classes in the first place."

The choices both sounded riveting, which she was sure her face revealed.

"That's why," the tutor paused, "I have elected to take a third option. Now, this is not a permanent solution by any means. I expect a few spots to open up at the surgery department over Christmas and you'll be able to follow your dreams to your heart's content. Either way I think this will be a valuable learning experience for you. I'm sending you to the town morgue."

"You don't think I've been cutting up enough dead people?"

"I know it feels like a downgrade, but I have high hopes. And again, it's not permanent."

Clarotta nodded. "I'll try it."

"I appreciate that," the tutor said. "Don't worry, I think you'll like it there."

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Character Portrait: Aleksandr Thomas Sasaki
Character Portrait: Abegail O'Rourke

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Character Portrait: Abegail O'Rourke
Abegail O'Rourke

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Character Portrait: Aleksandr Thomas Sasaki
Aleksandr Thomas Sasaki

"Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal." ~Albert Camus

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Character Portrait: Abegail O'Rourke
Abegail O'Rourke

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Character Portrait: Aleksandr Thomas Sasaki
Aleksandr Thomas Sasaki

"Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal." ~Albert Camus

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Character Portrait: Aleksandr Thomas Sasaki
Aleksandr Thomas Sasaki

"Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal." ~Albert Camus

Character Portrait: Abegail O'Rourke
Abegail O'Rourke

Professor


Fullscreen Chat » Create Topic » The things that hide in the dark...: Out of Character

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Most recent OOC posts in The things that hide in the dark...

Re: The things that hide in the dark...

Reply will come soon. I had a super busy weekend and I seem to have caught the flu from the wonder little children I teach.

Re: The things that hide in the dark...

Either that or we could post in the Roleplayer's Wanted forum for more. Either way I'm okay with it!

Re: The things that hide in the dark...

No longer waiting. Will be moving forward under the assumption that it is just the two of us from this point on.

Re: The things that hide in the dark...

Perhaps a PM is in order? It has been a while since their last post.

Re: The things that hide in the dark...

Going to give Harley a chance to see if they post. If not I will move things along.

Re: The things that hide in the dark...

Okay, I suggest we move on to nightfall for now, as indicated Clarotta is in the same room that drove Hans insane so I might have some stuff happening in there. I also have a little adventure planned for Hans that could be the shadows' doing.

So Mr Killer might feel drawn to the House because of its connection with the unknown and begin stalking Clarotta as a result. Hans could eventually escape and seek out the university for research, running into Abegail in the process?

Re: The things that hide in the dark...

Okay so thinking the following:

-killer (yet to be named) will start stalking Clarotta
-weird things and findings at the morgue (like odd marks on a few of the bodies and some may come alive)
-killer starts to pump Abegail for information
-shadows continue to torment Hans
-thinking shadows are going to toy with him, show him things, kill those around him all in the hopes of driving him further mad
-the goal would be to bring Hans and Abegail together (she is teaching anthropology but her research is all in the cultural ties to the occult and study of imagery of shadows, ghosts, etc in stories) Thinking the shadows might drive him to her and thus to the killer

Re: The things that hide in the dark...

Got any ideas for where you want to move our characters first? I'm thinking to have some weird stuff happening Clarotta in the morgue, although probably not immediately. Hans will likely plan to escape the asylum, after that I'm not sure where to take him.

Re: The things that hide in the dark...

Fair. Was waiting to see if Harley would post but if not I will move us along tomorrow.

Re: The things that hide in the dark...

Hans introduction is up. I'll let someone else post before I do Clarotta again because, well, Hans' post was a little long...

Re: The things that hide in the dark...

Yay! Newspaper deadline tomorrow so you can expect a post from me on Thursday.

Re: The things that hide in the dark...

Antibiotics are doing their thing. I should be back to this tomorrow! What a way to spend the holidays.

Re: The things that hide in the dark...

Alright so cold not so much...fever of 102 for three days followed two days (including this morning) at 100.3. Will get to this once I am feeling better.

Re: The things that hide in the dark...

Post is coming. I got hit with a nasty head cold that knocked me on my ass yesterday.

Re: The things that hide in the dark...

No problem! I know these next few weeks will be busy for us all. I will be moving us along tonight or tomorrow depending on how my Christmas shopping goes...

Re: The things that hide in the dark...

Posted ! Sorry it took me so long. Been busy with work and holiday stuff.

Re: The things that hide in the dark...

Still here! Had a run-in with the flu before things got hectic, sorry I didn't let you know. Hopefully I will be able to post soon.

Re: The things that hide in the dark...

Just checking in as post has been up in the tab for a while now but I also know this is finals time and holidays coming up.

Hoping people are still around.

Re: The things that hide in the dark...

Sorry that was typed on my phone - first post will go up regardless. I was giving a bit more time but I don't want to wait.

Working on it now so should be up in a couple of hours.