I have been assigned a case of a very disturbing nature at a remote penitentiary in the woods. Strange, otherworldly things have been going on, people missing, things moving about from room to room in the night. The prisoners themselves are terrified, and they are all rapidly losing their minds from fear and lack of sleep.
The haunting seems to have something to do with an inmate who passed away a few years ago. Every time someone was moved to share a cell with him, they would disappear after a few days. It was widely accepted that he was somehow killing his cell mates and hiding their bodies, but nobody had ever been able to figure out where or how.
After he passed away, by choking on barbed wire, things had never been the same, and a malevolent presence had been terrorizing all of the inhabitants. It seemed the only way things would ever be able to return to normal was to figure out the mystery surrounding the people he had killed. It was my job to find the bodies, and stop the haunting.
He had left trails of filth all over the prison, which was a converted Gothic mansion, (of course, for what could be scarier?) and in order to find clues I had to follow them, wherever they led. There was the added danger of entering a room you were not supposed to by accident, as it most likely contained either an insane inmate who would kill you out of fear, or the shade of the psychopath himself, which I’m sure would have been worse.
Some doors just gave off a bad feeling, like a brain-freeze in my body, a cold humming that warned me instinctively to keep away. I kept to the trails he had left and managed to avoid any pitfalls, eventually finding the first body. In a giant aviary full of exotic beetles and praying mantises, I found a human skull half buried in the sand, and with it, a book originally the property of the first cell-mate that disappeared. Inside the book was a note, written in beautiful cursive, that the attic should be checked, (of COURSE we have to go into the scary mansion’s attic).
I cannot begin to explain how terribly badly I did not want to go into the attic, but I shakily made my way up the stairs. A full body this time, sitting waxy in a chair, almost as if alive. I peered at it carefully, and as I approached, it moved its head. I nearly jumped out of my skin before I realized that this man was in fact alive, and he began to speak to me.
I don’t remember what he said, but I was struck by the thought that everything he was saying to me was a lie. My brain seemed to be reading between the lines and translating whatever he was spewing nonsense about into the truth. I had finally solved the riddle, and this man was the key.
He was the prodigy of the psychopath, and had been living under everyone’s nose in secret, helping his master hide the bodies, faking his own death, and even now, continuing to kill and steal at night while everyone slept.
As he spoke he was painting a picture of a giant black owl with tassels hanging from its beak and wingtips.