The Blackness Over Burrillville by Arthur M. Levesque -- -- http://boog.

org (c)1991, all rights reserved, yadda yadda yadda "I can call up spirits from the vasty deep." "Why, so can I, or so can any man, But do they come when you do call them?" William Shakespeare King Henry IV, Part I (Act III, scene I) The sun was out, and its rays reflected over the reservoir like liquid gold. Trees swayed in the breeze, and the joyous shouts of children swimming and playing filled the air. The scene could have been a Norman Rockwell painting, except for the three guys under a tree on the other side. "Hey, Jim," John yelled, "forget about that stupid garbage and hand me another beer..." "Can't," Jim replied, looking up from the papers he had found and was attempting to read. "Arthur just drank the last one." He flipped over a page. "I write better than this." "Spell just about as well, though." Arthur belched. Unaware that what happened to them today would eventually lead to insanity or death, the three young men were wandering through the woods near the reservoir enjoying the first beautiful, sunny day of summer. It was a peaceful day, and they were making the most of a day when all of them were free from any responsibilities. "Listen to this," Jim said. "'Mglw'nafh Yanoth-Yith mhifoe fhtagn! Ktarr'n rgan zhafh'l trakh-n'k!!' Have you ever heard anything like that before?" "At the zoo, maybe," John suggested unhelpfully. "Why don't you put that thing down? Do you have to read everything you find?" "Jim can never ignore something new and interesting," Arthur told John. To Jim, he said, "It doesn't sound like any language I know of. Is there an English translation? Or any pictures?" "There are a couple of sketches, like this star with the eye in it, but all of the text is just more gibberish." "Are there any immigrants in this area that don't speak English?" Arthur spoke pensively. "Not really," Jim replied. "If this were Woonsocket or Providence I might think it was Vietnamese." "My mother teaches English to Vietnamese, Laotians, and Cambodians," Arthur replied. "They don't sound anything like that." "It's probably some sort of Satanic bible," John suggested as he climbed up the crooked oak tree. "You know that that sort of thing has been in the news a lot lately. Satanic symbols spray-painted on gravestones, mutilated animal corpses found in the woods... Why, I read yesterday that in California --" "That hasn't really been a problem around here, though..." Jim interrupted. "I've heard losers telling stories about finding slaughtered animals, but the carcasses are never there when people go to check. Anyway, wouldn't a Satanic bible be in Hebrew, Latin, English, or something else we'd recognize?" "Just put it away..." Arthur said. "If you haven't figured it out by next week, and if you're still interested, I can bring it with me to school when I get my grades and have a foreign-language professor look at it." "Besides," John said, swinging down from a low branch, "we have a much more pressing problem. We need more beer."

"And since Artie here drank the last one," Jim drawled, "I nominate him to go back and get more." Arthur thought for a moment. "That's OK, I guess," he told them. "Hand me a few dead presidents." John and Jim each reached into their pockets and pulled out portraits of the late Abraham Lincoln and the late George Washington, tastefully done in Empire Green. After transferring the bills, the three of them performed an odd handshake involving swinging elbows, "L" signs, and head patting. From a distance, side by side, Arthur and Jim would have been almost indistinguishable. Each was large, but not to the point of obesity, and had long, dark hair. They each had a taste for dark, casual clothes. They liked to refer to each other as their evil twins, and were often almost able to read each other's minds. It was their minds that distinguished them most from each other. Although both of them had the same tastes and strange senses of humor, Jim was tended to be more emotional and curious while Arthur was more of a laid-back but serious thinker. Arthur had a tested IQ well into the genius range, but he normally tried hard not to use his brains and appear too intelligent since that had caused him so much trouble when he was younger. Jim was more daring and happy-go-lucky, and the schemes they had hatched together had made them infamous at their school. John had known each of them long before they met each other, but often felt like they were communicating on a wavelength he couldn't receive. They could talk in half- sentences and gestures, and understand each other while all around looked at them in confusion. Occasionally, John was able to pick up their frequency (such as the famous "Mickey Mouse" incident), but was often just as confused by them as everyone else. He was thinner and less muscular than they were, but also had fashionably long hair. He wore glasses for reading and driving, and long-sleeved shirts to hide his skinny arms. John laughed as he watched Arthur slide down the hill (just narrowly avoiding an unwanted swim in the reservoir) and start ambling towards the nearest liquor store, about a fifteen minute walk away. He then turned to Jim and struck up a conversation about how his last girlfriend had asked him to choose between her and his new CD player. "It is one hell of a CD player," John said. Arthur staggered back up the hill about half an hour later and found John and Jim in the company of a strangely beautiful woman whom he wished he could say he had seen before. She looked about nineteen and had green eyes that held his attention and made everything else seem to fade away. Arthur had to make a concentrated effort to look away and ask Jim for an introduction or explanation. However, both of them had immediately descended on the case of beer like vultures. "We gave you enough for four six-packs of beer, but there are only three here," John cleverly observed, pausing to count them again. "Why didn't you buy four?" "I did," Arthur replied, dropping to the ground. "It was a long walk back." Lacking any subtlety at this point, he merely gestured in the general direction of the girl and asked "who's she?" "She followed us here," John said, handing her a beer. "If I promise to feed her, can I keep her?" John drank his beer and continued staring at the girl. She stepped forward and offered Arthur her hand. "I'm Janet Withers," she said. "Any friend of John's..." " obviously mentally deficient," Arthur completed. He kissed her hand and muttered something in French. "Don't worry, Jim and I aren't always this bad, at least." She laughed lightly at that. Arthur laughed back and soon was joined by Jim and John. It was a beautiful day. A cool breeze came up and they just lay there, reveling in it.

John soon left with Janet. After they staggered off, Arthur asked Jim where he and John had found her. "It's kind of odd," Jim began, "but we were just walking around because we knew it would take you a while to get back. We snuck up behind that big, gray house on the hill... you know, the one that Austin Levy used to live in. It was just sold recently, I guess to Janet's family. "Anyway, as we watched the house, a cloud moved over the sun. Did you ever notice how scary that house looks when it's dark? Yeah, me too; that's what I thought of when the shadow fell over it. So, we looked at each other and then looked back at the house. One of the windows in the back opened and a woman climbed out. She looked both ways, and then ran into the woods. John insisted that we follow her (you know how John is), but he made so much noise... well, yeah, I made a lot of noise too... she turned and saw us. At first she looked frightened, then she ran to us and told us to get away from the house, and not to make so much noise. "We came back here, to wait for you. You and the beer. Right. She wouldn't tell us what was wrong or why she slipped out like that. Nope, not even after I used all the powers of persuasion I had. She did tell us that she couldn't go back... John is going to see what he can do about finding her a place to stay. What? Yes, of course we're planning on checking things out. Maybe even tomorrow. Anybody who would abuse a girl like that... Um, will you be busy? No? Good, we'll meet at my house then, call first. I gotta go, it's pretty late. Hand me that last six-pack, OK? Thanks. Well, I'll see you later, drive carefully..." Arthur returned to his car, a Chevy Malibu parked behind the theater. "Weebles wobble, but they don't fall down," he thought, watching Jim waddle off into the sunset. After taking three aspirin from a bottle in the glove compartment, Arthur stretched out on the back seat and fell asleep. Later, after a sufficient recovery period, he drove home and went straight to bed. The next morning Arthur awoke with the worst hangover that he'd ever had in his life. He felt so bad that he made an immediate pledge: He would never drink beer under an oak tree near a reservoir again. He called Jim, and guessed that Jim had an equally horrid hangover. Jim's mother answered and explained that Jim couldn't come to the phone, he'd caught some sort of a bad bug. They had to put off checking out the Withers house for a week or so until they all had a simultaneous day off again. Arthur later found out that Janet was staying in the guest room at John's, and that he had had (if this was possible) a worse hangover than Jim or Arthur had. About a week later Arthur went down to Rhode Island College in Providence to get his grades for the spring semester. He did about as well as he usually did, nothing bad but nothing spectacular either. He could have been an honors student if he expended the effort, but he was singularly unmotivated. Before leaving, he walked across campus to Rosetta Hall, which housed the Foreign Languages Department. He showed the partial manuscript that Jim had found to Professor Jean Saquoi, the head of the department. "Very interesting," the professor said, looking over the arcane script and consulting one of the books on his desk. "This doesn't resemble any language which I've ever come across. It could be a very ancient language, one unrelated to any modern tongues and spoken only by isolated peoples somewhere." He took a pipe out of his desk drawer, filled it from a pouch in his suit pocket, and lit it. "Maybe Doctor Peters or someone over at the History Department could help you." Arthur thanked him and got up to leave. "Please tell me if you find anything out," Professor Saquoi asked as Arthur left his office. Dr. Ahmed Peters examined the pages with great interest. "I've seen words

and symbols like this only once before," he said. "I believe what you may have here is a remnant of the legendary Necronomicon, which is supposedly an ancient and powerfully evil book written centuries ago by the Mad Arab Abdul al-Hazred. According to what I've heard, it describes these 'Great Old Ones' and their minions who dwell beyond Earth in space and time, and has rituals to summon and control them. In olden times people who owned such books were often killed in horrible ways, or just 'disappeared'. It's all utter superstitious nonsense, of course, but it may have some historical significance." Peters leaned back in his chair. "We know very little about the religions of some early peoples because the Spanish Inquisition burned books like this which they deemed heretical. Would you mind if I borrowed that?" Peters started musing to himself, "I could get published... be famous... just imagine, the forgotten historical traditions of Pre-Christian peoples, written down on these pages..." "I could lend it to you later," Arthur replied, quickly retrieving the yellowed pages, "but I'm not quite done with it yet. If this is really what you say it is, how did it come to be abandoned in the woods of northern Rhode Island? Can you tell me more about this book?" "I've heard stories and rumors that aren't worth repeating. Like the Hope Diamond, there are all sorts of stories about bad things happening to people who own this book," the doctor lectured. "They could tell you more at the Miskatonic University in Arkham. Do me a favor, though, don't tell them that you have a copy..." That evening they met at John's house. Janet was probably upstairs reading in the guest room, and John was downstairs cursing at his beloved and extremely expensive stereo system. "Something's causing some kind of interference," John declared weakly. He seemed oddly pale. "I haven't been able to get good reception for the last few days. Someone around here must have a ham or CB radio or some other kind of transmitter." "Did you learn anything from Janet?" Jim asked him, his curiosity (as always) getting the better of him. "Yeah, I learned that she lived alone with her father. Her father was involved in odd rituals and animal sacrifices and crap like that. She left because she feared for her own safety. I guess she didn't want to be the next sacrifice." "That makes sense," Arthur said. "Those papers we found were from some kind of ancient spell book, according to a teacher at RIC. Druids used to use it as a bible or something for their ceremonies." "I have a friend who works at the MegaMart," Jim said. "He says that Marcus Withers was buying an awful lot of food for just two people. He also said that Janet never went shopping with him." "Probably afraid she'd try to escape," Arthur suggested. "Hey, while you were in line, did you read the National Inquirer headline about Rosanne Barr's alien relatives?" "Yeah," Jim grinned. "I can never resist looking over those hokey headlines. Anyway, I'm wondering what the extra food Janet's father bought was for." "Pardon me for interrupting," John interrupted, "but I personally won't believe any of this voodoo stuff until I've been up there to have a chat with Mr. Withers. He and Janet probably just had some sort of fight and she ran away. You know how girls are." "Then we agree," Arthur said. "We should go up there and have a look around." "Would now be OK?" Jim asked. The three of them slipped out the back door and through the woods toward the old Levy house. There was a light in one of the windows in back, but John

suggested that they try ringing the doorbell before snooping or breaking and entering. When no one answered the bell, Jim started to expound on the virtues of breaking and entering. They looked through the window into the lit room and saw a motionless old man lying in a pool of blood on the floor. Jim impulsively smashed the window and climbed in. Arthur and John shrugged and followed. Fortunately, the window was large and close to the ground, so Arthur and Jim were able to climb in easily. John, however, caught one of his sleeves on a glass shard and tore a huge hole it. "Are you all right, Mr. Withers?" Jim asked. "What happened?" Slowly, Marcus Withers turned to face them. His skin seemed dry and gray. "It escaped..." he moaned, with an odd accent that none of them could place. "I brought it up into this world to serve me and it escaped..." "What escaped?" demanded Arthur. "Yanoth-Yith, the Winged Horror," whispered the old man, pronouncing "winged" with two syllables. "It stole the incantations necessary to banish it and scattered them about. I was always so careful, but this time when I moved, I must have done the binding ceremony wrong." "Why would you summon a monster like that?" Jim asked. "Little do thy know of sorcery! The Yanoth-Yith draineth life from other men and giveth it to it's master. I have lived with yon beast for sevenscore years, moving about every forty years to not arouse suspicion." "But what happened to you?" John asked. "It came back when I was alone and defenseless," muttered Withers. "It was draining forth my life when you arrived and scared it away with all thy noise." Withers looked oddly resigned. "But now, after losing my life, my daughter, and all else I had, at last I will be one with the elements..." "We have your daughter," John piped out. "She got away safely, and we found her." "Let us help you," Arthur said, reaching out to help Marcus Withers up. As soon as Arthur touched him, Withers' body collapsed into a thin layer of gray dust. "Right, I'm out of here," Jim announced. They met again four days later at Arthur's house. They found him playing a game on his computer. He greeted them as they entered his room, cleared some clothes and papers from a couple of chairs, and motioned to his bed. "Help yourself," Arthur said, as Jim reached under the bed for a six-pack. Eight second later, after they had each finished their first beer, Arthur asked John: "Why didn't you bring Janet?" "She's working today. She got a job at the general store down the street, and never has time go out with me anymore," John scowled. "Besides, I can't bring her since I haven't told her about her father yet." "Well, I've been up to the Miskatonic University like Dr. Peters suggested," said Jim. "A professor named Philip Armitage looked at the papers I found, and asked me a lot of questions. As soon as I could get a word in edgewise, I asked him about the Yanoth-Yith." "What did he say?" prompted Arthur, waving his beer can for emphasis and spilling some on John. "We got trouble in River City," replied Jim. "If there is a Yanoth-Yith loose, it's able to take on the form of a human being. In particular, the appearance of the child which was sacrificed for its summoning. It seems to drain life energy from people for strength; and once it's strong enough, it will try to open a portal to let in the rest of its species. We humans will find ourselves lower on the food chain than we like to be." "I wish we knew what the child Withers killed looked like, so we'd recognize the beast if we saw him," John suggested. "Unfortunately, they didn't put missing kids on milk cartons back around

1850," Jim sarcastically reminded him. "Is there any good news?" Arthur asked. "We have the incantations it needs to summon in the rest of its kind. We also have the incantation to return it home. Meaning it can't start calling its friends, and all we have to do is find it." "Meaning it will also be trying to find us," John said, quickly making a logical connection. "Better pass me another beer." "Maybe this will make you feel better. I've also been doing some research," Arthur said, almost apologetically. "H. P. Lovecraft and others wrote stories based on the creatures described in the Necronomicon. According to some of these stories, there is a symbol called an 'Elder Sign' which can protect people from unnatural creatures. Sort of like silver for werewolves or garlic for vampires." "What is this symbol?" Jim asked. "Sort of a flaming eye in a broken star," Arthur replied. "It's on a couple of the papers Jim found." Arthur seemed embarrassed at what he had to say next. "I went up to 'T For Two' at the Mall and had four T-shirts with Elder Signs on them made. One for each of us, and one for Janet. Now we wait." "I can't wear a T-shirt," John protested. "I'll take it back and have a sweatshirt made with the same design." "Y'know," Jim began, in his best Andy Rooney voice, "call me old-fashioned, but I don't think I've ever seen a vampire movie where the good guys wear T-shirts with pictures of crucifixes on the front and garlic on the back." "Well, maybe you should," Arthur replied, defensively. "It certainly is a hell of an idea." "Give me the pages with the incantations," John requested, "and I'll make us all copies." HARRISVILLE - Robert Miller of 56 Snake Hill Road, Chepachet, has been expelled from the Burrillville Rod and Gun Club after an alleged incident which occurred last night. Miller was trying out his newly-acquired Lee Enfield rifle in the woods on the club's property when he claimed he saw a dragon-like creature flying overhead. After trying to shoot the apparition, Miller ran to the clubhouse to get the other members. Randy Thompson, the club's president, told police that they "heard screaming and repeated firing before Bob returned to the clubhouse with his fantastic story ... we ran out with our telescopes and night-sight binoculars, but couldn't see anything." Police are considering charges against Miller for operation and discharge of a firearm while under the influence. In a possibly related announcement, T. F. Green Airport and the local National Guard base have reported that they have been picking up strange images on their radar for the last two weeks. An investigation is underway. (From The Providence Journal, June 29, 1990) Over the next week, the four of them expressed an eagerness and bravado to meet the Yanoth-Yith and have it over with, but the Winged Horror failed to make itself known. They wore the Elder Signs always, often under another shirt. Unfortunately, the weather was often too hot to allow much comfort to those wearing two shirts. Despite the weeklong blazing sun, most of the people they saw as they walked through Burrillville seemed oddly pale. Some people thought that a

virus was going around, while some children scared each other with tales of vampires. Three men and one woman, looking at the graying faces of those around them, knew the terrible reality. "The fucking thing is feeding like there's no tomorrow!" Jim said incredulously, squeezing into an easy chair. "We need some kind of plan to find it and get rid of it before people die!" "I'm working on an idea..." said John. "Really?" asked Janet, her eyes sparkling. "Tell me about it!" "I love secret plans!" Jim exclaimed. "I won't say anything to any of you until I've got it all figured out," John explained. "It's just a bit too weird." Jim and Arthur turned and looked each other straight in the eyes. "Too weird for us?" they chorused. "No way!" "You'll just have to wait," John insisted. "So, did anyone bring beer?" The next day, Jim and Arthur went over to John's house. They had each called in sick to their jobs, which had caused no suspicion; everyone was sick these days. John's mother answered the door wearing a bathrobe and an icepack, and told them that John and Janet had headed down toward the reservoir. "Of course!" Arthur said, climbing into Jim's van. "The Yanoth-Yith would probably keep watch over where it had lost the documents, hoping whoever had took them would return to the proverbial scene of the crime." "And you seriously expect me to drive us there?" "I don't expect you to do anything seriously." They spied John and Janet sitting under the oak tree. Neither Jim nor Arthur could hear what they were saying, but they seemed to be smiling and laughing. "Clever ploy," Arthur said, "pretending to be there having fun." "They don't fool me," Jim said, as John put his arm around Janet, "they are having fun." Jim and Arthur felt pangs of jealousy as John and Janet began to kiss. Janet got up and kicked off her sandals. She removed her T-shirt and jeans and, wearing a red polka-dotted bikini, playfully ran down to the water. Turning away, Jim whispered to Arthur, "What do we do now? Drive away in the van or walk over to them and clear our throats loudly?" "The third option," Arthur said, ask John began to chase Janet to the water. "We drive over them in the van. Loudly." John, unable to resist following a beautiful girl, removed his sneakers and protective sweatshirt. "Come on, let's get out of here." John began to remove his jeans, revealing blue swimming trunks. Jim and Arthur were just climbing back into the van when a scream split the air. They immediately ran back to their vantage point and saw Janet running towards the woods and screaming all the way. John, with his jeans around his ankles, was trying to keep up with her but kept tripping and falling. After Janet reached the woods, she apparently kept running, for her screams continued to get fainter and fainter. A few seconds later, as John was about halfway towards the dark safety of the woods, a shadow passed over him. "Look!" Arthur yelled, trying unsuccessfully to spin Jim around. He then pointed at the source of the shadow and allowed Jim to spin himself. Circling about a hundred feet above John was a leathery apparition straight out of a nightmare. It looked as though someone had taken the head of a warthog, the body of a lion, the tail of an alligator, and the wings of a fruitbat and had beat them all together with several aluminum baseball bats. Its body was roughly man-sized, and its claws looked like sharpened daggers. Its eyes were points of black flame, and were locked on John. "Shittagoddamn..." muttered Jim, highly impressed. "Let's go help him!" Arthur yelled. "He's not wearing his Elder Sign

shirt anymore!" The same thought had occurred to John almost immediately. After looking up to see the beast casting a shadow over him, John noted with uncharacteristic calmness that he was no longer protected, and that he would never make it to the woods. Feinting towards the forest and falling to the ground, John fooled the Yanoth-Yith into swooping down towards him. He immediately rolled to the side, dodging the razor-sharp talons, and hopped, slipped, rolled, and fell down the hill as quickly as he could towards his Elder Sign shirt. "Should have gotten damned tattoos," John muttered. "I usually swim in a T-shirt so I don't get sunburned," Arthur panted as they ran across the parking lot towards the reservoir. "John always called you a wimp for that, too," Jim gasped back. The beast seemed confused by John's evasive tactics, and seemed more confused when it saw Jim and Arthur loping towards it, screaming and keeping their Elder Signs visible. It watched Arthur and Jim nervously for a few seconds, then seemed to realize that it was being distracted from its original prey. It spun around and dived for John. John had just grabbed his sweatshirt when the Yanoth-Yith pounced on him. John pressed the shirt against the beast and was heartened to hear sizzling sounds and growls of pain. Then the beast knocked the shirt from his hands with one forelimb as it tore out his throat with the other. Arthur and Jim stopped in terror as they watched what appeared to be electricity arc from John's body to the Yanoth-Yith's. The beast then launched itself over John's gray body and flew off over the woods. As a breeze came up, causing John's body to collapse into powder and blow away, Arthur and Jim continued to stand paralyzed, not knowing what to do next. They found Janet about an hour later. She was hunched over near a tree, sobbing mindlessly. From the blood and bruises on her, it seemed as though she had fallen several times, possibly even run into a few trees, in her panicked dash from the terrible beast her father had summoned. "How's Janet?" Arthur asked Jim the next day. "Still not talking," Jim replied. "I've given her my bed and taken the couch. We'd better watch her, I'm afraid of what she might do in her condition." "OK, I'll move in with you for now, take the sofa in your den, and we'll watch her at all times. Hide the sleeping pills, razor blades, and so on." Arthur sighed. "We should have gone over and joined them." "Think of what John would have done to us had we tried to get between him and another conquest." "He'd still be alive." "You don't know that! You also didn't know at the time what was about to happen!" "I could have done something and I didn't. Because of that a good friend of ours is dead." Arthur started walking away. "You take the first shift watching Janet. I'll find that bastard if it's the last thing I do." Jim walked into his house. He quickly identified himself to Arthur, holding sentry duty on the couch. "Mind if I turn on the lights?" Jim asked. "You might wake her up. Where did you go?" "I searched his car and room. I found a copy of the incantations, but not the original. His car had some odd scratch marks on it. I think the originals were in his car and that thing has them." Jim paused. "Someone else stole his radar detector." "I think so too. While you were watching her earlier, I went back to Marcus Withers' workroom and found out it had been cleaned up recently. I think that the thing is planning to start summoning in the other Yanoth-Yith

sometime soon." "What do we do now?" "We know where and how, but not when. We'll have to watch the Withers' place 24 hours a day. We can't take Janet with us in her condition, so that means leaving her here. We can tell your brother to keep an eye or two on her." "When do we start?" Jim asked, already knowing the answer. "No time like the present." Jim and Arthur arrived at the house which Marcus Withers had occupied for such a short time. They decided to wait inside the workroom, each armed with a flashlight and a copy of the incantation to banish the Yanoth-Yith. Arthur hid in the closet, but Jim insisted on hiding under a desk. "I've got to see this thing close-up," Jim announced. "Curiosity killed the cat," Arthur reminded him. "You should know by now that I'm not a cat," Jim replied facetiously. As they saw the light of the full moon coming through the broken window, they knew that this would be the night. It seemed like an eternity before they heard something climbing through the large window. They smelt incense being lit, and saw the light of several candles dancing on the walls. A slow, deep chanting began. "N'gaah, N'gaahah... N'gaah, N'gaahah..." Arthur opened his door a crack and saw Jim climbing out from behind his desk, incantation ready. "My God!" Jim whispered, unable to be silent. "It's Janet!" Arthur looked at the wall behind Jim, and saw two shadows. One shadow he recognized as Jim's. The other shadow, a feminine one, must have been Janet's. Arthur was about to come out of the closet and demand an explanation from Janet when her shadow changed. It grew about a foot taller, and batlike wings sprouted from its shoulders. Arthur opened the closet door further. He saw the creature continuing with its rituals. Arthur sensed Jim's nervousness as Jim swallowed and began the banishment incantation. "Yanoth-Yith mhifoe fhtagn! Yanoth-Yith mhifoe fhtagn!" The Yanoth-Yith quickened its chanting, and soon it and Jim were racing through the arcane words. Suddenly, there was a note of triumph in the thing's voice as a black hole in mid-air opened up before the Yanoth-Yith. Jim looked into the hole and began to scream. Arthur could feel a snapping sensation as Jim's mind went irretrievably mad from what it saw through the hole in space. Arthur heard a second voice joining Janet's as another Yanoth-yith entered the room through the hole. Soon there were four. Arthur closed the door and began to chant rapidly under his breath, scanning his xeroxed document with his flashlight. He tried not to be distracted and continued chanting as he heard eight, sixteen, then thirty-two voices outside the closet chanting in the eerie, deep voices of the Yanoth-Yith. He was not distracted by the growing din of winged horrors jostling each other for room. He was not distracted when one of them noticed light escaping from under the closet door and warned the others. He continued chanting even as they ripped the closet door off of its hinges. And, as the giant claws closed around his arms, legs, and throat, he screamed the last five words: "Khebor Cthnadii Bokou Pz'nhai Dhu-Daa!" There was an explosion of light and sound. All of the colors and shapes Arthur had ever seen danced before his eyes. He heard so many sounds simultaneously that he was unable to focus on any single one. He saw the hoards of Yanoth-Yith being sucked towards a blinding white glow where their portal once hung. As the glow engulfed the last of the winged beasts, Arthur thought he saw it become Janet again, and look at him with a tear in her eye. And then there was nothing but darkness and Jim's screaming. The candles, incense, fragments of the Necronomicon, and Yanoth-Yith were all gone, sucked into the void. Even the flashlights were gone. Arthur turned on the lights

and looked at the still-screaming Jim. There was nothing behind his eyes, and Arthur knew that the mind which had been Jim was lost forever beyond space. Arthur and Jim were still standing in the same positions twenty minutes later when the police arrived.

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