To Sleep Perchance To Scream

To Sleep Perchance To Scream

September 28th, 1934

Today I begin what is to be my single most significant contribution to humanity. Most assuredly, it will be the catapult to which my career will launch from mediocrity to excellence. I was given the grant today to begin, in earnest, my dream research. My hard work and dedication have paid off. Now I have only to produce the results, which I know will inevitably be achieved. In addition to operating money, I have been given a small lab on campus to perform my tests. It is not quite as large as I would have hoped, and the accouterments are lacking, but I can make do. The important thing is that I have gained the ear of the Dean and others; my research has been elevated from fanciful to legitimate and testable. A great day indeed. I must now acquire the necessary equipment for the endeavor and interview volunteers and subjects for the study.

As I see it, I will need two or three volunteers, psychology students, to help with the subject interviews and day-to-day maintenance. I have my eye on a few students already that I believe have a particular propensity for the research we will be conducting. It should not be challenging to procure those I have in mind. They have already expressed interest in the area of study to which we will be breaking ground. The subject of dreams tends to attract the mystical minded. I am emphatically barring from consideration those who would see this research as a probe into the metaphysical. We are doing real science here, not some parlor tricks to shock and amaze the patrons of a circus tent. We are attempting to prove that our subconscious mind can affect the physical world. I believe that our dreams have the real possibility of being altered in a way that will lessen and, in some cases, cure certain mental illnesses. It will be a huge step forward in the science of psychology and a great benefit to humanity.

September 30th, 1934

I have managed to convince two of my star students to come on board with the research, and they both seem very excited at the prospects. I have my eye on a third; however, it may take a bit more convincing since she is even more of a staunch skeptic than myself. Given my track record and the research thus far, I can convince her that we are doing legitimate work and that we need a skeptic to keep our research balanced.

William Nickels, a graduate student, was the first of the volunteers I could have come aboard. He is a student of mine, and I have become a bit of a mentor to the lad. He sits at the top of his class in all categories and has a keen understanding of the mind's subtleties, which so few I have taught possess. William will be a great addition to the team. I am even considering co-authoring a paper with him on the subject.

Terence Polanski, an undergrad who has signs of becoming an exemplary student and a leader in our field, is another consideration. He has already shown promise of great foresight regarding the mysteries of the mind and dreams. He has also amassed an enormous amount of knowledge regarding the mystical notions of dreaming and dream interpretation. His research into the history of dreams is focused on debunking the ideas held by charlatans, mystics, and witchdoctors. It will be useful to have that body of knowledge onboard to keep us from heading into the realm of snake oil salesmen ourselves.

Penelope Withers, my hopeful acquisition, has a Ph.D. in psychology; however, she is currently a student of anthropology with the university. As such, she has much to offer to understand the socio-economic and genealogical aspects of the test subjects. I have made initial inquiries with her about joining the team. She has thus far not responded to in any way that would indicate her interest in the research. I am not entirely deterred, however, being that her graduate thesis was focused on the power of dreams to affect biological aspects of the dreamer. That is paramount to our research. Having Ms. Withers on the team would bolster our collective knowledge and add more legitimacy to the project in the university's eyes.

October 1st, 1934

I was able to acquire the favor of Ms. Withers. It looks as though we have built an excellent team for the project. With the team now in place and the facilities almost ready to accept test subjects, we are very close to beginning our journey.

October 2nd, 1934

Our first official meeting was held tonight at the small but serviceable set of rooms that the university has afforded us for the test subjects. The entirety of the facility is tucked away from the main buildings of the university. To my chagrin, it is a considerable distance away from the school's medical and psychology departments. Being that we do not need an excessive amount of medical equipment for our research, it is not too inconvenient. However, it would have been nice to feel that we were part of the legitimate research happening in those departments. Instead, it seems we are being hidden from public scrutiny in the back corner of the agricultural and life sciences building. The space consists of a central lab with four connected rooms, two to the south, and one on the east and west walls. The north wall entrance is accessed by the seemingly unending labyrinth of corridors that opens up to a small alleyway that runs along the back of the main building. In every way, it seems we are being hidden away. No matter though, our research results will serve only to embarrass those who so smugly pushed us aside in the humble beginnings, I am sure of it.

October 10th, 1934

We managed to secure most of the equipment that we will need for the project. We have the beds and linens, medical and first aid supplies for monitoring the subject's vitals, and an electroencephalograph. Things are coming together nicely. Mr. Nickels has taken the lead in obtaining test subjects and has assured me that progress is being made.

October 13th, 1934

We have made progress on the acquisition of test subjects, and Mr. Nickels assures me that we should have four by the end of the month. He has been interviewing several candidates and says he has narrowed it down. The four individuals are patients at the Arkham Sanitarium in Arkham, Massachusetts. It is not too far for transport. William says that the sanitarium is happy to assist, hoping that our research will help these individuals overcome their disorders and eventually be released from the institution.

October 17th, 1934

Our test subjects are selected, and each has agreed to participate in the research. It is my hope that we can help these individuals eventually become functioning members of society. Each of them has a significant disorder that prevents them from living a life outside the sanitarium walls. We can change that for them and usher in a new dawn in psychology and medicine in general.

Mrs. Edith Lowe, age 52, suffers from acute paranoia and agoraphobia. She refuses to go outside and fears open spaces. It will be challenging to transport Mrs. Lowe to our test facility. Still, I believe of the subjects she holds the most substantial possibility of a full recovery.

Mr. Abram Wilkes, age 34, suffers from schizophrenia, irregular sleep patterns, and other sleep disorders, which have not been adequately diagnosed. We hope to help Mr. Wilkes with sleep disorders and, by proxy, help with the schizophrenia. He will be one of the most challenging cases.

Ms. Evelyn Saltonstall, age 24, suffers from Exchanged Personality Disorder. She manifests at least two other personalities, which the sanitarium could identify. She has not had much treatment in this regard, and there may be more egos of which we have not yet been introduced. I am very interested in this particular case. If we can have her confront her alternate personalities within her dreams, she may aggregate them into her real personality.

Mr. Thomas Rhodes, age 28, suffers from severe depression and sleep disorders. I believe Mr. Rhodes to be a likely candidate for a full recovery. He is also the least difficult of the subjects to maintain and interact with.

October 24th, 1934

We have undertaken the difficult task of transporting the patients to our facility, and we will begin the research soon. We are getting everything prepared and allowing the subjects to acclimate to their new living situation. We do not have as much space as the hospital they are used to; however, these particular patients did not leave the confines of their rooms much, and so it will not be too jarring a change for them. Once they have settled in and begun to normalize their daily routines, we can start.

Everyone is doing fine work, and I am pleased with the selections I have made for my assistants. They seem to require little oversight and understand the gravity of what we intend to accomplish. All the preparations have been made, and we are fully ready to begin our grand adventure.

October 30th, 1934

We began our first trials today; the patients were receptive to the treatment and seemed to understand what was asked of them quickly. To start with, we have requested that the patients document their dreams as soon as they wake. It helps them remember what has occurred in their dreams and builds a stronger memory of it once awake. We have set each subject upon a regulated sleep cycle, and they all seem to be having little trouble with the regiment.

October 31st, 1934

An uneventful Halloween, I stayed with the subjects, and we had some baked treats. The weather is turning; I think it will be a severe winter. The others all have social engagements for the evening; I gave them the rest of the week off. I will work with the patients, and we will reconvene this coming Monday.

November 5th, 1934

The subjects all seem to be coming along well with their dream journals. Mrs. Lowe, who began the process hardly remembering anything from her dreams, now has an almost full page of notes each morning. The others have always had strong recollections of their nightly wanderings but show deeper retention and vivid descriptions. They are becoming accustomed to the sleep schedule we have set for them. I believe we can soon implement the electroencephalograph.

Mr. Rhodes, whose sleep issues are the most severe, seems to be acclimating to the facility and us. He says he is sleeping better here than he had at the sanitarium. The subjects remain in their rooms for the most part, though we did have a bit of socializing on Halloween. I am hoping that they will begin to confide in one another so we can start group sessions. It is ambitious to think of that at this juncture, but things are progressing quickly.

November 13th, 1934

The dream journals are having a substantial effect on the subjects. They can vividly recall their dreams and can speak at length, not only of their surroundings in the dream but also of their feelings and thoughts. I have begun to suggest that they try to influence the dream world in some way. I asked them to imagine an apple in their hand while in the dream. If they can become proficient at creating objects for themselves, we can then move to the next research phase.

I will be implementing the electroencephalograph tonight on Mrs. Lowe. If all goes well, I will begin a round-robin schedule of monitoring each of the subjects every other night. Mr. Rhodes may be a problem in this regard. He already has such difficulty with his sleep that adding machinery to the matter could prove disastrous.

November 14th, 1934

Mrs. Lowe did well on the electroencephalograph last night. She did not seem to have trouble sleeping, and I monitored the night's readings without any issue. She exhibits larger frequencies of Alpha and Theta waves. She seems to rarely produce any of the Delta waves we are hoping to have the subjects produce at a higher frequency. It is still early, and I am pleased with the initial results.

November 16th, 1934

Ms. Saltonstall was on the electroencephalograph last night and did well as expected. She seemed to slip into a deep sleep quickly and was exhibiting strong Delta waves frequently. They remained strong through the night, fluctuating from Delta to Theta and rarely raising back to Alpha, which would indicate very light sleep or even wakeful resting.

Ms. Saltonstall related to me that she had been able to produce the apple in her hand, which I had asked of her. I was delighted. She seems to have a knack for creating effects in her dreams. I believe she may be the first of the subjects to achieve success in affecting her physical waking self from within the dream state. She also told me that she had seen Mr. Wilkes in her dreams. I thought that a bit odd since they had only seen each other once since they were brought here. Usually, we dream of things that are familiar to us or significant is some way. Their brief encounter on Halloween night would not classify as such. It could be that the change of living situation has her mind grasping for the familiar, and she may have seen Mr. Wilkes at the sanitarium previously.

November 18th, 1934

I chose to work with Mr. Rhodes last night due to some anxiety he was having during the day. He told me that he had seen Mr. Wilkes in his dreams on the previous night and that he seemed to dog him throughout his various travels. I thought it strange as Ms. Saltonstall had described almost the same thing in my last session with her. Again, the two had only ever met the Halloween party's night and even then, only briefly. It was perplexing that Mr. Wilkes had made such an impact on the other subjects. Nonetheless, I was able to get Mr. Rhodes to sleep and monitor him through the night. His levels fluctuated between Theta and Alpha waves; it was easy to tell that he was a restless sleeper and rarely ever dropped into the Delta level, which we were looking for.

November 20th, 1934

Mr. Wilkes proved to be a fascinating subject, indeed. I monitored him through the night and found that his readings were mostly in the Gamma level though he seemed utterly asleep. It was not surprising that Mr. Wilkes suffered from schizophrenia. Still, the readings looked to be that of a fully awake subject. There were moments when he would go from Gamma directly to Delta and stay there for long periods. Rarely did he exhibit Alpha or Theta waves. It was odd and unexpected, but research into uncharted territory like this is rarely ordinary.

I asked Mr. Wilkes about his dreams and, in particular, if he had encountered the others. He only smiled at me with a disconcerting stare. Eventually, he said that he had not, but I have a feeling he is holding something back. I am left with an uneasy feeling about that man. I have yet to see signs of the schizophrenia he was diagnosed with. He seems stoic but intelligent. He appears almost cunning as if there is something he is waiting for and will not share with the group.

November 21st, 1934

I have left the subjects in Mr. Nickels and Ms. Withers's care for the next few days. It seems that I must become aware of my own sleep patterns. I have been burning the candle at both ends as they say. I am taking some much-needed time to rest. I will be back in a few days, renewed, and ready to move on to the next phase.

November 25th, 1934

Ms. Withers came to me today with some unsettling news. It seems that Mr. Rhodes has been refusing to maintain his sleep schedule. He told Ms. Withers that he is afraid to sleep and blames Mr. Wilkes for the disturbance. He claims that Mr. Wilkes is visiting him in his dreams and trying to lead him into a dark cavern with a long staircase inside, which leads down into what Mr. Rhodes believes to be hell. He is now adamant about not falling asleep and refuses to lie down in bed. Ms. Withers informed me that the other subjects stayed on task with their sleep schedules, made progress with their journals, and created inanimate objects in dreams. She says that Mr. Wilkes seems to have the most proficiency in this regard. She has started small, the apple, and has since moved to larger and more complex objects. Mr. Wilkes was able to create a sofa which to seat himself in his most recent dreams. I believe if we can get Mr. Rhodes back on track, we can move on to the next phase.

November 27th, 1934

Mrs. Lowe seems to believe that she is in danger, and like Mr. Rhodes, she fears Mr. Wilkes. We have kept the subjects separated for the most part and have not allowed them to discuss their dreams. However, Mrs. Lowe describes in great detail the same dream-scape that Mr. Rhodes had experienced. She related that Mr. Wilkes was trying to convince her to follow him into a cavern containing a long descending staircase. She is very distraught, and her sleep is severely disrupted. I am beginning to think that perhaps a type of mass suggestion is happening here. It could be that the subjects can hear conversations the others are having with Ms. Withers and myself. That can be the only explanation. It is becoming a hindrance to our ability to move forward to the next phase of the research. I believe we should proceed with haste before this begins to disrupt the rest of the subjects' sleep patterns.

November 28th, 1934

I had a great session with Mr. Wilkes today, and I believe him to be a prime candidate for the next phase. His sleep patterns and readings have been promising and have also become increasingly normalized. He can achieve a level of Delta waves for prolonged periods. It is the deepest of sleep where the mind has a direct connection with the subconscious. He can make objects with ease and in an increasingly complicated fashion. He related that he was able to make a dog appear and then accompany him through the dream. I was astounded by this. The ability it takes to create an animate object, then have it be a part of the greater landscape, fascinating.

Mr. Polanski has expressed concern for the subjects, in particular Ms. Saltonstall. He maintains that again she had confided in him that she fears Mr. Wilkes because he has been visiting her in her dreams. She went as far as to say she had attempted to physically turn him away in her dream, but the man overpowered her. She woke horrified by this and told Mr. Polanski that she had been attacked. He calmed her down and helped her understand that it was just a dream and, in part, due to the research, she is experiencing her dreams more vividly than she usually would. That was why it all seemed so real, but to rest assured, it was still only a dream.

November 30th, 1934

Against the better wishes of Ms. Withers, I have moved to the next phase with Mr. Wilkes. He has shown incredible aptitude at staying in deep Delta level sleep for long periods. We are working on his ability to manipulate the environment of the dream. He shows remarkable promise at augmenting his dreams as well as dictating what he is dreaming. Once he can control environments consistently, we can move on to attempting to affect his physical body in the dream. It will be a significant breakthrough. If he can influence his waking self by actions performed in the dream state, we will be ready for the research's final phase.

I am still uncomfortable in the man's presence. Still, his abilities are greater than any of the other subjects, so I must closely work with him. I mentioned that the other patients had been dreaming of him, and he said the strangest thing on the subject. He said that the others were fledgling dreamers and did not understand their power in their dreams. He asserted that they were fools to be afraid. I asked him what this meant, but he only fell into a silence, staring at a half-eaten apple on his nightstand. It is difficult to speak with Mr. Wilkes about anything but his dreams. When speaking of his dreams, he is eloquent and present. When speaking of anything else, he shuts down almost immediately.

December 5th, 1934

Last night, something horrible happened. Mr. Nickels and I were attending the subjects for the night. Mr. Polanski had just left when Mr. Nickels began to monitor Mrs. Lowe. Things were progressing as usual. I was going over some of our data in the lab when I heard screaming coming from the room. Mrs. Lowe was screaming wildly. I was able to make out several words in her uncontrollable wailing. I distinctly heard "Please stop" and "no, Mr. Wilkes, no," then finally, "what are you doing… no". The last was screamed with such terror that I ran to the room, expecting that Mr. Wilkes had somehow left his room unnoticed and attacked her. What I saw was even more alarming. I entered the room. Mr. Nickels was beside the bed frantically trying to revive Mrs. Lowe. Upon closer inspection, I could see that Mrs. Lowe was bleeding from a large laceration across her throat. To my absolute horror, the woman's eyes were missing, as if gouged out. I stopped the boy from trying to help the poor woman as I could see that the neck wound had severed a major artery, and she was beyond help. She was dead. At this, I threw Mr. Nickels against the wall and demanded an explanation. It could only have been him who had done this. He was the only person in the room.

Mr. Nickels has emphatically denied having any part and tells a quite unbelievable story. It will be for the police to decide now as they have come and taken him away. Mrs. Lowe's body has been taken to the university morgue, where a coroner appointed by the police will examine it. Mr. Nickels claims that he was monitoring the subject's waves on the electroencephalograph. As such, his back was to the patient at the time of the screaming. We are all used to having the subjects speak and even scream in their sleep. Initially, he did not have a cause for alarm and continued to monitor the readings. With the last horrid scream, he turned to see that the laceration on her throat was already present and spewing blood out onto her torso. Then he claims that he watched as each of her eyes was gouged out, but the eyes themselves vanished after the gouging.

Mr. Nickels has had a psychotic break brought on by hard work, lack of sleep, and his proximity to individuals with similar mental issues. It must have been a latent condition brought on by the research and the last few months' stress. In attempting to revive Mrs. Lowe, he was covered in her blood, making his story difficult to substantiate. However, the eyes were not found in the room or on his person. There does not seem to be any place where he could have put them. Moreover, there is nothing in the room that could have been used as a murder weapon.

I am devastated by this event. I will attempt to speak with Mr. Nickels as soon as I am allowed. I need to understand what has happened to this promising young man. I feel responsible. It was my research that put him in such close proximity to these subjects. It was the research that undoubtedly exhausted him to the point of this break. It was I who put poor Mrs. Lowe in harm's way.

December 6th, 1934

Ms. Withers and Mr. Polanski will be monitoring the patients today as I attempt to recover from the mortifying events of the last two days. I have told them to go easy on the subjects, merely having them sleep and monitoring them. I have also asked them not to speak of the events so as not to introduce any suggestive influences into their dreaming. The research must go on. I have to present my case at a school board hearing next week after the incident and plead that they allow us to proceed.

December 7th, 1934

I visited Mr. Nickels today at the police station lockup. He is being held there until he can be moved to a nearby prison to await trial. What he confided has me furious and frightened. He was visibly shaken when I arrived, and it was not because of his impending imprisonment. It was a genuine fear for his own life. He told me that he had kept from me some details of how he had acquired our subjects from the Arkham Sanitarium so easily. In addition to having a mental illness, the subjects were convicted of crimes that resulted in their placement in the sanitarium. All but one of the subjects was convicted of non-violent crimes. Mr. Abram Wilkes was sentenced for the murders of his mother, father, and two siblings. I was shocked at the recklessness of Mr. Nickels. He reminded me of how difficult it had been to obtain any subjects for the research and that we had been at risk of running out of time. He did what he had to do to keep the study alive. I was taken aback by this news and asked Mr. Nickels if he had any details of the murders, to which he did not. Then he told me that he feared for his life. He had been speaking with the other patients, and they all had a fear of Wilkes. They had been seeing him in their dreams. He was becoming increasingly forward with them to the level of physically accosting them in the dream. He then told me something that sent cold shivers up my spine. With horror visible on the man's face, he related that last night he had a dream, and in the dream, he saw Mr. Wilkes.

I then drove to Arkham to see if I could talk with someone about the events that sent Mr. Wilkes there. I gained access to his file. I could hardly believe what I was seeing. Mr. Wilkes had killed his entire family one night eight years ago. His victims were his mother, his father, and his younger brother and sister. The first murder was his mother, and to my utter shock and disgust, the murder was horribly familiar. He sliced his mother's throat, which was the killing blow, then removed her eyes and consumed them. That being the exact situation that Mrs. Lowe had been dispatched in. The next victim was his brother, who he suffocated in bed and removed his heart and consumed it. I felt sick as I read on. Then he murdered his sister, stabbing her repeatedly and finally removing her hands and consuming them. Last was his father, who he strangled, removed his brain, and consumed it. It was too terrible to bear, and I immediately made arrangements at the sanitarium to deliver Mr. Wilkes back into their care. I rushed back to our facility to see to the man's removal as a severe storm was rolling in.

Here I sit, tonight, it's Friday evening, and the storm is raging outside. Arkham Sanitarium has informed me that they are having difficulties with the storm and will not take Mr. Wilkes back until Monday. The rest of us are stuck here as well, the storm has turned to a blizzard, and the roads are too unsafe to travel. Ms. Withers, Mr. Polanski, and I must remain here for the time being. We will not be conducting any research, and we are keeping a close eye on the subjects. Mr. Polanski told me trivially in passing that he must be getting in too deep, he said this in a joking manner, but I felt the gravity of the words. He told me that the previous night he had dreamed of Mr. Wilkes. He was trying to convince Mr. Polanski to accompany him into a strange cavern with stairs leading down into darkness.

December 8th, 1934

We responded to screams again last night, this time from Mr. Rhodes. Upon entering the room, Ms. Withers and I had been terrified to find Mr. Rhodes lying dead on his disheveled bed with a gaping hole in his chest. Further inspection found that the heart had been removed, and it looked as though he had died of suffocation. We searched the room but could find no evidence of the perpetrator and as well, no sign of forced entry. Since the facility was used for agricultural study and storage, all of the rooms contain no windows and only one exit. The door to Mr. Rhodes's room had not been opened or tampered with as far as we could tell, and the three of us, Ms. Withers, Mr. Polanski, and myself, had been awake in the lab together. It is impossible, but from the wounds inflicted, the gender of the victim, and the apparent chronology, I was left to assume the unthinkable. Could Mr. Wilkes re-enact the very murders that left him confined at Arkham Sanitarium for all those years? It was preposterous even to entertain the thought; there was no way he could have gotten past us in the lab.

I acted quickly at that and locked the door to Mr. Wilkes's room. I was not taking any chances, no matter how fanciful the notion. I related to the others the gruesome details of Mr. Wilkes's crimes and told them that had I known; I would never have allowed him to be a subject. Mr. Nickels procured the subjects from the sanitarium, and it was he alone who knew the terrible truth. Now he sits in a jail cell for his misguided and reckless decision, as we now sit not twenty feet from a brutal murderer.

It was Polanski that then spoke and reminded us of what our research entailed. Were we not attempting to train the subjects to affect their dreams. Were we not moving towards achieving the ability to affect the physical world within the dream state. Was Mr. Wilkes not now doing this exact thing, killing the others in their dreams? Impossible, was my first reaction. But he was right. That is what we had been working towards. Could Mr. Wilkes have gained this ability ahead of our schedule and without our notice? I was struck with a sudden sick feeling in my stomach as I realized that I gave this man the ability and access to commit murder if this is true. It cannot be.

We all agreed to stay awake through the night to ensure that Mr. Wilkes could not get out of his room and commit more atrocities. I believe we all had the same notion in our minds, as incomprehensible as it may be. Could this man truly be visiting others in their dreams? If so, it would be a fantastic discovery (though found under morbid and grotesque circumstances) that there is some alternate universe we are all connected to in our sleep. We have only to access the deeper recesses of our dreams to find it. Could Mr. Wilkes have found this place and used it to enter the other subjects' dreams? I believe I am tired; there is a more rational explanation, and I am sure we will find it soon.

December 9th, 1934

We are snowed in; the roads are out, and there doesn't seem to be any ability for plows to clear them with the storm still so strong. We have been awake all night. It happened again, as we all knew it would. This time it was Ms. Saltonstall. We found her in her room, apparently stabbed multiple times about the chest and stomach, and her hands were removed. It was such a horrific scene that we all had to take a moment to empty our stomachs. We searched all over the room but again could find no weapon which could have been used. This is impossible.

In a rage, I grabbed a letter opener from my desk and stalked to the despicable Mr. Wilkes' door. The others did not try to restrain me. I could see in their eyes they knew what I had planned. I opened the locked door to find a single empty bed to my utter shock and horror. Without windows, this room, the only door locked securely, had not managed to contain Mr. Wilkes. We searched high and low for any way the man could have escaped, yet we found none. Panic began to well up inside of me. This dangerous murderer was now loose, but even as my rational mind attempted to justify this possibility, I knew the truth deep within me. We had freed this man who had been confined at Arkham Sanitarium for eight years, whose mind was numbed by drugs and electroshock therapy. In our misguided attempts to tamper with the world of dreams, we had released him. Not into the world, but worse, into the world of dreams, where he now had access to all humanity, what horrible things will he do with that power?

Mr. Polanski could not be deterred from attempting to go on foot through the storm and try to get help. I was worried for his safety but could not deny him a chance to decide his fate, as I knew mine was decided for me. Wilkes had re-enacted the murder of his entire family, with one exception, the father. I knew that I was the only one left who fit that description, older, an authority figure. I would be next. I had not met Mr. Wilkes as yet in my dreams. I believed this was only because my sleep patterns were increasingly disrupted by my work on the project thus far. I was sleeping very little, and when I did, it was deep and short. I was not employing the same cognitive techniques that I was teaching the subjects. I have no recollection of the man stalking my dreams previously.

As the last two left here, Mrs. Withers and I are trying as we might to stay awake. We have agreed to sit facing one another and wake each other if one should fall asleep. We are employing liberal doses of caffeine from coffee and attempting to move around the lab as much as possible to stay awake. Ms. Withers is terrified; I am trying to hold my fear at bay for her account. It has been over forty-eight hours since we have slept, and it is taking an extreme toll. I don't know if we can last until Mr. Polanski returns with help. The bodies are beginning to give off the sickly-sweet smell of death, and our supplies are running low. We must stay awake.

December 10th, 1934

It is with the utmost regret that I write this now. Ms. Withers is gone. I found her hours ago in the bathroom covered in her own blood. She had used the letter opener to cut her upper eyelids off. Telling me, she did it so that she could stay awake. She had fallen asleep for only a brief moment and had seen Mr. Wilkes there in her dream. She managed to use our techniques to cage herself from him and tore herself awake. She was so terrified that she took extreme measures. She said if she can't close her eyes, she can't sleep, we both know that is not true.

I bandaged her eyes, but she would not allow me to cover them. We sat facing one another, and then it happened. Ms. Withers slipped into sleep as I watched, unaware because her eyes remained ever opened. In an instant, her entire body flew by some invisible force across the room, slamming into the wall then hanging there a few feet off the ground. I stared in utter amazement and horror as her head turned around in an almost complete circle. With a sick crunching and a pop, her legs' kicking stopped, and then she fell to the ground, dead.

It was Wilkes, from within the dream, and I am next. I cannot go any longer without sleep. There is no use. Death will come for me soon. I will attempt to use our techniques to confront him within his darkened realm. I have no choice, it is death either way, but I may have a chance if I face him.

I have burned all of our research, all the data, and notes. It has been a mistake, and I will not allow it to fall into the wrong hands. We thought we were heading towards a breakthrough that could help all of humanity. Instead, we only succeeded in helping a madman escape the prison of his mind. The implications of this are too powerful to allow. He is now out there, in the twilight realms of our sleep, waiting and watching. I will now allow myself the sweet release and sleep. If I can stop him, I will. But if I cannot?

Hartford Courant December 13th, 1934

A shocking discovery on the Hartford University campus

Campus security discovered the bodies of four individuals in a small research facility located in a seldom-used area of the agricultural building on Friday afternoon. The bodies of Professor Miles Cardigan, Ms. Penelope Withers, Mr. Thomas Rhodes, and Ms. Evelyn Saltonstall were found after the smell of decay had alerted some of the maintenance workers in that area of the building. The victims of the apparent multiple homicides were said to be doing sleep research in this small, out-of-the-way facility. They must have been confined there when the terrible storm of last week began. The only evidence left behind was Professor Cardigan's journal, which describes a horrific and obviously fictitious tale. One other member of the research team, Mr. Terence Polanski, was found several miles from the location frozen in the snow. Police speculate that Mr. Polanski either attempted to get help or flee from the scene and collapsed in the elements.

Police are looking into Mr. Polanski's history and are considering him a suspect. Another man, Mr. Abram Wilkes, a subject in the research, was missing from the scene and has not been located. Mr. Wilkes was a patient at the Arkham Sanitarium and was previously transferred to Professor Cardigan's care to be a participant in the professor's research into sleep patterns and dream therapy. Mr. Wilkes is a known murderer. The police are shocked and baffled that he would be allowed to leave the sanitarium and be on the university campus. Mr. Wilkes is considered the lead suspect in the case. Local and state police are on high alert searching for the man.

The victims of these horrific crimes were missing specific body parts except for Ms. Withers. The professor himself was found sitting in a chair in the center of the lab. His brain was extracted with what seemed to be some amount of surgical expertise. No murder weapon, fingerprints, or any other relevant evidence was found on the scene. There is no trace of Mr. Wilkes or any other intruder that may have committed this horrible crime. Dr. Martin Applegate of the Arkham Sanitarium stated that these murders matched exactly the murders of Mr. Wilkes's family, which he committed eight years ago. That and the suspicious absence of Mr. Wilkes puts him firmly at the top of the list of suspects.

Oddly enough, a murder was reported a week earlier. One of the research assistants, Mr. William Nickels, was suspected. Mr. Nickels also was found in his cell at the Hartford police station dead of apparent asphyxiation. There did not seem to be an exact cause of death, and it is classified as accidental. Mr. Nickels allegedly choked on his tongue while he slept.

No other suspects or information regarding these murders have come to light, and police are perplexed. They have exhausted all leads in the case. If anyone has any information or has seen Mr. Abram Wilkes, please contact the police immediately. Do not attempt to engage this man. He is considered armed and dangerous. At the time of this writing, Mr. Abram Wilkes is still at large.

By: David Pitzel Dec. 18, 2016, midnight
Comments: 0

No comments yet...