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Thread: The Legend of Fairwill

  1. #1
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    The Legend of Fairwill

    1

    It started with the Johnson boys almost a year ago now. Michael aged eight and Malcolm aged ten were found at the side of Bakers Road, just after the "Welcome to Fairhill, pop. 1850. May your stay be pleasant." sign. Two man-sized wooden crosses had been erected on the side of the road, the lower half of each cross extending nearly three feet into the soil. The four heavy beams of the crosses were later identified as being taken from Joe's Timber Shop. That's on the other side of town. The boys were found nailed to the crosses, their bodies stripped of all clothing. The perpetrator had taken the time to carefully gouge out their eyes, making sure these would remain attached to the nerve endings. Like an egg freed from its shell, each eye hung down listlessly from it’s socket. Blood had run down the cheeks and had eventually dried up, giving the appearance of a dried up stream of crimson tears forming a rust-colored puddle at the base of each cross. A painting of Jesus Christ with folded hands and looking up to the skies had been placed between the two crosses. Over this painting, using the blood of one or both of the boys a message had been left behind for the unlucky soul that would first encounter the horrific scene. "They were still alive when I took out their eyes", the message said, "They'll enter Hell blindly".

    2

    A shockwave of unfathomable terror had spread through the town. In the days following the discovery of the murders every man of good health helped in the desperate search for the killer. During the day, no-one would dare to go out alone. There would always be at least two people together, and a child would at any time be accompanied by at least two adults. During the night, no-one would dare to go out, period. The police questioned everyone, asking us if we'd seen or heard anything - anything at all - that might be of relevance to the investigation. Anyone that had acted out of the ordinary, anyone from out of town perhaps, anyone that had said anything that, in hindsight, might be considered "odd". Of course, none of this proved to be the case. No-one had been placed under suspicion, certainly no arrests had been made. No further clues were found as to why the Johnson boys had been killed, let alone so savagely.
    As most people did, I presumed the killer had been nothing more than a maniac, doing what he had done because “the voices in his head” had told him so or because his daddy had touched him in the bad place or whatever the fuck he had thought would justify his actions. Not once during the months of mourning over the deaths of the two young boys did I come close to the truth. I was simply to blinded by the horror of it all to be reminded of the history of Fairhill, the legend, the myth, the story told at campfires countless times before. Then again, had I thought about it, I probably would have either disregarded it or would have simply shut up about it. No-one's interested in pointing the finger to a killer after all, if that killer's been dead for four hundred years.

    3

    Three weeks after her sons were so brutally murdered, Irene Johnson got up in the middle of the night, walked to the boys bedroom and took a stuffed animal of both Michael and Malcolm. She went outside in the freezing cold of December and made her way to the roof of the house. Richard Johnson woke up some time later, noticed she was missing and went looking for her. Eventually he found her standing on the side of the roof, stuffed animals tightly locked in her arms. Richard asked her to come down, cried, screamed, told her that he couldn't bare to loose her as well. He called the police on his mobile phone, all the while not taking his eyes off of her. When they finally arrived, Irene had already jumped from the roof after telling her husband in a sobbing voice that she loved him, that she was sorry, that she couldn't live without her boys, that she'd be back with them in Heaven soon, holding them, kissing them, never letting them go. She jumped from the other side of the house, making sure her husband wouldn't be able to try and catch her nor would he be able to see her hitting the ground and hearing her skull be broken on the stone terrace floor as she went head first.

    4

    In the weeks that followed, Richard Johnson received all the help he could ever need from seemingly everyone in town, He'd get food so he wouldn't starve, people would ask him to come over to get out of the house and neighbors would come over so he wouldn't die of loneliness and despair.
    But over the course of the two months after Irene Johnson's suicide, Richard kept more and more to himself. He'd tell us that he was thankful for what we'd done for him, but he needed to be alone now. "I guess I have to get used to it, anyway", he would say with a smile that was anything but a smile. During the nights neighbors would hear Richard screaming. There'd be the sound of stuff thrown across the house and sometimes the sound of broken glass. Then it'd be silent. Until the following night. Finally Richard, having lost a massive amount of weight, blue bags pointing to insomnia under his eyes and with virtually no other color in his once happy looking face left, knocked on his neighbors door. He'd cut his wrist, but then apparently decided he didn't want to die. He was taken to the hospital where he was patched up. Physically that is. Mentally he'd gone over the edge. He was taken to Brooks Mental Institution in Mason where he told everyone who wanted to listen how he'd seen a woman appear in the bedroom window - ín the window, nót before the window. Her face covered with sores and blisters, her clothes torn to shreds, her hands blackened from decay. She told him how he'd be next, how he would follow his godforsaken children and his cunt of a wife to the very depths of Hell. But not before she would rip out his intestines and feed on the sweet taste of his flesh. Every night that followed that first appearance - Richard had carefully considered the word appearance before pronouncing each syllable explicitly - she'd be back in the window or a mirror or simply in his head, telling him how his “wife was being fucked by Satan himself as we speak" and how much his wife had loved it, the pain, the suffering, the smell of her own decaying body. The woman would tell him how his children were left wandering blindly through the immeasurable vastness of Hell, crying for their father who hadn't been able to save them when they were being hurt by the evil lady so badly. Once he'd heard his children's voices through the voice of the woman, telling him that he'd be with them soon enough, and he'd suffer for his neglect. He couldn't take it anymore, had tried to kill himself, but then feared death. He jut wanted to get away, away from the house, away from the windows and the mirrors, away from his own thoughts. At Brooks, he demanded to be put under at night, or he'd try and kill himself again. He got what he wanted.

    5

    Jim Donner, who'd been working at Brooks for over 25 years and who'd been a friend of mine for over 30 years, told me all this about a month after Richard Johnson had been admitted.
    "You know what's amazed me even more about that Johnson fellow, Dan?" he asked.
    "What?"
    "He sounds... relieved. Sane, even. For God's sake, he's lost his wife and kids in just three months and all he says is that he loves them and what a pity it is that they're gone. Then he says that it'll all be alright as long as he gets his night-time medicine so the woman can't get to him. Then he says it's a beautiful day. Cold, but sunny, he says. Jesus Christ. I've seen them before you know, poor souls who've had a traumatic experience and have decided to simply forget what's happened to them. Their brain just kind of resets itself because of some sort of emotional overload, I guess. But this is different".
    "How so?" I asked.
    "Richard Johnson seems to have come to terms with the fact that his sons have been mutilated and murdered and that his wife has killed herself. I mean, he's accepted those facts and is ready to move on. All he really cares about, the only thing that really is of grave importance to him, is the woman. But people don't get over such a traumatic event in such a short time. It's like the woman - the appearance - has taken up all his brain space and has pushed out the horror of reality, of what's happened to his family".
    "Could she be some sort of mental manifestation of his true feelings about all that's happened? I mean, the deaths of his loved ones certainly seem to play a role in his encounters with that mystery woman". I asked this, knowing full well I'd probably sound like some pretentious twat who's once read a book on psychology and thinks he can now go all Freud on the entire world.
    "Could be", Jim replied distantly. "Could be".
    I felt like a twat.

    6

    I knew of the legend of Susannah Harris. Of course I did. I was born and raised in Fairwill and I’ve lived here all 48 years of my life. I’ve heard the story round campfires, during family picnics and on the schoolyard. In some of the stories she’s a beautiful 20 year old, in others she’s an 82 year old hag. Sometimes she’s responsible for the deaths of about 20 children and 15 adults, other times it turns out she was innocent. She may or may not have been able to turn people into stone, boil their blood inside their veins, and levitate at night over the hills south of Fairhill. The details differ from storyteller to storyteller but always include a decent amount of blood and well timed scares, usually accomplished by the storyteller’s helper who’s been hiding behind the children and will jump out screaming at the most tense moment of the story.
    One part of the legend - the ending - never changes though, possibly because it’s such an iconic image. It’s the stake. The townsfolk gathered round the stake. The flames. The screams of Susannah. The warnings of how she’ll come back.
    Six months after the murders of Michael and Malcolm Johnson all Hell broke lose in Fairhill. I need to tell you the legend of Susannah Harris because it is directly related to what has happened here during the last 12 months. You need to understand how deeply the events of 400 years ago are linked to our current time and how it will happen again someday in the future if I don’t somehow put a stop to it. You need to understand. The year is 1653.
    Last edited by Pennywise; 09-14-2011 at 08:27 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member 1st Electroshock Session TerryE's Avatar
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    Before I tell the story of Susannah Harris, I think we should be clear on what part of the story I relate, and why I’m the one to relate it. My name is Karl Schroeder and I’m the editor of the Fairhill Republic. I’m also the chief reporter, photographer, printer and senior bottle washer. It doesn’t take much to put out an 8-page weekly newspaper. I’m also a bit of a town historian.

    To begin: there are legends, history, truth and facts. History is what makes it to the books, whether it’s true or not. We all know the story of George Washington and the cherry tree. It’s history, even though it never actually happened, in “fact”. But unlike the “legend” of skipping a dollar coin across the Potomac River, there is “truth”, deep, essential, American truth, to tale of the father of our country telling his dad that he could not tell a lie.

    The legends about Susannah Harris, as I mentioned earlier, are plentiful and contradictory. The history tells us that in 1653, Susannah Harris was tried, convicted, and executed by the government of the Massachusetts Bay Colony for the crime of witchcraft. The method of execution is implied to be hanging, like every other witch execution in the colonies, but everyone in Fairhill knows that Susannah was burned at the stake. The facts are few, coming only from 2 diaries and fragments of court documents, and none of these sources is completely unbiased. I’ve read them, and the histories, and I’ve heard the legends all my life. Aside from the legends, there is no public record of the curse she uttered before the flames consumed her, but that curse is part of the truth of her story.

    From all of my research, here’s the true story. In 1653, Fairhill was still a very new village of a hundred or so souls, northwest of Boston, close to the wilderness. Nathaniel Harris brought his wife Lucianna and ten-year-old daughter Susannah from England fifteen years prior and set up trade as a blacksmith. It was suspected that Nathaniel was not a Puritan, but the family attended church regularly and was well regarded in the community. The first indication of any trouble came in 1645. Lucianna Harris died suddenly of what was determined to be natural causes. The journal of district prosecutor Jonas Wilhelm mentions the incident very matter of factly, but weeks later mentions town gossip that Lucianna and Susannah had “quite a row” just the day before the death. Susannah and her father became very close after Lucianna’s death and she did not marry.

    In the drought-ridden fall of 1652 Nathaniel took on an apprentice. Benjamin Gates had just moved up from Concord. In the diary of townsgirl Elizabeth Bradford (who was one of the few women in town close to Susannah’s age, and pregnant with her 3rd child at this point), she writes that she believes Benjamin was taken on as a possible suitor for Susannah, who was said to be quite beautiful. The courtship never happened. As I said, Fairhill was next to wilderness and there was little cleared land or fields. About half of that land had been cleared by the Indian tribes before they were chased off and it was slow work clearing the trees and stumps. Harris’s shop was at the north edge of town and he had a small field for his horses that bordered the farm of David Johnstone further north. Over the hard winter of ’52-’53 a dispute over the border of those fields grew between Harris and Johnstone, drawing the attention of the authorities. Both parties had petitioned Judge William Kinton when one of Johnstone’s cows was found dead on the morning of March 25th 1653. The beast was found with its throat slit from ear to ear, but not a drop of blood in the area nor footprints or drag marks in the wet grass.

    Witchcraft was obvious to those people and Susannah was accused. Conveniently Judge Kinton was already in the village. Susannah was held while they waited two days for Prosecutor Wilhelm to come to town. Kinton heard from witnesses. Elizabeth Bradford told how weeks before she had miscarried, just one day after Susannah had felt for the baby’s kick. Benjamin Gates attested that Susannah Harris had tried to seduce him and when he reminded her of his virtue, she spat at him with words he could not repeat and said she did not need him as she had other outlets for her passions. At this, much was made of her fondness for Nathaniel. Those who were kind said that Nathaniel had been enchanted by his daughter years before. Others whispered of incest. There were other accusations and Susannah was blamed for nearly every death over the past year and the drought, hard winter, and overly wet spring.

    District Prosecutor Jonas Wilhelm arrived on the afternoon of March 27th. Armed with a copy of Matthew Hopkins’s “The Discovery of Witches”, he set about to prove the crown’s case. He ordered that Susannah Harris be shaved of all body hair and strapped naked to a chair in her cell. He then set about looking for the Devil’s Mark; a part of the witch’s body that felt no pain. This was usually a mole, wart or birthmark. Since none of those were evident, he spent the long evening pricking various parts of her with a long dagger. Susannah’s screams were heard several houses away. Twenty-four hour watch was commanded to see if her “familiar” would appear. In the wee hours of the morning, Henry Bradford (father of Elizabeth) saw a small impish creature enter the cell and suckle at a still bleeding wound below Susannah’s breast.

    The trial was quick, and the outcome inevitable. Upon learning of his daughter’s fate, and unable to see or speak the her before the execution, Nathaniel Harris refired his forge, hammered an iron rod to a chisel, and drove the red-hot metal through the roof of his mouth and out the top his skull. When Susannah was told, she attacked her jailor with such ferocity that he lay in bed for days recovering from the wounds and eventually died from an infection in one of the deep scratches.

    April 2, 1653, Susannah was tied to a stake set in the village green of Fairhill. As the villagers surrounded her, and Judge Kinton approached with a torch, Susannah broke her weeklong silence. “Heed well you liars, you accusers, you bearers of false witness, and murders of an innocent blacksmith. Heed well as I burn, for you will see your own future and know how you also will bake in the fires of Hell. You stand in a circle now. Remember how a wheel turns and comes back to the same spot again and again. Remember that when you are in that circle I am the hub. There shall be no reprieve.” I may be the only person in Fairhill who knows that speech. It was written in the diary of Elizabeth Bradford.

    I mentioned earlier that there were no strangers or newcomers in our town when Michael and Malcolm Johnson were killed. The Johnsons had been living here for over a year and a half. Richard told neighbors that he had family, grandparents I think, that lived here when he was a child and he had always loved the area. And there was someone new in town the week before the murders. Tony Wilhelm had just returned from a two-year duty in Afghanistan, but he had an ironclad alibi. He was playing poker with Police Chief Gates and Victor Kinton that night.

    And I guess I should also mention that the reason that I’m the only one who knows what is in Elizabeth’s diary, is because it was given to me by my grandmother, Mary Bradford.
    "Dance until your feet hurt. Sing until your lungs hurt. Act until you're William Hurt." - Phil Dunphy ("Modern Family"), from Phil's-osophy.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Involuntarily Committed MrRoland's Avatar
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    Though this is written on the back of an official police form, in no way should this be considered an official police report. If this is read by anyone, I imagine you’ll think of this as the last remarks of a crazy man. I know I would think that if I were the one reading them instead of being the author. If I make it through this night, I plan on burning these.

    My name is Walter Gates and I am the police chief for the town of Fairhill. I was never comfortable with the title of police chief considering I’m in command of a police force that consists of five officers, but that’s what the town decided to call the job. Sometimes, I wish I wasn’t the chief. Sometimes, I wish I had never run. Tonight is one of those times.

    This all began several weeks ago with the Johnson boys’ murders, although I now suspect that it really started very long ago with the death of a suspected witch named Susannah.

    I was not the first officer present at the scene where the remains of Michael and Malcolm Johnson were found. That was Deputy Thornley, a conscientious lawman but not our most clever officer. Whenever he is the first officer on a crime scene, he has standing orders to simply secure the area until one of the other senior officers comes along. In this case, that senior officer was me. I wish now that it had been anyone else. I’m not the kind of man to want to shift my burden onto others, but I would have gladly done so this time. I’d never seen that kind of brutality, not in the worst kind of horror movie, not in any newscast of wanton destruction. No one should be treated as such, especially not children that young.

    After calling in the rest of our meager forces, we began to canvas the area around the crosses. The only physical evidence we came across was a single sheet of paper with a torn edge. The paper seemed to be quite old. It was sent for testing and was determined to be from the 17th century. The existence of this page was never released to the public so as to be a check against false confessions. We found no other physical evidence, no cigarette butts, no footprints, and no tire marks, nothing; which I considered damn peculiar. How were these crosses brought up there without making some kind of impression on the landscape? At the time, I thought no one could accomplish such a feat. I now think differently.

    Something about this case tugged at me. There was a smell about it that I almost recognized. It reminded me of stories about sorcerers and dark magic that my older cousins would use to scare me. I read the report related to the Johnson case hundreds of times over the next few weeks. It was all consuming. I could think of nothing else until the night Karl Schroeder committed suicide. At least suicide is listed as the official cause of Karl’s death, but I don’t believe it. I’m sure Karl was murdered. And I’m sure of this because of what I saw that night and what I read in the days following.

    We received a complaint about someone disturbing the peace that night. I recognized the address given as Karl’s. I’d known Karl Schroeder for many years and I am sure he wasn’t capable of suicide. I know you often hear those who are close to people who commit suicide saying this very same thing, nonetheless I do not believe that Karl could or did commit suicide.

    When I got to Karl’s address, there was a god-awful racket coming from the house. It sounded like metal pipes being banged together accompanied by an inhuman screeching. Entering the house with my gun drawn, I made my way up the staircase to the second level. I caught my first sight of Karl. He was swinging a lead pipe against some exposed plumbing in a wall that looked as if it had been torn away recently, I guessed earlier that night. The inhuman screeching that I had heard was coming from Karl. It didn’t seem that a person would be able to make that sound, like a human wouldn’t have the right parts. I imagined it would be how a pterodactyl would sound, at the moment of tearing into its meal. I shouted Karl’s name but he didn’t or couldn’t hear me. I noticed that in between his bouts of shrieking, he was also saying something. It was hard to make out, but I realized he was screaming the phrase, “you and yours” as loud as he could. I could hear his vocal cords weakening and the words becoming raspier with each repetition. It sounded as if he was doing permanent damage to his vocal cords. He jerked about, as if something else was controlling him, like a marionette fighting against its strings. After vainly trying to yell his name loud enough for him to hear me, I fired a single shot into the ceiling. Karl stopped screaming as if a switch had been flipped. He stared blankly ahead for a second or two and then slowly turned his head in my direction. We remained looking at each other for a moment and as I opened my mouth to say something, anything, just what I did not know; Karl moved with uncanny speed toward the door that led to the tower, the top most level of the house. He had entered the door and slammed it before I had even finished opening my mouth. I ran to the door. The door wasn’t locked or stuck; I could open it, but not to make a gap large enough for me to pass through. I struggled against it for a minute or two knowing that it was useless, but trying anyway because my senses told me that I should be able to open it. There is no way an unlocked door should prevent a 240-lb. man from opening it wide. Having no luck with the door, I made my way out to the landing directly under the tower in time to see Karl leap off the top of the house. I was able to see him lift his head and his face bore a look of eager anticipation before the spike he landed on tore up through his head and exited violently through the top of his skull. The spike was part an ornate fence around the tower. I was close enough for some of his blood to splash on me. His body slid down the spike until we were almost eye-to-eye. His face had a death’s head rictus.

    Upon searching Karl’s house, we discovered the diary supposedly belonging to Elizabeth Bradford. I was supposed to log this as evidence but I felt a strong urge to take it home and read it. It detailed the events pertaining to the killing of Susannah Harris almost four hundred years ago. I found the connection to the Johnson boys and to Karl Schroeder and to myself and to Victor Kinton and even poor Tony Wilhelm freshly returned from the war. I’ve said or written nothing about this until tonight. Perhaps you’ll say I should warn these others and get myself branded a lunatic, but if what I’m thinking is true, how would they fight against a ghost, a witch, a ghost witch?

    How do I know that the ghost of Susannah Harris is hunting down the descendants of those who killed her? It’s because of the last page of the journal, the one that isn’t there, the one that was torn out and found at the site of the murder of Michael and Malcolm Johnson. The page that contained what Elizabeth Bradford, William Kinton, Jonas Wilhelm and all the rest of them, including my ancestor, Benjamin Gates, heard at the next town meeting following the incident involving Susannah Harris. Elizabeth Bradford writes, “We heard a voice from nowhere say, ‘You think you have escaped your fate, but that fate’s been merely delayed. One day I will come to you and yours.’ Mother, Father, the judge and every one in the town looked at each other in fright, a cold wind blew through the town hall, there was a loud bang as the doors were opened and slammed shut and then all was silent.” “You and yours”. The words Karl Schroeder was screaming before a ghost made him commit suicide. I dare not say that aloud for fear that I’ll be strapped into a strait jacket and led away to an asylum. I may be crazy. I hope I am because earlier tonight I heard those same words crackle over my police radio. “You and yours”. “You and yours.”

    When I heard that I believed everything. I believed it in my soul. I pray to God no one ever reads these words.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Hearing Voices ozmosis7's Avatar
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    Holding the eyes in my hand, they had an almost unreal quality about them. Had I not known the truth I wouldn't have thought them real. Yet, they were all too real. The eyes of two boys leered back at me and asked a question I could not fully answer. Why Tony? God I wish I knew.

    Perhaps this was her way of getting back at me, leaving remnants of her vengeance as a reminder of the crimes my ancestor committed against her. Yet, I do not fear her.

    Upon my death these notes and admissions shall become evidence should the local authorities deem it necessary, as I have thus instructed my lawyers to follow through with. I hope to add a diary, and perhaps more papers to this bundle, but I have yet to secure the documents I need. Until my end, this is where they shall remain, should that day ever come.

    A bold statement says you? Yes, it is very brazen to not fear one's own death. Still, for as much as I grieve to have returned to this onset of horror, should this be the doing of the ghost of Susannah Harris as I suspect, I do not believe I have anything to fear. I do not think she would focus such witchery upon the likes of me.

    What would lead a man such as I to think as I do now? Well, I too have my secrets. These facts have remained concealed over many years, hidden amongst the pages of those contained within the diary. I had planned to extract this book from our dear Mr. Schroeder, but I know now of his self-inflicted demise. Now, the things I need are within the protection of Police Chief Gates, an unexpected and unpleasant predicament. Understand the words within that diary have gone unread by most of those outside of my family. No one else has been privy to its knowledge until recently.

    Also know Nathaniel Harris had not chosen this quaint New England town without careful forethought. Apparently, Lucianna's grandmother had been a distant cousin of Jonas Wilhelm. This makes our dear ghostly witch my kin. Yet, while I am somewhat sure I am safe from whatever hauntings now trouble Fairwill, I am also certain I am damned to a horrid fate because of it—guilt by ancestry if nothing else.

    Now that my secret is out, one might ask of these legends, and whether they are true. Have I seen ghosts? Or how about witches? Let me assure you I have seen things that would chase a man to an early grave. I am referring to things that would curl your toes back from the edge of your bed for fear they might soon be nibbled away.

    Before I touch on some of these things, as mind you I haven't time to speak of them all, we need to start at the beginning. It is here I will reveal my family's role in these affairs. For as much as these documents serve as a cursory formality for the law officials to sort through, they are also the foundation of why a curse remaining dormant for so many years suddenly became a daunting shroud of darkness upon Fairwill, a debt to be paid in full.

    Please note, I do not expect you to find me innocent of any crimes. I do not hold any allusions I will be admonished of these atrocities should I live to tell the tale myself. Nor do I expect to avoid being brought to justice should so miniscule of an opportunity be realized. I am by all means guilty.

    I have brained a man, left him to bleed to death as a once perfectly functioning organ liquefied, becoming one with the dirt in the hole in which I placed his bodies. And while I am not entirely positive the deathblow came of my own free will, it was my hands admittedly having committed the sin. Whatever voice I may have heard, or urge which might have compelled me to this end, I am guilty. Humbled by this truth, I regret it is probable this will not be the last being I rid from this filthy Earth should my plight be successful.

    Understand it was never my wish to kill this man. There are other forces at play, to which I am but a humble servant. You may deem me as falsifying this information, but I assure you I am not. They are my hands, but I am not the culprit. Of these bloodlines I must steal that which is necessary to bring this atrocity to an end. For it is only this I wish to all my heart's content.

    I wish it were as easy as killing myself along with the others, thus eliminating all of the bloodlines altogether. You must know this has already been thoroughly considered. No satisfactory ending would come of this, though. I have searched for the answer long and hard, and this must be finished before my own death or this town shall perish eternally. Of this I am most positive, as it was dually noted throughout my family history.

    My crimes had not fully set in until this night, when I knew my hand would soon be forced against the police chief. Not only had he been marked for death, but also he now had in his possession the thing I needed most. If he hadn't taken the diary I might have been able to keep her from him a little longer. Maybe then he might have proved useful. But she wants him, and rightly so, for her cause is different than my own. I know too much meddling in the wrong place and this curse will never cease.

    I should make it known she does intend for this to end. She has gone to great lengths to tempt me so it would not. Alas, I am but an average man, and while I do know the loins of women, I do not know them well. At least, I do not know them well enough to have given my seed freely to another. Susannah has been like the Devil himself, entwined in the tree of my garden, and hissing at me to bite from her apple. I shall not, although it has been extremely difficult to endure. Let's face the facts. I am but a man, and I have the same swinish urges as any of my brethren.

    While I am fine with being incarcerated should I live, or spit upon and buried in an unmarked grave should I not, I think anyone who listens to my words will see the light as to why these things were deemed as necessary evils. As much as my abstinence, these crimes were but a means to an end, of which I am not yet certain shall be a successful one.

    I cannot help but take one more look at the eyes before I bury them. As I throw the dirt upon this burial, they stare up at me with glossy fascination. I am unable to tune out their unheard words. They are asking why they had to die, what things they had done to deserve this, and why could they not be buried with their bodies to rest in peace.

    "I am sorry." I mean those words. As I speak them it all rushes back in. Once again I consider the first time Susannah Harris visited me, on the lone quiet of the battlefield no less. It was dark, and quiet. Of all the horror I witnessed that night, she was the worse.

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