I know not how long I stayed thus. The conditions of my confinement stretched each second well beyond its breaking point. The darkness was stifling, but bearable in contrast with the things behind the door, their constant malicious demented laughter, and the eerie far-off fluting that seems to accompany them like a noxious cloud.
My fear stemmed from far more than the imminence of my physical demise... Truly, what shattered my courage to the core was the inexplicable nature of these things. These creatures were blatantly impossible. They existed in defiance of the laws of nature and reason, and that triggered within me an almost atavistic abhorrence, a primal loathing for that which should not exist.
I started to wonder if fear had pushed me into the realm hysteric delusions when I realized that amidst the sounds of dull thumping against the trap door, the evil cackling laughter, and the infernal far off fluting music, I could hear whispers. At first I couldn't make much out, but the darkness and the enclosed space acted like a lens, magnifying the sound.
I could make out five or six different hoarse and bizarrely breathless voices all whispering in different languages. I recognized a few, such as English, German, Dutch, Arabic, Spanish, French. There were also many I didn't recognize, but that I imagined to be long deceased tongues. Slowly they were all replaced by a dreadful language that sounded like cockroaches creeping through my ears and crawling into my brain. I have no rational explanation for it, but I am certain that language was never meant for human mouths or minds…
This torture went on for what felt like hundreds of revolutions of the earth around the sun. My world had shrunk to a small dark and musty space polluted by the noisome horrors that lay just outside of it. Verily, I know not how long I stayed thus; surely no more than a few hours. Each passing second slowly tautened my nerves… I almost laughed in fear when, gleaming as if lit from within with a hellish dirty yellow light, a pair of eyes opened in the darkness before me.
“I hear you failed to use my present,” a familiar voice filled with uncanny echoes said conversationally.
It was Petoh Talrayn! I could not explain it, but somehow he was there…
“You would have made a fine addition to my instruments… Instead you gave it to one my creatures. No matter. You will join us next time.”
“Wh-What are they?”
“They are creations of mine… They are the echoes of music I made many a millennia ago. They are foolish creatures who believe that they are no longer my instruments. Instruments I have come to collect… Speaking of which, it is time.” The glowing eyes closed and the fading voice said “We shall meet again...”
There was complete silence outside the trap door, and I was approaching it to lay my ear against it when I was thundered by sound… For want of a better word I shall qualify it as music. It seemed torn from the fundamental fabric of the matter around me, from the very atoms of my body. A music like the wrenching of a mind gone mad, an orchestra of delirium that could outdo any of Dante’s worst nightmares. The soul deafening sound all but unhinged my being, yet a small part of me recognized what I was hearing. It was to the noxious music accompanying the creatures as the sun is to a flame. My hands mindlessly tore at the bolt with the reckless abandon of an animal in flight, anything to distance myself from the madness I recognized as composing the core of this otherworldly insanity, this masquerade of music.
My recollections get hazy at this point… I must have exited the house, for my next memory is of Talrayn dressed in the splendor of the old Pharaohs of ancient Egypt. He was walking away in the direction of the mountains. Flying around him, in a manner akin to that of dogs capering about their master were seven flying heads, just one more than the number of houses in Ipswich. They were preceded by what can only be described as a curtain of darkness in which I would swear I saw galaxies dying…
I regained consciousness in the middle of the path leading to the house and fled… I have been fleeing since. When I went back to my apartment to gather some of my belongings -my typewriter, and my mattress money- I found a note from the police requesting my presence on the matter of the disappearance of one Randolph Marley. Naturally, I ignored this. I knew what had happened.
I have since been on the run by day and locked in brightly light rooms by night, trying to piece together what I witnessed. I have read the Book of Eibon, the De Vermis Mysteriis, and the Miskatonic University’s copy of the dread tome Necronomicon. I have identified Talrayn. He has gone by many names through the history of mankind… And in the words of men, the closest there is to a true name for him is Nyarlathotep…
He, or it perhaps might be more appropriate, is an eldritch being from a world far removed from ours. He came to our planet in its infancy and has walked among us since, reveling in the twisting of minds and bodies for purposes known only unto him… And this… This is what awaits me in the dark. Yes, he is coming for me. And someday, maybe tomorrow, maybe in a few months or in a few years… he will come for you.