Scribbled some more on it. Feels like I may be putting the mythos elements out there too early, but given that it’s intended to be a short piece, I suppose I must. We’ll see where it’s going. Enjoy.
July 30, 1927
Post from John today. The few transcriptions I sent him have him positively aflutter. He claims the bits of text are about a quasi-religious sect, previously unknown. Further claims the dialect is both a corruption of known writing and at least partially in code. Wishes to come visit, study the book.
I don’t know that this is a good idea. Since taking possession of the tome, my sleep has been broken with nightmares and concentration proves difficult. My own attempts at translation have yielded a name that I suspect to be the author of the entries: Yaji ash-Shutath. My knowledge of the language is nowhere near as complete as John’s, but it seems to be an appellation rather than a name proper; something along the lines of “Herald of the Abnormal.”
Perhaps I am merely becoming a superstitious old fool, but when I finished transcribing the name and attempted to pronounce it aloud, it felt as though a wind blew through my study. My flesh crept and I felt a sudden pain in my side. Probably dyspepsia combined with the nightmares, but something feels unnatural about this book. Had to set it aside.
The nature of the ink still bothers me. Repeatedly I have seen reference to the word d’am. Blood. Given the rusty color and the way that some has flaked off the pages… no. It cannot be; the size of the tome alone forbids it. I have not endeavored to count the pages as of yet, nor make an accounting of how much of each is filled, but the thickness and what I have perused already would imply it is several hundred pages. Such an ink would suffice for a quick note, or a single page if the writer was in extremis. To fill a whole book with it? Preposterous. Perhaps a copper-based substance.
I think I will allow John to look at it after all. Perhaps even to take it away. Perhaps in other hands I will feel easier, and not subject to brooding upon it at all hours of the day and night.
July 31, 1927
Midnight, or thereabouts. Was awakened again by nightmares. Something of fire and hatred pursuing me. I dared not look back, for fear that what I would see would be worse than what I imagined. Fled through empty streets and darkened alleys, finally reaching a wall that allowed no exit.
Resolving to acquit myself honorably, I turned to face my stalker. What I saw I cannot begin to describe. There was a man – or a man-like shape – in the middle, but it was surrounded by myriad tendrils of a substance that seemed to be both liquid and solid, each ringed with thorny barbs. Mouths – some human, some not – danced at the ends of these appendages, each of them singing. The words were in a language I didn’t recognize, and most of the phrases left me when I awoke, clutching the sheets to my body, but one phrase in particular stood out and still gleams in my mind; I transcribe it phonetically, as I can’t begin to comprehend how it is properly written: “Heel legged, fie throwdawg.”
Writing it down seems to ease my shattered nerves. I believe, with proper libation, I may find sleep again. Pray tell the stalker sees fit to leave me be the rest of the night.
July 31, 1927 (later)
I have suffered quite a shock. I am becoming more and more certain that I should leave this matter alone. Curse Langley and his estate sales, and curse his insipid generosity that made him gift me the tome!
After breakfast, retired to the study. Was determined not to look at the Yellow Circle’s memoir, instead preferring to focus on my correspondence. But my gaze kept drifting to the desk drawer, and finally I succumbed. I withdrew the book and set it on my blotter, then opened it to a – seemingly – random page. I do not know why I did this, as my marker was clearly in place, but it felt… natural, somehow, to do this.
I was greeted by a plate depicting my dream stalker from the previous night. Even the expression on the face, eyes slitted and mouth downturned in a scowl of warning or anger, was the same.
How could I have dreamed this image? I am certain, though there is not one scrap of evidence to support it should I be questioned in the matter, that I had not seen this page before. I had been working my way through methodically, and couldn’t have tripped over the depiction in the last quarter of the volume when working from the front. Yet I have seen this very thing. What is happening, here?
A single line of text marks the image. I do not know if it is a name, a description, or unrelated; it does not appear to be any kind of continuation from the page previous, but with John’s assertion that the book is, at least in part, coded, I cannot know for certain. “Y’ai’ng’ngah Yog-Sothoth, Tawil-at’Umr.”
I know it was not my imagination on this occasion. My cigar still rested in the ashtray, smoldering as it had been forgotten in my fright. When I spoke this line, it burst into sudden flame, rising nearly a foot before guttering once more. I cast the book into the rubbish and left the room.
John is welcome to it, if he still wants it after reading this. Perhaps he’ll laugh and we will share a drink and all the ill that will come of it is him thinking I am a doddering old man jumping at shadows, and perhaps he will leave with it.
I would like that, I think.