Estimated reading time — 12 minutes
This is part two of the Those Fine Young Gentleman series.
A further update on those fine young gentleman. This OS is, well, OK let me say it like this. If I wasn’t a hundred percent sure of my own network security I would say someone else was in control of it. I’ve only ever taken it online to do these posts and for the most part I’ve kept it unconnected from the web but it is the damnedest thing. It’s almost as if someone is giving it permission to run programs that I can’t find anywhere on the system. When I search processes running I’m met with a slew of odd tasks. Things like whitewhite.mid or alhazred.d64, and other files that shouldn’t be running on a Linux system and when I try to track them down or gain any more info on them they just aren’t there.
This hunt for phantom programs did however lead me to a whole bunch of new files. I found them inside the S.N.I.P.E.R programs queue, David must have been trying to delete them en mass but the program overwrote so much that just one file would take it hours. I managed to pull 14 out of the queue. A few were taxes and others were just single pages filled with dots and dashes, I spotted a few videos that probably came from that p0rnz folder. Two files caught my eye however.
The first was a picture slide show of a family of four in front of a white, ranch style house. This photo was simply called cavity. The family wasn’t anything special; just a thin husband with short, almost crew cut hair, a pretty wife with a big smile and two twin boys. The boys seemed off but that might have something to do with the fact that I find twins unsettling. In the photo they all wore matching red shirts and black pants, maybe Christmas but I didn’t see any snow.
The next photo was exactly the same but this time someone had circled the front window behind the family and written out beside it “PROOF”. There in the glass was what might have been the caught image of a hand in motion. Next there was the same family but this time at a water park, the wife wore a t-shirt that said “Hot momma” with a pair of big red lips and the father and sons wore matching palm tree swim trunks. Everyone looked happy but I noticed a bruise on the chest of one of the boys. The next photo was that same boy only blown up triple its size. Written out from the bruise it said “DON’T YOU SEE!!??” and looking at it much closer the bruise did have an odd shape. I swear the more I look at it the more it looks like an eye.
The next two photos were distorted, I could make out a chair in one and what might have been a camp fire in another. I figure it was a fire because whoever had been adding the text wrote “BURN” over it. It was the second to last photo that really got me. It was of a birthday party and the boy looked horrible. His face was bloody, his right eye looked as if it had been partially gouged out, his skin was gray and looked cracked in places but he was smiling wide over a spiderman cake with a big wax candle in the shape of a six. In fact everyone was smiling, happy, laughing as if they didn’t see the awful state the boy was in. I didn’t have to click the next photo to know what it would show me, I had seen it already. It was behind the boy, could easily have been his shadow if not for the clear as day teeth. They were long and sharp, like a dog’s and set wide for a big grin. I used to own a German Sheppard and when he would pull his lips back to growl that is how those teeth looked. I can’t stop thinking about that toothy, animal smile set into that shadowed face. No text in the last photo where it had been circled. Maybe who had been writing them was as speechless as me.
The other file was another chat dump this time between David and Gentleman Jeff
G.J: You know David this whole thing is very noble of you but you have heard the old saying about the cat right? If not, long story short it doesn’t end well.
D.O: I don’t understand why you won’t give me a straight answer
G.J: Straight? David I didn’t expect you to be the intolerant type. What if I wanted to give you a gay answer or a bi answer, would you condemn them because they don’t fit your preconceived notions of answer gender?
D.O:… I don’t even, see this is what I’m talking about.
G.J: Oh you are such a delight David. Such good fun we’ve had, such fun we are going to have. I tell you what… and I shouldn’t but well here: dandy.avi
D.O: a video? that is a first.
G.J: you are reallyyyyyy 000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
D.O what? 0.0
~Gentleman Albert (G.A) has entered the group~
~Gentleman Jeff (G.J) has been kicked from the group~
G.A: That just won’t do. What was he sending you anyway, oh I see. We will have to have words.
D.O What just happened, why did my screen go all wonky. Where did Jeff go?
G.A: I will speak to him. cavity.jpeg
D.O: Albert right? I don’t think we’ve talked before
G.A: cavity.jpeg it was her favorite.
~Gentleman Albert (G.A) has left the group~
I clicked the cavity.jpeg file linked in chat and it just opened the one I had already found or at least I thought it did. It looks like the pictures have changed however and my god if this is a Photoshop job it is the best I’ve ever seen.
The family are all corpses now, rotting flesh hanging off of their pearly white bones. Their eyes are gone, one of the mother’s breasts has completely rotted away. In it’s place there is only this hole that looks like it might be oozing a greenish bile. The father seems to be holding part of his own intestines and the boys…. They are each missing opposite arms and their faces look as if the skin has been peeled off to show the skull underneath. They still have their smiles though, big and happy and wide only now the teeth are sharp and glistening.
I… I honestly don’t know what is going on here. At first this was just some creepy stuff I found on an old computer but the more I read and watch and listen,I just don’t know. That file is the exact same one I opened before reading the chat and suddenly afterward it had completely changed. How is that even possible?
Things just keep getting stranger. The more I look into these fine young gentleman the less I find. None of the names show up in a Google search with any real tangible results, I took the chance and checked some of David’s browser history and none of them showed up on any of the sites that he visited. Although some of those sites themselves were pretty out there.
A lot were your typical finds, Facebook, Youtube, David had a thing for rally cars so a few of those enthusiast websites but then there were things like Wikipedia articles about serial killers listed by number of victims.
That article chain and his bookmarks are the only clues I have to the gentleman so far. He bookmarked just four things, an article on Charles Albright, Terry Blair, Jeffrey Dahmer and Albert Fish.
I don’t know how those killers correlate to the gentleman or even if they do but it is the only connection I have been able to find to them. Here and there I would find searches for demonology and witchcraft, he once searched for the connections between Paganism and Catholicism (which yielded some fascinating results btw.)
Someone had mentioned to me that the dots and dashes I’ve been finding in random text files could be Morse code. I’m still working on translating it but one phrase that keeps showing up looks like this:
“.. / .–. .-. .- -.– / ..-. — .-. / -.– — ..- .-. / … — ..- .-..”
Now near as I can tell that says something like: “I pray for your soul”. Which leads me to think that David might have been in a lot of danger. All of his correspondence seems to stop months ago and Brad told me that he never got the old man’s name but pointed me to the place where the yard-sale was set up. I’ve made plans to stop by this weekend and find out what I can.
I traded Brad computers, giving him my old HP in exchange for this Dell. I can’t just give it away, I feel that even if I cleared the drive someone would still find something and, if I’m being honest, part of me doesn’t want to give this up. This might be the most exciting thing that has happened to me, scary sure, unnerving definitely. Especially after what I saw in dandy.avi. I’m…I’m not ready to talk about that just yet. What it lead me to however was another protected folder, this one was called 1000000000000066600000000000001.
Now that can’t be binary and honestly I thought it would just end up being one of those random folders programs make for temp files but why was it protected? I tried to open it using the program my friend sent me but that was a bust, so I went out to lunch and came back to find that the folder was suddenly unprotected. I have no idea how, that program failed and the dell isn’t connected to the net but there it was ready to be opened. The only file inside was a text document called Belphegor. After reading it I don’t… I don’t know what to think.
(posted below is it in it’s entirety)
There once was a man. That is a fine way to start things off isn’t it? Once, past tense. I feel that’s pretty accurate since they are getting closer. Past tense is whats coming, no point in denying that. I was always big on denial, helped me make sense of things. It was always someone or something elves fault, I had no idea the concept of self sabotage. How could someone understand that the devil in the story was themselves all along? Can’t really make sense of that. Looking at everything now, here at the end, I can see all the broken connections. All my failures, all my mistakes and I can’t help but feel that maybe, just maybe I had set myself up for this my whole life. That I was meant to die here in this dirty bedroom in my fathers house. Surrounded by other old, broken, forgotten bits of family history.
I dropped out of college after one year, gaining a heap of good memories and ten thousand dollars of debt. I washed out of the army in basic training, just didn’t have the stuff they said. I then ghosted around my old haunts, doing odd jobs and odd women and just barely getting by. Until my uncle called me and told me that my dad had died, hunting accident.
They said he was found stuck up his tree stand in the woods. He was old and must have gotten hitched to something and couldn’t get off. I over heard one of the deputies at his funeral talking about the look he had, as if he had been staring at something from hell itself. If that was true then the undertaker had done a heck of a job however now that I think back on it the old man did sort of look pained as he laid there in his new pine bed. I hadn’t talked to him in twenty years, maybe I’ll see him again in a bit if there is an afterlife. My uncle told me that dad left me the farm and I had thought man, my luck had changed. Until I got to the place and saw what a mess had been made of it.
Those fields hadn’t seen a plow in years, part of the upstairs was just rotted away and dad must have lost it a little in the home defense department. Every window was nailed shut, the doors were locked and bolted and then locked again. Chains around the cellar door and the only usable upstairs room, the master bedroom, was locked up tighter than a vault. I nearly sliced my hands on the barbed wire along the stair railing. That wasn’t the oddest part however. Now as out there as all that was it was the smell that dis-concerned me the most.
It smelled like honey everywhere in that house. As if it was part of the decaying wood, mixed into the paint on the walls, somehow infused in the very air. I found the source of the smell that first night in the kitchen. Dozens of jars of honey were opened on the counters. They filled the table, pots and pans of it along the floor and on the stove were two great big cast iron pots filled with it. There wasn’t however a single fly or ant or any insect for that matter. There also wasn’t a scrap of food in the whole place save for one can of potted meat. I went out and picked up a pizza and started to go through dads things.
I felt a pang of regret when I found the pictures that had once been on every wall stuffed into a pillow case in his room. How had he ended up like this and I not have known? Twenty years was a long time sure but hadn’t someone seen him like this , wouldn’t they have said something to me? At the time I had thought he had just been slowly loosing it, I guess now I do know the truth. Why couldn’t it have been altimeter? That first night I heard them outside. At first I thought it was just raccoons or maybe deer but when they smashed a window downstairs I took one of dad’s old rifles and went to investigate. As I carefully navigated the stairs I heard muffled numbers. ONE, TWO, THREE…ONE,TWO,THREE. I flipped the lights on and found the window by the front door busted but nothing there. Same with the next room and the next. I came back to the window and noticed for the first time the lines on the floor.
Chalk lines in groups of three lead out from the door to the stairs. They continued up, one group on each step, all the way to the bedroom door. I looked from all the windows and it was the same, all leading back to the stairs and up to the bedroom. I sat at the top step, just like I did when I was a child and cried for my father. Our falling out hadn’t really been a very upsetting one for me but it must have been for him. To think he wouldn’t even have bothered to call me when things started to slip away from him. That no one would. I wondered if I really had burned that bridge as bad as it seemed or maybe he helped burn it too. I was so caught up in this thought, that maybe my dad had hated me more than I hated him, that the loud crash from the kitchen startled me more that it should have.
I nearly jumped out of my skin and did in fact end up tumbling down a few of the steps before I caught myself. Once there I found all of the honey pots on the floor over turned but not a drop of the sticky stuff on the floor. They were empty and judging by the slight sheen along the rims, licked clean. Confused I picked a few of them up and placed them on the table. I heard a scuttling behind me and then the lights went out. After I found the switch, more bottles toppled from where I had just been at the table. I flicked on the light and screamed. There leaning off the table was something out of my nightmares.
It was roughly the size of a small dog, like a corgi, but it looked like a man. Hairless and gray but with legs and arms and a thin chest. It’s hands were small but it’s claws were not. They were easily half it’s length, like steak knives attached to a baby doll. It felt so unnatural, as if I was looking behind the curtain of the world at one of the actors out of make up. I was looking at something that shouldn’t be, something from the dark places that the would had tried to stamp out. I stood there, frozen in place as it’s head began to raise up. It looked at me and I could feel it, actually feel it slither across my skin and as if against my will I met it’s gaze.
Empty pits blinked to focus, gave the impression of holes being filled and dug. It’s mouth was jagged and torn as if it had used one of those claws to carve it into it’s own head. I screamed and it lunged, digging one of those claws into my shoulder as it launched off of the table. I grabbed it and pushed back as hard as I could. Touching it felt like holding a fish fresh from the freezer. I manged to fling it back but my arm was ruined, it felt like pins and needles all down my left side. Looking at it turned my stomach, I’ve never been good with blood and there was a lot of it. I stumbled backward, frantic to find the way out.
From somewhere across the room “Come and Get Your Love” started to play, it must have hit the radio. I heard the rushed pattering of feet heading toward me and I ran as fast as I could back up the stairs. At the top of the stairs I stopped to breath. My arm burned and bolts of pain from the cuts kept stuttering my lungs. “ONE, TWO,THREE.” I could see it at the bottom step thanks to the upper hallway light. Those empty eyes looked hatefully up at me, I know that’s an odd thing to say since it didn’t seem to have an expression but that is what I felt from it’s dark gaze. It moved to the next step. “ONE, TWO, THREE”. Frantic I ran back to the bed room and bolted the door shut.
And that is where I am now, listening to that thing counting closer. I’m sitting at dad’s old desk, putting this down in the last few pages of his journal. I read his last entries, he talked about this thing a lot. Said he found a tree out in the woods filled with honeycomb but not a single bee. The wood looked blood red and he figured it would make a nice table. As he was cutting it dad felt something watching him. This thing attacked a few days latter. He called it the “Sweet Eater” because the only thing he had found that kept it away was honey and sweet things. He discovered the counting as it was chasing him through the house. Nothing he tried killed it, dashing my hopes in the rifle. His last line talks about how it manged to get a taste of his blood and the honey stopped working. All it seemed to want then was him. “ONE, TWO, THREE.” I hear it outside the door now. “ONE, TWO,THREE.” I’m sorry da…
\Translated from French papers found in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region. Translator Sarah Bergman. Year: Not before 1974, exact date unknown\
(After that this repeats over and over for pages and pages: “… …. . .—-. … / –. — -. .” I think it says “She’s Gone”)