The Siege of Innsmouth

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📅 Published on March 29, 2020

"The Siege of Innsmouth"

Written by Artyom Dereschuk

Estimated reading time — 42 minutes

Recently my great-grandfather died and me and my family inherited his house. We didn’t actually need it, since it was in another state, so we decided to sell it and use that money for something else. But before that we decided that we should clean the house out and get rid of all the stuff that the new owners wouldn’t need. It was mostly some old trash that grandpa hoarded over the years, but there were also some things that held some value, either to our family or to some pawn shop, so during the last weekend we drove all the way to the house to pillage through all the stuff.

While I was going through my grandpa’s things, I found an old diary of his father – my great-great-grandfather –which contained some… interesting entries.

Until I read the diary, I had never heard about the 1928 Siege of Innsmouth, Massachusetts, and neither had anyone else I asked afterwards, but according to my great-great-grandfather, it happened. And not only that, but he was one of the soldiers that had been involved in the campaign.

Initially, after glancing at some of the pages, I became skeptical about the diary’s contents. I’m not a history buff by any means, but was pretty sure that no conflicts of the sort described had taken place on American soil during the times the diary is dated.

I searched for some clues regarding Innsmouth, and discovered that it is a completely make-believe town described first by H.P. Lovecraft, a turn-of-the-century fiction author.  Yet, even in Lovecraft’s work, there are no mentions of a “Siege of Innsmouth” taking place in 1928, and his story, in fact, took place in 1936. It does go on to say, however, that many people from Innsmouth were arrested in 1928 following an FBI investigation. It is also mentioned that during the same year, an American submarine torpedoed the Devil’s Peak, a cliff near the town that overlooks the ocean, but that’s the only mention of any military action taking place.

I had never met the old man, so I knew next to nothing about him, but it seemed to me that he was an aspiring author, as well as a big fan of H.P. Lovecraft’s writing, and so I assumed the entries were 100% fictional. Anything was possible. Perhaps his work had been rejected by publishers, or maybe he never submitted it in the first place. In any event, it simply ended up collecting dust in my grandfather’s closet, until I found it.

For reasons I still can’t explain, and in spite of my suspicions, I felt compelled to continue reading the contents of the diary.

While doing so, I also noticed that the notebook itself was made in 1927 by a small company called “Holler & Robbins.” Initially, I wondered if my great-great-grandfather had simply hung onto the journal for a long time before making use of it, but found that unlikely, considering that Lovecraft’s book was first published in 1936.

So I did some more research, exerting a lot of effort and spending quite a bit of time, pillaging through mountains of old papers in the archive in my search for answers.  What I found was… somewhat concerning.

I learned that the “Holler & Robbins” company, which manufactured the diary in which my great-great-grandfather had been writing, was a small printing company in Massachusetts that closed down in 1929 during the Great Depression. Again, the diary itself was made in 1927.

My great-great-grandfather never lived in Massachusetts, so his only opportunity to buy such a diary would be if he had been passing through the state. What’s more, the story “Shadow Over Innsmouth” wasn’t written until 1936.

The question remained:

If my great-great-grandfather was nothing more than a creative writer, inspired by Lovecraft’s lore, how was it possible that he had described the events which had taken place in Innsmouth, nearly eight years before they were mentioned for the first time in print?

In spite of the intriguing timeline, I remained unconvinced that my great-great-grandfather’s story was credible, but held out hope that the remaining entries would shed more light on the mystery, and provide more clues. As I continued reading, however, the entries quickly became less exciting… and far more horrifying.

By the time I was finished, I wasn’t any closer to knowing whether what was written was true or not.  But I do know one thing: I prayed it wasn’t.

I am determined to share the contents of the diary with others, in the hope that perhaps others will be more adept than I at discerning fact from fiction.

With that in mind, I present to you now, the unabridged written account of my great-great-grandfather, an alleged veteran of the 1928 Siege of Innsmouth, Massachusetts.

* * * * * *

11/23/1928 

Our company was told to keep our mouths shut about his deployment, but that’s precisely why I’m starting this diary. If anyone finds out about it I’ll be dishonorably discharged and maybe sentenced to prison, or maybe even worse, considering that we’re about to wage war against citizens of our country for some unknown reason, but I can’t let them walk away with it. If we’re about to start slaughtering innocent people I want to at least document all of it so there is some proof of it in the future.

We were told that people of Innsmouth are all guilty of treason of the highest order, but I don’t buy that. You don’t just send an army to clear them all out, and I don’t see any reason to keep it under wraps even if every one of them is a spy. We were told that there would be heavy resistance, but let’s face it: if you knew that the army was coming for you and your close ones, wouldn’t you protect yourself? Isn’t our goal is to protect our people? This seems more like a crime war than anything else, and we were the mob sent to do the dirty job.

The only thing that calms me is my captain’s resolve. It appears that knows more than us but withholds that information for some reason. I can see a fire burning in his eyes, and it’s not guilt – it’s the hatred for the enemy. But I also know him long enough to see that there are also hints of being genuinely scared, even though he is not of timid nature, and that makes me wonder – what awaits us in that small town that was important enough to keep it a secret even from us but also makes the captain shake in his boots?…

In just a few hours we will engage in urban warfare, and I only hope that our command will be right… or that we’ll all be brave enough to see that they are wrong.

11/23/1928 

I was wrong. The citizens of Innsmouth are as hideous on the inside as their appearance is, and there’s no redemption for them.

When we entered the town, its streets were already empty: it seems that the locals knew that we were coming and thus left their homes, going into hiding. I had been told that it was a small fishing town, facing the ocean on one side and being surrounded by swamps from all other sides, so I didn’t expect to see any riches, but the town looked like it had been abandoned many years ago. Many of the buildings were destroyed, either by fire or through negligence, and by the look of them they had been that way since the middle of the previous century. The other ones didn’t look much better: the locals definitely didn’t care about how their houses looked, or they wouldn’t let them stay in such a sorry state. The only indication that somebody lived there at all was the footprints in the mud that covered the roads. Complete with the dark skies above us and the fog that one would expect from such a moist place, the town presented a very depressing sight, and I caught myself thinking that it was easy to believe that no good people could live here.

We were slowly advancing through the streets, straining our senses to spot a possible threat, but there was none. The was only silence, undisrupted even by the wildlife, and I could hear every step that I or my comrades took. Even though the weather was cold, I was running with sweat that instantly cooled on my skin under the breeze, and I gripped my rifle so that it wouldn’t slip out of my hands during the most important moment.

They attacked us just as we began to lower our guard. Suddenly the air was filled with the noise of shots and bullets started whistling around us. They were armed with rifles and shotguns, and while we were out in the open, they were gunning us down from the windows, having both cover and height advantage. The only reason that I and most of my squad survived this ambush was due to the locals’ apparent lack of training and bad aim.

The instincts and army training kicked in, and we immediately dispersed, trying to get some cover. I spotted a small, narrow alley that went perpendicularly to the main street, and rushed towards it, intending to hide behind it and continue the fight from there. On my way there I saw our captain lying and thrashing in the dirt, his hands desperately clawing at the shot wound in his throat. The blood was gushing out of it at such a rate that it was clear that he wouldn’t survive.

Once in safety, I started unloading my ammunition in the direction where the shots were coming from, aiming for the windows. I know that I’ve said that it felt wrong killing those people without even knowing why, but at that moment I did not care anymore. The desire to live, to survive has engulfed me, and the instant I saw the ferocity with which they were slaying us I knew that there was only one way for me to get back home: over their dead bodies. It must’ve been the same during the Great War in Europe when the boys like me were sent to the front lines whether they believed in their country’s cause or not.

I could hear the sound of the gunfire coming from other streets, too, which meant that they attacked other squads as well, and that makes me wonder: how the hell did they coordinate their attack so well? It wasn’t like only we were engaged in the battle. No, the whole town suddenly erupted into violence, becoming a battlefield. This was not what you would expect from simple civilians.

Even from the distance, I could see that there was something off-putting about their appearance: their skin was of sickly gray color, and their eyes were bulging out, giving them the fishlike look. It was hard to aim for their heads, too, because they sunk deep between their shoulders, making them hard to spot. It made it hard to relate to them even as to opponents.

At that moment I heard the scream of one of our soldiers behind me, and I belatedly realized that the enemy could also hide in the buildings near us in order to flank us. But there was no gunshot prior to the scream, and it was not the one of pain, either: it was a shriek of horror, a cry of someone who realized that his life was coming to an end and there was nothing to be done about that.

Turning around, I saw only the shaking legs of a soldier who was already being pulled through the door of an old building, as well as the trail of blood that followed them. His pale comrade just stared in bewilderment at the whole scene. It was clear that he must’ve seen everything, but for some reason, he didn’t take any actions to help his still bellowing companion who, by the sound of it, was already suffocating on his own blood. Yelling something at him, I charged inside, gun ready.

I expected to see something as soon as I entered the building, but the trail of blood went around the corner into another room. For someone who was pulling a resisting man, the unknown assailant moved too fast, but I didn’t pay it much attention back then. The soldier was still alive, I could hear that, so without hesitation I went forward.

I expected a bunch of locals with hatchets, showing the most animalistic side of human nature, but the sight that unraveled in front of me didn’t fit any of my anticipations: you can’t ever expect to see something like that, even on the battlefield.

At first I thought that it was a grizzly bear, mostly due to the size of the creature but also because it was chewing on my companion’s neck when I walked in. But it was wearing fisherman’s clothes, even though they clearly didn’t fit its massive stature, and when it raised its head to look at me I saw that its face resembled that of a man – no more than it resembled the one of the fish, though. Its white eyes were big and bulbous, but clearly intelligent, since there was pure malice in them that was uncharacteristic for animals. Blood dripped from its thick fishlike lips right onto the soldier’s colorless face, mixing with his tears, and its arms, as big and long as its legs, were pressing the poor guy to the floor, with its long claws piercing his flesh like hooks. Overall, the creature was part man and part something else, like some sort of hybrid, a cross-breed stuck in development halfway between a man and some ancient dweller of the sea.

The creature eyed my rifle for a moment, clearly recognizing what it is, before letting out a croaking growl and charging me, moving in short froglike hops on all fours. My finger pulled the trigger, and the bullet ripped out a large chunk of meat out of its shoulder, but that didn’t hinder its advance. I knew that the second shot would come too late, so I turned around and headed for the door that led back to the street, hearing its uneven breathing and the soldier’s pleas for help behind me.

But while I was out of combat only for a few moments, a lot of things changed. My squad was in full retreat, leaving wounded behind, while a few more of those creatures were advancing on them, seemingly not concerned about the enemy’s fire. One of the beasts was feasting on my captain right in the middle of the road, cutting me off from the rest of my people. So, without any other options left, I headed for the alley that I had noticed before, thinking only about losing those monsters, even if it meant going deeper into their god-forsaken town.

Once I started running, I didn’t even think about direction anymore: I was just trying to increase the distance between me and those abominations. My heart was pounding, and I tried not to think about those left behind: the rest of the soldiers had abandoned me too, after all.

The alley was long and narrow, but that worked well for me, since I could just pour every ounce of my strength into running. I knew that I was probably followed, but at the same time, I felt as if hundreds of unseen eyes were gazing at me in anticipation of their attack, and every moment I feared that another one of those creatures would lap at me from above and main me. My only hope was to find a way out of town on my own or to meet up with another squad.

The next thing I realized was that an alley came to a dead-end. The only thing that surrounded me were high walls, with no way to climb upon them. Desperate, I turned around to see if maybe I wasn’t followed, but to my horror, the creature was already there, clumsily trying to gain on me with its small hops. There were maybe sixty yards between us, and with each second that distance was getting smaller.

I tried shooting at it, but my trembling hands, combined with me being out of breath made it impossible for me to aim steadily. Remembering how futile were my previous attempts, I turned towards the large warehouse doors next to me, locked on a padlock. Pressing the barrel of my rifle against it, I pulled the trigger. The shot did some damage to the lock, but it remained hanging there. The beast’s heavy breathing became apparent: I could see it charging with the corner of my eye, but I wasn’t brave enough to even take a look at it to know how much time I had left. Praying for success, I shot the lock for the second time.

The bullet ricocheted, but this time the lock fell down, completely destroyed. Without hesitation, I charged at the door, not even bothering to close it behind me as I entered the building.

The monster’s uneven heavy footsteps were right around the corner, and I knew that I didn’t have much time left. Hiding was not an option: I was out of breath and wouldn’t be able to keep it down, and instinctively I knew that if the beast wouldn’t hear my racing heart then it would certainly smell my sweat and… fear. I could only run, run blindly into the maze of streets and buildings to put some distance between myself and my pursuer, even though I knew that I was an easy target to track for its keen senses.

I noticed the small door of the storeroom, with a small window nearby: the room was probably intended for the warehouse’s security so that they could overlook the shelves of goods. It was my best bet, so I ran towards it, hoping that there would be a door that led back to the streets.

Lucky for me, the door was open, so I jumped inside the room and locked it behind me on catch lock. I was in a hurry, but I still noticed its huge, hunching silhouette against the rectangle of light that was the warehouse’s open doors. I didn’t see its features clearly anymore, but even that bizarre shape of its body has caused me enough trauma that it will forever haunt me.

I turned around, my eyes darting around the small room, barely ten square feet in size, looking for another door only to realize to my horror that there was none. A new wave of fear bolted through me as I realized that I finally caught myself in a trap. I think what got the most to me was that after all of that running I was still going to die, and my efforts were in vain.

I didn’t see it coming, but I could hear it: the heavy stomps of its legs and the triumphant croaking howl. I pressed my shoulder against the door, hoping to halt the beast’s advance. That was naïve of me, but I didn’t want to go down without putting up a fight. And, perhaps, were the beast to charge the door I would die under its feet, but it decided to break through the window instead.

The rain of glass missed me, as did the creature’s long flailing arms: it only put its torso through the window frame, but its mighty hands could reach halfway across the room. Dazed, I blinked, and that instant I felt its hot breath cover my face in blood and saliva: it was looking right at me. Dropping to my knees, I quickly crawled into the far corner of the room, barely evading the hook-like claws, and once there I turned around, raising my gun. I could see the bloody wound on its shoulder, and the expression of its face made it clear: it wasn’t just a bloodlust – it was personal. That vile unearthly monster wanted to exact revenge on me for me scarring its flesh, and it would chase me to the end of the world.

Taking a deep breath in, I aimed for its snarling maw, and as my finger squeezed the trigger I closed my eyes, unable to face the fact that my gun would be harmless to it.

Only the shot was followed by silence: I didn’t hear its raspy breath anymore. Carefully opening my eyes, I saw the beast hanging from the window – dead. Its skull now fashioned a large bloody hole, but even in death its face was stretched in a grimace of hatred and violence. Still not believing what I’d done, I exhaled, slowly, as if to not awaken the monster in front of me.

My uneven breathing turned into a hysterical, giggling laughter, as I realized that I survived – for now. But as I was wiping the tears of joy and fear, I came to another realization: I was in the middle of their town, far from my comrades who at that point could very well be on the outskirts of the town already, and the town itself was infested with fishlike monstrosities.

What are those things? Were they the reason why we were deployed here? I don’t know these answers, but I don’t think that their amphibian appearance and the fact that the town is located on the coast of Atlantic are coincidental. I’ve never heard of anything like that save for a few fairy tales, but who could believe them before seeing something like this with their own eyes?

I don’t even want to think how many of them are there in the ocean and what is the nature of their pact with the locals. Were they always there, in Atlantic? I think so. Perhaps they observed with their hateful eyes from the depths as “Mayflower” was swimming by them, bringing new people into their territory, and since then they resented us, looking for a chance to strike. And perhaps they are everywhere, around the globe, and as we brave their waters more and more their resentment for us grows, until they will no longer tolerate our presence. I fear what might come with the future – perhaps this battle is just the beginning of another Great War.

But I now know that they can be killed, and I will do my best to relay this information to my superiors. Chances are they know already, but if they don’t, such information could change the tide of this battle. And if I don’t make it to them, then I hope that they will find this diary, so that we who were the first to engage these beasts are not forgotten, and our sacrifice during the Siege of Innsmouth was not in vain. Right now, this diary is the best log of the first fight between humans and the devils that lurk in this accursed town.

I don’t where death will find me, but I write this from the cellar underneath the room where my fight took place. Mother, father, I love you and I hope you will be alright.

11/24/1928  

I’ve decided to stay for the night in the cellar, since judging by the silence that has befallen Innsmouth, the main forces of our army decided to fall back. I didn’t want to risk going into the night alone when more of those creatures could be lurking around. I had to get my thoughts together before I was ready to head back into the fight anyway, and the cellar provided me with necessary comfort.

That said, I had far from a calm night. I could barely close my eyes, fearing that they could track me, and every sound made me jump up and grab my gun, with bizarre forms haunting my mind. I prayed that the town folk wouldn’t send anyone to look for their friend and that they wouldn’t come to the warehouse. Even if this cellar looks like a safe haven, a tight corner that nobody would look into, I didn’t want to find out if that is really so, for I know that above me is the whole town full of those monstrosities, a place where no human is welcome or safe. I could only wonder what they were doing at that moment.

I’ve only managed to calm myself down and get some sleep closer to the morning. The night was cold and merciless, but I prayed that those creatures could feel cold and needed rest, too. But the rest evaded me even in those fleeting moments: just when I finally dropped my guard and let my needs take over, the waking horrors gave way to nightmares from which there was no escape.

At first, those dreams were just the reflection of the previous day: I was being chased by grotesque, ever-shifting forms of the were-beasts who were trampling everyone in their way. No matter where I would go they would follow me, breaking through doors, windows and bursting out of the floor. They could not catch me, but that only prolonged my agony, as every inch of my body was screaming at me in despair to continue this race and get away from them. The background of the dream was constantly changing, not sticking to any recurring motif or logic: I was running through Innsmouth, streets of my hometown, corridors of my school, grocery stores, theaters – every place that I’ve ever visited, and I knew that I would eventually come to the end of the world had the dream not changed.

I suddenly found myself standing at the edge of the cliff that overlooked the sea. The dream wasn’t abstract anymore: on the contrary, it was so detailed that I could even feel the breeze of the wind engulf me and see the sun reflect on the ocean’s gentle surface. My mind also had perfect clarity, as it didn’t take me long to realize that I was in a dream, something that had never happened to me before… And that I was seeing it through someone else’s eyes.

I noticed that I stood abnormally tall – at least 8 feet above the cliff’s rocky surface. My body was clad in long robes, covered in runes of unknown meaning and depicting numerous sea dwellers in amazing detail – some of which I’ve never seen or heard of before. Discarding the robes to the side, the creature that lent me its eyes leaped from the cliff straight down into the water, piercing through its mass with great ease.

My new eyes could see underwater very well, and my body moved through water with terrifying speed: people often tell about dreams in which they fly, but none could imagine what it’s like to glide not atop the gentle winds, but powerful currents. I could sense every motion, my body opened up to new sensations that I never had before, and my eyes could see below me a vast city, built right on the bottom of the ocean.

It was located on the slide, and somehow I knew that went on for dozens of kilometers, going deeper and deeper, to the depths where no sun could reach its high spires and where its walls defied the monstrous pressure. Its architecture was unlike anything I’d ever seen, with cold rock having unnatural gracefulness that was gifted to it by the hands of an inhuman master. I knew that if I were to walk down the city’s corridors I could see miracles that challenged the boundaries of nature, and meet numerous enigmatic travelers, both from our world and others, where flesh was no more than a thing of the past.

I saw the dwellers of the ocean’s darkest depths, creatures so old they saw the rise and fall of dinosaurs with their black inky eyes, obey the sea folk as if they were their pets. I walked through the tunnels that led deep below the ocean, to vast caverns with entire new worlds that never knew the sun, and new oceans below them – all native to our planet, yet as oblivious about us as we about them. I saw riches beyond the imagination of even the wealthiest of our kind – entire mountains of strange white gold. And I knew that all of it was real, for my imagination could not come up with something so vast.

“Join us” – the sudden voice in my head commanded. Its soft yet powerful notes echoed through my entire body, every organ and every cell, pushing out not only my other thoughts, but even things like instincts and reflexes. I was no more than a string that was played by the masterful hands of an artist. “All of this – and much more – can be yours. Swear your loyalty to us, say the oaths – and you’ll forget about wars.”

The vision changed – I was myself again, only completely naked. To my horror, I realized that one of those creatures stood next to me, with clothes not concealing its bulky figure anymore. It was approaching me slowly, in a non-threatening way, and a moment later I realized to my disgust that I could clearly see the creature’s womanhood.

“Give the three oaths,” the voice continued. “Raise our children. Let your blood run with ours.”

The meaning of those words became clear to me in a few moments, when the beast grabbed me by my arms and lifted me up. Its powerful arms could tear me apart like a wet tissue, but that was not my main concern at that moment: if anything, I’d rather chose death then what was coming. But no matter how much I struggled, how much I wanted to wake up, to stop seeing these visions and feeling the creature’s cold and wet touch, I had no choice but to just observe, feeling the mix of shame, horror and disgusting arousal that invaded my mind and got a grip on my body, controlling it to satisfy the creature’s urges.

As the creature got what it wanted from me, the voice in my head returned, whispering its warnings: “refuse – and pay the consequences”. The grey-skinned beast in front of me suddenly started changing, its features waxing and shifting. I observed in horror as it spawned new eyes, maws, claws and fangs right on its skin that bulged and tore and melted to give way to all these new abominations. No matter how I struggled I could only watch as that heap of flesh began devouring me.

At that moment I finally woke up, looking around for any threats that might be nearby, but wherever I looked I could see only bizarre, ever-changing forms of an unnamed beast from my nightmares. Little by little, I calmed down, though the anxiety had already pierced its claws deep into my soul.

Were those just dreams or genuine visions cast upon me? Those nightmares felt too real, too detailed to be borne by my weary mind. But if they were real, then how could we fight such a powerful force? What we’ve fought were no more than spawns of an unholy union of men and beasts, and they had many more allies. From what I’ve seen I understand that we are no more than temporary occupants of our planet, the ones they tolerate like we tolerate the existence of mice, and that they were using like tools to meet their own godawful demands. Were they to choose so, they could wipe us all out in an instant, leaving no traces of our civilization for our successors to find – just like they probably did in the past.

It all comes down to the show of force here, in Innsmouth – perhaps if we can’t defeat them completely, we could at least buy us some time to develop further, to gather strength. The war to come would be the true War to end all wars.

I can hear the gunshots: my company must’ve begun another advance. Time to go.

The corpse of the creature from another night is gone: it’s like it has never been there. I can swear that I didn’t hear anything move during the night, not even the crackling of the glass under the beast’s massive frame. It’s too heavy to move it without making any sound. It’s like it just… vanished.

11/26/1928

I can’t speak about other wars, but I know for sure that this war is hell, and in more than one way.

I’ve managed to reconnect with my company during their assault two days ago, and since then we’ve been steadily progressing into the town. We’ve been progressing very slowly, measuring each step, for every building could hold some unpleasant secret, whether it was a gun-wielding group of locals, monstrous beasts, or something else entirely.

It turned out that I wasn’t the only one who had seen that dreamlike vision: almost every soldier had seen it, and it caused quite a lot of ruckus in our ranks. There had been a lot of cases when soldiers disobeyed the orders, straight-out deserted or simply went mad from all of their experiences. In just three days, we’ve lost a third of our forces, not to the enemy, but to the horror that had forever settled in their souls, as they would rather face imprisonment than spend one more second on the gloomy, insanity-infested battlefield of Innsmouth.

I can’t say that I blame them: the town was like a proof that God himself had turned the blind eye to us, letting these monstrosities run free on our land, and our priest was never out of work, for many souls began to question their faith and cause. But what could the man in the robes say to people who believed that their very souls were at risk of being dragged to Hell? The promises of paradise seem faint in comparison to the real, physical nightmare that we are facing.

It is clear now that our enemy employs not only the brute force, but some sort of mystic arts as well. Throughout the last two days, it had been raining non-stop, which I doubt is a mere coincidence, as water seems to rejuvenate these creatures: I personally saw how a mortally wounded creature crawled out of the building and into the rain, only to hop away with a newfound strength.

It is also impossible to capture these beasts, dead or alive: they fight too ferociously, until death, and upon it their corpses seem to disappear as soon as we look away even for a moment. Many begin to doubt whether they are even real or if they are the mirages of some sort, but then we wouldn’t be able to kill them – not to mention that we know that mirages look different.

One of the squads went completely insane after they encountered a creature similar to the ones we’d been facing all the time, but many times bigger, with its head towering high above buildings and its arms using the roofs for support. It appeared out of the thin air, walked a few yards towards them, and then dissipated, but that was enough for half of them to commit suicide out of sheer fear. The rest of them degraded to the point where they lost their speech and their words that described what happened were mixed with blabbering on an unknown language that no one had managed to identify.

Another squad went missing right in their camp: though their footsteps led to the cellars of the nearby building, nobody had seen them leave, and the basement itself was empty. They didn’t take their guns or any other equipment with them, either, which led their captain to believe that they were traitors and deserters, though everyone present understood that he said that only avoid spreading further panic.

The locals attack us at any time, from any angle. We constantly feel our gazes upon us, and no matter how many defenses we set up they always find a way to break through them. Where they lack in numbers they win with their knowledge of their surroundings and raw animalistic power.

Of course, not all locals were affected by the curse of flesh that had consumed the majority of the population. Some of them were normal humans, who had lived alongside the rest of the population. Some of them were even supporting our cause and joining our ranks, seeing it as their chance to get rid of the plague that had threatened them for their entire lives.

One such person was Henry Harrison, a young man who, despite his lifeless eyes, possessed quite a zealous determination to drove the creatures back to the sea. He had been born in Innsmouth and lived there is whole life, with the knowledge that one day he would have to either face death or consummate the marriage with one of those things. We’d found him along the bunch of others like him when their barricaded house was being sieged by the sea folk, and even though it could be a trap we just couldn’t stand there and observe how those creatures were trying to get inside. He later told us that they had been fighting back for two days straight, from the moment the so-called “Cult of Dagon” learned about their insurrection, and out of fifteen people only four survived. The rest had been either maimed and killed right there or taken alive somewhere else. Two of the corpses that we had found at that building had shot wounds in their head, and judging by the angle those poor souls were the ones who did it to themselves. Henry said that in their case death was an easy way out and warned us that we better not become their prisoners of war, for we would only make it worse for our comrades. He refused to specify what did he mean by that.

Henry and his followers were a treasure for our campaign, for they possessed vast knowledge about the town’s structure and the dangers that awaited us there, even if they seemed to be completely surreal from his words. He also shared a great deal of information regarding the origins of these creatures and what were they doing in the city.

According to him, these creatures were brought to the town by a captain named Abed Marsh in the middle of the last century. On his voyages through the Pacific he had encountered a tribe that had established contact with this bizarre race, and made an unholy pact with them: those creatures would marry into their families in order to mix their blood with ours and avoid inbreeding, and in return, they would give the settlers all the wealth and fish they needed. Abed saw an opportunity for his own town to prosper, so he brought the despicable Cult with him and on a bloody night of 1845 the creatures marched out of the waters and took over the town, killing or sacrificing everyone who would oppose them.

Henry said that the children of mixed blood would look like a normal human at first, but as they got older their dark origin would start to take over, changing their features to resemble those of their ocean-dwelling ancestors. The oldest ones, the one from the first generation, had already joined the rest in the ocean, but they kept nearby just in case, and, according to Henry, the ones that we had seen were no more than a tadpole compared to their seniors, who possessed unparalleled power that was granted to them by something even more sinister and ancient. Something that their Cult of Dagon had been worshipping since the times when dinosaurs walked the Earth.

Henry assured us that he wasn’t one of the hybrids, but he told us that his family was not left untouched by those atrocities. His grandparents had been serving their town vigorously, sometimes committing atrocious acts outside of the town where the mixed ones couldn’t go without attracting attention to themselves – all to prove their loyalty to the Cult and let their family stay the way it was. Henry admitted that he carried that knowledge as a burden, for his grandparents were responsible for dozens of kidnappings all over the state. They mostly kidnapped children since they were both easy targets and in high demand at the Cult. What the Cult did to them remained unknown, but Henry suspected that his grandparents consciously avoided the truth.

But as the plague was spreading through the city and more and more families were being picked for integration, Henry’s family ultimately fell victim to it as well. When Henry was 7, his mother mysteriously disappeared. His father wasn’t the same ever since, saying that his mother was “with Gods”, but his thousand-yard stare told Henry more than his words: his father didn’t just suffer from the loss, he also carried the weight of knowledge of what exactly had happened to her. It was then when Henry learned for the first time what world he lived in, as if the mere presence of those ageless prehistoric beasts rubbed off on him, making the 7-year-old grow up in one night.

A few weeks later Henry met his new mother: a croaking voice behind the bedroom’s always closed door. His father insisted that Henry should never enter the bedroom, since his new mother was ‘sick’ and had to rest all the time, but while Henry obeyed that didn’t stop his step-mother from taking midnight walks, as evidenced by the pools of water that Henry could occasionally find in the corridor. One time he woke up to find one such puddle – along with dirty inhuman footsteps – near his bed.

Exactly nine months later he got himself a new sister – a newborn girl, as sweet as any other, but Henry couldn’t be fooled: he knew that one day that innocent soul would grow up into a cold-blooded, dark-eyed monster just like her mother, and maybe even demand from him to take the Third Oath – an oath to raise her children.

On the night before his rebellion, he took his father’s gun from the cellar and shot her right between her sweet little eyes. Her mother wasn’t around to protect her, instead choosing to ravage the battlefield, but Henry was sure that she would personally come after him.

Henry mentioned that the town had a vast network of tunnels under it that connected most of the buildings together in one big maze, and he promised us to help find one of the entrances, but he warned us against going there, and he refused to go there himself, instead opting us for blowing them up. It explained how the cultists and their “family members” could find their way into our flanks, so sealing the tunnels seemed like a good idea, but our superiors decided that sending a small heavily-armed squad down there could prove useful, as it presented us with an opportunity to strike down the enemy right into their heart. Tomorrow it will be decided who shall go there.

11/27/1928  

We’ve finally established a base inside the town’s borders. The creatures seem to back off deeper into Innsmouth, and the morale of the soldiers seem to be increasing. It looks like we finally start to get the edge over them, but I still often hear the soldiers whispering and describing the horrors that they’ve encountered before.

Earlier this morning our captain chose 10 men who would venture into the tunnels: since nobody volunteered he had to choose them personally. I am glad that I wasn’t one of them: facing these creatures in the open was terrifying enough, but heading deeper into what could be their nest seemed like insanity. The captain wanted Harrison to accompany them, but his refusal was so loud, violent and full of fear that the captain had to agree to let him stay before he caused panic among the soldiers. Harrison didn’t say what was he so afraid of, since as it turned out he didn’t know himself, but he claimed that terrible things live beneath the town – far too terrible to have a name. He shared in privacy from the designated squad that no one of those who had suffered the terrible fate to meet whatever dwelled in those tunnels survived the encounter, and the creature itself was the stuff of rumors, but it was definitely real, and it caused houses to rumble as it moved underneath them. I can’t even imagine what scary rumors must be shared among those who already live in this hellhole.

The captain made sure to motivate the soldiers well and promised them that all would go fine and they would return safely, but judging by their faces they were just too depressed from what they’d seen in Innsmouth to make a stand and refuse to go down into the tunnels. None of them believed that they would ever see the light of the day again.

That said, I must admit that the captain prepared well for the mission. First of all, he told Harrison to indicate on the map of the town locations of all the entrances to the tunnels. Those that were the closest to us were blown up with dynamite so that we could no longer fear being surrounded, save for one, in cellars of one of the houses, where we established a small checkpoint. My shift there begins tomorrow, when the soldiers go inside. I must say that while we had all the weaponry we needed to fight back and knew where the enemy would be coming from, it was still unnerving to gaze into the maw of the long corridor in front of us. Every second we expected to see the light of our lamps reflect in the eyes of the dwellers of the deep, or hear shambling of their frog-like feet.

One of the soldiers was supposed to carry a radiotelephone with him which was connected by the cable to the captain’s radio station. Supposedly it was done so that there was some communication established with them and so that the captain could guide them, but everyone understood: the radiotelephone was just a way for these poor soldiers to feel less alone and surrounded in the tunnels, with captain’s voice lulling their panic.

11/28/1928 

Today, the squad of ten went down into the tunnels. I was there, along with a few other soldiers, to guard the entrance and to serve as reinforcements should such need arise. By the time the squad arrived, we had been there for a few hours, and while nothing unordinary happened during that time, the sheer pressure of standing near that gateway to the underworld was too much to bear, even compared to the madness-packed never-ending action of the battlefield. Every second there I was listening to the tune of the howling wind, fearing that it might bring some other sounds with it – sounds that just a month ago I never knew existed.

I saw the faces of these soldiers as they were passing me and entering the dark corridor. Some of the faces were scared, others just tired and exhausted by the war. Despite the fact that they were armed to the teeth, with each soldier carrying two firearms and two of them struggling with the weight of flamethrowers in their hands, none of them seemed combat-ready: after all, even though they had been facing the unspeakable horrors every day, they did so under the open sky. Down below the city, the God wouldn’t see them.

The headed in slowly, reluctantly, as if they were hoping that the captain would change his mind. But the old man’s face was as cold and emotionless as the walls that surrounded us: now that I saw him like that, I knew that he was just following the orders of someone from above, someone who wouldn’t feel the loss of ten soldiers so personally.

The first soldier with the flamethrower led the way, with his comrade nearby holding a kerosene lamp to illuminate their path. The one with the radiotelephone was in the middle of formation, and the second flamethrower was in the hands of the last soldier. Combined with the rest of the firearms, it seemed that such a formation was nigh-vulnerable in the tight confines of the tunnel network.

The last soldier went in, and in 30 seconds they disappeared behind the corner. Everybody in the room was tense, and the only noises we could hear were the screeching of the rotating cable reel as the radio cord was pulled into the tunnel and the careful shambling of their feet that had disappeared after some time.

The radio on the captain’s table was screeching and wailing with white noise, and sometimes the man pressed the button to speak into the microphone and ask the soldiers about their status. Their replies were short, abrupt and annoyed: they were scared to death as it was, and would rather remain silent than speak and possibly alert the enemy of their location.

More time has passed. Everyone was sweaty despite the air in the cellar being rather cold. I caught myself letting go of the rifle to wipe the sweat off my right hand so that the gun wouldn’t slip out of my grasp. Some other soldiers were doing that, too.

The tension was broken when one of the two sounds that lingered in the room vanished: the cable reel stopped squeaking as the cable stopped moving. I heard the solider next to me inhaling sharply and shifting his position when he raised his rifle and pointed it at the tunnel. The feeling of unrest was quickly spreading among us, with shuffling of the clothes being the only sign of it.

“What’s your status?” – the captain whispered into the microphone, but no answer followed. His fingers were drumming against the wooden surface of the table, as if he was counting the seconds with this simple rhythm, and after a few seconds of silence he got his reply, faint and trembling: “captain, stay silent”.

Such an informal way of addressing your superiors wouldn’t be tolerated in any other situation, but the captain only started nodding nervously, staring at the radio as if that would help his hearing. There was no doubt: the team encountered something in the tunnels and were doing their best to avoid being spotted.

Roughly thirty seconds later, the radio came back to life and the soldier spoke again: “The walls around us are covered in something… sticky. It’s like a slug trail, only it’s everywhere”.

The captain kept on nodding for a few seconds, then pressed the button: “trace back to the last safe location”.

“We already did, captain,” the voice replied, this time louder, with trembling notes in it becoming apparent: the soldier was on the verge of breaking down into panic. “The slime wasn’t here just a minute ago, and now it’s here. We’re being surrounded by something.”

“Stay on guard!” the captain demanded, but when he let go of the button, there was only white noise: the radio was picking up nothing.

“Do you hear me, soldier? Answer me now!” the captain said, pressing the button time and time again. His gaze was full of denial: he refused to accept the fact that ten men that he’d sent on that mission were already gone. Finally, he stopped and his arm haplessly hung down to the ground.

“They’ve cut the cable” – he stated calmly, his gaze pointed at the ceiling. Nobody replied, for all of us were too shocked to say anything. Losing soldiers at war is nothing uncommon, but all of us had had that faint hope that we would see them again. To have it shattered in just 10 minutes was just yet another indication of our enemy’s gruesomeness.

The silence, however, was broken by a faint screeching sound coming right from the middle of the room. For a few seconds, we were startled and disoriented, not able to locate the source of the sound, and I admit that after what we’d just been through I almost succumbed to panic when I heard something so close to me moving, but then I heard one of the soldiers exclaim: “the cable!”

The cable reel was slowly unraveling as the cord was slowly crawling along the floor in the direction of the catacombs’ entrance, its black insulation steadily merging with the darkness. Something was determined to eradicate all traces of the squad. A moment later something on the other side of the cord – how far did it stretch, three hundred, four hundred yards? – yanked it with so much force that the reel tumbled over. Still being pulled, it went right past us, as if it has some other things to attend to, and vanished in the tunnel.

The captain had since demanded that the tunnel must be barricaded and guarded around the clock – he decided against sealing it completely with dynamite, probably in case some troopers were still alive and needed a way out. He spared us of the duty of watching the tunnel, seeing that after what we’d witnessed we were the last men who would agree to stay there anymore.

And it’s not just us. I know that many here think about deserting and leaving.

12/05/1928

I swore to write only about the events that happen here, but I can’t keep it in me. I need to share my thoughts and secrets with this paper, for it is the only listener I have here.

The war gets stagnant, and that realization scares me. Every day brings new losses, and the most dreadful thing is, I don’t see it as something shocking anymore. Even as I write these lines I can’t feel sorrow, I can’t feel anger. There are spikes of vigor every time I have to confront a new horrifying enemy, but after that, I’m back to apathy which has already become my common state. The distant gunfire and whistles of mortars do not invoke fear anymore, and the cries of pain and horror of soldiers have replaced the chirping of birds to which I used to fall asleep at home.

I know that I’m not the only one like that. We don’t discuss it, but I can see it in other men as well. The fire that burned bright in their eyes seems to have faded, and the very idea of fighting for the noble cause of humanity’s survival appears childish and naive. We fight only for our own survival, to see another day, because we’re not capable of seeing anything beyond that. We face these horrors only to sate the mysterious and unexplainable will to live.

There are no humans in this war anymore. Nobody ever leaves the battlefield.

The captain saw me write in the diary, but neither of us cared anymore. The loss of those soldiers in the catacombs has broken him so much that he doesn’t even seek retribution. He has finally fully joined our ranks.

We keep receiving news from other platoons, and there’s some morbid satisfaction in knowing that we aren’t the only ones struggling with these spawns of old ages and wizardry. The most standard news is of the soldiers that go crazy during their sleep and either kill themselves or slaughter their entire squad in their sleep. There are also descriptions of beasts that go into battle along with their inhuman masters, beasts that no human language even has the capacity to describe.

On the Northern front, where the marshes spread for many miles, our soldiers had to inch through the never-ending fog where the beasts moved as freely as in the water. It was impossible to see, to anticipate their next move, and every step into the grey unknown could be the last. That front had the most casualties caused by friendly fire, for soldiers were too exhausted and shot every shadow that moved. Some claimed that they heard muffled screams of their comrades coming from beneath the mud, and indeed many men went missing there. The rumors went that Innsmouth settlers summoned from the caverns deep in the Earth’s crust some new allies that fled there millions of years ago, never to be touched by the Sun’s rays, and no one was sure enough to dismiss such stories no matter how ridiculous they were.

On the Southern front, where the locals concentrated an obscene amount of firepower, the soldiers dug deep trenches to protect themselves from it. The veterans from the Great War who used to scare new recruits with gory stories of trench warfare in Europe don’t do so anymore, because the new soldiers had already had their share. Catching a bullet to the head while peeking out was considered to be an easy way out. What people really feared was that deep in the night another wave of frog-legged beasts would find their way inside the dug-out labyrinth, and when one of them leaps at you from behind the corner your choice of weapons is limited to bayonets and shovels. Too many night patrols were found in the morning mutilated and hanging from the walls, diminished to a pink paste. And too often they had to be buried right in the walls they were trying to protect.

The navy had it the worst: I don’t know how, but the rumors from their front were spreading like wildfire, and as bad as we had it, we couldn’t help but still feel sorry for them. The demonic ancestors of the locals and whatever else they brought with them to these lands felt at home in the cold murky waters, and there was nothing the navy could do to them. One of the ships was thrown onto the rocky coast by a giant tidal wave that appeared out of nowhere. Another ship simply vanished, pulled into the depths by some quiet, unseen force. The command sent a submarine to search for it in order to identify the assailant, but when the submarine surfaced all of the crew was dead, killing themselves in a surge of insanity. The walls were smeared in blood and some cryptic writings. After a few more people went crazy from looking at them it was decided that it was better to sink the submarine along with its contents.

The captain says it will soon be over, that we’re encircling the enemy and soon they’ll have nowhere to run, but the harder we push the more they resist. The deeper we advance into the city the more madness we unravel. I fear that by the time we reach their stronghold at the Marsh mansion there will be no human capable of facing the evils they’ll throw at us.

[Entry Date Unknown]

I’m not sure how we’re still alive. Truly, it is a miracle that I’ve faced the evils deep beneath the town without losing both my life and sanity. Though I have nothing to be glad about: any hour now I might lose both.

As I write these notes, I’m being kept in a cell somewhere underneath the town. Maybe I’m under the Marsh mansion. Maybe somewhere else. Others here are worried that we might not even be in the states anymore, that the creature had carried us to some unknown labyrinths underneath the ocean, but occasionally the sounds from the outside find their way into these tunnels. I hear explosions of the artillery, and I hope to hear gunshots soon. Those sounds of war are the only thread of hope we have, that keep us from strangling ourselves or bashing our heads against the walls. Because even these cells collapse under the artillery bombardment that is still a fate better than whatever the locals have in stock for us.

Initially, there were eight of us in these cells. We were locked up separately, but we could speak through the locked doors to each other. We didn’t discuss the situation we were in – there was nothing we could do about it anyway. Instead, we were talking about our past before the campaign, taking turns. We were discussing the girls who were waiting for us home, we shared fond memories of our friends. We listened, holding our breath, when a former farm boy was trying to pick the right words to describe to us the precise taste of the apple cider he and his brother loved so much.

As those creatures opened his cell and were carrying him away for some purpose I didn’t want to think about, he was still recounting how the apple cider was made and what made it so special for him. Till the very end, he was trying to escape to the better times.

I try not to think about what happens to those who are taken away. The unknown rituals happening above scare me witless, and when we hear their croaking chanting we raise our voices. I try to be hopeful, if only because I have nothing else to do. But still, if I knew that I would end up in this cell, if I had known where those tunnels would’ve led me I’d stayed and fought with my comrades till the end. I would try to hold the line.

On the morning of November 29th, our camp was attacked by those croaking creatures. They assaulted us from all sides, leaving nowhere to fall back. Their inhuman voices were getting into our heads, making it hard to think and turning as on each other, and their numbers increased with each second as unimaginable phantoms and apparitions were popping into reality, drawn to our world by their assailant’s command. Their attack was desperate, a last-ditch attempt to squeeze us out of the lands they’d claimed, but it was working.

It was hard to pinpoint where they were coming from and where to run. They were everywhere, and all of us were on our own. Even thinking about maintaining formation in that chaos was suicidal. All we were thinking about was survival.

I’m glad to say that I start to forget everything that I’d seen take place there. My memory had mercy on me, and spared me from the gruesome, core-shaking details of that day. Back then I was thinking with perfect fear-induced clarity, but now my mind has ditched it so that I could live on, untainted by the trauma.

I can remember that my legs led me to the very same cellar with the barricaded entrance to the tunnels. A few soldiers and Henry Harrison were with me, and that was where we intended to take our last stand. Every time some unspeakable monstrosity appeared in the doorway at the top of the stairs we shot it without thinking, without giving in to its insane ramblings. They were agile, and their hide was tough, but the narrow stairway left them with no room to maneuver.

But as we were fighting on, we could hear less and less gunshots coming from above. We could hear the screams of the soldiers above us being drowned out in the cacophony of hell that was unleashed above us. We could hear their bones snap and the hissing of air escaping their lungs through new holes. And we knew that we had only so much ammunition.

One soldier rushed towards the barricade behind us and, grabbing the crowbar from the table next to it, started tearing it down. Another one joined him, and together they started making a lot of progress.

“No!” Henry shouted towards them, not taking his eyes off the doorway in front of him. “You have no idea what’s in there! Stay here!”

Despite his warnings, a third soldier had abandoned his post and started tearing into the wooden planks of the barricade with his bare hands. With a careless movement he tore one of his nails out when his hands slipped, but that didn’t stop him. To him, the dank unknown of the tunnels was the only way out, his only salvation.

A minute later they made an opening just wide enough to squeeze into it one man at a time. The first soldier dove in without thinking. The other one grabbed the lamp from the table nearby first and only then followed. His comrade was pushing him in the back, trying to force him through.

“We’re leaving, Henry!” I shouted to the young man, but he just shook his head: “I’ll stay here and cover you”.

“You don’t have to be a hero, we can all escape!” I pleaded, but he shook his head again: “You have no clue what’s in here. It’s better to die to these things than face what dwells beneath Innsmouth. Farewell, soldier!”

He gave me a quick pat on the shoulder before turning towards the stairway and raising his rifle. It was clear that he wouldn’t go, and if I stayed and tried to convince him I’d just die along with him. Saluting to his bravery, I jumped through the opening in the barricade and ran into the tunnels, hoping that the rest of the soldiers didn’t go too far.

Henry’s last cry echoed all the way to us, wasn’t that of horror, but of rage and fury. He spent his last seconds fighting the abominations that took away his hometown and even his family. The only thing they couldn’t take away was his indomitable will.

At that time, however, we weren’t in the mood to mourn him. It’s a shameful thing to admit, but all we were focused on was getting as far away as possible from the creatures that slew him.

I thought about sharing Henry’s last warning with the rest of the soldiers, but then decided against it. All of them were already on the verge of mental breakdown, and if I were to tell them that Henry refused to go here because he feared something even more horrifying then what we’d faced before there was no saying how they’d react.

At first, we weren’t thinking where were we going. We just wanted to cover as much distance as possible. Then it became painfully clear that we weren’t even sure which direction to move in. Not that it mattered: the tunnels didn’t have any logic to them. They could go straight in one direction for hundreds of yards and then branch out into four more.

We were afraid of meeting the inhuman enemies there, but strangely it seemed that the tunnels were devoid of them. There wasn’t a single sound apart from our footsteps and tired breathing.

Walking around aimlessly, we reached another intersection. One of the tunnels was wider than the others and was going upwards at a slight angle. Thinking that it could be our way out, we decided to investigate.

My eye caught something glistening in the light of the lamp on the walls and floor twenty yards from where the tunnel started. At first, I didn’t give it much attention but as we approached it closer I realized that the whole tunnel was covered in a thick layer of some slime.

The further the tunnel went the thicker the layer was. Oozy and transparent, it reminded me of a trail that a snail leaves behind.

Walking a bit closer, we noticed that the tunnel didn’t go very far. Roughly twenty yards from where we stood, the tunnel was cut off by a wall of what seemed like dirt.

Back then we thought that the tunnel caved in, but then one of the soldiers noticed that the strange slimy substance was oozing from the dirt wall. His words reminded me of something: the squad that had gone missing in those tunnels a few days earlier reported seeing the same slimy substance around them just before the connection with them was lost.

I shouted that we had to go immediately, but at that point, it was already too late. We were already too close.

The slimy wall suddenly started shifting and from the depths of whatever substance it was made of emerged a large bulbous eye – as wide as a human is tall. It examined us for a few seconds, shifting its gaze from one soldier to another, as if counting us, and then without warning opened up, tearing in the half and exposing countless teeth inside its eyeball.

The whole creature started shifting towards us, growing many smaller eyes around its improvised maw to see where to go. Nothing had ever invoked such dread in me as the sight of that monstrosity approaching. It was all-engulfing, unstoppable, like a landslide that was too close to escape, as if the very tunnels themselves decided to purge us from their insides.

We ran. We ran without looking back. I heard someone slip in the ooze it had secreted and I didn’t even turn around to see who it was. It didn’t matter. I was sure that I’d join the poor soul soon, but regardless of that, I kept running.

It didn’t matter if the tunnels were thin or wide – the creature never slowed down its advance. I could hear it shriek in many different voices, and sometimes what started as a growl would end as a squeal. It was changing its form as it went, morphing and changing, trying to become the most optimal version of itself. A version that would eventually catch up to us.

The tunnel in front of us made a fork. A soldier that was running in front of me turned right, and for some reason, I decided to turn left. Judging by the footsteps behind me and the sudden darkness I realized that I was all on my own – everyone else turned right. I kept running, hoping that at least the rest of them would escape while the creature maimed at me.

But apparently, the creature made a different call then I’d expected. Instead of going for me, a seemingly easy in my blindness prey, it decided to chase the rest of them. I was charging forward into darkness, and all I could hear behind was the never-ending rumbling as the creature’s endless body moved past my tunnel.

I was running completely blind to the world around me. I didn’t know where I was, where my comrades were, where was the enemy, where was left and right, up and down. I didn’t even know why I was running anymore. I didn’t know how much time had passed. With pitch blackness enveloping me, cut off from the rest of the world, I was left eye to eye with the only feeling that was engulfing me. Terror.

It’s hard to tell how much time I’d spent in that state. I don’t know what really happened and what I’d imagined. I don’t know if I was sleeping or roaming around in the dark. I just know that the walls of the cell I’m in were the first thing I focused my eyes on when I came to my senses. Maybe I was lured here. Maybe they brought me. I don’t know. I don’t know anything anymore.

They’re coming. Maybe they’re coming for me. If somebody finds this, I want you to know: I’ve tried. I’ve tried saving us all.

12/23/1928

The war is over.

I’m writing this from a military base where all the survivors were brought in. There are hundreds of us, though there should’ve been thousands. Nobody here knows what’s going on, and how long are we going to be kept here, but at the very least I was told that the war is over. And even that sweet moment of victory is being taken away from me by the uncaring reality.

We didn’t win. We didn’t eliminate the enemy. They just withdrew all of their forces. Vanished back into the depths that had spawned them. We didn’t wipe them all out – we just fought back a piece of our land. A piece that is going to be destroyed anyway.

We’re told that the town of Innsmouth is going to be destroyed, its very existence wiped from the records. We’re also told that we must all keep our mouths shut, or we’re going to swiftly end up in an insane asylum. Not that we’re not going to end up there anyway – the things we’ve seen are impossible to forget, to ignore.

I’m doing my best to hold up, to appear sane, just so that I’m not erased from the records as well. Troublesome soldiers keep disappearing at night, they are being taken away somewhere from where there’s no return. I think it’s only our sacrifice for the country that keeps the high command from just gassing us all. After all, we’re the last thread that leads to Innsmouth. We’re the few people who can verify that it ever existed.

The preparations will be made, that’s for sure. The conspiracy of the highest level of secrecy, weaved into existence to hide the fact that we’re not the owners of our planet. New weapons will be forged, far more powerful than anything humanity has ever wielded. Perhaps we’ll even try to leave the planet and settle on the moon, like in those sci-fi stories. And we better hurry up, because our enemy is strong. He’s seen what we’re capable of, he’ll gather his forces, and the next time he attacks it won’t be a war. It will be extermination.

If you’re reading this, I’m sorry. I’ve tried to give you a better future. We’ve all tried.


Credit: Artyom Dereschuk (Official Website • AmazonRedditOfficial SubredditInstagram)


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