10 Feb The Void and the Rift
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"The Void and the Rift"Written by
Estimated reading time — 13 minutes
“It was not a physical fear, and it had not teeth or jaws or eyes burning with any common malice. It was perhaps not even an entity, but a raging mass of energy and aether and the warped and warping constructs of this reality that struck a deeper fear into my being than any corporeal concept ever could. It was observing me, and as its incomprehensible form grew and evolved before my petty senses, the manner in which it existed became something I will not soon forget.”
-Clarence Westford on Ezekiel entities, Studies and Experiences in the Westford-Redding Transdimensional Project, 1899
The following information was recovered from a structure labeled as “Kelly House” but referred to in journal entries as “Waterford Mitchell House” on 8 of June 1937. Of note is the fact that the journal appears to be covered in a viscous residue of some sort, which is of a similar consistency to the substance found on some walls and floors of the building. “Waterford Mitchell House” is a Victorian-style building in a state of advanced decay. Of particular interest is the fact that some areas of the structure do not match those described in the journal in any way. Much of the journal is burnt or otherwise illegible. Several terms completely unused in common English such as “pick-wheel” are prevalent throughout the journal, as well as a profession completely unheard of (“health physicist”). Further investigation is ongoing.
-Lead Detective John Walkers, East Swamp Investigations
Entry 14 | July 10 1898 | Clarence Westford
At this stage in my research, it is difficult to say where the project will be in three or four years, but I am relieved to say that Florence and I have the utmost of hopes for it. Though we have only just begun, spirits are high among my few but reliable employees and we seem to be gathering the needed resources faster than we ever thought possible.
The book is coming along well. I cannot wait for it to be finished and published for every scientific hobbyist and professional to see.
Even now, as I lean on the steel railing of this facility’s walkways, I know that I can look down into the empty storerooms and envision the useless but necessary byproducts of our work filling crates upon crates for hundreds of square metres. Thoughts such as these give me strength, or so I would like to think.
It is already half past eight, and I am exhausted from a long day of installing the Darian Clocks in level four. I will continue this documentation in the morning.
Entry 15 | July 11 1898 | Clarence Westford
Florence is off to work on the lower levels today, which leaves me to tend to the west hallway. We are beginning to see breakthroughs in the walls, of a sort. The paint is now peeling off, though Waterford Mitchell House is not a particularly old building. The breakthroughs make me nervous in a manner I cannot easily describe, but I know and Florence knows that we are safe and our unease can be entirely attributed to the lighting of this dreadful place. Electrics are desperately needed. I shall have to look into a budget plan to fund such an installment, as most of our financial resources are spent. I am blessed to have inherited this House from my uncle and aunt, and I can only hope that they would be proud to see what I have made out of it.
I am off to find my father’s old lantern and pick-wheel. I’d like to hope I can put my mind at ease with a little lighting and precise measurement. The walls will have to be held back for now. Our research is far more important than whatever may be pushing from the other side.
Entry 16 | August 15 1899 | Clarence Westford
By God, I have found it. To think that this journal was lost for over a year only to have been sitting on a stool the entire time!
The book is finished and awaiting the final chapter on results. Florence and I are tired, as are our workers, but we are all eagerly awaiting the first controlled breach. I currently stand in front of our device in the lower levels, and I feel its incomprehensible pull. My skin is overwrought with the strangest of sensations; it is not unlike an electric shock, but there is so much more to it than that. This is why I must not step closer, as the device is not even activated and still it is affecting me.
Entry 17 | August 20 1899 | Florence Westford
So this is where Clarence has been keeping his musings. I’d like to think I could share it with him.
Clarence was eager to activate our device earlier, but I luckily convinced him otherwise. The connections are not secure enough at this point. Even now, I am getting measurements of anywhere from 4.5 to 10.4 microsieverts per hour at twenty metres from the epicenter of the device. This is not safe for us. I will be contacting our health physicist if this persists. The amounts of Vincent’s isotopes we used should not be outputting such a high dose.
The only potential positive aspect of these effects is twofold: it may mean that we are close to a controlled breach, or it may mean that the planes are aligned on one or more axes. Both prospects are highly promising.
Entry 18 | August 23 1899 | Florence Westford
For the sake of our historical documentation, I will hesitantly admit that I witnessed an event that was both unnerving and truly inexplicable. I will describe it as best I can, but I am shaken, and so is Clarence. We have not left our bedchambers for well over twelve hours. It began when
Entry 19 | August 24 1899 | Florence Westford
I apologize to whatever historian had to witness the tomfoolery and childishness of the previous page. We and our employees do believe that a breach was made sometime between August 20 and 23, though we do not have the grounds to say exactly when.
I sensed a presence that I believe was an Ezekiel entity from the overlapping plane(s). I did not want it to witness me, and thus I stopped writing as soon as possible.
I believe it has passed by. We should be safe to go into the hall. The lights are on everywhere except the west hallway, so I have nothing visual to fear.
My concern is of how these entities will be perceived. I sometimes fear that lights will not ease my shaking when it is perhaps not darkness I should be avoiding.
Entry 20 | August 26 1899 | Clarence Westford
Florence is missing. I have been weeping all day. I do not know where to find her. Vincent and Sol do not know where she went.
I trust my workers. It is not them I suspect of taking her. I fear that she was not made to disappear by any of us.
I am off to check the machine for tampering and for any sign of Florence’s presence. I know God is with me.
Entry 22 | August 30 1899 | Vincent Redding
We are all searching for Florence. We have been for days.
I am not sure it is necessary to pass this one journal around between us. I can only guess that it happens because one person will leave it in some obscure spot and another will find it at random. I found it after it was in the possession of Clarence, or so I judge from the last entry.
I shall have to watch this journal for entries from Florence. The sciences we are tampering with do not know the same boundaries we know. I suspect that if something of an anomalous nature did indeed happen to Florence, as we all speculate, she might very well be standing beside me on one of the adjacent planes. She may have access to this journal if it exists in her reality as well.
This may be foolish. I am just a health physicist, and these topics are not my field of expertise. I need to go check the eastern pipes for leakage and reprogram the dosimeters. However, that’s assuming I can find all the employees. I see them on occasion, but in the vastness of this House’s underground networks (some of which I have always thought to be unsettlingly unused) it is sometimes futile. We need radios. I shall make a note here to contact the Tesla Company for an order.
I will state for the record that I am leaving this journal on the iron grate over the west compactor’s entry tunnel. If the next person to write does not find it there, I believe we may then have reason to suspect something is amiss.
Entry 23 | September 15 1899 | Vivian E.
The previous entry mentioned a location (the grate above the compactor) and I will state for the record that this was found in the west hallway. I found this most peculiar, as the west hallway is unlit and useless.
In any case, this statement is purely for recordkeeping. I shall try to find one of my superiors and inform them of the mishap.
Entry 24 | September 19 1899 | Florence Westford
Finally, I have found the journal. It is very difficult to see through the fog, and when my foot stumbled upon it, I was shaken with relief.
I have told the Ezekiel entities that they may not touch me. My mother’s words resonate strongly with me as I write this. I have control over my reality. They may not affect me. I will not let them.
I must return home.
Entry 24 | September 19 1899 | Clarence Westford
This page is dirtied and I must press even harder into it with my pencil. It is as if words have been written and erased several times over.
I still have not found Florence. I break down periodically. Vincent comforts me, but he is often in areas of the facility one should not linger in for too long to begin with.
I am growing ever more nervous about the western hallway. There are breakthroughs at multiple parts of the wall. Black slime is oozing. Black oils from the machinery below. It is both unsanitary and concerning. I attempt to peer into the spots of decay, as they seem multilayered, but it is always futile. I find only a blackness staring back at me that haunts my mind if I gaze into it for too long. I know it is only an effect of the low lighting and current events, but I cannot shake the uncanny sensations that overtake me as soon as I turn my back to those dreadful rotting patches.
I cannot see clearly anymore. I feel strange. I will try to describe it for future scientists and historians who read this and document our project, but it will be difficult. I feel as though I have not quite woken from a dream. I can see clearly and the world is well-lit, but it is as if the light is imposed over a black darkness. Contrast is too high. I feel as though, if I make myself fearful enough, I can pull back a layer of this world and gaze upon the unsightly and incomprehensible horrors of the next. I feel as though I am being watched, but I do not turn around because I know that the watcher is not visible to me. This comforts me. It cannot physically affect me, or so I would like to believe.
What am I saying? This is madness. I am driven crazy by my loss of Florence. I long to feel her warmth around me once more. I weep for hours at night. I pray to God that He please bring her back to me. At times I will imagine her hand, caressing me. This is unexpectedly distressing, as I know she is not there.
Victor is spending the night in my room. I cannot sleep alone anymore. He will sit by my bed and watch the doorway.
Entry 25 | September 19 1899 | Florence Westford
My tears do not fall on Clarence’s body, though they fall toward it. They are falling through it. I cannot wake him up. I am not there, and the fog is thick.
I will not let this world take me. I do not belong in it. Its inhabitants know this. They are patient with me because they know I am trying to get out. I must find some way to latch onto an object of the plane in which I belong.
The machine has been on this entire time. I went downstairs and saw it. Vincent’s counters were missing, or perhaps they were never there. I fear that I may be ill with radiation poisoning because of this. I remind myself that I am sick with fear as well, and I may be able to attribute all of my conditions to fear alone. Only time will tell.
Entry 25 | September 19 1899 | Vincent Redding
This journal was found in the main room housing the device. I do not even want to estimate the dose I received just running in to grab it.
I will know who put it there when both of us fall ill. This is why I risked my heath. I am determined to get to the bottom of this nonsensical madness. I will hopefully survive. I have had radiation sickness before, and my lifetime experimenting with hormesis should benefit me greatly.
I fear for whomever placed the journal here, however. He or she may not be as fortunate as I.
I am off to the common room. I hope I can find someone there.
Entry 26 | September 20 1899 | Clarence Westford
Florence came to me in my sleep. In my dream. My father has long told me that dreaming is a bridge between parallel planes in some cases. I was always too skeptical. Now, however, I am beginning to think that the dream was an instruction, from God or otherwise.
I suspect that I am either desperate or enlightened, and both notions are equally terrifying.
At this point, most of the journal is destroyed. The next legible page is written several weeks after the last.
Entry 77 | November 10 1899 | Florence Westford
I have had a revelation, and the fog is clearing.
I can see the others, and I can walk through them. This is an illusion. My physical properties have not been altered, and this logical conclusion is how I convinced myself that I am not dead. It was not easy, but I am and have always been a woman of science. Clarence’s faith in me has given me strength.
I have theorized that my view of a different plane is one-sided because this plane’s device is activated and the original plane’s is not. If they are both activated, the connection will establish.
I have mapped out the cycles based on Tesla’s theory of spatial regression. This version of our world is overlapped exactly with the other at this time. It will only happen again at the next turn of the century. I cannot live that long and I will not allow Clarence to die without me.
The overlap is coming to an end. I must hurry.
Entry 78 | November 17 1899 | Florence Westford
I now hesitate, though with great pain, to carry out my original plan.
The Ezekiel entities in this plane are growing impatient with my presence. I see their misshapen forms watching me from behind the walls. They know that I do not fear them. They know I force myself not to fear them. I must not fear the unknown. That does not change my natural reaction to being watched by unknown beings; I feel my skin grow colder with each timeless day and night.
I am in the center of the greatest conflict of my life, and it is a conflict so burning, so aching that it trumps even that of when my father told me to choose between him and my mother.
If I somehow communicate with the others and instruct them to activate their machine, that will bridge the gap between planes for two minutes. I have calculated it after some great toil and I am certain of it. If the gap is bridged, I will be fully manifested in the others’ reality, but so will the Ezekiel entities.
The only place in this House I know to be stationary and in the same location in both planes is the central device. It is thus the most logical place for me to stand when the connection is made. However, I would receive a lethal dose of radiation from the device if I did so.
There is an abhorrent amount of conflicting information involved with this entire event.
Reluctantly, I look to God for guidance. I look to whomever or whatever is orchestrating this mad universe, no matter their name. I do not want to be eternally and perpetually trapped in this fog world. I will lose my mind, and I know not where my soul will go after my mind is gone.
But I cannot leave Clarence alone. I love him and he loves me. I want so badly to believe that love is not constricted by physics, but science is proving me wrong.
Entry 79 | November 19 1899 | Clarence Westford
I am driven mad by the ever-present watching and stalking of these Ezekiel entities. I scream at them. They are always following me. I find myself conjuring up fantastical visions of what they may look like. I am terrified of the results. I wish I had not thought so much on it. Part of me wonders if these entities draw their energy from me, but I silence the idea with reason and logic.
The idea persists every day regardless of this. I fear that I know not enough about this science to definitively say whether or not the concept is sound.
All I know is that I turn around to see dark figures peering from out of walls and around corners. It petrifies me to think that the entities I fear are not bound by my standards of spatiality. I have no means of prevention of interaction, no means of confinement and containment.
Time is running out, and I feel a growing dread that is directly proportional to the ever-increasing darkness of the hallways.
Entry 80 | December 1 1899 | Vincent Redding
I am dying. My hair is gone. I am not afraid of the radiation’s effects. I have accepted my fate and the medication numbs the pain. It is not that I am worried about, but rather the work of Clarence and Florence.
I have always been skeptical of these concepts, but I cannot deny that the halls are becoming clouded and dark. I have seen the indescribable presence of the Ezekiel entities and I now know them to be real. They let me alone for the most part. The strange thing about it all is that they’re not after me. They’re not after anyone, I have come to think, but I am terrified nonetheless.
I have noticed the geometry of the building and the structures below bending and warping incomprehensibly. I have found a ball bearing that twists and bends past the three-dimensional standards we know as it sits in my hand. I cannot describe it, other than that it gives me a headache and I am afraid to hold it without protection.
I wish I could get out of here, but I know I am too weak to move more than a few metres. Beyond that, the door must be long gone at this point.
I am going to sleep, and I do not expect to wake up. It is comforting to know that I died doing my life’s work, but it is unsettling to think about where I will be when my body is obsolete.
The following entry is the next and last legible entry in the journal. It is unknown who wrote it, as the header text is burned to the point of unreadability, but it is assumed from the context of the statements that Clarence Westford was the writer.
This slime is covering everything. It is on my hands. It burns and itches and aches. I believe it is simply oil from the machinery in these lower levels. My only concern is which part may be leaking.
I have found Florence. Her eyes are faded and white but she is alive and she can speak. She will need psychological healing. She has told me of things I have only seen in nightmares.
This project has destroyed the House. I can only hope that someone with knowledge of these topics knows how to control the results of the device and the experiments altogether once we are gone.
I threw the switch of the device in great haste. I know not why I did it. I barely remember doing it, if I did it at all. The past weeks have been a blur to me, and I suspect to Florence as well.
I write this in a last hope to document this project in whatever way possible. I have tampered with concepts and forces that mankind cannot yet comprehend, and as I lay with Florence awaiting our certain death at the hands of unreality, I can only apologize to God for what this project has become.
Something is approaching me in the dark, and I can only hope that my love for Florence will carry me on to the next world.
East Swamp Investigations has thus far found nothing of any significant and/or immediate danger within Kelly House. The number of floors present in Kelly House, including the basement, is significantly lower than the journal entries’ writers claim. The existence of any ‘machine’ such as that described in the journal entries has not been confirmed and none of the mentioned machinery has been sighted.