1.The seller of lightning rods arrived just ahead of the storm. He came along the street of Green Town, Illinois, in the late cloudy October day, sneaking glances over his shoulder. Somewhere not so far back, vast lightnings stomped the earth. Somewhere, a storm like a great beast with terrible teeth could not be denied.
So the salesman jangled and clanged his huge leather kit in which oversized puzzles of ironmongery lay unseen but which his tongue conjured from door to door until he came at last to a lawn which was cut all wrong.
No, not the grass. The salesman lifted his gaze. But two boys, far up the gentle slope, lying on the grass. Of a like size and general shape, the boys sat carving twig whistles, talking of olden or future times, content with having left their fingerprints on every movable object in Green Town during summer past and their footprints on every open path between here and the lake and there and the river since school began.
2. I was shown into the attic chamber by a grave, intelligent-looking man with quiet clothes and an iron-gray beard, who spoke to me in this fashion:
"Yes, he lived here- but I don’t advise your doing anything. Your curiosity makes you irresponsible. We never come here at night, and it’s only because of his will that we keep it this way. You know what he did. That abominable society took charge at last, and we don’t know where he is buried. There was no way the law or anything else could reach the society.
"I hope you won’t stay till after dark. And I beg of you to let that thing on the table- the thing that looks like a match-box- alone. We don’t know what it is, but we suspect it has something to do with what he did. We even avoid looking at it very steadily."
3. On a very hot day in August of 1994, my wife told me she was going down to the Derry Rite Aid to pick up a refill on her sinus medicine prescription -- this is stuff you can buy over the counter these days, I believe. I'd finished my writing for the day and offered to pick it up for her. She said thanks, but she wanted to get a piece of fish at the supermarket next door anyway; two birds with one stone and all of that. She blew a kiss at me off the palm of her hand and went out. The next time I saw her, she was on TV. That's how you identify the dead here in Derry -- no walking down a subterranean corridor with green tiles on the walls and long fluorescent bars overhead, no naked body rolling out of a chilly drawer on casters; you just go into an office marked PRIVATE and look at a TV screen and say yep or nope.
4. FOR the most wild, yet most homely narrative which I am about to pen, I neither expect nor solicit belief. Mad indeed would I be to expect it, in a case where my very senses reject their own evidence. Yet, mad am I not --and very surely do I not dream. But tomorrow I die, and today I would unburthen my soul. My immediate purpose is to place before the world, plainly, succinctly, and without comment, a series of mere household events. In their consequences, these events have terrified--have tortured--have destroyed me. Yet I will not attempt to expound them. To me, they have presented little but Horror--to many they will seem less terrible than baroques. Hereafter, perhaps, some intellect may be found which will reduce my phantasm to the commonplace--some intellect more calm, more logical, and far less excitable than my own, which will perceive, in the circumstances I detail with awe, nothing more than an ordinary succession of very natural causes and effects.
5. Dear Reader:
In the summer of 1998, at an estate sale in Everett, Washington, I purchased a locked diary covered in dust, writings I believed to be those of Ellen Rimbauer. Beaumont University's Public Archive Department examined the paper, the ink and the binding and determined the diary to be authentic. It was then photocopied at my request. Ellen Rimbauer's diary became the subject of my master's thesis and has haunted me ever since. (Excuse the pun!) John and Ellen Rimbauer were among the elite of Seattle's turn-of-the-century high society. They built an enormous private residence at the top of Spring Street that became known as Rose Red, a structure that has been the source of much controversy. In a forty-one-year period at least twenty-six individuals either lost their lives or disappeared within its walls.
Sources posted below.
Old Beginnings 11
1. Something Wicked This Way Comes....Ray Bradbury
2. "The Evil Clergyman"....H.P. Lovecraft
3. Bag of Bones....Stephen King
4. "The Black Cat"....Edgar Allen Poe
5. The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer....Joyce Reardon?