Morley - I

Written and Illustrated by Benjamin Fouché

This menacing stalker imperceptibly arrived in the farmlands outside of Hemlock during the lull of the nocturnal hours.  Crisp draughts twirled the shriveled leaves down the pathways, causing them to dance in a rather ghostly profusion.  The well-aged trees whistled while the fall winds rushed through the nightly heavens.  Dark clouds streaked across the wan moon, and cast mist-like shadows through the pallor of its descending rays.  One may have considered this night to be dismally beautiful.  Indeed, the night of October Fifth would have been a quite potent inspiration for the aspiring poets and writers of Gothic Romanticism.  The mysteriousness of the environment was notably ideal for the wonderers of the shadows.  But perhaps this forbidding preciseness was the direct cause of the imminent fear.  And this fear’s given name, was Morley.

Roaming about as a lone jester, in his antique puppeteer wagon, the cat-like pupils of Morley’s crimson-hued eyes gazed upon the vast, country landscape, remaining inert with every focus.  Staring further upon the helplessness of the temporal world, a half-leer grew from his black, ink-like, stained lips, causing his pallid face to become markedly horrid.  His ashen hands were steering his dray of amusement, while he thought threatening thoughts.  Developing within his sullied heart was the intolerable longing for madness; the screams and implorations of the living were wondrous carols to his moon-white ears.  It had already been long enough, and thus now, the dreams beyond dreams called him forth.  Hitherto October Fifth, all slept restfully, but during the unusually insufferable evening of the Fifth, all rested quite uneasily.

The swift gusts, emanating from the hollows and hillsides around, brushed the melancholic-emerald, silken, curled hair of Morley, while he dismounted his carriage, contemplating innumerable vicious plots.  His wicked desires incessantly enthralled him.  He glanced north.  He glanced south.  He glanced east.  He glanced west.  Every soul yonder all sight would be his.  All that Morley merely needed now was for the inquisitive to become imprisoned within their very own instinctive curiosity, evermore.  How amusing these looming times would be.  And yet, it is unfortunate to acknowledge how horrific the forthcoming events would be for the townspeople and farmers of Hemlock.  Nonetheless, there would be much hilarity to be found in the terror.  Of course, only by Morley.
 
The abnormal, dull-violet clothing of Morley rippled in the pine-scented breezes.  He meticulously adjusted his four, oversized buttons upon his grayed gown.  His pasty, bare feet protruded from underneath the wavy cuffs of his outfit, which felt the desiccated grass below.  Breathing deeply, Morley hurled out his arms in an embracing manner, knowing unerringly that his demesne of forever madness was to claim Hemlock. Pacing along the lonely road, a farmhouse abruptly seized his attention with great vigor.  Upon a hillock stood the simple dwelling––a rooved stoop humbly guarded the entrance, and two limestone chimneys towered on both ends of the home.  Smiling with a seemingly atrocious grin, Morley advanced towards the house, through the smoky air, and entered uninvited.  There were several agonizing shrieks, until all had deadened.  A cauldron was lit in the scythed field, and its liquids thus began to boil furiously. Whatever truly transpired that night at the poor farmer’s abode was indeed ghastly.
 
Morley’s reign of unremitting fear was ignited, and his existence was unendingly conjured from the depths of the unknown.  Such perpetual darkness was spilled into the soil, and therefore poisoned the earth with a sprouting sickness; a Dark Sickness.  Very shortly, all would see––all eyes would open, and remain fixed upon the subjects of insanity.  An unmerited phantasm had enshrouded Hemlock.  Morley’s craving for this quaint illness was vast and insatiable.  The unwary were to succumb to his impenetrable cloak of bemusement and horror.  Spirits would be garnered and Hemlock would become destitute of joy and orderliness.  The Darkness would encourage and provoke Morley to carry forth his unhallowed deeds. 

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Arcane Wonders by Midnight Syndicate

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