Taken from Col. Richard Thompson’s expedition journal.
16th August 1885.
As interesting as Doctor Gradstein’s tales are, I begin to tire of such nonsense; the legends and myths that surround this region of the Middle East are purely heathenish voodoo gibberish, I loath it. Though our excavation of Garni temple goes well, Gradstein continues to frighten the workers with stories of ‘Anush’, the dragon god of Armenian mythology. It was just the other day that I overheard such a tale; the supposed curse of the dragon god had rendered all those who trespass with a debilitating flesh eating jinx, such childish dawdling.
Stationed as personal guard for Gradstein’s team, I have to say that this expedition is a terribly dreary affair; I have witnessed exactly three accounts of worker ‘scuffles’ and not once did blood spill, savages. I have waited for something exiting to occur, as Gradstein has found little more than pottery shards and ancient bones.
I’m trying to avoid writing it, yet I cannot deceive my own journal; there was one incident that struck with such unexpected veracity that I had been ashamed to speak of it. Yesterday in the light of the setting sun I witnessed a man dressed in robes, his face darkened and his presence unwelcome, I watched him approach the excavation site. His arms raised and he called me, by name.
“Richard, the man of many unspeakable talents, I welcome you to Armenia.”
I had thought, at first, that I had consumed tainted water; the phantasm could not appear in such a fashion, knowing my name first hand. I rattled before raising my rifle.
“Identify yourself!” I bellowed. “Lest I shoot you where you stand.”
“Dear Richard, it is only a conversation that I require.” The beastly figure spoke. “Allow me a minute of your time?”
I paused, the heat and dehydration may have created an inexplicable delusion, and perhaps this apparition was a man, nothing more. And so, seated by the temple’s entrance we spoke.
“I must ask, who are you?” I enquired.
“Questions like that are meant for another time Colonel.” The figure spoke in a peculiar tone. “I would ask of you only to recite what it is you want from your time on this plane of existence?”
“By what do you mean?”
“Do you dream of salvation dear Colonel?”
I did, I had once hoped that the lord would forgive me my sins, a soldiers life, no matter how honorable, is that of a murderer. I had, and would, do terrible things in my lifetime; yet as the hooded figure spoke, he promised me a second chance, an opportunity to repent, carrying out the lord’s work.
“What would it cost?”
“Spiritually, it would cost you nothing my dear Colonel, but I ask only for the flesh that hangs from your bones; to do with, what is necessary.”
“Why me? What have you traveled all this way for?”
“My dear, the same thing as you; answers.”
“Quite; where do we emanate from? Where do we go when mortality devours its supply?” The figure leant in. “Help me find out Colonel, I implore you?”
“Of course but, sir, why me?”
“Because, God himself has deemed it so.”
Hours of convocation ensued, we discussed his intentions his plans and how my name had come to him; in a dream I believe he said. Had I realized the full implications of such an arrangement, I would have shot the beast where he sat. Later that evening, under the Armenian night-sky, the being showed me his, gruesome, sketching; though they appeared medically professional, there was a dark and unholy presence about the images. I beheld the image of a man, his tissues substituted with, god-knows-what, the drawing then disclosed the transplantation of such embodied the individual with something called ‘deliverance’. I asked the twisted physician precisely what ‘deliverance’ referred to, with no discernable response; I have to concede even I, a man of bellicose history, found the images frightening.
“You intend to perform the operation on me?”
“Not near the matching degree, my good man, the images are an aspiration for the future.” The beast breathed heavily and then calmed. “All I would ask of you is to accept one procedure, in the name of atonement, for the good of your mortal soul.”
Having considered my violent actions, I accepted. Good lord, if I had known the belligerent horror that would follow I would have never agreed. Such a foul sensation, the awakening bore such horrific consequences.
The sun rose, the figure nowhere to be seen. The blood stained upon my shirt, and the viscous tar at the side of my bed was the only notable sign of the figure’s presence, at first. It was as I prepared to rise that the searing agony across my chest forced me to cry out in anguish; the thick bloodied lines across my chest still oozed a bloodied-tar-like substance. Of all things, the smell effected me the most, the putrid smell; its vile bearing retching my stomach.
“God help me.” I murmured.
Though, as I said it, I knew that I had forsaken him, tempted by the devil himself I began my path, unknowingly, to my own demise. I forget the words I cursed, but I remember the crowd that gathered around my tent.
“Colonel Thompson, are you alright?” Gradstein probed, peering his head inside the tent to see the cataclysmic abrasions on my chest. “Dear god, what happened to you?”
Words had escaped me; instead only despair and weakness were at my disposal. I wept, blubbering into Gradstein’s leather boots, I crawled, clawing at his leg.
“Help me doctor, I beg you.”
Gradstein, flicking me off with his boot, retreated and called for his assistant.
“Fetch me my satchel, hurry boy!”
Moments later I lay in the medical tent, my chest being examined thoroughly. Though I was no medical expert myself, I could discern from Gradstein’s expression that what had happened to me was to be the cause of my death.
“I-Is it infected?” I cried.
“I have never, in all my many years, seen such a fluid form from the human body.” Gradstein collected the fluid; the thick material pulsated in a hideous motion. After the third day, I finally slept; my dreams filled with the blackness that had begun to fill my veins.
31st August 1885
I remained. Writing has become increasingly difficult, though I must document all I can, there will be no witnesses; I can feel it. Dark and violent thoughts had taken me; the smell of those working had begun to anger me greatly. Just last week the skin had begun to swell and morph, my form is that of horrific disfigurement. As I write to you now, I can feel the bones shape and crack, I am in agony yet the flow of black tar in my veins offers an almost ‘pleasurable’ sensation. I do not know how long I will last. I can barely force my self to admit it, nevertheless last night, during Gradstein’s daily examination, I caved in, and the dark anger within me drove my long skeletal hands around his neck. I wish that I could say he suffocated, but what truly happened was far more sickening; upon the fury within me peaking, I removed Gradstein’s head with my bare hands, the blood, dear god the blood would not cease to spray the tent and myself. Christ, what blasphemous abscess have I become, a slave to the delegators of Satan’s call. I wish the pain and hunger would cease, I know that although I am hidden, within the confides of the temple the rest of the expedition team will soon fall victim to whatever beast I have become. It is unfathomable to think how large and grotesque I have become; I am a monster a hulking brute with nothing left to offer except death and violence. I do not want this, god forgive me.
??? September 1885
The…pain, I cannot think nor write without difficulty. I did it, slaughtered the entire team, they all perished, I could not and would not stop. Their lifeblood drove me, their flesh amassed for him, the one who made me. I am no longer man, but monster. I write the last words of Richard Thompson, as he will soon be rendered unreservedly abolished leaving only violent dermis. I wish my Mary in London a safe life, and know that I love her and I’m so very sorry.
The Resurrectionist started as a morbid fascination with the macabre, Edgar Allen Poe, H.P Lovecraft and Clive Barker to name a few. As I began to gestate the idea for short story I soon found my self writing more and more, the book took on a life of its own and before I new it I had a 100+ page novella.
I had discussed literature with a friend about 3-4 years ago who told me that long chapters were such a turn off when reading; (as he’d read on the bus or before bed) he simply wanted short manageable chapters to which he could gain a sort of closure in a relatively short time frame. And so I did just that, though the chapters consist of a few pages, they act as a great many short ‘testimonies’, diary entries, accounts and nightmares by the folly of victims. Every 2 weeks, the next chapter will go up for your enjoyment.