Taken from the missionary reports by Alfonso Chavarria
I have done what is required, the lord as my spectator, I am a servant of his will. As I stand over the corpse of this hollow sinner, I see the cleansing presence of the lord wash over his soul. The asphyxiation was swift and unperturbed. Though I suspect, if you are reading this, then I have perished; this convinces me that I should explain my presence in London. My reason for being in such a sinful city is the disappearance of fellow priest, Miguel Santé; his work in London had slogged marvels in the orphanages, yet his suspected murder has brought the attentiveness of my church in Terranate. My brother perishing in such an unjust manor, in such an unjust city had taken me to the deduction that, somewhere in this city, is a loathsome malevolent soul who had caused his death. And so I now stand over a man trying to slay me and harvest what little money I had.
“May God have mercy, dear brother.” I whispered before leaving the dark alley.
The time-consuming and unsolicited voyage had already dejected my search, the coroner had no material on the meticulous modus of his demise, nonetheless a small dark line was revealed on his chest; is this an indication of the devil? Only the lord could feasibly discern.
This place is oh so dark, I cannot bear the torment of so many souls in such a way; in my homeland it had been a struggle for survival, but here, it is a struggle to rise amongst the filth that surrounds them. This wrenches at my heart, for they will never succeed and, in part, they all know it to be true. I pray for them, I do, every waking moment; I cannot save them, but I can strike at the heart of this darkness and bring forth the light of God. Calm Alfonso, the time to study and pray is nigh.
I had acquired lodging at a local inn, the name of it escapes me now, but the bed is warm and the light is enough to write. It was until I was disturbed that I remembered an intriguing detail that had escaped me. It was during my repast that I caught a voice from the room next door; it was an anxious voice, unkempt and erratic.
“I-I told him everything that had happened to me I swear.” The nervous voice murmured.
“Did you consider, dear boy, that William is a danger to me?” A secondary voice erupted, in a most sinister tone. “You have not heeded, and so the occasion has arisen for you to fulfill your providence, my dear saccharine boy.”
“Please, I have not wronged a man in my life.”
“Oh, I wish that were true, but the swill and loam in which you debased pigs welter conducts the blood and sweat of all the turpitudes in London; you are saturated in obscenity.”
I listened closer, the sinister voice becoming increasingly agitated.
“Please God, no!” The nervous voice whelped before falling silent.
Could it be, a murder next to my very own, impermanent, sanctuary?
I pressed my ear to the wall to hear a sound I wish I had not, moist crunching and vivacious splatters; a butcher at work. In disbelief I froze, hearing more of the gut-wrenching sounds; the churning of blood and the gargling of the fluid into cavity. I mustered the power of the lord and conducted it into motion; opening my door and banging repeatedly against the one adjacent. Silence. I attempted the handle, but it was locked; stepping back I proceeded to kick violently at the knob, to no avail.
“Open this door in the name of the lord, your crimes will be punished.” I bellowed.
There was a lurid crack as the windows had been shattered. I forcefully kicked once more at the wooden frame, splintering the lock. Such a sight, the senses may be of God, but the consequence this had on me was that of the devil. I saw before me, the mangled corpse I had heard, slaughtered; the wood was barely visible underneath the copious tributaries of blood that had began to soak. Seeing the window smashed, I ran to it yet I could not see, nor would I at such an hour. Nor could I give chase, not knowing the municipality as well as the malefactor. I examined the corpse once more; to find the clue I needed, though I had heard churning and butchering the victim’s chest remained intact, save only for a series of black stitching marks. The devil had sent me a clue, in the form of this atrocity, and I had taken it as a contest. Hearing my ruckus the inn’s owner had arrived at the top of the stairs.
“What the hell is going on?” The ruffled man quizzed.
“There has been a murder, I cannot explain.”
The sight had been too much for the owner; his retching sounds were heard until he ran out into the street to heave. It was around this time that I had prayed for the victim’s soul and head out in search for a constable. This was the start of my holy quest for answers, to which I am unsure of the outcome.
21st August 1890
I am no closer, nor am I any happier with the progress I have made; the body of the victim had been taken for examination, only to disappear during transit. A test no doubt from the lord, yet I cannot help but dander in the face of it. If the same butcher had instigated the mysterious mark, then I had been only a second too late to detain the perpetrator. What’s more; the coroner was powerless to attest the salient correspondences between the satanic marks, leaving me unaided in my pursuit. It seemed I would have to resort to the casualty's life, a Robert Gilford, previously a factory hand. Perhaps I would have to start at the very plant wherein he worked, there must be a correlation you see; between Miguel and Robert.
William, is a common name, nonetheless the culprit had clearly mentioned a ‘William’; I wondered if, perchance, using the black mark and William’s name I could trace another lead? So it was, as if God himself had paved my way, I found one distinct lead.
“You will have to be patient, these men are of the most delicate mind.” The warden spoke. “They tend to be calmer around men of God.”
“Mr. Stevenson will see me?” I enquired.
“Oh yes Mr. Chavarria, he has been wanted to be blessed ever since his incarceration.”
“Warden, I was under the understanding that you were aware of my reasons.”
“I don’t believe I quite follow.”
“I am here to question Mr. Stevenson about his incident, as well as his connection to a certain ‘William’.”
The warden paused, scratching at his neglected stubble.
“If you will allow, Mr. Chavarria, let me explain his reason for his being here.”
“Mr. Stevenson has always been of a nervous disposition but as I’m sure you’re aware, the first attack of psychosis was the result of a supposed ‘demon’.” The warden placed his hand on my shoulder. “I do not know the name exactly, but when questioned Mr. Stevenson cited that a ‘William’ had asked him about his ordeal. Upon William’s departure, the beast purportedly struck again; he is in a great deal of mental distress.”
“Do you think he is telling the truth?” I puzzled.
“I would not pertain to know, nevertheless I do believe that something had frightened him enough to visualize a demon.”
“What are you getting at?”
“When brought to the physician for medical evaluation, we discovered high levels of opiates in his blood; we believe he was confronted and had created the appearance of a demon in the place of an antagonist.”
“I see, my interest is concentrated on William; I will avoid deteriorating his condition Warden, you have my word.”
“Then it is settled, if you take a seat I will bring Mr. Stevenson to you now.” With a smile and a gesture the warden left.
In the distance, through the metal doors and iron locks, I could hear the screams of the mad, and the haunted; it was an unpleasant sound. The wails and moans continued, I could sense the manifestation of the blackness that disquieted their intellects. Of all the unholy places, Holloway sanatorium was by far the most maddening.
No more than a minute had passed before a loud metallic slide alerted me to Mr. Stevenson’s entrance. He sat opposite me, on the large wooden table, his hair filthy and his eyes darting; as if they were chasing a fly. There was a pause, and then began.
“Hello, Mr. Stevenson.” I smiled and held out my hand. “It is a pleasure to meet you.”
“Y-You have come to bless me, to cleanse me?” The desperation in his voice was unnerving.
“In time, Mr. Stevenson. I would like to ask you about a man called William.”
“William?” His voice quivered. “I do not recall.”
“I have it on good authority that you do. Please, I mean only to help you.”
“Elbridge.” A faint murmur. “William Elbridge.”
“Good, where does Mr. Elbridge live?”
“H-He didn’t, he stayed at the Briar inn, for a while.”
“Do you know where he went?” I became visibly frustrated. “Where is he now?”
“There’s only rumors, but some say he left the country.”
“Left, what do you mean?”
“He fled, from the demon. On a ship.”
“What ship?” I bellowed. “What was its name?”
‘I-I uh, I cannot remember.” Beginning to weep. “Please, I cannot remember.”
“How long ago did Mr. Elbridge depart?” I reconditioned my serene posture.
“W-Weeks I think, I cannot be certain. It was a while ago I assure you.”
Though it pained me to do so, I could appreciate the verity in his eyes, I accepted that William had vanished. The probabilities of discovering which vessel and port were insufferable, using another name, I could never peruse.
“Thank you Mr. Stevenson, I appreciate your time.” Motioning the trinity I gestured to the orderlies to take the, mad Mr. Stevenson away. “God will watch over you here.”
I surprised myself upon leaving Holloway, I prayed, solemnly and with sentiment; perhaps, I had been reticent and troubled by these aberrant Englishmen, but now; I pity them.
It was sometime in the early hours of the morning, I had been thinking far too much for a healthy cognizance; something pocketed my provocation from me. I had stared at the bowl of stew for hours feeling no desire to eat; I had no possible lead to trace, in all manners considered. I prayed for an answer, a sign; but I became progressively anxious that I was being overlooked. I shall uncover faith ultimately, until then I will carry out missionary work as Miguel had intended.