[tsat home] [#22] [stories]

Progressive Catastrophe
by Wayne Sheeler
©2002 Wayne Sheeler -- all rights reserved

Psychologist case study: 509

Journal of Chris Evinger: This document was written into an online format over the course of a single day. The original copy was destroyed, reportedly being plagued by some type of termite.

May 12, 2000

This journal is the start of my therapy. I'm not sure it will be effective, but it will let the psychologist know better what I am experiencing.

It started on Wednesday when we had sat down for dinner. The dinner consisted of a salad, some ham, and a fruit cocktail. Joan had tried to keep fuss to a minimum, complaining that she was tired that day. Joy and Ross hadn't even been fighting. Right before dessert, the knocking started.

We ignored it at first, figuring it was just a child come to play or company that should have called ahead. But the knocking quickly grew frantic, shaking the frame. I almost ignored it, but something inside me wanted to know who was at the door.

Upon opening the door, I saw a stooped and disheveled figure, no more than four feet tall. Rags seemed to cling to him everywhere, obscuring his actual form. But his face is still burned into my mind.

It was a mixture a human and animal features, put together in a truly mosaic fashion. The teeth seemed to crawl across the creature's face from ear to chin, its ears were enlarged and tattered, the fur that crossed it struggling to become a beard where the creature's fur gave way to wrinkled pink flesh. The nose seemed a foreign object, cut off from the rest of its countenance and yet hanging tenaciously to the face. I moved back startled when a hand shot forward and gripped me. It spoke in a gravelly tone, though I could not tell what it was saying as it scrabbled to keep me near.

It was then that a truly terrifying phantasm appeared. It seemed to fade into the world, starting transparent and becoming solid in a short moment. Tentacles in unlimited supply seemed to swirl around its central feature, a parrot like beak, ringed internally with a seemingly unending tube of lamprey like mouths. Eyes peaked out from every gap between its writhing organs. Despite all of this, there are more things about it I cannot describe, for I lack the words and possibly some of the observation, for it seemed to be constantly changing its shape. The many arms wrapped around the wretch who still desperately clung to me and screamed hideously as he was pulled swiftly into that endless maw, skirting down into an unknown fate.

I woke up on the couch as I had fainted. My family stood around me and told me they had heard a scream. When they came to look, I was unconscious. The images fresh in my mind caused me to leap up and run, to see if the thing was still there. There were no traces. After relating the facts to Joan later, we both agreed I should see a psychologist to further explore these hallucinations.

I have seen nothing since then. However, I feel very uneasy, as if I were being watched.

May 13, 2000

This day has been absolutely horrible. I wonder if the things I have been seeing are manifestations of my subconscious screaming to let loose a secret that I was not aware of. My wife has left me, possibly in my greatest time of need.

When I woke after the first day of therapy, I felt that writing my thoughts down had helped me to stabilize. I got up in the morning and kissed Joan. I had slept in and needed to rush to work. As I got into the car, and turned the ignition I started to hallucinate again. Eyes peered back at me from the rear view mirror as I pulled out.

A double take later and they were gone. The rest of the drive was fairly uneventful, though the radio bothered me. The stations came in clearly and they were all the normal ones, but something about the volumes and tones seemed to change subtly.

It was a usual day. I kept to my cubicle, as there were few at the company I would call friends, though many associates. I kept seeing someone out of the corners of my eyes. A man in a trench coat was just standing between everything, yet when I would look, he would be gone.

It was an uneventful day until I reached home. I was surprised to find many things strewn upon the lawn. Clothes, belongings, even some furniture had been unceremoniously dumped into the front yard. I thought that perhaps one of my children had decided to play a joke, but when I entered the living room, I quickly found out otherwise. My Joan, my wife was standing there with a man in a formal gray suit. My mouth began to open, but before I could say a word, I was handed a paper. As my eyes scanned it, my mind reeled. I asked her if this were a joke and the man responded for her.

"You will be asked to leave on penalty of arrest as the house is in her name. You will learn the court date within the next two days. Please..." he droned on, but I stopped listening. It was too sudden, too unpredictable. I had no idea she had wanted to divorce me. Our children were still at school. It just seems unreal. I have loved her and been with her for ten years. I thought that we had been honest and that all of the things that we had gone through made us stronger.

After what may have been fifteen minutes of explanation, another ten of pleading, and five minutes of legal tripe, I was forced to leave. The tone of the lawyer reminded me of the radio, sounding... off. I drove around angry for at least an hour and finally decided I needed a place to stay and some time to get things done. I looked for a place to stay and got a motel room. After calling a few places, I found out all of our savings were in Joan's name. I could have sworn we had some in my name, but apparently not. It was really horrible being alone. I tried to remain optimistic, but my world had just fallen apart. I called my parents, my siblings, and my closest friends. It was midnight when I had gotten done talking to all of them, and my best friend Todd had told me to meet him at a bar.

It was very late when I arrived and he helped me drown my sorrows without too much ado. I puked until I felt I'd lost weight.

I am very tired and would like to rest now. Working will be difficult tomorrow, but it has to get done.

May 14, 2000

[There are many scribbles here, highly illegible and smeared]

I can barely stand up or bear to write. My job just went out the window. I came to work as usual and I was called to my boss' office after lunch. He told me that due to recent budget cuts someone had to be let go and that I was determined to be the most expendable. It's just damned unfair.

I've only eaten breakfast, and am very hungry. I feel so bad that my body seems to be taking some toll from the stress. I look in the mirror and just feel that I look wrong. The hallucination of the day was centered in the streetlights. There was something inside them, squirming around and causing the light to flicker haphazardly.

I can't sleep, but I hope to soon. I'm afraid of being alone here with my thoughts for too long. I have been unable to get a hold of anyone in my family. With money as tight as it is, tomorrow will be my second and last therapy session until things change. After that, I HAVE to find a job, lest I lose myself to despair.

May 15, 2000

I must have drunk myself to sleep last night, for I woke in a pool of my own vomit with bottle in my hand. My visit to the psychologist seemed to suggest that I might need therapy after this is all over more than I do currently. He gave me several suggestions and pamphlets to deal with loss and instability, and also told me to keep writing my experiences down, as a way to organize my thoughts and analyze them.

I felt in higher spirits after the visit, but the rest of the day was very depressing. I looked for jobs, but only the lowest paying and most menial of jobs seemed to be hiring. A few said they would get back to me, but I wonder.

Papers from my wife's... Joan's lawyer arrived at the house. It seems that she was somehow charging me with stalking as well. A not so nice personal letter told me to take off the coat and stop skulking around. I still can't accept that she has turned on me so completely as to believe I would do that.

I have not taken proper care of myself in the last two days. I feel off balance and scraggly. A proper shower has managed to rid me of some of the feeling, as well as a decent meal, but I may be a stranger to these soon.

My brother finally contacted me and told me to come tomorrow to his place to stay. I hate imposing upon family, but he insisted. Perhaps I should just accept that I'm currently weak enough to need help. The money situation will be tight, but maybe I can get around it with help.

It is rather bleak looking out. I can't even see the street from my window. It's almost as if all the light in the world has decided to avoid my window.

May 16, 2000

I am writing a brief synopsis of my day. If I am insane, I beg whoever reads this to kill me.

My family is gone. All of them. My wife, my brother, everyone. I went to my brother's to see that his house had been moved out of the day before. I called all of my relatives and it was the same story with each of them -- they had no idea what I was talking about. They had not heard of me, did not know of my problems. Joan's legal representative claimed that he wasn't working on a divorce case. Furthermore, he didn't recognize her name.

I didn't eat for most of the day. None of the jobs I had tried to get turned up anything yet. I applied for a few jobs I wouldn't usually consider -- McDonalds and other fast food places. I needed a job, even a crappy one, if I was to survive at all.

I ate a little food much later, just some snacks.

I know that this book hasn't left my sight in the last few days except for sleeping. So I hope it's safe what I'm doing right now. I think that there may be someone working against me. It reminds me of some of the conspiracy novels I've read: I'm disappearing. First my immediate family, then my job, now the rest of my family. I've decided to stay up all night long, because soon, they should be coming for me. I will do my best to write down observations as this happens.

Who would do this to someone? Why? I don't blame my poor Joan -- it was likely all of our lives on the line if I'm correct. Perhaps my hallucinations were caused by this group drugging me at some point? Why would they want me to disappear? I've never seen anything or done anything important enough to justify this. I haven't hallucinated today, now that I think of it.

It's nearly 2 am now. There is a man in a trench outside, but he does not appear to be fully there, translucent at times. My body feels very strange. It could be a side effect of hunger and stress, but it feels so odd, as if things were squirming around inside me. My bones ache, though I'm not quite sure if that's possible. I think I'll sit for a while and try not to think too hard about the pains or the man outside.

May 17, 2000

I am not sure what is going on anymore and I am unsure still. If this is not madness, then it is real. If it is real, then I am afraid.

The pains grew worse overtime. When I finally thought that it was about time to take some sort of painkiller, I was unable to get any. My body had frozen up. I sweat profusely for some time while my body seemed to stiffen externally. My insides kept moving about, feeling like they were moving with a life of their own. Suddenly, I started to slowly urinate. It continued slowly, seeming to almost be tearing my bladder apart, till I felt a slow ripping. The pain became excruciating as my entire body followed suit. I was getting bloated with an internal fluid over my entire body. The ceiling, walls, the television -- everything in sight faded into nothingness save myself. Halfway through this I looked down to see my chest split apart and dozens of squirming things splashing in a wave of some ichor that issued forth. I passed out at that point.

When I awoke, my body felt weighed down. I almost choked as I felt I was breathing through a wet paper sack. I breathed deep and headed towards the bathroom, though I could only see out of one eye. There was some misshapen shape in the mirror, a bloated monstrous shambling piece of meat that seemed to shroud a humanoid form. I felt something all over me, and I realized that the thing in the mirror was me. Usually, hallucinations don't leave reflections. I gingerly touched my face and the creature mimicked me. I could not feel the skin, however. My fingers did not touch my face, but whatever strange cloak covered it. I pulled the skin and it easily tore loose from my flesh. I pulled from the face first and the air felt cool and clean against MY skin. Looking in the mirror, there was something wrong, however. My face was not my own.

There was long hair were short had been. My face was much too smooth. My lips felt large on my face and my entire countenance seemed like that of a woman. I almost screamed, but decided that first I should remove the skin from myself. As I stripped the meaty thing from my torso, two large boobs seemed to push forth and make their presence known. They both bounced out, as if waiting to strike my mind with another horrible revelation. Still, after a moment, I pulled and squirmed and managed to remove it from the rest of my body. I even had hips and a pussy. A vaginal opening god damn it, what the fuck, you know? My life seems to go to hell in hand basket and then this shit too? Someone out there fucking hates me, but if I ever find them I swear I will kill them.

Anyways, it turns out my license was changed too, but I was still just as broke. My clothes had changed to a series of things that fit me, though many were much too womanish and revealing. I don't feel sorry for myself anymore, now I just want some damn answers and a break!

Oh my god. 7 am. It was the same damn creature. I saw the phantasm only moments ago, the same tentacled, beaked monstrosity. It devoured that second skin. It picked it up and ripped it apart, flecks of blood and sinew streaming and gushing from it's maw, only to be caught mid air by those horrible tentacles. I was so scared that I nearly wet myself, but I got so angry I tried to attack the thing. My blows succeeded in doing nothing to it, but I felt the damn thing. It faded away when it was done, but I felt the slime upon my hands afterwards. The skin had stayed, the slime had stayed. Although a few days ago, I would have said that I was afraid to lose my mind: I now pray that I am insane.

The man in the trench coat has spoken to me now, around 2 pm. He told me that the creature is after me, and that if I do not act, I will be devoured like the thing upon my doorstep. He gave me an address and said to be quick about my visit, for the creature was very watchful.

I visited the address after an hour of middling. The place was steeped in incense and had a slightly new age feel to it. However, it seemed a more respectable shop than most. There were arcane symbols and things the likes of which I had not known to exist in the modern world scrawled across all the walls, and it gave me a feeling of safety I have not had for the past few days. Statues, weapons, and other strange artifacts seemed to be piled everywhere. A sharply dressed young man helped me find what I was looking for. He helped his grandfather run the store and started to tell me about his academic career. Looking at my body, I realized I was being hit on. Worse yet, my mind seemed receptive. I knew I shouldn't have been attracted, but I was and some of my body responded. He rubbed my shoulders as I began to read, until his grandfather chastised him, rambling on in a strange accent about the virtues of family loyalty.

As I read the strange tome, then another and another, the picture started to take shape. If I am not insane, than I am living in an insane world. Various tomes pointed to some creature whose greatest pleasure was to ruin the lives of all those it met, feeding on despair and misery. It changed reality to suit its whims, one aspect at a time. Many of these tomes indicated that creatures such as fairies and genies had been sinister guises and variations of this creature. Its victims have usually disappeared into obscurity before vanishing altogether. On of the older tomes, which discussed topics that even now make me shudder, tells one more important detail: that it devours and consumes the victims when they are entirely alone and without any hope.

I did not want to leave that place, but it was quite late when they ejected me. The body I wore was so weak that I was frightened. I couldn't be alone and so I used my wits and contacted a women's shelter and am writing this before I drift off to sleep. The beds here are very comfortable and there are many women here in worse situations than mine, in some respects. However, tomorrow, I must read more. If I don't find a way to shake this conscious curse, I am sure it will consume me. Although I have scribed a few of the symbols from the store, I am unsure if they have the power to protect me in any way. I only hope I do not find myself in a worse position tomorrow.

May 18, 2000

I am writing at the occult store. Only now behind the wards that the owners have put up do I feel safe enough to talk. It is nearly one in the afternoon and I am trying to get over my morning. When I first woke, I felt wonderful. Until a felt a thrust inside me, followed by another until I woke up, a familiar face above me, sweating as I felt -- him inside me. My fucking psychologist. It had felt good on the first thrust, but I was afraid and the next few thrusts to come nearly made me scream with pain and frustration. I felt liquid shoot into me, hot and penetrating. He got up and said very little, leaving me a few hundred dollars on the nightstand. I went to the bathroom, puking, crying, showering, and doing my best to try and cleanse myself of what just happened. It felt as if there was a hole in my stomach, like an empty pit. It hurt.

After exiting my room, I realized that the entire shelter had changed. It had become a whorehouse overnight. All the kind women had gone, replaced by girls and women of various ages wearing seductive clothing of one type or another, the shy smiles of hope replaced by the hazy eyes of habitual drug use. I don't know if all the people here were the same as the ones there yesterday, but it didn't matter. I had to leave as quickly as possible. The changes were so great: no children, every room a bedroom, the kitchen and living room decorated in the least homey way imaginable. An older woman, whom I could only assume was a madam, told me to stay put and grabbed my hair with a strength that belied her age. Her fingernails seemed talon like and looking into her eyes I saw only the bleakness of night. However, she was a much older woman and after the humiliation I had just suffered I barely felt the hair pull out as I continued on my way, paying her no heed. Nothing else stopped me on my way other than the occasional wolf calls and a few cars that were asking if I wanted a ride... or wanted to give them one. My car had disappeared with the center. My arrival to the occult store was largely unimpeded save a quick lunch bought with the money that had been left on the nightstand. The walk made me feel very uncomfortable as my new body moves in ways that disturb me, gyrations, bounces, and swings that force me to deal with the reality of this situation.

Strangely, the storeowner and his grandson remember me, unlike most of the people I have met. I am getting a shoulder rub right now and it feels very good. There is another set of tomes I need to look through. The old man is telling me that I will need to buy something today if I want to keep doing this. So I buy a handful of the less disturbing books I am using to research.

I wonder who the man in the trench coat was? A guardian angel? A mad prophet? I think that he must have been out for my own welfare, but I wish I could thank him personally one day. For that to happen though, I must survive.

The young man, Thomas, seems overly helpful. Thinking about it, my body appears to be the same age as his. I wonder what it would be like to (there are some words that were scribbled over here). I must remain on task.

Thomas has been quite a help. It is nearly three, and we believe we have uncovered something of use. He thought I was going out of my way to bind such a creature, and so searching had found several stories that refer to their binding, though none are highly encouraging.

One speaks of several fakirs binding a similar, if not identical, creature into the paw of a monkey. It would grant wishes to those who held it, once for each finger. However, the fakirs were quite powerful and numerous, where I was alone and knew next to nothing of the occult. I have found one interesting fact on the beast, however: although it knows of human language and is able to change things drastically, it cannot read for some reason unknown. Perhaps, this could be the key I need to free myself.

It's about 9pm. From what we've uncovered, thing feeds off the misery it causes in some way. I doubt I could starve it to death, as each day seems to bring a strange new misfortune. However, we have reviewed several of the incantations and rituals that may be able to bind this creature. The only problem is finding a suitable object and completing the ritual without misfortune. I may have to go back to the brothel -- it is a place to stay with people around who know me as I am. Perhaps, it will prevent me from too great of a mishap occurring.

[A note from Thomas was taped into the journal here]

Dear Chris,

You are possibly the most beautiful and interesting woman I have ever met. Though your dress leaves something to be desired, I see a keen mind and masculine drive towards the goal you have not shared with me. However, certain elements in this city are making it very difficult to stay here much longer. You are perhaps the nicest woman I have met while here, likely in my whole life. Come to Innsmouth if ever you are in need of a place to stay.


Thomas Whateley

May 19, 2000

It must be stopped tonight, for I fear too greatly what last fate may be inflicted. I feel too strongly everything that has happened to me. The madam had set up a gang-bang, a gang rape of me to show who is boss. It hurt and I was bloodied and nearly choking when it was done. I slept because it was too painful to be awake. When I woke, my stomach had ballooned. I'm pregnant, and in an advanced stage as well. Walking, moving, it is all very slow.

I have written the rituals down and am now going to the place they must be performed: where this all started for me. I see thousands of eyes in every shadow staring at me. Tentacles pull away from the ground with every step I take. It watches me constantly, knowing the thing I will try to do.

I cannot chant aloud -- it will hear me and flee. So I will use the voice of words on paper that it cannot comprehend.

[This part has been omitted as the symbols and words used were nearly impossible to transcribe, and instead were merely photocopied]

It seems bound; the entire neighborhood seems to creak with the movement of its horrible, unseen form, thrashing away at a mystic barrier. It is nearly midnight and my stomach shifts about as if to burst! It hurts! I see my Joan calling on the phone looking worried -- if I am to finish I must finish now, or I will surely be stopped.

[A second patch of symbols and words were used here]

This tale is done. All those who read it be damned.

[The journal ends at this point, the rest of the pages being made up of hundreds of drawings of the phantasm Ms. Evinger has claimed to see.]

The study of Ms. Evinger was never brought to a full conclusion, though the journal was for a time used by many to try and get an insight into her fractured mind. None of those who read the journal are alive now, as they all seemed to have died or disappeared, save the clerk who wrote the report into our computers when it was requested that it be destroyed. The book was taken to a disintegrator March 19, 2002.

Ms. Evinger had been found near Joan Fitzer, whom she had developed such an obsession over, unconscious with stillborn baby she had apparently delivered while she was there. She was put into the psychology ward at the state hospital until 2001, upon which a fantastic incident put a hole through the outside wall. It has been officially declared that an explosion did it, though the evidence for this is scarce. The hole in the side gave the distinct impression of a purposeful ripping. However, as she was on the fourth story, it is unclear at the present time how she managed to get down if at all. She has seemingly faded into obscurity, which is not difficult for someone whose apparent career had been a prostitute.

A few of our staff have checked with the hospital in Innsmouth as to whether a girl matching this description has shown up, and it turns out negative. We have attempted to contact Thomas Whateley, but all such attempts have failed. It seems as if all of this case, the woman, the journal, the occult store, her psychologist (God rest his soul) all of it has somehow been swallowed up by the world as if it never existed. Perhaps we should be glad it has.

[tsat home] [#22] [stories]