FAWC 2: An Inquiry Regarding the Disappearance of Cynthia Ross

(Author’s note: This story is a submission to the second Friendly Anonymous Writing Challenge (FAWC). The true author of this story is kept anonymous, but will be revealed on August 16, 2013 in the comments section following this story. Each story in this challenge is set around a random determination of four ‘Mystery Ingredients’. There are no prizes given in this challenge; this is simply a friendly competition.)

(The ‘Mystery Ingredients’ for this story were: Envy, Food, Energetic, Animal.)

* * * *


“Beginning recording. October 26, 2013. City of Arkham, Massachusetts Police Headquarters, Interrogation Room Two. Persons present for this interview Sergeant Emma Saunders, Arkham P.D., Officer Leonard Manchester, Arkham P.D. and Ms. Henrietta Phillips. You have been read your Miranda Rights; is that correct Ms. Phillips?”

“That is correct.”

“Bear in mind you are considered a person of interest in the disappearance of Ms. Cynthia Ross which is the reason for this interview. Do you understand, Ms. Phillips?”

“Yes, I do.”

“You have chosen not to have legal counsel present during this interview; is that correct?”

“That is correct.”

“Let us begin. What is your relationship to Ms. Cynthia Ross?”

“We have been friends for many years, since high school actually. We both attended Miskatonic University and were roommates during that time.”

“Are you familiar with one Herbert Carson, Jr.?”

“Yes, he was my boyfriend.”

“And Ms. Ross was familiar with him as well?”

(chuckles) “Quite familiar, yes.”

“Where were you on the night of October 9 of this year?”

“I was in the woods, north of town, on the bank of the Miskatonic River.”

“And what were you doing there?”

“I was praying.”

And what else were you doing there?”

“I was … performing … a ritual.”

“What sort of ritual?”

“A ritual summoning the Great Old Ones.”

“The Great Old Ones?”

“Yes, the gods beyond space and time, they who shall return one day …”

“Please, Ms. Phillips, you will have a chance to make a complete statement later.”

(sighs) “Very well.”

“Now, as to your relationship with Ms. Ross, you lived in fairly close proximity to each other, correct?”

“Yes, she lived in Apartment 3-G and I lived in Apartment 5-C in the Dagon Arms apartments on Borden Street here in town.”

“And you socialized, correct?”

“Yes, we often went shopping together, to the cinema, to night clubs or just strolling in the park. She loved food and to cook, you know and I liked helping her. We’d prepare dinner at each other’s homes, sometimes, lunch, (chuckle) sometimes breakfast.”

“Breakfast; are we to assume from that that you two spent some nights together?”

“On occasion, yes.”

“Were you two ever intimate?”

“That’s none of your business!”

“I beg your pardon, Ms. Phillips, but we are attempting to establish the parameters of your relationship with Ms. Ross.”

(sighs) “Well, if you must know, yes, we were intimate on occasion. We had been friends for so many years, you see and …”

“Let us leave that for your closing statement, Ms. Phillips. Now, when did you make the acquaintance of Mr. Carson?”

“He was a member of my literary study group at the Carnegie Library; we often discussed our assigned books together.”

“Was Ms. Ross also a member of this group?”

“Oh my goodness, no, she was much too energetic for that. She loved active sports, tennis, jogging, volleyball and the like. I was the more sedentary one.”

“When did you begin to develop a relationship with Mr. Carson?”

“We began going out for coffee after our group adjourned for the evening, then he invited me to dinner and then we began dating. Herbert was such a kind soul, a perfect gentleman or so I thought until …”

“Please, Ms. Phillips, let us continue.”

(sighs) “I’m sorry. He was just so …”

“And how long did your relationship continue with Mr. Carson?”

“Over nine months, we did all sorts of wonderful things together, I remember this one time there was this lovely little B&B down the coast towards Kingsport …”

“May I infer from that the two of you were intimate?”

(sighs) “Yes we were. You must think I’m some sort of …”

“Ms. Phillips, let’s stay on subject, please.”

“Oh, very well.”

“Now, when did you first introduce Ms. Ross to Mr. Carson?”

“About two months ago. She invited us to dinner at her place and I was excited for her to meet him. We had been keeping our relationship a bit of a secret, you know, what with his ex-wife trying to get more money from him and …”

(coughs) “Ms. Phillips, were Ms. Ross and Mr. Carson friendly towards one another?”

“Oh my, yes, they hit it off almost immediately. I was pleased that Cynthia liked him and she thought we made such a cute couple. After a while, the three of us began doing things together and I was so happy being with the two people who meant so much to me.”

“When did you first learn that Ms. Ross and Mr. Carson were seeing each other without you?”

“They were rather up front about it actually. They told me that they had begun playing tennis together on weekends and I didn’t mind at first. Then they were jogging together in the mornings, and then he offered to teach her golf … (sighs) I was so naïve …”

“Let’s discuss something else for a moment. You mentioned earlier that you were praying on the night of Ms. Ross’ disappearance and that you were performing a ritual to summon … The Great Old Ones?”

“Yes, yes of course … The Great Old Ones … oh my, yes, I first learned of them when our literary study group began reading some first-hand accounts of strange occurrences here in Arkham over the centuries and several times a book of arcane lore called the Necronomicon was mentioned as possibly relating to the cause of these occurrences; I was strangely fascinated.”

“And you continued your studies of this book?”

“Most certainly, they keep it locked away in the Antiquities Section of the Miskatonic University Library and only a select few are allowed to view it. Fortunately, I knew one of the Assistant Librarians who allowed me to peruse it at length, including many sections that were supposed to be sealed … she even let me take notes which are usually forbidden, but Alicia is such a lovely person, so kind and sweet and loving and so delicate …”

“And from this book you determined you could possibly seek assistance from these Great Old Ones?”

“Oh yes, if you make the proper ritual sacrifices of animals such as cats; only black ones, mind, or dogs, black dogs, and a black sheep if you can find one; I never could, and then you pray to them and they will grant your every wish …”

“Let us back track for a moment to the time when you discovered that Ms. Ross and Mr. Carson were a couple.”

“A couple, indeed, (laughs) it was after my literary club meeting that I decided to stop by Herbert’s apartment since he wasn’t at the meeting and I thought he might be ill. When I arrived there the door was ajar, so I went in because I thought something must be wrong and then I heard … I heard …” (sound of interviewee crying)

“Would you like to pause for a minute, Ms. Phillips?”

“No, no (sniffles) I’ll be fine, it’s just … the things they were doing, they were like animals in rut, I couldn’t help but watch … they never saw me, oh no, I made sure of that … I mean I was horrified …he’d never done those things with me, not that I would have let him, you know, and she was enjoying it and doing things to him too, for instance she had a …”

“Ms. Phillips, please control yourself …”

“They never saw me … I watched, though, I watched until I couldn’t take any more … then I ran and ran and ran until I couldn’t run anymore … and then I was among the trees and I knelt down to worship them … the Great Old Ones … I begged them to help me … to punish them for what they’d done … to help me get my revenge … then they appeared to me … they promised me …”

“Yes, yes, now let’s focus, Ms. Phillips. Once you discovered that Ms. Ross and Mr. Carson were being intimate what did you do next?”

“I was stunned at first, I mean she was my best friend and he was my lover and now they were … I had always secretly envied her, you know, I mean, she was prettier and more shapely than I, her hair was such a pretty shade of blonde, her lips were so full and her hands so soft … (sighs) I … I hated them for what they had done to me, to our relationship, I felt betrayed, abandoned, but I said nothing, oh no, I acted like nothing was wrong … they were so bold and actually began flirting in front of me … they thought I didn’t know … (sighs) … silly old Henrietta … I wanted to punish them for what they’d done, what they were doing … (raises voice) … I was determined to make them suffer, oh yes, make them suffer the torment of a hundred Hells …”

“Mr. Phillips,control yourself, please.”

“I’m sorry; it’s just that I …”

“We have a statement here from the Library Director at Miskatonic University. In it he states that the records show you visited the Antiquities Room a total of eleven times from the period August fifteenth to November tenth…”

“Yes, yes, I went back many times, I needed their wisdom, their insight, the Great Old Ones know all, they would help me to get my revenge, you see … there were so many incantations in the Necronomicon to summon them, there were rituals … I needed to contact them to seek their help, their guidance, don’t you see. I was the one who was wronged, no one else seemed to care, I wanted …”

“Ms. Phillips, please sit down, calm yourself, I just have a few more questions …”

“You must understand … I mean, once you understand the writings, what they are saying to us … what they need from us … they are out there beyond the stars, waiting, waiting for their time to come again, waiting until mankind will welcome and accept the power and majesty of their existence … (panting) … don’t you see, I became their disciple in exchange for their help …”

“Ms. Phillips, please sit down. I don’t want to have Officer Manchester restrain you, now if you would please …”

“Don’t you understand, I summoned them, I prayed to the Great Old Ones … I read the incantations, I made the sacrifices … it’s all there in the writings and they punished them … I was the embodiment of their vengeance … don’t you see, they were punished for the pain they’d brought to me … (panting) … It was so very easy to get them to accompany me on a picnic that afternoon, they were both so happy and didn’t suspect a thing … (giggles) … I suggested a spot I knew by the river … I provided the food and drink, don’t you see … Cynthia thought it was so nice that I cooked for them … I had drugged their wine, you see and when they fell asleep I tied them up and began the punishment …”

“Ms. Phillips, please sit down! I mean it. Otherwise I will have you restrained …”

“They pleaded with me when they awakened, but it was no use … the Great Old Ones had passed judgment on them. When I gutted them and the blood ran forth … there was so much blood … (panting) … there must be a human blood sacrifice to her, you see … Shub-Niggurath … she demands it … demands blood … Ia, Ia, Shub-Niggurath, the Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young … she of the Great Old Ones … she knew my pain … my loss … she understands …” (hysterical giggles)

“Ms. Phillips, sit down, now.”

“I punished Cynthia first … how she begged me not to do it … the blood gushed out … so much blood … … Shub-Niggurath must be fed, don’t you see … (panting) … then it was Herbert’s turn … he cried like a little girl, but I grabbed his hair and pulled his head back and slashed and slashed … and then Shub-Niggurath drank and drank and drank some more… there was so much blood … (laughing) … I drank with her … we were one …”

“That’s it, were done, cuff her, Lenny. Ms. Phillips, I’m placing you under arrest for the murders of … “

“No, no, stay away from me, they deserved to die for what they’d done … the Great Old Ones, they came to me … I called to them and they helped … (gasping) … they took them away to be devoured … as a sacrifice … no, no, stay away … leave me alone … the Great Old Ones will protect me … she’ll help me … (shouting) … Shub-Niggurath … your disciple calls to you … save me, save me … hihihihihihi … nyaghhhhh …”

“Shit, Lenny, she’s goin’ nuts … grab her.”

(struggling sounds)

“God dammit, hold still you, grab her other arm, Emma, I can’t cuff her… FUCK! She bit me … what the hell … she’s strong as an ox …”

(gurgling sounds)

“Good God, Lenny, look at her eyes, her pupils have disappeared, what the fuck …”

“Damn, now she’s frothing at the mouth; I better …”

“Jesus! Look at all that blood; I think she’s bit her tongue …”

“Goddamit, I can’t hold her, she’s too strong …my fuckin’ hands bleedin’ … I think she went to the bone …”


(hissing roar)

“Jesus, what is that thing … “

“Get the fuck away from it, Emma …”

“Look out, it’s got her …”

“Oh my God, those eyes …!”

(screeching laughter, hissing roar, then silence)

“Lenny, you okay?”

“Yeah, just … just gimme a minute …”

(door opens, footsteps)

“What the hell’s going on, Emma, Lenny, you both alright? What’s happened in here? Where’s that woman you were interviewing”

“I’m okay, it’s just … ughhh, that horrible creature … it took her …”

“She went nuts Lieutenant, I couldn’t hold her, she was jumpin’ around and then …this … this thing comes outta nowhere, grabs her and disappears.”

“What the hell are you talking about?”

“Lenny’s right, Lieutenant … there was this … thing … it just appeared … it was all horns and wings and teeth and claws and those eyes, those terrible glowing eyes … and it laughed, it laughed …”

“You’re both stressed out. I’m placing both of you on Administrative Leave this minute. Let’s get that wound tended to first and shut that recorder off, Emma.”



April 2017
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