The Transformation of Nthanial Black Pt 1
The circumstances in which my story starts are strange enough, but even more bizarre is the story of the house and the things that transpire to it and in it as well.
As a young boy I was orphaned and lived my life from one foster home to the next. Most people that I was placed with could not nor would not put up with my many and therefore I was never in one place for to long.
Shortly before my eighteenth birthday, and soon to be on my own, I received a telegram informing me of the death of an Uncle I knew I had not. I was stunned by this news, but shocked further when I learned my Uncle had named me his sole inheritor.
The telegram went on further to say that a formal meeting had been set up between my Uncle's lawyer and me so I may here the reading of his will.
I made immediate plans to travel westward to the small coastal town in Massachusetts and in four days time I found myself staring up in awe at my Uncle's lawyers firm.
The meeting with the lawyer was short and after signing a few legal documents, he shook my hand and congratulated me and informed me that he had taken the liberty of arranging a coach to drive me and my few meager belongings to my new home.
Before we went our separate ways he suggested that I might find it interesting if I talked with the sheriff concerning some oddities that surrounded my Uncle's death.
This left me somewhat perplexed so I decided that I would follow up on his suggestion.
I stood shaking his hand and graciously thanked him for his time, collected the keys to the house as well as the directions and left making my way over to the sheriffs office.
As I stepped out of the lawyer's office I was taken in by the beauty of the day. The early morning clouds had been sweep away by a gentle, cool spring breeze that was blowing in off the ocean leaving the sky a brilliant bright blue.
Gripping the keys to the house firmer in my hand I made my way over to the station house in a state of complete and utter bliss.
Upon my arrival I was greeted by a deputy and after I explained to him who I was and what I wanted, he immediately brought me in to the sheriff's office, and the sheriff met me with a grim look upon his face.
This puzzled me but did not sway me from my good mood and he welcomed me in, closed the door behind us, and motioned for me to have a seat in one of the empty chairs.
Once I was seated and comfortable he took a deep breath and informed me that just a short while ago he had received some rather disturbing news concerning my Uncle's body.
Apparently at some point in the night my Uncle's body. Which they had been keeping in the morgue, had been stolen and the only trace they could find that he had ever been there at all was a trail of the same gelatinous substance that was found covering his corpse.
He must of noticed the confused look upon my face and after a moments pause went on to tell me that a search party had went out and followed the trail where it eventually lead them to the shore were it abruptly stopped.
It was the consensus of the search party that it was at this point whoever had stolen his body then must put him into a boat and then departed.
As you might guess I was somewhat shocked and more than a little confused about a lot of his story and I found myself at a loss as to how I should be reacting to the news that he had just told me.
There were several questions that I needed answers to and before I could stop I found myself blurting them out.
For starters, what exactly did he mean when he said my Uncle's body was covered in some type of gelatinous substance?
Secondly, what exactly was this substance his body was encased in and finally how, and why would anyone want to steal his body?
The sheriff held up his hands and begged me to slow down and once I was calmer he went on to tell me that at the present time there were no clues as to who removed my Uncle's body or why and how they had managed to do it without being seen or heard.
At this point he collapsed back into his chair, removed his hat and ran his fingers through his hair. His pause went on for a moment or two longer than I would have expected when finally he answered the next of my questions.
He started out by telling me that all that was currently known was that my Uncle's body had been found washed up on shore, some twenty miles from where he lived by two local fishermen.
The two men brought his body in and left him in our care. He was covered in a thick, semi-clear gel like substance that when the coroner, who was also the town's doctor, tried to remove it, grew back instantaneously over the spot that had just been cleared off.
The doctor who was performing the examination had absolutely no what the substance was and it left him quite perplexed so he decided to send a sample to the local college's marine department to see if they might have any>
Within the week the college ended up sending us there findings. The report said that the substance was called Mesoglea, which is a gel like substance found in certain marine life such as jellyfish or octopuses.
Apparently it's a common fluid found on these creatures, it's just never been seen or heard of in such large quantities before let alone covering and encasing the body of a dead man and, stranger still, behaving as it did when the doctor tried to remove it.
We continued talking for a short while longer with him finally reassuring me that as soon as any information concerning my Uncle became available he would let me know immediately.
As we walked to the front door the sheriff gave me a friendly warning. He suggested that I should stay out of the water for now until they figure out what it was causing this substance to appear.
I asked him why and he proceeded to tell me that two days after the fishermen brought my Uncle's body to the doctor; they both checked in to the hospital themselves. Apparently the stuff was contagious and had adhered to there hands and the last thing he had heard was that the gel was progressing up there arms at an alarming rate and no one could figure out how to stop it.
With that unpleasantness finished I left the sheriff's office to locate the coach that had been arranged to take me to my new house.
The trip from town was long and boring with not much to look at except at lot of trees, but it left me a good deal of time to ponder what the sheriff and I had talked about.
Finally the coach slowed as we at last reached the turn off to the road that would lead directly to my house.
We were slightly delayed when we were forced to stop and light the carriage lanterns because the house was still several miles away, far from civilization, down a long and winding dirt road surrounded and engulfed by dense trees.
Within the hour our carriage finally emerged into a small clearing were at once the horses stopped and started pawing at the ground nervously.
No matter what the coach driver tried, the horses would not respond and he apologized profusely for putting me through the inconvenience of having to walk the rest of the way.
I helped him unload my belongings and with the sound of the coach driving away I turned and faced my new home.
The house sat lonely and alone, sitting precariously close to the cliffs edge, looking out over the seemingly endless ocean.
As I approached the house I noticed that the trees were casting long shadows over the grounds giving the impression of skeletal fingers reaching out to the house and all that lived within.
With a cold shiver coursing down my spine I set my bags down to further inspect the house.
How old it was I could not say and by standing here examining it further I could gain no clues. The different types of architecture that went into creating it were vast and because it had stood so long, exposed to too many harsh winters and spring storms, the beating it took helped me not in the analysis at all.
Besides this it had its charm and it was mine to call home.
As I stood there lost in thought and looking at my house I noticed that the wind had changed direction and it was much cooler now. So without further hesitation I picked up my bags and made my way up the three rickety steps and onto the front stoop and slowly unlocked and opened the front door.
The door creaked open into the main room which was completely shrouded in darkness and the only light was the patch of square light being let in through the front door.
I took my first tentative step into the house feeling the walls for a candle holder and after a few minutes I located one and with my excitement building, lit it. I then made my way further into the house lighting more candles and oil lamps as I went.
Once I got some of the lights lit and a small fire started in the fireplace I settled into one of the larger chairs in the main room to take in my surroundings and my luck at inheriting the place.
The layout of the house was simple in design and with the amount of clutter it had gave it a rustic, lived in feel.
The first floor contained the main living room, a kitchen, and a spare sitting room with a breath taking view of the ocean, and finally a large walk in closet with a door in the back that had, haphazardly stacked in front of it, boxes and unused furniture.
It was late and I was tired so I decided to make my way upstairs to try and find a bedroom.
The staircase was steep and narrow, as it usual is in older homes, and at the top they opened up into a hallway that ran the length of the house.
There was less clutter up here except at the far end of the hallway where there were more boxes and furniture piled in front of yet another door.
I decided to take a look into the three doors leading off the hallway. The first two opened up into two completely empty rooms but the third opened into the master bedroom.
I lit a few candles and went back downstairs to collect my bags when it dawned on me that I had not found a wash room.
Realizing that because the house was so old it probably was not equipped with one so I reluctantly picked up one of the oil lamps and headed back outside in search of the outhouse and as I stepped outside I was immediately assaulted by an overpowering stench blowing in off the ocean.
During my short time in the house the wind had changed direction again and it was carrying upon it the smells of salt, fish and what could only be described as decay. I decided at once to forgo my search until the next morning because the smell was so strong it was becoming unbearable.
Once in the house I blew out the candles and lamps on the lower floor, grabbed my bags, and made my way back upstairs to the bedroom.
As I crested the top of the staircase I was again assaulted by the same smells I had experienced outside, but this time it seemed to penetrate the house through the very walls.
Taking shallow breaths I rushed into my room and closed the door behind me and in near exhaustion dropped my bags near the bed and collapsed immediately backwards upon it.
I had intended to just to catch my breath, and I briefly remember thinking how strange it was that I could no longer smell that horrid stench from the hallway, when the next thing I knew I was being woken up by the sun creeping in through my bedroom window.
It was a beautiful site to behold with the sun just cresting the horizon and the rays playing off the slowly rolling waves and as I sat there transfixed, I had to rub the sleep out of my eyes because I believed they were playing tricks upon me.
Not to far from shore, where the sun had not yet reached I thought I had seen dark shapes moving in and out of the water at fantastic speeds and with amazing agility.
They were defiantly some form of sea life frolicking upon the waves but what they looked like I hesitate to say
Then as they moved closer to the light I could no longer doubted what I was seeing. There movements were quick and precise not allowing me to get to good a look at them but what I could make out was that they were humanoid in general form but they also had severely pronounced deformities making them look almost look some form of fish.
But it was there skin that most amazed me because it seemed to seemed to change constantly in order to mirror the colors of the waters in which it swam giving them a natural camouflage.
Then, as suddenly as they had appeared, they disappeared back beneath the waves. Why they had left so suddenly I couldn't say but I found myself wishing that I could have seen more of them.
I pulled the drapes completely open and scanned the ocean for a few minutes longer hoping they would reappear, but my hopes went unanswered as nothing else happened.
Now that the curtains were fully opened and the sun chased away the remaining shadows in my room, I lay back upon the pillows, now able to see my sleeping quarters in a better light.
I was awake now and this seemed a good a time as ever to examine the room. As I lay upon the bed I glanced around the room and noticed a whole lot of nothing.
The only objects in the room were the bed in which I had sleep and a small desk stuck into the far corner of the room.
Reluctantly I left the comfort of the bed to take a better look at the contents of the desk and see if I might discover anything about my reclusive Uncle, especially anything that might give me insight into the type of man he was before his death.
Standing at the desk my attention was immediately drawn to the walls which were covered in current and tidal charts, ship maps showing locations of were and when they sank and cartography charts.
The desk itself was in complete disarray with papers haphazardly thrown upon it and mixed in with these I could see some old sea fairing tools.
I leaned forward and examined the charts more closely trying to read some of the notes that had been scrawled across them and I noticed that they all seemed to involve the immediate area of ocean directly outside the house and heading out for up to fifty miles in every direction.
There was nothing that I found that could tell me much about my Uncle and I was left to wonder what type of man he truly was and why he expressed so much interest in the ocean that lay outside his bedroom window. Perhaps, he had witnessed something like I had, and he was trying to find out more about the creatures.
I decided that after breakfast I would go through the contents of his desk hoping to find out more and maybe find some clues to help tell me what it was that I had witnessed this morning.
As I turned to leave I received an awful shock as I saw the most hideously carved statue on a shelf, chest high, half hidden in the shadows, lurking, like the monster it was carved to look like.
It was carved from a dark green rock and stood about a foot in height and appeared to be in the process of some grotesque transformation with the top half of the statue appearing human and the lower half amphibian.
Any further description of the statue would be too impossible to give other than to say that the artist had successfully created an amazing statue and did a fantastic job in making it appear real.
I left the room with a shiver running down my spine and made my way downstairs to start the wood stove in the kitchen so I could have something to eat and drink and as I waited for the fire to take hold I made my way outside looking for the outhouse.
At first I was unable to locate it but eventually I found it hidden in the trees, close to the cliffs edge and on the same side of the house in which I had found the two sealed doors.
As I approached the structure, I saw for the second time that morning, another bizarre form of art carved from what appeared to be the same rock as the statue in the bedroom.
This was more of a plaque mounted on the door and the picture carved into it depicted a man with grotesque looking hands, feet and head with a multitude of octopus tentacles reaching out from behind it as if trying to bar entry.
I stood there transfixed staring at the weird image and shaking my head in bewilderment, and then dismissing it I went inside.
I left the door open because I had failed to bring a light and after a few minutes of sitting there I thought I heard, from very far away a groaning noise which was followed closely by a splash.
I sat there listening, focusing my hearing on the peculiar sounds and the longer I sat there the louder they seemed to become. I was becoming unnerved and I realized the reason they were growing louder was because they were moving closer and it was right below me.
I jumped up, forgetting about my pants, and fell unceremoniously to the ground outside. Franticly I spun around and kicked the door closed with such force that I almost knocked the plaque off.
Once the door was closed the noises started to rapidly subside and with them there was what sounded like a moan of disappointment.
I quickly stood up, composed myself, and made my way back into the house. Once inside I started lighting as many candles and lamps as I could to drive away the gloom which seemed to hover over the house.
I had lost my appetite after my experience outside so I settled for a cup of tea instead and retired into the living room to try and sort things out.
As I sat there looking around the room I didn't notice anything unusual at first but then I saw it, just above the grate by the fireplace.
In disbelief I slowly stood and made my way over to the fireplace and crouched down to stare at the smaller plaque. It was an exact replica of the one I saw on the outhouse door, and as I stood up my eyes were drawn to the painting above the fireplace.
The painting was of a ship being tossed about in a violent storm, the sails shredded by severe winds and there were towering waves crashing over the deck. But as the storm was unleashing its fury the crew just stood by not trying to save the ship.
The crew looked human but it was just an illusion. As I looked at them closer I noticed there heads were misshapen with two large eyes and slits for a mouth.
The bodies were muscular, but seemed to be festering with sores or possible scales and there hands and feet were unnaturally large and looked webbed.
The creatures were all over the boat, but they also appeared to be climbing up from the ocean as well, and it seemed as if they were worshipping something unseen, hidden by the storm.
On the mantel, were more of the figures that were depicted in the painting, and they seemed to be carved from the same rock that the statue upstairs had been carved from.
So it went as I continued to search through the downstairs, bizarre statues scattered all over the house and above every door frame and window were one of those strange plaques.
I sat back down in the living room and tried to put together everything I had seen and what possible meaning it might have and most of all why my Uncle would posses such queer items.
I decided to grab a bite to eat after all and then move the objects from the blocked off room downstairs to see what might be in there.
It seemed strange that my Uncle should pile everything in front of the door considering there were two empty rooms he could have stored everything i