I dared my friend Alex “Prozac” Cohen to write an HP Lovecraft Fan Fiction story in 20 minutes and the son of a bitch did it.
The Aberration on Holly Street
A lifetime of various trials, failures and fortuitous relationships settled me into a uniquely engrossing and well-suited career option four years ago; in my discussions with friends and family I describe myself as a chronicler of the human condition. In truth I report and summarize incidents for an insurance broker. It is an occupation that has presented to me the frail and mercurial human condition in all its forms. In these last four years I have written on incidents that would surely disturb the minds of many. However, as an uninvolved party, I have taken careful consideration to avoid allowing these events to affect my own mind, and more importantly the work itself. As such I have grown numb to many of the horrors mankind inflicts upon itself, which I’m sure you can imagine on your own.
However, my most recent casefile has cast my put-on bravado into doubt. No longer do I carry the self-assurance of one whose only role it is to record these incidents factually and without bias. No longer do I believe that the darkness within the human spirit, which I have studiously logged, is entirely the fault of our baser instincts. Following the incident at 172 Holly Street, I will freely admit, and proclaim to the world, that there is a force pressing down upon us that drives us to these actions and that we will never fully understand. My colleagues have pleaded with me to avoid interjecting my own belief into these reports. I cast those concerns aside. I will never file another report and indeed wish to avoid all human contact for as long as my days remain. I would pray that not many days remain, and perhaps this can be attributed to the fever that has struck me upon learning more about this last incident, but I no longer am sure who might be listening to our prayers.
Perhaps this seems dramatic. There was a time not long ago I would have laughed at such assertions as well. But once you have come to learn of Adam Stevens and his role in the 172 Holly Street fire, the great hero Adam Stevens, perhaps you will come to feel as I have.
The first thing I noticed, after coming upon the scene at the dreaded address, were the balloons. Deflated, singed, and ever-present, they covered the yard with a grotesque, overwhelming smell of burnt plastic. I had often logged the aftermath of arson and each time the smell was similar – charred wood and stripped paint. However, it was evident that the comically large amount of balloons strewn across the lawn had taken the place of this familiar scent. A birthday party, luxuriously decorated and overstated to a lunatic degree, had placed them everywhere across the house. All colors and shapes, strewn across every part of the decadent front lawn, must have created a wondrous site and guaranteed a festive atmosphere. I would come to learn that they also overwhelmed the house. It is possible, and I could have discovered more if I had the stomach, that the decorations had played some part in the rapid spread of the blaze.
It is worth sharing now that the mortality rate in this incident, given all that was at risk, was low; ultimately, only Steven Adams and one child, William Abner, remain unaccounted for. The celebration was apparently attended by over 60 people, the young friends of William (who house and birthday it was) and their parents. Much of the evidence and information-gathering I presented in this report come from their accounts, gathered slowly and painstakingly after the incident, in which many remained and watched the framework of the home slowly disintegrate.
None could account for the start of the fire, or how they knew to exit the house. Too, none could recall seeing Steven Adams at or near the ruinous party beforehand. He was no neighbor, either – other evidence has confirmed he lived in a nearby town in no convenient proximity.
And yet all accounts of his heroism point to some sort of advanced knowledge of the event. The consensus viewpoint, from many of the adults present, is that while they gathered and waited outside the house for emergency services, Steven Adams bolted through the crowd and with no hesitation whatsoever sprinted directly into the burning house. It has been said even that he pushed a small child facedown into the lawn, in his haste to enter the building. Who was this man, I was asked by each of the witnesses. Indeed he was a mystery to them, and in particular Mr. and Mrs. Abner who evidently left their child behind in the house. Later evidence indicates he was relatively plain, possessing a frame that seemed almost sickly in its thin and unbalanced nature, paired with a far above average height. Multiple times, it was noted to me that he was not a graceful runner. Given the circumstances, which could favorably be describe as panic-inducing, his lankiness and urgency crated a noticeably odd running gait. As well, his cavalier treatment of the child in his path, whom he had little trouble brushing aside, was not described as a natural motion. If not for his obviously heroic intentions, it could have appeared intentional and distressing, bore the account of one witness.
Regardless, Steven Adams had little trouble making his way into the building, which of course is where reliable witness ends. However, there are certain facts that we can confirm from this point forward, and while not public knowledge, they are each more disturbing than the last.
The first great evil that I came upon is that after easily opening the front door of 172 Holly street, Steven Adams appears to have bolted the door behind in, preventing the intrusion of any other parties and potentially even his own escape. His motivations at this point are not clear but given that the door was found still bolted upon examination of the wreckage, his responsibility is certain.
The second item that confused me, and indeed would confuse anyone, relates to the unfortunate Mr. William Abner, very newly aged 12. His remains were found up the staircase that originated from the front entryway, and he had evidently either become wedged and partially trapped, his leg pinned down by a small piece of the ceiling. His placement upon the staircase was without question visible from the front entryway and now, unconscionably, I am forced to believe that Steven Adams could not have failed to notice the young gentlemen. And yet, his path through the house continued along the first floor, ignoring the child in dire need of an adult’s strength to escape his trappings and subsequently the blazing structure.
Evidence exhumed from the home’s remains has painted a clearer path of Steven Adams path – through the first floor, through a small kitchen door and down into the home’s basement. A direct path, speaking to an advance knowledge of the house or some critical need to enter the basement. From whence the flames originated? It is difficult to confirm, but an open possibility.
Who was this man, who had such knowledge of the house and such disregard for the well-being of small children? The papers and official reports count him as a good Samaritan, but at this point I could not say. I know that no report speaks of what else was found in the basement, or if it does the records have been changed. I know I hesitate greatly in scribing it even here. The answer is simple, to the extent that I must be considered mad for even elaborating upon them, but the charred remains of a humanoid statue were the only notable findings in that darkened underground dwelling. A dark, melted mass that has pooled into the earthen floor of the basement. It is impossible to say what it once resembled, but certainly nothing human, despite its relatively large standing – over five feet tall in its original form, although melted down it had taken on an elongated facsimile of a man. Stretched, melted into an obscene mockery of the human form that mirrored Steven Adams own reflection of a typical human shape. Still hot to the touch, when investigated, and seemingly still in motion, when looked at through the very edges of my vision.
It was not, of course, Mr. Adams himself. He too was found in the basement, burnt as any man in his position would be. Curled over, and in fact kneeling before the icon itself, they suffered their fate together, and all while young William Adler took his last breath.
I have been told that I am reading too much into things. That the stress of my position has led to misinterpretations. And yet I am convinced that my reading of the day’s events is, if uninformed, not wholly inaccurate. It is my wholehearted belief that the statue in the Holly house basement in some way caused the rapid blaze with the express intent to stomp out the joyous celebration taking place above it. How, I do not know. And how it was ultimately foiled, I cannot say. But when it became clear that no great act of mayhem was to take place, Steven Adams was called somehow and made of himself an additional sacrifice.
Theory alone – but as a God-fearing man the existence of such an entity has instilled in me a sense of dread and curiosity that cannot be sated. I submit this report now standing outside the home of Steven Adams and well-equipped to make illegal entry. I do so now at the risk of myself, this is I understand and commit to! But I do as a man who must know more about the forces that compel us. That draw us in and make games of our mortal lives. I have questioned, in my preparation for this home invasion, whether I am being summoned myself, but I can pay that no mind. I must know more. And so I conclude these writings, admitting fully to all guilt, and hope to return shortly to update my findings, no matter what horrors I may stumble upon in the dead man’s home.