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Halloween Horror: Bykovsky’s Letter

Posted on October 25, 2008 by Flames

The latest addition to the Halloween Horror collection is brought to us by game designer Malcolm Craig (a|state, Hot War).

This creature has no known name, but it is feared by those who remember the old stories.

A Letter From The Archives

Created by Malcolm Craig

Fragmentary letter recovered from former Soviet archives.

My Dear Alexei Ivanovich,

You will doubtless be aware of our recent expedition into that most desolate part of the Urals. We entrained in Sevrdlovsk, bound for Ivdel where we would begin our trek. Under the orders of the Minister, our group was composed of [letter becomes water-stained and unclear at this point].

Academician Kotlov was, by this point, exhibiting increasing signs of stress and he began to make anti-revolutionary statements which Comrade Captain Takaishvili was obvious in noting. The avalanche of the previous day and the loss of Alekseev and Kramskoi had, understandably, placed him in a difficult position regarding his responsibility.

Our eventual arrival in the valley noted on our maps was made in a torrential downpour, soaking is through to the very skin. Comrade Captain Takaishvili kept out spirits up by singing stirring revolutionary songs. I admit to the fact the even these anthems could not erase the deep-seated feeling of unease I felt as we marched into that sodden, dark place.

The valley itself was exceedingly deep, narrow and clothed in spruce, many of which were rotting. Comrade Denisov was the first to find any evidence of previous habitation, a dank, tumbledown hovel of rude construction, obviously abandoned for many years. It was I who noted the abundance of decaying bird carcasses scattered around every part of the woods we were traveling through. Our Comrade Captain ordered his small detachment to load their weapons. Henceforth, we would [bottom of page is torn and a section appears to be missing].

[letter begins again on next page]

…which drove a rotten timber through the groin of Denisov. It was apparent that the timber had not fallen by accident, but was part of a crude but ingenious trap. It was at this point that Academician Kotlov disgraced himself.

It was clear that I was the only member of our party who had been made aware of what we might be hunting. From the reaction of the Comrade Captain, his detachment and the academic staff, they had not been informed of the nature of our expedition. The damp air was soon pungent with the smell of vomit as the builder of the trap hauled itself through the stands of spruce.

In our little village outside Saratov, my grandmother had told me stories of things that lived in the dark places of our great Motherland. She claimed that even the Czar was too scared to make expedition to erase their presence. My grandmother would in some way be pleased that her simple peasant beliefs had be proved correct.

It was an assemblage of limbs, body parts, stones, rotting wood, twitching animal carcasses. A stinking, rotting mass that pulled itself along the ground. In one of its twisted appendages, it held a cluster of iron needles, like those used for mending sails. Lengths of crude cordage trailed behind them. Everywhere on the mass was stitching, simple weaving of cord, tacking to hold crumbling bone to putrefying flesh.

The creature seemed in no hurry, stopping to pick a dead bird from the leaf litter and incorporate it into its mass with a quick stab of one of its needles. All the while, it fixed us with dead eyes. Recovering from our stupor, we [letter appears deliberately torn].

I know that this thing now exists in the vaults of a sharashka, prodded and poked by scientists. I beg of you, if you have any influence at all, urge our wise leaders to consign this monstrosity to the furnace, to destroy it once and for all. In our capturing of it, I saw what it did to Kotlov, Takaishvili and those other brave comrades. I know how they must now feel, their consciousness subsumed into the monster.

I do not expect to live much longer. The conditions here in this hole, far from Moscow, are harsh and the guards have been told to make my life that much more difficult. Their tame urkas torment me day and night, they revel in seeing me bleed and twitch. If you can, I beg of you to show favour to the good Comrade Lieutenant Pravnik who has be one of few to allow me a kind of dignity. Those who aided me in smuggling this letter should be rewarded.

Your friend,

Pavel Mikhailovich Bykovsky

About Malcolm Craig
Malcolm Craig knows all about monsters, as he has been living in fear of the one under his bed for the past few years. When not lying awake in the dark, he sometimes writes games such as a|state, Cold City and Hot War. Strangely, this doesn’t seem to help.

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