The Tail of Shesmont By Renan Santos

Prologue

After recently closing a grueling homicide case where a well known, wealthy bank CEO was found hacking his recently adopted daughter with an ax to near death. the man also nearly murdered the individual who witness and reported the crime, which happened to be the servant that had been working for the rich man for nearly two decades. When authorities arrived, they captured the man with no difficulty, he did not resist. The man then decided to hang himself an hour later while in police custody in a holding cell at the department with a makeshift noose. Soon after the servant went missing before further questioning on the man's motive for attenpting to murder his recently adopted daughter could be done. The girl was found bloodied and barely recognizable, but hanging thin on life. The next day, bizarrely enough, the young girl looked only as if she had taken a tumble and merely bruised herself. Eventually within that same week, the young girl ended up inheriting her former guardian wealth and estate, and the case was closed. Thomas was bothered by this immensely, so much so, that he had wanted to take a break from homicide cases. He ended up asking the Chief for a new case. The chief gladly gave Thomas a new case, but this one was different, unlike Thomas's usual line of work dealing with Homicide and Arson, this one was rather tame, thankfully. After all he was the first one to enter the room to see the poor girl there almost half butchered writhing in pain, harboring a shocked expression while gazing at her own her blood splattered all over the walls. Her blood ended up mixing with the black wallpapers and black bed sheets creating a darker and more haunting color of crimson. One that Thomas will never forget.

Prologue End

The Drive

It was Thursday morning and the drive from the city was long. Eventually the Colorado State Highway 7 became nothing but old cracked roads, dirt roads with the occasional old rickety wooden bridges across small gaps between the mountains. Due to the stress of his previous case, the chief decided it would be best to send him off to a vacation in the mountains, under the guise of the case being a security detail that was being funded by the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine. The University was interested in this town in particular. Not one of the residents has ever left in a span of three generations. Whether it be because of work reasons, or just plain boredom of the countryside, new residents would never stay for long. . When any new resident left, they would come down with a case of Beta-Thalassemia, a rare blood disease that causes bloating of organs and paleness in skin, Easily curable by blood transfusion.

In convenience to the Chief, Thomas had some experience in medical school and getting a Associates degree in nursing. So Thomas didn't feel as if the reason he was just sent so for was because he became a mental liability to Denver's police department. He was told to help out the locals, and to wait for the doctors that were coming from the university after the weekend was over. He was to arrive to the town and secure and aid the town's clinic, As for the doctors and medical investigators were going to gather any sick looking resident of the town for a simple check up and run a blood test. Therefore Thomas was given the doctors contact information to report any sick individuals ahead of time. Thomas finally arrived at the designated spot where he was told he would meet a resident to guide him to the town since it wasn't by the road, it was that remote after all.

The Drive End

Thomas - Arrival

After waiting for a few minutes by his car, an angular looking figure began to emerge from the woodland. The details were obscure from a distance, but Thomas was able to tell it was a short man in formal looking attire. As the man drew closer, much more was revealed of his mien. The figure looked disgruntled and ill from afar. By the time the man was in speaking distanced, Thomas was able to tell that this fellow was definitely an old timer, having a dirty balding and dried crusty eyes. "You must be the new doctor, I am the mayor of Shesmont." said the man who claimed to be the mayor. Thomas was puzzled for a moment, as for he was coming as an officer, not as anything special such as his usual title of detective or much less doctor, so Thomas decided to play along with it responding with, "Yep, i'm Thomas Purpur, Shall we get going?".

They began their track into the forest where the man originated from. Immediately Thomas noticed that they were both not walking on a formed path, rather they were just ankle deep in a foliage of red leaves. Which made sense, it was autumn anyways. "this many leaves in the first week?", Thomas thought to himself. "Come its this way." Said the Mayor as he struggled maneuvering over a boulder, "There is no proper pathway. since your from the city, you might find that an inconvenience." The Mayor said with his old weathered voice. Thomas could tell he wasn't in good condition merely by the raspy tone of his voice. "Hasn't anyone suggested to make a pathway toward the town? It would surely help this town develop." said Thomas to lighten the quiet walk with a tad bit of conversation. "The townsfolk who live here..." the Mayor said while coming to a stop near what seemed the end of the forest, gazing down the at what seemed downhill.

*Place holder for better overshot image*

"Do not wish for this town to develop..."

Thomas - Arrival End

Shesmont

As they began their walking into Shesmont, Thomas began feeling a bad premonition. The more he approached the small town the more uneasy he felt. The season was already autumn and the atmosphere felt so comfortable. Some buildings looked abandoned due to their age, green and dead moss began to overtake the wood in most buildings, giving the buildings a overgrown aesthetic. Though the town began to look more like a village to Thomas the more he walked through with the mayor. The electrical wires were carelessly hung and left on broken branches, the weight of such wires brought down a tree, but the townsfolk had seemed to build a path around the now fallen oak trunk.

Overgrown weeds pigmented with red tips covered majority of the town that didn't have a stone path, so much so that he couldn't even see the cracked grown below him. The weeds reminded Thomas of that anathematized memory of the girl laying in that room. He tried to put the thought away, Except it just kept biting at him. Thomas knew it was probably just the exhaustion of driving for more than five hours straight with the same song, "I'll Keep Coming" by Low Roar on repeat getting to him. all he wanted to do at this point was just get to the town's clinic and nap for a few hours, it was a long drive to get to Shesmont after all.

As he followed the mayor, Thomas saw two townsfolk emerge from one of the fragile looking houses. It was what seemed to be a mother and her young son exiting to tend the front potted plants. But as Thomas drew closer by that house, he saw the true complexions of those two individuals. Both appeared similar to the mayor, frail and pail. The son had the appearance of a feral child, spine popping out that had unremarkable similarity to a horse deprived of food, "A bad case scoliosis indeed", thought Thomas as he gazed at the boy. Though the woman looked much worse, her eyes did not show any colored pupils, they looked like pure white grapes with brown veins on the sides. Nor did her baggy eyelids show even a hint of red. Her body was so angular, that the clothes she wore drooped due to the thinness of her body, exposing her very prominent rib cage from the shoulder sleeves of her button shirt.

Thomas's was distracted from the two ghoulish beings when he noticed the trees swaying rhythmical to what sounded like a series of small tremors ahead. "No, I must be imagining things. I'm probably being a little over sensitive.", Thomas thought to himself. Thump, Thump, Thump. As soon as he finished that thought he heard a loud ominous thumping sound that repeated three times, Thump, Thump, Thump. The sound seemed to come from over the small mountain from where they were. "Did you hear that?", Thomas asked the mayor. "Hear what?", the mayor responded, "That thumping sound...", said Thomas. The mayor stopped and looked around, "I heard nothing, it was probably just the old water empty water channel." Said the mayor. The mayor paused and pointed at at a structure that had a post sign that had a symbol of a red cross on it."It was dried a long time ago, now only the remaining amount of water comes from the clinic, it is enough to sustain our small town of over hundred residents." said the mayor. Thomas listened intently. The mayor guided Thomas to the clinic that was now in view. But just as Thomas was about to forget about the odd thumping noises, he looked up and saw the trees moving the same rhythmical way when he heard the distant tremors...

Shesmont End

Clinic

The clinic was located just below the small mountain, it was the nicest building Thomas had seen so far. The latter being small buildings made of a mix of concrete and adobe, to impromptu houses that were made of what looked like timber wood taken from the forest. When Thomas entered the building with the mayor, they entered through the reception where the mayor took a seat in a row of the most modern looking chairs that Thomas had seen all day. the power was turned off for everywhere but the lab and break room, which were visible from the receptionist counter. The break room was open and had nothing but empty boxes of generic hospital food, though it seemed as if the place was cleared out not too long ago since there were still a lot of wrappers in the small trash bin that no one had bothered to throw out. The lab room was locked, Inside a few high-end desktops could be seen from the small door window. Thomas could tell that they were pricey because he knew Chief had bought the exact model a year ago on its first day of released, developer edition to be precise. Chief would play multiple movies simultaneously on his projectors when no one was around during the night shift. According to the mayor, three-fourths of the building had to be turned off to conserve and distribute electricity evenly. "Forgive us for the inconvenience, we've had the power off for so long here ever since our last doctor passed away a decade ago...", said the old mayor. "A decade ago? No that's can't be right, he must be mistaken, those computers were released a year ago..." Thought Thomas, he brushed it off as nothing but probably the old man's terrible perception of time. "How can I turn the rest of the power on here?" Thomas asked while searching for some sort of control panel by the counter. "I believe the transformer is locked inside a room in this building, though its locked with a number pad that only the former doctor knew, my apologizes Mr. Purpur. it looks like you'll have to come back when we get into contact with the construction company when we renovate the building next year...". That statement made Thomas suspicious, that coupled with the fact that the desktops were fairly new. It was highly unlikely of the Mayor to make a mistake such as that twice thought Thomas. Thomas thought "How could the power be turned off, if the transformer is inside the building? That would mean that someone must've stayed turned it off themselves!" Thomas suspected that the mayor was lying and actually knew the code, but as he was about to dispel his accusation toward the mayor, Thomas heard some scuffling in the ventilation unit above, and looked up. "Probably rats... that gives me an idea....", Thomas thought as he looked back down. He started walking toward the reception, he was looking for a sturdy chair that could support his weight. Thomas had decided he was gonna get to the bottom of this, for something was strange afoot. He decided was best just to keep quiet for the moment and investigate a little more before he were to point the finger around at someone.

Clinic End

The Vent

*Inset picture of vent cover here!*

As Thomas walked by with a chair that was good enough to support his weight, The mayor looked at Thomas with a puzzled look on his face. "I don't got all year.", Thomas responded to the mayor's slightly perturbed expression while walking toward the lowest vent to the ground. He stood on the chair and proceeded to pry the screws off with his utility knife. Dink! The sound of the first screw dropping made the mayor nervously change his body language in the chair. Dink! The sound of the second second screw echoed through the reception, making the mayor to start glistening on his forehead. Dink! He began to slowly rise on his feet, croaking the words "No stop tha-" Slam!. The ventilation shaft hit the ground, making a loud and flinch inducing shout as it fell from the ceilng. It even shook Thomas as for he didn't expect for the fourth screw to merely slide off as it did. Thomas took the adrenaline inducting cry of the vent hitting the ground to his advantage, and quickly went up into the shafts before the mayor could say a word.

The Vent END

Long Way

The old man still shocked at Thomas's audacity to just plow through his shout and continue forth prying away at those damn nails. The mayor sat back down and quietly collected his thoughts, returning to his docile state on the chair once again. Meanwhile inside the vents, Thomas felt the light breeze of cold and hot wind blow on his face while crawling around blindly in the dark. Eventually while rummaging around the rectangular shaft, he discovered that he was crawling inside near the roof of the building's ventilation unit due to some light seeping in from looked like small circular fan silhouettes. crawling further inside the claustrophobic closed space of the rooftop ventilation unit, Thomas came across a slanted vent similar to the one that he unknowingly crawled earlier to get to position he was at in the vents. But unlike the other vent climbed up, this one he would have to slide down. Which meant there was no way he would be able to physically climb back where he came from, and the only way from where he was at would be forward. From there Thomas had to make choice, go back and give up his attempts of finding the truth, or continue on and risk the possibility of getting stuck and starving to death. Looking over the slide downward, Thomas said aloud "Is this really worth it? I should head back and just report this to management...". As Thomas was getting cold feet, a sound came from behind him. Multiple small sounds coming right at him, tap tap tap, the sounds triggered the fight or flight instinct in His brain. He pushed himself over the edge in panic, and slid down to the dark abyss. He was sliding with momentum headfirst into darkness, the type of darkness you see whenever you close your eyes and seal them with your hands. He tried his best to take his arms and extend them to place his outward to slow the slide down, but it was to no avail, as for the walls of the claustrophobic ventilation unit were so small in width he couldn't even extend his arms forward that were on his sides. Slam! Finally his nose hit face first into one of the vents metallic metal flooring. After shimming out of the smaller vent he slid down with, He noticed that the vent he was in now was much more spacious than before. He was finally able to move both his hands from his sides, once he decided to put his hands down and pick himself up, Creak...Splut....Bang!. The ceiling of the vent couldn't handle Thomas's weight anylonger, he fell into what seem like to be a dimly ltted room with an omnious ark red crimson coming from some LED panels on the desks

The Vents END

Mastermind

He was exhuasted and exerted from all that crawling in the vent, so much so. That he decided to lay there for a while. Eventually he snoozed off to sleep due to the fatigue of all the things that he had seen all day. When Thomas open his eyes, the once dimly litted LEDs on the desks were all much brighter now. Thomas proceeded to stand, almost tripping on a wire. He looked around and saw that all the wires from the red lights all connected to a door. The door was slightly opened, and a whit luminicent light peered through it. HE walked closer and closer to the door, noticing the odd desigin of it, It had a rectangular hole at the bottom with a panel through it. "I feel like i've seen this before, it looks like such a familiar design.", Thomas thought. Once he touched the knob, an overwhelming feeling of nostalgia came through him. He felt as if he was a kid again, coming back from a long day at school to meet his old four legged best friend. Thomas merely pushed the door and it swayed slowly, he put his hand in front of eyes to shield the brightness. When his vision normalized with his surrondings, he saw a revaltion, or the bottom of one at least.

"Why you, what are you doing here buddy?", Thomas said with watery eyes, The type of watery eyes that only come with an overwhelming sense of joy in surprise. He'd recognize that long wagying tail from anywhere, it was him. His old dog James.

James was on his two hind legs on a revolving chair, looking at monitors that showed camera feed of multiple places that Thomas had been to while he was walking with the mayor. Thomas looked to his right to see a pile of broken wires and manequin hands. upon a closer look, Thomas saw heads in the pile familiar faces in fact. faces of the mayor, the mother, and her son, with all the same details of the ones he gazed upon early. It was James all along! He had been rused by his childhood dog dog! James had his front legs on mechanical levers on desk, controlling what seemed like the mayor and the cameras. when he noticed that Thomas had entered the room he suddenly tuned around his revolving chair in a happy 180 degrees motion , jumped off the stool. arf-arf! he barked, turning away from the monitors, running into Thomas arms, jumping on him and licking his face with all the joy of being reunited by his owner again! Once James's was done licking Thomas's face, he stepped off Thomas. Thomas felt dissapointed that this moment couldn't last forever, but then suddenly. James came back with a leash in his mouth! Thomas stood up with clear mind, he had solved the case! "Let's go home boy.", Said Thomas while looking down at his four legged friend. Thomas and James proceeded up a stairway into the light. Once they got to the surface, Thomas with leash and hand placed over James collar. Now they would be together forever, "Let's go for a walk boy..."

The End

Author's Note

Yes yes, i know that was a terrible ending for the story i set up, believe it or not, i was planning to make this story longer. Once Thomas got up from the floor, he was gonna find the transformer and activate it. Then there it would be end of the first chapter in my two chapter story i was writing. Then Thomas's woul'dve proceeded to go back up and "play" doctor for the villagers. but the villagers would've bled from their skin triggerign Thomas's PTSD from his previous case, It wouldve made for a interesting painting the gory pictures i had in mind. And it would've described the how all this had made Thomas feel, my original story was named "The bleeding of shesmont". but since i needed to turn something in, i didnt want to turn in a uncomplete story. I might just finish this up on my own time . This is actually heavily based off junji ito's works, one in particularly called "The blood sickness of the white sands village" where all the villagers are angular as hell, and the dog ending is a reference to silent hill 2. I made this to compensate for this terrribly rushed and ending and authors note explaining my terrible and garbage ending to my story.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shiba_Inu.jpg https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Velvet_plant.png https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_African_MountainVilla.png https://en.Naturelovers.com/photos/deadTree.jpeg imgur.com/asfdDFe38 Medicaloffices.com/locations/Texas/STATsanantonio.jpg Tumblr.com/pismak/Redforest Tumblr.com/Emergency-Punter/BLoodtransfusion

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