Seeds of Evil

Episode 5: We're All Mad Here

As Dr. Edgar Blackford sat with his patient, the psychic Natalie Cameron, in his Silent Waters office, he noticed that Cameron was agitated and upset. His anger and frustration seemed to be centered around a painting in the Art Colony called We’re All Mad Here. Cameron explained that he wanted to destroy it and perhaps hurt the artist, Jenny Grieg. Dr. Blackford made a promise that they would go there together and address the situation if Cameron promised not to do anything rash. That is when Fr. Jack Clowney, Dr. Zachary Wells and Judith McKnight arrived.

After Dr. Blackford dismissed Natalie Cameron, and while they were settling in, it was clear the group was somewhat agitated and upset. While Dr. Wells was getting more coffee, he saw at he top of the stairs a figure that resembled Gwenyth Miller, Dr. Blackford’s girlfriend, and instead of a friendly greeting, she simply growled in his direction. When Dr. Bradford went up to check on Gwenyth, she was lying in bed sketching something and had a surly disposition. When he checked to see what she was working on, he noticed that it was the start of some kind of piece that involved people around a table.

Somewhat disturbed by the events from Gwenyth, even though they paled in comparison to what he had gone through in the past 24 hours, Dr. Wells returned to Dr. Bradford’s office where the group talked about what had happened. They filled Dr. Bradford in on the events with the murders as well as the events with the email, ‘thought you’d be Interested’ and the Snuff Golem. They concluded with explaining what they had found in Piercing the Darkness and how it related to Gwenyth as well as the Chonic Alphabet. Both Dr. Wells and Judith were disturbed to discover that Dr. Blackford seemed to have no problem with a possible demon of vengeance coming after those who had participated in a Snuff Film.

It was then that they decided to meet up with Natalie and look at the painting he was so agitated about. Fr. Jack agreed to stay and look after Gwenyth. Disturbed at the reports about Gwenyth, Judith went upstairs to check on her while she was still working away at her sketch. Gwenyth’s disposition towards Judith was bitter and Judith decided backing out of the room was the best course of action.

The group then went over to the home-studio of Jenny Grieg to look at the painting. Meeting with Natalie, they approached and when they met Ms. Grieg, she seemed cold until they expressed an interest in the painting. When she said that another buyer was interested, Dr. Bradford decided that purchasing the painting, We’re All Mad Here for 500 dollars was a wise course of action.

Meanwhile, Dr. Wells and Judith both took an interest in the other pieces in Grieg’s studio, Lighthouse Landscape and Seaside Landscape. When Judith asked where Grieg got her inspiration, she paused and said it came to her in dreams. It was at this point that Judith surmised that she got her inspiration, more accurately, from the Dream Drugs that were once sold out of the Autumn Tavern by the now deceased Richard Simpson. This is about when Dr. Wells began intently staring at the painting, Seaside Landscape. Before he knew it, some force had taken over his mind and he found himself lost in the painting, becoming one with the strange images he began to see. He was staring into the ocean as something, perhaps it was oblivion, staring back at him, coming from the depth at a rapid rate.

Dr. Bradford and Judith were both unaware of Dr. Wells’ strange behavior. Judith instead wanted to press on whatever it was that Grieg was working on next. She remained secretive and Judith guessed that a combination of cozying up to her, offering to buy one of the paintings and getting for her more Dream Drugs would be her ticket into looking at so much more of what Grieg had to offer. When Judith offered to buy Lighthouse Landscape, Grieg seemed to loose some of her cold exterior and went to get some packaging paper. While she was gone, Judith and Dr. Blackford both noticed the strange behavior of Dr. Wells and when they tried to bring him out of it, he attacked Dr. Blackford, destroying Grieg’s coffee table in the process. When Grieg returned, upset, she was calmed when Dr. Wells agreed to buy the painting. Strangely, upon leaving, Grieg beckoned Judith to return, whispering and flicking her ear with her tongue.

Upon leaving, Dr. Blackford assured Natalie that everything was fine and the painting would trouble him no longer.

The three went their separate ways as each had something different to do. Judith followed Dr. Wells as he had been acting strangely and watched as he want down to the pier, staring at the water and speaking with Claude Rickson, the strange man who offered tourists boat rides. Before Dr. Wells could get into the boat for another ride, Judith took him back home. When she dropped him off, she went to the Autumn Tavern, broke in and found where Simpson had kept his Dream Drugs. It did not take her too long to find them as she had a solid idea of where they had been hidden from before. She was surprised when she found 2 pounds of the narcotic. Getting home, she removed a small sliver and sent it to the lab of Plymouth College to be analyzed.

Dr. Blackford went home to find neither Fr. Jack nor Gwenyth present. He called and found they were out for ice cream. He agreed to meet them but before he left, he checked his clipping service and saw an article that talked about how Silent Waters’ art community had tripled in the past couple of years making it a great place to find affordable and interesting art. The article, aimed at northeastern tourists was intended to be charming, but Dr. Blackford found it somewhat disturbing in light of the connection Judith and Dr. Wells had made between the increased activity of the unusual and that of the imaginations and insight of artists. Were the artists unwittingly responsible for what was happening in Silent Waters? Nonetheless, when Dr. Bradford met up with Fr. Jack and Gwenyth, she seemed transformed and in a better mood. But when they got back home, he saw her completed sketch she had been working on. It looked identical to the painting, We’re All Mad Here. He urged her to take it down from the wall . . . .

The following day, both Dr. Blackford and Dr. Wells both had patients they had to see. Judith, by contrast, went to the city records office and then to the bank where she met up with Daria Whitehouse. Her attempt to find out more about the Markhardt Estate revealed some interesting information. First, it seemed that Otto Markhardt and his wife Constance, bought the property and built the house back in 1864. Then, in 1875 Constance and their son, Willy, moved away. Constance was listed at the sole owner of the property and no mention of what had happened to Otto was referenced. Judith was convinced that the house played an important role in what was happening in town. She was also convinced that the house likely held secrets that were not yet discovered.

As she left the bank, she ran into Deputy Tim Coye who was waiting near her car. After lecturing him for what seemed like stalking her, he asked what she was doing about what they had seen and what he could do to help. It was evident that he was agitated and terrified still of what they had encountered. She told him to be patient and to what and see what they could do as she was still trying to figure things out.

As Dr. Bradford was finishing up for the day, he noticed an email that was waiting for him. The subject line simply read: ‘thought you’d be interested’ and it had an attachment. His blood ran cold and he immediately called Dr. Wells and Judith to come over.

When they arrived, Judith with Wit and Dr. Wells with his pistol, they were unsure what they would encounter. Dr. Bradford showed the email and they agreed to open it and view it. It was the murder of Robert Nuffleman, shown from the perspective of what they could only assume was the Snuff Golem It even showed when Coye, Judith and Dr. Wells broke in towards the end. What was most disturbing was the delirium that Nuffleman entered as he was being chopped apart. He was singing the classic Disney tune from the 1950’s Alice in Wonderland movie, ’We’re All Mad Here.’

Dr. Wells was barely able to keep things together but did manage to capture the video on his phone. After it was over, they were all in a state of shock. Dr. Bradford hit reply and began going back and forth with emails from the individual who sent it.

Whomever or whatever it was that was answering was taunting them.

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