Infernal buzzing…

The infernal buzzing came to him nightly, always just before midnight with its witching hour tendencies and half-whispered suggestions of nightmare, and always just as he was on the cusp of sleep, half-awake, half-dreaming, but always terrified and always jangled in his nerves and manner of speech. Incoherent, terrified out of his wits, he tried to stammer out his fright into the night air but always, always, the only sound he produced was a naked, soul-tearing scream.

It invaded his ears at first, whispering, caressing his mind in a dull drone that drifted out of the night and settled across his synapses so gently, with such subtlety that he scarcely registered its arrival in his consciousness. Gradually, oh so gradually the hellish buzzing increased in volume and intensity until it became a cacophony of a thousand thousand wasps and flies and hornets all swarming inside his skull, ever increasing, never ceasing, never dulling in his mind, only twisting his senses around until, inexorably, he would crawl out of bed, eyes wide with fear and red raw with desperation to claw at the window – always the window! – and scream into the cold night air till his lungs felt fit to burst and the agony of sound would cease.

Exhausted, traumatised, tear stained and ears ringing in echo of the hellish noise, he would settle back into bed in sheet clutching desperation to fall asleep, tears trickling down the side of his face, leaving tracks of his agony etched across his face.

This was Mastersons lot; his fate after visiting that accursed castle that dwelt at the top of a haunted wood in the midst of the deepest, most vicious part of Eretreia. And more, his fate was inexorably entwined with that of the castles owner, Madame Isabella de la Renu and her horrid retinue of servants at that nightmarish All Hallows Ball last year…

I’ve found an extended version of this piece which I might try to develop for Mike Davis and the excellent

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