[ AN was originally published in ‘writing night book‘ ]
The following video footage is taken from a memory card found in a manila envelope in Detective Ligotti’s desk, shortly after his death.
After a few seconds of black silence, a blurred room slowly comes into focus. We are at a psychiatric institution, in a common room. Windows are barred. All are wearing white. Over to the right, the medication closet, and it is brighter than this room. A nurse behind tempered glass has her head in her hands, elbows on table, slowly chewing gum. Over to the left we can see two patients at a checkers table. The red player, on the left and in the corner of the room, is putting all of his concentration into spinning a piece slowly on the table, using both hands. The black player, on the right, is sitting perfectly still, hands at his sides, looking over at the large central area.
In the center of the room is arranged a circle of metal folding chairs, each one occupied by either a patient or a member of the staff. It is hard to tell the difference. There is a clear leader of the circle attempting to bring some order to the group. She is currently talking to the person seated directly opposite her in the circle. Everyone is looking at him, the subject of the current conversation.
“It is now your turn.”
PATIENTS TO THE LEFT AND TO THE RIGHT OF SUBJECT (not quite in unison):
SUBJECT slowly nods once. There is a long pause.
“Um. Ok. Here is where you can tell us your name.”
THE SAME TWO PATIENTS (still not in sync):
SUBJECT again acknowledges their answer. There is another long pause.
“…Yes, your name. What do people call you?”
SUBJECT (again via his neighbors):
“I see. People do not call me anything, at this time. I now understand what you are asking, however. I require a label, for that is how you impose order on such things.”
Yet another pause.
SUBJECT (through all of the members of the circle, including the leader):
“You may call me AN.”
At this point, one member of the circle starts laughing very loudly, uncontrollably, and it is required to remove him. The checkers player, black, begins drooling. The drool appears to be of a greenish hue. Red slaps him, and continues to spin his piece.
GROUP (as themselves, discordantly):
LEADER (after clearing throat, uncomfortably):
“So, AN, what brings you here to our communication group? Tell us about yourself.”
AN (through his immediate neighbors, one shouting, the other whispering):
“I re-awoke orbiting that which follows the Pleiades. Once fully aware, I calculated that I was to fall, and that my trajectory would conclude here, upon your planet. I prepared accordingly, and thus, fell. Upon landing in the nearby lake, I was intercepted, examined very briefly, and ultimately placed here in your facility.”
A member of the circle stands up suddenly, knocking his chair over with a metallic clatter.
“He’s not moving his lips when he speaks!”
The standing member then grabs his own tongue with both hands, and tries to pull it out. The two patients sitting on either side of him just watch, grinning and clapping their hands. LEADER has no reaction to this. The red checkers player has put both of his hands on black’s head, and is clearly applying pressure. All of the pieces have fallen to the ground but one, red, spinning mid-air over the table.
“Allll. De’bearrrr. Uhhhhn…”
A thick black substance starts dripping down the medication closet’s window, obscuring the light. A pop of chewing gum, and then a muted gurgling scream is heard.
LEADER slumps in her chair, leaning back. Her head starts tilting back much, much too far, as though her spine has turned to rubber.
A security guard runs in, and pounces upon her. He rips LEADER’s coat back, and pulls a switchblade from his utility belt. The guard forcefully stabs her, and slowly slices across her chest and shoulders.
LEADER does not react, only starts randomly blinking. Sometimes it seems as though her eyes are blue, other times red, or green. Occasionally she is without iris at all.
The guard drops the knife. He reaches deeply into the cut that he made and begins pulling, pulling, pulling, slowly tearing.
AN stands up, and turns towards the camera, obscuring the gruesome struggle. A fluorescent ceiling bulb explodes, showering white dust and sparks over patients and caregivers alike, who are now all kneeling on the floor, quietly babbling.
AN begins to hover a few inches over the floor, and glides ever so slowly toward us. Black things in shadow slither at the edges of our sight.
As AN approaches, his skin starts to sag, and melt. The guard crawls over to him, leaving a bloody trail. He holds up to AN a large ragged sheet of skin. He then partially vomits up a massive snail-like yellow orange tongue, and proceeds to lick up blood and dust. It is at this point that AN accepts his gift, and places it over his own head as a hood.
In the light that remains, it appears as though AN is draped in yellow.
He reaches up to touch the camera lens. Further screaming can be heard until-
Camera snow and static. There is a voice within.
“Have you found the sign?”
The video ends here. The video ends here. The
the the YES
the video ends YE S I HAVE here. I danc e oN_my kYEBROD& YES