A word before you start: The followingnarrative contains strong language & graphic details. Please do not read it ifyou are sensitive to any or both.
The oubliette of Morteprolongare. It is my masterpiece. My obsession. The cell reflects precisely 0.6% of the light. There, you do not see ‘nothing’. You ‘see’ darkness. Like a thick fluid, coursing steadily around you, and eventually, if you stay long enough, which you will, oh trust me you will, through every pore of your skin. You become…the darkness.
First Excerpt from the recorded police interview:
Detective *name removed* (Replying to one of the questions of a reporter): Uhh….It was a web-based community of some college students where they shared stories of the horror genre. Everything was fine...pauses and glances at the file on the desk... until a person with username Valac-II joined and started posting stories. The…incoherent voice…...Static… tape continues…his stories were always in first person account. It was like he was…looked at his colleague and continues...writing his journal.
Things got worse when he posted about something he called ‘The Oubliette of Morteprolongare.’ The torture descriptions in the story were so inhumanely elaborate and vivid that members stopped taking it as entertainment anymore. They asked him to stop.
Excerpts from the first story (before The Oubliette of Morteprolongare) posted by Valac-II [Others too disturbing and thus deleted]:
“… and the eye movement was one of the most annoying things I have ever encountered. They make the incision difficult and imperfect. Imperfect! I hate that.”
“…invented a way to freeze the movement of sclera without alleviating the pain-sensitivity for even one bit. Incision now? PERFECTION!!”
With every story, his prose grew darker.
Then the arguments started. Members were fed up (so they said), terrifyingly disturbed and psychologically affected (so was their actual state) with his posts.
From the last chat:
exitiumstimulus2 (one of the users): You are a sick person. That is what you are… *abusive language removed*
Valac-II (the suspect): Why do you ask for horror when you can’t stand its true meta physiognomy? You want tasteless lies and garbage that tickle your amygdala and leave it at that. Sure, those so-called horror TV programmes can give you that. Sure, you will get that temporary rush in your veins and tingle in your marrow from those trashy novels whose writers you so mindlessly praise. But you won’t get it in my works. I don’t keep you in the realm of fiction. I do exactly the opposite - tear the delicate ducts of your senses in most brutal ways and offer you the true taste of what lies inside the very core of the innate fear. Effusive ecstasy!!! It’s like a concentrated, contraction-less orgasm that extirpates your mind’s pleasure-threshold and explodes it exactly the way universe itself exploded at the time of its creation. You create your rapture as the universe created its components. Do you see what I mean? It is an explosion without an explosion! Even heroin can’t give you that!
I know it takes time but once you develop the taste, oh! The taste, you will never want anything else. Anything! Trust me.
They removed him from the web community after that.
Bits of the news:
“4 missing from different places in a strikingly similar manner. Presumably dead. *judging by the nature of disappearances*
Families and friends refuse to speak till now… Investigation in progress...”
“Forensic team confirms the sampling of DNA. Hair strands and hints of blood found from one of the four places…...investigation in progress….”
“….report to finally have a breakthrough…. Fingerprints traced and matched…identity to be revealed soon…”
One of the detectives even joked at the press conference (off the records), ‘I can’t tell you his first name, but I can certainly tell you his second name – it’s Dumbass. The brainless piece of shit has left his fingerprints and DNA all over the place. I guarantee you we will get him before this goes live.’
“…Suspect held. 42, Male, *ethnicity removed*. Confirms himself to be the user of the ID 'Valac-II'. Confesses the murders.”
Unidentifiable markings on the entire body. Unusual face with almost no expression noticeable. Talks about the murders in gruesome detail, describing every second of the scene with such focus as if relishing (or maybe re-relishing) each step of the unimaginably cruel process.
When asked what was 'The Oubliette of Morteprolongare' – ‘I like to give them [victims] a name, a name they can associate pain with… Morteprolongare is my brainchild…laughs… you see, I am the architect who prolongs the experience of death, an art too elaborate to be captured in words. The oubliette exists… Inside my mind…the safest and the darkest place of it all… There never was an actual dungeon...*continues laughing hysterically*.’
“….bodies found in a spine-chilling condition at the exact places disclosed by the convict…murders in cold blood…death sentence confirmed.”
Even the veteran detectives found the bodies too unsettling to approach.
He was executed after seven days.
“...Shocking discovery in a six-year-old murder case…. former detective fighting the department to re-open the investigation…... to be interviewed on a renowned news channel tomorrow… ”
From the diary of Mr *name removed* (Former detective):
“…I am not – as my colleagues put it – ‘obsessed’ with it [the case] but there is something about it that doesn’t let me sleep.”
“It’s been over five years since the disappearance of those students, five years since he was hanged. I can never forget his face. Nor the markings on his body…”
“The markings! This is insane….after all these years, I see it now. It all makes sense…”
Mr *name removed* was always described as a ‘weird guy in glasses with a book.’ No matter where he went or what he did, he always carried something to read. And though everyone who knew him was well-aware of the fact that he was a book freak, not many had the slightest clue what exactly it was he always read.
He devoted his entire life to the study of mythologies. That is why when he heard the username Valac-II for the first time, it piqued his curiosity.
He knew that in demonology, Valac is the great master of hell and in his command are the thirty-eight legions of demons. But could this have had any relation to the case, he thought about it for a moment.
As soon as he went home that day after receiving the case file about the disappearance, he called Reauhil, his only friend who shared the same interest, and arguably knew more than him when it came to mythical creatures.
“Valac, you say?” Reauhil was instantly attentive.
“Yes. That’s what I saw in the file. It was the suspect’s username. Also, there is something mentioned about the Oubliette of Morteprolongare. Do you happen to know something about it?”
“Well, as far as Valac is concerned, I can tell you that he is the preside…”
“I know who he is. Could you tell me something else? Is there an organization currently active, like a…like a secret society inspired by this name? Do you know anything about it?”
“No… I don’t think there is any secret society named Valac-II. If there is, I don’t know anything about it. And this is the first time I have heard the term Oubliette of Morteprolongare so... I might have to check with few of my sources about that.”
No one he knew had more knowledge about secret societies and organizations than Reauhil. So he had to satisfy himself with the self-created fact that maybe it’s some nerdy sick person who created the username, and that it has nothing to do with the disappearance and possible murder.
This was until he received a call after all these years.
“Remember you sent me the pictures of those markings….the guy who was hanged?... I may have something for you.”
“What …? Reauhil...?” He was still struggling to hold the phone still.
“Yeah, it’s me. No time to exchange pleasantries. Do you remember those markings?”
“Yes...yes. I do remember them. What do you have for me?” Sleep left him in an instant.
“Well…that day...after you gave me those names...Valac and Morteprolongare…and pictures of those markings…. I started to put every piece together to find something on them. But I couldn’t find anything. Today, I received something in my mail that fucked my mind. Trust me. It will have the same effect on you...”
Do you know who Doctor Vedant Vachaspati is?”
“Yes...I met him once at the university.”
“My sources had eyes on him for a long time. He was working on something….and he wouldn’t tell anything about it to anyone. A few weeks ago, he died of a heart attack. I mean that’s what they mentioned in the medical reports. But that’s the talk of some other day. What I called you for is….uh... I told you my sources had eyes on him… so when he died… I made sure his works were away from the hands of unworthy individuals and organizations. Today, I received the package. And you won’t believe what was in it... ” Reauhil paused.
"Don’t stop now Reauhil…”
“Dr Vachaspati was writing a book named ‘The Dungeon of Valak.’ He spelt the name as V-A-L-A-K…for a moment, I thought he was talking about something else but now that I read his brilliant piece of unfinished work like five times... I can assure you that he was talking about the same Valac though I am not sure why he spelt it differently. Those markings, Viv…the pages have more than fifty instances of those markings…his sketches match perfectly with the pictures that you have sent me. After reading this, and your case file, I can guarantee you that the man convicted was not actually guilty…... He was the victim...”
“What??!” Every passing second was turning out to be more and more unbearable for him.
“Yes…uh…Dr Vachaspati writes here that Valak created a…a secret dungeon where he would keep the best of souls and experiment on them. He invented a method Dr Vachaspati calls…Morteprolongare, a method through which Valak delayed transition – what we generally call – from life to death. Valak was not satisfied with the definition of pain so he created a process through which he redefined pain – the highest level of pain. That is where the markings come into existence. The souls have those markings. The victims have those markings……Not the punisher.”
“So… you mean that…...oh god!.....that the man we arrested was actually just another victim?”
“Not just that… There is something more. When you handed me those files, I did not just give it a look. I started investigating it. Years of struggling…adding every bit together….and with the help of this unfinished book…. my sources found a lot more than just that. Those four bodies you found…. They were not of those college students.”
“What do you mean?”
“Remember how your department found the hair strands and the traces of blood at one of the places? Remember how you people eventually found the fingerprints? Remember when the forensics confirmed the bodies ‘too burnt to be identified’? It all has a connection. The hair stands, the traces of blood… and the fingerprints were all deliberately left there to be found. Those bodies were never identified. There is a pattern, Viv. I do not just have a hunch that those were not the bodies you were after, I am sure that there is something too fucked up about this case.”
“But the man confessed...”
“How many times in your life have you seen innocent people confessing to the crimes they have not committed? Maybe he was under the influence. Maybe something terrified him more than police. More than death. Maybe it was the pain that he’d have experienced in…”
“It couldn’t be…”
“Viv, I am not saying that Valac, the mythical creature himself has done this. No. But I am asking you to consider the obvious facts. Maybe there is a maniac who is inspired by this story... maybe he has created a dungeon where he tortures people….maybe he is still doing it...”
“No…and how could anyone know this story? You did not know about this until you found Vachaspati’s incomplete work… Wait…could it mean that Dr Vachaspati himself was the….”
“At this point, we can only hypothesize. What you are saying may be possible, but I don’t think he could do it. I had him under surveillance for too long…he cannot be; right now, all I can tell you is that the dungeon…the fucking oubliette could very much be real…the person responsible for this could be alive and torturing people…and judging by the sudden appearance of this man who was ready to die for the crime he did not do, I can tell you that those students may very much be alive…maybe he doesn’t kill anyone, maybe he shapes their thoughts in such a way by those elaborate experiments…that death seems the least painless getaway. Maybe he can control them psychologically in some way. Part of the righteous me is forcing me to tell you that we must do something to stop this madness. But the part of the sensible me is warning me to stay out of this. This… whoever this is… seems to be of powerful influence… that is why, even after six years, a mad researcher like me couldn’t find a thing about him…or her... Let this go, Viv. There are some deep shits… some deranged fucks in this world that are beyond the understanding of individuals even like us... The best path to take right now is the path of ignorance…even if it gives you the guilt of a lifetime.
At least you will have a lifetime.
I shouldn’t have told you anything about this but now that I have told you…I beg you…don't take it any further. ”
After three weeks, somewhere in a Mental Institution:
“Why don’t you fucking believe me?? The dungeon is real. The dungeon is real!!...get off me... you have to let me go… you don’t understand… I have to….you must let me go…The oubliette is real!!!...”
Sedatives don’t let him stay conscious for long. But whenever he regains his senses, he cries, he begs… and sometimes asks to call a number that doesn’t exist.
Last We Heard From the news:
“…former detective battling severe mental illness….”
It’s been two years. The time may have changed calendars, and with it, the level of curiosity about the case, but those questions, those questions still bother us. ‘Was the man actually innocent? Who was he?’, ‘If he was not behind the disappearance, then who?’
And the most disturbing one: ‘Is the dungeon, the oubliette real?'; ‘If the bodies were not of those students, then whose bodies were found that day?’
The public doesn't see it. They cannot spot the reality when it is burdened with the curtains of lies (which is always the case), hidden way beneath the visible level. Those 4 bodies… no one cared where they came from. One missing tourist on page 8, two kidnapped graduates from a less-known college on page 9 somewhere, one mental patient absconded on page 11… Who cares about them? Who reads those tiny columns? No one. The public was too busy indulging in the juice of the year:
I.) Four people missing
II.)Someone confessed the murder and the place where he hid the bodies.
III.) Four bodies found.
IV.) Case solved. The end. Who cares about the details? Who is sensitive enough, patient enough to look through the fog?
The public look for the next juice-source as soon as the current one starts to lose the flavour.
The posters have long worn out. The media has moved on, the way it always does, with other ‘sensational scary news’ (One can’t keep the audience ‘entertainingly’ scared for too long with the same news juice, right?).
Everyone those people mattered to – parents, friends, pets – are back to the normal life (or so it appears), after helplessly watching the last fibre of their hope burn in vain.
Few amateur bloggers have written something about the case a while ago. The posts were inexplicably removed within hours. Strange…they never posted anything after that.
No one writes about those students anymore.
For the public, there is always a time limit for giving a damn about a particular topic. After that, even the assassinations of presidents don’t matter.
It is not about emotions, it is NOT about CARING…... it is all about finding a gripping news (I am amazed at their audacity to still call it a news) to keep themselves entertained as they chew their pathetic, fatty dinner, as they finish their sugared coffee, as they spend the hours of their evening before they go to sleep and pause for some time their senseless, “active existence” that is being unstoppably manipulated by the ones who can. Media, you say? Yes, that tops the list of the ones who can.
The world forgot (the way it always does) the existence of those college students as if they were but a figment of a mad writer’s imagination.
“Do you think they are still looking for us?”
Every once in a while, a broken voice – choked with the last extremity of pain, accompanied by the soul-crippling sounds of clanking metals – rises and decibel by decibel dies in the liquid-dark oubliette of Morteprolongare.
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