Neovian Asylum Interview, Patient #039721
Neovian Asylum Interview, Patient #039721.
Interviewer: Detective Maxfield M. Chia.
Patient name: Unknown.
I've spoken with him before, the Techo. He says he's from Ilmas, though we can't possibly believe him. This is a transcription from the audio I recorded during our conversation.
I am not insane, detective. Yes, the events which took place that night in the month of Collecting did distort my perception of reality, as they would to any Neopet who may have witnessed them – and it is also true that I can neither find the place where I experienced those events, nor have I found a single Neopet who knows of the place or the folktales I heard there – but I assure you that my recollection of these events has not been effected by the strangeness of what may now be called my mind. No, I am not insane – merely twisted. I see now the world as it should be, and not as you may; a full spectrum as opposed to the limited pallet which you work with. Yet still you insist on asking me the same questions over and over again, expecting a different answer each time! That, my friend, is insanity! But very well, I will tell you once more of the place I called Ilmas and of the things I encountered while there.
Ilmas must have been near Neovia, for I recall it was merely a twenty minute walk along a clear path from the school that I attended there. Mostly, I remember the way that the trees seemed to unnaturally twist over and around the pathway, as if the roots themselves were frightened to be anywhere near the path leading to Ilmas. Occasionally a root or branch would invade the pathway, but these always seemed to be from sickly plants close to death. I do know for certain that the path was unkempt by any groundskeeper or janitorial staff, so it must have been either by magic or by nature that the path itself existed – and so uncannily clear. Merely stepping onto that path was enough to know the fear of the plants, for when the moon shone through the branches it seemed to be always full, and despite the natural state of things never once did I see any stars during my walks at night. Nevertheless, I made the trek between Neovia and Ilmas regularly, for my studies demanded that I attended classes most of the week.
Where the forest path met the small town that I had taken residence in there was a crudely drawn sign which stated the name of the town (Ilmas), the establishment of its grounds, which stood to prove that its cobbled streets had been in existence long before its closest neighbor, Neovia, and a small sign which advertised the population, which had never gone above two hundred in the many years it had been around. I had been renting what had once been a gardening house, but due to the degradation of the soil in the area over the past decade, was converted into a guest-house. Peculiarly, there also was a basement in the guest-house – something uncommon to a gardening house due to the necessity of roots, but a peculiarity that I, unfortunately, had glanced over while selecting my living space.
The basement door was locked by the means of a chain and three combination locks, and when I inquired about it to the landlord, he simply said that it lead to a very dangerous part of the house that was extremely unstable, and warned me not to enter for the sake of my own health. As for the rest of the guest-house, it was mostly plain; only three rooms, those being a main room, a kitchen, and a restroom. The main room was decorated with a bed, a small decorative table next to it which held a candle, a chair, bookshelf, and a large rug which mostly served as a means to cover up the trapdoor leading to the basement. Oddly enough, it was the most decorative room in the guest-house, as the restroom and kitchen were both minimally furnished. These things did not bother me, for I enjoy simplicity and solitude as opposed to living large.
For the first few weeks of my stay, I was relatively happy. My needs were met and the rent was fair; and although I found the candlelight limiting while engaging in my studies, which took many hours of my days, the room was cozy enough to sleep in at night without worry. Unlike the neighboring town, Neovia, Ilmas was free of the terror near the Haunted Woods, and was nearer to Neopia Central than the woods themselves. This made the town seem, though mostly run-down, like any other small town one might find in Neopia.
Merely weeks into my stay, I began to notice an abnormal amount of stares from neighbors; these stares were not the weary looks of locals to travelers, but rather looks of fear and disgust. Fearful of becoming a social pariah, I made it a point to encounter as many citizens of the town as I could, but none would have me save for an old Lupe named Maris who was very well versed in history and folklore. Being a bit of a historian myself, I found great pleasure in his company, though he had the tendency to drag a subject on far past its due date. Also, I took pleasure in the tea and snacks that he offered to me when I met with him; but when I mentioned the place that I had been renting and inquired a bit about the history of the building, he fell silent. So drastic was the contrast between the conversation prior to my asking that I found myself attempting to persuade him to go on, despite the fact that after hours of conversation his voice had begun to feel tiresome to my ears. I said to him, "Maris, for what reason have you ceased speaking?" To which he responded at first with a bit of confused silence, as if he were searching for words, and then answered: "That's quite a scary place you've got there, friend. Lots of lore around that place. They say it's evil, the townsfolk do, and that it attracts evil things, but I'll not be so quick to judge. Have you seen the basement? Well, have you?" To which I said I had not, for it was the truth and I had previously been uninterested in the basement, accepting it as simply a piece of fault architecture. "Don't you go in there, now; strange things make their homes down there, they say. You'll be fine just so long as you don't venture downward."
When our conversation had ended, I thanked the old Lupe for his company and tea, and told him that I should be on my way, for night would soon be falling and in our chatting I had missed out on a large bit of studying time. When I made my way to the guest-house, I discovered a peculiarity in its atmosphere, though I could not place it. Then, I noticed the trapdoor; it had become slightly ajar, a small branch or root of some plant protruding from its mouth. When I moved to push it back in, the root wrapped lightly around my hand; and this frightened me, so that I pulled back in horror and decided to simply push the carpet further over the root so that its presence would not disturb my studies. After hours of studying, I found myself tired. Blowing out the candle, I placed my books on the floor next to my bed and crawled beneath the covers.
When I awoke, it was not to the pleasantry of sunlight or the call of an early-morning petpet, but from the feeling of something slimy on my arm. I shuddered and opened my eyes, only to find myself trapped within a group of vines, growing ever-longer around me and holding me in place. I opened my mouth to scream, but no sound made its way out; and I quickly closed my mouth so that none of the strange plant would enter my stomach. Struggling against it, I found the vines to be powerful and that they did not budge. Even more than the vines, I felt surrounded by my own fear, which possibly immobilized me to a more extreme level than the vines. When they reached my face, I opened my mouth once more – not to scream, but to bite down on the vines.
When I bit down on the vines over my mouth, I heard a horrible scream from the direction of the basement, and the vines immediately let themselves loose. Tearing the vines off of my person, I let out a scream and ran to the basement trapdoor, which I began stomping on until the vines became detached from whatever origin source was in the basement. When the vines were separated, they instantly withered and fell to the ground with a thump. It was only then that I looked around and saw that those vines had grown all over the room, up the walls, on the ceiling, on the candle. In a fit of passion and confusion, I took the candle and the box of matches by its side, and set it aflame, only to drop the match and the candle to the large rug, now mostly covered with plantlife, on the floor.
The rug immediately caught fire, and I decided to make my exit. Behind me, I heard the screaming from before – a shrill, angry scream which will forever echo in my mind. It taunts me even now. That is where you found me, detective: far from a burning house wherein there lived some unknown horror which may never see the light of day again. Now I have told you my story again, and you should see that I am not insane. Believe me or not; go yourself to that basement, if you can find that wretched town of Ilmas, and see for yourself the horrors which lurk there. Know in the meantime that I am not insane. I am completely and totally sane.
He went on for a while like that, stating that he was sane. We can't possibly believe that; there is no such place as Ilmas, or at least there was not been for a long time. All records we have of that town state that most of the town burned down over two hundred years ago; now all that is left is an overgrown wasteland. Maxfield M. Chia, signing out.
Diagnosis: Beyond help. Permanent stay in our facility recommended.
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