Darkness fell upon the small New England where I had been attending university. Under cover of the night, I travelled surreptitiously from the boarding house to the basement of the local mortuary, where I had established a makeshift medical practice of sorts.
My clientele were not of the typical warm-bodied ilk, but rather, the independent parts and limbs of human cadavers. Once thought to be deceased, I believed that, in my brilliance, I had discovered a method of re-animation — that I could restore them to their liveliness, as one might do with a machine. For indeed, what is any organism but a complex biomechanical device? Humans should be no exception to that.
I had been assembling a corpse collage using the finest specimens of each human piece available in the mortuary — an arm from here, a stomach from there, two eyes carved delicately from separate heads to maximize their ocular potential, and so on. I stitched and fused and grafted each part together until it resembled a full human being.
It was on that fateful night that I finally injected this new specimen with my experimental serum. Lightning crashed coincidentally outside as I depressed the syringe, watching the bluish liquid flow through the tubing and in through the slits I had carved into the corpses’ veins.
O, the horrors of my hubris! For it was then that my own eyes fell upon a most awful sight, of such indescribable gruesomeness that I feel it is my obligation to attempt to recount it — though any such effort will inevitably be fruitless, given the aforementioned and inherent indescribableness of said savagery.
For it convulsed! I watched in awestruck trepidation as the creature cavorted.
The brute, how it pranced! Overcome by what appeared to be a paroxysm, it twitched and shuddered in a sexually suggestive manner. The creature gyrated its undead hips as if compelled by the sickening rhythms of a Euclidean song that is so ghastly as to be unknowable by the ears of the living!
Yes, it was almost as if my reanimated cadaver … was dancing.
A rumbling sound swelled from the wood to the east. At first I assumed it was those foolish students from the nearby Miskatonic University, romping in the wilderness as the wayward youth are wont to do in this coastal North Shore Massachusetts village. I turned to my creation, which continued to thrash about in its seizure-like state — as if the music in its mangled mind was loud enough to drown out the approaching hordes.
The footsteps grew louder. Heavy, leaden strides, thudding slovenly as they staggered down the creaking wooden steps that travelled from the cellar hatch down to my secret facility beneath the funeral home. Had I, in my eagerness to bring life to my creation, forgotten to close the door behind me? It was not uncommon for geniuses such as myself to suffer from forgetfulness amidst the throes of brilliance. But in that moment, I feared that my haphazard behavior may have been my own undoing.
I rushed through the dim basement, hoping to intercept my unexpected visitors before they could happen upon the ghastly fruits of my labor. Alas, I did not travel far, for the path was blocked by a flock of grayish ghouls, fresh dirt flaking from their pallid shoulders as they shambled towards me. To my surprise, I could observe no aggression in the movements — rather, they, too, seemed to be coerced by an unknowable song that entranced and enslaved their dull minds, not unlike that which had overtaken my creation.
I stepped aside to let them pass. As if guided by a hive mind intelligence, that orgy of ghouls each took their turns indulging in a taste of the electrical impulses emitted from my gas-powered generator. Soon they, too, joined in synchronized movements with the creature.
And they convulsed! I watched in awestruck trepidation as the creatures cavorted.
The brutes, how they pranced! Overcome by what appeared to be a paroxysm, they twitched and shuddered in sexually suggestive manners, gyrating their undead hips as if compelled by the sickening rhythms of a Euclidean song that is so ghastly as to be unknowable by the ears of the living!
Yes, it was almost as if the monsters … were dancing.
Just beyond the walls, I could hear the storm cackle and rage. But inside, my dark infirmary had now transformed into a festive graveyard. The air within my chamber remained as stale and silent as ever, or perhaps somewhat stuffier, given the unexpected crowding of ghastly beasts that had overtaken the space.
Despite the lack of music — or indeed, any noise beyond the storm outside — my creature and the ghouls alike continued to flail in carefully-timed patterns, matching well with one another.
I wondered briefly if some strain of madness or syphilitic fever had consumed my mind, just as it had done to my late father. But merely asking this question of myself was enough to confirm that I did indeed remain sober and sane and self-aware.
This, perhaps, was even more terrifying, for it meant that my experience was real and true.
It was then I heard a blood-curdling howl calling from the cellar hatch. I turned to find a hulking, canine-like beast came galloping down the dirt floor hallways, tongue lashing madly as it moved.
Growing up, I had always been afraid of dogs, after my cousin William’s wretched pet bit me when I tried to use it during my era of childhood experimentation. But this bounding beast stared at me with humanoid eyes as it approached, rearing upright with dagger-like claws unsheathed as it stood up on its hind legs.
Fearing the worst, I threw my arms in front of my face to protect my only asset (which is to say, my brilliant mind). But much to my surprise, no assault did come upon me. Peering through my fingers, I saw that the lycanthropic mongrel, too, had joined with my cadaver collage and its ghoulish accomplices in their strange ritualistic frolic.
I heard then a slamming sound like a forcefully shut door. It came from across the basement, where the mortuary stored the coffins still awaiting presentation and burial. An eerie keening lilted through the air — the closest thing to music that I did hear on that horrid night — and with that sound wafted in a pale-skinned dapper man with slicked-back black hair and a black cape with a high-backed collar.
When I say this man wafted in on the rhythms of the air, I do mean this literally, for he floated several inches above the ground, never dirtying his feet on the natural cellar floor.
The pale-skinned dapper man looked at me and smiled, baring a pair of dagger-like incisors in his mouth. I knew for certain then that my life was done, that I would soon join the same collection of corpses from which I had once scavenged in the name of science.
“I vondered vhat had happened to my Transylvania Tvist,” he said.
Then he, too, joined in on the maddening jig with the rest of the beasts.
They all convulsed! I watched in awestruck trepidation as the creatures cavorted.
The brutes, how they pranced! Overcome by what appeared to be a paroxysm. They twitched and shuddered in sexually suggestive manners, gyrating their undead hips as if compelled by the sickening rhythms of a Euclidean song that is so ghastly as to be unknowable by the ears of the living!
Yes, it was almost as if the monsters … were dancing.
And soon I felt that I had no choice but to join them in this dance, despite not knowing the steps nor the song to which it had been choreographed. The lightning flashed and crackled outside as I tried to follow along.
As the thunder subsided, I found myself overcome by what appeared to be a paroxysm. Suddenly, I, too, was possessed the knowledge necessary to unlock the rhythms and patterns of this macabre musical interlude. Although indeed, there was no song itself, I could feel the melodies nonetheless, as if I was compelled by the sickening rhythms of a Euclidean tune so ghastly as to be unknowable by those who existed outside the walls of my mortuary lab. I gave myself over to the silent sound. I twitched and I shuddered in sexually suggestive manners, gyrating my hips in a manner that should have filled me with shame, rather than elation.
That’s when I knew that perhaps the madness had overtaken me after all.