Hey there boils and ghouls! Paul here, welcoming you to the first chapter of SUPERNATURAL STRAIGHTJACKET, and the introduction to a much grander storyline that I’ve been working on for years now, of which Bartleby is just a small piece. There are big, big things planned … and I hope to share them all with you guys.
Bartleby Anduzsky kind of took on a life of his own from a story set in this universe, The Siblings Scarington, which I plan to release eventually. He seemed like the character who’d be the most fun to read about in a solo setting, and soon it became clear that not only could I write some fun occult detective stuff (a genre I’ve always had a soft spot for), but I could also use the character to create stories and situations that would help introduce readers to the world I’d created, as well as its rules, geography, and concepts.
I think it’s important to establish rules for your fictional worlds, because it keeps you honest. While SUPERNATURAL STRAIGHTJACKET doesn’t get bogged down in the nitty gritty, it does give you a basic concept of how the world works. And, if you guys dig it, you’ll see Bartleby continue into Atlantean Mountains of Madness, which really delves into the lore and rules of the OtherWorld. So please, leave comments as frequently as you’d like – I’d love to know what you think of the story and the characters, as well as questions you have on the world and its denizens.
After the jump, chapter one of SUPERNATURAL STRAIGHTJACKET.
Waking up not knowing where you are is horrifying. Falling asleep not knowing where you are is worse. Bartleby Anduzsky was fighting to stay awake, straying in and out of consciousness so often that he wasn’t sure which was which. He felt cold all over, except for his hand, which he weakly lifted up just long to see that it was covered in blood.
He tried lifting his head to see where the blood was coming from, but felt a large hand press down on his forehead, laying it back down harshly.
“Stay down sir. Just relax,” a deep voice told him. He tried tilting his head to see who was talking. He could see a panicked looking tall man with large shoulders looking down at him with a strained smile, trying to calm him down as everything faded to black for a second.
When he opened his eyes again, the man was gone. In his place stood a cloaked figure with blue skin and large sharp teeth that glistened in the flickering light of the dark hallway. Glowing red eyes looked down at him and, in a voice that sounded like crackling glass, the creature leaned in and told him “I’m going to eat your eyes!”
Fade to black.
Back in the bright hospital hallway now. He was strapped down to a stretcher. Everything around him was blurry, but he could make out bright fluorescent lights above…wait, were they fluorescent bulbs? Every other one seemed to be distorted and weird, like a black tentacle hanging from the ceiling holding a heating lamp.
The blood was coming from his stomach. He wanted to move, but couldn’t. Strapped down, the most he could do was move his hands. He tried shaking his body violently, jerking it left and right sharply. “Let me out!” he yelled. The stretcher tipped over and, as he hit the ground, the hallway went dark again.
He was looking directly into a nearby room. It looked like it could have been a hospital room also, except that it had a large metal door with a metal grate on it, almost like a prison door. A slimy, clawed hand with three large fingers wrapped itself around the doorframe and, as its owner started to come into view, the hospital workers lifted the stretcher back onto its wheels and Bartleby was back in the bright hallway.
“Murderer,” a pretty young woman said, looking at him scornfully. “They should let you die.” Half a second later, in her place was a female creature with brown skin and no facial features, save for a mouth filled with razor sharp teeth.
“I’ll do it myself!” she screeched at him.
Tearing through a set of double doors, everything flashed back to white. The pretty woman with the scornful face turned away so as not to look at him.
He was losing too much blood – there was no way he was going to be able to stay awake for much longer.
Wham! Another set of double doors slammed open violently, jerking the stretcher and shooting pain out from the wound in his stomach.
He was in an operating room now. A group of medical workers – no, wait…he was surrounded by monsters. Drooling, tongues hanging from their mouths, dripping with slime. Another white flash as they lifted him up off of the stretcher and he yelled out in pain – what had happened to him? He fell down to the operating table with a thud that used his spine like a tuning fork.
He blinked and was back in the dark room. A snake-like creature slithered from the ceiling and looked down at him, its eyes shining bright like a spotlight. He looked over to see a man with black and red skin that moved like a lava lamp. His skin steamed in the cold room, and half of his face was covered with a medical mask. He looked at a tray next to the bed and picked a scalpel up off of it, lifting it for Bartleby to see.
“Everything’s going to be fine,” the man said, a deep voice that was almost soothing in the insanity as Bartleby lost consciousness…