Sunday, July 30, 2017

The Horsingdon Transmissions No.211: The Sentinel in the Tower

The the bells in the belltower of the Church of St. Ignatius in Northwich Park have not sounded in over five decades - during which time the tower itself has remained locked, boarded, and also guarded with whatever spiritual wards the faithful amongst the congregation (or at least those who have consented to learning the secret of the tower) have been able to muster.

The verson of events as told to me - by a person directly involved in them - was that during the building of St. Ignatius' in the 1950s, one of the labourers working on the project discovered a cache of books, hidden in the basement of the place of worship which had previously occupied the site, and which had been demolished to make way for the new church.

These codices eventually were delivered into the hands of Father Josef, the first officiating priest of St. Ignatius', who apparently found the texts to be heterodox in nature, locking them in a closet located in a small storeroom immediately below the belfry. For reasons known only to him, Fr. Josef failed to inform the heads of his religious order about the books - perhaps because, over time, he became obsessed with their contents, gradually furnishing the storeroom as a small study in which to carry out further researches into these curious tomes. Over the following twenty years, Fr. Josef successfully fulfilled his duties to the parishioners of St. Ignatius' - despite becoming increasingly and visibly haunted by what the texts were revealing; indeed, in an unguarded moment whilst in conversation with a fellow priest - one Father Donovan - he claimed that his faith had been shaken to the core by what he had read. Disturbed by this, Fr. Donovan made the matter known to his and Fr. Josef's superiors.

A convocation was subsequently convened to deal with the matter of the books - but unfortunately too late for Father Josef who, it seems, had managed to extract the final secrets from their pages. On an evening in mid-October a deputation arrived at St.Ignatius' to resolve the matter, only to find Fr. Josef: sitting at a desk in the makeshift study in the belltower, dead, and with both eyes missing.

Whilst witness to the scene generally agreed that, by the biomedical standards of the time, the cessation of both breath and heartbeat were clear and verifiable indications of Fr. Josef's passing, his body yet retained a curious quality of unliving, such that the fingers of his right hand continued to trace the line of text as it ran across the pages of the tome open before him, and his lips seemed to mouth the words on the page as his corpse continued to read them - in spite of his missing eyes.

Even worse was what these interlopers observed upon drawing back the small velvet curtain from the only window in the room. No one present on that day has ever revealed what they saw, other than to hint at the fact that what was observed through the window was a scene which should not have existed, and was certainly not a representation of the material reality of the ordinary street scene which should have been visible from the other side of the glass.

Whatever was observed, it was decided that the entrance to the tower should be locked and boarded immediately, and access to the area henceforth forbidden. Vatican authorities were informed of the situation, and a story involving Fr. Josef's immediate relocation  - on account of health issues - to milder climes half a world away was quickly manufactured. Fortunately the poor priest lacked any living relatives to query this.

Yet to this day the body of Fr. Josef - or whatever he had become in his transfigured, unliving state - presumably sits at a small, decaying desk, in a small, cramped study, staring sightlessly into whatever scene of revelatory horror has bern conjured through the lens of the room's single window, all the while senselessly and silently mouthing whatever terrible secrets are inscribed into the pages of those monstrous books.

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