's 2013 Horror Write-off:

"Tui Fui Ego Eris"

Submitted by Kieran Haines

Tui Fui Ego Eris The carriage pulled up to Nosirp Manor, which looked particularly frightening this evening, as the moon’s ghostly gleam reflected off the lake into my eyes with eager speed and the crows and owls screeching wildly in the trees filled me with most eerie fright. I walked up the old stone path, taking care not to trip on the cobbles, and knocked on the door and it was answered post haste. The man at the door had a complexion that resembled the door’s surface and looked older than the door itself. “Are you here to see Master Phillips?” he asked with a grumble. I nodded and he led me down the hallways, past ballrooms and sewing rooms, past gardens and statues until we reached the drawing room. There in a beautiful tarnished chair by a roaring fire, was my good friend Jakob Phillips, wearing a fine cashmere suit and smoking an ever finer mahogany pipe underneath his bushy moustache. He had an air of poise yet mystery around him, like he knew of the importance of my matter already. “Christopher old chap, good to see you.” He said with a jolly grin. “Pull up a chair. I won’t bite.” He stood up and took my hand to shake it, his hand more noticeably cold than mine. He then fell back into his chair and I sat in the one opposite. He offered me a pipe but I declined. My nerves were shattered enough. He noted it down as part of my delirium. “Has this incident racked your nerves that much?” He enquired. I nodded and met his stone eyes with a look of fright and dismay. “Tell me about it.” He said.

I then began my account of my dismay. “It all started in a dream. Many dreams. That blossom into nightmares. They all start off normal situations. Catching game in the woods, sipping tea with the Archduke, or wooing Lady Cavier. But then there is a long droning siren from the distance and any people nearby stop talking and just start staring at me.” I stopped my foretelling and looked up to see Jakob was writing this down, in his trusty notebook. I continued “Then everyone vanishes and I usually go to find the source of the noise. The landscapes I am in appear to stretch endlessly. If I’m in a building, the corridors stretch to a point where I can’t see the other end and there are doors everywhere. If I’m in a city or town, the streets have multiple alleyways and huge ornate buildings which touch the blackened sky above. And if I’m outside, there’s nothing but forest all around me, trees everywhere.” Jakob raised his hand to request a short break as he was having trouble keeping up. For 5 minutes I waited as the scrawling pencil worked its magic with Jakob’s once blank page. The 1st minute I did not mind as I had enough patience to withstand it. The 2nd and 3rd minute followed suit but it was the 4th minute that chilled my blood. In the quietness, I could hear a faint siren-sound in the distance. As the seconds dripped away, the sound got louder and louder as if taunting me with the knowledge of my nightmare. The 5th minute, the siren was still in the air but fainter, still teasing me with its frightening presence. Jakob, unaware of the siren it semmed, asked me to continue and I did so. “Eventually after 10 minutes of searching this infinite environment, I find an old door, carved into one of the many walls. I push it open and I’m on a stage in the full glare of the spotlight. There are orchestra instruments lying around everywhere. But there’s no one there to play them. There are thousands of seats facing the stage. But no one to sit in them. Then there is a raspy voice from behind that says upon to me ‘Tui Fui Ego Eris’. I turn around to face the creature but the dream ends there.” I finished speaking, hoping Jakob would be sympathetic or at least feign interest. But he was sat there, staring at me as if I had just committed mass murder. The siren was still resonating in the distant. “It means ‘I was you, you will become me’” said Jakob cryptically. I was just about to ask what he meant when he stood up and lurched out of the room. I followed him as he left the main corridor and went in the direction of the west wing but as soon as I turned the same corner as him, he had disappeared. “Jakob sure is one hell of a slippery kipper, even at the tender age of 53.” I said softly to myself. I pushed the west wing door open and began exploring. The west wing had no working lanterns so I had to navigate the dark hallways through moonlight alone. Every footstep sounded unusually loud in the quiet, yet the siren still kept going. The same monotone scream. After 5 minutes of dreary walking, I came to a dark, dead end as the moonlight did not reach this part of the corridor. A hundred steps from the west wing doors and I’m already lost. No way to know where I was heading or where the entrance was. Yet I knew the place well and remember the ballroom had a secret exit which lead outside. I turned around and started walking towards what I believed to be the way to the ballroom yet I did not know. I passed about thirteen doors before I was back in the light and noted I was back in the main corridor yet the entrance was no where to be seen. I noticed two fine oak doors on their own in the middle of the main corridor and came to the conclusion that they were the ballroom doors. How strange, I thought. I had not seen those there before and was about to turn the brass handle in front of me when I heard a creak from the other end. I quickly crouched down hoping that the darkness would obscure my location. I looked towards the door from which the sound originated only to see it being shut by a shadow that appeared on the wall in the moonlight yet having no object to spring forth from. The shadow was barely understandable, it looked humanoid yet it appeared to have no head but a single tentacle, a long whip-like tentacle that constantly snapped at the air around it with continuous vigour. I looked to where the caster of this horrific shadow should have been but there was none. The shadow appeared to stretching around the corner I had just passed and was impossibly long as it seeped from the bottom of its door to the other end of the corridor.

It stayed still for a moment, it was sniffing for me, hunting me. I think it heard me as the ghostly silhouette slunk across the floor towards me. It rose up from the floor, becoming grotesquely 3-D and erratically waved the air around it with its tentacle, sensing for me. It’s blue-tinged, bruised skin shining in the moonlight. I remained totally still and didn’t make a sound. Eventually, it gave up and left, returning silently to the door. Then there was nothing but the sound of the siren. I took my chance and crept to the pine doors and pushed them open. Yes, I thought. I’m in the clear. I then entered the room to safety. But this was not that room. As I walked through, my eyes were blinded by a powerful light focusing on me. I shaded my eyes to see that it was a spotlight. Like in my dream. And I was on a stage that was set up for an orchestra. Like in my dream. And there were the unguarded instruments, which, when examined carefully, appeared to be made out of human skin and bone. Like in my dream. And there was hundreds of empty seats facing the stage. Like in my dream. Now there was only one part left of this horrid nightmare. The voice. I waited, waited for the inevitable action. For a time, there was nothing but silence. Even the siren had stopped. I turned around, hoping the door was still there but I came face-to-face with the living shadow, tentacle writhing, blue veins clearly showing in the unnatural light. It was a lot more persistent than I had expected. It spoke the awaited yet accursed words.

“Tui Fui Ego Eris”

Then nothing. Nothing but siren. And the Warden shouting for us to go back to our cells. The stillness numbed me as I lay on my bed. Only 187439 more days to go. Then nothing but chaos. Tui Fui Ego Eris. As you are, I was; As I am, so you shall also be.