Ian Murdoch and the case of Graham Ellington
I write this letter to you, David and Esther Ellington, to try to explain the demise of your son, Graham Ellington. My name is Ian Murdoch, and I was a good friend of Graham's, right until the end. I have arranged for his remains to be cremated, and his ashes scattered at sea, the reason of which I will explain later.
It all started a week ago, after Graham and I had finished a case in Tahiti. After packing our luggage, we were on our way to the ship, when Graham suddenly winced in pain and dropped one of his suitcases. He held up his left index finger and looked at it. “Oh, just my luck. I will be glad to get away from this accursed place. Look at this.” I looked at what at first seemed to be a splinter. It had drawn blood. I then saw the culprit lying on the ground in front of Graham's shoe. It was some sort of brownish fly, small but bloated. Its fat body was covered with small hairs, and there was a dark, v-shaped pattern. It had three small eyes, like black beads. Oddly, there seemed to be no means of ingesting food. Finally, at its bottom, there was a gaping hole where the stinger had been. As he took the stinger out, a few drops of blood dropped onto the ground, landing on the fly-like creature. We took a closer look at the wound, which had an uncomfortable yellowish color around it. Then I felt something moving at the corner of my eye. I looked down, and saw the hideous fly-like creature rolling around in the small pool of blood, basking in it. I yelled in surprise, and Graham saw it too. He quickly stepped on it, producing a sickening popping noise as it burst under the pressure. We decided to head to the ship. And hopefully relax after the difficult case we had been working on. The next day, we met in the dining room as we were getting breakfast. He showed me his finger. The wound now had some white flakes surrounding it, as if the area was somehow withering. “Ian, it's numb. Devoid of any feeling.” He then took a fork and prodded it, in order to further his point. “See. Nothing. No feeling at all.” Something about this situation made me quite uneasy, but at this point I could not pinpoint my fears. I decided to talk to the captain of the ship, in order to find out if there were any doctors on board. After hearing about Graham's situation, the captain told me that indeed there was a doctor amongst the passengers, and gave me his cabin number. I went over to his cabin, knocked on the door and introduced myself. He opened the door only a sliver, just enough for his eyes to peak through, measuring me. After a moment he opened the door fully, and introduced himself, Dr. Atherton, and invited me in. I thanked him, stepped in and we sat down. I began to tell him all about the events leading up to Graham's predicament. As he listened to my story, his face looked more and more puzzled, and he rose up, pacing around and clutching his chin. After I finished the story, he sat down in his chair, pondering what ailment had befallen my good friend. After some time he agreed to take a look at Graham's infected finger. We went to Graham's room, and Dr. Atherton took a look at it. The whole top of the finger was now covered in these white flakes. After several tests, he said:”I have no idea what this can be. I cannot prescribe any specific medicine to you, as I am not sure what this is. However, I do have an ointment that may help.”, and he gave Graham a blue jar before leaving. I stayed with Graham for a while, chatting and doing my best to comfort him, as I felt he was quite concerned over the situation.
After that I am sad to say I did not spend as much time with him as I had wished. I had to spend quite some time working on the case report, which I wanted to finish before we docked, and Graham became increasingly reclusive, spending most, if not all, of his time in his cabin. We docked, and as I was getting into my car, I thought I saw Graham. He had his sunglasses on, and his favorite suit. Not as surprising to me, he wore his favorite gloves too, I can only assume to hide the hideous wound. I was quite busy the following days, what with giving my report to my employer, discussing some findings with associates of mine and such. Therefore, i did not have the time to check up on Graham, for which I am truly sorry.
A week or so after Graham and I had returned, I finally had some time to go to see him. I drove to his mansion, parked and knocked on the door. There was no reply. I started to get worried. I tried the doorknob, and the door slowly creaked open, the darkness of his mansion inviting me. He had for some reason closed all the drapes, as to block any remnants of light to enter his mansion. I called out his name, but there was no reply. I stumbled into his living room, still calling to see if he had not heard me before. Again, without any reply. The darkness surrounding me seemed to amplify my growing fears. I knew where he kept a flashlight, in the third drawer in the cupboard. I took the flashlight, a weak beacon of light against the darkness in his abode. After coming up empty, save for that flashlight, on the ground floor, I headed for the stairs. After climbing the stairs, I decided to head for his favorite room, his study. The floor creaked as I slowly crept through the long, dark corridor. The door to the study was closed. It creaked as I opened it slowly. Graham's grand study always inspired me, with his collection of ancient tomes. Indeed, this was a place of vast knowledge. However, as I slowly made my way through his study, all it could inspire in me was fear. A concoction of the events, the all-enveloping darkness and the deafening silence did not help my nerves at all. As I kept on calling out his name, albeit in a bit more hushed tone now, I made my way to his favorite chair. I shone my light in it's direction. It had it's back turned to me. However, there seemed to be a human figure sitting in it. My heart rejoiced as I shouted Graham's name out loud this time. Still no response. I slowly approached his chair, shining the light at it as I did. No movement. That got me worried. I slowly made my way around the chair, inspecting what was sitting in the chair all the while. The first thing I noticed was the right hand. Completely covered in white flakes. I took a deep breath, and inched ever so closer to the front of the chair. I shone my light into the face of the wretched creature in front of me, and after a few seconds of inspection, all my fears came into fruition. I screamed, I ran, I screamed, I cried. After a few minutes, I was able to collect myself, although the feelings of guilt and sorrow where overwhelming. At that moment I made the decision to have him cremated, and to scatter his ashes in the sea, as to mitigate the danger of contamination.
The moment I shone my flashlight into the face of the accursed Graham, I saw that even his face was covered in the flakes. I sighed, as I lamented the loss of my good friend Graham. With tears in my eyes, I felt crushed by the loss of one of my few good friends. I cried, hands in face, when out of nowhere I heard a raspy voice saying:”please…help…me.”
Submitted May 14, 2019 at 05:04AM by morrbanesh