August 13th, 1921
Prof. Herbert Clayton
St. Mary’s Childrens Hospital
My trusted friend and mentor, I write to you in the hope that you may advise me on a matter of urgency concerning a patient of mine.
Edward is a boy of just nine years who arrived with his mother six days ago with a disposition so positive that we did not at first admit him. This did not last long.
Edward claims that six days ago, while playing in the garden, he became aware of someone or something watching him. He identified a shadowy figure ‘like black ink’ with large circular eyes and elongated limbs. Edward described that while it resembled an owl, it spoke as if inside his head with the voice of his recently deceased father. The voice apparently told Edward that it would come for him in seven days to take him to ‘The Desolate Plain’, a place name that I am unfamiliar with. Its mere mention brought Edward into a fit of hysteria.
His condition has deteriorated quickly in the last few days. The boy has become convinced that the shadowy figure has returned and is moving closer each time towards him. The delusion appears to have some connection to mirrors and glass, both of which Edward has banished from his room.
I write to you, Professor, because on the final night of Edward’s imaginary deadline, I went to check upon the boy and found that he was not alone in his bedroom. I could discern only two things in the moonlight, each of them a sight I shall take to the grave. First, a figure whose retracting limbs cracked like broken wood as it moved into the shadows. The second, a look of such tragic countenance etched upon that child’s face that none could suffer it and be unmoved.
I heard your voice from the shadows, emanating from two round eyes that glinted and lost themselves like waves upon a black sea.
But it was not your voice, Professor, and I write to you now because Edward passed away this morning and I am no longer alone even when I believe myself to be.
Dr. George Booth