Thursday, 26 May 2011

From pg. 35:

"During this period, the Walking Willow would find many victims falling under His gaze. In 1806, a Mr Simon Gladwell wrote a letter to an old university friend of an experience he had had while wandering through what would later become Gilderage Park, Eastbourne with his brother. His brother, who had developed neurosyphyllis (sic) and had consequently had his mental health deteriorate rapidly, was largely hidden from public view at the time; the Gladwells were a reputable, well-to-do family who had grown rich off of the Industrial boom. However, Simon Gladwell's father was dead, and his stern reign over, and he felt his brother should be treated with some dignity. He writes:

"I had never seen Peter so lucid. The colours of the flowers seemed to stimulate his mind in ways which I had not seen in the many months since his illness began. I felt good, I must confess, about permitting him to experience what he had not for a very long time.

But after a while, he stopped, his eyes finding something beyond the horizon. He stood, fixated for a while, before shrieking and cowering in fear. Thinking he had had some kind of episode, I rushed over to my brother's side. He grasped at my coat and started telling me that he had seen a creature on the horizon. While his words were drowned beneath sobs and moans, the occasional word or phrase was audible - things like "thousands of eyes" and "writhing limbs". Clearly, this was a symptom of his mind's disease, but what was alarming was his ludicity. This was not one of his wanton ramblings from back in his room, I am quite sure of it.

Looking up to where his eyes had rested, I saw no monster, no entity which matched his wild gibbering. My second glance, however, revealed to me that, quite some way away, a man stood, almost at the edge of the tree line of the forest. He was tall, taller than any man I've seen outside a circus. Thin, and bald, and pale, with ill-defined features - in fact, were you to ask, I could not tell you what his face looked like at all. I appear to be rather drawing a blank. His clothes were alarming as well; he was wearing fine, fashionable clothes which betrayed a background of wealth and importance. I must have looked directly at him for a good thirty seconds, his origins or his identity quite unclear to me. Suddenly, I noticed a sharp stabbing pain behind my eyes, a most awful headache. Wincing, I looked down to my brother. Whatever had terrified him had done it's job; he had seemingly retreated back into madness, away from the fear which had hurt him so. He simply lay there, face down, drooling onto the wet earth, and breathing deeply. I looked up again, only to find that the man had gone, disappearing into the woodland."

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