I wrote this story almost a year ago. I'm a big Clive Barker fan and when I saw somebody trying to do a Prophecy/Hellraiser crossover I thought I could write a better one with the elements of Hellraiser and the Puppet Master cinema, so in short this is my attempt, this is in no way, shape, or form DB related this is just my own fiction. Enjoy!
Chapter One: Enter Toulon
“What’s your pleasure, sir?” said the shopkeeper as he lit his lantern. The store was filled with antiques and heirlooms adorned with dust and age. Though it was faintly illuminated, the young man was able to make his way towards the voice. Setting his hands on the counter, the old man studied every idiosyncrasy, every gesture, and every detail of the figure before him.
“Though I do not know your craft, Old man, my appetites have led me here.”
“And what appetites would those be?” said the old man.
“Obsession and curiosity, Kircher said you had that which would satisfy both.”
“Ah, yes … Toulon … Dorian Toulon,” a broken smile molded itself as the old man finished his sentence, “Kircher had spoken about you.”
The old man stared with probing eyes -- perhaps he probed the youth’s mind for answers, who‘s to say. He kneeled down behind the counter and rummaged through trinkets and curios. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, he brought out a black, velvet bag. A drop of sweat trickled down Dorian’s nose. He licked his fevered lips as they trembled -- almost writhed -- in elation and anxiety. By now it was obvious that Dorian’s interest was peaked. His facial expressions had contorted from a stern, demanding grimace to a child’s anticipation. A momentary lapse awakened Dorian from his trance -- his eyes slightly shifted, as he pretended to have no interest. Clearing his throat he continued with the demeanor of his arrival.
“Did Kircher have any special instructions or rituals?” Dorian asked. It seemed he expected more than what was presented.
“Everything you need is inside,” came the old man’s reply.
“Everything -” said the old man. He winked benevolently, or at least as much as a
decrepit man beyond his prime could. Then dimly he continued, “Perhaps you … should come back … after you complete what is needed. I’ll be waiting.”
Dorian grabbed the bag and put it in his left pocket. His white trench coat a beacon amongst the dying relics in the shop. The rest of his garments -- having no special characteristics -- were lost in the brilliance of his coat. Nearing the door, he was startled by the sound of thunder. It began to rain and he could see the people squirming for dry plots outside.
He took a look back towards the dark sage, as he pushed the door. No ‘goodbyes’ or ‘wish-you-lucks’ between the two, only silence. Silence it seemed had been Dorian’s only companion as he traveled here and there. Looking for some answers - where there were none -- and asking questions to those who did not know. Unfortunately, obsession could twist a man’s perception of things, leading him astray.
A young, Asian girl tugged at Dorian’s hand and begged for spare change. The rain streamed down her cherub face making her look pettier, more doleful. A lightning strike sparked a distant memory of his departed, younger sister and he gave the girl a twenty dollar bill. He stood there reminiscing but the precipitation was just too heavy to ignore. Dorian ran towards his car, opened the door and stepped inside. He reached into his left pocket and took out the bag. Putting his hand inside, he took out the charm. Never in his wildest dreams did he see himself in Little China -- especially, looking for a music box.
“Here you go Mr. Toulon,” said the nurse as she handed Dorian his medication.
He slapped it away and covered his face with his hands. A migraine plagued him, almost pushing him over the edge. The nurse kneeled down to grab the scattered tablets and pills.
“Don’t! I don’t need them.”
“Mr. Toulon, Dr. Pessoa has told you time and time again - ‘Take the Damn pills!’ What’s your problem?” the nurse had put her back to Dorian and was hoping he was noticing her frame. “You know, you need --” as she turned, Dorian had already walked away.
The colors of his surroundings seemed suffocating. Dorian leaned against the wall as he scurried down the ashen corridors of The Aurum Arcus Psychiatric Institute. Regaining his composure, he made it to room12A, his room. Once there he dragged himself to his bed and collected his thoughts. While lying in bed he couldn’t help but notice someone standing outside his door. He sat up and looked through the windowpane, beyond it was a vagabond. The unkempt vagrant stared with an innocence only equaled by that of a filial eye. As a word was about to leave Dorian’s lips, two men pulled the drifter away. They had made room for Dr. Pessoa. The physician stepped in and addressed Dorian for the actions of moments before.
“Dorian … what have I told you? We’ve been through this a thousand times already. You have to take your medication. Otherwise, your melancholia may consume you. I don’t want to come in one day and find out you committed suicide while I was gone.”
“Come on Thomas you know that won’t happen. I’ve gone months without it and I’m doing fine.” Dorian looked towards Pessoa’s hands and noticed a letter in his right one. “What’s that in your hand, Tom?”
“Well … this … is what I originally came to talk to you about. I was hoping you could tell me if you knew a Robert Merchant.”
Dorian inquisitively stared at the letter and then shut his eyes. He turned away and thought for a few moments.
“Maybe,” Dorian said with an unconvincing tone.
“Now Dorian, it’s either yes or no.”
Thomas got up and gestured to the sentinels to leave the room. He set the letter on the bed and walked out. Dorian grabbed the letter and questioned whether he should open it or not. His hesitations only whet his curiosity that much more. Opening the letter, Dorian analyzed Dr. Pessoa’s statement: ‘I was hoping you could tell me if you knew a Robert Merchant.’ Dorian hadn’t realized it before, but he did now; he didn’t know anyone by that name. Slowly he explored the contents of the letter:
It has taken me the better part of the year but I finally found you. My name, as you may know, is Robert Merchant and I know who killed your wife.
Dorian’s muscles stiffened with desolation, as a psychosomatic rigor overwhelmed him. The sensation infected his body like a slow poison. He shut his eyes trying to comprehend what he just read. His eyes wandered back to the letter and he read on:
How to begin? This is a question I have asked myself many a time. After sufficient probing and deliberation, I’ve finally chosen how: I’ve had dreams of a box, lacquered with gold and black designs, in the hands of Emily Bishop.
I cannot tell you the detail of my dream through letter though. I must meet with you in person. In a fort-night’s time we will meet, for we have much to discuss. Until then, I shall send another letter to demystify my intentions and motivations. I hope you see this as a gesture of friendship and not an act of chicanery. I do leave you with a name, Kircher. This is the name, the source, the … answer. Goodbye Mr. Toulon, until next time.
“Well, don’t worry, my friend,
for they are coming … look, look, curse you, look …
it’s just over your left shoulder …”
- H.P. Love craft -
Excerpt from the story From Beyond
What revelations could Robert hold? What would the next letter bring? These questions raced through Dorian’s mind at a river’s pace.
The box and its riddle had haunted him for the four years he had spent at the institute. He recalled the first year as a display of fixation. LeMerchand’s puzzle box consumed his every dream. This exhausted him so, to point of driving him to sketch the puzzle’s designs all over his first room’s wall. He was later relocated to the west wing. The second and third year he fell to melancholia. The riddle of his wife’s death broke him into black glass -- too tainted, too defiled. In this infection he lost himself. Meandering in and out of sanity, he decided to stop taking his medication. This was his first epiphany, the first of many.
Only in his fourth year did he apply the epiphany. Dorian’s mind had finally cleared and the letter, the letter could be a door to solace.
In the morning, dawn greeted Dorian. He skimmed through the letter once more and dwelled upon Kircher’s involvement. The man who led him to the box, the one man is now the source. The source of all his misery. Perhaps Robert meant it in another way. Still, this letter opened doors which Dorian had not explored. This inevitable meeting could be no coincidence. As he looked to a crack in the wall, Dorian could have sworn he saw the lighting of the night he received the box.