I write this here in the hope someone will find it.
I know that the chances of someone – anyone, actually reading this note are not good. Dismal, in fact. I know that most likely, my own eyes will be the last pair to ever witness the words I’m hastily scribbling down.
But it matters not. I must warn someone. You must know.
If you have found this and you are reading these note, beware the men with the black eyes. Shun them. Fear them. Destroy them. They will do the same to you in a heartbeat.
My name is Dan Roberts. I am…was, a captain in the American army. During a bleak, dreary April that was devoid of activity aside from playing cards and wishing we were at home with our wives, my battalion received inexplicable orders to abandon the base we were currently stationed in. We had to leave the mainland U.S.A and head out into some shithole in the middle of nowhere, a tiny island in the pacific ocean.
Now, the men were far from stupid. They knew fine well that army units stationed on islands in the middle of the sea were apt to get gassed, nuked or have some other hideous weapon of war tested on them. Questions were raised, anger was rife.
I confronted the commanding officer about it, but was met with stern resolution and steely resolve. All he could tell me was that no questions should be asked. No testing was occurring, he reassured me. For my part, all I could do was nod and agree. After all, he outranked me.
“There’s a situation. We need men there. That’s all.” Said the man I’d followed for five years.
And so we were off. Multiple plane rides to reach guam and then a helicopter ride to the small island we were to be stationed. I was a fan of geography, so I knew we were heading near the Marianas trench – the deepest point of the ocean. The thought of the empty chasm of blackness descending deep into the Earth began to disturb me.
The island itself was small, no larger than two or three square miles of rock and tree and mud. We had to built our own encampment, with tents and fabric shelters alongside some pre-fab structures for pissing in.
We settled in for an uneasy first night. I slept under the canopy of my tent, but for some reason I kept dreaming of the top being torn off. All that I could see were the stars, with two impossibly dark eyes hiding among them.
The next morning came and none of us knew what the fuck we were doing here, so the guys began to treat it like a holiday. The sun shone hot and the sea looked inviting. I couldn’t blame them. Despite the dream, I was feeling somewhat relaxed too. What else could we do but wait for orders? There was no naval facility here, so I’d given up on my assumption we’d be assisting a science expedition in the trench.
Then one of the soldiers went missing.
Rico Mendez had been swimming with the others when he’d vanished. Everybody had rushed to help, sprinting to his last position. He’d disappeared without a sound beneath the waves. A strong, able-bodied man who could outsprint most of the unit had just slid below the ocean and vanished.
We slept worse that night. I’d called in the incident and warned the men to stay out of the ocean. I dreamt of the eyes again. This time they were more visible. Black against the black sky, but a far more solid, menacing darkness than the heavens above me. They stared hungrily.
The next morning I awoke to find a unit of grumpy, bitter men. They wanted explanations for Rico and they wanted to swim. It was the only way they could cool off in the sticky pacific heat. It wasn’t like there was much else to do.
Later that evening, another man vanished.
That night, another.
I banned the men from swimming. I called in the incidents. HQ just relayed the same message each time: “Stay tight. We’ll extract in a week.”
Each day got worse.
More men began to go missing. One by one, they slid below the rolling waves without a single sound. No gasps for help, no cries of exhaustion, no struggling.
The dreams were worse then. I couldn’t sleep without seeing the staring black eyes.
Then, on the fifth day, with fifteen men of forty missing, I went for a walk to escape the terrible atmosphere in camp. I heard the chanting before I saw them, and drew my side-arm cautiously as I approached.
Between some thorned trees, I could see a gathering of shapes. They were terrible, inhuman creatures that I can’t bring myself to describe. Cruel contortions of men that wore our skin but did not fit the shape. On each one, I could see the black eyes I had dreamed off, staring at each other intently as they chanted.
“Cthulhu r’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn”
I had no idea what ancient language they spoke, but it made no sense to my ears and the sound of it was stuff of nightmare.
Then, to my indescribable horror, one of the creatures turned to look at me. Through the bushes, I could see those terrible eyes. They mocked me with their very existence. Ancient, disgusting globes that bore into my soul. I tried to raise my pistol and faltered. I recognised the skin the creature seemed to wear, pulled over its hideous shape.
It was Rico Mendez.
I could only scream and run, deserting through the forest and screeching my way back to camp. I could hear the sound of gunfire, panic and the terrifying squelch of the creatures.
“What the fuck!? Shoot them! Shoot them!”
“Cthulhu r’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn!”
“Help us! Someone help us!”
The noise of the chant and the battle raged, but I slipped out of consciousness as the thought of their awful black eyes burned its way into my mind.
I awoke in a base in Washington D.C. I gave a tearful report to my commanding officer. Apparently I was the only one to survive the island, found alone by the extraction team. I had been curled into a ball, shaking and quivering.
I remember none of this. But what I do remember is my commanding officer. As I gave him the fragile details of what had happened, he stared at me.
Stared at me with empty, terribly black eyes.
They shone like the void.
I write this to you now from the hospital they’ve consigned me to. Beware the black eyed men. They worship someone…something…ancient. It stirs below us. It stirs in the deepest parts of our world. The parts we know less than we know outer space.
They are coming.