What’s in store?

Been quite some time since I’ve done anything with this blog. I’m still working on films, screenplays and learning Adobe CS6. I’m also pretty active in local, state, and national politics so I guess I’m wondering what I want this blog to be about – entertainment, politics or both. Is that even possible?

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Photoshop Portfolio

Photoshop Portfolio

(or My First Experiments)

This is a collection of the work I have been doing in Adobe Photoshop CS6 for my first semester back at IUPUI. This will also be the last blog update until the new site is up and running, so for the 2 or 3 of you who have been following this blog it shouldn’t be a difficult move….especially if one of you has a truck I can borrow.

Without further delay –

Boggy Monster

Boggy Monster

This fine fellow is one I like to call the “Boggy Monster.” The original photo was the trunk of a tree I saw at Anderson Falls.

Boggy Monster

Boggy Monster

In the original I was trying to make the monster look all natural, with a leafy mustache, but I didn’t like the way it turned out. I think I am better at using layer masks anyway, so I found a cool beard online and blended it in using a layer mask and the healing brush to blur the edges.

"Party Animal"

“Party Animal”

This is Tammy Jo, the “Party Animal.” I am working on an idea for a 3 panel comic strip called “The Youth Group.” I guess the idea is sort of like Monster High, but set in a church youth group with adult themes. Tammy Jo is the first character design (unless you count Stainglass Jesus -hehe). She was created primarily using shapes in Photoshop. For the portfolio assignment we had to create an image based on an adjective of our choosing, so I chose this “party animal.”

"Rock-n-Roll Outlaw" by Clutch

“Rock-n-Roll Outlaw” by Clutch

Clutch is my favorite band (next to Pearl Jam and Faith No More) and one of my favorite songs is “Rock-n-Roll Outlaw.” I originally wanted to do a paint brushed/Clint Eastwood style image, a lot less cartoony, but I was pressed for time (and you’ll understand when you see some of the other images). The flying V guitar image was snagged from ProductWiki without permission.

"The Ten O'Clock People" by Stephen King

“The Ten O’Clock People” by Stephen King

This was an exercise in typography. Stephen King is my all time favorite author and “The Ten O’Clock People” is one of my favorite short stories primarily because of this single paragraph quote. I quit smoking over two years ago. I’ve been able to pick the habit up and put it down with relative ease, but I know it’s a hard addiction. However, I also know that life is 100% fatal and regardless of your faith there is no magic cocktail for immortality. I used levels on the image then a layer mask to bring back the color in the center of the ashtray. The rest was merely curving the type.

My halloween pumpkin

My halloween pumpkin

Halloween is my Christmas. It was the first holiday I remember celebrating. I don’t go all out like I’d like, but this year I dressed up in a chemical suit (thanks baby) and put on some zombie make-up after I carved this jack-o-lantern (note: next year I have to help the kids carve theirs first). For this image I simply adjusted the levels. I played around with some other blend modes, but none of them had this effect. “No words” to describe this image.

The Youth Group

The Youth Group

This is another image made completely in Photoshop and is part of “The Youth Group” comic strip I am working on. These are the first images of Stain Glass Jesus, Big Daddy Jesus and Suffering Jesus.

content aware

content aware


original

original

The first image is based on the photograph below. I was trying to work with content aware fill and the healing brush. Not sure if I like how it came out, but that is the extent of my skill thus far. :/

"I see a red door and I want to paint it black..."

“I see a red door and I want to paint it black…”

Black is my favorite color. I love the sight of big, bold black ink on a white page. I’m not as morose as this character, the typical goth I guess, but black – the absence of color (like the blank page) – represents me, always waiting to be filled.

John Locke

John Locke

I used to write for a LOST fan site, that’s how much I love that show. I never done that before, nor have I done it since. The show changed the way I saw film and television and what it could do. Terry O’Quinn is one of my favorite actors, despite the poor shows he’s been cast (666 Park Avenue?). This image from the show stuck out for me because it summed up his character, completely misunderstood.

LGBT Clones

LGBT Clones

One day I was goofing off at home and took a photo of two of my wife’s figures arm and arm. This is their second appearance online. Fans of the famous work of art known as Star Wars might recognize that the names are of actual characters (note: I’m not that big of a Star Wars geek, I had to wiki those names).

masculine

masculine


feminine

feminine

The first image is one of my favorites because it was a happy accident that I created a face using the male body. The images are based on how men and women are typically drawn in super hero comics. The muscles of men are drawn with sharp angles and the women are drawn with soft curves. The backgrounds represent how I see the two sexes, one in constant contrast, the other in flowing rhythms. There are three female images to represent the muses…I guess. 😀

The cure for the zombie apocalypse

The cure for the zombie apocalypse

I like the butterfly, because they seem to appear in almost every ad for anti-depressants.

The last five images are all images of my own choosing. We were supposed to create a vector based image in illustrator (I just never had time to get my illustrator skills up to snuff) and one aimed toward children (all I could think of was creating an image of something throwing images at children).

Blend Modes

Blend Modes

We were working on blending modes and I, for some reason, never turned this assignment in. I missed the deadline and thought, I’ll keep it for later I guess. I like how the overlay and darken effect worked on the blade, giving the blood a jelly like look, but it didn’t work so well on the glove. I tried using puppet warp and should have used the healing brush.

blood pool

blood pool

This is the first of three images from the storyboard I was working on most of the semester as a personal project (one of the first productions for frogfish this spring). It will most likely not make its way into the final storyboard, primarily because I will rework the images using more shapes and less paint brush.

Halpin Frayser

Halpin Frayser


C.M. Punk - photoshop model

C.M. Punk – photoshop model

This was the first image I painted based on the figure I used. I have found that these wrestling figures are far more articulate than manikins. I’ve been looking for the fully articulate spiderman figure, but I have only found it online. That’s a cheap Christmas gift if any of you are…you know…thinking of that sort of thing.

Ghost

Ghost


model

model

This is the first image I painted using an image I found online. I like the way it came out, I’m just not a big fan of the brush strokes. I need to develop smoother, thicker strokes.

Olaf

Olaf

This is one of the first characters I created using all shapes and layers so that I could animate her in Flash over the holiday break. Her name is Olaf, based on my beautiful baby, and she is part of frogfish.

And here is the official first look at the frogfish cartoon logo –

The Merlboroman and Olaf

The Merlboroman and Olaf

I hope you enjoyed this little gallery. I can’t understand why wordrpess threw some of the text off, but…there you go. Have a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Leave your thoughts and comments below and I will see the two of you at the new website in January.

Photoshop CS6 Portfolio

Today some college student named Kermet hijacked my blog. He created a few photos for a project in Digital Media Imagery. He took a bunch of pictures and played with them in Photoshop CS6 to create some new pictures and posted them below.

I’d give the kid an A, but I’m partial.

All images, unless otherwise stated, were originally taken by Kermet Merl Key on his iPhone 4s in HDR.

Violent Video:
“Violent Video” was a simple composite blend of the images “Sony Camcorder” and “Drop of Blood.” I placed both original photos in layers on the file, with “Drop of Blood” as the top layer, and used the OVERLAY blend mode. Then I used a layer mask to remove any part of the “Drop of Blood” image that I used.

Boggy Monster:
I took the original image “Boggy Monster” and resized it and adjusted the levels. Then I used the wand to select and resselect different parts of a leaf in the image to copy/paste multiple layers to create the mustache beneath the nose.

Original “Boggy Monster”

Dragon’s Eye:
“Dragon’s Eye” was mostly accomplished with the initial shot. I simply used a layer mask, the brush tool and gradient fill to create the eye.

Original “Dragon Eye”

Framed:
“Framed” was simply an image that was created by selecting a view where many natural frames existed that blocked out the three columns. I used various adjustment layers and selection tools to highlight each of the 9 frames in the original photo

.

Original “Framed”

Website Background.
This was an original image created in photoshop as a background template for a website. I used the rectangle tool, fills and a gradient to create the simplistic “red carpet” look

Ghostface
Ghostface is one of my favorites. It is a composite of the waterfall and michael myers mask with an Overlay and Exlcusion Blend as well as layer masks.



Original Waterfall:
Yes, that spooky looking face was in the original photo, unedited!!!


Scared Stiff”Scared Stiff” was a simple use of selection tools, copy/paste layers and the transform edit.

Tommy Tree”Tommy Tree” is another use of simple blends modes like Overlay.

Original Boy

Original Tree

Conflict

I took the original image “Conflict” and converted it to a smart object. Then I used the adjustment layers on the post (Hue/Saturation), the leafs in the foreground (exposure) and the trees in the background (levels) to create a metaphor for the conflict within, light vs. dark and clear path vs. cluttered path.

Original “Conflict”

Faded In:
“Faded In” was a photo that tries to tell the story of how the waterfall didn’t exist most of the summer due to the drought. And therefore, where there is no water there is no color and no life. My daughter blends into the background. I hope this photo sparks an emotion for anyone interested in water conservation, climate change, family or the environment.

Original Faded In

The Tomb

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H_P_LovecraftHoward Phillips Lovecraft

(1890-1937)

American author of “weird” fiction.

The story presented below was written in 1917 and continues the authors love of worlds unseen and characters sensitive enough to notice them. It was copied from the H.P. Lovecraft Archive, where you can find more of the authors work as well as biographical and analytical research.

In relating the circumstances which have led to my confinement within this refuge for the demented, I am aware that my present position will create a natural doubt of the authenticity of my narrative. It is an unfortunate fact that the bulk of humanity is too limited in its mental vision to weigh with patience and intelligence those isolated phenomena, seen and felt only by a psychologically sensitive few, which lie outside its common experience. Men of broader intellect know that there is no sharp distinction betwixt the real and the unreal; that all things appear as they do only by virtue of the delicate individual physical and mental media through which we are made conscious of them; but the prosaic materialism of the majority condemns as madness the flashes of super-sight which penetrate the common veil of obvious empiricism.

My name is Jervas Dudley, and from earliest childhood I have been a dreamer and a visionary. Wealthy beyond the necessity of a commercial life, and temperamentally unfitted for the formal studies and social recreations of my acquaintances, I have dwelt ever in realms apart from the visible world; spending my youth and adolescence in ancient and little-known books, and in roaming the fields and groves of the region near my ancestral home. I do not think that what I read in these books or saw in these fields and groves was exactly what other boys read and saw there; but of this I must say little, since detailed speech would but confirm those cruel slanders upon my intellect which I sometimes overhear from the whispers of the stealthy attendants around me. It is sufficient for me to relate events without analysing causes.

I have said that I dwelt apart from the visible world, but I have not said that I dwelt alone. This no human creature may do; for lacking the fellowship of the living, he inevitably draws upon the companionship of things that are not, or are no longer, living. Close by my home there lies a singular wooded hollow, in whose twilight deeps I spent most of my time; reading, thinking, and dreaming. Down its moss-covered slopes my first steps of infancy were taken, and around its grotesquely gnarled oak trees my first fancies of boyhood were woven. Well did I come to know the presiding dryads of those trees, and often have I watched their wild dances in the struggling beams of a waning moon—but of these things I must not now speak. I will tell only of the lone tomb in the darkest of the hillside thickets; the deserted tomb of the Hydes, an old and exalted family whose last direct descendant had been laid within its black recesses many decades before my birth.


The vault to which I refer is of ancient granite, weathered and discoloured by the mists and dampness of generations. Excavated back into the hillside, the structure is visible only at the entrance. The door, a ponderous and forbidding slab of stone, hangs upon rusted iron hinges, and is fastened ajar in a queerly sinister way by means of heavy iron chains and padlocks, according to a gruesome fashion of half a century ago. The abode of the race whose scions are here inurned had once crowned the declivity which holds the tomb, but had long since fallen victim to the flames which sprang up from a disastrous stroke of lightning. Of the midnight storm which destroyed this gloomy mansion, the older inhabitants of the region sometimes speak in hushed and uneasy voices; alluding to what they call “divine wrath” in a manner that in later years vaguely increased the always strong fascination which I felt for the forest-darkened sepulchre. One man only had perished in the fire. When the last of the Hydes was buried in this place of shade and stillness, the sad urnful of ashes had come from a distant land; to which the family had repaired when the mansion burned down. No one remains to lay flowers before the granite portal, and few care to brave the depressing shadows which seem to linger strangely about the water-worn stones.

I shall never forget the afternoon when first I stumbled upon the half-hidden house of death. It was in mid-summer, when the alchemy of Nature transmutes the sylvan landscape to one vivid and almost homogeneous mass of green; when the senses are well-nigh intoxicated with the surging seas of moist verdure and the subtly indefinable odours of the soil and the vegetation. In such surroundings the mind loses its perspective; time and space become trivial and unreal, and echoes of a forgotten prehistoric past beat insistently upon the enthralled consciousness. All day I had been wandering through the mystic groves of the hollow; thinking thoughts I need not discuss, and conversing with things I need not name. In years a child of ten, I had seen and heard many wonders unknown to the throng; and was oddly aged in certain respects. When, upon forcing my way between two savage clumps of briers, I suddenly encountered the entrance of the vault, I had no knowledge of what I had discovered. The dark blocks of granite, the door so curiously ajar, and the funereal carvings above the arch, aroused in me no associations of mournful or terrible character. Of graves and tombs I knew and imagined much, but had on account of my peculiar temperament been kept from all personal contact with churchyards and cemeteries. The strange stone house on the woodland slope was to me only a source of interest and speculation; and its cold, damp interior, into which I vainly peered through the aperture so tantalisingly left, contained for me no hint of death or decay. But in that instant of curiosity was born the madly unreasoning desire which has brought me to this hell of confinement. Spurred on by a voice which must have come from the hideous soul of the forest, I resolved to enter the beckoning gloom in spite of the ponderous chains which barred my passage. In the waning light of day I alternately rattled the rusty impediments with a view to throwing wide the stone door, and essayed to squeeze my slight form through the space already provided; but neither plan met with success. At first curious, I was now frantic; and when in the thickening twilight I returned to my home, I had sworn to the hundred gods of the grove that at any cost I would some day force an entrance to the black, chilly depths that seemed calling out to me. The physician with the iron-grey beard who comes each day to my room once told a visitor that this decision marked the beginning of a pitiful monomania; but I will leave final judgment to my readers when they shall have learnt all.

The months following my discovery were spent in futile attempts to force the complicated padlock of the slightly open vault, and in carefully guarded inquiries regarding the nature and history of the structure. With the traditionally receptive ears of the small boy, I learned much; though an habitual secretiveness caused me to tell no one of my information or my resolve. It is perhaps worth mentioning that I was not at all surprised or terrified on learning of the nature of the vault. My rather original ideas regarding life and death had caused me to associate the cold clay with the breathing body in a vague fashion; and I felt that the great and sinister family of the burned-down mansion was in some way represented within the stone space I sought to explore. Mumbled tales of the weird rites and godless revels of bygone years in the ancient hall gave to me a new and potent interest in the tomb, before whose door I would sit for hours at a time each day. Once I thrust a candle within the nearly closed entrance, but could see nothing save a flight of damp stone steps leading downward. The odour of the place repelled yet bewitched me. I felt I had known it before, in a past remote beyond all recollection; beyond even my tenancy of the body I now possess.

The year after I first beheld the tomb, I stumbled upon a worm-eaten translation of Plutarch’s Lives in the book-filled attic of my home. Reading the life of Theseus, I was much impressed by that passage telling of the great stone beneath which the boyish hero was to find his tokens of destiny whenever he should become old enough to lift its enormous weight. This legend had the effect of dispelling my keenest impatience to enter the vault, for it made me feel that the time was not yet ripe. Later, I told myself, I should grow to a strength and ingenuity which might enable me to unfasten the heavily chained door with ease; but until then I would do better by conforming to what seemed the will of Fate.

Accordingly my watches by the dank portal became less persistent, and much of my time was spent in other though equally strange pursuits. I would sometimes rise very quietly in the night, stealing out to walk in those churchyards and places of burial from which I had been kept by my parents. What I did there I may not say, for I am not now sure of the reality of certain things; but I know that on the day after such a nocturnal ramble I would often astonish those about me with my knowledge of topics almost forgotten for many generations. It was after a night like this that I shocked the community with a queer conceit about the burial of the rich and celebrated Squire Brewster, a maker of local history who was interred in 1711, and whose slate headstone, bearing a graven skull and crossbones, was slowly crumbling to powder. In a moment of childish imagination I vowed not only that the undertaker, Goodman Simpson, had stolen the silver-buckled shoes, silken hose, and satin small-clothes of the deceased before burial; but that the Squire himself, not fully inanimate, had turned twice in his mound-covered coffin on the day after interment.

But the idea of entering the tomb never left my thoughts; being indeed stimulated by the unexpected genealogical discovery that my own maternal ancestry possessed at least a slight link with the supposedly extinct family of the Hydes. Last of my paternal race, I was likewise the last of this older and more mysterious line. I began to feel that the tomb was mine, and to look forward with hot eagerness to the time when I might pass within that stone door and down those slimy stone steps in the dark. I now formed the habit of listening very intently at the slightly open portal, choosing my favourite hours of midnight stillness for the odd vigil. By the time I came of age, I had made a small clearing in the thicket before the mould-stained facade of the hillside, allowing the surrounding vegetation to encircle and overhang the space like the walls and roof of a sylvan bower. This bower was my temple, the fastened door my shrine, and here I would lie outstretched on the mossy ground, thinking strange thoughts and dreaming strange dreams.

The night of the first revelation was a sultry one. I must have fallen asleep from fatigue, for it was with a distinct sense of awakening that I heard the voices. Of those tones and accents I hesitate to speak; of theirquality I will not speak; but I may say that they presented certain uncanny differences in vocabulary, pronunciation, and mode of utterance. Every shade of New England dialect, from the uncouth syllables of the Puritan colonists to the precise rhetoric of fifty years ago, seemed represented in that shadowy colloquy, though it was only later that I noticed the fact. At the time, indeed, my attention was distracted from this matter by another phenomenon; a phenomenon so fleeting that I could not take oath upon its reality. I barely fancied that as I awoke, a light had been hurriedly extinguished within the sunken sepulchre. I do not think I was either astounded or panic-stricken, but I know that I was greatly and permanently changed that night. Upon returning home I went with much directness to a rotting chest in the attic, wherein I found the key which next day unlocked with ease the barrier I had so long stormed in vain.
It was in the soft glow of late afternoon that I first entered the vault on the abandoned slope. A spell was upon me, and my heart leaped with an exultation I can but ill describe. As I closed the door behind me and descended the dripping steps by the light of my lone candle, I seemed to know the way; and though the candle sputtered with the stifling reek of the place, I felt singularly at home in the musty, charnel-house air. Looking about me, I beheld many marble slabs bearing coffins, or the remains of coffins. Some of these were sealed and intact, but others had nearly vanished, leaving the silver handles and plates isolated amidst certain curious heaps of whitish dust. Upon one plate I read the name of Sir Geoffrey Hyde, who had come from Sussex in 1640 and died here a few years later. In a conspicuous alcove was one fairly well-preserved and untenanted casket, adorned with a single name which brought to me both a smile and a shudder. An odd impulse caused me to climb upon the broad slab, extinguish my candle, and lie down within the vacant box.

In the grey light of dawn I staggered from the vault and locked the chain of the door behind me. I was no longer a young man, though but twenty-one winters had chilled my bodily frame. Early-rising villagers who observed my homeward progress looked at me strangely, and marvelled at the signs of ribald revelry which they saw in one whose life was known to be sober and solitary. I did not appear before my parents till after a long and refreshing sleep.

Henceforward I haunted the tomb each night; seeing, hearing, and doing things I must never reveal. My speech, always susceptible to environmental influences, was the first thing to succumb to the change; and my suddenly acquired archaism of diction was soon remarked upon. Later a queer boldness and recklessness came into my demeanour, till I unconsciously grew to possess the bearing of a man of the world despite my lifelong seclusion. My formerly silent tongue waxed voluble with the easy grace of a Chesterfield or the godless cynicism of a Rochester. I displayed a peculiar erudition utterly unlike the fantastic, monkish lore over which I had pored in youth; and covered the flyleaves of my books with facile impromptu epigrams which brought up suggestions of Gay, Prior, and the sprightliest of the Augustan wits and rimesters. One morning at breakfast I came close to disaster by declaiming in palpably liquorish accents an effusion of eighteenth-century Bacchanalian mirth; a bit of Georgian playfulness never recorded in a book, which ran something like this:

Come hither, my lads, with your tankards of ale,
And drink to the present before it shall fail;
Pile each on your platter a mountain of beef,
For ’tis eating and drinking that bring us relief:
So fill up your glass,
For life will soon pass;
When you’re dead ye’ll ne’er drink to your king or your lass!

Anacreon had a red nose, so they say;
But what’s a red nose if ye’re happy and gay?
Gad split me! I’d rather be red whilst I’m here,
Than white as a lily—and dead half a year!
So Betty, my miss,
Come give me a kiss;
In hell there’s no innkeeper’s daughter like this!

Young Harry, propp’d up just as straight as he’s able,
Will soon lose his wig and slip under the table;
But fill up your goblets and pass ’em around—
Better under the table than under the ground!
So revel and chaff
As ye thirstily quaff:
Under six feet of dirt ’tis less easy to laugh!

The fiend strike me blue! I’m scarce able to walk,
And damn me if I can stand upright or talk!
Here, landlord, bid Betty to summon a chair;
I’ll try home for a while, for my wife is not there!
So lend me a hand;
I’m not able to stand,
But I’m gay whilst I linger on top of the land!

About this time I conceived my present fear of fire and thunderstorms. Previously indifferent to such things, I had now an unspeakable horror of them; and would retire to the innermost recesses of the house whenever the heavens threatened an electrical display. A favourite haunt of mine during the day was the ruined cellar of the mansion that had burned down, and in fancy I would picture the structure as it had been in its prime. On one occasion I startled a villager by leading him confidently to a shallow sub-cellar, of whose existence I seemed to know in spite of the fact that it had been unseen and forgotten for many generations.

At last came that which I had long feared. My parents, alarmed at the altered manner and appearance of their only son, commenced to exert over my movements a kindly espionage which threatened to result in disaster. I had told no one of my visits to the tomb, having guarded my secret purpose with religious zeal since childhood; but now I was forced to exercise care in threading the mazes of the wooded hollow, that I might throw off a possible pursuer. My key to the vault I kept suspended from a cord about my neck, its presence known only to me. I never carried out of the sepulchre any of the things I came upon whilst within its walls.

One morning as I emerged from the damp tomb and fastened the chain of the portal with none too steady hand, I beheld in an adjacent thicket the dreaded face of a watcher. Surely the end was near; for my bower was discovered, and the objective of my nocturnal journeys revealed. The man did not accost me, so I hastened home in an effort to overhear what he might report to my careworn father. Were my sojourns beyond the chained door about to be proclaimed to the world? Imagine my delighted astonishment on hearing the spy inform my parent in a cautious whisper that I had spent the night in the bower outside the tomb; my sleep-filmed eyes fixed upon the crevice where the padlocked portal stood ajar! By what miracle had the watcher been thus deluded? I was now convinced that a supernatural agency protected me. Made bold by this heaven-sent circumstance, I began to resume perfect openness in going to the vault; confident that no one could witness my entrance. For a week I tasted to the full the joys of that charnel conviviality which I must not describe, when the thing happened, and I was borne away to this accursed abode of sorrow and monotony.

I should not have ventured out that night; for the taint of thunder was in the clouds, and a hellish phosphorescence rose from the rank swamp at the bottom of the hollow. The call of the dead, too, was different. Instead of the hillside tomb, it was the charred cellar on the crest of the slope whose presiding daemon beckoned to me with unseen fingers. As I emerged from an intervening grove upon the plain before the ruin, I beheld in the misty moonlight a thing I had always vaguely expected. The mansion, gone for a century, once more reared its stately height to the raptured vision; every window ablaze with the splendour of many candles. Up the long drive rolled the coaches of the Boston gentry, whilst on foot came a numerous assemblage of powdered exquisites from the neighbouring mansions. With this throng I mingled, though I knew I belonged with the hosts rather than with the guests. Inside the hall were music, laughter, and wine on every hand. Several faces I recognised; though I should have known them better had they been shrivelled or eaten away by death and decomposition. Amidst a wild and reckless throng I was the wildest and most abandoned. Gay blasphemy poured in torrents from my lips, and in my shocking sallies I heeded no law of God, Man, or Nature. Suddenly a peal of thunder, resonant even above the din of the swinish revelry, clave the very roof and laid a hush of fear upon the boisterous company. Red tongues of flame and searing gusts of heat engulfed the house; and the roysterers, struck with terror at the descent of a calamity which seemed to transcend the bounds of unguided Nature, fled shrieking into the night. I alone remained, riveted to my seat by a grovelling fear which I had never felt before. And then a second horror took possession of my soul. Burnt alive to ashes, my body dispersed by the four winds, I might never lie in the tomb of the Hydes! Was not my coffin prepared for me? Had I not a right to rest till eternity amongst the descendants of Sir Geoffrey Hyde? Aye! I would claim my heritage of death, even though my soul go seeking through the ages for another corporeal tenement to represent it on that vacant slab in the alcove of the vault. Jervas Hyde should never share the sad fate of Palinurus!

As the phantom of the burning house faded, I found myself screaming and struggling madly in the arms of two men, one of whom was the spy who had followed me to the tomb. Rain was pouring down in torrents, and upon the southern horizon were flashes of the lightning that had so lately passed over our heads. My father, his face lined with sorrow, stood by as I shouted my demands to be laid within the tomb; frequently admonishing my captors to treat me as gently as they could. A blackened circle on the floor of the ruined cellar told of a violent stroke from the heavens; and from this spot a group of curious villagers with lanterns were prying a small box of antique workmanship which the thunderbolt had brought to light. Ceasing my futile and now objectless writhing, I watched the spectators as they viewed the treasure-trove, and was permitted to share in their discoveries. The box, whose fastenings were broken by the stroke which had unearthed it, contained many papers and objects of value; but I had eyes for one thing alone. It was the porcelain miniature of a young man in a smartly curled bag-wig, and bore the initials “J. H.” The face was such that as I gazed, I might well have been studying my mirror.On the following day I was brought to this room with the barred windows, but I have been kept informed of certain things through an aged and simple-minded servitor, for whom I bore a fondness in infancy, and who like me loves the churchyard. What I have dared relate of my experiences within the vault has brought me only pitying smiles. My father, who visits me frequently, declares that at no time did I pass the chained portal, and swears that the rusted padlock had not been touched for fifty years when he examined it. He even says that all the village knew of my journeys to the tomb, and that I was often watched as I slept in the bower outside the grim facade, my half-open eyes fixed on the crevice that leads to the interior. Against these assertions I have no tangible proof to offer, since my key to the padlock was lost in the struggle on that night of horrors. The strange things of the past which I learnt during those nocturnal meetings with the dead he dismisses as the fruits of my lifelong and omnivorous browsing amongst the ancient volumes of the family library. Had it not been for my old servant Hiram, I should have by this time become quite convinced of my madness.

But Hiram, loyal to the last, has held faith in me, and has done that which impels me to make public at least a part of my story. A week ago he burst open the lock which chains the door of the tomb perpetually ajar, and descended with a lantern into the murky depths. On a slab in an alcove he found an old but empty coffin whose tarnished plate bears the single word “Jervas”. In that coffin and in that vault they have promised me I shall be buried.