The next day when I awoke, sunshine streamed through my window. I still felt heavy, but found that I could at least sit up. As I remembered last night's events humiliation swelled through me. My cheeks burned and I cringed with mortification. This soon changed to anger. I stood, swayed, but I managed to hold myself upright by use of the wall. I was still clothed in yesterday's garments. My intention was to find Oliver and beat him to a pulp. I did not have to look long, finding him downstairs in the kitchen eating a sandwich.
"There you are," he boomed. I looked at him incredulously. How could he behave so flippantly? His brow furrowed and he looked at me in consternation. "Now, don't get tied up in knots. It was just harmless fun." I stood ragged, still exhausted by whatever drug he had given me, for I was quite certain that it was a drug that had produced this effect.
Oliver came over and pulled a chair from the table, guiding me into it. "I'm going to let you into my secret." I stared uncomprehendingly. "I am a scientist. I have been experimenting and have made a discovery." His eyes gleamed as he stood over me and I listened as he pontificated about his wondrous achievements in his diabolical laboratory. Oliver had taken the alchemists of old and their premise and taken it further. He said he had accomplished the unparalleled. Instead of turning metal to gold, he could make the dead live again. Looking closely at geology and metal, he had somehow mastered earthly matter and this plane of existence, leading him to other planes beyond. This house was full of ghosts making it perfect for his experiments. To make it all work he needed flesh and body liquids, copious amounts.
"You're mad," I told him. Oliver laughed gleefully. He danced about the kitchen, belying a sense of lunacy.
I know now, that it had been an elaborate hoax from the beginning. There was no position at the college; the situation had been an insane invention by Oliver. Mrs Stanton was gone, where, I do not know. Nobody knows of my whereabouts. Oliver has made certain of that. He told me, he had written to those concerned, informing them of a sudden fever and of my eventual demise. From fear of contagion he said he had my body cremated. The Madame is Oliver's link to the other side. The harlot? Long gone. Oliver's henchman come and go, silent and brooding. Even now I cannot describe the indignities and tortures I have endured. I am half the man I used to be. I can attest that Oliver's actions are that of a complete madman. Whether Oliver has truly succeeded, I do not know, as I have not seen any evidence with my own eyes. He wholly believes in his experiments and that he has achieved what no other has. I know I am at my last moments. I can see in Oliver's face that my use to him is at an end. I know, that already, he has contrived a plan for a new victim as he has openly boasted of this to me. I am sure I was the first; I have no idea where or with whom it will end, or if it ever does end. my only hope is that my end will be soon and mercifully quick. These days, I can only lie here, hearing my shallow breathing and the clock ticking.