The following is a transcription from several pages of a burnt personal diary that was found next to the remains of Angela S. Yorke. Police officers entered Ms. Yorke’s apartment at 113 Cherry Lane on July 28th after she had been reported missing for several days. The interior of the apartment had apparently been completely destroyed in a fire, although none of the neighbors had reported seeing flames. In the corner of the bedroom the officers found a large pile of ash that was later identified, through dental records, to be the body of Ms. Yorke. From the charred hand of the corpse, the officers recovered a badly damaged diary which she had apparently been writing in throughout the period of her disappearance. Experts have been unable to determine the cause of the fire, nor the reason why it damaged only the inside of one apartment, leaving the exterior and all surrounding rooms unharmed. In an effort to solve the mystery, the diary underwent extensive restoration to repair and copy the charred pages.
:The diary of Ms. Angela Yorke:
:[Both front and back covers of the diary have sustained fire damage that erased any possible writing.]
Interior front cover:
[Angela penned a small note to herself in the corner.]
Hooray! I’ve finally moved into the new apartment! I’m so excited, my new job starts on Monday! I bought this diary to prove to myself, when I’m old and senile, that I really did it. I really made it on my own in the world. So, congratulations girl! You made it!
:[Every entry up to this date was mostly irrecoverable. The few sentences that were restored pertained to Ms. Yorke’s feelings about work and making new friends.]
…and she says that we’ll have to plan something for this weekend.
:[Majority of the page was destroyed.]
…what a good idea. I told her I would call Susan and Andre to see if they would want to come along. I can’t believe that in the months I’ve lived here, I never bothered to explore the national park that sits almost literally right outside my door! I suppose my job has kept me so busy I feel I don’t have time for hiking with friends. Well, that changes tomorrow. Here’s a reminder to myself to buy some new boots so I have even less of an excuse to stay indo…
Too exhausted to write much. Me, Susan, Hillary, and Andre spent all day in the woods. We got lost at one point, which is why we got back so late. However, I feel that it was a lucky break; we ran across this really old looking cabin right beside a creek. It kind of freaked us out at first, but Susan said that there wasn’t any record of a cabin in the area and that we must’ve run across some ancient hunter’s woodhouse. Tomorrow we’re all returning to explore it more fully. Maybe if we collect enough information about it, we can get mentioned in the locals. Meanwhile, I’ll be treating the blisters all over my heel. I really do need new boots.
What a strange day. It took us forever to find the path we had accidentally stumbled across the day before. When we finally got to where the cabin had stood, it was gone. In its place there was a big mound of ash spread all over the grass. We stomped all over it trying to find clues, but all I could find was scorched wood and melted nails. Susan found a burnt doll, only its blue glass eyes still untouched. That freaked us out. Then, Andre kicked apart a small pile of charcoal and found a tooth inside. Well, we booked it back to the main trail pretty fast after that. In the darkness beneath the trees I think our imaginations must have run a little wild; of course, once we were in the sunlight again we realized we must have taken the wrong trail and run across the ruins of another cabin, which must have burned down a long time ago. Still, sitting in my bedroom at night, thinking about that patch of burnt wood, makes me shiver.
What a shitty 4th of July. Work was a pain in the ass. I came home all angry at my boss, ready to collapse on my couch and watch bad TV, when I noticed a trail of black footprints all over my carpet. It spooked me until I realized that the prints were from my own shoes. Somehow, I managed to track ash all over my floor and not notice it until tonight. I thought the hike would’ve been enough to get that crap off my shoes. Damn damn damn damn. Also, when I was relaxing in the bath I found black stains between my toes. I couldn’t get them out completely, but I’m not as worried about that as much as the carpet. I pulled out all of the bottles under the sink, but none of my cleaners could get the stuff out. I’ll have to go rent a carpet cleaner tomorrow and get the stain out before the landlady sees it. Curse you, white carpet!
What a fucking mess. I picked up a carpet cleaner before I got home and prepared to exact vengeance against those dark marks on the floor. Now, as a monument to all my efforts, I have a huge black smear across my living room. Fucking carpet cleaner. Maybe I’ll call Susan and Hillary tomorrow and ask if they have the same problem. I’m too upset to write anymore.
Something weird is going on with that stain. I can’t be sure, but it looks like it spread a little further. I noticed small bumps of some black substance in the middle of the spot; when I touched one, it crumbled under my finger. I think the ash is melting the carpet somehow. I spent the rest of the evening on the internet looking up things like “powderized acids” and “burnt carbon deposit hydroxide reactions”. Ugh. Unfortunately, Attila the boss is making me finish a huge project for him by Friday, so I won’t have time to clean the place up until next weekend. Even worse, that stain is still on the bottom of my feet and my girlfriends, for once, weren’t home.
Addendum: I just noticed I had some of that black stuff on my hands and now there’re sooty handprints all over the walls. Goddamn.
:[The page was mostly destroyed.]
…tain is definitely spreading bigger, but… so my boss is expecting me to do i… like I care but it doesn’t make my job any easier, especially considering all of the reports I have to do at the same time. And Susan’s absence doesn’t help at all, you’d think that she could at least call me since I’m pulling her slack.
To top off this shitty week some… with the cable, I turn it on and all I can see is static, with some weird crackling in the background. I’d call the landl… he carpet s… bly throw my ass out. Finally, I think whatever weird chemical is in that soot is damaging my feet; the skin on the bottom is white and starting to peel off and they feel all tingly, but I just can’t afford to take time to see a d… no time to wr…
:[A large hole had been scorched in the middle of the page.]
Oh god, I opened my door and screamed out loud. Whatever was in that soot is eating through the floor and walls. Huge scorch marks are spreading across my floor. There’s charcoal everywhere. The place smelled like a fire pit so I opened a window; a draft blew in and stirred up a huge cloud of dust that coated everything, including me. I shut myself into my bedroom, which so far is free of burns and sat down with the phonebook. I tried to call Susan again, but on the other end all I could hear was a strange crackling sound. Next I c… haz-ma… cords are burn…
…nough of this shit, tomorrow I’m skipping work and driving to the police station. after I get someone sent to my place to clean up what is CLEARLY a chemical hazard, I’m going to the doctor’s to get me feet checked out; they hurt constantly now, and a white-fringed black burn is creeping around my toes. I’m pretty scared.
Addendum: I can’t sleep; I could almost swear I can hear a popping, crackling sound coming from the living room.
I’m so fucking scared. I don’t know what the hell is going on.
I woke up this morning and it was dark outside. I thought the pain creeping up my legs had roused me early in the morning, but when I glanced at the clock it said 9 PM. How the fuck had I managed to sleep through the entire day? I decided I would go to the police anyway. When I left my bedroom I nearly fainted; the entire living room was scorched black and white. Huge patches of charcoal were lumped on the ground and dripping off the walls. As I walked towards the door pieces of ash rained down on my head. The horrible smell of burnt flesh and hair permeated everything.
I got in the car and drove to the police station, but a few minutes later I realized I was lost. It was my own neighborhood; how the fuck did I manage to get lost? I drove and drove in the dark, trying to find anything recognizable. I had just given up hope and started to cry when I noticed I was back home. The row of apartments stood directly in front of me. I sped away down a random road, stomping the gas pedal, but no matter where I went, how fast I went, I kept passing the apartment again and again. After driving for hours, the car finally ran out of gas and coasted to a stop. Right outside my own front door. I don’t even remember turning into the parking lot. When I walked inside, the clock said 10:00. What the hell is happening to me? My fingers are itchy, the tips look stained black. I can’t call anyone, the ash burnt through the cords. I’m trying to sleep, but that crackling sound is coming from the walls. It sounds like a fire.
:[The corner of the page was burnt away]
… e last two days, I just sat in my bedroom and stared at the door; beyond I could… the sounds of a fire, but whenever I looked into the living room, there was just the ash, swirling through the air. Everything’s burned; the couch is nothing but a pile of dust, and the TV is slowly melting into a puddle of plastic. I had to go to the fridge to bring back food. I kicked my way through the piles of ash heaped into the corners. Oh god, I swear I saw a gray hand rise up and grab at me before a gust of wind blew it apart.
The scorch marks are spreading into my bedroom, the door is almost completely burnt through, but there’s no fire, no heat.
I lost feeling in my feet, but when I touch them flakes of dried, white skin peel off.
My hands are so painful; they crinkle when I move them.
That crackling in the walls is growing louder, and I swear I can hear the sound of someone screaming.
:[Several holes burnt into page]
I can’t escape it. The bedroom is almost as burnt away as the rest of the apartment. I woke up this morning as a pile of ash… e foot of my bed. As I looked at it a face began to form. It grinned at me and… an out into the living room and crouched in the corner. I sat hunched there until I fell asleep again. When I woke up there was a gray hand lying on my shoulder. In the corner of my vision something was staring at me. I screamed and it disappeared in a swirling cloud. But the shape of a hand was burnt… y shoulder.
I ran out of the apartment into the night, not caring where I ended up… hen I fell… om exhaustion I realized I was back in the forest. The cabin… e. Orange light poured out of its grimy windows and smoke drifted from the chimney.
I crawled towards it; inside I could hear that awful crackling sound. An… eone screaming. Suddenly, I was standing at the door. As it opened, a blast of wind knock… nside. The door shut behind me.
The inside of the cabin was… n flame. I stood in the middle of the wooden floor as the flames spread around me, consuming everything. Something gra… me from behind. Turning, I saw a burning bo… rawling its way up my legs. It skin was burnt black, red liquid oozing out along lines that… est and arms. It looked at me and screamed as flames danced around its head, its eyes withering away, its tongue burning… stump.
I kicked it away; it fell onto the floor and broke into smoldering pieces. The cabin burned away around me, flaming timbers falling to the floor. The entire building colla… a cloud of sparks. As the dust cleared I looked arou…
I was back in my own burnt apartment.
A pile of ash shape… body lay by my feet.
I have barricaded myself in the bedroom, but the dust creeps und…
I can hear something stalking across the living room.
I tried to run away again. As I left the house I saw something gray walking across the living room towards me. I ran… night. The cabin was there again. I didn’t want to go in, but somethi… out of the woods at me. The place was on fire and the screaming thing attacked me. I closed my eyes until the place burnt down. The burns on my bo… ve spread everywhere but my face. It hurts so muc… b… ou… ead.
Wh… e god… ve?
… WHY… P
:[The entry consists entirely of a drawing of the nature preserve behind Ms. Yorke’s house. Several trails are traced, and a red circle is labeled “The cabin”. Despite an extensive search of the park, no cabin or area of burnt ash has been found.
I can only lie in the piles of mounting ash. Sometimes I see a gray form creep by, but I can’t do anything about it. My legs are falling off. I want to die.
:[No entry. A rough sketch of a grinning face was drawn in the corner of the page. Above it was the caption, “it’s in the ashes”.]
:[Entry was nearly illegible due to the nature of the writing. Experts have suggested this section was written with the pen in her mouth.]
One of my arms snapped off like burnt charcoal. I’m breaking apart. My mind feels cloudy. At least the pain is fading. I can see something gray and black looking at me from the corner of the room. I thought it was smiling but now I can see its lips are burnt off. I can’t move. I lie on the floor as pieces of the ceiling flake off and drift down. Covering everything. Small things of ash and bone skitter along the walls.
:[Entry also nearly illegible]
I, Angela Sylvia Yorke, do swear, as my last will and testament the following:
That all of my pos… ove… a…
:[Unfortunately, a large burn in the shape of a handprint is scorched into the page, destroying the contents of what is apparently Ms. Yorke’s will. Interestingly, the size of the print is much larger than Ms. Yorke’s hands. Of course, due to the deteriorating condition of the corpse, this claim could not be verified.]
:[The remaining pages of the diary are either blank or burned away.]
:Two days after the last entry, officers found the badly burned body of Angela Yorke.
At the request of the owner, a cleanup team was sent to repair the damaged apartment after the investigation was closed due to lack of evidence. A good deal of time and effort was spent trying to find “Susan” and the other people Ms. Yorke mentions in her document, but to no avail. No cause of the fire has been determined.
:Update: The badly damaged diary has apparently disintegrated in the evidence locker, leaving a small burn mark on the shelf. Sanitation personnel claim that they are unable to remove the blemish.
Author Information: Black Fedora
Story Title or Titles: Ashes to Ashes
Original Source: Unknown. Uploaded to SCP-Wiki by Kain Pathos Crow
Date: 26 Aug 2008