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Music From a Darkened Room

Categories: Previews

A Delta Green Investigation for One to Four Agents
By Dennis Detwiller, © 2005 

Places, like people, sometimes go wrong. They turn off the path and head into the shadows, becoming something other than normal. Black places filled with blank rooms, closed doors and empty hallways lined with dust.

In these places your voice catches in your throat, the air seems to hum and things happen. People get hurt, objects vanish. Bad feelings flow like the loose tap in the bathroom and hate hangs in the air like old paint. It smells of time and circumstance and something just a little beyond the world.

It smells like surrender.

1206 Spooner Avenue is a wrong place. In the last forty-six years of its history eighteen people have died there, and you can feel it. You walk in and it’s like dropping two hundred feet under water. It’s suddenly dark and cold and pressure-filled; at least it is in your mind. Still, pretenses remain.

Doors stay shut, and no one ever hears a child’s laughter at night. In the hours that stretch like taffy after two, no one ever hears music from a darkened room. No one sees a woman walking behind the glass in the bathroom mirrors.

They shut their eyes and pretend the world is ordered, like a puzzle whose pieces are square and plain. They pretend a lot of things. They pretend they are pretending.

Until, in the dark, the hand falls on their shoulder…

The House on Spooner Avenue

Spooner Avenue is a quiet street that can be set in any suburban location in the United States. 1206 Spooner Avenue is a small house, originally built in 1907, and amended with additional construction in the 1940s. It’s not pretty or ugly; it’s just plain. Few notice anything past the vibrant growth of ivy that scales the north side of the building. It is wholly unremarkable in appearance. But the neighbors are not fooled.

The neighborhood is predominantly composed of retirees who have long memories. Most were born locally, and lived their lives within the confines of Meadowbrook, the town through which Spooner Avenue cuts a diagonal slash. All have heard about the deaths in the Spooner Avenue house. It’s something of a water-cooler topic at all of Meadowbrook’s hot spots.

The rumors began half a century ago.

Around 1959 with the murder/suicide of Douglas and Margaret Crease, the house began to gain a reputation. At first, it was simply a nervous kind of rumor to make a horrible incident more palatable. Later, as the bodies slowly piled up, it became more certain. Today, it’s simply a fact — the residents are sure the Spooner Avenue house is evil. They know this in the way one knows the sky is blue or that water quenches thirst. It’s a certainty.

After the Creases’ deaths, between 1963 and 2005, sixteen people have met their ends at 1206 Spooner. Only one of those deaths was due to neither accident nor violence. The rest have been a chain of suicides, odd, accidental deaths and murder.

Somehow, despite the mounting number of bodies, the house has been continuously sold and resold. There has been no break in inhabitance as far back as the Creases’ deaths that lasted more than a month.

The locals are certain the house has a draw to it, a pull. Doctor George Weaver, the last local foolish enough to be drawn to it, bought the house on a whim and moved in, in the summer of 1970. He was killed nine days later in an electrical accident.

Since then, no locals ever go to the open houses which pop up with startling regularity at Spooner Avenue.

To those who live on Spooner Avenue, the house is a dead zone to be rushed past, something to be avoided, especially at night.

The neighborhood is certain the building is alive.

“Music From a Darkened Room” is available as a free download.

A detailed (and spoiler-filled!) summary of play and Q&A with the author is available at the Delta Green fan site, the Fairfield Project.

Shane Ivey runs Arc Dream Publishing and is the lead editor of the newest Delta Green projects.

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