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Ken Webster had graduated from the University of Aberystwyth in 1976 and found himself in Dodleston, a quaint village in the North-Western regions of England, where he began working as a teacher at Hawarden High School. The school was firmly in the middle of the UK’s Computer Literacy Project, which aimed to push the UK forward as a leader in computing. In partnership with the BBC, the government had brought Acorn Computers on board to create the BBC Micro, which was then distributed to schools across the country. Hawarden was one of the luckier schools, having enough setups to loan out to its teachers.
Ken settled in a small adobe called Meadow Cottage in Dodleston with his girlfriend Debbie and his friend Nic. As he was a teacher, he decided to hire a BBC Micro from his workplace, which would later provide them with an experience they could never have imagined.
The first strange occurrence happened shortly after they moved into Meadow Cottage. Ken noticed small six-toed footprints that seemed to walk directly up the wall and through the ceiling. He painted over them, assuming they were nothing more than stains, but to his surprise, the prints reappeared the next day on top of the new layer of paint.
Days passed, and Ken, Nick, and Debbie started to notice cans, bottles, and boxes stacked in towers, sometimes reaching over four feet in height. They thought it was the work of their friends, but no one came forward to claim responsibility.
It wasn’t until the Christmas of 1984 that the trio experienced something that left them all bewildered. They left the BBC Micro on, albeit at the boot screen, while they went to visit a friend. Upon returning, Ken found a file on the computer called “KDN.” It read:
“KEN, DEB, NIC
TRUE ARE THE NIGHTMARES OF A PERSON THAT FEARS
SAFE ARE THE BODIES OF THE SILENT WORLD
TURN PRETTY FLOWER TURN TOWARDS THE SUN
FOR YOU SHALL GROW AND SOW
BUT THE FLOWER REACHES TOO HIGH AND WITHERS IN THE BURNING LIGHT
GET OUT YOUR BRICKS
WENT TO LONDON TO SEEK FAME
FAITH MUST NOT BE LOST
FOR THIS SHALL BE YOUR REDEEMER.”
(Source: “The Vertical Plane” by Ken Webster)
At first, Ken dismissed it as a prank by his friend John, who occasionally visited to record guitar tracks. However, the strange messages continued. One evening, after a road trip, Ken, Debbie, and Nick returned to Meadow Cottage to find a new file on the BBC Micro called “REATE,” seemingly the latter part of “CREATE.” It read:
“I WRITE ON BEHALF OF MANY WOT STRANGE WORDS THOU SPEAKE, ALTHOUGH, I MUSTE CONFESS THAT I HATH ALSO BEEN ILL SCHOOLED. SOME TYMES METHINKS ALTERATIONS ARE SOMEWOT BARFUL, FOR THEY BREAKE MANE A SLEEP IN MYNE BED.
THOU ART GOODLY MAN WHO HATH FANCIFUL WOMAN WHO DWEL IN MYNE HOME, I HATH NO WANT TO AFFREY, FOR ONLIE SINCE MYNE HALF WYTED ANTIC HAS RIPPED ATTWAIN MYNE BOUND HATH I BEENE WRETHED A NYTE.
I HATH SEENE MANY ALTERATIONS LASTLY CHARGE HOUSE AND THOU HOME, TIS A FITTING PLACE, WITH LIGHTS WHICHE DEVIL MAKETH,
BUT FEAR NOT, FOR I AM A FRIEND AND SHALL GUIDE THEE THROUGH THE DARKNESS. LOOK TO THE SKY AND FIND THE SIGN THAT POINTS TO THY FATE, AND THERE THOU SHALT FIND THE TRUTH.”
Ken, Debbie, and Nick were perplexed by the message and had no idea who could have written it. They started to feel uneasy and decided to investigate the strange occurrences happening in their cottage.
One night, while Ken was alone, he heard a strange noise coming from the attic. He climbed the stairs and found a small room with a chair and an old-fashioned telephone. The phone rang, and a voice on the other end spoke to Ken, asking him to play a game.
The game was a bizarre and twisted version of chess, with strange rules and disturbing pieces. As they played, the voice on the other end taunted Ken, revealing more and more about his personal life and his deepest fears. Ken realized that the voice was not human, and he was playing against a malevolent entity that was trying to manipulate and control him.
Ken, Debbie, and Nick soon realized that the strange occurrences in Meadow Cottage were not mere coincidences but the work of a supernatural force. They sought the help of a local paranormal investigator, who advised them to leave the cottage immediately.
They left Meadow Cottage and moved to a new town, hoping to leave their terrifying experiences behind. However, they could never forget the strange messages and the twisted game of chess they played with the malevolent entity.
Years later, Ken wrote a book about his experiences in Meadow Cottage, hoping to shed light on the supernatural forces that exist in our world. His story has become a classic in the realm of paranormal literature and continues to intrigue and terrify readers to this day.