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Statement of Herman Gorgoli regarding his a period trapped alone in a suburban area of Cheadle.

Statement

Herman Gorgoli had been with his boyfriend Alberto for 15 years before they split up. They’d been living in a pleasant home in Cheadle, the suburb of Stoke-on-Trent. It was a good but dull neighbourhood. Just street after street of identical, bland houses, all winding around each other in dead ends and cul-de-sacs.

They lived in that house for 2 years as their relationship turned sour. Things finally end when Herman cheats on Alberto. After that, Herman gets a cheap apartment in Liverpool and tries to adjust to single life. He doesn’t have many friends left after the messy breakup and he’s too old to get back into clubbing. Yet he hates the the idea of returning to the beige suburb.

He probably would have stayed away forever if not for the moose. When moving out, he hastily grabs a suitcase and accidentally steals a carved moose, a family heirloom from Alberto’s grandfather. He decides to drive back and deliver it in person.

It is late when he gets there. His sat-nav isn’t working and the streets are bland, interchangeable, and impossible to navigate. The sun has set but the sky is still fairly light. After half an hour of frustrated driving, he digs out a paper map and decides to look for road signs. The first one he finds reads just Road. He knows the roads had actual names when he lived there but as he drives on they’re all utterly generic: Street, Avenue, Close, Way, Lane.

It is getting darker and he decides to just leave and come back when the sat-nav is working. He can’t find his way out and realises that he has not seen any other cars or even people on the streets. The empty suburban nightmare seems to stretch on neverending around him.

There is no response when he gets out and to knock on doors and he keeps driving until his petrol runs out. The dashboard claims it is 3am as it flickers out and his phone has been dead for an hour. With no other option, he starts walking in a straight line for what feels like hours. As his legs start to give out, he has an idea. He goes up to a house and tries the door. It’s unlocked.

The house looks exactly as expected, IKEA furniture and bland wallpaper, family photos that are indistinguishable from stock photos. Instinctively, he turns on the TV. A cooking show comes on, a woman is fussing over a turkey. As he stares at it, he gradually realises she is not actually speaking English. The cadence and words sound just like English but it is gibberish and she doesn’t seem to make any progress with the turkey, just keeps prodding and fussing over it.

As he tries to figure out what to do next, he notices a red stain on the ceiling that seems to have seeped through from above. Upstairs, he finds the body of a young woman. Her ID reads Yotunde Uthman and she seems to have smashed her head through a mirror, a large shard piercing her jugular. Herman rushes out into the night and collapses on the tarmac. Weeping, as he realises that he’s going to die here.

He gradually realises that he is hearing a noise and looks around to see his car nearby. His phone is ringing from inside. He stumbles over and it’s Alberto calling. He sobs with relief as Alberto yells at him for taking so long. The only reply he can muster is “I love you”. Alberto goes quiet and hangs up. When Herman looks around again, the houses have lights on in them and a woman is coming down to ask if he needs help with his car.

He and Alberto aren’t quite together again but they’re working on it. Herman refuses to move back into the suburb though, and is trying to convince Alberto to sell it.

Herman checks online for Yotunde Uthman but as far as he can tell, she disappeared a year ago and nobody noticed.

Post-Statement

Melanie asks to speak with John after he finishes "having a statement". After expressing brief concern over whether or not it is a new one he's taken from someone, she tells him that she's not going to keep doing her job. She understands that she can't quit, but believes that the Magnus Institute is evil, and she refuses to be complicit in its actions any more.

John asks if her therapist told her to do this, expressing concern that she might be working for one of the Entities, but Melanie assures him that she isn't, and that concerns like that were why her first four sessions were nearly a disaster. John is reluctantly fine with this, only expressing worry at how subtle The Web can be. Melanie responds by pointing out that John really has no idea what its plan is; perhaps it just wants John to fear any action. Melanie then leaves, telling John that she's going to try and get Daisy drunk.

Trivia

Both this statement and the statement featured in Mag 15: Lost Johns' Cave were given on the same day. As a result, both have the same case number: #0140911. It is unknown if this is an error on the part of Jonny (as in, the real-life author) or Gertrude Robinson, but the Archivist has stated that he does not know what happens if two statements are filed on the same day.[1]

References

  1. MAG 33: Boatswain's Call
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