Michigatonic University is a sinister place. I should know. I work there. I am a janitor. In fact I am the institution's head janitor. Like most janitors, my trade and specialty is cleaning up after others. I am also trained, sworn, and bound by sheer terror to ask no questions. The time has come for me to overcome my fear and speak out, in order that the horror that is disguised as a hallowed hall of learning be revealed and known to all.
My realm of cleanliness and scrubbed corridors includes the halls of the Department of Communication Arts and Sciences. If Michigatonic is the twilight zone, let me tell you, dear friends, that the Department of Communication Arts and Sciences is the deepest pit of a level of a hell that neither Dante nor Poe nor Howard Phillips Lovecraft could have described or imagined. I don't know what sort of Arts they teach there but, by all that is good and holy, they are blacker than the heart of Ayn Rand.
One of the fellows of the faculty of doom in this department is a certain professor who goes by the name of
Doctor Clifford A. C. Lampe, "clampe" for short. This name may be a clever ruse, for no one could associate a teacher with a name like "Clifford" with anything but a gigantic red canine or the most benign tutelage and edification of willing, hungry minds that public education can offer. Yet, behind the sunny lecture halls and wholesome forename on the office door lurks a private world of pain.
I have heard it whispered by certain students when they think that neither he nor I are listening (fools!) that Dr Lampe spends his time submitting requests for grants, ostensibly for the study of an obscure realm of communications that he calls "social computing" and which I am certain he invented for his own profit and amusement. Upon obtaining said grants from the same governmental departments that he curses ripely on a daily basis and from other, more beneficent institutions, he proceeds to spend much of his time hunched over a computer keyboard tapping away at it with a fixed gaze and a determination to do no good. Once I even heard them say that he thought he owned Everything like the Lord God Almighty. I would not put such hubris beyond this man.
On not few occasions did I hear a mighty yell of "GET OUT OF MY FACEBOOK" from behind Dr Lampe's closed door, often followed by a yelping and scratching against the bottom of the door as bloody fingertips peeked through the crack near the floor. This, in turn, was invariably followed by several thuds and a barrage of scholarly swearing that would make a drunken Greek sailor cross himself thrice and pray for the soul of him who could harbour such foul thoughts, let alone speak them out. For it is the overflow of the heart from which the mouth speaks, as the Good Book says.
If you thought this was cruel, it is because you never witnessed the same corridors during grading season, when Doctor Lampe shuts himself into his laboratory. Flashes of a sickly violet light illuminate the stain of blood by the crack under the door, the stain that even I, the dean of disinfection, never managed to completely erase. Stenches most foul and revolting course through the corridor and a soft, maniacal laughter spreads around the door like tendrils of the purest evil. Haggard graduate students furtively dart in and out of that door in the dead of night, fearful of being seen by the more respectable members of the academic community. During the days that follow, the halls of the department fill with screams of agony that chill you to the bone. It may be true that the only happy creatures in that workshop of darkness are the cockroaches.
Dr Lampe's graduate students are a breed apart from the rest. The new ones strut with the cocky demeanour of a Doctor Faustus on top of the world. But in his hands even the finest, most righteous young men and women are turned into weak-willed servants of a chthonian power. By the time their two years are over, their Mephistopheles never appeared as more than a promise on their master's tongue and it is time to pay the ferryman for a passing grade. They can then be seen creeping through the hallways with sunken eyes and an aura of despair, certain of their soul's ill fate. Once, when the laboratory door was left cracked open, I saw shelves with rows of jars containing a faintly glowing pale blue substance. I could have sworn that I heard screaming and that it was coming from those shelves. You would be wise to avoid Doctor Lampe's acolytes, for no good can come from those who associate with the Dark Side of Communications. As the Lord's apostle said, "evil communications corrupt good manners."
Doctor Lampe is an unforgiving taskmaster, merciless with those who fail to comply with his strict instructions. I once saw a large box of bullet points delivered to his office. Over the next few of days I was
quietly summoned on several occasions to dispose of a student body. As I unwrapped the corpses and let them
sink into the department's quicklime pit I couldn't help but notice that they all had bullet point holes in
their head along with sundry other grammatical injuries. Most of them also bore scars from what could only have been a Plus Five Cursed Razor Wit.
Let me tell you about that quicklime pit, dear friends. After years of using the public domain for the disposal of the remains of those unwise enough to ask him for an education and subsequently demand to be given same, Dr Lampe decided that it would be very inconvenient if the remains were found and traced back to him. He obtained another grant, this time for the study of a practice called "whitewashing." Before the next semester began, an industrial-sized pit full of gloriously pure calcium oxide almost magically appeared at the edge of campus. The man's genius is almost as great as his evil streak.
My name does not matter. Let it suffice that I identify myself as the head janitor of Michigatonic University. I may not be in that position for long for Dr Lampe has eyes and ears in every wall. He does, after all, practice the blackest of black arts of Communication. Should you not hear from me again, pray for me and for those who shall follow in my footsteps. God bless you and save you from this man. I have no hope of salvation for I am cursed and pray only that I soon be at the mercy of the Lord. I fear not that day for the wrath of the Almighty surely cannot be harsher than that of Dr Clifford A. C. Lampe, whose blasphemous comport puts his self above even Him.
This being the proposed entry for "Cliff Lampe" in the Necronodecon