Current Theory of the Otherworldly Head (old unfinished story; abandoned)

I am barricaded inside my office, having locked out a maniacal specter which even now paces outside my door, barking at me in some incomprehensible language. It is waiting for me to surrender to its agenda. I will write of this agenda shortly.
What I must do first on this brisk autumn day is document my role in a series of tragic and gruesome events of which many will find questionable, if not wholly unbelievable. I do this to establish a timeline for the investigation that is sure to follow. Despite my fretful state-of-mind, I will do my best to transcribe the events as they unfolded.
The following is a letter which I expect to be found within the hour, finished or not, sensible or otherwise:

To Whom It May Concern:
My name is Kieran O’Hara, assistant to Dr. John J. Smith, Herbarium Systematist and Curator of Vascular Plants at the Field Museum. Please take a moment to prepare yourself for my words, in whatever fashion suffices, for you must be willing to believe what I am about to tell you. It is fantastic, to be sure. Yet I promise you, it is all true.
First, let it be known that I have tried with all my strength to convince the entity to return to the dark realm from which it must surely have come; to forget about its insatiable, yet perhaps justified need to take me. I have tried to convince it that I have nothing to offer – no alliance, no worship, no gratitude to speak of. It has put me in irreconcilable discord with the will of my mind.
So I write to you – whomever at present is reading this, be it police officer, investigator, psychoanalyst, or mother of the deceased – to relay my version of today’s events, and in doing so perhaps exorcise the despair which circulates through every extension of my soul. Soon I must face that which longs to snatch me from this world, currently of which lingers in the dark crawlspace of the near future. Perhaps I will be allowed a last moment of sanity before the shadows of judgment stretch over me.
I will forgo the minor details of the morning, before the air cracked open and released the entity, only to say that it was a typical morning in which all tasks were conducted without incident. For the sake of clarity, let me bore you a bit with the details of my position: [this section was not written]
Now on to the timeline: I retired to my office shortly before noon when there came a peculiar noise from the herbarium proper. I dropped my cup of tea and grabbed at my head in the suddenness of it, for all is silent in a herbarium without visitors.
The sound heard was that of dry leaves in a stormy wind. It lasted all of three seconds. At first I shrugged it off, as peculiar sounds sometimes find their way out of the herbarium’s vents and disproportionate spaces. But the sound returned, this time for a longer duration, and with a visual – a flash, really – of something speeding past my office door. Although passing quickly, it seemed, from my point of view, to go by in slow motion, as if signaling detection by presenting some lingering essence of itself. It was a ghostly green head, and it seemed to peer at me with glowing eyes.
This disembodied head traveled at an elevation of about two meters, seemingly where a man’s head would be had he a body. But there was no body. Instead, there was merely an “appendage” beneath the head, a slight form composed of trailing vines and blowing leaves. And the whole of it was animated – falling leaves and all – as if alive, or of existing in some natural landscape beyond the walls and juxtaposed onto a thin space in the reality before me. It bore a tortured countenance unspeakable, as of a man plagued by nightmarish anger in a waking state of consciousness. At the time I was not convinced of its reality, and simply regarded it as a byproduct of my fatigue, having recently worked long, lonely hours in the herbarium.
Soon, however, and perhaps unfortunately, I had to discount my imagination, for what happened next was not a subliminal flash or daydream brought about by fatigue.
I must admit trepidation here, for the entity yet unexplained thrashes outside my office. It pounds against the door relentlessly, has knocked down my barricade of stacked furniture and boxes numerous times. I can hear its thick grunts, its fits and unintelligible shouts, interspersed with the sounds of blowing leaves and crackling flames. It frays my nerves, but I must put down these words, profess my innocence. It is important that I reveal to you the true criminal in today’s course of tragic events.
To continue–
After leaving my office to investigate the green-tinted apparition, a sudden stream of heath-scented air began to blow through my hair. Never mind that the windows were closed – there is no heath in the Chicago region, let alone within such an urban area as this. I thought for a moment about what I was experiencing, scratched my head and even neared a fit of laughter as one preposterous thought passed along to the next. But all preoccupation was halted by a fitful noise in the processing room, the sound of something trying to release itself from a cardboard box. The fragrant breeze seemed to come from the room, and I shouted: “Who is that?”
No reply, just an ever-increasing din of activity. Then a flash across the doorway. Again, the impression of a ghostly disembodied head, now orange and red like autumn leaves; or, more so it seemed, angry with an essence of fire.
My first instinct was to go for help, but a strange force began pulling me in the direction of the room. The disembodied head reappeared in the doorway, its color changing from red to brown and back to green again; a display of nature’s many hues. I fell into its piercing gaze, its eyes projecting a hypnotic, phantasmagoric dance of blooming flowers, popping leaf buds, twisting tree limbs. It seemed to suggest I come in.
My fear somehow distilled and my curiosity piqued, I entered the processing room and looked about, momentarily taking my eyes off the glowing head. Behind it were its many so-called servants – a procession of them, crawling out of a tipped over box on the countertop. All were plants of one sort or another, pulling themselves across the counter with their leaves, pushing forward with their roots. Tree and shrub clippings pushed and rolled themselves along with the collective effort of their branchlets. The text written across the box read “Botanical Specimens for Scientific Study, County Sligo, Republic of Ireland.”
Here I should mention some facts which lend themselves to my current theory of the otherworldly head: a set of vascular plants, in addition to a few moss, fungi and lichen species, was recently collected by Dr. Smith in the environs of my birthplace, a remote region of Ireland in western County Sligo, just inland of the Atlantic. Dr. Smith believed these plants were new to the botanical world, in several genera no less, and in need of immediate preservation. After close scrutiny I firmly but respectfully suggested that the plants were mere anomalies or variants of common bogland species. After all, who better acquainted with the flora of my homeland than I? As was often the case, my opinion was disregarded.
In addition, after examining Smith’s notes, I plainly saw that he did not follow proper etiquette while conducting his work, often taking samples at old ruins, burial sites, and known fairy mounds. Despite my diligent warnings, I might add. All for the sake of science, he told me – that was reason enough.
At any rate, these were the very specimens which now crawled from the box in an animated fashion. I know you will be thinking this impossible, that I must have been hallucinating, or that I concocted a fantastical story to avoid prison on grounds of insanity.
At first I considered it all a dream, but you must understand: my childhood was spent exploring the ancient ruins and stone walls of my countryside, in a landscape of rock, damp spaces, and creatures unseen. I always sensed them, even at a very early age. I knew they watched my every move as I played among the stones in the heath. Now and then I would turn quick enough to see one – a sheerie, merrow, leprechaun or a selkie – a split second before they morphed into their disguise of a sheep or jackdaw.
You’ll do well to remember that Irish mythology and folklore tells of many a strange and beautiful creature. I would be a liar if I did not admit falling under the spell of those entities which were now before me in the herbarium processing room, for they reminded me of the sidhe of my youth, their presence of which I cannot explain or express in terms of science. Whether or not you believe me is of no concern. I experienced full well the day’s events, which continue as follows.
Hypnotized and in awe of the head, I was unable to do anything but watch as the jerky, determined movements of a vine gripped the handle of the upright drying apparatus and twisted it. The door opened and out fell the flattened, dried body parts of a human being, all contained within several plant presses and segregated by layers of absorption paper and cardboard. Over the collective body escaped a grey cloud of blood-and-flesh-scented smoke that lingered in the air and clung to the ceiling like a small colony of bats. I fell forward and struck the ground in a spray of sick as the living plants leapt and maneuvered their way around the presses, pulling at and loosening the straps that were tightened around the presses.
At this point I ran toward the exit, but an unseen force slammed the door shut. The head, now enraged, hovered directly in front of me and turned bright red, crackling and giving off an aroma of burning leaves. Nearby, the plants pulled apart the straps of the presses, loosening the boards and letting spill out the flattened body parts, by now which I recognized as Dr. Smith by way of the watch still attached to his flattened arm.
After a collective effort the plants soon had Smith stacked in neat little piles along the processing table. A saw, dripping with blood, lay in the sink, and this I figured to be their method of disassembly. Now, no piece of the man measured more than twelve inches long, eight inches wide, or two inches thick. He had been cut into dozens of specimens of standard herbarium size.
I turned back to the head. It now hovered above an open drawer – the location of the archival specimen paper. The head rotated and looked at me, it eyes blazing. I understood what it was telling me to do.
I will not speak of what came next. Suffice it to say that Dr. Smith can be found in a scientifically proper place among the collection: in the cabinet bearing the newly affixed tag Homo sapiens.
I realize the disturbing nature of this act, but please bear with me as I conclude.
After finishing my assigned task I fell into a chair, overcome by despair. The head swirled and flitted about me like a butterfly, its complexion pulsating with the majestic greens of Ireland. I must have pleased it.
After a few moments the head, along with its “minions,” returned to the box in a strong inhalation of heath-scented air. The lid slapped shut and the box righted itself. It was as if nothing had ever happened.
What followed next was a failed attempt by me to destroy the box with fire. This merely enraged the head. Bursting from the box, it chased me to my office where I slammed the door seconds before it could catch me.
And those are the events as I remember them, those that have led to my current situation. Do not judge too harshly my role in the aforementioned events. What I did, I was forced to do, was obligated to do. You must understand that there is no innocent man here. Not by rule of man, gods, or the worlds between us. Violations have occurred, and examples have been made of mortal men not by any law of my own. You see, there are ancient things; beautiful, ugly, and unknowable things. There are entities born of love and hate, of emotions beyond the scope of mans’ senses. And with them come rules of conduct, of co-existence and of boundaries. They have tolerated much more than you will ever know. The time has come when they will tolerate no more.
I must now end my letter, knowing very well that the legitimacy and sanity of my discourse will forever be in question. This I cannot change. But I am grateful to have given our side of the story, to have shared with you the existence and purpose of the otherworldly head. I hope you come to realize and understand its truth. For the sake of mortal men, you must.

Kieran O’Hara
Herbarium Manager

I fold the letter once and place it upon my desk. I am now ready to enter the next chapter of my existence.
Uniformed men break through the door, weapons drawn. They close in like wild-eyed wee folk and ancient curses manifest in flesh. And that god-like head spills in among them, blinding yet beautiful in its brilliance, an essence of all that is earthly and strong, sacred and trusted.
It will show me its secrets, let me witness the deaths of entities forgotten, of deities never known by man.
The head stares at me through the advancement, kinetically jangling my eyeballs in their sockets. All goes red. I foam at the mouth, charge ahead with scissors. Gunfire breaks my bones, shatters the windows. The head grins with leafy mouth, timeless eyes.
Men are standing over my body, their necks wriggling like maggots. I cough blood. Laugh in the heath-scented air.