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September 23, 2018, 11:11:13 PM
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Author Topic: Written Anything Lately?  (Read 3062 times)
Dark Alex
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« Reply #15 on: January 26, 2018, 11:30:30 AM »

Chapter One: An Interview.

   It was an early March night. Rain had been falling constantly for weeks now, but the streets were lit by electric lights. I preferred the old gas lamps, several years gone now alas. Even as a boy I had always had a deep interest in all manner of bygone times which had led onto an abiding interest in what other men referred to as the occult. As I grew into manhood my thirst for the unknown ancient secrets in no way tempered by time. I had joined The Society to further this knowledge, seeking to drink deeply from the well of their expertise. I had thought to learn the forbidden secrets of the universe. Alas I had found its members to be a bunch of dull boors who had no real insights. All except Lewis that is. He was some years my elder, although not yet of middle age. He knew more about what the dark corners of this world in just his little finger than all the other poseurs in here combined. I had carefully cultivated his friendship over the past few years successfully. But whenever I broached the subject with him he would merely tell me “Be careful Trevor. Knowledge given and not earned burns”, then he would smile enigmatically and change the subject.

   If it hadn’t been for Lewis I would have quit The Society long before. Like the other members I would gather around him when he chose to tell his stories. How he’d debunked some haunting, or exposed some charlatan psychic using only his greater knowledge of the mysteries. Every word fascinated me. Indeed the man was considered a terror amongst so called mediums that only the bravest or most foolhardy of them would step foot in our city for fear of being exposed by him, leaving our fair city free of their irksome antics. Except one. An old woman, I assumed was a gypsy. She would often ply her trade in the street outside this very building. Lewis studiously ignored her most of the time except one when she bothered him asking if he wanted his palm read and I had heard him cry out “Away with thee Spurinna!”

When I had questioned him about her he told me she was just a harmless fake trying to eke a few coins and not worthy of his attention. I wondered if that was her name, or some reference I had missed. Whatever the reason I had become so used to her asking to read my fortune every single time I passed her, that she had very much faded into the background like some piece of street furniture.   

   As Lewis entered the room the usual bunch of sycophants crowded around him to welcome him to tonight’s meeting. It was the eleventh of the month, when prospective new members would be vetted. Lewis had expressed an interest in interviewing the prospects. This in itself was noteworthy. Although a Senior member, and thus entitled to attend all selections he had never to the best of my knowledge ever been present at one before, beyond his own initiation, although it would have scarcely have surprised me if he had been admitted without one.

   The crowd around him gradually thinned and seeing an opening made my way over to him bringing him a glass of his favourite brandy. He greeted me warmly, his ice cold eyes glittering. Lewis was a man of strong Nordic features, broad shouldered and tall. In defiance of current fashions, he wore his yellow hair to his shoulders and stood a little over six foot. It was rare not to see him in the style of clothes he wore now, habitually dressed in black from head to toe. All in all he made an impressive figure.

   New applicants were interviewed in what we called the round room, although in truth the room itself was square. It was named after the large table that filled most of the room. It was in the shape of a letter ‘C’, but the ends curved around until they almost touched, leaving but the space for a man to walk into the circle inside with runic symbols inlaid in gold around its edges. The twenty one Seniors sat in their chairs around the outside of the table while prospective new members would be escorted in to stand in the middle while the Seniors quizzed him on the extent of his erudite knowledge. The Seniors would then vote yea or nay. I must admit I felt incredibly curious as to whom, or indeed what had piqued his interest. The round room itself was of an impressive size, although unfortunately decorated in the Rococo style that I find so detestable. It could accommodate the great table easily, despite it being large enough to seat all 21 men around it comfortably. It was hand carved from good English oak and with a lustrous deep polish that made it appear far darker.

   Lewis took a sip from his brandy. “Trevor, you’ve been interested in what I do and what I know for quite some time. How’d you like to be my attendant? I’d like you to see what happens tonight and get you involved. If you are still game for it of course?”

My heart leapt at his words. Not because he’d asked me to be his attendant, which normally was a sign you were being looked at for promotion within The Society to Senior, but because he was offering to let me deeper into his world. I stammered my acceptance, blushing at my awkwardness.

When the Seniors took their leave to start the interviews, I followed behind them into the round room. I hadn’t been in there since my own days as a prospect. Gathered together like this, the Seniors were then known as the Council of Solomon. It was exactly as I remembered, only this time I was no longer impressed by it. Around the room were portraits of all the Seniors of The Society. It has to be said that most of the men in the pictures were still those sat around the table which had told me much of just how ancient this club truly was. As I looked around it for only the second time I felt a twinge of shame that I had once found this place intimidating. The Council took their seats, each of the twenty one, all of whom had an attendant behind them. Attendants were present at the meetings of the Seniors to learn the higher mysteries of The Society, but I had long since learned that they had no such real knowledge to impart. There were six applicants. The first four prospects entered, but Lewis much to my surprise showed no interest in any of them, affecting a somewhat bored air. He asked no questions and abstained from the first two of the votes and the fourth, only voting yea to the third when the others reached a deadlock. When the fifth entered however, Lewis sat bolt upright in his seat ramrod straight. As the man walked to the centre of the room Lewis leaned forward, and steepled his fingers, then watched the newcomer carefully. He was a man was of slightly shorter than average height, no one you would notice in a crowd initially, but on a further inspection he seemed to have some indefinable quality that held my stare. Both his eyes and hair were a dark brown, although the eyes seemed a glittering black from this distance and he had the air of a scholar about him. The instant he had entered the room his eyes had roved around the room, then stopped, looking right in our direction. Throughout the entire time his glance never flickered anywhere else in the room, nor as I was to realise later had he once blinked. He stood there defiantly surrounded by the great table with no sign of the nerves his predecessors had obviously felt. Several Seniors asked him questions. He easily answered them all leaving me in no doubt that he had a much deeper insight to the subject than those quizzing him. All the time he kept his eye’s staring straight, fixedly towards Lewis and myself. Lewis I have no doubt was returning his stare with the same intensity.

The rest of the Council were bringing their questioning to an end and I began to wonder if Lewis was going to say anything at all, when he finally spoke up. He lifted himself out his chair and stood up to his full height, obscuring my view of the applicant until I was able to silently shuffle to one side sufficiently to see him once more.
“Excuse me sir, but what was the name you gave again?” asked Lewis, a slight hint of mocking in his tone.
“Andrew Octavius. Doctor Andrew Octavius actually.”
Lewis seemed to digest this for a few seconds, and then spoke again “And may I enquire as to what your doctorate is in, and where you studied?”
“I am a man of letters in medicine. I studied at Edinburgh, and the Sorbonne.”
For some reason I thought I picked up a slight quiver in his voice, as if his previously imperturbable facade had cracked a little. He seemed excited though rather than nervous.
“I find this a little strange sir. I have not been able to track down any records of an Andrew Octavius at any of those fine institutions, although I did find that a man matching his description had received a diploma from a little known medical college in the land of those ungrateful colonials. Specifically the part known as Massachusetts. Before such institutions were forcibly closed by the American government in 1912 they were of course known for sending out medical doctorates by mail to completely unqualified so called doctors for the payment of a fee. The name of this man was however Robert Blake. As a strange coincidence, a man by the very same man was just last month denied entrance to the Freemasons in this very city. I believe the reasons for this denial were connected to his acquaintance of Crowley.” At the mention of this name a low murmur ran through the assembled Seniors, but Lewis continued, “around the time of his expulsion from that jewel in the crown, India. Sir, I suggest you are a fraud and a fake and I have no hesitation in recommending to this august assembly that you be denied entrance henceforth and immediately.”
I thought I saw a quick flash of anger in the man’s face before he hissed in reply “And what of you sir? A pompous popinjay who knows nothing of the true world that he merely stands on the edge of. Toying with fakers and con-men while pretending to know something of the true arts. I could show you things this very night that would blast your sanity and leave you a drooling lunatic on the floor. Damn your eyes for a mountebank!” As he spoke his voice raised in volume until he shouted the last. He then spat on the floor, turned around and stormed out. I had to stifle a laugh as the old men around the room sat in shock, Powell’s monocle falling from its perch to clatter noisily on the wood and the others with gasps and exclamations of shock and surprise, unaccustomed to such outbursts.
Inclining his head to his fellow Seniors, Lewis spoke with the tones of a conqueror “If you will excuse me gentlemen, I believe my contribution to tonight’s proceedings are now at an end. I wish you all a good night.” He strode from the room, ignoring the questions arising from the room. “Trevor, if you would care to accompany me.” Remembering my role in tonight’s proceedings I made a somewhat undignified scramble after him, almost falling when my foot caught on the chair before me and opened the door for him. I had to almost jog to catch up with Lewis. “You know Trevor, that simply was too easy. He made no attempt to defend himself or deny my accusations. I expected more.”

Stuttering I asked him how he had known all this about the man and why he had come tonight?

“Well that is simple dear boy. I had heard of a cult ran by a mysterious Dr Octavius in this fine city some weeks ago. I have been investigating them since. Indeed I almost missed this gathering tonight. I only just made the train back from Edinburgh where I had been checking his claim to have studied there. My accusation of him lying about the Sorbonne was an educated guess as I had no time for a return trip to France. As to his name, I must confess finding that out was a simply down to” and his voice dropped down to a whisper here as he continued, “breaking and entering into his quarters. I found his passport. The customs stamps on it revealed to me when and where he had been travelling. Thanks to the wonders of the modern telegraph I was able to employ a private detective in the United States to find out more of his history. Believe me my good chap, what I presented before the Seniors tonight was the merest hint of what I’ve uncovered about that man. I feel his presence here tonight however had nothing to do with him wanting to join The Society. I’ll wager 100 guineas that he has been alerted to my investigations and came here tonight to see who his enemy is. Why, his stare never wavered from my direction from entering until her left. His followers espouse some sort of end times philosophy. I have taken a fancy to exposing this chap as a faker, revelling his activities to the authorities and having him banished from our fair shores and indeed the entire empire post haste. I have done this several times before as you well know, but if you are still interested in learning more, I’d like you to accompany me in my investigations this time!”

I could hardly contain my excitement as I gladly agreed to begin what I was sure would be a grand adventure. I could not bring myself to think of this rogue by his real name however. Octavius seemed more appropriate for such a villain.

« Last Edit: January 27, 2018, 05:30:08 AM by Dark Alex » Logged

There is a secret song at the center of the world, Joey, and its sound is like razors through flesh.
Dark Alex
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« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2018, 05:56:51 AM »

Chapter Two: Investigation.

   Lewis arranged to meet me at eight o’clock outside The Society the very next night where I was to accompany him. As usual, the old gypsy was there and I waved her off impatiently as she once more tried to sell me her dubious wares. She returned several times and was proving quite vexing until very much to my relief Lewis arrived.

We were to travel near the docks, and investigate a warehouse that Lewis had learned our so called Dr Octavius had been seen entering frequently. Such an area was a blight on the city, well known for its population of Doxies and Footpads. No respectable gentleman would be caught there, preferring the services of the Toffers available elsewhere for the monied who indulged such appetites. I had expected to take a Hansom, but Lewis told me such arriving in that part of the city by cab would attract most unwelcome attention. It took quite some time before we reached the docklands. Drunken stevedores staggered around, easy pickings for the fallen women who would rob them of every penny as soon as they passed out drunk no doubt. The unlucky ones would find themselves with a case of the French Gout to boot. Unfriendly faces watched us as we strolled through the city, but Lewis seemed to take no notice. He walked as if he knew the way intimately but our top hats and fine suits marked us as strangers to this part of the city.

   Gradually I became aware of footsteps behind us as we walked. No matter where we turned they seemed to stay behind us. A light rain started to fall, drops splattering on the cobblestone streets. I tried to subtly attract Lewis’s attention but either he was so intent in where we were going he was oblivious to all else, or he was ignoring me. Although the street we were walking along was broad and well lit, many dark alley ways branched off between each grey, blocky warehouse. The sky was invisible behind the heavy clouds that continued to rain seemingly without end.

   Finally we turned a sharp corner, Lewis slightly ahead of me. As I turned the corner, he grabbed me and pressed me against the wall, shushing me with one hand, which then reached into his pocket, and turned to face the way we’d just came from. Presently a ill-favoured looking chap hurried round the corner. He was heavyset and wearing the course, black jackets favoured by longshoremen. He had in one hand a wooden billy club. Evidently he had thought to take us from behind with it. His course features showed first surprise at seeing us standing there and then into an evil grin. With his close set piggy eyes and widely gapped teeth the man looked like some hired thug out of a cheap penny dreadful. He spoke, his voice heavy with the rough accent common to the lower classes “Well gent’s. Looks like you be a bit lost. ‘Ow’s about you just hand old ‘Enry here over all your readies and I’ll give you an escort back out o’ these ‘ere docklands?”

   As he spoke he tapped his club in the palm of his other hand. I made to dig out my wallet, but Lewis put his arm out to stop me as he drew something out of his other pocket. I could not see what he was holding, but the man’s face went pale, and he dropped his club from suddenly nerveless fingers before fleeing back around the corner. What strange unholy icon had Lewis showed him to frighten the thug so? In answer to my unasked question Lewis said in a low voice “Webley 38, a souvenir of my army days old boy. Comes in handy now and again.”
   That a man like Lewis would carry a gun surprised me. I had always imagined him being able to deal with any threat no matter how dire with more… obtuse methods. Still the knowledge that he had such a thing was somewhat reassuring given our recent encounter.

   “We are nearly there. I thought it best to make sure we weren’t followed any further. I doubt he was in the employ of Octavius but best to make sure. I’d been trying to lose him for a while and yes, before you ask I was aware of you trying to warn me we were being followed. I didn’t want to let him know that I knew however.”

   Feeling slightly foolish at assuming Lewis would not have picked up on him as well, I fell back instep beside him as we walked on. “We must retrace our steps a little. I’m afraid I took us on a more circuitous route trying to lose that mugger.”

   Rain was starting to drizzle inside my coat and I pulled the collar up. As stylish as they are, top hats did not seem to be the most practical thing in the world, neither for sneaking around unsavoury areas unnoticed or keeping the rain off one’s head. Rather than sticking to the more open streets Lewis took to the narrow alleyways with an assured stride that made me think he knew these backstreets better than any gentleman ought to.

   Finally we arrived at our destination. A large red brick building that looked to me eyes to be indistinguishable from the many others in this part of the city. We approached from what appeared to be the rear of it, where a solid looking door with a heavy padlock stood. I was amazed that Lewis had been able to lead us here so unerringly. Carefully looking around to check no one else was around, he silently slipped through the rain to the door and removing a dark package from an inside pocket, he removed what I gathered to be a lock pick set and went to work on the padlock. I stood, surprised again at this unexpected talent. My belief that I understood who Lewis was seemed to shaken more and more with each passing moment. Seeing my expression Lewis muttered “One does not simply call on the powers of magic and risk one’s soul without good reason. If you can find an easier way to accomplish something, then you should do it. An unwary magician is one who attracts all manner of unholy attention to himself.”

   Slightly abashed I kept quiet while he concentrated on unlocking the door, hoping no wandering constable would come by and find us apparently engaged in nefarious activities. My cloak was getting thoroughly soaked by the rain, and a trickle from the brim of my hat was making its way down my back most unpleasantly.

   Finally after some minutes that felt like hours there were three little clicks barely audible over the rain and I heard a triumphant “Yes!” from Lewis, he deftly removed the lock and, I noticed drew his revolver once more and he slowly opened the door. The squeaking noise it made I felt sure must have alerted anyone who cared to be listening, and my heart started to race, but no one appeared and I heard no alarms being sounded. Almost merging with the shadows, he slipped inside silently motioning me to follow him into the darkness. I swallowed my fear and stepped forward. Inside the first thing that stuck me was the smell. Damp. I could hear voices coming from somewhere within, although distantly and muffled. They sounded rhythmic and repetitive, but I could not make out the language never mind the words.

   From another pocket Lewis withdrew an electric torch. Its narrow beam was enough for us to see we were in some sort of back office. He illuminated a window that looked out over the warehouse floor which again I panicked at the thought that we were advertising our presence, but no one was keeping lookout as far as we could tell. Lewis moved across the office, picking a few random pieces of paper up off desks, but apparently seeing nothing of interest he discarded them. He looked out the office window into the interior of the building, and with a sharp intake of breath said “Trevor, come and see this!”

   Inside the warehouse floor another building had been constructed. Hidden from the world outside. It was squat and square. Extremely plain and as far as I could tell made from wood. I could see no markings to give any clue to its purpose but somehow foreboding radiated from it. Or was that just my nerves? They felt taut. I had never committed any crime before, never mind breaking into somewhere and I couldn’t help would other crimes I might be an accomplice to before the night was over?

   Lewis opened the door to the leading further inside the building, and whispered me to close the door we had entered from. I did so, but wedged a fistful of papers in place to stop the door closing fully should we need to make a fast exit. Lewis walked quietly and quickly over the warehouse floor, flitting from shadowy pillar to pillar effortlessly. I did my best to follow in his footsteps. I kept glancing around, but could see little of the dark recesses of the building. We made a full circuit of the wooden construct and found only one door. As we walked around I could tell the voices we had heard earlier were coming from inside. It was clearer now, some sort of chanting although I still couldn’t recognise either the words or even where in the world the language came from. Given the surprises I had already received tonight, I half expected Lewis to pull a can of oil out of his jacket and burn the edifice down around whoever was inside. Instead we returned to the one opening we had discovered. It was a plain and ordinary looking wooden door. Lewis gripped the handle and very slowly and very carefully turned it, then pushed it inwards, a soft light emanating from inside. We peered inside to make sure no one was on the other side of the door then I walked inside to the next part of the mystery.

   We entered a small room, best described as a cloakroom. Another door led from it further inside, and fortunately was closed. Sea green robes with hoods that covered the wearers face hung from pegs on the walls. The walls themselves did not look wooden from the inside, clad in dark red velvet with brass lanterns lighting the room. Lewis grabbed a robe, and seeing his plan I did likewise, took my hat off and donned one of the robes. The material felt expensive, although I could not identify the material. Smooth to the touch but somehow greasy. The voices seemed to come from the next room and I didn’t need an oracle to tell me what we were going to do next. Lewis cracked the door open and the voices flooded through. The words sounded strange. Nonsensical but yet not made up. I couldn’t see what was through the door, but he seemed confident enough to slowly open the door and slip through. Still nervous, but eager to see what lay beyond I followed.

   The next room was much larger. Indeed it must have occupied most of the wooden building. I could see many figures standing wearing the same type of robes as we had just donned. They all stood facing away from us towards an elaborate stage where a figure stood before an altar. The crowd was watching him and chanting the nonsensical words I had been hearing since we entered the warehouse. The room itself seemed larger than could have possibly been contained inside the construction we had seen from the inside. I put this down to some trick of the design and decorations to make it seem larger than it really was. Red silks covered the wall, and pale golden effigies of all manner of mystical beings unknown to me seemed to protrude on every available surface. The golden metal itself I thought must be some alloy I had not seen before for its unusual colour. The whole thing reminded me very much that disreputable and mysterious part of the city known colloquially as ‘China Town’, although the wingless dragons they favoured would be tame things indeed beside these monsters! The figure on the stage, whom I guessed must not only be a man, but indeed surely that cad Octavius himself. His robe was of the same kind of material and design of those worn by everyone else (and indeed at this point ourselves), but instead of having the hood up he wore some sort of mask. It appeared to be made of the same kind of gold as the statues and gargoyles around the room and designed in a fashion similar to the ancient Greek masks worn in theatrical productions, but with a fringe of tentacles around it’s outside edge. Octavius must be a wealthy man indeed to have financed the whole thing, from the hire of the warehouse, to building this… theatre… temple perhaps?

   My ruminations on the nature of the place were however interrupted quite abruptly. At final shout from the man on the stage all the cultists immediately dropped to the ground and starting writhing there in a most abominable and suggestive fashion. Lewis of course had followed suit with nary a seconds delay. Certainly not one long enough for anyone else to notice. I however was caught somewhat by surprise and stood there. The person on stage spotted me standing there, the lone person on his feet in a sea of supine individuals and cried out “INTRUDER!”

   Lewis moved his head around and on seeing me still standing squeaked in a not entirely manly voice “Oh bugger!” but nevertheless without pausing for a second he leapt to his feet as the others were starting to get up in a confused manner, pulled out his pistol and fired off several shots in the air. He grabbed my arm and propelled me towards the door while my mouth was still open in shock and wondering what to do. He pushed me through the antechamber and out into the wider warehouse before I even began to gather my wits and yelled “RUN YOU FOOL!”

   I needed no further encouragement and took to my heels, thinking as I did so how glad I was that I had left the door wedged open for an easy escape. I ran into the back office and barrelled into the door, sprawling over into the cobblestone road outside while behind me I could hear Lewis firing another couple of shots. Wither he was aiming at any pursuers or again firing into the air I could not tell. I picked myself up, tearing off the stolen robe as I did so and started running, Lewis close on my heels.

   Although I heard sounds of pursuit and the shouts of the searchers rang out through the night it did not take much to lose them in the maze of the cities underbelly. Despite the lack of a chase, my heart was hammering in my chest and I was out of breath. “Too… much sitting… around drinking brandy and… smoking cigars” panted Lewis, as out of breath as I was and still wearing the strange garment.
   “Oh damnation!” I swore.
   “What’s wrong man, have they found us?”
   “No, I left my hat and cloak back in that infernal box.”
   For some reason this struck the pair of us as hilariously funny and the pair of us were in peals of laughter as we walked back to more wholesome parts.

« Last Edit: January 28, 2018, 09:15:13 AM by Dark Alex » Logged

There is a secret song at the center of the world, Joey, and its sound is like razors through flesh.
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A good bad movie is like popcorn for the soul!


« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2018, 08:48:12 AM »

OK, I am intrigued!  Keep writing.
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"Carpe diem!" - Seize the day!  "Carpe per diem!" - Seize the daily living allowance! "Carpe carp!" - Seize the fish!
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Dark Alex
Frightening Fanatic of Horrible Cinema
****

Karma: 375
Posts: 2686



« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2018, 09:14:20 AM »

Chapter Three: Retaliation.

The next day I had an appointment with my fiancée, Evie. She was a few years younger than me and one of those girls who newspapers labelled a flapper and was a most thoroughly modern young woman, much to my frequent concern and dismay with her views on women’s votes and other such nonsense. I could not deny she is a highly attractive specimen of womanhood and a delightfully entertaining person to be around, however she, like any other woman had no conception of the deeper mysteries that I was so enamoured of, their brains being fundamentally unsuited to the study of such. While it was not quite an arranged marriage both sets of parents had actively encouraged us together. Frankly I found it bothersome and would have much rather have been able to spend more time with my books and research. While I was aware of the charms of the female of our species and the requirement for them in the propagation of our species I just had little interest in them compared to my chosen field. Nevertheless I played the dutiful son, giving our parents the expectation that our linage’s would be continued in due time. It is also of course, expected that a gentleman of polite society must marry after all. She had wanted to go see one of those kinema’s especially one called ‘Moriarty’, starring someone called John Barrymore. I demurred off going to see such a vulgar spectacle instead persuading her we should meet for high tea, pointing out that no one with a name as common as John could ever have any real talent. We met in Harrods for tea, a place I’ve always found a tad vulgar, but they at least have the good taste to keep a table open for my family name and Evie was delighted by the place for some reason. As much as I found her a hindrance to my studies I must admit that if one had to have a distraction, Evie was indeed a fine one and when with her I did not begrudge the time spent away from them. In between such times though I would not look forward to our next encounter with much enthusiasm. I was always careful however to mask such thoughts from Evie in the knowledge that as far as wife’s went she would make a fine one. She was excitable as usual and wanted to go to a dance tonight. Having gotten out of going to the kinema, I could see no way to avoid this equally terrible sounding fate and agreed with a fake smile stuck to my face. I gave her a chaste kiss and we parted ways, her back to her parents’ house and me to my own place where having missed out on any sleep from last night I planned on at least catching up on some before this nights exertions were upon me.

I returned to my house, glad of my parents’ money that allowed me to live in such style and pursue my interests without having to worry about anything as moribund as a common job. I climbed to the top floor of my three story house and entered my master bedroom where I collapsed into my bed and slept deeply, dreaming of strange green dressed men looking for me through the streets of my home city.

I awoke around two-ish. My little black cat Sabbat was sitting on my chest, rubbing his paws on his head. I had my man servant prepare a light meal and prepared myself for the night ahead. While I ate, I then had him lay out one of my less formal suits. I prefer to be properly dressed on all occasions but my best clothes are not well suited to the kind of dancing I would be expected to take part in later. I could not quite bring myself to dress as the other men did for these kind of places and of course it would mean a night of listening to some of that new Jazz music. It hurt my ears and sensibilities to listen to it, but such is the path of love apparently. There would be none of this however once we were wed. I would ensure that Evie was too busy with her household duties to engage in any such disreputable behaviour soon enough. I checked my desktop calendar. It was the Monday the 13th, and then with a heavy sigh got ready.

By six thirty I was waiting at The Candle Club, where I had agreed to meet Evie. As usual she was late (punctuality being something else I would insist on once we were married), so I was not particularly worried when she did not show. When the clock reached half seven however I had, had enough of the screaming trumpets and saxophones. Feeling very put out that Evie had not bothered to show (and not for the first time either) I determined to go to The Society. If Lewis was there I could at least speak to him about what he planned to do next about Octavius’s cult. Obviously he had established a large following in the city already, and as I thought of that it made a sudden shudder run down my spine as I realised the robed and hooded figures could be anyone from the lowliest beggar on the street to a member of the royal family themselves (not that I thought that one of them could ever possibly be mixed up in something like this, heaven forbid!) and we would have no idea, while thanks to Octavius I had no doubt they knew exactly who we were.

As I passed by Spurinna and she started her usual pitch I carelessly tossed a coin in her direction. She almost caught it, but it fell through her grasping fingers and hit the pavement where she dived for it and retrieved it. I had no idea what value coin I had given her, but if I got peace in return it was worth it. I was irritated with Evie first for persuading me to go to such a place, and then not having the good manners to turn up even late. Now I was heading to the club in less than my finest, without even a hat or cloak, my best of which to my chagrin must now be decorating the wardrobe of some ne’er-do-well. That the other members would see me like this was almost intolerable. The doorman opened the door of The Society for me, doubtless raising an eyebrow at my attire, but of course he would never say anything about it to my face.

I entered the main saloon and many looked at me strangely, although the anger writ on my face discouraged any from speaking to me. I spotted Lewis sitting by himself without his normal crowd of tiresome hangers on. He was in a high backed chair, facing the fireplace. The light from the burning wood played over his face lending him a strange and somewhat preternatural aspect. He was staring intently into the fire, watching the orange and red tongues dancing. A glass of his usual brandy was in his left hand and I’d have bet any amount of money the same glass had been sitting in his hand untouched for quite some hours. I walked over to him, not directly but taking a curving route so as to approach him from the front. The movement seemed to snatch him out of his revere and recognition flickered in his yes.

“Ah, Trevor. I did not expect you to be here tonight. Something wrong? You don’t quite look your usual debonair self, and you have a face that looks like you’ve had a terrible day.”

“Just irritated old chap. I had arranged to meet Evie tonight, but she failed to show or let me know she wouldn’t be able to make it. I spent an hour listening to the most infernal racket in a club full of bright young things.” I spoke the last three words with all the venom my contempt for such could muster.
“I have never understood what you see in that insipid girl.”

Unable to give him a good answer I indicted to one of the servers to bring me a glass and downed it in short order. We spent some time discussing our prior nights adventure and what we should do next. Lewis wanted to return to the warehouse at a time when no one else was around and investigate it further. I raised my concerns that perhaps after our visit the warehouse might be more closely watched and guarded, but Lewis assured me that he a way of visiting the region that would guarantee secrecy. He wanted to make certain preparations and advised me that I should look to procuring myself some sort of weapon just in case things went wrong again. Fleeing a second time would not be so easy. We had got lucky and lost them in the maze of buildings while they were surprised and confused. I nodded my assent and bid Lewis a good night, but he chose to accompany me to the door. As we said our goodbyes the rain started up once more. Seeing I had no overcoat, cloak or even a hat with me Lewis insisted that I borrow his. After all, it was only because I had joined him on his adventure that I was now without mine. I refused, but when he insisted eventually I relented. Whereas my own cape was black, Lewis’s stood out being a bright red colour. When he first started wearing it, it caused quite a stir with the fashionistas amongst our fellowship. Lewis however had a habit of doing his own thing regardless, and such was his standing that the rest of the world would make space for him and accept his little foibles.

I bade him farewell as he lit a cigar and stood in the rain, once more apparently sinking deep into his own thoughts. His cape was of an excellent quality for all its garish colouration and I pulled it tight around me for warmth and to keep the rain off.

Spurinna was still standing at the corner of The Society House. I passed her by, glad that the money I had given her earlier bought me peace and quiet from her now. As I went to cross the road, ignoring the dark side street to my left I heard a cry of “That’s ‘im, get ‘im!” and something hit the side of my head hard. I collapsed to the street and felt many painful impacts as if someone was kicking me hard and repeatedly. Somewhere far off it seemed I could hear the screams and wailing of an old women as again and again hard blows pounded against my body. The blow to my head had left me dazed and confused to what was really happening though I could not seem to gather my thoughts enough to muster any kind of defence. I felt more than heard a sharp snapping noise and thought “Oh, I think my rib just broke.” A particularly fierce blow to my right side caused me to fall over from all fours, onto my back and I could see three men, working class types by the looks on them. For some reason they appeared to all be kicking me, although my shock numbed brain was taking this in as if watching it dispassionately in the third person. I looked up at the sky and could see a few stars shining through gaps in the rain and glow of the moon behind the clouds. Such a nice night to die drifted across my mind. I could see one of the thugs had a knife and I wondered casually if he had stabbed me? I certainly didn’t feel as if I had been stabbed. As my consciousness started to fade, I saw a figure I recognised. It was Lewis. Had he come to say goodbye my wretched mind wondered? Did he know these chaps? He floored the man with the knife with a haymaker and then stamped on his arm, breaking it. Even in my state I shuddered a little at the sickening sound as he reached down, grabbed the hand and violently wrenched it to the side. The thug screamed, high pitched. I giggled thinking how he sounded like a woman shrieking at a mouse, and spitting some coppery tasting blood from my mouth as I did so. The second man turned around to face Lewis, his surprised face reminding me a little of the would be mugger from last night. Still bent over, Lewis charged him, ramming his head into the man’s lower chest and forcing the air from his lungs in a mighty whoosh. He collapsed backwards onto the ground trying to catch his breath, winded and wheezing. The third man dropped back a few steps, moving into the classic pugilistic pose favoured by bare knuckle fighters. Lewis matched him, moving crabwise in a circular motion to close with the last man left on his feet around the writhing man with the broken arm. The thug threw a punch aimed at Lewis’s face which he dodged by leaning to one side, then hit the man with a one two combination striking his ribs with his right fist and temple with his left. I thought “Oh that’s nice, I wonder how he learned to fight like that?”, and drifted off into the welcoming arms of unconsciousness.

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There is a secret song at the center of the world, Joey, and its sound is like razors through flesh.
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« Reply #19 on: January 29, 2018, 04:18:23 PM »

Chapter Four: Siege.

When I awoke, the first thing I noticed was the extreme pain I felt in. My head ached most abominably and every breath I took felt like I was being stuck with red hot pokers. I was struck with a wracking coughing fit that caused innumerable explosions of pain across my chest.

“Trevor old boy! You are awake. You had me worried there!”

Lewis stood over me, dressed as I had last seen him. I sat up, my hand gingerly exploring a large lump in the back of my head. I slurred my words slightly as I asked what happened, then as I did so the memories came running back to me. The three men in the street!

   “Relax”, said Lewis “The police arrived shortly after you passed out. All three of them are currently locked up behind bars. Hired thugs I daresay. They must have saw you wearing my cloak and thought you were me. Whatever Octavius is up to, he most certainly wants us off his trail.”

“So I am beginning to see.” I replied ruefully.

“If you have had enough old boy, I’d understand if you wanted nothing more to do with this.” I realised Lewis was offering me an honourable way out, but I refused. I was more determined than ever to see this through. “Where ever did you learn to fight like that?” I asked.

“I boxed a little at school, and during the war I managed to become the regimental boxing champion. It’s stood me in good stead once or twice through the years. Those men were no more than hired heavies I suspect, and no doubt by the time our good law enforcers are finished with them, the beating they took off me will seem like naught but a pleasant memory. Enough of them though. As you see your chest is bound. I think they cracked a few ribs. You are badly bruised under those bandages as if your face and of course you have a large lump in the back of your head, but I’ve seen worse. You’ll be back on your feet in the morning, although I’d wager you’ll not be dancing with Evie for a week or two.”

Evie… I remembered the missed date, and wondered where she was.

“If you have no objections old boy, I’ll stay here tonight and keep an eye on you. I’m sure you’ll be fine but just to stay on the safe side.”

“Of course”, I muttered “I’ll have my man prepare a room for you.”

“No need to put yourself to any trouble. He has long since went home for the night. It’s past midnight. I’ll find a blanket and sleep on a couch for the night.”
As he said this I felt the irresistible pull of Morpheus on me again and drifted back into the comforting arms of sleep.

I awoke again at some strange hour in the morning. A dim light came through the window, not the yellow of a bright dawn, or the dull grey of another cloudy morning. It was a strange low white. I gingerly stood up, mindful of my aches and pains, which had at least abated somewhat from earlier. I wondered if Lewis had used some supranatural form of healing on me?

Hobbling over to the window, I looked out. A thick mist had descended and I could not even see the houses on the other side of the street. The mist itself seemed strangely luminescent, unlike the orangey pea soupers I was used to seeing. My eyes happened to glance downwards, and it noticed it was strange that I could see the street three floors down. With a sudden start I noticed that in the street itself were a dozen or more figures stood just outside my very house, all of them wearing those same green robes I had saw in the temple. I turned quickly to go awaken Lewis, then stopped as waves of pain and nausea washed over me. I leant heavily on a nearby table, caught my breath and then moved off again. Luckily I did not have to look far, as my house was a veritable maze of rooms having been added to and expanded over the years long before I moved into it. He was sleeping on a divan just outside my room, his gun at his side. I carefully woke him up so as to not find a bullet wound to add to my injuries. I whispered to him what was happening and immediately he was alert and awake, swing his legs over to get up and moving to my room to look out the window.

“I am sorry Trevor, I thought by coming here I would help keep you safe but I appear to have put you in mortal dan....”

As he spoke, he was interrupted by a loud crash. “They are breaking down the door!” I exclaimed.

“Quick Trevor, grab those two lamps and follow me.” He pointed to a pair of bedside oil lamps and ran to the head of the staircase while I collected them. “Are you insured old boy?”

Before I could answer, he took a box of matches out, lit both lamps and then as the first cultist appeared at the bottom of the stairs he launched the first lamp. It crashed to the floor at the figures feet and almost instantly a wreath of flames was climbing up his robe. The man screamed a most unholy sound and tried to run in a panic, bouncing off other walls and disappearing from our view. I hoped he would run into his companions and ignite them too. Certainly my carpet was now aflame too and it had not escaped me that we were now trapped upstairs. Then it also occurred to me that this was my house these men had broken into and that Lewis was trying to burn it down! A shot rang out, and I guessed that Lewis was now firing his pistol. Then I noticed Lewis was preparing the other lamp and the invaders were firing up at us. I decided to hell with the house, grabbed the lit lamp from Lewis and threw it so it would break on the landing below where they were standing. “Good man Trevor. Now let’s find a way out of here before it becomes an inferno. Where is your attic?”

I led the way down the hallway and opened a door at the end. Behind it a set of rickety wooden steps led upwards. We climbed up them, my body protesting at even this mild exercise. My brain however had the casting vote and decided it was moving. I went up first and Lewis followed, bolting the door behind us when he noticed it had a solid iron bolt on it. The attic had a skylight and on seeing it, I suddenly had a very sinking feeling, one that was confirmed as Lewis ran over to the window, opened it up and climbed out. He motioned me to follow.

With an expression which must have announced my disbelief to undiscovered tribes in darkest Africa I nonetheless walked over to the window and tried to lift myself up and out the window.

As I lie here in the shadows of the graveyard, I laugh as I think of how painful I thought that was. The laugh comes out as a liquid gurgle. I am sure my throat is no longer quite working the way it should. Oh, how innocent I was then, yet here I lie only one night later in much greater agony that I could have ever imagined before. Still I don't think it would have provided any comfort to me to know that an even greater pain was lying ahead. I had thought my ribs were broken after the beating I took outside The Society. Given I can see them now sticking through my skin I have no doubt of it now.

There! One of them has spotted to me and the burned out shell that used to be a man beside me. He shouts to the others. Not long now… Oh but how those few moments seem to stretch out for an eternity of agony. I sink back into my recollections, wondering if I will have time to finish them. When they do find me though, I can assure you things would not go exactly as they expected.

Gasping with pain I heaved myself up and over the window ledge. The feeling as I pulled my protesting body over the wooden frame was overpowering, and but for Lewis taking a firm grip of me I am sure I’d have lost my grip and slipped down to crash to the street below. Surely I was meant for greater things than such an ignoble death?

Outside the heavy mist still lay like a suffocating blanket over the city and I could see nothing beyond a few feet. Inch by inch, lying on our bellies we made our way down to the cast iron guttering (and oh how every movement had ached, but we dared not moved faster on the rain slicked tiles). Our feet found purchase on them as we lay on the tiled roof and made our way over. I could hear pounding coming from inside the house. Evidently the raiders had gotten past the fire on the stairs and were now trying to get through the heavily barred door. Fortunately the door was of an older type and at least two inches thick, with a correspondingly heavy bolt. I had no fear of them getting through it any time soon.

I followed Lewis having no real idea of where we were going. I assumed he meant to break the skylight of the neighbouring house and escape that way. Like so many things about my friend I was to find my assumption proven wrong. He hissed “My feet are at the downspout. We must climb down it to the street below, but be quick and careful. It is not designed to take this much weight.”

My eyes practically bulged out of my head at that thought. I watched as he slowly made his way to the backwards. His feet and legs disappearing over the edge, then followed by his torso as his hands gripped the iron pipe that would be our salvation or damnation depending on wither it held or not.
I made my way to where Lewis had vanished and copying him, I started to edge my way over, all the time being acutely aware of the distance to the street below. A voice in my head treacherously informed me that I’d most likely land on the spiked railing around the front of my house rather than be killed by an impact with the street. I did not thank it for that thought.

Not being as agile or unwounded as Lewis it took me a little more time to get over the edge than he did. Of course my body screamed at this unused to torment and my body betrayed me a further time by involuntarily looking down at the ground. Lewis was already more than half way down the pipe, shimmying down at quite a rapid pace that I would be alas unable to match. Hand over hand I made my way back to the safety of mother earth. My arms strained and my chest felt like it was being ripped apart by the exertion, but on the other hand I was keenly aware that the alternative was decidedly more unpalatable to me. It was with some gratitude that I reached the ground though. Lewis bade me sit a moment and recover while he leapt over my fence with ease then stood in front of my door, less than six feet from it. I could see that flames had already spread throughout my house, the flickering flames lighting up the strange mist from all my front windows. He stood opposite from my front door. Not for the first time this night I wondered what the hell he was doing?

One of the cultists came running out my broken door, Lewis raised his revolver and aimed it. I expected him to demand the man’s surrender, but an infinitely loud BANG rent the night air, and the man dropped like a stone. A second, third, fourth and fifth retort followed as the rest of the survivors of the inferno that had quickly taken hold tried to escape. I was dumbfounded that Lewis had stood there like a statue with no emotion showing on his face and gun down five men in cold blood like that, but the proof was in front of my (somewhat swollen and blackened) eyes. “Quick, we need to get out of here now in case any more are around. We’ll contact the police later and explain it all. After you were attacked earlier I have no doubt they will understand.”

We half walked, half ran through that strange fog. Sounds seem to come from every direction and at any moment I expected more robed figures to lunge out of it at us. Evidently Lewis shared my concern, as while he helped support me as we lumbered to his lodgings he took the time to reload his deadly gun.
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There is a secret song at the center of the world, Joey, and its sound is like razors through flesh.
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The world becomes a dream....


« Reply #20 on: January 29, 2018, 05:18:11 PM »

Well done, Alex! Keep it up.
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How shall I greet thee? With silence, and tears."

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Dark Alex
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« Reply #21 on: January 30, 2018, 01:54:21 AM »

Chapter Five: Preparation.

Despite my condition and the events of the night, I was eager to actually see where Lewis actually lived. He liked his privacy and no one else in The Society seemed to have any real idea what part of the city he stayed in never mind the actual address. If there had been a large gothic castle in London I would have supposed that was his abode.

I was not sure what to expect, but an ordinary grey stone building was most assuredly not on my list. As I entered half walked, half carried through the door, I saw a hallway that could have been any one of thousands throughout the city. As if sensing my disappointment, he gave me a half smile and said “The good stuff is up the stairs. You can peruse it at your leisure when you are healed.”

I gave a weak smile as he helped me into his parlour where I collapsed into a comfortable chair. Lewis left the room to go find some blankets, but I was fast asleep once more before he returned.

I was now getting used to waking in pain and this day was to be no exception. I looked around, taking more notice than before of the room I was in. Indeed it did look like any other such room until you looked a little closer. A small bookcase full of leather bound books stood against one wall, much as they would in any gentleman’s study. Further inspection however revealed titles that no ordinary man would have in his possession. ‘The Golden Bough’ was perhaps the most ordinary title amongst them. Where another man might have knick-knacks around his room from his travels, all Lewis’s seemed to be icons of religious significance, some I knew others I could barely guess at.
I started a little as Lewis entered the room and dropped the trinket I was examining, a brownish thing, dried up and shrivelled. “Ah, the little finger of an African witch doctor. I got that back in ’09. Interesting tale I must tell you about some time. I thought I heard you up and moving about. I have been making preparations. Tonight, we must try to stop Octavius. Whatever he has planned must be at an advanced stage for him to risk such an open attack on us and the interest the authorities will now have. Do you feel up to finishing this?”

“I am not sure I could fight an army”, I replied ruefully, “but I am fit enough to walk, yes and run if it is needed.”

“Good man. I knew there was something special about you.”

My spirits lifted at his confidence in me.

“I guessed you had no time to procure yourself a gun, so here take mine.”

He pressed his revolver into my hand. It felt surprisingly heavy. Perhaps that was as it should be. After all it carried the weight of the five souls I had seen him shoot last night… and perhaps more before that? I felt dirty. My clothes were still those I had been wearing when I had been attacked outside The Society and bore many rips. When I mentioned this to Lewis he said it was just as well for where we were going it was just as well to wear clothes whose destruction would not trouble me overly. I stood up, my body still protesting but not as much as I had expected. I was willing to bet under my clothes though much of my skin would be covered is sickly looking bruises. I asked Lewis for a pen and paper to write a letter to Evie. Should we both disappear after the nights adventures I should not want her to think I had simply decided to leave her without a word. I did not go into great detail of why, only that I was engaged in some business of great import and if I was not seen again then it was not for want of feelings about her. I doubted she would truly understand, the minds of women being given to too many flights of fancy and feverish imaginings of all sorts, but it might bring her some comfort. I spent much of the rest of the day resting, and practising with his revolver once Lewis set up an improvised shooting range in his basement. I was by no means a crack shot by the end of the day, but I had gotten used to its recoil. I was not however sure that I could point it at a man and kill him without a second thought the way Lewis had, but perhaps I could scare a few if the need came. Lewis had procured himself a replacement weapon from his collection of oddments. It was a sword cane, with a silver head in the shape of a wolf. He gave it some practise swishes to get used to its weight and feel. A hearty meal had been prepared for us although I saw no sign of any others in the house. I assume there must have been some somewhere, as Lewis had been with me most of the day and besides, what gentlemen would denigrate himself so as to prepare his own meals?

The rest of the day passed in such a manner. By the time the night fell I felt ready and as excited as I had on the night that Lewis first asked me to join him.
I stood, taken aback for a second. That night although only four days ago seemed so ancient, so long ago… Almost as if it was another man’s life entirely. Curious. I was also coming to realise that Evie meant much more to me than I had hitherto realised and as I wrote my note to her I felt a curiously warm feeling in my chest.

After we ate, Lewis disappeared upstairs for a little while, coming down dressed as, dare I say it? A commoner. A mixture of dark grey and black clothing complete with a cloth cap. I went to go up from the basement when he stopped me. “Oh no old boy, tonight’s fun starts here.”

My quizzical expression faded into one of shock and more than a little horror as Lewis retrieved a crowbar and used it lever up a heavy iron grating in the floor. “Tonight, we travel by sewer!”
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There is a secret song at the center of the world, Joey, and its sound is like razors through flesh.
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« Reply #22 on: January 30, 2018, 02:11:39 PM »

Aaand at last the final chapter. And I don't mean that in a Friday the 13th or Saw kind of final way.

Chapter Six: Revelation.


Lewis handed me a pair of gloves and told me to wear them rather than risking touching anything down there with my bare hands and bade me watch out for sewer rats. He climbed down a later and I heard a small splash as he reached the bottom. Urgh, a noisome stench was already making its way into my nostrils and I did not relish the idea of travelling through such a place. Nevertheless my course was set, where ever it might take me. I tied a handkerchief around my mouth and nose in the hope the lavender water it was washed in would mitigate the worst of the smell.

Cautiously I climbed down the hand grips into the tunnels below. “Welcome to London beneath Trevor. A chap can get to anywhere in the city from here. Why I’d wager if you took a mind to it one could even rob the Bank of England blind from down here and not be discovered for weeks. Bless Queen Victoria for having these built.”

Somehow I did not feel quite as grateful to our previous monarch for these man made caves as my companion was.
He headed off in what to me could well have been a random direction. I resolved to keep close to him as I had no wish to get lost in this underground maze and since he had the only electric torch, without Lewis I would have nothing to light my way.

“Be glad old boy that the rain while constant has been fairly light, or we’d been wading through this lot waist deep.” Once more it seemed as if Lewis was able to read my thoughts.

Lewis seemed just as at ease here as he was when we explored the warehouse district, or indeed as he had on any night at The Society. I began to wonder if there were any circumstances that he would find himself uncomfortable.

For seemingly endless miles we trekked while just a few feet above us life continued much as it had for hundreds of years. I felt somewhat claustrophobic though and could not but help to wonder what would become of us should the sewers suffer an unfortunate collapse. Hearing the occasional squeak that I attributed to rats, although I never saw even a single one did not help me feel any better. Indeed my head seemed to swim in a similar fashion to the one time I had overindulged in the fruits of the vine. When I awoke the next day the axis the world span on apparently had settled on me for the room would not stop spinning and I was endlessly sick all day.

I am shaken out of my memories and am forced back to the present. More cultist’s have arrived, enough to carry me back from this sailors graveyard, back to the temple. Six of them stand around me and wordlessly they lift me up onto their shoulders. I am still losing blood and have no strength left to resist. They are oddly gentle with me, caring almost. My third and final trip to their hall of worship to all that is unclean. Soon I’ll be seeing my old friends and family once again. That thought is quite bitter and catches in my ruined throat. My breath comes is wheezes and gasps. I wonder if my splintered ribs have pierced my lungs? Every breath is like drinking liquid fire. They will pay for this, all of them. I promise myself that I will take revenge on every one of them, and I’ll make it hurt too. What had happened back in the graveyard was merely the first of many.

Somehow though my mind seemed determined to retrace the steps that brought me here, as if it could see where it had all went wrong and could somehow change that one moment and alter how it all turned out. My mind reaches back to that time, not even an hour ago before it all changed…

Lewis stopped at the base of an exit from the sewer. He looked up and turned his torch off biding me to be quiet and make no noise. In the darkness I could hear him moving. I assumed he was climbing up the handholds to peek through the grills of the manhole cover to check if the coast was clear. I then heard the grinding of metal on stone and a whispered hiss of “It’s all clear. Come on up.”

He shone the light down so I could see what I was doing. Of course I made the mistake of looking straight up at the beam and had lights dancing in my eyes for the next few minutes. On exiting the manhole I realised we had come up right inside the very warehouse he had been looking for. By God, the man’s sense of direction was incredible. We’d covered half the city underground and came up exactly where he meant to be. The wooden structure was still there just as I remembered. We carefully crept over to the door, my fingers running over the comforting feel of the cold gun in my jacket pocket. There were no sounds of chanting coming from inside this time. It sounded as if just as planned we had found a time when none of its worshippers would be present. As we reached the door, the entire room was suddenly plunged into bright, bright light. I put my hand up to shade my eyes, still with an after image from the lantern. On the second story of the warehouse was a balcony over the offices and a walkway around the edge of the main floor. Cultists, hundreds of them! They lined the balcony and walkway looking down at us. The figure in the elaborate mask was standing in the middle of the balcony and addressed us in a strangely reverential tone. “Welcome sir, you had no need to come skulking in like some thief in the night. You would have been welcomed with open arms. After all, without you we could not possibly complete tonight’s ceremony. If only I had been told you were going to be here there would have been no need for me to prepare my little surprise that was designed to bring you to us.”

Other than recognising the voice as being Octavius’s I was somewhat taken aback by this turn of events but Lewis, his mind operating like lightning said quickly “They must have guards outside! Quick in the door and we’ll hold them off. Use the gun man!”

From out of the shadows, behind pillars and the sides of the temple more cultists appeared, slowly walking towards them. I shrieked, pulled out the gun and fired it at the mass of people slowly walking towards us. The first bullet took someone in the head. I could not see the wound from the front, but the back of his head exploded, splattering those around him with blood, then his body collapsed on the ground. I stood open mouthed for a second in shock at my actions but the crowd continued to close in on us. I shrieked again and emptied the remaining five bullets into them. At this range I could hardly miss and although more bodies fell, it did not stop them coming. Lewis grabbed me by my coat and pulled me into the antechamber with him, slamming the door shut. He took the gun from my trembling hand, reloaded it and gave me it back. “Good man Trevor. We are not done yet. We’ll hold them off in here. Kill enough of them and they are bound to break, or if not there is bound to be some secret way of escaping from this place!”

He started piling the benches from around the room behind the door. “Not much of a barricade, but it will slow them down. Thumps against the door told us they were trying to break it down. I pointed the gun at the door and fired blindly. I must have hit someone, they were too tightly packed not to, but I never heard any cries of pain. Unfortunately in our panic and surprise we had overlooked one vitally important thing.
There were two doors to this room.

The inner door opened and more cultist began to flood in. My gun was empty, but I grabbed the barrel to use it as a club, only to find the barrel painfully hot to the touch and dropped it. Lewis whipped out his sword cane and took the first through the door in the throat, then slashed another across the face, his hood parting to reveal a blood stained face, blood pouring from a gash running from his eyebrow to his chin, then his sword cane was knocked out his hand and he resorted to his fists. I managed to knock a couple down. They seemed determined to take us alive and conscious, and the press of numbers was pushing us back. More and more got into the room. I was knocked to the floor and the weight of several others held me down as helpless. Lewis lasted a few moments longer until he at last was also pinned down.

We were prisoners of Octavius and I suddenly was very glad that I had wrote that good bye letter to Evie.

We were manhandled into the main room and dragged up on stage. A cold shock spread through me as I realised the letter I had written to Evie would now never even be read by her. I now knew why she hadn’t turned up for our date at the jazz club. She lay on top of the altar, her hands and feet bound securely to it and a gag stuffed in her mouth. Undoubtedly this was what that fiend had meant went he spoke of a surprise to bring us here. Both myself and Lewis renewed our struggling on seeing her but even if we won our freedom we’d simply have been overwhelmed again. The whole time since Octavius has spoken not one of the cultists had made any noise, no threats or cries of pain. Strong men held our arms securely and seeing as it was of no use to wear myself out any further I calmed down, looking for a better chance to escape. We were bodily dragged until we stood before the altar. Poor Evie stared up at me, her eyes filled with tears and panic begging me to rescue her.

The crowd of cultists around us parted creating a clear path back to the doorway, and Octavius walked into the room, slowly clapping. “Well, well, this has went so much better than I expected. If I had sat and planned all this out, I couldn’t have made it happen any easier. I must thank you, if it hadn’t been for your interference two decades of planning might have went awry. So much could have went wrong, but you kept it on track quite masterfully.”
Lewis spat “What do you plan on doing with us you blackguard?”

Octavius raised an eyebrow “With you? Why nothing. But then you were never important to my plan. It was dearest Trevor we needed. And you brought him right to us. I must say it was a remarkable stroke of fortune that you chose him to accompany you into that interview. I needed to see him to be sure he was the right one and everything had went as planned. We had our people watching him. His whole life and longer in fact. Twas not you I was staring at that night at your infantile Society, but the man behind you!”

“But… but…” For the first time Lewis seemed speechless and lost. “You almost killed him twice.”

He turned his intense stare on me and sighed “Yes, I am afraid I must apologise for that. Overzealous minions I am afraid. I can assure you my lord, that the men responsible have been appropriately punished. Did you think that the men were looking for you Lewis? That I would employ men who would be confused by two men switching cloaks?”

As he said the last he whipped one of the red silk drapes back, revealing three bodies hanging from hooks built into the ceiling. My eyes widened and my mouth dropped in shock. Each of them had been skinned from head to toe. “It was not hard to bribe the police into letting them go. I promise you they suffered as few men before them ever had before they died and did not die until every inch of their flesh had been flayed from their quivering bodies. I have kept the skins as a reminder to the others not to get quite so… ah hah enthusiastic when carrying out my orders. I would have punished the men who attacked your house similarly, but you already dealt with them… my lord.”

“STOP CALLING ME YOUR LORD”, I screamed.

“But you are… my lord. You are the one promised to usher in the end of the world and promote us all to new immortal forms. It is why we have done all this. Perhaps though I am not the one to tell this story.”

He glanced down at Evie. Surely she wasn’t part of this.

“Since you have already had one touching reunion, perhaps we should have some more. Everyone, remove your hoods.”

I was not sure that my heart could take another shock, as the cultists took their hoods down. I gasped as I recognised many of them. My bank manager, some of my private tutors… people whose faces I recognised but couldn’t put a name to, even Powell, the senior who had dropped his monocle not four nights ago was here. The last two to unmask were the biggest shock of all. There stood my mother and father!

My father climbed up onto the stage, an strangely kind look on his face. “You see son, you were conceived in a special ritual one Walpurgisnicht and you were dedicated at that moment to those who wait in the times between moments. It was always intended that your body would be the gate that our master would re-enter the world through. And of course in gratitude, we will all be richly rewarded.”

“Father!” I gasped. Even given my current predicament no man likes to hear his parents tell him of how he came to be.

“For what is about to happen son, I am sorry. I cannot imagine it will be a pleasant experience, but know that me and your mother have always loved you and will be here for you always afterwards.” His hand brushed my ruffled and messy pair in a very affectionate gesture. My mind whirled with shock and terror. I could barely comprehend what was happening. My entire existence was some sort of sham? And what was Evie’s part in this? Seeing me staring at her, Octavius spoke again “Do not worry about that one. She was just something to keep you in the country. We were worried you might decide to continue your studies overseas. She served her purpose admirably in keeping you close, but had no knowledge of us. I think you shot her father outside, curiously enough. I don’t see him in here now.”

At this Evie let out a stifled sob and quivered trying fruitlessly to break free of her bonds.

“Now as much as I enjoy a good chat, we have a god to summon and you have a universe to consume, alas we do not have all night.”

He started chanting in more of the unknown language we had heard on our previous visit, each line repeated by the massed throng around us. As he started speaking it felt as if red hot wires were suddenly burning through my brain. My body arched violently as I was shook with uncontrollable spasms. The words sounded maddening and I begged them to stop, I wanted the sweet release of death like nothing else I had ever wanted before, but the words continued unceasingly, echoing strangely in my head. I started to understand the words in my head and screamed even more as I came to understand their meaning and the horrible fate that awaited me. My throat was raw with the screams, which increased in pitch as my body was struck with increasingly violent jerks. Reason left me then and I howled with raw pain and emotion unable to articulate words any longer. My right side where my ribs were cracked, suddenly burst open, showering blood and gore over the crowd. They raised their hands in adulation as my life sprayed out of my body. I could see the broken ends of my ribs protruding from my body and oh my sweet God, the pain! Why couldn’t I just die. I could see the horrified expression on Lewis’s face which must have matched mine as from the hole in my side a gnarled lumped… something that was a cross between an arm and a crabs claw poked it was out into the unholy air. My howls and screams became a horrid gurgle. I somehow registered that Evie had passed out and would be spared seeing whatever happened to me next. My spasms had become so powerful that the men could no longer hold me and I threw them through the air like so much confetti. I could not form the thoughts required to use this to escape, or even control my body enough. I felt myself growing taller, everyone around me shrinking. The cultists were all staring at me in awe, becoming their god made flesh. My vision faded as my eyes rotted in their sockets and fell as so much dust, but I had other ways now of perceiving the world around me now. I could see the thoughts and desires of all those around me. All their petty hopes and dreams. Pathetic mortals. The arrogance of the such in thinking they could summon me and command me to end the world for them as if such things would ever run on a mortal schedule. I saw Evie and saw that she had actually truly loved me and it was not marrying for me for money, or because she had been manipulated. She was an innocent pawn in their scheme. Then of course I looked at Lewis. Not just at him, not even into his mind, but deeper in a way no human could ever comprehend.

And I understood.

Absolutely everything. All the secrets of the universe were finally mine. And I knew that Lewis was as big as fraud as anyone in The Society. He just made it look good. All the frauds he had exposed were exactly that. He had never knew anything of the deeper truths or experienced anything beyond charlatans. It was ironic that he had spent so much time exposing others who were exactly the same as him.

What had unfolded in front of his eyes had been too much for his mind and it had snapped. With a shriek and the strength of a madman he broke free of the men holding him, whose attention was on me as my body broke and reformed. Those on the floor were prostrate on their knees, chanting my praises, or like Lewis had not been strong enough to withstand my presence and were dribbling and drooling on the floor. Lewis fled gibbering to the exit and I lumbered after him, not caring when I stood on the head of one of my worshippers, splattering it open like an overripe grapefruit. My other foot crushed the chest of another, unfortunate enough to be lying where I stood. I could feel their life force leaving their body and greedily I absorbed it. I could no longer quite fit through the door so I smashed it down and followed Lewis outside. He fled away from my new wondrous form into the night still shouting unintelligibly. I crashed through the wall following him trying to call out his name mockingly, but my throat was changing too and the words sounded like the grating together of pebbles in my ears. He ran into the gates of a seaman’s graveyard, falling on the ground as he rebounded off them, leapt back up and scrabbled over them. I followed, tearing the wrought iron gates from their hinges with a single swipe of my arm. I was closing in on him with every step until somewhere in the middle of the necropolis’s I caught up with him. My new arm grasped him and lifted him up turning him around to see me as my face split in twain and my new glorious visage was presented to him. Still he gibbered and screamed incoherently, beating at me futilely with his fists. In a moment I decided what was appropriate. He had after all, always told me that knowledge unearned burned. It would be a last kindness to show him just how true that was. I touched his head with one finger and poured all my knowledge into his head. The secrets that lay beyond science, the blasphemous far corners of the universe where all laws of nature and physics were but playthings to the monstrous beings that dwelt there… my kin.

I like to think in those last few seconds as his eyeballs melted and his flesh burned he understood and was grateful for my gift. Still as his body burst into flames and I dropped him on the ground I took his soul as it fled his body. Perhaps some time I will stop torturing it enough throughout the eternities long enough to ask him? My body continued to be wracked by change. Now it shrank and the strength fled me. I had exhausted my power for the moment, although with time they would grow and this would be as nothing to me. I could feel that my body needed time and space to finish altering itself into a suitable vessel.

You know the next part of the story. How the cultist found me and were carrying me back reverentially to the temple. That would be a suitable place for me to enter a cocoon and finish becoming.

Before then of course, I would kill them all for their arrogance. One does not simply summon a god to do ones bidding and they would pay for it. As a small mercy it would be fast, but in those moments they would know pain greater than even I had sustained. Then after I had killed them as I said earlier I would need Evie more than ever. After all, changing into a new form is an exhausting experience and her body and soul would sustain me through it as I consumed her.

What woman could do more for her man?

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There is a secret song at the center of the world, Joey, and its sound is like razors through flesh.
Dark Alex
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« Reply #23 on: January 30, 2018, 02:13:25 PM »

Now, do I start posting up my next story yet or not? On the one hand I think it is funny, on the other hand it could be a bit controversial. Hmm, decisions, decisions.
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There is a secret song at the center of the world, Joey, and its sound is like razors through flesh.
ER
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The world becomes a dream....


« Reply #24 on: January 30, 2018, 02:55:18 PM »

Now, do I start posting up my next story yet or not? On the one hand I think it is funny, on the other hand it could be a bit controversial. Hmm, decisions, decisions.
You know I for one shrink away from controversies.
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Dark Alex
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« Reply #25 on: January 30, 2018, 03:22:19 PM »

Now, do I start posting up my next story yet or not? On the one hand I think it is funny, on the other hand it could be a bit controversial. Hmm, decisions, decisions.
You know I for one shrink away from controversies.

If it helps any I did write it using a pseudonym.
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There is a secret song at the center of the world, Joey, and its sound is like razors through flesh.
Dark Alex
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« Reply #26 on: January 30, 2018, 04:01:57 PM »

Ok, just for you ER, here is the first page.

GODSMACKDOWN!
By John Paul Pope.

It was going to be a good night. I could feel the electricity in the air, and not just because we had at least two gods of lightning in here.

In fact they were half of the opening match.

Jesus (special finisher chair shot, being a carpenter he made those chairs himself too, real expert craftsman. Technically using a chair was illegal, but the crowd loved it so we always let it slide) was sitting in the corner, taping up his hands. Those holes in the palms had to be a b***h in the ring. Still the man had been the hard-core champion for nearly two thousand years. Gotta give a scrawny man like him who could take that sort of punishment loads o’ kudos. Still he'd bulked up a lot since The Ultimate Warrior got here and signed up as his workout partner. Tonight was his big shot at getting the title back. Mohammad (finishing move, the Jiheadbutt) had been doing his heel shtick for months now, working the crowd up into a fever pitch against him and tonight was the big night, headline match. JC Vs Mohammad – Hard-core Hell In The Cell!

Thor and Zeus (both used the same what was basically the same finisher, The Fist Of Thor or Zeus depending on who was doing the punching) passed me by on the way to the ring, high fiving each other. Sparks of electricity danced between their hands. Say what you like about the old timers being old fashioned and not having modern flashy moves, but I respect the classics. I wished them luck. Odin (finisher Hanging On The Tree Of Knowledge – submission hold), was going to be the outside ring manager for the pair. They were up against Osiris (finisher, Planting The Harvest, a neat twist of a pile driver) and Anubis (finisher Scales Of Judgement, a custom backbreaker). Osiris had never quite been the same after a handicap match against his son Set and I think he lost his balls after it. I was never a close a follower of theirs. Found their animal heads a bit off putting and it limited their chances for promo slots and interviews, but still it was a great gimmick.

Jesus is a second generation wrestler. His dad (finisher The 10 Plagues, a series of submission holds. In fact the last time I’d saw him pull all ten was on the Egyptians and they didn’t submit until the last one. Talk about tough!) was big in the ring. In fact they used to be part of a three man tag team called the Holy Trinity, JC, God and the Holy Ghost. You didn’t see much of the Ghost around now though. Then again, he is invisible so I guess you wouldn’t. For the longest time I was amazed at how much like God, the actor Charlton Heston had looked like. Of course everyone has to change gimmick every so often to keep the fans interested and these days a different actor looked just like him. Think Morgan Freeman, only with muscles.
 
Ooh, showtime. The Celestial Choir started their singing “Ooooh oooh oooh oooh wooow wooow, THUNDER!” doing a damn fine imitation of AC/DC and ‘The Gods Of Thunder’ walked out. I could hear the pyrotechnics kicking in and the incredible pop from the crowd. Of course when you have the power of the heavens at your command you can supply your own pyro’s and damn impressive they were too. I liked to stay backstage for their intro though. More than once half the audience had been fried accidently with all the lightning flying around. They’d learned a lot from that guy from The Legion Of Doom when he’d gotten up here about being showmen. Of course their natural talent helped. There was a bit of confusion though when their opponents went to come out and Gangnam Style was played instead of their usual theme song, Walk Like An Egyptian. Still the guys were game and did their best to dance along comically, slightly at odds with their team name (AnNILEation!).

I love working with pro’s. Nothing sets them back, they just take things like this in their stride. Decided it was time to head ring side. I waved to Lucifer waiting to go out and do his referee thing. Poor guy gets a bad rap from all the fans just because God had a beef with him about some decisions he’s called in the past. I mean I’ve watched the tapes and only one third of his decisions went against the guy, the other two third were solidly in his camp. I guess some guys just really hold a grudge. Still, he is a pro and he knows it’s all just show biz. What a trooper. He said it looks like tonight is going to break records and I had to agree, this was going to be a truly special edition of GODSMACKDOWN!
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There is a secret song at the center of the world, Joey, and its sound is like razors through flesh.
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« Reply #27 on: January 30, 2018, 04:07:29 PM »

! No longer available Small | Large
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There is a secret song at the center of the world, Joey, and its sound is like razors through flesh.
Dark Alex
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« Reply #28 on: January 30, 2018, 04:30:55 PM »

Page 2.

Lucifer walked down to the ring, ignoring the chorus of boos from the crowd. He knows he isn’t the attraction here and he doesn’t try to milk it. Like I said, the old guys are really classy. As he enters the ring all four wrestlers eye him up. He issues his instructions and I ring the bell.

Zeus starts off with Anubis. The Greek has the advantage in sheer muscle and shows it, dominating the match from the start. He does some big power moves and the crowd loves it. The old ones are great to open a show with, always gets the audience up on their feet, even if they are a bit past it. The match turns after Zeus tags in Thor though. Loki was hiding beneath the ring, comes out and trips up his brother. Thor gets trapped in AnNILEation’s corner and the pair start double teaming him. Both do their finishers on him and he staggers around the ring then collapses to the mat. The crowd are on their feet roaring for him to get up. Osiris goes up to the top rope for a diving head-butt, and at the last second Thor rolls out the way and manages to tag Zeus. Zeus runs in and clears house. They grab Osiris and he gets a Fist Of Zeus AND a Fist Of Thor at the same time and it’s all over. Lucifer does the one two three count and raises The Gods Of Thunder’s hands in victory.

I gotta tell you, I wouldn’t want to be double fisted by those guys.

Next up, it’s Baron Samadhi (for his big move he spits a mouthful of Zombie Juice on his opponent to make them slaves to his will. It’s a bit ick if you ask me but it’s another fan favourite and he is always apologising to his opponents afterwards. Not that they know about it though once they are in that zombified state). He dances to the ring accompanied by his Loa Girls. The medium weights are not my favourite. The cruiser weights, well they have speed and incredible agility. The moves those guys can pull… I gotta tell ya, wow. The heavy weights, well they got all the big power moves and that is great to watch too, but the guys in the middle, well they’ve not got either. They do have to work that little bit harder to win the crowd over and that is there strength. Persistence.

Anyway, the Baron is dancing all over the ring with his snake. It used to belong to Jake Roberts, until Andre the Giant sat on the bag. Now he works our side of the fence and I tell you, that snake, Damien is another true pro.

The Baron goes all quiet as the house lights are turned out. Every soul in the place is in hushed silence and anticipation for a few seconds, then FLASH! BANG! Buddha (finishing move The Big Buddha Belly Bop) is standing there on the runway. Not the most successful in the ring, but a real crowd pleaser. He floats, sitting in the lotus position down to the ring, waving serenely at the crowd with a great big smile on his face all the down to ring side, then floats up and over the ring. He stands like a sumo wrestler, then wiggles his belly and does a truffle shuffle! No wonder they love him. The Baron starts before the bell rings, and runs in for a drop kick taking the big man high on the chest. He is staggered and is hit by a second and third drop kick pushing him back into his own corner. Baron Samadhi moves to the opposite corner, looking to splash on Buddha, but he moves out and the Baron smashes hard into the ring post. He recovers quickly though, sending Buddha to the ropes with an Irish Whip and then clotheslines him to drop him to the floor. A series of elbow drops kept him there.

Samadhi goes for the kill with a figure four and the big guy is in trouble now. The fans are on their feet screaming for blood, while Buddha drags himself painfully over the mat, his outstretched arm grasping for the rope. Lucifer is down on the mat beside him asking him if he wants to tap out... and he makes it. Samadhi is forced to release the hold, but he stamps on the back of Buddha’s knee as he gets up. The crowd hisses and boos, and Samadhi milks it for all its worth. That’s the good thing about all these guys divine powers, their injuries only last as long as the story line requires then bam, they just heal themselves up right away.
Buddha is trying to avoid putting too much weight on his injured leg, pulling himself up with the ropes. Samadhi smelled blood in the water and was looking to end it now. He comes running in for a high speed manoeuvre. I just know Buddha is going to be faking it and step out the BAM! NO! SAMADHI JUST CRASHED RIGHT INTO HIM WITH A SHOULDER BARGE THAT LOOKS LIKE IT HAS BROKEN BUDDHA. SOMEONE HAS TO STEP INTO THIS AND STOP IT BEFORE HE GETS SERIOUSLY INJURED. OH MY GOD!

A voice very much like Morgan Freeman’s says “Yes my son?”
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There is a secret song at the center of the world, Joey, and its sound is like razors through flesh.
indianasmith
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« Reply #29 on: January 30, 2018, 05:45:59 PM »

Must not laugh . . . must not . . . must  BounceGiggle BounceGiggle BounceGiggle BounceGiggle
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"Carpe diem!" - Seize the day!  "Carpe per diem!" - Seize the daily living allowance! "Carpe carp!" - Seize the fish!
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