Audio Field Notes of Private Detective Gerharii
Audio Field Notes of Private Detective Gerharii
I have just arrived in the Blue Mountains valley where Christopher Kitsume was implicated in murder. It is a remote, desolate place out of season when the tourists flee. The landscape remote in an oddly unnerving way. Wild. Grim. Spooky. Dark. Damp. Dire. Patches of forest alternating with bleak moors and icy rivers edged with rugged mountains which conceal hidden valleys and secretive villages. The trees huddle together like bony ghosts. The piercing wind is nonstop. Early spring is always the grimmest time in a place like this.
The few patches of fresh green grass and flowers are obviously struggling amidst melting snow and ice. Life comes late here just as winter comes early here. It makes one wonder why anyone ever wanted to live here. Life must have been unbelievably hard back then. It must still be unbelievably hard. The rivers are becoming swollen from the thaw but are still icy and deadly if one should slip on the melting ice shelves. There are few bridges other than crude stepping stones. The fords are precarious for outsiders without the local knowledge. There is only one paved road and it is slick with deadly ice. The railroad is remote. Buses are few. Automobiles are fewer outside of the tourist season. The lack of traffic and transportation accents the curiously disconcerting quality of the remoteness. As if accenting the remoteness. Giving the remoteness an odd patina of fear somehow. My motorcycle is the sole inhabitant of the road. Other than some wild dogs. Or are they wolves? The fields are empty otherwise. It is as if I am the only living soul here. And that is somehow unnerving in a way I cannot explain. The sky is grey and oppressive and the wind howls continuously. I hear the dogs, or are they wolves, howl in the far distance. I feel so unexplainably depressed, as if someone has just walked over my grave.
I check into a remote B & B hotel where Christopher Kitsume and Lledrith Bane stayed. Not the same room. Another. It is small, cramped, and dark at the top of twisting stairs. It is a working farm which hires out locals to baby sit tourists during fishing and hunting season. The hotel is actually a converted farmhouse expanded over some centuries to also feature hotel rooms and a pub for the locals. So there is an helter-skelter quality to the ‘Wolven Arms’ as well as intense age. It is rugged stone and timber. There actually is an old carving of the arms ie runes of the long ago owners over the threshold. You need to take two steps down because of the age of part of the oldest rooms. The windows are small. The beamed roof is low. There is no quant antique fakery like places in the Heartlands. No touristy brass and such. No attempt to woo tourists. No attempt to be loveable. In a way it is all form and function. The function is to tolerate tourists during fishing and hunting season. The form is the minimum required to host unwanted tourists who are tolerated for the money they bring. But only tolerated for the minimum money counterbalanced by the necessity to endure the unwanted. In sort: the inhabitants are the type who don’t endure fools gladly.
A roaring fire burns in the large fireplace but casts little warmth. The pub is dark. The massive oak counter is much carved with graffiti as well as the damage of centuries of hard drinking. The locals peer at me over the tops of their glasses as silence descends when I enter their drinking territory. Why am I here off season? So needless to say I stick out like a sore thumb. I try to chat up the bartender. I drop the name of the local archeology dig to try to justify my presence. The bartender does not buy it. He surveys me with suspicious blue eyes. ‘You don’t look the type. The bone diggers stay at another hotel which they have taken over.’
‘Yeah but I am writing an article on the going ons. You know….’ I said to try to tickle some gossip as well as justify my presence. Intriguingly, it works.
‘Just so you don’t write about the other goings on’ the bartender replies as he mans the counter. One gnarled hand wipes the battered counter with a rag. He has the most amazing blue eyes but the blue eyes don’t hold me with awe.
He is obviously referring to the Blue Mountain Murders but it is intriguing that apparently the remote Cave Dig does apparently have something going on. So I buy another lukewarm beer and ask ‘Why isn’t anyone else here asking about the Cave Going Ons?’
The bartender cleans the battered counter with a rag in his gnarled hands. He does not answer. I feel the eyes of the suspicious locals bore into the back of my neck. Odd but the valley yokels all have the most amazingly blue eyes. Inbred probably. A gene pool as shallow as their valley is remote. I slip a gilda note out and place it on the counter. ‘I need something for my rag. Anything. I am a stringer and I have been coming up dry with tales. A hack’s life is hard.’ The bartender wipes the counter with his rag. Then he sweeps the gilda note into his pocket and shrugs. ‘Count the deaths of the diggers from that there university. The bones kill.’ I drink my beer in silence as the fireplace crackles. It is the only sound in the dark room.
I have discovered that my smart phone can only take dictation and photos for field notes but there is absolutely no reception whatsoever for wifi or contact with the outside world except for Saturday night. The night is cold and dismal. I wait until everything goes very quiet and then pick up my torch and quietly slip out into the hall as if to going to the loo. Then I locate Room Three. I check. Per the register I am suppose to be the only guest so Room Three is empty and unlocked. I slip inside and close the door. Then I survey the room with my torch. It is the room where Kitsume stayed as he went mad.
It is small and cramp. The one small window looks out over a desolate moor and a remote prehistoric monolith illuminated by the almost full moon. It seems more creepy than romantic for some reason. Per my field notes Kitsume apparently raved about the evil omen of that monolith. Apparently Kitsume damaged the room as he descended into madness. His second nervous breakdown no less. Unfortunately his psychologist has given me little to work on. But being cheap the B & B owners did the minimum to refurbish it. I find many carvings in the old wood left by Kitsume. Mysterious mathematical equations. Patterns of numbers repeated over and over. Kitsume was a PR shill. Not a mathematician. And anyway. The patterns of numbers bare no remote connection to coherent mathematics. They seem to be rather supernatural in nature. The ‘female’ even numbers are carved to stress their ‘womb’ quality. The ‘male’ odd numbers are carved to stress their phallic quality. I find 555 repeated over and over. There are also horoscope symbols. Astrology. Bahb the Triad Goddess of War. She is the goddess of war and death. The goddess of reckless valor in midst of danger. The goddess of blood sacrifice. The goddess of the intoxication of violence. The goddess of madness.
Apparently the Blue Mountain Murder sites often feature bloody hand prints and bloody scribbles of astrology. ‘The Zodiac Killer’ was how Kitsume was described when he was the hot suspect. I suspect the astrology is Bahb the Triad Goddess of War. But I also suspect there is another more systematic bloody message being kept secret by the police to out copy cat killers along with one anomaly which a tourist gossiped about: ‘Adri’ or some such word. I peal off the damp wallpaper crudely retrofitted to survey the wall. Over and over and over a shaking hand has scribbled ‘The bones are drinking our blood’ and ‘The bones need more blood’ and ‘The Gods need another sacrifice’. There is also one shaky scribble which says ‘He does not know about the doppelganger which follows his footsteps.’ I take photos and then pull out a vial of glue and paste the wallpaper back over the evidence of Kitsume’s descent to madness.
I study the limited notes I was able to ferret out of the psychologist for Kitsume and also the few police notes I was able to ferret out of the very closed mouth police back at The Havens. Clearly the case is ongoing and someone or something is being covered up pending the final resolution of the case. So the twins Kitsume killed were simply two tragic corpses in the complex pattern of corpses which leaked out when some of the killings occurred during the tourist season and a tourist, an outsider, become one of the corpses. Clearly the Blue Mountain Murders have been occurring for far longer than anyone has publically acknowledged. After breakfast, unexpectedly good by the way, I make my way across the fields to the monolith which I saw drenched in moonlight from the window last night.
It is a massive barrow or exposed tomb. The five massive greyish blue stones are stacked in a primeval way. Originally they formed the entrance to the tomb. But the almost nonstop winds and erosion has worn away the earth to expose the stones. I stroke the cold damp stones sculpted by the winds over eons. Then I survey the wild fields from the hill. The remote farm where the murders occurred could be clearly seen. Per the few murder notes I could procure, Kitsume first murdered one child from that remote farm in a field barely thirty feet away from the farmhouse. Then he swept up the other child, the twin of the first tiny victim, and carried the boy here to this monolith to slay him.
I return to the crudely stacked stones. One stone is stacked or fallen in such a way as to form a sort of accidental altar. I survey the stony surface but without ultra violet I cannot find traces of the blood which originally dripped from the tiny corpse or the bloody message which apparently was traced on the stone. The bluish grey stone declines to speak to me. Only the howling wind hints of the nightmare which occurred that long ago night. I again survey the remote farm with my binoculars from the hill where the monolith is placed.
The question is this: why did Kitsume kill the first child by climbing up the back wall of the two story stone farm house. How did he know where the twin three year old children’s bedroom was located? And then why linger in a knoll of wind swept trees to watch the poor parents cry out for their lost child, running out into the fields to search for their poor wee bairn, then sweep up the second child and carry it off to sacrifice the tyke at the monolith? Even for a madman it makes no sense. Why not kill both children at the same time? Why leave one child behind to watch the murder from his bedroom window and cry out to alert the parents? Why risk arrest by hovering about? Why risk arrest by watching as the parents shouted and cried in the night as they waved their torches to desperately find the missing child in order to belatedly sweep up the second child?
Obviously the second child was a witness to the murder of the first child. The second child must have woken sleepily to realize a shadow was sweeping his twin brother through the window as if a dream shadow man. The second child must have rubbed his eyes sleepily and watched bemused as the ‘shadow man’ carried off his brother to the moonlit field to slash the poor wee bairn’s jugular. Only then did the second child fully wake up and cry out confused as if waking from a nightmare. Only then did the parents realize one twin child was missing, the window open, moonlight flooding the tiny nursery. Then they rushed out crying. Not sure if the ‘shadow man’ was a dream or real or a nightmare or a real kidnaping. Then Kitsume risked all to slip into the remote farmhouse and kill the huge guard dog. Climb the stairs to the nursery. Sweep up the second child. And carry it back here to kill the poor wee bairn on this improvised altar stone. But why not kill both children at once? Why kill them at different times and at different places? Surely he should have known the second child would be a witness? So why not kill both children at once? Why kill the first child in a field near the farmhouse? It was during a full moon. He would be seen. Why not sweep both children here to sacrifice them? Why only sacrifice one child here? Why the time delay between the first and second killings?
It meant he was too tardily arriving back at the B & B at dawn. Covered by blood. In the bathroom trying to wash off the blood. When found by Bane he explained he was trying to kill himself. Then he did try to kill himself. When Bane tried to stop him from slashing his own throat Kitsume cried ‘You are not to blame for this! I did this! You are not to blame for this!’
And why did Bane try to cover up Kitsume’s attempted suicide but not tell the police or the B & B owner after he heard about the child murders? Instead, he kept Kitsume in the bedroom and kept trying to ‘nurse’ him as he descended into obvious madness. And why did the police keep ruling Kitume out as a painfully obvious suspect? Something about ‘video’ and ‘motion detectors’? Kitsume was the obvious suspect! So why did it take the police over a week to grill the then obviously insane Kitsume? Instead, the police kept grilling Bane. My client. And most oddly: the police said three souls died at that tragic farmhouse. Who was the third soul who died?
I gossip with the bartender with the amazing blue eyes about the ‘Bone Killers’ while trying to fish for intelligence. Locals drift in with their families. Many with large hairy guard dogs. Working dogs I suppose. It is Saturday Night. It is, I gather, the only night remotely resembling entertainment night. During the evenings the B & B turns on their miserly ration of wifi and internet access for two lousy hours. Why ration the satellite dish? But there it is. There is also an antiquated jukebox as well as an obsolete large, boxy TV set, the type used before flat screens, to show video movies. So Saturday is apparently family night.
I watch as the pathetic Saturday family night rolls out is wonders. Old video movies. An expanded menu. Root beer as well as beer. Ginger ale as well as warm ale. Popcorn. Home cooked sweets. Games. Everyone kicking back and enjoying themselves on their one obvious social night out. Small tykes on the floor playing with the family dogs. I watch from the back of the room. So many inbreds with the same intense blue eyes. And oddly, many of the family dogs also boast blue eyes. I guess they are sheep dogs. Those herding dogs which are suppose to be so smart. Some watch me as if I am a sheep to be herded. Or else a suspicious wolf they are compelled to protect their families from.
Then they come. I watch the tragic family come in. They have a new baby but I am sure it is only an emotional bandage for the loss of those twin tykes. A huge dog too. Herding dog? Hunting dog? I can’t tell one dog from another. The pathetic evening unfolds. Then I watch as one by one the families break up and disburse back to their remote farms. Dogs and tykes in tow. I follow the tragic family as they walk home with their replacement guard dog, a huge thing, pulling their farm cart with their baby along with a pie and bag of sweets and fresh pastries and dog bones to usher in a casual Sunday morn so the mother can focus more easily on cooking her big meal of the week without having to worry about breakfast as well. The B & B obviously has worked out the needful things of the locals no less than the tourists during the season. See the niche needs. Mass produce with slightly better kitchen equipment. Service the local market. I have to admit the B & B cook is very good.
I follow the family from a distance effortlessly. The moon is almost waxing. I watch them and their huge dog enter their tragic farm house from a safe distance. Ironically from the same knoll where the murderer watched. I watch them as the light turns on in the nursery. I can see them put the baby to bed with binoculars. A different room of course from the now tragic nursery. But it is clear that Bane or Kitsume could have selected the tragic family during the Saturday night entertainment and followed the tragic family home effortlessly. Seeing that they walked to the B & B it meant their farm would be the closest. Then Bane or Kitsume just had to wait for the tragic family to drift off to sleep before commencing the brutal murders.
The only question is this: the bloody markings found by the two murder sites. Messages written in each child’s blood. Kept under seal by the police of course. But apparently the bloody markings were different. How? What? Unknown. It is apparently and ongoing investigation. But it is not hard to guess.‘The bones are drinking our blood’ or ‘the bones need more blood’ or ‘The Gods need another sacrifice’ or else simply the rune for Bahb the Triad Goddess of war, reckless valor, human sacrifice, and the intoxication of violence. Madness in the grip of violence.
But does that prove Kitsume is the killer? One killer? Copycat killer? He was ultimately accused of being a ‘copycat’ killer. Innocent by way of insanity. But why copycat? And why not accuse Kitsume immediately? Why did the police keep interviewing Bane? And what about the anomaly scribble in the room about something about a twin doppelganger? And ‘He does not know’? Who is ‘he’? Is ‘he’ Lledrith Bane?
My moonlight stroll across the moors means I have sacrificed my access to the ration of wifi until the next Saturday evening. It is vexing. So are the fragmentary notes I was able to harvest before motorcycling here. It is clearly still an ongoing investigation. So Kitsume was indeed a ‘copycat’ killer. But not the real killer or killers. I spend the day motorcycling to the Cave Dig where the Bone Collectors harvest their priceless bones. I recognize the cave as a famous fifty plus year archeology and fossil site. But it is heavily fenced off and secured by video cameras and motion detectors. There is a Mannax Gate. That is odd. Mannax Gates warn the unwary that there is dire supernatural or paranormal danger present.
There are a heck of a lot of video security cameras and motion detectors. But then I remember that this is suppose to be a world famous cache of priceless bones. One of the greatest bone caches in the world. Some fossils can bring millions of dollars on Ebay sales and millions of pounds at Sothebys. The bone black market is notorious. But still, there is a hell of a lot of security. And why that Mannaz Gate? But clearly no one can casually waltz in to purloin bones. But apparently Bane did just that. Obviously. But why? Is my client a black-marketeer? A crook? He claimed to be fishing nearby in one of the icy streams. And why wasn’t Kitume seen by any motion video cameras or motion detectors?
So I go to the hotel which the diggers have ‘taken over’. The Lupine Arms. It is much larger than the miserable B & B I am staying in. Over fifty plus years of patronage by university archeologists and fossil hunters the establishment has the Lupine Arms into a huge affair. Three satellite dishes. Conference hall. Media rooms. Huge garage and parking lot. Every luxury expected by outsiders. Even a gym and spa and heated inside swimming pool. I waltz right in. The lobby is busy. The dig is a 365 day a year operation. Everyone is coming and going. Wifi of course! No rationing here! Full access to everything your smart phone might desire. I sit in the lobby and pretend to be waiting for a conference or meeting or something. People come and go. Sit. Get up. Mill around. I order a coffee and blend in. Then a group merges into a media room so I mill right in. One hour later I am dead bored by the latest bone discoveries of this terror bird or that mammoth. But I pretend to take notes and appear industrious. I listen to people as they mill about between speakers. And finally I score!
‘The bones have killed again’ one bone digger whispers. ‘I don’t know if the perks outweigh the dangers.’
‘Who went mad this time?’
‘Yeah. Insanity is contagious. Too contagious.’
‘Yeah but your career is golden if you can score the bones.’
‘But the bones kill.’
‘The bones just drink the blood. You know what kills.’
‘It is all the same dire thing. The authorities are concealing the extent of the horror to the ignorant and complacent public. The University is getting rich from the bones. Tourists come by the thousands to admire the bones. And no one knows the cost. The human cost. The blood and madness. Bahb is reveling in our greed for bones and prestige. Blood and gildas. Morally speaking this operation should have been shut down after the very first murder….’
The next speaker silenced my eavesdropping. Finally I slip out to access wifi for my smart phone. I leave a message with my client Lledrith Bane who has now become my suspect no less than a dead man. Why did Bane hire me to investigate a dead man anyway? Unless Bane is worried if the police still suspect him and if Kitsume’s spectacular nervous breakdown is no longer covering his arse. I investigate the University with my smart phone. The University of The Havens is reaping millions in the bone cache. And after fifty plus years the best bones are still being harvested. The cache is apparently bottomless. Ice Age. Not Mini Age. Whatever that is. Apparently the bones are literally maintaining the University. So the University has every vested interest to keep the Cave Dig going. Official reports are banal. Curiously banal. So I surf the internet for gossip. Rumors. Superstitions. Urban myths. And I find it.
Urban myths festoon the Cave. Rumors of deaths among the bones. Accidents. Murders. Insanity. Sort of like the King Tut rumors. A curse or something. I focus my investigation on the first year of the dig. The names of the first diggers. Then I investigate probate records. Births and deaths. It is tedious but I am tenacious. Laboriously I connect every single name of the first diggers to a trail of suspicious deaths. Either diggers. Fatal accidents. But too many fatal accidents. Clearly suicides. Or else murders. Or else deaths of family members. Murders. Or else nervous breakdowns. Many after murders. There are way too many deaths to be a statistical anomaly. Hence the King Tut rumors of a curse. A curse which apparently usually just seems to slay the bone harvesters. Like the King Tut Curse only slaying the White interlopers. Not the local Egyptians. And what bothers me is why Christopher Kitsume was apparently not caught in security video or on motion detectors. But Lledrith Bane apparently was.
I wait until late night. Then I drive my motorcycle back to the Cave Dig. The famous bone cache. I park my motorcycle in a knoll of bony trees and walk back. Curiously, despite the full moon, I can not see the Mannax Gate. But I can see the security cameras and motion detectors. But being the professional that I am I slither into the cave with my smart phone to take pics. It is a piece of cake. It is as if the bones want me to come right inside …..
My client is becoming hysterical. I cut off his increasingly irritating messages. He has become so unimportant. What I am discovering is so much more important.
I study the names in the B & B register as I wait for Saturday. I gossip about them with the bartender. He is chatty about the guests. Atypical guests. Not fishermen or hunters. Quacks he calls them. New Age quacks with their crystals and Harry Potter wands and pentacles and spells during the full moon at the monolith. Pathetic Mundanes trying to invite themselves into the elite club of the genuine Shadowy Ones. The bartender is dryly contemptuous. One gnarled hand pausing in his wiping of the counter with a rag to drawl out his scorn of their delusional narcissism in that ruggid twang of the self reliant Blue Mountains. I ask him how long his family has lived here. The Blue Mountains. He chuckles ironically. ‘Since the first moment my ancestors decided to walk upright’ he replied with an odd smile.
‘I thought this valley was empty for some centuries?’ I ask.
He wipes the counter with odd gestures as if forming runes with his rag. ‘Only the weak left’ he replied laconically.
‘So the bones don’t call out to you’ I ask.
The bartender wipes the counter with that rag in odd motions as if writing an invisible spell on the ancient counter. ‘We have learned to ignore their siren call’ he replies. I ask him if I could hire a lad to show me the place where the Mundanes fantasied they were finding the Holy Grail. ‘I need a silly byline’ I explained. ‘If that e-book author J E F Rose could concoct lurid piffle for one of his silly penny dreadfuls then surely I could. He chuckles but nods. His amazingly blue eyes sardonic. His contempt for us outsiders is so massive he entirely misses the fact I am so far ahead of him. Ahead of everyone.
The village boy rides a wild pony and I follow behind with my motorcycle. He is one of the inbreds with the amazingly blue eyes. His hair a wild tangle of curls. Not in school. Probably too retarded to be anything other than an illiterate yokel. He leads me to the rugged cliffs of a spur of the Blue Mountains which also contains the Bone Cache Cave. Eight miles from the Bone Cache Cave. Then I pay the boy and watch him ride off on his hairy pony. He is riding bare back. The pony’s long mane and tail blowing in the nonstop piercing winds across the desolate moors. What sort of souls voluntarily want to live in such a remote and desolate valley? Yet he seems so at one with the wilderness. I suppose he would be a hopeless misfit in the city just as I am an apparent misfit in this desolate countryside.
I park my bike and explore the caves to find the trail left by the Quacks. The would-be Harry Potters. It takes a while. But I find their trail in one cave. Wax from candles. A litter of granola bar wrappings. Cigarette butts. Chalk marks. Ash from burning things. I trace their trail though a maze of tunnels to the farthest point of their exploration. Being Quacks they were too scared to explore beyond their comfort zone. But I am not a Quack. I might be an outsider but I have become what they only pretended to be.
Each night I explore the rooms where the four Quacks stayed. One stayed in Room Three where Kitsume went mad. One stayed in my room. The other two stayed in Room Two. I search for anything the Make Believe Shadowy Ones might have left behind. I find a book on Sorcery they left behind. Tossed into the shabby communal library. Probably too frustrated by their failure yet too fearful to throw the printed e-book entirely away. I read it bemused. Their pathetic scribbles in the margins revealing their novice attempts at weaving amateur spells. Their struggles to comprehend the Old Terra Twilight runes blatant. But I understand everything. It is as if the runes are whispering to me. Opening up to me. Inviting me inside their long held mystery. I am no longer a Mundane. I am transforming into something or someone else entirely. What? Who? I have no idea —- yet.
I cannot sleep. The nonstop wail of the wind carries voices across the desolate moors along with lonely howls of wolves.
Saturday night at last! I access the wifi in my room and research the Quacks. They are members of a New Age group in The Havens. Their ‘scholarly’ articles on Witchery web sites are pathetic. Gibberings about the Hollow Earth. The Sacred Womb. The Priceless Prize. The Alchemist’s Stone to turn dross to gold. I am so far ahead of them. I am so far ahead of everyone. My pathetic client is gibbering in messages. His illicit panic is beyond my notice. I am so far beyond his petty criminality.
I explore the maze of tunnels without fear. The tunnels are pulling me ever deeper and deeper inside. As if a siren calling out to me. Voices whispering with ghostly echos inside my head. I realize the tunnels are in fact a maze. Part natural. Part artificial. And like any maze there is a pattern to them. A pattern of numbers. I go back to my room and study the numbers left by Kitsume as he went mad. Kitsume was a pathetic fool. He could not even do a simple pickle shill. The numbers open up to me as if inviting me in. I let the book on Sorcery open itself to the page it wants me to see. I write the numbers in the margin. The runes of numbers merging into runes of spells. I understand everything. As if a voice in my head. I know what I have to do.
I return to the maze of tunnels in that spur of the Blue Mountains. The other side of the Bone Cache Cave. Eight miles from the Bone Cache Cave. The diggers are absorbed in their petty pursuits obvious to my presence. All of their pigmy security cameras and futile motion detectors are focused on the wrong spot. The real epicenter is so far beyond their picayune brains to comprehend. The real treasure is so far beyond their niggling brains to conceive. I use the numbers to guide me as if a skew of thread deeper and deeper into the maze of tunnels. My torch bobbing on the damp stone. I know exactly what I will find. And I find it.
The real cache. The secret cave depository the Shadowy Ones used for their magic a thousand years ago. They might have done the magic spells in the Bone Cave but they crafted their spells in another cave. This cave. Between the Ice Age and the Mini Ice Age they kept the magic going to appease the gods. Sacrifices to satiate the gods so the gods would not lash out. To contain the wrath of the gods. To protect the people from the gods and the gods from the people. Something requiring nonstop Glamour as Magic used to be called. Something that required Shadowy Ones as if guardians. Or was it guards? And I find it. The Magic Cave of the Ancient Shadowy Ones!
I enter the Magic Cave. The correct Maw. Not the Bone Maw. Fools! Everyone scurrying around the wrong Maw! My torch dances off the ancient Maw. The real Maw! The Magic Maw where the Ancient Shadowy Ones crafted their spells to cage the gods in the other Maw. This was their sanctuary. Their paranormal digs as it were. My torch dance off sparkling crystal in the bone dry cave. Crystal embedded in the walls. The floor. The apparently endless ceiling. Crystals growing everywhere! Pale crystals glowing in the halo of my torch. Then my torch dances off what I was seeking. The sanctuary ark of the Ancient Shadowy Ones! Their cache. Not a cache of bones! A cache of something so much more valuable! Scrolls! Scrolls containing the most ancient intact library of Shadowy One magic outside of the Thiess Guards. Alchemy to turn dross to gold? Those Quacks were so pathetic! Please! Spells to call the gods! Command the gods! To become a god!
I pull out a bag and carefully place the ancient scrolls into it. Then I retrace my way out of the maze and secure the bag to my bike. I roar back to my room and lock the door. Then I spread out the loot the Quacks so desperately longed to find. The loot every would-be witch or warlock would lust to possess. The ultimate cache! Trumping even the Thiess Guards! I ignore dinner. I ignore breakfast. I barricade the door. The voices in my head whisper nonstop. Like the wailing wind and the nightly howls of the wolves. I am unable to sleep! I am beyond sleep! I am about to become a god!
It is the full moon. It is time. The monolith calls. In the distance I hear a wolf howl. I wait in the dark shadows of that knoll and watch as the lights go dark. Then I climb up the vine festooned farmhouse and sweep up the sleeping bairn. I tie and gag it and sweep it away to the altar. In the darkness I hear wolves howl. I even see the moonlight reflect off their curiously blue eyes. But the un-sentient brutes cannot stop me. I am about to become a god. But the magic requires blood. All ancient magic requires blood. A supernatural quid pro quo. Pay to play on a supernatural level. And the best blood is human. Bahb will not be fobbed off with anything less than the real thing. I lay the wee bairn on the altar in the moonlight as I raise up my butcher knife to chant the incantation to become a god. And the gods need another sacrifice…..
The policeman locked the ambulance as the madman screamed inside. Secured in his straitjacket. Howling. Gibbering. Gashing his teeth. The bartender casually watched the ambulance drive away. The policeman nodded. “Thanks for helping us. Can you ….” The policeman passed the bag of ancient scrolls over to the bartender.
The indigenous local nodded as he took the bag. “Sure. Quacks keep trying to find the Secret Cache of the Ancient Shadowy Ones who once caged the Mad Gods. We keep returning the scrolls. Usually the Mundanes can’t really find the Magical Cave. They just flounder. Going around and around in circles. Getting lost. Sometimes perishing if they become too lost. How did the fool get through the security cameras and motion detectors?”
“The Slaugh Unforgiving Dead whisper” the policeman replied. “Most can’t hear them. But some can hear them —- unfortunately. Then they cannot see the Mannaz Gate. And no Mannaz Gate can warn them off. The bones almost drank blood again.”
“The University should close that damn cave!” the grizzled man with the amazing blue eyes said. One gnarled hand gripped the bag of ancient taboo. “At least we Locals know it is taboo and leave the taboo alone! All of the taboo! What part of taboo can’t Mundanes comprehend?”
“Some taboo is too irresistible” the policeman replied sadly. “Why are you Locals immune? Your lot have lived here since about forever?”
“We have learned to tune out the voices” the Werewolf said nonchalantly as he held the bag of ancient scrolls in one gnarled hand.
“You don’t have the kink in the brain” the policeman said.
“I am not a Mundane” the Werewolf growled in his harsh Blue Mountains twang. “Why don’t you hear the voices of the bones?”
The policeman shrugged. “Old concussion. It damaged one small part of my brain. Apparently that is the spot where the Right Brain audio receives messages or else senses the paranormal or supernatural. The God Receptor. I woke up in hospital after a nasty fight with a felon to find myself an atheist. I could no longer feel the presence of any God. Like waking to discover I was suddenly color blind. God no longer spoke to me. Which I miss. I used to be devote. But there it is. A scar in my brain makes me immune to the voices of the bones.”
“The Thiess Guards are clever in recruiting you to serve here” the Werewolf said as the ambulance vanished in the far distance. “The University should close that damn Bone Cave! As long as that damn place is open there will always be Blue Mountain Murders…..”