Call of Cthulhu

The Journal of Phinneas Vain
If you're reading this, I'm dead

Phinneas Vain sat in the smokey half lit apartment that served as his office during the day and apartment at night. He kicked his feel up onto the desk while lighting up a Luck Strike. Muffled music drifted up from the floor boards as Phin contemplated his current situation.

The jobs haven’t been coming in as much as they used to. The last job, a wandering husband, went tits up when the John skipped town with a dancer without a trace. The wife refused to pay. He finished the cigarette and walked to the window with this whiskey. It was harsh, cloudy and definitely illegal.

The restaurant down stairs, The Kitchen, was one of the many bootleg operations in Arkham. They sported a restaurant, a lounge complete with dance floors and two hot water heaters….one of which is a still. Phin gets free hooch, and they don’t get the unwanted eyes of the authorities.

The papers have reported some murders, not uncommon given the current state of unrest in Arkham. Brad Callaghan called me up earlier today about it. To ask if any of my less than reputable sources had heard anything. They seem to think its mob hits. Phin informed him the urchins have been quiet as of late. That’s also troubling, usually there’s someone talking. Might have to take a look.

Testimony of John Redbird
08-01-1921, Account # 1

11:23 p.m., Monday 1 August, 1921
Arkham, Massachusetts

I sat alone at the Arkham train station guarding the latest shipment of hooch. The police were paid good money to conveniently skip this part of their patrol. The railroad bulls were also paid in kind. I just needed to wait for the truck, help them load and collect their pay. I had been through this dozens of times but it always made me nervous.

The revolver in my pocket felt heavier than it was. So did the knife in my belt. I didn’t want to have to use them, I was just trying to survive. I had been running whiskey for these guys for a few months now and the pay was good. That didn’t make me any less nervous.

From the corner of my eye I saw movement and whirled around a little faster than I had intended. Nothing. I could have sworn I saw something about waist height. I decided its best not to dwell on it. Partially out of the logic that it could have been a shadow. Partially out of fear that if I thought about it that it may return.

The night felt heavy. Passing through shadows felt like passing through water, like a physical thing. My “bad feelings” rarely ended up being nothing. My breathing and a gentle breeze were the only sounds. I remember thinking “Where the hell is Tommy?”

As if my thoughts conjured him, there was the sound of boots on gravel shuffling in the darkness.

Mortality and the Occult: Historically and Contemporarily by Stanley Hagen
Chapter 1

Stanley Hagen sat in the mostly empty library of Miskatonic University furiously scribbling notes into a journal. He had stumbled upon a decayed copy of Isaac Branigan’s expedition to Egypt to discover the Book of Thoth. Mr. Branigan’s attempts were ultimately unsuccessful but were not entirely barren of fruit. For instance, his notes on the sacred rituals of certain cults still performing the funeral rites of ancient times were very enlightening and must be transcribed for future study, lest age take this tomb of knowledge from the world of man forever.

He scribbled his nearly illegible shorthand into the notebook, referencing the complicated rites of death and the passage into the afterlife. Why did they remove the organs? Did they expect the return of the host to the body to resume life eternal? And why continue the practices now knowing that, scientifically speaking, that was impossible. Fascinating. The librarian will be by again to “check on” Stanley. One, Two Three better check on Stanley. Stanley was convinced that the librarian was in the employ of the Arkham police department and by extension the FBI. Surely they were aware of his research, incredibly important as it was. No matter, he had his rights, he could be in a public library as long as he wants.

Stanley continued his “research” well into the night. Eventually he was politely asked to leave, as always, as the library was closing. That was acceptable. He finished his notes from this book and would resume tomorrow on a new topic. Knowledge is power and Stanley’s eyes were open.

In the land of the blind….the one eyed man is king.


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