Sunday, 15 February 2009
The One-Legged Dog At The Gates Of Hell - A Macabre Encounter (Part The Third)
Part The Third - Dusty Relics
Dust, fluff and grit. These appeared to the overwhelming factors in Arbie's day to day life. The rum old cove was getting rather excited about the whole endeavour but, really, a few grimy old relics were not precisely high on the list of your good Squire's favourite things. I was, however, willing to suffer this remarkably dry tour for the sake of familial cousinhood (his mention of untold fortune had, naturally, no sway on me whatsoever and was indeed purely coincidental).
My dear old cousin was aided in his researches by a nervous twitch of a fellow who went by the name of Harkworth. He was the sort of chap who made you feel nervous just by his very existence. I wasn't overly enamoured of the lad – he was the sort of anxiously eager fellow who always the impression of trying far too hard to please - but Arbie seemed to find him useful.
"Let me show me you what I've discovered," enthused Arbie. It occurred to me that I seem to spend a disproportionate amount of time with scientific type bods while they display their baffling wares.
He unveiled a be-sheeted item with a theatrical flourish and stepped back approvingly, eagerly awaiting my reaction. It was a rough-hewn stone portal around six feet in height. To say it was underwhelming would be the very pinnacle of understatement.
"Well," said I, after a pause of indeterminate length, "it certainly is tall." I had always been brought up to believe that, if you couldn't say anything nice, then a meaningless pleasantry will always suffice.
"It's more than tall, dear cousin. If my translations prove to be correct, it is indeed far more than merely tall."
He rushed around, gathering parchments and stretching them out for me to peruse. I caught glimpses of baffling symbols – a three-headed parakeet, a man holding a wooden parasol, a dog with one leg – none of which made any kind of sense to me but seemed to stirred Arbie's particular cup of tea.
"If I've read this correctly, it is... the portal to the land of the dead!", exclaimed he.
I felt that kind of cold certainty gripping my spine which told me that this was about to be one of those moments where I really should stayed in bed and not been a burden to the world on this particular day. Once that twitchy little assistant began to chant in unearthly tones and the portal began to spark and crackle with eldritch power, I knew for certain that this was definitely going to be one of those days...
To Be Prolonged