Tag Archives: Continental Breakfast

Report 11: Confronter of Enemies

Sir,

I’m glad to see that the Somnambulists have transmitted my dowsing experience on the mountain. It saves me some time, and I fear that I’ve fallen too far behind on my reporting.

I must express some disappointment that you felt the need to hide things from me, however. Because, yes, I can see the report on Denise’s “mission,” and your response. I’ve been through some things in the last few days that have apparently put me a bit beyond Somnambulist manipulation. I don’t begrudge them trying, understand. It’s their job, just as it’s your job to ensure that your agents are not overwhelmed by the forces they deal with in the field. But I can assure you that’s not the case here. Not anymore. So please, Chief. Trust in my ability to assess the case properly, and just tell me what happened at HQ.

Alright. Enough of that. It’s very early morning, Denise is still asleep, and I’m awaiting the arrival of Tom and Gladys and the spectacular breakfast I hear they serve here at the Fat Beaver Inn. So I think it’s time to tell you how I earned my Mountain Name. That story starts with the dowsing incident.

(Speaking of which… I think I may know how the memory was made psychically invisible, but that will have to wait until I return to my experiences in the hospital the night Possum Reynolds was possessed).

Reading the account the Somnambulists found was interesting, but it’s not accurate. The bulk of it is fine, exactly as I remember the experience. The description of the Black Mirror Brute is especially detailed, including things I might not have brought out of the dowser’s trance with me.

But the ending is not at all correct. I did not witness the slow demise of the Tahki boy. I did, however, see the arrival of Ruth Omusa’s corpse at the crime scene. She was borne between two Nukpana, accompanied by a very thin, very bent old man in a shimmering silver robe. At his direction, the Nukpana placed Omusa carefully next to her boyfriend and arranged her body in the posture I described to you yesterday. The old man made some gestures over both the victims. He seemed very sad. I’ll be meeting with John Cheveyo later today to give my description of him. Normally, I’d have done that immediately after coming out of the trance. But events conspired against that.

Because just after Omusa was laid to rest, something happened. The dowsing wand jerked suddenly in my hands, and the old man disappeared. But the two Nukpana remained, still looking down at the bodies, as if in mourning. Slowly, ever so slowly, they swiveled their heads up and backwards, until their faces were turned downhill, looking directly at me. My eyes locked with the taller of the two, and it let out a mouthless shriek. The other pounced.

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Report 6: The Door in the Mountain

The mountain door is open again, and I cannot sleep.

How do they stand it? The locals, I mean. How can they bear lying in bed, night after night, that obscene white light flooding their windows, keeping them awake? They must see it. They have to see it. How could they not see it? Are they blind? Are they cowards? Are they its acolytes?

No. No, that’s not it. They must be mad. Driven out of their minds by the endless light and lack of sleep. Edna with her deadly biscuits, the snake-kissed Melmoths, bold gruff kind Sheriff Patton, John Cheveyo with his bland acceptance of the strange and his cryptic owl notes. Mad, all of them, mad, and I’ll soon be mad, too, if I don’t do something about that door.

So out again, out into the dark of the Opa Lodge, where the horrible low squeal screeches in my ears, and the kitchen door fairly vibrates with the noise. There’s a chopping, too, the chopping of a monstrous blade severing bone and flesh, thunk thunk thunk into the wood of the cutting board, that carnivorous evergreen altar. The Continental Breakfast is in progress, and suddenly I am filled with a desire to see how the sausages are made.

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Report 4: Three-Biscuit Rule

Sir,

The ransom demand for Alexandra Melmoth’s safe return has thrown my view of this case into turmoil. Why the ritualistic knife wounds on the Phillips boy? Why leave his body in such a remote location? Why the finger? If it was to inspire fear in the family, surely sending them the digit directly would have been more effective. And considering their reputation, who would have attempted to scare them in the first place?

All of this was racing through my mind as I awoke from my disturbing dream to meet Sheriff Patton at Melmoth House. The formerly-tantalizing smells of the Opa Lodge’s Continental Breakfast filled me with dread this morning, and I rushed past the dining room, head down and gorge rising in my throat at the memory of the Horrible Noise. Instead, I stopped for a quick breakfast of coffee and a cheese biscuit at a convenience store called the Stop N Go.

The biscuits are apparently made fresh every morning by a little old woman named Edna, who dutifully rolls out the dough each day and wraps it around handfuls of cubed cheddar. Heart-stoppingly delicious. At least, they were for Edna’s husband Frank, who had two every morning before heading out to tend the fields. After he passed, Edna sold the farm and used the money to open the Stop N Go. Amazing the things people will tell you while you wait for fresh coffee to brew. That coffee wasn’t great, but the biscuits and the company were. I promised Edna that I’d be back for more, and she warned me that she had a strict three-biscuit rule.

“No more than three a week for anybody,” she said. “I won’t have another man’s death on my conscience.”

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Report 3: Love and Blood

Sir,

An eventful day.

The continental breakfast at the Opa Lodge was just as magnificent as I’d suspected it might be. Fresh eggs from coops on the mountain, venison sausage, and a small bread loaf with a crisp outer crust and soft yeasty center that I’m sure I’ll be raving about for years to come. And the coffee! A lawman’s dream come true. So good that I fished the thermos out of the back of the car and got them to fill it up for me.

Sheriff Patton and Captain Cheveyo both seem highly competent and helpful law enforcement officers, dedicated and concerned with their community’s welfare. Patton is a no-nonsense type, the sort of skeptic I find quite handy in the field, where I have to remind myself that a murder is sometimes just a murder. Cheveyo, on the other hand, is a bit of a mystic. Comes with the territory, he says. The Alo reservation is spirit-haunted, he tells me, and sometimes his duties involve things he can’t readily explain.

I kept this in mind as we scaled the mountain to survey the murder site. Or, rather, the site where the Phillips boy’s body was found. I’m now convinced he was dead when brought there. The physical evidence already pointed in that direction: there just wasn’t enough blood on the ground for all those cuts to have been inflicted on that spot. But in addition, when I dowsed the area, I got nothing at all. Which tells me little that’s useful about the killing itself, but at least indicates a certain coolness on the part of the killers. No one involved was very anxious or upset when they put him there. Something to file away for later.

The body didn’t tell me much, either. Dead meat seldom does once the spirit’s left it. There are two deep stab wounds in the back that most likely caused death. The locals’ suspicions of a ritual murder are probably well-founded, however. The ten wounds in the chest were made with care, and form a definite pattern, though I don’t recognize it as belonging to any specific rituals I’m familiar with. I made a quick sketch of the shape, however, and have included it below:

Wound Pattern

Forgive the crudity of my pen work. I’d appreciate it if you could have the pattern checked against the database. Some insight on its purpose could be significant.

After examining the body, we moved on to Phillips’ car, which yielded far more information. There, I found the residue of a great deal of passion, and enormous pain. Per Agency protocols, I had Sheriff Patton record the dowsing session, and include the transcript below:

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Report 2: Why We Are Here

Sir,

Your suggestion that I keep a dream journal seems prudent, especially if I’ve experienced a genuine Wanageeska manifestation. I will record any significant dreams from this point forward. Fortunately, last night’s sleep was, as they say, deep and dreamless. I slept like the dead, and have awakened early, refreshed and up to the task of making my initial case notes.

I’ve been called in to Pannawau to assist local law enforcement in the investigation of the murder of one Christopher Phillips (age 21), and the disappearance of his fiance, Alexandra Melmoth (age 20). Phillips picked Melmoth up at her family’s house one week ago today, and they never returned. A search was undertaken 24 hours later, which lasted three days and turned up two things:

One, Phillips’ car, submerged in nearby Lake Mammedaty.

And two, Phillips himself, dead of multiple stab wounds and left exposed to the elements on the side of Mount Pannawau.

Of Melmoth, no trace was found. At least, not until the autopsy.

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