As you could no doubt tell, it was a bad time in Pannawau last night. A lot happened, and I’m not sure my Osceola-fueled mind-hopping exploits entirely captured the scope of it. So I thought I’d codify things with a slightly more formal report than is my norm.
SECTION A: The Events of the Evening
- First, and most obviously, the Black Mirror Brute came out. I discovered that the Sad Man was not, in fact, summoning the Brute, but trying to distract it from leaving the Mountain and wreaking worse havoc. See Section B below for more details on the Sad Man’s plan.
- Alexandra Melmoth was on the loose, as well, in a Yig-Form transfiguration seemingly triggered by the presence of the Brute in the Gray World. She changed back in the early morning hours, and is currently in custody on the Alo Reservation. Her family is demanding her release, but the Alo are thus far holding firm. I’ll be heading out to speak with her again later.
The Sad Man is talking.
I am talking.
So hard to stay focused and
Hank sighs as he gets out of bed. “Time to make the doughnuts,” he mutters. The joke isn’t funny anymore, but it’s all he’s got left. He kisses his fingers and presses them to Allison’s picture. She looks strange this morning. Harsh. Cold. Dead. Must be the light. Awfully bright. Awfully clean. Awful. It’s making everything in the house more… stark. Real. Hank blinks once, twice. Then he makes up his mind. Takes a shower. Shaves. Gets dressed. Then he picks up the pistol and
The Sad Man keeps talking. “I’m sure you’re feeling disoriented, Agent Matthews. It’s the Osceola. If you’re not used to its effects, it can be overwhelming. For a man of your capacities, especially. Different minds, different places. Even time distorts. Sometimes I think that riding is harder than being ridden. Depending on which of the Ahtunowhiho is doing the riding, of course.”
I look at myself dumbly, and look back with sympathy in my ancient eyes.
“I’m speaking in riddles. My apologies. It’s just so refreshing to speak with someone who shares the gift. Someone who’s not a snake, at least. Poor Oscar. It’s unfortunate what we’re going to have to do to him. But again, I’m speaking in riddles. We should start at the beginning.”
I blink, look around. Pause politely as I get my bearings. “Liar’s Path,” I hear myself say. My voice sounds strange, thick. Clumsy. “Can’t believe you.”
I smile sympathetically at myself. Already, I’m annoying myself. “I’m afraid you’re going to have to believe me. I know the urge to lie here is strong. But I’ve long since learned to fight it. Besides, it’s…” I trail off, give myself a measuring look and
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.