I have to type quickly. Time is of the essence.
The morning after the firebombing of my house, we went to the college again to try and find more clues. I kept the hidden note my uncle mentioned a secret. It was a hot day, and the AC in my truck doesn’t exactly work at 100 percent. By the time we arrived, we both had rings of sweat under our arms and on our backs. The heat was oppressive, and made me feel almost lethargic. Max the dog was to stay at the hotel all day, and watch National Geographic. Lucky dog.
We both arrived to see the smiling secretary again, who greeted us. In a sing-song voice she told us that no one had gone into the office of my late Uncle Clive. Relieved, we walked in silence down the large hallway, and opened the wooden door to see a ransacked room. Papers thrown everywhere, priceless looking artifacts were tossed to the ground. Someone was looking for something. Luckily nothing seemed destroyed. I noticed something that was mentioned in my uncle’s notes: a strange bas-relief of some inconceivable language, like the one from before, and a more detailed picture of the odd creature from before. It was a queer caricature of an octopus / man with bat-like wings, towering over impossible architecture that my mind struggled to perceive. The strange angles and geometry captivated me, and the color of it was an unknown, black-green blend of strange stone. Trent had to shout to catch my attention, at which I whirled around.
“Hey ____, are you listening? I said I found something odd.”
I walked over, carefully avoiding important looking papers and set the etching onto the table.
“What is it?”
“Well I noticed that nothing is missing, it is obviously not a robbery. These artifacts were left alone. But I also noticed that there is no forced entry. Extremely odd. I’m going to go review the cameras in the hallway.” He quickly left me alone in the cluttered office, dust spiraling around me lazily in the scattered sun.
Perfect. I could get a chance to look for the secret note, and it would be discrete. I began to look around the room.
“Something that holds the whole world in it”, I muttered to myself over and over. A globe? Surprisingly there was no globe. I looked in an atlas, and then another. Time was passing quickly as each of my ideas went to no avail. Not in the encyclopedia. Not in the dictionary. I was becoming frustrated and I bumped into the computer tower that stuck slightly out from under his desk, knocking it over.
The side panel came ajar, and a the corner of an envelope peeked out from within. I laughed to myself because I never would have figured that out. I was surprised that my uncle knew enough about computers and the internet to create that small mystery.
I propped the chair back up, sat in it, and reached for that really sweet letter opener — the golden tentacle. To my dismay, only pencils and pens sat in the container. I looked under the table, on the floor, frantically picking up papers and tossing them aside. It was nowhere to be found. Why would someone have stolen just that? There were plenty of other (and more expensive) artifacts and tokens in the room. Strange.
I sat down again in the chair and as it squeaked I opened the letter to read:
I knew you would find this. I have a terrible secret. It’s simpler to show you rather than try to explain it. Go to the painting opposite my desk, which is probably where you are sitting and reading this now. Move it to the side. They are overconfident, and won’t expect outsiders to find their way in.
Make your way down on the first of September, at 11 PM. Hide in an alcove, and keep your mouth shut and your ears open. Bring a camera, no flash. Night vision. Detective Trent may have contacted you by now, and if not, he is the creepy guy who might be following you around. He really is an odd one.
Please forgive me. I know what they… or what WE were doing was wrong. But I want to help put an end to this. Maybe then my soul can find respite.
Your Uncle Clive”
Immediately I stood and went to the picture, an old timey work of an ancient sea monster attacking an old ship. I went to move it, and it didn’t budge and I strained against it as Trent walked back into the room.
“What are you doing?” He asked quickly, and I asked in a strained voice for him to help. Finally with his help, the painting suddenly flipped open, revealing a door raised from the ground, and a staircase that flipped down like the stairs of an attic. A secret passage! But, the door was locked. Two sets of keyholes made it apparent that we could not get in without alerting whomever frequented it.
“Well, this explains the lack of forced entry. I’ll bet it is other staff members who are using this…”
“I found what was stolen!” Blurting out and cutting him off, I quickly sketched the molluscan blade. His face turned pale as a sheet as he pulled an old drawing from his wallet. It was a scan of an old primary document, covered in wrinkles and tears of time. The same tentacle knife was there, staring at me. I felt strange again, somehow mesmerized by its shapes. My eyes flicked over Trent’s shoulder to the bas-relief. I swear then I heard whispers in my mind, and I must have lost track of time because Trent shook my shoulders.
“Hey! I said this was found with that cult in Louisiana! Could it be the same one here?”
I stared at the picture he gave me in silence. The similarity was undeniable. We decided that we would come back on the first of September, and hide somewhere in the room and wait for those who may use that tunnel to come back and use it, then somehow follow them in. Maybe break in. Trent and I gathered what important papers and documents we could find so that we could go back to the motel and see if anything important could be found. What was interesting was what happened to me that night.
The whispers were definitely real. Trent had passed out, and Max had too. So I sat alone in my twin bed and I was going over some of the same documents again when I glanced at the wrapped up stone etching of the strange creature and the writing. I felt like I was being drawn to it, like an obsession. I couldn’t stop thinking about it all day, and now I couldn’t resist looking at it again! It was really amazing and horrible at the same time. The ancient, elder god of some forgotten tribe perhaps. The artwork was fascinating, and before I knew it I was holding it, touching the curves and the lines. Trying to understand the impossible architecture of the city the being towered over. Before I realized it, I had been listening to whispers for the entire time, and as I became aware of their hushed syllables and clicking tongues they disappeared. I looked around, but there was nothing but peaceful sleep and scattered papers.
I have to get some sleep, because last night I did not. I must have stayed up for 7 hours just looking at the thing. Before I knew it, as I traced the exquisite lines of the relief, the sun had risen and Max was ready to be fed. So was I. Time flies when you are having fun.