Footsteps – Chapter 2 Miskatonic University

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Next month I will be releasing the first novel in my Austerley and Kirkgordon adventure series about a pair of investigators into the paranormal. In order for readers to get a feel for my characters I will be releasing a short story prelude before launch day and as I am especially good to my blog readers, I am going to serialise it here. So take a trip into the depths of a lost graveyard in search of Eldar things with Messers Austerley & Kirkgordon and find out how this diverse pair became entangled in horrors from the past.

Miskatonic University

The next hour was full of quite dry talk about his research. Don’t get me wrong, he was passionate enough, but I was bored. Austerley would talk about a man named Carter, in whose footsteps he was following. Apparently, the man had been on a search for truth and had found a dark and depressing answer. Coupled with this, he had jumped into clocks, travelled to the moon with various cats, conversed with creatures of a shadow world and bizarrely, this was to be our start point, waited atop a New England grave for a friend of his that hadn’t returned from a venture below.

You’re laughing, and I did too. Absolute nut job, I thought. But hey, he was paying the money and you don’t freak out the client. The excursion to the grave was to be in two night’s time and at least I would get a decent night’s sleep before we started. I asked what kind of resistance we could meet in our underground trip. Not expecting to have to do much, I found his response weird. Carter’s friend, a Mr. Warren, who had been lost in their expedition, was believed to have encountered creatures from older times. Possibly from outer space, these beings could converse with us but were extremely lethal. Austerley suggested an arsenal that would have made me look like a Hollywood front man on speed. I thought him crazy and decided on a minimal compliment. I wish I had taken his advice. Understand, Austerley is insane in that he searches out these things but he knows them well. Damn him, he was right.

We adjourned and he muttered something about lunch but I made my excuses, I think I said I was collecting my arsenal. Actually I decided to relax at my hotel. Time for some freedom. As I passed down the halls of Miskatonic University, I was stopped by one of the professors, Kenton – Ancient Literature, I think he said. He enquired whether I was going on Austerley’s graveyard shift to which I gave a non-committal response. That’s a standard reaction to someone talking about a client’s business. But the man laughed, talking about the great circus act, making out we would be going in the clown car. He wasn’t funny but I did get the point. Non-plussed, I continued my exit before I was accosted by three men in suits.

One introduced himself as the Chancellor of the university and asked me to accompany them to a nearby room. Once inside a wooden panelled library, I was offered a seat and asked if I was intending to accompany Prof. Austerley on his expedition. The tone was serious, too serious. I, again, became non-committal on the subject but the men’s faces were grim. I sat for the next half hour listening to their worries about Austerley’s actions. They stated he was delving into things that should be kept hidden. Things that could change the world as we knew it and things which we could not affect.

Everything was mumbo-jumbo to me. I didn’t understand half of the terms they used and their great anger at Austerley reading “the book”, whatever novel that was. They talked of expeditions to the South Pole that had been hushed up, kept from the public because the events were too horrifying to state. I was subjected to a list of New England phenomena in towns I don’t even know, all showing a trend that these beings were already here and active and possibly coming again. But I was tired and told them I wished to go. The Dean grabbed my arm and looked me straight in the eye.

“Alright Kirkgordon, be a fool if you must. But whatever you do, don’t let these things out, don’t show them the surface. And don’t dwell on what you find or they will become the inhabitants of your mind, and life will become a dark, meaningless void, occupied by every horror you can conceive. Stay away!”

I got the feeling there was maybe a bit more to this business than I suspected. Maybe one of the other professors would interrupt our journey. A feud over academic prowess, or a spat about the size of their journals. Who knew? But it didn’t scare me. These guys were light-weight compared to some of the things I had dealt with. But I decided to increase my weapons itinerary in case some hired help intervened. Nothing severe, just precautionary. Best decision I have ever made in my life. If I hadn’t I’d be dead, Austerley would be dead, and New England would have the depths of hell to deal with.

I know it sounds crazy and I wouldn’t believe it either, except I was there and I have seen these things. Damn Austerley for his curiosity. When I was in the room last night, I thought I saw them coming, with their arms, hands and the other stuff. Appendages. At times like octopus’ arms, sometimes insect legs, feelers, all manner of things but as large as ourselves. And the eyes. I didn’t sleep last night. Your Sergeant must have said. Even the sedation didn’t work. Nothing can. Nothing keeps those faces away. Dear God, I hope it worked.

Find out where Austerley’s madness takes Kirkgordon in just two days time. Or if you can’t wait, read the whole tale on Wattpad right now.

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G R Jordan author, poet, and top Dad apparently!

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