Things keep getting worse for our intrepid adventurer. MUCH worse.
The voice kept guiding Taylor. Whatever kind of car they were driving it was clear that it had more oomph than the SUV he drove. It didn’t help that he had no desire to get caught by the police, thus giving him far greater caution than they needed to exhibit. Still, he didn’t seem to be losing them.
“They only need to delay us. Can they summon the things or open the portal while they’re on the move?” He asked the question out loud, though he didn’t think he needed to.
“No. They will need to stop and make some sacrifices to do what they need done. It doesn’t need to be a big one, but the larger the amount of life force, the bigger the gateway.” The Mad Arab’s voice was real enough for Taylor to wonder if anyone else would be able to hear it.
Dr. Taylor drove as long and as fast as he reasonably could. His eyes felt like they were made of sandpaper. His yawns threatened to crack his jaw and no amount of head shaking and skin pinching could keep him alert. The second time he drifted off, he recognized it was time to pull over. If he didn’t, he’d die in the resulting crash and all really would be lost.
He passed an exit that announced the presence of several hotel chains. The street he eventually found himself on was littered with the refuse of humanity. He pulled into a two story-hotel whose neon “Vacancy” sign had a burned out “Y”. The potholes were more like craters and there were only five cars he could see.
In this installment, our hero finds that even home isn’t safe where the amulet is concerned.
By the time Taylor pulled into his driveway, it was well after supper. Thankfully he’d already told Martha not to hold dinner for him. He hadn’t anticipated being this late, but he didn’t really know when he was going to be back. He blocked in his wife’s car, even though he hadn’t needed to. He exited the Land Rover and the security light turned on, illuminating their walkway. A fierce believer in conservation, Martha had insisted there would be no grass in their yard. Only native plants and rock would grace the property, in addition to some trees. It made the whole place look a little stark, but the austerity suited his mood.
Rather than enter the house proper, he walked to the door into the garage. Like most people he knew, they never actually parked a car in here. He’d made it into a sort of satellite office. There was space here for extra file storage, a few woodworking projects, and items from his travels around the world. Truthfully it was a dumping ground and he and Martha fought over it for years. He heard footsteps from people moving around upstairs. Soundproofing this area was another thing on his to do list. He’d never get around to that now. He walked to his desk and pulled a box of shells out of the drawer. With mechanical motions he loaded both pistols. Rather than taking the gun belt off as was his custom, he just made sure his shirt draped over it again. He wouldn’t be staying long.
Murder! Intrigue! Spookiness from the sands! It’s the chilling third installment of the eldritch serial The Curse of Azathoth’s Amulet!
Read Part One
Read Part Two
Dr. Taylor hated loose ends. He didn’t like them when it came to any aspect of his life. Most especially when it came to his research. Now that he would spend the rest of his life on the run, or at least as much time as he had before he’d be able to prove there were monstrous forces on the loose, he hated them even more. He drove the precise speed limit, in case there were any cops on the prowl. He didn’t want to give them an excuse to pull him over.
His first stop would be his office. He needed to get his notes and get rid of anything regarding his trip tonight. He couldn’t leave anything behind that would be a trail for someone to follow too quickly. There was no telling whether or not the creature who was posing as a human college student would have his precise description and his license plate number. Assuming they didn’t could be deadly. No, better to assume there were things worse than wolves at his door.
Scott Roche continues his Golden Age serial, The Curse of Azathoth’s Amulet, with Part Two! Told in the arch style of the Republic Serials of the ’30s and ’40s, there’s no telling where this is going until you get there … and it is HORRIBLE indeed.
Read Part One, “Down in Mexico.”
It all went downhill for Doctor Taylor as soon as he visited the Ancestral Pueblo site just a few dozen miles from his home in Albuquerque. A colleague knew he’d been researching symbols used by the Anasazi, as they were known to some, and their relationship to other symbols used by equally ancient people groups the world over. There was no known connection between these groups, and it was thought by some that they spawned from a collective subconscious or from some other psychic network. Taylor, of course, believed all of this was complete hogwash. There had to be a better explanation. The desire for that better explanation was why he found himself in a kiva, a sort of pueblo holy site, that had only recently been discovered. Doctor Samson assured him that the site dated back to at least the eighth century BCE. That certainly wasn’t the oldest bit of evidence that had been found, but this was supposed to be in pristine condition.