(Note: I can’t remember everyone’s character’s names so let me know and I’ll edit it.)
Fozwick put down his pipe and eyed the empty glass of Brandy with a sigh.
“Well there’s not putting off any further now…” He muttered to himself as he shuffled over to his desk and began to write.
I guess it all began around the time I hear about Sterling having gone missing. I had not heard or seen from Mr. Sterling Hothorn for some time. Finding out he died in an attempted kidnapping made things a bit off. Who dies by an attempted kidnapping before they even kidnap you? A bit of bad luck really I would think or just bad kidnappers, it’s a bit unsettling to think that that ‘sort’ would at least know what they’re doing if it’s their line of work and all. In any event it was around that time I was asked by Jess to look into a matter with her, a meeting with Lord Summers. A Baronet, member of the British Ministry, and connected to the Lords of London Bank wanting her assistance and help to say the least sounded like something that would tickle my interest. The task after talking with him and his assistant Mr. Clarence seemed easy enough although the investigation would have to be discrete. Find his missing son Arthur. It proved though to be a bit more strenuous then I had originally thought and quite far from simple.
Arthur Summers had gone missing, kidnapped it seemed by the look of his apartment Mr. Clarence informed us. A ransom note had been delivered, the delivery of one million pounds at the Hobbsend Train Station at 5pm for the return of Arthur seemed like it would have been the end of it. But the kidnappers never came for the money Mr. Clarence had waiting over an hour on the landing any further contact was never made. He, Arthur, had been gone for about eight days and we were to find out what had happened to him since the kidnappers had either never had him or god forbid killed him accidently. After getting the key from Mr. Clarence we found out he had been associating with a lady at the local Salons and Music Halls in his area of town, Eastington. Besides his apartment our only other lead really was talking to Peter Blalok, Arthur’s dearest friend and confidant. We were told it might not prove too fruitful since they had had a bit of a falling out. We went back to the clubhouse to find some more associates to spread out the work. I was in truth hoping to find him in an opium den somewhere out of money and lucid, it would have been a lot simpler then what we found out. Mr. Clerance gave us his card and told us he could be reached at Clerance, Storebridge, & Sons if he was needed.
Emily and Tania went to talk to the owners of the Lodging House, it was reputable and clean considering but with Mr. & Mrs. Giles living two floors away from the disappeared Arthur Summers they had little to offer from first had knowledge, they did point us towards Mr. Marcus Barelli, his upstairs neighbor, that had made the call to the local police about the disturbance. An Inspector Bridger had made the report which they had already known about.
They first inspected Arthur’s apartment on the way up, his downstairs neighbor, Mr. Travors, was supposedly somewhere abroad this whole time so the place seemed quite solemn and untouched. The apartment looked like someone had gotten into a fight in the sitting room. There was a shattered mirror by the front door. They found a handgun of substantial power in the bedroom with a receipt from JJ Finks in the Wend End. Odd and strange seemed to have a sit down for a meal it seemed since the bullets of the gun had crosses notched into each one. The only other thing they found at that time was a program for the “Duchess of Mouthe”. With that they headed to talk to Marcus Barelli.
Barelli was a foreigner not just in name. From Venice, Italy it seemed and had been the violinist for a local music group. Now on his own he was supposedly trying to create a name for himself writing a bit of inspiration down and becoming the next big thing on the social scene from what he told Tania and Emily. Oddly enough from what Tania said he’d be hard pressed to play his ‘songs’ anywhere… they just weren’t very good. He had no sugar or milk for tea and he seemed on edge and untrusting ever since he had opened the door. The signs where there he hadn’t left his apartment for some time, since anyone even a foreigner in London would have sugar and milk for tea. Maybe he was just poor…
He did recall the night in question, and that around 9pm a carriage had pulled up. The downstairs front door had opened, to Arthurs, and Arthur and a man started to argue. A second man had gotten out of the carriage and entered Arthur’s, he seemed ethereal it seemed to Marcus. After the gunshot everything seemed silent and that’s when Marcus saw them, three shadowy things. Long armed creatures taller than a man seemed to shed Doom into the air like the scent of a deadly flower.
There was a broker by the name of Jake Swilker that was found dead. He could have been the blackmailer but we had no way of knowing. The only thing connecting him was his last name began with the one letter signature on the ransom letter. Being dead usually did put a damper on collecting a ransom.
Myself and Jess went to talk with Arthur’s friend Peter. We had been told his was a bit ill but after seeing him we could say that had been heavily downplayed. Stanley Baldwin his doctor basically told us he was just waiting for the boy to die really. Wrapped from head to toe in bandages stained brown (blood?), it seemed he had no more skin… His mother seemed distinctly determined to believe he’d be just fine though and that a trip to the mountains would do wonders for his conditions. Although it seemed apparent that was not the case he slightly crazed eyes implied she was also under some form of ‘medication’. When Jess had talked to Peter he seemed to only partially recognize her. It didn’t mean though he wouldn’t use the opportunity to ask for a favor by scribbling out in jagged letters on a page saying “KILL ME!”. When discussing things with the doctor he had let out a blood curdling wail. I had taken the opportunity to go upstairs and inspect his room. It looked clean but the dust over a week old implied he had been sitting downstairs for sometimes (until he would die it seemed). Slipping into his mother’s room I found her diary which I filched… Yes I’m a scoundrel and all that. You don’t think the old girl would just let me peruse it did you? I don’t see why not it was quite bland and gave up nothing of interest towards the case.
Talking to the Inspector seemed just as worthless. He was sure something happened, what, why and how though didn’t seem to be in his job description. Jess made the comment it was due to his low level of intellect that he couldn’t deduce much of anything.
The following day finding out Mr. Marcus Barelli was now dead as well far away from his apartment see odd. He didn’t seem the type to be social especially considering Tania and Emily description of him being an isolationist and paranoid. With our current leads of Marcus and Peter both dead and the police being of as much help as an accountant on the whereabouts of Arthur we decided to check Marcus Barelli’s apartment now that he was dead as well. On the way up we stopped at Arthur’s apartment again. Emily wanted to check to see if anyone had been in since the last time he was there. There had been but no one now. The broken mirror had a bullet we noticed in the wall behind it, which explained why it broke. A single arch of blood splattered lightly was found on the wallpaper as well. In the bedroom we found a bit of straw and there was the odd scent of a perfume somewhat floral in scent. A creek from above us had us swirling out of the apartment and upstairs. Well I should rephrase that, myself and Jess were outside. I spotted something moving on the third floor and I had remembered what Tania and Emily had said. Barelli had seen the figure but the figure had turned and stared straight at him. I pushed that out of my mind as I race up the stairs. Jess running behind me wondering what had gotten me out of the carriage so fast.
As we entered the room we thought we saw a man or something man like… it was man like but definitely not human. Tania called it unholy, a mesh of man living or dead and straw… animal bones sticking out in places in others they seemed to be a part of him. Plaster and wax seemed to help hold him together as well as I pulled out my gun and shot at him. What? If you shoot at something that doesn’t look human or beast you shouldn’t get in trouble for killing it right? I mean it looked like it had already died.
Unfortunately my bullet passed through it and I watched as the Father fainted. Muttering to kill the unholy abomination with fire before slumping to the ground next to me the Father fell silent. I repeated it as I pulled the Father out of the way. As Emily looked around and found a curtain rod to light on fire. Matt’s servant came in looking for something to throw at the beast. The squeek behind me at the site of the father passed out and the snarls from inside indulged Jess to decide the carriage downstairs was safer which is where she went. As the beast slashed at us the foolish courage of the situation sank as I watched Matt’s Servant, Guy, fall to the ground dead from a slash from the beast. Deeming one death was enough from our association I grabbed the still unconscious Father and made my way downstairs. The third floor was a blaze now as I put the Father in the carriage and I noticed his wounds for the first time. I ran back in banging on the door to the Giles as everyone else made their way to the carriage. As the door opened to a bewildered Mr. Giles I explained I had been going by and noticed his building was on fire. As his eyes went wide and he went to tell his wife to get out I ran back to the carriage for my own get away and we were off before anyone could ask questions. I did feel like a proper scoundrel in truth, I might as well have said, “Hello we’re investigating the murder of two of your tenants and set your house on fire. Go collect the insurance money and retire somewhere else before you’re killed next.”
We made our way into the night away from the straw man and fire, away to the familiar and safer of places to like our wounds and think.
Blast… I don’t even know the name of Matt’s Servant who died. Guess I really am a scoundrel.