The Worms that Walk

"An Uncanny Little Place"

Correspondence between Theodore Atticus and Jeffrey Harper

Dear Jeffrey,

I write to you from Flint Ridge, California, the quiet town where we have been investigating the cult behind the recent string of bizarre occurrences. It is quite an uncanny little place, and feels like a town plucked straight from old noir and pulp horror novels. In any case, I write not to tell you of the town, but of our discoveries within it. We visited the theater that good Dr. Harkness discovered in his research on the mysterious identity of “H. Fisher” mentioned in the Carruthers Note. As feared, it appears that there is one of these so-called “fragments” there, and that the upcoming grand opening of the restored cinema will serve as the feeding for it that Ms. McAllister mentioned.

Yet when we went to the theater, it seemed most normal to me. Granted, I was mostly in charge of investigating the lobby when our group split up to search the building, and that is perhaps not the most likely place for a creature beyond sanity to reside. In any case, while my compatriots searched the basement, projection booth, and catwalks over the auditorium, I distracted the restoration workers that had seen us in. I’m afraid I had to give them your contact information, Jeffrey, so if anyone calls you to ask, you are the treasurer of the “Northwestern Historic Theater Appreciation Association,” of which we are all members. I’m sorry to burden you thus, my friend, but I was in a pinch, you see.

I first became aware that not all was well when the electricity briefly went out. Upon our regrouping, I heard some fairly startling details. Officer L’Angelle, investigating the basement, heard eerie noises emanating from the old furnace. Ever the hair trigger, he shocked the furnace with his taser repeatedly before opening it and finding it completely empty. Meanwhile, young miss Murchwood investigated the area behind the cinema screen, accidentally breaking a mirror when she felt she could walk through it. The child’s impulses have often struck me as somewhat bizarre, but she has proven herself most able in the past, so I shall not pass judgement. After this, she went up to the aforementioned catwalk, put in place for the repainting of a grand ceiling mural. She claims that she was nearly sucked through this painting by extradimensional forces, but managed to maintain her grip on the railing, thank the gods. As this was happening, Dr. Harkness was checking the projection booth, and around the time the lights went out, he claims to have seen the floor of the auditorium come alive as a veritable sea of tentacles! The vision soon passed, but I cannot help but feel this bodes ill for our quest. How does one kill a floor, after all?

Luckily, none of our party was injured, and upon reconvening, we went with the employees of the theater to visit the original mural artist, Mary Green, who is currently in traction in the hospital following a fall from the catwalk. While we were there, the patient in the bed next to hers went into cardiac arrest, and in the process of attempting to resuscitate him, the doctors appeared to wreak havoc with the electrical systems, actually blowing out the television screen in the corner, causing minor lacerations to all of us. The poor fellow was dead, alas, but during the fray, Penny claims that Ms. Green told her that she fell following an incident similar to the one Penny encountered on the catwalk. Bizarre, indeed!

Jeffrey, I write to you not only to tell you of our findings, but also to beg your help. I’m very sorry you were unable to join us on our voyage, but I understand well that sometimes one’s academic calling simply cannot be ignored. Nevertheless, I must ask you to help in my research. I wish to discover all that I might about the Paradise Theater in the 1920s, as well as about one John Scott, the original owner of the house in which the Northwestern Historic Preservation Foundation makes their headquarters. It is they who are restoring the theater, and they are headed by this “Henry Fisher”. I feel that there may be a connection, and I implore you to help me find it, Jeffrey. Thank you in advance for the excellent service you will no doubt be able to render.

All my best,
T. Atticus

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