Alexander A. Morton.
March 3rd 2020.
I am newly arrived from my meeting with Lizzy. I laugh as I write that name because she really fucking hates it. But, that is what she expects from one that has known her for as long as I. I’m two whiskies too deep as I write this, and if someone’s reading this, allow for a flow of thought unrestrained.
Like the night, this descends. It consumes. I am deep in something that I do not know or truly understand.
My journey had not been a long one, but it was a journey far too long in my world that has changed so. A city of greed and lust and noxious delight. I arrived at Liz’s place of work unscathed, but with a sense of uncertainty. An uncertainty based upon my state of sanity. Would I be met with question or embrace? It had been a while since I had seen her. Since I had looked into those blue eyes of hers for answers. She was always there. She was always the fire to warm when all felt cold, but also the inferno to rage when I lost control. I loved her… or, perhaps, I love her.
She offered the instant embrace of a long-unseen friend and pulled away with a slight blush upon her cheek. She’d missed me. When I was neither lost nor found, she missed me. She invited me in with the offer of a drink, perhaps one I should have declined, but alas, did not. It was needed to loosen the tongue and share honest thought.
I had brought the note with me, clutched firmly in my grasp for the entirety of my walk there. It had felt odd. Warm to the touch and connected in a way otherworldly to I.
We settled to talk about my reason for being there, but I found myself lost in her words. She has a way with them. Well-practiced and enthralling, they fall from her lips. We spoke about the old days. Times when we worked cases together. We laughed about how the agency must be lost without us, since we departed to thrive on our own terms. Lost they must be. We were a force to be reckoned with. Unstoppable.
If it wasn’t for her questioning why my hand hadn’t left my pocket since arriving, I would have forgotten what I was holding on to. I handed over the note, but for it to leave my grasp felt strange. She unfolded it gently and read the words within aloud. She gave a look of odd recognition but looked to me for answers. Of course, I had none.
After a brief silence, Liz sprang to action with that fire behind her eyes ablaze. She dashed toward a collection of countless books, chaotically organised on the floor in piles. That was the best way to describe her methods in general; chaotically organised. She mumbled to herself as she searched, something not quite English. What was that falling from her tongue? She knew something. Something had been ignited in that brilliant mind of hers.
She found what she had been looking for in the form of an old tome. Bound and ancient, wrapped in cloth. She placed it on the table before us to reveal its contents. Its title was in a language that I didn’t recognise. Twisted symbols lost to a generation or many. Its cover was of an obsidian black and oddly seemed scaled in texture.
Liz flicked through the pages, practised and precise. She had studied this tome before, of that I was sure. When she arrived at the page, she read aloud a verse. A verse I noted, but somehow already know by heart.
“Of three, they shall be.
Of three, and one.
Devoured, to be.
The gods, true.
In blood, and all beyond.”
She motioned for me to study the page after she spoke those words. Her eyes looked through me as I approached. Something was amiss, though even now I know not what. But, there it was; the symbol that graced the corner of my note. A rune, unknown, coiled by three emerging tendrils from beneath.
“The Order of Three,” she said, her words a faint whisper. I looked to her to question further, but she was lost in haunted thought. She trembled slightly as she bound the book back in its cloth. I did not break her silence, only observed. That analytical mind of mine ran through conclusions of reason. That blank stare of hers. The skin sudden vacant of colour. A flashback. A thought forgotten but triggered to return. She knew something that she refused to say, but then was not the time to question.
“It’s getting late,” she finally said with a feigned smile, “take this. Hopefully, it holds the answers you seek.” Liz thrust the book into my arms, with a little more force than I think she meant.
There were no further words as she ushered me out. I thanked her as I left and bid her a night of sweet dreams, but to no return of hers. I began what I thought would be a slow and thoughtful walk back here, the note replaced with tome of potential discovery. I held it tightly to my chest as I walked.
But I was not alone… I could feel eyes upon me. A shadow that stalked. Hooded. Cloaked. It moved at my pace; its footfalls matched to mine. If it were not for my senses so attuned from my time in the agency, I would not have noticed it there. I moved cautiously, ready for its approach… but it did not change pace. I caught it from the corner of my eye, once or twice, darting down an alley or moving off the path opposite. It was not a pursuit, but an observation. Careful, but careless given whom it was following. As I reached the door of my residents, it faded.
I will settle now, exhausted, but with a head heavy of thought. I do not fear the shadow, nor the knowledge that this tome may hold. I shall delve into this mystery come the morn. But, for now, I hope sleep will loosen this tendrilled grasp on my mind.
Like the night, this descends. It consumes…
To be continued…