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A Maid A Book And A Demon

by , Sunday December 25, 2016
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 A Maid  A Book And A Demon

"A Maid  A Book And A Demon" A tale of mystery

 

Part I - Death call in the night

 

The mattress topper was drenched in blood. Jane looked down at her best friend June's body. The red pool that formed on the floor reflected the light of the overhead lighting.

 

The handlebar of her recumbent exercise bike was the obvious murder weapon as it was tossed carelessly on the floor matted with hair and blood.

 

How could someone have the strength to wrench it from it mount on the bike was beyond Jane's comprehension But one of the bolts lay in plain sight. The room was a mess papers were strewn everywhere and the bookcase where one of the father’s collections of rare books was overturned and thousands of dollars in rare manuscripts and first editions were laying everywhere. The house was filled with bookcases that June's father had made in his woodshop in the basement. Literally, thousands of books lined the hallways and rooms throughout the mansion.

 

Jane could hear the approaching sirens in the distance of the approaching police. She got there ahead of them and called them when she got her friend's frantic call.

 

"Jane, they’re after father's notes and they think I have them!" The rest of the message was cut off with an eerie sound and the last thing she had heard was her friend screaming in terror.

 

Jane rushed home after calling the police and let herself in with her key.

 

Jane lived in the downstairs room in her friend and father's large Gothic style mansion house. It dated back over 150 years and Jane was glad she was living with them both. "Or was," she thought to herself.

 

Jane sat down in shock and waited for the police to arrive.

 

"What notes?" she asked herself puzzled.

 

June's father was a teacher at the Miskatonic University, a queer institution, which offered programs in arcane and antiquated studies or some such rot. June's dad was a professor Emeritus and taught classes about bygone ages past and the curious mythology that tribes in the South Pacific keep alive in legend, story, and sculpture.

 

He had died of a heart attack in this very room over that very desk face down over an old book he was translating that had come to him by way of a bazaar in Marrakesh, a strange place to get a book to be sure. But, on the backstreets of that city, anything was available for a price.

 

She looked at the desk and saw the book was still in place in plain view. Her sister was organizing his papers and Jane was supposed to help. Unfortunately, her boss at the newspaper where she worked at had a revision that needed to be done ASAP and she had been tagged with the job.

 

Her familiarity with7 languages was why she was stuck with the overtime. Seemed a VIP from some Middle-Eastern country had given a speech and some of his phrases in his native tongue had thrown the reporter for a loop. Luckily, he had his DVR and a recording had been made.

 

Jane had spent a couple of hours trying to decode a cryptic phrase that the reporter had picked up as he passed by that worthy while he was speaking to his compatriots.

 

The reporter had sensed a scoop and wanted to know what was said.

 

Jane had done her best but it was in an obscure dialect and she could only make out, "He Lives" and "never rest until he is whole."

 

This was nothing the reporter could use so Jane was packing it up when she got her friend's frantic call.

 

Part II Murder by maniac

 

The police arrived and the lieutenant in charge was a pot bellied aging detective named Gries. This rhymed with fries so Jane thought it would be easy to remember.

 

A mustache and round spectacles gave him a comedic look reminding her of Robin Williams in some movie about a museum. However, the balding head ruined the picture.

 

"Your friend didn't say anything else?" he asked.

 

"No, she just screamed something about them being after Dad's notes."

 

"I see, and what notes would those be?"

 

He was translating a book about ancient myths from the "South Sea Islanders."

 

"Where are they?"

 

"I haven't a clue." Jane continued.

 

"June was dad's secretary and TA at the University. She was following in his footsteps."

 

"I work at a newspaper."

 

“Yes, the Sundowner. Not exactly a place to get a Pulitzer huh?"

 

“You work for Bill Munday and in the editorial and foreign news section.”

 

He made it a statement, not a question and Jane realized he had a lot more information about her than he should just be coming onto a recent crime scene. It was as if he had a file on her already.

 

"I have to start somewhere I suppose and it lets me live at home here with Jane and her dad."

 

Realizing what she just said. Jane's eyes teared up and Detective Gries offered her a box of Kleenex off the desk.

 

Jane took it gratefully as he turned away as Gries barked at a CSI. "Get pictures of the frame on that bike!"

 

Jane took a tissue and heard a rattle from within the box. She looked down and saw a small key.

 

For some reason, she palmed the key and put it in her jacket pocket. For some reason Detective Gries did not strike her as someone she could confide in.

 

He turned back to her as she put the box back on the desk.

 

"Is there anything missing?" He asked.

 

"Money, jewelry, books?"

 

"Everything so far points to an escaped whack job from the Arkham Asylum. We got a report about one of their crazies getting loose a couple of days ago."

 

"Are you sure, you don't notice something you have missed but don't see?"

 

There seems to be a slight emphasis on that last word and Jane knew Gries was trying to use "Jedi Mind Tricks" on her. She remembered doing a general interest story about the Miskatonic police learning NLP and the famous founder of NLP had given seminars a few months back at the University. It seemed he had an interested in ancient lore and knowledge as well.

 

However, Gries had used of verbiage in too polished manner. He had learned it somewhere else and Jane didn't like to be manipulated. She started to think that Gries knew a lot more than he was letting on.

 

"No, I don't think so."

 

"I'll have to clean up a bit before I can tell."

 

"Oh, don't worry about that. We have a service that specializes in these things. They'll be over in the morning and before you know it everything will be right as rain."

 

Jane's suspicions flared up again but then shock and the emotional drain set in.

 

"All she said was, "I'd appreciate that."

 

She nodded to Gries a good night.

 

"We’ll let ourselves out."

He then added, "We'll have a car come by from time to time to check up on things."

 

All she could do was nod her head again as she let the police continue with their work and she went downstairs to her room and locked herself in for the rest of night.

 

Part III Waking up and Alls Too Well

 

Jane Slept late and she bleary-eyed looked at her Smartphone. With a start, she saw she was well past 3 PM.

 

She kept her boss on her speed dial and got him on the line to explain things. He interrupted her.

 

"The police called last night."

 

"They let us know what happened and I figured you'd be out of it for a while so I put in for some leave time for you. You got it coming."

 

"Oh, by the way, were you working on anything for your friend or her father on the side?"

 

"Some suits came in along the owner and publisher came trooping down and they copied your laptop's hard drive and your files."

 

"I never saw anything like it oust side of ... well, let's just say somebody is looking for something and they want it pretty bad."

 

"No, Jane's dad was so busy after coming back from Marrakesh and June was helping him night and day."

 

"I only saw them at dinner and they looked beat."

 

"Well watch your 6 and if you need anything you call me right away."

 

Jane said she would call if anything came up, closed her call, and saw her icons on her Smartphone were out of order.

 

So, they've tampered with my phone too.

 

She walked around the house in a daze.

 

She went up to the master bedroom/study and saw that while she was out of it the room had been cleaned up. No, the word "sanitized" flashed into her mind. She opened the windows to let in fresh air to remove the chemical scent that lingered.

 

Books and papers were all back into place. How that could happen she hadn't a clue.

 

She was looking things over and a glint of light struck her eye has a curtain moved with the incoming breeze. There in the heating vent near the ceiling was a lens staring back at her. She kept her eyes moving past it and looked around the room once more.

 

Jane went downstairs to the kitchen and fixed herself a Denver Omelet using the kitchen's ceramic cookware. She had some toast. She drank a glass of juice and was just finishing a cup of coffee to top it off. She started to feel alive again when she got another call.

 

It was from the mortuary they had said they had received her friend's body and following her written instructions they had cremated her and her ashes would be delivered in a couple of days.

 

Jane's mind began to whirl. She hadn't been aware of any such arrangements and June had only died the night before. Someone was moving fast to tie up loose ends.

 

The second call was from June's family attorney who called to tell her that she had been in both the father's and Jane's will.

 

It seemed the house and everything in it along with a safe deposit box were left in her name.

 

Not sure how to deal will all this and it was only one day after her friend's death and the father had passed only a week before.

 

Things were moving quickly and she felt that someone was helping things along from behind the scenes.

 

She suddenly got a chilling thought.

 

"Am I a loose end that needs to be tied up too?"

 

Part IV Visitors most strange

 

The doorbell rang just after Jane had a shower and was finishing dressing.

 

When she went down and opened the door, she saw three men dressed in Middle Eastern Garb.

 

She greeted them in their language and they stopped shocked and smiled. The three were a strange group one at the back was a hulking brute standing over six feet high and with shoulders that Jane thought he would have trouble getting in the door.

 

The other two were easier to identify. One was a visiting scholar whom she knew had worked with her friend’s dad at the University.

 

The third man, however, caught her attention totally. He was thin, almost emaciated but his eyes held one's gaze and seemed to peer inside you.

 

"What can I do for you, gentlemen?"

 

"We had heard the tragic news about your sister. Coming so close on you father's demise we were concerned about your welfare" This was said by the scholar. The man with the piercing eyes then took over the conversation.

 

"I was visiting my countrymen here in your lovely country and had heard of the work he had done in translating some very obscure texts that even in my own land we no longer have the means to read."

 

"I too have had an interest in them and when Rashid said he was going to make his way here to offer his condolences I felt it as a fellow student of the ancients I should come along and offer up mine as well."

 

"I don't know how to thank you both for your concern."

 

June's father was in love with the past and he was exploring pathways that most historians ignore or are ignorant of.

 

I know little of his work, as I became an investigative journalist while June opted to take up his father's work. I have been a fixture around here since college. June and I went to school together and her dad lets me have the room I've had for 6 or 7 years now.

 

The conversation had a flowery tone as the language she used was in a dialect that most do not ever hear in New England. You would only hear it if you were to tarry in the markets in Marrakech.

 

"Ah, to hear the words coming from one so young in my country's speech is truly remarkable." Said the older

 

"You may address me as Dr. Reynolds." He said switching to English.

 

"Thanks, Dr. Reynolds I just about exhausted my knowledge of your tongue I fear anyway."

 

"I was perhaps wondering if I might take a look at the professor’s work to date."

 

"I could show you his study and what there is of it if you like."

 

Jane was curious to see what they wanted.

 

She led them upstairs to her friend's father's room.

 

She pointed to his desk, the papers, and the book he had lavished so much time over.

 

Part V a Book that could save or kill the world

 

"Ah, the Treskillion" Dr. Reynolds remarked. "I had heard a copy had been found in my homeland."

 

"How you father was able to find it is truly a feat that deserves the highest praise."

 

"I myself have only seen one other copy in the possession of a former Emir of the Ottoman Empire."

 

Nevertheless, even in those days, there were none who could understand its words.

 

"That’s probably for a very good reason.” Jane said as she picked up the book a riffled through its pages. It’s not written in any of the languages of the Middle East.

 

"It is written in a Language that is only found on the megaliths on islands in the South Pacific."

 

"Assuredly? Then one of out traders must have gone much further West than we know."

 

That was my June's father thought as well. He made a study of this language. He thought it was very much like the writing that Professor Churchwood called Lemurian "A", the lost language of the continent of MU.

 

"Ah, you have unraveled the mystery then?"

 

"No, not I but perhaps my June's dad did."

 

"Then perhaps we should look at his notes then as the book is useless without the key."

 

"Why are you so interested in this particular book?"

 

"It is said to unlock the mysteries of life and death and somewhere is a passage that will open a doorway to another world where the Gods still dwell."

 

"The man who could open such a door would be granted much."

 

"But that's all legend. I've read up on all that stuff and listened to June and her father drone on about it for years."

 

"I have seen the results of it with my very eyes and my mentor showed me some of the wonders that could be accomplished before he passed on to the Great Void."

 

"Well, didn't he leave anything behind?"

 

"No, it was all lost long ago. However, your friend’s father found the secret of reading the book. He told that to my friend here. That is part of the reason for my visit here."

 

The shorter man nodded and said, "Now we can bring back the master and he will open the doorway to paradise"

 

"Silence Dog! This is not to the ears of the Infidels to hear" DR. Reynolds snarled in his native tongue.

 

Jane kept a bland look on her face as she pretended not to hear or understand the last outburst.

 

“I'm sorry I didn't catch what you said. It was too fast for my ears." Jane said looking at the little man who misspoke.

 

"It's nothing, just the excited chatter over the solving an age old mystery."

 

"Well, we still have a problem with that. Jane's pop's notes are not around here anywhere. I looked and what you see if what there is."

 

"Impossible I saw them. They were in a leather bound notebook. He showed them to me." The smaller man kept shifting his gaze between the three lingering on the hands of the silent giant whose hands were slowly clenching and unclenching ominously."

 

Part VI Hell comes to Miskatonic

 

"Enough of these games if you please miss!" You know the whereabouts of what I seek!" cried Dr. Reynolds.

 

"We shall make you tell us what we want to know."

 

"Faruk seize her!"

 

The giant was waiting for some such command as suddenly Jane found herself lifted in the air and bodily carried down the stairs to the basement.

 

There in a workshop where June's father worked in wood to make up the many bookshelves that the house was lined with lay a reciprocating saw.

 

Jane must have fainted because when she came around she was tied fast to a chair and the colleague of her friend's father was bringing the saw up over one of her hands.

 

The mute giant stood in the background with crossed arms and looked even taller in the darkness. Even his eyes seemed to gleam.

 

"I am sorry Jane Evans but I must now insist that you tell us what we want to know. I need the information from the Treskillion to awaken my master so we may open the doorway."

 

It suddenly hit Jane now who her coworker was recording at the news conference. This was the VIP that everyone was kowtowing to.

 

"You took out your mentor trying to get the secrets of the book didn't you?"

 

"Yes, but he was too clever he destroyed his work as I attempted to slay him."

 

"He laughed while the flames consumed him. However, I shall have the last laugh for that which dies can never truly stay dead with the Treskillion. June wouldn't help us, Faruk was carried away, and she escaped our questioning. The father would not help as well so he had to be eliminated."

 

"Now with your help, I will bring back my teacher and I will force him to open the doorway."

 

"I tell you I don't know where the notes are!"

 

"I fear I don't believe you, Miss."

 

"The little finger first I think." He nodded to his henchman.

 

There was a crashing sound from above.

 

Dr. Reynolds looked up, made a gesture with his hand, and uttered some words that Jane missed understanding entirely.

 

The Mute Giant began to get larger and larger his clothing shredded around his form and a bestial growl arose from his chest as he ponderously made his way to the stairs. Jane could not make out the changes but it was not a man that began to head up the stairs.

 

The windows on the four sides of the basement burst in and small objects flew in behind the bursting glass.

 

Bright light and thunder assaulted Jane's ears and mercifully, she blacked out.

 

When she came to she was in seated in the kitchen and a Paramedic dressed all in black stepped back. He must have used smelling salts or something as her head was clear as a bell, at least she didn’t feel like she had just been run over by a Double Jogging Stroller and when she was able to focus, she saw two things.

 

One was a cup of coffee and the second was the smiling face of Lieutenant Gries.

 

"You deserve our thanks, young lady. We were able to take down a major terror threat today. Your Dr. Reynolds was on our radar for a long time but thanks to you, June, and her father we were able to stop him before he could carry out his plans."

 

"You mean..." Jane stuttered.

 

"Oh, he's quite dead along with his pet ape." The other guy will live but we are not getting much out of him. He seems to have tripped over the line entirely and is mumbling about Djinn and demons from hell.

 

"I was bait!"

 

"You set me up!"

 

"Well not exactly." June was in on the sting as was her father."

 

"He knew the book would draw out Dr. Reynolds. This is not his real name of course. We put you under surveillance and waited."

 

Reynolds was obsessed with that book and let a copy be allowed to be bought by June's dad.

 

"He had another copy and the one that was sold was one that was in some sultan's library that was murdered."

 

"Emir", Jane interjected without thinking.

 

"Oh, ok." said Gries

 

"Well, we let it out that the book had been translated and the old Professor had created the key to the text."

 

"So, we knew it was only a matter of time until Reynolds would come around sniffing the bait."

 

"You mean me?"

 

"Well, you were the only one left who had any street creds. So we set things up for you to step into the spotting scope as it were."

 

"Look at it this way you got the house, everything in it and Reynolds had an international bounty on his head worth $25 million. Your share is already banked under your name."

 

"So all's well that ends well."

 

"Just my friend and her dad are dead."

 

Well, as they say... Gries got up and left before Jane could throw her coffee cup.

 

"There are a few extra things Mr. Gries forgot to mention."

 

Jane whirled in her chair and a man in a dark suit and a large ring on his right forefinger was staring her straight in the eye.

 

"Don't I know you..." started Jane.

 

“Yes and no.” He said, “I am not here and you last saw me when I gave my lecture a few months back.”

 

“Before I disappear again. I want you to remember some things. One there is the matter of the key you have in your possession. Check that safety deposit box. Finally, take very very good care of that book upstairs.”

 

Gries doesn't believe. Nevertheless, I saw the body of Faruk and I am convinced that that book should not leave this house and I think you will make quite a good keeper for it.

 

“Why don't you take it?”

 

"I, you would entrust that book to me?" He laughed.

 

"My dear girl I would use it. You will not. At least not the same way I would. That's why you will make the perfect guardian for it."

 

With that, he arose from the chair finished his coffee and looked down at it and her, his eyes sparkling.

 

 "I must get your blend."

 

He turned and walked away.

 

"But..." Jane started.

 

"Shush now", He touched her forehead and suddenly Jane was alone with a cold cup of coffee in her hand and night was falling.

 

 

 

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