This is a first draft sample of a Lovecraftian serial I am considering working on
Below is a transcript of the document found in association with Case number 007540.
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This is my story. No, this is my truth, for it is neither story nor lie. I wish it were not true, but it is. And I must write it down because others must know. If you are reading this it means I am most likely dead and my own tiny part to play in this war has come to an end. The events of the past two months are etched so deeply in my mind that even if I live to be one hundred, I will never forget a single detail. Pity me that at least. My name is inconsequential. Those that hunt me may use it to destroy my loved ones. Who I am, what I like and dislike, my hopes and aspirations are no longer important and are meaningless. There are some details that must be known, to place everything that happened in context. I lived in Brisbane, Australia and was in my last year of university, studying archaeology. I was a fan of horror fiction. I was relatively fit and healthy. No other information about me is needed .
It all started two months ago, in mid May. The temperature had dropped suddenly over the past two days, promising to bring an early and cold winter. That particular day was sunny, high clouds scudding quickly across the sky and though the sun was warm, a cool breeze robbed the day of all but the merest trace of its heat. Luckily for me I was inside, and the air conditioning had been cranked up.
I was sitting on a cheap office chair, one of those ones with the bare minimum of comfort. I’d been sitting in that seat for nearly an hour, waiting for my meeting with Professor Diana Prichard, head of the archaeology department and my possible Honours supervisor. While I waited I’d been reading an anthology of short stories by H. P. Lovecraft. I’d only just heard of him and I had to admit, he was very good.
I was broken from my reading by the door beside me opening. I jumped a little. Served me right for allowing myself to get so wrapped up in the book. Dr Prichard had finally finished with whatever it was she was doing, and could finally see me. She smiled motherly and ushered me into her office. We sat down at her desk, surrounded by the paraphernalia of her particular field of interest: New Kingdom Egypt. Book filled shelves covered two of the four walls, with a third set of shelves covered in various artefacts, from small votive figurines to cheap copper jewellery and funerary objects. Her office looked like the stereotypical 1930’s archaeologist.
“What can I do for you today?”
“I was just wanting to ask you a few questions about Honours next year.”
“Ah, yes. What were you hoping to do?”
“I was wondering if you would supervise me in a study of the changes in gender roles in economic tasks of New Kingdom Egypt as shown through the tomb artwork?”
“Sounds interesting. You might have some difficulty finding relevant literature but it is a fascinating area of study you have chosen there. I would be more than happy to supervise you. Just make sure you fill out all the correct paperwork for your application. And remember it has to be in by the end of August”
“I know. That’s all I wanted to see you about. I’ll be off again, I have a paper on culture history to write.”
“OK. See you in class on Wednesday. Oh, before you leave, see Matt and ask him to show you our newest acquisitions for the Museum. They haven’t been put out on display yet.”
I left Dr Prichard’s office, turned down the corridor and called into Matt’s office on the way to the elevator. Matt was into the home stretch of his PHD paper and also acted as the curator of the university’s Antiquities Museum. I gave a quick rap on his door and could hear him shuffling about. The door opened a second later, and Matt’s longhaired and rather haggard face appeared. “Hey man. What’s up? Don’t need a hand with Latin again do you?”
“Nah. Diana just sent me down, told me to tell you to show me the new stuff. If you’re not busy.”
“Yeah, that’s cool. Come on in. Wasn’t getting anything done anyway.”
We walked into his office and over to his desk. Four objects were lying in a large padded tray on his desk. Two were little votive figurines, one a copper ring with a small piece of inset lapis lazuli and the final piece was a slab of limestone about forty centimetres long and twenty wide, covered in a painting of a procession of gods and goddesses, with hieroglyphs above and below.
“All these pieces have been given to us by the Queensland Museum. They have… kindly refused to provide us anything but the most basic of information. All that we know is that the artefacts all come from a village dating to the late Middle Kingdom. They were found during an excavation of a sunken Ptolemaic ship.”
“Yep, the site of the village has been flooded.”
“Cool. What exactly have you got?”
“The ushabti are pretty standard and are of relatively good quality. The ring is obviously the possession of an elite, but again nothing particularly remarkable. It’s this damn inscription that’s got me though. Parts of the picture are a touch strange and there are words in the hieroglyphs that I can’t translate.”
For Matt not to be able to translate hieroglyphs was cause for excitement. He was a master of ancient languages, and Egyptian in particular. My own ability to translate Egyptian texts wasn’t too bad but paled in comparison. I bent over the table and gazed at the painting. And nearly choked. Maybe it was simply from just reading Lovecraft, but a cold shiver ran up my spine. There, painted four thousand years ago, rubbing shoulders with Thoth, Re, Horus and Nut was a being I had never seen in any Egyptian art. This god was green, winged and in place of a human head sat an octopus.