It was raining when I arrived at Warwick.
Even though the welcome sign said there are 11 thousand or so people living here, the streets are empty.
At 2 p.m. I went to the Sheriff’s office (they still call it Constabulary in this town) to see how much they know of the Aimric deal. I also wanted to confirm Mrs. Aimric’s suspicions that the towns people were hiding something.
I started a friendly conversation with a reuben cop working the front desk. He remembered the Aimric cousins quite fondly. I almost felt like buying cousin Edward some flowers after my talk with the cop. The motive to kill his wife still eludes Warwick police. He also said that the police beliefs that James Willis is out of town on vacation.
I’ve been talking to people long enough to know this reuben is lying through his teeth. But why?
My next stop was the small liberal-artsy-fartsy school, Warwaqua College. This is where James Willis Aimric worked as a Professor of Medieval Literature. I came up with this croc story about a young nephew from Arkham who wanted to study Medieval Literature.
Everybody was off for winter break. A kid working a desk in the Literature department told me to talk to Prof. Jones. He didn’t have a bad thing to say about Aimric; he also told me that the man was gone on vacation. I bamboozled him into letting me take a look at the department “to get a feel for the place.” I went to the Literature department and let my self into Aimric’s office. The place was in a state of controlled chaos, with books piled up everywhere. There was a picture of Mrs. Aimric behind a tower of books in the desk. This lets me know it wasn’t adultery. I just know…
I found Professor Jones in the town library. His an old man who dresses like were still in the past century. He knows everything there is to know about history, but doesn’t know what happened to James Willis Aimric.
I can tell his not on the level with me. I don’t know enough to call him on his bluff…yet.
Next stop: the Aimric Ancestral Home.
The drive to the place was quite relaxing. I passed empty, decaying shore houses all over the coast. The Pacific Ocean, infinitively bigger and meaner than me, extended to the horizon. There’s a Civil War memorial on the way. It’s an strange obelisk that I guess symbolizes some struggle or the other.
It is late afternoon when I get to the house is on the outskirts of town. It is an attractive house with a modern style. Slightly decayed paint ran all across its two storeys. I could see a golden dome on the side of the house that was facing the other direction. The flowers meant to adorn the front of the house had long died, now they just add to the house's depressed look.
I decided to get inside of the house before the lightning that illuminated the sky gave way to rain.
The house looked as abandoned inside as it did outside. The air was heavy with musk and everything covered in shadows as heavy as the secrets the house kept.
The first of which were two paintings I found on the room adjacent to the kitchen. The first is a flat earth ( like old Europeans saw the earth, I guess). There was an object floating above Earth. It could have been made out of fire, decaying bodies or worms, I couldn’t tell. I had take a step back and calm my self down. Something about that horrible painting unnerved me. I couldn’t keep my cool while I looked at the painting. I know how stupid it sounds, but the thing had a primordial horror to it.
The other painting had some people in colonial garbs sitting on a table. They had penetrating red-rimmed eyes. There were very strange looking naked people sitting on the other side of the table. They were humans… of sorts. Their noses and fore heads were flat and their hands were…scaly. They seem to be striking a bargain of some sorts. Behind them stands a man doing what looks like a high energy speech. Further in the background is a paper mill engulfed in flash. Flat nosed people are being lead in chains to the flames.
I walked away from the dreadful paints and went to the backyard. There were gravestones there. They seem to belong to faithful servants whose loyalty went well beyond life. The family crypt was closer to the woods. Small Hebrew letters were carved in between the bigger letters of the Aimric name. I can’t read Hebrew. The grandiose tomb was sealed with a stranger lock mechanism.
Back inside the house I found a door that lead to the cellar. I think I can hear Eddie’s words in my head, “CANNOT DISCOVER THE ENTRANCE IN THE CELLAR!!!” even though I’ve never met the man or heard the sound of his voice. I descend some rickety stairs, flash light in hand. I end up in the House’s impressive wine cellar. A deeper look at one of the wine racks reveals that it’s a fake. I noticed a mechanism of sorts upon further inspection. The wine were part of the rack. It was impossible to remove them, but I was able to rotate them. The were letters inscribed in the bottles. I remembered Edward's journal, " The clue is in their names, that pestilential procession of names." Damn it, I feel like I've stared at the answer, but I'm not intelligent enough to know it.
I opened another door, it was a storage room. I found some newspaper clippings in a box. They were all related to the family. An August 1886 story had the headline, Church closed, preacher suspect in anarchist crackdown. The preacher's name, Mordecai Aimric. Another story chronicles the death of a policeman that was involved in the closing of the church. There was also a 1903 story about the discovery of a kid's carcass nearby. The poor kid appeared to be eaten. there was another piece about the resignation of a Dr.Rebis due to mental distress. An 1845 story chronicled Mordecai's victory on a civil case against a Folklorist who attempted to search for some relics in Warwick. Finally, there was a story about a fire that consumed a paper mill owned by the Aimrics on July 17, 1908. This the second time the building was consumed by flames.
I had enough of this damn cellar. I went up the stairs to the house's second storey.
There were three rooms. The first room is a study. The walls were full of books of all kinds. I was bored just looking at them. I found a book on poetry that just seemed out of place. I heard a "click" when I tried to pull it out and that whole section of the bookcase opened like a door. Inside was a safe. The very same safe Edward frantically looked for in his journal entry. I got the combination right on the first try. The two items guarded by the safe seemed equally out of place. The first was a big magnifying glass lens. On top of it what appeared as an instrument but was unlike anything i've seen. It looked like a sea shell on the outside. It had some keys along it's outer shell. The insides of the item spiraled inward. The thing's geometry seemed impossible: like it was way bigger inside than what it was outside. I put the two things back in the safe and kept on investigating.
The next room was the one that got to me.
It was a girl's room. Well, the nightmarish parody of one. I could tell that the atmosphere here was heavy with fear and dread that has been bottled up here for way too long. I was able to spot some boards that covered a hole in the wall behind the bed. I went back to my car to get the crow bar and noticed, for the first time, that night had fallen. After climbing up the stairs I spotted a attic door that I missed the first time around. I found a small diary, a small girl's diary, behind the boards.
I feel the need to write down what this girl lived with. I feel the need to share with her her pain; I just hope I can be as strong as her.
...father came again to my bed last night...mother doesn't...tells me I can't...to be a good daughter. Sometime it hurts, but Father always tells me I shouldn't cry, Father says a daughter must do her duty if she wants to get into Heaven. And I do want to get into Heaven...
[Entry dated 1887]... my poor little William. Father calls him an aberration, child of the devil, but I don't believe... locked in the attic. I go to see him whenever Father is away. I sing to him, sometimes, through the keyhole, and slip him sweets through the crack under the door... my baby is beautiful...can't let him hurt my dear baby William... to the doctor, and he has a plan... I can never... this locket, William, and I will always keep yours... to always remember my face...
[ February 27, 1891]...dead, but not dead yet...will not allow him to do to Edward what he wanted to do to William.. have learned...given him the charm against the...never take it off, dear Edward... [page has been torn away]...fear to sleep... mist at the window.
There's nothing I can do to safe her.
There was a locklet with the diary. One side had a picture of the girl the other had a deformed boy. William...
I turned around to start walking to the attic door. For the first time in years my gun was in my hand.
There were too doors in the attic one that was locked and the other wasn't. The unlocked door lead to the copula I saw from the front of the house. A huge telescope was aimed at the sky. I placed the lens I found in the study and looked. The view was a mixture of grey and other weird colors.
I had enough. I need a clean mind to sort out the generations dark secrets of this family. I went back to the car and drove to the hotel to meet Mrs. Aimric. She wasn't there.
I now sit in a bed I payed for with the money Mrs.Aimric gave me. Notes all around me. The strange instrument sits next to me. Something tells me it was built to make a noise. I feel compelled to hear that noise.