*** Spoiler Alert: if you’re planning to play through the (excellent) Call of Cthulhu Starter Set as an Investigator stop reading! ***

Breakfast was now as it had been for many a year; a poached egg, fingers of toast and some lime marmalade. Certainly it had been like this since his wife had passed. The timing of its delivery changed when he was out of semester, as he now was, the clock showing it was just gone eight. He’d been staring at the food for a few minutes, but he didn’t have the stomach for it. That was often the case recently. He’d content himself with some coffee for now and then return to his research. Maybe he’d flick through the magazine again. As he reached for it he thought the magazine an oddity in this apartment, which had almost completely been turned over to a place of scholarship. An oddity indeed, for it even had ‘weird’ in the title. Wentworth didn’t know why he’d bought it. He’d been buying his daily papers a few months back and spotted it on the newsstand. Its cover was unsettling somehow, but the monster and the promised violence evoked that horrible evening from October last, that he so wished to forget. Not forget in an informational sense, for he was always glad of knowledge, even that which challenged his fundamental understandings, but he wished he could erase the feelings thinking on it still evoked so vividly. Given that he wished to forget or erase that evening, it stuck him as strange that’d he’d brought that evocative magazine.

Cigarette, burnt toast, cigarette and some coffee. Nevada felt bleary-eyed and his head pounded. Breakfast had certainly changed. He couldn’t face the easy smiles and chitchat of the diner first thing anymore. He ran a hand along his stubbled chin. He’d been less diligent in that regard since teaching had finished too. No, that’s not right. He’d caught himself in a lie… a lie to himself. Truth be told he’d been growing increasingly unkempt since the start of the academic year, ever since he’d returned from that colloquium in Detroit and those strange couple of days in Arnoldsburg. He’d nodded politely to Prof. Averbury when their eyes met those few times on campus, but he’d be as glad not to see the man again. Nothing personal he thought, but he’d rather forget those strange memories Averbury was intrinsically woven into. The sound of those faithful shots. The last laboured breaths of Douglas Kimbell. The desperate cries of the nephew. Yes, he’d rather just forget it all.

A summons to a hospital is rarely a good thing. Maybe childbirth is the only strongly positive reason to visit such a place. Wentworth was sadly sure that Prof. Rupert Merriweather, a man considerably older than he, wasn’t celebrating the birth of a new child. One o’clock on Thursday was the appointed time and Wentworth’s pocket watch showed it was nearly here.

Just as he was about the enter through the main door of St. Mary’s Teaching Hospital an engine roared and brakes squealed from behind. A sleek automobile, of a type he wasn’t familiar (to be fair, he wasn’t familiar with any type of automobile), had just halted jerkily nearby. It’s driver, a man quite familiar to him, emerged. Wentworth walked to him, hand extended, “Dr. Jones! It is good to see you, though I suspect we are here for the same reason…”

The sarcophagus lay on the small wine table. Infant-sized, made from gold, hieroglyphs from the Middle Kingdom etched around the circumference of the lid. Both men were in awe… if the circumstances of it coming to them had been less dramatic and urgent, it may present several years of study, both archeological and linguistic. But they didn’t have years; Merriweather’s death had set a clock ticking. Their initial researches would need to be hasty, for a previously unknown farmhouse near Ross’ Corner called to them.

Until next time,