Foresaken Lore, 5


In the Cervantes Theatre Jim stood-up from his plush seat to allow a group of fellows, all topped in bowler hats, to pass; but, most uncomfortably for Jim, they sat down beside him, lounging nonchalantly, despite there being row upon row of empty seats.

“My name is Agent McAdams,” said square-shoulders.

“Jim Culver.”

“Sir,” said McAdams, “we have so little time… There is an aeroplane ready and waiting at Jorge Newbery Airport, it will fly us anywhere. Just say where to next.”

Jim closed his eyes. He could hear the swish of a mop as a stagehand cleared-up the sticky remains of the scholar who was devoured during the performance of The King in Yellow. “San Francisco,” he answered, “go to San Francisco and destroy the slug-beast.”

“Consider it done, sir.”



The subway car stopped, and Jim alighted to the curb. He turned round, wondering which was the way back to the docks and his ship. On the road nearby water trickled into a drain and fell, hissing, as if splashing upon a subterranean stove. He focused on the sound and discerned whispers; he pulled a pencil stub from out of his jacket pocket, licked its point, and then scribbled the phrases on the back of an envelope.


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