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The man pulled his coat closer around him – perhaps this had not been such a good idea, this walk out on the commons. However, it was what he did every night, and he was, if anything, a creature of habit. The fog was so thick that he could barely see in front of him. Every so often he could hear the clip clop of horses hooves two streets over, as they pulled their carriages, passengers shrouded behind closed windows, drivers with mufflers up to their ears.
Was it all that long ago that he would have been in one of those carriages? Not more that three months, surely. Three months since the night of that fatal visit. He had been approached to join a society of fellow philosophers, primarily for his expertise in foreign languages. Ancient languages, to be exact. Right after joining the society, he had received a visit from Dr. Piers D’ Angelo, who brought with him a short manuscript … well, a part of a manuscript, to be exact. He had deciphered the manuscript over a period of days, and notified Dr. D’Angelo, who came that night to pick it up.
Second thoughts are never good things, but he was having them. Whatever that manuscript was, deciphering it had unleashed some kind of unearthly power on him. He was always cold, and he felt like he was being watched, even when no one was in the room. Lighting every single gas light in the house didn’t help – he felt there was a presence there that he couldn’t see, and that it wanted something from him. Each day he looked in the mirror, and saw himself looking older and older. Was it his imagination, or was he aging rapidly?
He had finally covered all of the mirrors in the house, but that didn’t help. He seldom left the house, except to conduct business. He walked at night, in the fog, listening for footsteps that never came. He would hear a faint sound of movement, but he never saw anything or anyone. He felt that he was losing his mind. He turned the corner, and headed back home.
The Presence smiled – This One did not have much longer in the physical world. Oh, but he would have a much longer existence, in the world of Lost Souls.
(c) October 2011 Bonnie Cehovet