A Coven in Essex County | Epilogue

Visitant

Below is the final 18 of 18 monthly installments for Visitant.

◄◄  Read the first installment / prologue
◄ Read the previous installment, A November Wedding


EPILOGUE

Three bodies washed up from the Innsmouth bay on the evening of November first. One was a man with a badly damaged face and chunks missing out of him as if removed by the jaws of uncharacteristic sharks. The second was Mildred, found in perfect repose near the mouth of the Manuxet. The third was a well-scoured skeleton but for the ragged throat, legs, and feet.

Its face and midsection looked as if all the soft bits had been ripped out, and its bones dutifully nibbled by whatever creatures had found it in the sea. Its arms had been pulled from the sockets of its barely muscled shoulders.

◊◊◊

Gaslight flickered off the bubbled panes of the library’s windows like moonlight off water…

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A Coven in Essex County | A November Wedding

Visitant

Below is Part 17 of 18 monthly installments for Visitant.

◄◄  Read the first installment / prologue
◄ Read the previous installment, CORA


A November Wedding

On the kein kajuon of Nobōṃba, ān freezing kōto blew an undercurrent of snow below the briny eir. Yif Innsmoutnαί were sailers eny longer, some wolde have been afeared of a Nor’Easter, but thos staring eyes strayed rarely past the bōran baal of Devil’s Reef, if αὐτοί dared even to loken up from Ph’decaying-grund.

Ther had ybeen pok’mglw on the shore ṃōjin Mildred did not αὐτός’etal. Yeten the y’pӓleenajar jutak talle with the jipan of Cora. Pok, ejjeļǫk jutak againes the y’preestae nou- or whatever αὐτόςkar. Aὐτόςkar certeinli dāpdep poer y’unjeᶅā ph’Innsmouthkar, y’undoutekar transport from the kakikil ph’āne Corakar.

The mode was aunesy. Nauther Anthonykar Bridgeford nor Mildredkar Marsh waļọk. Buten the pālele had to wōnṃaanļọk. Y’ha-nthleiαί wouldban kōtļọk a holde.

The Innsmoutnαίkar kuren…

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A Coven in Essex County | Cora

Visitant

Below is Part 15 of 18 monthly installments for Visitant.

◄◄  Read the first installment / prologue
◄ Read the previous installment, LIZA


CORA

Cora examined her filthy nails and sighed before returning to the broken lobster trap. How different things were from when she had first arrived in Innsmouth, speaking only Marshallese, Pijin English, and what she had thought at the time was an impressive amount of German. She had washed up on the beach, naked but for the stick chart demonstrating half her journey in her hand.

The wind shifted over the water and Cora felt suddenly afraid. Sitting beside the water had never been threatening back home, but this was a different ocean. She sat in a different place now; a world away from her waters and her island. Eleven years had done little to dull the pain of being abducted from her home.

Still, the islands…

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A Coven in Essex County | Liza

Visitant

Below is Part 14 of 18 monthly installments for Visitant.

◄◄  Read the first installment / prologue
◄ Read the previous installment, LANA


LIZA

No one whispered about Eliza any longer. At least not in her presence. She had grown into a fearsomely proud woman, with good reason. The Marsh blood made so famous by the exciting exploits of Captain Marsh seemed to have tipped away from the slashed up vein of his direct lineage and into the Orne line. Not that Liza could see it.

They noted the undeniably Marsh features in her countenance and that her hair was the same solid black hue everyone but her father had. But most days all that Liza could see was her dark skin tone. There were so many other things to hate about her face, that sometimes she forgot just why Innsmouth so forcibly shunned her company.

She often caught the…

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A Coven in Essex County | Lana

Visitant

Below is Part 13 of 18 monthly installments for Visitant.

◄◄  Read the first installment / prologue
◄ Read the previous installment, LOTTE


LANA

Lana was bored and briefly chilly. Her boots were thin, and the laces restricted her ankles. Still, she had been able to escape the house in a wrap coat with a fur collar. No doubt her father would threaten to beat her when they returned, but he would not lay hands on her. Not now.

She ran her fingers through the thick pile coiling around her neck and shoulders and down over her stomach. It was luxurious, with tendrils of silky-smooth possum. Much too luxurious for this errand, like butter upon bacon, but then, everything was apparently too luxurious for her father’s house.

The last time she had worn such a finely-tailored coat in his presence, she had been twelve years old. Lana had spirited one…

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A Coven in Essex County | Lotte

Visitant

Below is Part 12 of 18 monthly installments for Visitant.

◄◄  Read the first installment / prologue
◄ Read the previous installment, Elsewhere, It is Halloween


LOTTE

Sunlight seeped into the sky from the horizon, bleaching the mottled purple and perfect black of the night before into a crude imitation of day. The white and jagged veins of stone thrust from deep in the earth threw shadows before their bulks. The creeping luminosity drew the details of the landscape, rendering the headlands into rocky spears. It coaxed the scrubby brush and scrawny arms of grass to reach from the gritty soil clumps in dark crevices. Like a pale, golden wave, it lapped across the shattered grassland, finally running along the clapboards of the three story Uxor home, freshly slathered with a coat of primer that took on the gray hue of dawn.

Within the home, on its second story, Lotte…

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A Coven in Essex County | Elsewhere, It Is Halloween

Visitant

Below is Part 11 of 18 monthly installments for Visitant.

◄◄  Read the first installment / prologue
◄ Read the previous installment, MILDRED


A call came for Betta on the telephone. It came as a surprise, since she often forgot there was a telephone in the house. Betta could not imagine anyone outside Innsmouth would call on her, or even knew she existed. The only place for her to take the call was upstairs in Mr. Bridgeford’s study. Mr. Bridgeford was out, but she was loath to pass the door to the nursery.

“Tell whoever it is that I will call on them tomorrow.”

The manservant looked her up and down, hungrily. He was especially unnerving at night. It was as if the special darkness that clung to the Bridgeford Manor rooms encouraged him and increased his appetite for her discomfort.

When she made her way to dinner, or took…

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A Coven in Essex County | Mildred

Visitant

Below is Part 10 of 18 monthly installments for Visitant.

◄◄  Read the first installment / prologue
◄ Read the previous installment, VERNA


MILDRED

Avoiding the cruel gaze of the looking glass, Mildred rooted through the mess strewn across the bureau for the little bottle of white pills. Unsuccessful, she limped back to her bed. As it turned out, they had been sitting on the bedside table the entire time.

She gently rubbed her painful and aching legs . Mildred willed them to stop ailing so that she did not have to suffer through the digestive distress that came with Paregoric. Perhaps this time, there would not be things to see. At least, she hoped not.

The light from her window boiled over the blanket she had fashioned into a drape, half-mindedly instructing a relative to nail it to the top of the window frame. A drooping semicircle of light dripped…

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A Coven in Essex County | Verna

Visitant

Below is Part 9 of 18 monthly installments for Visitant.

◄◄  Read the first installment / prologue
◄ Read the previous installment, BEVERLY


VERNA

The darkness comforted her. Like so many things she did not question, it was best in Innsmouth to simply accept things. Perhaps it was like this everywhere. She did not know.

Nevertheless, Verna knew that she felt better in the dark. There was something soothing about the loss of depth perception; the way the lamplight was doused and left her without knowledge of objects in the room. She could float in place, and move through the blackness without having to process what lay inside it.

She lay on her back, staring at the invisible barrier above. She knew she could touch it if she stretched her fingers from the high piled bed. At her side, across the white expanse of cold cotton and freezing padding underneath, Alda…

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