Published January 2002
I’ve decided to follow in the footsteps of giants (Hey! Can somebody give me a hand? I’ve fallen into a giant footprint!) and publish some of my short fiction here on Rockett Science. I’ll post a handful of paragraphs and then link to the full version – in various formats – uploaded to the Internet Archive through ourmedia.org.
I’ll kick this off with one of my favorites: “Philosophus Stone Against the Cult of Terror!”, originally published on the Everything2 writing site. The character of Professor Stone was inspired by my old friend Gregory Crosby. Here he is now, the very image of the enigmatic adventurer into the unknown. He’s a deft hand with the typewriter, too.
Now without further ado…FICTION!
“Now ain’t that an ugly mug?” Captain Brockhard of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department grunted as we gazed up at the grisly idol before us. “You ever seen anything like it?”
I shook my head. The statue that sat on the altar had been the object of worship for the dozen or so cultists that Brockhard’s men were leading away in handcuffs. Responding to an anonymous call, they’d sped to the scene to find an orgiastic ceremony in progress at this abandoned warehouse on the outskirts of the city – a ceremony that, from the testimony of the terrified girl whom the cultists had bound to the altar, was to end in ritual murder.
Brockhard turned to address my employer. “How about you, Professor? What’s your opinion?”
Philosophus Stone, police consultant on occult matters, stepped out of the shadows. He was dressed as always in impeccable style, this evening in a three-piece suit of white linen and a black-banded white fedora. He raised his eyes to the grotesque object that leered down at us; his round glasses flashed in the light of the torches fastened to the rusted metal walls of the warehouse.
The statue depicted a crouching beast whose appearance combined the most unsavory aspects of a bison and a crab. It squatted atop a mound of human skulls and held an obsidian-bladed dagger in one raised claw. Professor Stone stroked his gray-streaked black goatee and furrowed his brow as he took in every abominable detail.
“Well, Professor?” I blurted. “Surely you know what it is!”
He spoke without taking his eyes off the idol. “Indeed, Johnson. If I am correct, the presence of this idol points toward the existence of a web of evil that – unless we act swiftly – will ensnare not only you and I, not only this city, but perhaps the entire world.”
He turned his burning gaze upon me. “And when the web ensnares, the spider strikes. Captain, my assistant and I have much work to do. I shall be in touch shortly. Good night!” With that the Professor spun on his heel and strode back into the darkness. I raced to follow…
This story is FREE to download, read, copy, use as the basis for derivative works, and share under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.<!–
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