Figures fill our worlds. Shop front dummies. Statues in public places. Images on screens. What do these figures want? What do they mean? Do their eyes follow us when we’re not looking back at them?
When we visited the United States recently for GenCon Indy and Necronomicon Providence we were thinking of Horror on the Orient Express as it steamed inexorably towards its publication date. However we were not dwelling on a certain arcane artifact that features within it. My mind was running mainly on proof reading and header styles. And on that note, if you plan to play in Horror on the Orient Express, please stop reading as I am about to offer certain insights into said artifact that may or may not be involved in the investigators’ continent-spanning quest.
In San Francisco I pointed out a shopfront dummy to Mark. ‘why, I said, gaily, ‘That looks just like You-Know-What.’ Chuckling at the coincidence we took a photograph.
Shortly afterwards we saw another figure. This time the coincidence seemed slightly less amusing. Was it because the figure was now, how can put this, unnervingly incomplete? Was it because that this was when we felt the first, haunting sense, of being followed? Nevertheless we were tourists. It was broad daylight. What could go wrong? We do what tourists do. We took a photograph.
We left San Francisco without further sightings of any mysterious figures. Surely, even if we were being – followed – we could easily elude our follower in the crowds of GenCon Indy? So it proved, for the first few days.
On the third day I was fool enough to leave the convention, and venture down the quiet mall next door. It was a bright, sunny day. Little did I think to discover the horror…oh the horror…
Who as this good doctor, and why was he being threatened by a crowd of amputated legs? I looked closer.
I hurried back to the convention center and mingled gratefully with the happy, oblivious crowds. I hoped I might forget. But it was not to be. We found nowhere to hide in New York. It tracked us down, even in broad daylight and amid the bustling crowds of Times Square. Look – up there! On the Times Square Screens!
It was too much. We fled New York for the peace of Providence, Rhode Island. Surely in this quiet university town we could lose this sense of being followed by an implacable and vindictive force? What harm could come from browsing in the hallowed and venerable precincts of the Brown university bookshop?
Averting our eyes from that dreadful, insensate, blank visage we fled the bookshop, seeking the peace of the dreaming, pristine lawns of the university. Surely no horror would dare set foot upon this sacred turf – ARRRRGGGGHH!
Has anyone seen Mark? It’s been a few weeks now and I’m starting to get quite worried.