Published by arrangement with the Delta Green Partnership. The intellectual property known as Delta Green is a trademark and copyright owned by the Delta Green Partnership, who has licensed its use here. The contents of this document are © Augustine Stuart, excepting those elements that are components of the Delta Green intellectual property.
Innsmouth isn’t on maps anymore— unless you go looking at maps from the 1920’s, or very restricted government files.
But people still live in Innsmouth. We survived the raid in 1928. We survived the bombings, the questions, and the arrests. We survived because no one knew that we were here.
I’m one of the people of Innsmouth. I wish I could say that I’m proud. The most I can say is that I’m resigned. I’m an Innsmouth girl— we’ve never really been known for our fire.
Quite the opposite, in fact. The people of Innsmouth are like the sea— deep, consistent, mysterious, ruthless— and with a bit of a wild streak. We have currents that move within us that no one can ever know.
They can surface in unexpected ways.
I got a text from Akeley on a dreary Innsmouth morning.
I never got texts from my uncle.
He was terse, as was his style.
EVELYN: You wanna say what this is about?
So that was all I was getting out of him. I pulled on my slicker and boots. It’s always wet in Innsmouth. One dresses accordingly.
The streets were empty. They were always empty— so few of us lived in Innsmouth that there were long stretches of empty, dilapidated houses for blocks upon blocks. The paint had grayed, and the windows were empty, like dark, hollow eye sockets on many-eyed, dying creatures that had shambled to the seashore to lay down and take their last few breaths.
Akeley lived a few blocks away from me. I’d often invited him to come and live closer— next door to me, maybe, or even in the spare room in my house. Heaven knew I didn’t need it. But he always turned me down. He said he liked living close to the church.
I lived in my house specifically so that I didn’t live near the church. I went every Sunday with the rest of the family. But I didn’t want its looming presence in my life every other day of the week. The Esoteric Order of Dagon controlled enough about my life. I didn’t need to relocate for them, too.
Akeley’s house didn’t look inhabited. He said it was safer that way.
“Safe from whom?” I used to ask, when I was younger.
“Safe,” was all he would reply. He was always terse, even when I was a child.
I didn’t even bother to knock— because there wasn’t a door, just a gaping entrance into a moldering hallway beyond. Talk about safe. Anyone could walk right in.
“Evie.” My uncle stepped out of a side room and into the hallway, the floorboards creaking below his feet and threatening to give out. “Good. You came.”
“I said I was going to.” I shrugged off my raincoat and hung it on a peg next to the door. The peg broke off, sending my raincoat slumping to the floor. I left it there.
Akeley only shrugged.
“So what’s this about?” I asked, looking around. I hadn’t been in my uncle’s house for a while. It hadn’t changed much. It could have been abandoned— there was the same broken furniture littering the corners, the same cobwebs clogging the crannies of shelves, the same dust caking every flat surface.
“We had a visitor,” Akeley said, leading me down to the basement door. I shivered slightly. I don’t like the basements of Innsmouth. My own is boarded up, with three deadbolts.
Call me paranoid, but I’ve seen things.
Akeley led me down the stairway. I held tight to the handrail, not trusting the stairs. Not that the handrail was anymore trustworthy.
The basement was a single, concrete-floored room with a lone lightbulb hanging from the center of the ceiling. There was about six inches of water covering the floor, which made me glad that I had left my boots on.
By the bulb’s dim illumination, I could see a chair in the center of the room.
And tied to the chair was a woman.
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