The Diary of Harry Harrison: Mystic
19th September 1922
Oh how the spirits must laugh at the living; entwined as we are with the fickle hand of fate!
One minute I am providing spiritual succour to the bereaved souls of New York’s elite, the next I’m covered in mud and lying in an upturned truck in the middle of nowhere!
How I got here I have no recollection. Neither do I remember teaming up with my three companions, or they me. All we have discovered is that we have been exploring the town of Clio, Michigan – most notably the old Cooper farmhouse: a place notorious for grisly murders and mysterious disappearances. We also found photographic equipment and wax audio recording among our effects – clearly we meant business!
It appears that there was also a fifth member of our party – a red-haired lady by the name of Lynne who may have been more acquainted with one of us than the others. It was in her room that I found a notebook, detailing the locals we had apparently been quizzing about the Cooper House – possibly by way of producing a movie and/or on behalf of the ‘Second Sight Co-operative’, whose card we have discovered in some of our motel rooms (a place, I might add, we have no memories of booking into!) Lynne however has since gone missing and her whereabouts is unknown.
If this wasn’t mysterious enough, we have also been afflicted a terrible condition that the local doctor has been unable to diagnose (X-rays serving only to baffle him). Eating and drinking holds a particular terror - it hurts to swallow and some of us have been vomiting copiously. Also, how shall I put this, I have been evacuating my bowels in a spectacular fashion. I have suffered greatly from this malady, and I swear that, in the resultant issue, something moves!
Normally friendly dogs hurl themselves at us, while our investigations, not to mention our maladies and the resultant mess, are making us less and less welcome in this small town. Impromptu dance sessions do nothing to alleviate our misery and serve only to compound our woes.
Moreover we have been tormented by terrible dreams and visions. Mysterious figures leaping at us from the cornfields, monsters and creatures that Hell itself would refuse entry, things been forced down our throats… Our sanity has suffered as a result and I begin to wonder whether I will survive another night in this accursed town!
Yet survive I must, as my companions and I must unravel this mystery - for the sake of our own peace of mind if nothing else. Tomorrow we intend to stock up on weapons and supplies, having had our truck repaired. We have arranged to visit the Cooper House – a place built by one Edmund McCumsey: an English scholar and author of the esoteric tome Before Daedalus (a copy of which we have been unable to find at the local library).
It was in this house that John Cooper disembowelled his entire family to get rid of things he claimed were ‘inside them’. I fear that such things are also inside me!
I await the night with fear and trepidation…