[COC7e] S11 | Where in the World is Ginger

Written by Kathi Hutton.

Pages mysteriously found and believed to be from the diary of Virginia Elizabeth Fitzgerald.

Date: Unknown
Dear Diary,
With all the comings and goings between the Waking World and the Dreamlands, and with the added complexity of the Time-Traveling Clock, I feel the necessity to put pen to paper and record some of my thoughts about this strange journey upon which I find myself, and regarding the eclectic band of compatriots with whom my life has become entangled.
I do not know the exact date – some time in May of ‘27 to the best of my recollection, but sometimes I feel as though as though I am in a whirling maelstrom of Time and might never return to normalcy.
The gentlemen of my group do not know I have begun this journal and I do not want them to find it. I shall hide it here in the panty drawer of my bureau. The only one who might look there is that insufferable Frankie so I shall watch him closely to see that he does not skulk about near my rooms. ~VEF

Date: The next
Gentle Reader,
I believe that Roz has been using my lipsticks. I confronted her and she swears she has not, but at dinner last night I thought the shade she was wearing looked very familiar and today I see that my tube of Blushing Bride Pink has tooth-marks in it. Tooth-marks! I ask you. What sort of woman uses another woman’s lipstick and leaves tooth-marks upon it? I shall have to think of a terrible prank to pay her out for such mischief. ~VEF

Date: The following day
Gentle Reader,
I feel the need to describe the men with whom I am involved in this adventure. Sir Gerald is quite the gentleman, much like my departed grandfather, and yet he has a mystery about him. How did he become so proficient with his sword? I suspect he would not answer, were I to ask.
Derek is a natural leader; he keeps us on target when our thoughts wander. He is also quite bold in a crisis. His motto seems to be that of Admiral Farragut: “Damn the torpedoes, men! Full speed ahead!” It is a pity that he cannot pick an ordinary lock, despite his supposed skills.
Frankie is incorrigible – his mien reminds of those boys I met in Milan during my Grand Tour. They looked at me as if they could see right through my clothes, and his countenance portends the same notion at times. He swaggers about with bravado, however in a crisis he is a great asset to our merry band.

Nikolai the Russian I have never trusted. It may because of my late Uncle Edward’s strong feelings against Lenin. Uncle also told me of a strange premonition he once had, about the Russians interfering in the election of an American President. That of course is such a flight of fancy that I pay it no mind; surely such a farce could never occur in this great country.
Silas the lunatic I have no impression of and prefer to keep it that way. The holy man Rasputin frightens me. His powers are staggering and I know not what he might do next.
Tom. What shall I say about him? Handsome he is not, but he has the smoothest voice I have ever heard, and I come near to swooning when he addresses me. He is teaching me to shoot, and I find it difficult to attend to my lessons when he stands behind me to adjust my grip on my darling little Remington 95 derringer. When I told him he seemed to be quite the scoundrel, he said "You need a scoundrel in your life." I hurried up the passageway in the most altered state of mind and body I have ever experienced. ~VEF

Date: Much later …
Dear Diary,
So much has happened in the span of such a short time and my memory of these events is quite poor. We have been so engaged in our quests that I have failed in my efforts to keep this journal current. The most recent episode I must record, as I feel it may have repercussions in the future.
After a stint of studying in the Great Library of Ulthar, I became restless and suggested to my companions that we might pass through one of the many doors therein, and perhaps have a pleasant diversion in a part of the Dreamlands we had not yet visited. They acquiesced readily, and choosing a Door completely at random, we ventured forth with enthusiasm.
The first person we met was an old man who seemed to be having some trouble finding his lost relations. He asked us to accompany him in his search, and when I heard it involved a trip to a Slave Market I was quite willing. It seemed a most decadent experience to watch the buying and selling of others, and yet it evolved into something altogether appalling. Frankie, that odious worm, tried selling me to a Slave Trader! He said he would "slip me a knife" so that I might slit the man's throat and thus escape, but I mistrusted him. Luckily Tom and the others saved me from a Fate Worse Than Death, but I hold a strong grievance against him and vow to pay him out.
After leaving that land and returning through the door to the refuge of the Great Library, we elected to attempt a trip to Celephais to see if we could heal the injured members of our party - Derek, with his withered leg and Nikolai's missing left hand. We visited with Macavity the Cat a while and determined that the King, a Great Healer, was without the Castle and unavailable to aid us.

Having retrieved five gold coins I had left with the Cat for safekeeping, we proceeded to the market where I was insistent upon purchasing a knife. It was at the vendor's stall that I hatched a plan both perfect and at the same time devastating. I encouraged Frankie in his idea of stealing a knife, and created a scene by staging one of my famous "faints." It amuses me to see men fall for this play-acting every time I employ it. While my companions and several of the patrons of nearby stalls were thus distracted, Frankie used his skills - likely learned in some back alley, reform school, or Family social club - to purloin a very beautiful and expensive dagger. The merchant was not as short of eye as I had hoped, and caught him out. My original idea was to call upon whatever passes for the police in this world and watch Frankie squirm under their scrutiny, but I suddenly lost my nerve and we fled back to the library, knife in hand, and thus back to the Waking World by means of our pass-word.
This, Gentle Reader, is where everything deteriorated. In our absence, the dreadful Mi-Go had invaded our sanctuary, the Observatory, had killed both Roz and my maid Martha, and had assumed their faces in a manner most grievous. A great battle ensued in which Frankie covered himself in glory by killing the monsters. In my own way I mourned the loss of the only two women around me. I had only just discovered that a mouse had invaded my cosmetics case, and it was that vermin which had gnawed on my lipsticks. Roz died before I could apologize to her for my error. And as for Martha - I do not know how I will explain her death to Mumsie. She so despises the task of hiring and training a new maid.

Date: Still the same day
Alas! The so-called seed, the glowing rock from space, has been stolen. We can only assume that the Mi-Go have succeeded in their efforts and have retrieved the foul thing for their own nefarious purposes. The whorl gun too is missing from its place, and again the Mi-Go are suspect.

Date: Later the same day
The mad-man Silas has been mumbling some words in his chamber, and I am elected to speak with him to determine what, if anything, he can tell us about the invasion of the Observatory. Most of his jumbled words are mere ravings, but one thing is clear to me. All of these disasters - the attack of the Mi-Go, the death of the female members of our party, the loss of the whorl gun and the seed - have been caused by my foolish, childish, and self-centered theft of that cursed knife. But I can fix it. I can take the Time Clock back before my misdeeds and thus change time and prevent these horrors ....
What? The Clock is gone as well? I am undone. I see no other recourse than to risk myself in a last attempt to save my companions, nay my friends, who have risked themselves for me more than once. I shall beg an audience of the Elder God Yog-Sothoth and implore him to let me make amends. Surely a God can help me set things right. Adieu for now, Gentle Reader. ~VEF