This is a story based on a real place in Connecticut. I thought I was going to have time to finish it all in one post, but unfortunately I need to get up early in the morning. I hope to post the rest before the end of the weekend.
August stared at his laptop in disbelief. He closed the lid and swiveled his chair so he could face Minerva, who was sitting on the floor, surrounded by dusty books.
“Can you believe it? No e-mails. Not one.” August whined drearily. He had been in demand as an investigator of all things supernatural since 1999. Back then, he was an unsuspecting art student, but since then he abandoned his studies of the human form for the study of occult tomes. His specialty was binding and exorcising; Minerva was much more sensative to psychic vibrations than he was. She also was much more patient.
“I’m sure even Superman has his off days. Dr. Doom can’t trouble Gotham everyday.” Minerva smiled widely as aggravation spread across August’s face. He loved comic books almost as much as he loved hunting for ghosts; Minerva knew just how to provoke him.
“Superman doesn’t live in Gotham. Dr. Doom is not even in the same universe.” said August, exaspirated. “All I want is a case. Something to sink my teeth into. I can’t just sit here.”
“Then why don’t you dust the bookshelves. Some of these volumes of Tobin’s Spirit Guide are caked with dust.” Minerva ran a finger along the cover of volume two-hundred and twelve and showed August her dust laden finger.
“I don’t want to do something mundane. I want some action. I need to get out there and find something.” Minerva was tiring of August’s rantings and wished that he would find himself a girlfriend, or something; anything to get his mind off of work for a few hours. She pulled a copy of The Most Haunted Places in New England, a thin soft covered book of about two hundred pages, and tossed it at August’s feet.
“How about a field trip? Some hiking, fresh air, and all that.” August picked up the miniscule volume and leafed through it inattentively.
“Where are you thinking?” he asked.
“Connecticut. The Little People Village. Page one-seventeen. It’s a bit of a ride, but it might be worth it. Some weird stuff happened there. A guy built these tiny houses for the voices he heard in his head, and then he built a throne. After his death, a cult used the site for ritual murders. Place hasn’t been on the radar since 2000, when the current owners of the land destroyed the throne.” Minerva closed the copy of Marduk and Other Divinities Amongst Us and put it back on the shelf. She picked up the other books she had littered the office floor with and put them back on the shelf as well. August read the entry about the Little People Village and felt intrigued enough to undertake the hour and a half drive to get there.
Leaving their tiny office, which sat above a weiner shop on Woonsocket’s Main Street, the pair looked like an odd couple. Minerva was wearing a soft pink peacoat and her long, blonde hair was waving like a spider web in the wind. August was dressed in his usual work attire; a black kilt made out of thick cotton and a black duster. His dark hair was recently cropped into a curly mass atop his head. They walked down the street past several brick buildings with glass store fronts. Some were normal businesses; shops selling antiques, some small restaurants, and a karate studio. However, others were simply facades for less mundane enterprises…
They piled into August’s station wagon, in the back of which was a tangle of wires, books, camera equipment, scrolls, and a massive altar top from one of the city’s abandoned churches. As he started the car, Minerva’s cell phone exploded into the chorus of ABBA’s Dancing Queen. While Minerva talked unceasingly to her sister, August guided the automobile towards the highway. They headed Westward on thickly forested highways.
“Connecticut lasts forever.” said August when Minerva finally finished with her call. “It’s like Connecticut is a wormhole or something. You get so far, then suddenly you’re right where you started, or at least at a place that looks just like where you started.”
“It isn’t that bad. At least it’s nice and green. I bet it’s pretty in the fall around here.” Minerva contentedly watched the scenery pass by while August concentrated on the road ahead. Silence slowly filled the car. Neither was uncomfortable; they had been working together for nearly ten years now. They rode on in silence, listening only to the hum of the car’s engine because the radio died years before.
“Do you think we could have been something?” asked August, breaking the quiet. Minerva was surprised by the question. August, thinking he needed to clarify the question, said “I mean, do you think we could have been an item? If things were different?” Minerva took a moment to digest the question.
“Why?” she asked, evading the question.
“I just found myself thinking about it. What if? You know, those questions bug me. ‘What if I never came to Woonsocket and saw the shuggoths?’ ‘What if I hadn’t met Ana? or Sarah?’ Sometimes, when I’m just sitting there, I think of these things. I don’t mean anything by it. I know you’re in a relationship and all, but I was just thinking how weird this would be if we were, you know, a couple.”
“Do you really think it would be weirder? We’ve seen some strange stuff over the years, and couple or not, I don’t think it would be weirder.” responded Minerva.
“Well, I just don’t know if I’d want to let you risk yourself going out like this if you were more than just a friend.” said August. His mind wandered back to the day that Sarah had saved him, throwing herself at that thing.
“I don’t know if I should be offended by that.” remarked Minerva, trying to be playful. Seeing the grim expression on August’s face, she changed the conversation. “So, this village. Are you excited to see it?”
The smile returned to August’s face as he nodded his head. “Yes.” At the end of the long ride, August was himself again. They parked the car in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart. August took a sheaf of parchment from the rear of the station wagon, as well as his digital camera and a small, wooden writing set. They made their way on foot through the quaint town; locals looked at them suspiciously, half-knowing why they had come to visit. In the late afternoon, they arrived at the path that, according to The Most Haunted Places in New England, would wind into the woods and lead to the Little People Village. The path was hard to follow, but after fifteen minutes of wandering, Minerva spotted a tiny house. August took out his camera and took a picture of the knee high cottage.
“Windows. Tiny windows!” marvelled Minerva as she bent down to look at the exquisitely detailed house. It was carved from stone; intricate patterns of shingles covered the roof and when she looked in a window, she saw that Persian rugs were skillfully hewn on the floors. “How did he do this?” she asked out loud. August heard her, but could offer no answer. His eyes were drawn deeper into the forest, where a stone throne sat on a small hill, surrounded by a dozen detailed domiciles.
“I thought you said that was destroyed.” said August as he took steps away from the distant object. “Minnie, Do you think we should leave?”
Minerva took her attention from the tiny house and let her focus drift. Her vision slowly blurred and she felt herself expanding into a thin sheet of consciousness that canvassed the area. August quieted his thoughts and heard a squeaky voice.
“Greetings, friend.” said the voice. August stumbled forward, startled. Minerva’s focus fell to a tiny man, about the size of her thumb. Other tiny men and women started to swarm out from the houses. August held up his camera and snapped several pictures. He started to think about wards that he could use to keep the little people away, but none came to mind.
“Hello,” responded Minerva in a friendly tone.
“We don’t get many visitors here.” said the tiny man, “except for the Queen.”
“Queen?” asked August.
“Yes. She comes at night and takes her place upon the throne. She is our Queen and Goddess.” explained the man, “She is our Great Mother.” The other little people began to chant ‘Great Mother’.
“Who is this Queen of yours?” asked Minerva, hoping for a less general answer.
“She called us here and had this town built for us.”
“And that is her throne.” said August, pointing at the hill.
“Yes,” replied the tiny man.
“Yes.” said a voice from behind August and Minerva. They turned to see a tall woman with green, bark splotched skin and root like hair. She wore a dress crafted from leaves and a crown of antlers…