It's February 10th, and I'm just now posting Chapter 12 of The Story of the Windlenot Museum. This chapter marks the 2/3's point of the story. By my guess, I think the last chapter shall be up in early to mid March. As always, I hope you have been enjoying this story, and hopefully I'll get the rest of this one up by March. I know I try to only post one chapter of any of my fics a day, and that's because I don't want to overwhelm the board, as well as make sure other posters get read. I would, however, like to help as well by reading some things as well. I do tend to get busy, with family, and life, but if you'd like me to read some of your stuff, I'll do what I can. Message me if you want with a link, and I'll do what I can to check everything out. I'm also debating what series to start posting now that the Rudux is all caught up. Time will tell on that.
Attention: Shivers is property of Sierra. Richard Cale is my character, and is used in other fics with my blessing. Michael McNeal is a creation of Mike N, who has fics posted on fanfiction.net as well. Carl is Carl Kolchak from the Kolchak: The Night Stalker franchise.
The Story of the Windlenot Museum
|Previous Chapter||Riddles and Fortunes|
Chapter 12: Final Punishments
Richard Cale slowly entered the room, especially after hearing the screams when the door had been originally opened. He did remember from the map he had seen earlier that the room was devoted to Man’s Inhumanity to Man, but he never expected the sounds, and now the sights. The room had to be devoted to the worst things mankind can do, most likely as punishments.
He was aware that people had an interest in it, especially seeing stuff like a guillotine in various shows, but this was too much. It was worse, since they were under the threat of an Ixupi attack. He almost froze when they had to pass through a tunnel lined with spikes. He wasn’t surprised when Carl Kolchak froze and said, “With all that I’ve seen, I can honestly say that this is the most disturbing.”
He wasn’t surprised when Michael McNeal, his friend, nodded in agreement. “I don’t think I can imagine something more disturbing.” Richard wanted to say something in reference to Michael’s preference to horror movies, but decided not to.
As he walked through the tunnel, he froze, seeing a skeleton lying on a table, its wrists in manacles. As he examined the sight, noticing the chains, and realized what it had to be. He stepped away from it, and shivered a bit, as the recordings of screams still played. “Right now, I don’t know what is more disturbing, the exhibits or the whole situation.” He turned around and jumped at the sight of the guillotine.
He then noticed as Michael walked over to a display of a gallows. He turned around, and then noticed in a cage like area, a model electric chair. He shivered again, as he realized that this part of the exhibit was devoted to methods of execution. As he looked at the machine, his mind tried to imagine the pain the people went through with each execution style.
He was glad the chair wasn’t active, since it might have meant another place the Lightning Ixupi could hide. However, the idea of death by electrocution worried him. As he looked at it, he heard Carl come up behind him, saying, “It is a gruesome way to go. Jack the Ripper was afraid of it. It was the only way that could kill him.”
Richard nodded, remembering the story that had been sent to Yvette. “I read that. Was that the only way to defeat him?” He saw Carl nod, and then looked back at the device. “I don’t know what is more disturbing, the method of execution, or the fact that they are displayed here.”
They both jumped when they heard a sound, and they both turned to face the gallows. Michael was standing at the top, and looked down at something. “I think that the disturbing fact is that the displays work, to a degree. This one had me put in a measurement, and it hung the dummy when I pushed the button.”
Leery about doing so, he climbed up the steps of the gallows. As he went up to Michael, he took another look around the room, noticing all the gruesome background images. If the threat of the Ixupi weren’t around, the room would have been fascinating, in a macabre sense.
When he reached the top, he noticed something through the corner of the trapdoor. He walked over to the trapdoor, and saw a podium of some sort underneath the platform. He sat down on the edge of the trapdoor and said, “There is something hidden underneath the platform. I’m going down to check it out.”
As he climbed down, he heard Carl climbing up the steps, saying, “Before you get down there, let me be up there to help, just in case.” He slipped down just before Carl finished his statement, and glanced around the area. His eyes focused on the platform, and he saw an Ixupi pot on it. On the pot was the markings that represented Cloth.
He went over to the trapdoor, and grabbed the arms of Carl and Michael. As they helped him out, he told about his discovery. “I found the Cloth Ixupi’s pot. Before we head back down, we should pick it up.”
When they had him out, Carl started back down the gallows steps. “That sounds like a good idea. Of course, I think we should get out of this room soon. I’m starting to get spooked.”
He heard Michael answer in agreement. “Indeed. That display was a bit too realistic for my taste.” As they passed the electric chair display, Richard glanced over at it, agreeing with Michael’s assessment. The displays were way too realistic for his taste as well.
As Carl opened the door to the next room, he was glad that this one appeared brighter, especially as the walls gave the impression of a fun room. It also hinted that there was some sort of puzzle, with question marks and games appearing on the wall.
Carl Kolchak was thankful to be out of the room with all the execution methods in it. He was also thankful that this room appeared more cheerful. Once they turned the corner of the room, he noticed a little game on a pedestal. A similar device was mounted on the wall, over what appeared to be an odd shaped door. He watched as Richard moved towards the device on the wall, as Michael looked at the one on the pedestal.
Carl took a moment to snap a picture, and watched as the two teens examined the devices. As they investigated the devices, Carl stepped back, pulled out his tape recorder, and turned it on, to dictate some notes. “The farther we get into the museum, besides learning more about what caused the deaths fifteen years ago, we also get a feel for how we tend to flock to the unusual. This includes our fascinations with puzzles, inventions, legends, and even macabre topics. Had none of the misfortune happened all those years ago, this museum would have been a hit. Of course, given the course of human interests in the current years, this museum could be more a hit now, at least once the Ixupi are gone.”
He turned off the tape recorder just as Michael spoke. “It looks like these are like the Mastermind game. I wouldn’t be surprised if the one on the wall opens the door. I think to start it, you pull the lever.”
He watched as Richard pulled the lever on the wall mounted one, and he heard the sound of spinning panels. Once it stopped, he saw a panel slide open revealing five smaller panels. All of the small panels had the same image on them. He then watched as Richard touched the top panel. He saw it change as the teen said, “If this is an exact replica of that thing, I don’t think that one is an ancient device.” He then watched as Richard turned all the panels back to the first images, and pushed a button. Once the button was pushed, a number appeared above the images, and another panel slid open.
As he looked at it, he heard Michael speak the question on his mind. “What does that number ‘20’ mean?” He watched as Richard set the next five small panels to another image, and push a button. This time, the number was 10.
He saw Richard smile, and repeat the process with another set of panels. “I think a two digit number ending in zero means that what ever number is first is the number of images in the correct spots.” After the process was repeated for a fourth time, revealing a last 10, he saw Richard mix up the images, and pushed the button to get 32. “See, I’ve set three images correct, and have two images in the wrong spot.”
Carl let out a light hearted laugh. “Imagine that, an ancient culture developed Mastermind. Of course, something like this either means they were very sophisticated, or they had help.” He heard Richard laugh at the last statement, but he knew it was because the young man didn’t believe in aliens. Of course, given how the Ixupi had aged both the teens, he was surprised the boy could still hold those beliefs.
Before he could say anything else, he saw the door open. He then watched as Richard crouched down, and passed through the door. “Well, solve one puzzle, and encounter another.” He followed Richard through, hearing Michael following him, and stood up to see two large picture panels. He watched as Richard looked at both for a moment saying, “Something seems odd about these pictures.”
Carl nodded, and step towards one of a living room setting. As he neared it, he blinked for a moment, noticing words on the picture. As he got closer, he smiled and laughed. After he stepped back, he looked at Richard, and said, “You’re right. That picture let’s you know if you’re standing too close.”
He then glanced at where Michael would have stopped, but saw that the young man had gone farther. He quickly realized that the second picture, one of a skull, was an optical illusion. As he and Richard stepped into the hall way the illusion hid, he saw Michael standing at a machine, pushing buttons. As they neared, Michael didn’t take his eyes away from the machine, but he said, “It’s another puzzle. Once the colored balls are in their proper spots, I think the door on my left will open.”
Carl glanced at the door Michael spoke of, and noticed it seemed shaped like a person. As Michael continued pushing buttons, Carl wondered what was beyond the door. He couldn’t fully remember the map they had seen earlier, but he was sure this was near the end of the given path. Something had to be behind the door. He got his answer when the door finally opened. He stepped through the door, and stopped as he looked at what appeared to be a large door, shaped like a keyhole.
Michael McNeal followed Carl and Richard through the door, and stopped when he realized what he was facing. They were on what looked like a bridge, and saw that a door shaped like a keyhole was at the other end. He also noticed that a dial with six skulls, five of which were glowing with specific colors. The last one didn’t glow, and he wasn’t sure what it meant.
He walked over to the door, and tried to open it, only to find that it wouldn’t open. As he stepped back from it, he stopped as his foot bumped something. He glanced down, and saw another Ixupi pot by his foot. He glanced down at it, and saw the markings on it, noticing they denoted the pot was for the Metal Ixupi. He then looked up, and said, “All right, how do we open this door?”
He watched as Richard moved toward the dial, and looked at it. Before too long, his friend spoke. “We have to set the last dial. It’s in a room we haven’t been in yet, but have seen from the camera control panel.”
Michael thought about the trip up to the clock tower top. As he thought about it, he could see the twelve monitors in his mind, and he also saw the image Richard had reminded him about. Although the monitors did not seem to show color, the room had an underground theme to it, and something crossed through the room, something black. He then looked at Richard, and said, “All right, how do you plan to get to the room?”
He watched as Richard started to walk back and forth. Given how late it felt, he was sure Richard was having a hard time thinking. He had to admit that he was having some trouble as well. However, before his friend could answer the question, he heard Carl snap his fingers.
He turned towards the reporter, just as the man said it. “The Sirens and the organ. Remember when we saw that display down in the Mysteries of the Deep room. It’s another puzzle. Besides, all these rooms seem to be on a path, except for the two off the Animals room. Both appear to be dead ends, but what if one actually leads to another room.”
He watched as Richard snapped his fingers as well. “He’s right. It might also explain the film that was loaded up in the projector. Maybe that film was left there because it is needed.” He then noticed that a smile had crossed Richard’s face. “I think I have a plan.”
He looked at his friend, knowing his classmate actually did seem to have a plan. “What might the plan be, and does it take in to account those things running about?”
He smiled when his friend nodded. “Indeed. We are going to head down, making sure each one of us has one of the Ixupi pots. Since there is three of us, we should be able to each hold one pot, and quickly decrease their numbers. In the process, we should be able to definitely catch the Cloth Ixupi, and be ready for the Oil Ixupi.”
He was puzzled by that statement, until Carl also remember the black area he had seen on the camera in the unseen room. “Of course, that little area in that room must be tar or oil. Another sentry post.” He watched as Richard nodded, and he understood the reasoning. As he thought about it, he also felt like they were going to survive the night.
Ron Updyke ascended the steps in his sibling’s home. He had been lucky to get out of the office before Tony Vincenzo, his editor, handed out an anniversary story about a crime. It wasn’t that he didn’t want the story, since it involved a museum, but he did want to see his family. Of course, the visit was nice, until tonight, when a boy his niece was dating disappeared.
Of course, since the boy was only gone a few hours, it wasn’t a news worthy item. The only note worthy thing so far was the boy’s father was a known author. This was something he caught in passing, as his sibling spoke about it. His sibling worked for the local news, which was also getting ready for a visit from a television show. He didn’t catch the name of the show, but maybe it was something he could get into. A television reporter did make more money than a newspaper reporter.
When he reached the top of the steps, he stopped when he saw his niece’s door was open, and he heard a soft sobbing. He walked over to the door, and looked in, seeing his niece still dressed, and looking out the window. He knocked on the door, and asked, “Yvette, what’s wrong?”
He entered when she didn’t turn, but said, “I think my friend is lying. I asked her if she knew where Richard was, and she said no. I asked about Michael, and she said he was doing a dare in the local graveyard, but I’m sure that’s a lie.”
Ron put a hand on his niece’s shoulder, and calmly said, “And maybe it is true, Yvette. Maybe they don’t know where he is. And maybe your other friend is doing a dare at the cemetery, even though it’s a foolish thing to do.”
He watched as she pointed out the window. “I know where they are, and they won’t admit it. They are up at the Windlenot Museum. I can tell from here. The clock tower faces my room, and had always read twelve o’clock. Now look at it.”
He glanced out the window, and suppressed a shudder. The clock didn’t read twelve o’clock, but five thirty. However, that wasn’t what caused the shutter. It was the fact that he had seen the museum before. Before he left the office, he had seen a picture of the museum the story was about. It was the same one. He didn’t like how this was playing out, especially since he was developing the fear that Tony would find out that where he was going away to was also the location of a good story.
He suppressed the fear, and calmly said to his niece, “Well, I don’t know what to say, but I do hope your boyfriend is safe. I think you should try and get some rest.” He then left the room, and headed for the guest room. As he did that, he also remembered one last thing. More than likely, Carl got the story about the museum, and given Carl’s past, he was sure that if the boys were in the museum, so was Carl. Even though Carl’s stories sounded outlandish, and unlikely, Carl had a knack for surviving. If they were all there together, other than a possibly outlandish story, they would all survive the night.
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