By Frampton Jones
Doc Willoughby brought me the news of Jacob Shell’s death. I have done my best to record his words accurately – it was a long, hurried and sometimes garbled bit of reporting but I feel I have kept the most important parts.
Doc Willoughby told me it was probably his own fault and that he must have fallen on one of his own ceremonial knives. He then identified the victim as Jacob Shell and went on to say that when a person is meddling with the occult there’s no knowing what may happen and why wouldn’t a body fall on the same knife more than once? Occult accidents are not like ordinary accidents.
He then said, and I quote this precisely, “Dammit, if I’d known it was him… but how was I to know?”
What followed went something like this: “There was nothing for me to know, not until it was too late and I had to work out what had happened. It’s as well I was on the scene. Not at the time of course. I was on the scene a while later. I wasn’t there at the time, when he fell. I didn’t see anything. Or anyone. No one saw me. Because they wouldn’t have done because I wasn’t there.”
No one else has seen the body, or been able to find evidence of the body. We only have Doc Willoughby’s word for it that Jacob is dead, but, no signs of the man have been found since the report came in. His workshop is neat and tidy as though left that way at the end of a working day.
Jacob Shell made beautiful items – some of them clearly did have occult applications. Most of us have a little something around the place to ward off demons, ghosts and people to whom we owe money or explanations. There is nothing inherent in the making of occult items that invites death. I will make no further observations and leave it to you to come to your own conclusions, dear reader. Whatever trade you practice, I would suggest avoiding out of hours sales, especially after dark.