During my time downtown, I happened into a bar quaintly called the "Black river" in which I stood out like a moose at a dinner party. The majority of the people seemed oblivious to my presence, completely enthralled in their drunken pleasure. I walked up to the bar and asked the bartender if he had ever heard of Mr. Derick Jones. He hadn't.
The slovenly fellow next to me, however, had. "For a price" he slurred, the overpowering smell of whiskey wafted around us with each word, "I'll tell you all about him." I smiled and offered to buy him a drink. "It's a deal," he said happily.
A few rounds of alcohol later, and I had the address at which I could locate Mr. Jones - who apparently owed this drunkard some money from a badly played game of dice.
It was a short walk from the bar, and as I approached, I noticed several things at once; One, the state of the house was awful. It appeared to be made in mismatched styles, and was long since in need of a good paint job. Second, the mailbox had several days mail in it, and Third, the door was ajar.
I armed myself with my cane and cautiously opened the door. The darkness inside was eerie, but I entered nonetheless, as quietly as I could. I located the switch for the lamps, but it just clicked quietly and did nothing else. Apparently the electricity was not working correctly. I had suspected this before I even tried the switch because my cane was pitch black. If there were any electrical current in the walls, the electromagnetic fields would cause my cane to glow a soft blue.
A shiver ran through my spine as I made my way up the main hall. I was certain what I would find, just not where I would find it. The darkness made it nearly impossible to move with any speed, and I had to keep my hand on the wall as I moved. I cringed as I bumped into a small table, knocking it to the floor. I listened for any sign that I might have alerted someone to my presence, but after several moments of deep silence, I realized that either there was no one here to hear me or that it might not have been as loud as I had thought.
I came at last upon an old wooden door, and next to it, a gas lamp in the wall, reminiscent of the old gas lighting that the house must have had before they installed electricity. I doubted it would work, but they often kept the old gas lines running, since the electricity was still notoriously sporadic and unreliable. I did my best to open the lamp in the dark, but finally managed it. dug out some matches, struck one, and suddenly realized that if the gas lines were in the same shape as the rest of this house, I might end up getting blown to bits.
I had no choice, however, and so I slowly brought the match to the lamp, ready to jump back if it showed any sign of exploding, but I was in luck. It lit with a subtle *Fwoosh* of igniting gas, revealing the hall in which I stood, with it's peeling wallpaper, old wood that at one time had been nicely varnished but now was rubbed bare from age, and what appeared to be the body of a man lying face down in the doorway at the end of the hall, confirming my suspicions.
I quickly examined the body, the cause of death was most likely either the four stab wounds in the back or the bludgeoning to the head. He had obviously been attacked by more than one person.
I looked in the room from which it appeared he had been coming out of when he was attacked, and found it to be completely ransacked, though not from any attempt at thieving, but from a struggle. Apparently this man had put up quite a fight. I found a curious object underneath the man's left arm, and picked it up for a closer look. it was part of a very small gear mechanism. I quickly put it in my pocket and had another look around.
My hat began tickling my head, and I knew it was seeing something that I could not. I closed my eyes and focused, and a bluish image of the room began to appear in my mind. I was seeing the room through the eyes and perception of the creature in my hat. I noticed that as the image became clearer, there were several areas within the room of intense aetheric energy, which is odd to say the least. residues of this sort are typically found in graveyards, and mainly at fresh graves or at the most haunted of houses, which I knew this was not.
Curiouser and curiouser.
I left the house and informed the police of the body. At this point, I was ready for a shower and some sleep. It had been quite an evening and I was going to need my rest.