…beware of the poisonous spines
The Doclopedia #136
On New Year’s Eve…:
…of 1864, Colonel Geoffrey Bellstock and his wife Olivia attended a party at Lord & Lady Dillingford’s home in London. It was not a large affair, but was the first such event the Bellstocks had been able to attend since their return from India two weeks earlier. Being old family friends of their hosts, they had brought with them a present, a small earthenware statue decorated with gold and ivory.
His Lordship, being something of a collector of that sort of thing, was delighted and placed the statue among the other pieces he had in his “museum room”. He then returned to the party, which was quite a fine affair and was written about in rather glowing terms in several of the weekly publications that cater to the well off partygoer.
BUT, as the more imaginative among you might have guessed, our story does not end there. After the party had ended and the guests had left, Lord Dillingford went into his museum room to have another look at his newest prize. Unfortunately, his intake of spirits that evening had rendered him unsteady and he stumbled, dropping the statue onto the stone floor. It broke rather neatly in two, revealing that it was hollow inside. Had he been a bit less intoxicated, His Lordship might have noticed a faint roaring sound and smelled a slightly putrescent smell. As it was, he merely cursed himself a fool and bent to pick up the pieces. You may well find it very discomforting to know that when he stood back up, he was no longer his drunken old self.
BECAUSE he had been possessed by the spirit of a Rakshasa, a vile form of demon found mostly in India and outlying lands. Being very hungry after a nearly 1,500 year imprisonment, the creature immediately set about killing and eating Her Ladyship, two servants and a second cousin of His Lordship whom nobody much cared for anyway. After this rather filling meal, the demon changed shape into something younger and better looking and went out into the London night.
OF COURSE, we all know the rest, don’t we? 26 murders in just over a month, panic in the streets, innocent people jailed or killed by mobs and finally, the demon was destroyed by a pair of masked individuals known only as Mr. & Mrs. Moonstone. Later, our brave forces in India were ordered to destroy anything that was even suspected of being of a magical nature.