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From the Annexe: an untold tale

A Herbert West Series Supplement

 

 

 

FROM THE ANNEXE

An Untold Tale

 

by

 

Audrey Driscoll

 

 

 

 

Published by Audrey Driscoll at Shakespir

 

Copyright 2016 by Audrey Driscoll

 

ISBN 978-0-9949432-7-9

 

 

All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise) without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands, media and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.

 

Shakespir Edition License Notes

 

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person you share it with. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then you should return to Shakespir.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the author’s work.

 

 

*******

 

Cover art by Audrey Driscoll, using Canva

Aldus leaf Unicode 2766 image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

 

FROM THE ANNEXE

an untold tale

 

 

 

This is how it could have been. Yes, and in a way it was. In the empty years, but before I lost the secret glory, I dreamed and imagined just how it might have been if I had realized certain things a little earlier, if certain events had taken place a little sooner…

I created this for myself, from memories and hopes, and longings I discovered after it was too late. I knew it was self-indulgent, foolish, even pathetic. But I did it anyway, because I had to.

Because I knew him so well, though, and myself also, I made it a not altogether happy tale. Long ago, I learned that even the wildest creations of the imagination must have a link to reality. Without this, they refuse to come to life, like corpses that have lain too long in death. And even the wildest creations of the imagination must be rooted in the heart. This is the most resonant of links. So although I gave him to myself as a gift, it was he as he was, not as I wished him to be.

This is my account of something beyond friendship that grew between myself and Herbert West, physician and necromancer. It began, or did not, but could have, in the winter of 1920, when, to his distress, he found, and then lost, his mother…

 

 

He stood up and began to pace again. I said nothing, knowing this was his habit when he had something on his mind. Suddenly, he stopped in front of me and said, “All my life, I’ve known exactly what I am, even when I’ve not been entirely happy about it. You could say I made myself, more than most people do. When I met obstacles, such as my father and my brothers, or the rules of the Medical School, or the rules of death for that matter, I always managed to find a way around or over or through them. But this – I don’t think I can get around it, or away from it. This might destroy me. I can feel a change already.”

“I don’t understand. What sort of change?”

“Insanity, Charles. It’s in my blood. It must be. She was my mother; there is no doubt about that. You heard her raving, there in the lab. And don’t forget my father’s legacy. I’m the son of a murderer and a madwoman. You know the results of the first. Now this other thing, just when I could see my way clear.” He covered his face with his hands.

This was the man who had once said to me, “Nothing can shock me any more.” Well, now something had. I did not know what to do, so I laid a hand on his shoulder, feeling awkward.

“Herbert,” I said, “surely it isn’t so black as you imagine. Don’t forget, I’m the son of a suicide. And yet, I don’t think it has affected me in any lasting way. I don’t expect to be driven to do what he did.”

“That’s not the same.” He turned and looked at me with an expression of despair. “Suicide could actually be seen as a rational choice, in some situations. And your father, from what you tell me, was a perfectly ordinary, competent individual until his bank failed. This is… insidious. And inescapable.”

“But nothing about you has changed since you made this discovery,” I persisted. “You’re the same person as you were before.”

“The person I was before was living in a state of blessed ignorance. Then I saw a clear road before me. Now it’s full of hidden pits.”

He looked so wretched I felt I had to do something to comfort him. I could think of nothing more to say, so I put my arms around him. Handshakes aside, and except for the time Kid O’Brien had nearly choked him to death, this was my first physical contact with him in the nine years of our friendship. He began to pull away, but then relaxed and leaned against me, laying his head on my shoulder like a tired child. I felt the length of his slight body against mine. I smelled the narcissus perfume of the stuff he used on his hair. The moment spun out as if to eternity, and then ended. He drew away from me with a sigh.

“You’re a good friend to me, Charles,” he said. “Better than I deserve, perhaps. It’s been a difficult day. I had better go. Good night.”

 

After you left, I sat for a long while, staring into the dying embers of the fire and thinking. I had already begun to suspect something about you. The thing that made me almost certain happened at one of the dinner parties you held for your professional colleagues. Looking back, I’m surprised it didn’t at the same time reveal me to myself. I felt lucky only to be your friend, and so did not realize that James Williams and I had something in common.

I can see it again, vividly – all of us gathered in your parlour, Billington playing the piano, you and Nicholson singing some duet with such enthusiasm that when you finished we all cheered and applauded. Except Williams, who was gazing at you with a fixed and hungry stare with only one possible meaning – even to me, naïve as I was. And then the look you gave him – I expected the man to fall dead on the spot, from the sheer icy intensity of it.

What did any of this have to do with me? Nothing, then. So what if I suspected – no, knew – that you were attracted to men rather than women? I was not so naïve as to be unaware of this phenomenon. I had read my Plato. I knew what sort of love was discussed in Phaedrus.

I thought of the many times I had observed you during our experiments, while we waited for signs of returning life. I watched your face, self-absorbed or animated, your moods like changeable weather reflected in your eyes. I told myself I was observing you for the sake of gathering knowledge about one who was to me remarkable. I was like a scientist watching the growth and flowering of a rare orchid he has been privileged to discover. But I realize now it was something far less scientific that motivated me, even then.

 

For weeks I was alone with my secret. At length, I began to doubt. Surely this could not be. It was Alma I felt this way about, not him. She’s been away too long, I thought. No one else can substitute for her. I’ve tried to find that person, these five years since she left, without success. What had I been looking for? In truth, I had to admit that no vivacious, blue-eyed blonde had measured up to some elusive image of perfection. I had assumed that image was Alma’s. But now I saw how wrong I had been.

After his mother’s funeral service, I invited him to share a meal with me and return to my rooms afterward. He seemed lost, and I did not want him to be alone. In his eyes I could see the orphan he had become.

Finally, he began to talk. He spoke of the things his mother had revealed, troubling as they were. Of the reasons for her disappearance when he was a child, the pathetic brevity of her self-chosen life of freedom before the dark waters of madness engulfed her. And always, of the possibility (although in his mind it was a certainty) that he himself was infected with her madness.

I did what I could. I reminded him of his work, his love of it, his fitness for it. I advised him to forget about his parents’ troubles and to live as he had lived before. If madness was indeed his fate, I said, it would claim him soon enough, whether he worried about it or not.

“In that case,” he said, “the kindest thing you could do would be to shoot me. The very thought of becoming one of those dribbling idiots at Sefton fills me with horror. But thank you, Doctor Milburn, for your advice. I shall surely consider it. There is a practicality about it that appeals to me. And now I should go home.”

But he was not ready to leave. Twice, he started for the door, and both times came back. He seemed agitated again, but not, I thought, for the same reasons as before. All at once, he said, “At a time like this, I wish we were… It would be good to have someone who…”

He came closer to me. “Charles,” he said, “I don’t know what you might think of desires that are… abnormal.”

I had no idea at first what he was talking about, but that word, ‘abnormal,’ told me he had not let go of his obsession with what he thought of as his flawed heredity. He stood silent before me. The dim light from the lamp in the corner cast shadows beneath his cheekbones and in the caves of his eyes. He had disarranged his hair by running his fingers through it as he spoke, and it fell over his forehead. In that moment, I experienced a welter of emotions – compassion, confusion, and yes, desire. The thing I had discovered in myself a short time before had returned, with a vengeance. Something unthinkable until now was about to become real. I removed my spectacles, welcoming the blurring of vision. It was like camouflage, hiding me from myself as I entered an unexplored region.

He was now so near me that I caught again the faint scent of his narcissus perfume. Slowly, he raised his hand. His fingers brushed my cheek, the hair at my temple, the line of my jaw. His eyes were rapt, enormous, his lips slightly parted. He made as if to snatch his hand back, but I caught it in both of mine and held it to my heart. I heard a sweet, constant note, as though a harp string had been plucked, and reverberated in the silent room.

“Charles,” he whispered, “I can feel your heart beating. So fast… You know what I am, don’t you?”

“Yes,” I said. “But it’s all right, Herbert. I want this, I think. I want… you.”

For the first time, I saw his beautiful face transformed by passion. He closed his eyes. “Kiss me, Charles.”

So I did.

Always, in my dealings with him, he had been the leader. He had given the orders and I had followed them. Now he gave himself to me like a flower. His lips were warm, and tasted of whiskey.

After a long moment, he drew back. “Madness and degeneracy –can you feel it?”

“I don’t know what degeneracy is supposed to feel like. As for madness, I suppose you could call it that, but whatever it is, I want to feel it. And so do you, I think.”

He sighed. “Wanting has nothing to do with it.”

In the darkness of my bedroom, without the acute details supplied by vision, everything became easier. I was fumbling with the buttons of his vest, when he murmured, “So you’re not altogether reluctant to do this now? In our experimental days you always jibbed at undressing the subjects.” He laughed. I felt his warm breath on my cheek, his fingers loosening my collar.

“You’re not a subject, though,” I said breathlessly.

“No? I suspect for you this is something in the nature of an experiment.”

“Well, yes, in a way,” I admitted. “So you must have patience.”

I heard a smile in his voice as he replied. “Nine years, Charles. Isn’t that patience enough?”

“But I don’t know what to do,” I said. “That’s what I meant.”

“Do whatever you like. Do whatever gives you pleasure. I don’t think you could do anything to cause me harm.”

I had reached the limits of choice. Swept along by a swiftly flowing river to the brink of a precipice, I had only a few moments left in which to change my mind. If I ended this now, it would be forever. This demanded nothing less than my complete surrender. I gave up. I gave in. I let myself be taken over the brink. As I fell and fell through the sun-shot iridescence of ecstasy, I no longer cared about what might happen. Whether I would be killed on the rocks below, or drowned in deep waters, or dissolved in air, was all one to me. There was only one thought in my mind: I am his. Now I am his forever.

 

Something woke me in the dusk of dawn, shattering my dream of a warm, salty sea near a country of flowers. He was a silhouette before the window, tying his necktie. Panicked lest he leave before I had pulled myself together, I seized my bathrobe and groped for the role of genial host.

“You’re going now?”

He turned to me the face of one addressed on the street by a stranger.

“Yes. Don’t bother showing me out.”

The door opened and closed, and I heard his steps on the stairs.

Hurrying to a window that overlooked the street, I watched him walking swiftly along the sidewalk. He looked his ordinary, public self. No one who saw him could possibly have guessed, I thought, chilled by the speed of the transition.

 

If my affair with Alma had been a steadily flowing river, this one was a series of storms. Was it even an affair, or an aberration? Your nearly wordless departure that first time suggested the latter, but I did not ask you, because I thought it would be presumptuous, or merely disingenuous. Also because I could not be certain that you would tell me the truth. Always you reserved that for yourself alone.

So I found answers for myself. I found them when I lay awake alone, wondering where you were, what you were doing, and with whom. In my cynical moments I thought this was another of your experiments – after all, if you could by chemistry and force of will bring a corpse back to life, why not try, by that same will and with yourself as the instrument, to achieve a different kind of transformation? But in truth, I think your deliberate revelation to me of your secret was a truce with your sexual self, the culmination of a war that began long ago. I knew you feared betrayal more than anything, and in me you had found someone you could trust never to betray you. The death of Robert Leavitt had shown you that. So you decided to give into my keeping the troublesome demon that brought you pain and pleasure in equal parts. But not unreservedly. I realized that too late.

 

He grew elusive. Days went by, weeks went by, and I saw nothing of him. After the second week I went to his house, feeling apprehensive and foolish. Andre showed me up to his study with a formality that served only to intensify my awkwardness. He broke off his writing when I entered and greeted me amicably. For a few minutes we chatted of nothing in particular. Just as I was about to ask a few carefully formulated questions, the ubiquitous Andre reappeared, this time with offers of refreshment. I gave up, asked for coffee and prepared for more trivial talk until it arrived. But once the fellow had finally gone, his employer gave me a look of sardonic amusement and said, “All right, Charles, what’s really on your mind? You look as though you have a bag of snakes with you.”

I thought he knew very well what I wanted to say, but was not about to help me with it. I took a breath and said, “Well, Herbert, I’ve been thinking I must have done something to offend you the last time I saw you. It’s been more than two weeks and – “

“Seventeen days, precisely.” He smiled, and I, remembering the occasion all too easily, began to blush. “So what gives you the idea,” he continued, “that you offended me?”

I shifted in my chair as my scalp prickled and my cheeks flamed. “Well, nothing, really. It’s just that we’re… Things are different now, so I thought – “

He stared at me hard, with eyes grown suddenly cold “No. Things aren’t different.”

“But they are! How can you ignore what happened… between us? Everything has changed.”

“For you, perhaps.” He smiled with compressed lips. “Look, Charles – for me, these entanglements are strictly peripheral. Don’t expect anything. You’ll see me when you see me. Feel free to seek other companions, if you want. Oh, and if you decide to get married, let me know, and I’ll stand up with you, as your oldest friend. Now, drink up and go home. I have to finish this tonight.”

So the rules for this would be the same as for our earlier collaboration and friendship. When he wanted my company, he would seek me out. Otherwise I was to leave him alone. I could take him on those terms, or not at all. They were the only terms he would offer.

 

To complicate things further, he was two different people in one body. One was cold, reticent and a little cruel, the other warm and loving. Remembering his long-ago lie about a deceased twin, I privately thought of them as twin brothers, Herbert and Francis.

“Herbert” preferred to talk, to perform, to generate fascination, and then to depart abruptly without explanation. He did not hesitate to lacerate intimate moments with cutting remarks. In an uncongenial mood, he could assume and wear remoteness better than anyone I have ever known. “Thank you for gracing the evening, Charles. I’m going up now. Forgive me, but would you mind showing yourself out? Good night.” And he would drain his glass, set it down and turn away without a backward glance.

“Francis” was tentative, skittish and almost invisible, except on the rare occasions when “Herbert” laid down some unknown burden and stood before me without his shield. Eventually, I discovered that his was a loving heart imprisoned in a cage of steel. In the darkness with him, I sensed the pain of his invisible wounds, before I knew their nature or cause. Inevitably, I sought, without understanding, to heal them.

 

He appeared on my doorstep late one evening, just as I, sleepy and irritable, had awakened from an accidental armchair nap. Giving no reason for his unexpected arrival, he paced around my sitting room, carrying on at length about Medical School business discussed at the meeting he had just left. The gist seemed to be that the “antediluvian fossils” among his colleagues were conspiring to persecute him in some bureaucratic way. Finally, I had enough. As he passed before me on yet another circuit of the room, I took a chance, grasped his arm and drew him toward me.

“Herbert,” I said, “shut up.” The startled look he gave me was sufficient reward for the annoyance I had endured. He looked at me with immense relief on his face.

“Charles,” he sighed, “what would I do without you?”

I concluded this was a rhetorical question, and instead of replying, embraced him. All at once, there was no constraint between us. I led him into my bedroom and propelled him toward the bed. He yielded to me, laughing, his fair hair falling back against the pillows. I loosened his necktie and opened his collar. With my lips I felt the strong pulse of life in his throat.

“Charles,” he said, still laughing, “I didn’t think you could be like this.”

“Neither did I,” I said, unfastening the remaining buttons of his shirt.

“I’ve corrupted you completely, then.”

“So it seems.”

I had to become accustomed to his hot and cold intervals. There were times when I resolved to take his mocking advice and seek other companions. But it was impossible.

 

At a banquet to honour the new President of Miskatonic University, a quirk of place-cards put me nearly but not quite opposite him. I found it damnably difficult to attend to the conversation with those nearest to me, even though I had by now developed some facility in the art of academic small talk.

For I was acutely aware of him, six feet away, chatting easily with the fellow next to him about some detail of university politics. After his initial nod of greeting, he had not so much as glanced my way. I knew better than to stare at his face, so I watched his hands instead. I thought of what those hands had done, of dead flesh, shining knives and hollow needles, of poisons and secret substances. I thought also of the things those hands had done to me, the places they had touched. With my mind full of these images, I looked up for an instant and met his eyes. At that moment I felt completely naked, and knew I was starting to blush. To cover my confusion, I took an ill-considered gulp of wine and nearly choked. At least the subsequent coughing fit accounted for my red face.

He did not look at me again, except for a single, flaming glance, in which I saw a gleam of amusement. How did he know what I was thinking about? Because he did, I’m sure he did. It was quite deliberate, that glance. But later, when we were alone, he said, “You must be more discreet, Charles.”

In the entrance hall to his apartment was a large pier glass. After we had hung up our coats, he took my arm and turned me to face the mirror.

“What do you see?” he asked. “Tell me.”

Formally attired as we were, our reflections made a pleasing tableau of black and white against the darkly glowing panelling of the hall. “I see two young professional men,” I said. “They have obviously been out at some ceremonial occasion, to judge by their dress. The taller one is a specimen of the homely but sincere Yankee. The other… is by far the better looking.”

He laughed. “Well, all right. I should have been more specific.” He moved closer to me, put a hand on my shoulder and tilted his head. “What are these two fine fellows – to each other, I mean? What do you see now?”

“I see two friends.” I had no idea what this was about. “Quite close friends, I would say.”

“Close. Yes. And now?” He turned to face me and drew me toward him, so we stood sideways to the mirror, our bodies close against each other, our hands clasped by our sides.

Slowly, I said, “I see a pair of lovers, Herbert. Is that what you meant?”

He ignored my question. “Some would say they saw a pair of perverts, degenerates, criminals, even. The world does not want to share our happiness, should we be so careless as to reveal it.”

 

Happiness? At close quarters, I began to perceive cracks in his façade, which until then had seemed flawless and impermeable.

His nightmares, for example.

“No! Let go! Don’t do that!” Uttered in in the strangled way typical of those lost in dreams. Or sometimes, in a breathless voice that chilled me, “Finished. Finished now.” Followed by a sound like a laugh. And “No. Die. Now.” And moments later, “Killed him, killed him, killed him.”

“What causes them, anyway?” In the muddled moments after one of these episodes he was susceptible to questions.

“If I knew, I could probably do something about them, but I’m used to them. I’ve had them most of my life. They’re a little worse than usual now, but I’ll survive.”

I looked at him doubtfully. “How can you expect to survive, as you put it, with only two or three hours of continuous sleep a night? I think you should get some help with this.”

He looked annoyed. “‘Help.’ I suppose you mean I should go and see one of those so-called psychoanalysts. You know I have no use for those fellows. As a matter of fact, you’re the nearest thing to a remedy I’ve found so far. So don’t fuss.”

I suggested the usual domestic cures for night terrors, such as chamomile tea, warm milk, or a sprig of valerian under his pillow. “Do you think I haven’t tried all that stuff?” he demanded. “Or at least the ones that aren’t utter nonsense. Valerian, indeed! No, what I usually do is get up and find something to do in the lab. The night passes, eventually.”

Many nights passed, including not a few when he made it clear he wanted to be alone, or at least not in my company.

I perforce became a lover of darkness when I became his lover. Often, the only way I could share his company was in the night streets of Arkham. Insomnia and nightmares drove him out, and I went with him. By starlight, by moonlight, in wind, rain, even snow, we walked, methodically tracing the grid of streets. No convivial strolls, these, but silent marches without a destination, the only sound that of our footsteps, on cobbles, on concrete, on gravel. He spoke in terse expectorations of words, nothing like his usual eloquent phrasings. Anything I said was uniformly ignored.

 

I asked no questions. I knew you would not tell me the truth. Or perhaps I was afraid you would. You knew, of course, that I shared your guilt for the murder of Robert Leavitt. I think you believed this ensured my loyalty. That is why you were not overly concerned about my hearing the words you spoke in the clutch of nightmare. And of course you were right. It took only a little imagination on my part to hypothesize that Leavitt was not your only victim. But this did not drive me away from you; quite the opposite.

Behind your gated portals, behind the sculptured perfection of your face was – what? I knew so much about you, but I did not know you.

You revealed yourself to me in stages, never seeking to persuade or to convince, merely saying, in effect, “This is what I am.” Even when you showed yourself to be a criminal, a murderer, the bond held firm.

For by this time I realized I had a unique role – to protect you from the world. And the world from you.

 

Until the fall of 1922, until Eleonora Desanges and a strange wanderer on the Aylesbury Pike, I was as happy as I have ever been. But something in me knew, even in the middle of happiness, that I was on a small, bright island in a dark ocean.

I found evidence in his hidden laboratory that he had resumed some sort of secret and unorthodox experiments, and I heard someone groaning in agony in the locked annexe to the main room. And I did nothing. True, I heard the sounds only once. They were not repeated on subsequent visits. I used this to justify my inaction. What might have been different, I ask myself, if I had confronted him with this evidence?

But it was already too late.

 

I used to play the piano for him sometimes. I wasn’t very good at it, but I persisted, for his sake, and for that of the piano, which had been his mother’s.

Fumbling my way through a Chopin nocturne, I realized he was standing behind me. He put his hand on my shoulder, and after a moment slid it inside my loosened collar.

“I can feel you playing,” he murmured. “Feeling and hearing the music at the same time – not an experience one would have in the concert hall.”

It was all I could do not to stop playing then and there, but I made myself hold the final chord for the required number of beats. As I lifted my hands off the keys and stood up, he stepped away.

“I’m hungry,” he said. “What with one thing and another, I haven’t eaten since lunch. Come on, let’s go in the kitchen and I’ll cook us a frittata.”

A frittata was the last thing on my mind, but I followed him to the kitchen and watched as he chopped vegetables with blinding speed. “Toast is just the thing to sop up the juices. If you want to be helpful,” he said, glancing at me, “perhaps you could slice some bread.”

I took the knife he indicated and proceeded to saw at the loaf, wishing my lack of expertise was less evident. By this time, the aroma of coffee had permeated the room. He seemed more cheerful, perhaps in response to the cozy domestic scene.

“This is very pleasant, isn’t it?” he said, as if he had read my mind. “Think of the two of us, living here together. You would have your own room, of course, and some place to keep all those tomes of yours. And you could abuse my piano whenever it suited you.” He gave me a swift look whose piercing quality belied the lightness of his tone, and added, “Would you have liked that, Charles?”

My knife slipped on ‘have liked,’ and cut me. I felt the blade slice painlessly into the palm of my left hand. “Yes, I would… have liked it. But I think maybe you – “ By this time, blood was welling from the wound. I looked at it, not sure what to do. He followed my gaze, came over and took my hand.

“What have you done to yourself?” he said, mingled exasperation and amusement in his eyes. Then he picked up the knife and sliced open his own left palm. Seizing my hand, he pressed our palms tightly together. Shocked and startled, I nevertheless instinctively interlaced my fingers with his. He gazed into my eyes as our mingled blood dripped onto the floor.

“Now we’re brothers,” he said, “as well as… whatever else we are. Come along and I’ll bandage us up.”

In the bathroom, he wrapped a length of gauze around his hand and washed my wound with soap and water, applied something stinging from a bottle and bandaged it neatly. “There you are,” he said, smiling. “Good as new, or nearly.” Then he dealt with the cut on his hand just as swiftly. “Now, back to the kitchen.”

My hand throbbed, but not painfully. The pain I felt had a different locus. To the question, “Why did he do that?” my mind gave no answer. But my heart said, “He wanted something of you, to keep. Something of your essence. Because he knows it’s ending. Because he’s preparing to end it.”

 

 

If you enjoyed this story, you may wish to read the rest of the books in the series.

 

THE HERBERT WEST SERIES

 

 

Book 1. The Friendship of Mortals

Herbert West can revivify the dead – after a fashion. Librarian Charles Milburn agrees to help him, compromising his principles and his romance with Alma Halsey, daughter of the Dean of Medicine. West’s experiments become increasingly dangerous, but when he prepares to cross the ultimate border, only Charles can save his life – if his conscience lets him.

 

Book 2. Islands of the Gulf Volume 1, The Journey

To Andre Boudreau, Herbert West is The Doctor, who saved his life in the Great War. Andre will follow him into Hell if necessary. Margaret Bellgarde knows him as Dr. Francis Dexter, attractive but mysterious. One day she will be shocked by what she is willing to do for his sake. But who is he really? She doesn’t know – and the possibilities are disturbing.

 

Book 3. Islands of the Gulf Volume 2, The Treasure

Abandoned and abused, young Herbert West resorts to drastic measures to survive. At Miskatonic University, he becomes a scientist who commits crimes and creates monstrosities. Decades later, haunted by his past, he finds safety as Dr. Francis Dexter of Bellefleur Island, but his divided nature threatens those he loves and forces him to face the truth about his healing powers.

 

Book 4. Hunting the Phoenix

Journalist Alma Halsey chases the story of a lifetime to Providence, Rhode Island and finds more than she expected – an old lover, Charles Milburn, and an old adversary, renegade physician Herbert West, living under the name Francis Dexter. Fire throws her into proximity with them both, rekindling romance and completing a great transformation.

 

 

THE SUPPLEMENTS

 

 

Supplement 1. The Nexus

Nearing the end of his long life, Miskatonic University professor Augustus Quarrington retraces the path to his entanglement with one of his most interesting – and dangerous – students: Herbert West.

 

Supplement 2. From the Annexe

Miskatonic University librarian Charles Milburn was Herbert West’s assistant and closest friend. He has already revealed much about their association in The Friendship of Mortals. But not everything. This is the part he left out.

 

Supplement 3. A Visit to Luxor

Reformed necromancer Francis Dexter and his servant Andre Boudreau visit Luxor, Egypt in the year 1935. A climb up el-Qurn, the sacred mountain behind the Valley of the Kings, leads to an encounter with bandits and one who “was of the old native blood and looked like a Pharaoh.”

 

Supplement 4. One of the Fourteen

Dr. Francis Dexter arrives in London intending to atone for wrongs committed by his former self, Herbert West. A chance meeting in a pub leads to disturbing revelations by a veteran of the Great War, and forces Dexter to relive a terrible journey in the black region between death and life.

 


From the Annexe: an untold tale

  • Author: Audrey Driscoll
  • Published: 2016-12-31 17:05:09
  • Words: 5853
From the Annexe: an untold tale From the Annexe: an untold tale