Athenaeums 1 - The Consistent Communion of Undeath

Audio journal of Laurence Abbot, Archivist at Downing Hill Public Library. Entry number 296.

You know, I thought that the Library was finished taking in strays, letting strangers wander the halls and whatnot. That’s what I was told anyway. More and more, it seems like that statement was to placate me more than anything else.

I never thought it was a great idea to allow unsupervised visitors here, there’s too much they could do to break something, damage the books, or get themselves killed, gods forbid. And it always seems to fall upon me to clean up their little messes. Or rather, someone finds the mess, tells me about it, and then expects me to tell the cleaning crew… we don’t have a cleaning crew.

I wonder if they know it’s just me, trying to keep this place in order. That is, if anything CAN be done besides bleaching the floors or walls or whatever else, and keeping the dangerous works in their respective corners. By now, I expect my coworkers to know how to clean up these situations. There have been far too many accidents in my time of employment to think that they don’t know how to get stains out of the carpet until it looks brand new.

Despite my concerns about newcomers and improper warning labels for dangerous pieces in the Library, we have had a bit of excitement that I’m currently taking care of. Downing Hill has been able to claim multiple books from the library of one Solomon Reed… which was rather impressive, I hear. I think I would have enjoyed seeing the whole collection.

There are tomes here that have been on our list for quite a while actually. Ones I’m surprised Mr. Reed was able to find at all; I’ll give him that at least. Terrible he might have been, but he was useful in the end. There are a few books here that I think the Library will find particularly interesting, pertaining to a number of obscure topics. I’m cataloguing most of them today, hopefully I’ll be done with the set by tomorrow.

There are two referencing the Deep, which I suppose is related to the Church of the Hallowed Name from my research. Both go into the histories and development of the establishment. From our own records at Downing Hill, these are useful only in that it gives us more insight about this fairly secretive group.

The actual information that seems to circulate in the organization seems questionably interpreted. In my opinion, there was likely some truth to the establishing events, many of which line up with other historical references to the Indescribables.

I’ve got another here on the topic of, well, unlife. I find this one particularly interesting, though of course, I will need to do further research to find possible biases within the text due to the origin of this particular tome. I don’t care much for religiously flavored histories, and with the title “The Consistent Communion of Undeath, by Tiberius Laevinus'' I can only imagine the subtext that could pour from these pages. Yuck.

Though I will admit, the contents do seem promising when it comes to the Library’s interest in ghastly things. Ghastly as in ghosts that is. There’s a lot on the transformation process, the inner workings of spirits and such. The book also lists a series of techniques to, I guess ‘bind’ the ghosts? Maintain some sort of control over them. Morally speaking, it’s a bit questionable in my book, but Ghost Ethics isn’t my area of study. I’m sure it will interest Downing Hill regardless.

The Director has taken an interest in spirits recently and I’m sure this is a book she will be highly interested in. Ghosts in general have been a hot topic recently with students and others. Makes me think the world really hasn’t changed in that respect. We still crave the things we either shouldn’t know about, or are too expansive for us to realize in their fullness. Ghosts almost seem comforting when you see everything else out there. I find myself watching for other things, worse things. Needless to say, my nightmares have gotten atrocious since I’ve been at Downing Hill.

...oh, hang on. Let me deal with this.

I really do need to ask for a coffee pot for my office, I didn’t get enough sleep for this. And someone left a piece of trash on the floor as well. No actually, it’s got writing on it. I suppose it fell out of a book? “Sapere Aude”, signed A.A., with a rather familiar drawing of a beetle.

I wonder…

Uh, for the record, the sketch of the beetle is nearly identical to the tattoo that appeared on my back when I woke up on the stairs of Downing Hill Public Library. This is a bit more... odd than I’m used to. I’ll need to do some more digging.

This episode was written by horror writer Theo Dixon! You can find Theo at @EldriitchBones across the internet!

The Season One Epilogue story that goes with this episode is called 'Restless', and is available on the Hello From The Hallowoods Patreon. Consider joining for access to all the show's bonus stories, behind-the-scenes and more!