Sounds like the set-up for a great joke, doesn’t it? But there’s nothing funny about the eldritch doom hanging over the head of the Great Houdini–a doom which may yet claim the magician’s soul unless Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the Royal Occultist, Charles St. Cyprian, can uncover the secret of “The Door of Eternal Night”.
In the heady days of the Jazz Age, Sherlock Holmes has retired to his bees. But other, stranger detectives watch London in his absence.
Chief among them is Charles St. Cyprian, the current Royal Occultist and heir to a tradition reaching back to Elizabethan England. He, along his his apprentice Ebe Gallowglass, protect the Empire from That Which Man Was Not Meant to Know—including vampires, ghosts, werewolves, ogres, fairies, boggarts and the occasional worm of unusual size.
Tonight, St. Cyprian’s night out has been interrupted by two very important men, Harry Houdini and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The escapist and spook-buster has a problem–a spook haunting his hotel room, a spook he can’t quite bust. And it seems this particularly ghost has a bearing on a case Sherlock Holmes failed to solve, and may solve yet, if St. Cyprian doesn’t untangle the mystery first…
This one was fun to write for a lot of reasons. It ties together a number of off-hand references and loose ends from the Royal Occultist stories, and features not one, but three historical personages. I crammed a lot into those twenty thousand or so words (Magic! Suspense! Cleopatra’s Needle!), and I hope folks enjoy it. And if you do, be sure to leave a review and let 18thWall (and me) know.