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It wasn't personal.

That's the part the agent wished they could understand. All those weeping families at the graveside, the handkerchiefs and the umbrellas -- because one simply couldn't have a child's death without pouring rain at the funeral -- the veils and the dark suits and the carefully wiped monocles. They asked each other what could have been done? How could we have saved poor little Leo or Ernest or Neville or Basil, dear sweet Olive or Clara or Prue? What could we have done? What can we do?

It's not personal. Right place, right time.

Right name.

In the British Museum there were many scrolls. Many stones. Many markers and tablets and, oh, yes, coffins. Sarcophogai, endlessly writ upon in languages barely comprehended. A map of the afterlife for the mummy within, certainly, yes. But other messages lay within those lacquered shells. Other scripts wound the withered bodies. Prescriptions. Foretellings. Prophecies.


The ancient folk knew, they knew right, they knew better. To keep the Nameless Unspoken quiet one needed to pay the proper sacrifice.

In each Age the sacrifice was to be different. For a time it had been man and bullock, sex and blood and the sun. Then it had been monk and cleric and the gibbering death consecrated to a false god. But this, this was a modern age. This was the age of the motor-car and the gaslight. A modern age called for modern deaths.

N is for Neville, who died of ennui

Ennui had been hard to manage. But that was the agent's job. Manage the curse, placate the Nameless Unspoken. Feed the god in its sleep, that the world continue to turn. In a few decades the Age would end and a new Age would come into being. The Nameless Unspoken would require different sacrifice. But for now the agent toiled on.

He left the package on the back stoop, where an inquisitive boy would stumble upon the box. Wrapped in brown paper. With one word on the label.