By Patrice Hathaway
Hello, Ladies of Arkham. My house may be burned to ashes, but thanks to you, my loyal readers, my article in the Arkham Advertiser still remains. I know I am no Rex Murphy, but I do so enjoy writing this column to share all the gossip, tips, and incantations you as a lady of Arkham need to know. And speaking of gossip, oh my, do I have some fresh gossip to share with you all today. Following my terrible evening with Zoey and Agnes, I thought I would set out on my own to interview the denizens of Arkham and see if I might find some new friends before midnight. I must say, I have never been so insulted in all my life! Here are five people who were incredibly rude to me last night and one person who tried to kill me.
1) Peter Warren
My first thought was surely if I were to find some interesting conversation at this hour, I ought to ankle it over to the Miskatonic University. While there, I chanced to meet Peter Warren. At first, he seemed a rather charming fellow, engrossed in his work as he was. I do appreciate chatting with someone who takes an interest in science, even if I myself don’t much care for it the same way. But as the conversation went on, my dear readers, I was quite taken aback by the condescending tone this man took with me, lecturing me at length on cannibalism and the occult, as if simply because I am a lady, I myself might not understand these topics. I daresay after the events a few hours prior I know more about cannibalism and the occult than this supercilious gentleman who was speaking down to me! I don’t know if there is such a term for this rude behaviour, but perhaps someday in the future someone will come up with a word to describe such impropriety. Ladies of Arkham, I implore you to not allow yourself to be subject to this behaviour. Should you find yourself in circumstances similar, do what I did, and employ a Shrivelling spell to end the conversation as prematurely as possible.
2) “Wolf-Man” Drew
My next thought was to explore downtown and see if anyone was still out and about at this late hour. I happened upon a gentleman who was stark naked, with sharp pointed claws for nails and unkempt hair that looked as though it were a wolf’s mane. Now, dear readers, I understand that is the 1920’s and we take quite the “live and let live” approach in our modern society. However, I daresay running around like a nudist psychopath is crossing a line, so I approached this gentleman to tell him how rude and offensive I found his appearance to be and suggest he put on at least a leather coat to cover up in public. As a gesture of goodwill, I even offered him mine off my back! Do you know how this person responded to my offering? He tried to eat my extended arm like a deranged cannibal! Dear Ladies of Arkham, you know I am nothing if not patient and compassionate to those who are less fortunate, but even my patience and compassion has limits! Should you be walking late at night, I implore you to not allow yourself to be overwhelmed by cannibals in the downtown area. Instead, simply employ a Shrivelling spell to dispatch the cannibal as prematurely as possible.
3) Ruth Turner
After getting rudely bitten by a cannibal, I started to fear for my well-being. I decided a quick check-in at St. Mary’s Hospital would be a good idea for me to ensure I would not contract any unfortunate diseases. While there, a friendly mortician stopped to visit. I assumed this pretty young lady must be a fan of my column, as pretty young ladies typically are, so I obliged her some time to sit and chat. She began to ask me a lot of questions about my mortality, such as if I had a will written in my name and if anyone would come looking for me should I disappear in the middle of the night. I had no idea that these were the questions that young women today were struggling with, so I suggested to Miss Ruth that I would dedicate a future column to discussing these very important topics. This did not seem like a good enough answer to her, and she soon began to punch me in the face, right in the middle of the hospital! What an outrageous lack of decorum! Ladies of Arkham, always remember hospitals are a place for people to get better, not to get punched by the staff. If you ever find this happening to you, rather than take multiple blows to the face, a quick tip for today’s modern lady is to employ a Shrivelling spell to remove your healthcare assailant from your immediate vicinity.
4) Herman Collins
After escaping from the hospital, I soon found myself grabbed by a passing Nightgaunt and deposited into the middle of town. “Where to go next?”, I wondered, as I inspected the various injuries I had accumulated over the course of today’s activities. I knew there was a graveyard near by, and surely anyone who was dead would be a better companion than anyone I had interacted with so far today. I thought I may as well give that a try, so off I went to the graveyard. As I approached, I found an undertaker wearing a skull mask wandering about the graves. I walked up to him and asked him if he knew any friendly dead people who would like to be my companion, perhaps a Guiding Spirit or something of that nature. The undertaker simply stared at me through his mask, refusing to answer my queries. I thought that perhaps giving him some supplies may make him more interested in talking, so I passed him two shovels and two lanterns. Imagine my surprise when he took my belongings and left! I swear, that is the very last time I become a benefactor for a strange man in a graveyard. On the bright side, I did not have to employ a Shrivelling spell, as by this point I was getting quite exhausted of doing so.
5) Victoria Devereux
Are you tired yet of my long journey? By this point, I certainly was. It was approaching midnight and I still had not found one friend. Dear readers, am I truly so unlikable and hideous? Or, are the people of Arkham just so incredibly malevolent that they cannot hold even one decent conversation with a charming lady such as myself? I trudged my way to Northside, hoping to find some respite or at the very least a chair to sit down in. Instead I found the polar opposite of respite when I ran into Victoria Devereux, the heartless Jezebel who criticized my violin concert last spring in the opinion column of this very paper. As soon as she opened her mouth to speak to me, I immediately employed a Shrivelling spell to eliminate her from my presence. While my entire day had been arduous, the ensuing silence after Mrs. Devereux was obliterated from existence was truly joyous and made the rest of my day worth the effort.
6) The Masked Hunter
At this point, I decided it was well past time to return home. Unfortunately, my home was converted into a nesting ground for ghouls and burned down in a fire, so I didn’t particularly have a home to return to. Instead I thought I may as well find a nice bench at the train station and sleep there for the night. It would be uncomfortable but at least it was nearby and I’d be indoors. As I made way to the train station in Northside, what should happen to me but every woman’s worst nightmare! Ladies, you know exactly what I’m talking about – being followed by a strange man who is out to kill you in the middle of the night! Cultists nowadays are just out of control and refuse to take no for an answer. It’s happened to every one of us, which is why I’ve started to take this Fire Axe with me whenever I leave the house. It’s also why I took the time to learn Shrivelling spells, which I employed to ward off the relentless stalker. It took a lot of effort, but seeing my would-be attacker disappear into a pile of ash made me feel so much safer. I sincerely recommend every lady of Arkham take some time to peruse your nearest grimoires to learn your own spells for self-protection. I got my grimoire at the local library, so protecting yourself with arcane forces need not hamper your monthly budgeting!
Unfortunately, my quest for friends did not end well at all. On the bright side, a lot of rude people and would-be murderers were eliminated from our fair city, so I feel in the end, I did make Arkham a better place, didn’t I? In my next column, I’ll share what happens when you go out into the woods late at night with the tired old bird who burned your house down. Until then, always be kind to others, my dear readers!