by Paula R. Stiles
Innsmouth, MA – Summer film production Tentacles from the Sea 3D experienced yet another setback yesterday when the film’s star, Peter McCallister, was found bleeding and half-drowned on the beach across from Devil Reef. He was taken to Innsmouth General Hospital and held overnight for observation. Police suspect that he was assaulted in the course of a robbery.
“Guess he shouldn’t have fought back,” part-time deputy for Innsmouth PD, and building manager for New Church Green, Adam Sargent was quoted as saying at the scene. “He should consider himself lucky to be alive. When people want you out of this town, you’d better get.”
McCallister was discovered just below the high-tide line shortly after dawn, by vacationer Muriel Celeste, who had come up from Boston to stay at a nearby cottage for the weekend. “He was digging in the sand and muttering to himself when I found him,” said Celeste. “When I came up to him and asked him what was wrong, he started crying and rocking. He kept saying, ‘They took my parents. They took my mom and dad.'” According to other witnesses, McCallister was fully-clothed in sweats and running shoes, but soaked through, as if he had been swimming in the water.
Director John Mbuntu stated that McCallister was resting comfortably and was expected to make a full recovery, but that doctors refused to allow him any visitors. “From what I understand, he suffered a concussion and retrograde amnesia, so he is pretty confused. He cannot remember anything between wrapping up filming last night and waking up in the hospital.” Mbuntu refused to speculate whether the attack might cause McCallister to quit the troubled production. “Pete is a trooper. I am sure he will be back on his feet and working again in no time.”
This was the latest in a series of misfortunes that the film crew had endured in the past three weeks, starting with a fight between McCallister and a crewman and a reputed member of the local Lichens gang at the Siren. The set was then damaged twice by unknown parties. Vandals smashed four lights and stole a camera, which has not yet been recovered.
“I wish we’d never had anything to do with that damned Krahen,” cameraman Darrell Lehane said today, after finding out about the assault on McCallister. Lehane was the crewman involved in the bar fight between McCallister and reputed gang leader Hermann Krahen. “It’s just been one thing after another since then. Now, poor Pete’s been mugged and the local cops are useless. I swear some of them are in on it, whatever ‘it’ is. There’s all sorts of crap that goes on in this town and nobody ever seems to notice.”
Police say that they have been investigating a possible connection between the Lichens and the vandalism, but so far have come up with no solid leads. “It’s difficult to make anything stick when the most evidence you’ve got is a big pile of seaweed,” Officer Sandra Lewiston said, referring to the large amount of seaweed left behind after each act of vandalism. Some witnesses who did not wish to be identified also claimed that McCallister was covered with seaweed when first found. “Oh, I wouldn’t know about that,” Celeste, his rescuer, said. “The way he was rolling around on the high-tide line, I’d be surprised if he hadn’t gotten seaweed all over him that way.”
Lewiston said that the police investigation is ongoing. “We’re going to find whoever did this. They really crossed a line this time. Some people in this town think they can get away with anything, but that’s just not so.” When asked to elaborate, Lewiston simply replied, “We have no suspects at this time.”