Monster Byte: This Month in Innsmouth (December 2011)

By Amanda J. Spedding

December Christmas Present Drive

‘Innsmouth Remembers’ will be launching a Christmas Present Drive for the month of December. “To help make Christmas a special one for those who remain displaced after the Innsmouth Second Great Raid,” said Lyle Cordeaux.

“The rebuilding is going a lot more slowly than we’d like and there are some families who are still without homes. Christmas is going to be a heartbreaking one for them, and we, as a community, need to bring a very special Innsmouth Christmas to them and their children. Anything the community can give will be appreciated.”

Father Rick Mallory of St. Drogo’s Church will be hosting a Christmas lunch for those displaced: “It’s the least we can do. We’ve had donations of food and drink from Tasty Encounters and The Pledge, which is fantastic, but it’s the little ones we really want to help through this time. While this is a time for reflection and faith, there’s nothing better than seeing a smile on a child’s face.”

Donations of any kind can be made here:

St. Drogo’s Church, Tcho-Tcho Community Centre, Innsmouth Bank, Tasty Encounters, The Siren, Innsmouth Mystical, Innsmouth Police, and Dyer College.

A list of children’s ages will be available at each of these locations for those wanting to personalise their gifts. Cash donations can be made at Innsmouth Bank. Alternatively, you can contact Zack Hunt at Tasty Encounters, or Luke Gaha at The Pledge to make a donation towards the Christmas lunch.

Search for Samuel

Organised by Shara Vorlin, a two-day intensive search of the Trophonian Caves will begin December 11 at 8am. “Samuel’s [Young] is in there, lost and probably hurt,” Ms. Vorlin said, “[and] we’re going to bring him out.”

The search will be led by Professor Chris Farrugia – the only survivor of the Search & Rescue team lost in the limestone caves at Dean’s Corner, Dunwich, in September 2009. “I grew up in the ‘Troph’ Caves,” the Professor said, “and I know what it’s like to spend…time lost in the dark. I won’t let it happen to someone else.”

Professor Farrugia confirmed the search “isn’t a foolhardy one. It will be conducted by professionals in the field of Search & Rescue, two other geologists, a ‘tracker’ from the Tcho-Tcho community, and Captain [Jim] Rose will be in command of the grid-search. We’re not going into this blind.”

Captain Rose, who headed the search for Professor Farrugia two years ago, and is Mr. Young’s uncle, explained, “The information we received from Paul [Carman], John [Gilbert] and Carl [Curtis] has narrowed our search area, but we’re not naïve in thinking Sam may not have wandered further. We’ll gradually move our search outwards until we find Sam and bring him home.”

Professor Farrugia has insisted this is not a call for volunteers. “No way,” Professor Farrugia said. “I understand some may wish to join us, but that’s just not going to happen. I know Sam’s mother [Mrs. Cara Young] will be holding a vigil near the caves, so you’re welcome to join the family there, but no one will be entering the caves except the Search & Rescue team.”

Captain Rose confirmed that guards had been placed at the Caves’ entrance: “Anyone found trying to enter the caves will be arrested. We’ve got one lost in there; we’re not having anymore.”

Anyone wishing to join the Young family at the vigil is asked to meet at the Tree of Sorrow, at 7am on December 11, before proceeding to the Trophonian Caves.

Paul Carman and John Gilbert remain in intensive care. Both fell into comas a day after wandering from the caves. Carl Curtis died unexpectedly from “exposure-related injuries” on December 1st.

(In Principle) Protest of Search

Caleb McHenry has voiced his concerns over the Search for Samuel. “In principle,” Mr. McHenry said, “I understand why it’s being done. The boy’s lost and needs to come home, but those caves are a dangerous place. Always have been. Has everyone [sic] forgotten the events of 1974? Are your memories too damn short?”

Mr. McHenry confirmed he would be attending the vigil with the Young family: “Ayuh. I’ll be there, prayin’ for everyone’s safe return.”

When asked about an alleged confrontation he had with Professor Farrugia, Mr McHenry explained, “It weren’t [sic] no fight. We were just talking. I understand why he’s got to do this, not just for Sam but for himself, too. I just wanted to…impress on him the danger involved. He’s a stubborn one; I’ll give him that.”

Professor Farrugia chuckled when asked about Mr McHenry: “Nah, me and Caleb are friends. That cranky old b*****d is just misunderstood. Cut him some slack.” He shrugged, “Besides, he’ll be hanging out with Marcus [Greene] at the vigil. Both of them worry too much.”

The 1974 disappearance of the Dyer College geology class remains a mystery. Twelve students and their teacher, Professor Alexandra Messi, never returned from their field trip into the Trophonian Caves. Numerous Search & Rescue missions were made, but no trace of the group was ever found.

Christmas Markets

The Christmas Markets are here again, folks! The weekend of December 18 will have the Great Hall at Dyer College filled with stalls, with rides located around the grounds. And our favourite – Carnival Alley – will also be back. Organiser Joan Whittenden is “very excited this year. We’ve had confirmation that both Cryptozoological and Heir of Dracula cast members and crew will be helping with stalls, and our famous Water Dunk will have both Mr. Peter McCallister [Cryptozoological] and Mr. Ian Wilton [Heir of Dracula] taking turns for a dunking! And who could pass on seeing those fine, fine men in their bathers? That’s a Christmas present in itself for all the ladies out there!”

Mr. McCallister confirmed he will be “ready for a dunking. I’m sure there are plenty of people wanting to see me swim. So, come down to the markets, get some special presents for your loved ones, or donate some to Christmas Drive, [and] anyone managing to dunk me on their first shot will have a donation made in their name to the appeal.”

Mr. Wilton said, “And same goes here. You knock me into the water, first go, and I’ll match Peter’s donation. You get us three times, we’ll make a $100 donation to the fund. Right, Pete?”

Mr. McCallister agreed, “You get Ian in that water three times, I’ll even kiss you.”

Mrs. Whittenden added, “There’ll be donation buckets around the markets where residents can donate cash or presents. This is the season for giving and we know Innsmouth is a very generous community.”

That we are. So, get down to the markets, and join what I’m sure will be a very long line at the Dunking Booth.

Anyone wishing to have a stall or volunteer to run one, is asked to contact Mrs. Whittenden at the Innsmouth Animal Shelter.

Christmas Eve Carols by Candlelight

Carols by Candlelight will go ahead this year after the organising committee received the blessing of Ada Periwinkle, widow of Jonas Periwinkle, the event’s chairman and long-standing compère.

Acting Chairman, Dr. Donald Chalky, told Innsmouth Free Press, “We’re all still coming to terms with Jonas’ murder and had decided to cancel the Carols [by Candlelight], but Ada got in touch and asked that we go ahead. She said it would be what Jonas would have wanted.

“We’d also like to ask the community to make a small donation into one of the many buckets we’ll have around the park. All monies raised will go into a fund to aid children with Cerebral Palsy – the disease Jonas lived with so heroically.

“Pater Knox has kindly donated the candles for the event. This year, instead of white candles, we’ll be going with green and red ones, in memory of Jonas’ love of all things Christmas.”

For more information, contact Dr. Chalky at Innsmouth Veterinary Clinic, or Pater Knox at Innsmouth Mystical.

Mr. Periwinkle’s murder remains under investigation. Anyone who saw Mr. Periwinkle on the night of November 30 is asked to contact Innsmouth Police. Mr. Periwinkle was last seen alive, walking along the banks of the Manuxet River, on his way home from a Carols by Candlelight meeting.

Christmas Day Celebrations

No matter your religious affiliation, or your non-denominational leanings, be you believer or atheist, there’s something on for everyone, Christmas Day.

All Church services begin with Midnight Mass, then a 9am service and another at 4pm.

Non-denominational services will be held at the Dyer College Great Hall at 11am, and the Tcho-Tcho Community Center at 9am and 3pm.

The Tcho-Tcho Community will also be holding a ‘Celebration of Family’ at midday. All are welcome to join them for their feast.

Arkham Mosque will have prayers at dawn and dusk – all are welcome.

Anyone wanting further information is asked to contact the relevant parties.

New Year’s Eve Celebrations

Yes, the year is drawing to a close and what better way to celebrate than the “Party to End All Parties!” says Cryptozoological star Peter McCallister.

Throughout the year, our locally-shot shows – Cryptozoological and Heir of Dracula – have held competing parties, but this New Year’s Eve, the producers of both shows have decided to throw in together and pull out the “best party Innsmouth has seen,” McCallister said. “This is my home town, we know how to party, so let’s show these out-of-towners how it’s done.

“Ian [Wilton – Heir of Dracula] and I saw the value in doing a joint party…and I mean a party together, not…anyway, between both shows, the cast, crew and having the producers fronting the cash, we can really finish the year on a hell of a note.

“I know there’ve been some…strained relationships between Crypto and Heir – and just quietly, we are the better show – but we all appreciate how much Innsmouth has done for us and what better way to show our appreciation than by throwing a bash for everyone.”

When contacted, Ian Wilton agreed with most of Mr. McCallister’s words: “Heir is the better show, but Pete can live in his imagination a little longer. But he’s right about us joining forces to throw the biggest appreciation party Innsmouth’s seen. So, come on down. You don’t need to bring anything but yourselves. We’re looking forward to seeing everyone there!”

Producers of both shows have confirmed the crew will be building a “monster set at Innsmouth Aquarium. It seemed the perfect place: lots of space and there surely are some monsters swimming around there,” said Carmen Halliday, spokeswoman for the event. “Both shows are doing extremely well in the ratings and know this has a lot to do with the setting of Innsmouth – this is our way of saying ‘thanks.’ And who doesn’t like a party?”

For further information, contact Ms. Halliday at the Cryptozoological offices.

In Memoriam

Carl Christopher Curtis and Marjorie Anne Curtis

A non-denominational service will be held at the Garden of Azothoth on December 14 at 11am. Carl Curtis will be laid to beside his mother, Marjorie, “in a deeply distressing time for all of us,” said family spokesman, Joe Dumfey.

Mr. Dumfey has asked that those wishing to attend the service wear “something purple to celebrate Carl and Marjorie’s lives. They both loved the colour.” He also asked the community “not to judge Marjie on her actions, [and] that anyone needing help please reach out to those around you.”

Mrs. Curtis died by her own hand on December 1st.

Jonas Ezekial Periwinkle

A service will be held at Innsmouth Presbyterian on December 20 at 10am. Mrs. Ada Periwinkle has asked that a donation to the Cerebral Palsy Fund be made in lieu of flowers: “Help those who need it more than my Jonas does now.”

Anyone with information on Mr Periwinkle’s murder is asked to contact Innsmouth Police or their local authorities.

About Amanda

Amanda J. Spedding is a Sydney-based freelance editor, proofreader and award-winning author. She has a love of all things horror (except clowns; clowns must die a slow, painful death) and her stories tend to explore the darkest of humankind. You can follow her machinations at Screaming Ink.

AmandaMonster Byte: This Month in Innsmouth (December 2011)