By Evan Dicken
Everyone was in church when the Stranger came to Innsmouth. He arrived just before eleven, the only passenger on Joe Sargent’s dilapidated motor coach. Strangers were uncommon enough to elicit curiosity from the parishioners at the Old Masonic Lodge, but when it was learned that he had actually disembarked, the whispers became so loud that Father Eleazar stopped his sermon.
“My children.” Eleazar fixed the congregation with one bulbous, unblinking eye. “I know you are full of anticipation for tonight’s Declension, but please, let us not forget the reason for the season. Now, if you would all join me in a chorus of Iä-R’lyeh?”
After church, the adults went below to consort with the Elders and prepare the Declension festivities, leaving the town youths to their own devices.
“Where do you think he’s from?” Cornelia Marsh wiped a thin streamer of drool from her slack jaw. At 18, she was an early developer. Her gills were just starting to come in and Eugene Gilman hung on her every word.
“Probably Boston,” he said, trying to look knowledgeable.
“He came from the north, stupid. Do you even know where Boston is?” Shadrach Waite sneered down at the smaller boy, his cronies circling like hungry remoras.
Puberty had not only sharpened Shadrach’s teeth and claws, but also flooded his body with eldritch hormones. Shadrach had always been a bully; now he was a monster, as well. Normally, Eugene would have backed down, but he was painfully aware of Cornelia’s eyes on him.
“Just ‘cuz he came down the coast, don’t mean he’s from there,” Eugene mumbled.
“What’d you say, Gilman?” Shadrach tilted his head to glare at Eugene with one pupilless eye.
Eugene gritted his teeth – his flat, human teeth – and tried not to visibly quail. “I said, just because he came down the coast, don’t mean he’s from there. Outsiders travel, you know, move around.”
“You think you’re so smart. You’re practically an Outsider, yourself, Gilman. You could certainly pass for one of them.”
Eugene shrank into himself, cramming his stubby, web-less hands into his pockets. “My family has been here long as yours.”
“‘My family has been here long as yours.'” Shadrach mimicked Eugene’s rasping tenor. Everyone but Cornelia laughed – low, gulping noises, like the night calls of big-bellied toads.
“You can tell the Outsider that while you’re up here tonight, sucking air.” Shadrach wiped a handful of mucus from the side of his neck and smeared it on Eugene’s shirt.
Eugene looked away, unable to meet the bigger boy’s eye. His cheeks burned as the laughter came again.
“Look, he can still blush.” Shadrach tottered on fluke and tentacle, looming over Eugene like a breaking wave. “Maybe he can still cry, too. Is that what you want to do, Eugene? Cry?”
“Leave him alone.” Cornelia shuffled forward. Surprise shaded Shadrach’s batrachian features. He seemed to wrestle with something, mouth twitching between humor and fury.
Finally, he smiled. “Sure, Cornelia, I’ll leave you to your Outsiders. Who cares about ’em anyway? It’s Declension. Tonight, I’m going down.”
He tossed his narrow head and turned to the other girls. “Look here, Eugene’s momma came to take care of him.”
The girls chittered like spring peepers, eager to wound in their uncomfortable jealousy of Cornelia.
Shadrach sunned himself in their insipid glee for a moment, then gave a lazy sneer. “Do what you want. C’mon, let’s go down to the harbor and dive for gold. Just remember, Eugene, your momma’s not always gonna be around to help you.”
The others trailed behind like the wake of a great ocean predator. King Shadrach, holding court for his admirers. Only Cornelia remained, the look of pitying concern she gave Eugene somehow more hurtful than all the ridicule.
Eugene tried to swallow the lump in his throat. Shadrach’s mucus dripped from his shirt in thick, wet globs.
“He’s probably going to your uncle’s,” Cornelia said.
“No, the Outsider.”
Eugene looked to Cornelia with pleading eyes. “My uncle won’t like this. I don’t wanna get in trouble.”
“Then don’t come.” She brushed thinning hair back from her face and waddled away.
Eugene looked back and forth between Cornelia and the sea, a pained expression on his face. It wasn’t much of a struggle, it would be easier to fight a riptide than not follow her.
Owned by Eugene’s uncle Azariah, the Gilman House was Innsmouth’s only remaining inn. Like all the buildings in town, it was a riot of crumbling brickwork, rust and rotten wood, kept upright by nothing more than stubborn inertia.
Azariah glanced up from his ledger as the two slouched in through the warped doorway of the common room. “You’ll be after the Stranger?”
“Is he here?” Cornelia asked.
“He was. Stepped out to take some air. Your parents know you’re here, Cornelia?”
Both of the children suddenly developed a keen interest in the room’s décor.
“Thought not. Best you not get mixed up with strangers. You better not be plannin’ to follow him. Nothin’ good ever came from outside.” Azariah set down his book to fix Eugene with a pointed glance. His uncle held strangers in particular contempt, ever since Eugene’s mother had run off with ‘that Boston scoundrel,’ when Eugene was just a baby. Eugene could never shake the feeling that Azariah somehow blamed him for his mother’s departure.
“Naw, we’re gonna swim out to Devil Reef, watch Y’ha-nthlei light up. Do you want me to drop anything down to Great-Great-Grandma?” Eugene stammered, hoping his flush didn’t give him away.
Azariah snorted. “Jus’ my regards.”
Eugene nodded as his uncle turned back to his reading. He tried to appear casual as they left the foyer. They weren’t two steps out before Cornelia rounded on him.
“I bet the Stranger headed downtown, maybe to look at the Refinery. If we hurry, we can probably use the tunnels on Main Street. He won’t even see us.” She shambled off toward the slums.
Eugene gave a heavy sigh, but Cornelia didn’t seem to notice.
They found the Stranger loitering on an algae-covered wharf, sharing a bottle of local whiskey with the town drunk.
“What’s he want with old Zadok?” Cornelia peered through a grimy window at the distant figures. Eugene pressed his face to the filmy glass, but, although he tried to keep his eyes on the Stranger, his gaze kept sliding to Cornelia’s bare shoulders, where scales were just beginning to show.
“I bet if we’re careful, we can scull up under the wharf and listen.” Cornelia limped back to the partially submerged sea tunnel that was the shack’s only exit.
Eugene opened his mouth, but snapped it shut when she smiled at him over her shoulder.
They swam out to the pier. Cornelia, so ungainly on land, was a gray-green blur in the murky water. At first, Eugene struggled to pace her, but slowed as he realized how foolish he must look, clawing at the sea with stubby fingers and toes.
He bobbed up under the pier just in time to hear Zadok let out a piteous shriek. Boards creaked as the Stranger sprinted off down the wharf toward Water Street. Eugene caught only a glimpse of him. Tall and straight-backed, with small, close-set eyes and a head full of wavy brown hair. He ran with a peculiar upright gait, arms pumping at his sides as he bobbed forward on legs that seemed too long and thin to support his weight.
“What happened?” Eugene squinted up through the gaps in the planks. Above, the old man’s scream tapered off into wheezing laughter.
“Zadok scared him off,” Cornelia said.
“Eh, who’s that?” Zadok’s weathered face appeared over the edge of the dock. “I know you’re there. Don’t make me come in after you.”
They grudgingly swam out into open water.
“Oh, s’you.” The old man wiped a tear from his eye, glanced down Water street, and was promptly seized by another fit of laughter.
“Why’d you have to do that?” Cornelia slapped the water with her fins.
“S’fun.” The old man drummed his heels on the rotting pier. “Damn tourists’ll believe anythin’.”
Eugene looked at Cornelia and felt his chest tighten. “You’re not supposed to – ”
“I hain’t done nothin’ nor told nobody nothin’.” Zadok spoke in an effected coastal drawl, one hand raised, the other over his heart, his face a mask of solemnity. “I taken the First an’ Second Oaths. Besides, if you snitch on me, I’ll tell your parents you was out after the Stranger.”
Cornelia’s face crumpled. She favored the old drunk with a look of disgust, then dove below the waves. Eugene started to follow her, but a call from Zadok brought him up.
“Better you don’t go chasin’ after her, boy. Even if you land that fish, someday soon, she’ll get the call, go down to Y’ha-nthlei, an’ you’ll be stuck up here. Take it from one who knows, she’ll only break your heart. The Deep Ones always do.”
“You don’t know anything; you’re just an old drunk!” The words battered their way out of Eugene’s mouth before he even knew what he was saying. He flinched, sure that Zadok would make good on his promise to tell Uncle Azariah. He could see the look on Azariah’s face even now: angry but also a little pleased to be finally proven right about Eugene.
But Zadok only cast a wistful glance towards Devil Reef. “Old drunk? I suppose I am, boy. I suppose I am.”
“Go on. Git outta’ here.” Zadok jerked his head towards open water, his expression somber.
Eugene sculled away before Zadok changed his mind. He thought of going home, back to the tumbledown mansion on Washington Street that his family had occupied since before Captain Obediah Marsh returned from the South Seas. It would be empty, the majority of the Gilman clan being embroiled in aquatic preparations for the Declension festivities. The idea of being alone in the sprawling manor unsettled Eugene, as did the thought of leaving Cornelia in such a state of distress. He should find her.
Eugene dove down, searching the shadowed, seaweed-choked reefs until his lungs burned and he was forced to the surface to gulp at the salty ocean air. He cursed his lack of gills. If Cornelia had gone deep, he would never be able to find her.
Something bumped against his leg. Eugene peered into the murky water, but caught only a quick flash of pale skin. There was another jolt, harder this time. He turned just in time to see a rough, scabby fin disappear beneath the waves. Something closed around his leg and jerked him under the water. Eugene came up spluttering, brine spewing from his nose and mouth. At first, he was more confused than scared. Instinctively, he struck out for shore, only to be buffeted back by a blow from a powerful fluke.
He didn’t start to panic until he saw who it was.
Shadrach and a few of the other boys circled him like sharks, occasionally darting in to tug at him with their rudimentary tentacles. Their smiles were wide and wild, their eyes luminescent in the watery gloom.
“Where’s your momma, Gilman?” A snub-nosed head broke the water. Eugene recognized Ephraim Waites, Shadrach’s cousin. The other kids called him “The Whale” but not to his face. Ephraim made up for his slow wits with a quick temper and a cruel disposition.
Boaz and Robert Eliot were there, as well. Not bad on their own – Boaz and Eugene had even been friends when they were little – they were both the type of boy who could get nasty in groups.
“I don’t want any trouble.” Eugene rasped out through mouthfuls of seawater.
“You think you’re pretty smart, trying to show me up.” Shadrach wrapped a tentacle around Eugene’s neck. “Well, how smart are you now? You f – ”
The rest of Shadrach’s words were lost in a swirl of seawater. Eugene tried to take a breath as Shadrach let him up, but one of the others butted him in the chest. He felt slick hands close on his feet, dragging him down, down. Eugene gagged on seawater, his head feeling like it was caught in the soft, smothering grip of a deep-sea mollusk.
Then they let him go.
Blackness tugged at the edges of Eugene’s vision as he struggled back to the surface. He paddled toward shore, crying and moaning, snot dribbling down his chin.
If he could only make it to the surf, where the other boys wouldn’t be able to maneuver as well, he might get away. They let him get just to where he could feel the sand with the tips of his toes before they drove him back out. Once, twice, three times, Eugene fought his way to shore, only to be torn off his feet and dragged away by the spiteful riptide of his pursuers. His strokes became sluggish, his arms leaden. Soon, it was all he could do to keep his head above water.
Eugene floated, exhausted, perhaps thirty yards from shore. The boys surfaced around him, looking at each other with excited grins. They had played their game. Their prey was defeated, unable to flee.
Ephraim’s wide face broke into a dull grin. “I think this smartass has learned his lesson.”
“No,” Shadrach’s gaze was flat. “He’s never gonna learn. Grab his arms.”
Ephraim looked confused.
“Grab his arms!” Shadrach shouted.
Even tired as he was, Eugene tried to struggle in Ephraim’s grip. He didn’t like the look in Shadrach’s eyes.
“Robert, Boaz, his legs. We’re going to teach this Gilman a lesson he won’t be able to forget.”
The other two boys shared uncomfortable glances. Eugene tried to catch Boaz’s gaze, his eyes wide and imploring. All it would take would be for one of them to refuse, to break the terrifying spirit that had seized the group. But neither of them did. Boaz looked away as he took hold of Eugene’s leg, unwilling or unable to meet his eyes.
“We’re going to have our own Declension ritual. Right here.” Shadrach reached for Eugene with clawed fins, his lips parting to reveal a lamprey circle of fangs. “You’re going down.”
Eugene’s scream was little more than a breathless whine.
“Here, now, what you doing? Leave him be!” Zadok Allen’s warbling tenor cut through the pounding of Eugene’s heart.
“We’re all brothers in the eyes of Father Dagon. Would you treat your brother like that?” The old man waded out into the surf, almost up to his chest, waving an empty whiskey bottle in the air to punctuate his words. “You let him go an’ you do it now!”
Shadrach rose up out of the water to look down at Zadok. He was at least three feet taller than the old man, but Zadok just glared at the big boy like he was the one sporting a mouthful of fangs. As if waking from a dream, the others released their hold on Eugene, who splashed his way back to shore.
When he looked over his shoulder, Shadrach was watching him, his expression not one of anger but the calculating gaze of a predator robbed of its prey.
“Don’t look at him. Look at me!” Spittle flew from Zadok’s wrinkled lips. He poked Shadrach with one boney finger, seemingly unaware of the change that had come over the boy. “When I tell your parents – ”
Eugene tried to shout a warning, but couldn’t find the breath.
Shadrach glanced down at his chest where Zadok had prodded him, then back at the old man. “My parents say you’re an embarrassment to the Order, that it would be better for everyone if you crawled into one of your whiskey bottles and died.”
“Listen here.” Zadok went red with rage. “I’ve taken the first two Oaths of the Order – ”
“You’ll never dive to Y’ha-nthlei, never see the true wonders of the deep, while I, I will live forever in Father Dagon’s splendor. You are nothing.” With that, he shoved Zadok back into the surf. The old man surfaced, wet clothes plastered to his bony frame.
Eugene took a step toward Zadok, hands outstretched, then realized there was nothing he could do. So, he ran, helpless tears cutting cool tracks down his face.
The old man’s reedy screams pursued him all the way down Water Street.
“Eugene, where have you been? I’ve been looking for you for hours.” Cornelia poked her head from a nearby canal. “You okay?”
Eugene rubbed the front his shirt across his face. “Yeah, I was….” He fought for an explanation
Cornelia flopped onto the bank beside him. “What happened?”
He thought about telling her everything. Cornelia would believe him. Unfortunately, no one else would.
The Waites were an old and well-respected family. Shadrach would lie and the others would back up his story. He would probably blame Zadok’s disappearance on the Outsider. After all, they had been seen together. The Innsmouth chapter of the Esoteric Order of Dagon was a clannish bunch. No, it was better not to tell anyone. If Eugene could avoid Shadrach for the rest of the evening, all his problems would be over. Those who went down to Y’ha-nthlei never returned.
He frowned. “Nothing happened.”
“I said nothing happened.”
“Fine,” she said. “I was just coming to tell you that the Outsider isn’t gone.”
“What? Sargent’s bus should have left hours ago.”
“Broken radiator. He’s going to spend the night at your uncle’s.”
“But, it’s Declension!” Eugene said.
“They changed the parade route to go around the Gilman House. Since the rest of the celebration is underwater, the Outsider would have to go prowling around after dark to notice anything amiss. Your uncle is going to lock him in, just to be sure.”
“Why do you wanna see the Stranger so bad?”
She looked away. “Eugene, please. You’re the only one who can get your uncle’s keys. We can be quiet; he won’t even wake up. I just want a closer look. You know, to see what they’re like.”
Eugene tried to refuse her; he really did. There on the shore of the canal, again when they snuck into the Gilman to borrow the spare keys from a dozing Uncle Azariah, and one final time when they stood outside the hotel, staring up at the Outsider’s lit window.
“You can go in first. If he’s startled, just apologize and leave. He might think it odd, but you won’t frighten him like I would.”
Eugene shook his head, but couldn’t say no.
Cornelia brushed Eugene’s arm as they crept up the stairs. Three of her fingers had already fused into a long, flat flipper, and her skin was clammy and slick with oil. Goose pimples rose on Eugene’s bare skin and he tried not to shiver at the strange electricity that passed between them. He could see that she felt it, too, because her face took on a suddenly thoughtful expression.
“Eugene,” She whispered, her fin threading through his fingers. “I’m glad you’re here.”
For the first time in his life, Eugene didn’t worry about anything. He smiled. “C’mon, let’s go see an Outsider.”
A thin runner of pale light slanted from under the Outsider’s door. Eugene listened, but could hear no sounds from within. He nodded to Cornelia, who was waiting back on the landing, and slowly turned the key in the lock.
Eugene had barely started to ease the door open when there was a tremendous clatter from inside the room. Something banged against the wall, followed by the sound of running feet.
“He’s in the next room!” Eugene cast a helpless glance back at Cornelia. Uncle Azariah had only locked the entrance door, apparently forgetting about the smaller portals that connected adjacent rooms.
“He’ll have to come out into the hall to get down.” Cornelia struggled up the stairs. “You go. I’m too slow.”
Eugene nodded and ran off down the hall, trying the doors as he went. He could hear the Outsider on the other side, pounding from room to room. There was no way this wouldn’t wake his uncle, but, hopefully, Eugene could still keep the Outsider from getting out onto the street and ruining Declension.
He paused, breathless, outside the last room, tried the door, and found it locked. As Eugene fumbled for the key, there was a crash from inside, then silence. He flung open the door to see a shattered window, curtains blowing in the night breeze. The Outsider had removed the window rod and used it to bridge the gap to the deserted house next to the Gilman. Pale hands hung, spiderlike, on the peak of the old roof, then disappeared as their owner slid down the other side. Eugene cursed as he sprinted back down the hall. He might be able to make it to the ground level before –
“Eugene Habakkuk Gilman, you stop right there!” Uncle Azariah stood on the landing, a rusty lantern in one hand, and Cornelia Marsh in the other.
“The Outsider, he got out!”
“And I don’t suppose you had something to do with that?” Azariah’s eyes smoldered with barely suppressed anger.
“No, I – ” Eugene started to lie, then realized he was still holding the spare key ring. ” – It was all my idea. I made Cornelia come.”
Cornelia’s face showed surprise. Azariah only snorted, as if he’d known all along. Of course Eugene was responsible. Cornelia was practically a Deep One, Father Dagon’s favor plain for all to see, while Eugene barely had webs between his toes.
“I told ’em you were no good. Blood always tells. T’was a mistake for your ma to take up with that Boston man. When the Elders hear of this….”
Eugene looked at his feet.
Azariah pressed Cornelia forward and pointed at a nearby room. “In there, both of you. And not a croak ’til I get back.”
“But Cornelia, she didn’t – ”
“Not a croak!”
They sat down on the bed, listening as Azariah stomped down the stairs and onto the street. The night resonated with clicks and whistles as word of the Outsider’s flight spread through town. The calls grew faint as the search widened. Still, it was almost ten minutes before Cornelia spoke.
“Why did you tell your uncle you did it?”
“It’s what everyone would believe, anyway. No need for you to get in trouble, too.”
The bed creaked as Cornelia slithered closer. “That’s sweet, but it’s my fault.”
“Too late. Even if you try to confess, no one will listen. It’s like Shadrach said: I’m practically an Outsider.”
Cornelia was silent for a very long time. Then she started to cry. “I’m sorry for dragging you into this. I-I’ve been in Innsmouth my whole life. I wanted to see, just once, what an Outsider was like before….” Her shoulders hitched.
“Didn’t she tell you, Gilman? Your girlfriend’s going down, tonight.” Shadrach Waite loomed in the doorway, glow-lamp eyes bright with cruel mirth.
Cornelia lurched to her feet. “Shut up and leave me alone!”
“Of course.” Shadrach flopped forward. “After all, we’ll have forever to get to know one another in Father Dagon’s realm.”
“I’ll never – ”
“You should treat me with more respect.” Shadrach’s tone was gentle, but his eyes had the same flat, predatory look as back on the beach. He shambled toward the bed.
Eugene finally found his voice. “Cornelia, watch out. He’s – ”
Shadrach heaved himself at Eugene, his heavy bulk knocking the smaller boy against the wall. Cornelia raised a flipper to slap Shadrach. One of his tentacles caught her arm and pulled her close. “There, see? It isn’t that bad.”
Eugene closed his eyes. He couldn’t stop Shadrach. It would be just like it was back in the water – he paused, his last thought bobbing like a buoy in his mind. In the water.
Shadrach laughed, rocking back and forth as he struggled to maintain his balance on fluke and tentacle, barely able to hold himself upright without the ocean’s buoyancy.
Eugene stood, his legs shaky, his heart hammering in his ears. He came up behind Shadrach and pushed him, hard.
Shadrach fell in a tangle of fins and tentacles, losing hold of Cornelia as he hit the floor, face-first. She wriggled towards the bed and began to pull herself upright.
Shadrach rolled onto his back. Thick, green blood dripped from his lips where his teeth had broken through the skin. He tried to stand. “You stinkin’ air-breather! I’m gonna – ”
Eugene hopped forward and kicked him in the chest. Shadrach’s eyes went even wider, his broken-bottle jaws open in a surprised cough. He swiped at Eugene with a ridged flipper, but Eugene only backed out of reach and circled around to stomp on one of the boy-creature’s sensitive tentacles. Shadrach tried again, with the same result.
The bigger boy seemed to realize he was out of his element. He crawled backward toward the door, jaws snapping in helpless rage. Pride rose in Eugene’s chest like a warm southern current. He looked to see if Cornelia was watching.
That was when Shadrach got him.
He felt the cool suction of tentacles on his calf and then the room spun. Bright beacons of light flashed in his vision as his head struck the floor. Eugene could only gasp like a landed fish as Shadrach dragged him closer.
“I’m gonna take you out to the sea and drown you. One more mongrel sent to Father Dagon’s embrace. But before I do, I’m – ”
There was a crash and the tentacles holding Eugene went slack. He looked up to see Cornelia tottering over Shadrach, the remains of a shattered lamp in her flippers.
Shadrach moaned, his eyes blank and unfocused.
“We’ve got to get out of here.” Eugene got to his feet and grabbed Cornelia’s fin. She followed him down the stairs, almost in a daze. Out on the street, they ducked into a nearby alley. The far-off calls of searchers still echoed through the streets.
“Sorry, Eugene, this was all my fault. I’m supposed to spend eternity down in Y’ha-nthlei, but, if it’s anything like Innsmouth….”
He brushed a strand of lank hair from her face. “It’s okay. I know.”
“When the Elders find out, they’ll be furious. Shadrach will be out for blood.”
Eugene drew in a long, slow breath. Innsmouth was all he’d ever known. He thought of Zadok Allen, forever alone, unable to leave, the world flowing by as he drank himself to death.
He looked at Cornelia. “Let’s get out of here.”
“We can’t go back to my parents’ house. That’s the first place Shadrach will – ”
“No, Innsmouth. Let’s leave.”
She tilted her head to regard him with first one eye, then the other.
“There are schooners down at the docks. We’ll take one and sail away. We can catch fish and crabs, go anywhere we want, north to Boston, maybe even visit the South Seas.”
She bit her lip. “But Y’ha-nthlei, my parents.”
“You have all eternity. What’s a few decades?”
A smile dawned on Cornelia’s face, lips drawing back from pointed teeth with the slow inevitability of a rising tide.
Eugene laughed as he angled the small schooner away from Innsmouth Harbor. He glanced off the port side, where a thin, green-blue shape kept pace with the ship. Cornelia would come back on deck when she was tired, but, for now, she said she just wanted to swim.
With all of Innsmouth caught up in the search for the Stranger, no one had even seen them leave. Perhaps, if the Outsider escaped, they might not even notice that Eugene and Cornelia were gone. With stories of Declension spreading through New England, the Elders would have bigger things to worry about than two wayward youths.
The night wind filled the sails and ruffled Eugene’s hair. He breathed deeply of its salty scent, feeling, for once, like he belonged. He was of the ocean but of the land, as well, the blood of Father Dagon mingled with that of generations of hardy seafarers. The call of the deeps was not the only siren song that pulled at his heart.
Far behind, a muted glow rose through the churning water. The great city of Y’ha-nthlei flickered to life, its immortal inhabitants turning out to meet those of their descendants who made the pilgrimage down to its welcoming depths. If either Eugene or Cornelia had turned to look, they might have seen the ancient city pulse once, twice, like a lighthouse beacon stoked to full flame, almost as if old Father Dagon was bidding them good journey.
For, like all good fathers, he knew when to let go. After all, they would come back. They always came back.
And he had forever to wait.
Bio: Evan Dicken is a graduate student studying Japanese History at the Ohio State University. In between classes, he helps fight entropy for the Ohio Department of Commerce. His work has most recently appeared in Ray Gun Revival, 10Flash Quarterly and The Lovecraft eZine. For more information, visit:www.evandicken.com.