The Tapestry of Terror

Of Strange and Sacred Spaces

Sarah the Kindergartener finds the Lost Athenaeum

It all began while poking around in the old Irons Manse’ barn – where little SJ hangs out in the loft when Jack is being a jerky old boy. When Alice Irons disappears for a time during the day, no one in the family knows where she goes, until she does that disappearing act while Sarah is chilling out in the hay loft. From the upper area she sees her mom open a trapdoor and disappear into weird stairway. Little Sarah, being the sneaky spy she is, poked around until she found the entrance and followed her in. Down the strange stairs little Sarah went, and padded down the corridor after her mommy. Silent as she could be, she watched as Alice opened the wall as if by magic, and then walked through glyph-covered door. Sarah followed Alice, and immediately began exploring.

At five years old, Sarah was a voracious reader, and she started wandering around the massive space and just peeking at all the coolness until Alice caught her. Alice was not mad, paradoxically but instead began explaining the Irons Family history and what the place they were in was. Sarah had discovered the Lost Athenaeum! Everything was okay, Alice said, Sarah was then allowed to come down here anytime Alice was here.

Sarah wandered around and wondered aloud to nobody in particular about the many curiosities in this place. Her thinking aloud was interrupted by the statue in the center of the room coming to life, and answering some of the questions…

The inquisitive little Towers girl makes peace between the alert and afraid Alice, and the strange statue girl. But Alice immediately makes them leave, grabbing Sarah’s hand and half-dragging her to the escalator and out the door they came through…

Overnight her memories of the time in the Lost Athenaeum vanish. Certain clues linger, and some small things in her room vanish. She loses her favorite carved wolf, a white one hand-carved for her by Daddy. The tapes on her shelf are rearranged to spell out a code that translates to “thank you” and a single metal feather is placed on the shelf. That night, after she figures out the code and the feather is placed in a shadow box, two angels visit the house. The first of them is the destroyer angel that met with the five-year-old once before, the second is a messenger angel that seemed at once familiar but unknown. The destroyer noticed that little SJ was not asleep, and ordered her to awaken. Her quick mind takes stock of the situation, and she knows that the winged angel in her room is the one the feather came from, and he is here to get it back. The Angel is, however, a creature of honor and her wolf is returned to her as his feather is retaken. He orders her to forget the encounter, and as he leaves, Sarah asks if it wouldn’t be easier for him to just be “The Dark Man” instead. This throws the Angel for an unexpected loop, and he examines her closely, trying to figure out if she was the one who escaped five years ago, or if she might have been the one he was sent to kill in order to mend the time split several months ago, or if she was someone else entirely. He get the Messenger in the room, turns off her communications relay, and they argue for a minute until she gets the idea ‘that they were never here, and Demons got the jump on them.’ She agrees, only asking “Why her?” to which the Destroyer replies that “She spared me.” He hides his sword in the wall of Sarah’s bedroom and they leave, the destroyer ordering Sarah to never speak of this to anyone, and to leave this lie. But there is one problem, Sarah is starting to remember

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