The Man With The Broken Soul
by Matt Wall
There was one Professor George Manson, a teacher of anthropology, whose company my mother would least have advised. He was an espoused atheist, well-known for his existentialist and humanist rhetoric. My mother, a devout Catholic, would have called him the devil himself, but she would have been wrong. I have met the devil, and George was at best a close cousin.
It was George who unwittingly opened the dark door into the unknown which I naïvely tromped through. He did so in a sense of irony, but for all his cleverness, he could not close it.
We would talk long into the night over games of chess and cups of coffee. Our discussions meandered through talk of ancient races, forgotten kingdoms, and dead languages. No topic was left untouched by our ramblings, save those too mundane for our eccentric sensibilities.
‘You remember me telling you about that turn of the century doomsday cult?’ he said.
‘The Order of Ancient Mysteries, was it? They worshipped some Sumerian demon-god. What was his name again? Etikku… Udummu…’
‘Idimmu,’ he said. ‘The word does not, of itself, indicate any specific demon. It is a generic term for a certain classification of evil spirit, but I doubt the good ‘Doctor’ Evangeline knew that, nor did any of his followers. The cult was quite popular among the university crowd.’
‘Didn’t they commit human sacrifice, have blood orgies and all that?’
‘That is the usual accusation for such occult orders,’ he said, ‘But I doubt their activities included anything more subversive than smoking opium and practicing group sex. Anyway, it so happens that I have come upon something of theirs that may be of interest to you. I know you go in for this sort of thing.’
‘Am I really that tawdry?’
He smiled, stood and retrieved a book from his shelf. ‘Have a look at this,’ he said as he sat down.