The Laws of Magic: A Novel of the Necronomicon
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by Joe Vadalma
Category: Horror/Dark Fantasy
Description: Horror in the of Lovecraftian Tradition! Albert Keptopolos was a genuine genius. He had doctorates in Physics, Chemistry, Astronomy, Mathematics, Philosophy and Mysticism. When he was twenty-five, the Clay Mathematics Institute of Cambridge, Massachusetts (CMI) award him a prize of one million dollars for solving one of the "Millennium Prize Problems," one of the important classic questions in mathematics that have resisted solution over the years. After receiving this prestigious and lucrative award, he abandoned mathematics to delve into atomic physics, cosmology and the occult--especially the occult. Every room in his rambling Victorian house contained shelves overflowing with obscure books. Then Professor Keptopolos disappears. Detective Martin Kopinski is assigned to the case. First he meets the woman named Lillith and then he hears of the forbidden, blasphemous book called the Necronomicon. Detective Kopinski doesn't believe in the occult--yet! From Joe Valdama, author of the Morgaine the Sorceress series, comes a remarkable novel of terror in the Lovecraftian tradition.
eBook Publisher: Renaissance E Books/Sizzler,
eBookwise Release Date: October 2006
6 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [196 KB]
Reading time: 120-169 min.
CHAPTER 1THE MYSTERIOUS DISAPPEARANCE OFDOCTOR KEPTOPOLOS
Albert Keptopolos was a genuine genius. He had doctorates in Physics, Chemistry, Astronomy, Mathematics, Philosophy and Mysticism. When he was twenty-five, the Clay Mathematics Institute of Cambridge, Massachusetts (CMI) award him a prize of one million dollars for solving one of the "Millennium Prize Problems," one of the important classic questions in mathematics that have resisted solution over the years. After receiving this prestigious and lucrative award, he abandoned mathematics to delve into atomic physics, cosmology and the occult--especially the occult. Every room in his rambling Victorian house contained shelves overflowing with obscure books.
He lived with an attractive young woman named Lillith, who people assumed was his daughter. They were a strange pair. Keptopolos usually dressed in rumpled suits twenty years out of date. His seldom cut white hair rose around his head like a halo. If he shaved his beard, he would've had a striking resemblance to Albert Einstein. Like Einstein, he was quite absentminded. If Lillith didn't keep an eye on him, there was a distinct possibility he would leave the house without his pants.
Lillith had long jet black hair that hung to her waist, and vertical eyes like a cat. Her long black dresses were cut low to show off her ample bosom to advantage, and slits up the sides, and when she walked, the full length of her thighs peeked out with each step. She was very solicitous of Keptopolos. She waited on him hand and foot and protected him from the disadvantages of fame, such as curiosity seekers and reporters. If a reporter wished to interview Keptopolos, she went along and did most of the talking. Once a reporter asked her when Keptopolos was out of the room, "Is the doctor really a genius or simply a crank? His ideas seem so unorthodox."
Lillith replied, "If he wasn't a genius, do you think I'd put up with his eccentricity and absentmindedness?"* * * *
Up until two years previously, Keptopolos was married to Constance, a rather timid woman, who never questioned what he did in his basement laboratory, which she was not allowed to enter. "It's for your own safety," he claimed without elaborating. He never even let her go down there to clean. She brooded about it, sure it must be a filthy mess, as her nose often detected peculiar stenches emanating from it.
One of Constance's pet peeves was the way he spent money on Geiger counters, chemical apparatus, electrical and electronic devices, and refrigeration while begrudging her every penny she asked for. Another sore spot in their loveless marriage was his habit of going out late at night and not coming home until the wee hours of the morning. Constance would lie in their double bed trembling as he and the men he had hired--awful fellows, criminal types, she thought--dragged large plastic bags through the front door which they would bang against the hallway walls. On those nights, stench so horrible drifted up from below, she thought she would vomit.
During the day Keptopolos spent all his spare time haunting used bookstores specializing in the occult, and antique shops. He would arrive home with a dog-eared ancient tome or an alchemist's handwritten journal he had paid dearly for.
Eighteen years into their marriage, Constance died of a mysterious illness no doctor could diagnose. One pathologist at the morgue gave the opinion the woman's heart had stopped from the trauma of a terrible fright. The coroner thought this ridiculous and marked the cause of death as simple heart failure.
The first time anyone saw Lillith was at Constance's wake. Although neither Constance nor Keptopolos had ever mentioned children to their few friends, most people took it for granted Lillith was a daughter who had come from another state to pay her last respects, and help her father through a difficult time. Keptopolos and Lillith did nothing to disavow this theory. Lillith stayed on as his assistant, housekeeper and cook. Those with an evil mind suspected she wasn't his daughter, and that their relationship was other than they pretended.
After Constance's death, Keptopolos and Lillith lived as recluses in the ancient Victorian house, which had gone to pot to match the other houses in the neighborhood. After a while, it became so shabby and in need of repair, the neighborhood children (and truth be told their parents) referred to the house as haunted.* * * *
One afternoon Keptopolos came home from his usual exploration of antique shops and used bookstores humming to himself and smiling like a Cheshire cat. He waved an ancient tattered volume in front of Lillith's face. "I've finally found it, my dear."
"Really? What's that?"
"Doctor Dee's Latin translation of the Necronomicon."
"How interesting," she said in a bored tone.
He made no reply, but headed directly to his study to spend the rest of the day with his nose stuck in the infamous occult tome. As he read, he filled his journal with notes. He learned about the unseen, loathsome Old Ones who came from the dark stars to the primal earth, how they multiplied in earth's seas and built great cities in the polar regions. He also learned that many species besides the human race had inhabited the earth, and that much hidden knowledge had been passed to men who had encounters with beings from other spheres. Abdul Alhazred had contacted the Old Ones by using magical invocations. Alhazred believed the beast would prevail during the coming Apocalypse. He read that some day the god Marduk would rule the world--a world aflame with ecstasy and freedom.
He skipped through the purely historical and mythological to a section that connected non-Euclidean mathematics to legends of elder magic. He read several pages, taking notes as he went along. Finally, he turned a page, read a few lines and cried, "Eureka. The Golden Scroll is the answer I've been seeking. I must have it."* * * *
At eight in the evening, Lillith muttered, "That man. He'd starve if I didn't remind him to eat." She microwaved a plate of leftovers and carried it to his study. Since there was no answer to her knock, she opened the door and gazed around. The ancient book was open on his desk; his journal rested next to it. Although she had not heard the study door open or close, Keptopolos wasn't in the room. She put down the tray. "He must've gone to the lab."
Although Keptopolos didn't like to be disturbed when he was working on his latest project, Lillith dared to unlock the heavy steel door and cautiously tiptoe downstairs. The cellar stairs creaked with each step she took. At the bottom, she glared around. As she had thought since she had not been down for quite a while, there were cobwebs in all the corners, and the place was very dusty. In addition, there was a peculiar musty acrid stench she didn't recognize. "Albert, are you all right?" she called.
She explored the laboratory. First she examined the tented altar Keptopolos used for the offering up of prayers and sacrifices to various deities and other supernatural beings. Next she flipped through numerous tracts on the shelves above the twenty-foot long workbench whose top was crowded with tools, glass jars, retorts and test tubes. She peered at jars of chemicals, metals, organic compounds, dried and powdered herbs and preserved specimens of frogs, newts, mice, insects and human fetuses. She went through the drawers of a writing desk and a bench in a covered alcove. She left the electronic equipment alone for fear she might do it damage or get something out of alignment. Although she had watched him work many times, she was uneasy around such things as oscilloscopes, or the great metal cabinets filled with meters and switches.
She let out a disgusted, "Ugh," when she discovered a cadaver and body parts going bad in the freezer. Obviously, nothing in the laboratory was going to give her a clue as to Keptopolos' whereabouts. She searched the remainder of the house although she was sure he wasn't in his bedroom, or any of the many empty rooms.
Lillith had a bad feeling his disappearance had something to do with the book on mysticism he had brought home that day. She felt that his experiments in the occult had led him into something evil. She wondered whether he had gone somewhere and in his absentmindedness had forgotten to inform her. If it was the case, she worried that without her guidance and aid something awful had happened to him. When hours dragged by with no word from him, at the stroke of midnight she called the police.