Archive23: The Knucker Hole Dragon

This summer may be full of weird cult activity and necromancer shennanigans, but the Seaflower Institute still has normal work to do.

Well, comparatively normal, I mean. Like, going to check up on an ancient dragon. That kind of normal.

The village of Lyminster in West Sussex is home to Knucker Hole, a supposedly bottomless blue pool. It was in this pool, the legend goes, that the Knucker lived; a fearsome dragon that tormented the local villages, until it was eventually slain- either by a knight in the traditional fashion, or a cunning baker via a poisoned pie.

Lyminster Church stained glass window depiction the slaying of the Knucker Hole monster


More likely, the dragon activity subsided due to the dragons hibernation cycle, which typically involves napping for a few hundred years.


Aerial view of the hole- thanks google!


We like to keep an eye on the Knucker, so every five years or so, someone goes to check its still alive- and this time it was me and Jesper’s turn. So, armed with dragon repellent and welly boots, we ventured to sussex.

The farmers whose livestock graze in the surrounding fields are certainly taking no chances- as Jesper found out when he accidentally touched the stock fencing.

The pool is pretty secure behind a high gate and barbed wire-topped fence. We were let in, and stood at the edge of the water like two clueless kids on the doorstep of an ancient monster.


One living dragon? Check. Lets not do that again.

Archive22: Kedoaken

‘Look!’ Keeley shoved her handheld ORCID into Lesley’s face.

‘Good morning to you too, Claremont,’ Lesley said, taking a step back so that her eyes would actually focus on the screen. Keeley was practically bouncing up and down with urgency. Lesley grabbed her wrist to keep the handheld still.

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It was was a photo of a wall, with a very familiar symbol painted on it.

Lesley groaned. ‘Evelyn is going to be thrilled.’

 

Evelyn was not thrilled at all. She scrunched up her fists, leant back into her chair and went uuuurgh– which, coming from evelyn was basically a temper tantrum.

Then she produced her own photo.

‘This was pinned to our door this morning.’

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‘Is that a… corn dolly?’ Keeley asked. ‘It’s kind of cute. Some little cultist probably spent a lot of time on that! Where is it now?’

‘Jesper whisked it off somewhere- I think he’s dissecting it. I took the photos for the archive, if my dear brother actually turns up for work today.’ She peered at her ORCID owlishly, ever the long-suffering responsible sibling.

If it were up to Lesley, she’d just kick him out.

That’s probably why is wasn’t up to Lesley.

‘…I was just about to ask where Bartholomew was,’ Keeley said. ‘Are you sure he’s not just sleeping in the archives again?’

‘I checked the usual spots- besides, I actually heard him leave last night.’

‘Just…with all of this cult thing, it’s probably a good idea if we keep track of everyone. And not wander around Revery in the dark alone, like, ever.’ Keeley sounded worried. 

‘Or,’ Lesley said, ‘We could let him get murdered by ritual sacrifice. Then I wouldn’t have to do it myself.’

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Archive14: Open Day Part One

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As she did every year, Evelyn spent most of open day waiting for something to go wrong.

The flow of people coming through the doors was steady, but not overwhelming. Evelyn had done her welcome talk, and lead two of the hourly tours. She’d made a hundred teas and coffees, nipped out to the bakery next door to replenish the biscuits, and so far had only had to apologise to one visitor for Jesper’s… abrupt demeanour.

Ruffled feathers had been soothed, and Evelyn was feeling rather good about it all.

It was then she noticed the smell.

‘Oh my- Lesley, do you smell that?’ It snagged on the back of her tongue, she fought back a cough. On second thoughts, it was less of a smell and more of a hand shoving something rotting down her throat and squirting lemon juice in her eyes for good measure.

Around her, other people started coughing.

Lesley grabbed her shoulder.

‘Get’emout,’ she told evelyn between hacking coughs. Out of the corner of her eye, Evelyn saw that Thursday was already herding visitors to the front door.

‘The others,’ Evelyn said. ‘Jesper. Barty—‘ as she spoke, she heard footsteps on the stairs, then Jesper appeared in the doorway, shirt pulled up over his mouth and looking more pissed off than usual.

Keeley should be out in the greenhouse, and she’d hopefully have the good sense to stay there. Which just left Bartholomew, who… was currently running the feeding demo in the archives.

Downstairs.

‘The cellar!’ she said to Lesley, who nodded and as one they pushed through the panicking bottleneck of people to the stairwell.

As they went down, the smell got worse. Like old blood, curdled milk and piss and… superglue.

Trust her little brother to end up in the middle of the chaos. Typical Barty.

Lesley came to an abrupt stop at the bottom of the stairs. In the poor light, Evelyn thought at first that the archive door was shut. But no, it looked wrong- like it was rippling, heaving, wriggling.

She switched on the light, and it caught silver on a thousand twitching wings.

The doorway was full of moths.

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