Sigils of the Old God
By- J.P. Moore
Genre- Epic Fantasy
Published By- Dragon Moon Press
Publication Date- November 2nd
Jamesport, Rhode Island, 1895 ...
Listen carefully. You may hear whispers of the city’s mysteries just below the howling of the wind through the rafters of the abandoned fish market. Odd creatures serve a witch in the haunted salt marshes. Sigils of ancient and forgotten magic mark the cliff overlooking the bay. A ruined stone tower of unknown age stands in the square. Do not speak too loudly of these mysteries, lest the Old God send his servants to silence you.
Fear Jacob, the most loyal and gifted of these assassins. He has killed many, from babbling ex-sailors who uncovered too many secrets in dark and faraway lands, to millionaires’ wives who summer in mansions on the cliff and wander one step too far into the occult.
But peer into Jacob’s eyes and you may see a hint of doubt. You may discover what you have suspected all along.
History is a lie.
Jacob had two handlers. There was the sorcerer Sam, sitting below the cliff with his fortuneteller’s card. There was also Papaya, the witch of the salt marshes north of Jamesport who had escaped slavery just before the Civil War. She divined Jacob's victims by throwing chicken bones onto the floor and singing words and half words of an ancient language that could not escape her thick Gulf accent. The crisscrossing patterns of the bones spoke to her.
Papaya and Sam named Jacob's victims and, he guessed, arranged his payment through unseen strands of the rest of the Old God's web. The murder would make it to the newspaper within a day or two but was rarely a headline. Often, it looked like an accident or, in the case of vagrants, the inevitable. Payment was always waiting for Jacob at Chang's import shop in town, often by the evening after the murder.
Victims often had stumbled upon an artifact or a document. Jacob would have to recover these for Sam or Papaya. Other times, the victim was a non-person rambling insanities in Portuguese to rats with rot-caked fur in the dark end of one of Jamesport's alleys. Jacob would still take something. In the bottom drawer of the wardrobe in his apartment, beneath the holster that had belonged to his father, a sack held these souvenirs. Many coat buttons. A couple of rings. Other trinkets. Jacob's latest prize was a pair of glasses from a prominent lawyer who had climbed too far into his own family tree, uncovering an ancestor's papers from the witch trials centuries before. The lawyer had learned of dark meetings by standing stones. He had uncovered prayers that breathed evil into the breezes that rippled the black water of the salt marshes. Sam wanted the crumbling letters that described these rites, letters that the lawyer had found beneath the floorboards of a dark home beside a florist's shop. The florist claimed that none of his flowers would bloom in the shadow of those brooding gables.
Jacob's first shot grazed the lawyer's brow, chipping the left lens of his glasses.
They all had offended the Old God. That was what Sam called him. Papaya named him "Papa Bacalou." Whatever he was, he kept the world at arm's length. Jacob was an agent in this, and perhaps he was alone. He had never met others. The drunken vagrants, though--he wondered if they had once been like him. Maybe they had served the Old God. Maybe they had seen too much and outlived their usefulness.
The world is not what we think it is.
And, it is all about to come crashing to an end.
About the Author
J. P. Moore lives and writes in southern New Jersey. Though his characters would feel right at home in the dark and mossy tracts of the Jersey Pine Barrens, the setting that he enjoys with his wife and three children is a long way from the worlds of his novels and stories. Moore's settings are on the brink. Their histories are lost, or misunderstood. Their futures are uncertain. All of the heroes are gone. Only the unlikely heroes are left.
*** Giveaway ***