PRO SE PRESENTS PECULIAR ADVENTURES #3
featuring Tommy Hancock's Part One of a Varied Adventures of Peculiar Oddfellow Serial Novel
"THE GAUNTLET OF YEARS"
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“So, you have a plan, son?”
Peculiar Oddfellow had several things. That thought occupied his nimble, constantly racing mind as his friend and former mentor, Daniel “Partner” Yates asked that routine question of his one time protégé on the police force. First, he had help in the former of Partner, a luxury that Oddfellow didn’t always have at times such as this one. And better help he could not have asked for. The tall, angular square jawed Southerner was one of the only men Peculiar ever trusted fully at his front, back, and all given sides.
He also had a good idea of what they were up against and who was responsible. It had started out as just another normal case, at least normal for a private investigator who dabbled in debunking the occult. And Peculiar’s debunking wasn’t necessarily in the scientific sense, although at least two of his degrees qualified him to do so. He debunked more like Houdini had taught him, by closing his eyes, lowering his had and diving into the darkness grasping for the one loose thread that would unravel the whole façade of fakery. And although he debunked, he didn’t do so out of a disbelief in magic. His time in the jungle and even as a child lost in a land straight out of a Baum book had taught him real magic existed and usually meant bad news for whoever was around when it was used. His current line of work was more in response to an increasing use of superstitions and fears against common people by an ever growing number of charlatans and phonies.
A consortium of store owners in the largely Greek neighborhood referred to as ‘Little Olympus” had come to him, their hats in their hands and their meager savings all wrapped in butcher paper and dropped on his desk. They were being menaced by ‘a man of mud.’ Almost immediately, the man who’d already lived multiple lives within his own had an inkling of what these good people were allegedly facing. Knowing just enough to be dangerous, however Pec consulted an expert that he’d met on a previous case, a noted professor of folklore and genetics, two odd disciplines to mix. On his way from the office of one Professor Talbot Adams, he ran across a comely, buxom teaching assistant, a rival of his own who called himself ’Dimmler, Monster Hunter’ and a strange little man that always seemed three steps behind Oddfellow. He also had dodged bullets and an attack by something four times his size and covered in dust in an abandoned warehouse. It was right after that scene in this chaotic drama that Pec crossed paths once more with ’Partner’ Yates, when Pec arrived at the university to find that something had left the teaching assistant just as....