CJ Bernstein

CJ Bernstein

Wet Woolie

First, I barely got anything done this week, hoping every creak of the office was the ghost come back. Also, I feel bad calling him “the ghost.” I’ve taken to calling him Woolie (in my head) after The Path of Wool. Any objections?

By Friday I’d overnighted books on summoning spirits from Amazon. Then this afternoon happened. I saw something out of the corner of my eye. It was Woolie. Sitting on the floor behind me. Still out of focus and only indirectly visible. Still mustachioed and… becoated? But now… He was soaking wet. He started talking and I missed the first part—

S: Do you mind if I type this? I don’t have the best memory and—

I put the keyboard in my lap and just started typing as he wrote.

W: …finally a parley had been agreed upon. It was decided that an assembly of house leaders would await them at the eastern shore at the dawn of Assembler’s Day. But they never meant to parley. They came as night fell on Assembler’s Eve. I stood at the watch. Was trusted as the first sight. I looked across the cold and silver swirling sea. I was the one who first saw them coming. I was the one who knew. And saw it all begin. I saw them, carried by wing, and wind, and blood-black sails. I was trusted as the first sight, but I stood, watching, unable to move, unable to speak. Unable to sound the cry. I failed. Frozen there as a great black wave of water rose up, obscuring their envoy, and laying waste to the house leaders who made camp on the shores. I watched them fall from sight beneath the mouth of the sea, the ice brine reaching up to the tower, and then the final silence fell up on me.

S: Is that the last thing you remember?
W: The black wave filled my chest. It drew me from the watch. There was no up or down. Only cold and dark and then… and then I cannot say. But then there was a light. And I followed it. Not swimming nor walking. I was willing myself after it. And then I was here.

He looked up at me and I realized it had become easier for me to see him. The spectral water that ran off him pooled around one of my shoes. I could see it wasn’t “real.” But I could see it.

W: The message you found was part of my memory. Part of what I lost. You made me remember that.
S: I’m so sorry.
W: No, you can help me. Help me to remember.
S: Is that what you want?
W: I am lost. And you found a part of me. Perhaps you could find more. To tell me who I am.
S: We’ll do whatever we can to help you.
W: There are… shards left in my new memory. Small pieces that don’t belong there. I think they might belong to you and your friends.

And then he started reciting a poem and I hope to God I got it right.


A clock
A courthouse
A memento mori
A tower
A market
A cemetery

The seal of a king
A carpenter’s cure
A union of time
A Romanesque lure
A brush with the law
And a sinister shear

A memory turning
From distant to near


He vanished before his voice did and by the end it was barely a whisper. I think that’s it, but I don’t know.

So, to recap… the Secret Society pin led me back to the warehouse. At the warehouse, the apparently enchanted app sent me a message. But it wasn’t just a message. It was apparently a trigger or an actual piece of Woolie’s memory. Was the app sending the memory, or what the memory lost there, in the warehouse, and the app just a conduit for us to read it? And what are we supposed to do with the poem?

The pin started this. It has to have some kind of connection. Maybe even to the poem. Does any of it sound familiar Mounties? Particularly the members of the Secret Society?

Notable Replies

  1. In the hopes that putting all our options out there (since we now know Robert’s could go with king or Romanesque) will help, here’s all possible pairings (minus the market).
    Edit 9:59pm HST to remove a cemetery - a carpenter’s cure as all but confirmed
    Edit 3:23pm HST to remove a clock - a union of time

    A courthouse - the seal of a king
    A courthouse - a Romanesque lure
    A courthouse - a brush with the law
    A courthouse - as she spoke in a tree

    Two wheels in the sea - the seal of a king
    Two wheels in the sea - a Romanesque lure
    Two wheels in the sea - a brush with the law
    Two wheels in the sea - as she spoke in a tree

    A tower - the seal of a king
    A tower - a Romanesque lure
    A tower - a brush with the law
    A tower - as she spoke in a tree

  2. Well the Pirate Tower doesn’t appear to be a match unfortunately. Ive got a lengthy journey back to my dorm but I still feel this venture was worth it. While taking a photo for a family we chatted about how it’s considered one of the area’s most mysterious landmarks which attracts a lot of kids and I couldn’t help but chuckle at the fact that this spot seems to have its own little bundle of magiqal energy to fuel children’s imaginations.
    Edit: Noticed this cool accent on the door as I was leaving!

  3. I’m doing some more digging on that courthouse clue, particularly since it’s looking more and more like it pairs with a brush with the law. Found a place that was once (at different times) a courthouse and a prison.

    May need to wait a bit though…

  4. Mountaineers, I don’t know if anyone is awake yet - on the East Coast, maybe? But I had to run and find a hotel lobby to snag some Wi-Fi for an update. Not the one I thought I’d give you.

    I found one of the clues.

    I brought my pin with me to Europe, of course. I had planned to be in Munich for Frühlingsfest this weekend (think a slightly smaller springtime Oktoberfest). This morning I woke at 4am local time and had the urge to get up and catch the early train in - I’m an early riser, but 4am is a bit too early, and then there was the 40 minute trek to the hauptbahnhof because there were no taxis or busses running at that time on a Saturday. Anyway, long story short, I had this powerful urge to tour Munich in the early morning before peak tourist hours.

    I was checking in to see if there were any updates. And I guess there is, more than I thought, something to this whole magiq pin thing, because as I opened the app and location services turned on, I was walking around thinking about the new clues. And I got an update as I was passing by a certain church.

    It’s the Asamkirche in Munich.

    The poem relates to some of the art in the church entrance. The clue I received was

    “A Swashbuckling Pirate”

    A Memento Mori
    A sinister shear

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