by Gori Roriksen Varangian
Science: the final frontier... This is continuing blog of Gori Varangian, while I intern at Hoxton Street Monster Supplies, sorting through the very large and very cluttered basement. But I think I've made a breakthrough, and not before time. Igor stuck her head through the cellar door today and scowled, saying it didn't look any better than when I'd started (which I'm sure isn't true!) and she didn't see why she was wasting tea and broken Werewolf biscuits on me, and was there any hope at all I could have it clear by Thursday?
It was as I attacked the piles with renewed vigour that I discovered the device. Igor had mentioned that some of the contents had been from a mad scientist's laboratory, and this was the first time I'd seen any direct evidence of that. The machine was big; almost as big as a bathtub for a yeti. It took a while to dig it out, to reveal all the tesla coils and vacuum tubes, and as I did I couldn't help but notice some of the tubes were installed the wrong way round, and as for the wiring... well.
Igors (and Goris!) are GOOD at this sort of thing. Everyone knows, from Dr Frankenstein to Dr Jekyll, that we make excellent laboratory assistants. And we hardly EVER cause reality shattering explosions that suck the inventors into...
Having fixed the device I couldn't really resist trying it to see what it would do. Curiosity and all that. That's why the Shop cat, Wells, is invisible I expect. But a few unusual side-effects are not about to stop me.
I found an electrical power point on the nearest wall. Gratifyingly, it was one of those heavy duty levers, all brass and a blackened, worn handle. Much more pleasingly than a simple light switch.
And more robust. I took the sensible precaution of standing on the rubber platform that projects from the back of the device, and, with a quick count of my appendages (so I can compare results before and after) I threw the switch.
There was a crackle, a flash of St Elmo's fire and when I finished blinking, it was only to see that the basement was empty. Completely empty. Just me, the device, and the fountain of fear was left.
I threw the switch back into the off position and just as instantly, it was full of clutter again!
When I demonstrated this a second time to Igor, she actually smiled. A rare and rather disturbing event. But she was genuinely pleased. So pleased, in fact, that the next thing I knew she promised me a reward for all my hard work and asking if I was free Thursday night?
Of course I was free! I spend most evenings practising the violin, trying to synchronise the haunting, funereal strains to the annoyed banging on the thin walls from Igor.
Igor told me that she'd hoped (but not fully expected!) the basement would be cleared because there's a dismembers-only speak-easy scheduled for Thursday, and the space upstairs was unlikely to be large enough for the numbers of the expected undead, but the basement would be perfect, and could I be at the Shop at midnight, prompt?
I was excited! I've never been to such a rare event! I thanked her and told her what an unexpected honour it was, but she just sniffed and said no doubt I'd be rushed off my feet what with all the checking of the guests coats and helping serve the drinks.
Which is even better, I think! I do like to be useful.
Tune in to find out what happens at the speak-easy in my final “Intern(ed) in the Basement” blog post!