Tempus Fugit is an independent investigator of curious conundrums who was attempting to navigate his way through the 21st century, only to find himself attending to the fears and uncertainties in the remote English village of Greyfield.
What they wanted was proof of spectral hauntings in the remains of a historical stately manor. What he sought was to rain the light of reason and rationale upon their panicked senses.
The answer, however, may be neither of the two and something altogether unexpected!
Daedalian Muse is available for free on Smashwords.
The following is an excerpt from Chapter Two of Daedalian Muse, where the main character and Narrator meets with the Mayor of Greyfield, Mr. Barberwart, to discuss the terms of his employment while investigating the haunting at the remains of the old manor.
“Do you believe in ghosts, mister uh…?”
“Fugit. Tempus Fugit.”
His monocle popped out of his eye as a result of his wry smile. “Ah how it does, ah how it does. Tell me, is that you’re real name?”
“For all intents and purposes,” I replied.
“Well then, Mr. Fugit, do you believe in ghosts?”
“I believe not in the existence of ghosts nor of ars magica,” I said, testing his knowledge of Latin further.
He seemed perplexed, but not by any translation. Before continuing he opened a small wooden box that was displayed prominently upon his desk. “Do you smoke, Mr. Fugit?”
“No. Horrible business, that.”
“Yes, yes indeed. Foul,” he agreed as he struck a match and lit his cigar. “Our vicar is a Christian, you know.”
An odd diversion in the conversation.
“Extremely convenient, I’m sure,” I replied.
“Yes, yes it is. So you agree that one must have a vested interest in their own ventures. I must say, for a man who intends to hunt our ghost, I find your atheism on the subject of spirits a little…shall we say, worrisome?”
“Mr. Barberwart, if set to task I have every intention of determining the locus of this disturbance, but I will not entertain any notions of the paranormal until I fully investigate the existence of the normal. No, I do not believe in ghosts, in spooks, in zombies, nor do I endorse the notion of witchcraft, however if when all scientific study fails and I come face to face with an apparition, then I shall surely admit to what my eyes behold. In the meantime I shall not entertain the notions that this village propagates by searching under their beds for monsters until I have at least closed all the windows and served a round of warm milk.”
“Mr. Fugit, your manner is appalling,” the mayor proclaimed, leaning forward and stubbing out his cigar. His tone did not match the severity of his words, and no sooner had he stubbed out his cigar did he proceed to light it again. “However, as you are the only game in town and this is, of course, a voting year, then I feel inclined to give the citizens what they want. Close all the windows you like, Mr. Fugit, but for the temperament of the masses, however small the masses may be, I do require you to check under the bed on at least a few occasions. Do we have an understanding?”
The terms of the job were quite clear.
“Yes, I believe we do.”[subscribe2]