Third Interlude: 1930-1932

Sunday, September 26, 1930 A particularly riotous bachelor party is held for Charlie, with extra hallucinogens provided by Dr. Schreber. Eddie and Tommy both camp out at Charlie's flat to make sure he gets to the wedding in time. Nevertheless, some oversleeping happens anyway. Eddie wakes Charlie up at about four.

"Charlie, we have twenty-five minutes."
"Till what?"
"Remember the bachelor party last night?"
"Not really."
"You have another twenty minutes to be a bachelor."
"Oh, shit."
Charlie is stuffed into a suit and Eddie drives pell-mell towards the church, running over a pedestrian on the way, and only arriving twenty minutes late. Meanwhile, at the church, Gerti is serene, despite the non-appearance of the groom. She knows Eddie's in charge of getting Charlie here, and Eddie won't let her down. Dr. Schreber asks Gerti if she's sure - it's not too late to change her mind. She's sure.

The minister starts the ceremony. Things go calmly for a short while, but when the ceremony reaches the "...speak now or forever hold your peace" part, a visibly very pregnant woman in the back row stands up and cries out "Charlie! How could you?" Eddie scoots for the back of the church while the minister tries to remmber the correct protocol for this. Charlie squints at the woman, trying to remember if he knows her - rolling a 00, for a horrified moment he almost remembers sleeping with her. Gerti is serene. The groom's side of the aisle appears to think this is hilarious. Eddie asks the woman what she thinks she's doing. She giggles and flees. Eddie goes after her. The minister, relieved, continues again.

Outside, Eddie (who notes the pillow as part of the costume) tells the woman to show up at the reception non-pregnant. Her name is Miriam, and she says she's George's girlfriend. Inside, the ceremony glides on.

Reaching the end, the minister is about to pronounce them man and wife when an indeterminate figure in a flowered dress comes in the back and up the aisle. Gerti, who has been speculating that either Mrs. Harper or Miss Washburn is going to crash the wedding, is surprised to recognize her as a *different* Mrs. Harper, Gerti's mother, dead for fifteen years now. Mrs. Harper starts shouting about how she doesn't like Charlie, Gerti could do better. Gerti draws herself up, says that it's her choice, and you left a long time ago, Mother.

The apparition isn't pleased by this, and pulls a tommy-gun from her purse - she's no longer Mrs. Harper, she's Mr. Ficorelli, who is very very disappointed in Charlie. Roderick, meanwhile, is noticing that this figure is utterly swarming with very small pieces of ghosts, and Tommy is noticing that someone else has just left the back of the church.

"I attempt to take the apparition outside" -Eddie
"Listen to what you're saying!" -Dr. Schreber
Tommy heads after the departing figure. Various people start trying to herd the guests outside away from the Mafia ghost. Eddie has very little luck convincing the apparition to leave Charlie and Gerti alone, though Charlie manages to be between Gerti and the gun. Roderick organizes a bell/book/candle brigade. The ghost turns to the other Mrs. Harper, still as upset as ever. Roderick's improvised exorcism ritual fails, but Dr. Schreber rips a cross from the front of the church and, brandishing it, banishes Alison. Roderick points out doing this one at a time isn't going to work well. Somewhere in here an army buddy of Tommy's is the ghost, and stabs Eddie with his bayonet for being a German soldier. Later the ghost is Houdini, who is able to escape from being grabbed by Eddie, but isn't very menacing. Another Mafia ghost replaces Houdini, and sprays a blast of tommy-gun fire over people's heads. Charlie lures him outside, where most of the guests have fled to, and the Mafia ghost shoots Gerti's aunt!

Charlie loses his temper and punches the apparition, while Gerti hits it with her bouquet, and it falls, revealing a scrawny homeless-looking guy. Roderick, with a fast-talk roll of 01, convinces the aunt that she wasn't shot. Dr. Schreber examines the fallen ex-apparition, and he seems to be in a fairly deep coma.

"That was either Ezekial or Hetta, and one of them is going to regret it!" -Gerti
Gerti finds the guest book. "Yup, that's Ezekial."

Thou raddled bitch and whore, and thou slack-jawed mongrel, know that I am thinking upon thee upon this thy happiest of days, and that I forget nothing - I shall see thee again anon.
The reception is held at the Sugar and Spice Tea Shop, and goes quite peacefully. Miriam, the "pregnant" woman, does show up, no longer pregnant. A friend of Gerti's catches the bouquet; Dr. Schreber catches the garter, and refuses for quite some time to put it on the bouquet-catcher.
"We don't do such things where I'm from. It's..." -Dr. Schreber
"Say 'barbaric'! You know you want to!" -Mike
"Pretend you're examining her thigh." - Roderick
Eddie wonders what happened to the homeless guy. He's not at the reception, surely, points out Dr. Schreber. He was taken off in an ambulance (and is, alas, not to recover. Roderick is pretty sure he was empty at the last, and that if he does not wake up, it will be a mercy).

Roderick tears out the corner of the page of the guest book signed by Ezekial, and constructs a dowsing pendulum with it, and spends the rest of the evening seeing if he detects Ezekial coming into the tea shop. He doesn't.

"Does anyone have anything they want to do in 1930 or '31?"
"Have a kid!" - Charles
"Yeah!" -Nick
When George goes on vacation in early '31, his house is painted pink with white lacy trim.

Charlie Junior is born on November 12, 1931. He's a bit small for his age, born a little early, but seems healthy enough. Eddie immediately segues into the "doting uncle" role, and as soon as Junior is old enough to sit up, Peter is inveigled to take pictures of him with hat, pipe, and diaper. He's cute as a button, talks early, and is quite smart for his age. Charlie begins to wonder whether Junior is any relation at all ("strangely compelling, smallish, and very smart" - no doubt just a coincidence).

Dr. Schreber decides Innsmouth is getting too troublesome, and moves to the obviously far more normal Arkham. Roderick mounts his Ezekial Dowsing Magnet on a little bell in his study, and puts magnets in all his shoes. His researches during that time focus on various forms of exorcisms.