The Secret Society - On The Atlantic


#1

Originally published at: https://ackerlygreen.com/2018/06/24/the-secret-society-on-the-atlantic/

Woolie came back! My family was up in the country for the week, which is where I was supposed to be, but I took the train back down. I didn’t want to be that far from the office. I’m getting a lot of side-eye from just about everybody in my life but… ghosts, mystery, magic. Concessions are gonna have to be made.

I was working this morning, and heard the familiar sound of the other AG offices… which now are just kind of relaxing, calming, like white noise… And then I heard a voice.

It was Woolie, and he was talking a mile a minute, pacing the room. More “solid” that he was the last time but flickering in and out. The dream I had must not have been a dream. I must’ve given him the phrase in my sleep-deprived delirium because he was back, and he was chatty. I started writing as fast as I could, but I had to fill in when I couldn’t catch up. I hope he doesn’t mind.

"I can remember now that I had suffered a great loss that I am still unable to recall, but was decided that I would not let it pull me down. This was in my first life. My life without magic. I had found myself suffocated by the city and all that was expected of me, so I joined a ship’s crew out of New York Harbor, ferrying goods back and forth from ports along both sides of the Atlantic. It was bliss. Freedom, some semblance of adventure. New vistas, new ideas.

We’d been out on a run for a week, returning from Nova Scotia, and we happened on a battered lifeboat with only a single soul on board. A man, older than my father, near dead from cold and thirst. We brought him onboard and I, as the most junior man of the crew, was tasked with keeping him alive until we made port in six days’ time.

I kept watch on him, and after a night of filling his belly with water and cured meat he was strong enough to sit up, strong enough to speak.

He’d booked passage on a screw steamer that was coming up from San Juan when they’d run into bad weather and took on water. He said things that didn’t make sense. He said his work was almost done and he had to keep on. He’d walked a long trail and was sure he had almost reached the end of his journey. There was another world beyond this, where truth had been hidden, and he had found a secret road to walk that would lead him to the truth and allow him to leave this all behind.

He was delirious so I put him to bed for the night. But I couldn’t sleep. Something about what he’d said. The hidden truth about the world. Leaving this all behind. It had plucked a string in me, the thrum resonating in my chest, warming me. I wanted to know what he’d meant, needed to know more about this path, this truth. He was a minister and I his wide-eyed believer. I checked on him early the next morning, but he had passed sometime in the night.

In his rucksack was a waterlogged journal. In it he had written the names and locations of hundreds of places from all around the world. A list made up of sculptures, ancient ruins, works of art… Most of them had been crossed out. However, he had connected the remaining names with a thick red line that ran through the journal. On the line he’d written the words, “The Path”.

It seemed like lunacy, but I recall a feeling like a fire running through me the moment I saw those two words. The Path. There was a knock on the cabin door and I answered it, assuming it was the captain come to check on the gentleman, but there was no one on the other side. I turned back to the journal on the table.

The image of a door on its last page, where the red line ended. I felt a kinship with the man’s madness. A connection. We both saw the lie of this world, but he had sought the truth at all costs. In the months after losing all I had, I’d considered taking my own life to end my torment. To free myself. But he had persevered. Worked out the way the truth had been locked away. And now I knew with a mad, unexplainable certainty that I’d found the key, and with it, a way to leave this world behind."


He stopped talking. I turned around to ask him a question, and he was gone. I transcribed everything I scribbled and just now looked up at the dry erase board we have in the office. He was writing on it, the words disappearing just as he wrote them, but I got them down. There was another riddle hidden in his memory…

On wheels or wings
On wires or things
That grow but aren’t alive
That travel between north and south
Or twinkle in the sky

A link in the address
Where gold bubbles flow
A mill I can reach
And minerals low
A meeting of waters
A jolt in the air

Go have a wander
There’s memories there


#2

Minerals low…, a mine, then?

A meeting of waters is my town. Kamloops is sequepmc for where two rivers meet. I live not far from the meeting point, i could go check it out?


#3

So, we’re thinking this is like last time? If so, anyone else see something that sounds familiar? I’m back home from uni now, and my town is an old mining city. Not sure if there’s any old mines around though, or a mill… “That grow but aren’t alive”… What grows that isn’t alive? A wall or something?


#4

It sounds like some type of construction, so a wall would work.


#5

Anyone from berlin? China?
Also, im not saying it is the same but im not saying it isnt. Lets be cautious guys, no use going on a witchhunt without confirmation unless we have hits.


#6

So, “A link in the address” stands out to me. It’s worth noting that the first stanza of the poem has five lines, but the second one has six. I’m wondering if maybe we’re looking for one specific address that will give us a clue to a website, or if the various locations we’re meant to go to will give us bits of a website address?


#7

Well, I think it’s safe to assume that the first line means “airplane” or something related to it.


#8

Okay I can safely rule myself out as I had one last time and the only other thing near me is a brick train. So it’s definitely not me


#9

I know my town has a pretty famous mill, but it’s about 16 minutes drive away. It says a mill I can reach, so I’m not sure if that’s me or not. Plus, I feel like “I can reach” is significant beyond the distance.


#10

I’m sure my mind is jumping to conclusions again, but I may need to try another visit to the "mill"hopper…
Though the “I can reach” reminds me of the fact that I still can’t go into the hole in the ground according to their site.


#11

If it’s like last time, then there should be pairs. But the first section only has 5 while the second has six. Maybe “a link in the address” is talking about how one of the pairs has something on one of their websites?


#12

Or ‘a link in the address’ could mean it’s on Link St. or Link Dr. or the like. Or the town/city/county could have ‘link’ in it.


#13

We have three Mounties in the UK, and of course one in Australia, at least as far as the Secret Society members go. Otherwise, everyone else is in North America.

I’m thinking we shouldn’t rule anyone out, even if they had a location last time. Better safe than sorry, you know?


#14

100% agree with Rev. I wouldn’t rule anything out.

If you have the faintest guess it might be near you, check it out if and when you can. Worst thing that happens is you get out and see some site you may not have known a lot about before. But there’s just a bit of a thrill going out the door to see go somewhere just to see if magiq happens.


#15

Everyone, I don’t know what I did, but I found one.

I was waiting for a meeting with my advisor in my department building at college. I was scrolling through my phone when I noticed an unfamiliar notification. I’ll try and figure out why I got this one, but the memory I got was “A Terrible Storm.”


#16

Whoah!


#17

Awesome, Remus! Even without trying you rock.

I’m curious to see what might have set that off.


#18

Okay, so it does seem to be places again. I’ll take a look around me, but I can’t think of anything here.


#19

“Where gold bubbles flow” Is that in reference to champagne? So like a bar or restaurant I’d assume.


#20

I’ve got this: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lethbridge_Viaduct
Just going off intuition it seems to fit a couple things in the first verse but goes East to West. Idk. If it does turn out to be something, I can investigate. It’s not too far from where I live.