"Oh magus, you have begun thy journey. Your master's temple has fallen but his work is not yet finished…" - Orrin Oscar Lutwidge
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7 Sept 1968 1.
MY "VISIT" TO TOLLEVUE
Getting tossed into the Mental Ward @ Tollevue again was the
easy part – enough people (esp. Det. Stango) think I’m a “nutjob.”
Besides –frnakly – the stress has been getting to me. The calcu-
lated risk was ief I’d ever get back out!
A few frantic phone calls, some vaguely dire comments to Stango
on the phone – a few pieces of broke furniture – and quick
enough, I’m on my way back to the rubber room. Made sure the cops
knew about my prev. “association” with Dr. Lyman. From my
“Stay” last year, I had a pretty good idea of what buttons to press
- how to make them WORRY w/o saying anything that could get
me locked permanently. Because there was only one place I
REALLY wanted to get to – the Rec Room in the Secure Ward.
Some real “characters” there – think I nearly got shivved for
winning a round of Go Fish. (Not my fault the mangled deck had
three Queen of Hearts!)
But I found who I was looking for in the corner. A bent, lopsided
man in a creaking wheelchair, wrapped in a dirty blanket.
They called him Mr. Quain now. But I knew that face. I’d seen the
photos of Orrin Lutwidge. And this was Lutwidge – through a
Journal, "Meeting Killian Quain" Edit
MEETING KILLIAN QUAIN 2.
“Quain” didn’t SEEM very dangerous - he just sat in the wheel-
chair, rocking – rocking with an infernal creaking – as he huddled
over piles of old junk. The Orderlies let him have used machinery &
spare parts that were just getting thrown out anyway… one orderly
had even taken pity and given the old tinkerer some tools. “Quain”
barely spoke… he’d huddle and rock, and whimper, and mutter. The
only thing that kept him calm and quiet was BUILDING things…
Like that cylinder with all the colored schematics in a crazy-quilt
pattern. I spotted on the shelf that was set aside for Quain’s projj-
ects. Right away, I knew it was special.
It took me an hour or more to break through. Offering my tapioca as
a peace offering. Trying to “help” – proffering tools. He ignored me.
Until I whispered the word “Utropolis.” Those black glassy eyes
landed on me. Lit up with a kind of rage.
“Utropolis is Rapture,” I said. “And you were Lutiwidge.”
He didn’t deny it. Just stared with that monstraous face. Lips moving
silently. Forming words I couldn’t hear – words beyond all sense.
“I am the Seeker,” I told him. “The one you’ve been waiting for.”
And for one moment, his face relaxed. He looked almost human.
“Then take this,” he intoned, in a creaking semblance of that rich
voice I knew from the tapes he’d left behind. “Take thy Grail, oh
And he gave me the cylinder. A gift. And a warning.
Then his eyes grew cold and distant. He returned to his work…
…and it was up to me to solve the puzzle.
Journal, "Opening the Grail", 9/7/68 Edit
OPENING THE GRAIL 3.
I must have looked insane as anyone else in the room – wisting
and turning the wheels of the puzzle – sweat beading on my
forehead. I felt like I was on the verge of the secret. Then some-
thing CLICKED. The center of the puzzle slid out – and I saw the
There was one orderly glaring at me – a face like a guinea pig and
eyes almost as beady. I’d seen him reporting to Dr. Lyman – the
two of them would stand outside the observation window, staring
at me… conferring. My back was to the white-jacketed thug. I
managed to hide the thin notebook under my robe. I slammed the
puzzle shut, twisted it so the bastard would have to solve it
himself if he wanted to learn its secret. The orderly’s lips curled
in revulsion as he pried the metal cylinder out of my grasp
That night in my bunk – after lockdown – I snuck to the edge of
the closed door.
A crack of light filtered under the door jamb. As the light
splashed across the ink-stained mad collage of the journal’s
pages, I wondered if I was half-asleep still. The words and
images seemed like something out of a fever-dream.
My disappointment was like a cold knife in my gut. I’d risked
everything – for this. The ravings of a loon. The gibbering of a
madman. Glued and taped to the insides of a cheap ink-spat-
But I knew “Quain”/Lutwidge well enough to hope that maybe –
just maybe - there was some method to the madness.
And I had an idea about where to find the key.
There was a sharp rap at the door. The hated orderly, with his
guinea pig face and white jacket. Resentfully, he stuffed Quain’s
cylindrical puzzle back into my arms/ He’d discovered that it was
empty – now. So it was just a souvenir. My 24 hours was up. It
was time to go home.
- Mark G. Meltzer
- P.O. Box 4668 #32890
- New York , N.Y. 10163
Got your message. My apologies for my ‘performance’ on the phone the
other night. It’s a long story, but I finally tracked down “R. Killain
Quain” (author of the Utropolis stories you sent me). But in order to pay
him a visit, I had to convince certain authorities that I needed to make a
return trip to my old alma mater, Tollevue Mental Hospital.
Sorry I dragged you into it, Phil - But I had to make sure that if the
authorities got in touch with my regular contacts, it would be clear
there was "reason for concern."
After 24 hours of observation, all is well—and I owe you a great debt of grati-
tude for pointing me towards "Quain." If only I could make much sense
of his story... but then, I'm not sure anyone could. Stay tuned, I may
have a few questions for you in the coming days.
More later - I'm exhausted from this whole exercise and
trying to figure out which way is up.
|Mark Meltzer Writings|
|Phase One||Phase One|
|Phase Two||Days 1-6 · Days 7-15 · Days 16-24 · Days 25-32 · Days 33-43 · Days 44-57 · Days 58-67 · Days 68-78 · Days 79-84 · Days 85-97 · Days 98-109 · Days 110-120|
|Phase Three||Days 121-130 · Days 131-137 · Days 138-144 · Days 145-150 · Days 151-155 · Days 156-164 · Days 165-172|