Subsubsection: Friday 8 August 1930 Up Section: Kensington Section: Stratford 

24 August 2017 (Fighting the abomination)

Bessie listens, hearing nothing; they clear and move the shelves, quite a quick task, and Lin Tan opens the door, being ready to slam it again if need be. There’s a truly vile stench from what’s beyond; in a small room is what seems at first like a compost-pile, but proves to be a moving creature with multiple human arms, mouths and eyes, covered in what seems to be its own fæces. Bessie is stunned for a few moments; Lin Tan closes the door, but something slams against it from the other side and it starts to splinter. They back away and put benches up against the cupboard, then get up and out, taking the unconscious leg-creature with them. Gertrude goes to the nearest phone box to call the bookshop and Miss Allen; the others wait in the garden and kitchen of Mrs Preston’s house. There’s crashing and splintering from next door, and Bessie starts heating a poker on the gas hob.
As the thing smashes its way out of the back door of Peters’ house, through the hedge (taking a corner of the greenhouse), and towards the kitchen door, Audrey shoots it; it’s hurt, but not seriously. She backs into the house and closes the kitchen door; the thing soon starts slamming itself against it.
While waiting on the phone, Gertrude spots a couple of people who seem to have been watching Peters’ house: two obvious plain-clothes policemen, and one man in an expensive-looking suit. They cross to the front door at the sound of gunfire, and start knocking, then hammmering. Gertrude reaches Miss Allen, who’s clearly fascinated but can’t offer much in the way of help.
Lin Tan leaps out through the kitchen window and starts to slash at the creature, dodging out of the way as its arms grab at her. When the door comes down, Audrey continues to shoot, and Bessie stabs the thing repeatedly with the poker.
Gertrude reaches the police as they’re knocking down Peters’ door, and tries to get them to come into the next house instead, but they ignore her.
Bessie and Audrey are both grabbed by arms and pulled towards the thing’s mouths, but continue to stab with the poker and shoot; combined with Lin Tan’s knife slashes, the thing eventually gives up the ghost, though it continues to twitch until Lin Tan cuts it in half with her knife. The kitchen is a foul-smelling shambles, and the occupants aren’t much better off.
The police come through from next door, the suited man following. One of the policemen pauses to vomit. The man doesn’t seem at all interested in what the women have to say; he conveys that he’s in charge of the situation and there’s nothing to worry about. Several of the party notice that there’s something magical hanging round his neck, but it’s under his clothes and they can’t get a look at it.
The women hose themselves down in the garden – their clothes won’t be salvageable, but at least they can leave the house in this state – and leave; Gertrude and Audrey try to read the policemen’s attitudes, and get the idea that this chap is very much in charge… and that they’re probably the least imaginative policemen at the station.
They retire to Bessie’s flat, get properly cleaned up and changed (burning the clothes), and make their way to the bookshop to talk to Miss Allen. (Milly, meanwhile, has come back with Mrs Preston to find that the two houses have mysteriously caught fire and been gutted, though the fire brigade was able to stop it spreading further. The gardens are burned too.)
Miss Allen has been putting out some enquiries; the man was definitely not anything to do with the police, but she’s been unable to find out what official capacity he might have had. Peters left his office early, in company, and hasn’t been seen since.
 Subsubsection: Friday 8 August 1930 Up Section: Kensington Section: Stratford