Today, I came across a rather strange assortment of artifacts, piled loosely in a duffel bag in the corner of my office. The duffel bag bore no distinguishing marks other than a sticker reading “Abney Park”, what I believe to be a stamp from a possible stop along the way from its unknown origin.
Having worked tirelessly throughout the day to ascertain their origin, I found about midway through spectographics and other means, that these items were by no means ancient, or even old. However, knowing that there exist modern-times dabblers and adepts in the metaphysical arts and aether-scientific spheres, I decided it would be a good idea to inspect these items more closely.
The first of these items – what seemed to be a pair of flight goggles, with a crudely fashioned set of secondary lenses bound by brass arms, which for some reason did not seem to bend or swing in ways that would be expected for functionality, or even bend at all. In trying to manipulate the lenses, I eventually broke one of these arms, and spent my first hours rather panicked that I may have irreparably damaged something of great importance.
Next I tried the simple approach of wearing the goggles. Whether a result of my error, or simply a matter of design, I found that though I do look quite smashing in them, the goggles do absolutely nothing, nothing at all.
The next items were a pair of what seemed to be hat pins, strange in their making due to the presence of gears and cogs at their tops, these gears not leading to other gears, I thought at first they might be some sort of key, perhaps to some sort of advanced alchemical device yet to be found. In trying to turn these gears, to ascertain how advanced the inner workings might be, I ended up breaking one of these gears from the pin, only to find it the gear was simply bound in place by a sort of jewelers’ glue.
Lastly, there was a top hat, not recently made but certainly by no means old. On it were a variety of things, including more of these rudimentary arms and lenses, some ribbons, and an insignia pin – showing promise in its obscurity. I spent the last hours of my day trying to decode this sigil, to no avail, and finally I surmised what only an educated man such as myself would… that perhaps it was a magical hat – the likes worn by those tricksters and charletans on the square, and by actual practitioners of the ancient arts as well. The only sensible place to go from here was to test this theory.
First, I tried the simple route, taking a nearby glass of goat’s milk, and pouring it into the hat to see if the milk disappeared, or perhaps turned into confetti. The end result was a desk covered in milk, a somewhat saturated hat, and a rather perturbed and milk-drenched dean as a result of my efforts to demonstrate the hat’s presumed powers of milk-to-confetti transmography.
The next test was to insert a pigeon into the hat, and see if it either vanished or turned into a string of joined handkerchiefs, or perhaps a balloon… I like balloons. In order to contain the pigeon, I placed a board over the opening, and set a heavy weight atop the board. This ended only in completely destroying the hat, and regrettably, its contents.
After a long hard day of work, including many many tests, leading to disassembly, and ultimately frustration in having wasted an entire day, I found that these items were all fakes of some sort, perhaps placed in my office by entities from competing universities or perhaps from BEYOND, towards the purpose of distracting me from something groundbreaking and important – such as my research or possibly even tea time.
The fiend, whoever they may be, did manage at both of these – I am however more determined than ever to succeed at whatever it is this miscreant or spectre sought to distract me from – beginning with tea and descending by order of importance.
If anyone has any knowledge regarding the perpetrators of this prank, hoax, or scheme, I would ask that they contact me in my study as soon as humanly or inhumanly possible.
Prof. Aden M. Kemy