Book 1 emblem Book 1: Curious Little Thing Page 68: Open Invitation
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The background is white.

Panel 1

Zane is inside the antiques store, shutting the door gingerly and looking nervously to one side, his hand out in front of him as if he's protecting himself. Mercy is clinging to his elbow. Although the windows are clean now it's still dark inside, with a blue cast to the walls and furniture, and the window on the door and some of the panes on the side window are broken. There's a wooden wheel leaning up against the wall, and behind him is a long table with some boxes on it and the large cabinet. Zane thinks "Hopefully I can *learn* something here before Mr. Planchett comes knocking and takes everything that's not bolted down. I should be... safe... After all, it's daylight out."

Panel 2.

Zane walks towards the back of the room slowly, looking distracted by his thoughts. Mercy is on his back, clinging to his shoulders like a backpack. He thinks "Although I guess that *bug-looking* thing did show up near dawn. But it looked too *big* to fit in here." Behind him, there's an urn, a lamp with no lightbulb or lampshade and a pile of books on the table, and behind the table is the large cabinet with several small doors. All of the doors are open slightly.

Panel 3.

Zane stops dead in his tracks, curved lines around the front and back of his head indicating his shock, and his eyes opening wide in fear.

Panel 4.

Zane, now sweating heavily and his eyes still wide open, thinks "All the doors are open." Although he and Mercy are the same color, there is a red tint to the background, very different from the cool blues of the previous panels. It makes the wall look purple and the cabinet more red than brown.

Panel 5.

Zane thinks, in large type, "*Who opened them? I wasn't here.*" Then in normal type, "Close them. Close them all. Close the doors." He backs away from the cabinet, holding one hand out in front of him and touching the other to his head. Sweat springs away from his forehead and drips down his temples, and many small, short thin yellow lines coming from his head indicate the depth of his shock. The background color has a slight reddish tinge, but it is more like the first three panels than the fourth one.

Panel 6.

Pushing closed the last door of the cabinet, Zane looks towards the door to the back room, which is slightly ajar. Still sweating and gritting his teeth, he thinks "Even *his* door. Have to close it. Wait. I should check inside first. Shut everything inside. It all has to be *shut* or I can't feel *sure.*" Mercy is still clinging to his back. She has one wing draped across his back like a shawl and is peeping over his shoulder. The background color is back to normal.

Panel 7.

Zane rushes into the back room past the cobweb-covered bed, his eyes still blank with fear and sweat still dripping from him. His arms are out to his sides in a tense, almost comical pose, with Mercy still peeping out from behind his shoulder. He looks at the desk, which is covered with layers of paper, a tall stack of thick books and cobwebs, thinking "Shut everything. *Shut* so I'm *sure*. Shhh--" His attention falls on an open drawer filled with paper. There's a slight golden glow coming from inside. The background is a dark purple, and the desk and chair are made of reddish wood.

Panel 8.

Inside the drawer is what looks like a large, shiny gold coin, with a diameter of perhaps two or three inches. It bears a logo of a stylized skull and two crossed shovels underneath it. Underneath it is a piece of paper that reads "You have been selected to join The Society Of The Skull and Shovels." There is more writing, calligraphic decoration and an image of the logo underneath that, but it is mostly covered up by the front of the drawer. Next to the gold item is a piece of paper with writing in an old-fashioned, elegant hand. Part of the writing is covered up. The legible words in the first line are "Next of kin--" and the legible words in the second line are "this pin." The word before "this" could perhaps be "Wear" or "bear." The drawer is filled with other pieces of paper, most of which seem to be family trees, and a pencil. Another paper which is on the desk, nearly falling into the open drawer, shows a family tree that begins in 1754.

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