Well, that was interesting. Kate sent me over to talk to a guy from the snake cult, who runs... I guess I'd call it an "odds and ends" store, in a strip mall. A lot of bric-a-brac, some genuine antiques and collectibles... and, for those of us who know to ask, more esoteric supplies and items. I've gone to him a few times myself, when I needed something that I couldn't get for myself, but I didn't know he was part of the snake cult until Kate told me. At least, I don't think I knew that. My memory's still fuzzy in places.
Anyway, she had me asking about one of our people, and some purchases she'd made recently. The guy who runs the store doesn't keep receipts for those kinds of things, but he has a very good memory. And the list was... interesting. Kate and I are supposed to sit down and go over it together this afternoon, so she can show me how it fits together and how to analyze it using the archives.
And, yeah, I realize I haven't said anything about the week I just spent with Claire's parents and the rest of the snake cult. I'm trying to get that put together, but it's a lot to sort out. But, for those of you who are wondering, here's the short version: they don't know where she is either, they don't have any better ideas than I do about how to find her, and the two attempts we collaborated on both failed.
Reflections of a Deranged Cultist is a work of fiction. No junk shops were harmed in the writing of this post.