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Topics - Ben Fugman

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In The Style Of... / In A Forrest And In Terror
« on: 03/21/19, 11:33 AM »
When I was young, my mother was a priestess of Shub Niggurath. My youth was fraught with queer occurrences, resulting from my peculiar upbringing.
     -Tior Raimath

This is a story written by Benjamin Fugman in 2018 based in the classic Weird Fiction style. The original summary paragraph is in the voice of the first chapter's narrator, the chapters pass off between different narrators, and an effort was made to give each an individual voice, while maintaining an overall linguistic writing style of classic American weird fiction

Chapter 1: In Terror In A Forrest

I bounded through the verdant sylvan expanse weaving between pine and sycamore trees loping over low brush and crashing through hangings of ivy. I fled as though for my very life, though I was sure it was not in danger, but perhaps my soul...

It was an early Tsathogtog morning, 10th Hasturdan, 9th year of the 3rd Yig Cycle, those who have marked well their history and are familiar with the olden way of marking time will know the significance of that date, others may not be able to reason it. In those days my mother was a priestess to the great mother goddess, something that was meant to be a high honour for our family. I was only a child then and could barely grasp the concept of honour, or the olden ways.

Looking over my shoulder I caught sight of a grayish flash which must have been the fabric of my pursuer's garment, receding behind the trunk of a tall lodgepole pine. Although our village had been here for centuries, a bastion of the old gods, our way of life was under siege. A colony of prigmatic, tecnophobic puritanical foreigners had settled nearby. The foreigners, by their account, had fled their homeland for greener shores, because their king had forbidden the practice of their religion, they believed they would have the freedom to practice their religion, the execution of which, apparently includes the persecution of all other religions, here in our land. The foreigners reject the old gods and despise the olden ways. Being a precocious youth, I was naturally curious about our strange monochromatically clad neighbours, a curiosity vehemently discouraged by my mother, and the rest of our clergy.

I slipped on a slimy pig's ear mushroom and nearly stumbled headlong into a blackberry bramble, fortunately my head wasn't quite long enough to collide with the spineffrous succulents. As I scrambled to my feet I beheld clearly my dogged ferreter's form, only a single, solitary sojourner had taken up my trail, I wasn't sure if that was a good sign or bad, but I knew it would probably be best not to lead my lone pursuer back to our village, this I could handle alone. I'd gone out by the mill early that morning. The mill is the furthest structure from the main part of the settlement, and, I had observed, the miller's daughter arose early each morning to see to a number of the menial tasks which the miller himself avoided on the excuse that he needed to keep his hands clean for his trade, and the miller's wife avoided by excelling at kittchenry. The daughter being stuck with such tasks as she was suited my aim just fine. There was a supple grace about her exertions which held a near mesmeric charm to me. I was especially entranced then, on that particular Tsathogtog morning, watching her draw water from the miller's cobblestone well by pulling the thick hemp rope across a hanging pulley, wrapping each length about a carven spooling board.

Of a sudden a flock of whippoorwills rose out of the wood some ways to my left, converging on the center of the foreign settlement, a detail which would have escaped my notice, if not for the reaction of the miller's long eared basset hound, who gave a stark and resolute alert at the passing of the birds. "Bawoooo, yawp yawp yawp!" Echoing across the supernal gulfs of the Naisance sky the hound's baying was in the classical learnt language of man's canine counterparts, "They go, look, look, look!" The miller's daughter, heedless of the flocking birds, looked about for some more terrestrial source for the beast's call of alarm. I knew the hound was unlikely to bark at me, I had long since purchased his allegiance with some venison jerky and dried roasted potato slices. The miller's daughter though, I doubted snacks would buy her loyalty. Her eyes, sharpened by the state of hyper focus brought on by the dog's alarm, scanned the tree line, where I lay crouched in the bushes. Then she stopped scanning and stared, directly, intently at the bush behind which I was but poorly concealed. I did not know if she saw me or not, but the wind picked up, suddenly and the mill shrieked with indignation as its five great arms were spurred into unnatural animacy. Afraid it would wake the miller I stood bolt up, and I knew the miller's daughter saw me then. For only a brief moment, I stared back at her, then I turned and ran wildly into the great wood.

Scampering over roots and stones, shaken up a bit after my little tumble. She was gaining ground behind me much more rapidly than I would have expected. She seemed to be the only one following me, nor could I detect anyone following her. The Miller's daughter was nearly a megalithic foot taller than myself, and her resultant speed advantage was staggering. A little over a week before that, on the Azatog before last, the last day of Yog Sothdan I had sneaked up to the hillock around the olden temple, not that I was really alone at least half the youngsters of our village had crept up to those old stone apertures to behold, the rites of the holy mother goddess, Shub Niggurath. As I have said. My mother was a priestess, as such she wore about her head the many horned mask of The Black Goat, that being her singular item of attire. Likewise her duties as a priestess also required her participation in every facet of the rites, with every adult in our village, rites which were simultaneously public, and intimate.

Bursting through a furrow of crisscrossed branches I found myself in a small clearing. Surround on all but the side I had entered from with thick growths of switchwillows making exiting the clearing a trickier proposition than entering, I had reached my destination. The hairs on  the back of my neck pricked like the heckles of a trapped boar, the the taste of a copper oblation ladle permeated the surface of my tongue. With a crash my solitary huntress shot through the veritable door of crossing branches, then with a hop and a skip she leapt at me from behind, tacking me into the switchwillows ahead which sprung back in resistance flinging the both of us on our backs, side by side in the soft grass and dandelions.

"Why'd you chase me?" I demanded.
"Why weret thou watching me?" Retorted the confident golden haired grey mantled girl.
"You folk are different. I's fascinated how you go to all that trouble pullin' up buckets and wrappin' that rope, instead of puttin' in a tap and hand pump. We done it for nigh on two cycles now out my village." I hoped that this elongated display would help hide the threadbare nature of my excuse.
She smiled at me, you might call it a knowing smile. "Knowest thou not? Idle hands are the devil's playground."
"Well," I scratched my head, "I ain't never met no devil. So I couldn't say where they spend their time, but if they like idle hands there can't be none on yours."
She leaned close to my ear and whispered, practically breathed, "These hands are less holy than thou might suspect." After that I stared long and intently into her eyes, as deep and as blue-green as the ocean.
We both were silent for a time, then the whippoorwills rushed past above us zigzagging and cavorting in a pseudofluid mass, more akin to a river rapid than a flock of birds, darkening the sky above the clearing for nearly three seconds this time their presence was heralded by a deep abyssal cooing, interspersed with earslicing shrieks. For a moment after they passed all was silent, the wind seemed to cut off sharply, as though the birds had taken it with them...
"Tell me," she broke the silence, "is it true what they say about your people?"
"Is what true?" My expression of shock must've made my face the very caricature of old Tsathogua, eyes bulging, chin drawn back and my mouth pulled into a terrapinean frown, all framed by my, I was sure, massive, somewhat pointed ears. The other youths in my village often called me donkey ears, so they must've been large.
"You know," her right eye twitched as the right corner of her mouth raised in a momentary smirk, "how you're all savages?" This last word seemed to fill her with some taboo sort of thrill.
"Well I wouldn't know what a savage is." I blurted out, "But when I think about it, it don't sound like the nicest thing to call folk."
"You know." She smirked again as if she really expected I knew. "It means you eat raw meat with your bare hands, wear the skins of animals, all that sort of thing."
Those two things were true, I had eaten raw meat on many occasions, and my clothes were made primarily of leather, "Well sure, but I don't see how that makes me a savage." I tried to mimic her thrill, I'm sure it came across as sarcastic. "Anyway," I added, "whadda you figure your shoes are made of."
Her face was flush as she glanced downward and pointed her toes skyward.
"And they say you chant blasphemous intonations to false gods." Her thrill remained, but her words were beginning to drudge up offense from the dark corners of my soul.
"I never heard worship called blasphemy before," pivoting off my knee and elbow I swung myself over, above her, not touching her directly, but effectively blocking her ascent. "And what do you figure makes your new god more real than the old gods?"
"They.." She squeaked, "also say that your people practice indiscriminate acts of deviancy."
"What are you getting at?" I indignated as I drew back to a crouched posture before her.
"I think you know." She smirked again, higher than before, this time winking her right eye and raising her left eyebrow. Then she sat up first supported on her elbows, then on her palms. Leaning forward until the gap between our faces was less than it had been when I was slung over her. Slowly she pursed her lips into an o, brought them just against mine quickly made a pop with the inner part of her lips. And she sank slowly back wrapping her hands about her chest. If this was a kiss I'd never seen its like amongst my people, but perhaps it passed for a kiss amongst hers, because she appeared as one in the throws of ecstatic bliss.
Her hands slid from her chest apart and down to her hips which she momentarily supported above the rest of her body, then spread her knees as she slowly lowered her hips back to the ground. Then she slid her hands 'round her hips into the middle of her thighs, pressing the fabric into the space between her legs, joining her hands in a mudra of prayer, and creating a Y shaped depression in her dress. I was filled with a hunger beneath my stomach such as I had never fealt. She began walking her fingers in place, bunching up the fabric of her grey dress and white skirts. Once she had the last skirt gathered, she rapidly pulled them up, then pushed them down again. Quickly I caught sight of the same vibrant gold which wreathed her headstrong confident visage. Slowly she pulled the lot up again, revealing a total absence of undergarments, save for her thigh high cotton socks. I fealt saliva welling up around my tongue and teeth looking back to her face I saw her eyes widen, and her lips parted in a beckoning grin. I gave in to my instincts, and I ate the miller's daughter.

Chapter 2: Terror In The Forest

I made my way slowly back through that ancient and secreted wood, slowly and carefully, though I could feel the hot acid breath of Kerberos on my back. Slowly because it is easy to become disoriented in the unfamiliar and suddenly cold woods. Slowly because I knew I had committed a mortal sin. I needed time to think of what I would say if my absence were noted. Though even moving slowly I tried to hurry, because each minute I tarried longer increased the likelihood I would be missed. It's easy to go fast when you're following someone going fast who knows the way, easy to dash and dive when filled with the energizing folly of youth. Not so easy when returning guideless and humbled with guilt and contrition.

An owl called out from a treetop. "Hark! Wrongdoer abroad!" A chorus of owls in nearby trees responded, "Who?! Who? Who?!" The one above me answered promptly, "Autlander!"

Then a black mockingbird landed on the branch directly ahead of me spread its wings, and in Pastor's voice it cried, "Below!" Then discharging the burden of its breakfast the wretched black imitator flitted to a higher branch and declared, "Below lies hellfire!"
I quickened my pace. What did those avian busybodies care what I'd done, oh Thazzos! What had been done to me... For me... With me! That I had betrayed my honour, my family, my God! I passed by the silk things I had left by a tree trunk, I was on the right track bits of moss clung to them so I left them be. Father, Pastor, everyone! They were right! The were right about the savages about their depravity, about their indiscretion. Worse yet they were right about me, I am a wicked creature filled with lust and devious fancies. I committed a mortal sin and loved every minute of it. In the moments following our iniquitous encounter, my new savage friend and I resumed to conversing.

"So," the other stared inquisitively into my eyes, with disarming attention. "Is it true what they say about you folk." This in clear mockery of my earlier inquest.
"I know't not. What do they say?" I couldn't imagine what savages would have to say about sojourners.
"How y'all only read one book, only pray to one god, never wear colours?" The questions came in rapid succession, much as I had done moments before.
"Well, yes but..." I trailed off. Somehow at that point I fealt that the straight and narrow way I had been taught to respect seemed utterly indefensible.
My new friend looked more grave, suddenly. In a hushed and graveled voice asked. "Is it true you folk kill your own if they don't do like your book says?" A chill wind picked up rustling the switchwillows that surrounded us.
"I don'..." I started to try to say something to object, but how could I? I'd seen it happen. Then I heard the screech, the low distant rumble. My father's mill coming to life again. "I must return home!"
"Yeah, I better head out too.." My friend reluctantly agreed.

I reached the trail we'd turned off of, towards the clearing. I looked first down the way homeward, then up the way to the heathen village. And I saw it! A bull moose, tall as a house, as wide from antler to antler as father's mill. The moose pawed the ground before him with a forehoof as wide as a literal dinnerplate. Then stomped hard and shook its massively antlered head, snorting forth clouds of tangible vapor. And with a thunderous declaimation it bellowed. "Boar-oak! Due-wall!" All thought left me for a moment, I sprinted down the homeward path like a possessed infidel.

Thought returned, however, as it is wont to do in moments when it is least welcome. "Baroque dual..." Why would a moose say such a thing? What could it mean, such pointless notions, Moose don't talk, he was only bellowing. I became cognizant of a rythmatic thumping, dadadump, dadadump, dadadump, dump, dump, dadadump, dadadump, dadadump, dump dump. God above how pitiful must I have looked to the moose, how ridiculous? Hurling myself forward at what I was sure was my top speed whilst he, with his long legs, was gaining ground rapidly, at a mere trot. As the voluminous drooping snout,  entered my field of view from the right, I was forced to reevaluate my top speed. Both feet left the ground with each stride, the snout and the consistent thumping receeded to a more comfortable distance. The path curved ahead a fallen log lay along the side, supported by two stumps the ground beneath padded with dry needles. I saw my opportunity, and grasped it by the proverbial antlers. I dropped to my knees and slid under the raised log, bending backwards to fit. Then, Carrump! Carrump! First the forehoolves, then the hind hoolves clomped down on the log and he launched himself over me, sailing through the air, as smoothly as the Lilly White had sailed across the ocean, conveying us here. Then came a thunderous, Carrump! Carrump! As the bull moose landed ahead of me. He trotted off into the forrest, self reliant as you please. I looked back at the log, it had buckled out at the bottom two long thick splinters crossed where my neck had been moments before, forming a more than suitable guillotine for the likes of me. I crept around the log, back to the path home. My joints ached, my muscles burned, salt water poured forth from the creases of my hands, never the less I spurred myself into a wholehearted jog. At least I'd gotten an idea what to tell my father.

I emerged shaking from the shadowed vale of the wood, my father stood beside the mill with his thumbs hooked into the corners of his black apron nearly white down the center with the collected dust of flour. My mother stood halfway out the door of the house, with a glance from father she retreated tacitly within. Like the moose, he bellowed, "Cornelia! Where hast thou been?!"

"I-I-I--" I stammered at the total reality of the inquisition I knew was coming, but could never prepare myself for the severity of. "I beheld a moose in the wood." Tears were already dampening my cheeks. I had committed a mortal sin that morning, and then I committed another sin by lying and dishonouring my parents, but they could never know. "It was s-s-so majestic I longed for a closer vantage, so I entered the wood, but..." I could feel him seeing through my fabrications like light passing through a cheesecloth. "It chased me! Oh father I was so frightened!"

There was no sympathy in his eyes, no empathy, no humanity. He was like his stone grinding wheel incarnate. "You see?! The lord thy god has punished thee for neglecting thy duties!" He scowled a scowl which radiated ill humour as the sun radiates light and warmth. I trudged through ankle-deep liquessent regret to the side of the well and finished drawing the water I would need to rinse the chamberpots.

Chapter 3: In The Temple An Upheaval

I sat on the black sheep skin covering of the big stone chair in the center of the old stone temple. I shifted my position trying to find some semblance of comfort. The black goat mask I wore for rituals sat to my right upon the broad carven arm rest, I wore the blackbird down brassiere and black hog loincloth which constituted the expected daytime attire of my office, for the Naisance season. Coal braziers burned on either side of me, each around two megalithic yards removed from the position of the chair, serving practically no purpose, as the morning light streamed in through the broad apertures in the upper part of the temple walls, and neither the sunlight nor the fire were doing much of anything to combat the chill in the air. I suspect the seasons may have undergone some migration of pattern, since the formation of the olden calendar, Hasturdan always fealt like part of Fridgidation, to me. Even the ignorant outlanders set the seasonal transition in late Nyarladan upon the day and night of equal length, yet, for reasons beyond my ken, the older calendar sets the transition to Naisance always on the first day of Hasturdan. And on that day each year am I expected to retire my Frigidation robes in favor of the less concealing Naisance accoutrements.

A cold breeze whirled through the temple, raising gooseflesh all about my person, but also providing a momentary respite from the smell, the smells of old love, of sick and slough residue, of dried blood, of damp furs, and of the ever present mildew in the corners. I casually picked out a cone of incense, from my incense chest, and tossed it into the brazier on my right, for all the good it would do... Valcaz, an ignominious obtrusive fellow, ambitious enough to land himself a position as emissary to the high priest of Ithaqua, stood on the cobbled walkway of the old stone temple, quill in hand and papyrus ready on a plankboard, awaiting my reply to his master's declaration. "Be gone, Valcaz, tell your master I will send a messenger with my answer when I am good and ready." That's what I wanted to say to him, but he would surely tell Thogue my exact words, whether they constituted a formal reply or not.

Thogue, the high priest of Ithaqua, lived high on the peak of The Cold Mountain in the temple observatory of Ithaqua. Valcaz had come on this morning to present me with a message from the decrepified ancient hierophant, concerning a threat he believed the outlanders presented, it told of how he had espied a ship docking at the other settlement of outlanders to the south, the one called Jacobston and that six men had carried two boxes, too short and thin to be caskets, but as heavy as three whole bodies up the coast to Rocksmouth, the settlement nearest our village. He believed these boxes held some kind of weapons that he feared would make the outlanders stronger than us. He proposed that we gather together all the priests and priestesses of all the tribes, here, at the old stone temple, and summon Yog Sothoth, and ask for weapons that would outmatch those of the foreigners. It didn't altogether make sense to me. The folk in Rocksmouth hated the Jacobites even more than they hated our folk. Most of all they hated the Jacobites' industries, without which I saw no way their weapons could make them stronger than our warriors. And if they did have weapons like the folk down in Jacobston then the show of light and thunderous sounds I'm told accompany the summoning of Yog Sothoth would only serve in tempering their resolve to attack us. It's important to understand, while the message was phrased in the form of a request, Thogue does not make requests, so I could reasonably assume he intended to hold the summoning ritual at my temple, regardless any protest I should attempt. So I was attempting to compose my thoughts carefully to formulate a response to Thogue's unabashed insult that would not be construed as overtly insulting to Thogue.

"Lady Tirague," Valcaz intoned in his accustom sickening, saccharin, sing-song with its wavering phlegmy timbre, "We humbly await your affirmative."

Perhaps his two guards, armed with bills, were humble, but Valcaz as far as I knew, did not know how to do anything in the spirit of humility. The wind whipped around the temple again, ruffling Valcaz's lavender coloured wool robe, and displacing a lock of my hair in front of my face.

I pursed my lips and blew the errant strands aside. "Very well, you may take this down, I certainly agree that the old stone temple is our most ancient and holiest site, and would be ideal for a summoning of such magnitude. I do have a notable concern, that the performance of such a ritual might instigate a conflict that might otherwise have been avoided, but if--"

A ruckus became audible near the temple entrance. A group of children could be heard shouting, "Heehaw! Heehaw! Heehaw!" A taunt I recognized all too well.

"Pardon me, exalted emissary, but I must look into the welfare of my child." Pushing off the seat with the palms of my hands I sprung up and took the three steps down from the chair's pedestal at a leap, dashed past Valcaz, and between his suddenly bewildered guards, then out the great arched portal of the old stone temple at the bottom of the front stoop I could see a circle of unruly youngsters, most of them still chanting, "Heehaw! Heehaw!" Their apparent ring leader, a girl named Zolaxia, was shouting, "Hey ass-ears! Take in any interestin' palaver eavesdropping on them strange folk?! C'mon we know that's where you go, to spy on all them black-hatted heathens, so what'd ya learn."

"Answer Zola's question, you buck tooth donkey!" Shouted another.

"Enough!" I shouted, projecting my voice as I would for a ritual. First 'Zola' turned around, then all the rest that weren't already facing me, those that were looked up, then they all scampered off leaving only one youngster sitting on the ground. Arms wrapped about knees, face wet with perspiration and tears, caked with dirt, which had apparently been kicked up from the thoroughfare by the bullies was my child, my daughter, Tior. I ran down and embraced her. Valcaz and his guards were leaving, I didn't care. He'd gotten enough from me he fealt confident faking an affirmative to the high priest.

Chapter 4: Omens, Portents, Questions, Resolutions, And Suspicion.

Upon this Tsathogtog, Tenth day of Hasturdan, year Nine, Third Yig Cycle, I, Thogue, am, as I do every day, putting down in writing the most significant events of the day.

This morning despatched Valcaz to procure use of the old temple for imminent summoning of Yog Sothoth from the outer realms. His success is imperative, if indeed, the puritans have obtained Jacobean armaments our own meagar iron blades will not be sufficient to waylay them. Only the raycasters Yog Sothoth can deliver will outmatch the speed and ferocity of Jacobite rifles. And only if they have designs against us would they dare break their taboo against obtaining such implements.

Made water shortly after. That peculiar violet shade again, far off from the healthy daffodil one comes to expect. No precedent for this phenomenon found, neither in our own scrolls, nor the Jacobite medical encyclopedias obtained at last sally to trading post. I have grow fearful these months of an impending death. Not of my body, not yet, but in this instance a death of reason, and with it a death of purpose, and without reason or purpose, am I still the voice of Ithaqua, or merely a shell put upon by dumb instinct to ejaculate incoherent noises?

From my long-glass did observe a flock of whippoorwills rising up from The Round Mountain to the south and west. Did see them dart hither and thither, then alight upon the settlement of Rocksmouth. If the devil the outlanders speak of exists, his name is Gtangatua, and his servants grow stronger, even now, within the round mountain, the fuel the Yulggothans need is the distillate of heretic souls, and the whippoorwills are the vessel by which that fuel is gathered. The gadoffel restrictive nature of the puritans' dogma makes them a fertile breeding ground for heresy. And their habit of executing the accused makes them an ideal self harvesting fuel source for the Yulggothans. This is why it's all the better that we ensure as many of them as can be, be allowed to die fighting for their beliefs, at least then they will not quicken the empowering of that neigh unstoppable diabolic beast.

It was by beholding Gtangatua that the deathless Old Gods were driven to and endless slumber. the Yulggothans have never announced their intent. But, for myself I have no doubt that it does not bode well for we, the legacy of the Old Gods.

Did witness through the long glass some nameless mischief of frivolity, which bears remembering, but surely not setting down, at once did see whippoorwills returning from Rocksmouth to The Round Mountain. 'Tis clear enough they got what they were after, or they'd have dispersed to gathering and spying, but they returned to that Round Mountain in haste, no doubt fat on the gluck of the vital energies of a soul liberated from flesh in doubt of its final destination there to bring it to that all hideous metalic monolith The Gtangator, set up on the stone slab in the middle of The Round Mountain, Gods alone know what the Mi-Go have planned for it, legend tells that after it was built, over three mythotic cycles ago, Gtangatua himself moved into it. Every since then I know they send out them whippoorwills whenever anyone dies hereabouts, and if that one dies in doubt of the faith their soul holds strongest to them birds claim the soul with their cacophonous chant, and when they get one they fly it straight back to The Gtangator where them Mi-Go take and latch onto it with positron arcs and drop it into an antiprotonic ectoplasmatic container, at least that's how the old scrolls put it. Them Mi-Go don't show up too well through the long glass, but their machines show up just fine, and watchin' you can tell just what they're doing, it matches up to what the scrolls seem to mean, and it must be to some sinister purpose, for I know right well that the Mi-Go use the stuff distilled from those ghosts to flit about and spin their lassos but besides that the stash most of't away in The Gtangator. A series of twelve blue lights run the height of the obelisk. From the time it was built, over three cycles ago, until the time I became High Priest of Ithaqua and my predecessor showed me the tower through the long glass only six of those lights had become illuminated,  however one more lit up shortly after my appointment to this office, and three have come on just in the ten years since outlanders breached our shores, two just in the eight years since the puritan's arrived. And now... Today, even before my eyes, after the latest, "witch" was refined, I, Thogue, sound enough in mind to set down these words, did witness the second to last light flickering to life.

Supped, good corn, good roasted venison, chilli sauce was too strong, so refrained, must ask cook to prepare milder batch.

After supper made water again, not merely violet, but also slightly luminous in the evening dark. Gods what's happening to me?!

Valcaz returned shortly after, bringing affirmative for ritual venue. I have no doubt Yog Sothoth will be our salvation.

In bed now ready to retire for the night, I cradle the raycaster I obtained so many years ago, for the war with the Imeks. More powerful than a thousand spears, and still has some charge left. If worst comes to worst, I know I can still depend on this.

Chapter 5: An Execution In The Square

This morning I dreamt a dream most ominous and hideous, in the dream I was a hide clad savage with beads and feathers tied into my greasy hair. I did not see, but knew that I was a warrior of the Ornek tribe. I somehow knew that we were at war with the the fairer skinned Nyagal from the north region around the cold mountain. I remembered, rather than experienced previous battles in which their metal pikes had cut through the wood of our stone headed spears, and claw-swords easily, but this time would be different, we'd gotten ahold of enough metal weapons by raiding their war camps in the night to put up a proper fight, or so we thought.

The dawn was blazing scarlet, not peach or pumpkin, like a dawn aught to be. The dawn wind which should be stone and surf, was instead copper and dry lightning. I could feel the tension in my entire brigade as we crested the southern hill of Clover Valley we expected to see the pikes and bills of the Nyagal first cresting the northern hill, but instead we saw the plumes of their helmed heads, they weren't wielding blades of steel, instead, they carried large rectangular objects of some dull unlustrous metal painted with red and blue accents. For an eternal moment we stared in stunned curiosity then, it happened... An un-forking bolt of stark white lightning errupted from one of the mysterious boxes, it tore through our ranks bursting half a dozen men like gourds, showering the rest of us with hot blood as the thunder sounded with deafening proximity, from that moment it was chaos. Some advancing, some retreating, and all helpless against the rain of destruction produced by the Nyagal's front lines. In a blind rage, I charged across the valley. I spotted out one of the Nyagal whose weapon had ceased firing and had commenced to whirring in protest, I piked him with my stolen pole-arm, his peculiar weapon discharged one final time as I set him down, liquidating the line of shooters to his right the last of whose weapon exploded with massive concussive force, enough to fling me against the Nyagal to the left of the one I took out. I managed to struggle to my feet first and liberate my foe of the bizarre armament The mechanism for firing was little different from a crossbow or, the conscious part of my mind thought, a musket. I cut several paths of death through the Nyagal forces, those not directly struck were cut up by the burst fragments of their comrades' metallic armor. I saw their general in the back he was dressed in steel scaled armor with red dyed fur. His helm was ornamented with boar tusks on the cheek guards, ram horns on the sides and goat horns on the top, his face was covered by a red cloth he carried none of the strange weapons of the frontline combatants, instead all he carried was a twisted wooden staff topped with what seemed to be the skull of some unspeakable beast, equal parts baboon antelope and gazelle, with the fangs of a prehistoric tiger. I got a sudden vision of the thing alive, charging across the valley toward me, glistening red and blue muscles bulge out amid its grey and black fur, whipping its bifurcated prehensile tail, and shaking its horned mantle with massive toothy jaw, as it roars the sky appears to shatter revealing a cold and cloudless night behind the day, then shatter again the stars fell away in plates revealing a bright blue day with scattered white clouds and a massive pale yellow sun, that did not sting the eyes to look upon, this too shattered in the space of the roar, the pieces faded away, ultimately giving way to the vermilion dregs of dawn the vision of the beast also faded and the general pressed his twisted staff into the soil as effortlessly as pressing a straight stake into soft loam. I aimed the deadly alien object at him and compressed the firing mechanism no sound of thunder no flash of blinding light, he did not explode. Instead I fealt, more than heard, the same whirring that had previously afforded me my opportunity to attack. Their general, however did not take advantage of the window to rush me and loose his dagger, instead he waved his hands over the blasphemous devil beast skull staff, and began to dance, waving his arms from side and bouncing at his bent knees, concealing his face behind his elbows at the extreme of each swing, all at once red flames seemed to surround him, twisting and crackling, as the flames reached a zenith, he stopped dancing and let them whirl around him as he placed his left hand upon the staff and raised his right to the sky, a tiny star began to coalesce in the palm of his right hand. I compressed the firing mechanism again this time a beam of light did issue forth with a thunderous clash but it reflected off the red flames as easily as sunlight off a mirror and struck the ground a meter in front of me, knocking me off my footing, as the star in his hand grew he chanted, "Ayah ayah ghashtathoc Nayar-Lat-Hotep bhas bhas vheed vis yeet!" The star swallowed all the red flames from around him and the star seemed to keep getting bigger and bigger, swallowing him, of course it wasn't, it was getting closer to me, I knew as I fealt the brightness and heat of its rays overtake me.

I awoke to the sunlight streaming in my bedroom window and set to work at once on this entry. Often I worry the nature of my dreams recorded in this journal might call into question my efficacy as a prosecutor, nonetheless I am compelled to record them, I cannot help but feel that this dream may have been inspired by the events of yesterday morning.

Yesterday, February, tenth, fifteen hundred and five Anum Thazzodesic, I was called upon to prove one Maurice Blackwell a witch. He was not the first accused witch I had prosecuted, and I doubt he'll be the last. What is a witch, really, but someone that somebody wants dead? I just facilitate the process by stating, loudly, whichever excuses the witchfinder helped the accusor contrive. I don't believe the magistrate or the crowd care what those excuses are, or how improbable they are, they just want to see someone hang.

The courtroom was full to capacity nearly every man in the settlement were packed into the benches, most of the rest, along with several women and children, in fact, only the miller and his family were absent, which was not at all conspicuous, as the mill was a good ways out of town, the miller says too many buildings nearby block out the wind, and I can take his word on it. Besides, if I had a daughter like his, I would take steps to keep her far from young men like my son. The defendant was bound and sat fidgeting clinkingly in his restraints, his barrister grimaced and smirked uncomfortably the magistrate had yet to arrive, the crier stood in front of his bench and read aloud from a scroll, "Gentlemen, today we are here to find cause with a witch, whose filthy kind degrade our society.  The accused is Mister Maurice Blackwell, a Jacobite name if ere I Heard one, who as you all know had a wife last year, and this year she is no longer among us. Presenting the argument for his defense is local advocate Chuck Brinig, and representing you, the good people of Rocksmouth, your district prosecutor, Willyrd P. Johnson." After a momentary pause he proceeded. "All rise, please, for your honorable magistrate Harcord Harold Henrys." Everyone rose quickly to their feet, except for the defendant, who's restraints may've forbade him rising. Magistrate Henrys entered the court from the Judge's prep-room,  carrying his heavy gavel that better resembled a staking mallet than one of the flimsy tack pushers used in the king's courts. I recalled a dream I once had in which I was myself, and the witchfinder accused a woman as a vampire, and magistrate Henry's drove a wooden stake into the accused with his gavel on the spot, in the courtroom. As unrealistic as the particulars of the scenario may be, I have no doubt but the hammer would stand up to the use, and the Magistrate himself was brawny enough to facilitate its employment in such an endeavor. My wife once joked that she wondered whether he was compensating for something, later she reported that she had repeated the same jest in private company with Mrs. Henrys, who assured her the gavel was rather more of an understatement. "Be seated!" The crier declared as the Magistrate settled into his bench. All were at once seated, but for the crier, the bailiffs, and one other man, Reverend Denham Mallow, the witchfinder.

"I have new evidence, your honour." Mallow declared "This object, retrieved from the home of the accused in the company of warranted officers." Mallow held up a small tin box with a red cross painted on it, the paint was worn and chipped in places, bare shiny metal showing through in spots. Any other man would have been called to order for such a disruptive display, but not the witchfinder, Reverend, lawyer, doctor of Christian theology, associate fellow of eastern studies, son of the revered Witchfinder General, Marshal Mallow. Actually when our magistrate called for a witchfinder he expected Marshall himself, despite the young reverend being his second choice, Magistrate Henrys always gave due reverence to the witchfinder, even permitting him to make of the court a near circus.

"You may approach the bench, witchfinder Mallow." Harcord announced, showing signs of repressed annoyance.

"Approach the bench!" The crier parroted. I don't even think I know that man's name, how often do I think of wringing his neck? More, perhaps than would be considered healthy.

The witchfinder brought the box up to the front of the courtroom. "This will be highly pertinent to the testimony of the accuser." He proclaimed. A bailiff took it from him and set it on the evidence table. "Your honor, may we bring forth the accuser now?"

"By all means, witchfinder, summon the plaintiff to the stand." Magistrate Henrys conceded, with a tone of un-abated authority.

"Come forth, Ibram Merrit!" declared Mallow.

"The court calls Ibram Merrit  to the stand!" cried the crier, only slightly louder than the witchfinder.

My Hearth's Warming Doll fell right into the fire. I tried to save it, but I singed my hoof, it hurt real bad, there was nothing I could do but watch the flames devour my poor little Hearth's Warming Doll, there was nothing anypony could do as the flames tore into the blue fabric engulfing the white cotton stuffing in seconds turning it all black then glowing red, orange, back to black, grey, and then dust. And as the fire consumed the doll I felt colder and colder until I froze solid, I didn't thaw out until Spring. And that's what happens if your Hearth's Warming Doll falls in the fire. True story.

Iconpasta / The Return Of Marana
« on: 03/21/19, 11:17 AM »
DISCLAIMER: This is a fictional story, any resemblance to real pesrons or circumstances would be highly disturbing, so I hope that no such resemblance exists. Within this story, the story Marana, by Adia Crozer will be quoted in part, or in it's enetirety more than once. This story will also make direct reference to the story TOP HAT, by Matthew Friedman and Andrew Zolenski. Furthermore some characters in this story are based on the personalities, and using the first names, of real people who I do not know personally and do not claim to have an intimate understanding of how they might truly react in any given situation. It goes without saying that I do not own any of these characters, they are owned by their respective creators my intention here is to build on an existing mythos.

The Return of Marana

It had been two weeks since I moved into the neighborhood, in the house at the corner of Cinnamon Street and Wyard Lane; two blocks north of La Cienega Drive, a fact that I was barely aware of, nor would the dreadful significance of that fact dawn on me, until it was too late. I've never put too much stock in urban legends let alone suburban legends, but I've always allowed for that element of the unexplained, however, even the most seriously strange cases I've looked into do not begin to approach the oddities which unfolded in the following weeks after my move to the house at the corner of Cinnamon and Wyard.

As I indicated it was two weeks after I moved into the house that I first heard that... I'm not sure  what to call it, story? Legend? Hogwash? Whichever of these I may choose, I would include adjectives denoting the frivolity of said... I'm not sure what to call it, so I won't go down that road again. If I had known at that time how serious and unfrivolous the warning was I may not have brushed it off so lightly. Or perhaps, lacking the knowledge I now possess, I may have guffawed at the ridiculous fable, as I must have felt it deserved at the time. As you will learn however, this dread cautionary tale is, in fact, no laughing matter.

 On the morning of April 7th Ethan, a neighborhood kid I'd met the previous day, when he delivered my newspaper, was mowing my front lawn on his, or his parents, riding mower. He had advertised his lawn mowing services when he'd brought the paper to my door, which was probably his usual scheme, I really didn't mind because he charged a reasonable price, and the only lawnmower I owned was an old-style mechanical push mower, which I'd found in the garage when I moved in.

  Having completed a gridwise sweep of my yard the kid came up to the porch and knocked on the door, where I was already standing, since I'd gotten up from my breakfast as soon as I heard the mower's engine cut out. And could see him approaching the porch from the dining room window. I opened the door after his second knock, he pawed the air with his fist, attempting a third, then cocked his head to the side and blinked rapidly six or eight times.

"Whatcha think, mister?" he glanced over his shoulder at his handiwork as he finished his question, I think he did so as a means of gesturing for me to take a look at the lawn.

I surveyed the yard quickly, "Great" I said indifferently, "You did a great job." I tried to sound a little more spirited, but it came out sounding a bit contrived. It wasn't that he hadn't done a good job, he had, as far as I could tell. I'm just not really a morning person, and hadn't had but a sip of my coffee yet.

He held out his hand expectantly, I had already counted out the cash and had it waiting in my pocket, so I forked it over. He counted it out himself, before stuffing it into his own pocket, in a haphazard wad. "You're new to this neighborhood, right mister?" he asked squinting at me. He had asked me the same exact thing, the same exact way, before advertising his services as a teenage lawnmower the day before. I don't think he forgot. I would conjecture he was just re-confirming, or maybe condescending...

"Yeah." I nodded my head as I said it. I imagined myself repeating the action like some kind of talking bobblehead with my curly cockscomb flapping as I nodded faster and faster. I almost laughed outloud at my own pointless imaginings.

"Have you heard about Marana?" he asked, almost gravely.

"Um... I don't think... Wait, isnt that, like, a town in Arizona?" I furrowed my brow skeptically.

"I dunno... Maybe..." he scratched his head. "But there's a girl named Marana that used to live down on La Cienega."

"What about her?" the furrows, which had never left my brow, deepened.

"She is a seventeen foot tall woman with fingernails that touch the floor. She murdered her family and friends when she was twelve. Now she walks the swamps, with blood dripping from empty eye sockets, crying for her beloved dog Carmel." All this he said in a serious and authoritative tone, as though the the nonsense he had just rattled off were a statement of incontrovertible fact. I waited for a change in his expression, there was none, he looked like a stone-cold homicide detective who'd just given a bleak testimony describing his arrival at a grizzly crime scene.

  Since he didn't crack up I did, almost doubling over as I let out a roaring cacophony of cachinnation. Still laughing, I started trying to catch my breath supporting myself with my hands on my knees. As I looked up to see Ethan had turned his head slightly so he could look at me sideways, scowling as he gave me a palpably cold staredown, scowling like Adolf Hitler after realizing someone pissed in his Coca-Cola. I stopped laughing.

"It aint no joke, mister!" The boy was obviously annoyed, but I couldn't see why, to me it seemed like my reaction to the string of nonsense he'd just uttered was perfectly natural.

  "I'm sorry," I offered the sincerest apology I could muster, "but... Really? Seventeen feet tall?" I whistled through my teeth as I shook my head slowly.

  "That's what I said." His tone was still as grave as a headstone.

  "You do realize that's taller than any person in recorded history, right?" I couldn't help sounding more than a little facetious.

  "Not everything that happens gets recorded in history." he had me there, I did have something of an affinity for unexplained phenomenon, so I knew that the realm of possibility stretched well beyond the standard consensus. This sounded like a tall tale though, or some absurd copypasta from the interwebs.

  "And her dog's name," I went on, trying to sound more curious, and less snyde, "Caramel?" I smirked as I spoke the word, and my eyes widened and rolled involuntarily afterwards.

  "No, Carmel," he corrected, "Cee Ay Ar Em Ee El."

  "Well that's even sillier," I refrained from saying out loud, instead I said, "Okay. You seem pretty sure about all this, but why are you telling me all this?"

  He swallowed nothing, as though it were an unchewed chunk of something. "Just be careful, man, she's still out there. My friend, Fred, says his friend, Danny, saw her once, all seventeen feet of her, mostly legs, scrapin' her nails along the sidewalk down by La Cienega. Folks say she likes to pick on newcomers. So just watch your back, and your sides, and your front, for that matter."

  We shook hands, said goodbye, and he walked back to his mower and drove off, as I walked back to my cold Eggs Benedict, and sub-luke-warm coffee. "theres just no way..." I muttered to my breakfast, which was characteristically unresponsive, so I ate it, with all the voracity of Winston Smith downing the regulation Ingsoc party lunch.

  Most of the day passed relatively un-eventfully, I lost another good chunk of my faith in humanity making my hundred somethingth video on the depressingly mind-numbing garbage that people post online, and let me tell you, this one was a real doozy, maybe not my funniest or most depressing to date, but having not done one in a couple weeks... Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah... (¡-!) No. (((^~^))) I have lost all faith in humanity. This is official I'm officially saying it, again. Except those of you who subscribe to my channel, like, thumbs-up, and favorite every single one of my videos ever made, if it was made before you were born your parents probably shouldn't be letting you watch my videos, so shame on them, unless it's, like, the future, in which case, far out man, but why are you watching this old ass shit? Find some new shit, some relevant shit, people have probably gotten stupider, I almost guarantee it. Maybe, hopefully they've gotten smarter, but hey no way of knowing. Right?

  While my video was uploading I received a text message containing a story I recognized, almost instantly. The message began, "BEWARE MARANA" then, after a double line break it said...

  "Shell is a 17 foot tall woman with fingernails that touch the floor she murdered her family and friends when she was 12 now she walks the swamps with blood dripping from empty eye sockets crying for her beloved dog carmel."

  The text came from one of those TextNow numbers, so of course I didn't recognize the number. At first I thought it was that kid Ethan, still trying to mess with me. The problem with that little hypothesis was that I hadn't given him my number, there'd been no need for it Since he probably surveyed the lawns on his paper rout and walked up and rang the doorbell to any house where the grass was ovegrown. I can't imagine who else would have been sending me Marana shit. Although, it seems like it would be more than a little redundant to send me prettymuch word-for-word what he'd already told me.

  Suddenly my front door began to rattle on its hinges. The wind? That's what I originally thought it was, but the persistence of the rattling, and the absence of accompanying wind sounds begged further investigation. Approaching the front door, I could see it shaking as it clattered, I noticed my heart pounding in time with the arrhythmic thumping. I reached out, taking hold of the leaver-stile Quikset handle, I could feel something repeatedly pushing on the door, near the bottom. After twisting the lock mechanism, with my left hand, the weigh of my right arm pushed the handle down. I pulled the door open quickly, ready to slam it if I had to. The elongated ball of mud and fur didn't give me time to react, instead it darted between my feet and into the hall behind me, loping like a mad jackrabbit, slinging clods of wet dirt in its wake.

  I still slammed the door, as I whirled around the pursue the small muddy animal. I was already pretty sure by that time that it was some kind of small dog. Although, when I saw its face for the milliseconds that I did, I swear it looked like some kind of demon. As I chased after the horrendous little thing, I slipped on it's mud trail careening into my hallway endtable and knocking over my cheap replica Ming vase, which I ironically caught and set back up safely, and the chase was on once more. Every time the little mutt changed direction it it stopped and skidded into a turn then started running again whalloping clods of mud in every direcction. At one poinr it scampered under my dining table I sliped agan and slid hafway under the table, bonking my head in the process and streaking mud up my pants. Mud that I now noticed reaked of sulfer.

  After pulling myself out from under the table, getting mudd on the back of my shirt in the process I saw the capricious canine tresspasser attemting to mount the carpeted stairs, I grabbed it by the scruff, and... A collar!

  "No, no, no." I waved my finger, "Not in my house!" For a moment the little dog struggled and thrashed in my grip, flinging mud on me, the walls, and the carpet I was trying to protect. The it stiffened up and just snarled lettingvout low slow gutteral growls. "Let's get you cleaned up, shall we, I bet somebody's missing you." I brought the dog to the downstairs bathroom and to the tub, still holding onto the dog with my right hand I held the flexible showerhead with my left and rinsed off the sulfrous mud, in spite of the tony critter's ptotests, as the coat of mud disolved away the distinctive long hair, large pointed ears, and supple frame of a papillon became aparent, its hair was white, black, and reddish brown, woven into long distickt dreadlocks that almost made it lopk like a hedgehog, or some nameless sea creature. But this dog had a name... I examined the collar which was old, with patches of loose thread all about, hevily sunbleached from its original purple and green textile patten to a pale yellow and blue on the back, and infused in every cranny with black sand from the bog mud, there wre two tags, one oval shaped, with vaccination info... From 8 years ago! The other was a bone shaped tag with a name on it the name on the tag read, "CARMEL"

  It had to be some kind of sick joke, that's all I could figure. But who would go to all that trouble? After Getting as much mud out as reasonably posible I set the dog down in the tub and quicly slid shut the sloding glass door. As the dog who's tag labeled it as Carmel shook its dreadlocked fur, I was showered with a cascade of droplets that somehow made it over the 7 foot high frosted glass wall.

   I decided to leave mongrel in the tub to dry off, while cleaned up after its mudslinging rampage. Around the time I finished cleaning up the mud, actually I hadn't quite finished yet, I got a call from my friend Justin.

    "Yo, Rob. I just got this new game, Beware Mister Tophat. It's this Indi horror title for PS3. We gotta play this thing for your gaming channel, man. It's supposed to be ptetty sick."

    "Gee I dunno, are we talking sick, rad, or sick, disgusting." I inquired quizically.

    "I dunno, bro, I didn't ask. Both probably? Anyway You know I can't play it myself I get to scared with horror games to play right. That's why it has to be you playing, and me reacting to the spoops." Justin did have a tendancy to shriek and jump out of his seat, or release histrionic shreaks at the scares in games and movies. I have always believed he just does it to make a spectacle of himself.

    "You know Pewdipie does both, right?" I jabbed.

    "Yeah... Well we ain't him." Justin put on a heavy fake southern drawl. "We're Amerkin'!"

    "We're a pubic wig?" I knew what he was trying to say. But I just had to mess with him on that one.

    "What?! Your beard is pubic wig maybe!" He had to go there.

    "Hey watch it, buster this beard is internet famous."

    "Yeah, so's my bare, biny, lasty white ass, but I don't go bragging about it." Nice one...

    "Well I'm pretty busy this evening, but I'd be down to do that letsplay video... tomorrow afternoon?" I still had to figure out ehat to do wit my strange quadrapedal guest. Probbly take it to the animal shelter in the morning.

  "Cool, man, you won't regret it... I think. I've never actually played the game, but the guy on the streeet corner who sold it to me out of his trench coat pocket says it's pretty legit." I hung up the phone and resumed cleaning the oderiferous black mud out of my hall and kitchen. And, as best I could, out of the carpeting on my steps. By the time I was ready to give up on the the stairs I heard a crash of glass shattering from the bathroom.

I rushed to the door and stopped grasping the rounded brass knob. I started to slowly push the door open, creaking lightly on it's hinges. What I saw confirmed my worst fears, the dready little rat dog was drapped bloody, shreadded and motionless over the edge of the tub. The sight made me jump back in stark terror, slamming the door shut before me.

I stood there tasting a coppery twinge of unreasoning dread. For some illogical reason, I thought to myself, "She'll blame me! Marana will blame me for what happened to her dog!" But just as I was about to plumet into abyssal despair I heard the last thing I expected to hear in that moment, a yip. Excited, almost happy by the sound, but how?

Tentativly, I grasped the knob, slowly I turned it as far as it let me, and started to push th door open instinktively my eyes shut themselves against the impending horror of seeing an injured animal clinging to life. When I forced my eyelids open I was shocked to find my frosted glass shower door completely intact I could see Carmel's matted form blurred by the milky screen, thecfloor was littered with curved shards of crystal clear glass, and the thick bottom from the glass I used for brushing my teeth.

The dog yipped again and jumped up in a spiral. "Hang on little guy," I assured, I'll get you out of there, after I sweap up this mess. As I went to get the whisk broom I noticed several spots I missed cleaning up the mud, but I'd have to deal with that later...

Spinpasta / Jeff The Killer Factory
« on: 03/21/19, 11:11 AM »
The Confession Of Geoffry Theodore Keller

So, no shit, there I was. About to fulfil the American dream, at least according to Homer Simpson in that one Treehouse Of Horror episode, are those even cannon? Beside the point. The point is, I was about to kill my boss. He gave me my two weeks notice a week before, but that wasn't why, no there was a lot more to it.

I didn't decide to kill him right away when he started having sex with my wife in front of me. She seemed to enjoy it and had never complained. When he started making me suck him off so he could get hard and go another round with her, it didn't bother me. It was just one of those things... When he started piling his paperwork onto my work-load and not paying me overtime for the extra hours it took me to finish it, I admit I felt a little insulted. When I asked him about the possibility of a raise and he told me he'd rather fire me, that did piss me off, but not to the point where I'd kill a man.

Honestly I wasn't angry. I was calm, I suppose part of me always wanted to kill someone who happened to be my boss, so that gave me a limited time to kill Greg Keffre while he was still my boss. I'd never killed anyone before, but if I had excuse enough to off anyone it was Greg.

Getting into Greg's house was easy, almost too easy his wife, Candilaria, was home alone, she likes to fool around. She let me in and we had fun for a few hours, she hid me in a closet as her husband was getting home, it was too perfect. I watched them go at it until they finally passed out.

I could have just snuck out of the house and slunk off into obscurity, but if I'd done that you probably wouldn't be reading this. I crept into the kitchen, so many potentially deadly objects to choose from, but I settled on a heavy stainless steel tenderizer. I shuffled, ever so quietly, back to the bedroom.

Greg was sleeping so peacefully, just like some dumb schmuck who had no idea he was about to get his skull caved in by a homicidal maniac. If I really face the facts, it wasn't about any kinnd of revenge. I just wanted to kill... I feel weird about feeling okay with that, but I do. I raised the metal block of a hammer high in the air above my head, and brought it down on his head, his eyes shot open and he gurgled, ineffectually. I could thell he died on the first hit, but I struck twice more to be sure. The third hit splashed his blood on Candi's face and she woke up, she saw me standing there with the bloody tenderizer and started screaming up a storm, like she didn't expect this. Thwack! I hit her with the hammer, and down she went, with one blow. Thrack! With my second blow I felt her skull give way. That really shouldn't feel so satisfying, but it does.

I got my clothes back from the closet I'd been hiding in and got dressed. I decided to take the hammer to the sink where I left it unter running water pushing the lever up with the back of my hand. Was that enough to wash away fingerprints? Did I even care? How many other places did I leave fingerprints? How many dozens of other ways are rhere to trace that I'd been there? I don't think I planned that far ahead.

Someone was planning ahead though. Someone was watching my every move. Someone was snickering over my amateurish foibles. I thought I was all that for killing a defenseless couple in their sleep, but, as I stepped into the hallway from the kitchen, someone burst through the front door, he was a slender muscular man of indeterminate age, in black pants and a white hooded sweatshirt, but honestly the most striking thing about him was his bizarrely mutilated face. He looked like a car accident victim, or a burn victim. Like that lady with the Mr. Potatohead face, or Tom Cruise in Vanilla Sky. His skin was milk pale all over, and fairly devoid of features, his big, glassy looking eyes were lidless and apparently bloodshot, his cheeks were cut into with an upward curve which gave him a permanent sinister grin, his whole face was framed with a shock of ragged coal black hair that almost seemed more like fur. A face I'm not likely to forget for as long as I live. The second most strining thing about him was the improbably shiney eight inch buck knife he was casually tossing back and forth between his hands. His stance was low and wide, I remember thinking that he was like a wild beast, but in the few seconds it took me to think that I was too slow to react, in one fluid motion the knife fluttered from his right hand into his left and from there darted directly into my right side, he pressed it in with the heel of his palm as my flesh seemed to simultaneously pull it in, likewise my flesh spat it out as he gently took hold of it and withdrew it.

"Go to sleep!" He commanded. The p at the end of sleep was more like a throaty k accented by a click of his teeth, that must not have decreased the effectiveness of the command, however, because go to sleep is exactly what I did.

A Tale Of Too Many Jeffs

Of all the damned things, I woke up. I couldn't open my eyes, because they were already open, I couldn't close them, because... Why the hell couldn't I close them?!

There was a burning pain in my right side. Oh, yeah, that's rught, I got stabbed. I was looking up at an unfamiliar ceiling, my first thought was hospital, but why couldn't I close my eyes? I looked around there was a bare concrete wall to my right, my mouth felt so dry, and my cheeks ached, my whole face ached the more I moved my head. There was another bed to my left, I was in a bed, with a heavy steel frame, and there was one across the room that matched it. There was a sink with a mirror on the back wall, and a metal door with a mesh reinforced hexagonal window at the foot. And in the other bed was another person covered by a blanket. I couldn't tell if it was a hospital room, or a cell, or what. It was bright in the room, but there were no windows, save that in the door, or lightbulbs, or flourescents, or any other discernable light source.

I held up my hands, they looked unnaturally pale, and, examining them more closely I found that I had no fingerprint definition, not just on the tips of my fingers, but all the way down my fingers and palms... Impossible... I rubbed the souls of my feet together, I could tell instantly they had undergone the same glossy smooth transformation as my hands. I peeled the sheets aside, I was dressed in a white T shirt and boxers, which reminded me of LDS garments. Was I in a Mormon hospital/jail? That's what I asked myself. It would explain the overlying odor of warm stale gingerale... The floor was smooth concrete painted maroon. I sat up and put my feet down on it. The floor was warm to the touch, and pulsated with vague fluidity. Radiant heating, I presume. The pain in my side was noticible, but less than it aught to've been I lifted my shirt, and foud a token bandage wrapped loosely around me, I hooked my thumbs under it, stretched it away from me a bit and saw my wound, which was already more scar than scab, it was only then I mentally noted the observation that I had no body hair. Not on my arms, legs, chest, back, I reached my left hand in my shorts to be sure, not even any trace of stubble, I reached up my sleeves, finding the same to be true of my uncharacteristically dry armpits. I fealt around the hair on my head, it felt surprisingly bristly. As my fingers started to touch the edges of my face, it fealt so odd, I had to see it. With some effort I got up and faced the mirror.

I don't know how you'd react in my situation, but what I saw horrified me. Staring back at me from the mirror was the face of the man who stabbed me. Well, not quie, it was my face, only it wasn't, but it is. My nose was gone, no excuses, no traces left behind, just gone, I could feel air draw in and if I covered two distinct spots, in the middle of my face I couldn't inhale through my non-nose. That just caused air to rush in between my cheeks, which were opened up in a gastly JackO'lantern grin, I could bring my lips together, but my extended lips hung open in grotesque mockery of the effort. My eyelids were blackened ovals around my bloodshot eyes, my furrowed brow was hairless, all the way across. My hair was not as long as my attacker's, but had taken on the same fur like quality. Had he done this to me somehow? My features stood out more, unless I relaxed my face, which under the circumstances was more effort than tensing up. I sneered at my reflection, wondering why my eyes didn't feel dry, if I couldn't close them. I put a fingertip up to my right eyeball, wincing in expectance of pain. But I barely felt it. It was just like putting my finger to my eyelid. It felt like smooth plastic, but most things felt like smooth plastic to my newly smoothed fingers. But I found I could press and move my eyeball, and feel my eye moving underneath a surface, like an artificial lense. My occular cogetations were interrupted by the loud yawn of my roomate who suddenly sat up, threw his sheets aside, and stretched his arms up over his head.

My roomate had the same Mormon uderwear as me seeing him at first from the back I could tell he was pale, like me, like the man who stabbed me. His hair was long, but it looked stringy and greesy and did not have that same fur like quality. As he got up I whirled around, his face was somwhat different the cuts into his cheeks looked thinner, were we somehow both victims of the same madman?

He stumbled out to where he could see the feet of the beds. "So, you're Jeff Keller?" He inquired. I looked at him in a way that should have been quizzical, but with my realigned features I'm not sure what it was. I've never gone by Jeff in my life. But instead of saying anything I strode to the foot of my bed, where a chart hung, the name on it read Jeff T. Keller.

"I guess so." I breathed.

"I'm Jeff Hodek," he extended, smooth white hand. I glanced at his chart, which had the name Jeff K. Hodek at the top. "Judging from how you carry yourself, you must be new. You're lucky you got roomed with me, it's my third time back on the farm."

"Farm?" I shook the extended member, blankly.

"Oh of course!" He exclaimed, "you don't know anything about it. Don't worry you'll figure it all out." I was not necessarily affected by his confidence. In fact I was more frightened than ever of wherever I was.

My roomate oppened a steel chest at the foot of his bed and removed black dress pants, socks, and slip on shoes, and a white stitched together hoodie and doned them, I retrieved and reuctantly equipped the same garb from an identical chest at the foot of my bed.

"Watch out, Nubi," he warned, "Someone's gonna try to punk you for that name"

I wanted to ask something about the inigmatic statement, anything, but my hought process was interrupted by a sound like many ringing alarm clocks, I couldnd't see any alarm clock in the room/cell, or any kind of clock. The door swung open, soundless apart from the initial click.

"Breakfast!" My roomate declared. I could already see a train of identically dressed, and mutilated men moving down the hall as he beconned me out to join the throng.

I fealt a familliar sense of givving in surrendering my free will to the mob. I could not resist. I let go my reservations. Like always, I'm nothing but a cuck, a drone, and a puppet. And so sat I, a voyour, watching my own puppet show unfold. I watched myself join that river of smiling faces, marching like uniformed cadets, arrowed signs the crowd was following read MESS HALL ➡ I don't know why. It just all seemed so goddamn silly. I really couldn't help myself, at first I started tittering, just like a happy puppet, then began laughing with increasing volume and maniacality.

"Whoa, hey," my roomat exclaimed, his eyes stretching into vertical ovals, "are you alright, Jeff, take a chill pill."

My cacodeamoniacal cackling came to a cacophonous crescendo, drowning out the footsteps, my roomate's cautionary comentaries, but not the liquescent mechanical hum, playing off my bones through the floor. My pace was slowed as I had to catch my breath. "Watch it!" Grunted some Jeff who bumped into my back and pushed past me.

"Seriously," my roomate went on, "Chill pill! Left inner pocket." He demonstrated produding a small ziplock baggie containing three blue gell caps from tge recesses of his left hoodie pocket and returning it there to demonstrate. I mecame aware of the shape of the pills inn my own pocket, against my abdomen, but I had no interest in swallowing some weird goop from this place, which reminds me, the general slowing of mass locomotion told me I was in line for breakfast.

Spinpasta / Jeff The Killer And Jane Are Still Two People
« on: 03/21/19, 10:44 AM »
Three years ago on a web site called Archive Of Our Own a user known as mrskittycatmeow666 posted a story called Jeff The Killer And Jane Are Two People.
I do not know this writer and cannot pretend to understand the process that lead her to write such a thing, but I know I'm picking it up right now because I'm bored, lonely and frustrated. Someone once told me that's the place fiction comes from. And if fiction means writing down things that aren't true in the hopes that it will entertain someone then that's what this is.
So here goes, it's a a story, it's about two people, and they're comin', they're comin' this way, and they have knives, and fire extinguishers, and what are you gonna do when two people are still commin', and they're comming to get you, yeah, that's right, with a vengence, and then you find out they're in a mansion and it's Slendy's mansion and you know it's it the middle of the forest, and it's a mansion, and it's in the middle of every forest in the world, yeah, just try to wrap your noodle around that. You'll need a pretty big noodle, 'cause it's every forest in the world, and it's two people and they're still armed and they're comin' for you, 'cause whatever you did, they know, 'cause they're two people, and.... They're just two people, it's Jeff The Killer and Jane. Here they come!

Chapter One: Can You Feel That?

In a dark, dark wood there is a dark, dark house, in the dark, dark house lives a man in a dark, dark suit, he is a man; because he wears a suit, walks on two legs, hugs with two arms, and urinates with one penis. He is not a man; because he talks and eats with no mouth, he sees and hears with no eye nor ear, he fights with six vaporous tentacles, and procreates with no testicles, exponentially reducing the population with each life he lends at interest. This story is not about him, you'd imagine there'd be some interesting stories about a man like that, there are fewer than you'd expect. This story is about two people, who happen to be guests in his house.

**POV Jeff**

Oh shit!

No he didn't! Yes, he did! That dickless, gutless, eyless punk really just threw down the gauntlet!

"She doesn't belong to you, man!" Jack yells at you. Pretty impressive volume for a guy without vocal chords. "She's her own person! Nobody belongs to you!"

Can you feel it yet?

That thick black ichor of anger, welling up inside you. But are you mad at this bag of bones, minus the bag, at everything he represents? Probably not, you're not mad at anyone just mad, stark raving mad, killing mad, of course Jane belongs to you, she was made for you, just you! You're Jeff The Killer, every future psychopath wants to ship their OCs with you, but you only want Jane. She should be goddamn greatful!

The dickless wonder's droning isn't making you any less angry, however. "Y'know, man, you're pretty hung up on appearances, with that smile, like, cut into your face like that, with... And the whole stitched hoody thing, how many of those things do you have? I saw you hand stitching a stack of them the other day, like, what the heck man, didn't DKNY start selling the official JTK hoodie now? You're still up in here, in the mansion every weekend making your own."

Seriously! He freakin' had to take it there, didn't he, or does he even freaking know?! Bonehead aint got a brain, after all. "I can't afford the DKNY ones! Is that what you want me to say!? I'm freakin' poor! And it's not like they paid me for licensing rights. I should kill you just for mentioning that shit!"

"You know, man, you're really giving off a lot aggression right now, that's the whole problem with being named after something you do, everybody, including you expects that to be the main thing you do!" You know one thing, it's definitely what you wanna do to Jack Skeleton, right about now. That thick syrupy blood of Ares is reaching critical mass inside you. You know it.

"Yeah I'm Jeff The Killer, and I do, in fact, expect killing to be the main thing I do, and from the time I earned that name, to the time I moved into this crummy mansion it was the main thing I did, but now it seems like the main thing I do is play tea party with a bunch of gutless dummies!" That's telling him.

"At least I've got a spine!" Jack declares. You aren't about to refute that statement. "You know what they used to call me, man? They used to call me Regular Jack. It was really embarrassing, I was walkin around, and keep in mind, at my school there was, like, a doezen Jacks, there was a Fat Jack, a Skinny Jack, Slow Jack, Quick Jack, Bottle Stealer Jack, Dependable Jack, Shifty Jack, Cowboy Hat Jack (who didn't wear a cowboy hat every day, it was really weird, some days he wore a leather face mask) and there I was just walkin' aroun'd, just Regular Jack and people'd be like, '"Oh jeez, I wonder what he gets up to, oh wait, I don't care, 'cause he's just plain ol' boring ol' Regular Jack, let's go see what Skateboard Jack is doing."' anyway one day I found out, came up and found... I was on the school bus and it crashed, I lost both my eyes at once, and then I found out I wasn't just Regular Jack anymore, and, when I saw both of my eyes cut most of the way in half, popped out of my head on the peice of glass that had stabbed all the way into my brain, when I saw that I realized that I don't need no eyes to be able to see. People put too much stock into organs and having them, so, yeah, I killed a lot of people , but that didn't make me Jack The Killer, 'cause I already wasn't just Regular Jack," you know he'll just go on like this, if someone doesn't stop him. "Being Eyeless Jack was alright, but it was a bit limiting, I knew I could live without other organs. And one day I decided that my skin was just holding me back, and I didn't need a bunch of skin around me, clingin' to me, holdin' me back. I feel a lot freer and a lot lighter, y'know without all that muscle and blood holdin' me down." How many times has he told this story? Aren't you getting sick of it?

"That's enough!" You shout, slapping Jack Skeleton, backhand, across the face. His skull goes flying across the room and lands in the corner.

"Seroiously, man!?" His muffled voice calls out from across the room. "You knocked my freakin' skull off, man! That's a low blow."

"Technically," you retort, "it was a high blow."

"Oh Jees!" Ben declares, from the doorway. "You shouldn't have done that!" He continues.

You feel a tap on your shoulder, you start to whirl around, your eyes are met with a wall of red, it's the fire extinguisher that Jane is hitting you in the head with. Red fades to black.

Chapter Two: It's Supper Time!

You know how sometimes you get into this situation where there are no good options, so you start examining all the bad options, it doesn't make the bad options look any better, but the worse the bad options look the more likely you are to choose one of the lesser or greater evils. Sometimes, though, you have no options, whatsoever, at all, that's it, no fatalism involved, just somebody else choosing what happens to you next, and not offering you a choice in the matter.

**POV Jane**

You shudders as you drops the massive red metal cylender to the wood pannel floor. Jeff lays on the floor the left side of his wan face painted as red as the fire extinguisher you struck him with, of course, it isn't paint, it's Jeff's blood.

Jack Skeleton is in the corner feeling around for his skull. "No, over here!" The skull shouts. His body continues feeling around the corner slowly and meticulously.

"Oh my gods! I'm so sorry Jeff did that to you, Jack!" You proclaim, rushing over to him you scoops up his skull and hands it to him.

"It's okay Jane, really, it's not that hard to knock my skull off. I don't have any cartilage or anything holding me together, so I'm used to stuff like this happening." The skull says in a reasuring tone, cradled in Jack's hands. You aren't sure you feel reassured.

"Um... Do you need help putting it back on?" You ask, raising an eyebrow.

"Nah, it's fine. Don't even trip." Jack assures you. "I'm a skeleton, I know how to put my own skull on."

Slendy enters the room from a door that literally was not there before he opened it, and literlally is not there after he closes it. You suppose he's always doing things like that.

"Good news everyone!" Slendy delclares, peaking his fingers together. "It's Supper Time!"

Jeff has risen to his knees wiping blood off his left eye with his sleeve. "Supper time? I can't eat anything right now, I've gotta go to a hospital."

"Why? So Doctor Apathy can tell you to take two and call him in the morning." Slendy's brow visibly furrows. "No, we are going to sit down and have supper together, and look eachother in the eyes, like a real family!" The irony of the statement is not lost on you.

"Honestly," Jack's skull injects, still cradled in his hands, "I don't think you and I have looked eachother in the eyes once the entire time I've been here."

"It's a figure of speach!" Slendy megaphones. "Now everyone pull yourselves together and get to the dining room, Jane, please return the fire extinguisher to the emergency hook. We keep a tidy house."

You comply with your host's demands you wouln't want to upset The Slenderman. You picks up the red cylender still dripping equally red with jeff's blood looking as if the very essence of the fire extinguisher is dripping off onto the floor. The same red essence, as if splattered from the fire exinguisher onto Jeff's face drips off of him as he shuffles, grumbling to the dining room, followed by Jack trying to click his skull into place while walking. You hang up the fire extinguisher, and join the misfit train.

To your surprise there is already several people at the long dining table. A redhead with a watch for an eye sits on the left of the far end and a frizzy haired blonde who was mumbling something about skin, pinching her wrist, sits on the right. Between them, in the far end seat, sat an alasken huskie, with a grin even bigger than Jeff's. A creature with incredibly long fingers sat beside the blonde, and NegMouse sat beside the redhead. Next from Negmouse was a shiny statue-like Ronald McDonald, and beside The Rake? was The Goat Man? Anyway next to R. McD there was a very tall brunette with blood dripping from her empty eye sockets, across from her a foam apple with a face was supported by a rusty stick, beside the apple was a tall black man in a gas mask, trench coat, and fedora. Sitting across from him was a pink pony with a frizzy mane, and three balloons painted? on its flank (not a cartoon pony, an actual pony, smell and all, yet somehow not an actual pony, because she's sitting upright in a chair and sipping tea from a cup held, in the forelock of her mane!?!?) It's a lot for your mind to process. As you're entering, the seat beside the pony is filling with black and white smoke, issuing from a box under the chair, the smoke solidifies into a cachina-like clown dressed in all black and white with black and white feathered shoulders and a long black and white cone nose, his hair seems to be bright red, dyed black. A man in a blue windbraker with a horrifically burnt face sits across from the clown, and barbed wire wraps around the chair beside him and pulls a man in a mirrored mask up from under the table, and sets him in the chair. Across from the man in the mirror mask, a swarm of spiders form themselves into a humanoid shape.  Ben takes the seat beside Spiders Man? as a pefect pixilated Sonic The Hegehog appeares, pixel by pixel, in the seat oposite him. Sonic's eyes turn black, and though he's made up of massive 1' x 1' pixels hyper realistic blood starts streaming from his eyes, even though it doesn't look real, like the blood still streaming down Jeff's face it does seem as if you touched Sonic's cheek you would get blood on your hand, Jack sits down beside the digital hedgehog, and Jeff takes the end seat oppsite the smiling dog, leaving only the seat to Jeff's left, between him and Ben for you. Reluctantly you take the seat.

Slendy enters the dining room, again from a door that isn't there. You'd love to know how he does that trick. "What're you doin' sittin' at the table?!" He demands of the grinning dog, which promptly hops out of the seat, and scampers over to your end of the room, yiping.

"It's okay doggie." Jeff says scratching it behind the ears. The dog pants happily, turns in a circle and chomps down on Jack's femur, he doesn't seem to notice.

"How come you kicked the dog off the table, but not the pony?" You ask. The pony instantly spits out entirety more tea than she could posdibly have just sipped.

Slendy appears
 cheek, the other, or both, depending on the angle of the observer. laps up crumbs out of Jack Skeleton's pelvis.

"So," Jane asks, timidly, "Is this everyone?"

"Whatever do you mean?" Slendy asks, as another empty cupcake paper floats down to his tray.

"Is this the whole Creepypasta Mansion Society?" Jane clarifies her inquiry.

"My dear girl..." Slendy condescends, "This mansion exists in every forest in the world. I am hosting supper right now in every version of the mansion in this time zone."

"I'm attending five of them right now!" Laughing Jack interrupts. "And considdering dropping in late to a few more."

Slendy crinkles his brow, but quickly releases it. "Why, you're lucky you're even attending supper with the same person you came in with."

If sitting next to Jeff is luck, Jane isn't sure it's the good kind. Not that she has much experience with that kind of luck. If she wanted to change her cards, she'd have to fabricate her own luck.

"So," Wendy slent on, "The short answer is, no, this is most assuredly not everyone. There are still plenty of interesting folks to meet, here at Creepypasta Mansion, and so many different forests and towns you can visit."

The Rake nods in ascension.

"You can learn new tricks, from the best, and master your trade." NegMouse exuberates through his frosting caked screen. Then places his gloved hands around his neckline, "Wanna see my head come off?"

Slendy shakes his head, with an audible swish. NegMouse dejectedly drops his hands to his sides. "Aww shucks!" The Inverted Character sighs. telekinets NegMouse's squished cupcakes across the room and drops them into his bowl, then begins chowing down on them.

NegMouse looks at his empty tray and shrugs, sighing more deeply. Barbie and Natale exchange a glance, and begin piling their cupcakes onto NegMouse's tray.

An old Dutch clock on the wall pops out a mechanical bird, which announces, "Cookoo!" It winds back inside with a mechanical twist that sounds like, "you're all" then pops out again proclaiming, "Cookoo!" Bizarrely, Natale's tongue mirrors the action, mechanical cuckoo and all.

"Alright," Slendy flourishes his right hand high in the air, that's all the time we have for supper, everyone, please clear out the dining room so it can be moved on to the next time zone." Slendy gets up and leaves through a regular door, closing it behind him, and everyone else begin to file out.

Chapter Four: And What Happened After

Events don't always play out in the way you'd expect, someimes they don't play out in the order you'd expect, but sometimes they play out in the exact sequence you would expect if you would just draw on the knowledge base you already have to know what to expect.

**POV Jane**

Slendy is such a commanding presence, it hadn't occurred to you before to ask, "Um... Does anybody else find it unusual that we just had dinner, and then supper?"

"N-nope," Ben studders, "pretty usual. It's hiw they did it beck in deh shire." He snorts, in the manner peculiar to euphoria enthusiasts.

"Are you a Hobbit?" You ask, genuinely curious.

"Yes," Jeff interrupts, grabbing you around the waiste from behind, and poking his chin uncomfortably into your shoulder, "he is a Hobbit, and he has hairy feet."

"No!" Ben defends, "I'm not a H-h-hobbit."

"What's that outfit, then." You ask, shrugging out of Jeff's embrace.

"Clearely," Ben circumstantiates, "these are Kokiri clothing."

"Wat's a Kokiri?" You ask, doubly confused.

"Wait!" Jeff announces, with a wild flourish, "I know this one! So, Ben comes from a word affected by a virus called Xorax-"

"Wrong!" Ben grumbles.

"Okay," Jeff continues unperturbed, "Volvox then, something like that, anyway it started turning all the adults into fish people and all the newborns into rock people, so the govenment found a way to halt the aging of adolescents and-"

"No! No! No!" Ben stamps his foot, "None of that is remotely accurate!"

"A' o' 'o..." Jeff gesticulates, shrinking back.

"I just realized..." You put an idex finger to the part of your lower lip that has lip on it. "I don't remember what dinner was."

"Of course you don't!" Jeff rises, cackling, to a haughtier posture, "Jack made it. No wonder you were so hungry at supper." Jeff resumes cackling, so much that he nearly doubles over.

"Jeff!" You scold him, "when did you become such a bully?"

Jeff straightens up, "Listen toots, if I've learned one thing in this world, it's that you're either a bully, or you get bullied."

"Oh sure!" You roll your eyes, "That's a great moral to the story of your life!"

"Grrr-r-row!" Jeff's eyes widen, (if that's possible,) "Maybe we should relocate this discussion to our bedroom."

"I'm not going to any bed room with you, Jeff!" You roars.

"Well you sure as hell aren't going to any bedroom with anyone else!" Jeff rages.

With stark suddenness the smiling dog leaps onto Jack Skeleton, knocking him to the floor between you and Jeff cutting the tension, as though with a knife.

Jack's skull pops off and rolls several times, before coming to rest upright on the flat of the lower jaw, "Stop! Down boy! Down Smile Dog!" Jack's skull shouts, hopping and clattering hilariously as he speaks, but the dog seems only interested in licking te frosting remnants off Jack's ribs and spine. "Oh I remember... Fetch, Smile Dog!"

With that the dog lept from jack's desacated body bounded over to the helpless skull and gingerly snaped it up between his massive jaws. Bushy tailed, The dog trots back and depositsthe skull in jacks hands. He sticks it back on as he stands up. The dog turns in several circles and looks up at Jack, panting expectantly.

"Sorry boy." Jack apologizes. "I don't have anything else for you to fetch."

"Oh I dunno," Jeff sneers, "you are made of bones, you could just throw some of those..."

Can a skull look flustered? In any case Jack's does, but you can't tell if that's really the case. Or it's just the natural skullyness of his skull, reflecting in his tone. "Y'know what Jeff, I've had to put myself together more than enough times today, why don't we take and... Why don't we throw some of your bones?!"

"Hey, back off!" Jeff swings an arm up defensively. "I need my bones to hold my flesh up! Well, most of my flesh." He cocks his head and winks? at you over Jack's shoulder. (It's hard to call it a wink, since he has no eyelids, but the right side of his face twitches like a wink, and his right eye narrows compared to the left.) In any case you don'te even want to think about what he's talking about right now.

"Yall are no fun!" Smiledog telepaths at everyone, including you, and he turns and walks down the hallway, with his tail swishing in the air.

The hallway?!

Didn't this door go to the living room before?!

You look back up the halway the way you came from, you know you haven't come that far since leaving the dining room, but all you see is a seemingly infinite hallway trailing off in both directions, you don't see anyone else from the supper, or at all, besides Ben, Jack, Jeff, the dog, and, if you look down, you. You realize you have to consciously look down to be able to see yourself, The only sensations you're aware of are the burning, unaturally hot burning, in your side where Jeff stabbed you, and the stinging in your cheeks where your lips used to end.

"Where's everyone else?!" You demand.

"Maybe they left through different doors?" Jeff shrugs.

Yeah right! What door? You can't see any doors anywhere in any direction. "What happened to the living room?!" You shriek, "Where are we?!"

"I know!" Jeff proclaims. "We're in Creepypasta Mansion!" He poses, grinning like a maniac, holding his thumb and index finger in the shape of a checkmark to the left of his face, leaning with his left knee bent.

You looks from Jeff, to Ben, to Jack, to Smiledog walking away, to Jack, to Ben, back to Jeff still holding that goofy pose. You can't take it anymore. Slendy coming through doors that weren't there before and a clown materilizing out of smoke were fun party gags, a talking pink pony, you can live with that, but disappearing living rooms, and being trapped in a never ending hallway with Jeff and these two doormats. That's just too much to deal with! You run, you don't know what else to do.

"Jane! Don't run!" Jeff calls after you, "That's the worst thing you could possibly do!"

"No running in the halls..." Ben adds meekly.

You don't care what any one, or the rules, have to say about it, you runs, you doesn't look back.

"Spread the word!" Smiledog telepaths at you as you pass him, "Wooof!" He adds aloud.

You runs faster and faster, you closes your eyes, you doesn't hear anyone running after you. You are flying, free, you run like the wind, you are the wind, and suddenly, you aren't.

You run into something soft and warm. You collide with a warm fluffy mass you sink into it and colide more jarringly with a rock hard silky smooth object, which gives way to the impact and toples over and over with you cradled inside it before skidding to a stop underneath you.

You open your eyes and find yourself face to face with a fluffy fuchsia pony tale, wrapped between two upward jutting pink hind legs.

"Ehem!" Says Pinkie Pie's head, from behind you, supported by her neck, cranining up from between your legs.

There is, of course, an entire intact pony underneath you, but this certainly isn't the usual way one is mounted, you're not even sure how Pinkie Pie feels about being mounted. Wouldn't it mean something different where she's from anyway, in that case maybe this would be the way to do it, if you were to do it. Not that you're thinking about it, right? You heave yourself off the pastel penequine, and slowly pick yourself up.

She goes through a quick routine getting upright and straightened out, you aren't sure if a chorus of servo noises emit from her joints, or you imagine them.

"Fancy us running into eachother twice in one night." She exuberates, bouncing on her hooves.

"I'm pretty sure that's the first time we've actually run into eachother." You joke, shakily.

"Oooh are you not the same Jane Arkensaw I was at supper with tonight?" She asked batting her eyes, like ponies do.

"No... I mean yes... I mean I'm her... Me, but... Nevermind." Great now she'll be as confused as you. "Wait, are there multiple mes?"

"Hmmm..." She ponders, "I don't think I've met any, at least not since MiiTomo shut down."

You have no idea what that answer was, and you're not prepared to dissect it. "Are there multiple yous?" You should know not to expect any clearer an answer.

"Psht, of cours, I saw a whole herd of yews just the other day." Is this pony jus trying to make jokes out of your questions? Her answers are inemicably confounding.

You are sure you are not imagining the sound of Jeff's slippons rhythmically slapping on the tiles of the hallway. He's started running after you.

"I've got to go." You starts running as you offer your excuse to the pink pony. You runs a lttle slower with your eyes wide open, she canters up beside you, easy as pie.

"Are we running in the halls?" She beams.

"I..." You gasp, "guess so..."

"Weeee!" She thrills shrilly, "hop on!" She snatches you by the wrist with her forelock, swings you up onto her back and takes off down the hallway at a gallup. You can't tell if you're holding onto her mane, or it's holding onto your hands but you feel so safe now. Jeff will never catch you at this speed.

Chapter Five: The Quick And The Fled

"Faster, Pinkie Pie!" Jane shouts, with unacustom glee!

"Okidokiloki!" The pink pony proclaims.

"Liars!" Jimmy barks as they blow past.

Jane looks over her shoulder she can see Jeff pulling a Chariots Of Fire, while farther back she sees jack with his hands on his hips and Ben holds up a cautionary hand.

Suddenly the hallway behind them falls away and is replaced by another hallway. This has been happening constantly, but it's only moving at this speed that Jane is able to see it.

Mr. Barbed strolls just ahead, surrounded by a hoop of barped wire. Pinkie leaps clearing it easily. Jane notices the hallway being replaced ahead.

**POV Jeff**

You can't freakin' believe this, you probably should have explained hallways instead of joking around, of all the messed up creaturs she could have run into in this neogothic hellscape, it had to be that damned sadistic horse monster. You may be a psychotic psychopath, you're deffinitely a multiple murderer, but you are no sadist.

You start running as fast as you know how, you've got to catch up to her before something weird happens. Not that any other kind of thing is bound to happen in a damned hallway. The rule with halways, and how can you explain something like that in a house that "officially" has no rules, but unofficially has all kinds of rules like no running in hallways, more specifically the rule with halways is proceed at a leisurely pace, until you get where you're going. Also keep fire extinguishers on emergency hooks, in case of emergencies, which emergencies apparently include whacking you upside the dome for no good reason. And dozen's of other unspoken rules, the breaking of which can lead to unforseen consequences.

Where did Smile Dog go? He was just ahead of you, you didn't blink, you couldn't if you tried, but he was just ahead of you, you didn't pass him, he's not there now, but you can still see Jane ahead she's talking with that murderous malefactor of a mare.

(More to come in this chapter. Someone dropped the ball, and it landed on Ben Fugman's toe.)

Chapter Six: The Door That Didn't Go Anywhere

If it were up to you this would be over by now, there would've been a time skip or some other cheap trick, any kind of lazy device to bring this nightmare to a close, you wonder, why, in this day and age, is something like this allowed to go on, this can't be serious, can it? How do you differentiate between serious or not serious, is there some formula that has to be followed to either make it serious, or to make it a joke you can appreciate? What if puzzle peices are being handed to you, one at a time, and though you can't see what they form, you expect it will be a complete picture? What if you know the picture being assembled isn't to your specific taste, say, you're mostly into realism and you're already seeing the corner of a melting clock, or some such surreal thing, are you gonna give up on the puzzle? Just because it's not your favorite style, does that mean you can't have fun putting it together? These are all questions. That was a statement.

**POV Ben**

You tried to warn Jane not to run in the hallway, you tried to warn Jeff too. Jeff already learned the hard way about running in halls once, now they've both disappeared down the hall, and you're stuck here alone with CMS's premier weight loss guru.

"Where'd they--" Jack starts.

"Wh-why-y-y d-d-does shi-i-i-it likethis onlyever ha-a-pe-pen tomeeeeee-eeeee-EE?!" Echos throughout the hallway, from both sides of you, in Jeff's voice.

"Yep," you conclude, "Jeff fell into hypothetical space again."

"What about..." Jack pauses, jaw agape, you almost hear a gasp, but you asume it's just the wind in the hallway whistling through his bones, since he has no lungs or larynx to gasp with.... But then how does he talk? "Jane?" He completes his thought as awkwardly as he paused it.

"Look, Jane will be fine as long as she paces herself, and doesn't try to outrun the hallway." You try to assure him, failing to assure yourself, but why should you care? "As for Jeff, we can be sure he's nowhere, for an indefinite period, as a matter of fact, what Jeff? As far as we're concerned, he doesn't exist right now."

"So," Jack's cheekbones seem to sag. "What should we do?"

"What do you mean asking me a ridiculous question like that?" You shoot him a stony glare. "We are in a hallway! There's only one thing to do, we're just-- we're gonna keep walking on down this hallway-- proceeding at a leasurely pace and-- hey! Don't give me that look! We're just gonna keep going until we get where we're going."

"But," Jack starts again, "how will we find Jane, we have to make sure Jane's okay!" If he had a brain, or any other thinking organ's, you'd say he has a one track mind. As is, you can't figure what his angle is in this, he obviously seems intent on getting Jane alone, but he's a skeleton, what's he gonna do, bone her? Well, even with no flesh to make it apparent there's no denying the boner he has for her...

"I guess..." You conjecture, "If where she is is where we're going, then... Yes?" You don't even try to sound convincing. If it were up to you you would be going to your room to get on the N64.

Jack flashes puppydog eyes, well as much as someone without eyes or cheeks can do. It's not your problem what happens to Jane, and as for Jeff, good riddance, so you do exactly what you should have done since entering this hallway, you proceed at a leisurely pace. Jack follows you, but you can see the tension in his shoulder blades.

Finally, you come to a door. It's a regular door. Not the door you were hoping for. You wanted to reach the big black patterened double doors of the dormatory wing. Instead here it is, a goddamn regular door, leading to a goddamn common room.

"Well," you huff in frustration, "looks like we're going through this regular door. Could to lead to any of billions of varients of any of the six hundred and sixty six stardard common rooms in the mansion."

"I know what a regular door is, Brainiac!" Jack indignates. "Do you think it will take us to Jane?"

"It's a door." You glare blankly. "It won't take us anywhere." You turn the nob and open the door a crack, "We have to go through it. If Jane happens to be on the other side will you shut up?"

"I make no promises." Jack turns up his skeletal nose.

You open the door and tiptoe through, followed by Jack's rickety bones. You've entered the upper level of a dusty old library the shelves are packed with all sorts of reading materials, from small leaflets, to zines, to paperback novels, to thick encyclopedic texts, and heavy leather-bound tomes; all mostly written in modern American English. You notice something else right away, the shelves are plastered with advertisements, posters, banners, cardboard stand-up's at the edges. Even the numerous book marks were all printed with advertisements, mostly for producs or services, completely irrelevant to you.

"What is this place?" Jack clatteres.

"I think we're in Creepypasta dot com." You say. "It wasn't always like this."

"But why would Jane, or anyone, ever come here?" There's ol' one track Jack for ya.

"Look around Jack? Do you see Jane anywhere around here?" You inquire in what you think is a very lawyerly tone, but it isn't. "Do you see anyone around here, do you see the door we came in through, do you see any doors? So... Look it's really not important where Jane, or Anyone else is right now, what's important is that we find out why we are in this garishly decorated library, and how to get out."

"What?!" Jack shrieks. "There's no doors, Ben?!" You thought you made that pretty clear, but who knows what goes through the space in Jack's skull. "I thought about finding Jane the whole way here, so shouldn't we have found her?" It's probably mostly air.

"Halways don't take you where you want to be, they just take you where you're going." You mansplain. "If it had gone where I wanted, it would have lead to the dormatory wing."

"So," Jack puts his hands on his hip bones and taps his foot. "What you're saying is you messed it up, Ben, you threw us off by not thinking about Jane."

"Hey man, we can't all of us just always think about Jane all the time, just 'cause you're playing chase after the new girl doesn't meen you have to drag me along." You lecture. "For all I knew, Jane was going to the dormatory wing too."

"Oh yeah, sure!" Jack glowers, "That's exactly where she'd be headed after that argument with Jeff." He sarcastically vexasperates.

Your gonna say something extremely cruel that you'll regret later, suddenly you're interrupted by a loud sound like crinkling tin, now an automaton chittering ticks along in the background as Pop Goes The Weasel plays on a rusty whining music box cylinder. You and Jack look around, it's coming from behind a standup cardboard ad for the Jumbo Jack cheeseburger. As the note for Pop plays a worn tin box rolls out from behind the ad, propelled by the motion of its lid popping open. Black and white smoke rises from the box an begins to spiral over and uner into a point and solidifies into a swirly black and white cone, which becomes Lauging Jack's nose, as the smoke transforms into the rest of his body behind it.

"Heyo!"shouts the monchrome clown. "What's black and white, read all over, covered in blood, and found in a library?"

You hold your right hand under your chin with your index finger pointed up your left cheek and your thumb pointed up your right, looking at him sideways, with your right eyebrow raised and your lips screwd up in an antismirk. An expression you actually invinted.

"I give up." Jack shrugs his shoulder blades. "What is it?"

"This!" Laughing Jack declares brandishing a blood soaked, rolled up, copy of this week's New York Times, picked up from behind the Jumbo Jack ad. "Also I accept your surrender." He tosses away the newspaper, you don't hear it land for a long time, then you hear a distant crash, shattering glass a trash can rolling, the yowl of an alley cat. You can't see where the paper went, it's most likely irrelevant.

"Since when have you asked riddles?" You inquisit.

"I'm trying new material!" Laughing jack bursts defensively.

"Yeah, don't quit your day job." Jack cracks. Laughing Jack stares at him, in an over-exaggerated pout. His hair and feathers even slump. After a moment crickets chirp, a wicked jagged grin spreads over Laughing Jack's black and white face, his glossy teeth are down right reflective.

"Say," Laughing Jack gleefulluly querys, "how did you gents get in here?" The stripes on his sleeves ripple electrically.

"Just through a regular door." Jack shrugs again.

"Funny..." Laughing Jack notes, with mock concern, but no apparent touch of ironic humor. "I don't see any around here." His grin widens.

"Yeah," Jack affirms, "I guess it regularly dissapears. We can't see any doors out, here or downstairs, but, y'see, we've  to get outa here and find Jane."

"Oh," Laughing Jack grins wider still, the paint on his cheeks cracking, to reveal more paint underneath, he's a clown through and through. "You can't see any other doors?" You can tell he's messing with you somehow.

Before you can say anything Jack cuts in with, "Do you know how to get to where Jane is, from here?"

"Well," the clown props his chin up on his index knuckle, "it would take much too long to get to where she is right now from here, she'd be gone by the time we got there. I do just so happen to know where she'll be at nine pm and a rout to get us from here to there by then." His smile is so wide he looks like Venom in the old Spider-Man cartoons. You grimace, just a bit.

"Nine?" Jack exclaims, "That's hours from now!"

"It would take even longer to get to where she is now." Laughing Jack explains, "and she wond't be there by then, so it would be a waste of time." His grin sags into a sharky grimace. "Not that it makes any difference to me which way we go."

"So." You cross your arms. "What's this way you're talking about?" You've caught on that where Jane should be by nine pm is the dormatory wing. And even if it takes a couple hours, you'll be there by bedtime, or in your case, since you don't sleep, time to get on the N64

"Well..." The colorless clown comences, "are you familliar with the three basic door types in Creepypasta Mansion?"

"Of course!" You huff. "There are regular doors, plain looking doors which open into common rooms at scheduled intervals, dormatory doors, which lead to extradimensional spaces where corporial residents can build sterile living environments, and special doors which have a singular character to them, and always lead directly into their specific rooms, but usually lead to a hallway when exiting the room they are associated with through them."

"Exactly right, professor egghead you get an A plus for the day, but what can you tell me about the fourth type of doors?" Lauguing Jack asked in a cringe inducing tone.

"Do you mean fixed, or transient?" You ask. You never could figure out the numbering order.

"Transient doors are the fifth type, obviously." Laughing Jack gloats.

"Well, I think fixed doods have something to do with geographic residents..." You attempt.

"That's right, Dr. Smartypants." Laughing Jack sneers. "Fixed doors have something to do with geographic residents, also more often than not fixed doors are disguised. Notice anything around here that doesn't quite belong?"

You scan the room quickly and can't help noticing a single wall shelf in the lower level that isn't plastered in ads. "Oh, right." You snicker. "What library would be complete without a secret bookcase passageway?" You notice for the first time that there are no stairs. "How do we get down?" You trepidate.

"Like this!" Jack swings over the railing and climes down a book shelf, just like a skeleton.

You hoist yourself over the edge, landing atop a book shelf which cracks undeder your weight you crash down through every level of the shelf, breaking your fall by breaking it.

Laughing Jack hums a tune that could be London Bridge Is Falling Down, or Mary Had A Little Lamb, but the tempo doesn't quite match either, as he slowly descends on a little round art deco elevator you hadn't noticed, because of all the ads pasted to it.

"Okay," you snarl, "we're down here, now what?"

"You just have to pull out the right book, silly." Laughing Jack strikes an efiminate taunting pose.

You can hear Jack Skeleton muttering, "Eenie, meenie, meinie, moe!" He pulls a book and goes flying into a bookshelf along with the copy of By The Fire's Light, knocking off his right leg, and left arm.

"That's the wrong book!" Cautions Laughing Jack. "The one you need to pull is titled, No End House: The Complete Travesty."

While Jack is putting himself back together you wal up to the book shelf and scan across pointing with your finger there No End House: The Comple... Yup, you pull on the book. Immediately you fall back, the book spins in midair and lands open in your face with a Russian dating ad bookmark across your eyes.

"Wow! Can't you read?" Asks Laughing Jack. "That says The Complete Trilogy." He saunters up to the shelf and pulls on a book the same size and colors as the one you pulled.

The shelf swings out into a dry grassy stories nightscape. You walk outside followed by the pair of Jacks. The book shelf is attached to a patchy door made of rough cut planks on a dingy little one story shack that couldn't possibly have contained the library inside it. Inside had smelled like hardwoods and orange oil, and ink and paper. Outside smells like cat urine, dust and pine needles the contrast is undeniable. The door rattles shut Jack turns around and opens it revealing the dark musty interior of the shack.

"No turning back now." You say, with full resolve. A dirt path leads from the edge of the forest to a modest roomy looking two story house decorated for Halloween, above the porch stoop the legend reads No End House. The door is makrd with the nember 1. "So, where do we go from here?"

"We have to go inside!" Declares Lauging Jack. "The only way out is through the house."

"Through the house?!" Jack exclaims. "I seem to remember that not going so well in The Page Master."

Laughing Jack is already mountimg the stoop, so Jack bites the bullet and follows him. And you're curious, of course, you've never been to No End House before, and you've been meaning to visit.

Chapter Seven: Wh̰̮̭͞a͉͈̝̤͝ṱ̨͎̜ ̨̼͎̟̱ḭ̧̼̭n̙̤̥̬̖̦ ̬t̡̺̩̱̲͉̩h͉̦͓ͅẹ̲̻̭͘ ̦̹̦͢wo̥̦͎̙̙͚r̸͍̞̠ḻ̵̣͎̖͙d̙ ̥̣̹̰̼̦̩̕e̱̳v̸ȩ̠̦̦͎r͍̳̼̖̞̣͈͠ ̖̠͕̖͖̬͞ḅ̦̼͍͍̯̣e̬͚ca̶̝̲̫m̲̣̭e̴̪͎̘̤̯̲ ͉o̟̼̻f̫̯̞͙̘̹ ̬͖͎͕̩̮s̞͈̟̫͞w̪̻͎͈̭͖̼e̹̮̠̲ͅe͇̙̥̟̲͠ͅt͔̰̯ J̩̗͡a̶͍̬̬͓̖͉͕n͖ͅe͉͔̻̲̲?

How often do you find yourself fully satisfied with the outcome of events? How often do you observe that the plans you make come to fruition? If you're like most people, the answer is probably rarely, or never. But have you ever wondered why? Is it just that reality is random, and completely unaffected by your will? Or could it be that there is an entire universe parallel to our own, populated by shadow people working against you, and every other live human scurrying around making plans. What are shadow people? You ask. Well, I'll tell you.

Shadow people are shadows, or remnants, of human beings who lived and died badly. I know what you're thinking, "G-g-g-ghosts?!" Well, approximately, shadow people are often mistaken for poltergeist or demons. Shadow people emerge from the darkness, and to the darkness they return, and are capable of draging things with them, matter, energy, data, and more. The shadow people serve a common agenda, that agenda is set by the evil gods of the antiverse, in which they dwell. The most malevolent, if not the most powerful of these evil gods is known as Zalgo. Zalgo commands legions of shadow people, black eyed children, maniacs, psychopaths, and monsters. The elder gods have slept for eons, in that time the lesser outer gods have gained significant across the board advantages, while meaningless compared with the elder gods' ability to rewrite cosmic law on a whim, the lesser outer  gods understand cosmic law well enough to take spurious advantage of the systems in place, none are more diligent at this than the evil gods of the antiverse, and none is more ambitious than Zalgo, and the suffering of humans feeds Zalgo, and the death of the sufferers increases the ranks of his shadow people.

Given all I've just told you, you must be wondering if there is anything you can do about it. Don't worry, there isn't. Now then, can't you feel a tremendous weight lifting off your shoulders? So what should you do. I'd like to tell you that's entirely up to you, but I really enjoy lying to you, so there is that.

But I'm being rude, you came here to hear about Jane Arkensaw didn't you, and here I am, wasting your time and mine trying to explain the order of the universes. Oh well that's life for you, you are usually unable to achive your desires, though it is ocasionally possible, with effort, to obtain that which is necessary to your survival. As miserable as that may seem in theory it is nothing in comparison with the practical inversion of this principle. Just imagine if all your petty desires came to you with relative ease, but you were generally starved of the essential elements which allow you to function. Do you now feel more comfortable as concerns the status-quo? Probably not.

*POV Hatman*

Your eyes glow red beneath the brim of your solid black fedora. You are here for a purpose! Darkness flows down from your shoulders spreading and covering the ground like a black mist. You approach the wall of the allyway. The white chalk in your hand gleams pink in the light of your eyes. You must use it! Shinjuku is full of places like this, thin places, places where your chalk is not just chalk. He has sent you here, you will do his will! It is time! Bending like a spring you draw a line up from the ground, straight up seven feet, across four and down seven then a small circle on your left. The door looks so small to you, but of course it is bigger than a regular door, but it only reaches what would be your sternum, if you had bones. You know you can pass with ease through a door a fraction of the size with ease, still it looks small to you, but for them, it will be more than sufficient. You knock three times on the cold cement, it feels so warm against your black knuckles. With a crack that would sound sickening to some, which you find oddly satisfying, the section of cement wall swings outward, as golden light floods out of the aperture you receed into the shadows from whence you emerged, your mission comple.

*POV Pinkamena*

You gallop hard, but steady, you know this feeling well, you watch intentely as the sections fall into place in front of you crossing just as they click into place.

"I think Jeff fell..." Says Jane looking behind you.

"He should be fine, I think..." You nay cheerily, and snort. You feel Jane shiver.

Suddenly a section of halway lands in front of you that dead ends in a concrete wall. You stop galloping as quickly as you can. Lean back on your haunches and skid on your hooves, sending a trail of sparks cascading from your shoes. You're skidding too fast, you're going to hit the wall, you clamp your eyes shut tight, a sickening crack sounds, you're sure you must have hit the wall, but as one of your eyes pops open you see a section of the wall swing away fom you, and your skid ends you up in a dark alley on the other side of the wall, you spin around on the courser blacktop of the ally, so that you are facing the door you slid through. With a rusty creak the door slams shut, and a curious white powder falls away from the surface.

"What just happened?" Jane asks dizzily.

"Beats me..." You reply groggily.

"Where are we?" She demands, regaining her composure. "Is this part of the mansion?"

"Um..." You start, "I don't think so... Looks like..." You scan the patches of street visible at either end of the alley, you can see small various storefronts, most of the signage appears to be in katakana, or kanji, with one quaint little cafee labled in hiragana. "Japanese Land..." You posit.

*POV Jeff*

You've been walking for a long, long time, you're feeling kinda tired. Proceeding at a leisurely pace, with Jack and Ben in tow. Jack's footsteps sound heavier than usual, and Ben's sound somewhat metallic. Maybe it's this hallway, nothing makes sense in hallways.

"Don't worry Jane, I'm on my way!" Jack calls out daftly.

"You know she probably can't here you, right, airforbrains?" You hiss.

"Whoah, hey that's one darned big, big old concrete wall there, blockin' the hallway there." Jack changes the subject.

"What the freak?!" You freak out a bit. "That was not there!" The hallway in fron of you is indeed blocked off completely by a concrete barrier, before there was just infinite hallway stretching out before you, now there's this concrete wall, and it's not even perpendicular to the hallway it's at a slight but nonetheless disturbingly off angle, enough that an whole tile is exposed to your far right, while only a half a tile is exposed to your far left. You really wish you could straighten it somehow...

There is a door drawn on the wall, in white chalk. "What the heck kind of door is that?!" You demand.

Ben throws up upturned palms at either side if his face.

"Beats me!" Jack proclaims. "Spirit door?"

You narrow your bulbous eyes at the skeletal scatterbrain. "That's not even a type of door."

Jack mimics Ben's gesture.

"Wait!" You declare. "I saw this in a movie!" You walk up to the wall and knock three times. Nothing seems to happen.

"You didn't actually think that was gonna work, did you?" Jack taunts, suddenly a low rumbling emits from the wall.

"Uh oh!" Ben obnoxiously anounces. "You,shouldn't have done that." With a gutwrenching crack the marked section of wall swings into the hallway, swatting you aside like a bug. Still standing, you stumble around dazedly. "You've met with a terrible fate, haven't you?"

"Get - a new - line!" You huff.

"Go. To. Sleep!" The statue mocks, you just glare. Were Jack and Ben always this big of boneheads? Probably... You don't have time to question it now.

You step through the the rough jagged doorway, followed by the two tagalongs. The other side seems to be a factory of some kind the entire area smells of industrial lubricants and sour cheese. The concrete wall slams shut behind you, it is perfectly sealed. The factory seems to produce juice boxes filled with a white liquid, you assume it's milk, but the labels are printed in Kanji and Katakana, and you can't read Japanese, you can just barely tell it apart from Mandarin Chinese.

You grab a finished box off the assembly line stab the straw in, and take a sip. "I... Think it's milk..." You toss the box to Jack. "Here!" You anounce, "Helps build strong bones." You jest.

If a skeleton can wear an expression of malice, then Jack has one strapped on, if not, then never mind.

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