clown sleaze

Clowns enter a building by the highway furtively, a neon XXX in in the window. They’re renting videos of men & women getting pied in the face over and over again. So many pies.

A clown leaves the peepshow booth, then another, then another, a crowd of them, more than could have fit inside.

Behind the building, a floppy-shoed & tired tramp approaches a clown in her car, engine running. The tramp leans in the car window, takes a proffered $20, then pretends to sniff a false flower on the driver’s lapel. The flower squirts in the tramp’s eye. It’s a living.

rules of the game

One player is “IT” and must touch all other players. Other players, when touched, are to freeze in place until the game is done, or until another player touches them.

The player who is IT may use cloning technology, traps, summon supernatural aid, or use psychological tricks in the pursuit of other players.

A player tagged by a clone of IT or by an otherdimensional shadowsister freezes for 1 minute only. Only a tag by IT results in a complete freeze.

If the bees die off, play is suspended until an alternate agricultural model is employed.

Georph

If you roll up to the party and everyone’s wearing robes and holding knives except you… you just miiiiight be a human sacrifice!

If you’re the ONLY one lying on a table, while the walls between this world and some unknown colorless space dissolve together above your bound form… you just miiiiight be a human sacrifice!

If you’re looking at the heart that used to be INSIDE your chest a-pumpin’ in the hands of a priest you thought could NEVER punch through a human ribcage, well friend…

— Georph Otherworthy, cult comedian

cursive in schools

So glad kids aren’t being taught cursive anymore. Half the grimoires one can purchase in the Half-Green Market are nigh-unreadable, thanks to the lazy looped handwriting of mages and aetherpokers, running all their letters together EVEN BEFORE they get ghastslime, candle wax and cat hair on ’em.

Teach every junior candlewick bender and spirit knitter to PRINT, please, thank you, and we’ll happily spend fewer days haunted by accidentally-summoned eye-wights because we read some cursive J as a G.

boneless in shallow pools

It’s Saturday and we all know what that means! Time to get the kids into the carriage, wheel on down to the Shallows where we can visit the Boneless, shaking in their pools, singing their bubbling songs. Take a souvenir bone home with you… they don’t need ’em or want ’em anymore! They’re mostly salt and water and happiness, the Boneless are! Tickle ’em with sticks! A weekend delight!

call of the marsh

It’s Friday and you know what that means! Our ancestors are waiting for us in the salt marsh, calling us by our childhood nicknames, their limbs replaced with vines (for hugging)! Can’t you hear them calling? Unlock these doors! You must let us out! If we can’t spend a Friday in the marsh, then who will they sing to next? Who will replace us in their mossy hearts?

lost time incident 67 – unknown intelligences love matching outfits

lost time incident 67
Hello there, fellows! I’m writing to you with a cat draped across my arms, but he’s more interested in being warm than in actually helping me type this thing out. In this partnership, one of us definitely benefits more than the other.

These newsletters have been going out less often because I’ve been emulating cloistered monks, hiding away for entire weekends in favor of writing and editing. I have a major writing project that’s in its last days and in order to stay on track, I’ve installed a browser plugin to keep me focused. It only gives me 30 minutes of social media/goofing off time between the hours of 10 and 5 on the weekend. Once the time limit is reached, all of those pages are blocked with no way to convince my browser to unlock them.

I’ve outsourced my willpower. It’s incredible. There are so many areas in my life where I’d like to follow this model, as I share with Oscar Wilde the ability to resist anything save for temptation.

But here and there, I’ve written some short pieces. My current project is about witches, and long-time readers of this newsletter know that I’ve been using a Mastodon instance called witches.town as a place to do writing exercises, so the supernatural has been on my brain. There were several times I used the current day as a writing prompt, which you’ll see collected in a section below.

Anyway, here’s some stuff that first saw light over at witches.town! Enjoy!

 

2017 “rising stars” in the world of bog witchcraft
Once again, we’ve got the latest rankings!

The Cobble Sisters – From the bottom of a well, this trio has drowned so many lost children that schools are closing! Leave some dreamy children who don’t make friends easily and like to wander in the swamp for the rest of us, ladies!

The Cold One – Everyone’s seeing their breath this year and it’s never good news! Hell’s never been colder! Brrr!

Ed – Perennial favorite! He’s the only one who knows where our hearts are entombed and he won’t let us rest if he doesn’t win, even though you can’t keep being a “rising star” by the very definition of the phrase, Ed! Please, Ed! Set us free!

 

it’s [day of the week] and you know what that means
It’s Saturday and we all know what that means! It’s time to draw sigils on our faces with mud, so She Who Devours Beauty will pass over our house and slake her terrible ruby hunger in some other village! Get really creative with masking your good looks! Remember that different muds dry in different colors. Try layering!

It’s Sunday and you know what that means! It’s the day of the week where we retire to the village tombs and retrace the chalk likenesses of our enemies we’ve drawn on the crypt’s walls, restoring details that have faded since our last visit, making sure that our beloved village dead know the countenances of our hated rivals so they can visit them all week, stepping out of shadows, whispering hateful things in dreams, clawing at their souls, haunting them until the day our enemies too sink beneath the soil!

It’s Thursday and you know what that means! Time to gather at the water’s edge and watch the shelled things that live in the Deep come ashore with their claws, and drive them back with sticks and rocks, lest we be plucked up and carried off to live our lives as pearls under the sea!

It’s Saturday and you know what that means! Time to write out our wishes in melted wax on the surface of our most prized position, then drop it into the darkness that houses The Mouth of Voids! It will devour our desire so that finally, finally, we can stop hoping for anything to happen and live like lizards, unthinking, in the warm sun!

 

damn it, gary
a) Gary said there was a line at the dry cleaners, so we didn’t get our eclipse robes in time and now the human sacrifice says he’s got a thing to go do and the sun’s back, so WAY TO GO, Gary, the eclipse is ruined.

Guess the UNBLINKING EYE FROM THE FROSTS BELOW THE STARS is just gonna have to sleep even longer before rending this world, GARY.

b) There’s always that one guy in your cult who hemmed his robe a little too high and when you should be chanting and focusing on your ceremonial dagger, all you can think about is how you can see Gary’s white athletic socks. Damn it, Gary.

c) Did you know that “virgin blood” doesn’t actually have to belong to a virgin? All the phrase meant was “blood that has not been used in an unholy ritual yet”.

“So the ritual didn’t work out?”
“No. Turns out the blood wasn’t virgin.”
“What?”
“Yeah, Gary just brought some from home. Said later he used it ‘a little’ and didn’t think it would matter.”
“Oh, c’mon, Gary.”
“It’s always something with Gary. If he didn’t pay the lease for this forgotten crypt, he’d be out of the coven SO fast.”

ending theme song
Night is here! It grows cold! Other than that, things are fine.

Soon, I will lie paralyzed, hallucinating in a socially-acceptable manner. You call it sleep… but we all know it’s madness to succumb to it without a struggle! It comes! Sleep comes! None are spared!

Save yourselves!

—Michael Van Vleet


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full-color trifold tourism brochure

Come to scenic Leopard Fang Valley! Flights arrive daily to the home of three forbidden ancient temples, conveniently located within easy walking distance from each other. You can get a cappuccino in the morning,  awaken an albino snake god by noon and suffer three different dread curses by end of day!

Contact our tourism office or simply awake in a pit from a blowdart-induced stupor and see for yourself!

Sunday is for Chalk and Stoking the Spirits of Vengeance

It’s Sunday and you know what that means! It’s the day of the week where we retire to the village tombs and retrace the chalk likenesses of our enemies we’ve drawn on the crypt’s walls, restoring details that have faded since our last visit, making sure that our beloved village dead know the countenances of our hated rivals so they can visit them all week, stepping out of shadows, whispering hateful things in dreams, clawing at their souls, haunting them until the day our enemies too sink beneath the soil!