All posts by M Van Vleet

fun with memes

18. If you were a doll, what accessories would come with you?

– A ball of wet hair, swallowed and accumulated over years, removed surgically
– a blanket of capped fungi, slick to the touch, undulating
– the kind of deep sorrow that can only be safely stored in mud
– burning eyes in the dark
– like, a comb
– the secret names of The Nine Masters and knowledge of where they dwell, free or imprisoned

secrets revealed

So much of magic is just done with staples. Not a lot of people know that.

Rabbit in a hat? It’s pinned in there with animal-friendly staples.

Crystal ball? Full of staples. You can hear ’em if you slosh the ball around.

Is this your card? Nope. It’s just a pile of loose staples.

Every star and moon on my robes is stapled on.

The magic was inside you all along and that’s too bad, because now the magic is stuck there. You shouldn’t be eating staples.

how ya like them apples

[walking in a field, making apple noises, looking to be devoured by horses]


[in a field, wearing a t-shirt that has handwritten on it I AM A SUGARCUBE, holding a phone]

“Siri, look up if horses can read.”


[in a field, hair in pigtails, in pajamas, hugging a pillow, talking to horses]

“omg you guys, let’s play Truth or Dare, I’ll go first: I DARE you to eat me like I was an apple! Just chew me right up!”


***CONFIDENTIAL – DO NOT REPOST***
FROM: Apex Brand Management
RE: online identity package

BODY:
We’re telling you, this is what’s going to put your name on the map. You’re going to be The Guy Who Wants Horses to Eat Him and Is Willing to Trick Horses to Accomplish This Task.

It’s a market niche that has literally ZERO competition, baby. The field, where you’re going to die, because you were eaten by horses… it’s wide open.
***CONFIDENTIAL – DO NOT REPOST***


If I wasn’t in a field, wearing a suit woven from alfalfa, I’d be upset at how many people were ignoring the ***CONFIDENTIAL – DO NOT REPOST*** notice on my last post.

And yes… I MYSELF ignored it when my brand manager labeled their email with it, but you have to understand: I have a problem with authority! And the only cure is to get eaten by horses!

THAT’S MY BRAND!

a predefined list of acceptable magical familiars

Anyhow, yeah, all the rejected familiars– the gulls, the snails, the painted moths, the urchins (land & sea), the hummingbirds, the shouting birds, the crested sharks, the flea adepts– they formed their own magical academy, learned each others’ languages, and once they had mastered the arcane arts, came back and put us all in this zoo with our black cats and ravens and whatnot.

That’s how it happened.

That’s why all our homes have doors that don’t unlock and why every other bug & bird out there has a wizard hat on.

reward tiers

Just a reminder that at my $1 Patreon level, any candle that you light at the entrance to the Sunken Caverns is guaranteed to last you 50% longer. You’ll get past the iron bats for sure and probably halfway across the mushroom pond to the sunken palace before you’ll need another candle..

Supporters at the $5 level are, of course, warned about what lives under the mushroom pond… and how it feels about illumination.

no refunds

“Money is a form of magic,” I say, while lifting the wallet off another sawed-in-half volunteer from another shrieking and now dispersed audience. “A form of sleight of hand that combines trust and paper.”

Count Down

The village has a vampire living in the castle that rests on the cliff that overlooks the valley, but no one has seen it, because it has depressive episodes.

Even now, as bats swirl about the parapets, it is inside, face down in the master bedroom, where it has been unable to convince itself to get up for 103 years.


“There’s probably not even anyone living in that village anymore. What would be the point of going down there.”

A timber creaks as the castle settles.

“Last time I went to the village they made fun of my accent, but MY ACCENT IS THEIR ACCENT, from only THREE generations ago! EVERYONE sounded like me!”

The fluttering of a bat wing outside.

“I just can’t. Not tonight. Maybe tomorrow.”


A real estate agent leads a rich couple through the castle.

“It’s going to take some cleaning up, sure, but I think you’ll find–”

And the three of them find the vampire, face down in bed. It doesn’t acknowledge their entrance.

“Huh. My grandfather told me this place had a vampire, but that was so long ago… I figured it would be gone by now.”

“Does it come with the castle?” asks the man, clutching a trifold pamphlet with the castle printed on its face.

“Honestly, I have no idea,” responds the agent.

“S’my castle,” comes a voice, muffled by the blankets it’s speaking directly into, the vampire unwilling to even turn its face towards the intruders.


They answered the knock at the door and found the vampire standing there, a gift-wrapped box in its pale hands. The wrapping was lightly scratched by the vampire’s long nails, which picked at the corners of the box nervously.

“Hello,” said the vampire. “Is Andolf around? It’s his birthday, and…”

The vampire moved the box up slightly in explanation, then let it sink again.

“Andolf?” said the man at the door. He looked to his wife. “Was ‘Andolf’ the name of the old man who lived here before us? ‘Andolf’?”

“I think maybe it was Andolf,” answered his wife, who looked over the vampire’s shoulder to see if any of the neighbors had noticed it standing on their porch.

“We bought this house 8 years ago,” continued the man, “after the previous owner passed away.”

“Ah,” said the vampire. A sad breath of acknowledgement. “Ah,” it said again, then let the box fall to the ground. “I’m late.”

The wife asked, “Today was Andolf’s birthday?” as the vampire slumped and abruptly sat down on their porch. The vampire rubbed its eyes and started to curl over, its head dropping to rest on its knees.

“I’ve been busy,” muttered the vampire, its lips pressed against the fabric covering its legs. “I’ve– there’s been a lot going on.”

“Okay,” said the man, slowly closing the door. “It happens,” he said just before the door clicked shut.

The vampire sat quietly on the porch for a long while. A dog ran down the dark street, intent on its own private errand. As the moon sunk behind the trees, the vampire muttered, mockingly, “‘Was Andolf the old man?’ Feh.”

It scratched at a paving stone at its feet.

“He was young.”

both sides

Upsides: Clean teeth, gentle humming in your head, scrubbing feeling across tongue is a gentle stimulant

Downsides: Every time you speak and a wave of skittering & aggressive insects spills out, you get to have the “Back, you unearthly horror! BACK!” conversation all over again.

 


Okay, okay, quick check: Everyone here who HASN’T given over some part of their hate-fueled corporeal form to the housing of horrors in exchange for power, raise your hand.

gift guide

For this gift-giving season, why not give your friends and family something they’ll really use?

Wrap them in linens and ointments, then seal them in a tomb where they’ll sleep until the world is a wind-blasted, abandoned dunescape that they can wander, shuffling and shedding cloth, adrift in a distant future beyond imagination?