lost time incident 20 – grasses and crates and gnarled roots


lost time incident 20
What a week, what a week, huh, folks? There was that sportsball thing, and the political person said that thing and we were all like: WHAAAT!?!? I had a morning where I took one or two of every variety of pill in my backpack so I could feel like a functioning human and then there was that celebrity news! Oh man.

It’s fat housefly season in this household! We have two… or maybe three of them! Name suggestions are welcome. (Update: Have killed two out of three. Only one name suggestion will be considered.)

The sun is shining outside, but we’re ignoring it in favor of you, readers. Such a sacrifice.

Speaking of sacrifices…


playing monster
This last week, I’ve spent a bit of time watching players on YouTube try out a new game called “Dead by Daylight.” The game is still in beta, which makes things interesting, because you can see game elements being added and tweaked based on the date of the video.

Up to five players can play at a time, with one of them playing a movie slasher-style monster who chases the others around an overgrown abandoned lot, trying to beat them up, hang them on meat hooks, and sacrifice them to spider-leg-thorn-nightmare monsters in the sky.

The survivors/victims are racing around the game map, trying to stay silent, hide behind tall grasses and crates, dodge traps, and repair enough generators that they can open the doors blocking the path to escape.

When the killer is near, the survivors can hear their heartbeat get louder and louder, as a sort of radar warning, and menacing music starts to swell. Players in these videos get as freaked out as their cinematic forebears, scrambling to stay ahead of the killer.

And yet all that fear is forgotten when they get to take their turn chasing their friends with a blade… Then they’re perfectly happy to laugh and say “Where are you going?” as their friends try to vault obstacles, cackling as they drag them to their doom.

If that sounds fun, a great place to start is Serial Killers Everywhere hosted by ChilledChaos (or “Chilled” for short). You’ll see his face in the upper right corner of the screen. But the highlight of this video is his pal Seananners (Adam) who spends much of the vid creeping out his friends as the murderer, but demonstrates quite a knack for screaming when the tables are turned.


tweet tweet



she’s a cop, she’s a witch
“T’chyeah, like this witch has nothing better to do than curdle some milk and make a sow miscarry. Rrrrright. I got creepy little dolls with faces carved out of fallen crabapples to make so I’m a LIT-tle busy these days.”

Officer Foxhazel adjusted the amulet on her belt. She’d been a witch cop for dozens of moons, so dealing with a reluctant suspect was nothing new.

“Okay, Goodie,” said Foxhazel. “So maybe you weren’t troubling livestock or dairy supplies. But this isn’t the first complaint we’ve had about you this month. Or are you going to say you haven’t been cavorting in the woods either?”

“What woods?” sneered Goodie Crow, her stringy black hair hanging over her defiant eyes. “There’s a lot of woods around here.”

“I didn’t want to have to do this,” said Foxhazel, “but you know we keep a file on all the reliquaries and soul cages in the county, right? While you were spending your time talking to goats, or whatever you’ve been up to, the witch cops have been busy with paperwork and focusing ceremonies. A bit of scrying, a bit of dowsing, some group chanting and sacrifice, and pretty soon we had a comprehensive list of where every spell-slinger and potion-brewer in town was keeping their secrets.”

“You can’t—”

“I can walk right down this hall, find out which gnarled set of roots you’ve stashed your essence under, or which trunk with a cursed lock you used, and that’s it. We’ve got everyone’s secrets, on 4×6 cards, neatly labeled, stored in a walnut cabinet adorned with the bones of owls. Wouldn’t take me more than 10 minutes to look your name up.”

Crow swallowed.

“So I’m going to ask one more time about that curdled milk… and that miscarrying sow. Because we have the rites, so you can’t remain silent.”

WITCH COPS! Tune in with your far-sight gems this Fall!



looking & listening
 First episode of Preacher  – so far, transcending the source material
listening: Marta Ren – Stop Look Listen – modern retro Portuguese soul
playing: Fallout 4 – Tried to get around to finishing the game, but got distracted building a killer robot. It happens.
reading: Down Don’t Bother Me by Jason Miller – I was just following this guy on Twitter because he was funny, but he wrote a really great Southern crime novel about a mine worker who gets press-ganged into the role of private investigator by the owner of the mine.



ending theme song
Why do bookstores use stickers that don’t come off cleanly? Why?

Last night, I tried to peel a price sticker off an old paperback, only to see some of the cover come away with the sticker. So I used a citrus-based sticker-removing solution and watched that soak into the cover, staining it, so the worst of all outcomes. Now my $2 paperback looks like a $1 paperback. Since that’s the worst thing to happen all weekend, things are going pretty darn good.

Thanks are due to my wife Amanda for supplying the illustration of a blade-wielding video game maniac. The mocking dialogue was lifted directly from Seananner’s taunting in the linked video.

What else. I’ve been messing about with Snapchat recently. If this is also true of you, you can find me with a search for: signalstation

That’s probably it. Time to go fritter away the rest of the weekend. Later, gators.

—Michael Van Vleet