lost time incident 33 – sample cubes innocent victim


lost time incident 33
Hey, everybody! How’s your weekend going? Is it longer than usual?

It is around here. The United States is celebrating our Labor Day out of step with the rest of the globe, in a calendar-based form of union-bashing. (The rest of the world celebrates Labour Day on May 1st.)

I started my weekend playing Fallout 4 for a number of hours, as a new area of the game opened up, set inside a former amusement park (now full of raiders). My favorite element of this park are the raiders walking around in armor decorated with carnie prizes and stuffed animals.

I also used Fallout’s crafting mechanic to build some mannequins (see image above) and artfully arranged them in faux band photos. Just need to find some instruments. We’ll get the post-apocalyptic landscape rockin’ again.

But first… we’ve got a newsletter.

babes in the woods
In the village where I grew up, we used to tell stories about the local woods. That young women, not yet ready to be mothers, would leave their children there. Sometimes we’d go wandering in those woods, athletic socks hiked up, looking for babies left behind. If we got really lucky, we told each other, maybe we’d witness the exact moment a pack of wolves adopted a baby.

This, despite knowing that no wolves lived in those woods.

The guy who distributed piles of newspapers to all the newspaper carriers would claim that he was raised in those woods. By chipmunks, he said. Learned all their lore and their ways. He would prove it by pouring a can of peanuts into his mouth until his cheeks pushed out. The effect was ruined if you looked like you believed him, because he’d start laughing at you, and that was a good way to get yourself sprayed with half-chewed peanuts.

It was a more innocent age, honestly, when we assumed that babies left in the woods would be raised by animals.

But when I was in my early teens, a witch moved into those woods, and there was no mystery anymore. The trees became home to charms that would twist in the breeze: bones, feathers, strips of leather. The teachers at school told us all the proper names for witches, and let us know in no uncertain terms which ones were offensive, so we could be neighborly.

Within a few years of her arrival, we started seeing her around town, surrounded by toddlers wearing loose robes, and masks crafted from bark and mud, tromping through the Piggly Wiggly supermarket. All formerly abandoned babies. With those masks on them, you couldn’t tell whose kids they might have really been.

At the coffee shop, I heard some adults talking about how she’s home schooling them and several of them read at a proficiency level higher than their age, so who knows. Maybe we all should have gone into the woods to see if we could get adopted.

Some of the more religious types, they didn’t like the idea of their unwanted children becoming pagan. There was a while there where babies were getting left at the recycling center. The couple that ran the recycling center were Presbyterian, but they didn’t like kids, nor did they want to be stuck in the middle of a religious conflict. Called in social services. Put up a “Don’t Leave Babies Here” note by the bins full of beer bottles.

It worked.

With the benefit of hindsight, our village could have done a lot better with educating kids about birth control. Cut down on the high rate of baby abandonment. These are the sort of things that don’t occur to you until adulthood. Hindsight, 20/20, all that.

Just been thinking about it a lot since my parents told me one of those witch kids just got elected mayor. Turned his animal mask into a personal brand. Used it in all the ads. Still don’t know who his real parents are, but we know about his love for municipal governance, so…

I hope it works out.

I don’t get back there much anymore.

sextrap dungeon giveaway
Because Amazon made it easy, and because I like you, I’m giving away a copy of Kurt Knox’s groundbreaking first volume in the SEXTRAP DUNGEON series! It’s a choose-your-own-adventure narrative where you play an Axe-drenched oddball in a quest for love… but dangers abound.

Sex is your everything. You exist for the thrill of seduction and the hot, wet slap of flesh against flesh. Vanquishing honeys is your singular mission in life. Who knows why? Loneliness? A need for validation born out of your mother abandoning you as a child? Perhaps there’s a tumor pressing on the ‘sex’ part of your brain? Probably best not to dwell on it. Let’s get you out there and put another notch on that bedpost, playa!

It’s genuinely funny, so roll the dice and follow the link if you want a chance at winning. The odds are 1 in 10, which is pretty good, right?

ending theme song
I guess we’ll end this week with a reminder that there’s a Facebook page for this newsletter: https://www.facebook.com/losttimeincident/. It’s a place you can find behind-the-scenes notes, general updates, and feedback from your fellow subscribers.

I was recently reminded that it’s now been 2 years since I put out my last e-book, THE SPIRIT LEFT ME. Days go by. I am glad, however, that I’ve got this 33-weeks-long new body of work. The next step isn’t clear yet, but we’re probably getting closer to whatever comes next. Probably.

Maybe. We’ll see. Maybe next week.

—Michael Van Vleet