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Thursday! The E-Zine for November 1, 2023
Happy Day After Halloween, which is more properly called All Saints Day, depending on your religious persuasion. I rather like the idea of a special day during which we Saints of God can celebrate our sainthood with each other and encourage each other. That’s not how it’s observed anywhere, but sometimes you long for your own traditions, right?
I dressed up yesterday for the first time in a long time. Knocked it out of the park, don’t you think?
Get it? I’m a ceiling fan1 ! Your awed silence right now is all the reward I need.
The zine this week is a mixed bag — a little weirdness, a little humor, a little creepiness, a little Lovecraftian shenanigans, and a little look toward a coming special holiday. I’m especially interested to hear what you think of the maybe-poem, maybe-story right in the middle. It’s taken up residence in the back of my mind for a good while now. I published a different version of it a couple of years ago, with an idea toward writing a whole story for which that would be the start, but I ran out of steam and ideas fairly early on. That hasn’t dissuaded me from thinking I can do more with it. For now, I’ll leave it with you. We shall see what, if anything, comes of it later.
Cool? Cool. Let’s read on!
Maybe A Poem, Maybe a Story?
“The Impulse Purchase out of Space”
At this very moment, in a dimension Very near to ours, easily reachable By proper incantation and ritual, A creature squats in its horrible home And looks at an image of your tender brain On the screen of its eldritch smart device. A banner flashes above your brain picture. It says “92% Match! 1 Available! Hurry! 5 others have it in their cart! Buy now!” Its claw twitches — a moment of decision. Is your tender brain and its variable sanity? Worth quite that much? It seems a lot, really. On the other hand, it is a Daily Deal. Thirty-three percent off the usual rate! And see how many also ponder. It exhales a breath of venom and hunger Presses the button marked CONSUME NOW Yes, it supposes, I shall. (…click…)
“There Are 216 Steps to the Top of the Lighthouse”
There are 216 steps to the top of the lighthouse. Except for today. Today there are 215. The world is shrinking, I am told. I believe them. There are 215 steps to the top of the lighthouse. Except for today. Today, there are 209. A man rode by this morning. Or maybe it was this afternoon. I do not know. The world is shrinking. Time is shrinking. He asked me how many steps there were to the top of the lighthouse. I told him 209. He laughed. He laughed because I lied. I don't know why I lied. There were 192. Will you ask me? I will tell you the truth. I can not lie to you. I know you will not laugh. There are 192 steps to the top of the lighthouse. Except for today. Today there are 121. That is a good number, do you know? Eleven times eleven. What? I know my numbers! I count the stairs in this lighthouse every day when I check to make sure the lamp is lit. That is my job. That and counting the steps. I counted them before you came. There are 121 steps to the top of the lighthouse. Except for today. Today there are 88. Did I tell you about the lamp? The lamp is never lit, though. It is my job to look but it never is. The system crashed. The light never lights. Not the one that shines outside. It is a shame. The beam is important. So are the steps. There are 88 steps to the top of the lighthouse. Except for today. Today there are 44. The lighthouse is small. I do not know how such a small lighthouse can be useful when the need for the beam is so great. But maybe it isn't. The world is shrinking. The monsters come more often now. You didn’t know about the monsters, did you? Don’t worry. They don’t come very close. Except today. Today they come very close. Listen. You can hear their claws, their bodies dragging. They are hungry. Don’t go to the lighthouse. You can’t. Only I can go, just to check the lamp and count steps. You can’t go. It won't let you. There are 44 steps to the top of the lighthouse. Except for today. Today there are 12. The monsters are very close. You should go, man with all the questions. This is not your place. Don’t worry about me. The monsters won’t hurt me. I’m already dead. There are 44 steps to the top of the lighthouse. Except for today. Today there is 1.
(Photo Credit: Leolo212 on Pixabay)
My dream is to support my family with my art. Can such a thing be done? Yes! But I need your help. How? I’m glad you asked!
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“Fixing the Christmas Lights. BRB”
(Inspired by a true couple social media updates) 12-9-2019, 1:55 PM Let it be known that I have actually hung Christmas lights at Mom’s. There will be a ritual checking of the bulbs around dusk this evening, of course, but overall I’d say things look pretty decent. UPDATE: Already checked a couple of things. It’s either the primary extension cord leading into the thing or something with or near the plug of the first string. —— 12-10-2019, 10:54 AM I have diagnosed the Christmas lights issue. Turns out, the ritual checking requires a ritual solution. I'll get that done over lunch and evaluate this evening. Then we’ll see what adjustments may or may not be needed. Translated into Okie: I think I got ‘er figured. Gonna try somethin’ later and see what happens. —— 12-10-2019, 1:10 PM I didn’t have ‘er figured. Some of the lights work, but a few of the lights don’t and five or six of the lights are actually *brighter*, for a reason I really don't want to ponder. Postponed lunch and took the afternoon from work. Boss is cool with it. Seems he had a similar problem a couple of years back. I bet his didn't involve a Thing that Wouldn't Work Right. 12-10-2019, 1:30 PM STATUS UPDATE: Fixing the Christmas lights. BRB. 12-10-2019, 4:05 PM Ten lights. Can you believe it? I counted them twice, once while walking widdershins around the house. IYKYK. Going to have to check *all* the bulbs now. And then I’m definitely going to have to try a more aggressive solution with the Thing. But first, a beer. 12-10-2019, 4:20 PM At least the problem with the Thing is solved. Didn’t *that* almost cost me an arm and a leg. Well, not me, exactly, but...again IYKYK. Anyhow...CRAP! What now?? Better go check that. UPDATE: Double crap. UPDATE 2: Look, I’ll say this gently. The problem with the Thing is definitely not solved. Plus I wasted of a perfectly good lamb shank. If you’re in the SW OKC area, probably stay home after dark for the next couple of days. If you have to go out, go in groups of no less than three and don’t act like prey. —— 12-20-2019, 10:10 AM Sorry for the posting silence. Had to move kind of fast and didn’t have internet. Or phone. Or, for a little while there, *reality.* You probably read about certain events about a certain Oklahoma city in the news. Believe most of it. Especially the stuff that didn't sound believable. Tbh, I'm kind of surprised FB isn’t hiding my post. Hooray algorithms? Or maybe FB is in on certain things? It would explain Zuck’s appearance at least. I better ask Mom if he’s related. Maybe another cousin. Anyhow, I’m back. Lights work. Sorry about all the tentacles. —— 12-25-2019, 7:00 AM OMG! Santa is *not* supposed to look like that. Or take captives. Or be squamous. Oh, stop whining and look the word up! Geez. What are we teaching people these days? I'll tell you what we’re *not* teaching people? How to write a credible banishing ritual! You go through all the best eldritch schooling, commit yourself to the real craft, and you can’t be bothered to inscribe A BASIC INCANTATION IN A LEGIBLE FORM ON A MEDIUM THAT CAN WITHSTAND A LITTLE INTERDIMENSIONAL TRAVEL! “N’gai, n’gha’ghaa, bugg-shoggog” my left buttcheek! It’s “beghl-shoggog” you addlepated Innsmouth noob! At least I noticed it before I squared the entire circle. Don't think I won't be firing off an Imp of Complaint once everyone is returned to their proper dimensions. For those of you who haven’t been following this little saga, let me give you the tl;dr. Tried to light the Christmas lights at Mom’s house. Bad instructions. Opened the wrong portal. Closed it, but Wrong Santa got out. Tentacles. Ho Ho Horror. It’s fixed now. Merry Christmas. —— 12-31-2019, 11:50 PM Happy New Year. Try not to look directly at the fireworks this year. Please. Stupid translation errors.
And also the GREATEST DAD JOKE EVER!