Sunday, 25 December 2016

Concerning Ancient Holiday Traditions

I know it all inevitable ends,
but some ends afore they should.
And things that should last eight,
last one instead.
The miracle of lights we must attend,
but oil that burnt eight nights would
for dogs last one, insignificant weight.
The holiday is fled.
And am I fed a tasty treat,
coins, toys, gelt or the menorah?
No, tis only one day to meet
in the ancient holiday of Doggukah.

This poem was actually not written by me, but rather was written by my adorabubbles dog, Serious Black. He was rather distraught that Chanukkah for dogs (Doggukah) was only 1.14 days. He didn't listen to my protests that Dogmas only lasted 3.43 hours, and so I decided to be a nice owner and translate his poem for him. I have included the original underneath:

tftggyyyggtftrvg
ıghsbfıtmhşsnjt
bhbdfdknjt
ghutyvdhavbb
dggh

Saturday, 24 December 2016

The Last Christmas Tale...

AUTHOR'S NOTE: This story is a direct sequel to A loving, lovely story, which was posted in February 2015. Please read that one before reading this, or this one will not make much sense. Thanks!

  'Twas a dark and foggy morning in the night of the year, and the frost lay heavy upon the ground. There was a slight crunching sound emanating from the sidewalk, as the boy with the pink hair strode slowly down it, eyes searching. He stopped to survey the patchwork ground before him, then knelt to inspect something, the tips of his trenchcoat making a swish as they brushed the edge of the grass. He stood up lethargically, as if disappointed, and ran his hands through his hair in frustration. He continued on for a bit, oblivious to the cold.
Snow begins falling about him. Finally he stops, triumph in his eyes. He then continues moving forwards, but this time there is no noise; no crinkling of grass, no hushed breath of air, nor even the slightest swish of trenchcoat to give him away. It is as if he does not exist, but is merely a pink-haired speck on a white field.
"Isaiah."
The man, John, stopped, startled. He turned around slowly, terror filling his heart. He had thought himself safe, you see. The boy with the pink hair cocked his head, gave a false smile, the effect he was having on John all too clear to him, though he regretted it immensely. Then his eyes became fascinated by the bottle in John's right hand.
"I see you have something of mine." He commented with a faux joviality.
John chuckled nervously, and after a moment the boy joined him, disquieting John and casing him to stop. the boy, however, keeps laughing, until suddenly his hands are wrapped around the vial. There is a brief struggle, until John gave in before the greater power before him, resigned to the futility of his actions. The boy stared at it for a moment, giddy, before it vanished down his sleeve. He gives John a mock bow, then stands back up.
"Thank you, John, for your kind gift. It brings me great joy. But now, alas, I must go." He fished out a handkerchief from his sleeve and dabs melodramatically under his eyes. They are not crocodile tears, though the action makes it seem so. The tears are for something else.
"To thank you for this answer to my prayers, a small token of my affection."
He flicks a card into John's still outstretched hand and turns to go, putting on a chuckle as John scrabbles to open the card, the paper cuts already beginning to form.

The Captain of the Quae Innominandum stared at the carved up corpse, eyes grim. After a moment he turned away, motioning to one of his men to clean up the mess. He walked towards the other. "Do you think he has the vial, Marcus?"
"Indeed I do, Captain."
"Then we must take all available precautions. Move to guard the scepter at once. I will join you shortly."
The man, Marcus, nodded and moved away, his hand never straying far from the bulge at his hip. After a moment the other man neared the Captain, cleaning John's blood from his hands. He noted his companion moving away, and turned to his leader. "It is really him, then? The boy with the pink hair, or barring that the same person but finally named by the author?"
Rather than answer, his Captain turned away, staring into the distance. After a few seconds of silence, he answered. "Sam Gregorovich must not be allowed to awake."

The guardian of the scepter is awake, and nervous. He has just received a message urging him to take care, and that help is on the way. He sipped his coffee nervously, the scepter on the table beside him. He had taken it out for safe keeping, should he need to run. He eyes the clock, waiting, when there is a knock on his door. Relieved, he sprang to open the door to reveal...
Not the agent he was expecting, but rather a small boy (or perhaps teenager, it is difficult to tell) in a trenchcoat, his hair pink. He clutched something long in both his hands. Confused, the guardian took a step back.
"Are you Marcus?"
Rather than answer, the boy gives him a voluminous grin, before he stated; "hoe hoe hoe."
A moment later the farming implement in his hands is springing forward, its malignant intent all too clear.

The Captain was hurrying down the sidewalk when all of a sudden the payphone in front of him rang. He stepped inside to answer it, his body going stiff with dread.As he suspected, it was Marcus. He listened for a few moments as Marcus described the bloodied scene and the lack of a scepter, then cursed in an extinct dialect from Sumer. The Captain then gave Marcus some directives, before abruptly hanging up and breaking into a run. The stunned agent behind him followed.

The Captain reached the sepulcher a few minutes later, at roughly the same time as Marcus. Soren (the other agent) arrived a few moments after that, panting and out of breath. The Captain retrieved a small six-shooter from the bulge at his hip, motioned for his men to do the same, before he burst into the sepulcher.
There is no one else inside. No one, that is, save for the grandiose tomb in the middle. Carved out of stone and ten feet long, it was the dominating feature of the room. On it was an endless series of motifs, each depicting a giant bug scattering grain upon the ground. But when the grain lands, naught but death and misery follows. The motifs were repeated upon the walls.
At the head of the tomb, a statue rose, similar to that found in the tombs of knights, but the bug held his dread satchel rather than the sword so oft seen. "He's not here." Soren breathed out in relief, right before he was dragged down by the Captain. It was just in time, for there was a whistling noise mere milliseconds after as a hoe passed above their heads.
They lept up, and the Captain looked back to call Marcus. But he was thoroughly dead, the hoe buried up to its hilt in his chest. The Captain looked back to the boy with the pink hair, noted the Santa outfit he wore over his bedraggled clothing. Captain Evvel cocked one eyebrow. "Hoe hoe hoe?" He commented sardonically.
The boy grinned naughtily, then seemed to blur to the side as a wave of bullets passed inches besides him. He continued to blur back and forth as Soren kept firing. Soren eventually ran out of bullets, as guns that are perpetually fired are wont to do, and was standing there reloading his gun when the boy stopped in front of him.
He smiled congenially and dropped a Christmas card. Soren dove to the ground to stop it from landing, irrationally, and began cutting his fingers on it as he tried to open it. The Captain whipped his gun to the side and fired, but was too late. The boy walked into him, preternaturally tough, and grabbed his arm. The boy's hands burnt with cold, and the Captain went numb. He collapsed to the ground, only barely having the control to knock the card out of Soren's hand. Soren sagged, emotionally exhausted.
The boy walked to the side of the sarcophagus, casting off the Santa suit and tying his trenchcoat shut over his rotting clothes. He withdrew staff from it with his left hand while reverently stroking the sarcophagus with his right. He flicked his right hand upwards, and the vial came flying out of his sleeve. He then caught it with extreme precision. He attached it to the staff in a hollow at its base, then went to depress a lever at the base of the staff.
The energy of Sam Gregorovich seemed to coalesce, what little he could focus from his stone grave flowing into the bug so as to better watch his own release. Captain D'Mon's heart raced, and he thought to himself; "we reacted too slowly..."
The beast entrenched had gathered itself, and peered about it in what the Captain thought was anticipation. But then it spoke.
"Stop."
The boy paused, looked at it in confusion. "My pardons, my lord. But it almost sounded as if you said to stop."
Once more it spoke, the walls of the sepulcher rattling with the gathered power required.
 "I did."
The boy looked devastated that his quest might be in vain. "But... but why?"
Once more, Sam Gregorovich spoke. "Because tis' Christmas, the holiday. It would be rude, and contrary to the entire point of the day."
"But... but... why do you care if you will burn down the world immediately afterwards regardless?"
And then the statue moved, and shook its head. "Your missing the meaning of Christmas."
The boy lowered the staff in shock. The Captain was very confused, but thankful. "So, you want to... come back later?"
It nodded, and spoke once more. "Yes... there will be a sign, and you will know that it is the time. Then you may come."
The boy collapsed in defeat, for he could not in all good consciousness disagree with his master in such a way. "Very well... I concede. I will be back."
As he turned to leave, the statue slowly rose one hand in a gentle motion. The boy stopped, looked back expectantly. It spoke. "In thanks for your patience, I will transcend the incompetence of the author and name you, Dawn Caedes."
I (the author) had no idea how to end such a story, so I'm just going to settle with a small summary. Dawn Caedes, overjoyed at the Christmas miracle of finally getting a name, left happily. Sam Gregorovich retreated once more into his slumber, and the agents departed with plans for preventing the fruition of the two's goals. After they had all left, a wind whipped itself up in the tomb. It slowly spun about, its rattling almost sounding like the words "Merry Christmas." But that would have been a coincidence, right?

The Dance of the Marionettes

DISCLAIMER: This story was written with the point of view of someone raised at the turn of the 19th century, and does not reflect the moral views of the author in any way. It was merely meant to be historically accurate, to the best of my limited abilities.

I have a story to tell you, set many years in the past. It was a decade of unrequited prosperity and decadence, when the populace openly descended into what they deemed depravity. Parties went on all across the continent and the culture shifted drastically; it would later be called ‘the roaring twenties,’ though we of course didn’t know this at the time.
It was also the night before Christmas, conveniently or not, and this meant family. Not those newfangled Christmases you have now, with your silly little movies about dancing reindeer and your desecrated Santa. Well, to be fair, it was us who desecrated him, back then, put him in his cloak of red. But it matters not, for I have a story to tell you, and desire your ears. Do you youth still say that? Bah, I have no time for these semantics.
It was Christmas Eve, and our family was congregated about the dining table. You weren’t there, of course, and in fact weren’t even a twinkle in your mother’s eyes. She wouldn’t even meet your father for another two decades, when they worked in an armaments factory together during the second world war. I’ve never liked him, personally: should have fought in the war, not worked through it. I fought through the first one, you know. Did I ever tell you that? Oh, everyday. Yes yes, that makes sense. But you know my memory isn’t what it used to be; time changes all.
Your mother, our sole daughter at aged seven, and her two teenaged brothers, were gathered about with your great grandparents at the table. I was at the head, as I should be, and your grandmother at the other end. She’d cooked us a feast, a roast duck with potatoes and gravy on garlic bread. Ah, I remember the scent of the spices in the air, the festive atmosphere, the mistletoe above my bedchamber door. Your grandmother was beautiful, that night, as beautiful as I’ve ever seen her, and the very air seemed to twinkle when she laughed. It was a tinkling laugh, like the bells of Santa’s sleigh.
It made us forget our troubles, at first. Your grandmother had recently gotten herself involved with some iniquity, some ‘suffragette’ movement. Bah, it was a mistake. How that movement succeeded and expanded against the good grace of our government, I’ll never know. But I’m not here to debate politics and the social life, boy. I have a story to tell you. Regardless, it was like the worries and tribulations of our life had vanished, that night, but not for long.
At some point during the evening… oh, it must have been about eight… your grandmother got up. I expected her to propose a toast to our prosperity, to our good fortune, or some such. I was wrong, and surprised, and it is to my eternal sadness that I did not act on this surprise.
Your grandmother got up, and proposed a dance. Now, as you may have guessed or I may have told you, I cannot quite remember, I do not dance. Never have, never will. Of course, I’m far too old now, but that’s besides the point. I don’t like dancing, and so I declined to join her. Your grandmother shrugged, laughed her special laugh, and put a tune on the gramophone. For some reason I always recall jazz, or Spike Jones, but those were long after her time. More than likely it was some fast waltz, or some ancient fiddling tune. Your grandmother always did like her folk. But I can’t recollect… does it truly matter? I feel sad, about this, but I can’t recollect.
It must have been jazz, for she began to twirl and move with its beats. Your grandmother was one of those deviants known as, quote unquote, flappers. Hmph. She showed it that night, I can assure you, as she twirled and she spun about and around time and again. Her skin glowed with a feverish light, her eyes bugged out strangely, and she let loose a high pitched, maniacal laugh. This was when we began to grow concerned, for your grandmother never laughed like that. She may have done some… highly questionable things, but she never lost her composure.
We tried to drag her down, to stop her, but she wouldn’t have it. She spun and she spun and she spun from our grasp and out the window she spun, I say. We, regrettably, lived in an apartment building. There was a moment where nothing was heard save for the music, then a thud. It was like magic, then, for the gramophone turned itself off as if by magic.
We sat there for some time, shocked, silent. We heard police sirens, but no noise registered, even as someone knocked upon the door. At last your mother dragged herself to her feet and answered it. Still the rest of us sat still. Two policemen entered, stared about at us, seemed to read the room. One moved forwards, and I daresay he identified himself as the leader of the two, but then such things are common in partnerships. “Hello. My name is Officer Isaiah D’Esterly, and this is my colleague Officer Jebediah Throckmorton. We’re very sorry for your loss, but must now interrupt your evening further. I’m afraid we must ask you some questions.”
Well, they sat us down and, over the course of a very tearful while (I’m afraid I can’t give you a time, for at the time I had lost all perception of it) the story flowed out. Similar to the way I have a story to tell you, I had one to tell them, though it did not provide the cathartic release it does now. Yes, I can see you staring at me, lad. The crazy story from your crazy grandfather. Bah. I’ve heard the tales, from your mother. I know your girlfriend is one of those so-called ‘feminists.’ Take my advice, laddy, leave her now. Such girls are nothing but trouble, especially when they try and warp you against your own family.
But back to the tale, back to the tale. For I have a story to tell you. At some point during our telling of the story to the police, I became aware of a third officer. Or, well, I suppose I should give credit where its due. Your mother, tear-stained and sobbing, grabbed my shirt sleeve and tugged insistently. When I went to shush her she pointed at the third man, the one in the shadows. He didn’t wear a uniform, but rather was dressed in a formal shirt and khakis with an inverness coat on top. I recall I noticed the coat for it hadn’t been in fashion for quite a while, not since I was a lad at the turn of the last century.
He wore a fedora and had a pair of short but strong boots on, all a dull brown look which made him fade into the background. He was very much absent from the setting; he seemed almost to fade out of it even as I stared at him. When he noticed my gaze I saw a brief look of relative alarm flash across his, replaced by a placid and emotionless gaze that seemed to be his norm. He strode forward, then, and the two detectives started with surprise.
I realized they must not have noticed him, nor expected him, and were just as surprised as I to see him, but they at least appeared to know him. “Go...good evening, Detective Ottern.” One stuttered.
“I must confess I didn’t think this was one of yours… but I suppose it has the hallmarks. I’ll leave it to you, then, while I take care of the coronary arrangements.”
And they left, the officers, left us to Detective Ottern. We were done the tale by now, I dare say, and so were rather surprised to meet someone else. But he didn’t need to hear the story; he’d be hearing it once more, he said. Instead, he seemed strangely intent on her facial features before the plunge; the giddy look, the feverish glow to her skin. He listened to us carefully, I thought, although I couldn’t really tell, as he seemed to do everything carefully.
He had a notebook, a small one, in which he took his notes (for I have found that this is generally what one does in a notebook). He looked at us only once in the face, blandly, before nodding his thanks and departing. I stopped him as I went, despair in my gaze. “Was… was this a suicide?”
My throat choked up tearfully as I asked this. He didn’t seem to note this. “Not at all, not at all: I believe this was murder.”
And then he left, leaving me floored. Confused and upset, I set off after him, I must confess without any real goal. He took the stairs, which I thought was odd for our building had one of those new fully automated elevators (they had been invented over two decades prior, but hadn’t really become popular yet; I still don’t completely trust them, but I must admit that they are useful things). But perhaps he didn’t trust them, something I couldn’t fault him that.
He vanished out of my sight, and from there was improbably hard to locate. I went all the way to the bottom of my building, for I could see no reason he should leave the stairwell prior to that. I left the front entrance, saw my wife’s body, and stopped. I won’t describe it to you, for it is too inappropriate to speak of such things, especially as it would be without point. I don’t care about the “liberal” values of this decade, far too violent for my tastes. You may complain about the Comics Code Authority and all its so-called restrictions, but you fail to appreciate how good they are for you… bah. You’ll learn one day, laddy. You all do.
Police milled about the building, and I likely would not have seen Detective Ottern amongst them and the crowd were it not for the fact that he was talking to Officer D’Esterly near the body. I walked over, easily slipping under the police line (I seem to recollect doing this, but in hindsight I really can’t recall if such a line existed back then) and up to them. I didn’t cough or make any other motion to draw attention to myself, but Ottern already seemed to know. “Good evening, once more. Are you sure you want to be here? No, don’t answer that. You wouldn’t be here if you didn’t want to at some level or other; subconscious or not. How can I help you?”
    I looked him straight in the eye. “Why do you think my wife was murdered, Detective?”
    Officer D’Esterly appeared truly surprised: he clearly had not heard this theorem. “Murdered, Murphy? What’s the man talking about? I thought this was some sort of insane… pardon me, mister, I meant no offence… suicide. But murder?”
Detective Ottern, or Murphy Ottern, merely nodded. He looked like he was about to explain himself, then stopped. An expression almost like concern crossed his features. I was about to ask what the problem was, for I had grown tired of this ‘detective’s’ plays at my expense, when I felt the soft pattering of something hard but flaky upon my back, dusting themselves there for but a moment before I had been flung several feet away. Detective Ottern had tackled me, you see, and I was just about to ask him what the matter was (if only by instinct, for I nothing if I am not human) when the body of my middle son, grinning and waving his arms in a madman’s dance, descended suddenly before stopping violently.
Thud.
I blinked back tears of shock and utter confusion, then heard the sounds of a second descent before my wife’s mother joined him. The last tears at her daughter’s sudden, bizarre, and untimely demise were still in her eyes even as she laughed to the grave. Detective Murphy Ottern lept up, then, cursing. “It’s happening far more faster than I thought.”
He raced off, then, while I sat there. I was going to sob, but held myself together. I was the man of the house; it was my job to help my family out of trouble. I followed Murphy, up the stairs nearly as fast as he, just in time to keep my father from dancing out the destroyed windows. I tackled him to the ground, holding him fast as Detective Ottern ushered the rest of my family into a side room, then we dragged my dad over there too.   
He slammed the door shut, only moments before I rounded on him. I was distraught; you can understand. I’m still upset about swearing at him, as it left a bad impression on your mother. “What in hell, Murphy? What’s going on, what’s happening ‘far more faster than you thought’?”
Detective Ottern looked at me, composure the word of the day with him. “Your family has contracted a fast moving strain of a bacteria that’s known to me, and which is known to the paranormal community in which I work as being a particularly nasty disease.”
He looked to me to see if I wanted to interject, but I didn’t, motioned him on, and so he continued. “You are aware that there are typically believed to be two types of cells, yes? Prokaryotes, the simple ones that don’t do much, and eukaryotes, the far more complex ones. In fact there is a third.”
Here I did raise my hand, interrupt him. “Two types of cells?”
He looked almost confused, until something occurred to him.
  • “Ah, yes, yes. You won’t discover DNA until the 1950s, and then it will have already been discovered and you’ll just refuse to acknowledge the discoverer. Stigler’s Law of Eponymy, eh? But pay that no heed, it’s not important to you at this time. What’s far more important is this disease, the third type of cell known as ukuleyotes. Ukuleyotes have an additional organelle called the endoukulele tubule, which secretes an enzyme known as ukulelase into the cell’s triple-stranded DNA and… well, to make a long story short and less confusing, quickly debilitates your immune system by getting all your cells to dance, which of course causes you to dance till you die of exhaustion or some other way associated with it. Such as a window. Your family, unfortunately for you, appears to have contracted one of the fastest strains I’ve ever seen. It typically takes days, not minutes, for you to die as a result of the disease. I guess we’ll just have to act faster, hmmm?”
He reached into a messenger bag at his hip, one that I hadn’t noticed before (although I noticed little of the Detective beyond his presence, and certainly wouldn’t have noticed one dingy little bag), and pulled out a pair of really tiny cymbals. I looked at him and his blank gaze looked back at me, and then the two of us shifted to my family. Your mother was the only one not dancing at this point, spinning and twirling about, and I suspect that was because she was huddled under the bed crying. I, personally, could not see the point to that. After all, when everyone else begins dancing, why not join in? I can think of nothing more fun than dancing, you know; it is the height of my emotional enjoyment.
As I began spinning with my father, I heard a faint sound off in the distance. I didn’t like it, didn’t like this sound, didn’t like the way it reminded me of other things. But it repeated, growing more and more insistent, till it reverberated all about the inner fibers of my being. At last I was forced to my knees by the din, and found myself vomiting into the carpet. It was green, and glowed with a feverish light, and I found the sight most repulsive. I lept to my feet to leave the room, but found the exit blocked off by my terrified daughter and Detective Ottern, who was banging his little pair of cymbals over and over again. I heard almost no noise come out of them, save for a distant and far off squeak.
When he was certain that no one left in the remains of my family was sick, he tucked the cymbals away. He formally introduced himself as Detective Murphy Ottern, the second best paranormal investigator in Canada (which was odd, given that we lived in San Francisco at the time), after which he gave us his condolences on our loss, gave us his card (one to myself, one to my daughter for some G-Dforsaken reason) and left silently. I was no longer aware of his presence only a few feet after he left the room, though your mother stared after him for some time.
I won’t bother you with the funeral details, the crying, the decades of hollowness. I’m not here for that; I have a story to tell you. Now, you may be wondering why I told you this story. It is easy, in your mind and perhaps in mine, to blow it off as the need to pass these stories onto future generations, though I can see you now think me completely insane. Bah, I care nothing for your opinion of my mental faculties; they’re by far less important than my own opinion of my mental faculties. No no, I have a story to tell you for an entirely different reason.
The other day, I was downtown shopping for your birthday dinner with your girlfriend, Delores… you know, the nice salmon steak in teriyaki and rice we made you that day. My oh my, but it was delicious. Whatever else I have to say about your girlfriend, she’s a great girlfriend. Pretty good wine connoisseur as well. But moving on. As we were proceeding through the checkout, I saw Detective Ottern. Not particularly unusual, as he was about my age when I first met him and so should have still been alive. More unusual than that, however, was that I saw Detective Ottern… and he hadn’t aged a day.
Perhaps I shouldn’t be so surprised; he had that kind of timeless personality. Ah well, you know what they say. Live and let live. Speaking of which, I think there’s some more living needs to be done. Where’d you say your mother kept the schnapps, again?

Friday, 23 December 2016

Kaj Ekster Vero? #1: Frosty the Frosty

It occurs to me now that drawing these by hand is perhaps not the best course of action. Ah, well!

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Concerning Frost and 42

There are things in life that excite,
a touch of the bizarre, shattering ennui
like a lake covered with ice
revealed for all to see.

There are many who dislike when it rains in winter,
though I must confess it gives me thrills
to feel the cold patters against my skin
misted breath vanishing in soggy chill.

I care not about the slush,
for I find it a redundant difference from the sultry snow.
Nor do I mind the nascent shivers,
as my clothes are dried from wind, frostily blown.

Instead I am enlightened, joyful,
my steps light and quick.
For 'tis surely the little things
that give life its kick. 

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Christmas Extravaganza, Ho ho NO

AUTHOR'S NOTE: I first began writing this story two years ago, but it never reached completion until today and so was only half-written. This is why the first half (right up until the main character receives the books on pseudoarchaeology and ufology) is so bad, and the second half is barely better (I typically assume the writing style of my past self when editing/extrapolating, which is why it is poorly written in places). All in all, however, it's pretty good (if I may say so). But no matter!


Twas' the night before the holidays,
and all through the house
one creature was stirring
(and it wasn't the mouse).

It was a cool, murky Christmas eve in P'mar, and I was determined to see Santa. I was seven. It was midnight, and I deemed my parents to be asleep, judging by the soft wheezes coming from their room. I slowly crept downstairs, quietly, determined not to ruin my chance and hopes. I had become rather jaded about it all, you see. I suppose it started with the over-exaggerated way my mother remarked to me about the coming of Christmas, and Santa. "Oh look! Christmas is coming! That means we'll get to see Santa again. Isn't that exciting!" The rather forced smile was looking more and more strained. I nodded with a smile of my own, and left the room. The third stair down made a squeak, and I was suddenly returned to reality. I reached the living room and hid quickly behind the couch, determined to know the truth. I waited for what seemed to be an eternity, never dozing off, waiting. Eventually I was rewarded with a sound. But it didn't come from the chimney. It came from my parent's bedroom. My parents showed up then, bleary, yawning. My father scratched his stubble and remarked "You couldn't tell her, could you, Suzanne? And now we're stuck doing this again." My mother shushed him, pointing upstairs towards my bedroom. But my father was not to be quieted. I wondered what was the problem, before he answered my unspoken question; "Come on! It's time she learned that Santa Claus isn't real!"* I nearly burst into tears upon hearing those foreshadowed, depressing words. But deep in my heart I realized I'd known the entire time, and so I kept quiet. My parents promptly began putting the presents down. But then I heard another sound. It was scrabbling, and it was coming from the chimney! My heart leaped with joy. My parents were wrong, he was real! My parents looked up concernedly. "Do you hear that noise, it appears to be coming from the chimney?", my mother remarked. My father went to check, then stumbled back in shock as soot came flying out of the chimney. A long, sooty tentacle drifted downward, latching on to the lip of my fireplace. It was joined by seven others. Then, slowly, a body began to heave itself out. It wiggled out of the tiny chimney, and upon gazing at it, I realized that it was not Santa Claus! It's dark grey-green body churned softly as it alighted. A squid-like head with three deep eye-sockets and no eyes turned around, searching with sightless eyes. It wore a black leather coat, had no legs (instead it had those horrible, long tentacles), and its two arms had clawed tentacles for fingers. It carried a large sack of an indeterminate, opaque, rubbery material. It was joined by two more of its ilk, who proceeded to block off the exits. My heart hammered in my chest. It gazed upon my parents fixedly. It was only then that I noticed the lack of anything on its face other than eye sockets and tentacles, yet it seemed to have the same senses, and possibly more, as me. My mother spoke "Wh-who are you?" The creature responded in a slimy, earsplitting gurgly language. Then it picked up my parents and plopped them into its sack. Its compatriots rummaged through the house, stealing everything. They left nothing. Not even the kitchen sink. They also stole the car, the bathtub, the fridge with the food still inside, and the cupboards which were bolted to the island. And they fit everything into their bags. When they'd stolen everything, including the couch - completely ignoring me, other than to proffer me a lollipop, which I pointedly refused until they stuffed it down my throat and moved on - they then started stealing the inner walls. They only left when there was nothing remaining in the space that had been my house except for a chimney. They then proceeded to climb up the chimney. I thought this odd (on account of the missing walls) till I noticed a weird burst of a never-before-seen colour from the top (they'd made sure to steal the roof before the main walls, so it didn't tumble down around our ears) and they were gone through a strange, shadowy portal. Then an clawed, tentacled arm appeared out of the hole and grabbed the chimney and fireplace, leaving no evidence that they (or my house) had ever existed except for poor, pajamaed me. And that was how the cops found me in the morning. Thank G-D it hadn't been a cold night, or I imagine I would have frozen to death. Regardless, the missing house (even the foundations had been stolen) boggled them. They asked for my story, then didn't believe me when I told them my parents (and the house) had been stolen by squid-people. I asked them who else did they think did it, Santa Claus? They laughed. The case got filed under 'incomplete' and was eventually dropped. I went to a series of homes, laughed at continuously for my story that 'my parents were kidnapped by squid-people, they'll be right back!' Eventually I settled into one where I was ridiculed less and passed away my time studying aquatic biology, biology, the possibilities of sentience in other lifeforms, and other affiliated studies which were connected to the case (cryptozoology, parapsychology, cryptocracy,  demonology, advanced physics) all while not getting adopted due to my 'fragile mental state'. Eventually the ten year anniversary of my parent's abduction arrived. I was still in the orphanage. I was the oldest of 21 kids at age 17. I was depressed about the coming anniversary, but ecstatic about soon being able to leave the orphanage. And so Christmas eve came. The owner and sole runner of the orphanage, Mr. Smith, asked for my help with removing the milk & cookies, hiding the presents, and making it look like Santa had been there. Not having anything better to do, I accepted. It was around midnight, and I was eating away the oreos, when I heard something. Concerned that a child was watching, I went to look, scared at what I might find. The orphanage, thank G-D, didn't have a chimney (I'd cried in terror when forced to stay in one that did) so I was unconcerned about a possible attack from my perceived nemeses. As I went to check on the children, I noticed the movements were coming from the air-vents. I raised the grate and startled a mouse. I nodded in happiness, then retrieved a book on pseudoarchaeology and another on ufology, intending to read them for a little bit. Instead, I sat down and then saw both vanish.
I blinked, surprised, and looked about. To my growing concern, I noticed that several other items from the room had vanished. Several plants, a small table, a picture. I began wheezing nervously, and moved to stumble towards the door upstairs to warn the children. I was stopped by the laughing arm of my colleague, Scias Nenio (I have removed his real name out of deference to the deceased, and added one of my own composition based upon a language I studied to understand interspacial beings, who I believe use it).
"Seriously, man? Don't tell me you still believe in that alien crap. What, it only took a couple missing plants for you to panic and go to... evacuate the children?"
I laughed, trying to offset my nervousness. "No, no, you just unnerved me. I actually thought it was kind of funny; the vanishing books were a nice touch, really."
He looked at me. "Vanishing books? Aŝleja, what in blazes are you talking about?"
I motioned to the place where my books had been. "My books. The ones you grabbed right out from under my hands without my noticing."
He looked at me, concerned. "Aŝleja, I didn't take any books. I have no idea where they wen..."
His last words were cut off with a gargle as he was drawn, kicking and screaming, into a large and rubbery sack. The thing which grabbed him looked down at me, all too familiar. It whargled happily. "Now there, I recognize you. You were that little pinprick who so staunchly refused to accept my lollipop all those years ago. My, how you've grown."
He (I presumed it was a he; I couldn't really tell, but the voice was quite deep, so I presume male) motioned to his colleague, who even now was beginning to strip the tree of all its presents and leaves. "Hey, Anstataŭ, check this out. It's that little girl from all those years ago."
Anstataŭ stopped their butchery of the house in order to walk over and see me. It gazed at me in surprise and befuddlement, rubbing its betentacled hands on its scalp. "Well, you're right, Ĉirkaŭ. How interesting. But we have better things to do, do we not? This house won't kidnap itself."
Ĉirkaŭ agreed with them, and the two returned to their thievery. When they had stripped the room bare, however, and gone to go up the stairs, I planted myself in front of them, spread eagled. They looked at me in bemusement, as five more of their brethren descended from out of the windows.
"Now now, little Antaŭ, why do you think your attempted heroics would do anything more than slow us down? Ah, but we are prepared for such contingencies."
I was lifted off the ground, then, and flung into the sack of the last creature, who had been waiting behind me, having entered with the first two but gone on ahead. I fell into the rubberiness, drifting in an infinite space alongside countless stolen objects. I could see nothing, feel nothing, was alone in the emptiness. Not even my fellow objects were known to me; I could barely sense them with the smallest of proprioceptions.
I floated there, weightless, for an indefinite amount of time, my only way of marking the hours being the occasional opening of light above me, from which I could occasionally see an object such as a chair, bed, or child fall in. Then the silence of the dark, the claustrophobia of the pitch.
This vanished, eventually, as all things must, and I was returned to the light. Or, at least, the less black. I was standing in the street, having been dropped out of the bag where I was being stored. It then occurred to me that I was not in the street; I was where the orphanage used to be, and where it was was only marked by a window hovering in the air.
I glowered at the creatures from the other place, filled with an impotent fury. I was helpless, incapable of protecting those I loved or enacting my revenge, a tool of their strange whims. I blinked back tears.
"Why? Why release me, but take all those others? What do you have against me, that you would force me to suffer so?"
They looked about at each other. "Why, we only hunt physical creatures; not nonphysical entities."
I stared at them in consternation. "I am human, you astral imbeciles."
They clucked. "Stuff and nonsense, stuff and nonsense. You stopped being a physical entity the moment you took my lollipop all those years ago. Now, now you are on of us. One of the Estaĵoj. It's just taking time a little while to catch up, is all."
And they left, through the window. It was just as before, with the window vanishing after them, only this time they left a ruined wake of a human being behind them.

I scoffed at their silly notions that some magical lollipop could affect me so, at least for a couple years after. I must confess I laugh no longer, not now that I tread the starlit skies along them and wait for the moment, that precious moment where Christmas cheer becomes Christmas fear and the universes collide.

*These views are the opposite of the author. As mentioned in "All About the Time I Saw Santa Claus" (December, 2016), I have met the red man and very firmly believe that he exists. It's just all you buffoons who have convinced yourself that he hasn't who are responsible for that blither blather.

Thursday, 15 December 2016

The Faerie's Aura of Mystique

'Twas the Ides of March,
but wintry winds still whipped
across the path,
and a layer of frost
still covered grass that
burned with impatient wrath.
An ancient faerie with little age,
and last of her ilk,
who had a fiery mystique,
turned he gaze to humanity
expression unabated.
She strode amongst us to seek the truth,
but she found nothing but lies;
deceit and anger, hatred, slaughter from a dark society.
Disgusted by our youthful race
and its self-destructive nature,
she cursed us for all time.
"As you don't know yourselves,
so shall your visage reflect;
a personality personified."
And she vanished then, for aeons to come,
deep into the ground
where she'll sleep forevermore,
or at least until we break the curse.
And man is not cognizant,
of her, her curse or its effects,
for reality shifted little,
and our perceptions stayed the same.
And could we break the curse?
Well, the answer remains to be seen,
for ten thousand years have passed
and we haven't changed a thing.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Ignorance

I am enwrapped in silence,
like a warm and all-coating blanket.
It keeps me safe, I feel, from the outside.
There are monsters there, their
slavering jaws and slimy teeth
staring, always staring.
But they can't find me here,
beneath my blanket of silence.
Right?

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

A Definition of Respect

I’ve noticed a lack of respect,
In our savoir-faire, our sense of tact.
Which if I may put it bluntly,
Find most highly disgruntling.
But who do we have to blame,
For the problems, for the pain?
Is it the vile demagogues,
    Whose lies and filth cast truth in fog?
To serve their litanies of hate.
Or perchance it is the rabid dogs,
    The press, who seek to suppress,
    Logic beneath their emotional scheme.
And so on the seas of shattered dreams
I drift, afloat in misery.
For perhaps it is us, the common peon,
Who left from all our innocent shores
To row merrily into monsters’ jaws
And helped transition bores to boors? 

 (written in response to changing global affairs and a mock Federal-Provincial conference I recently attended) 
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1nkh0HMt3s6vvp2B-_Q2kTLZigW-N4VhG9mfOBB-E4s4/edit

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Ode to the Big City

Tis' a city of fecund morbidity
where faces and places lie sallow.
There is little of nature or life in its body,
for many, a bitter pill to swallow.

And yet, there is something about them.
A crazed, desperate tone pervades their walls,
an assertion of existence, of being.
A strange charm which belies their infernality.

I suppose this is why we congregate,
linger in those hallowed halls.
For their nature and ours are intertwined,
a strand of DNA with its heights and falls.

Yet still, I hate the big city,
its being foul and obscene.
And I find the smoke that wreathes the sky,
its essence; debauched and depraved.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1nkh0HMt3s6vvp2B-_Q2kTLZigW-N4VhG9mfOBB-E4s4/edit

Monday, 5 December 2016

All About the Time I Saw Santa

Hey, all, this one is something of a story-like chat post, if that all makes sense. But to get to it, did you guys know that I still believe in Santa Claus? Yeppers, despite being almost 17 (give it a week, or rather three days), I believe in the flying bearded fat man. But did I ever tell you why? No? Well, I suppose I would never have had the opportunity till now. But nevertheless, forsooth to me, then. And so here it is, a story all about the time I saw Santa.
It was back in 2012, the year the world ended. On December 21st the world came to an end, as we all know, and the following morning I had my Bar Mitzvah (ah, truly it was the end of the world). Two days later, as was natural, it was Christmas eve. I find it rarely varies, and is quite abnormally continuous in its date. But no matter.
Still jittery from my Bar Mitzvah, I found myself quite incapable of sleep and so went downstairs for a small snack about elevenish. I rooted about the fridge until I located some delicious sufganiyah (fried and jelly-filled doughnuts, for all you sad uncultured goyim), and sat down at the table to eat my yummy treat. As I was finishing the last one, all of a sudden, the oven door swung open (I don’t have a chimney). A sooty fat man in red popped out of it, landing in the middle of my kitchen floor, twirling a sack about his head, and shouting ‘ho ho ho’!
He looked at me then, as I looked at him. “Errm… I’m a bank robber?” he tried nervously.
I continued staring at him, giving him an incredulous look as I cocked one eyebrow. He fingered his collar, sweating. “Um… Errm… Will you keep silent if I give you one of those nice motorized toy cars?”
I motioned to the living room with my head, and he looked. “Oh… No tree, huh? Don’t particularly care to practice? Well, that would explain why my Kiddy-Sleep-Inator didn’t work. How about we make an exception this year? You never know, miracles could happen.”
I shook my head. “Sorry, pal. Jewish. We already had our eight nights of fun back at Chanukkah. I already got all the presents I need, from the Mystical Chanukkah Fairy - aka mom and dad. But no worries, I wouldn’t talk regardless: I’m not that mercenary.”
His shoulders drooped in a mixture of relief and (for some reason) disappointment, and he seemed to wilt a little. “Oh… so then you don’t have any milk and cookies either, I take it?”
Once more, I shook my head. “No… but we have some grape juice and latkes. Would you care to try them?”
He looked really excited. “Latkes? I love those things, especially with sour cream. You don’t mind sharing?”
“Not at all.” And I removed the latkes from the fridge, along with the grape juice, some sour cream, and applesauce (my personal favourite for latkes, although I too am partial to sour cream). And so we laughed and talked for about twenty minutes (about life in the North Pole, elf labour treatment laws, the best recipes for venison. You know, that sort of thing), until he stood up. “Well, I’m afraid I’ll have to go. Presents won’t deliver themselves, as you well know.”
He grabbed his sack and went to the oven door, then stopped, turned back to me. “Say, you won’t tell anyone about this, will you?”
I shook my head. “Probably not, and they’d never believe me if I did.”
And I was right; you don’t. But it’s true, I swear: I met Santa Claus the night we shared latkes after the world ended.

Saturday, 3 December 2016

How to Properly Use the Tim Hortons Drive Thru



There comes a time in everyone’s day where you decide you need a tasty beverage. When this does invariably occur, there is a very good chance you will choose to go to a Tim Hortons, and let’s be frank: we are creatures of convenience, so you’re probably not going to enter the store by foot. You’ll use the drive thru.
But how does one use the drive thru? There is a correct fashion, after all, a certain sense of etiquette or savoir-faire that one must follow should they desire to use this service correctly. This is not only for your benefit, but also for the assistance of the employees. So, I have explained the necessity, now the method.  
Firstly and perhaps most importantly, it is highly important that one acquires several dozen used cigarettes before one goes to the drive thru. If you do not have these cigarettes, ask a friend to give you his. Taking used coffee cups, plastic bags, and food garbage is also beneficial. Upon arrival at the restaurant, it is necessary that one should dispose all of these cigarettes along the track of the drive thru. Make sure to scatter them about, on both sides of the track and as far as can be.
While a part that people often think they can get away without doing, this is in fact the most important aspect of using the drive thru. There is a good reason for this; it serves to both remind you of the existence of the employees who have to pick them up, and also helps tell the employees that you care. As such, it is a grave transgression to use a Tim Hortons’ drive thru and not toss cigarettes on the ground lest you offend not only Tim Hortons and its employees but also your own dignity.
The next few steps center largely about what to order. Now, the drive thru claims you can order whatever you want but again, in actuality, there is a set list of proper products one must order should one want to maintain proper societal etiquette. The first is considering how many people there are in your car; once one has done so (more is, of course, better), one can order coffee.
It is usually wise to order the same coffee for every person in your car. This is one small, with a one quarter cream, one quarter milk, one quarter sugar, and one quarter sweetener. Make sure to order the same thing for each person, and to include each item in the quantity given. This is of the utmost importance, for there are few coffees so blessed in their structure and layout for a person than the aforementioned.
Something important to interject and remark upon, at this junction, is what to do when ordering. It is usually wise to gun your engine every few seconds while doing so, and make sure that each person in your car attempts to individually order their coffee and food by talking over one another. Only this way can you ensure that the employees are truly listening.
Next, have each member of the car order a meal. Make sure to give the number for the meal and ask for a meal, then proceed to order a mix of paninis and wraps (an equal mix is preferable, but this is ultimately up to you). Instead of potato wedges, one should order a muffin heated and buttered. This is the ultimate in Tim Hortons’ confectionery cuisine, and should be respected as such when ordering from the drive thru.
Next, the communal dessert: timbits. Everyone’s favourite snack and a vital part of Tim Hortons cuisine, you’ll need at least fifty of them. When asked if you want them ‘assorted’, respond no. ‘Assorted’ will merely mark you as lazy and indeterminate: instead, give concise orders for exactly which timbits you want, making sure to pick such small numbers of each so as to effectually get them assorted, but not said that way. Make sure the employee is picking them up and putting them in the box as you do this.
Now, this entire process has probably taken a fairly long time, so you’re probably pretty fed up with the whole process. Your speech should, ideally, become much more snappish and unintelligible as you go through the order. When you get up to the front window, you’ll probably pay by debit/tim’s card (cash is more painful to the employees to count out, and besides, you’ll want it for when you order inside the store the next day) and then, thinking you’ve completed the process, drive off without getting any of your food, coffee, or timbits (and muffins, of course).
Now, you did just pay a minimum of $15 for your order, so you’re going to be pretty upset at this mishap (supposed mishap; it is in actuality a vital part of determining Tim Hortons freshness and cleanliness standards on your behalf so as to ensure that you understand what great restaurateurs have provided you service), and as such it is okay to return to the drive thru. Merely drive past the order machine and straight to the final window, apologize for the mishap, and ask for your order.
Once you have achieved all this in the proper fashion, one may enjoy one’s meal. I find the parking lot of the Tim Hortons is the best place to do this, but I leave it ultimately up to you. We all have our preferences, after all, and who can fault us?