There was a popular photo of a 90’s era McDonalds ashtray on Reddit, and it brought back so many childhood memories, back in a time when hefty ashtrays adorned every table like glass roses, and florescent lighted rooms were foggy with those dry, earthy-sweet fumes.
That’s a wrap for inktober 2017! You can also follow me on instagram @_automaton for more frequent updates and works in progress.
“As Hector chanted the last of those blasphemous words, the empty space before me shimmered and twisted, then seemed to ‘tear open’ into a hole that was neither light nor darkness, flickering with a thousand colours yet no colour at all.
From this ingress the terrible beast emerged, though not as one enters through a doorway, rather the form seemed to be arriving and leaving, while already there, all at once! The effect dazzled mine eyes and mind such that I may have fainted if it were not for the sheer terror wrenching at mine heart!
The piercing shrieks from Hector began and ended as abruptly as a snapped lute string, and then only thick, dead silence. The cluttered study before me was unchanged, no hole, nor any trace of action, and no Hector. Only a gaseous glimmer of strange colours.”
“I awoke from mine slumber troubled with nebulous rememberances of ghastly things. I arose from the bed, no longer pleasant for it was dank with cold sweat.
I looked out the bay window of mine second storied tavern room, and saw nothing in the night sky save for the moon, waning to a wicked grin.
The sound of hurried galloping broke out in the near distance, somewhere below. By the faint moon gleam I could hardly discern the form of a horse with rider. At this sight, mine hairs prickled in gooseflesh, and an eerie feeling arose that while I had lain in mine disturbed torpor, something, ‘somebody’ had seated atop mine chest.”
Run was all I could do when I beheld the blaze of infernal mane mantled upon that nightmare head, and even as mine ears filled with the drum thunder of mine bursting heart, I could hear the echo of that terrible cackling bellow.”
Journal entry pending.
“On a moonlit night, I was traveling toward the outskirts of town. Somewhere along the cold, cobbled paths, a low, inky form arose, slinking beneath the shadowed eaves. I steadied mine nerves and quickened mine pace.
The long shape vaulted dexterously over street clutter and debris with silent, aqueous motion.
A vixenly voice slipped out from the shadow, and I drew sharp breath in startlement, but recognition came to mine senses as I listened.
“Alive without breath,
As cold as death,
Clad in mail never clinking,
Never thirsty, ever drinking.
What am I?”
“A fish.” I replied in a moment, as my recollections came together.
“It walks on four legs in the morning,
two legs at noon and – ”
“Man.” I countered, before she could exhaust that ageless riddle.
A shaft of silver moonbeam traced over the path, revealing a flitting image that I had now anticipated: a feminine face with eyes that shone like gold gilded mirrors.
The air hung silent for a moment before she continued:
“What does man love more than life
Fear more than – ”
“Don’t you have mice to catch?” I mockingly cut in.
She swung around to give a resentful hiss before bounding up and across the rooftops with feline swiftness.
The dead silence felt heavy now, and I rather regretted the contemptuous dismissal of my unlikely companion, for any company might gladden the cheerless night journey.”
“First, harvest a plump mandrake root during the equinox when the sun is at zenith. Take the twine from a noose with which a man has been hanged, and bind the root with it to fasion the aspect of a body, and stain the whole with the master’s seed.
In the same day, at midnight, the effigy must be buried over the grave of a dead man.
For thirty days it must be norished wisely with a solution of goat’s milk, man’s blood and sap of oak. At the last, the master is to crop the growth, and gather it into a knot to be carried always.”
– alchemical formula for a golem of mandragola
Journal entry pending.
“Not a true devil as the villagers reckon, or even a half fiend, but a mortal beast by mine deductions, and mine own witnessed sight of most ghastly intrigue.
In the woods of the Black Hills I was, upon learning of the recent child snatching.
Mine foray was short for I had no desire to over stay in these treacherous woods, but it did bear fruit.
I had strayed from the almost imperceptible, overgrown footpath when I saw it: under the cavernous hollow of an ageless, gnarled yew tree, there hunched the wretchedly haggard shape. The beast had not at first perceived my presence, for it was studying a form that appeared to be a swaddled babe.
Not only this, scrutinous reader, I do believe what mine eyes had seen, although the primordial growth of that dank forest did blot out the sun: the beast, she, had craddled the babe to her body to suckle from her engorged teat!”
Journal entry pending.
Journal entry pending.
Journal entry pending.
“A true natural beast or a concoction of the perverse, I have yet to discern proper.
Regardless, this being is equal parts frightening and exquisite, for it is no giant spider of the brutish type: it does not hunt nor does it sit idle in its web, rather, using its stilts, it plucks the unique silk with remarkable virtuosity to resonate forth a delicately sweet melody.
This mesmeric sound rings gently through caverns and woods, and neither unwitting Man nor curious beast can resist its allure.”
“Not to be confused with the more treacherous Greater Gibber, this carrion feeder of wiccan origins is rather lame and skittish.
One aged account tells of a township that was overrun and desecrated by an innumerable mob of the beasts: supposedly these vermin retain the carnal appetites of their former corpus and are apt to join together in the most unholy of communion to spawn uncounted blasphemous offspring.”
“An uncannily frightful visage, none living have witnessed this unlikely possession, although the reason is not as you guess, dear reader. This spirit does not, by accounts seem particularly malignant.
The last telling of such a possession was by my late aunt, whose tales are generally forthright. The apparition took hold when one sorry fool had ‘laughed himself to death’ during the procession of his cousins funeral.”
“In one of my outings through the country, I took shelter from storm inside the barn of a pleasant township. Atop that barn perched the most uniquely peculiar artefact, a chimeric stone gargoyle!
My enthusiatic enquiry was fulfilled by my host: this ‘king cockrille’ is a ward handed down from an antiquated age long since passed. Supposedly, when the moon has waxed gibbous, this sentry arouses to guard against the baleful forces, and in the morn at daybreak, declares his victory with a vociferous cry.
I say supposedly, because it would seem that whatever compelling essensce, if it ever were, has long since faded, but I’m not one to besmirch the gentle superstitions of a kind folk.”
“A carrion feeder even more vile than the usual, although harmless, the muculent grotesque mass is so repugnant I can scarcely describe.
There is a more woeful aspect to this creature as discovered by one Professor Carter, who was a connoisseur of all things strange: one such wurm was unwittingly unearthed during the exhumation of a village grave plot. The wurm revealed inside the coffin was no common one, for it was inert and its rind hardened into a crust, akin to the pupa of a beetle.
Professor Carter promptly arranged for the curio to be transported to his collection house, as the news had no doubt spread quickly by the cemetary workers, words about a ‘bad omen’.
It was thought that Professor Carter had shut himself up with the item in order for his enthralled studies, but it was found by an acquaintance some several days later that the Professor was absent. Nobody has seen nor heard from him since.
A most curious thing I did come upon during my examination of the house: I had found the encrusted wurm to be spoiled by a fissure that had rent the body almost in twain, however, by my diligent assessment this was not the exploratory incisions of Professor Carter, rather, the cleavage was done from the inside.”
“When man was dawning upon this land, the toad was already chancellor of the water.
Growing jealous of his new neighbours, the toad surreptitously asked the maker “O maker, give to me bulbous eyes so that I may better enjoy my neighbours!”
The maker saw that this was good and made it so.
Uncontented, the toad asked again “O maker, give to me vigorous legs so that I may leap from the water to frolic with my neighbours!”
The maker thought that this was fine and made it so.
Unable to hold his resentment, the toad demanded “O maker, give to me a vast body so that my neighbours will flee from my presence, give to me a lashing tongue so that I may taste the flesh of my neighbours, and give to me terrible teeth so that I may feast on the bones of my neighbours!”
The maker replied “I shall cast you out from my garden, toad, for your heart has grown wicked.”
Without repentance, the toad said “very well, I shall find another to make me in mine own image.”