Trump says U.S. will Reopen, “Giant Saucers or no Giant Saucers”

Speaking from beneath the shadow of a flying saucer, President Trump addressed a frightened nation, “Earlier this month everyone was wondering if those Navy UFO videos were real. I thought they were. Then boom! I was right. But that’s no reason to call in sick. It’s time for Americans to stop saucer-gazing and get back to work.”

None of the White House press corps had their eyes on the president. They were too busy craning their necks at the spacecraft, with its fifteen mile radius stretched over Washington D.C.

Hours earlier the alien mothership created a shockwave that leveled a huge section of the Russian Boreal Forest. At one fourth of the moon’s size the craft has already had an impact on the tides. The streets of Seattle, Portland, and Los Angeles are all under water, making it impossible for those cities to proceed as normal.

President Trump continued, “These developments have brought excitement to our nation’s business centers and the stock market is firing on all cylinders. Look at all of the trade opportunities. Look at the hungry new market just knocking on our door. They have crossed the divide between time and space to make a deal and the deal maker in chief is ready to come to the table.”

The president advised low income families to remain in the inner cities and resume working. He warned not doing so would disqualify them from receiving temporary assistance, unemployment, SNAP benefits, Medicaid, and property tax refunds.

That’s when an ominous green glow radiated from the underbelly of the craft, showcasing the intricacy of its design. Members of the press corps shot up from their seats with their mouths agape. The vessel blossomed like a giant argent flower.

President Trump tried to draw the crowd’s attention back down to earth. “I for one like the shade. It’s nice not having to wear sunscreen.”

The warning fell on deaf ears

Right before the president’s address, David Levinson, a satellite technician, was on the radio warning the American public about an alien threat. Levinson had evidence the saucers were using our satellite network to send encrypted messages to each other. He had decoded one and found a countdown. Levinson urged everyone to flee the major cities.

Truckers heard Levinson’s call to action and coordinated a relief effort over their CB radios. They lined their semis along Pennsylvania Avenue and did their best to wave the White House staff in. The plan was to fill the rigs with as many people as possible and drive them all to safety. When the truckers failed to get anyone’s attention they resorted to honking.

President Trump saluted the truckers. “And you hear that? That beautiful sound. Those are truckers that are with us all the way. Those are honks of support. They’re telling us to stay the course.” The president pantomimed pulling the cord for an air horn. “I love those guys. Tough guys. Manly guys. Big burly guys. The kind of guys that would sweep you off your feet and not show any lower back strain. Just carry you over the threshold like it was nothing.”

A bright turquoise beam illuminated the White House. Several members of the press core fell to their knees and clasped their hands in prayer.

The president didn’t notice. He gave two thumbs up and shouted, “Giant saucers or no giant saucers we are back in business!”

Then there was a spark and the cameras went dark.

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Continue reading Trump says U.S. will Reopen, “Giant Saucers or no Giant Saucers”

Wisconsin Supreme Court Votes to Invite Vampires into all Dwellings

In a stunning reversal of Governor Tony Evers’s sundown curfew the Wisconsin Supreme Court issued an open invitation to all vampires into every dwelling within State lines. This includes private property, secure facilities, nightclubs, schools, and hospitals.

In vampire lore, ancient magics prevent the undead from entering these spaces uninvited. Once invited vampires are free to come and go until ownership changes. With this ruling, the only way for Wisconsin to rescind its invitation would be to secede from the union.

The effect was immediate

It wasn’t long before photos of crowded blood banks showed up on social media. Bloodsuckers took selfies from the ceiling as receptionists cowered beneath them. Some vampires donned stolen stethoscopes. Others wore brown stained scrubs.

The vampires instructed their familiars to pass around bartending gear. The medical staff was given one instruction. “You’ll need this to live.”

The technicians were immediately overwhelmed, mixing blood cells in cocktail shakers, pouring plasma from liquor spouts, stirring platelets with bitters droppers. Worse still, the vampires swarmed them with esoteric drink orders.

“Barkeep! I’ll have an Ottoman Sultan.”
“I’d like a Judas sunrise, easy on the serum.”
“One red dragon, for me and my friend.”

Once served the vampires clinked their glasses and sang, “Should Old Acquaintance be forgot, and never thought upon…”

Kaylee Suther was doing her rounds when a flurry of red capes descended onto her wing. All of sudden she was cramped behind a gurney mixing drinks. “This is what survival looks like. We watched them flip a colleague, stick him with a spigot, and drain him like a kegger. Every phlebotomist on the floor became a mixologist, like that.” She snapped.

Vampires are expanding their hunting grounds

Emboldened by Wisconsin’s crucifix shortages, vampires are appearing in the suburbs.

One vampire, in a long velvet gown, was seen etching glyphs into neighborhood watch signs. Another, in a corset with a keyhole neckline, was spotted collecting satellite dishes. And another, in a lace ensemble with sleeves that hung to the ground, was seen conducting a swarm of fireflies through the night sky.

Doorbell footage shows vampires scouting homes for defenses, unchaining pets, and ultimately hurtling doors into the trees.

Jason Campbell describes one such encounter. “I ducked behind the kitchen island when I heard the door tear off the frame. There was nothing in the reflection on the oven, but when I peeked around the corner there was vampire at the entryway. His foot was hovering over the threshold like he was testing the water. When he stepped inside he announced his presence, ‘I’ve invited myself in.’ He spoke with a put-on eastern European accent. You know when people sound like hicks, but they’re not from the south? He tented his satin gloves with childlike glee, ‘I’ve waited so long to say that.’

That’s when my father sprayed him with the AR-15. Groin, abdomen, chest, and face. Dad nailed every zone. The vampire fell flat on his back with a splat. I crawled over to check the body, but before I could the vampire was up again, pounding his fist into my father’s face. The vampire spat the bullets into his palm and one by one set them into my father’s gums. My mother and I were helpless to do anything, but listen. After an agonizingly long series of whelps and gurgles the vampire said, ‘Now you look like you’re happy to see me.’

The vampire bared his fangs and bit into my father. He took his time slurping, like he was imbibing a fine wine. He corked the bite mark and took a moment to swish the blood around in his cheeks. After gurgling it down he asked my father, ‘Were you born in 73? That was such a delicious vintage.’”

Fortunately for Jason the vampire drank its fill after draining both his parents. Other communities weren’t so lucky. Just ask Felix Afton the lone survivor of the Woodland Hills massacre.

Vampires are targeting wealthy neighborhoods

Felix Afton describes the night vampires took over his planned community.

“They rammed the gate with a jet black party bus. They blasted Toccata and Fugue in D minor for all the neighborhood to hear. Then they floated up to the windowsills and dove right in. I survived by spending the night inside my tanning bed. I knew those UV rays would keep me safe.”

The next morning Felix Afton found his neighbors’ entrails strung between pillars like a Viking blood eagle, their severed heads lining picket fences, and their bodies impaled on flag poles.

“The worst part is that party bus is still there, blaring Bach. It looks like these leech people are in for the long haul.”

Reports of vampire squatters are coming in from Whitefish Bay, Fox Point, and Elm Grove.

According to Mr. Afton the Woodland Hills vampires have begun draping fumigation tents over their windows, converting panic rooms into mausoleums, and importing coffins.

“Sometimes I see the Vampires walking survivors on leashes. I saw the Hutchens out there in their underwear with ball gags in their mouths. They had bitemarks up and down their necks. The vampires took turns glamouring them, making the Hutchens do tricks for their amusement.”

Mr. Afton has since invested in a fumigation tent, corpse blue body paint, and a pair of prosthetic fangs.

“Last night I saw them burning the Woodland Hills welcome sign in the middle of the street. The next day I went to see what had taken its place. The plaque read ‘Welcome to Hellmouth Heights.’”

Mr. Afton says he plans on moving once the housing market rebounds.

Wisconsin is a test bed for how other states will handle the vampire epidemic

The Fieldview Meat Packing plant is under new management. Lord Nicolai Chrysanthus has cut the first and second shifts and replaced all the nighttime staff. He’s broken contracts with meat suppliers. And according to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency he’s left a mountain of viable product on the backlot to rot. Surveillance satellites show trucks unloading the plant’s newest meat source. It’s people. Of course it’s people.

Wisconsin’s restaurants are reopening and people are on every menu. Food trucks are serving blood battered limbs and even ice cream vans have a new assortment of toppings.

Disheartened by the carnage Governor Tony Evers said, “It’s like a Transylvanian blood orgy out there. I tried to keep people safe, but Justices Corpsewood, Paganmilk, Thornpierce, and Veintide voted me down. I can only recommend that people avoid crowded spaces, especially ones where virgins might congregate.”

Meanwhile Minnesota is planting garlic along the state lines. Michigan is digging a mote of holy water. Iowa is lining their edge with cheval de frise embattlements. And Illinois is lighting their border on fire.

More on the story as it develops.

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Continue reading Wisconsin Supreme Court Votes to Invite Vampires into all Dwellings

How Contact Tracing Could Slow the Spread of The Ring Video

Are you having night terrors, followed by waking hallucinations? Are you experiencing nosebleeds despite never having any preexisting allergies? Are you hearing tape hiss even though you don’t own a VCR? Are you feeling a strong compulsion to scratch faces out of magazines or draw circles on the ceiling?

Look around. Are there flies in the faucets? What about millipedes? Are your TVs powering on and off on their own? Does your phone appear to be weeping from the speaker?

These are the early warning signs of Samara Morgan syndrome, a condition that proves fatal within 7 days, if left untreated.

Does any of the following apply to you?

You’ve seen a swirling smudge ever time you’ve tried to take a selfie. You’ve spotted phantom silhouettes darting across reflective surfaces. You’ve discovered handprints burned onto your forearm. You’ve unspooled an EEG electrode from the back of your throat.

You’ve been attacked horses or deer.

When lightning flashed outside your windows you saw a monochromatic field with an old stone well. You’ve since spotted temporal distortions in the recesses of your home. You’ve stepped into your bedroom and touched down upon the cushion of a padded cell. You’ve opened your closet and found horizontal droplets falling into a vertical puddle. You’ve entered your garage and discovered a ladder to an attic that was never there before.

You’ve felt a presence in the bathtub. Your hair has felt dry, itchy, and matted with foreign fingers. You’ve experienced gravitational anomalies centralized around your showerhead. Your ceiling is pooling with inverted streams.

If all of the above is true you may be in the late stages of Samara Morgan Syndrome.

Where does Samara Morgan Syndrome come from?

Samara was the adopted daughter of Anna and Richard Morgan. When she was young neuroscientists discovered that she had a psychic ability known as thoughtography. It allowed he to burn images from her mind onto film and wood. It also allowed her to broadcast her visions. A power Samara used to terrorize her parents and then the horses in the stable where she slept. Irritated by all the nighttime neighing, Samara spooked the horses over the edge of a cliff.

Samara died in 1980 when her foster mother pushed her down a well. She was ten.

The well was built over. Now a cabin sits in its place and home entertainment center stands directly over Samara’s watery grave. While Samara’s corpse is submerged, her abilities have far from faded. A fact she’s proven to a group of rowdy teens.

The teens had rented the cabin above Samara’s well. They tried to record a football game, but failed to get reception, and when they rewound the tape the recording had turned into something else. Samara had burned a psionic vision onto VHS, an autobiography filled with experimental visuals, writhing bodies, abstract gore, and pain triggers.

Before the teenagers could process what they’d seen the phone rang.

“Seven days.” The voice whispered on the other end.

Scared and bewildered, the teens had no idea they were at ground zero for a pandemic of the soul.

How the curse spread

This is how CDC describes the life cycle of Samara Morgan Syndrome:

  • An individual watches the video and becomes afflicted
  • The afflicted becomes an unwitting medium for Samara’s thoughtography.
  • Hallucinations give way to physical phenomenon: ring shaped scarification, handprint burns, and brail scabbing.
  • The afflicted encounters ghostly projections surveying their surroundings.
  • The stone well appears on the nearest screen. Samara crawls through and kills the afflicted with a single psychokinetic glance.
  • OR the afflicted makes a copy of the video, shows it to someone else and the cycle repeats itself.

According to the CDC, the spread of Samara Morgan Syndrome had diminished with the shuttering of video chains. It resurged recently when a digitized copy appeared online. It’s since gone global, spreading through email chains, converting contact lists into grave plots.

Now the nation’s dormitories are teaming with the bodies. Samara’s victims are characterized by eyes drained of light, skin bleached of color, and jaws yawning off their hinges.

CCTV cameras have spotted Samara everywhere from rural shacks to planned communities. Her current manifestation assumes the form of a Japanese onryō, a vengeance spirit with a veil of straight black hair. Her complexation is pale, loose, and wrinkled with a layer of black veins like liquid marble. She wears the tattered ribbons she died in and stands several feet taller than she ever did in life.

Is the Ring Video Protected by the First Amendment?

The CDC wants to keep Samara out of public spaces without banning TVs, laptops, tablets, and cellphones.

“The key is to identify infection sources and neutralize them.” Says Robert R. Redfield, director of the Center of Disease Control.

The CDC has implemented an artificial intelligence to scrub the Internet for keyframes from Samara’s video. Once a frame is flagged the host is contacted. A coalition of social networks have agreed to block the video. The problem is none of them are required to take it down. A problem the current administration refuses to take executive action on.

The president refused to acknowledge the situation until a fifty foot Samara emerged from a Times Square jumbotron and lumbered through downtown Manhattan.

“Now we know that manifestation was unsettling, but really, she was only after one person. If the other pedestrians had gotten out of the way they’d have been fine.”

Despite that episode the administration refuses to take any steps to stave off the spread of the video.

Free speech advocates argue that any government action would be a violation of the first amendment, while constitutionalists argue the video constitutes a clear and present danger, like yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater.

Using contact tracing to stop Samara Morgan

The CDC is using contact tracing to identify anyone who may have come into contact with the video. The goal is to quarantine the curse and prevent it from spreading. This is proving to be a hard sell for those who are already afflicted. They are faced with the decision to pass the curse on or await a death sentence.

Robert R. Redfield, of the CDC says, “We traced the spread of the video to a research laboratory at Washington State. Students chronicled their visions as their seven days wound down. They then passed the video on to volunteers that they called ‘tails.’ When the students ran out of tails, they spread the video throughout community. Our mission is to follow the chain of victims.”

After quarantining many of the afflicted, the CDC went to great lengths to find state sanctioned “tails” to be the final links in Samara’s chain. It was the Department of Justice who proposed utilizing the nation’s overcrowded prison population.

Can Americans flatten the curse?

The CDC recommends the general public take preventative measures against the Ring video by installing a browser extension that blocks sites that are known to host it. While the extension is 99% effective many American aren’t too keen on the idea of letting Big Brother surf over their shoulder.

The Justice Department warns it has already cycled through the death row inmates they’d set to use as tails. Now they’re showing the video to prisoners with multiple life sentences. Soon they’ll have to use low level offenders. This could prove challenging after November’s election. A new administration might choose to broaden the definition of cruel and unusual punishment. Then America will be forced to outsource its tails to foreign prisons.

Nevertheless the director of the CDC remains optimistic. “Education programs, browser extensions, and contact tracing are far less invasive containment methods than the ones we used during the It Follows pandemic of 2014. Compared to that keeping Samara in her watery grave will be a piece of cake.”

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Continue reading How Contact Tracing Could Slow the Spread of The Ring Video

Health Officials Quarantined Until White House can Determine Which One is the Devil

Monday’s Bizarre New Conference

This Monday President Trump held a press conference on his coronavirus response efforts. The event came to an abrupt end when he spoke in tongues, bent over backwards, and spider walked through the Rose Garden.

The first sign something was off came when the president was asked to address test shortages.

“As far as Americans getting a test they should all be able to get a test. They might not be thrilled about the dark passenger behind their eyelids, but they’ll get a test.”

The President was asked if there was a double standard, since White House Staffers could get tested, while normal Americans could not.

“If we didn’t get the tests you’d be up here complaining. I understand you very well. Better than you understand yourself. We children of Belial hear whispers in the ether and yours come through quiet clear. As meek as your internal monologue is, buddy, the angel of lawlessness hears it.”

Reporters were struck by how incoherent and yet articulate the president had become.

Trump was then pressed to elaborate on a tweet accusing former President Obama of the “Biggest political crime in American history.”

“What crime do you believe Obama of committing and do you believe the justice department should prosecute him?”

“Obamagate. You know what the crime is. The crime is obvious to everybody. He sat at Empusa’s table and failed to make a blood offering. Now it’s on us to pick up his tab.”

From there the President’s statements got weirder.

Weijia Jiang of CBS News asked why Trump was bragging about the amount of testing in the US. “Why is this a global competition to you if every day Americans are still losing their lives and we’re still seeing more cases every day?”

The president flared his nostrils. “That’s a nasty question. Don’t ask me that question, ask Mesopotamia that question and when you ask them that question I’ll bet they’ll tell you all about the wrath of Erra. The tower of Babel was battered in blood long before it fell. Believe me.”

“Excuse me? The wrath of who?”

“Can you blame a death god for getting bored when he sees dust upon his swords?”

“What swords? What are talking about?”

President Trump bit his lip. “When his tall shadow stands over your pillow and you feel his weight upon your chest, you’ll know.”

Weijia Jiang’s demeanor shifted. “Mr. President? Do you need us to flag one of the doctors down for you?”

That’s when the president’s eyes rolled into the back of his head and his face went flush. “The dragon has risen. You failed to see the scales for the land. We are but worms writhing on hungry tongues. Soon the hydra will swallow us all!”

The press core heard an audible crack and then the president bent over backward and spat blood across the grass.

A Discovery of Witches in the West Wing

This Thursday, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany offered an explanation for the bizarre conference. The president was being puppeteered by Satan himself.

“We have reason to believe the devil has been squatting in the Emergency Operations Center. Last Tuesday military personnel noticed a black mold growing in the Reagan tunnels. A closer examination revealed a walled off room where something had been nesting.”

Kayleigh McEnany clicked a remote. A dilapidated room came over the projection screen .

Mold arched over the ceiling like the vaulted roof of a gothic cathedral. The cinderblocks were exposed and eroded down to sand. The floor was littered with paint chips.

Each piece of furniture was an antique, likely pilfered from the White House itself. Everything was arranged in a circle and every surface was covered in candles. The wax runoff streaked to the floor like icicles in a frozen waterfall.

She clicked the remote.

“Military personal found a credenza fashioned into a makeshift altar. On it they found a poppet, more commonly referred to as a ‘spell doll.’ The doll was made from taglocks. These are personal items, which allowed the devil to use sympathetic magick on the president. The items included: a pair of platinum cufflinks, a lock of long blonde hair, a red 60-inch tie, and a custom sharpie pen.”

She clicked the remote.

“Not far from the altar was a cheval mirror laid flat on the floor. White House Spiritual Advisers believe the mirror was used for scrying. Scrying is a form of crystalmancy conjurers use to see victims from afar. We believe the devil used this to surveil the president.”

CBS news correspondent Weijia Jiang raised her hand. “How are you certain this was the work of the devil and not some other agent of evil?”

Kayleigh McEnany clicked the remote again but this time a video began.

The point of view came from a thermal imaging camera. It followed a set of hoofprints from the circle to the wall. There was a strange heat signature on one of the bricks, like a hand with long talons. The camera operator pressed it and a curious breeze whistled into the room. Then the wall spun open.

The camera operator stepped through the door, lost his footing, and fell back on the floor. His boots cast pebbles into the darkness before him. They rattled all the way down, echoing from an impossible depth. Then there was a faint wind tunnel hum with an undercurrent of whispering.

The camera operator tilted the lens. A set of glowing eyes came over the viewfinder. A horned figure, with a mangy collar, was holding onto the wall of the well. It gnashed its teeth, snorted, and charged at the camera.

“We tracked the hoofprints to a grimoire in the White House library. There we found an account of the Order of the Second Circle, a secret society comprised of our founding fathers. Apparently they held orgies in a lair beneath the Vermeil Room. Benjamin Franklin used sex magick to summon the devil and the devil has been down there ever since.”

Kayleigh McEnany clicked the remote. There was a picture of the president boarding Air Force One with toilet paper stuck to his shoe. “The devil has been using black magick to make the President look foolish and arrogant. Many of you may remember that President Trump was once a Pro-Choice Democrat who rebuked David Duke for being a bigot. Then the devil got his hooks him. The president started slurring his speech and muttering about subterranean cities made of bone. But not to fret.”

McEnany’s last slide featured the health officials responsible for guiding the country through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We believe we’ve isolated the devil to this group of individuals.”

There’s an M. Night Shyamalan Situation in the Situation Room

In a sudden show of transparency reporters were presented with a live feed of the Situation Room. Health officials were seated around the conference table. They appeared to be scrutinizing one another.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, appeared to be building a barrier out of folders. Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control, gripped his name plate like a weapon. And Dr. Stephen Hahn, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, was praying.

The lights flickered and the officials cowered behind their rolling chairs. I asked Mick Mulvaney, the White House Chief of Staff, if the devil had some sort of power over electromagnetic fields.

Mulvaney shook his head. “Oh no. We’re the ones cutting the lights.”

“Why?”

“So the devil has an opportunity to kill one of the health officials.”

“How would that help?”

“We believe that narrowing the suspects is the best way to isolate the target. They call it ‘the devil’s meal.’ We got the idea from that movie M. Night Shyamalan produced, but everyone thinks he directed.”

“Won’t sacrificing health officials have a broader impact on the American public?”

“That’s the wages of sin, I guess.”

The feed flickered and a face filled the screen. It had black sunken eyes. The bridge of its nose was an earthquake of frown lines. Its cheeks were high and sharp, and its fangs protruded from a Cheshire cat smile.

Mulvaney reached for the light switch. The feed flickered and the face disappeared.

And just like that there was a body on the conference table, arms and legs spread open, head twisted all the way around. All the health officials ran for a door that wouldn’t budge.

Mulvaney tapped the monitor. “See. It’s working.”

The Situation is Still Ongoing

At the time of this writing the devil is taking his time finishing his meal. The health officials are struggling, blaming one another for the bodies accumulating on the table. Mick Mulvaney keeps his hand on the light switch, ready to make another sacrifice.

As for the president, he’s in isolation while the White House waits for a team of exorcists to fly in from the Vatican.

But what about the American public, who are dealing with a sudden wave of beasts rising from chasms in the streets? Well. Whether we like it or not we’re all we’ve got.

This story will update as it develops.

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3D Horns sculpt by patrakeevasveta
Photoshop by Drew Chial

Continue reading Health Officials Quarantined Until White House can Determine Which One is the Devil

This Year’s Purge Postponed Due to COVID-19

In an effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus, President Trump has postponed this year’s Purge. Health experts urged for a cancelation, but the president was concerned with how that would impact the markets. The Purge, the one night a year when all crime is legal, has been an boom for the economy.

With many Americans out of work the delay will be another blow to their pocket books. Unemployment rates are projected to average 15% this quarter. And this could be the worst economic collapse since the New Founding Fathers came into power in 2014.

President Trump, who ran on a platform of extending the Purge from 12 to 24 hours, faces backlash from his constituents.

Is the Purge an Essential Service?

Back in 2014 some economists were hesitant to embrace the Purge. Critics said it was a social experiment that would create more debt than profit. They harkened it to Detroit’s Devil’s Night, a time for arson, but very little earnings.

Years later the Purge has become an American tradition. Purgers wear customs, decorate vans, and sport designer firearms by Dolce and Gabbana, Gucci, and Versace. They use apps to hone in on homeless populations. And they spend good money on an experience that will last them a lifetime.

Rural communities hold human sacrifice lotteries. Malls have been converted into battle arenas and casinos stage Russian roulette tournaments. Contrary to what economists had worried, the Purge is big business.

People Are Unhappy

This March there will be no Emergency Broadcast warnings, none of the familiar sirens, and no blood battered streets come morning. Although, we will have culled equals numbers from the population.

That’s according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “The NFFA won’t need to perform ceremonial sacrifices of political opponents. Rich families won’t need to violently euthanize the terminally ill for fun, and hit squads won’t need to bolster numbers in the inner city. We don’t need a holiday to kill the poor when a pandemic will do it for us.”

Many Americans don’t think Fauci’s math adds up, like Harlon Jackson, human taxidermist.

Jackson says, “We need the Purge now more than ever. With the dwindling economy and the surge in homelessness we need hunters to reduce their numbers.”

Many Americans have already invested in Purge accessories, like hardcore purger Tristin MacMillan.

“I sunk my allowance into a purge mask that uses facial recognition to track my expression. It flashes ASCII emoticons across an LED matrix. When I have it on I look like a DJ from a hell dimension. Now what am I supposed to do, wear it to the grocery store? Lame.”

But the Purge isn’t just about the pageantry. For many it’s an outlet for their darker impulses, like Karen Lauder, soccer mother.

“This bitch in the Walgreens parking lot was giving me shit for not wearing a mask. So I tracked her license plate, scouted her apartment, and loosened up her fire escape. I got this jagged dagger and I was going to use it to cut out her heart, but now we’ve got to stay six feet apart. It’s bullshit”

Then there’s Kaley Nelson, a Highschool senior, who just enjoys the celebration. She says in the last five years she’s never missed a Purge. “I used to make fun of families cowering at home on lock down. Now I’m one of them.”

The Purge Is Good for the Economy Year Round

Walk into any Home Depot and look to your left. You’ll find electric fencing, tear gas sprinklers, and automated turrets. Look to your right and you’ll see polycarbonate windows, zinc roofing sheets, and armored doors. The warehouse out back is full of fire suppression systems, backup generators, and panic bunkers.

Sharper Image sells squadrons of surveillance drones and armies of weaponized Roombas. Apple sells proprietary security consoles, infrared trackers, and biometric locks. Target sells Class 4 weapons at the checkout counter, and even Amazon sells doorbell cameras.

Ever since the first Purge Home security has become America’s number one industry.

The Murder Industry Will Need a Bailout Too

Without sales from Purge apparel companies like Killer Threads, Bleed Wear, and Hot Topic risk going out of business.

Purge viewing suites in low income communities will sit empty. Landlords may be forced to convert them into affordable housing.

Also at risk are Slaughter Hostels which employ a fleet of laborers every year: from victim scouts to private security. From weapons safety experts to disk jockeys. Not to mention the team of sterilizers who come in after the fact.

Those are just the Corporate Interests

Freelancers, like Thorsten Osouf, might be the hardest hit by the closure. Osouf is an artisan blacksmith who specializes in weapons that are only street legal for 12 hours a year.

“I forge ballistic knives that function like silent guns, wolverine claws that cut through Kevlar, and great swords you can wield from your car.

Osouf scrolled through his Instagram feed. “My clients tag my weapons alongside their victims. You know that grim reaper viral video, the one in the homeless encampment? That was one of my scythes he was wielding.”

Osouf walked us through his forge, noting the dust on the anvils. “Frankly, the only people who want swords outside of the purge are nerds.”

How the Purge Effects the Market

Since the cancelation economists have shifted their concerns to the Purge black market. So much cash trades hands in such a short time it could be listed on the Dow Jones Industrial.

Heroin has a shelf life of three years from the time of manufacturing. Most of it is sold at 7PM on March 21st when wealthy users stockpile for years to come.

Street surgeons work one night a year harvesting organs. A single hitman might take on as many as ten clients. Kidnappers make a fortune on flash ransoms.

Then there are the pop-up services. Bulldozer renters charge premium rates to purgers who want to breach their neighbor’s security measures. Glass bottomed helicopters chaperon spectators. And food trucks sell human meat to the curious.

Without this dark stream of revenue flowing into the economy we’ll be looking at lower earnings across every industry.

But There is Hope

In a Tweet this Saturday President Trump promised to reopen the country with “a week-long purge that will put these COVID numbers to shame!”

He urged Americans to start working on their costumes, painting their vans, and stocking up on hollow points, “Because this one’s going to be special people. This will be a Purge of excellence.”

When the markets opened on Monday stocks surged at the thought of a 168 hour Purge. This could be the shot in the arm the murder industry needs. Blessed be our New Founding Fathers and America a nation reborn.

May God be with you all.

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Continue reading This Year’s Purge Postponed Due to COVID-19

Dinosaurs Speculate if the Asteroid is a Hoax

An asteroid is hurtling toward earth at 40,000 mph. It’s 6 miles wide and 50 miles in diameter. At that size we could be facing a fifth extinction event. Modest projections compare it to the ice age that wiped out the trilobites. This is according to the Collision Avoidance Initiative, a team of Aeolosaurus astrophysicists, whose long necks let them see the sky more clearly than other species.

Now Pteranodons are spreading the news from canyon to canyon. Oryctodromeus are digging fortified burrows. Volunteers velociraptors are preserving insects in amber, curing amphibian jerky, and stockpiling snails. And vegan Iguanodons are dehydrating berries and pickling ferns.

A collation of dinosaurs from both continents have come together. But despite their efforts, our brief 170 million year reign could be coming to an end.

The impact will toss mountains to the sky, set clouds aflame, and cast tsunamis to the breeze. It will wipe out 75% of life and kick up enough dust to blot out the sun. Photosynthesis will be a thing of the past. Crops will die. Triceratops livestock will follow. Those who outrun the apex predators will get a lung full of iridium for their efforts.

This is the best case scenario as far as the astrophysicists can tell.

But What if It’s all a Hoax?

That’s what the viral documentary Counterfeit Comet claims. The clip features an interview with Dr. Trudy Saurus Rex, a “freelance astrophysicist.”

As an alpha-female, Dr. Rex used astronomy to deduce Anatosaurus migration patterns and hunt them down. Now she claims there is no celestial threat and that the object in the sky is something else.

When asked if she believes in asteroids Dr. Rex said, “I am not an asteroid denier but,” there was a pregnant pause. “This asteroid that has everyone worried is the product of big astronomy. Now don’t look at me like I’m crazy. This isn’t one of those conspiracy theories about mammalians from the fourth dimension. It’s hard science.”

The documentary claims that Dr. Rex revolutionized how astronomers saw the solar system and that her thesis is widely taught. The documentary followed the Tyrannosaurus to the top of a tall peak where she cast her snout to the heavens.

“The sun circles us all day. It only leaves when it’s certain we’re asleep. Then it races back in the morning. The sun is watching us because the moon, the planets, and even the asteroid are its eggs. The sun is more afraid of us than we are of it.

Now, if you’ve ever laid eggs, you know it’s hard to keep them in the nest until they hatch. The planets are a lot like that. They move, and like eggs they tilt in one direction and fall back the way they came.”

Dr. Rex folded her tiny arms and threaded her claws together. “The asteroid appears to be coming in fast, but it will disappear when it rolls back. That’s why smart dinosaurs aren’t hiding. They’re hiking game trails and playing outside.”

Dr. Rex was especially critical of the Collision Avoidance Initiative’s safety measures.

She thinks it’s unnecessary for crocodiles and turtles to head out to sea. “Sure, they’re slower on the land, but what about all the dangerous rocks in the ocean?”

She pities the rodents scurrying into caverns. “Sheltering in place will make them more vulnerable to snakes.”

And her mind was blown by shifting migration patterns. “I’m hearing reports of birds flying north for the winter and I’m like ‘What the heck is going on around here?”

Throughout the documentary Dr. Rex portrays herself as the voice of sanity amidst a surge of hysteria. She’s shown marching through the jungles as the brainwashed masses flee her presence, too scared to be confronted by hard facts.

Dr. Rex thinks the Aeolosaurus want everyone in hiding so they can have the best trees to themselves. “Those top shelf leaves don’t come cheap. Those bloated sauropods will gorge themselves. You’ll see.”

Further Controversy

It’s important to note that Counterfeit Comet was produced by a group whose cave scratchings feature anti-scientific theories. The group is part of the volcano denial movement. They believe the government is tracking dinosaurs through mosquitoes bites, and that fisher towers cause bone cancer.

It should be noted that Yellow River, the urine based social network, refused to screen the documentary. “The documentary suggests that finding cover is more dangerous than a 60 million metric ton collision. We believe the clip could lead to imminent harm.” Said a Yellow River spokes-dinosaur. “We put our trust in the Collision Avoidance Initiative.”

In a few hour we’ll see who was right.

Dr. Rex knows where her pack will be when the time comes. “We’ll be at the beach, splashing through the Gulf of Mexico without a care in the world.”

•••

3D Tyrannosaurus head by AzurPoly
3D Glasses by almartin
Photoshop by Drew Chial

Continue reading Dinosaurs Speculate if the Asteroid is a Hoax

The President Downplays Spread of Headcrabs throughout the White House

This Friday, President Donald Trump met with 20 House Republicans to discuss the annexation of New York by extra dimensional beings known as the Combine Empire. The President spoke for over an hour without noticing that every lawmaker had headcrabs on their skulls.

Headcrabs are weaponized parasites from the Combine Overworld. They look like ticks with tough leather hides. On average they grow to be the size of a pillow. They have stubby legs, but they’re capable of running down rabbits, killing coyotes, and leaping over an elephants.

Headcrabs get their name by hijacking a host’s nervous system and controlling their motor functions. Their mouth works like a beartrap clamping onto the victim’s neck. Their talons work like climbing axes digging into collarbones. Their beak works like a grappling hook embedding itself in the cranium. Once installed the headcrab pilots the host, like a zombie, turning them into a soldier for the enemy.

Most Americans have staved off this threat by wearing motor cycle helmets, spiked pickelhaubes, and coolie hats. The average American has a steel tipped umbrella for when they go to the grocery store, a homemade spear for when they got to work, and Viking horns for when they go to the beach.

Headcrabs in the Whitehouse

Meanwhile the Trump administration has taken none of these precautions.

Raymond Werner, public health advisor at the CDC, said, “We told the president to launch thermal imagining drones, position motion sensitive turrets on the White House lawn, and install parasitoid screeners at every entrance. He said he’d take it under advisement.

Days later we find the oval office overrun with zombified minions and the president is sitting there with a shit eating grin. I asked why he didn’t notice these barnacles on everyone’s skulls and he said, ‘I’m too busy running the country.’ Christ, these things are the size of a jack-o-lanterns. You mean to the secret service didn’t spot a single one?”

Recently Stephen Miller, policy adviser to the president, and wife Katie Miller, the vice president’s press secretary, came down with a case of headcrabs.

When asked how he hadn’t noticed the president said, “Look at Stephen Miller’s face and tell you’d notice?”

Raymond Werner was baffled. “Ivanka Trump’s personal assistant had a parasite the size of a Thanksgiving turkey on her noggin and no one said a thing.”

A spokesperson for Ivanka said, “Ivanka had noticed, but assumed her assistant was having a bad hair day and didn’t want to be rude.”

3D Headcrab model by Elizabeth Edwards

The President wants to Reopen Despite Combine Invasion

The Governor of New Mexico lifted the state’s quarantine despite the serge of portal storms and the ominous green cloud over the Black Mesa Research Facility. Headcrab infections have skyrocketed ever since. The parasites have congregated in movie theaters, nail salons, and gyms.

Raymond Werner warned, “Headcrabs are pack hunters. They sniff out an easy quarry. You can go to church on Sunday, but you won’t be able to pray them away.”

The Combine Empire have taken advantage of the devastation. They’ve installed a suppression field around New Mexico. The field remotely neuters anyone caught within its wavelength by blocking key protein chains. The invaders don’t want us breeding.

Nevertheless the President applauded New Mexico on Twitter. “Congratulations to the great state of New Mexico on very good, and very smart, reopening. If only we could liberate the rest of the country so quickly. #HeadCrabHoax.”

The CDC is Very Worried

Raymond Werner is less optimistic than the President. “We heard the same denialism from Eastern European leaders. They claimed their countries had headcrab immunity. It wasn’t long before they were overrun with parasitic passengers of their own. After that Combine forces erected a dark energy reactor so tall it blotted out the sun. They call it the Citadel. Meanwhile we’re being told to go back to the amusement parks and strip malls, but If we’re not careful we’ll have a Citadel on every corner.”

The Combine in Washington

Since Friday the portal storms in Washington D.C. have only gotten worse. Headcrabs have filled the national mall and affixed themselves to the Lincoln memorial. They’ve swept through the supreme court, the house of reperceives, and the senate. Yes, the infected continue to show up for floor proceedings, if only to groan. Despite these developments the President is moving to wind down the Headcrab Response Task Force.

“Americans need to shrug off these parasites and get back to work.”

One Question Still Remains

How did the president go into room full of headcrabs and not get infected himself?

Raymond Werner was hesitant to speculate. “I think it has something to do with his hair. It could be the synthetic copolymer or the aerosol spray that holds it together, but the headcrabs wanted nothing to do with it. Figuring out why might be the key to saving the rest of humanity.”

•••

3D Headcrab model by Elizabeth Edwards
Photoshop by Drew Chial

Continue reading The President Downplays Spread of Headcrabs throughout the White House

Stephen King Regrets Writing Himself into This Story

This Friday, officers Libby and Davis investigated a disturbance at Gerald Winters & Son Book Store in Bangor Maine. They found a disheveled man hurling rocks at the door, screaming “Let me in! Please let me in.”

When confronted the man screamed. “You don’t understand. They have the unpublished manuscript that I need to get home!”

It wasn’t until the officers put the man into the back of their vehicle that they realized he was Stephen King.

Officer Libby recounted the incident. “The plan was to drive King home and break the news to Tabby that he’d fallen off the wagon. On the way we tried to assess his sobriety and gage his frame of mind.”

Officer Libby kept her body camera recording the entire time.

“Hey Steve, isn’t that the restaurant where they found the eyeball in the fortune cookie?”

King grunted in the affirmative.

“Want us to turn on the radio? Which station do you own WKIT-FM or WZON?”

“Both of them.” King muttered out the window. Then he pressed his palm to the glass. “UPS is still delivering? That means we’re still in chapter 1. Shit doesn’t hit the fan until the murder hornets show up.”

Officer Libby chuckled. “Murder hornets?”

“Harbingers of the Crimson King. The third of seven.”

Officer Davis chimed in. “I thought seven was a good number.”

King grew irritable. “Who told you that? Odd numbers are always bad, especially prime ones, and especially seven.”

Officer Libby tried changing the subject. “So these harbingers are all insects?”

“No. The first takes the form of an pandemic. The second appears as armed protests. The third is hornets. The fourth is shootings over masks. The fifth is giant rats. The sixth is children murdering their parents.”

“Yikes.” Officer Davis squeezed the wheel. “What’s number seven?”

“When a crystal ball, known as Black 13, is unearthed from One World Trade Center.”

“Then what happens?” The officers asked in unison.

“The beams supporting the dark tower will break and the Crimson King will be set free. He’ll use the deadlights to find the Key World and begin unlocking things. Phantom doors will appear on every street corner and the Warriors of the Scarlet Eye will spill forth from the Outer Dark.”

“Sounds like a hell of a story.”

“That’s all it was supposed to be. I wrote it in a cocaine fueled stupor around the same time as The Tommy Knockers. I shelved it and the world moved on. That was until I found a door on my front lawn.”

“When was that?” Officer Libby couldn’t help but ask.

“Last night.”

Officer Davis later admitted to taking the long way to King’s estate. He wanted to buy the author time to finish his story. In hindsight, Officer Davis admits this was a mistake.

“There was a creaking out front, like the gate was hanging open. I peeked through the drapes and saw something on the path. At first I thought it was a person, a tall man with square shoulders, hunched over in a long black coat.”

Officer Libby spoke over her seat. “I figured you’d have a top of line security. Especially after reading Misery.”

King shrugged. “The system wasn’t making a sound. I thought it was a trick of the light. Something phantasmagorical, like in the stories of Edgar Allen Poe.”

“Do you…see things often?” Officer Libby asked hesitantly.

“The opposite, actually. I’m losing my vision. I have a condition that blurs the center of my sightline. I have to look out the corner of my eyes. That’s why I went outside.”

Officer Davis spoke through the mirror. “When did you realize it wasn’t a person?”

“When I had my hand on the doorframe. It was sturdy, like someone had driven it into the cobblestones. It was a deep rosewood. The color of blood. I looked to where I thought I’d seen a face and my heart skipped a beat.”

“What did it say 1408?”

“No, it was a knocker in the shape of the Great God Pan. It had rams horns, curly locks, and a nasty scowl. Its teeth were jagged, its brow furled, and its nostrils flared. A knocker hung from its septum.”

“Did you knock?”

“I didn’t have to. The door yawned open. I tried to push it shut. I reached for the knob and got a handful of wind for my efforts. My depth perception is horse shit, but something else was throwing it off.

The door moved closer as the path grew distant. I strained to catch my breath. The air felt thin. Reality felt thinner. Then came a light beneath door. It swung open and that light was blinding.

When I opened my eyes it was broad daylight and I was standing in the center of the road. There was a cyclist in a surgical mask. He shot me a dirty look as he passed. That’s when I realized I was in my own Macroverse.”

Officer Libby interrupted. “Stephen, do you mind if I ask how old you are?”

King balled his fists. “I’m not having a senior moment if that’s what you’re thinking.”

Officer Davis let out a long patient sigh. “Yeah, but why would we know you’re a writer if this was happening in one of your stories?”

Dejected, King craned his neck all the way back into the headrest. “My stories exist within my stories. I hold the Guinness world record for most film adaptations. It’d be hard for readers to believe a story where people haven’t heard of me. Christ, I’m appear in three of The Dark Tower entries.”

Officer Davis gave that a considered nod. “But if you write all this meta fiction, isn’t it possible this is all in your imagination?”

King waved that notion away. “Who’s the president right now?”

The officers exchanged a knowing look. “Donald Trump.”

“It’s Clinton where I come from. Donald Trump was my invention. He’s a modern spin on Greg Stillson, the politician, from The Dead Zone. Stillson was a charlatan folk hero. With Trump I wanted to see what would happen if a reality star became president.”

“And this pandemic is also your doing?” Officer Libby humored him.

“I came up with The Stand after I read about a chemical spill in Utah. I came up with The Coronavirus after I read we’re no closer to a cure for the common cold.”

Officer Davis smirked. “What inspired Dream Catcher?”

“OxyContin.”

Officer Libby put her palm to her forehead to hide her grin. “So where are we in this coronavirus story?”

“Has Trump gone on TV to prescribe a malaria drug to the general public?”

“Uh-huh.” The officers said in unison.

“Has he told everybody to drink bleach?”

“Uh-huh.”

“Has he postponed the elections until 2021?”

“Uh-what?”

King nodded self-assuredly. “Then there’s still time.”

At this point Officer Davis felt certain King was putting them on. He couldn’t help but chide the author over his body of work. “Hopefully this one has a more satisfying ending than Under the Dome.”

“Or Secret Window.” Officer Libby added.

“Or The Mist.”

“Or Cell.”

“Or It: Chapter 2. They killed the clown by calling it names?” Officer Davis scoffed. “That was so lame.”

King raised his eyebrow. “That’s not how the book ends.”

Officer Libby rolled her eyes at her partner. “How does this one go again?”

“Or better yet,” Officer Davis let go of the wheel to look back. “How were you planning to get home?”

“Through a breach in reality.” King looked out the window. “I just don’t know where it is.”

Officer Davis seized on that apparent plot hole. “You ought to know you wrote it.”

King gave that a maniacal laugh. At this point the officers reported feeling uncertain that King was putting them on.

“Have you seen my bibliography? Do you think I know those stories by heart? There’s one copy of the manuscript and you are driving away from it.”

Officer Davis turned the patrol car in the direction of the Gerald Winters & Son Book Store. Later he’d admit to doing this to call the author’s bluff.

“Hmmm.” Officer Davis pondered.

“What?” King crossed his arms.

Officer Davis let the wheel go again. “How could a manuscript exist within the story itself?”

Officer Libby turned back as well. “You’d have to have written it in, but then you’d have to write one into that one and another into that one and on and on and on.”

“Like Russian dolls.” Officer Davis nodded.

King’s eyes widened.

“What is it? Did you forget to write the manuscript into the manuscript?”

King pointed ahead. “Door!”

Officer Davis jerked the wheel. The squad card hit an obstruction and flipped end over end. Footage captured by the on-board camera system show the road was clear. Clear right up until the moment a rose red door materialized out of nowhere. A close examination of a freeze frame reveals a knocker that’s dead ringer for the Greek god Pan.

Officer Davis and Officer Libby came out of the crash, with a few broken bones, more or less unharmed. Both were cleared of any wrongdoing and are aiding with the investigation.

As for Stephen King? He hasn’t been seen or heard from since.

•••

Continue reading Stephen King Regrets Writing Himself into This Story

Meet the Necromancer Responsible for the Negative Energy on Social Media

Meet Dragrim Obsidian, the necromancer responsible for the negative energy that’s bringing you down. “If you feel like you’ve been abandoned by those in power, like you’re at odds with all of your peers, and there’s no hope for the future, that’s probably my doing.”

Obsidian agreed to an interview provided we met on the observation deck of One World Trade Center.

When I arrive I’m told the deck is closed due to COVID-19. I mention Obsidian and the security staff start whispering. One guard puts on a pair of latex gloves. He comes out from behind the desk, raises a keycard to the elevator, and waves me in. We stand in silence for 94 floors.

When the elevator dings open the guard turns. “You’ll want to hide your emotions around him. Push them deep down.”

Obsidian has been sowing discord ever since the middle ages, but you wouldn’t know to look at him here. He’s traded his crimson robes and bone jewels for a high collared jacket with a floor grazing frock. He turns from the observatory window, looking less like a dungeon dweller and more like a character from The Matrix.

I click the button on my micro recorder. “Why here?”

Obsidian gives a measured smile. “I like to admire my handywork.” He brushes the windows signaling to the empty street below. “I’m the one who politicized this pandemic. I built partisan bickering to a fever pitch. I’m the reason you won’t talk to your parents.”

I’m taken aback by how quickly Obsidian is willing to go there. I bite my lip and Obsidian smirks when he catches it.

“I’m not the monster you think I am. When I spread negative energy it’s never out of malice. It’s out of love. Everything I’ve ever done was out of love.”

When did this start?

The sixth century. I was an apprentice under Dughall, the undying, the most feared necromancer in all of Britannia. He taught me how to prompt metabolic healing, so I might live as long as him. If only I’d passed that knowledge on to Celestria. Then none of this would’ve happened.

Who was Celestria?

Celestria was my bride to be. She was a selfless woman who practiced folk medicine.

One day a Bishop came through our village. He had a caravan of soldiers behind him. He saw Celestria picking herbs and naturally he was drawn to her. He whispered something in her ear, something no witness could repeat. I have a hunch he didn’t take his vow of celibacy that seriously.

Dejected, the bishop engaged Celestria in a medical debate. He believed illness was caused by a person’s distance from their lord, and that faith, not medicine, was the only way to ease their suffering.

Celestria believed in humoralism. She argued that illness came from a person’s relationship with the elements. She reasoned that plenty of good people got sick despite their faith.

The bishop had Celestria executed for heresy and moved on.

How did you cope?

I didn’t. I resolved to bring Celestria back. A feat necromancers were known for despite the fact that none of us have actually done it.

Not even Dughall, the undying?

No, and Dughall wanted no part of it. He had dabbled in black magic, but he believed a resurrection spell would require so much negative energy it would cover the earth in darkness.

Crestfallen, I cast stones, read entrails, and consulted the tarot. All my divinations said the same thing. I would have to cast a shadow over every mortal mind to raise but one from the ground. So I buried my bride and set out to spread the darkness.

How have your efforts shaped human events?

I convinced Pope Urban to get the crusades going. Years later I pitted Pope Clement against the knights Templar. I helped brainstorm the book that set the witch-hunts in motion and spread the inquisition across the continent. I urged theologians to suppress the Copernican doctrine and sighted the biblical references that got Galileo imprisoned.

Did you ever feel guilty?

At first. I forced myself to attend the witch burnings, to see what I’d done. After a while I couldn’t hear the screams, couldn’t see the faces through the fire. They weren’t people any more. They were a means to an end. Ingredients in a potion. And my beaker always wanted more.

How much negative energy did you need?

I almost had enough, and then I was blindsided by the black death. Here was all this suffering, but it was outside of my doing. You see a siphoning spell only works on energies you raise. I could wander mass graves and not get a thing because I hadn’t had a hand in what was happening.

I tried to turn the plague to my advantage by spreading misinformation. I promoted the notion that infections followed an astrological pattern. My beaker started filling again. Then someone thought to examine the rats on the ground and I was back to square one.

When did you start using technology to spread negative energy?

Technology has always spread negative energy, especially when it comes to the written word. The first cuneiform tablets were baked in the ruins of conquest. The first hieroglyphs were threats. Every woodblock ever carved was battered in blood. The pen isn’t mightier than the sword. The pen sets swords in motion.

Had I known the Koreans would invent moveable type I’d have gone over there. Instead it was the Gutenberg press that brought me out of hiding. I became an author and my first publications were denounced as literary poison. I mass produced works that challenged the church. I’m the one who set the bonfire of the vanities ablaze.

Not too long after I started contributing to newspapers. I misattributed ‘Let them eat cake’ to Marie Antoinette. I wrote that Catherine the great died having sex with a horse. In fact, I’m the reason you still think Napoleon was short.

How has the Internet helped?

The Internet is the most wonderful conductor of negative energy I could ever ask for. It lets me crowdsource my efforts. People used to get outraged over excessive taxation or potato famines, but now they go to war over female game developers and race-swapped Disney characters.

I take it you’re active on social media?

That’s the understatement of the century. I am responsible for everything from the alt right to slacktivism. From pick-up artists to Incels. From QAnon to cancel culture. Name an ideology, I’ll tell you it’s etymology. And the funny thing is, I don’t believe a word of it. I’ve never been interested in politics. I only want Celestria back. I don’t care who I have to trigger. I will to start a flame war for her.

But what about the people you hurt?

I’ve come too far and ruined too many lives. I’m willing to sextort, dox, and swat total saints to get what I want.

Look at what I’ve done. I took something as honorable as social justice and turned it into an antonym for political intolerance. I fine-tuned every racist dog whistle you’ve ever heard. I founded pro-anorexia communities just because I needed the negative energy.

Could you be claiming too much responsibility?

If you’ve ever felt exhausted checking your Facebook feed odds are it was me.

What about the movements that have developed organically, like the toxic fandom?

Do you have any idea how much gossip I’ve spread? I’ve spilled enough tea to fill the English Channel.

I’m the one who decides when a celebrity is over. I keep all of their portraits on a tile mosaic. I wave a dowsing pendulum as I lord over them. Once the weight chooses a victim, I kneel upon hot coals, press my palms into a bed of nails, and type something along the lines of: #TomHollandIsOverParty.

Now Tom Holland did nothing wrong. He said nothing racist and slapped no one’s ass, but I have to ruin someone if I’m to see my beloved again.

So alternative facts are you doing?

Sweat heart, I’m the king of misinformation. I ghostwrote the research paper that gave birth to the anti-vaxxers. I founded the modern flat earth movement. Heard any good 5G conspiracy theories? Yeah, those were all me.

I convinced people Nelson Mandela died in the 1980s when he really died in 2013. I’m the reason people think the Monopoly Man has a monocle. I’m the reason you think Freddy Mercury sang, “of the world…” at the end of “We are the Champions.”

Wait, he didn’t?

Look it up. I’ll wait.

Fuck.

(Obsidian takes a theatrical bow.)

But you can’t be the only one spreading false information. There too many other vested interests.

There are, but oil lobbyists are not that creative. They needed an interloper to whisper in their ears.

So you’re responsible for climate change denial?

That was nothing. Getting creationists to think dinosaurs walked with man took some convincing. Oh and getting celebrities to think they should run for government.

Was “Make America Great Again” your doing?

It was when I pitched it to Reagan.

I’ve been on more campaigns than there are nations. And I’ve fostered divisions across every continent. But I’ve never had more success than in American politics.

Your two party system is a work of Luciferian genius. It’s a dyad of dark energy. An alternating current flowing back and forth. Your red and blue tribes always collide. And for what? Intellectual bubbles filled with impossible ideals?

It’s beautiful. Like a black pearl. Elegant and simple.

But systems of oppression were around long before you were born. You were in France when the slave trade was happening. America came up with institutionalized racism all on its own. You say you’ve fostered divisions, but the rise of white nationalist would’ve happened with or without you.

Have you heard of Godwin’s Law?

Yes. The longer a discussion goes the greater the likelihood that someone will be compared to Hitler.

Godwin didn’t come up with that. He just identified the curse I’d slipped into the ether. It’s really Obsidian’s Law and it’s been a wellspring of negative energy for me, especially now the comparisons are no longer exaggerations.

You mentioned a beaker filling slowly with negative energy. It must be close to the brim?

I wish it were, but it isn’t. Celestia was exceptional. She had a spark that drew people to her. The lost souls in Limbo don’t want to let her go. They’re demanding over a quadrillion watts of negative energy. Enough to power their cities.

For that to happen everyone would have to let their intrusive thoughts in. A state of total despair would be declared. Depression would have to win.

Despite this pandemic, and the polarization surrounding it, there are still people who are optimistic. Despite all my best efforts, there’s still hope.

When do you think you’ll be reunited with Celestia?

When everyone feels like it’s their duty to change everyone else’s mind. When every laymen speaks with absolute authority. When obscenity out ways a reasoned argument. When feelings count as facts. When nuance is scrubbed from the debate and every person looks upon the other with hate.

So not too long then?

(Obsidian presses his palm to the observatory window and once again regards the empty streets below. He lets out a long exhausted sigh.)

We’ll see. We’ll see.

•••

Continue reading Meet the Necromancer Responsible for the Negative Energy on Social Media

Why I Keep Inserting Monsters into the News

I’ve been writing a lot about monsters lately:
About werewolves protesting the lockdown because it keeps their prey at home.
About ghosts intensifying their hauntings now that they have captive audiences.
About eldritch horrors lurking aboveground because of the lack of pollution.
About giant spiders ensnaring runners with tripwire webs.

These stories are my way of processing the pandemic without dealing with it head on. I did that once when I wrote a blog about having COVID-19 symptoms. In it I related a string of bad luck.

First I got sick. Then I got laid off. My boss used the lockdown as an opportunity to “right size” her business, despite the fact that our UPS Store had lines out the door. After two weeks of unemployment I was asked to come back. Another employee was showing COVID-19 symptoms and they needed the support. I was afraid I might still be contagious and I wasn’t eager to return to an unsafe environment. I was told “Now or never.” I went with never and lost my unemployment benefits.

That story was one of my most successful blog entries. It was off the cuff. But that kind of intimacy can’t be forced. You can’t reproduce it to increase your metrics. I considered journaling my depression throughout these turbulent times, but I didn’t want to overexpose myself. I ran the risk of sharing personal details that would made me unemployable or exhaust my readers’ empathy.

So I changed tactics. I wanted to write something topical, but I didn’t want to overwhelm people. I decided to come at the news from another angle. I’d address the pandemic, but I’d add monsters to it.

How Monsters are Helping My Sanity

I like stories with moral messages, but I tend to beat people over the head them. I get up on my soap box and give a ham-fisted speech that scares people off. I’ve been writing for twenty years and I still struggle with subtext. My best stories happen organically once I’ve abandon my commentary. They follow Stephen King’s adage: entertain first, enlighten second.

When I started writing news parodies I thought I was putting a creepy spin on what The Onion was doing. Then these pieces turned into thought experiments. The question, “How do I address the plight of essential workers during the pandemic?” became “What if people really did have to work through a zombie apocalypse?”

The question, “How do I take the OK Karen meme and apply it to witches?” became “What if magick was real and witches were subject to online harassment?”

The question, “Would people go out if there were giant spiders everywhere?” became “But what if there really were giant spiders everywhere?”

I became less interested in writing commentary and more interested in playing up the absurdity of these stories. These fantastic times pair well with fantasy creatures. Writing about these heightened realities makes this one bearable to me. My monsters have allowed me to reclaim my imagination from so much of what’s going on.

Closing Thoughts

This pandemic is soul crushing. This lockdown is depressing and the state of the economy is demoralizing. Many of my favorite coffeehouses, bars, and restaurants are closing for good.
I have a friend who’s a nurse in New York. I have another friend whose care facility has had several deaths. I’m healthy and relatively young, but I got much sicker than I expected.

I’ve spent weeks trying to get through to the unemployment office. I’m still waiting on my stimulus check. I’ve been applying for every job I think might put a dent in my expenses, and yet I have too much free time. I’m single. I live alone. I haven’t seen any of my friends in months.

My monster stories are keeping me going. I know I ought to be better about sharing them, about building the old brand. I’ve been told to start a Patreon, but I don’t have that kind of following. Not yet.

I’m open to feedback. Please let me know if you’re digging what I’m doing.

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Continue reading Why I Keep Inserting Monsters into the News

Advice for writers, stories about the world they live in.

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