Monthly archives: December 2022

The Miracle of the Strigoi

Swollen shriveled undead infant

Nadja saw the Strigoi when she went outside to fetch snow to cool Stanoska’s brow.  It was riding her one remaining cow, drumming its heels into the mooing, stumbling animal’s heaving sides and bending low to snap and nuzzle at her straining neck.  The full moon shone on the snow, providing more than enough light to make out the revenant’s darkly discolored face, its bloated naked body.  She thought it was Stavra the Miller, one of the first to die from the plague, but she wasn’t sure.  Stavra had been a thin man, and the Strigoi, like all its kind, was swollen with the blood it had taken from the living.  She knew better than to call out for it to leave the cow alone, for that would surely bring it to her doorstep after her.  Instead, she quickly turned around and went back inside, not forgetting to scoop some snow into her bucket.

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A man wearing loose, shimmering robes. Only his head and hands are exposed. He has aquiline features, pale eyes, and long white hair. Over his shoulder floats a metallic orb, about the size of a baseball.

Master Rirhi first appeared to bear witness and give testimony to the initiates in 1893. When he next imparted his wisdom to the initiates, this time in 1921, he appeared as he had decades before. No new line or spot marred his face. His alabaster hair had lost none of its lusters. Same for his eyes, brilliant azure, reflecting the infinite depths of his wisdom. The intervening years had not conspired to stoop him, no arthritis had entered his bones. His bearing was as regal and imperious as ever. The older initiates declared this was indeed a sign that his wisdom had lifted him up into divinity. From The All-Pervasive Teachings of Master Rirhi Unveiled, by Col. Raymond R. Cook (published 1930)

Alternative names: Ascended Masters, Chrononauts, Exalted Patrons, Secret Chiefs

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The Angels of Pestilence

a ww1 soldier sobs in a fox hole as an ghostly insectoid thing hovers above him

Prologue:  The Madness of Herbert West

Madness is a terrible thing, and an even worse thing to be accused of, particularly if one knows for a certainty that one is truly not mad.  I suppose it is the nature of madness to deny being mad, but this was the situation in which my colleague Herbert West found himself.  I did what I could to defend him, but the military tribunal would hear none of it, and threatened me with arrest as well, suggesting that I may have not been a simple bystander, but rather a co-conspirator in the rampage that left one of our colleagues dead.

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Mouth of the Faceless

Dark art/bizarre surreal

Cybil opened another can of Monster Zero to fuel her third-day stretch of no sleep. The windows and curtains of Cybil’s studio apartment remained closed. Stale smoke swirled amongst the sour tang of energy drinks, mingling pungent in the air. She had rid her residence of anything possessing holes. Fresh sunflowers—in the trash. Her hairbrush, once she had cleaned it off her hair—had too many holes. The fridge once contained watermelon, strawberries, and swiss cheese—gone. The latte was once delivered from Starbucks. The foam. The holes! Now, energy drinks are delivered by Insta-cart—no straws, please. 

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A Yellow Yule

The blood moon sigil (Yellow disc w/ a drop of blood on the lower right) with The King in Yellow speaking to a Brown Jenkin

Cassilda and Cassandra and Caterina and Calliope and Cassiopeia were all seated at their places, the King wasn’t presently in attendance, and the others were all on their own. The other two sisters had already gone to their rewards.

Back in his chamber, Jenkin was frowning into the vanity mirror.

Keziah was trying to keep him relatively calm, as this was probably his last chance to both attend the buffet after the Play and, maybe, possibly, renew his humanity, if he could keep from making a beast out of himself. It was a time of rejoicing, the anniversary of the victory against the Foe, He Who is NOT to be Named.

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Broken Bell part 1

The arched doorway of an old Californian mission chapel (with maybe some cracks and holes in the adobe on the exterior wall to reveal human skulls among the bricks) with a hooded monk (no face or perhaps just the brow and nose and cheekbones peeking out of the murk). He’s lurching partway out of the strong shadow like a vampire at noon, with one hand beckoning to us and the other making an occult gesture…

The sun at high noon was a curse on the earth when the exhausted pinto mare that bore Lope Obregon and Eight-Finger Nate into the dooryard of the long-forgotten mission dropped dead under their weight. The two men slashed their saddlebags free of the dead horse and ran for the arched doorway at the foot of the bone-white church, and the gaunt, hooded figure that stood in its shadow as if awaiting the desperate men.

“Bless me, padre, for I have sinned,” said Lope Obregon, crossing himself while his partner drew his mismatched pistols. “We claim sanctuary…”

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