Twiggy, RHAPSODY GROVE
...Mary Christianson could not move. Even when the light through the window in the loft over the bed hit directly on her, Mary never moved a muscle, and was only dimly aware of consciousness itself, the one image playing like a mantra over and over in what was left of her mind being that of Twiggy. All memory of the night before was gone. No memory of family. No memory of self. Certainly no memory of the otherworldly rock her husband dug up from the lake, no awareness of her body condensing into hardened aspect, limbs lengthening and firming, no awareness of the tough and knobby solidness, only the one thought, the omnipresent mantra image, Twiggy, Twiggy, Twiggy.
The thing that was Mary rose from the bed and flopped on the floor around noon. In the mass of lashing tendrils might barely be discerned the vaguest semblance of a torso. Two of the thicker branches moved like legs, while two more resembled arms. There was no head, merely a misshapen knot. Clacking sounds of rubbing branches accompanied the thing’s attempts to extricate itself from what was left of clothing, and it trashed much of the room with its hard limbs flailing in the process, but finally freed itself, and stood still awhile as if in meditation, gently swaying in the middle of the mess. Then the thing that was Mary, which had become Twiggy, moved nimble as a spider out of the room and down the stairs. Splintering the front door, it scuttled outside and headed into the woods . . .
TV Man, LOST COASTER
…I finally caught up with it down at the river. Ran it down in the shallows as it tried to cross. I could feel its lithe limbs ineffectually resist as I wadded its arms around what must have been its waist. This was like holding three wriggling wrists. But the legs kicking couldn't reach me, and neither could the TV's claws. I kept lifting it up and smashing it down on a rock in the river. Meaty wet sounds of its head meeting stone were accompanied by strange crunches within. I swung that sucker like a sledge. The thin veneer of civilization had fallen away like a robe. At last, when I was sure that it was dead, I raised my face to the starlit sky and might well have given vent to a primordial cry had there not appeared, in intermittent glimpses between the trees, the vision of a man with streaming white hair booking along on a Segway.
I was pretty sure it was only Tumik, and not the real Billy Connolly. I did make sure to ask, though.
"Look at that now," the mental manifestation of the ancient alien exclaimed. "Would you look at what you've done? My goodness. Look at you, the hero! You're a great man! You chased it down and bloody well bashed its brains in!"
"What the hell was it?"
"I've no idea! I told you, fabric of reality unraveling."
The TV, looking decayed, began to disintegrate in the flow of the river. Even the remote, which I'd knocked away in the tussle, and which I could see wedged against a rock, had begun to dissolve. In moments all that remained was a smooth glistening lump about the size of a fist….
Will Todd, THE MESMERIZER:
You haven’t lived till you’ve died.
The wheels of what I will call my mind spun the gears of my giant revenge machine all that night sitting upright in my grave. As dawn neared I decided to creep around the crypts in hopes of forcing a door. I would have stayed in my own grave if I could, but the pile from the freshly upturned mound would call attention to a mindful eye that something was amiss. So I patted down the dirt as best I could, sort of sad at seeing my dead limbs doing this. Somehow images of Mother and the horrified expression she would have to know this would one day happen to her baby appeared before me. I would have cried, if I could, but for fear of merely excreting maggots....
HIS NAME IS WILL TODD! HE'S A REANIMATED CORPSE ON A MISSION OF REVENGE...with the aid of a Deadhead Sancho Panza.
...The Ferris Wheel operator, having joined in the attempt to intercept, lay sprawled among rigged milk bottles and softballs, unable to stop the wheel as Randy managed to pull himself into the seat just past the top of the ride in time to see the dark figure, black cape fluttering, ascend the summit with sword in hand two buckets behind and coming down like a nightmare distilled into corporeal form....
...The animated form of Will Todd, obscured in black–black as a black hole, black as a barrel of crude oil–strode across the stage to a bare-chested Randy Manson in bell bottoms and buckskin, grabbed him from behind by the hair in one hand, produced from a fold a large knife in the other, and slammed it into the shocked actor’s chest in front of the audience, creating a single simultaneous gasp of horror which quickly turned to earsplitting screams as the knife sank into the chest four more times.
Red blade drenched in dripping blood, deftly the knife-hand removed a black pair of shades from a face wrapped in black bandages. Upon removal of the twin thin lenses, beneath the dark hat’s wide brim, green gleamed.
The corpse spun a circuit, bathing the eyes of all those on the stage and in the audience with the grim unspoken command to remain still, and quietly watch.....
...The corpse’s grip on Mary Annette crushed her pinioned arms. With barely any room to breathe, she felt perpetually on the verge of fainting, and what little breath she could catch reeked horribly of decay.In this manner the corpse carried Mary Annette bodily away, still in full costume, out the back of the theater and down the manhole cover around the corner–which the corpse took the time to carefully replace. In utter absence of light he carried her down the tunnels, shuffling through the muck....
Giant Spider, REDWOODLAND:
...What appeared was a gigantic spider, and it rushed up the ladder like a guard dog at a gate and hung there in the hole beneath the raised lid, filling the aperture with a few dark and massive legs bristling with long matted hair. It bothered Dag to see this. But from long habit he had learned to control the nearly overwhelming urge to flee the scene screaming. That’s odd, he thought, noticing that the monster seemed to be looking right at him. He noticed a peculiar smell as well. The giant spider stank. He’d never had one do that before.
Unknown to Dag, forty-two years earlier a common trapdoor spider was exposed to a substance which produced an effect on the eggs she laid. The mutated creatures differed in varied and unsettling respects beyond physical size from their ordinary counterparts. Most of the phenomenally long-lived creatures’ existences were spent underground, doggedly burrowing through the soil into imperfections in the network of tunnels which linked the monitor sites together. Undetected in the tubes, the creatures still retained the instinct to spin trapdoor webs. Rarely needing to feed, all of the spiders were cannibals. And there were not so many of them now. Perhaps only fifty. This one had listened to Lou and Dag bitch from the first moment they ever set foot inside.Dag tried to close the hatch. The lid hit a couple of hard hairy legs....
Tumik, LOST COASTER:
...I staggered around the underground, aiming for the tunnel, going with the messages, going with the flow. Lagoons were lit. Stars shone bright in the stalactite sky. In the tunnel I followed a creek all the way back to the lake, where I saw the Tripper Room, heart leaping like a cave-painting, and I got on board, and I climbed inside, and I stood there watching the water-line lap, maybe for minutes, maybe for hours, I couldn't tell. Eventually my dead cell phone buzzed in my pocket again. I took it out and looked at the screen.
I'M RIGHT OUTSIDE THE ROOM, the message said.
I felt a slight jostling of the Room bobbing in the water, heard something moving around outside on top. A new message appeared.
I'VE CLIMBED ABOARD.
I looked up. There was a fumbling sound at the hatch.
Ears straining, I barely dared to breathe. Suddenly, the hatch flew up, and I gazed in horror at the aperture. For a moment there was only blackness. Then the face appeared, quick as a spider in a web. It looked down into the Room, a great white bulbous head with a tiny, emotionless mouth and shiny, hairless skin, black almond eyes dark as as the furthest depths of space....
Reckon I could share a couple dozen others, for that matter. Junyer the half-Bigfoot, Grimor the dragon, giant ticks that feed on grave soil, a doll that twitches in proximity to corpses, fascist heads in governing in jars...oh, we got gobs of monsters in the redwoods!
Here we see the author performing arcane rites to pick up sales.
The voice that speaks from the fire guides the author.
The voice tells the author what to say in all his redwood tales.
Helps the author come up with songs for CrowMag, too.
"We Went to Town (On a Bigfoot We Found)"
Actually, there isn't any song like that one.
You'll find out. Keep it tuned right here!
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