Posts Tagged ‘Weirdness’

The Bureau

January 8, 2022

John remembered the knife plunging into his gut. He remembered staggering through the alley, unable to ask for help loud enough to draw anyone. He remembered falling to his knees and crawling, trying desperately to find anything or anyone who could help him. All in vain. He remembered the warmth leaving his body before everything went black. He remembered all of that which meant that he had reached game over. There should have been no continue, no option to put in more tokens. Yet, here he was sitting at a table in a barren room.

He took a deep breath to prove that he could and then tapped his fingers on the table. Sight, hearing, and touch were all still working. At that moment, he could not smell anything but there did not seem to be anything especially fragrant in the room. He was not about to taste the table, of course. Still, it seemed that he was alive. Why he wasn’t patched up in a hospital bed was not exactly evident. The mystery nagged at him. He should be dead or at least severely injured.

He reached down to his side and felt no wound. There was not even any tenderness at the site of impact. Still, touching it was making him remember the attack more vividly which made his anxiety levels rise. He jerked his hand away. He spent time doing the customary checks one does after misadventure. He counted his fingers. He checked to make sure his limbs were intact and moved around. He checked his head for any bumps or contusions. He seemed to be in full health as far as he could tell. He stood up.

There was a sudden smell of a mix of peat and blood that strangely did not smell too bad. Any displeasure was offset by the realization that his sense of smell still worked. Another test passed with flying colors.

“Please have a seat, Mr. Caldwin,” a woman’s voice said. He looked back at the table and there was a woman sitting in a chair that had not been there before. She was wearing a wide-brimmed hat in such a way that he could not see her face. He had not seen or heard her come into the room. He sat down. As soon as he did, he noticed a steaming cup of coffee that had also not been there before. He drank without hesitation and without consideration even afterward. His anxiety lessened. The woman was looking at some sort of file folder.

“Thank you,” John said. “I mean for the coffee, of course, but also for whatever you did to keep me alive.”

“You’re not strictly alive,” the woman said without looking up. She wrote something quickly.

“I beg to differ,” John said. “Everything seems to be in working order and I’m not a bleeding wreck on the ground in an alley.”

“Well yes,” the woman said. “We are responsible for that. So you’re welcome.”

There was a long silence after that little exchange. John slowly sipped his coffee and watched the woman’s hat bob a bit as she read and wrote in the file folder. He was uncomfortable with the silence. The woman seemed to be just fine with silence.

“So you know my name,” John said, waiting for the obvious answer.

“I do,” the woman said. She kept her focus on her file folder without fail.

“And you are…” John said, trailing off to let the woman fill in the blank.

“Very busy,” the woman said. She finally looked up and John was taken aback to realize that she had no face. Where a face would have been, there was a blur that was uncomfortable to look at. John found himself staring at her hat rather than trying to establish eye contact with non-existent eyes.

“I don’t mean to be rude but you seem to be missing your face,” John said, trying to be helpful. “It’s just not there.” He managed calm words but he felt the cold stab of fear.

The woman sighed. “It’s not missing,” she said. “I just don’t have one. I’m not a human. I’m more of a concept. Please focus on the important things.” She closed her file folder and it ceased to exist.

“Is this the part where you explain things to me?” John asked. “I really need it to be the part where you explain things to me.” A headache was slowly forming behind his eyes.

The woman sighed again. “I don’t have time for that,” she said. “This book will explain everything.” She placed a leatherbound book on the table and then she vanished into thin air. At least she left the coffee behind.

Interview Questions 3

March 7, 2016

These are actual interview questions I lifted off of the internet. All three of them were reported by Business Insider and Glassdoor.

What do you think of lava lamps? And Dilbert?

I actually think of both in about the same way. A lava lamp is something to look at and zone out. I can feel very zen as I watch the bubbles and colors shift and move over and over in endless cycles. It’s totally mindless and I think that is the appeal. Of course, a lava lamp feels like it is an outdated decoration and is a little tacky now. Dilbert is much the same. It is a mindless collection of colors that makes me zone out when I read it. The jokes are not funny and the characters are impossible to connect with. It is robotic and negative and not really how I want to see my work environment.

What is your favorite color?

Back in the day, I would have probably said black just to be difficult. I was the gothiest non-goth that ever was a teenager. As I got older I would have been more pedantic and would have pointed out that black is not a color, it is the absence of color. Before I was a teenager and now I have the same answer. My favorite color is blue. Just a straight up, rich cobalt blue. I know that sounds kind of boring but that is half the point. That color just makes me feel more serene and serene can be a great thing. It’s the color of the sky on a perfect day, preferably with white puffy clouds blocking direct sunlight.

What were you like as a child?

I was a quiet kid. I was an awkward person in my youth and I still have a few vestiges of that. When my brothers and any carpool regulars were causing a ruckus, I was the one who just sat silently on the way to school. That started when I was a baby and in the hospital on the day that I was born, I did not cry. Instead, I just stared at my mother like a Child of the Corn. I was always thinking and unfortunately, that led to social anxiety. I was so worried about crowds, meeting new people and public speaking that I often would hide from it. These days I am still scared but when I have to I do it anyway. I am much better at talking and getting to know people than I used to be.

X’s Guide to the Paranormal: The Decision

June 8, 2015

X's Guide

This passage is to educate all newcomers to the town about what we call The Decision. At the risk of sounding cliche, the Decision has been passed down for centuries ever since the founding of our community soon after the second goblin war was over. Since the citizens of this town were trapped forever, those who made the rules worried that the town would become overcrowded. For better or for worse, between The Decision and the usual predation levels, the town has maintained a steady population.

As you may read elsewhere in this guide, the town proper is surrounded by very wild lands that aren’t very hospitable to human beings. The town borders are clearly drawn in the map section and are virtually impassable to anyone trying to leave. However, there are ways into the greater area around the town where one can find fantastic beasts. However, there are also beings of culture and intelligence there as well.

The Decision is as follows: At the age of sixteen, each new full citizen of the town is given a choice. They can either remain human or they can walk through the barrier around the town and join the wild. A person has to be sure on their choice because there is no going back. There is only the path ahead and where it takes you.

The following information is taught to children as to let them make an informed choice when they become an adult. These are the choices beyond humanity that each person faces.

The Goblins

I’ve gathered from recent visitors that the world at large has a negative view of goblins formed from books and popular media. This could not be farther from the truth. Well, it could be a little farther. The goblins are rough customers but they’re not inherently evil nor inherently good. They live under the hills to the north and also deep under the town. Their skin is scales and their strength is legendary. They have a tribal culture that honors strength and bravery, a simple torchlit existence.

The Werewolves

While it is well known that there are werewolves in town, the wilder ones live out in Jameson Forest. Still, they are the very definition of the noble savage and live an honorable life as long as the world of man does not interfere. Not much is known about what happens in Jameson Forest since few would dare to cross the werewolves. Treat any werewolf like you would a normal wolf in the woods. The only difference is that they speak English.

The Fae

Faery culture is deceptively civilized. They are educated and wise and their words wind around you like the gentle caress of somebody you love and trust. Be very wary of this. The Fae live in a very magical and enticing world that you may want to join. The Fae will do anything to ensnare mortals into their debt or service. They operate in two opposing factions but do not let them convince you that either side is good or evil. Use a civil tongue and keep your wits about you and you may survive their politics.


Of course, the final choice is to stay here with us and embrace the madness that we live with everyday. Embrace your humanity and use this guide to navigate the wonderful and terrifying world that I’ve dealt with since my birth. It’s your choice.

The Key Pt. 1

July 4, 2014

The tattoo had always been there behind Robin’s ear, ever since she could remember.  Apparently, it had been put there by her parents whom Robin had never met.  She supposed that society tends to revoke parental rights from people who tattoo their infant daughter.  Nobody had ever told her differently so she tended to paint her birth parents as the villains and moved on with her life.

The tattoo was of a key and a crudely drawn key and she covered it up as best she could out of embarassment.  Therefore she had always grown her hair out long and she had always worn it down.  She ignored it and forgot about it and locked it away in the same mental vault that she had shoved her birth parents.

Her adopted parents were caring and understanding and she got along with them fine.  This continued even through her teenage years when she had added a single purple streak to her dark brown hair while she devolved into an angsty mess.  During those years she had also been forced to wear glasses but now she couldn’t imagine her face without them now.  Eventually she traded her normal glasses for ones that had a slight purple tint which soon became her trademark.  She slowly grew up and formed into a person just like all the ordinary people did.  An life interesting to her and those closest to her but most likely boring to everybody else.

She had learned to play the violin in high school which won her a scholarship to a prestigious university.  That all changed when the blackouts began during freshman year.  It was hard to get through a symphony when she was worried another blackout might swallow her mind whole.  So she dropped out and they revoked her scholarship.  She couldn’t really blame them for it.  She had promised to play and then didn’t follow through.  She would have loved to make beautiful music but now she was a waitress in a rundown bar but she made it work.  She rarely had blackouts during her shifts and the people were alright to her.

However, the blackouts continued and nobody could ever explain where they were coming from.  She would be doing one thing and when she came to she would often be in exactly the same place.  They didn’t last long at first, a few minutes here and there, later they would stretch on for hours.  It wasn’t until the tattoos started to appear that she figured out she was being productive during her blackouts.  After she turned fifteen, she would sometimes wake up from her blackouts with a new tattoo.  After a year, she was starting to get alarmed by how much skin they had started to take up.

The tattoos had raised several questions.  If she blacked out and got tattoos, then she must have asked for them.  However, it was not Robin who had asked for them because she would remember.  So who asked for the tattoos?  Who was she sharing space with?   She was no closer to answering those questions today then she had been when the first tattoo showed up.  She felt like she was losing her mind but she roughly shoved all of those thoughts into the vault as well.  She thought the vault of her mind must be a fairly scary place by now.  If only she could decipher the tattoos the other Robin had placed on their skin.

These are the thoughts that unexpectedly swam to the surface of her thoughts as she started her Saturday shift.  She tied her apron on in a daze and then tied a bandana over her hair and walked the tables.  She almost didn’t notice the guy in the third booth, sitting all by himself with his coat still on.  It was annoying when single customers wanted a booth, taking up all the space from potential groups.  The guy was still dripping from the rain as well which meant Robin would have to grab a mop after he left.

Impatient, Robin leaned on the table. “What can I get you, stranger?”

The guy looked up at her, one eye brown and the other blue.  He looked confused for the longest pause and then his mouth turned up into a grin. “I guess you wouldn’t remember me.  No matter.  I come for the mark of the hound.” He replied.

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