In the heat of the day

by Purple Wyrm on February 9, 2016

When you’re sitting in a room that’s just slightly too warm for comfort, the temperature outside is in excess of 40°C and you’re a bit sleep deprived because last night was too hot, there’s just something about the hollow synth drums, the rumbling base, the jangly echoing guitar, the shrieking choir and the disdainful muttering of Dominion by the Sisters of Mercy that takes you to another, strange aural place where it may not be any cooler but the heat seems more appropriate – even, in some fashion – epic.

Or maybe that’s just me…

Calling all Creeps

by Purple Wyrm on February 2, 2016

From the Sydney Morning Herald

A self-styled pick-up artist who thinks rape should be legalised wants like-minded Sydney men to meet up and bond later this month.

A “neomasculinist” online group whose supporters believe rape should be legalised on private property and that women are biologically determined to follow the orders of men will meet for the first time in real life in Sydney on Saturday.

The meeting, at 8pm in Hyde Park in Sydney and at 43 other locations around the world, is organised by US-based “neomasculinist” and legal rape advocate, Daryush “Roosh” Valizadeh.

He has said women, transgender men and homosexual men were not invited.

I fully support this meeting! Getting all the vermin together in one spot will make it so much easier to exterminate them.

(Disclaimer: As we inhabit a fallen age where the ability to understand or even recognise instances of satire and hyperbole is a lost art I would like to clearly state that I in no way advocate or encourage the killing, injury or assault of Daryush Valizadeh or any of his disgusting little reptilian followers. No matter how satisfying such action would be.)

Popping my head up

by Purple Wyrm on January 31, 2016

I have been feeling very blah ever since Christmas and as such have got very little of anything done, let alone blog posts. But I am still alive and have started going to exercise classes on Saturday mornings, which will hopefully perk me up a bit (at the moment they’re just making my arms and legs hurt).

So expect some more updates soon.

Do Over

by Purple Wyrm on January 15, 2016

First David Bowie, now Alan Rickman.

Can we start the year over again?

Please?

The Stars Look Very Different Today

by Purple Wyrm on January 12, 2016

I have decided that from this day forth into perpetuity the first new moon of each year shall be known as Jareth’s Moon.

As I have stated it, so may it be. That is all.

Put that Magic Spell on Me

by Purple Wyrm on January 11, 2016

David Bowie isn’t dead. He’s just returned to the Goblin Kingdom from which he came.

We’ll miss him.

Essential Information for the New Year

by Purple Wyrm on January 4, 2016

Why is life so mysterious?

It wasn’t, until George Washington broke the seal on the Oak Island money pit and released the ancient spirit of evil known as “Walt Disney”. Thanks George!

What lessons from the Bible can be applied to everyday life, irrespective of religious affiliation?

Don’t make fun of bald guys, they might sic bears on you.

What is the best way to get to know someone when your intentions are romantic?

1: Moonwalk up to them
2: Snap your fingers in their face
3: Say “You, me, ayyyy?”
4: Put on sunglasses
5: Point at them
6: Moonwalk away while still pointing

Point at the sunglasses or the person?

Either works.

What does your dog just not understand?

Calculus

Why can humans sing?

To offer praise and worship to Zeus, obviously.

What caused you to lose your faith in the main maetrs aidem?

The mushroom man! He comes in the night and steals your faith! Sharp of tongue and spindle limbed he is, and cunning! He extracts it through your nose with special pliers! Beware of the mushroom man!

Why is the plural of goose is geese and the plural of moose is moose?

In the 1500s Pope Gooses I got sick of people making jokes about his name and issued a proclamation that made it a mortal sin to pluralise the word “goose”. After some decades of confusion (and exploitation by unscrupulous goose salesmen) the alternative plural “geese” was invented.

When moose were discovered in 1937 the Hearst newspaper empire ran a series of cartoons involving geese and “meese”. Readers found these so annoying that Congress passed a law (sponsored of course by unscrupulous moose salesmen) establishing the plural of “moose” as “moose”.

What do glasses fix or correct?

Uncoolness. If a young person is uncool, they can increase their coolness by 10%-60% by combining black, thick rimmed glasses with an appropriate haircut.

Would you ever watch a new live-action take on He-Man?

Only if it was a buddy movie about undercover cops infiltrating the Eternian bodybuilding scene in search of steroid dealers.

What do they not want you to eat?

The heart of a king.

If you could interview anyone (dead or alive) and they had to honestly answer every question, who would you interview and what would you ask?

General Washington, what is your favourite variety of cheese?

If New York City broke off and started sinking into the ocean, and you could only save one person, who would you save?

That guy who plays guitar in a cowboy hat and speedo. Human civilisation would be pointless without him!

Why did a lot of 90s Dance music videos feature people running with briefcases?

The fastest way to digitally distribute music in the 1990s was to copy it to floppy discs and run them across town in briefcases. You could hardly move through a major city without being knocked down by people running around with briefcases full of the latest Ace of Base album!

You are selected by the Illuminati to travel to Ethiopia with a mission to destroy local priest. How do you plan to destroy him?

Make snide comments about his weight.

He just laughs

Well I’m outa ideas!

When was the last time you were in Saskatoon?

Does a secret Illuminati base 800 feet underground count as “in”?

You can now turn into a fly but you stay human sized. What do you do with your new power?

Head to the local make-out spot and scare the hell out of horny teenagers.

You can ask Hitler one question. What do you ask him?

“Dude, seriously?

Why is the what not but how and this should but could is why?

Why is could but should this and how but not what the is why?

What questions do you want to see asked at the GOP debate?

If a train leaves Tulsa at 9:00am traveling at 87 miles per hour and Superman can lift 200 times his own weight are you or have you ever been a member of the Communist party?

Would it be feasible to construct a launch pad on the moon?

You’d have to build a launch pad on Earth first to get everything to the moon, and sadly – as we all know – that’s impossible.

What would a Romulan class Intergalactic Battle Bagel sound like flying around?

mimimimi mimimimimi

What is one animal’s meat that you would not eat?

Meat-man. I mean he’ll happily give you his meat, but it just seems creepy to me.

You can change any chain of events that you want to, but whatever you change has an equally negative effect on you as before. Would you change anything?

I’d alter events to include a walrus. The vicissitudes of life are much easier to handle when you get to see a walrus.

What are you waiting for like crazy that nobody else seems to care about?

The coming of the Necro-Mantis!

I just got into the twitter scene, what is the whole @ thing about with people’s names? And how do people find you to follow you?

‘@’ indicates that the person is a member of the Illuminati.

You collect followers by approaching people in urban alleyways after dark and asking “Have you got change for a penny yo shizzle?”

What would you do if your dad was a WWII veteran that supported Trump?

Stand in front of my microwave with the door open and hope it changes my DNA.

Michael Jackson recorded songs like “Heal the world”, “Man in the mirror”, “Earth song” and “Black or White” yet people still believe that he touched kids with no proof whatsoever. How could this be?

Well Gary Glitter recorded Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow, and you know about him!

Are autistics the next step in human evolution?

Possibly, if we could get over our social phobias enough to breed.

How many of the world’s problems could be resolved by everyone just getting together and punching Andy Dick?

Very few. But let’s do it anyway!

Why do I get homesick when I’m far away from my family for too long?

Because you are weak!

What can someone do with 60lbs of onions and 30lbs of winter squashes?

Drive away everyone they love.

If you could name the Seven Dwarfs, what would you name them?

Bolshy, Grubby, Gropey, Commie, Scabby, Bojack and Moe.

What’s the punishment for grave desecration (stealing skulls) under UK law?

You take someone’s skull, their relatives get to take yours.

Harsh, but fair.

Why doesn’t anyone on a TV Show or Movie say, “Goodbye” right before ending a phone call?

Screenwriters are all members of the Cult of Squiggy. They worship David Lander and will never write the word “goodbye” – only “hello”.

What’s the cheapest way to ship something from the USA to New Zealand?

Strap it to a sea-turtle and point it in the right direction.

What’s your theory about one of your past lives?

I was a highly spiritual Indian chief who served in the army of Alexander the Great in Egypt where I met Cleopatra and helped build the pyramids.

What’s Peter Pan syndrome like?

It’s alright, but all the sword fighting gets tedious after a while.

What’s the opposite of keeping your phone on silent?

Being Dom Jolly.

If You Could Rename American Football What Would You Call It?

Leathery-Paddington Carry-o-Ball.

What’s the best response to “Hi, how are you”?

Stare for a couple of seconds, then say “Dismissed!” while waving the speaker away with your hand.

How can one go about dating firefighters?

Take a core sample and count the rings.

Why can’t I find John Kasich’s height on the Internet?

He has spent a huge amount of time and money keeping this information secret because if anyone discovers his exact height his dark masters will summon him back to his home dimension.

What would an inconvenience store sell?

Empty Cheez Whiz cans relabeled as “Cheez Was”.

Why do a lot of older Indian women walk with that limp?

At the age of 40 they have to give up their calf muscles in a secret ritual. It’s known fact!

What’s the best way to avoid feminists?

Hide inside your house and never come out. It’s the best solution for everyone.

How do you like to be apologised to?

The petitioner should approach me in a humble manner, with eyes downcast. They should then lie face down on the floor with their arms outstretched and recite “Mea culpa! Mea culpa! Mea maxima culpa!” five times, while gently weeping.

I will then decide whether or not to forgive them, depending on how generous I’m feeling that day.

What creative way can you think of to stop an impending asteroid?

Hire all the world’s pyrotechnic companies to produce vast amounts of red smoke, to the point where the planet looks completely red from orbit. The asteroid will get confused, think it’s heading for Mars and head off to look for Earth elsewhere.

What incentives does a caterpillar have for invading eastern Asia?

All that rice. Caterpillars love rice.

You are paid $50 for every hour you can last in a small room with 3 angry screaming children. How long do you last for?

Am I allowed to kick or punch the children?

No

I’m out!

Is it possible for a dog to digest a celery stick?

Many years of research have proven that Dogs cannot digest celery. It sticks in their appendixes and eventually causes them to turn savage (cf. Cujo, King S. 1981)

If you had to pick one company logo to tattoo on your forehead, which would it be?

Mazda. Then I’d say “Indeed” a lot and tell everyone I’m the First Prime of Horus.

What is the most important thing to do on prom night?

Make sure to load hollow point rounds for maximum incapacitation.

Ex-Cultists of Reddit, when was the moment you realized you didn’t want to be a member anymore?

When they finally showed us what a shoggoth actually looks like. I was like “Nope!” and handed in my membership card right then!

Why can the positive sign can be written as -(-) but the negative sign can’t be written as (+)(+)?

Because (+)(+) looks like boobs and would distract mathematicians from their work.

How close are you to becoming a wizard?

I just need to eat one more broom.

If you’re the spouse of a crewmember on the USS Enterprise 1701-D, and you don’t do science work, what the hell do you do all day on a starship while your spouse is working?

Counselor Troi!

Is it true that breathing nighttime air will cause the lymph glands to fill with pus?

Nurse! He’s out of bed again!

Which is it, ketchup or catsup?

It’s tomato sauce you heathen!

What is your most disgusting poop story?

Once upon a time there was a poop who worked hard, saved his money and bought a beautiful house. But a real estate developer wanted to knock down the poop’s house and build a shopping mall. The poop refused to sell, but the developer bribed a Senator to seize the poop’s house under eminent domain laws. The poop tried to sue, but the real estate developer bribed the judge, and the poop ended up losing everything.

What dinosaur do you find the most attractive?

I looove the sexy neck of the brachiosaurus.

Why are restaurant chefs always so angry and aggressive?

Neural trichinosis from prolonged exposure to raw meat.

What’s the best way to get earwax out of your ear?

A properly trained earwig.

If u take the sun and place it 1 cm from ur cannabis plant leaves, and project a ice beam in between so that it would neutralise the heat from the sun. would ur cannabis grow super fast?

I am a qualified scientician and cannot honestly see any reason why not.

What is the history of Perth, Western Australia?

A British ship commanded by Captain Stirling and John Roe crashed into Rottnest Island in 1902. They built a raft out of quokkas and paddled their way to the mainland where they found the Swan river. They then got into a fight about the length of Roe’s “member” (he insisted it was 7 inches, hence his nickname “Septimus” whereas Stirling insisted it was 6.5 at best) and split up, with Stirling establishing Perth and Roe founding Freemantle.

Roe’s “special friend” Paddy Hannan discovered gold at Carousel in 1910 leading to the gold rush, during which Lang Hangcock built London Court and Barracks arch. C.Y.O’Connor built a pipeline to Kalgoorlie in the 1920s as tax dodge, but then committed suicide when he lost a bet with Lord Forrest over the annual Freemantle vs Perth quokka soccer derby.

The years 1930 to 1994 were stricken from the record, and as a result no one is really sure who’s to blame for Mirrabooka. Nothing must else happened since then except a train station was built at Thornlie, provoking much celebration.

What are some fun and illegal things to do as a teenager?

Teach people about Jury Nullification.

Apart from open windows and doors, how can spiders/insects get inside houses?

Various species of arachnids have been shown to be able to teleport short distances.

You are selected to be a curator of culture for a space ark bound for Alpha Centari. You have 2TB of data storage, what do you send?

I’d find a list of the 100 most critically acclaimed television shows in history, create a folder named for each of them, and fill every single one with the entire run of Lavern and Shirley.

Then set up a hidden folder named The Wire and fill it with Patrick Swayze’s The Renegades

Is Gerard Way actually scared of teenagers?

I would be. Have you seen teenagers?

You obtain the ability to mimic the voice of one person perfectly. How do you use your new power?

David Lander. I’d call him up at odd hours, claim to be Squiggy, and accuse him of stealing my identity.

What is the most pointless thing you’ve ever purchased?

A sphere.

What is typical pay for a member of the Canadian Reserved Armed Forces?

Five loonies a fortnight and all the maple syrup you can gargle.

What bands should tour together based on their name alone, and what is the tour called?

Ace of Base, Mates of State and Bonnie Raitt. The Ace State Base Raitt Mate Tour.

Is anything interesting happening in Britain at the moment?

A man has just thrown up on the pavement in Wardour Street, Soho, London. A small dog is licking it up.

What is the best way to cook meth?

With fava beans and a nice chianti.

What can Donald Trump’s hair be compared to?

A normal haircut. Poorly.

What makes sleeping pills work?

The drug companies keep thousands of children locked up and strapped to beds in special warehouses in third world countries and never allow them to sleep. Every ten minutes a loud, unexpected sound is played to keep them awake, and an automated scraping device collects the “sand” from the corners of their eyes. This sand is then processed and compressed into sleeping pills.

Can Norton Internet Security protect a computer on the deep web?

Norton Internet Security can’t even protect a computer on Animal Crossing.

How would you ruin the country if you ran it?

Quickly and irreversibly.

A time capsule is being made to be opened in 100 years. What would be your personal contribution to it?

A pair of safety scissors with a label attached reading “You will know what to do with these”.

Who terrorizes the terrorists?

The Coast Guard?

What’s the most outlandish Hollywood secret you’ve heard of?

Richard Gere once swallowed so much semen that they had to pump gerbils out of his rib cage!

What’s the weirdest thing you know about whales?

Whales are excellent at poker, but have trouble finding waterproof cards that are big enough for them to easily hold.

What is the most disgusting thing you’ve seen at a music festival?

This filthy moron climbed up on the stage and started screaming incomprehensibly at the crowd.

I think someone said his name was “Kid Rock”.

What is the song “Sugar we’re going down” about?

A sea captain who refuses to curse.

What do you not understand?

The point of fingers.

What would you choose between becoming the most powerful person in the country, or saving lives of all children in internet cafes worldwide right now?

Are you threatening children in internet cafes?

Men who put your hands down your pants, why do you do it?

You want we should put our hands down other men’s pants?

If guns could make any sound other than the sound they currently do when they fire, which sound would be the funniest?

Squiggy saying “Hello”

Does New Zealand exist?

Yes, but it’s full of damn, dirty hobbits.

What’s an item you’d find in a grey market?

Tax exempt whizz-fizz

Do you think there’s a correlation between Muslims in the media and the popularity of Peppa Pig?

Well I do now.

Any good website startup ideas?

Online ordered, drone delivered, instant buckets of shrimp.

What are some shitty things that Wal Mart does that the average person probably doesn’t know about?

Store Chinese soldiers in their basements.

How would you react if your girlfriend was a warlock?

Well I wouldn’t lend her any money for a start.

You happen upon an abandoned semi-truck on the side of the road. You investigate, finding that the truck is full of mannequins…. all with your face. What do you do?

Scream “Mama, put the coins on my eyes ’cause I sure don’t believe what I am seeing!”

Why men feel hot but women feel cold in the same office?

Because all men are spiritually affiliated with Satan, and psychospiritual feedback causes heat from the fires of hell to creep back along the connection, keeping us warm.

What would you do with a gallon of Xenomorph blood?

Shots!

Why are hot dogs called hot dogs?

Because they’re made from black market dachshunds.

How would the world be if communists followed Groucho Marx instead of Karl Marx?

Duck soup for the proletariat.

I’m 18 years old. What the hell is ‘Beetlejuice’ that aged folk speak of?

It’s a star in the constellation Orion. If you say it three times Neil Degrasse Tyson comes out of your mirror and kills you with a billhook.

How many votes do conjoined twins get in Federal Elections?

None. The 17th amendment prevents “carnival freaks, convicted felons and members of the vile Free-Masons” from voting.

Sitting, Watching, Waiting, Wishing

by Purple Wyrm on December 27, 2015

Once again as the Earth continues its appointed circuit around the star we choose to call the Sun, the time has come to select the ten best songs of the year and send them in to Triple J where they shall be completely drowned amidst millions of votes for some yodeling beardo strumming a banjo. But such is our lot to endure, so endure it we must!

I went into my selections this year with a few songs already picked out but wondering how I was going to fill up the rest of the list. As it turned out this wasn’t a problem – there were a surprising number of really good tracks hidden among all the dross. I even had to eliminate some, which is why there’s nothing from Chvrches or my future wife Florence Welsh.

So without further ado, here we go…

Bassically – Te Shi

The first time I heard this track I nominated it as my song of the year, and that hasn’t changed in the months since. It’s magnificent! If you don’t think so at first, turn up the bass and wait until it kicks in at about the 2:30 mark.

My opinion of the track is not at all hurt by it sharing a key four note sequence with Last Train to Trancentral.

Long Loud Hours – Urthboy featuring Bertie Blackman

Good hip-hop tells stories. I suppose bad hip-hop can tell stories too, but they’re generally about how the performer is better than everyone else due to their acquisition of money, jewellery, firearms and women, and are therefore not stories worth the bother of listening to. Urthboy though can usually be relied upon to actually say something interesting with his music, in this specific case telling the story of Lucy Dudko, the librarian who hijacked a helicopter to bust her lover, bank robber John Killick, from Silverwater Jail in 1999. An interesting twist in this modern age of redefined gender is that Urthboy sings Dudko’s part while Bertie Blackman takes on Killick.

Story aside the music on this one is really great too, with those distorted, off-beat notes that I suspect are being played in reverse. If Bassically hadn’t blown every other song away, this easily could have been my song of the year, and even if you don’t enjoy the music, you should be able to find some entertainment in the quite silly poses Urthboy pulls throughout the video.

Flesh Without Blood – Grimes

Oh no! Grimes has gone pop! It’s a disaster! Whatever shall we do?! Well if you ask me, stop whinging about your precious indie-cred and enjoy a fantastically structured, intricately layered pop-rock-alt track that’s catchy as hell. In addition to the music you also get to choose your favourite Grimes. Autocannibalistic Marie Antoinette Grimes? Scary angel Grimes? Cool Cuban Grimes? Crazy dance Grimes? Cave-dwelling goth Grimes? Take your pick!

Of course Grimes hasn’t completely abandoned her indie ways, so the only way you can hear the song on YouTube is a part of a short film double feature thingie. The second song is fine, but nothing to really write home about.

Pedestrian at Best – Courtney Barnett

I really couldn’t stand Courtney Barnett at first. This is mostly because her first single – History Eraser – is dreadful. It’s kind of ironic then that Pedestrian at Best is remarkably similar in style. It lifts itself out of the sub-Dylanesque mire of mumbled lyrics however with an absolutely vicious chorus that pulls the rest of the song together and makes the verses actually work. It’s great stuff! For all that the video is full of clowns (shudder!).

The Love Within – Block Party

Wub WUB WUB WUB Wub Wub wub wub. Wub WUB WUB WUB Wub Wub wub wub. There, you’ve heard 90% of the song, but somehow it works. Like Courtney Barnett’s effort the potentially inane remainder of the track is pulled together by a great chorus – a catchy, poppy affair that makes you want to jump up and dance.

Not that I’d ever do anything as undignified  as jumping up and dancing of course.

All the Day – Haerts

I love the rhythms in this. That’s really all I have to say. Umm, the band members met in Iceland – is that interesting? Hmmmm. Did I mention the rhythms?

Get Down – Jess Kent

Possibly the catchiest song of the year, if not the decade or indeed all of human history. And the video is the only use of Emojis I’ve ever seen that doesn’t make me want to go out and punch a millennial in the face.

Scud Books – Hudson Mohawke

I’m not sure what the title of this track means – if it means anything at all. But this is a great piece of epic Scottish ‘EDM’ – as I believe all the cool kids are calling it today.

Just a shame that the YouTube version appears to have had all the bass sucked out of it.

Something to Tell You – Tom Lark

I’ve been hanging onto this since the start of the year, wondering if enough good tracks would come along to push it off my list. They didn’t. It’s a sweet little pop song with the most ridiculously hipster video clip you’ve ever seen. I’m not sure if they were trying to be genuinely hipster, or made a parody of hipsterism so accurate that they Poed straight through and ended up firmly back in hipster territory. In any case, the song still stands.

Love me Badder – Elliphant

If I knew the precise definition of soul music I might suggest that this sounds kind of like it. But I don’t, so I won’t. It’s very good though, regardless of what other genres it may or may not resemble.

So there we go. The 10 best songs of 2015. I wonder what bearded hippie will take out number one this year?

Too Much Turkey

by Purple Wyrm on December 26, 2015

Ack! Long time no blog. Pushing through to the end of the working year drained me to the point where I was running on fumes with just enough energy to make it through each day without complete mental and emotional collapse, so writing witty blog posts was completely beyond me.  But I’ve rested up for a couple of days, eaten some turkey and banished all thought of work to the land of wind and ghosts, so should be right for a while now.

Anyway, as my previous post suggested I have fallen deeply into the Stand Still Stay Silent fan community. Well, deeply for me, which means I lurk on the fan forum and occasionally pop up to make inane comments. A couple of these inane comments (and too much turkey) have led me to perpetrate an awful crime against the noble art of fan fiction, which I have decided to present here so the world may judge it and decide on an appropriate punishment.

(It goes without saying that it will not make much sense unless you’re familiar with the comic. Frankly it may not make much sense even if you are familiar with the comic, but at least you’ll know who the characters are. Also in SSSS the new year is in Autumn, which is why August comes after October.)

So here we go. I have no title for it, but then it probably doesn’t deserve one…

——————————————————————————————————-
——————————————————————————————————-
SAIMAA – OCTOBER, YEAR 78

The door flew open, letting in a gust of cold wind and a swirl of snow. Lalli, who had been practicing some simple spells by the hearth, leapt up as his grandmother staggered in, grabbing at the doorpost for support.

“Grandma..?” he started uncertainly.

“Lalli! Oh Gods Lalli! Where are your cousins?” Grandma staggered across the cabin towards him but collapsed onto the table halfway. Lalli ran to her and helped her to her feet. “Where are your cousins child? Quickly!”

He hesitated “I.. I don’t know Grandma. Onni said he was going hunting…”

“You have to find him. And Tuuri! It’s not safe!”

Lalli helped Grandma into a chair. She sagged forwards, burying her face in her hands as he ran across the room and pushed the door closed, jumping up to pull the latch firmly shut. He ran back to the chair and knelt by her side.

“What’s wrong Grandma? What happened?”

“I… I thought maybe I could teach them!” she moaned “There were books I read, as a child…”

“Teach who? What did you try to do?”

“…they seem so much like us in so many ways. I didn’t think the illness had changed them as much as the others…”

Lalli was frightened now. No matter the problem, no matter what went wrong, Grandma always knew what to do. Seeing her so confused, so frightened shook his world to its core. He threw his arms around her legs and buried his face in her lap.

“Grandma, what should we do?”

He felt her take a deep, shuddering breath and shift upright. When Lalli looked up, the calm, strong Grandma he’d always known had returned. She pulled him to his feet and looked him in the eyes with a sad smile.

“It was a mistake. I should never have tried it. It was a terrible mistake and now we have to make it right.”

She took Lalli’s hands in hers.

“I need you to go and find your cousins. We’re going to have to leave this place. But before we do, there’s something I need to teach you…”

——————————————————————————————————-
NORTH SAIMAA – AUGUST, YEAR 78

There was a space under the jetty just big enough to hide in and stay dry.

It was Lalli’s favourite place. He’d found it not long after they’d arrived at the village, three months back, and he retreated there regularly – particularly when Onni wanted him to do chores.

Today he was using it as a hideout after stealing a fresh bread roll from the village bakery. He knew that Grandma wouldn’t approve, but…

He paused, his thoughts halted by a pang of sorrow. Grandma wouldn’t have approved. It was Onni who was in charge now. Grandma’s plan to lure away and then outrun the… the thing, had worked, but at a dreadful cost.

But things were slowly getting better. Almost a year of running from village to village had ended. They’d found a home. Onni was working hard to earn them a place here, Tuuri was learning weird foreign languages at the school and Lalli – Lalli was training as a scout, stealing rolls and hiding under a jetty where he could eavesdrop on his fellow villagers with little chance of discovery.

Two of those villagers, both fishermen, were walking up the boards from their newly landed boat. Lalli tuned in to their conversation as he chewed.

“Did you hear that racket last night?”
“What racket?”
“Out in the woods past the south wall, you seriously didn’t hear it?”
“You know I’m a deep sleeper”
“You’d have to be. Weirdest damn noise I’ve ever heard, and it went on forever.”

Lalli stopped eating as a wave of foreboding swept over him.

“Probably just some troll”
“Not like any troll I’ve ever heard”
“Well, what’d it sound like?”
“Well first of all there was this deep humming sound, like standing next to a hive of giant bees…”
“There you go, it was just a hive of giant bees!”
“Shut up! Then over the hum there was this horrible, high pitched wail, like someone was strangling a pine marten.”
“Well, maybe that’s what giant bees do for fun!”
“Are you taking this at all seriously?”
“Nope!”
“You’re an idiot.”

The two walked away, continuing their banter as Lalli cowered under the jetty.

It had found them again.

——————————————————————————————————-
KEURUU – YEAR 84

Lalli had been sitting, staring at the blank report ever since he’d made it back through the east gate just before dawn. What could he write? Onni had been clear when they’d first arrived at the base – if the authorities found out just what had followed their family halfway across Finland they’d be out of Keuruu faster than a Grade A feline pouncing on a rat-beast. He could probably make something up, but what would prompt an appropriate level of caution without giving away exactly what…

“Lalli!” his thoughts were interrupted by Tuuri, scurrying across the compound and waving vigorously despite juggling two steaming wooden bowls.

“Welcome back!” she exclaimed, plonking onto the bench opposite and setting down the porridge. “I bought you some breakfast since I thought you wouldn’t have…” she saw the look on his face and paused. “It’s not…” she began.

“Yes” he replied.

Tuuri paled and pushed the bowls aside.

“But we’ve come so far!” she whimpered “You’re sure it wasn’t…”

“Yes” he interrupted.

She buried her face in her hands for a full minute as Lalli sat in silence.

“We have to tell Onni” she finally whispered “But if we do he’ll only want to move us again, and there’s nowhere else to go!” She took a deep breath and looked up at her cousin. “The spell. The one that Grandma taught you, will it keep it away?”

Lalli thought for a few seconds. “Yes”.

“And the walls here are strong. If you can force it to keep its distance, Onni might never hear it. He’ll think it lost our trail after all. Could that work?”

“Yes”

“Good!” She jumped to her feet. “I’ll go remind him how terrible the outside is and how he should never leave the base! He already mostly thinks that, so it won’t be very hard.” She turned to go, then turned back “And don’t tell anyone about this! Ever! Understand?”

“Yes”

Filled with determination, Tuuri strode rapidly away in the direction of their quarters.

The sun rose slightly higher. Lalli was just finishing his bowl of porridge when he spotted the Scout Sergeant striding across the compound.

“All night scout summaries are due now! Don’t make me ask again, people!”

Lalli scribbled down the first thing that entered his head and ran off to submit the report, pausing only to grab the second porridge bowl as he did so.

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THE DREAM REALM – YEAR 90

“No” said Onni “I’m ordering you to not step outside your perimeters again until I say you can. It’s not safe.”

“I – ” began Lalli

“Don’t argue…” Onni paused, closed his eyes and turned away. “It’s looking for us again”

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COPENHAGEN – YEAR 90

This was it. No more running. It was going to end tonight in the ruins of this weird, scary, foreign city.

He’d known it was coming, ever since Onni had warned him. It might seem impossible that the creature could follow he and Tuuri across the entire world, but it had tracked them for over ten years and across most of Finland, so whatever strange force linked them was clearly not hindered by distance.

It had been lurking at the edges of his dreamscape for at least a week, getting stronger each time he spotted it from the corner of his eye. So tonight, under the cover of scouting a route for the morning, Lalli was on the hunt.

It would be near the water of course. Fresh water. And to intrude on his dreams so strongly it couldn’t be far away. He’d examined the map that the crazy Norwegian lady was always waving around and decided the most likely place for the beast to be lurking was the weird, star shaped lake in the north of the ruins.

He’d carefully made his way to the southern point of the star and had sat quietly in wait for several hours. But it was getting late, and there was no sign of the beast. If this was going to be over tonight, he had to take a chance.

With a whispered prayer to the Gods, he picked up a rounded stone and stepped out into the open.

With one swift motion he hurled the stone. It skipped across the water, bouncing several times before sinking into the depths with an echoing plunk.

Nothing happened.

Silence.

Lalli’s shoulders fell.

But then, a stream of bubbles rose from the depths of the lake. The stream elongated, heading across the water towards the shore where Lalli stood. He stepped back, drawing his blade.

As the bubbles drew close the dark bulk of the creature rose up from the murk. It had grown since Lalli had seen it last outside the walls of Keuruu. Its black skin glistened in the moonlight and it wheezed as it hauled itself onto the land.

The drone began. The deep thrumming buzz that had driven so many to madness since the day twelve years ago when Grandma had made her terrible mistake. Then the high pitched, piercing, demon-wail. Lalli resisted the seductive urge to block his ears and flee and instead summoned his internal strength. Raising his hands he intoned the last spell Grandma ever taught him,

Musiikki on kamala,
Sinun pitäisi,
Tuntea huonoa!
Mennä kotiin norppa,
Olet humalassa!

The beast paused, its infernal cacophony dying away as it pulled its head back and upwards – almost as if it was offended by the words of power. Taking his chance, Lalli lept forwards, stabbing his knife upwards into the creature’s bloated air-sack.

The beast let out a high pitched squeal and fell back towards the water, trying to shake Lalli off. But he kept hold with an iron grip born of twelve long years of fear and rage. The creature’s flippers beat at him, but he refused to let go, tearing at the cursed thing that had started all the madness. As the first glimmer of light crept into the pre-dawn sky he tore it loose, and the beast let out a wail of defeat, falling back into the black water with a great splash and rapidly swimming away.

Lalli collapsed onto the snowy ground, gripping his prize. It was over. The long nightmare was over. He pulled himself to his feet and began the walk back to the tank.

Never again. Never again would the Hotakainen family – or anyone else – have to fear the sound of a beastified seal playing Pomppufiilis on Grandma’s old bagpipes.

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I am most dreadfully sorry!

Stand Still, Stay Silent

by Purple Wyrm on November 27, 2015

Stumbled over a new webcomic this week. Well, not strictly speaking new, it’s been going since 2013, but it’s new to me, which is what matters in my small, self-centered world.

Titled Stand Still, Stay Silent it’s set 90 years after a plague wiped out most of the world’s population and transformed almost all mammals into hideous abominations. Civilisation survives in Iceland and a few pockets of Scandinavia and Finland – the rest of the planet is left alone as “The Silent World”. The survivors have turned back to their ancient traditions and belief systems while still maintaining as much technology as possible, so it’s a world of tanks, trains and assault rifles paired with runes and spells – except for those crazy Swedes and Danes who don’t believe in magic. And cats. Cats are important.

Here’s a map

The story is that of the first expedition out into the Silent World. The first badly funded and under-trained mission, whose real job isn’t actually to explore, it’s to make money or (more likely) die trying.

The plot is interesting, the setting is fascinating and the art is top notch. So go check it out! The prologue (set in the current day when the plague emerges) starts here, and the main plot here. You could probably skip the prologue if you really want to but there’s good background info in there, so don’t.

So check it out, and enjoy!