The Never-Ending Halloween

I went to work yesterday, and they were playing Christmas songs. Christmas decorations were everywhere, and I had to assemble a cardboard replica of Santa’s mailbox to hang gift cards on. And yet just a few days ago, I posted this on Instagram. Halloween hasn’t been over for a full week, and already Christmas is dancing on it’s dessicated corpse.

Of the two holidays, I have to say that I’m more of a fan of Halloween these days. Oh sure, I don’t go trick-or-treating, and I spend more time with friends and family on Christmas than I do on Halloween. But I feel closer to the spirit of Halloween than Christmas. Maybe it’s because Christmas has been commercialized out the wazzu (not that there isn’t a huge commercial element to Halloween as well), or maybe it’s because I’m sick of hearing about the War on Christmas from the more conservative side of the family. But honestly, I think it has more to do with Halloween being steeped in fantasy and horror, my two favorite genres both to write and to read.

Anyone who reads my blog should know I’m a fan of the macabre. I think I’ve posted more horror stories on this blog than any other genre. The same goes for the stories I post on my Patreon. I could make up some pretentious artistic explanation for why that is, such as horror being able to expose our underlying primal anxieties or whatever, but the truth is that I just find it fun to read scary stories and to write my own. I have ever since I was a kid. Seriously, you have no idea how many Goosebumps books I checked out of the school library.

A lot of my current projects revolve around horror, as well. Wednesday marked the premiere of the podcast TerrorTop, a Dungeons and Dragons Actual Play with Gothic and Lovecraftian elements. I’ve been working real hard on DMing the game and working together with my players to create a believable and terrifying world. We plan on releasing a new episode every other week, alternating with out sister podcast Quips and Crits.

TerrorTop
The thumbnail art for TerrorTop, as drawn by Evan La Medica

In addition, I have been working on an urban fantasy/ horror themed indie tabletop RPG, which I hope to eventually be able to publish. Working on developing the rules has been really fun, especially since I decided to work on my own system instead of piggy back off of someone else’s work. Unfortunately, that means I could very well screw up and create something unbalanced and not at all fun to play. But that’s the basic risk that comes with making any game.

Finally, I’m continuing to write horror stories. I’ll be posting a short flash fic later today, and I’m spending time that I’m not working on the RPG writing a longer story that I eventually hope to have published. if I can’t publish it, I’ll throw it on the Patreon and work on the next one. Eventually, I’ll get good enough to be a published horror author. Halloween may be over, but I will never stop celebrating the spirit of the macabre.

A Cover Letter

To whom it may concern,

Thank you for considering my application for the position of Specialty Assistant at your local establishment. Ever since I graduated, I’ve wanted the opportunity to really dig my teeth into the barrier between the real and the unreal. I think this position will finally give me that chance.

In addition to a passion for the work, I bring a considerable amount of practical skill to the table. I have extensive knowledge of grimoires, skinning knives, and bloodstone amulets, as well as prior experience with Microsoft Office. I also have great customer service skills. Once, when I was working as a cashier at Heinen’s, I was able to quiet a particularly disruptive customer by removing the flesh from my face, allowing them to see the terrible visage that lurked underneath. Needless to say, they never caused another disturbance again.

Thank you for taking the time to review my application. I can be reached via phone every evening between the hour at which the wolves first begin to howl and the hour at which the cock crows. I will follow up via summoning ritual in two weeks time. I look forward to hearing from you.

Thanks Again,
That-Which-Should-Not-Be
86 Desolation Lane
Thornwood, OH
Phone: 555-1134

OK, so I know I said I’d write something every week and I’m a few days late. Sorry about that. Anyway, this just popped into my head the other day while applying for jobs. 

A Special Annoucement

Steve filed in to the auditorium with his fellow employees. At the podium was the CEO, her face twisted into a smile that made dogs howl.

“Thank you all for coming,” said the CEO to the assembled crowd. “We have a really exciting piece of news for you all. We are ready to proceed with phase two of the Great Transferal. Now is the time to ready ourselves to topple the governments of the world. We shall begin immediately.”

As his co-workers shuffled off their flesh, exposing the alien forms underneath, Steve began to wonder if he should have chosen a different place of employment.

The CEO of my company sent out a really cryptic email about a surprise mandatory meeting, and this popped into my head. The announcement turned out to be that the CTO is retiring. I guess you humans get to live another day.  

The photo is yet another one from my trip to Wales. It depicts the newspaper where Dylan Thomas worked.