Canis Latrans' Stories

Bad JarA couple of years back my erstwhile friend and shenaniganinja Tony went with me to explore an old busted up meat packaging plant. I dont remember specifically where the shit this place was, we had seen it while driving home from some adventure or another and had a collective moment of "oh shit when we get a chance we need to check that place out." The next night that neither of us were too drunk to stand up we went ahead and ventured in with an assorted bag of goodies. Urban exploration right? There was a thread around here about that stuff, its pretty neat.

Might of been near Chicago, and I say meat packaging plant because that's my best guess, I have no fucking clue what this place was. It had lockers and slaughterhouse type things, big old blown out freezers and truck loading bays, all kinds of cool shit. Breaking in wasn't difficult, shitty wooden fence and no actual security to speak of meant our greatest risk of invading this place was tetanus. Was a multi-floored rectangle-shaped structure that looked like it had been abandoned for at least twenty years, some of the shit we found in there like old newspapers and shit referenced things earlier though, but it wasn't like a pristine site, people had been there before. Tony and I first inspected what we hoped would have been the office area, a small cubical farm that was filled with rotting papers, busted up crates, fungal curiosities and a fuck ton of erasers. They were the old pink pig type erasers and they had grown rock hard and cracked with age. Tony apparently used to regularly eat them as a kid. I was more of a crayon and elmer's glue kid.

At this stage of our exploration neither of us had our creepy senses kicked. Yeah, we kind of expected it to be completely honest. Of course we were hunting for weird shit, I think thats why anyone goes into places like that. Mostly it was smelly, dark and kind of boring.

We hit minor paydirt when in one of the side communal bathrooms Tony found a broken bong and a stack of old penthouse magazines. They were shoved in the bowl of an old dry toilet and in the tank there were some partially torn baggies of brown moldy stuff. Tony and I expertly deduced that this was some dudes secret lair where he got high, jerked off and then wrote angry poetry about how he was too smart for normal society before passing out. The grafitti in here was much more boring than the weird absurd shit I used to find in japan. Mostly illegible tag-names and dicks. Lots and lots of dicks. Dicks everywhere. Anyways, shit got interesting when after about three hours of screwing around in the upper levels Tony found a flight of stairs leading down into what we assumed at first to be a small basement area, maybe like storage for maintenance shit or something.

We had pretty solid flashlights so the dark wasnt a big deal, but the stairs were old as babylonian dog shit and very small. You could put your back against one wall, reach out and easily touch the other wall. Most stairwells are a bit broader than that in my experiance. So we go down this tiny little staircase and find out that instead of a small basement area there is instead a very spacious underground warehouse level down here. Lots and lots of empty space, and I presume somewhere back there were ramps leading up to loading bays and shit. The ceiling was pretty low and just about everything was concrete. There was also a ridiculously large assortment of crap down here. Lots of shopping carts, trash bags filled with old clothes and wooden pallets propped up everywhere. Tony found a pile of clothes-hangers that was bigger than his car. Near this pile was a large amount of old fucked up shoes that were paired together and set side by side. Most of the shoes were mismatched but you could tell that someone had at least tried to match them by relative compatability. Not far from this area were some of those blown out walk in freezer things and they had been converted into small dens. Lots of old rugs, carpeting and fucked up sleeping bags. There were a coupla fire blackened spots near the doors and best we could figure is some old crazy ass, or a clan of crazy asses musta used this area as their chief sleeping spot. Inevitably we found what we assumed to be the shitting place, and that was where we found the Bad Jar.

It was a smaller chamber off to the side that was filled with old rank fecal matter, an enormous quantity of what we assumed to be bathroom mats and jars. Jars everywhere, stacked up on top of eachother, laying on the floor. Intact jars filled with vile what-the-fuck and broken jars laying in a dark amber-black stain on the floor. We were hilariously grossed out by the thing and immediatly started daring eachother to go further into the obviously hepatitus riddled shit chamber. Now here is where I must confess a weakness to taking stupid fucking dares. Tony is almost as bad as me, I mean you could dare him to run up to an old lady, drop his pants and shit on the sidewalk in front of her and he'd take it gleefully, but he has limits, noticeably those limits include things that will immediatly lead him to jailtime. I have fewer limits and thankfully he checks his dares to prevent me from ending up doing time or paying fines I cant handle. This time he didn't ease up.

"Go in there and lift up those mats." sez Tony.

"Fuck you I'm not going in there, its a literal pile of shit, it can't be stable, and god knows how many diseases are hiding in there, I'm gonna catch like a leperosy-aids hybrid and die shitting my lungs out."

"Go in there, I dare you....if you don't you are a gay fag and I'm going to fucking tell everyone."

"First of all Tony, I think thats a double fucking negative, and second of all, homosexuality is a valid life style and not something to be used as a demeaning label...I mean come on, this isn't the dark ages."

"Gay fag."

"I find your choice of insults to be deterimental to your character, and the impact it's having on me is negligable."

"What the fuck did you just call me?"

"I didn't call you shit clown shoes."

"That last word what the fuck did you say?"


"Yeah fuck you I'm italian you cunt."


"Go in there or I'm gonna tell the girls you are a chicken fucker."

"Oh fuck you!"

And so there I go. Boldly striding to my doom into a room filled with an actual mountain of shit. It was old, it was crusty and it was not stable. It was like walking on trashbags filled with jellybeans and road tar. It was disgusting and had this weirdly acidic, acrid smell...almost chalky. It felt like the stench was so bad my brain was making up things as it went, and it was just grasping for straws. It smelled like stale rootbeer towards the end. When I reached the far side of the room I saw a stack of mason jars, one of which was like a third filled with liquid, it was dirty as fuck. I grabbed this jar and squelched back to Tony, intending to throw it at him or something. Luckily most of the shit chamber was dried out, but there was still some horrible moisture down in that heap.

Tony was laughing his ass off at me, I was chuckling as I worked the lid of the jar. I was going to splash him with that shit, fuck you Tony I climbed shit mountain now you're getting a taste. It took a second and Tony was still laughing, backing up, he knew what was about to go down. I worked the lid until it came off with a little "pop" noise. It was one of those two part lids, like the screw on thing is seperate from the lid, pop and clink.

The effect was pretty damn immediate, the heap of clothes-hangers across from us just fucking collapses. A split second later those neat lines of ugly shoes just go god damn flying. There wasn't a huge amount of noise, just the crash of wire and these little "plap" noises as shoes hit the walls. Tony backs himself into one of the walls on the corridor and scans the room, I tense up and freeze waiting for something to react to, beside just shit falling over. Our weird-shitomoters just went from zero to oh-fuck-me in half a second. There's this smell, like fresh rotten feces and overripe tomatos from behind me that hits the back of my neck like warm breath, that smell was tangible. It gets dark, and it gets dark fast. Our lamps are still going just fine, its just the range they had and the ambient spill shrank up. Within moments all we had were these little limp dick cones of light in pitch black. I slid over to tony, still a bit locked up, I didn't have anything I could properly react to. We could hear a disturbing noise, like someone taking cinderblocks and grinding them together. The smell is pouring in around us and we can fucking see it. Its this hazy brown shit just flooding in from around us. I'm trying to figure out the fastest way out, but I hadn't exactly committed this place to fucking memory. Tony's got his knife out of his backpack and I'm starting to wish he had gone ahead and brought his gun, thats what I get for talking him out of it right? I figure were fucked but we can at least go down like badasses and I close the jar, set it down and get ready.

Immediatly the freaky shit stops like I had flipped a switch. Bam, the stench is gone. It dosnt pull back or retreat or anything, it just stops being there. Ambient light is back like it never left, smells go back to weirdly tolerable. Shits still scattered around and the hangers are thrown to shit, but the whole fucking impending doom thing stops entirely.

We're quiet for a moment, Tony throws me a look and I shrug. "I have no fucking clue man," I sez.

"Get one," He sez.

So I start thinking, its Whinnie the Pooh shit really, I stop looking around and get to postulating. Tony's keeping an eye out. I reach down and pick up the jar, lids tighter than I had left it I think. I unscrew it.

Shit goes sideways. Stench is back, not oozing up on us like it did before its right back where we left it, right the fuck there. Lights go from workable to laughably worthless and we can hear wooden pallets smashing into the sides of the chamber. Tony is not having any of this shit. "Close the fucking jar, close it rightfuckingnowcloseit!"

I closed the shit out of that jar.

Like a light switch it goes right off again.

"Tony what we have here is a Bad Jar."

"What the fuck is in that shit?"

"I thought piss, but apparently not. Or maybe its just like...cosmically bad piss."

"Fuck that shit throw it back in there and lets get the fuck out of here."

"I dont think thats a good idea Tony, if I throw it and it breaks, I have the distinct feeling we're going to get fucked."

"Well just put it down, shit dude I don't care lets go, fuck that thing."

"If we leave it here, dude some fucking teenager could come down here looking for a porn stash and I dunno knock it over or some shit."

"That is most seriously not our problem."

"Yeah I dunno man, I dont think we should just leave it here. Shits dangerous."

"Shit IS dangerous, whatever just dont fucking open it, lets get outta here, and you're carrying that fucking thing."

"Roger that princess"

"Buy me a tiara"

"Eat a dick."

Which pretty much settled it. Tony and I vacated the area with all due haste and no other weird shit interfering with our egress. I had the Bad Jar secured in my backpack wrapped up in a towel and it was pretty safe as best I figured. On our way out though I kind of wondered about the other jars in that shit chamber. I mean, it was a real whisper of a thought but if this Jar was Bad, it probably served to reason that all those other Jars in there were also Bad. Not exactly something I like entertaining.


After our little adventure in that old ruined factory thing Tony and I decided to lay off the gas for a bit and keep it cool. For a coupla weeks we just kept it easy. We were sharing a little apartment thingy before we hit the road back to California, the Bad Jar went into the closet in my room. I was fascinated by the thing. It was gross as hell though so I very carefully cleaned it up and attempted to at least half sterilize it. I'm not sure you can technically half sterilize something now that I think about it. I mean it either is sterile or it isn't. Whatever. I soaked that bitch in hydrogen peroxide, iodine, whatever I had available at the time.

We got bored though. Going to work and acting like normal dudes can last us maybe a week...after that we get weird, and before you know it one of us is naked in a dumpster and the other one might actually be partially on fire.

One night, not too terribly long after, curiosity gets the better of us and we take the jar out, set it on the table and start trying to figure it out.

"Alright so this Jar, you open it up and Bad shit starts happening." Tony sez.

"Thats the general effect I think yeah." I sez.

"Is the Bad shit IN the fucking jar? That shit seemed to be coming from like, everywhere."

"Not entirely sure Tony, you got a point though, I didn't see anything coming out of the fucking thing, maybe the smell? No...that definately came from the sides."

"And whatever was throwing shit around, THAT didnt come out of the jar, but it seemed to be moving towards us for sure."

"Right, alright so maybe when we open this thing, shit comes towards it? Like its some sort of shit singularity and when you open it, shit comes flying in to it?"

"Open it."

"Shit dude, I don't think thats a good fucking id-"

"We knew we were gonna open it again, just stop dicking around and fucking open it."

"Yeah, yeah alright get ready."

Tony is sitting across from me on this shitty couch we got from a Goodwill type store and he's got his gun this time. It's nothing fancy just a nine-millimeter thing he keeps around. I grab the Jar, take a second to chill out and pop it.

Nothing happens for a second. We're both tense as hell and nerves are strung like violin strings. Then from downstairs theres a series of very loud, very rapid thumps. It actually sounds like it's coming from outside. Boom, boomboomboom. Then a retardedly high pitched screech, like someones getting strangled or raped with four feet of rusted barbed wire wrapped around a stick. The window cracks and the lights go out. I shut the fucking Jar.

The lights come back on immediatly.Tony is scowling and I'm halfway between terrified and elated. He gets up and checks the window and I'm staring at the Jar when I hear him.

"Theres a fucking dead cat."

"What the shit?"

"Yeah, I think it's the old cat-lady's from downstairs, the yellow one with the fucked up eye."


"Yeah Walter...he's right there look."

I go over to check it out and notice a thin bloody smear across the outside pane of our newly cracked window. Sure enough Walter is sprawled out on the little railing just beyond the window. Looked like he'd either been killed and thrown at the window, or thrown at the window and killed by the impact. The last one was unlikely though, if he had been thrown that hard he probably would have shattered it. Walter was dead as fuck though, looked like a cat-bag filled with jelly.

"Alright, so...well what now?" I'm turning the Jar over in my hands.

"Well, we have a Jar that kills cats, I'm sure thats gonna be fucking useful." Tony says, he's got a funny look on his face, mischief is afoot.

Over the course of the next few days Tony and I continue to fuck with the Jar. Typically we'll go somewhere and open it for at most four or five seconds. On occasion there would be little pauses before Bad shit started going down, but for the most part it was god damn immediate. Inside buildings or houses seemed kind of dangerous so we eventually started going outside to fuck with it.

Whatever the hell it was it hated birds. The first time we opened it outside, like three dead pigeons dropped on us. Everytime after that somewhere we'd find a dead bird. Tony reckoned when we got back to Cali he'd use it as seagull repellent, but I likened that to dropping a nuke to keep your kitchen clean. We tested it when other people were around as well, figuring maybe it only did it when we were around, spooky shit alot of times dosn't pop up when a lot of folks are around. The first time we did that was at a little strip mall near the cigarette shop. It didn't care. Windows broke in rapid succession and the owner comes running out screaming at us in persian before getting pale and running back in to call the cops. Street lights went dark and then blew out.

We tried it at a church with pretty much the same results. It got darker and knocked over that thing with all the candles on it. I'm not sure what it was called, but we left. Neither of us are particularly religious but we'd heard stories about nuns and we didn't want one beating our asses for wrecking her shit. The only place it didn't seem to do anything was at a graveyard. Keep in mind that we were doing this for Science. Of course we were gonna do it in a graveyard. We found a pretty good sized one, it still had tombstones but most of it was shitty little plaques on the ground. Popping it there didn't break anything, nor did we get any stomping noises. It fucking stank though, but the stink came from the Jar, not from around it. For some damn reason that made it a bit more unnerving. I sloshed it around, Tony fidgeted. I got irratated, "Fucking do something Jar."

"Maybe its afraid of graveyards?" He says.

"Maybe, dosn't make any fucking sense though, it's not afraid of cats, birds or persians...what the fuck can dead people do?"

"Piss in it."

"Yeah ok."

So I piss in it. Not a whole lot, I had been running a bit dry that day. When I finish we close the lid, and go back home feeling a bit dejected.

"Maybe we fucking broke the thing?" Tony says, looking kind of let-down.

"Thats a good thing right? I mean shit..."

"I dunno, we could of used it for shit."

"Yeah, like give it to some douchebag or something."

"Or use it to fight crime."

"Jarman, fighting evil with a Jar filled with Satan's piss."

"Beware evil-doers, or I'll break everything and possibly kill your cats."

"Poor Walter."

"Man fuck Walter, I think he pissed on our door."

"Tony, I worry that urine factors entirely too much into our day to day lives."

"Urine can never factor too much."

We put the Jar back in my closet and pretty much forget about it for awhile. We ended up taking it to California with us, but during the trip really didn't think about it. The trip itself was worth a few stories I'll have to get to sometime. Chiefly involving us hitting a dog that I think cursed Tony. Anywho, like two months after we get to Cali we have a coupla girls over and decide, shit, lets take out the Bad Jar and fuck with it. We weren't really expecting anything since the graveyard, so Tony and I are being goofy and showing off for these ladies and we pop it.

Shit goes Bad, it goes Bad fast and it goes Bad hard. Lights out, couch just fucking collapses on itself, plaster falls from the cieling the table flips over and I think breaks the brunette's nose. We can hear glass breaking and the room fills with a stench that I can recognize fucking immediatly. The blonde just starts this high pitched wail thats both terrifying and fucking annoying. I cant see shit. I can hear Tony screaming at me to close the fucking Jar, closeitrightfuckingnow! but I cant find the fucking lid, the inner part that seals it slid off. I'm reaching around on the floor trying to fucking find it, holding the Bad Jar in my other hand. I can feel the blonde's leg and she recoils away from my touch. I can feel carpet. I can feel part of the table's leg and then I can feel, oh fuck...something. It's like cold wet clay, squishy with a hard, thin outer shell that just makes my brain go completely apeshit. Tony's voice is sounding like its coming from really far away, and weirdly muffled, like he's got a pillow case on his head. I'm still trying to get the god damned second part of the lid when I feel a hand come down on my shoulder hard. I nearly piss myself right there, but it's Tony I can feel him reaching around, and he bumps something into my face. Thankfully it's not a dick, it's the other part of the lid and I get that shit on but fucking fast. There's a sound building, a low weird rumble that sounds like a stomach growling, but it's fucking loud and it's making everything vibrate.

The lid goes on and the sound cuts off. It's still dark, and the girls are alternately screaming and crying. I can hear Tony cursing colorfully and move off towards the kitchen banging into shit as he goes. I'm trying to feel around for the girls and I find one, I think the brunette, but she's curled up on the floor and when I feel out her head she fucking bites me.

Tony manages to find a flashlight and he hits us with the beam. Everything had gone to hell. There is brown weird shit all over the fucking walls, in this case I'm not using shit as my general term for "stuff" I mean literal shit. Our furniture is fucking broke to hell, the brunette is curled up bleeding and the blonde is screaming at us. She is pissed the fuck off. I try and work some damage control, make sure the brunette is alright but those two want absolutely nothibng to fucking do with us, they want to go home, right fucking now. I don't blame them, but I think the blonde saw the looks on our faces and figured that while assholes, we weren't the Bad thing that just happened. We were still responsible for it though. They left, and we were not going to get laid that night.

Tony and I managed to find some candles and another flashlight and inspect the damage. This is like eleven at night. There is actual shit on the walls, it is cold and has that weird muffled rootbeer smell thing going on. The walls have these black splotches of like, mildew or something all over them and everything wood feels soft and rotted. We get our shit and get out, deciding that tonight were gonna go over to a mutual friend of ours' house and crash there. Zee is rad as hell and has often sheltered us from the storms of our own stupidity. Its on our way out to the car that we notice there aren't any fucking lights anywhere in the building. People are coming out of their apartments with flashlights and candles, kids are crying in the background, folks are asking questions. We get the fuck out.

Halfway to Zee's house I notice Tony's got patches of fucking hair missing. Like it just fell out, we collectively what-the-fuck and he points out that I have the same shit going on. Feeling it with my hand I can find like two or three big spots where the hair just isn't there and a couple more where the hair just comes off in my hands.

We get there and Zee opens the door in her pajamas with irratation writ in large cartoonish block letters on her face. She lightens up real fast when she gets a good look at us and we start filling her in. We take turns dishing out the whole story, I start first while Tony grabs a shower and changes clothes, then when he's done we switch. It's like two am when she's finally filled in and the general rule is we can stay there until we get shit together, but we have to help with rent and we cannot under any circumstances open the fucking Jar. Zee's smarter than the two of us combined I think, but I'm pretty sure I've got nicer legs.

Long story short, our hair grew back mostly, I still have a small patch missing in the back. We got in trouble for wrecking the apartment, never heard from those girls again and Tony married Zee. We didn't fuck with the Jar for a good chunk of time and when we went our seperate ways the Jar went with me.

I pretty much didn't fuck with the thing until a coupla months ago, but welp...that will have to wait until Bad Jar Part Three: Where I Use the Thing to Become King of Portugal.


Flash forward a bit to more recent times. I'm happily married, living a life that I consider pretty nice all things considered. It took me awhile to get housebroken, but for the most part I am. The Bad Jar is on my bookcase, next to my Grandfathers Kissing Jar and surrounded by various odd paraphenalia I've picked up over the years. I love my bookshelf, it has spooky shit, old talismans, weird books I havn't been able to figure out yet and one of those voodoo grisgris thingies.

My wife and I have plans for our future, they are pretty sweet plans, and our base is pretty damn stable. I mean I'm not the King of fucking Portugal or anything, but I have a job, havn't been fired, and we wont go hungry anytime soon. My little sister though is having it fucking rough. I love her, but she has problems. We had trouble as we grew up, nothing I'm going to whine about, other kids have it much worse, but it was bad enough to leave impressions. I've learned how to deal with it for the most part, she really hasn't. I think she had just gotten through her second divorce and was living with my mother. She displays a lot of borderline personality issues, I think one of em is like cyclical paranoia. If you're around my sister for a month or so she starts out loving you, then not-so-slowly starts to fucking hate you with every fiber of her being. Convinced you are out to get her, are talking shit behind her back and plotting her despair. The longer you are around her the more you become the single driving force behind all her miseries. She refuses medication, and eventually self destructs, abandoning everything before finding shelter from someone and starting the cycle again.

My mother gave it her best shot, but it happened and I was the next refuge for my sister. I knew what was going to happen, but figured as her brother I needed to help her as best I could. I took her in, and had a plan of getting her some professional help before shit exploded. Long story short yeah that didn't happen. I miscalculated pretty terribly.

I had introduced my wife to the Bad Jar a ways back. She's got the most brilliantly rational mind. She grew up in a very fundamentalist christian family, so I respect her bravery when she finally decided to break from that and go her own way. She's a bit of a Dawkins girl now which has led us to some fun conversations. I'll usually start telling her a story and she'll listen. At the end she always has questions, and some of em are brutal, she not infrequently calls me on my bullshit. My ace in the hole was the Bad Jar though.

I gave her a huge heads up on this thing during one particular night and we set up for it. We weren't gonna pull this shit at home, especially if my sister was around, she had been getting worse the past few weeks and though she said she had been going to her therapist we had doubts. Instead we went over to a buddy's house and borrowed his garage. We told Airin we were going to have particularly vile sex and we needed a place where we wouldn't get the cops called on us. He was cool with it.

Anywho, Ash and I are sitting there and I'm starting to second guess this. She and I are always conversating about shit like this. She's brave as shit though and starts heckling me about dicking around with it. It's not that she wanted to prove me wrong or anything, she was just genuinely curious. So I figure, fuck it, and I pop it.

I have the lid off for maybe two, three seconds tops. Shit gets dark, the washing machine goes flying into the minifridge by the door theres a horribly loud snapping sound as the chain in the garage door opener busts. That sound comes in too, that headachingly low and loud stomach grumbling roar. Its picking up where it left off this time and it's coming up hard. I can hear Ash muttering "oh shit oh shit oh shit" under her breath like some mantra and I seal the fucking thing up again.

It's dark, my flashlight isn't working, there's the smell again. She finds my hand and we make our way to the door. Using the light from the hall we can see that, yep, shits wrecked in Airin's garage and there is again, literal shit on the walls. Airin is coming down the stairs in his boxer shorts and asking us what the fuck is going on.

"I have a Jar filled with what I think might be the physical incarnation of some obscure oriental hell and I opened it in your garage." I say.

Airin scratches his balls, "Did you shit on the floor, what the fuck is that smell?"

I shrug, "Yeah."

He goes back upstairs and goes to sleep.

Airin is one of those guys who can inexplicably not give a fuck about anything. Since Tony moved to Montana he's sort of become my surrogate comrade in tomfoolery, the guy just gives absolutely zero fucks. It's quite admirable I think.

Ash and I clean up his garage of course, we have to change the lightbulbs. The ones that aren't broken completely are filled with this fucking mildewy gunk. She wants to experiment with the god damned thing now though. I said she was a curious girl, I wasn't kidding. She starts doing research and digging up stuff, not to much avail really, anything appropriate is usually mired in some folklore or bullshit pseudo-science. We don't open it up again, but when she wasn't at work she was usually messing around with it and thinking. It didn't like radically change her beliefs or make her less of an atheist or anything like that. A lot of stories I've read have weird shit happening to an atheist and they always end with the "oh shit god is real! what have I done!" bullshit. Fuck that though, Ash was just curious as shit. I think she said something about wishing Dr. Egon was real so she could show him this thing. I do remember her bringing up stuff about ghost lures being used in a few different cultures as substances which could attract "unclean spirits" and shit to keep them away from more sensitive areas. The substance in one of these ghost lures was like bile and other bodily humours, and Bad things found the scent of it irresistable. But nothing she managed to find said that they would literally wreck everything and shit on the walls when they smelled it. I suggested it somehow summoned dead meth-heads.

The Bad Jar goes back up on my shelf, right next to a much nicer if more melancholy Jar and we go back to our routine, most of mine is currently involving talking my sister down and trying to make sure she stays on her medication.

I'm pretty sure by now you might see where this is going, and yeah, it's going there.

My sister finally reaches her fucking critical mass. It comes up fast. I wish I could say it came out of nowhere, but I'd be lying more than I could tolerate if I did so. The thing that did honestly come out of nowhere was it's direction. I expected her to blow up at me, I've had the most interaction with her and to date, when given a choice between blowing up violently at a family member or somewhere else, she inevitably blows up at the family member.

She blew up at Ash though. Started out accusing her of sneaking into her room and whispering to her in her sleep. Putting poison in her pills, so she had been flushing them down the toilet instead of taking them, making unwanted sexual advances, all kinds of shit. We tried to talk her down but she wasnt fucking having it, and started throwing shit and screaming. I tell Ash to bail and I attempt damage control. The second Ash is out of line of sight, my sister turns it right around on me and starts screaming about how I'm trying to rape her. I go ahead and call the police. I'm not really big on involving the law, but she's about one step away from grabbing something sharp and doing something stupid.

Once she saw me actually calling the police though she got the fuck out of dodge and fast. Which put me in a pretty fucking awkward position. Ash was with the neighbors and had already called, and when they finally showed up we gave em what details we could, not that it served any real purpose as she was fucking gone. Turns out she went running back to my mother, who took her in again. I love my mother, but god damn it.

Things go back to normal for Ash and I for the next few weeks, but it isn't much longer before my sister comes back with a gaggle of little boytoys to pick up her shit. She's moving to San Diego to be with her Real Family, people who care about her, have always hated me so much and are going to let her stay with them forever. These kids she has with her are like, seniors in highschool, and everyone of them is mad-dogging me like they just cant wait to prove how tough they are. My father lives in San Diego, I havn't seen him in a decade or so, but I figure thats where she's going. I figure fuck it, I can't fix her, maybe he can, maybe someone down there can do something right. I step back and let her stomp around the house gathering her shit. She tries to swipe some of our stuff at which point I say no fucking way in hell, she throws a fit and her little guys start getting in my face.

Here is where I would like to say I got into this awesome fucking fight and kicked like eight highschooler's asses and then built like a fucking canoe out of their insensate bodies, sailed across a frozen river and founded an independant America. It didn't exactly go down that way though, I told this kid I had called the cops before they arrived and they were aware of the situation and had already been involved in previous reports here. If anything at all physical went down, people would go to jail, and they would go immediatly, myself included. One punch, one push, everybody goes, end of story. To his credit the little shit backed down. My sister threw her little fit and grabbed a bunch of her shit and cursed me out, I went in the kitchen and did the dishes, studiously ignoring her while keeping my eye on them. Boys like that, they get all boner-crazy and are liable to do stupid things.

They left, it wasn't too long of an event. She hadn't made as much of a mess as I had figured, but sadly had taken a set of tiles she had given me long ago during happier times. That kind of bummed me out, but well...what could I do about it? I was cleaning up when Ash got home that night and asked what had happened, I gave her the low down, she sighed and said wifely things and helped me out.

It was right about then we noticed my sister had stolen the fucking Jar.

She dosn't know anything about it, we never told her shit about it actually. All she knows is that it's important. I was always fucking careful with it, kept it clean, kept it next to the Kissing Jar. I brag and tell stories about just about every rad thing I keep in that cubby on the bookshelf. But I never said shit about that Jar. I assume she had seen Ash looking at it. I think she took it to hurt my feelings. Welp.

To date I've purposefully kept myself out of the loop. All I know is that my father has been calling my mother and stepfather quite a bit in the past few weeks. For the most part everything for us has gone pretty much back to normal, well as normal as it ever gets. I told Tony what had happened to the thing over emails and he replied, "Well then we're not ever going to San Diego ever fucking again, also you are a retarded chicken fucker." I disagree with that statement though as I'm pretty sure none of the chickens I may have allegedly fucked were in any way mentally handicapped.

And so ends my involvement with the Bad Jar.

CheddamoufSorry for the long delay, the wife and I moved into a newer, much smaller apartment and it took time to get things rolling again. The economy sucks, and in this town its particularly nasty. It awesome to see how big the thread has become, I havn't been able to catch up to it entirely but there are some really good stories in here! I also totally got mentioned in the same sentence as 50 ft, I mean holy shit.

But you guys don't want to hear how my days have been going you want meat.

My mother had an interesting way of interpreting old fairy tales and folklore for myself and my sister. I wouldn't call it outright malevolent, but she had a knack for making us terrified of things that normal kids find pleasant or joyful. The tooth fairy was one of these things. I understood later that the tooth fairy was some sweet old winged lady who sneaks in, finds a tooth under a pillow and switches it out for a coin. Nice broad. We had cheddamouf. Cheddamouf was a scrawny little man-thing that looked sort of like a skinned cat and had a black filthy crust over it. It's eyes were bright orange and its mouth was very wide and filled overflowing with yellowed teeth it had taken from children who didn't brush their teeth enough. The way mom told it, if you neglected certain oral hygienes, this little fucker would come into your room in the middle of the night, sit on your chest and wrench your teeth right out...then stuff em in it's own face. This was I think partially her ideal way of getting us to brush our fucking teeth. When we lost a tooth we could put it under our pillow and it would be gone the next day, but we didn't get a fucking quarter, we just bought ourselves a bit of leeway.

I never met the thing as a child, I was pretty good at brushing my teeth. Later on in life however I managed to get myself in a nasty situation that ended up with me losing most of my teeth. Thanks to shoddy repairs and a deep set infection, not long after that I lost the rest of em. Painful thing, the hurt is bad sure...but losing the shape of your face is worse I think. I couldn't look at myself in the mirror, couldn't smile (Something I've always been in the habit of doing in even the most desperate of times) and eating became a chore for sometime until I got my replacements.

Some creepy shit had started to happen at my old home that facillitated my leaving it with haste.I've told you of the doppleganger. That unnerved me, but worse is when my wife came upstairs one day to see me fussing around with some books in our bedroom closet and gave me the weirdest look. She had just spoken to me in the kitchen moments ago. I was standing down there with a jar of peanut butter in my hand and asked her to come over and open it. She laughed it off and came upstairs to find her shoes so she could head out to work when she came across me in the closet lookin' for my books. We laughed about it and joked about deja vu combined with her general absent mindedness giving me the abilities of teleportation. In truth I was pretty worried about it.

This thing had given me a definate sense of malice and threat, and the fact that it was also targeting my wife caused no small amount of anger. While she was away at work I got out a lot of my old things. My ghost jars, my little strips of paper with things written on em, bag of old rusty nails and some coins I've swiped from various places. These things are stuff I've had since I was a kid, my personal weapons to engage in weird little wars. I doubt there is any real power to them, I don't think anyone else can take one of my ghost jars, shake it and make something bad run screaming out of the room, but they work for me. I got voodoo on the living room and the doorways, not the full nine yards, but enough to make me feel a bit safer. The wife was a bit amused by the sudden appearance of a lot of plainly weird shit, but she knows me well enough to know theres something to it. I threw out the peanutbutter as a precaution because A: I have a hard time eating that shit anyways due to my artificial teeth and B: fuck that peanutbutter.

Nothing much happened for the next few days after that really, excepting the hot and cold taps switching sides on occasion. I can't honestly say thats what they did, my memory is simply put...ridiculously bad, but I kept getting it wrong. I even wrote a letter H on my right hand one night just so I'd remember which side was which when I hoped in the shower the next night. It didn't work. Reminds me of when I was a younger man I used to write a big R and a big L on my respective hands before I would go about doing patient care that shift. I found it hilarious, my patients found it horrific...I like to think that secretly they enjoyed my humor after they stopped worrying about my competency.

I'm meandering, anyways...the final event that solidly got us up and moving was a chance meeting with an old friend of mine I'd never actually met as a child.

The nights had been getting colder, the cats had taken to sleeping with us...worming their way under the blankets and keeping our feet warm. The wife was solid zonked, she has a hard time passing out, but once she gets there she's out. I had taken my teeth out and dropped em in a cup on the bedside table to fizz overnight so I could give em a double good scrubbing in the morning. I know its probably gross to think about, and honestly it is pretty gross...but at least its an old war wound I can pretend isn't there at times, which is nice. Some people lose entire fucking limbs, I just got my teeth pulled out.

I'm sleeping pretty solidly, dreaming about small women with large tits when a clinking sound brings me up and out. At first I figure its one of the cats on the end table drinking out of the cup with the fizzy water and my teeth in it. I turn a bit and get set to go back to sleep and my comfortable dreams when I'm struck by how weird things have been lately. It gave me the most terrific little chill up my spine. How the hell, after the shit I've seen, could I just let something like that slide without checking? I wonder if there isn't some part of our brains that just quietly chooses to ignore that shit as a safety measure. Mine almost works, I almost went back to sleep. Instead of that I sat up pretty quick reached over and flipped the light on.

Now this light on the end table was right next to the cup with my teeth in it, so when the light went on, and I saw what I hand was right the fuck next to it. Wretched little skinned cat body and a head like one of them capuchin monkies. He's sitting there on his heels, the same way philipinos sit on their boats. Feet planted, ass resting on their calves. He dosn't have skin, or maybe he did a long time ago. He's made of raw meat and covered in scabs, looks like a fetus caught some sort of bubonic badness and broke out in lethal acne, and he's fishing out my god-damned teeth from that cup. Little raccoon hands. When the light goes on his head pops up and I'm locked onto those eyes. They were orange yeah, but rheumy and covered in some sort of weird half-closed membrane. Mom wasnt kidding about his mouth, the thing was giant in comparison to his stupid little head. This warbling slash of flesh filled with what I knew to be teeth, but initially thought of as broken yellow crayons.

Fucking Cheddamouf, stealing my god damned teeth. He didn't really react to me with any sense of alarm. Just sort of stared at me, then went back to fishing for those teeth. I didn't move, couldn't really...its that lock up, the cold freeze you get when shit like this happens in the dead of night. He pulled the top piece out and picked at it with his little raccoon fingers. I get the impression that he knew this was what he came for, but something was wrong. His gestures became frustrated, he banged my dentures against the lip of the cup and twisted em. He then gave a little shudder and brought his eyes up to mine. They had the most hilariously depressed look in them. He couldn't do shit with what he had. We stared at eachother for a coupla minutes before I turned the switch off and went back to sleep. Fuck that little guy, if he wants my teeth he can go find them.

The next morning, the wife asked me what I was doing with the light that night. It had sort of broken her dreams up and she half noticed it, wondered if it had actually happened and if everything is ok. I muttered something about varmints trying to steal my teeth. Yeah, I actually said varmints...and over the years its gotten easier to say shit like that without rolling my own eyes. Having a beard helps I think, I can't imagine a clean shaven guy saying shit like that. We didn't talk about it after that, but she caught the weird undercurrents in my voice I suspect and after that we pushed forward the date of our move.

I got rid of a lot of my old shit in the transfer.I have a feeling some of it might have been making things a bit more difficult than they otherwise would have been. Besides, I've got issues...I know this, and I figured some of those things probably weren't making my issues any better. The new place is small, cozy as hell. I don't get the creeping feelings here at all. It's nice, I hope it lasts awhile. Until then, no newer stories...I'll have to dig a bit deeper back and see if I cant come up with something interesting, or call Tony and see if he remembers anything in particular.

Face-jacketFor a long period of time I was stationed in Okinawa Japan, which was a gorgeous and very brightly colored place. It's japan, so it's weird as fuck to begin with, but the Ryukyu islands were a special and colorful weird as fuck. The island is heavily urbanized, but there is still jungle in between the housing areas and the commercial districts, and it is crazy thick. This wasn't the low-brush jungle of the philipines, this place was just a morass of vegetation. The cities and towns themselves were very clean too, much cleaner than any other place I've been to, and the smell wasn't too bad. It smelled of the ocean, cooked meats and seagull shit, with only a little of the rank rotten vegetation smell you typically get in jungle areas.

When I say the jungle was kind of inbetween places I mean just that. You could be walking down a heavily travelled sidewalk past a mall or supermarket or something and on the other side of the street, bam, inpenetrable foliage and weird noises. They had these snakes there, Habu, poisonous and hilariously aggressive that would screw around right at the borders of jungle-meets-city and chase you around if you were unlucky enough to draw their attention. Between them and the ganguro kids I got my fair share of mundane heebie-jeebies. Ganguros are...well, shit, look it up on the internet, I don't really have words for it. Pleasant enough kids, very animated, but just a weird subculture.

Anyways, the fun stuff. I was spending a lot of my free time poking around the old mythologies and folklore of the area, and as you might have guessed Japan has a crazy deep history of scary monsters, ghosts of every imaginable variety and some really bizarre occurances. I was in particular digging around for information on the Ryukyunese version of the kappa. Kappas are pretty well known, turtle shelled dudes with a dent on the tops of their heads, dig cucumbers and suck the blood out of people who get too close to their river homes, yadda-yadda. Interestingly enough the part thats left out is that these things suck the blood out from your anus, leaving a bloated corpse with a distended rectum. This sounds gross, but it actually makes sense. When someone drowns they'll go through a coupla different stages of decomposition, bloat occurs and the rectum does get distended, sometimes grossly. I figured people dragging up someones body from a river and seeing the malformed orifices wouold probably whip up some bizarre creature to account for somthing that would seem so unprecedented.

I thought I had it all figured out and went to a coupla different places to test my ideas and see how they were recieved from my various sources, which were old people. Old people who usually didn't like foreigners and eventually REALLY started to dislike me for bothering them all the time to boot. One of the guys I was always talking to about this stuff was a guy named Fred Nakamura. Fred had a more japanese first name I'm sure, but he never told me what it was. He was the awesome old goat with a collection of some really nasty and neat stuff. He had jars of preserved fish of hideous aspect, haunted mundane objects wrapped in paper wards and books, so many awesome books. He was a great source of information, and my time spent in his dinky little house was usually occupied by me poking around and finding something weird, like a jar filled with frog eggs and asking him what the fuck. Then he would tell me what the fuck and I'd be happy and buy him an Orion, which was this pretty awesome beer.

One night Fred and I are getting heavy into the creepy stories and I'm complaining that while Japan has an awesome history of weird spooky shit I had yet to really see anything spooky as all fuck. The entire island was like one big cocktease for me so far. All this lore, legendry and history and I had yet to meet a woman whose neck was like a snake or a hopping one eyed haunted umbrella (I shit you not, one of the yokai things is supposed to be exactly like that). Fred gets tired of my whining and pretty much calls me on my shit saying that if I was faced with something really and truly terrifying I'd lose my shit and bail, and everyone knows americans are all talk, especially the ones on this island, which was mostly marines and some airforce. I cop attitude towards that and puff up a bit, but he's just merciless, goin' on about how folks like me are all talk, no bark and no balls, blah blah blah.

I know where he's going with this so I play along to the stereotypes. It's polite, it'll get me what I want and it makes the old guy happy to bash someone mercilessly to do it. I start bragging and he gives me a dare, and I take it in a heartbeat. Theres a little quiet creek not far from his house, and at that creek theres a concrete aqueduct thing that is apparently home to something pretty god damned nasty, he'll offer to take me there if I don't chicken shit out and bail. If I do, he'll mock me, my ancestors, my branch of the military, my favorite color and my first dog for the end of my days. Hells yes. I am in like Flynn.

So this creek is in one of the wierd little sideways jungles not too far away from the Kadena airforce base. Nothing too fancy about it, it just missed development and is pretty rarely troubled by people. Its dense bush so we walk along the creek-edge which was rocky. The water was amazingly clean too for the first part of our trip. Crystal clear stuff, only occasionally did I see a styrofoam cup or anything normal like that. I could hear the streets to either side, people talking on their phones and music playing on the overhead speakers, also cicadas, always those god damned cicadas. So, we keep going the length of this little creek and very suddenly it starts getting choked and nasty. I went on about how pretty it was specifically to illustrate how nasty it got and how quickly. One second I'm looking at an arrowhead spring water commercial, the next, there's dead cats all over the place and it smells like someone slapped a leper with a colostomy bag. It was gross, stinky and uncomfortably warm and humid. Fred just keeps chugging along and pretty soon the jungle starts reaching over the creek and it's getting darker. Sure enough we come to a a bunch of large concrete pipes that serve as some sort of overflow collection.

The pipes were pretty big, there were three of em, and you could walk right in without having to duck your head, and they were expectedly dark as hell. Fred points at them and tells me, "Alright badass, you march up the one on the right, only the right ok, you got a flashlight?" I pull out my little kick ass flashlight I've had for years, the thing is trusty as a crow's eye and give him a smug grin, "Good to go Fred, when I get out of there your buying me a girlfriend for the evening." He shrugs and laughs and says something in japanese before shooing me into the hole.

I start to head in, I've got pretty solid all-weather boots so I'm walking into the pipe from the middle of the creek, not too worried about foot rot or anything like that since I'm not planing on spending too much time out here. As I go in Fred yells at me from back up the creek, "Don't be a bitch!" I'm like, whatever dude, and in I go.

The pipes dark as hell, and crawling with spiders. The creek narrows out and I'm able to walk on dry ground for a good distance as that little circle of light behind me gets dimmer. Theres not a lot of graffiti, which actually bothered me. Usually these places are rotten with tags and whatnot but this place only had a very few markings, most noticeable a bright red and yellow mark that said "PISS GO YEAH!!" which was awesome. I peed on it and then went my way. The tunnel curved, cutting me off from my lightsource at the rear and my little flashlight was doing a brave attempt at keeping the corridor in front of me illuminated pretty damn well. Eventually I couldn't see much to my sides though, which is how the cistern chamber caught me off guard. I was going along and I just got this feeling, halfway between spider-senses tingling and a noticeable change in pressure. I turned and scanned my sides and rear with the flashlight and discovered that I was standing in a pretty god damn big circle room with a low ceiling. Spooky place, it was awesome and carried the noise of my footsteps like crazy, I could hear my steps bouncing around all over the place. As I was marveling at my surroundings I noticed on the far end of the chamber, near a pipe that went further the walls looked, dirty...smudged with something, which from that distance I assumed to be crap. I walked up and discovered that the smudges were a little bit more defined, at first I figured it for graffiti and felt a little more relaxed, but as I got up there I realized, no, it wasn't graffiti and I began to feel a lot more worried.

They were drawings of faces. Hundreds, maybe thousands of em. Life sized renditions of faces drawn in some brown-black substances that could have been paint, feces or...yeah, the cliche writing aid of the terminally homicidal. I don't think it was blood, but it could have damn well been blood. That wouldn't have been the creepiest part though, the faces, yeesh. These things were drawn with care and great detail, and they were all recognizeably individual. No two were alike. Male, female, young and old, every inch of the far wall was faces. There was no empty space between the renditions either, and occasionally a drawing would share a jawline or an ear with it's neighbor. It felt weird too, you always feel like your being watched when your alone but the sensation I was getting was uncanny and potent. I was being watched, by this wall. I just stared at em for the longest time, almost wanting to touch em to feel if they were just two dimensional or more. What broke my reverie was a face near the floor, at the edge of the tunnel leading deeper into the pipeworks. The faces weren't all japanese, some of em were anglo and african, and there was one face that stood out to me for its familarity. I freaked right the fuck out. I turned to get my bearing and make haste out the exit, figuring I could haul ass until I saw the exit, calm down and saunter out like a badass and still pass my dare. My light flashed around finding the passage I had come in from, but in it's travel it passed over something and I only saw it for a half second. Hunched over, raggedy-assed clothes, blank white eyes. It was a good coupla yards from me but I just didn't have the balls right then to put my light back on it. I wasn't alone in here, and whatever was there with me was right over there. I froze, checked my breathing and felt my heart go system critical. I could hear him breathing in there with me, the labored kind of breathing a COPD patient has, laborous, unsustaining breaths. Not loud, but long and troubled.

A long pregnant period of time passed were I was just waiting to either shit myself or bolt. He broke the silence first, and his voice was high pitched like a girls, real shy sounding, like chimes or a voice you'd hear belting out some jump-rope poem in a school yard. "Would you take tea?" I gave an involuntary shudder and tried to say no thank you but it came out as "eeee."

I heard him move towards me and I was gone, all my muscles suddenly decided to work for me and the whole freezing thing let up. I took off like a rabbit on fire. When I was young, I could run. Not so much now, I still have the legs, but the rest of me has gone pretty happily soft. Back then though, kapow, off like a shot. I was half coyote, half gazelle, I could outrun anything. My grandfather once told me that his dad won a bet against the devil in a race, and had since never been short of things to run away from. Right then, I was the Flash, I left a trail of splashes far behind me, and even though it was dark as a beggar's future I moved without fear forward, because I knew that no matter what was in front of me, it could not be worse than what was behind me. I'm lucky I didn't brain myself on the wall of the pipe. When I saw that circle of light that said "Outside! Safe!" I leaned into it and shot out of the mouth of that tunnel like a cannonball. Fred was standing there having a cigarette and I grabbed his raggedy old ass and kept going.

A couple of hours later, back at his house he gave me a sound bitching out and mocked me mercilessly. I was entirely too happy and terrified to bother shooting him down and took his abuse with a broad smile. "Dude, what the fuck, did I just get the shit scared out of me by some old blind artist or something? I mean seriously!?" Part of me figured that there was very well a practical reason for what I had just experianced. Japan is rife with subcultures and weirdos, and it's not unlikely to run into some crazy old pervert hiding in a pipe who draws the faces of people he sees every day, and maybe the blank white eyes I had thought I saw were like, sunglasses or something, maybe he was wearing contacts. More likely, Fred set me up and a budy of his was in there waiting to scare the shit out of the american kid. If that had been the case, I was lucky I went with flight instead of the alternative, I had enough bad shit on my conscience, don't need to add mercilessly beating an old man to a pulp on top of it.

Fred started telling me the story of what that pipe was and what it used to be. A long time ago, before the war and hell...before the japanese, there was a cave near there that had since been filled in. The cave was the home of an old man who took faces from people and made them into a kind of cloak he would wear as he went out hunting. If he saw someone whos face he wanted to take, but couldn't right then for whatever reason, he'd go home to his cave and with one long ass nail and his own black spit, paint a rendition of their face on the wall so he'd remember it. The story says, to save yourself you had to sneak in there in the dark and smudge out your face when you found it. I got butterflies in my stomach and remembered what I had seen down there, and what I had neglected to do. I called Fred a miserable old bastard and if that thing came for me I'd never buy him a beer ever again. Fred laughed at me, called me a stupid kid, and then asked if I wanted to see more places like that. Of course I said yes.

Face-jacket, thats what the guy was called.

Grandpa and his Wife-in-a-JarMy grandfather was not a wicked cool irish dude laying down coherent and protective folklore to protect his line. He was a half-mad indian who claimed his father was a coyote and his mother a stone carved into a rude simulacra of a woman. His eccentricities drove my own father away and deep into fundamentalist christianity, but to me he was just a wildly entertaining old man who told some of the best stories and always had some horrible joke to tell his grandkids. I remember not too long before I started high school he told me the story of his first wife and what had happened to her.

When he was young and vigorous he had been a bit of a hobo and wandered through various towns as the need arose. In one town he met this pretty little thing whos father happened to be either a preacher or the mayor, or quite possibly both. She was a white girl with red-gold hair, fresh eyes and lips that went from innocent to illicit in half a second. She taught at a small school and he chatted her up one day as she was walking to her home. Things progressed, and my Granpa has this way with words even when he was crazy old and half senile the dude could talk like words were syrup and you were an unsuspecting pancake. They get to romancing and he remembers her having kisses that were described as "A warm girl dipping her toes into cold water before being pushed in screaming by one of her friends."

For many days he would walk her home and spend time with her, and on some nights she would sneak out of the house to go into the bush with him and do crazy Granpa things. She'd always ask his name, but he'd never give her the same one twice. Likewise she knew to play his game and would change her name every time she told it to him. Soon enough rumors started popping up around town about some nasty indian that was courting a white woman, and since my Grandpa was the only indian around people started giving him trouble. He got beat up a few times, and one guy threatened to burn him but my Granpa was stupid and brave in equal amounts and didn't give up. There was drama in the girl's house as her father had suspicions and eventually things started to get really heated. In the height of it all Granpa and this girl snuck off and got married in the old way off at the edge of town by an old black woman whom my Granpa knew but never could understand. "She talked like a french fish thrown out of a pond," He said. They exchanged locks of hair, and other momentos and old stuff like that with that lady mumbling at em.

So they secretly married and had a coupla nights of crazy fun and planning on maybe going further west to maybe California. Of course the stories dont ever work out with the happily ever after crap, especially regarding him. They're hanging out at a soda place talking about their dreams and planning on leaving within a few days when her father, brothers and a bunch of folks from her church stop in on their way home from services. Shit goes south fast. The father is embarassed and irate, on top of having been terrified for the past week or so at the disappearance of his daughter. Threats and roughousing commense. Granpa is fixing to get lynched and he knows it, but he also loves his wife and won't back down or run away. A real fight breaks out and the father is cursing him for being a "red devil," and "wandering satanist," and all sorts of other unkind things. Granpa gets beatin' up bad, near death the way he told it and his wife is drug off crying his names.

They lock her up in her room at the house and warn his broken and bloodied ass to get out of town or the next time they see him, they will kill him. I guess they were gonna beat some sense in to her or starve her straight, or maybe inject some apparently much needed jesus into her.

Granpa's not having any of it though, and this is when shit gets weird. He's got these little wooden dolls he carves, blocky ugly little things with big teeth and square eyes. He hides out in the woods not far from her house and he gets to carving these things. He carves a god damned army out of em, each one has a sprig of some plant on top of it's head arranged to make it an individual and he just mass produces the things. At night he starts creepin' around that house leaving them in strange places. Up on a window sill, next to an overturned dog food bowl, a whole bunch on top of the door like the old water bucket on the head prank. Every night he does this, and every night he can hear her crying up there in her room, just sobbing all broken hearted. He tries to get up there, but cant quite reach so he just goes to work scaring em harder. He gets a hold of one of their cats and guts it on their doorstep, leaving one of his little dolls standing their with a flint knife in it's blocky hand. Starts scratching up the walls and whispering underneath windows. "Give her back, give her back or I'm gonna get you." stuff. For a week or two he does this, and her sobbing up in that room is driving him mad. Finally he starts asking help from places help is better off not being asked from. He talks to the old black lady who talks funny, and he asks Grandmother Spider to help him out too.

Its the next day after he talks to spider that he hears the news while he's hiding in some bushes waiting for someone to come out of the house. Some mailman and a brother of hers are talking through screen door. "Its a shame" they say, "So broken up and twisted over that unnatural love to that walking devil of a man that she gone and done that terrible thing to her parents." They go on talking about that until Granpa realizes what exactly they're saying, he said when he heard "Only place you can go to after that is hell, ain't no place in god's kingdom for those what do that." He knew what had happened. He poked around a bit for more information and sure enough, what he feared had happened. His wife had taken her life the night they dragged her away from him, threw herself down the stairs when they tried to lock her in her room. Though some reckoned she had fallen on accident, or was maybe thrown down by her angry father, so there was a chance she could go ahead and go to heaven.

He was broken hearted to say the least. More than that though he was angry, the kind of crazy angry only he can really get, like stupid crazy scream at the moon angry. So he did, he went to screaming and cursing and calling down all sorts of foul shit. He got help too. He took chicken feet and bound them with spiderweb and he terrorized her family, he bound nasty things to those dolls of his and he left them everywhere. Every night that girl just kept on sobbing up in her room, even though she was still pretty damn dead. Eventually police started getting involved, and some folks went to really looking for him. Around then he figured it was time to leave, but before he did he finally managed to climb up to that window of hers and open it up.

The way Granpa tells it, he caught his wife in a jar and left one of those little dolls on her bed with a broken neck and a tuft of hair on it's head. Then he booked. I wish I could say that story had an awesome scary ass ending to it, but it dosn't really. It was one of his favorites, and though it changed every time he told it, thats the best approximation of all the different versions I could fix. He still had that jar though, and it's chilly to the touch. Just an old empty mason jar sealed with wax. But if you press your lips to it, it gets warm real sudden.

ManangallanOne of the more flat out creepy things that happened was when I was called in to assist with a birth in the next village over. Having some medical experiance (corpsman wooo!)I lived for this shit and so, hopped on this ridiculous little bike thing made out of two-by-fours and scrounged wheels, rode down a couple huge ass hills and bam there we are. The village was nothing fancy, same shit you see in documentaries, pretty basic accomodations and nothing more advanced than a simple radio. I don't mean to disparage the people when I say the place was pretty primitive, the people were awesome, just different and they didn't have any of the shit we use and take for granted on a daily basis. The kids ate spiders, did I mention they ate some crazy shit? No joke, first thing I see when we ride in is this little kid in a blue superman t-shirt chewing on what I assumed was a cooked or pickled tarantula. Those taste terrible in my opinion.

Anyways, there was a young lady who was in labor and showing signs of a difficult incoming birth so I get together with the villages nurse-midwife type and we get to work. Signs are pointing towards a possible breach birth, and this girl is fucking tiny. We're in this little hut off to the side, helping her along and I'm making sure she has enough fluids, set up an IV and administer what meds I figure will do the most good. The midwife was puttering around doing things by routine perfection and made me look like a clumsy ass. Hours pass and it starts getting dark. Its just the three of us when the birth really gets going and this little thing is just screaming bloody murder and bleeding all over the god damned place. The midwife is telling me it's likely the baby won't survive, but the mother is healthy and strong. I'm nervous about losing both because there was a lot of blood out where it wasn't doing any good and the girl's breathing was getting shallow periodically. While we we're working I notice this old bat of a woman come in and stand quietly off to the side. I assume it's the girls mother or something and don't say anything about it. Shit finally starts to wrap up and the midwife manages some sort of judo birth-canal arm wrestling manuever and we have ourselves a slightly blue-lipped baby girl. After some work she comes around and starts twitching and being a baby, I hand her to the midwife who is working on the placenta and it looks like theres thankfully no tearing or remaining attachements that could cause some serious damage, at least from what we can tell.

So pretty much mission accomplished, a messy and painful birth, like they all are, but not a fatal one. I'm feeling pretty good and give a smile and a nod to the old woman who had come in and stood silently off to the side watching us the whole time. The midwife sees me do this, turns and notices her finally. She hissed. Women who hiss are scary, it's a weird and hateful noise. Old women are even worse, theres this old vitriol in it that just burns, it's vile and makes you feel so very bad. But old filipinas hissing? Good god damn, if theres anything I learned from my time over there it is to never, under any circumstances be on the recieving end of one of those hisses. It's a poison green declaration of absolute contempt that makes my damn bones shudder and my balls tighten. So yeah, she hisses at this old goat of a lady who came in and the old goat just stares at her before hanging her mouth open and making this horrible smacking noise.

The old bitch has no teeth, has a face like a wrinkled old anus and is giving off this miasma of just filthy bad. Tagalog, or the local dialect thereof comes from the midwife with a volume and a rapidity that prevents me from ever translating it. I'm not good with tagalog but I got the distinct feeling that everything she was saying to the old woman was profane. The old intruder makes this weird inward moaning sound. There was a movie, the Grudge, with this dead japanese woman who made this groaning sound. It was like that, but inward and hollower. Not as growly, but with this very weird hungery sound to it. Like a cat yowling backwards.

I'm sort of at a loss for what to do, so I'm standing there watching this, the mother's fingers are digging into my arm strong enough to leave me bruises and I have the baby in the crook of my other arm. The kid is still twitching and fussing, but hasn't made any noise yet. The mother I think is praying, pretty frantically.

The midwife keeps screaming and this old toothless howling woman-thing holds her arms out towards me and makes this weird mewling noise before kind of grasping in my direction with her fingers. It was a comically "Gimme dat baby," gesture, it's intent was pretty obvious. Awful kind of her since I wasn't proficient in the local language. I was not gonna give her dat baby. Midwife is still cussing up a storm, and I figure well, I better make my position known. I shift the baby and set it beside the mother and flip off the old woman. I know it's a pretty specific gesture, but I think I got my intent across. This pisses off the old bat and she just lets out this awful slobbery noise. She's got saliva running down her face in thick ropes and her mouth is this wide foul black spot on a face thats looking more and more horrific by the moment. Old folks can really be creepy to look at and this ain't helping much.

Without warning the midwife grabs the placenta that she'd drawn up from the pan at the foot of the bed, screams some more and throws it at the old woman with great force. What happened next was sudden, far too sudden and absolutely gross as all hell. Old hag, who'd been focusing her attention on me for the past few moments just instantly turns, grabs the placenta and shoves the whole damn thing in her mouth. Like a fat kid eating spaghetti, bam, slurp. I'm not sure if the velocity of the placenta ever altered after it had been thrown, it was a perfect catch and redirect. She moved goddamn fast too, way too fast for an old broken ass lady. I had hardly registered what just happened when the hag left. It was like she had bungee cords attached to her back under high tension and she flipped a catch somewhere. Whoosh, backwards, out the door. She went out with such speed that the mat on the inside floor went flying. I wriggle lose from the mother and run out after her, intent on...I don't know, something, perhaps more rude gestures but theres nothing out there, just jungle, the bitch was gone.

After that, things went calm pretty quickly. The midwife continued her work with the mother, and the baby started squalling finally. I pass out in a chair in the corner and wake the next morning to find the mom sound asleep and the midwife still going about her business, which happens to be her shooing me off.

Many days later I told that story to one of the nigridos, the same one who had warned me about the equine-aspected brutes of molestative intent in hopes of some sort of answer. I described it as best I could and he said I had seen a manangallan. It's a hard weird word to say, ma-NAN-gal-lan, but you say it really fast. At first I thought he meant penangallan, which I've heard about but he told me it was different, or at least different here. Now that I think of it, he was pretty liberal with his B's so he may very well have said banangalla or benangallan. Long story short, the horrible woman was some sort of undead baby-sucking vampire thing that could be assuaged with either fresh placenta or dissuaded entirely with fire and thorny branches. I'm imagining massed firepower could probably dissuade her as well.

TikbalangA long time ago I spent some weeks in the phillipines, with a group of people called nigridos. Pretty deep jungle work, the forest around the areas they lived could get really dense, and the smell...oof, jungle smells like swamp-ass smuggled in a dogshit bag. They were awesome people though, very good at the things they did, and from a much different world than I had come from.

Weird shit and boogie-men were pretty much acknowledged as real, they would tell stories, but these aren't the "Make shit up to entertain your guests," stories, these were more instructional, boring and without embellishment. They also ate some bizarre stuff, and that was part of the reason we were there, learning to survive in a place thats pretty much an evolutionary arms race and everything else has a head start on you.

Coupla weird things happened while I was out there. Not the least of which was a conversation I had with one of our guides as we were rummaging around in the bush. We were setting traps and poking at different plants when I lit up a cigarette. My guide made a short hand-waving gesture at me, both hands palm down waved downwards.

"Put that out, put that out." he said. He had a kind of flat affect to his voice, and these guys are usually pretty quiet out there.

Me: "Dude it's hot, it smells like a dead whore and I got bugs on me, I'm not putting it out, eat balls, smoke keeps the bugs off."

Him: "Is that tobacco?"

Me: "Ya, I don't pack anything bigger than that, you want one?"

Him: "Yes, but don't smoke here, not near the trees."

I hand him a cigarette and he tucks it behind his ear. Cigarettes are like currency in a lot of places, even if you don't smoke and you go travelling in odd locales, carry a pack of smokes with you, you won't be disappointed. Anywho, he won't go any further until i put the damn thing out so I dash it and give him a bored, pissed-off look.

Me: "Alright it's out, whats the fuckin' deal then? We got like feral baboons or something gonna jump me for it?"

Him: "I don't know what you are saying, but this isn't a good place for tobacco smoke, teekbalangs live around here."

Me: "The hell did you just say?"

Him: "Teekbalang." He points upwards, "They like cigars, if you smoke around here they will take you up into the trees and rape you."

Me: "Wait...what? What the fuck? Rape me up in the tree?"

Him: "Yes, very uncomfortable."

I could imagine it as very uncomfortable. The rest of our outing passed pretty uneventfully as I had put out my cigarette and thus avoided rape from something that lived in the trees. Later on I did some digging around and discovered that Tikbalangs are these retarded looking horse headed dudes that chew cigars and frequently abduct the shit out of people for little to no reason. While nothing supernatural happened there, it was just the flat matter-of-fact manner in which he had said such things that struck me as really bizarre. It wasn't a game, they had their games, this wasn't one. It was just instructions on how to not get raped by arboreal jungle ogres that lived in that specific area.

Wife DopplegangerLet me see if I cant dig up something interesting. These threads combined with a bit of Humper Monkey really drew me to this site to begin with so I might as well contribute right?

Weird shit happens to me frequently enough as to seem pretty mundane and boring, only very rarely does something happen that really gets me, and the most recent something of that caliber happened just a few months ago.

Little bit of background for ya, my wife Ash and I have been married for four or five years and live in a little two story town house. Pretty normal place, living room downstairs with the kitchen and two bedrooms upstairs. We have recently got rid of a troublesome roommate so having the place all to ourselves has been really nice. She works at a bakery while I'm prepping for school and things are goin' pretty damn fine for us.

The day it happened was completely routine. She gets up and goes to work, I putter about doing bored guy stuff. She comes home, I make dinner, see to it I make her laugh (My sworn duty as a husband) and talk about the regular bullshit married people talk about. We go to bed and as I'm dozing off she plays her gameboy until she zonks.

I pop awake at like three in the morning for some reason. It was one of those nice fresh "Bam your awake now motherfucker!" awakenings with zero sleep fallout, I love those. I had to take a leak and figured that what woke me up. Go to the upstairs bathroom and do my thing, and figure since I'm awake I might as well brew some coffee or get some breakfast ready for Ash. So I head downstairs, and immediatly notice a few things that are off.

The living room is lit and the TV is on to some ridiculous infomercial, might have been the "Is Colon Cleansing Hype?" one. I think it was because I distinctly remember the guy talking being so strange looking, fake tan and I swear he was wearing make up. I digress, but that guy really is weird looking. Anyways, TV is on and I notice Ash sitting on the sofa across from it. I stop at the bottom of the stairs and look at her. She's sitting upright, hands on her lap, just watching the commercial. "Hey, I didn't know you were up, good morning." I sez. She's still watching the commercial, has her everpresent smile on and says back, "Yes." I start to head to the kitchen when she turns her eyes to me without moving her head and asks, "Would you please hand me the remote?" I stop, turn and look at the coffee table thats between her and the couch, and the remote is sitting right there. "Dude, its right there." I say pointing, its seriously within reaching distance of where she is sitting. She's looking right at me, still not moving her head and she has some of the clearest blue eyes of anyone I've ever met. "Yes" she sez.

I didn't think any more of it really, yeah she could have obviously reached out and took the remote off the table, but maybe she was meditating or practicing ninja stillness skills or whatever. We are irregular people on occasion.

So I walk over to pick up the remote and hand it to her and about three steps in I get this feeling. I'm almost within arms reach of both her and the remote and every hair on my body just goes apeshit. Goosebumps from my cheeks down my back. My heart rate goes from calm and normal to "Sonic the Hedghog is Drowning Music" without any warning. It hit me so hard I felt faint. My fingertips are quivering, if I hadn't taken a piss moments before I would have right then. Some of you have described this feeling better than I can, and you'll know it well enough. My body is saying, NO. It's like a biological prey reaction, its how I imagine deer feel right before they bolt. I'm not exactly paralyzed but near enough to it. She still hasn't moved, just watching me with those calm, clear and safe eyes.

The guy on the TV is still talking about how science proves flushing your ass with water makes you a happier person, gets rid of the toxins.

I'm getting tunnel vision, and little sparkles at the edge of my vision, the kind you get when you stand at attention with your knees locked like a recruit. I'm going to pass out, I am completely familiar with this progression of sensations. The twinkling, the sparkly chills and then bonk. I manage to break eye contact with her and stare at the remote and back away slowly. It's weird how I keep bringing up the anal hygienist on the commercial, but his weirdly androgynous voice was I think actually giving me something to focus on other than what was happening, as absurd as it may sound.

I manage to back up to the stairs and put a foot on the first step, the oh shit feeling is still there, but the twinklings are gone so I don't feel like I'm going to pass out anymore, but I feel...argh, like if I take my eyes off that remote I am fucked. The second I look away, when she isn't in my peripherial vision anymore its done. I can't blink, I don't dare shut my eyes, and even though I'm breathing steadily enough my heart is just going nucking futz. I can hear it, I'm fucking positive so can she.

Felt like I was on that first step for hours. Couldn't have been too long in hindsight, but right then it was forever. Finally though, I took a dose of fuck it and as calmly as I could turned and went up the stairs. I turned my eyes away and focused up at the top of the steps. I refused to look to my sides, I refused to look into the living room. I head up the stairs, and I can just feel slow movement behind me. I know if I book it I'm fucked, like that would be uncorking the bottle of very bad shit under pressure thats behind me, so I don't, but oh lord do I want to.

I make it to the top of the stairs and turn to go into my bedroom, I notice the lights are off downstairs, so is the tv. I can feel her at the foot of the stairs looking up at me but oh man I do not have the balls to look back. I step into my room, shut the door behind me and make my way back to my bed in the dark. I'm feeling around, my heart is still fit to burst. I feel a sleeping cat, Sam my erstwhile buddy and the only cat I havn't ever wanted to strangle despite him being a complete asshole at all times. I feel around Sam, find the edges of the blankets and then I feel my wife's foot. She's warm and sleeping like a pile of rocks. She isn't making any noise but I can feel her rythmic breathing. I slip into bed, shut my eyes and throw the blankets over my head like a fucking six year old.

I still don't know if I actually managed to go to sleep after that, I think I just stayed up until she woke up to the alarm at six in the morning. I do know that at sometime around noon that next day I passed out so hard, it was like I hadn't slept in days.

WinnyThis story takes place not long after I left the Navy and attempted to return to civilian life. It's an easy thing for some folks, but for me there were tribulations that complicated it. I sort of went hobo for a few years there, wandering through various places and occasionally tracking down obscure branches of my family and spending some time with em.

I had a small line of cousins in West Virginia, and this story took place there. First off, West Virginia can be absolutely gorgeous. Very densely forested, lots of mountains and hills, it was amazing. It had it's ugly side sure, most of that being found in it's people, but away from the cities and up in the hills, man...its amazing. I guess the best description I can give is from a movie, like Last of the Mohicans, there were waterfalls and pretty damn majestic cliffs, the forests were just mind-boggling and so open and clear. Its weird though, for all the god damned granduer of the place, the locals spent their time doing the stupidest things to keep themselves entertained.

Hanging out in front of the local Dairy Queen parking lot seemed to be Richwood's chief social ritual. These kids would pull up in their pick up trucks, talk shit and smoke pot until three in the morning. Occasionally there would be some half-hearted racing, usually at least a handful of fights and screwing. They had some decent pot though I'll give them that, home grown stuff, some of it skunkweed yeah but enough of it was noticeably nice. I was shacking up at a great aunt's place and had taken to heading down there with one of my cousins every night for the past week or so. Sure I spent plenty of time just kind of wandering around up in the hills, but these folks at the DQ were just sort of oddly fascinating. I could tell em stories as barter for various things and I made a solid amount of spending cash, cigarettes and whatever else for doing it. These guys were stupid for dares too. Some guy whos claim to fame was highschool football heroics made a name for himself one night by setting his beard on fire. I don't think he realized exactly how fast it was going to go up, or what kind of damage it was gonna' do in that short amount of time, but in under a minute he went from looking like a rugged lumberjack to a screaming chemo-patient. No one gave half a shit for him either, his brothers just loaded him up in their shitty pick up and drove him down to the clinic.

One night we're down there and I had made friends with this big doofus named Winston something-or-other that everyone called Winny. To put it politely I'm pretty sure Winny was either retarded or just inbred, or likely both. He was half again my size, his eyes were a bit too far apart and he had this hilarious slow manner of speech, which combined with the local accent (A curiously exaggerated southernish sound) made him sound twice as stupid as he actually was. I may be mean mouthing him, but we were friends, there was something I liked about the guy. Yeah he was kind of like a kid, and sure he could probably be dangerous if he lost his temper, but normally he was just this really damn friendly guy who just seemed to want to be liked and didn't get any of the jokes others had at his expense, he just liked that they laughed when he was around. These locals could get fucking nasty too. Something about the younger ones, they had eyes like racoons, just looking for something to grab onto with their grubby little paws and chew at. Winny's best attribute is that he didn't even understand their bullying. Dude ate up my stories like they were candy too, and this encouraged me to elaborate on them even further just to entertain him more. I could tell some real whoppers with this guy and he took them as gospel, it was beautiful. I'm telling him stories about how I saved a handful of beautiful japanese women from evil World War Two Shoguns who just never gave up the fight, and said rescue involved me at some point beating a tiger to death with my own severed arm and he is wide eyed and absolutely thunderstruck. This guy ended up following me around everytime I went to one of these little get togethers. Which if I'm not mistaken is how they got to calling me the Tard Wrangler, which I wasn't much appreciative of.

The one time the get together deviated from the DQ parking lot was to have a bonfire out in the middle of the woods. There was sure to be some more liberties to be had out there were the local cops couldn't idely cruise by. I was eager for it and a few of the girls gave me directions on the promise that I'd either tell em some more weird stories about my travels or bring a six pack with me. I opted for both and then some, spending what little left of my money I had to buy a case our two, which Winny was more than happy to lug around for me. Dude was tireless, he liked beer just fine but was more partial to soda and capri suns.

We showed up at eight or nine and the bonfire was already going pretty decent. People were drunk as hell and loud. The fire was big enough I guess, lots of random shit just set to burn, I distinctly remember a wicker chair in there. They had guns all over the place too. Mostly shitty 22s and a few double barrels, but I heard handguns occasionally. They were shooting up in the air, and off to the sides, plinking cans and someone got pissed when the back tires of his toyota got blown to shit. I'm not big on guns really, they bother me, that probably seems weird but with that many drunk assholes around and most of em armed, someone was bound to do something lethally stupid.

Winny and I got to shmoozing and being social, I had initially decided for some god awful reason to see if I could get the big doofus laid. There were plenty of pretty girls thereabouts, they had this farmer's daughter thing going on thats kind of irresistable really. Clean cute faces, hell freckles even, and then bam! Tits on display. I'd dipped around enough and the girls were willing, no problem about that, I'd figured I'd chat one up with Winny in tow and maybe talk him up some and get a kick when she drug him off behind some bushes.

I find a likely pair of girls and get to talking. I'm not really drinking much, and Winny's pretty much just been packing away the cokes, the girls were fairly fucking smashed though. The taller of the two had some amazingly dark brown hair that hung down to her waist and a body like a violin. She was wearing cut off shorts and actually had a pretty respectable tan going on. I've no doubt that this one had some cherokee in her either, her eyes and cheeks said as much. The other was a bit more like a cello but had a chest that pirates would kill a man over before burying somewhere. She was blonde though, and I'm not partial to those. Hell I figured I'd take the violin and maybe do a duet with her off somewhere nice and give Winny some pointers on the cello. I'd heard a kick-as rendition of a Kansas song on a cello once and figured Winny should be able to figure out a passable version of that. Innuendos are shared, lewdities dropped and I may have pitched a horrible limrick or three, Winny's over there being beautifully oblivious to the delicate interplay goin' on. One thing I'll give West Virginia's girls is that when they decide that they've been sold on something, they can be pretty outright about getting to it. It's refreshing really, a little bit of chat and bam her hand is in your pants. Throughout this I'd been chatting Winny up pretty solid, talkin about how my cousin had a flat a few days ago and the big galoot damn near picked up the whole first half of the car and whatnot. Blonde girl is swaying on her feet and giving him some come-hither looks. I nudge Winny and pull him off to the side and give him some basic rules of engagement.

Now I know I was harping on about how dumb this guy was, but he caught on pretty fast after I laid it all out for him. I gave him my basic rule, "If she starts saying no, or fussing and acting all unhappy like, then you just stop whatever it is your doin, take her hand gently and ask her to tell you exactly what she wants, you got that big guy?" Winny is all goofy smiles and bright eyes, "Oh ye-ah, oh yeah, I seen pictures." I smile and nod, "Just don't start screaming or twist her head off or nothing like that." Winny shakes his head no, of course not, not a chance of that happening.

Cello girl takes him buy the hand and leads him out of the firelight off to some dark corner of the woods and I take my cherokee girl off to some high rocks on the far side. I will not go into details, except to say that as best I could figure that girl did not have any tan lines at all, just kind of a nice coffee color to her all over.

I am thouroughly enjoying myself when I get a poke between my shoulder blades. Now, I'm in sort of a state that may be called involved and don't notice it the first time. The poke comes again though, a bit more insistant and forceful and I'm a bit what the fuck. Violin girl's eyes damn near bug out of her head and she grabs her top hissing out, "Oh for the love of jesus!" It's Winny and he has this morose look on his face, completely unashamed of having interupted my current engagement. "Mr. Latrans she done gone run off on me what do I do?" He sez. I'm looking at him for a moment, and my cherokee girl takes this time to make herself scarce, dammit. I take a big sigh and look up at him while I'm getting my effects in order and ask him.

"What in twisted snakes are you talkin' about Winny."

"She done run off into the woods, she ain't there no more what do I do?"

"Did you grab her rough or snap anything?"

"No! I was being real gentle like, she said it was ooookay."

"And then she just got up and left?"


"Right in the middle of it?"


"Well shit."

I figured maybe she just cut and run on the big guy or something and did it in a suitably crafty enough manner to leave him dumfounded, which really wouldn't be too difficult. I calm him down and figure we might as well chase after and see whats up. I wasn't wanting to make a scene or anything, just make sure the guy hadn't had a black moment or something and done a thing we'd both regret. He takes me down to where they were doing their thing and I see his shirt and her clothes kinda spread out, so they'd have something comfortable to lay out on. Her clothes were still there, what the hell. "Winny she run off nekkid?" I ask. He nods, "Yuh." I'm having a think, and ask him which direction did she go and run off to, cause it sure as hell wasn't back to camp. He points off to a dark part of the forest, near where the mountain side is more like a cliff and jabs in that direction. "Oh shit Winny was she giggling and laughing and shit when she ran off?"


"Oh you doofus, your supposed to chase after her ass."

"You said to be careful and not move to fast."

"Yeah I did say that, well shit...listen it's this thing girls do, they make you chase em, and they run around like idiots and then you play wrestle em down know what, fuck it, lets go make sure she didn't get eaten by a cougar, stupid-ass drunk hillbilly."

"I ain't drunk."

"I wasn't talking about you Winny, c'mon."

And so we went. Leaving behind the bonfire, and the gunshots, and the noise, right out into the woods towards that cliff. If anyone here is familiar with West Virginia, they'll know it's very much a coal mining state. I'm pretty sure a large amount of horrible mine collapses and stuff have occured over the years, if not in West Virginia than in areas nearby. The mountains are riddled with old shafts and openings, a few times while I was out wandering I've almost stumbled right into a vent or a shaft that was all overgrown. I wasn't too surprised then when we came to a half collapsed mine entrance on the side of that cliff. I'm feeling a little queasy, but I figure the stupid thing probably ran her ass in there for some privacy. Winny's got kind of a blank look on his face at the moment and isn't offering any insightful observations. I didn't have much on me but a lighter, having given my old trusty little flashlight away to a friend before I left the service, so I light it up and head in. I figure she can't have gone too far in right its dark as hell.

We get a coupla feet in and sure enough, just at the edge of the little circle of light my fire's making I can see for a second a curve of pale thigh. She giggles and moves off deeper into the dark. I'm thinking, god damn-it the drunk ass is still playing her games and is likely more than not to get herself killed. I holler at her and we keep going. "Listen chick, whatever your name is...enough games, c'mon now lets head back up, this shit is unsafe you hear me?" All I get in answer is a stupid flirty giggle, a brief glimpse of some tits and maybe a shoulder and she goes deeper yet.

I'm starting to get a little pissed. I was having some decent fun, hell Winny was getting his too, and now we have to play games with some drunk hillbilly in an abandoned mine, of which their were hundreds of up in these hills. If something went wrong, the chances of us being found were nil, especially since the locals didn't tell the cops shit about what they were up to out here. I keep going, and we turn a corner, turn another one, keep going down chasing this daffy giggling bitch. Winny stumbles a few times on the old rusted tracks that were splayed out every which way and gets to complaining that it's stuffy and smells bad in here.

I'm about to whip into him when I realize something. He's right it does smell god damned bad in here. At first I accounted it was due to trash and old condoms and shit, but we'd long since gone past that point, there wasn't anything down this far except rocks and dust. Bat shit maybe? No guano smells different, makes your eyes water. This smelled like that shit you get in the back of your throat when you've had strep. Those weird grungy yellow nuggets of congealed mucus that when coughed out smell like horrendous rotten ass. It smelled like that.

Meanwhile the flirting ninja is still dancing out of my flickering little light, which is starting to sputter and has gone out two or three times now. It's also hot as shit. The feeling comes in slow and powerful. I can feel the hairs on the back of my neck go, "Ooooooh shit Canis."

I stop and Winny bumps into me, I turn and look over at him and he's still got that blank look on his face. "Ruh-roh shaggy."

"My names Winny."

I snort back a laugh and give him a solid look. "Winny we need to get ourselves out of here I think, this girl is gonna get us killed."

"We can't just leave her to get hurt down here." He's looking concerned now, and its a genuine concern which is pretty awesome. I'm trying to remember how long we've been chasing this girl, how many turns we've made. Its more than three, and hell my ring of light dosn't do much, how many side passages had we passed that I hadn't seen. Oh fuck me, this place is a god damned maze and all I have to get us out of here is a bic lighter that is currently burning the shit out of my thumb, and she is STILL fucking giggling right over there, a stone's throw. I start pushing Winny back and say, "C'mon big guy, she'll follow us out, lets get back up topside, this place smells wrong innit?" He gives me this mournful look and nods and we start going back. The giggling is following.

Always just out of the full reach of my light, can't see but bits and pieces of pale skin and curves, never eyes and no hands either, how the hell is she getting by down here? I've been in enough weird situations to figure this might be one of em by now.

We're heading back and she's following us when I slam right into an old knocked over mine cart. Just laying on it's side in the middle of the tunnel. Immediatly alarms go off in my head. Oh fuck me, we didn't pass a minecart, oh fuck we've gotten turned around. My lighter goes out as I'm still reeling from this disturbing revalation and I hear, tik-tik-tiktiktiktiktik from right behind us.

I furiously get to clicking my bic and eventually it sputters up half-assededly and I can see her pull back into the shadows. She was close this time, touching close. I didn't see much, I saw her form and figure, the hips and chest. But the feet were all wrong. It was brief, but burned into my eyes there. I'm sure in hindsight it could have been a trick of the light but at that moment I wasn't wasting time trying to validate and explain what I had seen with logic or common sense. Her feet were pointed, featureless, like spikes. From calf down they just kept on tapering until they reached a point that she was walking on...and scuttled back into the shadows with. I can hear a giggle and that weird breathy come-over-here noise girls make when they want your attention. Normally its sexy as hell, but my bloods running cold and miserable right now because of it.

Winny steps in close and is staring off in her direction and says, "That ain't her." I'm a bit aghast but manage to responde, "You know you aren't half as dumb as people say you are Winny." which gets a smile out of him.

We tried to find a way back as best we could, I had Winny up front and warned to watch his footing because falling down a shaft now would be pretty much the end of our party tonight. As he was going forward I had my back to his and was watching behind, walking backward for every step he took. I'm breathing real careful, my lighters going out of fuel and that light is just shrinking, and if I breath on it funny, well fuck. She's keeping up with us too, always right at the edge, and that edge is getting closer. I don't even have a god damned knife on me, the hell did I not bring one, or borrow a gun from one of the sister-fucking rednecks up at that bonfire. Stupid, stupid. This is going so poorly.

Winny is concentrating on forging a path back up but I can hear him sighing and getting a bit frustrated, banging his head a few times on the low ceiling. One, I've got this thing following us and I can almost see it for what it is, and it isn't good. Two, I'm really hoping Winny dosn't lose his temper and go ape-shit with me right next to him. I'm missing Tony right about now.

Then I hear the damndest thing. In between her tik-tik-tiktiktik-tik steps, I can hear kind of a far off tapping. Its ringing metal on metal, tap, tap, tap...real regular like. Winny immediatly sort of hones in on that noise, zones out and starts moving towards it.

Got taps in one direction and tiks in another. tiktiktik. Her hands are the same way, oh god damn it, she has the same tapering points on her arms as her legs and I can just about see her face. It's smiling, but it's all wrong, all out of purportion. Her eyes are spread and her nose is flat. And I still have no idea where we are, I've given up figuring a way out to a big guy whos about as complex a thinker as Bambi the Prince of the Forest.

He just keeps going though and I'm trying to find something to burn so I can keep the light up. Searching my pockets for some paper or something. I manage to find the receipt for the beer we bought earlier and light that shit up. Theres a brief small flare of light and I see this thing kind of bounce back into the dark and go up the side like gravity dosn't matter a whit to her. Like a spider, moving weird now, not pretending anymore.

That tapping is still calling to Winny and my light is pretty much dead. Then I hear him tense up and no shit he actually says, "Yipee" or something damn close enough. My light goes flat dead and I'm sucking a breath in and getting ready for it. I figure if this thing grabs me I can maybe scream like an ass and bite it or something I dunno. It takes me a second to realize that even though my lights gone out I can still kinda see. Oh shit! Thats moonlight! Fuck this we are OUT.

Winny is still walking and I damn near bowl his ass over, "Move, fuckin' move it man move movemove!" I'm out with my feet hitting dirt in seconds and Winny is just kind of joggin' after me. Whatever that thing was it ain't coming out of that mineshaft after us. We're standing there collecting ourselves and I notice I can still hear that weird metal on metal tapping noise. Its coming from inside the mine, which is weird because to us it sounded like it was coming from outside right? I'm figuring echoes or some shit but I'm getting that distinct gut feeling that tells me, isn't just echoes man. I know she's right there at the mouth of that shaft though, I can feel it.

I'll take care of it. Trusty guy, me saying that immediatly puts him back to normal. We get back to the party. Now, honestly I have no idea how I'm going to "take care of it," and in truth I'm not really planning on even attempting it. As best I know, that dumb girl ran in there and got A: Lost, B: Eaten. And neither of those two possibilities mattered one fuck-all to either me or Winny. So the discovery of both of those girls back at camp, clothed and irratated as fuck was kind of a nice reveal. Those two were back at the fire, imperiously ignoring the hell right out of us. They were back to getting their drink on and chatting up with some local good ol' boys and I'm wondering, well what the fuck. "Winny when that girl ran off, do your remember which way she went?" Winny shrugs and cracks open like beer number two or possibly soda number thirteen and nods, "Yuh, she went that way what we went." I give him a long look, "You sure about that." He starts to smile and nod, then frowns and shakes his head, "Nope." Oh fuck me.

Best we could figure from talking to others was that cello girl had run off into some bushes wanting to play catch-me-if-you-can and had been waiting out there naked for quite awhile before giving up, getting her clothes and finding her friend. She'd never even known about the god damned mine, what was in it or that weird knocking sound. Violin girl was giving me attitude because my big goofy buddy made an ass out of her best friend and blah blah blah dumbshittery. It wasn't too long after that found me elsewhere out of West Virginia. Caught a ride with a trucker who was a solid dude and a former Marine to boot so oorah to that. I gave Winny my empty bic lighter though and told him it was a good luck charm. I'd bet anything he still has it.

There ya go, West Virginia, beautiful place, stupid people, deep holes.

EchoesAnother story from the jungle, this one being the one that still gives me nightmares on occasion. Now, I can not really claim this as happening exactly as I remembered it, not in any honest sense. I remember it as happening like so however, which still has me waking on occasion in a cold sweat.

This is back in some weird little island in the philipines learning jungle survival stuff from the nigridos. My friend Tony and I were getting the hang of some of the finer points of staying alive in a world that wanted you dead and festering with larvae. Tony is a solid guy, the kind of friend your lucky to have. He had my back, I had his, and it didn't matter what stupid shit the other decided to get himself into, he wasn't going into it alone. Seriously the guy was loyal to a fault, still is. This is actually how we ended up in the middle of the bush together god knows how many miles from whatever could be considered civilization and light years away from anything remotely safe. Part of the final test of what you learned out there was to go out alone for a coupla days and make your way back to the village. It was a basic practical test, ideally you had a nigrido shadowing you not too far off making sure you didn't get yourself graved by being an idiot. You'd never know these guys were there though, ever, they knew this territory and knew how to work it. The jungle is dense, profoundly thick. I know you've probably heard stories about how you can walk past entire ruined temple in the middle of south america and never even clue in that its there even though your practically on it's doorstep. Its true, you step ten feet from your buddy in the wrong direction, blink wrong and bam, your alone.

We had both done pretty good as far as the nigridos cared, we picked up things fast and weren't shy about doing things most westerners balk at, eating bugs, getting filthy and reaching into mysterious holes to grab whatever might be lurking in there. I had no problem with this as my dad was kind of a nutjob survivalist in my early youth and had a thing for doing things "the Traditional Way," Tony had no problems doing this stuff because he had balls the size of a C-130, loaded with tanks, and driving those tanks were condors with helmets.

Anyways, its time for the practicals, and although we were supposed to solo that noise, Tony and I basically said "no dice we're going in as a pair," to which the nigridos smiled and nodded and agreed that we were smart to demand such a thing. You never go out there alone. I always thought it was kind of a trick question thing anyways, sending your goofy ass out into the dense solo when all throughout the training they go on and on about how your a dumb shit if you go out there alone. Bonus points for us I guess right?

We get bags over our heads and led to a little riverboat. They rumble us out for a few hours and then uncerimoniously dump our asses onto the beach. The nigrido tosses us a knife, stares at us for awhile before making this weird little gesture and buggering off on his boat. I couldn't catch the exact gesture, but it was like a gang sign I guess, quick, fingers all tangled up. His boat was shit, I swear it was made out of warehouse pallets or something the like. Tony and I both figured the guy probably went up river a bit then bailed on his own craft and fixed to shadow us and keep an eye out.

With bravado fed by the others presence we went into the jungle all smiles and ego. We were good, we knew this, we were not afraid and figured this would be fun as hell, and give us some future stories to tell the ladies about and hence get laid. Tony has a knack for direction and the two of us sussed our whereabout after only a few hours. It was daytime, so climbing a tree gave us a pretty decent view. Not a lot to see really, but somehow he figured on a direction we were supposed to go and we headed off. Moving through the jungle can be slow work, in the movies you have to hack your way through shit with a machete like indiana jones or some shit. Reality is a bit different. If you know where to step, you can avoid all the work of cutting stuff down. Along fallen logs is pretty good, up roots and the like, but dont ever put your foot alongside something like that, thats snakefood. The nigridos do it at kind of a lazy jog, we were more deliberate but still moving at a pace that was comfortable to us.

We chattered constantly, it wasnt to keep predators away, as far as we knew the island had no real big threats like cats or anything, we did it because Tony and I couldn't shut the fuck up when we were around eachother. I'm sure you guys have friends like that. Those two chucklefucks in the back of the classroom in highschool always snickering and loaded with injokes, that was pretty much us, in the jungle...with a single knife and something to prove. The first day was pretty damn uneventful, we didn't eat, and we spent almost the entire time moving. We found water in different places, big cone shaped leaves are good for that, and they typically come with snacks of differing squiggly varieties. We made camp up in the branches of a big goofy ass looking tree, took light watches and slept like babies. I woke up covered in bugs the size of my fingers and Tony fell off his branch and got stuck in the crook of the tree when he woke up, clumsy bastard.

The second day started out like the first, chattering, moving, high spirits. The jungle was getting smellier and bleaker as we went, I think we were close to an estuary or something because there was a briny smell. The soil went from firm with a heavy layer of dead vegetation, to black-brown silt and loose. Tony and I tried making some fire, took us awhile but we did the trick with thread from his shirt and long bendy twig to make a bow with and whatnot. We got some smoldering going, but shit out there was so wet it just made a lot of thick black smoke and never really caught. I figured if we kept some tender dry ontop of our heads or something and maybe found some good dead wood we'd have something worth burning. As time went on we got to talking about old times, funny crap we had done, new ideas for pranks with which to torment our hapless buddies with and the desire to come out of this not only successful but as badass as possible. We didn't want to be the swiss family fucking Robinson, we wanted Rambo. I mean seriously, how could anyone want anything BUT that. Imagine that crap, coming out of the bush all grim faced and scarred, with like a dead deer over your shoulder and the skulls of your enemies tied around you in a belt made out of human hair. Not that we had enemies local, but I'm sure we could make some right?

Thats pretty much us. It was around mid-day Tony and I noticed this weird echo effect with the jungle. It was hard to notice because we never really shut up, but when we talked, there was this weird echo that was soft and sounded far away at first. Until he pointed it out and we started listening more carefully. Everytime we talked, there it was, that wasnt as far away as it initially sounded either, just deceptively soft. We figured it was maybe soundwaves bouncing off the broadleaf plants in the area or something and coming back at us all curved up. We weren't rocket scientists, but we weren't proper dumb either. Tony and I made a game out of it, we'd start chattering at eachother and then he'd hold up his hand, fingers splayed and visually countdown with em, we'd stop mid sentence when he hit zero, and could hear the last few words said bounce around us in a weird jungle whisper. At dusks we had been getting kind of tired of the game and blew it off, but before we went up to rest Tony pulled it on me one last time. Normally echoes just kind of stop or trail off right? This time...I dunno, it just kind of looped, and it looped wrong.

The last thing I had been saying to Tony was something along the lines of "I'm a goddamned sexual tyranno-" and cut off. What we heard bouncing around us in that quiet sibilant way was, "I'm a god damned, god damned, god, god, I'm, damned." Tony and I stopped talking and just kind of stared at eachother for a bit. We weren't ruling out echoes yet, though over all our time out here doing this training we hadn't ever really heard it before, or mention of it. We were both creeped right the fuck out, and when one of us is creeped, the other picks up on it and the hackles go up. We found ourselves a solid tree and that night we did not pull light watches, we pulled proper. I'm figuring a little after midnight Tony woke me up with a hand on my shoulder.

Its dark at night in the jungle, god damned dark, and noisy. The canopy over head pretty much prevents any good starlight coming through, and the skies are most always fat with gray clouds. The bugs get set to screeching at night and they don't quit for nothing. Underneath our tree something was rooting around in the bushes, even through the bugs we could both hear it. Shuffling, a quiet snort, crunches, snuffling. Sounded like a pig to me and I was set to bark at it and maybe spook it off when Tony's hand on my shoulder tenses. Then I could hear it.

Muttering in between the snuffles. A snort, some bushes rustling and a few low scattered words. Bits and pieces of sentences. It took me a second, but fuck me if it didn't sound like Tony down there pissed off and searching for something he'd lost in the bush. You know when a grumpy ass drops a contact or something and gets to searching for it muttering under his breath, it's like that. Whatever was down there was fucking talking. It wasn't making any sense though, the weirdest fucking thing. "So tits," snortsnort "Yeah the green," shuffle, "Named after fucker," rustle. Then a laugh, and I froze when I heard that. It started with my laugh, which is this goofy Mark Hamill as the Joker thing and ended with Tony's troublemaker's drawl. See we had been bullshitting for the past what, day and a half, and spent a good time laughing our asses off at eachother. Whatever the fuck that thing was down there it was like it was trying our voices on for size.

We'd both seen Predator, we'd been quoting that shit for days out here. I can't even begin to count how many times I'd just stop while one of the instructors was explaining something, stare off into the horizon and mutter, "Theres something out there, up in them trees." Which never failed to make Tony laugh like a retard. Military types watch a lot of god damned movies, and your typical boots on the ground motherfucker can quote like a champ. No lie, we can even do crazy shit like quote a movie line for line with a different cast from yet another movie. You havn't lived til you've seen a bunch of petty officers do a scene from Aliens with Thurgood from Half-Baked as the Sarge. We caught the smiliarities to our situation pretty god damned fast. It was eerie listening to this thing natter about imbecilicly down there, it had no comprehension of the noises it was making, but it was fucking making them.

Tony slid me the knife and secured himself in his spot and I kept the watch until dawn. The thing trundled off a half hour or so before daybreak. I'm no apache, but I know knives well enough to be comforted by holding one, but even that didn't break the "oh what the fuck have we gotten ourselves into," gloom that caught us.

The next day was a grim fucking thing. We weren't chattering, we weren't joking around anymore. Nerves were on edge and both of us had to have looked like someone had gutted our favorite dog. Tony did at least, I'm a goofy looking guy so I probably still looked like a run of the mill dork. Believe me, the urge to quote predator was pretty god damned strong but we just couldn't get past the feeling that we needed to be quiet and careful. Tony managed a half-hearted Arnold gargle when we were headed up a ridge, I think in an attempt to beat the gloom, but even that couldn't do it. He does a good Arnold gargle too, for those that don't know what that is, its hard to describe really its like a weirdly accented "Arghlearg" noise done in Arnies manner thats pretty unmistakeable when you hear it. Wow, actually writing that down makes it seem so dumb as hell, still funny as all get out though I think.

We didn't hear that weird echo as long as we didn't talk. We were starting to get hungry though, and random bugs wasn't doing much to assuage that. It felt like, I dunno the right description, it felt like we were being bullied if that made any sense. We couldn't talk, we weren't allowed to. That got us both feeling a little pissed off. Tony and I individually aren't anything I'd call cowards, we aren't heroes by any stretch of the word, but were not pussies. Together though, we get stupid brave. I'm sure you might see where this is leading. To us it was a natural shift. It took a few hours of grimly trudging along in the direction we believed was the right way to go for the shift to happen, but it was kind of inevitable. Screw this thing. Screw this stupid talking thing. I broke the silence proper, started bitching about the girls on this island, how they had curves like a dirt road. Tony countered immediatly that I lacked the proper gear to drive a dirt road. We started chattering again, this time aggressively, we were defying this damned spooky thing. We began the most ridiculous conversations. How do you properly screw a dolphin? Do you beach it and plug the blowhole? Do you sneak up on it in a zodiac, spear gun it's ass and go at an eye socket? Crap like that. We were uncouth savages. We were listening for that stupid echo, waiting for it.

We were not dissapointed. The echoes started up, it was hard to get a location, but the best I could figure was back and towards my side a bit. Tony scored a major victory when he said something along the lines of, "Dance around that flagpole bare-assed and body-painted like I'm a drag-queen paramount." The echo came back as "I'm a drag-queen." Tony stopped in his tracks, turned around and screamed back at it, "YOURE FUCKING RIGHT YOUR A DRAG-QUEEN YOU DICK EYED JUNGLE CUNT!" It was liberating, terrifying though. That was the first time we actually addressed the god damned thing. But we did, we addressed it, we acknowledged it as existing and that just sat bad. A small victory but that feeling in our guts, that wasn't the feeling you get when you win a fight. It's the feeling you get when you start a war.

When Tony had called that thing out it was a declaration of war. We both started getting hostile, not towards eachother mind you, but towards this whatever the hell it was.

We got to planning, and threatening, vocalizing the horrible things we were planning on doing to it once we caught ahold of it. I distinctly remember Tony saying something along the lines of "I'm strangle this goofy-assed thing, I'ma kill it with my bare hands." I laughed, "Dude what if it's a fuckin' nigrido and he's just screwing with us." Tony just stared at me. I shrugged, couldn't blame him for the sentiment really.

Thing is, we kept going on, we never turned around, neither of us wanted to actually stand our ground or charge off after it. There was this distinct sensation that doing so would have been one helluva bad idea. We were getting hungry though and figured that it was probably time to do something about it. Theres a lot to eat in the jungle if your not shy, frogs, bugs and the like can keep you going like a trail ration, but if you want something with more substance you have to kill it, or if your some sort of fancy botanist I suppose you can tell a jungle death turnip from a potato and do it that way. We were not botanists, and I only knew which plants could get me high, unconcious or stop bleeding. Tony climbed up a tree and managed to brain some sort of monkey critter with a rock. The guy could be quiet as hell, and the monkey critters out here were curious and stupid. The specific trap we used to catch the monkey off guard was me laying down in a space between some trees and doing my best curly impression from the Three Stooges. You know the thing where you lay on your side, and start running and kind of churn circles while going "whooop whooop whooop." Well, thats what I was doing, which got a few monkies coming down and looking at us like dude, what the fuck are you doing, and Tony hit one with a rock. We were some crafty bitches.

I managed to start an acceptable fire, previously I had taken our tinder and folded it up in a dry leaf and worn it on my head like an idiot. The campfire was tiny, but it did the trick, I cleaned the monkey critter as best I could and we cooked it old school on some sticks. The sticks caught fire frequently, and a lot of the meat burned to inedible carbon but my god it was good. We cooked the hell out of that monkey, I'm sure it was loaded with parasites, but burning the hell out of it had to help, and I figured we could get purged when we got back to our unit, or hell, just the village if I could boil some water and drop some tabs. The other monkey critters watched us eat, they were quiet, just staring. Probably should have felt bad about that in hindsight, but neither of us was feeling charitable or friendly really. Something about having meat in our bellies and actual fire, albiet a small one made us feel a lot more ready for this weird shit and we got to planning on how we were gonna handle it.

Idea one was to continue on as we were going and maybe just pick up the pace. It was the safest idea by far and Tony figured we had another day until we got to either a shitty road we could navigate off of or a larger river we could follow. Idea two was to cover ourselves in mud, arm ourselves with bows made from roots and shit and ambush the thing. I shit you not, we figured why the hell not. Idea three was to split apart at night, have each person in a different tree and stay up until whatever it was came snooting around. Whoever was in the tree it decided to investigate would signal the other who would come down and murder the hell out of it from the rear. I liked idea three and voted for it, Tony voted for two and the monkey's skull sided with me making it a unanimous vote for idea three, because Tony was italian and italians don't get to vote.

There was some threatening of eachother's life, but in the end we pretty much settled on our two tree ambush idea.

We didn't move from that site that day. We sharpened some sticks, thick short ones make good spikes. Tony let me keep the knife since I was a bit swifter with it than he was and he carried the spikes. The guy is strong, much stronger than me and I figured he could put those things to much better use than I if he could get a good line up. Figured it would go like this. It would start bothering one or the other of us who would throw a twig at his buddy. Buddy would come down and engage whatever it was, at which point the initial target would drop down and help secure the kill. We went over it a coupla different times, figured out some possible oh-shit secondary plans but really, there wasn't much to it. This thing had been creeping us out for awhile and we wanted it dead, we felt kind of elated by the thought of killing it. Turn the tables on it's ass and come out like badasses. We got ourselves motivated and I did something which is I guess kind of embarassing but whatever. I put on warpaint. I guess thats dorky as hell. I took some of the black-silt soil we had been around, mixed it with monkey-juice and smeared three dark lines across my face. Tony thought I looked kinda badass so he did the same. We used to do this during training and paintball games, hell, once during a hide and go seek game with some corpsman girls at camp lester we did it. Yes, we played hide and go seek, with the legitmate intent of getting laid by said corpgirls, yes we smeared our face paint on the aforementioned corpgirls. He did a full on handprint on his face, it looked very Conan meets Geronimo meets a Guido. The paint tightened up into pretty solid noticeable lines when the fluids coagulated, which took all of fifteen minutes or so.

Our site was decent too, an opening in the canopy over where we had set our campfire promised that if there was any light to be had that night, we'd be able to make some use of it. We picked out our trees, climbed up there and took a few practice throws with twigs we had nearby. I hit him in the eye, he kept aiming at my balls. Spirits were high, sort was a false high, bravado I think.

Night came, and with it, bugsong. High chirps and cackling buzzes all over the place. I near pissed myself when what I had assumed to be a knot of wood next to my thigh twitched and started this staccato screech that ricocheted off the trees. Was a big assed beetle thing. We lucked out in that cloud cover was lighter than it typically is and we had a good moon. Not bright by any stretch, but more than we had any night previous. We waited. Felt like forever, sitting up in a tree, trying to keep your heartbeat regular. Knowing the second we heard whatever it was we heard we'd get that adrenaline kick to the nuts that would make our whole body start shaking. I'm not sure how long we waited up there before it came. At first I missed it entirely, I was so intent on listening for it I missed it entirely. When I finally zeroed in on the snuffling, rummaging, muttering beneath me I realized I had been hearing it for some time now. It was under me. Me.

I pulled my knife up and crouched on my branch, my free hand making sure for the love of god I had a strong hold on a nearby branch. I took a few minutes to steady myself and really listen. I wanted to make sure of a few things before I alerted Tony. I desperately wanted this thing to be alone, and I wanted to get a general idea of it's size. Size wasn't too hard, judging by the heaviness of the rummaging going on beneath me it was man-sized, maybe a bit bigger but lower to the ground. As for the numbers, well fuck...I only heard one. Small comfort that.

I had a pile of little pre-snapped twigs and I grabbed the whole damn thing and tossed it towards Tony's tree. Now, remember I said Tony can be a quiet guy. I had no idea if I had hit him, or if he had started moving, I could only really guess as to the actions over on his end. I got a good grip on the branch with my legs and made to swing under it, do kind of a spider man manuever and maybe stab downwards. It was a bit overelaborate yeah, but I used to climb trees all the time as a kid, and dangling like a douchebag was second nature. Nowadays the dangling not so much, douchebag I still got. Anyways, I'm dangling, I let go with my hands and get ready to knife this fucking thing in the head when I see it.

A huge moment of confusion washed over me when it happened. I damn near went loose and fell off my branch. Tony is looking straight up at me. He's gotta be like, four feet off the ground just lookin at me with this blank retarded look on his face. Mind you, its pretty dark, but I can see a face...swear it looked like him, at first. Then I focus on it a bit more and notice. It has no fucking facepaint.

It's not Tony.

Shit, it dosn't even look like Tony's face anymore, it's just A face. But its a god damned human face, looking up at me, blinking. My blood runs cold and I can feel my body come to a screeching halt. "Tony, get the fuck back up in your tree." I say.

"Up in your tree." It says back, sounding pleased with its god damned self.

I can hear Tony, the real Tony over there in his tree rustle as he gets right the hell back up in the branches. "What the hell is goin' on, what the hell, what the heeeeell is that." He's got this angry nervousness in his voice. I've heard him like this only a few times, usually before we got our collective asses kicked by some angry merchant marines. The thing is still staring at me, and I'm making out more of it's body. It's a fucking pig. I mean, it's body. Its got the broad rectangular barrel of a body. Its quadraped though I cant make out the distinct feet, its got a human, or at least human-ish face. "Its a pig Tony, it's just a god damned pig." I say, and the thing is mimicking me just the same as always. I can hear an exasperated sigh over in the other tree and I continue, "It's got a people face though, stay the fuck up in that tree Doc." Doc is a magic word to corpsmen, its a business word and it isn't lightly used, marines call us Doc, but usually only after we've proven ourselves I guess you could say, corpsmen rarely refer to eachother as such, unless were trying to elaborate on a point. I was elaborating my point as hard as I could, as calmly as I could, without shitting myself. I was still upside down, if I had shit myself, well...think about how unpleasant it would be to fill your pants and then have it run up your damned back and into your hair. Blech.

Man-face is looking up at me and Tony goes silent over there. We stare at eachother for along while before I manage to find purchase and swivel back upright. I'm not looking down anymore, let that thing root around.

I didn't sleep that night.

It left before morning, like it always did and Tony and I went to ground and moved out, as fast as possible. We talked little, only that what I had seen was an unquantifiable thing, I could not predict any actions outcome on something I knew absolutely nothing about. I mean shit, if it had been like a tiger or something ridiculous like that, I could have figured something out, even something stupid, but not this thing. If it had been the nigrido, well, Tony and I would have likely kicked the hell out of him, but I woulda chilled Tony out before he killed him no problem. It wasn't anything I knew though, it was wrong, and bizarre and very disturbing. We immediatly initiated idea one. We didn't hunt anymore monkies, we didn't fish, we didn't eat bugs. We drank sparingly as we went, which gave us some serious dehydration issues. Tony had an idea of where to go and thats where we went, fast.

Thank god for the river, when we found we made so many miles. We weren't playing around anymore either. The first civilian craft we saw, which was this shitty little rickshaw thing, we flagged it, asked for a lift and we got back home.

When we arrived at the village we were haggard, dehydrated, cut up and miserable. This wasn't a big surprise to the nigridos, everybody came back from the practical like that. What bothered them is the man they sent out to watch over us never came back.

That keeps me up some nights.

EddieI had a friend a long time ago named Edgar. Edgar was the single most mexican motherfucker I ever met. The actor from that Machete movie kinda reminds me of Eddie, except my guy was like...four foot something and broader than a barn door. I met this guy shortly after my time with the fleet, he was hurt in a pretty bad way and didn't wanna get fixed up by a legit doc or take a trip to the emergency room, his buddies had heard I did patch jobs on the cheap and welp. Pulling a coupla rounds out of someones ass can make for strange friendships I suppose. Guy was covered in ink, he had tear-drops, numbers, spider thingies...all sorts of signs that proclaimed him as a macho badass with whom you do not want to fuck with. I've been told what these things mean but I can't fucking remember them for the life of me. Regardless, they're designed to ward people off and mebbe warn em about the individual wearing them. They have the opposite effect on me since I met Edgar, I feel I have someone at my back that will pull me out of the shit if it I need it.

After I fixed up this guy, he saved my ass more times than I can reckon. I lived in a pretty ratty part of town, and I'm not exactly a threatening looking person normally. I'm not an easy mark but I look the part ya know? Anyways, Eddie saved my ass from what I think was a mugging on occasion. Getting cornered by a buncha dickheads out of the circle K with an eye on my cigarettes, I'm wondering where I'm going to stash the bodies and Eddie's bouncy car pulls up and solves the problem for me. Those fuckers BAILED when they saw him. He was pretty god damn friendly, drug me to a coupla decent parties, fed me el presidente til I was unconcious on his sister's couch and tried to hook me up with his cousin. I'm a half-breed, and neither of those parts is mexican, but that didn't seem to bother him, I stood out like a sore thumb at the gatherings ya, but I was the "Only white boy who I'ma let take a knife to my ass."

Long story short, we was pals. He and his boys got into pretty frequent rumbles with another troop and I made out nice for myself picking up their pieces. It may not have been particularly ethical doing patch jobs, but fuck it I've never really been big on ethics. Anywho, they have this long standing fight with these guys from across town and eventually shit starts hitting the fan. Apparently the other guys had a santarista or some shit giving em a hand. I don't know if thats the proper term for the chicks that do this shit, I know the word bruja popped up. My own sadly racist as shit word for it was meximagician. Ya, ya I know, its not exactly telling of my cultured self to sling shit like that but whatever. Hispanic magic is bloody terrible shit. It's chicken feet and skulls, and bad shit incoming. Feels old as fuck too, I have no doubt that that gobbldygook they spew when slinging a hex is nauhatl, and it makes my skin fucking crawl.

The other guys are getting more vicious, what would be occasional spats in the street and maybe a drive-by is turning even nastier. People are getting attacked in their homes, Eddie's hot cousin got her thighs stabbed while she was sleeping and they're doing shit like leaving gutted dog corpses hanging over fences. What starts making my guys worry is that they aren't feeling so hot all of a sudden. These are tough macho dudes, but superstitious as all hell, hearing a bruja is mucking around deflates em at an alarming pace. Edgar puffs up to compensate for this and starts making with the threats towards the bruja the other guys got. Saying he dosn't care about that shit, he's gonna slice up the old cunt and her sons. Blah blah blah. I'm like "Eddie chill man, she's prolly some dudes grandma." But he's having none of it, he's got a bit of torquemada in him I think, he's gonna cut himself a witch.

Shit does not go well for em over the next few weeks. Bunch of his boys get picked up and thrown out by the police, two of em flat out fucking disappear and their girls are getting hit with the shit, the bad guys are targeting their families now. I know how voodoo rolls, it's a mindfuck, you make people afraid with it, ride their anxieties and fill in the blanks they make on their own. It's taking credit for something bad that happens even if you aren't the one responsible and tying all the shitty things that can happen to someone to one imagined source, you. It's terrorism, the most effective kind, people have been doing it to eachother ever since some broken ass nutjob tribal picked up a dead animal and made the stronger guys hunt for him by claiming he could catch their souls in it.

I was worried, but still pretty distant from all this shit. Edgar was my only friend in this, these were not my people. Fuck, I don't even have people. So I was watching it from the outside, only really getting involved when Edgar brought me someone to fix and a bottle of JD to pay me off with. By this point he knew he didn't have to bring me shit, I'd do it on the house if he needed it, but traditions right?

I got involved when Edgar got his damn self fucking killed. The way I heard it a grip of bad guys caught him dropping his little girl off at his grandmothers and fucking disembowled him on the sidewalk right there. It had to have happened fast, this guy knew how to fight. He bled out in the ambulance, the paramedic taking care of him was a drinking buddy of mine and told me he was paled out right from the get go. It's not the first time I've had a friend of mine get a headstart on me, but it never feels good. Edgar was a hoot, and now he was fucking boot, I was probably gonna get mugged fucking hard next time I was out, and probably by the guys that killed him. They knew who I was, my protection was gone.

So I did what any honest coward would do, I stayed in my fucking apartment. I locked the doors, and didn't plan on leaving until judgement day. I'm not that much of an oorah go get em kinda guy. I can throwdown yeah, but only enough to keep my goofy ass alive, and I almost never go looking for a fight if I can help it. I'm no viking, I'm a craven-hearted coyote son of a bitch. I would have been completely happy waiting this shit out. Ya sure there would have been some guilt, but I have plenty of guilt I carry along, eventually the individual shit stops mattering and it's just this fucking thing following me around that I can placate with alcohol.

My plan would have worked wonderfully if it hadn't been for Eddie not leaving me the fuck alone. Now I was drunk as a ferryman, so that might have done it, but he was there sitting on my shitty couch one morning when I pulled myself out of bed. Fucking staring at me. Didn't have the decency to put his guts back in either, they were all splayed out over my tv-tray, getting gook in my microwave dinner I hadn't finished.

"Get the fuck out of here Eddie I can't fix you up this time dude." I sez.

He's looking at me with the blackest eyes, and he ain't blinking. I sure as hell do. I leave him to my couch and go take a shower. Have you ever tried having a cigarette while showering? Theres an art to it, but its god damn satisfying. When I get back out there he's moved from the couch to my little kitchen and is looking up at all the empty booze bottles I got stacked on the shelves. I never threw away any of the shit he gave me, even after I drank em. Just kept them up there for some fucking reason. He's staring at em, and I realize just how damn short this guy is. In life Edgar always seemed pretty fucking gigantic to me. Here, now...he seemed so much smaller. "Eddie get out of my fucking kitchen." I say, I havn't had an episode like this in years and I'm not liking it one bit. I've been doing really good. He just kind cocks his head towards me and says, "Ain't I paid you enough?"

"Oh fuck you," My bloods getting jumpy and my breath is starting to fever up,been at least a year since I've had shit like this happen, I was doing so well.

"They did it front of my little girl man, she had em do it in front of Maggie."

"Yeah well it's fucking done now innit? It's over, go to sleep Eddie."

"It ain't over man, what if she goes after her?"

I'm looking for my meds now, going through my drawers trying to find the pills I havn't taken in like forever, but didn't have the balls to throw out. They make this shit stop happening sometimes, or at least they did. I'm a big fan of placebos, even if they don't do shit, my desperate and sudden need to take them right the fuck now might actually accomplish the intended effect. Fuck, I probably coulda shot-gunned skittles and got the right effect.

"It ain't over man, that witch gotta pay, she gotta get where I can get her." He says, he's got this lazy english thats unmistakeable. He dosn't sound all stuffed up and impressive like he used to either, he sounds like he's had the shit kicked out of him. Ha, fuck that description, he sounds dead. Although in retrospect dead people shouldn't fucking sound like anything right?

"What the fuck you want me to do about Eddie? Seriously, I pull bullets out of asses and stitch shit up, what in the name of seven snakes do you expect me to even be able to do? I'm not a jaguar mang." Can't find my pills, I'm starting to accept it as happening, not exactly the best of things and I know it.

"You got to get her man, you got to get her ass for me."

"Thats serious shit, what am I gonna tell the cops when they pull me in? Edgar the Undead Mexican sent me, its cool guys?"

"I never took you for a pussy."

"I'm not a pussy, I just plan on staying alive you bag of dicks."

"Why the fuck for, you hate living as much as I hate being dead."

"Yeah well I'm not looking forward to whats waiting for me where your at Eddie, I got bad shit following me."

He takes down one of my empty bottles, Captain Morgan I think and turns it in his hands. I'm starting to get a bit desperate here. I got bad shit waiting for me if I leave the apartment before this shit blows over, on the other hand, I've got Eddie in here with me. Stuck between a spic and a hard place. Ha ha, fuck me.

"I know how this works mang," He says, "It's tradition, I'll do something for you, you do something for me."

"What the fuck you talking about Eddie, you can't do shit for me."

"I'm not the only dead guy here Doc."

And my blood runs flat fucking cold at that. I've been collecting things like Eddie for a long god damned time. There are a lot of em, its what sent me to the pills ya know? They havn't come out in forever, but I never really felt like they left.

"You threatening me Eddie?"

"No you stupid fuck, when I ever done you wrong?"

"What the fuck you figuring?"

"You do this for me, you take this bitch out, I'll keep these motherfuckers in check, I can handle these bitches."

It wasn't the first time I've shaken a dead man's hand.

War does funny things to a guy. Maybe not funny ha-ha, but definately funny in some bizarre fucking way. Funny like watching some fresh outta bootcamp shitbag catching a grenade and getting blown apart so fucking hard and fast all thats left is his boots just kinda standing there steaming. Its horrible ya, and any right-minded person would puke right there. But war makes you laugh your tits off while you're puking your guts out, because its so goddamn funny.

Maybe thats why after making the deal with Edgar I couldn't wipe my stupid smile off my face. It felt good to walk the warpath again. It was like getting a handjob from that girl in highschool who wouldn't give you the time of day back when you were a kid. It's like, ah...having a cigarette after a coupla days dry and you get that light headed hooo-yeah feeling. Like taking the perfect clean shit, you know the kind, zero residue left behind, zero splash, just a ten point dive from your ass into the bowl, the kind they should have at the olympics.

Once it was struck and the sun headed out I went to work. Violence was about to go down and the idea of walking out of it alive wasn't even pinging my common sense radar. I had to macgyver the shit I felt needful from what I had laying around. Jury-rigged witchcraft to ruin some old ladies day. Tore up my one yellowed pillowcase into strips and wrote the lord's prayer on it with magic marker before wrapping it around an old aluminum baseball bat Eddie's hot cousin gave me in case an asshole kicked in my door. I grabbed the dice I used to bilk some dudes out of like forty bucks and tossed em in my back pocket. The last was a half finished bottle of I think, that Parrot Bay coconut shit that I could chug down like it was soda. Seriously though that stuff isn't even alcohol until about three minutes after you've slammed it, and then you are on your ass. Rum is important though, dosn't matter what kind really, I know a guy who's big on rum, and he could be important if the shit goes sideways like I'm figuring might happen. Fuck, I'm hoping it goes hard sideways. By this time I'm rolling with the delusion. It feels fucking good to just accept this as the way it is, to just roll with it and throw myself laughing into the madness.

This delusion is something I'm comfortable with, it's pleasant. Like smoking in the shower.

Ah, I'm mistaken. The last thing I took with me was my headset earphones and a little broken walkman. It used to have a working radio, but I dropped it rocking the fuck out a few too many times and didn't exactly work at fucking all anymore, but I needed it.

I was carried to the site of my crusade by a bus. Seventy-five cents. Bus driver looked at me funny, I was rocking out to a walkman that didn't work with a baseball bat over my shoulder. I highly doubt I was the strangest thing he'd seen that night. Back in the day crusaders got to wear cool shit like armor and fancy stuff like that, I had ratty blue-jeans and a Dr. Pepper shirt.

I knew where these guys lived, everyone did. Other side of town in a shitty little neighborhood that mirrored Edgars stomping grounds. If you didn't know they were at war with eachother you woulda sworn they were family. Shit they might have been. Bus dropped me off at the seven-eleven at the corner. Skinny black guy with a camo jacket asked me for my change, told him all I had was the bad kind and to get the fuck out. He left.

The small white house with the double front windows, thats what Edgar's cousin had talked about. It musta been like nine thirty and there was a party going on. Bouncy cars out front bouncing, loud music playing, and many men in white wife-beaters having a good time. They were marked like Eddie was marked, I still didn't have a fucking clue what those marks meant aside from them meaning I was probably about to get my ass killed. I turn the volume up on my little walkman. It's not playing anything, it never does anymore, but it's playing it loudly. Theres only one way to do something this stupid, do it hard.

I had a dance in my step as I walked up to the two guys sitting on the hood of the car right out front. One of em popped his head up and looked at his buddy, they both said something but I couldn't hear it. Music was too loud. I give em a half smile, shrug and point to my headphones. The guy nearest to me pulls out a little nifty switchblade. He gets a bat to the face. Connects somewhere just around the jaw and turns him around. His friend hesitates a second before laying into my goofy ass with a solid right that just about causes me to shit my pants. I hit street with more than the recommended velocity and try and get back as fast as I can. Just in time to catch a boot to the mouth as it turns out. Hurts. I have an issue with my mouth, it's a delicate spot for me. I'm about to call it and back out of this shit when my song comes on. You know the song, everyone has one, it's quite motivating...people can do fun shit when their song is playing, it's the reason I brought the fucking thing. I'm getting the shit stomped out of me now, but he's leaving himself open in all the wrong places. Knees, knees are like paper-mache foundations on a skyscraper if you tap em right. Tap em with a bat.

Tap tap.

This house had a white picket fence I shit you not. It was hard to see if it was well kept because it was fucking dark around here, only like one street lamp actually bothered to not be broken so I couldn't really tell, but I bet it was clean. I bet it was well kept.

Apparently my altercation outside drew some attention and carbon copy guys start coming out from all over the place. It sounds bad, but in the place I happened to be at, all these guys sort of looked the same to me. Same shirts, same baggy pants, same markings, same angry "what the fuck is this white guy doing with that bat" look on their faces. I wasn't just any white guy with a bat. I was Gringomageddon, I was become kali, my song was playing and even though I couldn't remember the words I was singing along best as able.

At some point one of the fuckers put a knife in my upper thigh. Not really dangerously deep, although it was a couple breaths away from my balls, which would have been a problem. Enough to comically stick out to the side though. I hit them with my bat. I wasn't aiming to kill, or wound...or shit, I wasn't aiming. I was swinging. Most of the time I hit something, not always a bad guy. I distinctly remembering bashing the unholy batshit out of the mailbox and screaming at it.

This is of course when shit gets weird. By this time I figure I'm so deep into my own little broken rectum of a rabbit hole that what is and what is not are completely indistinguishable from the other. For all I fucking know I'm downtown at the thrift store just WAILING on the clothing rack and screaming about Ronald Reagan trying to sell my scrotum to the lizard people. Or I could be going to war with a bunch of gangbangers. By this point I no longer care. I really could use those skittles right about now.

The people I'm beating down are people I've seen before. A young marine I watched catch a round in the head while I was fixing his broken thumb. A buddy of mine who got drunk with me back in the day and ended up drowning in a creek and I was too wasted to even fucking notice. My first girlfriend, the one who got beaten into a coma by her dad and never woke up all the way. There's dogs fucking everywhere. Barking dogs, tearing at my calves, some of em are pit bulls, cropped ears. Some of em ain't dogs...they are my coyotes, and they are laughing their asses off. My songs stuck in an endless loop and all I can do is keep swinging.

I'm so sorry I didn't get your head down man, I was too focused on your stupid fucking thumb. I am so sorry I wasn't thinking, I should have been watching your back.

Somewhere in there my grandfathers cheering me on, but I cant understand him because the musics too loud and well, I never really could fucking understand the guy.

My hands are shaking and some part of me is wondering why I havn't been shot yet. There is gunfire ya, there's actually a quite a lot. There are bullets flying all over the god damned place, and oh holy fuck Gunney's down and they are calling for the Doc and I can't fucking get to him! Get the fuck out of my way!

I'm not alone anymore. Edgar's boys are here...and they are shooting the fuck out of everything.I have backup? I have fucking backup, my marines are here, it's going to be ok. Give them hell guys, give them buckets of it. I've got something to do here.

You know its not easy to kick a door down. I remember that clearly enough. Don't get me wrong, I kicked that thing like four times hard as I could, and I've got some legs on me sister. All I accomplished was hurting my foot before I used the knob. I'm not without a bit of retarded. Open that door the polite way.

Everything was going to hell around me, but I was the eye of the hurricane. It was calm where I was. Edgar was keeping the dead off me I think, he was out there in the front yard with his boys keeping my ghosts back while they kept the living occupied. He must have talked to one of them about this before hand. Coulda' told me about that part of his plan I think.

The living room was fuckin' quaint. The couch was plaid, there was a potted plant and a giant crucifix on the wall with xipe totec splayed out on it. Shitty little tv, on which was a guy in a bee suit silently looking at me with his mouth in a wide O and his eyes bugged out. Oh dios Mioooooo.

She wasn't what I thought she would be, I imagined a shriveled little black thing with venomous eyes and black magic crawling off of her. I imagined a female version of the Emperor from Star Wars, all croaky and full of hate. What I got was a pudgy warm-looking woman in a flower print mumu holding in her arms what I first took to be a chihuahua and then on second glance saw as this fucking...thing.

Like an oversized hideous little skinned bat. Big ass ears and beady eyes, mouth filled with ridiculously oversized teeth and tattered patagia just hanging off the sides. Its god-damn little hands, little people hands. This thing made chihuahua's look dignified. It was, what the fuck. The bitch threw it at me, and it screamed as it came, it screamed words.

Dumb old crow. I came equipped.

Its not the first time I swang a bat at something that was probably a chihuahua. It was the first time I actually hit the fucking thing. Out of the god damn park. Oh wait, this thing was a bat...I swung a bat, at a bat. Ah ha ha, fuck me.

She called up my old regrets on me, she hissed out my sins. I have a lot of those. She said shit in words I don't think have any meaning except to the dead, and the dead came for me as best they could. They held me down and whispered my name to me as it's written in the book the name-eater carries. She spat curses on me and I felt them hold. Edgar was trying as best he could, I think I saw him wrench a few things off me, but the poor guy had no idea the shit I carry around on me. I'm like a pack mule for bad shit. I went down hard.

There were a lot of bullets flying around, did I mention that? I'm pretty sure I did.

She found one.

When that mamasita went down that shit let up just enough. The things holding me down with chains made of my own not inconsiderable regrets stopped for a bit. I was able to get up and stand again, I used the bat to assist. She was dead on the ground, gangbanger's bullet resting somewhere pleasantly warm in her graymatter, but this shit wasnt done yet.

Old witches die hard. Her ghost was there pulling itself up and figuring out what the fuck just happened, and I can hear Edgar screaming at me to do something. He wanted to do this part himself I think, but he's busy keeping my ghosts from ripping me right the fuck apart. So I do the only thing I can do. I take a swig of rum, and grab a hold of my dice. I ask the Baron for one last favor, spew the rum into my hand onto the dice and roll those bitches.

Afterlife lottery.

I get a five and a three, they come to rest between her rapidly cooling breasts draped in that ridiculous mumu. I have no idea where that indicates, but I'm hoping it's like Eskimo hell or something ridiculous like that. Nothing but penguins with dildo-hats and polar bears on scooters. The good Baron takes her off my hands and it's done, it's fucking done.

I'm giggling, half crying...Edgar's not there anymore, and one of his boys yanks my stupid ass out the door and into the car. Eddies sister is there and she puts pressure on my thigh, which is bleeding like god damned crazy for some reason and saying shit in that spanish-moonspeak with such rapidity that its making my head spin. They peel out of there fast as fuck, I'm fading out but I'm there enough to giggle and mutter out "eepa eepa!"

Ha ha, fuck me, passing out time.

Eddie's sister helped me get out of Los Angeles after that. Fuck that town, I'm never going back. But she and I occasionally keep in touch. Edgar's still around, but he keeps it quiet, especially since I've gotten my shit relatively together. So there, does that count as a ghost story? It has ghosts in it. In my head when I'm going over it, I'm always played by the same guy. To hell with Bruce Willis, I want Steve Buscemi.