The Woman Who Laughs in the Dark

Her laugh echoes through the empty halls of this place.

The laughter has been recorded by amateur ghost hunters on several occasions. Thankfully the claims of such groups are easy to debunk, even should they chance upon a genuine supernatural event.

In 1993, local officials performed a sweep of the building. One of these officers was later evacuated, babbling nonsense. He responded well to contingency-70 and has now resumed a normal life with no memory of what he saw.

Other officers reported sightings of a woman on the upper floor of the building, shrouded in tattered cloth. There she sits rocking back and forth and laughing hysterically. Hers is truly the laughter of madness.

The woman who laughs in the dark appears only during a new moon, when the jungle-shielded building is plunged into near-absolute darkness. Thus she has obtained her name.

The Department has determined that no further action is required in regards to this entity.

Liminal Reflections

Few doubt the magic of a mirror for within it we see a world that is both our own and not; a reflected reality.

The world beyond the mirror is an exact replica of that which it captures, a separate reality unto itself, and shadows dwell in this liminal space.

It is possible to “fall through” mirrors and become trapped in the Empty Beyond. Such is a horror beyond measure, as one finds themselves surrounded by inky blackness except for that patch of light and space that was also part of the mirror’s reflection.

And it is true that shadow tentaculum extend from the shadows to poke and prod and cajole you into their hungering darkness.

A Square Between Two Spheres

We see at first only static and then flashes of color-red, green, blue. The background goes dark but the static remains. Lines roll up the screen. There is a black bar on the side and on the other side the same amount is missing.

Something appears on the television. An old lady sitting in a vibrating chair, her eyes are closed. She might as well be a vibrating corpse.

Darkness. Static. And then:

Strange geometry, a square between two spheres, appears on the screen. The lines roll and the screen flashes–red, green, blue. These colors cut through the image in waves. The square between two spheres begins to revolve.

The image fades and we are back to static.

We Can Know What He Cannot

Watch as the sand falls into that bottomless pit.
And the bottomless pit consuming everything by its darkness until there is nothing left.
There, in that infinite void, one must wait an eternity until.
The merest flicker like a burning ash on the wind.
And from that merest flicker comes everything.

A stranger walks through the desert, appearing as a shadow.

He was somebody once, but he doesn’t remember who. He dosen’t remember anything, really, except how to eat and shit. Oh, and one other thing.

There is a town on the horizon. Really nothing more than a few leaning buildings. There shouldn’t be a town all the way out here. There shouldn’t be anything here.

This is a place for the strange shadow alone.

Music reaches his ears as he draws closer, the notes disjointed and dismantled by the wind. He does not know the song. He looks at the city and wonders: should I walk around it? He doesn’t remember the last time he saw a person.

He doesn’t know if he is a person.

Is he a person?

No. Because we can know what he cannot.

The stranger is Lucifer, slain at his daughter’s hand, reduced at first to nothing, and then reborn into this strange existence.

He is a fallen angel and he is the rising light.

Yet he is pursued; not by man or beast but something different. The Great Dark—Satan—is forever at his heels. And so he moves through this desert. He moves anywhere except backwards. Anywhere except towards that darkness and his memories.

Lucifer turns towards the town.

Chaos Magic and Facial Reformation

Excessive use of Chaos magic is known to cause the morphology of the face to change… [such that] the Magician’s visage grows ever more hideous.

[It is] not surprising then that one of the most frequent uses of Chaos Magic is to alter ones own features so as not to attract unnecessary attention.

Indeed many Magicians use these methods in order to retain their youthful appearance well into their senior years.

Thuul Communication Systems

The rapid expansion of the Thuul across the Syzygy necessitated the development of a robust inter-dimensional communications system

Although a number of such systems already existed, none were suitable for the Thuul who desired to be able to transmit their messages rapidly, secretly and across vast distances.

Thus, specific Thuul were flesh-moulded and became as “living switchboards”, resembling little more than pulsating lumps of flesh set amidst a pit of cables.

These creatures became a bio-mechanical interface through which the Thuul could route their thoughts, vastly extending the range of vampiric mind-speak. Similarly, these machines were also capable of “routine” machine transmissions, allowing Thuul to transmit long-form communications, such as logistical information, between worlds.

Thuul Communication Pits are believed to exist on virtually every planet containing a sentient race, as well as many planets that do not. Should one locate a pit containing a pulsating vampiric heart, it’s important you contact your local E.M. liason immediately.

Witchcraft at 56k

Quite aside from the profusion of Geocities websites devoted to the dark arts, the introduction of 56k modems allowed witches the ability to cast spells across vast distances more easily than ever before. This resulted in many spell-slinging chat rooms, where witches battled back and forth with ever more powerful incantations.

In order for 56k modems to be magic-capable, they had to be modified in a variety of ways and although this process remains veiled in secrecy, it is known that a pine cone and a magnet are involved.

Thus, with prepartions made, tech-savvy witches around the world were equipped with the tools required to control the information superhighway. By using secret words of power, they became capable of cloning screens. remotely opening CD-ROM drives and many more cunning misdeeds.

Juan Pablo Hernandez

“Fear not,” says the man who emerges from the sandstorm. “For it is I, Juan Pablo Hernandez, and I come offering a story in exchange for your kindness.”

“Why would you offer a story?” says the bald man, he is holding a stick and he scowls against the barrage of sand.

“Why do I offer a story?” says Don Pablo Hernandez. “For I have nothing else to offer, amigo, except for the clothes on my back, which are torn nearly to pieces. And in a desierto such as this… tell me, what is left but stories?”

The bald man with the stick says nothing, nor does his face show any emotion. “Follow,” he says and leads Juan Pablo Hernandez through the sandstorm one step at a time. If the bald man were to walk any faster, he would soon disappear and Juan Pablo would never see him again.

They come to a mound of rocks and in the side of the rocks there is a tiny crack through which they can enter. Surrounded by stone the sound of the wind is not so loud. There is a small fire crackling in the corner and a gap in the rocks through which the smoke can escape.

“This is very nice place,” says Juan Pablo. “Consider me impressed, amigo.”

“Sit,” says the bald man, gesturing with his stick. There are two worn-out rugs on the floor of the cave, not far from the fire. Outside the wailing continues to wail; the end continues to end.

The two men sit in silence for a time until the bald man finally speaks: “Begin,” he says.

And so, Juan Pablo Hernandez begins:

Do not doubt that I have many stories to tell. For I, Juan Pablo Hernandez, have done many things and seen many places. You do not need to tell me you are suitably impressed, amigo. For Juan Pablo Hernandez knows this already. Of course you are impressed. I am impressed!

But, I am not going to tell you a story about Juan Pablo Hernandez. Instead I will tell you a story that was told to me by a man in a bar, not so long ago.

I did not see him at first for he blended with the place, almost as though he was a part of it. And then he is there and I am introducing myself—Juan Pablo Hernandez—and he is telling me that he has a story to tell.

The old man is crazy, I am thinking. But who left is sane? We meet at the very end of everything. As to what exact letters we form in those two words, I cannot say.

But then the old man begins his story and it is that very same story I am telling to you now.

“It’s his fault,” says the old man. He is turning his glass in circles on the red-checkered tablecloth and then he looks up at me and is very serious when he says: “This is all because of him.”


“The Interloper,” says the old man. He takes out a cigarette and stuffs it between his lips, but does not offer me one. He lights it and pungent smoke rises, hovering above our table. “The Interloper ruined everything.”

“Who is this… interloper?”

“Just a man. Perhaps it would be fair to say a very foolish man. Or very evil, depending on who you ask,” the old man continues. “The Interloper did a lot of things, but mostly he did one thing. He killed her.”

The old man is sad, as well as mad, then.

“No,” he says and he shakes his head as though clearing it from cobwebs. “It started before that: with a kid. This is his story as much as it belongs to the Interloper. Just a dumb kid messing with forces he didn’t understand. Ah… perhaps I am too hard on him.”

And so it is quickly becoming clear to me—Juan Pablo Hernandez—that we are speaking again about a story-within-a-story, amigo. Much like the one I am telling to you now. And who knows how many layers deep this story might yet go?