Fingers Sprouting from Arm

Hi, Dennis!

I accidentally chopped off my pinky finger. You should have seen the blood. It was like some crazy cartoon the way it spurted.

I thought I was cutting a chunk of grief-root. I know grief-root doesn’t look anything like a pinky finger, but I was making more solstice broth, and you know how the vapors get if you add too much almond after the wishbone, and I spaced out from the fumes and whacked my finger off without feeling it at all. I even smeared a picture on the wall with blood before I came to my senses. It looks like a cave painting, like a bison or something. See attached pic.

Anyway it’s not the finger I’m emailing about. It’s the FINGERS. I used the skinwort treatment and my pinky’s reattached great and mostly healed, but now I’m growing extra fingers all the way up my arm. There’re fourteen of them now, ranging from stubby tips to whole pinkies. I can actually wiggle a few. I didn’t even think this was possible with skinwort and have no idea what went weird.

Will you please forward this to William Rook and get his advice? I know he’s good with this kind of stuff but he still doesn’t have email (?!?).

Thanks!!

xoxo
Amanda

P.S. Does William date? Hook me up. Kidding not kidding. I don’t even know what he looks like, he probably has fingers growing out of his forehead.

———————————-

Hi, Amanda.

Holy smoke. Fingers growing out of your arm: only you, lady. But I’m glad the original severed pinky healed up well.

I forwarded your message to William via the usual private channel. I’ll work on getting him online because this kind of relay obviously isn’t ideal when someone has an emergency. Regardless, he’ll answer quickly, and you’re right—he’s good with this kind of stuff. Hang in there.

Thanks for the pic of your blood drawing. It does look like a cave-painting bison, or a very primal Rudolph.

Yours,
Dennis

P.S. I wouldn’t ask William about his love life at this point. He had a rough year. That’s a very long story you’ll hear in the coming months when he’s ready to tell it.

Man Dissolved by Fog

A man named Harold Jens was dissolved by fog yesterday morning, shortly after dawn, in the suburbs of Montpelier, VT.

According to witnesses, Mr. Jens was taking his daily walk through the neighborhood when a bank of white fog moved toward him from the end of the cul de sac. Fog was widespread that morning, due to an influx of unseasonably warm air, but was described by locals as “plain old fog” or “thick but I don’t know, just fog”, etc.

Mr. Jens entered the fog wearing a black tracksuit and orange sneakers. Another walker, Debra Lakewood, was half a block away and watched him blur and fade entirely from sight. A minute later, Mr. Jens reemerged, staggering toward Ms. Lakewood and waving his arms as if surrounded by a swarm.

He was covered in fog, which clung to him so densely that he appeared as a pure white, featureless, humanoid body. “He looked like he was made of cloud,” another neighbor said. “I couldn’t see his face or anything. I only knew it was Harold because I could still see his orange sneakers a little.”

Ms. Lakewood reached him and tried to help, but neither she nor Mr. Jens were able to clear the fog away from him. “He couldn’t talk,” she said. “I thought he was suffocating. Whenever he opened his mouth, it was just this gap in his blank face with mist flowing in, like it was rushing down a drain. It was the scariest thing I’ve ever seen. I didn’t know what to do. I guess I started screaming.”

Two more neighbors responded to Ms. Lakewood’s cries and hurried outside to help. Mr. Jens, blind and panicked, ran into the fog before anyone could stop him. His sneakers were seen moving toward an acre of woods at the cul de sac’s end and the neighbors pursued him, fearing he would crash headfirst into the trees. They lost sight of him just as the fog started to disperse.

“The sun broke through and burned it off so fast,” Ms. Lakewood said. “I swore I saw Harold’s shape in the haze, near a green Honda parked at the end of the street, but then he swirled and disappeared with the rest of the fog. Everything was clear in less than half a minute, like Harold and the fog had never even been here.”

Mr. Jens remains missing. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact local authorities or email The Equinox Society.

— report filed by Hank Ridley

Veterinarian Finds Ouroboros

A vet in New Mexico is in possession of a snake devouring its tail—an actual ouroboros.

The snake is three feet long, dull black, and eyeless. Its species is unrecognized by consulted herpetologists.

Approximately one third of its total length is within itself at any given time. X-rays reveal a varying portion of the swallowed tail is always in a state of decomposition or digestion, but the snake’s total weight remains constant to the ounce, presumably because the self-consumed matter is being converted to new tissue in a constant cycle of regeneration.

Which of course is biologically impossible. At minimum, the snake should require water and additional calories for essential vitality, and yet the creature has been monitored in a closed environment for thirty-seven days and appears perfectly healthy.

The veterinarian, however, is said to have grown badly obsessed with the snake. Colleagues tell me he lost an alarming amount of weight in the weeks after its discovery. He has abandoned his job at the clinic, locked himself in his apartment with the snake, and communicates only via brief, snake-related texts.

His friends and relatives are increasingly concerned about his well being, especially because he has, in the words of his sister, “often struggled with OCD and severe introversion, even before he found the snake.”

— report filed by Hank Ridley

Evil Neon: 2nd Report

I experimented with the insanity-inducing neon.
 
It took some doing. The motel manager had unplugged the “FREE COFFEE” sign, which had already affected three people, and wouldn’t let me plug it back in. He wouldn’t sell it to me, either, but he finally let me take it to my room so I could view it without him.
 
He tripled my deposit in case I broke the sign or went crazy. I assured him I had plenty of experience with malevolent objects. “No worry tripling your deposit, then,” he said. Fair enough.
 
I detached the sign from his office window and carried it to my room. This was around 9:30 P.M. I closed the room’s blinds and put on only the bathroom light, with the bathroom door mostly closed, so there was just enough illumination to find an outlet and power up the sign.
 
I sat a long time, enjoying the spectral warmth I always feel around neon—a flush I associate with being buzzed but not yet drunk, or half-undressed with a stranger—and experienced no peculiar effects from the sign’s green glow. I must have fallen asleep.
 
How I ended up in the manager’s private room is beyond me. I was standing in his shower, fully dressed and soaked with hot water. When I stepped out of the bathroom, I saw the manager hogtied on the bed. He was unconscious.
 
He was also soaked in gasoline from a can on the floor. When I reached into my jeans for my pocketknife to cut his bonds, I found a Zippo lighter that didn’t belong to me.
 
I cut the manager loose, checked his vitals, and anonymously called an ambulance from his room phone. Then I got the hell out of there. Back in my own room, I changed out of my wet clothes and watched through the blinds as the ambulance arrived. I saw the manager walk out with the medics, looking dazed but OK.
 
The neon sign was missing from my room.
 
I spent the night expecting police to come but none did. In the morning, I couldn’t resist going to the motel office to see what the manager remembered.
 
The neon sign was back in the window it had come from. It was lit. The manager greeted me cheerfully, as if I were a stranger. He didn’t remember us meeting and had no record of me checking into the motel. When I asked about the neon sign and the incidents surrounding it, he had no idea what I was talking about.
 
I don’t either, anymore.
 
— report filed by Claire Maple
 

Neon Sign Causes Insanity

A neon sign at the ________ Motel has caused at least three cases of temporary insanity.

I’m withholding the motel’s name to deter occult-tourist nutjobs who will either disrupt my investigation or stare at the sign until they’re clinical nutjobs.

The sign is pale green and reads “FREE COFFEE”. It’s placed in the office’s front window and is visible from the road, which is the kind of treeless, strip-malled road that makes you want to avoid whatever urban center it leads to.

The motel owner describes the following pattern: a guest checks in, behaves normally, and asks about the free coffee. Each guest seems less interested in the coffee itself than in the “FREE COFFEE” sign. The guest then stands outside to stare at the sign and starts behaving erratically.

GUEST A: Male, middle-aged. Stared at the sign for three minutes before completely undressing, running into the road, and attempting to swim in oncoming traffic. Arrested. Believed to be under the influence and later released.

GUEST B: Female, adolescent, traveling with her mother. Stared at the sign so long her exasperated mother left her there to unpack the car alone, at which time the girl wrote in lipstick, in perfect backwards script on the office window so the manager could read it: “You will beg me to swallow your heart, lungs, kidneys, liver…,” etc. She listed seventeen organs before her lipstick ran out. Her mortified mother paid the manager for the cleanup expense and drove her daughter away without spending the night.

GUEST C: Male, elderly. Stared at the sign for less than a minute before removing his false teeth and using them, like a bad ventriloquist, to recite pornographic terms and definitions until the manager called the police. When the officers tried to calm the old man, he clutched his genitals, wept, and dropped dead in the parking lot. Autopsy results are pending.

The sign is currently unplugged.

— Report filed by Claire Maple

Read Followup Report