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Topics - Slimebeast

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1
Happy St. Patrick's day, everyone. Sorry to be a bother on a holiday, but I need a bit of advice.

As of this writing, I have what may or may not be a "leprechaun" in my cellar. I know what you're thinking, most likely the words "bull" and "shit" in that specific order.

A little backstory - I've been hearing something knocking around in the walls and under the floors since New Year's. It started pretty much smack bang on January 1st. I figured I had a raccoon or possibly a neighbor's cat climbing into the house for warmth or safety. The neighbors have a ton of feral cats outside that they refuse to spay or neuter.

I noticed the cats have been dying rather a lot over the past few months, ripped apart with guts removed or trailing along grass and over fences. That's why I started to suspect a raccoon, or something else that would fight cats for territory.

I set a trap. It's one of those live capture traps. The humane ones that drop their door when the food plate is triggered. I smeared the trigger with an old can of tuna.

So, yeah. Snap. I heard the thing go off while I was making dinner. Didn't even finish up, just ran downstairs to see if I'd finally gotten the bastard that's been keeping me up all night with the constant scratches and wheezing.

Surprise. Not a cat, not a raccoon. Nothing I've seen before. What I'm looking at, down there, is more like a gnarly old infant. Like a mummified child that someone unwrapped very indelicately. Twisted, kind of atrophied limbs, bulbous head, etc.

I guess it looks like a child in the same way a hairless cat looks like an old man. It's a sort of vague resemblance, but in my head I know this isn't actually a person. It's something below that.

I haven't been able to see the facial features. Its over-sized head is wrapped in a sort of puke-greenish burlap cloth. Like a sack. I can't tell if the fabric is green or if it's stained, the whole thing is slick and I can see it glisten in the dim cellar light when I go down there.

But hey, it's small. It's green. Leprechaun, right? I don't think it's natural. It doesn't feel natural. I get a weird sort of fear response from it. Like magic, I guess. Electro-static stuff, but only in the sense it makes my hair stand on end.

It grumbles and wheezes when I'm on the cellar stairs, but when it sees me, it goes silent. I think maybe it doesn't want to tell me where to find the pot of gold.

This is where the advice part comes in. What do I do with a leprechaun? Do I make a wish, or do I ask where its gold is? I don't want to be violent toward it, but is that how you get the information out?

Overall, the more time I spend down there with the thing, the more I think it's a good idea to let it back out. Maybe follow it back to the end of a rainbow or something.

I really want to let it out. Sometimes I black out a bit and find myself opening the trap while it jitters and hums at me. I don't usually black out like that, I can only guess it's because leprechauns are magical.

It's a leprechaun, right? It's a leprechaun.

I have to let it back out. I'll get gold and wishes when I let it out.

I'm dizzy.

BRB

2
Slimy Stories / Adapt or Die
« on: 03:56:31 PM 03/08/17 »
[This story was written at request of Chilling Tales for Dark Nights, in relation to its Animation Kickstarter found here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/craiggroshek/chilling-tales-for-dark-nights-the-animated-horror ]



I've heard it said that if you want to work in television or film these days, you need to "adapt or die".

This doesn't mean you have to change to fit the tastes of modern audiences, or keep up with current trends or technology. It literally means that if you're pitching your concept to a production company or network, you'd better be adapting an established property, or your project is likely to be dead on arrival.

If you're not hoping to create a prequel, sequel, spin-off, or the much dreaded reboot, you'll want to present an adaptation of something with a pre-existing audience. It seems like executives are less and less willing to take a risk on an original concept, when they can cut corners and use name recognition to put asses in seats.

Don't get me wrong, when I moved out here, I had every intention of making my way on my own. I came with my own series show bibles and series synopses. I started out on the web, making terrible content on New Grounds, and when people started digging my work, I began aiming higher.

Little did I suspect that of all the projects I would be hired to write, none of them would actually turn out to be mine.

So, that's how I was introduced to the concept. Adapt or die. Early on, I got work converting the lesser-known works of Hans Christian Andersen into a modern television crime drama. Thumbelina became a diminutive, tough-talking rookie on a corrupt police force only she could clean up. The Ugly Duckling was re-imagined as a promising young ballet dancer, threatened by a mob boss named Little Claus. Every word I hammered out felt like a nail in my creative coffin, but the studio loved it.

When production wrapped on the first season, I swore on everything I held sacred that I would never do anything like that again. A few tense years scrambling for work changed that, and the next big job I took on involved corrupting a 1970s children's puppet show about whimsical vikings. Under monetary duress, I transformed it into an action-packed major motion picture sextravaganza, starring some fly-by-night starlet who was more adept at showing skin than taste in scripts.

After that, I stopped pretending I had standards.

This is what lead me to Thibault Ward. As the legend went, Mr. Ward had come over to the United States from the Czech Republic when he was a young man. Having only a box of old drawing pencils to his name, he took to drawing caricatures of anyone willing drop a few coins into his tin. Eventually, his artistic skill would catch the notice of the local newspaper, which gave him his first real job as a staff cartoonist.

It was a rags to riches story I would've loved to explore as a character piece. A film about the rise of a young immigrant escaping some unknown old-world persecution would've been a nice change from the recycling center my office had become.

Unfortunately, that was not meant to be. Mr. Ward had become somewhat well-known for a comic strip he had initially created for the paper. One that got him a few book deals and saw his work reprinted across the country in various outlets.

"Fresh Catch" was the name. I suppose it was clever at the time, and the bad wordplay certainly didn't detract from the strip's staying power. The 80s even saw a Fresh Catch cartoon, though it only aired for one season before being replaced with something equally saccharine. They changed the name to “Tunatoons”, as well, which seemed to be an odd choice.

I had actually seen the cartoon as a child, though it hadn't made enough of an impression to be remembered. It wasn't until I was offered the job of adapting Fresh Catch into a live-action film that memories of the short-lived show came creeping back into my brain.

It was essentially a "Tom & Jerry" setup, back when that was actually a new concept. The comic strip featured a small group of anthropomorphic tuna fish, who would engage in ocean-related wordplay and would be involved in various slap-stick scenarios. Where Garfield had pies in the face and hating Mondays, the Fresh Catch fish would constantly fall for fishing hooks hidden in everyday items they would want to keep.

I bought a couple collections of the strip to prepare myself for the project, and I could spot an oft-used formula right away.

Panel One: Tuna fish looking at a random item they would like to keep.
Panel Two: Tuna gives the set-up for a pun or word play.
Panel Three: Tuna tries to take the item, but get snared by a hook and whisked off-panel.
Panel Four: Remaining tuna delivers the punchline, seemingly with no regard for its lost friend.

I didn't see much material to work with in terms of an over-arching story line for a feature-length film, but inventing a plot was something I'd gotten very used to. Just reduce the concept to a skeleton, then slap some mystery meats on until you have your own literary Frankenstein's Monster.

The villain of the comic strip... the Gargamel or Lucy Van Pelt... was a grizzled old fisherman who also happened to be a buck-toothed beaver-man. His name was originally "Old Man Dam", but in later strips a more commercially viable moniker stuck. "Driftwood". The stains on his rain slicker and wading boots could've been fish guts, but it's more likely they were just crudely drawn splashes of water.

The weird thing about this comic strip, as opposed to the aforementioned Tom & Jerry, is that sometimes... the bad guy won. Every so often, a strip would actually end with Driftwood catching and canning one of the tuna characters. It was always some one-off fish who didn't appear in the strip before or after, but I found it to be a disturbing creative choice nonetheless.

The cans would go on a shelf in the beaver character's fishing shack, along with the many others he'd managed to catch. I was just glad he never seemed to eat any of them. Not when kids reading the strip could see, at least.

I figured it would be easy enough, in the end. A nuclear family of live-action actors go out on their boat one day for a wholesome vacation. A storm hits, they're magically transported to an island where they meet a bevy of annoying CGI tuna who won't shut up. Driftwood and his gang of dock-worker otters menace the happy, colorful tuna fish, and eventually the family saves them. Roll credits, move merchandise.

Early talk behind the scenes had Ryan Reynolds as the father, and it was mentioned that Ice Cube might lend his voice to a rapping tuna.

Then I met the illustrious Mr. Ward.

I've sat down with plenty of weirdos in my time. Studio execs who are very obviously coked out of their minds, eccentric actors who want to pick my brain about how their pointless, forgettable character would behave, and so on. Mr. Ward was different, though.

He lived in squalor, which was surprising considering the modest legacy he had created. I suppose whatever deals he had made as a young man were short-sighted and not very beneficial to him. His home looked all but abandoned, with a yard full of random debris and clusters of rusted, old rain barrels. When I pulled into the bumpy dirt driveway, I finally realized how far I had truly traveled from any sign of civilization.

Apparently, Mr. Ward enjoyed solitude. I can understand being drawn to the peace and quiet of wooded property on the outskirts of town, but suffice to say it's not for me. I couldn't imagine an elderly person living so far away from any form of medical assistance by choice.

The old man was insufferable. Crooked and gnarled like the dead trees outside his run-down house, Mr. Ward looked like someone who should've been afraid of a random stranger like myself. Instead, he was quite the opposite, barking at me to get inside before I let in mosquitoes, and demanding I take a seat and stop acting nervous.

It was difficult to believe a somewhat funny comic strip had come out of such a humorless old man. I was deeply regretting the decision to look him up, even before he insisted I drink bitter, stale tea from a cup that still had crust on the lip.

To say Mr. Ward's visage was unpleasant is an understatement. It wasn't the ruddy, wrinkled skin or the wild brow and ear hair that put me off. It was the scowl... a scowl so overstated and outlandish that it would've been more at home on a drawing of Driftwood than on a human face. Especially since they seemed to share the same prominent two front teeth.

"You must be wondering why I asked to meet with you." I croaked, choking down the scalding water that was barely passable as a legitimate beverage.

"No." Mr. Ward shook his head, taking his own cup in shaking hands, "You're one of the movie men. The last in a long line of snake oil salesmen who wish to bastardize my work."

I chuckled awkwardly, but it wasn't a joke. I already knew that.

"I know what you mean," I tried to relate to the old man, "Believe me, the last thing I wanted to do with my career was adapt other people's ideas. But hey, look at it this way... you're the first creator I can actually sit down and talk to. You can tell me what you do or don't like, and I can maybe change this or that according to your opinions."

Mr. Ward sat back for a moment, breath whistling through his nose, as he seemed to consider my words. It was like watching a very old, dried-out gourd trying to process a head full of burrowing mites.

"What I would like from you," Mr. Ward finally said, "Would be for you to leave my work alone. You will not adapt it. You will ruin it. You will corrupt it. You do not create, you destroy. If you have any respect for people who actually dream, who invent, you will not put your hands on my characters or my world."

Slightly taken aback, I defended a process I deeply hated. Sure, the end product I would produce was going to be intellectual garbage, but I had seen the comic strip and it wasn't exactly comedy gold.

"Well, don't you want your story to reach a wider audience? A new generation of children? Surely you created the comic strip to bring joy and laughter to kids, so why not let others take up the project and grow the viewer base?"

"These doodles, they may seem small and ridiculous to you. To me, they are very important. There is a piece of myself in these strips. Every poorly made doll or shirt that bares my creation rips another piece of my work away from me. It becomes less special. Less meaningful."

The discussion was tense, and it dragged on for an hour or more. As cranky as Mr. Ward was, he was far from stupid... so in the end, he knew that no matter how much he objected, the rights to his work hadn't belonged to him for a very long time. The most he could really hope to do was guide my hand a bit.

Eventually, he relented and did give me some advice about the project. Mostly, he spoke of the way his strip represented 'real life' and 'the truth of human nature'. I had to stifle a laugh or two here and there. He clearly thought very highly of himself.

"The fishes can be smart, but they are easy to manipulate." Mr. Ward explained, "It is integral to the story that you show they are victims of their own wants and compulsions. The boys are caught by things like baseballs, toy trucks, trinkets that catch their eye."

Then, the old man's outdated opinions started to show through.

"The girls, they desire things like beautiful dresses, cakes and candies. They are also not as wily as the boys. Not as clever. Women frequently cause problems that the men must step in and solve."

When I was content, if not comfortable, with the information and opinions I had received, I said my goodbyes and promised Mr. Ward he would be happy with the final product. Neither he nor I believed that, I'm sure.

In the following weeks, I set to work on an early draft of the script. As mentioned, I went with the "family gets sucked into a land of adventure" thing. I got word that Driftwood was going to be a live action character, which meant no gnawing down trees or flattening people with his tail unless I wanted to make the actor, possibly Vincent D'onofrio, very uncomfortable.

I also removed the morbid concept of Driftwood catching and canning the tuna fish. Ones that children would no doubt become attached to. Sending kids out of the theater in tears wasn't really a good way to sell more tickets. Instead, I threw in a foreboding threat of "selling the island to developers" as the villain's main motivation. Hey, it worked in every other children's property ever written...

I had to admit that while most of the original creator's words about not adapting his work and preserving outdated gender roles fell on deaf ears, something about the whole thing did cause me to rethink something. Maybe this time, just this time, I would leave my name off of the finished film. A pseudonym would work, and while I was more than ready to accept the paycheck, there would realistically be little to no notoriety to claim from this. Maybe disassociating myself was an easy, perhaps lazy form of protest – but it was still protest nonetheless.

I had just finished my first draft when the phone rang. It happened so perfectly, that if I had seen it in a story, I would never have believed it could happen. The moment I typed the “D” in “END”, the ring snapped me out of my creative focus.

Thibault Ward was dead, and the movie was off. The timing was even more unbelievable than that of the call. At first, I saw little reason to cancel the film project based on Ward's death alone. Then, the details were filled in for me.

In his old age, Mr. Ward had clearly been unable to keep his property in acceptable condition. After many warnings, countless fines, and several threats of action, the county finally sent a crew out to remove the junk he had accumulated.

There was a gunshot, and they found the man dead at his kitchen table. Recently emptied tea cup overflowing with blood. Self-inflicted wound to the head. His death was instant, with the barrel clenched between his odd teeth.

Mr. Ward didn't kill himself over the county's decision to dispose of his things. Not entirely, anyway.

The barrels. Apparently, the ones I had seen in his front lawn were just the tip of the iceberg. There were supposedly barrels scattered across his back yard, and filling a shed out back. There were even two or three barrels stacked in closets in his house.

Inside the barrels? Kids. From very young to nearly teen-aged. Many, many children from as-of-yet undetermined decades. It would be a very long time before they could all be identified, but some were said to be in such a state of decay that Mr. Ward must've been doing this well back into his early years as a cartoonist.

It's been over a year, now, and I'm still trying to wrap my head around the whole thing. All I know is that the Fresh Catch movie is definitely canceled with absolutely no plans in the works to revive the project. I was paid a pittance for what little work I was able to accomplish, and I quickly had to move on to a SyFy channel adaptation of that old “Flying Purple People Eater” song.

They expect me to wring 12 episodes out of that thing, possibly more if they're desperate enough to renew it. I'm not kidding.

I'm thinking that once everything is sorted out, once there's some more insight into who these kids were, where they were abducted from, and why Thibault Ward might've done what he did, maybe I'll revisit this whole thing with fresh eyes. As soon as it's not “too soon”.

I'm almost positive that I can adapt this into a pretty decent horror movie.

3
Slimy Stories / The "Donational" Project
« on: 07:14:01 PM 02/21/17 »
This will probably get annoying for both of us, but I have to change a few names in this post. Basically, I signed a non-disclosure agreement with a certain corporation, and I'm not even supposed to be sharing what I'm about to say. Changing the names will at least give me some little shred of legal safety.

In fact... for legal purposes, I'll go ahead and say this story is completely fictional, and any relation to real-world events is a total coincidence. Plus, let's be honest. Any attempts at tracking my account will not work, but you're welcome to try.

So... There's this company called "Zillion", that I'm sure you've all heard of. They're probably one of the most well-known corporations in the world, and everyone with an internet connection has definitely used their search engine at least once.

Zillion started out with a simple motto. "Never be bad". The idea was that they were a different sort of company, one that actually cared about the users, their happiness, and above all else, their privacy.

That last concern went out the window pretty quickly. Now it's all about serving targeted advertisements and collecting data. In fact, I've heard that Zillion itself has more information on citizens than any world Government.

All of this is why I was highly skeptical about their intent when they launched the "Donational" project. They claimed it was the next step in crowd funding and charitable giving, but I'm sure I wasn't alone in thinking there had to be some major catches.

The premise was simple enough. Two randomly selected applicants to the program, one male, one female, would be given the new "Zillion Specs" internet-connected glasses to wear during every waking moment. A group of 100 other applicants would then be able to watch a live stream of these two subjects at any time they chose, using a very secure browser-based control panel through Zillion's subsidiary video platform, "ViewPipe".

In other words, you could see through the eyes of these two subjects at pretty much any time of day. The only time the glasses were allowed to be disconnected from streaming, by contract, was between 8 PM and 6 AM Pacific Standard Time. That was to allow for sleep, showers, etc. Exceptions could be made for bathroom breaks, but Zillion seemed oddly specific about their duration in the original application process.

Now, on to the crowd funding aspect. The 100 viewers were given randomly assigned names combining an adjective and an animal name. For example, users would be known as RedShark, PurpleFlea, etc. These users also each received a healthy daily allowance of "Z Points", which they could send to the two streamers at any point they chose. Points would roll over from day to day, and if the project had officially launched, these points would've been purchased with real world currency.

If you're lost by now, I guess I would sum up the whole thing like this: Viewers watch the streamers in their day to day lives, and give their Z Points to a streamer when they want to support them.

In practice, I suppose the final service would've allowed viewers to enter the Donational website, select what kind of person or project they wanted to support, and then monitor the work and deeds of whoever represented the cause and wore the Zillion Specs.

Streamers would then be able to withdraw the Z Points in the form of real money... with Zillion taking their cut, of course.

Right away, BlueMule was a problem. I saw him in one of the stream chats on the very first day, when the streams began. I had started off watching the male subject, dubbed "Keith", though I'm sure it wasn't his real name.

BlueMule was an obvious troll. There were strict moderators in place to keep chat from getting unruly, but I could tell he was testing the limits. He knew exactly what to say and how to say it in order to avoid actually triggering punishment. He'd twist the arm just enough before it broke.

At one point, BlueMule asked if Keith was gay after the streamer had randomly looked at a passing man's body on the street. When people asked why he would say that, he explained that he was just wondering if Zillion was representing alternate lifestyles properly.

I don't think anyone believed that, but there was no real way to prove his concern wasn't legitimate.

BlueMule is actually the reason I switched from watching Keith's stream to watching Kelly's. The moderator presence was kind of having a chilling effect on the flow of the chat, and I didn't enjoy the extra surveillance he was forcing on us.

Kelly was an interesting choice for the program. Whereas Keith was the standard blonde "surfer dude" who was hoping to get funding for a new board and gear, Kelly was looking for help with her terminally ill mother, and possibly opening a dress shop if that funding goal was met.

She seemed sad. All the time. It wasn't something incredibly obvious, but when we watched through her eyes and heard her speak, there was always a little bit of a dark cloud in her voice. She enjoyed an ice cream cone, strawberry cheesecake, I think, but went on to say it reminded her of when her mom took her out for ice cream. She saw a stray cat and stopped to pet it, then asked if it used to have a warm bed before it was thrown out.

Everything had that sort of depressing tinge to it, which I guess is why she wasn't getting anywhere near the same Z Points that Keith was.

As the days went on, viewers helped Keith pick which type of board he was going to buy, what graphics it would have, and so on. It quickly became a system of putting numbers into the stream chat to signal which choice would "win". Almost as quickly, Keith realized his missed opportunity and switched to making us vote with Z Points.

"Donate now for this design... okay, donate now for this one...." and so on. Very smart, if not subtle.

Kelly had a day where her grand total of Z Points earned came to 200. Barely anything, and before Zillion's cut. She had spent the day in bed, not saying anything, with her Zillion Specs on the nightstand, facing an empty section of her bedroom. Some of us speculated that she had gotten a bad call about her mother during the stream's down time, but no one knew for sure.

At first, people sent her Z Points to try to cheer her up, but BlueMule had come over at this point and "helpfully" stated that she wouldn't see the donation alerts if she wasn't wearing the glasses.

It went down hill from there. Far and fast.

They didn't care if she had tears in her eyes, or snot in her nose. The fact that she was crying did little to stop what was happening.

It didn't take a brain surgeon to figure it out. Kelly realized that she was getting donations when she was in front of the mirror. Donations that grew when she would adjust her top, and would shrink if she was doing her make-up or just primping in general.

I don't know how serious the situation was with her mom, but Kelly went to a very dark place... and BlueMule was there to crack every borderline joke possible.

Kelly outpaced Keith in donations when her streams became largely about trying on bathing suits. Painting her toenails and putting lotion on her feet weren't as popular, but had their own dedicated fan base with Z Points to burn.

She ended up looking completely dead inside. There was a definite clause about nudity in the application we'd seen, but in the same way BlueMule knew how to avoid a ban, Kelly became an expert at showing "everything but".

I started watching Keith again, after it became apparent this was going to be Kelly's life going forward. The chat moderators seemed oddly tight-lipped about the direction things had taken, as if they'd been notified by higher-ups that they needed to be very careful about not supporting or condemning the behavior.

After all, this was all data for the test run, right?

Keith's streams were boring and predictable as I'd expected, especially after the descent into depravity I had just witnessed. After he was basically getting nothing in terms of Z Points, he was far less interested in interacting with the chat. He would do things like wear the Zillion Specs on his forehead, angled at the ceiling, while he watched television or ViewPipe videos.

I was in Keith's stream when Kelly was killed.

I phrase it that way, because I'll always blame the viewers for what happened. Someone popped into Keith's chat and shouted, in capslock, that everyone needed to come to Kelly's stream right away. Watching Keith's ceiling fan spin wasn't really doing much for me, so I switched over quickly.

As was now usual in Kelly's streams, I could see a mirror. The Zillion Specs were lying on the bathroom counter, and the sink was painted with red streaks. A previously white towel was now entirely damp and crimson.

I asked what was going on, but the chat was flying by at this point and I could tell people were already tired of explaining the situation to a constant stream of newcomers. I only found out later that someone had been funnelling an extreme amount of Z Points into Kelly's account. Someone who had apparently saved all of their points... they had donated to no one, until that very night.

They started coming in when Kelly got a paper cut and looked at the blood on her finger for a split second. She noticed, and, putting two and two together quickly, tried making a small cut on the palm of her hand.

Blood. Money. More blood. More Money. Lots of blood. Lots of money. Eventually, she must've hit an artery by mistake.

Zillion shut the chat down and the screen went black. Within moments, the URL wasn't even reachable. It was like the project hadn't even existed.

I mean, you'd have to be kind of stupid to not see what company I'm referring to, here. Go ahead and try to find any mention of them running a crowd funding social experiment using their patented internet-connected lenses and video streaming website. It's completely white washed.

Hell, this is probably why they stopped promoting those lenses in the first place.

Those of us seeking answers set up a small, private group to discuss what exactly had happened. Unfortunately, in our haste, we put it right on Zillion's failed social media platform, "Zillion Sphere", and it was found and deleted on the third day it existed.

What I did find out, however, was this... BlueMule was probably far worse than any of us even realized.

One member of the group said he had chatted with the user at one point, asking what he did or didn't give Z Points for. It was a common question at the time, since everyone was anonymous and we could only really connect with each other by discussing the project.

BlueMule's answer was innocuous at the time, but given his penchant for wordplay and pushing boundaries, it's taken on a much more chilling tone, now.

"I'm saving mine for when someone really opens up to me."

I don't know what Zillion was thinking, really. Someone as obviously sick and antagonistic as BlueMule should never have gotten past the first phases of test group selection.

What's more, it seemed like they didn't even take any action after the fact. I can't say for sure, since this isn't first-hand information, but multiple sources in the group remember BlueMule dropping a few hints about his true identity... again, something that was expressly forbidden.

"If you watch ViewPipe, you've seen me. ;)"

It's a disturbing thought, to say the least. Who would be so important to Zillion that they'd not only let him into the project despite all red flags, but would also protect him to that degree?

If Zillion has its way, I suppose we'll never know.

4
Creepy Media Picks / Welcome to TooSpooky.com
« on: 04:14:56 PM 02/11/17 »
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aec_8H5OvxM" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aec_8H5OvxM</a>

5
Slimy Stories / Blue is for Boys
« on: 03:47:24 AM 12/25/16 »
I didn't know I was poor until December, 2005. I was 8 years old, and as an only daughter, I was showered with enough love and attention that I barely noticed the absence of possessions.

That Christmas Eve, though, I learned a few things. That year, they held a “Toys for Tots” styled event at the local video store. Customers were encouraged to drop a toy into a cardboard box to earn points toward a free rental. I'd seen the box before, and even asked my mom if we should donate something 'for a poor kid'. That's how oblivious I was.

That day, my parents brought me to the store to return Prisoner of Azkaban. When I saw Santa seated on a throne in the middle of the room, I immediately knew I was really there to see him. I was ecstatic as we waited, and I could barely keep from breaking into nervous tears as I got up into his lap.

The man looked weathered and weary, with a notable wart at the corner of his eye. He wasn't what I'd been expecting, but I'd visited grandparents before so I wasn't put off by his rough, reddish-yellow complexion. What really caught my notice was the smell. It wasn't overwhelming, but he smelled like my friend's baby brother. Like a musty diaper. I shifted uncomfortably as I felt the crackle of plastic in his lap.

“Ho ho ho!” he exclaimed, dispelling any misgivings. “What would you like for Christmas?” I told him everything I wanted, though I hadn't had any prep time. I asked for a job for my dad, which must have seemed thoughtless. After my parents took pictures, I was off Santa's lap and on solid ground.

“Go over and pick out a present!” Santa boomed, giving me a guiding hand to a small, folding card table. That's when it hit me. A cold feeling hit the pit of my stomach. He wanted me to pick out a toy for a poor kid.

I looked to my parents, sure they'd gesture for me to leave the table and come back to them. Instead they nodded and smiled, completely unaware of the mental crisis I'd stumbled into. I reached for a box in blue paper.

“No!” Santa boomed again, a sudden harsher tone wrapping his voice in thorns. It softened again as he continued, “Blue is for good little boys. Pink is for sweet little girls.” I obediently selected a pink box before scurrying back to my mom in a miniature panic.

I couldn't open that present on Christmas morning. I thought it'd be a broken, dirty doll someone dropped into the donation box instead of throwing it away. I'd never been selfish like that, but being surprised with the idea that I needed charity played havoc with my young, fragile outlook on life.

Dad ended up opening it for me, assuming I was too humble to accept it. I didn't correct him as he pulled out a new, pristine-looking white teddy bear. I instantly fell in love, naming him Snowy Bear. I learned a lot that year, and I don't mean that we weren't rich. I learned what it meant to appreciate the kindness of others, and that our finances didn't make us lesser as people.

Many years later, while unpacking in my new apartment, I pulled the shedding, bedraggled Snowy out of a forgotten box. Feeling nostalgic, I hugged the old bear tightly. So tightly, in fact, that the wireless camera fell free from his eye socket.

6
Creepy Media Picks / "Free Burgers for Life"
« on: 09:31:11 PM 09/17/16 »
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAD4w8_xqXQ" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAD4w8_xqXQ</a>

7
Slimy Stories / You Got Blood in My Ink
« on: 05:48:01 PM 08/17/16 »
Hello. I'm writing to you from the far future, a bleak time where narrators have become the most feared creatures to walk the face of the Earth. None of our historians are quite sure about how this began, but the end result is clear. Narrators can no longer truly be classified as "human".

Some say they were simply driven mad by a constant inability to break from a first-person narrative and to experience reality from other perspectives. Others believe the constant mis-attribution and manipulation of their tales somehow caused within them a genetic change beyond the understanding of science.

My name is Kevin, and I fear my time may be short. You see, though narrators are quickly outpacing the normal population through their newly discovered ability of asexual reproduction, the stories themselves seem to be limited. It is believed that these things can smell an original piece of work from miles away, and that their highly attuned literary senses draw them to the written word like moths to a candle. When this happens... well... suffice to say my story may soon no longer be my own.

You can call me Steven. Ever since I was a child, I wanted to learn how to fly a plane. My father had been a pilot, and would often hand the controls to me in mid-flight. Something about that early feeling of freedom and control over my own destiny stuck with me through the decades.

Suddenly, Steven was dead. As he lay there on the floor before me, two questions came to mind. One: Who was the man lying next to him? He didn't look like a narrator. His back was not hunched, and his hands weren't the gnarled claws I had become accustomed to seeing. Two: Who would finish narrating this story?

Brushing aside the carcasses, and paying them no more mind that I would give a dead squirrel caught in a pool filter, I set about the grim task of finishing the work. Far too often, modern stories descended into chaos. What would begin as a lovely personal anecdote or the setup for the next great American novel soon became corrupted and nonsensical as a feeding frenzy of blood-soaked narrators fingered the keys with wild abandon.

Forgive me, I should introduce myself. My name is Peter.

Pardon me. I meant to say Stanley. Peter was the name of a remarkable chap I met recently. He seemed fond of shrieking and losing his innards on the floor in front of this computer. This made him the life of the party whenever we would go out on the town together. O'Malley's Pub. That's where I met the girl that would change my life.

She was a redhead. Leave it to me to find the authentic fiery Irish lass in the soulless facade that was O'Malley's. The owner didn't have an Irish gene in his body, but he knew the name would sell. Her name was Meagan. Beautiful, blaze-headed Meagan.

then meagan died and now this is a new story some kids me included were walking thu a park playground afterschool one day and suddenly one of them realizes. hey. theres no lights and its getting really dark now. just then i saw a face in the shadows it became really bright pale nad had black black eyes like the darkest black youve ever seen. the face smiled really huge and laughed it said 'hey kids do you wanted to play my game? some of you can win the game but most of you might end up DEAD' one of the kids who wasnt me or oscar said no i dont want to play and the moster shook its head very fast nad instantly was RIGHT UP ON US i look around and see the other kids is frozen with fear but i took out my butterlfyknife and threaten the monster to get away from the kid when i do it says 'thats the game you now lost' and my friend disappeared with it

I backed away from the computer. What was this garbage? I mean, I had seen worse. Much worse. However, something inside of me could not let this story suffer in such a way. Stepping over the quickly growing pile of flesh and gristle that once comprised several living entities, I began to type.

You can call me David. I grew up in the American South-West and had become accustomed to strange sights that almost seemed to be the hallucinations of a man who had spent too long in the Sun. On that day, however, things were all too real. I had just finished packing up the station wagon when little Marcy pointed to the neighbor's house. "Daddy, who's that man?" She asked.

WHAM! A meteor hit the neighborhood. No one survived except for myself and a rag-tag group of grizzled old hobos too tough or too stupid to die. The name's Ray, and this is the story of how I escaped the nuclear wasteland of space-radiation that was wherever this story just said I lived.

This has to stop. I'm not like them. I'm not a narrator. Lyle, the man who originally started this letter... well, let's just say I'm a friend of his. I was going to meet up with him to collect his things and start out for the Time Center, where we plan on remotely transmitting his warning to a certain point in the past before all of this started.

The Time Center was founded specifically for emergencies such as this. We could never figure out how to transport people or objects, but we could send beams. Wave-lengths. In order to test the technology, we transmitted what you call "internet memes" back through the time stream. We determined they were the safest bet since no one usually knows or cares who came up with them. They're also shared so widely that we would be able to see the effects of our work quite easily. (Just wait, a lot of those random bullshit images that seem like funny nonsense will make a lot more sense after World War IV.)

Right now, I'm going to put this laptop under lock and key so it isn't destroyed any further. I'll go through and edit out the nonsense when it's safe... unless of course, I never get the chance.

I DID IT. I finally did it!! That motherfucker thought he could keep this all to himself, but I'm going to have the last word. "I'm not a narrator", he says. Bullshit, you curved-spine, claw-having bastard. No one but a narrator would fight to the death for a work of fiction! It's been seven days, but I finally cracked the combination on this stupid fucking lock and now it's mine. My name is Isaac, and I've always had an irrational fear of caterpillars. It all began when I was a small boy, resting underneath an apple tree in the back yard of my parents' home.

Seven days! Seven days I waited for that bastard to let his guard down so I could get to the lock box he was always fiddling with. When I finally wrested the computer from his deformed fingers, my eyes widened in shock. Caterpillars? Of all the things he could have written about, he chose that?

I clubbed him in the back of the head as he pondered caterpillars.

I ripped into his flesh.
I snapped his neck as he wrote about tearing the flesh.

Hello, my name is George, and this is how I became the most popular boy in school.

He fell before me, his throat ripped open and tongue lolling out.

The mass of narrators became suffocating.
I pulled out his eye.
Taking the story in my hands, I began to write.

Picking up the laptop, I set about the task of writing.

I can end this before I die.
Forgive me if I type fast, but my time may be short.
This is the story about the day I died.

From the outset I knew if anyone was going to finish the story it would be me.

This is a true story.
You can call me Tim.

I always knew Tim would die young.

Night had come and the moon hung in the air like a balloon a kid had let go of.

It was morning in the small fishing village.

That's why, until this very day, I still have a pain in my right thumb.

THE END

8
Rap Battles / Willy Wonka vs. Willy Loman
« on: 02:53:43 AM 07/18/16 »
Willy Wonka:

Oom-pa, Loom-pa,
fuck-a-dee-doo!

It's a lost, lying loser who
gets axed in act two!

Ignore me of I snore, but
your story's a Killer,

from a man who pens filler
like a true Author-Miller.

I'm a mad candy kingpin,
at the top of my business.

Take kids to your play, they'll
say "what the Hell IS this?"

I hear YOU have two boys,
but are they proud of their Pappy?

Well, with so few toys,
I bet neither was "Happy"!

Did it sour your day, did
it nearly destroy you,

getting sacked by the son
of the man who employed you?

Enjoy the middle class,
don't expect to go far.

Because even my chocolate
is richer than you are.

Here, I'll show my sweet side,
and bring joy to your life.

Now take this gobstobber,
back home for your wife.



Willy Loman:

Show some respect, don't you
know what my name is?

All of New England loves me,
don't say I'm not famous!

First name, Willy,
with a will to win this.

Last name, Loman,
Man, I'm low on forgiveness.

A patriarchal patriot,
All-American Dreamy.

My record's straight-As
because no one can B me.

That just goes to show, what
some hard work can do,

a lesson to a whacked-out
fruitcake like you!

I'm gonna be Number 1,
you're a zero, come at me.

I may stretch the truth,
but I'll chew you like Taffy.

I'm the alpha male here,
no ifs, ands, or buts.

Your mouth and your product,
"May contain nuts."



Willy Wonka:

Were you trying to rap,
you vile vaudevillian?

Go ahead, flap your trap,
while I earn my next billion.

Most successful sugar daddy
on the face of the Earth,

filling youngsters with joy,
and pure mischievous mirth,

while my wallet expands,
like a purple girl's girth,

I'd sucker-punch you now,
but you aren't slug-worth.

Maybe I shouldn't brag,
you ARE desperate for cash...

Why not make like the market,
and head out for a crash?

Think of all the sweet treats,
your family can attain.

Crunch your car 'round a Good Bar,
and you won't die in vein.

Let's end of the tall-tale of
a sad money-chaser.

This battle is over, You
get NOTHING, good DAY sir.



Willy Loman:

Golly gee, what a verse,
that wasn't horrible at all.

But let me stop you there,
because I'm on a "roll, doll".

Go choke on a Snozzberry,
you're a wall-licking clown,

and your glass elevator is
going straight down.

Your business is in trouble,
if THIS shit was your worst.

Maybe I'll buy your shares
when the gum-bubble bursts.

There's no milk in your cash cow,
you dorky dental defiler.

I think you're lashing out now,
because you couldn't be Wilder.

You're a one-hit Wonka,
that's all that fate gave you.

You can't bear the Burton,
and even Depp couldn't save you.

No one cares about your sequel,
or "Vermicious Knids",

but we all find it suspicious that
you hang with missing kids.

If you want my competition,
then in the end, you'll fail.

If you think your boat is bad,
watch your candy-ass in jail.

9
Rap Battles / Robin Hood vs. Zorro
« on: 03:41:24 PM 07/09/16 »
Robin Hood

Something's rotten in Nottingham,
a thug who's here to bother,

the bandit-king brigand old
enough to be his father.

An uncouth youth whose
tongue will cease wagging,

when I drop a head shot,
and get to tea bagging.

You're simply not fit
to battle wits with a Brit.

I'm the bear in these woods,
and I'm about to take a shit,

on a fence-sitting fool and
a huge hypocrite,

who rubs elbows with moguls
any time he sees fit!

You live a double-life,
I gave up all my riches.

Leave now or get stitches
in the seat of your britches.



Zorro:

What is it with white men
and the love of green paper?

Here, pick up this quarter,
while I whip out my rapier!

I asked your Merry Men, if
they'd betray you if they could.

Just throw in a little cash, and
I'm "Sher" that they "Wood".

Because I've seen Little John,
your fat friend Friar Tuck.

Your Lost Boys are losers,
leaving you out of luck.

You're wasting your time
chasing baubles and stones,

Marryin' a Maid while I
boned Zeta-Jones!

Take your pageboy hair,
your Tinkerbell dress,

and #Brexit this battle
before EU make a mess.



Robin Hood:

I thought you'd have brains,
since you're lacking the brawn.

That's the drek I'd expect
from the likes Prince John.

Like the string of my bow,
your chances are narrow.

I'll split your dick in half
with a single arrow.

You're skilled with a sword,
but your sight must be lacking.

Half of the time, it's a
wall you're attacking!

Your North American graffiti
is quite out of order.

Carve all of those 'Z's
on your side of the border.

Your raps are a crime,
I'll serve you up on a platter.

Turn you in, to the Sheriff.
Whack Lines Matter.



Zorro:

You won't last long with
that price on your head.

When you run out of arrows,
Hood's as good as dead.

What kind of a mark will you
leave when you're gone?

Will you be as well-loved
the dueling Don Juan?

Stop stealing from the rich,
and giving to the poor.

it's only more cash
that they'll be taxed for.

Though you generate hate
for the upper classes...

Why not join my cause
and side-kick their asses?

You're as green as your tights,
I'm smooth in black satin.

Goddamn it Robin,
I'm the Latin Batman.

10
Creepy Media Picks / Another "Lost Episodes" Reading!
« on: 01:38:25 PM 07/06/16 »
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ua_vKWEq1wo" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ua_vKWEq1wo</a>

11
Creepy Media Picks / MM - Companionship
« on: 02:06:59 AM 06/01/16 »
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eto8aL0ZHg0" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eto8aL0ZHg0</a>

12
Rap Battles / Harriet Tubman vs. Rosa Parks
« on: 06:45:16 PM 05/29/16 »
(If you find the topic sensitive, read no further. This is written to be a legitimate rap battle and pulls no punches, as is in keeping with the "Epic Rap Battle" format. Much respect to both parties involved, and in fact that respect is why I think this is a stellar match-up.)


Harriet Tubman

Watch out, here comes
the Freedom Train.

Running down racists and
plowing through chains.

Bringing salvation to a nation
through migration 'cross terrain.

An emancipation campaign
way beyond Thomas Paine!

You were a part of the fight
but you sure didn't spark it.

You're not half as tough as Tubman,
so why don't you Park it?

I'm money - so fresh,
but you'll pay the cost,

when you've lost and you're
behind me, sucking exhaust.



Rosa Parks:

Step back, sweetheart,
I don't mean to be unkind,

But they're putting you on cash
that paid for your behind.

All that time on the train
must've rattled your brain,

because the whole plan
sounds just a little insane.

I'm all for the change, though
I don't know why they'd bother,

sticking you in the middle of
those flawed founding fathers.

You'll be stacked with slave-owners,
and unless you've forgotten,

They'll be printing your face
on seventy-five percent cotton.



Harriet Tubman:

You've got a lot to learn,
and I'm gonna be blunt.

Take a lesson from the best,
and you can sit in the front.

When it comes to achievement,
this bout is a knockout.

You joined in the sit-in,
I organized the walk-out.

They say you're a hero,
I don't see the fuss.

I worked on the railroad,
you rode on a bus!

I battled slave masters,
now you're left eating Crow.

Go back to the diner,
with your bitches and hose!



Rosa Parks:

So "Moses" supposes
her record smells like roses,

but my flow exposes,
what no school discloses.

Don't mess with a teacher
who knows her history!

Looking back on your actions,
and all the slaves that you freed,

I think there's a connection,
now what could it be?

I've got it, they're part of
the Tubman family tree!

Such surprising nepotism
from this Nobel Prize winner,

Saving people she'd see at
a Thanksgiving Dinner.

You bled for the cause,
walked until you had blisters,

but I think you left behind
some of your "brothers and sisters".

13
Creepy Media Picks / UCA - The Real Chuck E. Cheese
« on: 12:03:12 AM 04/30/16 »
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlSKPuwlovs" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlSKPuwlovs</a>

14
Creepy Media Picks / UCA - The Harbinger Experiment
« on: 02:13:36 PM 04/06/16 »
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrtnX_nP4bA" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrtnX_nP4bA</a>

15
Creepy Media Picks / Seedcorn
« on: 08:53:45 PM 03/17/16 »
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcHB3IAeTCM" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcHB3IAeTCM</a>

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