“Me toes are freezing.”
“Come ‘ere, give ‘em ‘ere an’ I’ll put ‘em under me coat.”
“Oh nice, that’s nice. Are you cold Joe?”
“Mmm a bit, just a bit, snuggle up and we’ll warm each other won’t we.”
“Lovely. This place in’t bad is it. I know it’s a bit wet in the kitchen and it dun’t have electric like the last squat but it’s not bad ‘ere.”
“No, an’ it feels safer I fink.”
“Yeah. Eh, what’s that noise?”
“Dunno, I’ll go look you stay ‘ere, stop under the blanket and keep warm.”…
Week 4 started at the bottom of a rollercoaster, always a great place to start because the only way is up. The early uphill climb of Any Crow In A Storm and Dracul’s Lair was followed by Pynchon McCool: an introduction in twelve chapters. Pynchon was unlike anything else we’ve published, the clever format condensed a novel into a short story. To continue the metaphor; it was a rollercoaster within a rollercoaster.
I thought I’d take an umbrella. I peered out of the window and drew back the curtain. It was dark and cloudy. I didn’t think – snow – but perhaps rain, sleet, maybe. So, yes I decided, an umbrella. That was back then, when I was brave, when I thought I could do it today. That was when I operated on a “normal” level, sane.
The communal bathroom was a lot cleaner than she thought. This was the first time that she’d been in. She reckoned dust would be more of a problem than shit as everyone must have used their en-suites.
The more cynical residents of Pynchon, PA claimed jam would go out of fashion before the town boasted an inhabitant of note, but the place was very much like thousands of small towns across America. It was a fair to middling blot on the landscape with thirty thousand residents, drive-thru burger joints, and an underachieving baseball team; and its attractions included a permanent fairground of rusting carousels, a correctional facility for troublesome women, and a jam factory.
“Baaah! I see you have entered into my lay-aargh…”
“Why do you always say it like that?”
“It’s lair.” Piotr said.
“Aaah…Okay. But I don’t see why the reviews are bad. Isn’t my presence awfully scaaary?”
“Why do you wish to be scary? We’re just vampires running a hotel.”
“Aah! But all vampijours aare scary.” Vlad said.
At the top of the eastern tower hunched against the wind, the man in black gazed out across the grey, winter waste of his homeland. His strong hands gripped the cold stone of the battlement as further assurance against the restless elements and neither his stance nor his stare wavered.
He was a man of many names. In the hushed, excited tones of children telling ghost stories he was The Darkman. To the men who had battled at his side throughout the surrounding lands he was Nightstrike. His dear, departed mother had referred to him as Wherizzeethistimethelittleshi…
Everyone else called him Stormcrow. Continue reading