Carriages, top hats, gaslamps, and cobblestone streets.
Every Saturday, The Succubus Club gathers together.
The valet takes their canes and topcoats, and guides them…
To the study.
To the staircase.
To the cellar.
She is waiting there.
Over the centuries, she has survived.
She is the last of her kind.
Her sisters, loving one after another.
Leaving a trail to follow.
Discovered, hunted down, burned.
Unlike them, she loves many.
And they all love her. And protect her. And hide her.
The mayor arrives. The chief of police.
Captains of industry.
And they are so very happy together.
Remember me as I was, before the madness took me.
All the memories we shared. The things we did.
Those are all gone now.
What’s left, please don’t let it hurt you.
This is not me. This is something else.
Something sick, and evil.
And it can make you sick and evil, too.
Bury it somewhere, no matter how much it screams.
Or how much it begs you to stop.
Bring a shovel, duct tape, a machete.
And a sleeping bag. Or heavy blanket.
Whatever it takes.
Don’t let it touch you.
And, please, God, don’t let it bite you.
Leland’s mother liked to say “out of sight, out of mind” a lot.
She was also blind. And she was often out of her mind.
Some of it was the booze and pills, but insanity ran in Leland’s family, and he was sent off to live with relatives.
And then sent off to foster care when those relatives went missing.
Did Leland kill them? The police investigated, but couldn’t prove anything.
They never found the bodies.
People have a habit of disappearing around Leland.
“I don’t mind them at all,” he says.
And he smiles through the prison cell bars.
Every night in the dormitory, there’s a pillow fight.
No, it’s not coeds blowing off some steam.
It’s some nasty fighting between the ghosts that haunt the building.
Sometimes, it’s so bad, the house master has to call the campus police.
A pair of exorcists enter the building, and after a few minutes, the noise ceases.
“Why can’t we get rid of those spirits for good?” asks the headmaster.
The exorcists shrug. “You’d have to tear the building down,” they said.
Besides, exorcism costs the same as bug extermination.
Compared to building a new dormitory…
The headmaster writes another check.
According to the witness, we’re close to Ted’s neck of the woods.
If we walk that way, we’ll be at Ted’s foot of the woods.
On the way, we’ll pass his hip of the woods, his knee of the woods, and his ankle of the woods.
Did you bring the body bag?
Good. Snap plenty of photos before you mark the spot and bag up the remains.
Be quick about it, because there’s wolves in these woods, and they’ll drag off anything we don’t get before sundown.
Man, they sure did a number on this Ted guy.
That poor bastard.
Dr. Laslo Martin came to the facility with the best of references.
But his solution to everything was a lobotomy.
They complained to the state until they ordered an investigation.
Dr. Martin caught word of it, and the next day, he had the other doctors lobotomize him.
About an hour after the procedure, everyone began to get sick.
Patients. Doctors. Nurses. Staff. Guards.
Everyone was vomiting blood.
Dr. Martin had poisoned the day’s meals in facility’s cafeteria.
When the investigators arrived, slipping on the foulness on the floor, they found him blankly standing by a window, whispering incomprehensible meaningless mumbles.
Every year, the Headless Horseman rides into town.
He dismounts, ties his horse to the bike racks, and walks into the mall.
Advancing slowly on the crowd, people run, screaming.
And then, without hesitation, he sits in Santa’s lap.
“Ohhhh!” groans the mall Santa. “You’re a big boy!”
The Horseman points to the vacant spot over his neck.
“Oh, you want your head?” asks Santa.
And he looks in his massive bag of gifts.
Toy train sets.
But no heads.
“Sorry,” says Santa.
The Horseman shrugs, leaves the mall, mounts his horse, and rides away.