This article is part of the District Bulletin series.
Oh, you stop! You are impelled by the tiny teeth of duty to read and internalize this dispatch, prepared for you by your loving betters. The odd season is now upon us, and the dusk & dolour of the even season will soon be consigned to the mind's back. We now enter a month of grimness.
It is moth month. Grey things are in the air; they fly at us and get in our tongues. We stir up ashes when we walk. The moths are coming back soon to eat at our clothes and land on our faces in the night. You will be shut in your house for weeks, and this bulletin must hold you over until you reemerge. Consider this news:
Hairbank, our district's Superior of Education, is unable to deliver explanation for the absence of so many children in his charge. Efforts to apprehend the whereabouts of the youngmartins have as yet been philosophical. "Mayhap the lambs are in their homes, their hideygames gone agley," suggests Limonaire, Superior of Deliberation. "And, fallen under furnishings and up flues, their owners have yet to discover them. And probably they were never real at all, a trick of the light or a deception of the mind." The owners of the youngmartins rebuke these fables.
Hairbank, a hostile Northman dressed in skins, seized triumph in last year's public elections on a platform of ugly threats. Presented even with the opportunity to recall him, a quivering public chose to leave him be. Said a tremulant voter, "the only man who can protect us from Hairbank is Hairbank himself."
"It takes only a man's eyes to see that Hairbank's chops are ruddy with the sauce of life," submitted rival Walf Bazane, defeated in the election for Hairbank's station. "He eats them. My explanation is that they have been eaten. Even now, the soup of their veins clots among his beards." Hairbank, a huge and unbeatable man, sees no point in repudiating this claim.
"I will eat Walf, too," the Northman bellowed from a press conference held in the rusty hulk of the broken automobile in which he lives. "I am huge, and it is inevitable."
Our district's great enemy, Croisquessein, has created a further eruption of tumult in the citizenry. The malactionate spectre has accelerated his actions of late, causing untold embarrassment and suffering. Days ago, he upturned a liquid in a glass upon a diner, making a bad spill and wet clothing. Yesterday, Croisquessein caused a man to drop his telephone in the toilethole.
Our finest studies have found that Croisquessein is invisible, or non-existent. Our science has labored for decades to thwart him, and yet two schools of thought persist. One seeks to ward or destroy Croisquessein, while the other seeks to apprehend whether or not he exists. Neither cabin has seen progress in their aims.
Goodbarrel James Feiche, leading destructionist, putforths a notion: "I believe that Croisquessein is destroyable, even if he does not exist. As the maxim most fundamental to our knowledge of science states, that which does not exist can- and must- be destroyed. The basis of all invention, indeed, is to destroy that which does not exist."
Oh, but on the contrary, the nonexistentialists claim that further study is needed. "Feiche commands a respectable notion, yes, but I am not confident that Croisquessein can be destroyed at all. Our best hope is in proving his nonexistence. The only option is to, through some mechanism of great complexity, capture Croisquessein and study him. Only once he is in our grasp can we prove that he does not exist."
Existent or not, Croisquessein continues to weigh heavily on the minds of citizens. "He took my keys away, and I became frantic in my search," said youngbarrel Duke Asb, "and when I looked again, he had put them in my hand, so tenderly that I did not feel when he did."
In a display most confounding of his loft, Head Better Superior Dorroile, the unrepented jokesman and lawdoff who daily mocks our dignity with his unpunishable acts of whimsy, and against whom a measure of recall recently failed owing his unassailable crimetooth and mental wit, has harrowed the fish in a district aquaticum.
So bluntly he smashed his face upon the glass what bounds them, and terrify them did he with the awful distortions of his face, the licking tounge, the eyeless leer he does (he never opens them). For seconds growing to minutes, he contorted his features upon the glass, muttering and groaning, instilling a terror in the fish that heretofore never had they seen. And then, as suddenly as he came, he was gone. And then he came back, only for half a moment, to torment the fish with the awful dance that he always does, and then he was gone again.
So harrowed were the fish, say they who tend the fish, that the fish became listless. The patterns of their swim, agley. Their scales, the luster gone, their eyes locked in a bulge. Maybe the fish will never swim proper again.
"These fish have been scandalized," said their most intimate tender. "Probably forever."
A body lies in a warehouse storing skeletons, devil masks, broken dolls, Satanic pentagram stencils, inexpertly stuffed dead animals, out of tune music boxes, and flickering light bulbs. The corpse has been mangled, its intestines pulled out to spell "Spooky Force" on the ground.
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