Dunwich Complainer – Avalanche 2022 (In Rumble-Rama)

Yesterday as I lolled around in my lazy recuperative stupor, I was suddenly aware of a booming sound and the sensation of shaking.  At first, I assumed I was still goofy from the COVID and had imagined it but then I saw that the dogs had picked up on something too.  I thought, “Maybe a truck came down the driveway and banged into the house.  So, I got up and went to look outside.

And what I saw was a boulder sitting on the lower driveway.  I could see where it broke off from the wall.  What I had heard was it falling, bouncing and rolling to a stop.

I was still kind of lethargic yesterday so I left it as, “to be continued.”  Today I felt more myself.  So, I investigated.  It’s roughly 4’X2’X1.5’ and I estimate it weighs about 1,500 lbs.

Looking at the exposed surfaces it looks like over time the rock has been fracturing and finally the weight was too much for the remaining stone to support.  It’s these lousy New England winters.  Freezing and thawing incessantly wreaks havoc with structural integrity.  It’s why I’m the broken-down husk of a man that I am.

So, this boulder is a metaphor for how the world wears down even the best of us and then sends us crashing to earth abandoned and out of sorts like a modern day Humpty Dumpty.  Very sad.  Very abstract, so deep.

But now I have to move the darn thing and then figure out how to prevent the dirt that was being held in place by it from eroding away.  Camera Girl will see me like a modern-day Sisyphus toiling to roll this huge stone up the hill.  What’s next?  The extinction level asteroid strike?  Yeah, why not?

Election Day in Dunwich

Election Day was my first day at my new gig as Dunwich Deputy Election Scourge.  My job was to apply a gigavolt prod to the Great Old One voters to keep them moving in the chutes.  To some people this might seem a little odd.  Well, most towns don’t have Great Old Ones (GOO) as a component of the voting population.  These must be given their own separate line and voting booths and kept under tight control or they would escape the line and begin eating the humans.

Things went very well all morning and at 4 pm I was starting to think we’d get through the day without any trouble but at 4:20 pm we had our first incident.  One of the high school ballot checkers foolishly leaned up against the steel sides of the chute while drinking a Diet Pepsi.  A tentacle wrapped around her ankles and dragged most of her through the space between the steel guard rails.  Four nearby scourges began firing on the GOO with their prods while the Chief Scourge shouted in an Australian accent, “Shoot her, shoot her.”  But it was all for naught.  The ballot checker had long since disappeared into the florescent green maw of the GOO, never to be seen again.  All that remained of her was a dismembered hand with shiny blue nail polish still holding a bottle of Diet Pepsi.  The clean up crew kept carefully outside of the safety lines that surrounded the chute.  Needless to say, morale amongst the election checkers plummeted.  Buffy had been a popular member of the team and would be missed at the high school senior prom.

But we redoubled our vigilance and kept a close watch on the younger volunteers to prevent another regrettable incident.  When it was 7:50 I began to think we were out of the woods.  But in the final minutes, disaster struck again.  A final GOO entered the chute and headed for the checker area.  When the Checker went through the list there was no record of Azathoth (sometimes referred to as the “Blind Idiot God”) ever having registered in Dunwich.  This was not well received by that symbol of primordial chaos.  But before the checker had a chance to state that same day registration was now a reality in Dunwich, the monstrous nuclear chaos from beyond angled space punched a ten-foot hole through the hardened titanium wall and flattened the unfortunate checker into the concrete floor with an invisible limb.  It then began pulsing energy in all directions, preparatory to collapsing time-space and thereby forcing Earth through a singularity.

Before we retreated out the rathole I punched the upload button to preserve the ballot data.  Then I hit the timer for the tactical nuke and released the goat blood into the floor trough to distract the GOO and give us a chance to escape.  One minute later the bunker we had entered was buffeted by the fifty-kiloton detonation.  A few minutes later we exited by another tunnel that opened about five miles from ground zero and we proceeded above ground to election HQ to fill out the paperwork and tally the votes.

An irate state election rep who had received a complaint from Cthulhu called to officially chastise the town for gross discrimination against a protected class (GOOs), levy a fine and strip us of our status as a sanctuary city.  We absorbed this abuse, finished up the election tally, submitted it to the state and to the press, licked our wounds and headed home for a very late dinner.  Well at least Azathoth didn’t get to vote.  That bugger is a well known progressive and it was already a pretty bad night for the Right so every little bit helps.  Some of the Republican Town Committee tried to blame this on Trump.  You can’t please some people.

Politics sucks.  Next year I’m hoping to get on the town road crew instead.  It doesn’t pay as well but they don’t have to wear radiation badges and necklaces of garlic and wolfsbane.  So you have to take that into consideration.

Progressives really are monsters when it comes right down to it.

20OCT2022 – The Dunwich Complainer

Very interesting week here at the epicenter of the Great Old Ones’ Realm in New England.  I put out my Re-Elect First Selectman Cthulhu sign up on my lawn next to a slaughtered goat carcass ritually adorned with wheat germ.  I watched the latest feed from my trail cam and noticed that the werewolves have all begun to wear skinny jeans and carry BPA-free water bottles on their belts.  None of them look like they could take down a girl scout in a fair fight.  Without a doubt, these are times that try men’s souls.

This week at the official induction ceremony I was named Deputy Election Reanimator.    Now this a misnomer.  The Reanimator doesn’t really have a deputy since only the primogeniture descendant of Herbert West has the moxy required to bring back the dead, especially during a rush-rush mass ceremony on election night.  My job would probably be more accurately described as Deputy Election De-Reanimator.  You see the reanimation procedure takes place at the graveyard and apparently is not selective by party affiliation.  So, my part is to stand at the gate with the old voting records and stop the Democrat voters from leaving the graveyard.  Or at least to make sure their heads don’t leave the graveyard.  So, in addition to the lists, a sharpie and a flashlight I’ve got a reasonably sharp machete.  This year they modernized my gear by getting me one of those headlights that you can strap to your forehead.  That helps quit a bit.  I don’t have to ask the deceased to hold my lists while I’m fumbling to cut his head off.  Much more dignified and much more ergonomic.

I really hope I’m not asked to help clean up the grave yard on Wednesday morning.  I think the volunteers should handle that.  I mean, I’ve paid my dues and now I’d like to let the system do its thing, if you know what I mean.  Of course, the volunteers do a pretty bad job.  Every election night I see mismatched heads on the reanimated voters.  It’s kind of an embarrassment.  But still, I can’t be expected to do everything around here.  At some point the kids just have to be allowed to sink or swim.  ‘Nuff said.

In the real world I attended the latest meeting of our local Republican Town Committee and was surprised to hear that even in the cobalt blue New England state that Dunwich is embedded in the Stupid Party candidates have a fighting chance of winning for once!  I could tell the rest of the folks there were almost shocked by the situation.  I was quite amused.  Maybe I’ve underestimated the people in this country.  Could there be a limit to their willingness to endure progressive insanity?  Even here?  Well, we’ll see.

I will be working on Election Day in an official capacity which is interesting and annoying at the same time.  I’ll have to figure out if I can bring my laptop and go on-line when I’m on my breaks.  Not being able to follow this election on OCF would be unfortunate.

It should be fairly interesting to be involved in the election.  I’ll finally see how the sausage is made.  I suspect my town is one of the more boring and honest operations.  And maybe the rough stuff happens higher up the ladder in the crooked states that we saw on tv in 2020.  I remember those films in Philadelphia where they threw everyone out around midnight and all the skullduggery occurred behind closed doors and blacked out windows.  It’s kind of sad to know that after all that went on in plain sight that nothing has been done in some of those states to prevent a replay this year.  Well, as I’ve said this is the Day of Reckoning coming up.  We’ll find out where we stand and that is valuable in and of itself.  So, bring it on, bring it on, bring it on.  And where did I put that sharpening stone?

Dunwich Public Service

Here in Dunwich the Evil Party and the Stupid Party cooperate.  Typically, First Selectman Cthulhu represents the Evil Party and negotiates with the Stupid Party to determine whom he’ll eat first and whom he’ll leave for last.  In between these two cases the order of the other meals can be a surprise both for Cthulhu and the ingestees.  Basically, they’re all living in the moment.  If the First Selectman happens to be feeling a might peckish then even without any provocation from the various entrees, he may decide to indulge in a snack.  And conversely, if the partisan antics of the Stupid Party are indulged in too strenuously, then even a sated or even a queasy Cthulhu may be forced to quiet the proceedings by the process of elimination.

But after those discussions were done, we got down to the business of making the Great Old Ones great again.  Apparently, Dunwich has a four hundredth anniversary this year.  On that day in 1622 Cthulhu ate his first Englishman and really, really liked it.  For that reason, he signed in blood (someone else’s) the official charter allowing Puritans the exclusive right to colonize what would come to be known as Dunwich.  Although back then it was known as New Dunwich.  In exchange, the inhabitants agreed to forfeit their immortal souls and pay an eight percent sales and real estate tax in perpetuity.  That Cthulhu really is evil.  Anyway, the anniversary committee gave its report and recommended fire works and a school pageant.  Blah, blah, blah.

At the meeting I was held forth as a candidate for the office of Keeper of the Condiments.  This is a high honor and comes with the additional perk that as the purveyor of barbecue sauce for the First Selectman I would be very unlikely to be eaten.  Of course, it is a highly demanding job and some folks think it slightly cruel.  Before every meeting of the selectmen, I am charged with slathering them with barbecue sauce from head to foot.  Most nights it’s just a formality but then again you never know.  It would also be my job to keep on hand a thousand-yard spool of nylon rope to be available for use as dental floss as needed.  But of course, replenishing the supply is only a very occasional chore.

I must confess that I have my qualms about accepting the nomination.  I mean, it’s not that I don’t despise all of the members of the Stupid Party.  After all, they are invertebrates of the first water with no hint of courage or even conscience.  As cocktail hors d’oeuvres for a squid headed dragon they would enjoy their finest hour.  But wasting that much barbecue sauce on these slugs just rankles.  If it was just ketchup or mustard, I think I’d be okay with it but my upbringing was always “waste not want not.”

But what the hell.  I need the cash.  Things have gotten expensive and the job comes with a pension and a tax exemption and eight percent is eight percent after all.  And all things considered it’s not the worst position in the town hall.  I’ve heard being the First Selectman’s Keeper of the Bicarbonate is a lot worse.  I don’t like to think about that one.

16JUN2022 – Dunwich Complainer – Campaign Season

I attended the Dunwich Republican Town Committee (DRTC) meeting last night and it was all aflutter with excitement about prospects for electoral victory.  Enormous dissatisfaction with taxation and economic hardship along with blatant partisan power grabs by the Democrats both locally and at the state level had convinced many of the committee members that this was the moment when the tide would turn and Dunwich would be delivered from the Democrats and a new order would prevail.

Needless to say, I sat in the back benches and kept quiet.  The report to the committee on elections stressed that victory would be assured if we could just get our candidates through the approval process this week.  All that was needed was the Selectman Interview and the fee payment.  The committee responded with hearty applause and the candidates were welcomed to the floor to say a few words.  These four men were new to the community but enthusiastic about taking their places as selectmen and guiding Dunwich to a new day.  Their spokesman displayed their application paperwork with attached checks and more applause broke out.  This further enthused the spokesman and he went on to say that the interview was scheduled to take place at this meeting and the interviewer would be the First Selectman.  The spokesman read from a card and had some difficulty with the First Selectman’s name, “Cuh Thu Luh or something?  Must be Samoan I guess.”

Silence descended on the crowd and I shrank even lower in my seat and edged over to the emergency exit.  At that moment First Selectman Cthulhu squeezed his bulk through the bulging auditorium double doors and ponderously plodded up to the dais.  Without a word he snatched up the application forms from the candidate spokesman in one hand and with his other arm he funneled the candidates into his mouth and noisily chewed, crunched, mumbled and swallowed the screaming men down his voracious gullet.  After one fairly loud and malodorous belch he turned around and plodded back out of the auditorium.  As he reached the doors his booming voice was heard to say, “I’ll have these checks deposited in the Dunwich Rainy-Day Fund later today.”  This latter reference was slightly insulting.  The Rainy-Day Fund was the First Selectman’s euphemism for his whiskey allowance account.

The rest of the meeting was slightly more subdued.  It was agreed by one and all, that electoral gains were probably not in the cards for 2022 but that the steering committee would go to work immediately drafting a strongly worded rebuke against the First Selectman for interfering in the internal affairs of the DRTC.  It was also unanimously decided not to publicly distribute this rebuke but maintain it as an attachment to the meeting minutes and password protect it.  After smelling salts and sedatives had been distributed to the women members and some of the less stalwart men a motion was passed to concentrate all of the committee’s time and energy to making the Labor Day Jamboree the best goldarned jamboree the town had ever had.  It was also agreed unanimously that future meeting would be held in a venue that lacked double doors.

17FEB2022 – Dunwich Complainer

Last night I attended the monthly meeting of the Dunwich Republican Committee or as we call it “The Pentaveret.”  The meeting was sparsely attended as many are recovering from a winter bout of Dunwich demonic possession.  First Selectman Cthulhu was under the weather after having eaten some bad “seafood,” which is what he calls people living on the coastline.  So he wasn’t in attendance, which was kind of a relief.  He is a big personality and what with stepping on people and drooling all over the place and dribbling bits of man-flesh when he speaks it is a distraction.

The agenda included a report from the Treasurer that showed a net liability of about ten thousand dollars in the account.  The explanation for this was the cost of repairs to the “old Bishop place” after an interdimensional portal opened up in the kitchen and swallowed up the newly renovated appliances.  And the cook.  Apparently the First Selectman’s cousin Dagon got the address mixed up in his GPS and instead of arriving at the all you can eat buffet at the Dunwich Red Lobster, he materialized in the Bishop place and ate the cook and the contents of the refrigerator.  Luckily the cook was a Democrat and an illegal alien to boot, so after a little hand waving by the First Selectman with the State Police and a fifty-dollar “gratuity,” things were smoothed over.  It really helps to have a way with the common people.

During the Q&A I stood up and asked whether the COVID restrictions mandated by the state legislature and other unpopular decisions by the Democrats would provide a chance for the Republicans to make gains in the legislature this year.  Our State Representative happened to be at the meeting.  He was there to beg us to set up a fundraiser and meet and greet with his constituents.  He fielded this question saying that earlier in February most politicians had agreed that the Republicans would make significant gains this year.  There was even talk of the Governor’s mansion being in reach.

But last week Yog Sothoth was quoted in the larger circulation papers in Arkham stating that if the Republicans retook the legislature and the Governor’s mansion that he would be appointed attorney general and he intended to dispense with all criminal justice functions and immediately round up the democratic voters and have a luau.  He figured the Great Old Ones, once assembled for the feast could eat their way through the Evil Party in about forty-eight hours.

For whatever reason this seemed to spook the voting populace.  The consensus opinion was described as, “Yes the Democrats are inhumanly cruel and a terrible governing elite, but they’ve never clearly stated that they intend to eat their opponents alive.”  When Yog heard about this reaction, he complained that he had been taken out of context.  The Committee agreed that it was most regrettable that Yog had couched his answer quite so specifically.  Leaving a little wiggle room when talking about eating people alive is probably a good idea when dealing with those unfamiliar with the Cthulhu clan.  Well Yog is known for his honesty and candid speaking style.  I’m sure he can win over the crowd in time.

The final order of business was the Green Energy Initiative.  The town had been provided with $600,000 by the state and federal governments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Dunwich.  The Republican Committee had been approached by the First Selectman to create a team to draft a proposal for the town.  He told us to make sure we stayed within the budget but he encouraged “creative solutions.”  As an example, he mentioned that his cousin Azathoth owed him a favor and for almost no cost he could rearrange the very fabric of space-time so that only elements below carbon in the periodic table could still exist in our space-time continuum.  When the Republican Chair mentioned that all life as we know it not to mention all solid planets would cease to exist the First Selectman was heard to say, “That kind of nit-picking isn’t going to get you anywhere in this town.”  So, we’re still fielding ideas.  The committee is thinking maybe some solar panels on the abandoned church.

27JAN2022 – OCF Update – Cabin Fever in Dunwich

 

Camera Girl has set out into the sub-zero shock of New England winter to purchase life sustaining supplies.  Like the heroine of some sort of 19th century Russian novel where the peasants are fleeing into the swirling snow with wolves nipping at their butts behind the horse drawn sleigh, she set out after raining down curses upon my head for being the unchivalrous monster that I am for sending her out there.

I hope she makes it back.  After all I do need some pumpernickel bagels this week and I do like the soups she provides.  But if not, well, the world must continue.  Eventually when it begins to warm again in May I’ll venture out and maybe I’ll discover the truth of her disappearance.  Was it the cold that got her?  Was it roving bands of pumpernickel pirates?  Did she just decide to head south and is now disloyally ensconced somewhere below the Mason-Dixon line?  These could be the questions that haunt me.  I might have to forge a new life for myself.  I might come to be known as a noble widower poet philosopher who dispenses rhyming wisdom and gasoline from behind the counter of my possibly soon to be purchased 7-11 franchise.

I don’t like the way the dogs have been eyeing me as they pace around the house.  Camera Girl didn’t feed them before she left.  More disloyalty.  They have a lean and hungry look about them.  If it comes to it, I’ll put up a stout fight.  They won’t get me without a fight.  Or at least I’ll scream a lot.  Although how bad can being devoured by dogs be?  And screaming is a lot of work.  I’ll raise the volume on the tv.  That should help somewhat.

Why did I ever let her go?  How dare she leave me here to perish in such an ignominious fashion.  What a treacherous sex they are!  And after all I did for her.  All those helpful comments on better ways to do housework and all the times I helped her find much better tv shows that she didn’t know she liked.  Well, it’s all for the best.  Who would want to live if it means going forward without pumpernickel bagels?  Excelsior!

She just pulled into the driveway.

Huh!

Alright, so forget all that stuff I said.  It’s funny how things can get confusing when you’re alone in a quiet house and the cold creeps in.  I guess I shouldn’t have watched “The Shining” last night.  I really need to get more sleep and stop spending so much time on the internet.

All work and no play makes photog a dull boy.

All work and no play makes photog a dull boy.

All work and no play makes photog a dull boy.

All work and no play makes photog a dull boy.

All work and no play makes photog a dull boy.

All work and no play makes photog a dull boy.

All work and no play makes photog a dull boy.

All work and no play makes photog a dull boy.

All work and no play makes photog a dull boy.

All work and no play makes photog a dull boy.

All work and no play makes photog a dull boy.

All work and no play makes photog a dull boy.

All work and no play makes photog a dull boy.

All work and no play makes photog a dull boy.

All work and no play makes photog a dull boy.

All work and no play makes photog a dull boy.

Honey, I’m home!

 

Uhoh!

Another Annoying Dunwichian Disturbs My Day

Last week I was accosted by Albert Wilmarth, a nut who teaches some kind of intersectional studies nonsense at Miskatonic University.  I was heading back from a walk in Dunwich Forest when this wild-eyed kook rushes up to me and warns me that the Mi-go have removed Henry Akeley’s brain and were going to take it into outer space.  Well, this story seemed ridiculous on its face because anyone who has met Akeley knows he has no brain.

So, I tried to calm Wilmarth down by slapping him repeatedly in the face.  After about thirty slaps my hand got tired so I stopped.  I asked him to give me the details of these Mi-go.  He said that Akeley had described them as large, pink, fungoid, crustacean-like entities the size of a man, that have a “convoluted ellipsoid” composed of pyramidal, fleshy rings and covered in antennae in the place that where a head should be. So, I started slapping him with my left hand.  This time I got up to up to forty slaps.  At that point Wilmarth seemed less eager to continue the conversation and asked me to promise to stop slapping him.

Well, how could I refuse?  He’d been such a good sport up until this point.  I told him to relate Akeley’s story but keep it reasonable.  Wilmarth related a tale of how Akeley had corresponded by letter with him.  The letters related Akeley’s discovery of a drowned Mi-go at the fords of the Miskatonic river and how the living Mi-go then lay siege to Akeley’s farmhouse whispering in their buzzing voices about how they would remove his brain and take it along on their journeys to Pluto and beyond.  He further related how only his rifle and his dozen or so ferocious German shepherds had been responsible for keeping these mushroom lobsters from capturing him.  But he told me that the Mi-go were taking a terrible toll and every day he had to replace four or five of his dogs that were killed in the war.

I asked him, if Akeley was besieged how it was possible for him to procure more dogs and in fact how was he able to post these letters.  Wilmarth supposed that during the day the Mi-go went back home to their underground lair under the domed hills that they inhabit.  So I asked him why Akeley didn’t call in the police to witness this nightly battle.  Wilmarth seemed a little confused by this line of questioning and implored me not to start slapping him again.

So, I let that problem go for the time being and asked him to continue with his tale.  Then Wilmarth related how suddenly last week Akeley’s letters changed their tone.  And handwriting style too.  Akeley said that he had come to terms with the Mi-go and they were actually really nice guys and some were even Shriners.  And he told Wilmarth to come visit him at his farmhouse and Akeley would tell him amazing secrets of the interstellar travels of the Mi-go.  Wilmarth related how he visited Akeley who sat in a chair in a dark room covered in a blanket and how his face was unmoving and his speech was a muffled buzzing which somewhat resembled the noises that lobsters make when they’re thrown in a pot of boiling water.  And that the sandwiches and coffee he provided were awful but he ate them anyway.  And after retiring to Akeley’s guest bedroom for the night Wilmarth heard strange buzzing noises downstairs and when he got back to the dark room, he found Akeley missing but among the blankets on his chair he found a mask-like face and human hand-like shapes that looked like Akeley’s hands and face.  So, he ran out of the house screaming like a little girl.

Then Wilmarth started screaming like a little girl.  I had promised not to slap him so I kneed him in the groin.  That stopped the screaming.  After he was able to get up off the ground, he convinced me to go to Akeley’s farmhouse.  When we got there Wilmarth refused to go in so, armed with a fallen tree limb that was on the lawn I walked into Akeley’s house of horrors.  I found the darkened room that smelled pretty bad and the chair with the blankets but instead of the severed hands and face of Henry Akeley, I found one of those Michael Myers masks and those latex monster hands that they used to sell around Halloween.  Suddenly someone behind me shouted so I swung my makeshift club and laid my opponent low.  After finding the light switch, I realized that I had done the impossible.  I had brained a man without a brain.  There was Henry Akeley, with hands and face intact except for a large bump on his forehead where I had clonked him.

After he started to come to, I caught him up on why I was there.  He sheepishly admitted that he owed Wilmarth a bunch of money and had hoped that if he believed the whole story about being shanghaied to Pluto by lobster fungus, he could string him along forever and never pay him.  I felt bad for playing baseball with his skull so I told him that I wouldn’t rat him out to Wilmarth.  He offered me some sandwiches and coffee but I told him I’d pass.  That house smelled really funky.

When I rejoined Wilmarth out front I informed him that Wilmarth had been replaced by a Mi-go that had been surgically altered to exactly resemble Akeley.  I told him I escaped by using advanced martial arts that I had learned while studying in a Tibetan monastery.  I advised him never to go near Akeley’s house again and if he ever saw him walking around town to avoid him for fear of having his brain removed and sent to Pluto.

I really need a better class of neighbors.

02DEC2021 – Dunwich Complainer – Local COVID Actions

Here in Dunwich as everywhere in America, COVID has been a scourge.  Of course, the spread and the symptoms in Dunwich are atypical and highly disturbing (as is everything here).  The disease is completely restricted to a one-mile radius around the historic home of Zebadiah Cobblestoner the legendary Whaling Fleet Magnate.

Zebadiah was known in the early nineteenth century as the whale prostate king.  His company sold pickled whale prostate throughout the New England region where its healing properties were much in demand.  And with the proceeds of this lucrative trade Zebadiah built a magnificent mansion in his native town Dunwich.  And there he lived in great opulence until the great whale prostate crash of 1841.  In that year the medical profession actually investigated the “healing effects” of whale prostate and discovered that its only effect on humans was to imbue its users with a decidedly bright blue coloration around their private parts.

Needless to say, Zebadiah’s fortunes fell on hard times.  In addition, a local witch named Hepzibah Goodbody was so outraged at the coloration she had contracted that she put a curse on Cobblestoner that not only killed him but rendered his mansion a nexus of contagion and miasma ever after.  At first this miasma was restricted to anyone foolhardy enough to inhabit Zebadiah’s mansion.  But over the years the contagion grew until now it had reached out to all the inhabitants of the formerly prestigious Toenail Hill area.  The malady starts out as general abdominal discomfort but in its terminal stage it presents as an exaggerated swelling of the lower abdomen followed by detonation of the prostate which usually leaves only the legs and upper body of the victim intact.  Surprisingly both males and females are equally afflicted in this syndrome.

Now you may be asking yourself how a nineteenth century witch’s spell that causes people to explode could be diagnosed as COVID.  Well, it turns out that the federal and state governments have provided, let us say, inducements to local governments for finding COVID cases in their areas.  And let’s face it, it’s not cheap cleaning up the biohazard when someone’s pelvic region explodes so First Selectman Cthulhu worked it out with the Dunwich Department of Health to sort of roll the Cobblestoner Curse victims in with the COVID census.

But with the recent state budget cuts the “subsidy” for the COVID cases has dried up and so the Board decided something should be done to clean up this problem.  I was contracted to do it.  And it was stressed that I could employ all means necessary.

Using satellite imagery, I was able to triangulate the source of the miasma to a corner of the Cobblestoner estate.  In fact, it turned out to be centered around Zebadiah Cobblestoner’s private cemetery.  I brought along one hundred tanker trucks, each loaded with 6,000 gallons of aqua regia which is a combination of saturated hydrochloric acid and fuming nitric acid.  My team excavated down to one hundred feet where we started to uncover a stone-like mass of enormous size finally we could see its shape was spherical with a diameter of over a thousand feet.  When we reached the bottom of this structure, we saw with horror that it was attached to the centuries dead but normal sized corpse of Zebadiah Cobblestoner.  We had uncovered his decidedly malign hypertrophied prostate bulging out of his body!

We climbed out of the excavation in a panicked rout but before following my team in a sprint for the hills I slammed the valve actuator that released the veritable lake of hyper-corrosive acid into the pit.  As I panted from the effort of escaping the scene, clouds of acrid fumes spread along the ground.  Earth tremors made it difficult to keep my legs under me but I finally reached a ridge about a mile off from the pit.  And there I witnessed a sight that has shaken my sanity and left me a shell of the man I was.

The ground around the pit convulsed and swelled.  The prostate swelled up to ten times its size and glowed a bright yellow.  Then the prostate shrank down and disappeared below ground.  But suddenly the corpse of Cobblestoner took its place swelling up to the size of the prostate and even larger.  Its face was distorted with pain and rage and I feared something truly horrible was about to occur.  All at once an enormous flatulence erupted from the nether regions of Cobblestoner.  A hurricane of unbelievably foul air stormed past me.  But almost as soon as it arrived it passed and a look of angelic peace suffused Cobblestoner’s face and then he slowly shrank back into the pit.

After a safe period of time had elapsed, I dared to return to the top of the pit.  There was no sign at all of Cobblestoner or his cursed prostate.  The area had been miraculously cleansed by the potent acids and the miasma was gone!  There are signs in the last few days that Toenail Hill is once again a healthy place.  I’ve notice that Zillow has quadrupled the value of all the local real estate and speculators have snatched up all the likeliest properties including the Cobblestoner mansion and gravel pit.

One other salubrious result of the exorcism is that for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic not a single COVID victim has exploded.  That means I’ll probably get paid for my efforts by the Town of Dunwich.  And I call that a win.

Thanksgiving in Dunwich

I’ve been so busy with my own personal Thanksgiving plans that I lost track of what the town of Dunwich was planning for the holiday.  Last year the COVID lockdown put a damper on this but this year First Selectman Cthulhu and the rest of the Board were determined to get things back to normal.  So, to get the ball rolling Cthulhu invited fifty of the wealthiest and most influential Dunwichians to his house on Monday for a sumptuous dinner.

Of course, there was a misunderstanding.  The guests assumed they were going to eat instead of being eaten but you can hardly fault the First Selectman for that.  He was specific that the menu would come directly from his favorite cookbook, “To Serve Man.”  When I spoke to him, he was still recovering from overindulging but after a couple of barrels of Alka Seltzer he was feeling much better.  He told me his favorite moment was when the guests walked through a doorway and after failing to find any light switches on the walls used their phone lights to determine that they were inside their host’s mouth.  Their screams of terror made the meal all that much more enjoyable.  Oh, that First Selectman, he’s incorrigible!

I read an advertisement in the Dunwich Complainer that a town fair was going to take place on Wednesday.  There would be the usual pie contests and a silent auction for the various crafts that the townspeople would donate.  There were also supposed to be games.  The one that interested me the most was the sack race.  In most towns this is a pretty straight forward affair but the twist that is employed in Dunwich is that Cthulhu alters the geometry of space in the playing field.  This makes moving in a straight line rather tricky.  Three years ago, Josiah Bishop ended up falling through a portal and landed inside of Azathoth’s gallbladder.  He reappeared three weeks later in pretty horrendous condition.  His ears had pretty much melted off and his hair was orange.  When asked what happened he said, “Outside the ordered universe is that amorphous blight of nethermost confusion which blasphemes and bubbles at the center of all infinity—the boundless daemon sultan Azathoth, whose name no lips dare speak aloud, and who gnaws hungrily in inconceivable, unlighted chambers beyond time and space amidst the muffled, maddening beating of vile drums and the thin monotonous whine of accursed flutes.”  A lot of people just assumed Josiah had just stomped off because he’s a sore loser and because Jenkin Brown took the prize and they’ve never gotten along.

But by far the oddest story I’ve heard this week was from Arthur Birdsong.  He was walking through some of the more overgrown areas of the northern hills of Dunwich when he was caught in one of the frequent thunderstorms.  Searching for cover he saw a very dilapidated house and ran to it.  The door wasn’t locked so he let himself in.  Finding a fire in the living room he warmed himself and then looked around at his surroundings.  There was a very old book open on a table and he saw that the book was describing cannibalism among certain tribes in Africa and an illustration showed a butcher’s shop with human body parts for sale.  Arms, legs and organs were grouped on tables.  Suddenly he heard a door open above and a white-haired man in 17th century garb walked down the staircase.  The man saw that Arthur had been interested in the book and he began a long meandering tale, the gist of which was that he had come to the notion that feeding on human flesh would enormously extend the human lifespan.  Just then a drop of blood from the ceiling splashed down in between the two men and Arthur looked up and saw an enormous spot of blood on the ceiling and realized that the horrid old man was a cannibal and had just been butchering of one of his victims upstairs.

At first Arthur was hoping that a bolt of lightning would burn the house and the cannibal in the righteous fire of heaven.  But when that failed to happen, he asked the old man what time was dinner.

Arthur had to admit that human pot pie wasn’t bad.  A little gamey and fatty but no worse than mutton.  And the old fellow even threw in some pretty decent hard cider.  So, they became pretty chummy and after dinner they stayed up late chatting and Arthur discovered that they had both gone to the same prep school.  So, they sang school songs and Arthur invited his new friend over for Thanksgiving dinner.  He had been planning to serve a turkey dinner but in light of his new perspective on health food he decided to invite his least favorite blue-haired feminist wine-auntie over and serve her up instead.  I told Arthur that was splendid and I hoped it became a family tradition.  He sadly informed me that he only had three wine-aunties so it would be a short-lived tradition.  I told him to cheer up.  I have dozens of relatives that need eating.  I told him I’d donate one of mine every Thanksgiving for the foreseeable future.  Well, this brought tears to Arthur’s eyes and he declared it a “Thanksgiving Miracle.”  I said, “Nonsense, it is always better to give than to receive.”

So, you can see we here in Dunwich have a lot to be thankful for; friends, family and meat tenderizer.  Here’s hoping your Thanksgiving allows you to enjoy your family as much as we intend to enjoy (parts of) ours.