Fauxhasset Paroder, 44th Edition: Sticky symbolism

By Thamanda Crompson
Fauxhasset Paroder Staff Reporter

Paranormal consultant Buster DeGost has made another troubling discovery, this time at Fame Island. The former ghostbuster climbed to the Space Mountain tunnel where Punxsutawney Phil was found trapped last week and discovered more strange symbols painted on the floor of the cave.

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Nothing bad could possibly come of this, right? …..right? Photo credit

The complex diagram is painted in gleaming red, which looks fresh yet is dry to the touch. It depicts an eight-pointed star intersecting some sort of astrological calendar. Both are bisected by straight lines, which come together to form an acute angle pointing north-northeast.

“It’s the same diagram we found at 8 Lame Jane’s,” said DeGost. “And the same damn red paint – or blood, still don’t know which – but either way, it doesn’t respond to turpentine or any other paint removal agent on the market. And chipping away the actual stone doesn’t do anything either.”

To prove it, DeGost chiseled out a bit of the painted stone and held it up to the light. The stone now appeared gray, like the walls of the cave. The red marks remained unblemished on the floor.

“I’m still not convinced these markings have a demonic origin,” said DeGost, “but there’s definitely something otherworldly behind them. I would advise the public to leave investigations to the professionals. Ah… professional, that is. Guess it’s just me now, isn’t it?”

DeGost was originally retained by the Town to study the impossible dimensions of the Lame Jane townhomes after officials discovered the units were larger inside than out. After being fired by his firm for “wild speculations” (and dissing the company Christmas party), DeGost stayed on to conduct his own private investigation.

The Paroder caught up with JJ Henry, 8 Lame Jane developer, and Ord Girdlehyde, owner of Pacifica, Ye Olde Pepper Mill, the Mad Elephant Hotel, and basically the entire harbor (he’s kind of a big deal) to see if they’d noticed anything when they discovered Phil in the cave on Easter morning.

“It was too bright,” Henry recalled. “Phil was glowing – we were a bit blinded. And, frankly, we were just happy that winter would finally be ending now that we’d found him. It was really bad for Ord’s business, and we couldn’t make any headway with construction under all those thousands of inches of snow.”

“Perhaps you should ask Phil,” suggested Girdlehyde. “He was in there for a long time. Perhaps he made the markings, or knows where they came from. He is, after all, a god.”

Behold: a dark horse

The car rolled into the cul de sac early in the morning. The passengers had been out all night. No one was all that tired, but the sun was up and it was time to go home.

Suddenly I hit the brakes. There was an obstacle in the road I had never seen in this neighborhood. At first, judging by its size, I thought it was a wild turkey, or maybe someone’s lost rooster, but it was only an oversized hen. Lucky, actually. If the hen laid eggs on my lawn, they would be mine! We pulled into the driveway and ran to the yard to see. Sure enough, the giant hen was laying giant eggs right in front of my house! I bet I could make a whole omelet with just one of them!

But eggs weren’t the only thing the hen left on my lawn. She also left a treasure chest. Leaving my friends with the eggs, I started pawing through the contents of the chest. I found the usual gold coins and vintage jewelry. There was also a small, perfectly ordinary skeleton key in the box, and I knew as soon as I touched it that this key would unlock another world. The treasure chest held everything I needed to reign over this other world. The key was half the puzzle; the other piece was somewhere…

Then something else strange happened – strange, and frightening. I felt it first in my heart. A dark foreboding welled up within me and the sense of being watched pulled my eyes from the treasure. A dark horse stood over me. His flesh was knit of shadows, and though he had hooves and a tail and a horn and wings, the intelligence housed in that shadow-skin was human, and the evil therein was greater than any human could wield. He didn’t speak. I simply knew that he wanted the same thing I wanted: the key, and the other object that would entitle him to rule over the other world, whatever and wherever that might be.

Grasping the key tightly, I fled for the house. The others had already gone in. The horse, a creature of evil, had to abide by certain rules: he couldn’t come inside unless invited, so we were safe there – we just couldn’t go out until he left. And he wasn’t leaving.

I expect what we had on our hands was a Night Mare, one of the dark alicorns that poison the dream world from my Myriad novels. This Night Mare, a product of the world he wanted to rule, held half the key to Myriad. I couldn’t let him take the other. I’d never seen the world, never known it existed till I found the key; it wasn’t my home nor my responsibility. Yet I still cared about the people there. I couldn’t allow this demon to seize control over them.

But I couldn’t do much to stop him, either. He had us under siege and he was a creature of powerful magic. The boundaries of our sanctuary repelled him, so he spoke through the walls. His voice boomed through the hallways, inescapable, deafening. It crushed all hope and strength to resist. If I hadn’t been quite clear on what he wanted, I was sure of it now. The others in the house didn’t know exactly what was going on, but they were on my side and helped me resist. The house fell back into silence, and we still had the key.

When the Night Mare learned his attack hadn’t worked, he tried a more terrifying approach. I caught sight of him in a window – a decorative window, completely isolated from the outside. Disturbed, I pulled a curtain across it, only to find him in another window, and in the mirrors, and in every reflective surface in the house. He couldn’t enter the house physically, but we couldn’t escape his watchful eye and the looming image of his face.

We covered every window and mirror in the house. Safe again… but for how long?

Not very. I slept fitfully that night, afraid of sleeping so heavily I missed the Night Mare’s next strike. I woke up to toss and to turn. Around five in the morning, I woke up to find every light in the room blazing bright. I must have slept more heavily than I meant to, because I was groggy and disoriented. I thought I had left those lights on. I thought that maybe we’d lost power the night before and, in the dark, no one had thought to flip the switches off. The horse was the farthest thing from my mind as I dragged myself out of bed and went around the room, switching off more than a dozen lamps.

I came back to the first lamp, a little reading light above my bed. It was back on. But surely I had shut it off… I turned it off again, only to see the next light pop back on, and the one after that, until the room was ablaze once again.

Okay, something was definitely wrong. I went to the person you always go to when something is wrong and you’re afraid a demon is trying to kill you: my dad. I brought him into my room to show him how the lights wouldn’t go out, only to find the room dark: now the lights refused to come on. An even more terrifying predicament when dealing with Night Mares, who thrive in the dark and shadows.

We still had the key, and the sun would rise in less than an hour… but would it be soon enough?

Stay tuned for if/whenever my brain decides to finish this dream.