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Topics - RabidRadioactiveRaccoons

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Story Critique / The East Coat of Hollywood
« on: 10:25:07 PM 11/02/18 »
As you walk along the East Coast of Hollywood, you find yourself wondering what you are doing. It is not that you do not know what you are doing, you are looking for a dog, but you are not entirely sure for what it is for you to look for a dog. You are not seeking any dog in particular, but you know the dog you are looking for is somewhere along the point where Hollywood ends and the sea begins.

The empty street is a wasteland, a lifeless stretch of land. The humidity in the air is ponderous, making each breath just slightly harder. You consider taking a different road, but you are on a path and a path is meant to be followed. Besides, what harm is a couple hours more spent in search of a dog? You’ve already walked so many miles that a few more cannot hurt.

You pass a storefront, half-flooded with dry paint beginning to flake away in the harshly arid air. Behind the broken glass you see creatures, furry things with four legs that bark at you as you pass, tails happy wagging at your presence. For a brief moment, you almost believe that you have found what you are looking for, but these creatures are not a dog. For one, there are several of them and a dog is a singular item. No, these are just false copies of what you seek.

In the horizon, you see the sun begin to set, slowly sinking beneath the asphalt. A cool dusk breeze blows in, you can smell the salt water in the air. You wonder how long you have been walking this street. Perhaps the sun had already risen when you started or perhaps you simply remember the light of dawn.

Your legs feel heavy, but not tired. You have been walking for a very long time and a very great distance. How long you do not know, but you have been following the same unevenly straight and unerringly flat road this whole time. To your left, empty husks that were once buildings line the sidewalk, occasionally interrupted by side-streets you consider but never take. To your right, the water, stretching on seemingly forever and without end. Despite how long you have walked, you have yet to find a single repeated landmark, nothing to orient yourself beyond the knowledge of that the city is West and the water is East. All you know is that it is not yet tomorrow and that you are looking for a dog where Hollywood meets the sea.

And so you continue to walk along the East Coast of Hollywood, looking for a dog you will never find. And though you may wonder what it is you are doing, you will never question why.

Author's Note: I honestly have no idea if this is horror or not, please let me know and/or delete this thread if it is not.

2
Story Critique / Spooky Walk Volunteer Feedback Report
« on: 10:20:03 PM 11/02/18 »
Inspired by a recent experience volunteering at the neighborhood park's costume parade..

Spooky Walk Volunteer Feedback Report
Name: Amber Samuels
Position: First fork in path, next to giant DO NOT ENTER sign
Role: Directing traffic to lower path of fork
Costume: Black morphsuit, hooded robe
Observations & Suggestions:
-   The first rock that divides the path is a major tripping hazard. We had three to four major incidents that blocked foot traffic, mainly parents stopping in the middle of the path to tend to their crying toddler. Mostly scrapes and bruises, but one kid had a nasty cut on their head. Maybe we should move the “Do not enter” sign up to by the rock?
-   The “Keep Right” sign was poorly positioned and lacked sufficient lighting, not enough people saw it and apparently got confused by the idea of a DO NOT ENTER sign meaning that they should take the other path.
-   Next year, post someone who can talk to guard the path or at least give me a partner. None of the people I had to direct understood sign language.
-   A lot of people seemed to take the DO NOT ENTER sign and/or my presence as a challenge. Mostly teens and pre-teens. I even had to chase a few down who made a run for it. Not really sure how to fix that.
-   There was a group of kids, probably middle-schoolers, who were walking through the woods along the hill and kept harassing me. Whole group made it past me, apparently they caused trouble in other places as well. I know that there isn’t much we can do about people going off the path, but they were an absolute pain to deal with.
-   Next year, can we have some sort of meeting ahead of time where everyone meets everyone else and learns their costumes? I was only able to recognize a handful of the people we had walking with the crowd and it would be nice to know who I could rely on for help.
-   Speaking of volunteers, there were two who were a bit problematic. The first was the guy in the hoodie and hockey mask. While I appreciate his assistance in dealing with troublemakers, he was pretty rough with them; he even used his flashlight-taser-club-thing on two of them. Second was the guy in the gas mask with the fedora and trenchcoat, had some long wooden cane with a thick knot at the end; he would always stop to just stare or leer at me and made me very uncomfortable. At one point he even broke off from the crowd to awkwardly stand VERY close to me and hit anyone else who got close. So, if you could track those two down, let them know that child abuse and sexual harassment aren’t cool.
-   Talk to whoever had those bodies floating in the pond. The blood was a nice effect but the pond is a closed ecosystem and I’m not entirely sure what kind of chemicals they were releasing.
-   I heard that they started serving the donuts and cider immediately at the gate this year. That probably explains number of empty cups that littered the path. Maybe contact the Menotomy Children’s Center and see if they’re willing to host the cider and donuts like they used to?
-   Why did we even block off the upper path? It’s wider and even has that space off to the side where someone could have set something up. Given the volume of foot traffic we had, it’s a miracle no one got pushed into the water along the lower path.
-   Concerning that fake hanging in the tree next to the second bench before the fork, it definitely scared a lot of people but it may have been a bit much. Actually, can we get some kind of official statement on just how “spooky” we are supposed to be? We have the ‘surgeon’ who pulls random organs, lunchmeats, bratwurst, and kittens from a ‘live patient’ just down the path from the ‘dead body’ limply hanging from a noose. It’s kind of tonally incongruous and probably sends mixed messages to parents.
-   Not enough people had flashlights and those little paper bags with candles in them barely illuminate themselves. I didn’t see anything too bad happen as a result, but we still need better illumination.

3
How to Summon a Fish

Disclaimer:
As you are likely well aware, it is very difficult, even more dangerous, and frequently forbidden or otherwise illegal to summon a fish. This instructional pamphlet is for educational and/or entertainment purposes only. The publishers of this pamphlet are legally required to state that they do not encourage anyone reading this to attempt the ritual detailed within.

Preparation:
Before attempting any form of ritual involving fish, it is highly advisable to be well prepared, both in case of emergency and because some of the required materials are incredibly difficult to acquire mid-ritual. While this ritual can, and probably should, be done alone, it is advisable to have a friend, acquaintance, or hired hand present to assist with certain tasks and watch for signs of danger. Please read the full instructions before attempting the ritual.

Materials:
·         45 to 60 wax candles, 2 inches in diameter and 5 inches tall or 2.54cm in diameter and 30.48cm tall (just remember, fish can tell whether or not you are using the metric system), preferably in red or chartreuse. The number required varies depending on exactly what fish you are summoning. It is recommend to keep an excess of candles, as you can never be too prepared when summoning fish.
·         Three to five large bags of sand, preferably taken from a beach or lakeside. The exact amount required varies based on which fish you intend on summoning, but you want enough to create thick, unbroken lines when you create your geometric summoning pattern. Most fish cannot cross sand, as they understand it to mark the floor and walls of their environment.
·         The cries of a dying animal, preferably avian or mammalian. While you could have a dying animal physically present during the ritual, it is easier to go out and make an audio recording. Ideally, you want at least 10 hours of audio, but 2 to 3 hours is usually enough. It is, however, vital that the recording has never been used for summoning a fish before, so it is best if you personally make the recording and keep it safe.
·         A vial full of an arsenic-mercury solution. The size and shape of the vial are irrelevant, it simply must be a vial and it must be full. It is highly recommended that the amount of arsenic in the solution is a non-fatal dosage for someone of your size, weight, and general health.

Setup:
The ritual should be performed in a small room, just big enough to fit your geometric summoning pattern and yourself. Calculate the size and shape of your geometric summoning pattern as well as the required number of candles [see tables 3, 4, and 7a for imperial; tables 5,6, and 7b for metric], remember to check your local laws concerning the legality of angles exceeding 180 degrees. Draw the pattern with sand, starting with any interior lines and finishing with the outer perimeter; again, the lines should be thick and unbroken. Place your candles evenly spaced around the pattern, firmly anchored in the lines. Remove any and all light sources from the room besides the candles. If you have pre-recorded the cries of a dying animal, position the playback device behind you, with the speakers facing your back; if you are in the room with the animal, it should be close enough that you can smell its blood but far enough that it cannot bleed on you.

Step 1:
Using either wooden matches or a refillable cigarette lighter, light the candles starting with the one closest to you and then proceeding in a clockwise pattern. You must either remain completely silent or, if you are summoning a whitefish, count aloud in a language other than your first.

Step 2:
Sit or kneel before the pattern and close your eyes. Remember the candles and listen to their flickering.

Step 3:
When you feel that you have sufficiently contemplated the candles, start listening to the cries of a dying animal. You must hear the cries, but listen to the inevitable silence that they promise.
Optimally, they should start at a low volume and steadily increase until they are deafening and distorted. If you are not alone and are using a recording, simply have your partner manage the volume. If you are alone, set it to automatically increase over time. If the dying animal is in the room with you, force yourself to hear the cries at an increasing volume.

Step 4:
Focus on the name of the fish you wish to summon. Not the genus or species, but the individual name. It may be impossible to summon specific fish if its name is too common; for example, all bighead goby (Drombus globiceps) are named Jörge, but that name is not exclusive to that species of fish. It is currently impossible to summon fish with unpronounceable names.
Unfortunately, the best way to learn a specific fish’s name is to either summon another fish or get your hands on one of the rare directories written by madmen with too much time on their hands. Directories written by madmen with just enough or too little time list the names of gastropods or cephalopods respectively.

Step 5:
Say a name (any name) aloud and demand that the fish come to you. You will likely have to make the demand multiple times and may have to declare why it is your right to make demands of the fish.You may open your eyes after making your first demand.

Step 6:
At some point, a fish will have arrived when you were not paying attention to the geometric summoning pattern. They always arrive in the center of the pattern, but tend to push up themselves against the sand, searching for rifts in the barrier.

Now What?
Once you have summoned a fish, there are several things you can do. You can ask it to reveal its secrets or learn snippets of ancient wisdom. You can softly rub it against your cheek while whispering a wish in a language you do not understand; be warned, the fish will exploit any loopholes created from poor translation or improper pronunciation. Finally, you can just cook and eat the fish.

Emergency Situations:
In the event that you lose control of the ritual, immediately open and drink your arsenic-mercury solution. This will instantly end the ritual and banish any entities attempting to breach into and invade our reality. Fortunately, while you do not have much time to end the ritual once something goes wrong, it is blatantly obvious when something has gone wrong. Most fish are not subtle in their attempts to break through the fabric of reality, the only exception being the coelacanth. Never summon a coelacanth, the reward in no way outweighs the risk.

Publisher’s Note:
Once again, this pamphlet is for education and/or entertainment purposes only. It has been approved for distribution by the Bureau of Citizen Affairs and the Hazardous Information Agency. This guide is in no way an endorsement of the summoning of fish.

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