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Showing posts from May, 2017

Skywards

I’m standing in the middle of the bridge. Beneath me, the river. It roars, announcing its presence, its power, its inexhaustible and unending flux. The sky above me is a great slab of slate.
Not slate. Slate has presence. The sky makes itself known in its absence. It is void, vacuum, the howling expanse that envelopes all the world. Pitiless. Blind.
I am suspended over one river and yet immersed in another, an interminable flow of people streaming over the bridge. I stand in the midst of it all, and this human river cleaves about me as if I were a stone splitting the water. I cannot move so the world moves around me.
There is a strong and steady wind, which seems to come from all sides at once. Both ahead of me and behind me there are the towers of the city, reaching ever skyward, straining to blaspheme against the essential nullity of the above with their actuality. The above and the below, incomparable, unalike, having only intransigence in common.
As the towers rush up to fill t…

Secret Starlight Lodge (A Jessica Norton Story)

There’s a man who helps me find strange things. His name is Mark, and he’s very much in love with the image of himself as kind of magick-punk. He dives in among the refuse of occultism and conspiracy-lore, digs his way through it to find the pearls in the filth. He’s useful, doing a great deal of work for only modest payment; I think he’s at least a little in love with me. He helped me find the location of Harrington’s Folly, sold me photographs of its interior. Newdean is a place with a reputation for the unusual, and ever since my trip to the Folly he had been busy mining the town’s history for more uncanny gems.
He called me one night and told me that there had once been a Masonic lodge in Newdean.
‘An irregular lodge,’ he explained. ‘That means that it wasn’t formally recognised by the Grand Lodge. It was rogue.’
‘What, did it let women in or something?’
‘No, still strictly for rich men. But it was never given a charter by Grand Lodge because its teachings were… idiosyncratic. R…

Angel Hair Street

There’s a street in Newdean where no one goes. If Newdean were a city, this wouldn’t be so odd. In a city, there’s plenty of space to get lost in, enough that a single, solitary street can simply fall out of use without the order of things being disrupted. But Newdean is only a small town, barely a town at all. An entire street being shunned… that’s curious. Anyone that has ever lived in a small town and tried to avoid someone will know that, inevitably, one will run across them at the earliest opportunity. It’s difficult to avoid anyone or anything in a small town, and an entire street is no exception.
According to the sign, this street is Sycamore Avenue, which is the name it has on the maps too, though everyone calls it Angel Hair Street. There are about a dozen homes on both sides of the street, all abandoned. Despite its seaside location, property prices in Newdean have never been very high, and yet all these homes stand unoccupied. There is not a single For Sale sign to be see…

This is Newdean (III) – A Séance

It was Walpurgis Night, of course. To be honest with you, I don’t know what the mystical significance of that date is. I just know that serious magickians (please note the special ‘k’, thank you very much) do spooky crap on Walpurgis Night, and not Halloween.
It was cloudless and starry. There was no moon that night, which Gavin, the leader of our little cell of dabblers, assured us was a good sign. ‘We’re after the dark ones tonight’, he told us solemnly, and apparently the reflected solar blaze of lunar light would put off the things that go bump in the night.
Things that bump, and scratch, and crawl.
The fence around the bizarre example of art deco which was once called ‘The Newdean Palace of Self-Betterment’, but which everyone just called ‘the Centre’, was unmaintained and unwatched. Numerous gaps had been cut into it over the years, and people generally came and went as they pleased. Although people didn’t usually hang around that long.
Bump, and scratch, and crawl.
We entered…