1) Don’t step inside the standing stones up on the mound. Those are the teeth of greedy, sleepy old Grandfather Ogre
That cabin out by the woods, the man who lives there loves dogs. He has
a dozen or more, feeds them from his own hands. He’s raising the pups
of the Great Hound deep in the forest, tree-high. He’s not a man at all.
You’ll catch her sometimes if she’s quiet, loping along with that
awkward gait, watching the birds. When she whistles the men follow her
and they never look at her mouth. Her legs alone must be twice their
height, but they’ll never speak of it when they come back. If they come
4) Always two of them. Man and woman. Husband and wife
maybe, but they always wear the same face too. They love to measure - if
you stand still by them they’ll measure every part of you, down to the
finger-bones. They love smaller things. They’ll make things for you if
you let them, from the junk they carry, but they always make them too
big. They especially love children.
5) Sometimes you see them
flit by at night - bright-winged and butterfly-free. At a distance you
can mistake the little ones for fireflies. But when you see the broader
glow coming over the curve of the hillside you must remember to look
6) The whole bottom of the river is covered in shells and
they rattle when you cross the bridge. Shellycoat loves distracting
travelers and getting them lost - down her gullet, if she’s hungry.
You find them in churches - abandoned ones - torturing themselves.
They’ve a fascination with the crucifixion. Sometimes they’ll come close
to a village, inching along on those long fingers and toes, and try to
lure out a priest to talk to them.
8) You have to understand is
it’s not your wife, your husband. The thing gets into the ground and
inside of them, makes them move again. It’s not hair - how could hair
grow that long? You have to cut it out of the corpse. Get that long
strand and follow it back to the beast in the earth.
I just got off the phone with mom, and we came to the realization that my family has lived in a series of unplottable houses for a couple generations now.
-The First Unplottable House is on my dad’s side of the family, in Delphi, Iowa. The directions to it are the stuff of Buried Treasure: Turn off the county road with a fraction in it’s name, to the Named Dirt Road, then turn at The Discount Eggs Sign on to the Unnamed dirt road that takes a meandering path THROUGH a corn field, DO NOT take any forks on that road or the farmer will shoot your ass, then take the paved road that dead-ends on ALL the way to the end- No, farther, the road keeps going it’s not a cliff-The only indication that You Have Arrived At The Correct Driveway is that a fat gray pony will charge the car, screaming, then escort you the rest of the way there.
It’s on the side of an enormous river, they’ve owned the property since 1911, and that’s the ONLY route there.
-The Second Unplottable house is in Bedford, Ohio and belonged to my mother’s parents. It’s at the corner of two side-streets, right across from the tiny Italian grocery store. Due to strange development decisions, the house is about 30 feet above street level and rendered invisible by a chestnut tree so majestic Hyao Myazaki would probably put it in a movie. The driveway, however, is VERY visible from any of the surrounding houses, the grocer, or the street.
At least in theory and old photos, becuase if you actually GO there, your eyes slide right past it to the neighbor’s lillac bush, or to the retro neons of the grocery store or up the Chestnut tree. it is literally HARD to look at that driveway, all the world around it wants to pull you away.
-The Third Unplottable house is in Salinas, CA, home of my paternal grandparents. It is the single most BORING house possible- like, if you were to ask a third-grader to draw a prototypical house, they would draw my grandparent’s house. Utterly Unremarkable.
Except for the part where my Grandfather, spurred by his success with the “non-fruiting” peach tree, decided to plant a California Redwood Tree, and it grew to approximately 150 feet over the course of a few short decades. It is the tallest damn thing for miles around, and SOMEHOW deliveries keep being missed, mail is delivered to the neighbors, and any non-blood family that tried to visit would end up on the other side of town.
-The Fourth Unplottable House was the one I grew up in CA. The Directions to it are as follows: It’s the Bright Orange house Right Across From The School. You know, the one with six flamingos and the Volunteer Avacado Tree.
SOMEHOW, we got everyone’s mail but OURS (we still wonder about the letter from Fort Knox for Mr. Thomas Saxophone), the other kids got lost trying to visit and ended up in Mr.Phan’s yard on the other end of the block. Officer Brown, Mom and Dad’s friend, who had GPS back in the early 90′s becuase silicon valley, regularly got lost looking for our place. The Flamingos did nothing.
-My parent’s current house is the second house on the right after two right turns off the state highway that runs through town. Sounds easy, right?
Except that due to a couple small trees and a bend in the road, the house is invisible from the road. I have to stand out in the road if i want my pizza delivered. The Mailman is the only person who could reliably find the box, but he drives a subaru that’s older than my sister from the passenger side by leaning over, and delivers mail based on the aztec lunar calendar, so he’s probably not actually human. I tried to host a party, tied rainbow balloons to the mailbox, and all nine friends had to be waved in from the street.
-My current apartment building Does Not Exist, according to my Bank, medicaid, Google, and City Hall which was a bit exciting when I first moved in and had to call everyone that yes, I was sitting in a building that really exists.
Unless it’s my classmates, becuase they can apparently come to parties I don’t host. This Friday I had a friend telling me she had a great time at my place last Teusday… when I was home alone. She assures me that I held a houseparty with “Those polish things you make” (I make great mini klatchky, but haven’t served them to her) and that “You were definitely there, we talked about Carvaggio and you drive me home”