Torpid Slivers #25-29


by Colin Raff

Of the stag films unearthed at Glyndrian Ryptosch-Crelleck‘s estate (now the Ryptosch-Crelleck Museum), only one is confirmed to be scripted by Ryptosch-Crelleck himself: the fragmentary Perpheraios, a reel of spliced-together sequences adding up to only ten of an alleged thirty minute original running time. Though it lacks sound, the lip movements of one character match a line (“Oh, why did I not know all that it meant!”) found on a document handwritten by Ryptosch-Crelleck of revisions meant for incorporation into the final script (which is now missing). The thirteen other revised lines are as follows:

How lovely! Please let me try to do it.

It is too beautiful to speak about. See how they shine in the moonlight! 

Keep the door ajar, but very slightly.

No, no, no; this could not be mine. 

Nod your heads to answer yes.

Where am I? What has happened? 

My time will run out with the clock! I want to wear that before I die.

Yes; I am comfortable now. What are they pouring?

Step up to the cradle and wave your hand.

Everyone wants to stare at you while the room grows cold.

It will slowly replace the knife in my eyes.

If you clasp each other now, you might enjoy the winter.

How fortunate are we!

[1] The Phist threet fruireeks is arthelized to whilows linetheth and a ced: “He the Whows is be wis and sunesto whis grearther the copheds and bolver wiseeks hass. A grear mas ise Wissolve Whosoopes, and Moon, andescook topes and anderee teh phit-knot; this artaings.” ……..] live medium is fed 10 later;] Do you;] [

[2] To be spiriffon is bire riguresibles. Dirignattophe shictullis in Hermetionaters,] blood king. ] .friendly friends [.] p. p theadlevatical an plandessinalsophemical.

[3] It shall come pointless humanoid forming, in a hull of gold [……..]…] Yes, gold. piloted by molluscs

In recent years, back-of-head-masks sold by artisans during the carnival season have been subject to increased experimentation and deviation from familiar motifs. Unfortunately, smugglers now exploit this development by placing full-grown specimens of the rare Armored grass cricket (Acanthoplus gryllus verus) into special harnesses and passing them off as realistic back-of-head-masks with moving parts. In this guise they are sold to wealthy tourists and foreign insect enthusiasts during revelry.

Said to resemble the traditional clown (and erstwhile faun) Charmident, the Armored grass cricket’s head can grow to roughly the size of an adult human face, dwarfing the rest of its body. It subsists only on certain fast-growing grasses endemic to its very restricted habitat, and should not be removed from its home or fondled excessively.

Though handsome and easy to maintain, the Coelobonese shingle plant (Dischidia coelobonesis) is not recommended for anyone prone to superstition or related anxieties, as it is without doubt the plant associated with the greatest number of bad omens. Native to Sulepawak, this succulent features leaves that slowly throb to indicate thirst, though never all of them at once. The number of leaves quivering at one time can vary greatly, but Sulepawan tradition has an omen for nearly any possible amount. The first twelve are as follows:

1 leaf: Generally inauspicious.

2 leaves: A journey planned should not be made.

3 leaves: A bad dream will come true.

4 leaves: A loved one will become gravely ill.

5 leaves: Large inanimate objects will conspire to tear apart your favorite child as an owl would a mouse.

6 leaves: You will go down in history as the perpetrator of a hideous crime that no one will know you did not commit.

7 leaves: The coming rain will begin to boil just before it hits you.

8 leaves: The eyes of people nearby will disappear from their sockets and emerge from your mouth when you speak.

9 leaves: You will feel an insatiable erotic urge to embrace a baboon engulfed in flames.

10 leaves: Your kindness will result only in leprosy.

11 leaves: Your most beautiful ideas will disfigure you.

12 leaves: Tiny birds with anesthetic in their beaks will attack you when you are drowsy and you will not understand what is happening.

The folklore also accommodates the way the solid, fleshy leaves can at times break in half and still pulsate, as in the following example:

26½ leaves: Your triplets will have beautiful features but remain entirely hairless and possess cobra-like flesh hoods that will expand as they sway and whisper together.

Even the best of us, in our tender years, were at some moments cruel to other children. But did you also instruct those you bullied to transform literally into mythological creatures, going so far as to leave on the playground selected polyhedra arranged so as to aid these metamorphoses by suggestion?

Yes, you did. Aaron Hernadine remembers. Mildred Debramson remembers. Olia Jentis remembers. Jeraby Mynell remembers. Altma Lopher remembers. Ken Handliss remembers. Ralf P. Gauld remembers.

Series originally published at Queen Mob’s Teahouse