Table of Contents

Halloween 1994


These stories were told around a campfire in the Out of Character Lounge on Halloween Night, 1994.

"Celestine" by Ptah
"Murder at Berkeley" by Ramadan
"SMAutographs" by Ptah
"Aren't You Glad..." by Charity
"Mrs. Carstairs" by Ptah
"Reading Glasses" by Charity

Ever hear of little Celestine?

Come Halloween she'd eat all her candy in one night. She'd gather it into great big gobs and eat it in lumps. She'd stick the chocolate together into one piece. She'd melt the candy on the stove and lick it all night.

Celestine was always hungry. Come Christmas she tried the candycanes on the tree. Xmas dinner was hopeless, she ate it all as soon as it was cooked.

Cute little thing, all bows and ribbons and little pinafores. But at night when she went to sleep her teeth went snicker gnasherty snack and she'd chew her pillow all night long.

They got her a pet once to keep her distracted, but tho her parents looked for it afterwards, they couldn't find it anywhere. And when they sent her to school, she got in trouble for biting some kid on the nose.

So Celestine was an asocial child, this kid whose teeth went snickerty gnasherty snack.

They sent her to a psychiatrist but she gnawed the couch.

When she grew older her parents went away. Or at least nobody ever saw them again. And one day her neighbor saw her chewing the hedges between their houses. The police came. Official word is that the cop did in fact walk away from the door afterwards. But the neighbor swears that he went in and never came out.

Well, eventually Celestine died. And when they went in to look at the house, every wall was chewed and all the furniture was gnawed and the people said they swore they heard the sounds of snickerty gnasherty snack the whole while.

But they buried the body. It was funny how light it was. They noticed that she chewed her fingernails. And they all talked about how sad and lonely a lady old Celestine must have been.

But then, you all remember the scandal last year?

There was that body found out in the cemetery, and when they went to look around, they found a hole chewed in Celestine's coffin and through the dirt to her bones. And in the coffin there was nothing but ground up bone dust.

And tooth marks.

And though they had trouble identifying the corpse, they had no trouble determining that what killed the caretaker that night was that Celestine ate him...

Some say they still hear the gnashing to old teeth in the woods beside town. Some say they can prove it... it's damn hard to buy denture adhesive in this city.


Ramadan says, 'well, there was a murder in berkeley about 3 years ago'

Rucht says, 'just one? sorry'

Ptah says, 'shh!'

Ptah chuckles politely.

Jafar gets some popcorn.

Rucht cowers.

Ramadan says, 'a woman was stabbed to death in a building at night'

Jafar eats some popcorn.

Jafar screams loudly!

Jafar says, 'oops.. sorry, my nerves...'

Rucht shivers uncomfortably.

Ptah chuckles politely.

Ptah hugs Jafar reassuringly.

Ramadan says, 'police say it was with a pair of scissors from the stab wounds'

Rucht winces.

Ramadan says, 'since then, the building is under guard 24hrs and no one is allowed to enter w/o ID'

Rucht says, 'Eschleman?'

Ramadan nods solemnly.

Jafar begins to shift forms... Hey, was that Freddy Krueger??? Nah, just your imagination...

Rucht says, 'or however that's spelled'

Ramadan says, 'the story is this'

Ramadan says, 'recently, this summer the building was remodeled'

Ramadan says, 'including the room where the girl was killed'

Ramadan says, 'and they discovered something they haven't found before'

Jafar gets on the edge of his seat...

Rucht raises an eyebrow inquiringly.

Ramadan says, 'a brown and red scarf'

Jafar faints.

Rucht ponders the existences of a brown and red scarf.

Rucht says, 'ack. singularly'

Ramadan says, 'that resembles the one found at strawberry creek'

Rucht jumps up and down.

Ramadan says, 'the creek runs across campus'

Rucht says, 'twice :)'

Ramadan says, 'the scarf looks a lot like the scarf found'

Jafar says, 'oooh... scarves are spooky...'

Ramadan says, 'over 20 years ago'

Rucht gasps in astonishment.

Ramadan says, 'near the faculty club'

Rucht giggles.

Ramadan says, 'where one of the last on campus murders were'

Jafar says, 'that does it. sounds like a teacher. anyone up for a lynching?'

Fox Mulder has arrived from the east.

Jafar giggles.

Rucht raises an eyebrow inquiringly.

Rucht gets some popcorn.

Jafar says, 'where's scully when you need her...'

Ramadan says, 'a girl was found raped and murdered at the creek by the faculty club over 20 years ago'

Rucht eats some popcorn.

Fox Mulder says, 'This is clearly a case of a being who lives on a 20 year cycle and requires scissor murders for his metabolism!'

Ramadan says, 'teh scarf was found on her dead body'

Jafar rolls around on the ground with laughter.

Rucht looks up into the sky and ponders.

Ptah purges Fox Mulder!

Ramadan rolls around on the ground with laughter.

Jafar clears his throat and starts acting more serious-like

Rucht plants a scarf in the ground by the bridge near Latimer.

Rucht waters a scarf and watches it grow.

Rucht harvests a scarf and plants it near the scene of a crime.

Bobbin has arrived from the east.

Jafar smiles happily.

Bobbin sits down.

Rucht says, 'hi'

Bobbin smiles happily.

Ramadan says, 'and when the construction workers tried turning the scarf in to the police'

Ptah smiles at Bobbin.

Ramadan says, 'they had misplaced it and it is still missing today'

Bobbin smiles at Ptah.

Rucht sighs loudly.

Ptah whispers to Bobbin, 'getting told about true life murders in Berkeley'

Ramadan smiles at Bobbin.

Rucht stuffs a scarf in his pocket.

Rucht peers intently all around.

Bobbin whispers to Ptah, 'ooh, what fun!'

Jafar takes off his scarf discretely and puts it in his backpack...

Ramadan yanks a scarg out of Rucht's bag

Rucht uses a scarf for a handkerchief.

Jafar says, 'Nice scarf!'

Jafar says, 'had one of those...'

Rucht fails to notice that his nose is bleeding.

Ramadan says, 'well i was questioned by the police when the case was still open'

Rucht raises his eyebrow at Ramadan.

Ramadan says, 'cuz my office is next to hers(dead girl)'

Rucht says, 'office? for what?'

Ramadan says, 'newspaper'

Rucht says, 'ohh'


Ptah says, 'Reminds me of one time when I was poking around ftp sites.'

Ptah says to Bobbin, 'You know how you can find all sorts of crazy stuff at odd ftp sites.'

Bobbin shakes his head.

Ptah says, 'Sometimes I just poke around randomly, try ftp to various places. And one day I was on a system I'd never really paid attention to before... I found out about it cause a mudder on another mud told me about it. Said that there were some nice .mod files there. So I was poking around, and saw a directory called SMAutographs.'

Bobbin wonders what a .mod file is.

Ptah says, 'It's a kind of sound file.'

Bobbin nods solemnly.

Ptah says, 'Anyway, I was going into this SMAutographs directory, and it was very weird. There were all sorts of text files, and they were all collections of serial murderers stuff. Some claimed to be scanned versions of stuff that actual serial killers had written, others were supposed notes that they had posted to the net.'

Ptah rolls his eyes heavenward.

Rucht staggers around the room, bumping into walls.

Jafar says, ''

Ptah says, 'I didn't believe it of course, I figured it was fake. But some of the directories deeper down were even weirder. Lots of paranoia stuff. The readme's were full of secret society stuff and such. There were a few applications running there too, binaries with weird names. Stuff like Watcher and NetTraceBomb.'

Ptah grimaces.

Ptah says, 'It all looked very goofy, so I logged off. When I logged off it gave a message, one of those 'The material here is private etc' things. And when I tried to log back in as anonymous it wouldn't let me. I figured, what the heck, maybe they took down the site.'

Ptah shrugs philosophically.

Ptah says, 'But then it's not like I ever wanted to go back there... I mean, if you believed some of the stuff on there, they had complete control of the Net. They could watch anything you did.'

Ptah says, 'Lemme see... I have the address here.'

Ptah says, 'Ah! Yeah, it was'
[Ptah has lost his link]


Charity says, 'You're hanging out in a friend's dorm room.. maybe they've dragged you there, they live two flights of stairs up from where you are and you usually make them visit you... You pretend to study for a while, really just talking about studying, and about when the evening is far enough along that you KNOW you aren't going to get work done, you figure, 'what the hell,' and decide to go out for a few beers since you've blown the evening anyway.. so you go back to your own room to get your keys,'

Bobbin shudders, as his dorm locks behind him.

Charity says, 'and since they're right on a hook by the door - maybe one of those fancy three-peg wooden plaque things your mom would buy, or a cheap plastic souvenir from the beach.. anyway they're right next to your hand,'

Jafar can barely remember what a dorm is!

Charity says, 'so you don't bother to turn on the light - your roommate must have already decided to give up on work for the evening too.. so you take your keys and lock the door behind you. A few hours later you come back, not actually drunk or even really buzzed, just pleasantly unaware of how stressed you'll be later because you goofed off tonight. You unlock your door on the second try - the damn thing is always sticking - and reach out and flip the light switch while your eyes are still on the doorknob, trying to get your key out. So when you do look up, at first all you can see is a solid wash of red, like a light filter in a david lynch dream sequence, or an el greco, only it's red and not blue... the pile of laundry you had at the foot of the bed could qualify for that 'red load' that you never seem to have enough stuff to fill up.. the uneven stack of multicolored math and science textbooks, and a few paperbacks, are monochrome.. it takes you a long minute to even register that your roommate is PART of that cluttered redness of the far end of your dorm room.'

Charity says, 'When you realize they're lying there, horribly, undeniably dead, your eyes climb up to the bare part of the wall, where you had never quite found the right poster to hang... and written on the plain, beige wall, in that same glistening red...'


There's the one about old Mrs. Carstairs. When she was young she was a great beauty.

She'd stand in front of her mirror and picture herself at the ball dancing, and it felt to her like she flew. Her long sweeping gowns floated across the ballroom floor and it seemed to her like she wore wings.

But of course after years, after she married and after he died, nobody flew with her anymore under the candles. Nobody danced with her under the chandeliers. And she lived alone ina house with a big old ballroom and lots of mirrors, so she could look at herself and see the gray hair, and see the wrinkles on her face, and the way her muscles sagged under her arms.

But one day a salesman came knocking at her door. And he had a sample case. It was bulky and lack and it HUMMED. And she let him in, because old Mrs. Carstairs was lonely. She wasn't afriad of anything that could happen.

And they sat across from each other in the parlor. He opened his case slowly, and its inside was hidden from her. And when he opened it, the humming got LOUDER. And he said to her, 'Can I interest you in bright ribbons for your hair?'

And old Mrs. Carstairs said, 'No, I am past ribbons for my hair.'

He asked her, 'Might I sell you a wonderful dress to dance across the floor in?' and he held up the most beautiful white pearled dress she had ever seen, and it looked like the wings of angels.

She shook her head sadly, and said 'No, I am past all that.'

And he said 'Might I sell you this cream to take away your wrinkles?'

She said, 'Don't be cruel!' and old Mrs. Carstairs broke down and cried. And she told him how none of what he could sell could help, it was all a cruel lie. That age had taken her, and how she could never again fly across the smooth tiles of her ballroom floor.

And the salesman smiled a greasy wide smile, and he opened his case wider and said, then I have the thing for you.'

And he said, let us go into the ballroom, and so they went. And the salesman set a chair in the middle of the floor.

And he asked her to sit, and she did.

And he asked to close her eyes, and she did.

And then he took something out of his case... she couldn't see of course, but the humming was louder, lounder still... and then as she tried to lean forward to listen for it, he grabbed her, and with quick sure movements, he tied her wrists to the chair!

Then she opened her eyes.

He said 'This may hurt,' and left the room, and closed the door.

And the humming resolved into a buzz, and her eyes went down to the jar he had left on the floor by her feet, and the thousands of tiny golden bees that poured out of it

They flew through the room like tiny lights, and they settled on her skin. When the first one bit and raised a welt, she let out a yelp. When the fifteenth one landed on her face and stung her cheek, she just cried. And when they walked on her eyelids and caressed her ears with their feelers, she opened her mouth to scream. And then they crawled in there as wel, and stung and stung and stung.

And her skin bubbled and crackled and welts went up, and eventually her body was a mass of sores and puffed out of recognition. It was rounded and it was cocooned in its hot, scarred bites.

And so it was that a day later, the cocoon on the chair began to shake, and the skin of old Mrs. Carstairs split. And it flaked from her, and it ripped down her chest, and from inside the ruined flesh she came...

Looking down at herself: she was young, and her legs were graceful, and her body had all the curves it did when she was eighteen. And she came out from the cocoon and she danced across the floor, and her wings carried her to the chandelier, and her six legs kept her in perfect balance, and her stinger was fresh and full of vibrant poison...

And then it was that the salesman came back in, and he walked up to the jar, and he called back the bees.

And back they went.

And I suppose Mrs. Carstairs got her wish... Young, and forever dancing on the glass in her own curved ballroom...


Charity says, 'A myopic man who loves books more than anything is trapped in the NY public library when a nuclear holocaust occurs, but his glasses are knocked off his face and he steps on them.'

Jafar throws his head back and cackles with insane glee!