Aesop

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Tales from Miskatonic part 2

“Ah’ve never seen mist like this befoah,” Molly said, slipping back into her native Southern drawl, as she did whenever particularly impressed by something. She took cares to manage her presentation to appear as respectable and impressive as any of her peers, and though most of that was getting over their biases against the fairer sex (though she wouldn’t go quite so far as to wear pants; first, she was pretty sure that would make them respect her less, and second, she considered it a bit of an uncouth betrayal of femininity), she also spent significant effort disguising her antebellum ancestry. When overwhelmed with awe or surprise, though, her accent shone through. Her Chemistry professor, himself displaced from the Deep South, found this an endearing trait and it had caused him to give her a fairer shake than he would have otherwise (and when he discovered this about himself, he spent a dark night of the soul reexamining his own biases and came out a supporter of the suffragettes, and was willing to go to bat on her behalf should the trepidatious University decide admitting women had been a mistake. The fact that he had come to consider her brilliant was just icing on the cake), though in her ignorance of her own habits she was unaware of her lingual foibles.

“Oh yeah, you’re from den seth, you’ve never seen a winter before,” Jim responded in a terrible imitation of Molly’s accent. She scowled and stuck her tongue out at him. Adam clapped them both on their backs, hard enough to knock them each off balance, and strode forward into the fog. “Come along chaps, we have a luncheon appointment.”

Molly and Jim both scowled at him, then looked at each other and grinned. Adam’s attempt at improving their sense of camaraderie at his own expense had succeeded. They moved on into the fog, Adam turning around so he could face them, walking backwards.

“Aren’t you worried you’ll bump into something?” Adam turned around and stared ahead into the fog. “Oh yes, this is much better, you’re right, I can see so much more now,” he responded in a mocking tone, turning back around. “We’re in the quad, it’s 100 yards to the dining hall, what’s going to-” his explanation was cut short as he tripped over a fallen tree.

He quickly scrambled to his feet and looked down at the tree. It was evident from the exploded side and scorch marks on it that it had been struck down by lightning the night prior. There had been a terrible storm, and some bolts had come closer than comfort truly allowed.

Paranoia - A short story

On The Grey Flag

The old lady was staring at her. She knew it.

Four months ago, Julia had married the love of her life. Her husband, Mike had just been named head curator at the art museum where he was working in. She was three months pregnant with a boy they would call Joey and after Joey is born she would quit that stressful writing job of hers to be a full-time housewife. Nothing could go wrong in her perfect life.

The day it arrived, Julia and Mike were busy unpacking their luggage from their trip to Venice when the doorbell rang. Julia ran out to get the door and when she opened it and looked down, there it was.

The package was encased by a bubble wrap, with an additional layer of plastic over it. At first glance it was about two feet tall and one foot wide. Julia carried it into the living room and unwrapped it. The rectangular wooden frame in the package was old, but kept in good condition. Flakes of the golden paint that coated it were coming off but it was still a beautiful frame, with very fine carvings of flowers at its corners. But Julia didn’t notice that, her eyes were fixed on the painting in the frame.

It was a portrait of an old lady who looked almost in her eighties. She had a sharp chin and high cheekbones and her pale skin was weathered and covered in wrinkles. The old lady’s graying hair was tied up in a bun and over it she wore a white bonnet. She had a hooked nose, almost too big for her face, with a sharp tip like the beak of a hawk. Below that nose she had very thin and dry lips. The edges of her mouth slanted slightly upward, giving her a smile that looked more like a smirk to Julia.

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