This week’s myserious mis-delivered mail features a linen white business envelope with a folded letter within. There are some adhesive marks on the back which suggest that it may have once been attached to a larger package. No package exists here… just the letter. It reads:
Dear Dr. Still,
Several years ago, a member of our editorial board retained you as a consulting reader for our publishing house. Books to be sent to you would be of mystical or supernatural themes, and over the years we have received many submissions which have been turned down without any need for outside consultation. We’ve received a trio of books recently, however, which we are considering publishing if for no other reason than the recent resurgence in interest in the supernatural. the three books we would like you to review for us are:
Ghost Hoses of New England by Sarah Waterstone. At first we thought it might have been a typo and the author had meant to print houses, but upon review–the author truly intended to mean hoses. The author recounts nearly a hundred unlikely tales of haunted fire hoses, garden hoses, watering hoses, industrial hoses, and even emergency medical hoses. The author covers the several types of hoses being haunted: nylon, rubber, flexible metal sheathing, hydraulic, etc. The book sounds amusing at first, but quickly grows tired as the stories tend to have very little to do with actual hauntings and more with the history of hoses in New England.
Ghost Houses of New England by Bradford Fourly. This seems more like what we’re looking for, but rather than being a collection of stories regarding haunted houses in New England, it’s more about houses which are themselves ghosts. To whit, a house that no longer exists except in some ethereal place of existence. At first this sounds very interesting, but the stories all seem to be related by various patrons of bars and saloons. The stories are transcribed verbatim, so the narratives are difficult to follow and trail off-topic into rants about the government, ex-wives, ex-husbands, and requests for small loans. The interview often ends when the storyteller is rebuffed.
Ghost Hauntings of Nude England by Chauncey Bottomwell. It’s exactly what you expect it to be and really needs no further commentary from us. Normally we wouldn’t consider publishing a book of this nature, but we would like your input to determine if there are perhaps deeper, more meaningful layers to this book.
Finally, you may notice certain similarities in style and titling in these three books. Although each book is purported to be written by a different author, and each submission was sent from a different location (Templar, AZ, Providence, RI, and Exeter, UK specifically), we suspect there may be only one author involved. We have not decided yet if this will affect our editorial decisions, but we felt we should let you know that we are aware of the possibility of a single author.
We’re looking forward to your timely input. Please submit an invoice for your consultation services to our accounts department.
Four Stone Books
Next up is the familiar rag-papered, crimson inked note. Today’s missive reads:
We are making wagers as to the outcome of the events currently occurring beyond the lights.
When the lights go out, it will be time to pay up.
We await your signal.
Today’s link goes to the webcomic Multiplex – a comic about life at a movie theater. It’s a bunch of college-aged kids with crappy theater jobs, but there are some amusing comments on movies and movie-going. It’s not just a straight gag strip, though. There’s story and character development going on, so you will want to read through the archives to maximize the enjoyment of the strip.