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A Warning

This a warning to one and all.

We have fled this place, our ancestral seat since the separation of the five families, and gone north.

If you have any sense in you, you will flee as well.

If you are reading this, son of my father’s brother, I implore you to abandon this place. There will be no harvest. We are no longer here to greet you and will never be again. The land here is still good, the woods and fields bountiful. But this land has fallen and it is no place for man anymore.

Above all I must implore you not to enter the camp near our settlement. Like the fever that comes once a generation and destroys every third child, they came in on a warm, wet wind. They greeted us in the fields, observing no niceties and approaching us directly. We barely managed to cloak our revulsion and address them.

How to describe them…

These men, if they are men, dressed in skins that had been improperly tanned and stank with the heat. They did not lower their voices in respect but shouted and gestured in a manner most threatening. Their speech was like the barking of dogs. We could tell they wanted something from us, from the state of them we guessed it was food. I had the others fetch a small parcel from our store. They seemed grateful and gestured for us to follow, but we waved them away.

They left, but they came back with things. They meant them as gifts, I assumed, as payment for the food. If you had seen them you would have thought them magic. They caught the light like water, yet held their shape. But when one broke it cut sharper than a knife edge. You may still see them if you rummage through the trash heap.

They returned the next day, gesturing for more food. We gave them slightly less, hoping to discourage them from staying. This time they were more insistent that we follow, going so far as to grab the arms of a few men. We assumed they had been without the company of civilized men for some time and overlooked the infraction.

Their camp was as backwards as they. They slept in cloth tents that would give no protection from beasts or rain, and they did not bury their food for safekeeping. Their wives, their poor hideous wives, were bound by so many layers of cloth we saw no way they could be effective helpmeets. The whole camp stank with their bodies.

They entreated us to dine with them and and we agreed. Their food was horrendous, they scorched it on the open flames instead of the coals. When they saw the difficulty we had in eating, some of them laughed. Others were offended. They encouraged us to drink their beverage of choice, a vile brew that tasted of poison. I am sure it was a poison; most of us spat it out immediately to the amusement of our hosts. Those that didn’t were violently ill the next day.

We refused their hospitality from then on.

The intruders no longer hung on our mercies but made themselves known. Our men often ran into their snares, cruel things that gaped like the jaws of an animal, losing toes. The intruders trampled through our fields and over our seedlings. They washed in our spring instead of the lake so the water was not good to drink anymore. And they killed. And ate. They ate indiscriminately of the beasts, even those with foul meat. They did not save but wasted flesh,throwing it just outside their camps as if to invite wolves.

Our breaking point came after weeks of painfully slow gains in communication. They had been hinting at something they wished to share with us. They kept using the words for “sun” and “Birth.”

At last their true nature came out when they invited me into the tent of their own leader. He wore odd, thick clothing that only served to trap the heat and called himself father, though I doubt they were only one family. The leader of the camp described to me a ceremony that froze my blood as I stood.

I will repeat his words for your here, so that you will know why we fled, and that you may flee in turn.

He spoke of a ritual they undertook every seven days, wherein they took in a young man deemed blessed by the leader. They ate of his flesh and drank of his blood and spoke of it not with shame and fear, as those stranded by cold will when they must eat their bretheren, they spoke as if sharing a gift with us. They pointed repeatedly to their alter, which my horrified eyes realized looked more like a skinning rack than anything sacred.

I managed to still my heart enough that they could not see my fear. I gathered my family that night and we packed up to flee.

All this was terrible yet, but if you could have seen them! White! White as any demon, and their flesh burned red in the sun as if they were not meant to walk in daylight.

We will go north and pray that nothing follows us.


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Dig at Nemdal

Hello Timothy. I hope this letter finds you well and that your trip has been a pleasant one. I’ll assume that Alex has been more than forthright in welcoming you to the dig. Please indulge an intellectual’s quirk for a moment and dismiss him before reading further.

Right, getting down to business: I hope I didn’t worry you unduly when I wired you, but we are in a very unusual quandary here.

I believe I told you we were out here for a minor dig, correct? We were looking for traces of a Semitic peoples who occupied the area around 930 b.c.e. It was Joseph who found the first artifact.

Let me warn you right here and now: touch nothing in storage. I don’t know whether physical contact is needed or merely observing an object is enough, but for the love of Yahweh avoid the artifacts at all costs. If you have already been forced to observe one on your way in(and I strongly suspect you have) then you will begin to see what I mean.

It all began with one artifact. An earthenware ewer that would be completely unremarkable if not for the fact that it bore characteristics completely alien to any civilization of the area. Then we found a small box fashioned of bronze, in the shape of a beetle unknown to man. Then a series of clay tablets depicting scenes of daily court life. One after the other, we experienced an unprecedented flood of artifacts.

I think you can foresee where this went wrong. Around the time we found the royal regalia, we realized how out-of-place it all was. What we found suggested a great civilization, far greater than the area could have supported, completely absent from written history. There were semiprecious gems that weren’t found anywhere near this part of the world, along with various objects that served no logical purpose. All this, I think, was merely bait to get us to indulge our curiosity further.

I beg you to keep reading, Timothy. You are my friend, my very dear friend, and I must plead your mercies for just a while longer.

The Kingdom of Nemdal has never been listed in any history book, tome, scroll, or genealogical record. For good reason; it can’t be any older than three weeks. And yet the further we dug, the further back it went, until we found  sophisticated Iron Age-style tools in what should have been a Stone Age strata.

Then we found the written records. And conveniently, we found several pieces written in multiple languages that could serve as a cipher.

Imagine an epoch utterly separate from everything else in Antiquity. A time owing nothing to the logical progression of history. Imagine a parasite-reality not strong enough to support itself, so it must latch onto another, more self-sufficient system.

This is the ludicrity I must impress upon you now, Timothy. This civilization did not exist until we had discovered it, and it kept growing after we found it. Perhaps all this time it had been dormant in the desert, squatting like a toad at the bottom of a well. We found it and showered it with attention,and it has unfolded like an Anastatica in the rain.

Did you, perchance, notice the road signs on the way in? They weren’t bilingual when we arrived. The characters you saw don’t have a relative in Hebrew, Parsee, or Arabic. The locals now speak it as a quaint throwback, something their grandfathers taught but was once the lingua franca.

Timothy, you brought the itinerary with you, correct? Check it. It’s probably been outside the sphere of influence long enough that it’s still correct. Look at it.

Do you see any Alex at all, let alone Alyx Grytck? He said he grew up in the US, yet his parents emigrated in the 80’s. The implications of that are staggering, Timothy. If it’s extended into the postindustrial world, who knows what the damage could be? Helena tried out what appeared to be a small autoharp and got her fingers mangled for her trouble. We were never able to extract that pipe from Hayward’s body, even after he died.

Yes, died, Timothy. I would not have called if it weren’t urgent. Think me mad, think me insane with the desert heat, but can you remember a program of Nemdalic studies at the University?

It might be too late. I might be sending out the last light of a dying star, but you can’t let it get a foothold in our world. Please for the love of—


The preceding document was found sealed in a canteen at approximately __latitude and __longitude in the ______Desert. No record of an archaeological expedition dispatched from ______ University has ever been found, nor of Professor ______, the alleged author of the text. Timothy Barnes, Professor Emeritus of Languages, is currently missing, presumed dead.

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Scavenger Hunt


Note 1

Hey cutie!!!! Rise and shine sleepyhead, it’s time for a game!!!

The cup on this note is your half-caf, no foam, splenda sweetener(hope you still like it that way, lol) Drink it all up, you’ll need all your brainpower this morning, because I’ve arranged a SCAVENGER HUNT!

Take a sip.

Good, now that you’re all caffeinated, here’s your first clue:

Red, white, and blue, where you said you loved me true, I bear-ly remember the view.

Note 2

Yay, you got it!!! Remember our third date at this build-a-bear workshop? I was so sad about losing my childhood Mr. Tibbles that you said you’d give him back to me? AND YOU DID!

Doin great babe!!! Now go to the place where we first kissed!!!!

Note 3

Oh good, you remembered. I was half afraid you’d go to the pond where we spread the picnic blanket. That was NOT our first kiss, lol. Since you’re so good at remembering dates, go to the church that has the same name as our anniversary.

Note 4

If you’re reading this at Our August Lady of the Dawn, you got it wrong. Don’t worry, I didn’t leave a note at the other church. I knew it was too much to hope that you remembered our real anniversary. DECEMBER, Michael.

It’s ok, dates are for history classes . lol, now go to the pet shop for a different kind of kitty cover…

Note 5

Surprisies! You said I looked great in these, so I figured you should have them. Maybe she can wear them, too. Or is her ass smaller?

Anyway, go down to Coco Rancho for another kitty surprise.

Note 6


Bet you weren’t expecting THAT, were you? I’m surprised too. It’s amazing I even got him here, he wouldn’t let me near him. I’ll bet my arm is scratched up worse that your back right now, lol.

Funny story, I just meant to tie him here and leave him, but he wouldn’t stop meowing, and I guess I don’t know my own strength…

Oh well, I guess you can get a new cat now, too.

WHOOPSY! Forgot to give a clue!!

Go to that whore’s house.

Note 7

Don’t tell me there was nothing going on between you and Stephanie. I don’t care that she has a girlfriend, that didn’t stop YOU now did it?!!!

Go to our storage unit.

Note 8

See? SEE?!!! It’s EVERYTHING we shared over our years together, every. Single. Piece. Of. Paper. From our relationship. SEE how much it is? And you want to throw all this away? There’s YEARS here, experiences, happy times!!!! Weren’t you happy? Iwas.

Last step, stretch. Go to my apartment. I know you still have your keys.

Note 9


I made sure to do it like someone else did it, and now your prints are EVERWHERE HOMIE!! I bet you even picked up that knife too, stupid shit. Too bad you don’t have a girlfriend to tell you it’s a bad idea to walk into an unlit apartment. I hope they throw the book at you asshole, I hope you get 95 for murder and some ripped prison dude makes YOU do anal on the first date. You fucker, you fucker

The preceding series of notes were found in anarchal order after the discovery of a lone female, age 24, lying dead in her apartment. Police were tipped off to the body’s location after neighbors complained about the smell emanating from the domicile. There was no sign of anyone but the occupant in the apartment.

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Please keep reading.

This isn’t a joke. This isn’t a prank.

Don’t be afraid. Just look. Listen.

I was born not too far from here, the middle child of a well-to-do family.

I had a nondescript childhood for a few years before my younger sister was born and sucked all the air out of the house. She would need constant supervision for the rest of her life, her existence gave my parent’s lives meaning. My brother’s achievements gave them pride. I could offer them nothing except mediocrity, and so was left to my own devices much of the time. The tragedy and the glory of it was that I never would have made my most important discovery if I did not have long stretches of facetless time to myself.

It happened gradually, perhaps over a period of months even more faceless than me. Most children are permitted the luxury of nyctophobia, I was never allowed a nightlight or any sort of bedtime fuss. I coped by letting my eyes adjust to the dark until I could pick out the shapes of furniture in my room. It was just a way to occupy my mind until sleep took me, I didn’t think it remarkable or odd that some of the shapes I could make out disappeared in the daylight.

It wasn’t until the night I got up to use the bathroom and had to move a heavy oblong object that was blocking my door that I noticed something off. It felt completely unlike anything I had in my room just then, a stony, smooth texture that was cool to the touch. It was in my quest to ask my parents what it was that I found that it wasn’t just that objects appeared to me in the dark. When the door to their room creaked open, I saw their bed—empty. The same with my sister’s, her harness straps still buckled.

Perhaps a normal child would have felt a panic unlike any other, but after a lifetime of being alone I did not have the strongest sense of reality.  I thought that returning to bed and sleeping might bring about the return of my family—and it did. The morning light revealed my doorway empty of any obstruction, my family all bustling about their daily activities.

I asked them once—just once—about the night things. My mother seemed about to embark upon some condescending monologue of childhood imagination, but my sister began choking on her applesauce and her thoughts scattered like birds before a tractor.

Suffice to say, once I discovered a world empty of anyone but me, I attempted to explore it. One of the first things I discovered was that the dark world had no concept of “outside”—my front door led to a vast hall, and from that, cubicle offshoots. My second was that there were no sources of light within this world, there were shapes of the lamps in our house, but these were merely composed of solid structures and served no functional purpose.

It seems logical that I began to grow into myself after this. I was already a nonentity in school, now I began to recede from even my casual acquaintances.  I did not suffer from lack of sleep, though that was the reason the principle used, but lack of interest. Once you discover a world unique to you, everyone else’s reality falls by the wayside.

I did not complete the tenth grade. My father halfheartedly threatened to send me to a psychologist, but my sister’s pancreas had been going through complications and the tide of attention turned yet again. My brother had left the house ages ago, working on a medical degree halfway across the country. I decided to make my exit as well, getting a low-paid security job at a department store. Night watchman.

Even the most strict teetotaler will tell you, once temptation has been bowed to, it gets increasingly difficult to ignore.  It was all too easy to turn off my flashlight and wander through new spaces. Only once was I close to being caught: when I turned my flashlight on again I was in a space I could not possibly have accessed. I did not have a key for the door, which was locked from the outside anyway. The district manager gave me an odd look, but since my entrance did not register on the hall camera they were forced to vindicate me.

I was so swamped with the joy of freedom that I did not notice the problem until, perhaps, the point of no return.

Daylight began to dim. I blamed the changing seasons, until the day I missed a traffic light due to my fading vision. The company sent me to an eye doctor, who found nothing especially odd about my vision. I hadn’t the heart to tell him that I could see the numbers perfectly in the half-dark, only that I could not detect the change when he switched the lights back on.

I feared the worst. Was my lifestyle giving me some strange new disease? If it were discovered, and ultimately linked to my little world, would it be torn open for discovery? The fear of losing my reality was greater than losing my sight, so I tried to hide it. Navigation in daylight was nearly impossible, so I did what errands I could under cover of darkness.

Then the last, and worst, problem presented itself.

I was walking along the bedding department when I noticed the path above me narrowed into a hallway. The bedding department was open on all sides, in fact the only hallway in the store led to the manager’s office. Fearing the worst, I tried to turn back and found myself on a plain that very nearly resembled the hardware section.

For the very first time in my life I panicked. I ran, calling, switching on my flashlight, to no avail. I could find only spaces from the dark world, nothing familiar from my daily life.

You may have read the headline: “STORE NIGHT WATCHMAN DISSAPEARS, LEAVES NO TRACE.” I had left plenty of evidence of my arrival at work, nothing of my leaving. The store’s manager attested to my work ethic, but puzzled at my erratic behavior. I’ll be forever thankful that he didn’t imply drugs were involved. I had not taken anything. I was just simply not there.

You may wonder what happened after that. Well, I thought I had found my way back to the usual rooms. But I could no longer return. Switching my flashlight on and off did nothing, and eventually I left it somewhere. I found not only the department store, but the rooms of my childhood home and school. All empty. And that’s where I’ve been until now.

You’ll forgive my errors, I’m not used to keyboards. That was a very long time ago, though I have nothing to measure time against. I have simply had time to ponder if the two spaces can’t somehow connect in another way, if the one can’t affect the other. Which led me here.

I don’t know you, I can’t see you and you can’t see me.  I simply picked a room at random and started typing. The machine isn’t even connected on my end, and I can’t read the screen. I just keep typing in the hope that you’ll read this and somehow know what to do.

Because I’ve been in here alone for so long.

But now I think there’s something in here with me

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Dear Louise

My once-dear Louise,

How have you been? I ask this even though I know you don’t give a damn how I am, because I guess I’m still a little in love with you, even after the shit you pulled.

Where to start? Well, I knew in my heart of hearts when we started dating that it was a doomed romance from the start. My friends only rated you a 5, and only that much because you were with me. I normally go for prettier, thinner girls, but I took you to be a kindred soul, and I guess on the surface you were. But a mutual love of chicken alfredo, corgies, and Tarantino movies is no basis for a strong relationship. I was willing to hack it, even as you abandoned me for your work, your lovely family(whom never liked me) and your bitchy friends (who talked shit about you every time you left the room just fyi.)

But I digress. This isn’t about your lack of commitment or selfish devotion to everyone but me. This is about your unrealistic expectations. I’m a man, Louise. M-A-N man. I’m an individualist, and my first instinct when ordered to do something is to disobey it. So what the hell did you expect when you told me not to touch that fucking space rock? You know what I’m like, and if I didn’t know any better I’d say you wanted me to touch it, like that weird reverse-psychology trip you lay on me every time we go out.

I don’t know what you were taught growing up, but it was my understanding that relationships take work. You don’t just drop your boyfriend of six whole months the second he gets some weird alien sickness, that makes you look like a coldhearted bitch. Even if that night had been going pretty well (and believe me, it hadn’t) it really went downhill when you went all crazy and started screaming in my face. I know I’m not some buff alpha jerk with a six-pack and I know I was all covered with unidentifiable black crap that jumped off the meteor, but you could show a little class. Were you even thinking about how I felt?

Also, it was a huge blow to my self-esteem when you pulled away from sex later that night. That horrible growth hadn’t even reached my crotch by then, you hypocrite. I don’t burst out crying when you whip out your thing, and believe me it hasn’t always been all sparkles and sunshine. I realize my personal hygiene, even before all this, left a little something to be desired. But how do you expect a man constantly leaking black ichor to “wipe properly”? What is your deal with hygiene anyway? We’re clearly dealing with some unresolved issues, here.

I feel like I’ve been very understanding in the past of your little “moods” but for you to turn around and decide not to tolerate my screaming spells is just the height of hypocrisy. Why should a man who doesn’t smoke, doesn’t drink, never hit you suddenly become intolerable because he screams gibberish at random intervals? You tell me the words feel like someone “rubbing a rough hand over your brain,” how the hell do you think I feel when you listen to Bjork records at all hours of the night? That, and the way you say the necklace I made you gives you “nightmares” makes me think thou a bit oversensitive, milady.

And another thing, the gagging when I take my shirt off? Has to stop. PRONTO. I know my dick fell off a while ago, but goddamn it I’m still a man, a man with needs, and last time I checked you were still a woman. Let’s face it, you aren’t getting any younger, and I doubt you’ll meet anyone who wants to see those sagging teats teeming with brood as much as me. It’s all yGudluh get from someone of my caliber, trust me.

I know your girlfriends are showing their teeth and claws, trying to hook you up with some white trash loser who wears aviator shades, but he doesn’t know how you crack your knuckles or fart in your sleep. He doesn’t know you well enough to see you floss and not get repulsed by it, and maybe you’ll be able to hide your tytg side for a while. But I promise you, he’ll fn’sdr out sooner or later. Then who’ll be crying on the phone to chchüdh in the middle of ifphrt’t while eating a bucket of ice cream? All this pthïun ckryzk about nothing makes you hdr’k rchal when you jum’daal ftangui iä ruk dhu.

Look, in spite of how immature you’ve acted, I’m still willing to give you a chance. Wait out by the observatory with that green stone necklace on and prepare to be inseminated. I’ll do things to you that will make you insane.

Yours again(hopefully!)


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So, dude, if you’re reading this it means I didn’t make it home, and I probably won’t ever again. Don’t let that bum you out, because I’m totally ready for it. But whoa, don’t relax just yet, because there’s still a lot to do.

First thing: get out of the house. Don’t take your Xbox, you should only carry the things you really need and I will pimp-slap you from beyond if you try to haul that hunk of shit with you. Take my car. If someone asks for you to give them a ride—don’t. I don’t care what excuses you use, even if you don’t say anything and just peel out of there, let nobody but you inside that car.

Go to J street. Pick up my dry cleaning. That’s not part of it but it’s still important.

Now go to that bodega we got really good weed at that one time (not the Gentleman Astronaut, the White Widow.) Remember the dude with the milky eye? He’s got something in his freezer for you. Don’t let him try to pawn the orange-blackberry sherbet off on you, that’s been in there since last December. Take the bottle and put it in the glove compartment

Now drive up to 4371 Harstadt ave. and ring apartment #6. They’ll buzz you in. DON’T GO UP. Take the oldest newspaper off the pile in the front room—I think it’s March—and go back to the car. If there’s a homeless dude waiting by it, give it to him. If not then drive down to the park fountain and give him the paper, that picture of your sister, & exactly 95 cents in change. No pennies. He’ll give you a box. That won’t be the It, but you shouldn’t open it anyway.

Now drive down to E-dog’s and park out by the shed. Throw the box out as far as you can. Wait ten seconds. Someone will throw a rock at your head. Pick it up and look at it. If it’s a plain rock-looking rock you’re screwed, put your head between your legs and kiss your ass goodbye. But if it’s all pretty and got those bluey-purply veins running through it, you’re gold.

Get back in the car, drive home, and park on top of Epcott’s begonias. That’s not specifically part of it, I just don’t like that guy. Walk out as far as you can. You should hit a church before too long. That rock in your pocket?  Kill a pigeon with it. It might take a couple of tries, but you’ll get it. Take that bird and pull its guts out. They should form a pattern like some guy’s face. He has It.

Okay, these next few steps are crucial. Find that guy. He should be at Briona’s party tonight. If you did everything right, you should get there just before he does. Hide somewhere and wait. And dude, I’m really sorry, but you have to kill him. He’ll beg for his life—believe me he will—but don’t worry, as loud as he gets no one can hear you. Do it quick and don’t worry about the mess, you’re past all that now. Take everything he has, keys, wallets, toothpick, EVERYTHING. Search his shoes just to be on the safe side.

Now look to your right. There should be a door where there wasn’t one before. Go through it. You should be in a vacant lot. If not, I’m sorry dude but you’re about to die a painful death and I did sleep with Mandy. If you are in the lot, there should be something indescribably horrible in front of you. Pay it no mind, you don’t bother him, he won’t bother you.

Go over to the little nest made out of old car parts and shit. There It is. Don’t look at it. Pick it up. Don’t look at it. Is it still breathing? If it is you need to scoop up one of the car batteries lying around and bash its brains in. Don’t worry, it’s easier the second time.

If you’re done, turn left and start walking. You should reach the top of a little hill before too long. Once your brain stops screaming you’ll see a bigger version of that thing, miles and miles high, leaking black ichor and making a sound like a thousand teeth in a glass jar. Don’t worry about those things coming towards you, if you act quickly they won’t get you. Uncap the bottle. Drink. I know what it smells like, but you have to do it.

After you finish you should feel a bolt of cold running through you, and it’ll start feeling like your guts are trying to jump out your asshole. Don’ panic, don’t worry, stay still, your skin will turn black but don’t pitch a bitch fit, stay in place.

Now comes the hard part… (highlight to read)

I’m sorry dude, I tried not to lie, but I guess I made you feel like you’d come out of this unscathed. You won’t. On the underbelly of that horror are a thousands pits, embedded in each of those pits up to their necks are people. I’ll be in one. You’ll be in another. And I’m sorry, so sorry you can’t even imagine, but you’ve trusted me this far and I want you to trust me for a little longer when I say this: the alternative was worse.

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RE: Mr. Hammond

To: the employees of Nifty’s Coffee, 1st floor

RE: Mr. Hammond

ATTN all employees:

It has come to our attention that a few of you have been having problems with garbage detail, so I will restate this in memo form:

DO NOT open the side door, back door, maintenance door, fire escape door, 1st floor bathroom window, 2nd floor bathroom window, or engage the exhaust fans when Mr. Hammond is in sight.

Mr. Hammond DOES NOT know any of your relatives, alive or dead. He never served with your father, did not date your mother, and whenever your grandparents died, I’m quite sure he was not present.

DO NOT make eye contact with Mr. Hammond. If he should appear before the double-front doors, alert a senior staff member to the situation, keeping Mr. Hammond in sight at all times by his  reflection in a carafe. Nifty’s Coffee and by extension CitiCorp are exempt from all responsibility should you choose to disobey. (and no whining, check your employee waivers)

If you are outside when a sighting is made, make your way carefully to any nearby trash receptacle and seek shelter. DO NOT offer Mr. Hammond a cigarette should he ask for it, and for the love of all that is holy DO NOT offer to light it for him.

If Mr. Hammond pays a compliment to any individual body part, IMMEDIATELY run said part under cold water if possible, and enlist the aid of a fellow employee to douse it with the “special” fire extinguisher. You know the one. Failing that, a bath of 50% nondairy creamer/50% caustic soda should stave off any ill effects until you can be attended to. DO NOT substitute dairy for this process. If creamer is unavailable, the spittle of a windblown virgin may be substituted. (this means YOU Kevin)

Cleaning shifts will be done in pairs from now on, preferably by twins, preferably by identical twins. Should Mr. Hammond make off with your sibling, Nifty’s Coffee will compensate with up to two week’s paid personal leave. Any employee suspected to be harboring fetus in fetu will be asked to leave immediately.

If any dairy dispenser should spontaneously fill with blood and/or human bile, simply empty it into the nearest sink and get an empty from behind the counter. DO NOT contact the health department, at least until the agent who touched Mr. Hammond stops vomiting bees.

Finally, and this should really be unnecessary by now, Mr. Hammond must never be let inside. Ever. Fully ¾ of the Wik ‘r Basket across the street is uninhabitable, and we at Nifty’s would like to keep up our proud tradition of quality coffee and low 34% employee mortality rate.

Remember, if you feel yourself becoming sympathetic to his plight in any way, or start hearing voices in your head that do not belong to you, we at Nifty’s are here for you. Don’t be afraid to approach us with any problems/queries/hellish visions of the future, at any time. Discount any feelings of empathy arising towards Mr. Hammond because, whatever he was, Mr. Hammond is no longer human.

Thank you and please forward any questions about paychecks to Barb before 5:00.

—The Management

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