NEW YORK CITY, NY. It was the second week of quarantine. College students, professors, employees, and bosses were adjusting to the new norm of virtual communication. The video conferencing software, Zoom, had never been more popular, but now that the professional world was in people’s homes, eyes could pry.
Co-workers could see each other in their most vulnerable state. Someone could be pulling a Winnie the Pooh and no one would know. And that’s where it all went wrong. This idea that “No one would know what’s going on outside of the camera frame,” revealed a most horrendous crime. Everyone was naïve to think like this, but Erin was specifically the fool in this story.
Erin Canny worked for a startup robotics company named Boop Beep Boop. It was a small business. There were only eight employees on Thursday’s video conference to discuss the company’s progress and goals for the upcoming work week. It was standard enough.
According to Boop Beep Boop workers, Erin had his computer propped up on a kitchen counter while he was explaining how a new investor was interested in funding their upcoming project, End Musk At Dusk, an initiative to destroy billionaire Elon Musk’s career and become the world’s leading engineering company. Everything was going according to plan. World domination was at their fingertips. Until Erin’s fire alarm went off.
The panic set into Erin’s eyes. His co-workers could see it through the low-quality screen. One co-worker, Patty, joked, “You’re not much of a cook are you, Erin? You better call 911 ‘cuz shawty fire burning on the dance floor. Ha-ha, who remembers Sean Kingston?” Nobody moved a muscle. Not even Erin, and he loved Sean Kingston.
After a few more seconds of silence, another co-worker, Sam said, “Hey, buddy. Don’t you want to take care of that? We can’t have a meeting with your alarm going off like that.”
“Oh, yes of course. Just give me a minute,” Erin replied. Beads of sweat were forming on his creased forehead.
Erin slowly got up from his seat and turned to face the oven that was previously blocked by his body on the video chat. He turned back to the computer screen.
“Hey, guys keep talking while I clean this up. I can still hear you,” Erin stammered.
Erin turned back to the oven. The meeting resumed despite the annoying screeching noise coming from Erin’s screen. Boop Beep Boop workers were glancing at Erin’s screen while talking. They saw him walk over to the oven with mitts on his big, hairy hands. He slowly bent down and pulled out a casserole tray that had burnt looking meat sticking out of it. He quickly moved it out of frame, but it wasn’t quick enough.
“IS THAT A HUMAN HAND?” Patty screamed. There was a split second where the casserole tray was exposed, and Patty saw human fingers gripping the edge of the tray. Everyone froze. Erin turned his body ever so slowly back to the camera.
“Oh, this old thing? I was just practicing for the End Musk At Dusk project. I have to make sure I like the taste of human beings before we kill and eat Elon Musk. Otherwise, the plan won’t work.”
“You thought we were going to kill and eat Elon Musk to become the top engineering company?” Sam asked.
“Well… yeah. I guess the cat’s out of the bag. I was slow roasting this bad boy, but human flesh cooks quicker than I thought. I didn’t mean to involve all of you. It was an accident that you saw. The hand was supposed to be nice and tender by the time this meeting was over. I’m sorry, but you guys understand right? Anything for Boop Beep Boop!” Erin said.
Sam replied, “Nope. Not anything. Not fucking murder and cannibalism. What made you think we wanted to have Elon Musk at the next company potluck? You’re insane, man. I’m calling the cops.”
“God damn it not again,” Erin said. “This kind of runs in the Canny family. It’s quite uncanny how no one could guess that my last name is short for Cannibal,” Erin said and winked.
Through Erin’s screen, his co-workers heard the police sirens in the distance.
“Well, we had a good run, guys. Best of luck with everything. I’ll see you all in hell.”
And with that, Erin grabbed the cooked hand, laced his fingers with it’s, and put his arms up to surrender for the police at his door.
Zoom- Saving the world one cannibal at a time.
LTD: Library Rules
Be sure to follow these simple library rules to ensure that you don’t end up victim to some Cthulhoid Lovecraftian nightmare. Because all of those books in one place can only mean one thing – certain doom!
Artwork description: A bloody female face with metallic crystalline eyes stares blankly at you from her strange ensemble of splattered fur trimmed weirdness. She leans against front of an overflowing bookshelf, guarding its contents.
Image text reads: Welcome to the library. Please follow these simple rules to ensure your safety and the well-being of those around you.
1.) Be quiet. the Eldritch horrors are sleeping. Do NOT awaken them. Ever.
2.) Do NOT open any portals to any interdimensional voids while here at the library. Please check out any such books and do so at home at your own risk.
3.) Do NOT recite any spells, hexes, or incantations in any books found herein, even accidentally. Again, do so at home at your own risk if you must do so at all.
4.) Do NOT smile at the librarians under any circumstance. Doing so will invite terror beyond mortal comprehension.
5.) Do NOT burn or deface any of the books. This incites otherworldly wrath.
6.) The library will NOT be responsible should you awaken any Eldritch horrors, open any interdimensional portals, cast any spells, smile at the librarians, or burn or deface any of the books. Any attacks to your person, belongings, soul, or next of kin are solely your responsibility; you are NOT entitled to legal, medical, monetary, spiritual, or any other compensations on behalf of the library or any of its affiliates, either here, extraplanar, and/or beyond.
LTD Dream Subscription Service now available
If the Metaverse isn’t all-encompassing enough for you (or if you simply don’t have the time to join in the fun there), you may want to look into the big new fad on the horizon: Dream Subscription Service. You simply sign up with some of the lesser demon angel types and you’re set. Visions will start coming in your sleep almost immediately.
There are different types of Dream Subscription to sign up for.
You have your surreal shit, the working through things dreams, prophesies, sexual fantasies, night terrors… You name it, they offer it.
There are some caveats, though.
Celebrity appearances are not included in base packages; cameos cost extra depending on demand. Upload speeds may vary depending on location and times spent resting. And Dream Subscription Service will not be held responsible for what you do in your waking hours in response to visions received. Oh, and there is a chance that you might be driven to madness. But just be sure to read all 197 pages of fine print to get all the details worked out for yourself.
How do I sign up?
If you are interested, just repeat the same chant three times before going to bed and a sales rep will visit you in your sleep.
Sign me up now. Sign me up now. Sign me up now.Registration Chant
There may be a waiting list, but they usually tend to get through the queue in a couple of nights. It can be easier signing on as a new Dream Subscription Service client if you sleep at odd hours though. Sometimes it also helps if you write Dream Subscription Service Sign Me Up Now in the steam on your bathroom mirror before going to bed. Or spin backwards in a circle three times while chanting.
Note: Do NOT use Dream Subscription Service if you are currently taking JeeperzCreeperz or have done so any time in the last century. That shit’ll fuck you up.
Also Note: Make sure you are signing up with the one and only original Dream Subscription Service and not one of those knockoff Cthulhu variants. Those are pretty much guaranteed to drive you insane (it’s even in their fine print in Eldritch Horror speak).
And if you really want to know more about a dream you’ve had, consider dream interpretation to get some ideas of possible symbolism. There are several Dream Dictionaries online including this one available through Psychologist World.
LTD: Hookman Insurance Couple Encounters Ghost
So you may remember the couple that won $10.2 million in the Hookman auto insurance settlement awhile back. Well, Haunted MTL’s Lighter Than Dark crossed paths with them again after they were being ghost-ed in their new apartment. And not the kind of ghost-ing where someone who was really into them just stopped engaging, more the kind where supernatural forces are at play. Here’s the scoop on that weirdness.
It appears that the couple had used some of the settlement money to move out and get their own place. They were really level-headed about the whole thing and were thinking about their future together, not just looking to shack up in a party palace.
“My mom was being such a drag after the whole Hookman thing, grounding me and all. She’d been totally cool with our relationship until she found out we were meeting out on Lover’s Lane and the car got all scraped and bloodied up, and then she just kind of flipped out. And then once we got money for the whole ordeal, she was all like wanting help with this or that, buying groceries and crap. So we got ourselves our own apartment,” one interviewee said. “It was great at first but then things got weird.”
The couple, then in their senior year of high school, wouldn’t admit to lying on the lease, but they did state that they weren’t supposed to have pets. Despite the no-pet policy, they brought their cat Cuddles. Cuddles was totally cool and even settled in nicely. But then things changed.
“I think something tipped off our landlord,” the interviewee said. “Apparently the building was part of some estate from some old dead dude. Hell, we’d never even met the guy running it, but he kept things in order and we didn’t have any complaints. But one day Cuddles sneaked out into the hallway when we were bringing in groceries. There was this weird commotion, like some kind of muffled scream from some faraway room down the hall, and we were like the only unit on that floor. After the creepy distant yell, Cuddles darted back in like lightning; she just wasn’t the same.”
It seemed that Cuddles had seen a ghost, and it wasn’t going to leave her alone after the incident. She’d stare into space and get all poofy for no apparent reason at all. She’d cry and whine at all hours of the night. Or she’d leap away from her owner, hissing and acting all terrified. She refused to go into certain rooms and started peeing in different places outside of her litter box. She was totally freaked out.
“It’s like she was being ghost-ed. The poor kitty was never at peace. I’ve had Cuddles since she was a kitten, and this was totally unlike her.” The interviewee continued, “I felt terrible. Something obviously had it out for her and there was nothing we could do about it. We tried cat pheromones, sage, and geomancy; we even got a paranormal expert in to cleanse the place. Nothing helped.”
The interviewee went on, “One day, we were all laid back on the couch smoking some weed with a couple of friends and we just felt everything settle down. Cuddles came and sat on my lap like nothing had ever changed. The whole apartment seemed to breathe a huge sigh of relief. Everything was just… chill…”
According to the couple, it was like the ghost just needed to get high and “calm the f- down”. Perhaps it’s spirits were raised, or it and Cuddles worked something out. But it seems that everything has been all buddy-buddy since, and Cuddles is her happy purring furry-faced feline self again.
Note: this segment came about after I woke from one of the most legit terrifying dreams I’ve ever had, about my current cat Cinderella freaking the hell out in response to some unseen presence that came in on some object I brought home or something. It was totally messed up but fit into that it-could-totally-happen vibe that didn’t feel at all like a dream. This was one of the most twisted nightmare scenarios I’ve had in awhile, and I’m borderline narcoleptic so I’ve had some doozies. Dream experience rated 1 out of 10, would not recommend.
And further note: no cats were harmed or haunted in the making of this story. My cat Major Tom was not distressed in this photo, he was greeting me with a huge yawning stretch as I stumbled up the stairs. It was an impressively big movement at the time and I was glad I was able to capture it on film since Major Tom was always a little camera-shy (he hated the “light/hand-rectangle” because I tended to leave it lying around randomly in the morning when the alarm went off and he had to fetch me to make it stop).