HFTH - Episode 69 - Angles



Content warnings for this episode include: Animal death (Heidi as usual), Car Wrecks, Kidnapping and abduction, Death + Injury, Birds, Static (including sfx), Emotional Manipulation



Intro - All The Wrong Shapes

You are all the wrong shapes, ill-fitted to life in a physical world. You are clumsy in your movements, and never feel at rest—the dimensions above and below you each bring unbidden weight and form, try to confine you within the irritable bounds of geometry. You are neither symmetrical nor graceful, sensible nor aligned, and you crawl through space as a tesseract of form, recurving fractals bent into linear strings, alone in the universe.


So you thought. But then you laid eyes on another. And they, too, were not arranged in neat patterns or whole or clean, but they are beautiful nonetheless, all the fragments of spacial numbers that comprise them part of a heavenly equation. You see no wrong in them, and they are the same as you. You are not symmetrical, but mirrored, and in your embrace you find yourself complete, the caves and vexes of your forms unified. Hello, from the worlds out of space I have wandered, you say. They reply, hello from the Hallowoods.


Theme.


Right now, I’m standing beside a grackle. It’s a huge, iridescent bird, as black as the void and as colorful as all that will fall into it. Although it perches in an impossible space, somewhere above the rafters, it stares down at a woman, and she stares back. The theme of tonight’s episode is Angles.



Story 1 - First Year Flashbacks

Violet’s rocking chair had worn grooves across the floor of the Scoutpost infirmary, and continued now to carve the boards near the back corner bed where Bern lay. She had scarred in particular the floor by this bed. There was the incident in which Bern had been shot in the shoulder by an early year warband, she had been stabbed with a froglin spear coated with something toxic, and she had fallen down a rampart while doing shingle repairs one summer.


But Bern had never plummeted quite so far, or been quite as brittle, as now, and so Violet rocked more urgently than usual.


“Stupid bird,” Bern muttered under her breath. “Shoo.”


“You’re awake,” Violet said, and squeezed Bern’s hand. Bern returned the gesture, but did not open her eyes or say anything more. Violet did not dare move her much, for fear of straining the ribs and arm currently bandaged.


Violet blinked away tears, and smiled. Bern was going to be alright. At least she would have that one constant, the most important one, as she dealt with the rest of the Scoutpost’s troubles. And it would have to be her, really, because Bern wasn’t going to be stomping around giving orders anytime soon.


“How’s she lookin’?” a voice said behind her, and Violet stilled her chair as Virgil walked in. The Scoutpost’s own Trailblazer had his silver hair tied back, and his yellow jacket was rumpled around his shoulders. He carried three mugs of coffee with a careful balance.


“I think she’s pulling through,” Violet said, accepting a cup. Virgil placed one on the bedside stand, as though it was incense on an altar to bring back Bern’s spirit.


“Good, good,” Virgil said, and pulled up a chair, careful not to disturb the other scouts sleeping in the curtained partitions beyond. The collapse of the Lurch Lake Gate had not been without a host of injuries.


“How are things looking out there?” Violet said.


Virgil was quiet for a moment, staring at the floorboards.


“That bad, huh?” Violet said.


“Not that bad,” Virgil said, and rubbed at his crooked grey eyebrows. The spurs on his boots jingled a little on the floor. “People are down, is all. It’ll take us a week, two weeks to fix the wall, working fast as we can. In the meantime, losing the outer garden is a hit to our food stock—we’ve sent weapons off to the Fort Freedom people, and a heck of a lot of our fuel with Riot and them. We’re not in great shape, and the frogs know it as well as we do, I’d bet.”


“Reminds me of our first winter,” Violet said.


“I think we’re still better off now,” Virgil said, and sipped steaming ichor from his cup.


“How are you holding up?” Violet said, taking a drink of her own. The mug was Scoutpost made; a badger’s friendly face was sculpted into the side.


“You know me,” Virgil said. “Tough as a tin-iron cup. Still gives me pause just how odd things have gotten. You know? We all get together with a whole lotta who-knows-whats and killed a music man this spring. There’s a buncha dead people walking around the Scoutpost at all hours. And my son says he’s getting terrorized by a ghost during class. Seems like these Fort Freedom people are a lot more no-nonsense. More like we used to be.”


“Do you think they’re bringing that muscle they promised?” Violet said. “If they’d only been here yesterday.”


“Can’t say either way,” Virgil said, and scratched at his five-o-clock shadow. “What I can say? I don’t know how well they’ll like our dead guests, or buddy there in the lake, or the other spooky stuff we deal in. And if it comes down to a choice? I just want you to do what you think is best for our folks. Because whatever happens, I’ll be beside ya.”


“Of course,” Violet said. The sleeping Bern rustled slightly. “These ‘mendies’ have been helping make things easier, I think—where they can. But I wonder…”


There was ringing, then, from outside, a familiar sound that Violet had begun to dread.


“Not again,” she whispered.


“That’s our cue,” Virgil sighed, rolling out of the chair to his feet and depositing his cup before dashing for the door. Violet gave Bern a quick kiss on the forehead.


“Stay safe, Bernie bear,” she whispered, and followed for the door. It could be the return of the Froglins, here for a final invasion, she thought. She did not dare to hope it was Fort Freedom. And yet, it seemed, as she stepped into the daylight people were not gathering for the Lurch Lake gate, but rather at the other end of the Scoutpost—the forest entrance.


One of the McGowan boys was scaling down a lookout nest ladder, Al’s red drum strapped to his side.


“Coming up from the road!” Russell called.


“Big and ugly!” a whisper in Violet’s ear said.


“Here in a minute!” Russell continued.


“A million billion teeth!” Al said.


“It’s Big Mikey!” Russell finished.


A mixture of emotions found their way through Violet—relief that it was not the froglins, not yet, but Big Mikey’s visits brought their own dangers.


“Thank you… both,” she called. “I want combat scouts at ready. Wait for me to open the gates!”


Look at me, barking orders, she thought, and hurried through her room to collect a couple of books before rushing for the front gate.


As it swung open, Big Mikey was closer than she preferred, standing in the field of tree stumps and destroyed gardens that made up their outer grounds. He was as tall as the young pines, eyes glinting green in gnarled sockets, and a cluster of his bedraggled hounds clustered around his gigantic feet.


“Do you need any dogs?” he said.


She glanced across the clearing, a diplomat’s calculation running in her head. Each step towards the chaos of this place was a step away from the life they’d known, and possibly away from their new allies.


And yet, who had been there for them this far? Hadn’t they come to this far northern place, horizons distant from their own lives, to build something of their own? A home, whatever we want it to be. She sighed, and shook her head, and smiled up at the giant, palms raised.


“Big Mikey? I think we’re going to need more than dogs.”



Interlude 1 - Dreams In The Mathematician's House

There is nothing so full of witchcraft and mischief as geometry. Indeed, some of the first to be known as witches among you were simply gifted mathematicians, who by equation and elaborate chalk diagram could find the weak points in reality, the conjunctions of its solid planes, and step through the corners.


This did not make them popular at school, but it did open up doors in the study of arcane science, and you see these principles in effect across the Hallowoods—in the doorways that do not open to their intended destinations, in those who seem to appear one moment and are gone the next, and even in the landscape, for the Shuddering Peaks of the Northmost woods are geographically improbable.


Mountains cannot move.


Forests cannot stretch out across wetland and deep arctic ocean.


And yet, with math, all things are possible. We go now to one who knows this kind of math well.



Story 2 - Vanished All Too Soon

The Countess had, for about a hundred years after becoming immortal, been prone to anxiety and exultation about the future in equal turn. Her moods had shifted rapidly, and all around her knew the effects of her despondence or decadence.


For about a hundred years after that, she’d gone through a revelation—that no matter what happened, she would be alright, as long as she kept her wits about her and didn’t run willy-nilly into the daylight or announce herself to every group of disgruntled patriarchs. She was a stone tower in the lightning storms of life, and if she bided her time, all would pass.


And in all centuries up until the last, she’d made a policy of not allowing anyone too terribly close to her still heart, because they vanished all too soon and took little pieces of her soul with them, and eternity was a long time coming.


This, then, is why she was calm, even cordial as she sat at Barb’s desk in his cluttered office, and prepared to deal with his kidnapping. On his desk, she’d collected twenty-three of his cards from the floor of the hotel, the pattern of each glinting with the fire of souls contained within.


Dimes arrived a moment later, shining like fine swiss crystal, and the Quilt drifted in behind, skeletal feet never quite touching the ground.


“Thank you both for coming,” she said.


“We should be chasing them right now,” Dimes said.


“This is what we’re here to discuss,” the Countess said, and as the last trailing ribbons of decayed flesh and fabric fluttered in, she lifted a hand. The door slammed shut and locked.


“What is there to ‘discuss’?” Dimes said, glancing at the handle. “Our friend is in trouble. Who knows what that Rick Rounds is doing to him.”


“I have a feeling Barb has gotten himself in trouble,” the Countess frowned, and let a hint of shadow creep into her eyes. “And Barb is rarely alone in his little schemes.”


The Quilt’s toothy jaw dropped open, a question washing over the Countesses’ mind like static.


“I do suspect it’s one of you,” she said. “Mx. Morrell is away, Ricou doesn’t work here anymore, and Zorgelleck I trust.”


The Quilt made a noise like grinding stone, and the Countesses’ head swam again with images and sensations—flying over the forest canopy, pulling the soul out of a lone traveller in the Northmost, lurking in the atmosphere high over the shuddering peaks where voices and whispers and songs crackled in the starlight.


“Thank you Quilt,” she said. “I assume that to mean you’ve had nothing to do with Barb this week.”


The Quilt’s somber head tilted forwards slightly. The Countess turned her eyes to Dimes, who avoided her gaze. The crystalline bartender seemed small compared to the growing darkness in each corner of the room.


“Dimes?” she said.


“What have you been doing?” Dimes piped up at last; there was only a banker’s lamp of light for them to reflect. “Maybe you’re the one all tangled up in Barb’s business.”


The Countess smiled in shock.


“Dimes my darling, are you calling me a liar?”


She did not rise from her seat; merely lunged out with one of the massive batlike hands that formed her wings, an outstretched arm from her waist. Dimes struggled against the wall, scraping a dart board and a signed portrait of Elvis off to the ground.


“You may not have blood to drink, but I’m certain I can find some way to crack you. Would you like me to try? Or are we going to be honest with one another?”


“It was me,” Dimes said, hands glowing with an ultraviolet light. She dropped them, lest they scatter half the office to far-off dimensions.


“Thank you for being so forthcoming,” the Countess nodded. “What have you done?”


“I don’t know the full story,” Dimes said, touching their neck as if checking for chips in the crystal. “I handle Barb’s finances. That’s the way he puts it. The souls he uses to fuel this place—I helped him save them. Hide them from his employers, at first, and later help him now. He came to me a few days ago and said that he had a new deposit; a trove from Polly to store. I don’t know how long it was here before I took it for safekeeping, but I suppose this Rick caught sight of it and followed the light.”


“Why does Barb have Polly’s currency?” the Countess said, folding her wing to rest against her shoulder again, half of a velvet cloak. Her stomach churned with disappointment; of course he’d turn on his own for a little profit. And yet, she thought, what does that mean for Polly? What does that mean for the wolf?


“I don’t know how he got it,” Dimes said. “I mean that. But he seemed nervous about what you might think, perhaps.”


“As he should,” the Countess said. “You never stopped to think you might be doing something illicit?”


“I trust Barb,” Dimes said. “Also, I don’t appreciate your throwing me around. It really upsets me.”


“I’m sorry,” the Countess sighed. “Old habits.”


The Quilt unhinged its jaw; another question.


“Yes,” the Countess said. “One way or another, I suppose we should give chase.”



Marketing - Honing Your Pitch

Lady Ethel: Welcome back to Marketing with Lady Ethel Mallory. Today we’re talking about your pitch. All too often, I see young marketers charging out into the world, emboldened by the fire of their mission, and they shout their message to the world.


We have a great product!


And silence follows, perhaps a few likes at best. Cold outreach does the same. Excuse me, madame, do you have a moment? I’d like to talk to you about our solutions.


Solutions to what? To what? You cannot provide solutions if you have not heard their problems! Marketing is not a one-way shouting competition. It is a gentle, sensual mutual exchange. Listen to the needs of your target audience and do what you must to please them. The solutions you provide must be perfectly matched to their pain.


This is why you do not ask to take—five minutes, the end of an ad, a moment of your time—but rather, ask what you can give. That is how you build a pitch that means something, that will stand out from the desperate crowd around you…



Story 2, Continued - Vanished All Too Soon

Who takes these classes?


Whoever is sitting out there in the Botulus Corporation's marketing department, listening to this kind of programming, you have my condolences. How did they pitch becoming a marketer to you, I wonder?


We return now to the Countess.


The Countess flew through shadow, wings slicing through the void like nine-foot knives. It was cool against her skin, the world where she belonged more than anywhere. But if there was one other home she could claim, beyond the ruins of her old chateaus, it was a garish hotel that sat alone in the wetlands on the border of eternity.


There was a glimpse of light in her hand, distorted images courtesy of the Quilt. Always the best tracker, it had found Barb. She gathered her wings around her and peeled out of the shadow a moment later, stepping out into the light. She gathered her wings at her shoulders, allowed them to drape over her like a cloak, a hood of her multi-jointed thumbs keeping the light away from her face.


The Quilt hovered a few feet over the sodden grass, and beside its skeletal form there was a smoldering convertible. Cherry, Barb’s treasured ride, with a scraped front fender and a message carved into the paint of the hood.


There was a momentary, painful flash of beyond-colors as a hound the size of a campervan emerged from dimensions far beyond New York, and Dimes hopped down from its back, straightening a crystalline bow tie.


“What is this?” the Countess said, stalking towards the abandoned vehicle. The grass around its empty wheelhouses still smoldered with former flame.


‘DO NOT FOLLOW’, the message carved in the hood said. ‘I WILL KILL HIM’.


“What do you make of that?” said the Countess, fixing her hair with one of her still-human hands.


“I’m not sure,” Dimes said. “Is it, ‘do not follow, I’m going to kill him and there’s no point’?”


“I think it’s supposed to be, ‘do not follow or I will kill him,” the Countess said.


The Quilt said nothing, as usual, but lifted a hand wrapped in curling skin and bandages to point out through the wet fields that surrounded them.


“Do you think this Rick Rounds could kill Barb?” Dimes said. “Faster than we could help, anyway?”


“Either he’s extremely strong, or Barb’s not playing all the tricks up his sleeve,” the Countess said, stepping over to the car. Something about the situation felt odd to her; some sixth sense of danger ringing in her head like an alarm. The kind of warning that said, ‘that mob from the village is back,’ or, ‘avoid that realtor, it’s not going to work out’.


The seats were empty inside the convertible—mud on the floor where Rick had presumably been sitting, and, she noticed, one more of Barb’s playing cards, tucked inconspicuously between the seat cushions. She pulled it from the crevice and held it in her hands; it glimmered in the light, curling orange and red patterns on one side, and an elaborate King of Spades on the other.


The Quilt still had its arm lifted up to the horizon, pointing like an omen of death, and Dimes paced over, crystal feet on wet grass.


“What are you thinking, Countess?”


“It doesn’t make sense to me,” the Countess said. “I could believe Barb would let harm come to everyone else, but to Cherry? He loves this car. I’m not sure…”


A realization came to her, then, and she felt as sick as she had at her first meal, felt weak in her knees.


“Oh god.”


Dimes stepped over, and she accepted a cold hand while she steadied herself. She should be kinder, she thought. There might be no thoughts inside the traveller’s glass head, but they meant well. Barb, on the other hand.


“He’s doing this,” she said. “It’s a con.”


“What do you mean?” Dimes said.


“You said you’ve got Polly’s hoard hidden away,” she said. “At Barb’s request. The same kind of stuff he’s spent his life scrounging for. It works out awfully well for Barb if there’s no more Polly to withdraw, doesn’t it?”


“He wouldn’t lie to us like this,” Dimes said, a reflection of concern on their face. “To others maybe. But not to us. He’s not that cruel.”


She turned to look at Dimes, searching for any wisdom they possessed that would make that true, and found none. “I think you’d be surprised, Dimes, how cruel scavengers can be.”


“It’s not true,” Dimes said. “You may be a heartless old bat, but Barb cares about us. And even about Polly, and the rest, I think. Don’t you?”


“He cares about himself,” the Countess said, and the wind pulled at her wings and the long grass around the convertible. “That’s the only reliable thing about him.”


The Quilt crossed its arms, and held them close to its wrapped ribcage.


“So what are you saying?” Dimes said. “He’s got this Rick Rounds to do the dirty work?”


“It’s at least a possibility,” the Countess said, and tucked the card into her dress pocket.


“Then what does that mean for us?” Dimes said. “I don’t want anyone to get hurt. But also, the Resting Place needs what Barb brought.”


“What?” the Countess said, looking from the misty horizon to Dimes. “What did you say?”


“Barb goes through his fire fast,” Dimes said, and glanced at the smoldering convertible, the dice hanging from the rearview mirror clinking in the breeze. “Cars and music and lights and whiskey and mint. His original store, it was enough for a while, but it’s been running lower every year. What he brought from Polly, it… it will keep the hotel alive. Keep us alive.”


“You didn’t think to mention that earlier?” the Countess said, the cloak of her wings flaring.


“It was a secret,” Dimes said, a hollow glint in their eyes. “Nobody was supposed to know. He didn’t want you to worry.”


The Countess hissed, and turned away from them both, and put a hand of long red nails to her temples. Somewhere beyond the bent trees, Barb had to be lurching through the fields, leading the strong-armed killer on towards Apollyon.


“If we warn Polly,” Dimes said, “do you think he would understand? Or would he try to hurt Barb? If he comes after his trove, he’ll come after me. I don’t know how well we’ll do with Rick Rounds, but that starwolf of theirs… she could tear Barb in half.”


“Yes, yes she could,” the Countess said. Barb, why do you have to make things so difficult for all of us, she thought?


But then again, she had witnessed storms before, lightning and thunder and war and ruin raging on all sides. She had stepped out in the early years, yes, tried to keep the wind from blowing, the time from passing, the water from falling out of the sky.


And in time, she had learned.


“Whatever this is now,” she said, “it is Barb’s own fate. If this is a ruse of his, he is welcome to the consequences. I will not step into the middle of this.”


“If it isn’t?” Dimes said. “If he’s really in danger?”


“Then,” the Countess said, and unfolded her wings, and called the void-shadow around her, “it is danger he deserves.”



Interlude 2 - Odd Angles

It is comforting, I am told, to think of this universe in constants. Time is solid. Space is solid. Irreversible. This may be true within the confines of your world, if you squint. But time and its passage are inconsistent from place to place, affected by gravity of all things. Likewise, space is full of holes and secret tunnels, recurving points and impassable barriers. On a massive scale, black holes tear through the fabric, and pull into other planes and realms.


But likewise, there are little travesties of geometry, odd angles, doors that open to the wrong places. The doors of the Moormire lead to other entrances, and there are a few pieces of cabinetry that open to Marolmar’s World, and some such as the Countess or Ascended Scientists of Xyzikxyz have been given wings that warp shadows and float upon the void.


How inconvenient it all must be. I simply think of a place, and behold! My eye is open upon it. However, I am not so affected by the dangers that dwell on the other side of the door. To any who travel beyond the distances expected of their own two feet, be careful, for the space out of space can never be trusted. We go now to one who has returned from one such realm.



Story 3 - Join The Hunt

“What’s the weirdest thing you ever caught?” Hector said. In a rare occurrence, Heidi had put her head in his lap, so he ruffled her fur and the gnarled skin of her head.


“It mighta been an anglerfish, once,” Jonah said. “But those are supposed to be tiny. This thing was eight feet long, and instead of a lure? You know, the little light on a wire from its head? It had a whole little fish there, glowing like nobody’s business. Eyes and teeth all over its face. We tossed it back real quick.”


“Sounds like good cooking,” Hector said, and tucked away his gold reading glasses.


“What about you,” Jonah said. “What’s the strangest bog find you’ve had?”


“It was early on,” Hector said. “Missing person. Thought I had a good idea where, so I went dredging. Dragged up the fella—but as he came up, he had his hands wrapped around my line. Withered up skeleton hands. I leaned in to take a look, because I’d never seen anything like it—and he woke up, eyes-a-glowing, goes reaching for my face. I didn’t have any kind of weapon next to me—just a salvage bag—so I grabbed this butter knife and bam. He fell asleep, dropped right back in the lake. I couldn’t believe it, but it was a good knife—real silver. I keep one in my kit ever since.”


“You ever get grossed out by your job?” Jonah said.


“Not too much nowadays,” Hector said. “You get too bogged down with the details and you’ll go crazy trying to make sense of it all. Speaking of which, now that you’re up. Want to explain to me what happened?”


“I’ll be honest,” Jonah said, “I don’t think that was like, ‘curse of the forest’ passing out. I think that was me Jonah passing out.”


“What were you saying?” Hector said. “Leave now, little dear? Something like that?”


“I have no idea,” Jonah sighed. “Did I really scare away a night-gaunt?”


“I don’t want to alarm you now,” Hector said, “but it was more like you ordered it away.”


Jonah groaned, and lay back in the bed. Hector was glad to be in their own room; the infirmary provided so little privacy.


“Seems useful, considering our predicament,” Hector said.


“Useful?” Jonah said. “I almost died and you think that’s useful?”


“Didn’t mean it like that,” Hector said. “Just… I’m glad you’re alright, Jones. Good job getting us out of that.”


“Thanks,” Jonah sighed. “I’ll be back on my feet soon, I think. Just a little rest. Is everyone okay?”


“We lost two,” Hector said. “Beneath the gate. Bern’s hurt, but okay. Wall’s still smashed to heck. And some big… just huge… creature’s been invited in, apparently? Same one that was there at the Instrumentalist.”


“Big Mikey?” Jonah said. “Big Mikey is here?”


“Sitting in front of the broken gate right now,” Hector said. “Seems like they’re hoping he’ll scare the frogs away. Keeping him occupied with books, by the looks of it.”


“Sounds like as good a bet as any,” Jonah said.


Hector glanced away, then pulled the covers up to Jonah’s chin, and kissed his forehead.


“Get some rest,” he said.


Jonah closed his eyes, and smiled. “Goodnight, Hec.”


Hector brushed a grey curl from Jonah’s face. “It’s barely afternoon. But goodnight.”


He left quietly, and offered to take the dogs out, but Jackie remained laying by the foot of the bed. Alright, he thought. You keep an eye on him for me.


Emotions ran like heartburn through his chest as he walked out into the Scoutpost courtyard, Heidi following along at his heels. He wanted to hold the man tight; never let him go, but it was a dangerous feeling, he knew. People who felt that way weren’t rational; made bad survival choices. And all too often, still lost in the end.


And that’s why I’ve got to make sure that won’t happen, he thought.


He made his way for the pile of rubble that had once been a gate looking out on Lurch Lake. Large doors and pine beams and sheet metal lay splintered. Scaffolds were already starting to go up, a desperate attempt to get some kind of barrier between their homes and the forest beyond.


He glanced over at his motorcycle in the gravel lot.


He didn’t have to, he knew.


For the briefest of moments, he thought about how easy it would be to climb aboard. Heidi would hop in the sidecar, and he would turn the keys, and the engine would roar to life, and he’d feel the rumble beneath him as he began to ride. For a few seconds, he’d watch the Scoutpost fall away, and feel remorse for the man, the dog, the people here.


But then it would be pine boughs, and the little dirt trail picking its way back to the Northern Artery, and then it would be south, south all summer. New salvage and tracking jobs would come in time, where the climate was warmer and the dead didn’t rise to surround the living so often.


And he’d think back on that distant forest, from time to time, and the love and horrors he had walked through, but the memories would blur in time, like a fog-filled horizon, and the wounds he’d opened himself up to would heal, and he wouldn’t quite be happy so much as surviving, just like before.


Going on from one day to the next,


never too surprised at what they brought,


and whenever the going got tough,


he’d ride again.


He tucked the keys back into his pocket.


Not today, he thought.


He continued until he came up to the gate, and past it, a mountain of greying green flesh read a book to no one, voice echoing like a sharpened knife. But the one he sought after was here too, lifting metal panels effortlessly with dagger-tipped hands.


“You the one they called Huntington?” Hector said.


“Who’s asking?” the revenant replied, turning to him. Shaggy hair obscured pale white eyes; Hector had seen eyes like that too many times. Heidi came padding out from behind him, and looked up.


“Hector,” he said. “Hector Mendoza. I’m told you’re a hunter.”


“Right now I appear to have been relegated to construction,” the dead one scoffed. They wore a camo vest over a chest covered in black stitches.


“Bern promised me some help, but I think she’s down for the count,” Hector said. “I’ve got an animal to track down—a Froglin queen. Would you have any interest in helping with that endeavor?”


The revenant smiled, yellowed teeth glinting in the light, and set the rusted panels down with a thud. “Oh I would, Hector Mendoza. I would indeed join you for a hunt.



Outro - Angles

Angles. It is for each of us to decide in which direction we will approach this life. I would reflect on what a miracle it is that you and I are both here in this universe at the same time, but honestly I was here before your planet and will likely be here until it is gone. It is not that special. Still, you could have been one of the stony ancients in their asteroid citadels, or whatever will come after, for I will one day no longer look upon this universe.


Even life indescribable comes to an end. We, like you, are still wondering why? What is the point of the life we have been given? How do we come to peace with the end, where the line of our experience intersects with oblivion? For me, life is a story, and if I am lucky, the echoes of my voice, telling stories about you, will outlive me.


Talking until there is no one left to listen, watching until there is nothing left to see, I am your loyal host Nikignik, waiting in rose petals for your return to the Hallowoods.




The bonus story that goes with this episode is called 'Flipped', and is available on the Hello From The Hallowoods Patreon. Consider joining for access to all the show's bonus stories, behind-the-scenes and more!