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I know it’s been awhile since my last blog but I caught a nasty case of the whispers last rise and my pod didn’t produce nearly enough silk to buy a LifePak off the Chimes. Don’t worry though, I’m better now and have even found the energy to hunt dust swans again.

I’m currently typing this on the keyboard-tattooed belly of a mind tramp who will use her considerable skills to retain everything I’m writing, then bring the finished piece to the Central Spire for input. It cost me the last of my corn smut but I didn’t think I’d be able to manage to trip myself because lately my hair is very susceptible to any frequency about 30 hertz. Anyway, I have big news…

Would have bad hair day if I went here

…I’m getting married!

I know what you’re thinking: is she a Potter or a Sickling? I’ll get to that in a minute.

We met at a bleeding; myself in line with the other Reds, her a few feet to my right with the Blues. Small talk is common when you’re waiting to get sucked, but I’m not much of a talker so I normally keep to myself and count shards, or take the opportunity to lay out an array and charge my salt filter. My interest in her piqued when I caught sight of the blade she wore on her hip. The shape resembled something that would be adept at gutting the unusual curvature of an infant glass crab’s body. Since I’d been craving some of that sweet crab meat since The Churn, I attempted to strike up a conversation.

“Is that blade for gutting infant glass crabs?” I asked, assuming she spoke Plain but making a gesture with my hands that mimicked a glass crab’s first dance just in case.

Me trying to get crab meat “the old fashioned way” hahaha

I wasn’t sure if it was due to my ridiculous performance or the crystals I forgot to take out of my ears that morning but rather than answer she produced the blade, cut a swath of hair from her left temple, and handed it to me.

“You’ve been marked,” she said in perfect Plain.

I’d heard of this Sickling ritual from traders and poets across the Nine Plots, always assuming it was sex fiction for lonely travelers, up there with Tale of the Moist Herd or Jid’s Honkers. My familiarly with the tradition meant I knew my options: either succumb to the marking and become her eternal field boy or attempt to flee and risk having her hunt me, catch me, kill me, skin me, weave my skin into a diaper for the Prime King’s offspring, and have my meat and innards pulped into an ink to be used for their famous comic strips that satirize races they’ve eviscerated.

I didn’t feel much like running and I was getting kind of bored of trying to procreate through jinxing the hopping apes that lived nearby, so I accepted her mark and was quickly fused to her via a length of goblin vine.

We’ve been together for three floods now! She’s currently allowing me to roam while she gathers cones for the official marking ceremony, and as soon as I’m done typing I’m going to try to find a wedding ring before she re-fuses us for the skiff ride back to her hole. I figure it’s a nice gesture to include some of my own traditions before my independence, language, soul, fingernails, and body hair are stripped away from me as we begin our new life as Niff and Sickling.

Our first pic as a couple 🙂

Which ring should I get?

I could find a snake worm and knot it up but I’m afraid it won’t dry in time. My best option is probably try to steal a pike spring off a SandSki but I only see one at this bazaar and it seems to be guarded by a hybrid who can likely smell my thoughts. Ah well, I suppose I can figure that out later. I see my new darling crawling back this way and if she catches me doing this she might not let me sing my regrets to her pack once we get home, so that’s it for me!

– Mick R.

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Scums Of The Earth by Explorer Paul

Hi, I’m Explorer Paul. I travel the world looking for copper and autographed 8x10s. This is another one of my famous adventures.

There I was, waist deep and sinking fast in the fluorescent sands of the Pepper Desert.

My companion was Dr. Marilyn, whom I had become acquainted with a mere 12 hours beforehand. I would love to describe the details of our meeting but I only have 15 minutes left in this Internet cafe before the proprietor realizes there isn’t a grenade in his toilet, and the finer points aren’t significant to this story unless you consider a crow circus significant.

I will type as fast as I can to get to the point, unless I think of something else that’s interesting such as the ringleader of the crow circus who was not the feather master he appeared to be but rather a slave driver who controlled the birds by waving his gravy-dipped hands through the air to entice them like the conductor of a metropolitan orchestra where the musicians are birds, and rather than play instruments the sound is produced by the conductor pulling wires attached to the birds’ most sensitive areas to induce squawks that when played in succession produce a haunting melody that combines the natural and unnatural into a cyclone of otherworldly emotion.

I’m sorry. When I get a thought in my head I have to get it out or else I’ll forget a piece of Quentin Tarantino trivia which my psychic told me I’ll need one day. I must now skip the part about myself and the doctor buying ourselves valuable time by eating a snake like Lady and the Tramp ate spaghetti.

Anyway, we were stuck in the sand and she told me that she’s the only person ever who researched and categorized “The Scums of the Earth”, a grouping of Earthen flora that is shitty and stinky. Because she was about to be swallowed into sand she wanted me to know everything about her research in the event I survived to tell the tale. I asked if it was written down somewhere because I have a bad memory and she said that she burned all her journals when she was trying to impress a famous ball player by lighting a cigar with it.

Blah blah blah she died and I got out because I’m not a wiggler and eventually I was rescued by a wandering rookie solider who was engaged in a hazing ritual wherein he was not to return to the barracks until he had a sunburn so bad that he smelled like a really good chicken joint.

I would feel bad not fulfilling her second final request, that being the sharing of her findings to the world.  Her FINAL request was that her body be stuffed and displayed in the window of her the first restaurant she tried fries in, which I cannot fulfil because the same army unit whom my saviour belonged to has already claimed her corpse as their mascot. Here are the scant details I remember from that dreadful (yet informative) afternoon. RIP Dr. Marilyn.

There are three kinds of scum (she wanted to divide the categories further but her patron cut off funding because she refused to marry his nephew, known locally as “The Zit Tzar”):

Safe Scum

These scums are the most common, found in every bucket, hole, and seam indoors and out.

Identifiers: Not very wet, very similar to scuz but way heavier, a bit milky when blended.

Smell: Neutral to VERY piney.

Nutritional Value: You can eat these scums but their nutrition is equal to that of a swatch of cotton.

Notes:

  • Since they are abundant they should be utilized in any way possible. Dr. Marilyn suggests all nations forfeit their arms and fight future wars with safe scum being the only legal weaponry.
  • I can’t remember this exact part but she said something about wrapping safe scum around a cucumber to make a brine-less pickle.

Scenic Scum

These scums are visible from outer space, thus the Earth’s topography is essentially scum. Dr. Marilyn pleaded with World Space Foundation to allow her passage into the stars to perform spectral analysis but her proposal was deemed “fucked”.

Identifiers: Will form pus when melted, dark, serrated leaves form in some varieties.

Smell: Like someone rubbed rotten soap in a piece of day old pepperoni.

Nutritional Value: Contains high amounts of Vitamin 2 BUT it is near impossible for humans to fully digest it. Consumption will cause barfing, which is a classification of scum that Dr. Marilyn was excited to study, playfully dubbing it “scum!” before she could think of anything better.

Notes:

  • Research would indicate this scum to be a distant cousin to slime.
  • This scum may hold secrets to our universe including the answer to the question, “Why don’t humans lay eggs?”
  • When injected into the eye of a laboratory rat, it went blind but gained the ability to fashion small shelters out of a common bell pepper.

Scary Scum

Dr. Marilyn was very hesitant to share her findings on Scary Scum and it’s easy to understand why. When she was experimenting with it–eating it, licking it, sucking it, rubbing it–she went into a coma. While we were stuck she emailed me a pic of her journal right before she went down:

Identifiers: Found in dark and shaded areas, especially those formerly occupied by “dingbats” (I did not understand whether she was referring to a species of winged rodent or a type of person who’s kinda dumb). These scums are crispy and can manufacture their own crud as a form of reproduction.

Smell: These scums tend to absorb the sniffer’s own natural scent and then project a variant of that stink with added rot. Incredible.

Nutritional Value: Though not tested, Dr. Marilyn surmised that Scary Scum could make an effective additive to smoke machines.

Notes:

*This is the part where she died so I didn’t get any extra notes but I can say that the stuff that came out of her nose after she croaked might very well have been this shit*

That’s it for me! I’m headed to the Cone Islands tonight to investigate an unknown band that apparently rocks! Will report back! Thank you Glenn for allowing me to publish this work on his website. And eat scum NYTimes.com, turns out we didn’t need you.