Aftersocks: Part 3: In which a vague figure becomes less-so


The considerable, but not too considerable, length of time that passed between leaving the bench and meeting the vague figure was uneventful. The ground remained flat and unmoist and the air remained thick and also unmoist. Tragically, for she had become a loyal friend, Thrumplestance appeared more and more delicious with every step I took and I decided to eat her. I would carve her into bite-sized donkey nuggets at the next resting point, which was near the vague figure.

Thank Bog, I never had to that.

The figure, no longer vague, was an old man. I did not eat him either, but started a conversation.

“Greetings, Formerly Vague Figure, why have you been standing in this spot for so long and what is it that you do while standing here?” I inquired.

“I am a pious Flaninite doing his sacred duties. We must all travel to remote and unmoist location three days into our 72nd year to juggle flans for a considerable length of time. So says The Flansman.”

“What are flans, old friend? And who is this Flansman?” I said.


Flan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“You may call me Wilbert, for that is my name. As for your questions, flan is much like pudding. It has become a local specialty of Rooster’s Edge ever since The Flansman arrived long ago. It is the fervent wish of all Flaninites that his teachings and desserts spread throughout the land and grow as would mushrooms.” I observed a glow of absolute conviction in his mustache and eyebrows, which somehow did not interfere with his juggling.

“Wilbert, you have shown me the truth and I wish to join your cause. I am Jephrold and this is Thrumplestance,” I said. “We have traveled far for a considerable length of time. May I have some flan to eat.?”

“You may indeed. It is the will of Flan that flan be shared with hungry travelers.” He raised one knee to catch one of the flying gelatinous masses and motioned for me to take it. I cautiously took a bit and found that it was flantastic and filled me with flantescent wholesomeness. I later learned that it was mostly sugar, but the effect remained powerful.

“Thanks for this kindness, Flaninite Wilbert,” I said, “We will now continue our journey to Rooster’s Edge. Hopefully, we will meet again.”

“If Flan wills it, yes,” was his response and returned his attention to his sacred task. He had never stopped juggling, but until now, he was not watching it, which seemed to make no difference. It looked however, that it mattered to him. He seemed to be silently talking with the flying holy globs as I left him and continued east.

The bench on which I write this is what I found some considerable length of time after abandoning the Formerly Vague Flaninite and by my estimate 42 seconds from entering the town. Great things were surely to be found here.


Aftersocks: 2.5: In which a long nap is completed


Sleeper (Photo credit: 21limited)

When I awoke, I observed that my shoes were untied and were dusty with unrain. Unrain is not dust, but dust often accompanies it, as apparently had occurred while I slept. It must have been a very deep sleep for me not to have noticed the unrain and I cannot guess how long I was out. Long enough that I felt refreshed and ready to keep going.
I tied my shoes (I wonder how they got untied) and checked my supplies. There was nothing edible left for either me or my donkey, unless of course, I decided to eat Thrumplestance herself. I would not consider that option until it became absolutely necessary and decrouched it from my mind.
And so, we again began walking through the thick air. I followed the vague figure, who hopefully was still East of where I had started and standing still. Why he was standing still would be apparent soon.

Murdersocks: Aftersocks: 2: In which a considerable length of time passes


It has been a considerable length of time since I set out for the town of Rooster’s Edge. The sun rose and then set a number of times, but being that it is midway through the Thick Air Season, I could not see it and cannot tell you what that exact number is.

Standing on the desert plain 1 - Youssouf in t...

(Photo credit: David d’O)

The journey was made more taxing still by the fact that no road connects Tremsil and Rooster’s Edge. I am going based solely on the directions of one of Tremsil’s fine residents who claimed to have a detailed map in his mind. He told me to go East for however long it took to get there (he couldn’t measure days either) and that is what I am attempting to do. I really hope he was correct when he told me which way East was. I have never trusted compasses and for this reason, I don’t own one.
The air was exceptionally thick, even for the season that it was, but for much of my trek, I could vaguely see a figure in the distance. Conveniently, I could walk toward this figure without having to change my direction. If it was not directly East, I would probably have lost track of where East was.
Less conveniently, I learned that feral donkeys do not like being ridden. Thrumplestance was willing to carry my supplies and I was willing to settle for that.
It occurs to me just now that you might not be from this reason and therefore are unfamiliar with thick air. It may sound like humidity, but it is just the opposite. Thick air is thick, not with moisture, but with unmoisture. It is not dryness, for dryness is the lack of something and unmoisture is a something in itself. It is breathable, but only slowly and with much effort.
After another, not quite as considerable length of time, I came across this bench. The vague figure is now close enough that I can imagine reaching it soon. Not right now though. This bench is the closest thing to a bed that I’ve seen in what I think are days. Time to rest.



Before the continuation of this story, I feel the need to clarify some things.

Mark Twain photo portrait.

Not exactly my face, but close.

1. I am the ‘being’ that Jephrold Gratchfield McNerrister diFlansworth-Smythe predicted might someday read his bench carvings and transcribe them into a more readable format, namely, a blog. I had originally created the blog for the purpose of recording graffiti I had found in an old elevator. Some of you may know of it.
2. I came across diFlansworth-Smythe’s first benchstory in the ruins of Umbleheim on a dig long ago (I am not an archeologist, but I enjoy shoveling) and eventually found and transcribed the other benches in the years leading up to now. This process took longer than one might expect because I also had to translate the tales into English from the long dead language of the author, unknown even to myself. I learned just enough to translate from a teacher in the Nap Lands, whom I could only visit during light sleep. I am unfathomably grateful that I could remember what I learned there after waking, but it was still slow work. Especially while working on the parts that you’ve already read by now, in which nothing really happens. Nothing is something that happens frequently in real life and we must accept that true stories will include it.
3. Some of the stories I found on the walls of the old elevator end abruptly one or two chapters from the beginning. I have entered them into the blog anyway and if I find their continuations somewhere else, I will post them too. If not, I likely won’t.
-your translator,
Chandler R

Murdersocks: Aftersocks: 1: In which things are explained and a traveling companion is found

Donkey Hoadie

(Photo credit: steve goddard)

Great day to you! Now that I am free of the socks, I can say nice things like that. Also, congratulations on finding the latest bench I have visited. The “Prologue Bench” probably should have told you how to find it more easily, but I didn’t think of it at the time.

It remains true and correct that benches are the best thing to write on. I understand that it is a less convenient medium than some, but words written on paper or typed into a word-machine are lacking in a certain quality that I think is essential to tell my (all entirely too true) tales. I call this quality “benchiness” and it can only be achieved through knife-on-bench writing.

Someday, another being may transcribe this tale into another form, and it will still be important and necessary to read, but I assure you, it will not be benchy. To aid in your comprehension of all this, I will be labeling each bench with a number. For example, this bench, which I found in the village of Tremsil, is called 1. I plan to stay here for a short time and then continue to Rooster’s Edge, where I hear there is an existing audience for baked goods.
In other me-related news, I found a feral donkey and adopted it. The donkey’s smile reminded me of my beloved late grandmother, so I named it after her. I never actually knew my grandmother and I wouldn’t have called her by her real name if I had, but Grandmother didn’t seem like a proper donkey name, so Thrumplestance it was.
Thrumplestance now carries all of my possessions (the bench-knife, the recently baked murdersocks, and an assortment of assorted knacks and knicks.) It is a tremendous improvement over my old hat-sack.

Murdersocks: Aftersocks: Prologue

lost tiny grey sock, with cobwebs

lost tiny grey sock, with cobwebs (Photo credit: only alice)

Hello again, friends, readers, and future victims. It has been seven years since my previous autobiography was scratched into a wooden park bench, which I’ll assume you have not read.
Nevertheless, you may have heard rumors of the events surrounding the socks that were once fused to my feet by means I understand less than you probably do (assuming you don’t understand it at all). They drove me to do murderous, murdery, and murderiffic things that I am not proud of. Of course, those rumors did not include the truth of what happened when the murders occurred. They would leave you with the impression that it was I, Jephrold Gratchfield McNerrister diFlansworth-Smythe that killed all those nice people, puppies, bakery customers, and mountainy men. In fact, it was a group of crows (aka a murder) that swooped in and did all of the actual murdering after the murdersocks had stopped time. Seriously, you must believe that I am innocent.
I was simply a Baker and I made simple pies, one of which contained the murderous murder of crows and ended their murderous string of murderosity. Granted, the pie turned into a new pair of murdersocks when it was done baking, but how was I to know that? I thought I was stopping it.
With its favorite crows baked and gone, the socks on my feet had nothing to do and lost their murderous power. I could tell because they turned grey and let me take them off. This left me free to return to my former life of baking and bringing joy to hungry people. I had to search for a new town in which set up shop because I had indirectly murdered all potential customers in the places I had already been.

I’ll update you on what I find.