June 2018


I have loved you for 1,156 days.
From that moment,
You’ve surprised me,
Captivated me,
Challenged me.
I’ve fallen in love with you countless times,
Without reservation.
And today, I get to marry my best friend.
To love is not to possess,
To own or imprison,
Nor to lose one’s self in another.
Love is to join and to separate,
To walk alone and together,
To find freedom and comfort.
Together we will be ,
Who we really are – and always were,
In the very core of our being.
I promise to be true to you,
To uplift and support you,
To frustrate and challenge you,
And share with you all the beautiful moments of life.
Someday, if the stars align,
I might even laugh at your puns.
I know that my love for you will not fade,
That we will find strength in one another,
And we will continue to grow,
Side by side.
I believe in the truth of what we are,
And I will love you always,
With every beat of my heart.

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I commit myself to you, filled with the love we shared during every night in spent on the couch, all the pixel-perfect worlds we’ve built together, holding your hand in an empty theater, and all the times we wrote together until our hands hurt. I pledge to love you always, with my whole heart and all my flaws, until the end of our days.

The Eternal Empire operates on the principle of matriarchy; the reigning ruler is always an Empress and she is regarded as a direct descendent of the Goddess. This line of descent is considered to be important enough that there can never be any uncertainty of birth–as a mother is always indisputably the mother of a child that she brings forth, while the father may be cuckolded.

Not that the Eternal Empire believes women to be superior–far from it. Outside of the palace, the vast majority of generals, functionaries, and administrators are men. However, only a single man is ever permitted inside the palace–the consort. Empresses have on occasion made exceptions for their fathers, brothers, or sons, but nevertheless it is considered essential that the Empress be exposed to the depredations of none but her freely chosen consort.

Among the courtiers it is an open secret that this is regularly flouted, both by Empresses sneaking in male lovers and Empresses taking female lovers. Producing a heir is important enough that these events are typically covered up. In the event that no female heirs are produced, or the Empress dies in childbirth, the next adult female of the line inherits the throne. The Imperial Geneologist maintains exhaustive family trees to facilitate this. Genealogically senior claimants tat are not yet of age are typically killed by order of the Empress upon her acession in memory of the devastating Sisters’ War.

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Little Henry Sweetspire
Looked over his burbling brew
“It seems really the sweetest
but wouldn’t it be neatest
if it had something extra, too?”

So Little Henry Sweetspire
Added some blood to the mix
Just three drops of his own
Three from an old crone
With three from a chicken to mix

Little Henry Sweetspire
Saw his brew a roaring success
It attracted the notice
Of a vampire named Otis
Who came in and made quite a mess

Now Little Henry Sweetpire
Adds blood to his every bake
Every day he gets it from town
While the townsfolk sadly renown
“To resist him would be a mistake”

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Wicklow struck the crate with the butt of his rifle and it burst, scattering dozens of red bags onto the floor. “What do those look like to you?” he said to Ortiz.

“Doritos,” Ortiz replied. “My kids love ’em.”

“Look closer.”

Ortiz flipped one of the bags over gingerly. “What the hell? These say ‘Nachitos.'”

“Yeah. Lil’ Nachos,” Wicklow said. “The logo’s similar enough that most people don’t look twice. But it’s contraband. Snack chips from a dextrose-amino-acid skein.”

“I’ve heard of this,” Ortiz said. “If you’re from a different reality, you can’t eat our food?”

“The lucky ones can, but it’s about a fifty-fifty chance,” laughed Wicklow. “And you can, if you don’t mind it passing through you like a bucking bronco and maybe sending you into anaphylactic shock to boot. Some people even use ‘me as a diet food, since you’ll lose a lot more than you gain–if you don’t wind up red and gasping in the hospital or dead, that is.”

Ortiz stomped on the bag, bursting it and scattering the chips. “I don’t get it. How can your reality be so bad that you want to squat in ours, and still be making snacky chips?”

“Bad’s in the eye of the beholder,” Wicklo laughed. “Besides, a lot of these snacky-snacks come from skeins that are doing just fine. Imagine if you were living in a dextro-amino-acid reality and you could sell ordinary snack chips for ten times what you paid for them over here?”

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Are you sick of having to pack, wash, and store pyjamas and yet lack the conviction to sleep in the nude?

We were too. That’s why we invented new Pyjama Paste!

With one simple application, you have a strong, form-fitting, and disposable pair of pyjamas! It’s water-soluble, too, so you can just wash it off in the morning!*

Pyjama Paste. Spread the love.

*Water solubility may include perspiration in some rare** cases. Do not wear outside, in precipitation, or high humidity. Covering sensitive areas may require the Extendo-Spray Arm, sold seperately. For external use. May not work as intended on males, especially used in a state of arousal. Side effects include but are not limited to: rash, temporary dyeing, involuntary defoliation, alopecia horriblis, and The Clottening.

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Reality Refugees
Many have been heard to mutter that he current world is the oust possible version of itself. Try telling that to denizens of Skein-227764, which suffered a worldwide nuclear war in 1983, or Skein-001327, which was invaded by the Scourge in 1919.

While the technology to cross between realities is expensive, complex, and delicate, the allure of finding an alternate, better world in which to build a new life is tantalizing and an average of 500-1000 reality refugees arrive each year.

Our reality is particularly enticing because it is of middling development and far from perfect–making it easier to enter than, say, the universal utopia of Skein-999861. Nevertheless, their presence and any artifacts they might bring are considered destabilizing and are prohibited.

Mutual repatriation agreements signed with other realities require that these refugees be identified, detained, and returned. In some cases, refugees from reverse-chirality skeins are incapable of digesting food and will die without the proper nutrition. This in turn has led to a thriving black market in dextro-amino-acid foodstuffs, which have no nutritional value for beings like us and can also provoke dangerous allergic reactions.

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