“I don’t let silly things like self-righteousness or ignorance bother me. And yet here I stand, bothered by you.”

She held up her fingers, poised and pressed together as if to snap. “Shall I do it? One quick click and you’ll be immolated and I’ll never have to listen to your whining again.”

Hearing no response but sullen silence, she nodded. “Very well then. Get out of here.”

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I thought he was joking when he said he’d pay me good money never to speak to him again.

Then, half an hour later, his lawyer arrived by taxicab with the forms, signed and notarized. After taking my check for two thousand dollars, I wwas informed that I had five minutes to make myself scarce sinceI had agreed to never see him again either for a double payout.

And that, long story short, is why I can never go back to New York.

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Menzenith
Formerly Deathbell, this telecom company rebranded itself in 2001 by combining mendacium, Latin for falsehood, and , Arabic for highest. The intent was to give a sense of unseat he being the highest form of life, but in true 2000s rebranding fashion it only showed that the parties involved probably failed Latin. Nevertheless, it remains the #1 choice for undead telecom users in the USA thanks to its aggressive “Can you bier me now?” ad campaign featuring a zombie employee.

Mortal&T
Founded as Mortal Telegraph in 1885, Mortal&T is the oldest provider of telecommunications equipment to the living impaired, recently deceased, and post-necrotic beings. As such, it has considerable brand recognition and loyalty from those who were living or undead in 1885, despite lagging in recent customer service satisfaction surveys.

Z-Mobile
Established by a startup in a Napa Valley graveyard who were upset by the lack of telecom options for zombies. Based largely on the strength of its groundbreaking speech recognition and translation protocols for zombies without tongues or jaws, it has become the preferred service for younger affluent zombies.

Shamble
Despite the massive and historic bankruptcy of its parent company UnderworldCom, Shamble remains a major player in the undead telecom market, especially in its traditional stronghold of the Midwestern United States. Many Gen X and Gen Y undead still fondly remember the pervasive “needle drop” advertisements for cemetary landlines in the 1980s and 1990s.

Maggot Wireless
The premier “pay as you rot” wireless service, Maggot promises “connectivity that won’t eat a hole in your bank account.” It is popular among the poorer undead for its lack of contracts, and is the number-one source of “burner” phones used for short-term travel and illicit ‘long pork’ dealers.

V-Pire
Formerly Redblood Cellular, V-Pire is the largest privately-held telecom service for the undead, with major inroads among the Old Dead families of the southern USA. Founded in New Orleans by a group of vampires in at became known as the Sillicon Swampland, it is the only option across large swaths of the rural southern and western United States.

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The funny thing
About that word
Is that it comes
Back every time
In a fresh new
Suit of phonemes
The same as ever
But invisible
Simply because
In the moment
We can never see
It for what it is
Because we don’t
Have antibodies
For the new word

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“I am appearing before you, ‘Womp Rat,’ because you have strayed into the ways of chaos and away from law,” the ghostly blue silhouette said.

“Is this because I cooked those githyanki and served them as stew?”

“We can start with that, yes.”


“GHOST!”

Thrombonius launched himself at the shade. Being insubstantial, she was no impediment to his movement, and he slid through her form, chilled to the bone before faceplanting behind her.

“I’m sorry for my companion,” said Bryn. “He’s kinda…dumb…where ghosts are concerned.


“If her memories hadn’t been scooped out like a hollowed mellon,” said Ybba, referring to the dark elf the others had dubbed ‘Suzie,’ I would kill her and eat her to avenge my dad.”

“You have been living alone with him for a long time, haven’t you?”


The woman looked like Myles in every way except that she was clad in black and was also surrounded by dead dark elves who had been crispified by her fire spells.

“She is like an evil Myles,” said Bryn. “What should we call her? Maybe Kilometers, or Kilo for short?”

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SKOLDR Lamp
-Missing light bulb. Vengeful spirit has taken up residence instead.

BAKBRAYK Futon
-Mattress offers full back support, possibly through sorcery.

BÜk Modular Shelf
-Can hold 1/8″ more than the shelves should allow.

KORNAL High-Backed Wicker Chair
-Causes Civil War flashbacks after 1-2 hours of continuous sitting.

RÅK Storage Solution
-Cannot be assembled by more than one person; any existing friendship or relationship will be dissolved.

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The cat lorded over the mice, for he knew that his power greatly exceeded theirs. If he could catch them, he could kill them, and this made him fear no mouse, even though they outnumbered him ten thousand to one in his domain.

The cat also fancied himself more intelligent than the mice, and made no secret of his hunting, gorging himself on as many mice as he could catch. The mice found this situation intolerable, so they decided to band together against the cat.

A cat may easily kill one mice, ten mice, even a hundred mice. But a thousand? Ten thousand mice swarmed the cat that day, and though he fought his hardest he was overwhelmed and consumed.

This was an abject lesson to the other cats. Mind that your lessers do not see you as their mortal enemy, mind that they do not descend upon you as one, and if you must hunt, hunt quietly.

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