Sects

All right. We’re all set! I’m super excited to share this with you, but because of who I am as a person, it requires a little explanation. And because I live in Colorado, it starts the way most Colorado stories start, with “This one time, while I was high…”

So. This one time, while I was high, I was trying to have a conversation, which is fairly challenging under such circumstances, as you’ll know if you’re consuming this site under the conditions it was created. I can’t remember what I was trying to say to begin with, but I do recall that I was interrupted by a failure of memory.

“I haven’t been to a Baskin-Robbins in forever; they don’t seem to have them as much here. I think I’ve seen one. Hold on… how many flavors is it? Their whole deal. Is it 31 flavors or 51? Fifty-one seems high. That’s a lot of flavors.”

My wife stared at me with ready enthusiasm but little sense. She was also very high.

“Never mind. Whatever. From now on it’s Baskin-Robbins, THE EVERFLAVOR.”

Many of my ideas come from misunderstanding or misremembering what someone said to me, or from offhand things I say myself. One idea collides with another in my head, sloshing together, bubbling in the barrel of my brain until the right words pound a tap into my skull and liberate a brew that knocks me flat. This was one of those moments.

I saw a Baskin-Robbins, and through the glass of the freezer, I saw things that were never meant to be frozen. I saw a little girl totally at home in a world where her ice cream might have tentacles in it. She’s too young to really understand that the world she barely remembers, the world of school and newspapers and governments that didn’t all worship a different unknowable horror, is gone forever.

Her older sibling Johnny understands that very well. They’re the only family they have left, and sometimes it’s tough putting the rent together, but the glowing thing that lives in the router seems to like them, and the cults that make crossing the city such a thrilling all-day activity have a strange aversion to the little girl they call “the Terrible Child.” Which is good, because Johnny can’t make her sit still long enough to finish a sentence.

Instead, Johnny’s been working on a book that maybe someday their sister will deign to read. They write down the answers to questions, advice of the right shape to drip right out the ear, rituals to live by and to avoid. They write down what the world was like before. Someone somewhere should remember.

So here it is. I give you… a pile of pastel dust and a cheap pun! Ahem. I mean, I give you:

Sects: A Young Girl’s Illustrated Primer

A sequence of illustrations in pastel.  A small person in a black robe enters an ice-cream shop, presses themselves against the freezer, and says, "Is there... BEAN?"  They are answered by a figure behind the freezer wearing a hot pink robe, who says, "Still no.  No beans till fall.  I've told you that every day this week."
A pastel illustration of a dramatically-lit woman's face, her mouth messily stained red and open to utter her curse: "Mother, mother, cool your aching teeth once more in the frozen blood of this insect who has thrice denied - "
 A series of pastel illustrations.  A person in a black robe is beaned by a small plastic spoon thrown by the person in the pink robe, who says, "Can you NOT?  I'm not in charge of BEAN SEASON, for one, and two, if you wreck another freezer they will LITERALLY kill me.  Please.  Just order off the fucking menu."  The figure in the black robe answers, "SIGH... woe... woe and human misery illimitable..."
A pastel illustration looking down on the freezer and mixing slab of an ice-cream shop.  A figure in a pink robe reaches for a scoop among various other twitching, unearthly ephemera on the slab, and says, "That I can do.  One scoop or two?  And you want that woe whole on top, or mixed in?"  A black-robed head and upraised fingers are accompanied by the words, "Two.  On top.  Please.  also... smol spoon?  no throw..."
A pastel illustration of a girl holding what appears to be a Baskin-Robbins ice cream cup, filled with some kind of pinkish substance and topped with a translucent pyramid, inside of which is a tiny city.  The page is bordered by a fleshlike tentacle that contains the title: "Sects: A Young Girl's Illustrated Primer."

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