A thick silence blows, tumbling through the city and piling up along the gutters, sitting heavy upon the tree branches and rooftops. Everyone is gone, and I’m alone in a house. I have been for years now. I’m not really sure where the rest of the world has gotten to.
The neighborhood kids love me on Halloween. For the past fifteen years, I’ve turned my home into a haunted house for the little ones, giving them a good scare and a quart-size bag of candy on their way out the door. They especially like the full-size Snickers in every bag. Many of them call me the Snickers Lady.
The thought of Halloween nauseates me. The saccharine perfume of candy corn, the faint jostle of bloated plastic bags, the rustling of tiny feet through dead leaves—it all tempts the contents of my stomach to come spilling out. I’m not the only one. Even after fifteen years, the residents of Academy Street still lock their doors tight on old Samhain, their houses as dark and silent as the half-carved jack-o’-lanterns left to rot on their porches.
Like most horrible things, I am man-made. When scientists finally broke through the fourth wall of reality—into the Metaverse, as they called it—they couldn’t help but play god, yet again. The new handhold on reality gave them an arrogance like nothing before.
Greibus Saug was one of the last breaths of a long-dead world, if such a time and place can be fairly characterized as a world at all. This creature thrived before existence had been allowed to properly cool, and so solidify the limits and barriers now known as nature.
"Machines, Mister Paisley—like nothing you can imagine, designed solely for the purposes of extracting and distilling purest pain, in all its many delicious and exquisitely varied forms. We call these wonderful—though completely utilitarian—constructs of ours Tortuaries. But you will learn all about them soon enough.”