Codex - Ectoplasm 2 Miscellany

We are crowdsourcing the miscellany for Codex - Ectoplasm 2! This one is called “Three Dozen MORE Signs of Ghostly Habitation.” It’s a blood-curdling sequel to the original “Three Dozen Signs of Ghostly Habitation” miscellany in Codex - Ectoplasm.

Submissions should be no more than a short paragraph. By submitting here, you’re agreeing to let us use it (you’ll get a credit on the issue). We’re looking for evocative things; the purpose of the miscellany is to inspire the reader. Please avoid anything that seems like misogyny or sexual predation—we won’t publish stuff like that.

Note: if you’d like your name to be listed differently on the Codex credit, send me a DM here (but please keep your submissions in the thread).

For examples, please see the original “Three Dozen Signs of Ghostly Habitation,” linked below.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/12pFo9Y62AihSl5C8rL7MVO-x96Bhm7oX/view?usp=sharing

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Every morning you wake up to find small scabs on the back of your left hand, increasing in number until you awake to a new moon, afterwhich they vanish and the cycle repeats again.

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You remember your Mother but it takes hours, days, weeks sometimes to realize that you remember wrong: your Mother never bought you a wooden duck on wheels, your Mother had brown hair not red, your Mother was cruel not kind. Lately it’s been hard to know which of these memories is true and which is falsehood – all seem equal. Last night you even remembered, or dreamed, that you were an foundling raised by priests.

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No matter how many places you set the table for, when you leave the dining room and return, there’s one more on the table. The napkin is folded expertly.

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Hi, @Arktosaur … Very spooky!

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After you moved in, you set up your old marble chess set on the mantle. One morning, you noticed that somebody had moved the white king’s pawn two spaces forward… which was odd because you live alone and hadn’t had guests over since your housewarming party. You moved the black queen’s pawn in response. Every few weeks, white makes another move and when you notice, you make a move in return. You have no idea who you’re playing, but they’re clearly winning the game…

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At random times all the TVs in the house come on at the same time. They are tuned into the same channel, which is not always the last one they were on. What is consistent is that they always show the same death scene from the same movie. Changing TVs has not stopped the phenomenon (nor has unplugging them.)

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The streets are so busy these days, and the faddishness of fashion so unimaginative. The style of past generations back already, and with such a lack of innovation. Worse the coxcombs and trendy aesthetes are always so rude, bursting through the crowd and stepping on toes without even a nod of acknowledgment.

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Every night, you dream of flying—or perhaps, falling. The wind screams in your ears and the mist stings your face like hundreds of tiny needles. You only wake when the impact slams you back into your own body. The pile of feathers next to your bed grows steadily.

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The old chimney shaft is bricked up and plastered over, no longer in use. It seems like a large amount of space within the walls for a simple air shaft, but one has to trust the judgment of previous occupants. The really annoying bit is that on windy nights the shaft produces a low wail that sounds eerily like someone in despair behind the walls.

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You’re stirring from a good night’s sleep, cozy in your familiar bed. A warm and familiar lump is snuggled beside you, purring loudly: Mrs. Tumkins, your beloved calico. You can feel the cat’s paws knead lightly and affectionately at you through the covers… but, wait… You couldn’t bear to get another cat after Mrs. Tumkins passed away last month! You snap your eyes open to find nothing there… except a warm depression in the covers where Mrs. Tumkins liked to nap.

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All of the faces in your family photos are blank and featureless, except yours. The pictures are whole and undamaged, the similarly smooth faces covered only in a layer of skin that belies no expression. Despite this, you have a feeling they are watching you.

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From time to time—without a pattern, but at least once a month—you find a screw, bolt, nail, or other fastener somewhere conspicuous, like the kitchen table or the bathroom vanity top. It’s always taken from somewhere in the house. Sometimes, you can figure out from where; very often, you can’t. You know it’s just a matter of time before things start falling apart around you.

The phone rings. You answer, and you can hear someone trying to talk, but there’s so much static you can’t make out what they’re saying. This happens a few times—with each call, you can hear the other person becoming more frantic, though not any clearer. Then, they start getting angry, and you can make out some of their threats.

It’s bad enough that the food in your fridge is spoiling faster than usual. It’s worse to find your prescription pills have become sticky and discoloured while still in the bottle.

Sometimes, family members come to you like you called them when you didn’t, but they swear you did. Then you start hearing someone calling you from the next room. It’s your own voice. When you get there, the room is empty.

(Some of these have happened to me in dreams.)

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Whenever I rage-quit a video game because I can’t get past some stupid boss or nonsensical puzzle, when I finally go back to that game to try it again, my Continue picks up just after the bit that drove me crazy. Every time. Swear to God.

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Whenever the crew takes up a shanty, at about half a verse into it a rich, deep bass voice joins in, but no one on board can sing anywhere near that low.

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Dude, some nights its just so bananas that it’s all I can do to count down the register, drop the deposit, and head home to crash before doing again the next day. I never remember actually sorting all the bills so they’re going the same way and stacking the coins all heads-up like that, but maybe I’m just, like, so friggin’ exhausted I do it automatically?

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Captain’s log, Stardate 47202.8. Many crew members have reported seeing the ship’s former exobotanist Lt. Marta Avery at various posts on the ship, always silent, never acknowledging anyone. However, Lt. Avery died after inhaling poisonous spores while on an away mission several weeks ago. I have asked Cmdr. T’Rell to perform a thorough scan of the ship and all security systems for possible alien presence, but, so far, all scans have been negative.

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It’s getting harder and harder to read a long novel around here. In the early morning, the bookmark has always been moved. It’s as if someone is reading the book while you sleep. Someone reading it at their own pace. Is that person as annoyed as you are that that their bookmark is moved every time you finish reading? What if it were possible to use this book to communicate? How?

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No matter how neatly you make your bed, when you return, your pillows are always compressed and warmed in the middle, smelling of an animal. You don’t really mind that, or the light jingle-jangle of a collar in the middle of the night. It’s been lonely since Pepper passed. He was a good boy.

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The windows are fogged every morning - that’s not what’s different. It’s that the handprints change whenever you look.

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