Something Weird Happened Today

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Hey folks. Queerpy Tasha here. Not long ago I started posting on Facebook and Reddit about the general weirdness that goes on around here. I had no idea things would escalate the way they did. Now I find myself compelled to share my story wider. Not as a warning, but as a message. So here is how it all began.

16 November 2020

Something weird happened today.

You probably know this already, but some really weird stuff happens in this city. No? Just me. Well, probably. Whenever I bring it up with people it barely phases them.

Like the last Summer Solstice. I was out in Hyde Park celebrating in a completely responsible, socially distanced way with the local Pagans. We were there from sunrise and cheered as the mighty king rose over the horizon. We stayed all day watching as the Sun rose from the East until it was high overhead. Then it… hung there for a bit. And started moving back towards the East. It sank lower and lower towards the Eastern horizon and eventually set, to much applause from the Pagans. 

I was like, “Doesn’t the Sun usually set in West?”

And they were like, “Yeah, usually.”

I asked them. “That was pretty weird, right?”

They just shrugged. “I guess.” 

I mean… that was pretty weird, right? Right? It hasn’t done it again since, so doubt it’s anything to worry about, but, wow. That was weird.

Anyway, that’s nothing to do with what happened today. 

Town was quiet. I had been working on some job applications at Flamingos Coffee House and was on my way back to the bus station to go home. Walking down York Street, there was an oldish guy in front of me walking in the same direction. He was wearing a ratty grey suit, had short, grey hair, and blew plumes of acrid grey smoke behind him as he walked. I’m an ex-smoker so not a big fan of second hand smoke. I slowed my pace down to avoid it. 

As we got to the NCP Car Park, I spotted something fall from his pocket. It looked like a wallet. I jogged forward and picked it up. Definitely a wallet. I shouted to him to let him know and he froze on the spot and spun around like he’d just heard an explosion. He stared at me with this weird intensity. I swear I am not that scary! Then in a flash he sprinted off down a side street towards the outside bit of Leeds Market! Golly, he was fast. I ran after him, waving his wallet over my head as he disappeared around the corner. 

I rounded the corner and he was no where to be seen. There was nobody there at all. But I could still smell the smoke. I looked down, and saw a small grey cat crouched down staring at me. Its ear were all the way back and hair standing on end. It leapt away and disappeared under the stalls of the market. 

I mean, I guess that was pretty weird. But the weirdest thing was seeing the cat had a lit cigarette in its mouth. Do cats smoke? How would they even light a cigarette? Can they read the health warnings on the packaging? So many questions.

No idea where the guy got to. The wallet was empty except for a bit of change, including an old Dutch coin. I’ll keep hold of it in case I come across him again.


Cat with a Cigarette

17 November 2020

Something weird happened again today.

I live in quite a nice part of Leeds. Outside of the centre. I guess you could call it a suburb. But my home is garbage. It’s what’s known as a bedsit, which is a single room that acts as my bedroom, living room, and kitchen combined. Think studio apartment, but smaller. It has no windows due to it being a basement bedsit and just one door going in. Very miserable and gets really cold in winter. The damp is becoming a problem as well. I have to have an air filter running 24/7 to try and keep the mould problem under control.

So it probably won’t come as much of a surprise that I spend as much time outside of this burrow as possible. Fortunately, there is lovely park opposite my place. It isn’t huge, but it’s well maintained. It’s mostly a large grassy field with a few chestnut trees scattered around.

Today I was sat in my favourite spot under one of the chestnut trees. The sun had come out for a few minutes and I had a couple new manga to read which a lovely friend gave me for my birthday It was quiet except for a few dog walkers and a group of kids mummifying a dead fox they found. Nice day.

Then this bouncy golden retriever runs up to me with a tennis ball.

“Hello, pretty doggo!” I greeted it.

But it ignores me and circles round to the side of the tree, towards a random hole in the grass. I didn’t even notice it before.

Pretty doggo drops their ball into the hole and bounces backwards, tail wagging in anticipation. I thought maybe they want me to pick it up, so I start to stand when suddenly the ball rockets out of the hole and shoots about 25 meters away! Doggo chases after it.

I investigate the hole. It’s about 6 inches wide. A bit like a burrow, though there isn’t any loose soil around it. And it’s deep. Straight down. Completely vertical.

Doggo runs up again and pushes me out of the way so they can drop their ball in again. Just like before, it shoots off into the distance and doggo chases after it. Doggo’s owner walks past and smiles at me.

“She loves that hole,” they tell me.

Doggo doesn’t come back to the hole again so I continue investigating.

First I thought to drop a pebble in. It quickly disappeared into the dark. Then a few seconds later the pebble pops back up out of the hole, and plops down next to me. Pretty weird.

I turn the torch on my iPhone on and shine it down. Still can’t see the bottom. This thing is really deep. Again, I drop the pebble and see it travels a bit further this time, until it inevitably disappears. Then it comes back into view and hurtles towards me! I leap back just in time to avoid getting hit by the returning pebble and it lands a couple of feet from the entrance.

I was starting to see a pattern.

Wanting to see further down, I keep the torch on my phone on and, only somewhat hesitantly, drop it down the hole. Now I could see how far it goes! Maybe even the bottom!

It fell. And it fell. And it kept falling. And falling. The light from the torch got dimmer and dimmer. Then faded away into the dark. And I waited. And I waited. The sun was setting. I still waited. The sun set. Street lights began to flicker on. It was getting cold out. I headed home.

The effing hole robbed me.

So yeah, if anyone finds a phone, it was an iPhone SE in rose gold with an “I believe in fairies” Tinkerbell sticker on the case.


The Hole

18 November 2020

Something weird happened today.

Yesterday I went back to the hole to try and get my phone back but no luck. Sent a whole roll of string down it but still can’t find the bottom. That makes it at least 100 meters deep!

I’ve tried ringing it from a land-line, but surprise surprise, no signal. (damn you, O2). Would have been funny if someone answered. But with how deep it’s gone, it would probably count as an international call, and don’t really wanna pay for that.

The hole was wider. About a foot across now, And about two feet down it, I spotted something was stuck in the side. I reached in and grabbed it along with a handful of the dirt.

It was a little sprout. Nothing interesting. I was about to cast it aside when I noticed a noise coming from somewhere close by. It wasn’t coming from the hole. I closed my hand around the sprout and the noise stopped.


I pulled my hand up next to my ear and listened carefully. Not a sound. I slowly opened my hand and the noise started again, and it was definitely coming from the sprout! It sounded like it was crying? I cupped my other hand over the top of it, and the crying stopped again. I guess it doesn’t like the light.

Well, little buddy. You’re in luck, because I live in a basement flat with no windows.

So I brought my little buddy home, and planted them in a Nine Inch Nails coffee mug.

They live under my sink now.


The Sprout

First thing this morning I checked on the little sprout and he’s doing well. We’ve named him Gomez He’s cute. No leaves yet. Just a thin green stalk. Wonder what he’ll grow to be.

I checked on the hole again. It’s had gotten bigger again. Now it’s almost two meters wide. Still can’t see the bottom. Looks like the Council tried to fence it off with some hazard tape during the night but that’s already falling apart. Unless the Occultists took it down.

Oh, yh. The Occultists. I’ve got a good view of the park from outside of my house and saw the Occultists were setting up camp there. They’re easy to spot. Purple hooded robes, lined with gold. All of them wearing a different kind of theatrical mask, like they looted the costume department for the ball scene in Labyrinth. Love that film. Don’t love the Occultist so much. Still… nice to see people being responsible and wearing masks.

There’s about a dozen of them that I could see. Most were setting up tents or constructing their own rope fence around the hole. A local trade union had set up a stall outside their encampment. They usually show up whenever there’s any kind of gathering in the city. A couple of Occultists were being distracted by one of them handing out newspapers.

When I wandered over to do my morning check on the hole, one of the purple hooded figures approached me. She made a diamond shape with her hands by putting the index fingers and thumbs together.

“Abandon all hope, neighbour,” she chirped. By her welcoming tone, I gathered this was a greeting.

“Thanks. And you. What’s going on here?”

“Oh, we misplaced our hole.”

“That thing’s yours?”

“Yeah,” she replied meekly. “It was meant to be in Millennium Square, but looks like our coordinates were a bit off again.”


“Oh, I mean this time,” she corrected herself. “It’s kind of embarrassing. Dante was certain he got the ritual right. We must have summoned it 7 or 8 times before we found out it arrived here.”

Her voice trailed off. “Now that I think about… I hope this is the only one. Hmm. We should check on that.”

She carried on. “It’s bloody inconvenient though. If it were central Leeds we could just get a bus into town. Now we have to get a bus into town, just to get a bus back out of town. And they never show up. Bring back the trams, I say.”

I agreed. “I’m with you there. Did you know we’re the biggest city in Europe without a railed public transport system?”

“Did you know they started building an underground tram system back in the 1940s?” she responded.

“I did not.”

“Yup. But they never opened it to the public. Not surprised really. In this city, things get weird the deeper you get.”

“Well, that sounds ominous,” I thought to myself while peering down the very, very deep hole that opened up opposite my house. “If you don’t mind me asking, are you gonna be here long? And why are Occultists summoning holes in my park?”

“Excuse me,” she protested. “We’re not Occultists. We are a perfectly respectable book club.”

Oh, that’s right. Occultists were banned last year after the incident on the Headrow. If I remember, it was the called the Abomination of the Fire Breathing Hydra. Actually I think they had the same robes as these guys.

They had set up camp on Briggate and were trying to summon a very small demon they could use as a group mascot. Things didn’t go according to plan and they ended up summoning a six legged, three storey tall, 42 tonne fire breathing hydra outside PC World.

Fortunately it was quite friendly. And they managed to banish it in the end, but not before it had trampled its way to the bottom of The Headrow. The road wasn’t built for that kind of heavy foot traffic. The council are still repairing the damage to the street.

“So not the Abomination of the Fire Breathing Hydra then?”

“Nope. We’re The Followers of Virgil. I’m Rosalind by the way.”

The person handing out newspapers approached us. “Copy of Socialist Worker?”

“No, thank you.”

They moved on to someone struggling to set up a pyre.

Rosalind continued. “Don’t suppose you fancy joining our club?”

“I’m more into manga. I’d watch your step around that hole. I lost my phone down it earlier this week.”

“You mean this one?” Rosalind pulled my rose gold iPhone out from under her robe.

“That’s it! Thank you! Wait, how did you get it?”

“It’s how we found the hole. Dante got a text from your phone saying he screwed up the coordinates. Then the hole spat it out when we got here.”

“It’s not even cracked. Nice. Really appreciate it.”

“No problem, neighbour. Glad we found its owner. I got to get back to setting up the tents, but it’s been nice chatting. You know where to find us if you do wanna sign up for the book club.”

It’s definitely a cult. “Sure. I’ll think about it.”

“Abandon all hope, neighbour.”

“You too.”

Now here’s where it gets weird. My phone was absolutely fine. It even still had a charge! But now it can connect to my mobile network even while I’m underground which is weird because I could never get a signal in my basement flat before. And the WiFi isn’t working properly. It keeps disconnecting from my home network and reconnecting to some other network whose WiFi name is just corrupted ASCII characters. Complete gibberish. It’s got good bandwidth so I’m not complaining. It’s just weird.


The Occultist’s Hands

19 November 2020

Something weird happened today.

I’m worried about Gomez. For anyone who doesn’t know, Gomez is the name of the sprout I rescued from the side of a bottomless pit that was summoned in the park opposite my house by a group of Occultists masquerading as a book club.

The Occultists are settled now. There are five large tents surrounding the hole, which has finally been fenced off. It has a bit of a carnival atmosphere, which is probably due in part to the actual carnival which has set up next to them. It’s fun. There are open air food stalls and many of the usual fairground attractions like a small roller-coaster, Ferris wheel etc.

I’d watch your step in the hall of mirrors though. Very easy to get lost. Not saying I did, but I certainly took a wrong turn somewhere.

If you haven’t been in one before, it’s like a maze made entirely out of mirrors. Some of the mirrors are warped, creating amusing reflections. For Gen Z, this is what we had before Snapchat filters. Simpler days.

At the end of a long mirrored corridor I found a dead end with a door. On the door was a sign saying “DEVIL’S TOYBOX” and “DO NOT CLOSE”. It was closed. So I opened it.

Inside was a small room. The exact size of the room wasn’t obvious because of the mirrors. It wasn’t until I stepped in that I saw it was about 5 foot square and mirrored on all sides, even the floor and ceiling! In all directions I was staring into infinity, with my reflection endlessly repeating into the distance.

Then I heard a soft clunk and the room went dark. The door had closed behind me!

I turned around and tried to feel for the door, but couldn’t find it. I kept walking towards where it should have been but there was only empty space.

After a few minutes of wandering, my eyes began adjusting to the dark and I noticed that I could no longer see my reflection in the walls. But there was… something… in there with me. I couldn’t make it out clearly in the low light. Just a dark blur, as big as a car, slowly circling me. To my left I thought I could make out a faint light way off in the distance, so I quickly made my way to it with my arms stretched out in front of me. It was the door! Phew!

As I left, I propped the door open with a bit of cardboard. Silly thing could be dangerous. No harm done I guess, except I’m left-handed now.

3/10. Would not recommend. The falafel stall is good though.

While I was there I went to check on the hole. It had stopped growing, which is nice. Rosalind was there by the fence throwing in handfuls of sunflower seeds. She was easy to spot with her barn owl masquerade mask and she recognised me too.

“Abandon all hope, neighbour!” she greeted me cheerily.

“Way ahead of you, friend. How’s the hole?”

Rosalind stopped throwing in seeds and sighed. “I mean, it’s fine I guess. But we were expecting something more which hasn’t manifested yet. Hoping these seeds might speed things along. Hey, have you parted your hair differently?”

Bloody Hall of Mirrors. “Long story,” I told her. “What were you expecting?”

“Well we’re all eager to get down this here hole, right? But none of us wanna risk it until our guide shows up. Virgil was supposed to arrive as a dryad and lead us down. No sign of him yet.”

“Well, don’t give up hope.”

“I won’t. I… Ohhhh you got me. Haha. Abandon all hope, neighbour.”

“And you.”

Where was I going with this? Oh yeah, I was telling you about Gomez.

Well, he hasn’t really been growing. I’ve been really worried about him. Plants usually have leaves, right? Well, from what I’ve read plants normally like lots of light too, but Gomez is just a stalk and cries if I even have t’big light on in my room. Wasn’t sure whether he was going to survive, until this morning when he began to grow a bulb on the tip of his stalk.

It looks kind of like a tulip, but more, I dunno, eye-ish. And now he won’t stop staring at me. I’ll try watering him a bit more. Maybe he needs more fertiliser?


Eyeball Plant

19 November 2020

Something weird happened last night.

It’s been snowing again so during my daily checks on the hole I took Rosalind a coffee to warm herself up. The snow was coming down hard, and she was sat in a beach chair beside the hole with a parasol heavy with the fallen snow. Her eyes lit up as I handed her the hot drink. I was hoping she would take off her owl mask to drink it. No luck. She had mastered a technique of sipping it from under the mask.

I felt like we had been getting pretty familiar, so I asked her what made her want to join this ‘book club’.

“Just a change of pace really. I used to work in a genetics lab. About a year ago I was brought a DNA fragment to sequence that was found inside a meteor.”

“Not the meteor that wiped out the City Square pigeons?!” I asked her.

“That’s the one. Lucky no one got hurt. Except the pigeons I guess. Poor pidgies.

“Anyhow, this DNA. It had all the usual AT CG base pairs, but at one point there was a pair we hadn’t seen before. We named them YZ and it only showed up once in the short sequence. We decided to stick the pair in the DNA of an E coli bacteria to see if it did anything, similar to how we manufacture insulin. Maybe we’d synthesise some exotic protein from it?

“Instead, adding that single base pair changed the entire nature of the organism. It quickly became a colony and then a simple multicellular organism similar to a water bear. But it didn’t stop there. It became more complex. Growing to the size of a grapefruit. It looked a bit like a cross between a toad and a hippo, with a long yellow stalk coming from its back.

“One morning, it decided it didn’t want to sit in its nutrient solution any more so it began hovering about 3 feet in the air above it. Just vibing. And its form had changed again. It’s hard to describe. Kinda like a black void? Picture a neutron star, but instead of shining light, it radiates terror, existential dread and the anxiety you feel when waiting to hear about the outcome of a job performance review for a job you really need because society is literally falling apart and apparently now would be a perfect time to make you redundant, even though there was a perfectly good furlough scheme that could be funding your wages.

“It was pretty nuanced as ominous voids go.

“I left soon after that. Not sure what happened to it. I guess it’s still there.”

I left her to sip her coffee and went to check on Gomez. He’s stopped staring at me now, but he won’t take his eye off the second door to my room. I’ve no idea where that door goes. As I’ve said before, I live in a basement and until last night there was only one door in here. At least, I think there was. Maybe I just haven’t noticed it before? I’m surrounded by dirt on all sides so there shouldn’t be another room down here.

It isn’t even really a door. Just a door shaped opening in the corner of my room edged with an inscription that reads:

Per me si va ne la città dolente,

Per me si va ne l’etterno dolore,

Per me si va tra perduta gente.

Which Google Translates reads as “Null Reference Exception: Hope Not Found”, but my phone has been playing up since its trip down the hole so it could be a recipe for vegan pain au chocolat for all I know.

The mysterious door leads to a damp narrow staircase spiralling deep into darkness. The ceiling drips with a malodorous fluid from finger-like stalactites onto the stairs, making them slick and treacherous. The walls are irregularly cut stone with crumbling mortar. Every surface is covered in a mosaic of slime mould lined in miserable gardens of nitre.

This has to be a health hazard. I’ve covered it with a bed sheet.

I emailed my landlords to complain. They say it’s probably rising damp and they’ll send someone to have a look at it. They better sort it out soon. There is a hot and humid draft pouring out of it and the screams are keeping me up at night.


The Creepy Doorway

20 November 2020

Something weird happened just now.

Things have been escalating with the Occultists in the park. This Virgil character still hasn’t shown up and they have been getting… agitated lately. The fairground has been taken down. Now there is only their campsite around the hole dotted with pyres that burn throughout the night as they try evermore eccentric rituals. The locals are getting tired of them. At the supermarket there were people collecting signatures to get them moved and for the council to fill in the hole. I’m honestly surprised they’ve lasted this long, what with the citywide ban on Occultists.

I was on my way home from my weekly shop and passed the pub. Through the window I saw one of the Occultists perched at the bar with her head nesting in her arms. Resting on the bar in front of her I recognised Rosalind’s owl mask. I hadn’t seen Rosalind without her mask before. I peered through the window to get a better look. She was a mess. Her hair was dishevelled, her boots caked in mud, and her robes were soaked in blood. One of her hands picked at the label of a bottle of berry cider. I couldn’t see her face from where I was so I went in to say hi.

“Abandon all hope, neighbour,” I greeted her. She lifted her head from her arms and turned around.

“Tasha,” she smiled before plopping her face back into her arms. “Way ahead of you.” She waved a hand at the empty stool beside her. “Have a seat.”

“What happened to you?” I sat and ordered a coffee.

“Urg. It’s Dante. He’s pisssssed.”

“Still no Virgil then?”

“Nope.” She slugged at her cider. “Y’know, when I joined this book club I thought we would just be reading epic poetry, hanging out with friends, starting a podcast, and maybe summoning a low level owl demon or something. No one said anything about having to bathe in the blood of anemones when we’re camped around a bottomless pit with no hot running water for a shower.”

“Wait. Blood of anemones?”

“I know, right? Probably another mistranslation. I’m starting to think Dante isn’t a very good occultist.”

“Ha! So you *are* Occultists!”

“Shhhh!” she hissed. “Not so loud. OK. Yes. Fine. It’s a cult. Just don’t tell the Council.” She sighed.

“So, what’s the deal with the hole?”

“It’s meant to be a stairway to the underworld. Dante summoned it. But there’s no way down without Virgil. They’re the guide who’s meant to lead us down there.”

“Why would you want to go to the underworld?!”

“I don’t! It’s all Dante. He’s getting insufferable. Every night it’s some new ritual to get Virgil to appear. All so he can raise one of Leviathan’s apostles. I just want to go back to raising genetically modified owls and reading creepypasta.”

“Omg, I love creepypasta. What’s your favourite?”

“Hmm,” she pondered. “Maybe Tales from the Gas Station. Or Lonely Broadcast Station.”

I nodded enthusiastically. “They’re so good. Quite a few series like those popping up now.”

She shrugged. “Yh, a bit derivative, but still good.”

We sipped our drinks.

“Now a creepypasta bookclub,” she continued. “I could get behind that.”

“Sign me up.” Now I could clearly see her face, I took a moment to check her out, out of the corner of my eye of course so as not to be too obvious. Even with the anemone blood soaked robes, and the patches of mud, she was cute. Very cute. Too cute to live (possibly deceased). “What if it was queer, though?” I asked testingly.

“OMG!” She sat up and faced me. “What if it was queer though? That would rock. I wonder if that even exists. Queer creepypasta I mean.”

“It must do,” I grinned. “Y’know. If you want a shower there’s hot water at my place. I live just over the road from the hole.”

Oh she’s coming back from ladies. Sorry, was trying to write this all out while she was gone. Long story short, I’ve got a guest coming back to my place. 😀 Hope she doesn’t mind the creepy doorway.


The Occultist’s Owl Mask

20 November 2020

Something weird happened tonight.

Ooooh we fked up. So Rosalind came back to my place and had a shower. Afterwards we chatted for a bit before she eventually asked… what was behind the bed sheet in the corner of my room? I pulled it aside and showed her.

She. Flipped. Out. Y’know that stairway to hell the Occultists have been trying to summon? Well, here it is.


“Is this bad?”


“Well, a few days anyway.”

“Do you have any idea what’s down there?! That is a direct opening to the gates of hell! All the worst parts of HP Lovecraft and Clive Barker combined. Why’re you even alive?!”

“That seems more of philosophical question…”

She grabbed me by my shirt collar and stared straight into my eyes. “I am dead serious. Just an open door in your bedroom to the harbingers of everlasting torment. A cage for creatures too foul to desecrate the Earth with their malevolence. The Labyrinth to the nine circles of Hell!”

“OK! OK! That obviously does not sound good.”

She released me and tentatively peeked down the stairway. “How is this even possible? How did it end up here of all places? And the stairs. Only Virgil could have done this.” She gasped. “You’re Virgil?!”

I laughed. “Ha. I am definitely not Virgil.”

“You’re Virgil!” she asserted.

“I swear I’m not! I don’t know anything about this!”

“It’s the only explainati…” she paused. There was a rustling coming from the cupboard under my sink. Rosalind grabbed an empty wine bottle from the coffee table and brandished it as a club. She positioned herself between me and the cupboard. “Stay back,” she commanded me and began inching towards the cupboard. She slowly put her hand on the handle, raised the bottle above her head, then swiftly flung open the door!

Gomez blinked up at her from the lower shelf.

I held my chest and sighed in relief. “Phew, it’s only Gomez.” Rosalind lowered her club. She looked puzzled.

“Gomez?” She knelt down to have a closer look.
I explained it grew from a sapling I rescued from the hole. Rosalind pinched her temple in frustration.

“All this time,” she repeated. “Virgil has been sitting in a coffee mug under your sink.”

“Ohhhhh, *that’s* Virgil!” I knelt beside Rosalind and spoke to the eye plant. “I’m sorry, Virgil. I’ve been calling you Gomez this whole time. What are your pronouns?”

“I’m pretty sure he can’t speak,” she said. Virgil nodded in agreement. “Looks like he couldn’t grow fully formed after getting plucked. Oh shit. Dante’s gonna be pissed.” She stood up and turned back towards the doorway. “He’s gonna be so pissed. We have to seal it. Or he’ll have your blood.”

“Hey, wait a minute!” I protested. “This wasn’t my fault!”

“You have no idea what you have gotten yourself in to. Dante might be a shit occultist but he isn’t playing games. How much clearer do I have to spell it out. This is a doorway to Hell! A conduit to every horror ever imagined and a limitless font of forbidden knowledge and heresy. In *your* bedroom. And you’ve reduced our only guide through it to an eye stalk!”

“Fine! What do we have to do?”

“I have to go back to camp.” She began collecting her things. “With any luck I can find the ritual to seal it in our community library. And that we can perform it with just two people. Otherwise, we’re gonna need reinforcements. Lock the door behind me and keep Virgil away from that doorway. I’ll be back as soon as I can. Don’t answer the door to anyone else.”

She’s been gone for hours now. I’ve moved Virgil to my bedside table on the opposite side of the room. He keeps looking between me and the doorway, as if asking me “What am I waiting for?”

What was I waiting for again?


Virgil, The Eyeball Plant

21 November 2020

Something weird happened this morning.

I’m not sure if this is gonna go through. There’s no signal down here so have to use the weird open wifi network.

Things have escalated. I dozed off during the night and early this morning a frantic knocking on my front door woke me up. It was Rosalind.

“We have to go. We have to go now,” she told me. “Get dressed. We’re going.”

“What happened? Didn’t you get the ritual?”

She shook her head. “And Dante knows Virgil is nearby. He’s figured out some kind of tracking spell. No time to explain.”

I had already started getting dressed. “Shouldn’t we take Virgil?”

“Screw Virgil! We’ve gotta go!”

I grabbed my bag and nodded that I was ready. Before we got to the door, there was a gentle knocking from the other side. *tap *tap *tap We stopped in our tracks.

“Rosalinnnd,” came the voice from the other side of the door. “We know you’re in there.”

“Fuck,” Rosalind whispered.

“Rosalinnnnnd. Why would you be hiding Virgil from me?”

Rosalind put a finger to her lips, telling me to stay quiet.


“ROSALIND! You can’t hide from us!”

We stayed perfectly silent.

“Break the door,” we heard from outside.

Rosalind looked around panicking for a way to escape, but this is a basement flat. There are no windows. No other doors. No other doors except…

“We’re out of options,” I told Rosalind and pulled her towards the creepy doorway.

She struggled against my grip, shaking her head in protest. “Down there is no better than what’s out there! And they’ll follow us!”

I grabbed Virgil from my bedside table. “We have something they don’t.”

“That’s the thing they’re following!” she hissed.

Something rammed hard against the front door, nearly taking it off the frame. Rosalind grabbed my hand. She grit her teeth and looked towards the creepy doorway.

“Let’s go.”

We began descending the damp stairs, holding onto the walls to balance ourselves. The racket continued from above us. It wasn’t a strong door so it was only a matter of time before they would break through.

After thousands of steps, we reached the bottom. We entered a dark chamber and on the other side was another doorway, leading to a corridor similar to the staircase; damp and mouldy. We stood outside this new doorway. Virgil’s eye widened in excitement and beckoned us to go through.

“The Labyrinth,” Rosalind told me, still holding my hand.

“Where does it go?” I asked.

“Nowhere good. And there are things in the Labyrinth that don’t want us there.” She let go of my hand and looked up the staircase, listening for any movement.

“Do you hear anything?” I asked her.

“Shh.” Her brow furrowed. I could tell she could hear something. I thought I could hear something too. Not footsteps though. More like screaming. And it was getting louder! We backed up towards the entrance to the Labyrinth. The screaming got louder and it was accompanied by crashing noises. A second later, a beat up occultist tumbled head over heals into the chamber, covered in lacerations from falling down all of those steps. Their arm looked broken.

“They’re following,” said Rosalind.

“Is he dead?”

The body on the floor groaned, and tried to get up. It looked up at us and snarled. From far off up the staircase we heard a voice echoing.


The battered occultist managed to stand up and glared at us.

“We are so fucked,” Rosalind whimpered. She grabbed my hand again and ran into the Labyrinth. “Follow Virgil! He’ll guide us through.” she told me.

“To where?!” I asked her. She didn’t reply.

We ran through the maze of wide corridors, following whatever direction Virgil was looking. We could hear the battered occultist limping not far behind us.

We hit a dead end! We both looked to Virgil, and he looked straight back up at us, not giving any indication of where to go. Rosalind grabbed the coffee mug Virgil sat in and shook it.

“Which way?!” she demanded, but Virgil gave us nothing. The limping of the occultist was getting closer. We pressed our backs against the wall.

“There’s two of us,” I said, “and one of him. And he’s pretty beaten up. We can take him.”

“Shhh,” Rosalind quieted me. “He might not find us if we stay quiet.” Virgil nodded.

But the limping was still getting closer. And closer. A bloodied hand emerged from around the corner, followed by the bloody occultist. He was a mess and leaned against the wall to support himself.

“Found you!”

Then in the blink of an eye, an enormous black beast hurtled out of a side passage, crashed into the side of him and pinned him against the stone wall. The occultist’s scream curdled the air. The beast had three heads and all three drooled down upon the occultist. The central head widened its jaws.

“No! No!” screamed the occultist, who fell suddenly silent as the black beast’s jaws wrapped around his head and plucked it from his body, like a cherry from a stem. His body fell limp in its grasp. The jaws closed and crunched like celery. Rosalind and I held each other in the corner of our dead end, watching silently. The beast dragged the body off down another passage and it was quiet again.

The silence was broken by the echoing call of “Rosalllinnnnnd,” from somewhere deep in the Labyrinth.

We’re still wandering the Labyrinth, following Virgil’s gaze and praying he leads to a way out.


Spiral Staircase to the Underworld

21 November 2020

We wandered down the Labyrinth many hours. Rosalind and I discussed what even was this place. She didn’t know much. She never planned to come down here. All she really knew is that this was a physical place that existed beneath the city. She knew this was the Labyrinth that lead to the nine circles. What lay within the circles she did not know.

Through the cold walls of the Labyrinth we could hear the creature stalking. Occasionally Virgil would lead us to another dead end where we would wait for the creature to pass again, and we would catch a glimpse its terrifying form, before Virgil would lead us onwards once more.

Now and then we could hear Dante calling to us. He hasn’t lost ground. I could tell Rosalind was scared. I’m not sure why she chose to help me.

Eventually we found ourselves in a round room surrounded by mirrors. There was no entrance or exit to this room. It was as if we stumbled into it through the geometry of another dimension we could not reach by choice. There was no way out of it now. I’d seen a place like this before; at the fairground of the occultist campsite. The room of mirrors reflecting infinitely that had trapped me before. I placed my hand against the glass of one of the mirrors. It was cold and solid and our reflections were clearly seen on the other side of it. Our reflections repeated as they bounced between the mirrors far off into the distance before fading into darkness. Between the recursive reflections I could see the shadow of the beast prowling.

“Nine mirrors,” Rosalind said as she sat upon the flagstone floor. I looked around. She was right.

Virgil had stopped leading. This was clearly the destination. I placed him on the floor and went to sit by Rosalind. We were exhausted, hungry and thirsty. We stared into the mirrors watching the reflection of the three headed beast roaming between them.

I checked Facebook to see if anyone had responded to our last post. Five thumbs up. Five heart reacts. A few comments like “Brilliant!” and “So exciting!” and “You should turn these stories into a podcast!”

I sighed. “I don’t think help is coming.”

Rosalind shook her head. “Abandon all hope, neighbour.”

I nodded. “Indeed.”

“There you are.” A familiar voice came from behind us. We saw an occultist emerge from the darkness between our reflections. We jumped back to our feet and faced him.

“Dante,” croaked Rosalind.

“Hello, Rosalinnnd. And who is this with you?” He asked, turning to me. “Virgil,” he commanded, extending an open hand. “Come to me. I am your master now.” I could see his other hand held an ornate dagger.

I shook my head and slid Virgil forward along the floor with my foot. “I’m Tasha. This is Virgil.”

Virgil blinked. Dante looked down at the eye stalk, and back up at me. He snarled and charged at Rosalind, crashing her against one of the mirrors, causing it to crack. Dante pressed his dagger against her throat.

“What game are you playing, Rosalinnnd?” She struggled against him and I tried to pull him off but we were too weak from hunger. He threw me off like I weighed nothing. “We’ve been playing cat and mouse long enough. I DO NOT. HAVE PATIENCE. FOR GAMES!”

“GET OFF OF HER!” I yelled, and got back on my feet.

Above Rosalind’s head, a set of enormous black jaws emerged from the cracked glass. Dante froze. The beast panted heavily, its breath formed clouds in the damp air that circled around them. Rosalind locked eyes with me. She opened her mouth to say something and the great jaws lowered around her head and removed it from her. Only her body remained, slumped against the broken glass. The beast carried her head off deep into the mirror’s reflection until it was gone.

“Rosalind…” I whimpered. “No.” This was all my fault.

Dante huffed. “No matter. One of you is Virgil. Now. Lead me to The Editor.”

“You killed Rosalind!” I screamed, tears raining down my cheeks.

He grabbed me. “This is not how this story was meant to go. You will lead me to The Editor or we can both die here in Limbo.”

“I don’t know what that means!” I screamed, thrashing against him. He briefly lost his footing and knocked Virgil over.

“You…” his words were cut short as a dark shadow leapt from the mirror and ripped his head from his torso. The beast swallowed it whole and turned to me with ravenous fury in its eyes. My time was up. I thought about what I could have done differently. What an idiot I was. I should have figured this out. It was all so obvious now. I should have left the hole well alone. I should never have taken that sprout.

I picked up Virgil and faced the beast, ready to accept my fate. Over its shoulder, within one of the mirrors, Rosalind was silently pounding her fist on the glass, wordlessly yelling at me.


The beast leapt and my world went dark.

I was in a room. It was about 10 foot square but its edges were hard to define. It repeated on all sides, just like in the mirror room. There was no ceiling. I could see a sky high above me unlike any I’d seen before. It was made of undulating flesh covered in membranous villi that swayed as if in a soft breeze. It was quiet. In the centre of the room was a simple wooden chair that repeated along with the room. Its feet were black with rot creeping up the legs.

I was sat in the chair. I was looking at myself sat in the chair. And I repeated along with the chair along with the room indefinitely in all directions.

I was sitting still in the chair. My eyes and mouth wide open. Arms limp at my side and neck craned backwards so that I was staring up at the hungry sky.

Virgil was with me, staring towards the next room. I walked to the next room. I was there too. In the chair. Staring up. Never blinking. Breathless.

I walked to the next room. And the next. And the next.

I walked for what felt like days. It was hard to tell. There was no day or night. Time moves strangely in the Circle. There was only the room I stood in and the echoing path ahead.

Ahead of me was a different chair. I walked towards it. I wasn’t sitting in this chair. It was Dante. Sat in the same position I was in. Rosalind was there too. Looking over Dante as I did.

His flesh was dry. Desiccated. Brittle skin wrapped around his bones like paper. His eyes, staring upward, sunk into his skull as two shallow pits.

He coughed. The flesh of his lips cracked and they began to move.

“Rosalind… Tasha… I have been… waiting… for this moment…” His neck creaked upright and his head dropped down. “… for millennia…” His eyes closed as he continued. “He takes our past. He takes our present. He leaves us with our future. An endless future. Alone. In silence. In perpetual stasis. Never changing. Eons of nothing. In time, even thoughts fall silent. All we have, all we are, is anticipation of the nothing that is to come.”

Rosalind and I looked at each other.

“Who is He?” I asked.

“The Editor!” he coughed. “There is only endless time in His circle. And fear. We see forward. Into the infinite and empty void. We see how empty it is. And we fear every hollow second that is to come. We suffer.

“But I was blessed by Him. I, I could see a moment in time that was to come. 3000 years into the void. One unlike all the others. I was blessed with this moment to bring you a choice. How I’ve longed for this moment. But soon… even this precious moment shall pass. Then there will be nothing. This will be your fate too. You will wander. In time, your flesh will grow weary. It will abandon you, as all things will. Eventually, you will sit a while. And you will not get up.”

“You said there was a choice,” I told him.

“Be His apostle on Earth. Or be devoured by your future here.”

“Why us?” asked Rosalind.

“You are storytellers. As are all preachers.”

“I mean… I post a bit on Facebook and Reddit.”

“Yes. Yes. He follows your Reddit account.”

“Then he never up votes.”

“What is your choice?” He asked, pointing towards two empty wooden chairs in the next room. “Fear The Editor, or… sit with me for a while.”

“What do you think?” I asked Rosalind. “You know more about this stuff than me.”

Rosalind thought for a moment. “This is hardly a choice.”

I nodded and took Rosalind’s hand.

“We fear The Editor.”

The rooms were gone. Instead we were standing in what looked like a derelict subway station. The tracks appeared as though they had been rusting for decades. On the platform there was an old rotten tram car. The air was saturated with damp and the smell of mould.

“What just happened?” I asked Rosalind. She looked as confused as I. “Are we back in the Labyrinth?”

“I think… we just made a deal with the devil. Ahh!” She grabbed her head in pain and I covered my ears as we were surrounded by a din of static. “The Editor! I meant deal with The Editor!” The din died down.

“Sounds about right,” I replied, my ears still ringing. “So what are we supposed to do? Go out on the streets and tell stories?”

“I dunno.” replied Rosalind. “We could do a podcast?”

An old grey cat dashed from between our legs into the tram and an old grey man appeared at the driver’s window.

“You getting in or not?” he asked, like we’d been keeping him waiting. I shrugged at Rosalind and we got on board.

“Don’t I know you from somewhere?” I asked the tram driver.

“Unlikely,” he scoffed as he lit a cigarette. His name badge labelled him as Charon.

“Hey yeah! You’re the guy who dropped his wallet near Leeds Market!”

“Eh?” grunted Charon.

“I have something of yours.” I pulled the wallet I found out of my bag and handed it to him. His eyes lit up.

“My cig money!” he grabbed it and rummaged through.

“It’s all there,” I assured him.

He tipped his cap to me. “Well, ta very much, love. Let’s get you back to Leeds.”

The tram bell rang twice, and the wheels excruciatingly squealed into motion on the old rusted tracks.

“We could start a podcast,” Rosalind continued.


“A podcast for telling stories and convincing people to fear The Editor.”

“Ohhh, like that queer creepypasta idea we had. What would we call it though?”

“Horror Queers?” she suggested.

I got out my phone. “Taken.”

“Frigay the Thirteenth? “

“Also taken.”

“Queer Horror Cult? “

“Dammit. All the good names are taken.”


“That has to be taken. Oh, wait. That’s free. I like it. Queerpypasta.”

“Rolls off the tongue doesn’t it?”



So something weird happened this weekend. We were chased into hell by a lunatic occultist and now I guess we’re starting a podcast?


The Beast In The Mirror

The Queerpypasta Show – Episode 1 – LGBT Representation in Creepypasta

Tasha and Rosalind discuss the LGBT creepypasta horror stories they have narrated, how they produced the episodes, and what they learned along the way.

Queerpypasta on Apple PodcastsQueerpypasta on SpotifyQueerpypasta on YouTube
Queerpypasta on PodBeanPodchaser
Queerpypasta on PlayerFMQueerpypasta on TuneIn

Narrations and Creepypastas discussed in this episode:

The Skeletal Grin by Queerpy Tasha

There Is A Hidden Video On Netflix Called Congratulations38.avi by 5thDimensionFreak

Queer by Polonium Poisoning

Am I In The Wrong For Standing Up To My Mom? By Captain Raffyoli

Erasure by Max Lobdell

I Was Just A Child When Someone Stole My Reflection

I Believe In The One by icantbreatheanymore0

Suicide Mouse

Also Mentioned:

Jim Henson’s Storyteller

Spinsters of Horror, I Spit On Your Podcast

Nightmare on Elm Street 4


Special Thanks to

Marisa Ewing

Nico Vettesse


Tasha: How’s it going, everyone. I am Queerpy Tasha.

Rosalind: And I am Rosalind Saville. Hello.

Tasha: And you are listening to the Queerpypasta Show! Yay!

Tasha: We’ve made it. We’ve got our pilot series out, the six episodes we wanted to get out by the end of the year, so what we are doing now, with the Queerpypasta Show is something we are wanting to do, maybe monthly? Where we can go back and talk about the stories we have narrated. We can also use this time to bring on guests and talk about queerness in horror fiction. And just a chance to speak to you peeps as well.

Tasha: So, Rosalind, how do you think it’s going so far?

Rosalind: It’s going well. How are you

Tasha: I’m doing well. We’ve had a busy day to day listening to every episode we’ve produced so far.

Rosalind: Oh dear.

Tasha: I know. it’s been a ride. Its great listening to your own voice. But I think we can both agree that the other one is the better narrator. It is definitely you, so I’m glad we are agreed on that.

Rosalind: If by you, you mean you, then you are correct.

Tasha: I do mean you. Hahaha. Erm yh. It’s a great collection of stories. I think every single one of them we got from the NoSleep subreddit and it is such a great community.

Rosalind: You say we, but full disclosure here, you did a lot of the foot work finding the stories.=.]

Tasha: Well, it’s interesting how we found the stories actually. On NoSleep and various other creepypasta subreddits, I made some posts saying, hey do you know any stories with LGBTQ representation we would be able to narrate. As you would expect there was a mixed response from most creepypasta groups, but the response was on the who very good, and with NoSleep there’s never been any problems there. In fact, I think 5th Dimension Freak was one of the authors who offered their story that way. I think the first few stories we found that way, the first was Erasure, then it was Queer. You also had a look for some stories and you did find one that you narrated didn’t you?

Rosalind: Yh, but unfortunately we couldn’t release because we couldn’t get in touch with the author at all. 

Tasha: Sad.

Rosalind: Yeah. I really wanted to do that one as well. I quite liked that one. Can we shout out a recommendation for it maybe?

Tasha: Absolutely.

Rosalind: Yh, it’s called….

Tasha: I believe in the one want it?

Rosalind: Yes! I believe in the one by I can’t breathe anymore0. I quite enjoyed that story. I wish we could have done a proper narration of it and released it.

Tasha: It’s just a shame we couldn’t get in touch with the author about it. I think it was gay representation?

Rosalind: Yeah, it centres around a gay male couple. And I don’t really want to ruin the story for anyone but I quite like the way it goes.

Tasha: For sure. We are definitely going to be going through spoilers on all the stories we have narrated so far. So if you haven’t listened to any of our narrations yet, I would recommend going back and listening to those stories first. 

Rosalind: Although if you want to be a rebel and listen to this anywhere and then go back to listen to them fair play to you.

Tasha: Hahaha. So, the first story we narrated is called the Skeletal Grin. Who’s the author of that one? I can’t remember?

Rosalind: Oh I don’t know, someone I’ve never heard of.

Tasha: Some obscure nobody. Oh it was… it was me wasn’t it?!

Rosalind: Hahaha.

Tasha: That’s right. Skeletal Grin. That was the first story we released anyway. That wasn’t the first story I narrated. I actually narrated another story I wrote call I Caught A Hare which we haven’t released yet. We might release it further down the line. It is recorded anyway.

Rosalind: I really liked I Caught A Hare.

Tasha: I like it too. It’s my kind of humour in it. The Skeletal Grin I wanted to have one there because if I’m going to use one of my own stories, I want it to be one with the strongest LGBT representation. Of course The Skeletal Grin has a lesbian protagonist. It is one of my favourite stories I’ve written. That, and I Caught A Hare. I don’t think I’ve put I’ve Caught A Hare on the internet. So I should probably post it at some point.

Rosalind: I concur. Absolutely. How did you find comparative to the other stories that we’ve done, I imagine this is a bit different considering you are narrating something you yourself have written, so I imagine you know the right cadence and emphasis. The pacing of it.

Tasha: It’s great narrators narrating stories they have written themselves. When you are writing a story, you are often writing it in your own voice. So it is really easy to narrate. You know exactly how each line is supposed to be read. For other author’s work, you really need to go deep into the story and think carefully about who this character is and how do they sound. How are they actually saying each line. The Skeletal Grin was the story I narrated after I Caught A Hare, so the first two stories I narrated were stories I wrote myself, which gave me an easier time starting out I think.

Rosalind: Yeah it’s easier with some stories. Some are more descriptive about the way the speech is done.

Tasha: Hmm mm

Rosalind: Yeah, that was one of your first narrations wasn’t it. so looking back now after doing a few, and finishing the pilot series, do you think there is anything different you would do?

Tasha: I think, erm, I think I could probably do better on the production because there is a lot of voice acting which is quite loud. Like shouting. Like no no! and it’s harder to shout in a scared or angry way into a microphone when you are just doing a normal narrations because you’ll peak your levels. I don’t think I really had the skill back then to really balance out all the levels, or even move the mic away so I can shout at I loud amplitude, so it sounds like I’m shouting, but not blowing out the listeners eardrums. So I think I’ve learnt I can do a lot more on the production. I think I would have narrated it the same way.

Rosalind: I really liked your narrations of it. The way you conveyed the main characters… I don’t think their name was mentioned was it?

Tasha: No I don’t think I named the main character. The children and the wife were named.

Rosalind: Yeah. So when the main character is experiencing fear, panic, or even curiosity that does really come through in your voice. 

Oh thank you. I tried to anyway. I mean there’s a lot of subtlety in the story. Like the whole metaphor with the butterflies. She’s in a room, well she’s terrified of death, and she’s surrounded by walls which are literally covered floor to ceiling with the bodies of dead butterflies. So she’s in this cage of death which she created for herself, and that’s kind of how ironic? That weird juxtaposition with her fear of death at the same time.

Rosalind: Yeah, I feel like I can sort of relate to that because, it’s like, as you know, I have quite a fear of spiders. I love looking at them though. I find them very interesting and it is kind of a morbid fascination, since I am terrified of them as well.

Tasha: It’s something along those lines, yeah

Rosalind: I also got the impression it also represented the fragility of life.

Tasha: Yeah, in fact it’s portrayed as the way that… it begins the way that it begins where, she is fascinated by this butterfly on her windowsill, which then dies. She cherishes this butterfly. This vibrant and youthful thing emanating… vitality, and it just dies, and even though it’s colours are still there it’s lost all that vibrancy. Then exactly the same thing happens when of course she is holding her wife in her arms, so it loops back on itself, straight back to that poem or verse.

Rosalind: I would say Skeletal Grin is one of my favourites personally.

Tasha: I would disagree haha. I definitely prefer your narrations. A couple of your stories…

Rosalind: You would say that though wouldn’t you?

Tasha: Yes!

Rosalind: A big no you.

Tasha: No you!

Tasha: Hahaha. So yeah, it’s kind of inspired by… well, I used to live in India when I was around 10 to 13, and I remember what life was like back then, like Madras, and of course Madras is now Chennai. I changed relatively recently. But I think that helped show it was in the before times. The long long ago. But the story is really inspired by Jim Henson’s the Storyteller.

Rosalind: No.

Tasha: Oh I loved it. Even the theme tune I still have stuck in my head on loop from since I was like 5. Doo doo doo doo doo.

Rosalind: Jim Henson? Is that the guy who did the Muppets?

Tasha: Yeah! And Sesame Street. He also did The Storyteller, oh, and a few other movies. God, why can’t I think of them now… Oh! bluh bluh bluh Dark Crystal! …And Labyrinth. 

Rosalind: Yeah, I loved the Labyrinth. Surprisingly I’ve never seen Dark Crystal.

Tasha: Really?! 

Rosalind: Yeah.

Tasha: Wow. I absolutely loved the series they did on Netflix. It might even be better than the movie. When I heard they were going back to it of course you think, urg, they’re gonna ruin it all with CGI, and they did use CGI but it was really well used, and they still relied mostly on physical puppets and sets. Which is really great. We are going slightly off topic here haha.

Tasha: The reason I bring up Jim Henson’s Storyteller is that there was one story called… The Soldier and Death, and awh it was a really great story, great characters. It was about a soldier and he think he does a favour for someone while he’s coming home from war and this person rewards him with a sack, which anything he commands will get in the sack. So he just says to anything, like, hey geese, get in my sack, and a whole flock of geese will just get in the sack. It’s kind of like a Bag of Holding. Y’know from Dungeons and Dragons? It can hold anything. Then erm oh without going through the full plot, at one point he orders Death to get into his sack. And the way death is portrayed in the series, he’s a short, erm a short man, white. with black robes and he sits at the foot of people’s bed, then as they get closer to death, Death moves closer and closer to the head of the bed. So he finds Death at the head of someone’s head so he commands death to get in his sack.

Tasha: Then nobody dies any more! Everyone lives forever! And it was great for a few hundred years until everyone was bored and tired and just waiting for Death who never comes. So the man let’s Death back in the world, but Death never returns for him because he’s scared he’ll get put back in his sack.

Rosalind: Hahaha. that’s brilliant. I mean no one wants to be put in a sack with a flock of geese.

Tasha: Hahahaha!

Rosalind: Geese are evil!

Tasha: Death vs Geese, who would win?

Rosalind: I have an interesting time actually trying to figure out why the Grim Reaper appeared to the main character. I don’t know. I’m sort of in two frames of mind. It could be the main character herself is close to death in a way. She’s very ill at the time of the story. I though maybe that’s how she was able to perceive him. It could even, I don’t know, be a total fever dream.

Tasha: Yeah.

Rosalind: But I enjoy that about certain stories. Just leaving it out there in the open.

Tasha: Yeah. It’s not explained at all. And there’s no logical explanation for it. It’s just, you could just make connections that it is just this fever dream. That’s it’s just a fever. It could be this connection to butterflies. That her life is just going out and murdering butterflies and crucifying them on her wall. So it could be that connection. But there’s also the question about why does Death not come back for her. It could be that Death is just trolling her. And she was on her death bed but she was really cocky to him, so he was like Fuck that. haha. Y’know, you deal with it now.

Tasha: So yeah, that was the Skeletal Grin. 

Rosalind: Next up in the series was congratulations38. Sorry, we refer to the stories between ourselves by truncated names. The full name of the story is There’s a Hidden Video on Netflix Called Congratulations38.avi. This was my first narration that we published. It’s also our shortest.

Tasha: It is our shortest. What is it, 6-8 minutes.

Rosalind: It’s about 6 minutes. It’s strange after doing a few different narrations now and going back and listening to my first attempt, because I had tried narrating things before, but this was the first one when I tried any production on it.

Tasha: I really liked it. And you did a great job on the sound effects and the ambience as well. It really took me by surprised and it was your first time doing anything like this. It wasn’t just the narration. I though you did a great job, and you were so worried about it and it turned out fantastic, and I was very jealous because it was better than mine.

Rosalind: Sigh. Well Tasha’s bias aside…. I did work quite hard on it at the time. To be honest I still get very nervous doing then, but I am quite happy how I’ve done the ambience in it. My only bug bear with it is the way I, I don’t know, the spacing between my lines. Also I can also tell I’ve not normalised the loudness.

Tasha: Well, sure. We’ve learnt a lot about production since then. Big thanks and shout out to Marisa Ewing and Nico Vettesse from Rusty Quill who gave us a lot of advice and support when we were starting out. So with the spacing in this story, did you edit it at all or was that as read?

Rosalind: Oh it was edited. I have a lot of out takes when I do it. Most of the time in my production is just taking out the out takes, then spacing the different sections of audio correctly. Then I think with that one, I did attempt to manually normalise some of the spikes. Go through and de-amplify them as it were. I think now I have more of a rhythm with it, now that I’m getting more experienced, I have a way of tracking the beats of it, when I do it.

Tasha: Absolutely. It was also an interesting story in terms of it’s LGBT representation. What do you think about the LGBT representation in this story?

Rosalind: It is the least front and centre for LGBT representation out of the stories we have so far. The main character, Trinity, is non-binary. This is never mentioned in the story.

Tasha: Not once.

Rosalind: Yeah.

Rosalind: It is really interesting. There is one bit where Trinity is at a sleepover trying to find congratulations38.avi, and they state they were at a sleepover with girls, everyone else at the sleepover are girls. That’s really interesting, just that it is not mentioned that they are non-binary. But knowing they are non-binary we can get more of an idea about the character. Are they out? They sound quite young if they are at a sleepover? Femme presenting? I don’t know.

Rosalind: I do think that it is alluded to in that line, though. In terms of, when they are going through and trying to find the video, they reference “none of the girls could get past creeped out then it was my turn.” As well then, Trinity is not exactly a very masc sounding name.

Tasha: Yeah.

Rosalind: I suppose.

Tasha: It is one of the non-binary names I think.

Rosalind: “One of the non-binary names” haha

Tasha: Haha. Yeah, like when Elliot Page came out everybody was thanking him for choosing one of “the names”.

Rosalind: Carrying on the trans man tradition. haha.

Tasha: Yeah. I think Trinity is one of “the names” for non-binary people.

Rosalind: Along with Sam, Alfie, Aiden, etc.

Tasha: Yeah, and Kit. I know a lot of Kits. We know quite a bit about the author actually. Some of the authors that we have coming up, there’s very little information online about them, so I’m wondering if I should explore the authors a bit more because we really want to highlight LGBT authors as well. I do not know for sure which of these authors are LGBT themselves, but for this author at least we do know. They describe themselves as a lesbian horror writer from the 5th Dimensions.

Tasha: Greeting Interdimensional Travellers! My Name Is Bree And I Am The Mastermind Behind All Of The Stories On u/5thDimensionFreak. I’ve Been Writing Since I Was 7 And I’ve Been Writing Horror Since I Was 8 But Never Published It (Because It Was Horrible). I’m A Cisgender White Lesbian Women But I’m Also Pretty Snazzy. Anyways This Is My Official Subreddit. You Can Find Everything On Here! From My Banned Stories To Narrations To Art To Anything In Between. Below You Will Find Some Information About The Subreddit So Give It A Look!

Tasha: So yes, go check out their other stuff on Reddit. 

Tasha: Going back to the episode, it is kind of a classic creepypasta format. Kind of the Lost Episode style. You know like Suicide Mouse? You know Suicide Mouse?

Rosalind: No.

Tasha: Oh, it’s like one of the first big creepypastas. It’s about this guy who finds this old Disney reel of this old 1950s 40s Micky Mouse episode and as it goes on it gets more horrific. This inst exactly a lost episode but similar in that it is hidden on Netflix. 

Tasha: Oh and interesting Queerpypasta fact about the video. It lasted about 45 minutes on YouTube before it got deleted.

Rosalind: Haha. Yeah, it got taken down pretty quickly. I think we got a warning for that.

Tasha: We did! We got our first strike. So we wanted to put out three episodes straight away so there would be 3 episodes for people to listen to, then this one gets deleted straight away and YouTube gets all snarky with us about it going against its community standards. We were really sorry for the author as well since we wanted to get their story out there. Though I guess the podcast was still up. So anyway, we contested it, with YouTube. The Strike.

Rosalind: Yeah.

Tasha: We said, hey! there’s nothing wrong with this video! What are you doing? And YouTube wrote back to us and said Nope. The strike will be upheld. We’ve manually reviewed it and it definitely goes against our community standards. But they wouldn’t say why. So we were like. OK, fuck you. We’ll upload it again and just remove any mention of Netflix in the title since that was the only thing we could think they would have a problem with. So we upload the new video then the next morning, the old video was reinstated! They don’t even message us or anything about why. It’s just back up and our strikes are gone. I think its all a conspiracy to stop us finding congratulations38.avi.

Tasha: How was it you were supposed to find congratulations38?

Rosalind: As I recall, you start with Boss Baby Back In Business.

Tasha: Hang on. I’m gonna bring up Netflix. Now… it might not work in all countries since we have different Netflix.

Rosalind: Yeah.

Tasha: Ok… Here it is. Boss Baby Back In Business.

Rosalind: And I think you go to the recommended thing from that. So the next one was Creeped Out.

Tasha: Ok… yeah. There’s Creeped Out. So we go into the recommended there.

Rosalind: Yup. Then… Black Mirror.

Tasha: Ok…. Black Mirror. And… What’s that… hmm. Oh god. What… 

Rosalind: Oh no.

Tasha: Wow. Ok. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Ok. 

Rosalind: Moving on! So Queer.

Tasha: Queer! Yeah! By Polonium Poisoning?

Rosalind: I believe it was.

Tasha: Yeah. Queer by Polonium Poisoning. We were really happy to narrate Queer because they are a pretty big creepypasta author. Their stories often get thousands of upvotes, and they have this rule that they don’t allow narrations for free of stories with over 700 upvotes. Queer, when we found it, had 1,800 at the time. So we explained that we’re two queer people who would like to narrate it, and they very generously allowed us to. So that was one of my narrations. What did you think of it?

Rosalind: This was one of my personal favourite.

Tasha: Really?

Rosalind: Yeah. It stands out because this is the first story that we narrated together. And it has the queer aspect of the character centre focus in the story. Whilst before, up until this point, everything is kind of background. Which is totally fine. I think we’re pretty happy with any LGBTQ representation as long as it is not problematic. But that was really cool.

Tasha: It was really cool. And it raises a good question, what is the best form of LGBT representation. Like if we go back to congratulations38, the fact the person’s non-binary identity isn’t mentioned in the story, is that perhaps one of the best forms of representation, even if it is still invisible? It’s a story that includes LGBTQ people but it is not a story about their queerness. Whereas with this, it it, yeah. It is in your face. And their queerness is kind of manifested in dark and monstrous ways as well.

Rosalind: I’ve got to say one thing that hit close to home is the character Dennis.

Tasha: Urg. Dennis. We all know a Dennis don’t we?

Rosalind: We do all know a Dennis. And it makes it all the more cathartic what happens to him in the end!

Tasha: Yes! Yes! Like when I first came out, I was working for a chain of pet shops as the personal assistant to the proprietor. And the manager of the building, who wasn’t my boss, I just worked for the proprietor. He was a very vocal National Front supporter and for anyone outside of the UK, the National Front are kind of like our Ku Klux Klan. They are an extremist far right group and basically hate anyone who isn’t a straight white cis guy. I had problems with him for years, then of course I come out as trans and yeah it went about as well as you’d expect. He refused to use my new name or my new pronouns. But he was also telling other people in the building not to. And my boss was telling me “oh, he’s just saying those things because you are the way that you are” so basically blaming me. Like if you weren’t trans, he wouldn’t be acting so shit to you. Even when I legally changed my name, he still didn’t change his behaviour so I just walked out. That was my Dennis. Did you have a Dennis?

Rosalind: I just wanted to say the way your boss reacted to it mirrors the story quite well. Like when they went to the police and they just said “well maybe you should stop being androgynous, kid.”

Tasha: Yeah! Exactly! 

Rosalind: I don’t have a workplace, Dennis. I have had some similar instances when I was at college. At times when I first started experimenting with presenting female. And yeah, I remember getting into some altercations with some less understanding students and also being taken to a meeting and being reprimanded for distracting all that boys.

Tasha: Urg.

Rosalind: Yeah! and another teacher told me I should maybe try acting less gay.

Tasha: Oh wow. Ok. 

Rosalind: Yeah, it’s not good.

Tasha: Oh. I loved the reveal. It’s, yeah. The character does seem to be queer as in LGBTQ queer, but it also has this double meaning that there is this beautiful body positive monster that I love. I love the bit where Dennis, just finally makes his move against them and they reveal the horns on their back and their beautiful nipples of swirling galaxies.

Rosalind: I adored that. Triangular eyes and things. And that there is a much larger universe outside of the story. There is much that is alluded to that we don’t know. Where does this person come from. What is the significance of the dagger? It sounds like a traditional thing? Like in the culture of what these creatures are.

Tasha: Yeah. It sounds like their entire family is the way that they are. And there’s this really cool foreshadowing that they do it. They say that, y’know, when certain features started to develop. Of course as trans people, we interpret that as breast or facial hair and no. What it sounds like, erm, once we’ve had the reveal and listen to it again, it sounds like the “certain features” are the horns growing from their back and those kind of things. Those aspects of themselves. The actual monster rather than hiding their queerness. Because it sounded like they were actually very open about their queerness. 

Rosalind: I got the impression that the character’s queerness was separate to their physical nature.

Tasha: Yeah, I mean, they are queer in the LGBTQ sense but they are also queer in the weird, odd monster, physically as being this lovecratian horror haha.

Rosalind: Do you have a head canon about that, because I get the impression that they were an alien.

Tasha: I didn’t imagine them as an alien. I thought of them more as a demon. I dunno. I guess like in Skeletal Grin, there’s no real explanation. In this there’s no real explanation. for why they have this dagger that’s passed down the generations that can cut people in half and they form into two of the same person. It’s curious.

Rosalind: One thing that leads into that. One thing I appreciate in horror in general is not giving all the information and letting your own imagination do the work. And I think that’s probably something that’s quite important in creepypastas given the quite short format.

Tasha: Yeah, totally agree. Well, it’s the same in any form of horror. Especially true in horror movies. They show too much. The producers have too much power with CGI they want to show you all these lovecreaftian horrors. There was a movie out last year called Underwater and they just straight up show Cthulhu.

Rosalind: Absolutely, yeah. And I think this is part of what made Lovecraftian horror itself, is that it’s all intangible. It’s not understandable. 

Tasha: Yh, the way Lovecraft writes, it usually a guy who just can’t describe what he is witnessing. Like, I just saw something too horrendous for you to understand.

Rosalind: I glimpsed it slightly once and now I’ve gone completely insane.

Tasha: Yes! Hahaha.

Rosalind: Like in usual writing rules, they say show don’t tell. Maybe in horror we should show less?

Tasha: Yeah, I feel like this is reflected in games as well. If you take something like Dead Space for example. A lot of the tension is diffused when you see a shambling gory mess construct itself into an alien horror for the millionth time. Whereas I find that indie games, indie horror games leave a lot more to the imagination. Leave a lot more to the imagination. The tension gets to me so many times more.

Tasha: Like Silent Hill where they added all this volumetric fog just because the PlayStation couldn’t handle the draw distance, but it made the game so much scarier because you couldn’t see what was in the fog. Or Amnesia maybe, where you’re in the dark…

Rosalind: I was absolutely thinking of amnesia!

Tasha: Oh yeah?!

Rosalind: Good shout. And I think that the take away from that is, if you want to make good horror, do less. Cut corners. Be lazy. hahaha.

Tasha: Let readers do the work. So the next one we have, is one of your narrations, which I think might be my personal favourite out of all the narrations we’ve done. But of course, it was done by the better of the two Queerpypasta narrators. Erm…

Rosalind: Sigh…

Tasha: haha. So yh, one of your stories how about you introduce it?

Rosalind: Am I In The Wrong For Standing Up To My Mom? 

Tasha: By Captain Raffyoli.

Rosalind: Captain Raffyoli. Absolutely right. I very much enjoyed doing this one. It is a very fun one to narrate. And we actually did this in the same room. 

Tasha: We did!

Rosalind: Yeah! This is the first one, and only one, that includes voice lines from both of us. It was fun. The characters were very expressive. There was a great amount of foreshadowing in it. And it was just a lot of fun.

Tasha: Awh, it was so good. I was saying earlier about my kind of humour, and this plays into it so well. It is a very dark story, but it just this thing that he talks about…. erm… the weirdness… well…. we’ll go into that. Just like…. “huh, that was weird” and it all culminates into this horror at the end. What was the final line?

Rosalind: “So yh, my mum tried to eat my boyfriend and cleaved her to death. Am I in the wrong for this?” Kind of mirroring “Am I the asshole?” subreddit.

Tasha: Yeah! Yeah! I was totally thinking that. I would love to see that story in Am I The Asshole? Like My mom tried to eat my boyfriend so I cleaved her to death. Am I the asshole? Ha ha ha.

Rosalind: It was interesting producing this as well in terms of, I went a little heavier on the sound effects for this one. Trying to figure out what to add sound effects to and what not to. I quite enjoyed doing the sound of Blane’s leg being bitten off.

Tasha: Oh… the cronch! THE CRONCH!

Rosalind: Yes, it is very cronchy. And the inspiration I took for that was when I was looking for the sound effect, I was looking specifically for a tree branch snapping or crunching. The reason for that is, I broke my arm quite badly when I was younger. I thought what happened was that I had fallen and landed on a tree branch and broken it. Then I realised it wasn’t a tree branch it was my arm.

Tasha: Urg.

Rosalind: Are you ok?

Tasha: Do not want. I broke my leg when I was young. I can’t remember the cronch though. I was on the monkey bars and some twat was pushing me from behind so I was swinging like a pendulum. I lost my grip, and my foot went into the ground. Next thing I knew, I had two ankles on the same leg.

Rosalind: Oh no.

Tasha: I don’t remember the crack at all. Must have blanked it out. But the cronch in this narration.

Rosalind: Even though I did that, I still cringe when I hear it. Absolutely. There are other incidences I feel like I could have added sound effects because they are sounds that are described int eh story. But the mother making a slurping noise. I decided not to add that in to maintain the ambience, but whenever I’m listening to it, I can’t help but IRL go slurp.

Tasha: Hahaha. It’s become our personal meme. Slurp.

Rosalind: You did mention earlier how thing are mentioned in the story. Then it all makes sense when you encounter the mother. Things that come to mind are, when Jeremy is describing what happens when he breaks the rules, and she goes absolutely mental and screams at him, then she calms down and wipes the tears from his cheeks and slime from his face. Or when he’s eating chicken wings and she’s slurping down the left over bones.

Tasha: Yeah. But when he describes it, it just seems so normal to the character. Like “one of her eyes looked at me” and I’m like “one of her eyes”?!

Rosalind: Going back to that Lovecraft horror beat, about letting your imagination do the work. I think your imagination is somewhat subverted in this. It raises a few other questions as well. Because it is implied that he was around. He still had his dad’s old car. That’s what he uses to take Blane to hospital in the end.

Tasha: It’s true. They mention there is a father, but he isn’t in the story. 

Rosalind: One thing that I did notice as well. The mother, despite being a literal monster not homophobic in the slightest. She seems quite happy to be seeing another boy.

Tasha: Yeah, wholesome monster mom. I’m sad she’s dead. F in the chat.

Rosalind: Maybe homophobes are the real monsters.

Tasha: The real monsters were the homophobes we met along the way.

Rosalind: Hahaha!

Tasha: The production and the narration were really good. Like when you were shouting, it sounded like you were shouting but it wasn’t peaking the microphone? How did you do that? It must have been witchcraft.

Rosalind: Well at the time, I remember I did do a few takes, because the first attempt at shouting did peak the microphone. I dunno. I didn’t project it as much and directed it across the room to get more of a tone of trying to be heard rather than just going for outright loudness. Then in the production I did tone them down quite a bit and try to equalise them, because I don’t know about everyone else, but I quite enjoy sleeping to creepypastas and I don’t want someone shouting in my ear. 

Tasha: Yeah, I sleep to creepypastas as well. In fact, when we started we wanted to know, do they pass the sleep test?

Rosalind: One of the best, I’ve gotten about my narrations is “this made me want to go to sleep” hahaha. Which is kind of paradoxical in the way. 

Tasha: Hahaha. Yeah. Anyone else sleep to creepypasta? Let us know.

Rosalind: I suspect it is because we are all depressed millennials. 

Tasha: Yes, we long of the nightmares that are an escape of the nightmares of reality.

Rosalind: I think that brings us quite smoothly to the next one, mentioning reality.

Tasha: Oh god. Erasure by Max Lobdell. Urhhh. It’s an incredibly powerful story. Erasure is a story about a friend of a trans woman who’s at university with a really…. I think problematic is too kind of a word. She would be a TERF. A TERF lecturer called Laura Oxley Vereen. Anyone who doesn’t know what a TERF is, it stands for Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist, but they are not feminists. They just use feminism to try to justify their own bigotry. And that’s who Oxley Vereen is. Urg. This kind of stuff is so bad in the UK at the moment. Before we get into that, what did you think?

Rosalind: Oh, it is a good story. I think it is really well written and very well narrated and produced as of course it is produced and narrated by our best narrator. 

Tasha: Hahaha.

Rosalind: However as a trans woman myself, it is very difficult to listen to. It hits home quite hard, and Oxley Vereen is a tenured professor, she is practically untouchable, and when they do bring the complaint to whoever, the assurances they give them are so…. lame. So well, we’ve brought up this complaint and been assured that no problematic language would be used again, and of course it is. It’s all too real.

Tasha: And it sounds like a bigger problem in the UK than it is in the US. At least my friends in the US say that the way that trans people are represented in the media, there seems to be a different flavour of transphobia in the UK than there is in the USA. It seems in the USA it is mostly religious people who object to trans people existing, but in the UK it is being led by mostly women claiming to be standing up for feminism, and it’s all bullshit. and it’s really annoying. And it’s universal in the media over here that a trans person’s voice needs to be balanced with that of a bigot. It’s BBC policy that if they had any article about trans issues, they would have a trans person, or a trans representative organisation, but they would have to have one of the transphobic hate groups as well, because they think it’s balance. That basically means trans people existing is a matter of opinion. And this is all just a difference of opinion, but it’s not just a difference of opinion, it’s driving us mad, and it’s driving really bad legislation both here and elsewhere. We might see change in the future, maybe not the way the government currently is, but OFCOM has called out the BBC for this policy, saying for example that they wouldn’t have someone from the National Front or Ku Klux Klan on to balance the views of a Black Lives Matter speaker. It’s a ridiculous comparison. You know? We’ve got to create balance. This is represented by Oxley Vereen.  A high profile feminist. Respected. Including her views about trans people, and it’s being taught in schools. It’s very well written.

Tasha: So… sorry. I’ve been on a bit of a rant there. It’s a subject close to my heart. I’ve been to a lot of events led by people like Oxley Vereen.

Rosalind: I quite enjoy the alternative acronym. The Feminism Appropriating Radical Transphobe.

Tasha: Yes, that’s more like it.

Rosalind: I have a couple of questions about your production actually. I thing I was drawn to. When Oxley Vereen is speaking it sounds like she was speaking in a mic in a lecture hall? I have no idea how you did that.

Tasha: It’s really subtle. For all of Oxley Vereen’s lines I dropped the volume slightly and added just a touch of reverb to it as well, so it sounds like it’s in a big space. It’s pretty subtle. There’s very few sound effects in it. There’s the sound of the door slam. Also when Maya is flickering in and out, there is a very quiet static that fades in in the background as it happens, and it slowly gets louder and louder. Then as Maya fades away it fades out, and you notice the silence more, because that static isn’t there. As the white noise just fades away to nothing. Ahh. Such a great ending.

Rosalind: Very sad though. I was wondering about that flickering sound. It gives me the impression of a candle. But as I was trying to deconstruct how you might have made it, I was think was this a record playing without a record in it?

Tasha: Yup! It’s a record player at the end of the record. 

Rosalind: That’s really clever.

Tasha: Well, we’re limited on the sound effects we have access to. We’re doing all this on no budget so imagine what we could do with better equipment and access to a proper sound effect library. I mean, how do you even record the flickering of a candle flame? So I had to think of some analogue for that, so used a record. I was going to use like TV static but wanted something just a little bit more subtle since they weren’t sure about what they were seeing, or if they had even seen it. It is such a sad ending though. And well done to Max Lobdell. He clearly has a really good understanding of institutional transphobia.

Rosalind: And well done Tasha. I don’t think I could have narrated this.

Tasha: Well we did fight over it originally because we didn’t have any stories to narrate. We narrate all stories with permission from the authors. So I went out to try and find good stories, and Erasure and Queer were the first stories we found that we got permission to use, and I called dibs on them.  Hahaha. 

Tasha: Anyway, I think this leads us onto our last story. Narrated by the best of the Queerpypasta narrators, Rosalind Saville. 

Rosalind: I Was Just a Child When Someone Stole My Reflection, by Mandahrk. I think I’m pronouncing that right. I’m pronouncing it as the antagonist in Dexter’s Laboratory. I think this was another story that hit close to home for trans people. A bit lighter in tone than Erasure I’d say.

Tasha: Yeah, I loved that we finished the pilot series with this episode because it has a happy ending and is really uplifting after Erasure. I had a little happy cry at the end.

Rosalind: I cried at it as well. I don’t know if that is a little self congratulatory considering I did this narration. The ending of the story itself really does hit me. In fact, I’m not ashamed to say that at the end, when everybody is sounding quite emotional and overwhelmed, there is quite a lot of my own real emotion in that. 

Tasha: Hmm. You can hear it.

Rosalind: Yeah. And also throughout, the distress of having this incongruence with your reflection, I felt that. 

Tasha: I understand that. I didn’t have that experience of looking in the mirror and not seeing who you are, but it is a good metaphor for the feeling of turning into somebody who you are not supposed to be. In fact I drew a lot of parallels while I was taking notes. I have an interesting web of connections going on my conspiracy board. 

Tasha: So the main theme of I Was Just A Child When Someone Stole My Reflection is this child, who gets scared to look in the mirror because the reflection isn’t them. Instead there is this monstrous thing. And erm… I was listening to the Spinsters of Horror Podcast, I Spit On Your Podcast, that’s what it’s called, I’m not spitting on their podcast. Haha. Check them out. And they did a great episode recently on Nightmare on Elm Street 3 and 4, which is why I wanted to watch Elm Street 3 and 4 this week. We managed to watch Elm Street 3 but didn’t get to 4 and the interesting thing about 4, is there is a character called Alice who doesn’t like looking at her reflection, so she covers the mirror in her room with pictures of her friends and family. But by the end of the movie, she takes down all of the pictures that are covering her mirror and looks at her reflection, and it has become this empowering thing, being able to look at herself and how strong she has become, and she says “fucking a”. 

Tasha: So that’s one connection to this story, but also, in the remake of Nightmare on Elm Street the actor who plays Freddy, was Jackie Earle Haley. Jackie Earle Haley is perhaps better known as Rorschach from Watchmen.

Rosalind: Ha ha ha ha.

Tasha: The reason why I bring this up, is because I love the voice acting you did for the monster in the mirror, but is so reminds me of Rorschach. Give me back my facccce.Hahaha

Rosalind: I’m not locked in here with you. You’re locked in here with me!

Tasha: Exactly! Yeah! And there’s another connection there! Give me back my face! Y’know. Rorschach doesn’t want to see his own face either, so there’s this weird common theme going here. For people listening, I have my conspiracy board out. At the centre of it is a photo of Jackie Earle Haley and there are strings going out in all directions and Rosalind is giving me a funny look. 

Rosalind: Hahaha.

Tasha: This is all connected somehow. I don’t know how. But Jackie Earle Haley is at the centre of it!

Rosalind: I have to say doing that voice absolutely wrecked my throat.

Tasha: It was so good.

Rosalind: I think the first segment I recorded for that was the line where the mirror has been shattered and it is described as the voice culminates with itself into a crescendo and the way I produced that bit was I recorded the line, and then I layered it on it self several times, then each bit I put slightly out of synch each way to create the effect that one voice is speaking multiple times. 

Tasha: I really loved the music in this one as well.

Rosalind: Oh yeah, so I wanted to do something a little bit different to I Stood Up To My Mom. I didn’t use sound effects for the most part, except that one I generated for the shattered reflection. Instead what I did was, I don’t know how to describe it, I took a tinkling sounding piano track. It’s basically a loop track that continues to loop but I edited so that after each section, as the story progresses, and Cynthia becomes more discombobulated, that it gets tone shifted down a notch. I tried to mirror that, pun not intended. And then I tried from that to transition to another piano track, but this time, much more upbeat.

Tasha: Yeah. The tone completely changes. You can really feel it. It isn’t just the music. It’s the tone of the narration as well. You can hear the fear and apprehension is gone.

Rosalind: I tried to sound not just emotional, but also a bit fragile. Because she has been through quite a lot up until this point, and it’s a big moment for her. I can put myself in those shoes. Like. Ok. Here we go. And that’s the only point I use proper sound effects as well. Because during that last section, you hear the birds singing and again I wanted to convey that Cynthia has been getting more and more desensitised by her reflection. Gender dysphoria presenting in that way can have quite a dis-associative effect, and I wanted to bring that in. So you don’t really hear any sound effects and then when the monstrous reflection is gone, suddenly she is more… you feel more real. 

Tasha: Yeah.

Rosalind: Yeah.

Tasha: Great performance and great story by Mandahrk. I tried to find more information about Mandahrk. They have a popular series out on Reddit at the moment called I’m a Sex Worker and Sometimes We Just Need A Safe Space. Only other thing I know is that they like being known as the Sex Worker guy. hahaha.

Tasha: So those are the six episodes we had for the pilot series, and you might be wondering now, what is going to happen. Well, we’re having a short break but we’ll be back in February when we launch our Kickstarter which will really help us out. We’ve done the best we can with the equipment that we have. We can do so much better if we even had a good quality microphone. There’s other equipment that could help us out as well, not to mention access to a big sound effects library. Basically we need resources so we can bring you weekly episodes of Queerpypasta, because we have tonnes more stories to narrate. So watch this space. Follow us on Social Media. We’re on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. If you want to help support us, drop us a review on iTunes or your favourite podcast app, or check out our merch at RedBubble.

Rosalind: Please give us likes and views. We worked ever so hard.

Tasha: Please clap. Hahaha.

Tasha: So until next time, that’s it from me.

Rosalind: And that’s it from me. Abandon all hope.

Tasha: And always, fear The Editor.