Saturday, November 14, 2020

d20 Anomalous Media

*1*

"Family Reunion 1994" - Damaged VHS tape. Contents unrecoverable for the most part, save a seven-second interval. Four adults seated at a picnic table are startled from their seats by a fifth, running into the frame from the right.

Woman 1: What?

Man 3: It's in the woods!

Unidentified Voice 1: [Indiscernible]

Woman 2: [yelling] Shit!

The cameraperson swings the camera towards the tree line to the left. A vague grey shape can be seen in the distance, as well as a smaller shape believed to be an adult wearing a yellow shirt, but the camera's movement and poor focus renders the scene indiscernible for the half second it is on screen.

*2* 

"The Subway Manuscript" - Untitled handwritten manuscript recovered by late-shift worker at a Subway restaurant in Newark New Jersey in November of 2010. ~446000 words, classical Arabic, describing an immense and elaborate personal cosmology through the form of erotic Supernatural fanfiction.

*3*

"Real Spiritualist Vampire Alien Spirit Psychic Secret Psychic Truth" -  Angelfire website recovered from private archival. Contents are, on the whole, incoherent nonsense, save for a section that accurately predicts (though does not name) the papal elections of Benedict XVI and Francis. Further investigation and extrapolation has indicated the document contains further predictions, including a five-month period wherein 14 different pontiffs are elected, one reference to giving birth on the high altar of St. John Lateran, and cutting off mid sentence after the 2088 election.

*4*

"The Exorcism of Emilia Brown" - CD-R with 16 music tracks. Single male vocalist playing acoustic guitar. 14 of the songs are connected to the titular event, describing the circumstances, lead-up, and event from different character perspectives. Track 15 contains two minutes one second of crickets and rustling grass. Track 16 consists of a low polyphonic drone (judged to be asemantic) with no musical accompaniment.

*5*

"three Deer Decomposing on An Ugluy (Sic) Couch" - 83 hours of sfootage of three adult deer, deceased, decomposing on top of on a sagging, foam-green couch. Shot on stationary camera. The glow of a television illuminates the scene, through the entire length of the recordings, but the screen cannot be seen from the camera position and the audio is muddled and indiscernible. At 54:09:34, heavy footsteps can be heard from off-camera, accompanied by clanking chain and the slamming of a screen door.

*6*

"The Invasion of Elwood City" - Two-episode arc of Arthur detailing the arrival of a virulent alien organism in Elwood city, and the subsequent quarantine and evacuation. Despite subject matter, presentation and characterization do not radically differ from typical episodes. The "Now For A Word From Us Kids" interstitial of both episodes is replaced with static.

*7*

"The Spearpoint Video" - Field recording of paleontology dig. All speech is in Mandarin Chinese. Unidentified researcher points out the exposed femur of a juvenile sauropod, then focuses on what is clearly an obsidian spearpoint embedded in the fossil. Researcher calmly says "Listen closely, wait, and do not forget." before walking away from the digsite and out of sight over a ridge. Camera turns to watch, but operator does not follow.

*8*

"IhaveSeentheDoor" - Defunct Youtube channel. Only remaining evidence are screenshots dated to August of 2007. Channel description presented as "Readings from the Book of Gaub." Four videos are listed, all with <100 views: "Misaligned Components (Revised)", "The Delegation to the Court", " I Have Seen the Door" and "Teeth".

*9*

"Crisis on the Cursed Planet!" -  Episode of Captain Video and His Video Rangers centered around a space colony beset by an alien creature that devours memories. As the settlers lose their memories they grow increasingly paranoid and aggressive towards each other until fighting breaks out and the colony is destroyed. Episode ends with a new colony being founded as the creature watches from afar. Episode contains spliced-in western footage to pad for time typical of the series.

*10*

"The Drive Home" - 48 minutes of dashcam footage depicting a solitary drive at night. No oncoming traffic or signage is seen for the entirety of the footage. The driver (believed to be a man of middle age) speaks occasionally. Twice in French and the rest in Norwegian, with topics including repairs to a workshed, a new prescription for blood pressure medication, and complaints about American tourists.

At 43:20, the driver pulls over to the side of the road and exits the vehicle, leaving the engine and lights on. At 46:34 he emerges from the woods dragging a struggling nonhuman entity (seen to grow and absorb at least five limbs during this time) and shoots it four times with the revolver he is carrying. Entity lets out a long, sonorous wheeze. Driver fires two more shots and drags now-still entity out of sight. Dull thump heard, presumed to be the corpse heaved into the bed of a truck. Driver returns to seat and shuts off camera.

*11*

"The Dead Men" - Three heavily-damaged 10-inch 35 mm film reels. Reconstructed segments are primarily from the middle of the film, which portrays a military campaign against an unnamed, implacable, and seemingly inhuman enemy force, with characters hoping to rech a fortified city on the other side of enemy-held territory. Setting appears primarily late medieval period but has no direct reference to any historical places or people - all notable cultural markers seem to be diegetic. Characters are all either soldiers or camp followers in an ensemble cast. No actors can be identified. Brutal depictions of violence. Uses a constructed language for all dialogue, accompanied by English subtitles throughout. Estimated full run time 2 hours 48 minutes.

*12* 

"[REDACTED] Chinese Food Stuffing On Back Porch" - Amateur fetish video linked to a terminated Clips4Sale account. Majority of runtime is taken up by recitation of the complete Secret Gospel of Mark in Koine Greek.

*13*

"Sermon 54" - Audio cassette tape of American Evangelical preacher performing revival service. Peppered throughout with references to recent events that do not match with consensus chronology, including "The Great Clean-Coming of '74", "Josiah who ate the Serpent", "Casting Down at the Sin Market", and the election of the Lord of the Flies to position of President of the UN General Assembly.

*14*

"The Sphinx" - Footage of an enormous black cat-like creature with an androgynous, bright red human face, grooming itself. The surrounding room is dark, but it can be determined that it is sitting in a corner on top of a pile of books, with shelves on either wall. At the end of the 3 minute 10 second video, the creature will present one of 108 different riddles to the viewer.

*15*

"frog_fractions4.exe" - 1.3 TB executable file found among the former possessions of one [REDACTED], who had taken up a solitary ascetic life in a mountain cabin some six months before discovery of the file.

*16*

"Lavender Town Anomalous Experience # 458" - A Pokemon Blue cartridge containing a multilevel subterranean complex beneath Lavender Town. Total extent unknown, maximum depth reached is level 43. All wild Pokemon encounters are portrayed with the ghost sprite, each with a unique type combination and moveset. Trainer encounters are difficult and likewise feature nonstandard mechanics.

*17*

"Lupae" ("The Wolves") - Papyrus scroll recovered from the villa of Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus in Herculaneum, containing a period-appropriate adaptation of Mean Girls for the stage. Specific cultural references have been exchanged for more appropriate content and stage directions have been added, but the remainder of the work remains intact.

*18*

"2020 RNC Video Hijacking" - Unidentified woman wearing a rubber rottweiler mask sits in swivel chair, feet on desk, playing a Nintendo Switch. Second woman's voice heard from off screen. lines in angle brackets was later identified as a mix of Ojibwe and Uzbek.

Woman 2: <The camera's on.>

Woman 1: <You sure? Doesn't look on.>

Woman 2: <Little green light, right near the bottom.>

Woman 1: <Ah, shit, there it is.> [Looks at camera, clears throat. Sings in English while clapping hands, to the refrain of the Battle Hymn of the Republic]: "It's a motherfucking brown note, it's a motherfucking brown note, it's a motherfucking brown note, I hope you brought spare pants!"

Versions of the video taken from live newscasts of the event include the mass expulsion of fecal matter by all present. 

*19*

"Autopsy.mov" - Video file of three doctors operating on cadaver of adult male. The following organs are removed from the cadaver's abdominal cavity over the course of the footage: four lungs, five livers, eighteen kidneys, three gallbladders, three spleens, one pancreas a stomach, an estimated 45 meters of intestinal tract, and a heart containing a second trimester human fetus.

*20*

"Episode ####" - Episode of Sesame Street wherein Big Bird, Grover, and Snuffy investigate rumors of a stranger who has arrived in the neighborhood, described as being very tall, very thin, wearing a very nice suit, and not having a face. The being is seen in the background of multiple scenes prior to its full reveal, where the trio come to realize that they have nothing to fear from the strange, tall man. Content is generally tonally consistent with non-anomalous episodes, save an instance where Big Bird emphatically reinforces the importance of knowing your family's fire plan, not wandering in the woods at night, and always asking before taking photographs of strangers. The tall stranger remains silent throughout the episode, though other characters act as if they can hear him speak.

While the tall man is clearly a puppet, it performs several maneuvers (including one scene where it must contort itself through a doorway) beyond even the ability of the Jim Henson Company.

16 comments:

  1. This was going to be a Halloween post, but I have saved it for the time even scarier than Halloween, which is November.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I really love this style of post from you, you come up with such good stuff.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I gotta make some more of these.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is done.
      https://mappingthegoblincaves.blogspot.com/2020/11/1d20-more-anomalous-media.html

      Delete
  4. Reading this post feels like curling up around a campfire when the storyteller comes to visit. Instead of a campfire, though, it's an upright barrel burning hot and fierce in the old subway tunnels, twisting the shadows on the walls and ceiling. And you have twenty stories to tell - although which one you tell depends on an ancient twenty sided die, and the number you roll.

    Wonderful work, as always.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I like the mixing of real world pop culture phenomena, anachronisms, and tropes, it really makes these come alive. Also, some of the idiosyncrasies, like intentional typos, just gives it another dimension.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Playing around with unusual language occurrences or combinations has never let me down.

      Delete
  6. These kind of remind me of the play at the beginning of "The Crying of Lot 49"

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm obviously going to have to do some of these

    ReplyDelete
  8. Inspired by this post: https://archonsmarchon.blogspot.com/2020/11/d20-additional-anomalous-media.html

    ReplyDelete
  9. I feel as though each of these could be created and exhibited in a fine art context. Good work.

    ReplyDelete