My Brief Time Undercover As Dan O'Brien (Among Others)


As soon as you do the thing you just did, you hear the whistling cry of an eerie wind, like a dog that is scared and with good lung capacity. A shadow blacker than night and colder than night falls over you, chilling your heart to the heart-core. You know, the cockles. Your mouth is filled with the taste of yogurt-covered raisins and death.

"Who-who's there?" you ask, feeling that this would be an appropriate thing to ask at this point. Your only answer is the howl of the wind, and then the howl of a wolf, and then the howl of a lighting bolt striking. In the sudden light, you see that you've been transported into a castle keep, ancient and moss-lined. You're allergic to moss, so this is only getting scarier for you.

A voice wafts out of a dark hallway and forces itself into your ear-hole, lubed with a spooky echo.

"Whooo intruuudes upon these saaacred chaaambers?"

"My name's Michael. I'm trying to write a column for my boss, but I can't because of the drugs my boss gave me," you say, but with stuttering, because of the fright.

"I seeeee," comes the voice, "caaall me Aaadolf Hiiitlerrr."

Oh no! It's then that you realize the castle you've apparated into is none other than that of the Führer himself! With a clack of boots clacking, Hitler steps into the room. He's got on his signature stovepipe hat with the swastika, so there's no mistaking it's him. You sneeze because of the moss.

"Gesuuundheit," he says. He would say that.

"But wait a minute, isn't Hitler dead?" you say, but with snot, because of the sneezing.

"Oh, I'm not that Adolf Hitler," he says, echo fading like so much ghosts. "I'm Hitler69. I comment on the columns, and I hate you. I just wanted you to know that. I've haunted this castle for centuries, just waiting around on the off-chance that a drug-induced time warp would transport you here. You are shit. There; that was my unfinished business...Cody."

TWIST NUMBER 2! In case you are keeping track.

"Wait, so are you the ghost of a commenter, or a ghost that comments on the site?" you ask. "I mean, 'centuries?' I've only been writing for the site for a few years."

"Fuuuuuck yoouuuuuu," he says, echo returning, but now it's because there are a million of him, and each of them has echoes.

"Why?" you scream/sneeze, "I'm funny! I write funny jokes!"

"Weeeee doooooon't caaaaaaaare" says the buncha ghosts, and they dog-pile on you so frighteningly you only barely escape. But you do. They're chasing you down the hallway, melding together into a big wave of unforgiving, logic-immune, commenting ghosts crashing together like an ocean wave, or the wave of blood in The Shining, or something else entirely science can't yet imagine.

Just as you are about to be swallowed up by the ghostwave, which is also the name of your band, the emurangutan returns, running alongside you at an incredible pace, which I guess means you are going at an incredible pace too. How about that?

"Come," says your fine feathered frienemy, "there is much else to see, and here is but the chatter of the insensible surf against the unyielding shelf."

"You said it, Rufus! Let's skeeeeeeee-daddle!" you say, immediately regretting it and thinking of something way better. But it's too late. You appreciatively pat the rainbowed flanks of the animal, which is now called Rufus it seems, but that's only mentioned on this page so feel free to forget it.

Swinging a leg up, you are soon back in the rainbow saddle, which is the name of a very good Ghostwave achoustic ballad.

To press the button marked "MS" go to page 4.

To press the button marked "GS" go to page 3.

To wake up from your drug trip, go to page 13.

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Michael Swaim

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