Should I Spoil You?
When I said I would provide stories from our World of Weird, I didn’t realize how damn hard it would be to do without giving massive spoilers. So much happened in that first year after we graduated and Alex took up Sorrows—see? Even that’s a spoiler. But maybe this is not entirely a bad thing. After all, Alex said in the preface to Sorrows’ Master that he tells his kids about how he met Kerry and how we all got together. Whoopsie…but yes, the twins will be five this year, and his daughter did ask. Whether or not she really understands the answer is something else. She will eventually.
So would it be wrong to let you know that the gang has expanded a whole bunch? We’ve got in-laws around we didn’t have before, courtesy of the Magistra that fell in love with us—the children’s mother, the beautiful and fierce Miss Carol. We eventually did meet Michael’s handler—oh, wait, that’s in the forthcoming books page, and so is Carol’s tale. So a bunch of this is already out of the bag?
Fredman, You Weasel
Fredman, you weasel. I worried for nothing, dammit.
(Oh. She says I should have read her site when we were putting it up. Pish-tosh. It’s not like *she* has read every word of the sites she’s built for clients. I still say you’re a weasel, Fredman.)
Michael’s handler, who is not “Gabriel,” but Julian, is a handful himself. He’s just as scary as Mike and Ian, but not crazy. Or not very crazy. And he’s a magick-user, too—a Witch with a capital W. That is, he’s one of a preternatural race, not a Wiccan. There are similarities…except that Witches are mostly not human, and are pretty rare.
Mike coming to us permanently that July was the first domino down in the sequence that led to us getting sucked into working for the U.S. Gommint. Trust me, this isn’t as boring as it sounds. We get callouts for all kinds of scary Weird Shit and travel all over the U.S. for it.
World of Weird
“World of Weird” is the term Brooke coined for all the distinctly non-mundane stuff under the noses of the general populous. Do people know that Club Dante, downtown, where the live bands play on weekends, is owned and operated by an actual Roman? Oh yeah. Carolanus, the vampire Master of masters in town whose club that is, he was alive toward the end of the Classical Era. I think he was born in Roman Spain in the first century AD, but moved to Italy during his lifetime. Wow, history lesson with legs and fangs. And he’s only one of the three vampire masters in town.
Our other masters are Casimir and Tamara. Casimir is Zoë’s heir. He, with Zoë and their nest, came to Palmers Rest back in the early 19th century. As did Carolanus and his nest. Tamara went to the New World with Dolores, her very old friend, so she was already there when they arrived in that howling wilderness. Those three are but a few of the preternaturals that sought refuge with the Gotth. —Thusly was the town named.
Speaking of refuge: More of the World of Weird that you probably have seen around town and recognized is the Cloutier clan. They’re quite a force in town, thanks to the Gotth’s acknowledgement of their relationship from the beginning to today, as well as social justice for persons of color slowly prevailing in the South. Back in the early years of the 20th century, Mambo Genevieve came from New Orleans to worship with Augustus, the sword-bearer of the day. They had an ongoing thing, Dolores tells me. Augustus was one of the mages of the Lineage, and he was as much Genevieve’s equal in magick as he was her friend and lover. Our ancient mambo today, Miz Thelma Cloutier, is their daughter, and her many children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren form a considerable vaudun faction in town. Man, people love finding the vévés around downtown. It’s a kind of scavenger hunt for voodoo fans.
The Cloutiers are just so…around…that those of us who grew up here sort of take them for granted. Everybody has at least one in their high school class. But they and the vampires form the basis for a lot of the tourist business that we get around town.
Parties, We Haz Dem
Then there are the Holy Days. You wouldn’t believe how popular the cross-quarter days are around here—it’s like festival four times a year, for Christmas’ sake. OK, not Festival. No town our size could afford that. We have a big public do on Halloween, of course. For Halloween, there’s usually a band and a party in the town square, around the Lady Fountain. Alex gets dressed up in his best sword-bearer armor and he and his soldiers go sit out in the square and accept gifts to Sorrows as well as grant boons and otherwise entertain. Then they retreat to Gotth Hill for the party there. A lot of Wiccans and mages come around to see us at Halloween—good times.
Candlemas and Lammas are pretty mellow, in contrast, just big parties down at the Museum, the restaurant that the Cloutiers own.
Now, Lady Day is a HUGE party—of course. It’s not official, but the citizens do occupy the town square and sometimes there is an actual fair. Dolores comes out and gets her party on in style, and humans and preternaturals come from all over to get down with us. We get Maenads, even, which have to be corralled eventually. Keeps us busy, rescuing the drunk fae and humans. Oh, the stories. Most of the stories from Lady Day festivals begin with, “I was so stoned…” and generally have something X-rated in the middle. You can’t buy fun like that, I tell you.
This Week’s Reminiscence
Hmm, what’s going on in the World of Weird this week? It’s getting close to Candlemas, and Mr. Stafford, the old guy who owns the farm next door to Gotth Hill, between us and the lake, says he’s going to breed Primo again this spring. Oh, lordy, lordy. First, we still don’t know exactly what Mr. Stafford is. He’s been around for…uh, ever since? Probably fae of some sort, or half-fae. Keeps to himself. Looks like an old guy of sixty-something. Probably a glamour, that.
As for his dog, Primo? We all grew up thinking he was a Newfoundland. But he never got old…uh…what the hell is that thing? Besides a drool machine…