Tag Archives: Andy Arbon

The ghastly fate of Barry Lupin

Barry Lupin had an unhealthy passion for systems. He had come from some distant and exotic land where the natives pracriced such curious rituals as filing. Although ostensibly he spoke English, he dropped strange and arcane words of uncertain provenance into his conversations. Systems analysis. Research protocol. Data retrieval. He spoke these terms with such conviction that members of the Scientific Society who had no idea what he meant felt obliged to just nod their heads respectfully.

The trouble with having a passion for filing paperwork, is that this necessitates having some kind of paper supply. Hopeless has never been a place where paper making has ever occurred in significant quantities. The ‘imports’ available through shipwrecks often leave a lot to be desired for quality and may have already been written on. While Frampton Jones has always supported the Scientific Society, that support has never included a desire to sacrifice his constantly recycled paper supplies for them.

And so it was that Barry Lupin came to the pragmatic decision that he had best paint the walls of his house black so as to be able to write on them with chalk. He was certainly not the first person to go for the squid-based wall blackening, although more normally this would have involved cult membership or occult aspirations. Barry just wanted a viable paper substitute. Thereafter, he was able to plan out his systems, protocols, methodology and other record keeping theories, washing ideas away when he had explored them to their limits and discussing them at length with his bemused friends.

In his tiny, precise handwriting, Barry slowly covered the walls of his home in observations, ordered according to the systems he had so thoughtfully planned. His stairway became a catalogue of dustcat observations. The bedroom he filled with things he had witnessed that defied physics and all of his calculations relating to those circumstances. In the living room he made notes upon the noises he heard around the house at night but could not explain. The first few remarks having been written in jest, he became increasingly obsessed with this subject.

One evening in the early part of winter his friends found him, writing the leter A over and over again across his exposed and painted floorboards. He would not speak to them, and when he had run out of floor he simply continued into the garden. None of them could stop his slow and crawling departure into the woods. Although to be fair, the trio who found him were so confused by his behaviour that they did not greatly exert themselves and instead observed the scene carefully in case future notes were required.

Only later did they explore the house, tracing the relentless ‘A’s back to their point of origin in the phrase ‘the horror, the horror, I am screaming all the time I write this.’

(With thanks to Andy Arbon for loaning us his face!)

The Cursed Letter Opener of Otley Chevin

Otley Chevin inherited the letter opener on the day when he found it inside his great aunt. Given the state of her remains, it was hard to tell whether some person unknown had stabbed her with it, or whether she had simply had a funny turn while holding it and had fallen onto it. That is was between her shoulderblades would have encouraged some people to infer murder. However, Otley knew his Aunt Maud well enough not to jump to that conclusion. 

The winter before, there had been an accident where Maud had been found, pinned to the inside of her front door, by the very same letter opener. At the time she had explained to Otley that she’d been trying to deal with a massive spider on the ceiling and had fallen from the chair that had been serving as a ladder, and that the letter opener had slipped somehow, going right through the skin on her shoulder and trapping her against the door.

It was the letter opener with which Maud’s father, Asparagus Chevin, had cut his own throat. Which given that the letter opener was barely equal to cutting paper, must have been a long and rather unpleasant sort of process.

If there was a story about where the letter opener had come from, Otley had never heard it. He supposed it had to be from the family’s pre-island days, when they lived somewhere that people sent letters to each other rather than just going round and yelling outside each other’s houses like normal people. Great Aunt Maud certainly couldn’t read, and didn’t think her father could read either. Now Otley, equally unskilled in letters in every sense of that term, was the possessor of a letter opener that he had no obvious use for. A letter opener that, at this point had been involved in two hideous deaths. 

Three if you counted that time Herb Chevin used it to kill Heebie Chevin after he died and was buried and then came back again. That one was contentious. Does it really count as killing someone if they’d definitely already been dead once?

Otley buried his aunt in her back garden. Partly because it was what she would have wanted, partly because moving her sticky remains round in pieces on a shovel was pretty undignified and putting in her in a wheelbarrow to get her to church didn’t seem like the right thing either.

He took the letter opener home, and gave it pride of place on the mantelpiece, having moved half a skull and a couple of odd looking stones out of the way. He liked the way the pretty handle caught the light. He was so busy admiring it that he nearly tripped over the hearth rug and barely saved himself from falling face first into the fire. 

(With thanks to Andy Arbon for the prompt and the letter opener.)

SpoonWalker Nest

Steampunk maker and creator Andy Arbon is making a spoonwalker nest! It’s a glorious work in progress…

No description available.

Andy tells us… “the spoonwalkers have discovered this long-abandoned cutlery case in the corner of a cellar on the island and made it their home, laying three eggs. The nest is made using spoons in the same way a bird would use twigs, so if you have lost your teaspoons the chances are they are here. The eggs begin to glow green shortly before hatching. Practically this is part finished, I still need to add a mother spoonwalker and make a few improvements to the painting on the eggs.”

We look forward to seeing how this develops!

To find out more about what Andy does, and makes, you can look him up on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/andy.arbon1