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Journey into the Manenverse banner

Howdy y’all,

Manen again, here to promise you Olivia is still perfectly fine. Those screams are just her showing her enthusiasm about summoning Lord Venerendum.

Quick recap: today, we’re continuing the adventure into The Manenverse, and following Will Grant as he totally deals with getting his butt handed to him in a completely reasonable and mature manner.

This is part 2 of 4, and before each part, I’ll list out any related stories. While I don’t think you need to have heard/read them to follow, the series might be more enjoyable if you know who’s who. It’s kind of like starting a sitcom from season 2 and missing the inside jokes carried over from season 1: you don’t need them to enjoy the show, but it can heighten the experience.

Related stories:

  • He who listens for wishes: AudioText
  • My strip club shows more than most: Text

Part 2: A Sour Sherbert

William Grant limped into Bare Assets Exotic Cabaret and marveled at the clean, well-lit lounge with walls draped in burgundy curtains that parted near the center of the room to make way for a wide stage and catwalk. It was mid-day, so the cabaret was still closed to patrons. In the past, it would have been open all day, but that had changed along with the change in management. Madame Sherbert, the owner, stood at the end of the walkway, twirling a large pendant between her fingers.

“Dance,” she commanded.

Sherbert, the owner of Bare Assets Exotic Cabaret sitting at the end of the catwalk, with a fat man-spirit dancing behind her.

The ghostly figure of a fat, mustachioed man wailed silently at the order. He was covering his chest and stomach with his arms, as though trying to hide the dim, putrid greenish-brown light emanating from the core of his intangible body. Madame Sherbert tapped her foot on the ground impatiently. Her pointed stiletto produced a loud click despite its minute surface area. The ghostly form jerked up, as though in fear, and then began stumbling around the stripper pole like a toddler taking his first steps.

Will removed his trilby politely and pinned it against his chest. It was a new one, not nearly as comfortable or as classy as the one that had gotten pecked to bits by those feathered pests, but it did the job. Hatters these days paid very little attention to detail, opting for mass production rather than quality. Maybe he’d find an old hat in a vintage shop one day, but until then, his cheap replacement would have to do.

Sherbert, not even turning to face him, spoke first, “As I live and breathe, if it isn’t Mr. Grant. I never expected to see you around these parts again. Not after what happened last time.” She played with her necklace, making the ghost-like apparition on stage disappear.

“Well, you know, I figured it was all water under the bridge. We’re both reasonable, rational-minded adults, are we not, Madame Sherbert?”

She turned to face him, arms crossed, and stared with a spiteful gleam. “You stole three of my new dancers.”

Will Grant being as seductive as he can.

“How was I supposed to know you’d marked those sailors? They were being rowdy. When I took them to bed, I assure you, I merely intended to unburden your fine establishment. It was a simple misunderstanding. Have I mentioned how lovely you look today? You’re positively glowing.”

Madame Sherbert seemed unimpressed. “Flattery will get you nowhere.”

William chuckled. “Oh, I quite disagree, Madame Sherbert. Flattery has gotten me inside of many things.” He winked.

She reached for her necklace, and William felt himself tensing. The fear of entrapment had never once crossed his mind before, but after his run-in with Darlig, he found himself feeling a bit vulnerable. A silver tongue wasn’t much of a weapon against the pig-headed.

“Do you know what might get you somewhere? If you ‘bare it all’ for me. Mm?”

He smiled nervously, “I’d love to, but I don’t think I have the ‘proper equipment’ for you. Can’t see a person’s soul if he doesn’t have one.”

Sherbert turned on her heels. “Hmm,” she uttered pensively, caressing the necklace in small, circular motions. “So, what happened to you? You’re looking a little worse for wear these days.”

Will exhaled the deep breath he’d been holding. “Goodness, is it that obvious?”

“Well, you are limping,” she glanced at him from over her shoulder, “and you have that beaten puppy-dog look in your eyes. It doesn’t suit you.”

“Your sense of perception is as keen as your sense of style, Madame Sherbert. You are truly a specimen of outmost class, poise, and dignity,” he answered.

“And you’re an insufferable flirt. Now tell me, before I change my mind and our ‘water under the bridge’ evaporates, mmm?”

He stiffened. “Yes. Yes, of course. You see, I’m afraid I had a bit of a run-in with a foul little creature. I was brutally attacked! Unprovoked! And, of course, being the kind-hearted, benevolent, ruggedly handsome gentleman that I am, I thought I might let bygones be bygones, but,” he wiggled his wounded leg, “I’m afraid the damage might be permanent. It’s hard to forgive and forget when the knife is still in your back, is it not?”

She leaned against the foot of the catwalk, staring at him with amusement rather than sympathy. “I see,” she answered dully, “So why did you come here? What do you want from me?”

He gasped and placed a hand on his chest, “I’m hurt you would think I had ulterior motives in coming to visit you. Why, I just wanted to see a friendly face.”

Sherbert playing with her medallion.

She stared at him knowingly. “You wanted my amulet.”

He lifted his hands defensively, “Please, I would never dream of asking you to part with it.” He took a step closer. “But perhaps I could just,” he reached for her hand, “borrow it? Temporarily?”

She plucked her hand free and snorted as she tucked the necklace safely into her shirt. “Not a chance.”

If he needed to beg, he was going to beg. He brought his hands together and locked eyes with her. She tried to dodge his gaze, but he shifted left and right to meet it every time, until she gave up and simply looked back.

“Please,” he uttered, “Please you’ve got to help me. I’ll make it worth your while. How would you like another wish granted? This time, no charge! Consider it payment for lending me your amulet.”

“Not interested,” she answered bluntly.

His hands waved broadly at the room around them. “But look at all I’ve given you with just a single wish. Imagine how much more you’d have if you would just-”

She thrust her index finger firmly against his chest, putting an uncomfortable amount of pressure against his sternum. There was a lot of force behind that single little digit, like a crocodile bite without the lower jaw to finish the job.

Sherbert threateningly poking Will Grant in the chest.

Holy cow, Manen cannot draw women to save his life.

You didn’t give me all this,” she hissed, “This. All of this. This was me. You just repaired the amulet, that’s all. Don’t flatter yourself.” She pulled her finger back and let her hand fall to her hip. “If you’re that desperate for help, why don’t you ask the big guy?”

“What big guy? The big guy?”

If she thought he had a direct line to the king of Hell himself, she was sorely mistaken. He was to the Prince of Darkness what debt collectors are to the police: loosely connected, in that they both work to reclaim lost goods, but two very different animals in every other sense.

“No, no. Big Blue,” she clarified.

“Big Blue?”

She tapped her foot on the ground. The hourglass of her patience was trickling down to its final grains.

“You know a lot of gigantic blue demi-Gods? Big Blue. There’s just the one,” said Sherbert.

It clicked. Thank goodness, it clicked. Yes, of course: she was referring to the one who called himself ‘Leviathan’. No, no, not the giant sea dragon. That had been a gross misinterpretation, kind of like how colonials misunderstood the word “Canada” to mean the country, and the name stuck. Mortals can be so stupid. Leviathan was an ancient entity so old, he’d likely ridden dinosaurs in his infancy. He might even have crawled out of the primordial waters along with the first fish. While many modern languages had Latin roots, he had been the one to seed Latin’s roots. He was old. He was wise. He was wickedly powerful, but he was also…

“I thought he was, you know, ‘indisposed’.”

Sherbert beamed. “You hadn’t heard? He escaped a few months ago.” She paused to think. “Well, I suppose ‘escaped’ isn’t quite the right word. I’m sure he could have left any time he wanted. I suppose even ancient demi-Gods like to do a bit of people-watching from time to time. It’s like reality TV, but live and uncensored.”

“Blimey! Do you know where I can find him?”

She shrugged and tapped the medallion hiding beneath her shirt. “Hmm, if I were to wager, I’d say he’s probably at the best place a colossal demi-God could go to hide from prying eyes: the Black Forest.”

“Germany?” If he’d been trapped in an underground lab for months, he’d rather go enjoy a beach somewhere warm, but to each their own. Will smiled broadly.  “Thank you, you beautiful mistress of beauty, you!” He limped to the door, stopped, and looked back. “I owe you one!”

“Oh, I know, and I won’t forget.”

Journey into the Manenverse banner

Howdy y’all,

Let me just start off by saying your usual host, Olivia, is fiiiiiine. She’s a little tied up at the moment, but I assure you, the ritual sacrifice is entirely consensual.

Now that that’s out of the way, hi! I’m Manen Lyset, author, pumpkin-head, and occasional doodler. I’m taking over the blog today to whisk y’all off on a little adventure through what I’ve come to call ‘The Manenverse’. The name is kind of self-explanatory, but this is a series of four related stories taking place in the shared universe of many of my tales. If you want to strap in for a ride, you’ll see likely see some familiar faces and learn new things about them.

Before each part, I’ll list out any related stories. While I don’t think you need to have heard/read them to follow, the series might be more enjoyable if you know who’s who.

Related stories:

  • I thanked the man who murdered my only friend: AudioText
  • He who listens for wishes: AudioText
  • He who listens for wishes – the girl and the puppy: Text

Part 1: The Wish-Granter and the Crow

The crows cawed as he strolled down the alley towards the bar. There were hundreds of them perched on every light post, guard rail, and flying circles above. There were so many, they blotted out the night sky, where the hunter’s moon had only begun peeking through the clouds. Their small, beady black eyes were locked on him and their beaks pointed at him like an army of archers ready to launch. They looked like church gargoyles: foul creatures that, in spite of their own hideousness, managed to express their self-righteous, sanctimonious, disapproving judgement on anyone dumb enough to catch their gaze.

William Grant came to a stop, tipped his trilby at them, and gave a light nod of the head. This could have been taken as a simple, courteous greeting, if not for the threatening look hiding behind his wry grin. One that whispered, Try anything, and I’ll pluck every single feather off of each and every one of you one by one.

They cawed in response.

Will Grant heading walking down the alley surrounded by crows.

He opened the creaky wooden back door and was immediately met with a wall of horrendous, outdated, bleating techno music blaring louder than a jet engine. The barrier was meant to keep unwelcomed guests out, but the moments between the door closing, visitor verification, and the sound seal being restored were so agonizing, he almost turned back.

The runes lit up, and the music quieted to a tolerable hush.

He followed the familiar signage down the corridor to the bar, and once there, spotted a man in a bulky trench coat with the largest crow he’d ever seen perched on his shoulder. He sat next to him, a smug grin spreading across his lips as he placed his trilby on the counter in front of him.

“Darl! What a lovely surprise! I didn’t expect to find you here tonight,” he said, in a cool and casual tone.

Darl, or rather, Darlig, kept his eyes on the mirrored wall in front of him. “I go where the flock leads me.”

With a flick of the hand, Will ordered a drink. “Yes, I saw your little friends outside. There seems to be quite many more than last time we met.” He paused, leaned in as close as a lover, and whispered, “You’re not losing your edge, are you, Darl?”

Darlig ignored the snide remark.

Will Grant talking Darlig's ear off.

Will continued, “It must be quite tiring doing what you do, fighting a losing battle. Don’t you ever wish you could end your-”

Darlig’s bright golden irises leered at him from the corner of his eyes. “I’ll stop you right there. I am not one to fall for your trickery.”

Will chuckled as he pulled away and shook his head. “Trickery? Please! There’s no trickery involved. I grant wishes, that’s all,” he said, waving a hand dismissively. “I’m simply offering to grant yours.”

The crow on Darlig’s shoulder seemed to hiss in contempt. Darlig reached a hand and caressed its neck soothingly. “It’s all right, Gale,” he cooed. His voice became sterner, but held its usual dark stoicism as he replied, “I do not need my wishes granted. Especially not by the likes of you.”

Will raised his hands in a defeated gesture. “No need to be so uptight about it, dear Darl. I just want to help you. We’re on the same side, you and I.”

Now, it was Darlig’s turn to hiss. His nose wrinkled in disgust and the lump on his back twitched, causing his trench coat to flutter. “We are not on the ‘same team’. You reap souls. I save lives.”

William’s eyebrows rose in surprise. “REAP SOULS? Blimey! What do you take me for? I don’t ‘reap’ souls! I take,” he brought his finger and thumb close together, “itty bitty slivers of people’s lives in exchange for granting their wishes. There’s really nothing that malevolent about it. I’m not some gargantuan evil overlord from the deepest recesses of Hell. You’re giving me far too much credit.” He motioned to Darlig. “Hell, if anything, you are so much worse. You literally murder people. Pun intended.”

Darlig looked at his drink, maintaining his calm demeanor in stark contrast to Will’s increasing vivacity.  “I don’t take souls. I just end the lives of those I must.”

Will rolled his eyes. “Same difference.” He tried to pet Gale, but the massive crow nipped his fingers, so he placed them on his lap instead. “There’s no need to be so antagonistic, old chap. I just figured perhaps you wanted to be free.”

“I’m free as a bird.”

Will snorted. He wasn’t sure if that was meant as a joke. Darlig’s deadpan expression and tone didn’t leave much room for interpretation.

“Yes, yes. But I mean, free of your duties?” he offered.

“I’ll be free once the last crow flies into the night,” answered Darlig.

William stared at him in disbelief. Was he really that naïve? “You know that’s NEVER going to happen, right? Your murder of crows will continue to replenish and grow, because there will ALWAYS be people out there slaying children. That’s just how humans are. Your duty will never end, you know that, right?”

Darlig sipping booze quietly.

Darlig took a moment to digest William’s words. He swirled what was left of his drink in his glass while Gale hopped from one shoulder to the next. The bird crooed and cawed and nudged his cheek with its head.

“It doesn’t matter,” he whispered, golden eyes locked on the liquid in his glass, “This is what I do. It’s what I am. Nothing will change that.”

“Good grief, are we melodramatic today,” uttered Will. “You know, I could help you. You just need to wish it.”

“I will serve without shortcuts. They,” Darlig motioned to the ceiling, but it was clear he was referring to the crows, “deserve that much.”

“Alright, alright. I can see when I’m beat,” said Will, as he stood up from his stool.

He pat Darlig’s back, but instead of a solid surface, he felt the soft cushion of his fellow demon’s concealed wings. He wondered what it’d be like to be like him, to be able to fly. But to be chained down by all those boring duties, he thought. The grass wasn’t always greener on the other side.

William Grant smacked the rim of his trilby still on the counter, sending it spinning through the air. He caught it right-side up on his head, and gave Darlig a final nod goodbye. There were others out there making wishes tonight, he’d find a few playthings.

The techno music blared again as the wooden back door opened and shut behind him. The murder of crows was still standing vigil in and above the alleyway. They never strayed far from Darlig, or vice-versa. You know, Will wasn’t entirely sure who was bound to whom.

He began to make his way down the path, but as he did, he heard that damn music starting and stopping again. He looked behind him, but all he saw was blackness.

A crow with a skull in its eyes.

The murder came on him, clawing and biting at every exposed surface of his skin. The wounds healed, sure, but it didn’t mean he couldn’t feel the pain. He yowled and swung his arms at them, but they just kept coming. He was grossly outnumbered.

Suddenly, he felt a sharp pain in his thigh. Through the cover of feathers and beaks, he caught sight of Darlig’s clawed hand clasped around a silver dagger plunged deep into his leg.

“You son of a-”

He ignored the birds and reached for the dagger, fighting off Darlig’s slender fingers for the handle. He tore the blade out of himself, but as he did, he heard a sharp snap.

Bone?

No, bones don’t snap, they crack.

It was something metallic. William twisted himself away from the birds and crouched down to inspect the dagger in his hands. The crows slammed into his back like a streak-free window and bit through his preacher’s coat. Some even began chomping at his already-healing stab wound while others followed his head movement and tried biting out his eyes, making it hard for him to see what he needed to see.

There’s a piece missing, he realized, as he looked at the tip of the knife, it’s still inside me.

Will grant doubled over in pain, cut on his leg.

The pain in his thigh felt searing hot, like someone had dropped a lump of burning coal into him. The longer it stayed there, the more it hurt. Will was no measly werewolf, but silver was always a little problematic for him, especially when it got inside. There was something about its purity that just didn’t agree with him. It needed to go, fast.

Little fibers were webbing their way from one side of the cut to the other, closing the wound as though stitching back together every piece of skin tissue and muscle all at once. Will dug his fingers into the chasm, stretching and tearing those little filaments like the seams of one’s favorite pants one keeps hidden at the back of the closet in the vain hope they’ll fit again one day, even though they never will. The fibers worked around him at first, grazing against his fingertips as he searched the cavity for the shrapnel lodged deep inside, but they became more aggressive. They had a job to do, and they were going to do it regardless of the foreign objects getting in the way. The tendrils tightened around his fingers, healing the wound so fast, he had to pull out or risk his digits getting stuck in there permanently.

There were bigger fish to fry anyways. Well, birds. Lots of them. Pecking at him relentlessly.

“Darl, call them off!” he demanded. The collective flaps of their wings was deafening. He wondered if Darlig would even hear him.

Through the cacophony, he heard Darlig’s clear and soft reply, “You know children don’t listen to adults.”

Darlig sat on a set of concrete stairs in front of him, his large, midnight-colored wings exposed to the night air. Gale was still on his shoulder, but there was another, smaller crow on his lap. He looked at it rather than at Will.

“I’m sorry, little Kayla. I cannot kill him. He’s immortal. This is the best I can do. Will it be enough for you?”

The small crow chirped. It flapped its little wings and it took off into the air. William followed his flight path up to the rooftop, where he lost it against the stark black sky. Kayla, he thought, that name sounds familiar. The image of a hospital bed and her name written on the patient chart came to mind. Kayla, that’s right, the little cancer victim whose wish he’d granted. Puppy, if he remembered correctly. She’d wanted a puppy.  Was that what this was about?

“Hey genius,” he growled, as he pushed himself back to his feet, “I didn’t kill your little bird buddy!”

Technically, it had been the cancer. He’d only sped things along.

The crows continued to attack and squawk as he tried to remain upright. The pain in his leg made it hard to stand straight, but his anger cemented him to the spot.

“I don’t make the rules, I merely go where the flock leads me,” answered Darlig.

Will stomped his foot on the ground, and immediately regretted it when a spike of pain climbed up his thigh and around his back. “Murder! It’s called a murder of crows, you feather-fucking imbecile!”

Darlig inspected his sharp, claw-like fingernails, ignoring Will’s growing agitation. “Calling them that leads to misunderstandings. Can you imagine if I asked the barman, ‘Would you mind if keep my murder in the alleyway out back?’” He laughed. “Besides, they prefer being called a flock.” His golden eyes set on Will with the sternness of a father scolding his child. “They don’t want to be known as ‘murder’-ers. They’re not the monsters here, William Grant, you are.”

Will felt his cheeks burning red with anger. “I didn’t kill anyone!”

Darlig remained cool, collected, and stoic. Everything Will normally was when he was on duty. He ran a hand through his raven hair and shrugged dismissively. “She would have lived longer if you hadn’t stolen her time.”

Having had their pound of flesh, the crows began to disperse and took point circling the skies above. William heaved heavy breaths as the scratches and bite marks closed in on themselves and disappeared from his skin, leaving only streaks and splotches of black blood behind. Shame his clothes couldn’t perform the same magic trick: he was in rags and his signature trilby might as well have been a visor, for all the material that had been chewed off of it.

“I’ll,” Will panted breathlessly, “I’ll get you back for this, Darl!”

He took a step towards the crow demon, but pain shot up his leg like a lightning bolt, grounding him in place.

Darlig calmly pushed himself to his feet. The veil of stoicism lifted just long enough for him to smirk a victorious smirk. “I really wish you wouldn’t.”

His wings flared out, and he took off to join his murder. He had other duties to attend to.

suddenshocks

So it’s time. We’re putting together Suddenly Shocking 8, for Season 10. Which means we’re asking for flash fiction submissions! As such, we’ve set up a brand new email just for flash fic.

Here’s what we’re looking for: Stories of up to 1200 words. No minimum. However, they have to be really scary. Like super scary. The scariest, creepiest or most unsettling thing you can come up with. Any perspective or tense is fine for these.

We pay $40 for Suddenly Shocking stories and payment can be made via Paypal or Amazon gift card as usual.

Email your flash fic in .doc form or similar editable file (NO PDFS PLEASE) to flashfic@thenosleeppodcast.com – Please send them to this address and not the general submissions one, otherwise they won’t be seen in time!

Looking forward to hearing from you!

– Olivia & Gabrielle

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Hot potatoes, Sleepless! It’s me again, Olivia. Boy, do I have some tales to tell you from Transylvania. I’m currently hiding out in a cave half-way up a mountain while strange creatures bay for mine and Danny’s blood. It’s all very exciting! But, I’m going to save that story for another blog post. Hopefully I’ll survive to be able to tell you about it!

Moving on, by now you know who the mysterious guest host is. That’s right, while David and co are on tour, the podcast is being hosted by Vlad the Impaler! Wait, I’m being informed by my legal team that it’s actually notable voice actor Peter Lewis. Okay, that makes more sense. I did wonder how a centuries-dead tyrant was hosting the show. I guess a centuries-living tyrant is more logical.

Anyway, Peter’s doing a grand old job, and I hope y’all are enjoying his wraparound scripts! We have a special surprise for you in episode 15 too, so be sure to tune in for that. Episode 14 is just about wrapped up and will be hitting you in your horror-spots this weekend as normal. But what of the others, you ask? What of the tireless tour team? Well read on, Sleepless, and I’ll tell you all about it.
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Hey Sleepless! So if you’ve been following the blog for the last week, you’ll know I’m deep in a forest in the Carpathian mountains, hunting down some kind of pig-based creature that my guide, Danny, was going to show me.
Well, there’s been a temporary setback, hence the absence of a blog on Tuesday. Last Friday night, in the middle of a colossal storm, Danny went out to investigate some strange noises in the forest at midnight. Now, you’re probably expecting me to say that he never came back, but if only it was that simple.

Danny did come back. But he’s changed.
We’ve been here for a week. Danny keeps pacing up and down the cabin, going in and out of his bedroom, rattling pots and pans in the kitchen. I keep hearing him mutter under his breath, and occasionally he makes strange oinking sounds. It’s a little disconcerting. So I was stuck here in the cabin with him – and I’d like to just clarify here, Danny’s an old friend. I’ve known him for years. He’s not some rando I just met, he’s my Transylvanian contact from back in my newspaper days. He’s never behaved like this before. It’s very odd.

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Happy Friday, Sleepless! It’s night time in the UK, where I sit writing this. I’m discussing animals with human faces with Jessica McEvoy; the usual kind of chat that happens in the NoSleep Podcast HQ. We’re trying to work out which animals would be the creepiest with human faces. I reckon deer and sheep with human faces are the creepiest. Jessica agrees with deer, and also thinks frogs would be creepy with human faces. We both think giraffes with human faces would be silly, but llamas would be creepy. I posited a theory that there’s a sweet spot when it comes to neck ratio + human face. Too long and it’s just preposterous. Too short and it’s too human. Somewhere in between, like a llama or a deer, and that’s creepy as heck.

What do you think, Sleepless? Which animal with a human face would you least like to encounter? Let us known on Twitter, or if you’re reading this via the Facebook fangroup, post your answer in the replies there!

Moving on, we have one episode of the podcast left before our tourists head off and we’re taken over by the mysterious host. Who’s it gonna be? I know. You’ll just have to wait. But we’ve got a really cool episode lined up for 12. We got beloved returning authors, we got debut authors, we got… well, just wait and see. It’s gonna be lit, as the pyromaniac said.

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Good afternoon Sleepless! Welcome back to the new, twice-weekly-scheduled 2018 return of the NoSleep Blogcast. Going forward, we’ll be publishing two blog entries per week, on Tuesdays and Fridays (circumstances allowing) so be sure to check back on those days for the hottest NoSleep Podcast content direct into your eyeballs.

It’s an exciting, if bittersweet, time at the NSP HQ right now. Our intrepid tourers; David C, David A, Erika, Nichole, Jessica and Brandon are packing up their things, ready to leave us. The first tour date is on February 20th at the Aladdin Theater in Portland, so they gotta get ready, get their practising on, rehearse the scripts, and fine tune their scariest voices to give you NO SLEEP. So we’ll be bidding them farewell on this weekend’s show.

But who’s hosting in David’s stead, you ask? Well. I can’t divulge that yet, but let’s just say it’s someone who’s sure to give you many a sleepless night. I’m personally very excited to begin working with this person to produce a handful of home shows you’re never gonna forget. It’s up to us to keep things running smoothly while David and co are on tour, and aside from the occasional fire, flood and kaiju attack, I reckon we’re gonna do okay! My trusty butler Theobold has my back too, so I can’t see anything going wrong.

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Season’s bleatings, Sleepless! December has begun. I hope all of you have opened the first two doors on your advent calendar, and received horrific and unsettling treats. On December 1st, my calendar had an eyeball in it, then on December 2nd, a pinky finger. Really excited for the next 22 days!

So, you may have noticed a lack of activity on the blog lately. This is a good thing! It means that we at The NoSleep Podcast have been working extremely hard to prepare some fantastic content to see the year out. We’ve got some exciting Christmas horror coming up soon, and before that we have Season 10 episodes 4 (this weekend), 5 and 6. We’ve got some excellent stories to share with you, including tales from Marcus Damanda, Henry Galley, Harrison Prince and Felix Blackwell. Felix’s story ties into his celebrated Stolen Tongues series, so if you’re a Season 7 pass holder and feel like refreshing yourself on that tale, they can be heard starting from Season 7 Episode 18.

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Happy Sunday sleepless! Gabrielle Loux speaking. You may remember me from my interview with Olivia a few weeks ago, or you may already know me from submitting, or you may have seen me haunting Twitter. I come bearing an interview with regular NSP author Henry Galley.

Henry is a British author who first appeared on The NoSleep Podcast in season six with “They Move Through the Trains. I’ve had the pleasure of working with him on several of his stories, and also the upcoming podcast Congeria. Some of Henry’s notable podcast gems include “Two Facts You Should Probably Know“, “In My Line of Work“, “Midnight Rendezvous, and a brand new tale on today’s episode called “Duplex, available for free to all listeners.

Henry recently started studying creative writing at The University of East Anglia and I can’t wait to see where his studies take this already incredibly talented young author.

Recently I had a call with Henry in which we talked about a variety of things including writing, podcasts, horror, and his future ambitions. I’ve transcribed it below. Let’s get started!

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Greetings, Sleepless. Olivia here, back from the dead like a zombie with unfinished business.

As many of you know, a couple of weeks ago the NoSleep Podcast team performed a fantastic sold-out show in Toronto! I couldn’t attend because I was off taking part in dark and sinister rituals for unspeakable reasons, but we sent along our intrepid reporter, aka Community Manager Krista Neubert. During her time with the cast and crew, she wrote this blog to give us an insight into the horrific goings on behind the scenes of our beloved podcast! And she took photos. Lots of photos. Photos I captioned which I’m sharing with you now in case a mysterious agency tries to erase me from existence. It happens more often than you’d think.

So without further ado, here we are with the first of Krista’s guest blogs, which I have puntastically titled… Community Mismanagement.

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Hi Sleepless! Just a quick update for you all today. Season 9 is over! Boo! But if you’re a season pass holder, there are still some exciting bonus episodes to look forward to, such as Old Time Radio and Suddenly Shocking! That’s really cool! You know what else is cool? Brandon Boone.

Brandon, as you know, does all our music, and it’s super scary and awesome and creepy and just fantastic. You can always stream his work over on his Bandcamp, and his wonderful tunes for the show can be purchased in a variety of ways, from individual EPs to a monthly subscription which allows you to download all his new music.

But! Because Brandon is such a cool guy, and his hair is fabulous, he’s made his tracks from the Halloween 2017 episodes free for everyone! Not just streaming, but free to download too! Simply choose to purchase the album, enter any value in the Pay What You Want box (including $0) and download to your heart’s content! And on top of that, the tracks from our Season 9 finale, The Hidden Webpage, are also free to download!

So go, get yourself some Brandon Boone in your life. Now!

Brandon Boone, looking suitably sinister at a show

Brandon Boone, looking suitably sinister at a show

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Hello, Sleepless! Here it is, the big day! The day we’ve all been waiting for. The ghouls, the specters, the undead, the people who love the things that go bump in the night. Today is Halloween, the day when us horror fans can let our fear flag fly. Whether you’re carving and displaying pumpkins or placing skeletons in your garden, this is your day. It’s like Christmas, but with more dismembered body parts and blood. And without the presents.

We should do that, actually. Pioneer Halloween gift-giving. It’d be awesome if we exchanged gifts like we do at Christmas, but they were all horror-themed! ‘What’s in the box?’ Oh it’s a severed head! Next year, let’s do a Secret Satan for Halloween!

Moving on, IT’S HALLOWEEN! So naturally, we at The NoSleep Podcast have a lot of cool things for you. The big one, of course, is our free Halloween episode, released today and available for everyone, season pass member or not. Coming in at 2 hours 35 minutes, it’s a cavalcade of cadavers with four stories by four authors; S.H. Cooper, Michael Whitehouse, Jacob Healy and some unknown called Olivia White who I’ve never heard of.

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The questions for day three of our Six Days of Halloween competition are up on the Facebook fanpage. Four season passes left up for grabs, and *whisper* here’s an exclusive reveal, there’s a special prize draw for anyone who answers all six days correctly.

Each day there will be 3 new story-related questions along with one new random NoSleep trivia question. All story questions have been plucked from free episodes to give everyone a fair shot at the prize. Everyone who answers all 4 questions correctly will go into a draw to decide who wins the Season Pass for that day. Brooks will announce the winners the following day (assuming someone has answered all the questions correctly).

Lucky number Six will be announced in a live stream from Toronto on Sunday, October 29th, and will also win a signed poster or t-shirt from the Halloween show.

The last group of questions will be posted on Friday, October 27th.

So if you’re not already a member of the group, go ahead and sign up for a chance to win a season pass 10! And who knows, maybe if you answer all six days correctly, there may be a special prize up for grabs!

But first! We have a winner for yesterday’s season pass! That winner is… Madhur Parashar! Congratulations! Your season pass will be on its way to you, drooled on by a cryptid, aka David Cummings!

As for the rest of you…

GOOD LUCK & BRACE YOURSELVES!

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The questions for day two of our Six Days of Halloween competition are up on the Facebook fanpage. Five season passes left up for grabs, and *whisper* here’s an exclusive reveal, there’s a special prize draw for anyone who answers all six days correctly.

Each day there will be 3 new story-related questions along with one new random NoSleep trivia question. All story questions have been plucked from free episodes to give everyone a fair shot at the prize. Everyone who answers all 4 questions correctly will go into a draw to decide who wins the Season Pass for that day. Brooks will announce the winners the following day (assuming someone has answered all the questions correctly).

Lucky number Six will be announced in a live stream from Toronto on Sunday, October 29th, and will also win a signed poster or t-shirt from the Halloween show.

The last group of questions will be posted on Friday, October 27th.

So if you’re not already a member of the group, go ahead and sign up for a chance to win a season pass 10! And who knows, maybe if you answer all six days correctly, there may be a special prize up for grabs!

But first! We have a winner for yesterday’s season pass! That winner is… Kelsey Walden Bohl! Congratulations! Your season pass will be on its way to you, cursed by the seven princes of Hell, or at least David Cummings!

As for the rest of you…

GOOD LUCK & BRACE YOURSELVES!

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Starting today, October 22nd, questions will be posted by me on the Facebook fanpage to give 6 of you a chance to win a Season 10 Pass.

Each day there will be 3 new story-related questions along with one new random NoSleep trivia question. All story questions have been plucked from free episodes to give everyone a fair shot at the prize. Everyone who answers all 4 questions correctly will go into a draw to decide who wins the Season Pass for that day. Brooks will announce the winners the following day (assuming someone has answered all the questions correctly).

Lucky number Six will be announced in a live stream from Toronto on Sunday, October 29th, and will also win a signed poster or t-shirt from the Halloween show.

The last group of questions will be posted on Friday, October 27th.

So if you’re not already a member of the group, go ahead and sign up for a chance to win a season pass 10! And who knows, maybe if you answer all six days correctly, there may be a special prize up for grabs!

GOOD LUCK & BRACE YOURSELVES!

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Greetings, Sleepless. Story editor Gabrielle Loux here. Following last week’s interview, Olivia decided to take an impromptu holiday, starting immediately. Unfortunately she left no forwarding address, and no information as to when she’d be back. I sure hope nothing… sinister has befallen her. Hahaha. Hahahahaha! HAHAHAHAHA.

Anyway. As well as Olivia’s untimely death sudden vacation, there have been some exciting changes around The NoSleep Podcast headquarters. Namely, we’re delighted to welcome aboard Krista Neubert as our new Community Manager!

Many of you may already know Krista as one of the admins of The NoSleep Podcast fanpage on Facebook. As a core part of that team, she’s helped to build a community of nearly six thousand dedicated fans who regale us with their tales of listening to the podcast, experiencing untold horrors, and seeing pigs and bananas which they then post photos of.

Along with admin Brooks J. Bigley and moderator/fluffy NoSleep Podcast mascot Jimmy Ferrer, Krista’s become a hugely valuable member of the community, and that’s why she’s now also working for the show as community manager! There are a lot of exciting things on the horizon. Fan events, competitions, secret encoded projects Olivia was working on that I’m currently trying to crack the ciphers on, all sorts.

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Greetings and salivations, Sleepless. It is I, Olivia White, host of The NoSleep Podcast, back with another dose of terrifying, nail-biting horror.  On this week’s episode we have six skin-crawling tales about bigamist Bigfoots, twerking Thunderbirds, cuckolded Chupacabras and meme-loving Mongolian Death Worms. In our first tale, entitled What I Saw On Top Of My Mom’s Wardrobe Will Haunt Me To This Day, author Chainsaw Dave takes us on a journey of…

Wait, sorry, no, my bad. That story got rejected. I’m being told it was only 300 words long, 248 of which were just the word ‘really’, and the ending twist was that the story was just a dream.

Now, you may be wondering two things here, Sleepless. One, ‘why is Olivia pretending to be David?’. Well, the answer to that is simple. I’m getting practise in before I have him ‘disappeared’ and stage my coup to take over the show as host. The second thing you may be asking is ‘how does The NoSleep Podcast select such quality stories, instead of the kind of rubbish outlined above?’. The answer to that is more complex, but in short: Gabrielle Loux.

For those who don’t know, Gabrielle is The NoSleep Podcast’s extremely talented story editor who, along with some story curator I’ve never heard of, works tirelessly to select the best of the best of horror fiction to be produced on the show. Gabrielle is one of our less public-facing team members, but she has one of the most important jobs on the show, and so what better to give you an insight into her fantastic work than… A NOSLEEP BLOGCAST INTERVIEW?

So read on, kiddies, as transcribed from an exclusive found footage recording, we have a glimpse into the mind of… GABRIELLE LOUX, STORY EDITOR EXTRAORDINAIRE.

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Greetings, Sleepless.

We’re five days into October now. Already across the community I’m seeing a vast amount of Halloween preparations. Movies are being selected, costumes are being designed, virgins are being sacrificed to dark ancient gods, candy is being bought. It chills my already frozen heart to see so many of you getting into the spirit of dread and panic.

Over at The NoSleep Podcast HQ, they’re obviously preparing for the live Halloween show, and the special Halloween episodes, but more immediately they’re gearing up for the release of Episode 22 this coming Saturday/Sunday. I broke into David’s office in the dead of night to see if I could steal some exclusive, never-before-seen information about the upcoming episode.

I managed to discover the following: It has some stories in it. They are horror stories. They are performed by some narrators.

Nobody tell David I’ve leaked this information. I’ve heard the punishment for giving away NoSleep Podcast secrets is severe. But then, he’d have to identify and catch me first.

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Hello, sleepless ones, and happy October.

That’s right, the month of Halloween is upon us, and that can only mean one thing. Horror! So, business as usual at The NoSleep Podcast HQ then… or is it? Answer: No, no it isn’t.

Firstly, you may notice that you’re reading this message on the NoSleep Podcast blog. Y’know, that blog which hasn’t been updated since Season 5, when David made a post detailing the fact he was taking a week off. It’s the only post on the blog until now in fact, and yes, that does mean David’s never taken a week off since then. He hasn’t even taken an hour off since then in fact. He’s a shambling, hollowed-out husk of a man, working his fingers (literally) to the bone to bring you the premium in horror content.

So, yes, exciting news, the blog’s going to be getting some use again, and what better time to kick that off than in the run-up to Halloween.

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Due to unexpected circumstances we need to take a week off in between S5E05 and S5E06. We’ll be back with S5E06 on March 22. In the meantime, please enjoy this production of “The Mouth of God” by author Ramsey Shehadeh.

This story was originally produced by David Cummings for the great audio fiction podcast, “The Drabblecast”.

Special thanks to Norm Sherman of The Drabblecast for allowing me to share this production with you.


Click here to discover more about The Drabblecast

 


 

“The Mouth of God” produced by: David Cummings

 

Music & Sound Design by: David Cummings

 

Narrated by: David Cummings and Jessica McEvoy

 

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