X - Wheel of Fortune

It's binary.  The words I thought were "no worries" ad nauseum.  When the recording is reversed, it becomes audible.  It becomes, like so much else in this world, a string of zeroes and ones.  

The problem is, I don't know a damn thing about it.  I feel like I've uncovered one layer and found something even less accessible. The answers lead to more questions

Who is transmitting this broadcast?  Why go through the trouble of breaking through to send an encrypted message in the first place?  What kind of equipment would even generate that strong of a signal?  

what the hell is going on?

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O - The Fool

Someone is sending a message through the radio.  I've heard it four times now, breaking through normal broadcasts.  AM, FM, am and pm. All the same. Distant music, static, what sounds like a record needle skipping, then a voice.  At first, I thought it was repeating permutations of the phrase "no worries", but then regular patterns emerged and repeat listens revealed that I had misheard the message.

I sent it off for analysis, and reversing the recording reveals that the message has been coded in binary; what I thought was a voice telling me not to worry was in fact a string of zeroes and ones.  Once that message was transcribed, things got weirder.

Someone is putting out a cry for help.  But why these layers of obfuscation? Where are these being broadcast from?  The more I learn, the smaller and dumber I feel.


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IX - The Hermit

Over the last few weeks, I've heard a transmission breaking through normal television broadcasts.  Always the same message, roughly the same length, but always at different tunings, different times, different formats.  Smooth Jazz to Sports Radio. Always pushing through the edge of silence like a dream intruding on the waking hours.

Finally I was able to record it.  Distant music, a skipping needle, bursts of static.  And a voice. Human, likely male. At first I swore it was repeating permutations of the phrase "no worries"  but as I listened more and more, It became clear that was not the case and now my worries are growing by the day.

There's something here.  Something sinister.

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XIII - Death

I don't know why I'm doing this.

Honestly, I guess I just couldn't hold it back any more.

It's early, before the sun.  

For the third time in a week, I've woken in these dark hours, battling to cling to wisps of a dream.  

I've been medicating my way to sleep for years now, and dreams were an early casualty.

Typically, sleep is a brief jaunt into the void followed by a piss and a cup of black coffee.

Dreams are a rarity, so even these lingering phantasms are worth a mention.

First, it was a long dark [redacted].

Am I being chased?  

Barely worth remembering, until three days after I followed the [redacted] and it led to a glimpse of a long jagged [redacted] in a [redacted].  

Today, I walked that dark [redacted] again, and saw a man standing at the end, was he watching silently as I approached?

Each morning after one of these single frame dreams, I woke with a distinct sort of static tone ringing in my ears.

I can't place it.

I can still hold the image of that man at the end of the hallway.

A backlit shadow, his coat nearly to the ground behind him.  

That static tone growing louder as I walk to him, but his face never falling into the light.

I don't know why this is worth mentioning.

Something is in motion.

This was not the beginning.


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XV - The Devil

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There's something in the back of my mind, and it wants me dead.

It's been there for years.

When I was young, it pretended to be me.

Used my voice, spoke to me in my thoughts and told me I was nothing.  

Guided my hand and tried to kill me, twice.

Told me I was nothing.

Waived the carrot of inspiration ahead of me just long enough.

But I've learned and grown since then.

 I have taken the carrot and eaten it, laughing.

I feel its gossamer claws behind my eyes daily still; the difference is I'm older, wiser, and I'm ready to fight back.

I've studied the methods of binding, the ways to bleed the beast out from behind its veil and force it into subservience, tying it to black ink on scrap paper.

 This is the incantation.

This is the ritual which I use to destroy my foe.

A warlock in the lineage of Joyce and Faulkner, aspiring to those great works that have shaped me.

My enemy has tried for years to destroy me and failed.

Its nagging, its tearing claws have ripped layers of weakness away, along with these scars they've left.

The taunting demon's ply has made me strong, and my mind has learned the ways of ink and blood.

now my foe is my familiar.

It still tears at me, but I grin in its face and draw its malice to my pen.

I will not destroy it.

I will fight it for my entire life, willingly, and make its poison my own.