Now I am working on just my favorite topics, only stuff that I want to read about while waiting for the bus. Ghosts and random subjects. My new discovery is all about, well… theft. I am inspired by Plunderphonics and the vast possibilities of copy/paste techniques. Deletion is my chisel. I build monsters. Non-fiction demands REQUIRES attribution, my assumption is that fiction demands only style. Reflecting is not exclusive to my age group. My first project took eleven years to get into shape. Nothing is ever “finished” that I do, it is temporarily abandoned while to go on again. To more plunder! Things sometimes turn out differently than expected. Always.

  1. vague idea (or not)
  2. research (Dr. Googie)
  3. soup (fill the swimming pool, agitate)
  4. teaspoon into whimsical forms, no “writing” but no rules
  5. serve up

This is “fiction” not exposition. Any bits of information found in these creative projects that resemble “facts” are specious and accidental. There are clues that you might use in future research, however the intention is to invent for amusement. Inspired by the William Burroughs “Cut Up” Technique and the Plunderphonics philosophy, these stories are experiments in text buccaneering. Professor James, practicing what he preaches, approaches his themes in a light and often conversational way. Creating the illusion of every-day events, he introduces this abnormal phenomena cautiously and gradually; relieved at every turn by touches of homely and prosaic detail, and sometimes spiced with a snatch or two of antiquarian scholarship. Robin James is a retired librarian.

How can I know if what I am making is junk? I am living inside of it, like a child growing up, this IS normal, because all I know is all I can see. Big fookin deal. It’s like this all the time. I live with supernatural visitors. The story is about life under water. I steal everything. This is bringing about the end of civilization and the concept of property. And it’s easy!

I have a word game here. This was an idea, a vague idea, then it was researched, then assembled, and maybe a tad rushed, but I posted it in Booksie where I take advantage of the cover/title mechanism they have there. It adds the title words to the picture, plus my nom. Then I pop it into Medium where the art is displayed in a nice size, which I save, I only want the nice title-picture. Medium gives a nice big title-picture. I have applied further corrections and editing on the new Chaos Pirate venue. Medium and Booksie are but transitional sketches, the real thing is with the pirate booty. What you are reading here is my confessional. I am not a writer, I am a shoplifter. Should you try it?

Here is what I have so far, in chronological odor. Inhale from oldest to now-est.

DIXON TOWER

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MAY 8, 2021 / ADMIT_ROBINJA / COMMENTS OFFON SEARCH IMAGES MAPS PLAY DRIVE MORE » DIXON TOWER / EDIT

the trouble with the Hardy Boys… Inbox

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Motorrrun. My brother and I, on motorcycles we were. Dad gave us motorcycles. We were so young. And we were just almost men. We could not wait. We were youthful sleuths, even way back then. We were invincible. We were Frank and Joe Hardy. Joe and Frank Hardy. The Hardy brothers. The sons of the most famous private detective in the world, in the whole known universe, Fenton Hardy. Where is Fenton now? Hallways and shiny floors and quiet music and wheelchairs. Calm voices announcing the time or making statements. Everyone is waiting and it smells chemically clean. We were nearly run off of the road. That driver kept on going, something was wrong. This is a real and true clue. We have our first clue! The night nurse moves me from the dining room to the social room where the giant television is. I build my mental wall against the giant television while maintaining my face mask of smiling participation in the community here. I am grateful to be alive! I am my own world no matter what, so?

I had noticed that the transcription software was making lots of errors and inventing words, so I sensed an opportunity. I read aloud into an audio recorder the entire first book of the Hardy classic series. Transcription software is designed to take spoken words slowly and carefully monitored and corrected as necessary so that the system and narrator merge slowly and learn each other’s ways. When I played the recording there were no corrections made or even monitoring of the results, no mercy, the words just kept coming and coming doggedly relentlessly, ruthlessly, and sure enough, the transcription software interpreted as best it could, and invented words, new plot twists, and even names of people who were never part of Dixon’s intended universe. For eleven years I have chipped away at punctuating the results and created the intro frame part taking place in a nursing home, and introduced the notion of dementia-influenced language after caring for several clients during my short career at “Home Instead” elder care. Now maybe I could claim a new identity, Robin James Joyce? My reward (or the discovery of this crime) will come after my manuscript is recognized in the decades after shedding this mortal coil. Certainly not before!

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Burroughs provided the notion of repurposing language accidents, and I ran amok with it.

I have done other bold things blending plagiaristic exploitation opportunities and the new technologies, but nothing more with transcription software. The volume of results from transcription software is excessively quantitative to manage efficiently.took eleven years to “complete”

This is a disasterous mechanical intrusion into the Hardy Boys first book, imagine my surprise when I posted this on Ello, the views have hit the highest of my career, right now (end of June 2021) there are 11.5k views showing. What does this mean? Go Ello!

This auspicious suspicious beginning to my wandering road to destiny is relentless gibberish. The chaos in its purest form. Never again will I tangle with the transcription software, it is too eager to provide.

AS IF

My awkward self master debate about sex in the marketplace. Cringe! Is this the only one that is honest enough to matter?

A short experiment titled “as if” first appeared in Booksie, then made a brief appearance in Ello but it seemed akward there among the music articles, interviews and reviews, so I deleted it. It got great view counts, but it has identity issues, not fiction? What is it? My sex obsession laid bare wet and obviously stinky and flacid. Why introduce that into the forum I put the clients?

“I’m done with all that,” she said. She was reported in talks with producers on turning the autobiography into a movie. She continued modeling and walked the runway for fashion designers, she embodied an independent and ironic spirit both on and off screen. You might never know the truth about it. She knows. “We Are Defining Love the Wrong Way!”

No, really. What do you want to be? This starship is headed for stars unknown, and the crew depends on your skills and judgment. Stop waiting. Feel everything. Love achingly. Give impeccably. Let go. I Once Was Lost, but Now I’m WiFi-ed. The use of the Internet by prostitutes and customers is common. Teen Girl Witches and Internet Chat Groups, from the House of the Tragic Poet, a synonym for the graveyard orbit.

Tragedy and new types of stories that suit the times. Very frightening and then disarming. Charming. Overly charming. Excessive sometimes. Conspicuous. Or is that the tricky part to it? “We Need a Gimmick!” Is that part of the job, the assignment? The script. They are trying to trick you, to fool you, don’t you see that? We all do. “The huge appetite is there, but it’s not being satisfied.” She said the industry gives a “false sense of accomplishment.” She believes being active in the sex industry has given her more confidence, making her more “outgoing and aggressive” about what she wants. The key is to keep moving, you spur your beast on, gaining speed, searching for “proofs of concept.”

Next up,

REASONS TO STAY AT HOME

There it is, a little blip in the data. A location, so far away, where the wind blows softly and the sun shines warmly and the water shimmers with life. Illusia. So far away. So she takes the discovery and shows it around. After a long time she finds two others who have the same results, the same location, so far away. They put the pieces together and there is some good news. Now there is a way to a better place, to a place where humankind can find some purchase to start again. The new Earth. The fresh start. Where things will begin. The old Earth has become unreliable. First the tap water became unpleasant, foul tasting, and then the drought got worse. Then the political situation changed and the loudest shouters had complete control. Now, they will do what it takes to make this whole thing work out. The question is, make it work out for who? Not everybody is a winner. This old Earth will not last forever and something must be done, say an ignored group of scientists.

My first thought was to write something about being stranded in my little room here because of the plague or whatever we want to call it, because of 2020.

So that was the title. How about content? I have my methods, my job is to cut away the bulk of the research to uncover the story underneath. So that was easy. Chip chop and rend.

I pulled in three pre-existing projects, I sacrificed them for this cause. I feel better, but now those three old friends are relics and not vital. This is vital?

Reasons to Stay at Home was a combination of time travel, environmental doom, lycanthropy, and fumbling excuses for my sedentary behavior lately. Obsessions make good hobbies. This is a few old projects combined. Leaving the doomed planet sounds safer than being an imaginary werewolf. This is a story with an unreliable narrator. Come werewolf, come space ship, come vampire mansion, season with the Hardy boys and build upon my personal legacies. Now dash away all….

GHOST

Meet Courage Joiner, he wants to talk about time travel and ghosts, which includes burial practices and methods of time travel. He manages to take us to African Stonehedge. Courage Joiner first met his fate on Zebra Island, which is historic to my career in letters but far too tedious and preliminary to be of relevance to pirates. You now know all you need to about Zebra Island.

A ghost might be confused for a visitor from the past. What you have here are clues for your own private search for the truth. My name is Courage Joiner. No, that is not the truth. The name I sometimes prefer to use is Courage Joiner. My real name is inconsequential. I discovered upon the deaths of my parents that they had deceived me my whole life up to that point. They had adopted me, my birth or biological parents are unknown to me, but that is another story there, a story that was kept from me. Who am I? I am whoever I say I am, as far as anybody knows. The official records were adjusted to fit the story that my parents told me. My discovery was advanced in the form of correspondence with an unscrupulous adoption agency who has since gone out of business. For those who relish speculation regarding the future, this works well for my current job. I have developed a new identity every few years, the one I like best is the one I shall tell you about soon.

GATHER

“Around the campfire” is a concept we heard from stories about our grandfathers. Nobody here has ever seen an open fire, much less a small contained friendly conflagration at an encampment. We do have simulated woodlands on the ship. There are places where simulated nights can be experienced here too. When this voyage embarked, the ones who boarded had only the knowledge of how to live on the Earth, with natural gravity. Now we are perhaps midway into our journey, and the ones who knew the details of campfires and Earth have long passed on. They gave the children an early balance on good and social qualities, with the intention of forming the youthful personalities into a moral future. When our voyage started, only two things appeared certain, but there has always been doubt too. The first certainty is that the Earth was not as reliable as it once was, and the second certainty, our grandfather’s remote sensing equipment had uncovered some new information about some locations.

This one popped out in three days from idea to research and planning to execution and posting, an expansion of the space travel concept from Reasons to Stay at Home, without the werewolf. We head out to a new “Earth” which is more than one life-span’s distance. Will the kids trapped on this journey (that they did not choose) find indigenous life forms when they get to their destination so far away? Do we eat them or sell them insurance or do they eat us?

COOL TANGLEFOOT

This once happened. The Oneironaut came and stayed. I tried to regain the old path. Traversed in a Northwesterly and Southeasterly direction by mountains rugged and rocky, the wild, bold scenery is unsurpassed in beauty, grandeur and stupendous sublimity. It represents the vitality, spirit and enjoyment of nature. He was a professional, not a murderer. I want to swear all the time. I’m becoming a grumpy old man. She is skinny as death, but she thinks she weighs too much so she punishes herself by eating very little. The birds were still; wading in the water, their long necks poised in rapt attention. There was water everywhere: a thousand streams interrupted by makeshift waterfalls, small ponds hidden beneath a mask of thick fronds and anonymous blossoms; blankets of dew draped over the shoulders of isolated knolls. This is what the werewolf told me about, at the fire. The water keeps flowing, and it falls over the edge.

Tanglefoot was a word my Mother liked, it means drunk. Cool is always cool. Sara McCool.

Cool Tanglefoot has been crafted from old stuff I had collected over the years, a short story by Sherman Alexie that I transcribed by hand, a friend’s tale of Tully the detective, some letters from when I moved to York, some odd stuff about waterfalls and flying (two different things), it has some of McCool’s Gleanings, and some stuff from a blog a guy made concerning Sunday Morning yap shows where they discuss the week’s events. Also some correspondence with a friend who is big on psychedelic drugs. Whatever happened to him? I wonder. Oh yes, I also stole things from Prometheus, by Mary W. Shelley. Delicious, dark and chunky with some smooth mysteries. My excuse for assembling these odd bits is that it is but a dream and things change rabidly, rapidly, rattling relentlessly in dreams therefore so should my story here. I got away with murder and theft, one more time! Or is this but fully folly? Exhibit A. Who is that at the door and what do they want?

CHTHONIC VISION 1983

Hooray, I awake from yesterday, alive but the war is here to stay. The sea dragons wait camouflaged to look like floating seaweed and live in kelp forests and seagrass meadows, they form a kind of accidental time capsule, preserving an assemblage of natural and human artifacts at the moment in time when the ship was lost. There are over 500 statues and they just stare back at divers exploring them. The archaeological signature at this site also now extends into the interaction between indigenous people and the European pastoralists who entered the area in the mid-19th century, full of mysterious items lying on the ocean bed. This is one of the most bizarre structures lying buried in the sea floor. Although life is very sparse at these depths, underwater living has titillated futurists since the beginning of the 20th century. The nautilus is a living fossil little changed since it evolved 500 million years ago as one of the first cephalopods which still rules the bottom of the Earth.

For today’s story I tried to slow it down, only the best, no junk. Still it was done in a few hours from conception to research to lifting the whimsy-bits and stirring them, to assembly, review, corrections and posting. I listened to Electric Ladyland again, it has been years. This is about living underwater, including finding old statues and stuff.

GOOD ICEBERG 10

Each year, scientists from 28 different nations conduct experiments not reproducible in any other place in the world. It is quite evident from observations of ocean flow that the wind moves water, and that the wind is one of the primary forces that drive ocean currents. In the early part of the 20th century, a Norwegian scientist, Fridtjof Nanson, noted that icebergs in the North Atlantic moved to the right of the wind. Iceberg 10 offers no data, only mysteries unending, and clues to understanding the poetry of Deception Past. Clues are all we have now. Come closer. Ten is a good iceberg. This has all been recently discovered and fit together in new ways. Not all stories come out clean. The Poetic Sentiment, of course, may develop itself in various modes-in Painting, in Sculpture, in Architecture, in the Dance-very especially in Music-and very peculiarly, and with a wide field, in the composition of the Landscape Garden.

The title is based on the fact that I stole everything from Project Gutenberg, and Courage Joiner returns. You got your cowboys and knights blending with religious zealots and dry romance among the cosmic time travelers. Zane Grey and Edy Poe meets HG Wells and wikipedia brings the rest. Whimsy are the borogroves, and the readers outgrabe.

AFTER

Revisionist attempts to challenge claims of genocide are illegal. Children believe what we tell them. They have complete faith in us, as well as a certain degree of imagination and a capacity for detachment from every-day life. The loss of carnivorous species will upset the delicate ecosystem balance and may cause dramatic increases in opportunistic species. Many, very many, spiritualists seem to care for communion with spirits only that they may more surely keep physically well, and earn their bread and butter and clothing the easier. An immortal instinct deep within the spirit of man is thus plainly a sense of the Beautiful. Alliteration is nearly the only effect of that kind which the ancients had in common with us. A global catastrophic risk is a hypothetical future event that could damage human well-being on a global scale, even endangering or destroying modern civilization. “You like stories?” asked Ludovic, curiously. There was a Great Dragon that lived in a cave…

Another journey with a narrator who makes stuff up for his own amusement. This is today’s “accomplishment” which blends a study of genocide, werewolves, martians and four actual characters, besides Mr. Unreliable Bigmouth. I think he may be my signature character flaw common throughout my proposed new universe.

This is a record of the journey of four visitors: Nagual, Belle, Ludovic, and yours truly. We encountered various characters along the way, some I recall, there was Belllounds the rustler, Jack Pierce the magician, Damarchus the poet, Kitsune the tiny feline temporary companion of Belle, and a few others. We are looking for the funny guy TinTin and his large furry companion Weriuuolf to pay our respects, alas poor Snowy. The 4th traveler, your narrator, is richly educated and bored beyond relief so he has occasional flights of fantasy which comfort and entertain him on his painfully mundane journey with these common louts with whom he is stuck among during this tedious transitive time.

TRACKERS

It’s of no use to you now. Travel alone to reduce the risk of discovery. It has been suggested that the art of tracking may have been the first implementation of science, practiced by hunter-gatherers since the evolution of modern humans. Animals are all around us, but many are stealthy, shy, and seldom seen. An experienced Shadow Wolf can read faint footprints in the dust and determine when they were made, where they came from and whether or not traffickers are carrying additional weight. It was a day long to be remembered. Aside from the danger, however, a more encouraging hour had never presented itself in the history of the Road. A solitary being is by instinct a wanderer, and that I would become. I have known slaves to be beaten to death, but as they died under “moderate correction,” it was quite lawful; and of course the murderers were not interfered with.

AIR AS WATER

A fish swimming in the air. Ours is the time of no shadows. All that is left of us are memories. Give us your thoughts on that first. It makes its own weather. For whom do you write? Come, great and dear soul, we are calling out to you, we are awaiting you. I am sure they have appeared so to me, and made many an hour pass away more pleasantly, as I have sat quietly on a flowery bank by a calm river, and contemplated what I shall now relate to you. My public display of grief is not the only thing that sets me apart from this stoic bunch. Weather occurs at different scales of space and time. Walk into our fine establishment, and you will be welcomed by our favorite Gaelic sayings all around you. This pleasant curiosity of Fish and Fishing, of which you are so great a master, has been thought worthy of the pens and practices of divers in other nations, that have been reputed men of great learning and wisdom.

THE PROJECT UNKNOWN

The first human child is often endowed with supernatural powers. Rivers, lakes, water falls, and mountains are the abodes of spirits and often appear as a world of actions, of forces, of conflicting powers. History enters the mythic world obliquely, but leaves its definite mark in characters and incidents, or is warped beyond recognition in their contemporary representations. Although myth was traditionally transmitted through the oral tradition on a small scale, the film industry has enabled filmmakers to transmit myths to large audiences via cinema. In the old, old days, myths were often endorsed by rulers and priests or priestesses and are closely linked to religion or spirituality; the sun, moon, and morning star seem free to take human form and roam the earth, seeking love and other adventures. There is a complex relationship between the recital of myths and enactment of rituals. Mythical perception is always impregnated with death, which hath already drawn nigh.

ASPHALTITE BEAUTY

It was a strange ending to a voyage that had commenced in a most auspicious manner. The first introduction was altogether most agreeable, and I already began to imagine I might not be so badly off after all. I shall try and arrange some means for our meeting unobserved tomorrow. For a spy must hunt while he is hunted, and the crowd is his estate. Spying, as well as other intelligence assessment, has existed since ancient times. The trouble is that a man can hold almost any theory he cares to about the secret world, and defend it against large quantities of hostile evidence by the simple expedient of retreating behind further and further screens of postulated inward mystery. He could collect their gestures, record the interplay of glance and movement, as a huntsman can record the twisted bracken and broken twig, or as a fox detects the signs of danger. My fortunes have been, from the beginning, an exemplification of the power that mutability may possess over the varied tenor of man…

Exhuming Poe

It was a night of unusual gloom. We had now reached the summit of the loftiest crag. For some minutes the old man seemed too much exhausted to speak. We had no means of calculating time, nor could we form any guess of our situation. I dreaded lest the continued pressure of misfortune had, at length, fairly unsettled the reason of my friend. Let us sum up now the meagre yet certain fruits of our long analysis. We stand upon the brink of a precipice. We peer into the abyss-we grow sick and dizzy. Our first impulse is to shrink from the danger. Unaccountably we remain. The following anecdote, at least, is so well authenticated, that we may receive it implicitly. This is unquestionably the most stupendous, the most interesting, and the most important undertaking, ever accomplished or even attempted by man. What magnificent events may ensue, it would be useless now to think of determining. We dug very steadily for two hours. Little was said.

Waking Lʌvkræft

Cthulhu is a word that is unpronounceable by humans, who do not possess the proper respiratory organs, originating from a loose pantheon of ancient, powerful extraterrestrial deities who once ruled the Earth and have since fallen into a deathlike sleep. Lovecraft was prey to intense headaches, insomnia, and general nervous weakness which prevented his continuous application to any thing. His work emphasizes themes of cosmic dread, forbidden and dangerous knowledge, madness, non-human influences on humanity, religion and superstition, fate and inevitability, and the risks associated with scientific discoveries. He described his father as having been so anglophilic that he was commonly presumed to be an Englishman. Howard Phillips Lovecraft is best known for his creation of a body of work that includes weird, science, fantasy, and horror fiction, patiently explaining that there is no recognizable divine presence, such as a god, in the universe, and humans are particularly insignificant.

SUMMONING PROMETHEUS

A “Child of Love and Light”

In 1814, Mary Wollstonecraft began a romance with one of her father’s political followers, Percy Bysshe Shelley, who was already married.

Mary and Percy began meeting each other secretly at Mary Wollstonecraft’s grave in the churchyard of St Pancras Old Church, and they fell in love—she was 16, and he was 21.

They married in late 1816, after the suicide of Percy Shelley’s first wife, Harriet.

In May 1816, Mary Godwin, Percy Shelley, and their son travelled to Geneva with Claire Clairmont. They planned to spend the summer with the poet Lord Byron, whose recent affair with Claire had left her pregnant. The party arrived at Geneva on 14 May 1816, where Mary called herself “Mrs Shelley”. Byron joined them on 25 May, with his young physician, John William Polidori, and rented the Villa Diodati, close to Lake Geneva at the village of Cologny; Percy Shelley rented a smaller building called Maison Chapuis on the waterfront nearby. They spent their time writing, boating on the lake, and talking late into the night.

Sitting around a log fire at Byron’s villa, the company amused themselves with German ghost stories, which prompted Byron to propose that they “each write a ghost story”

Unable to think of a story, young Mary Godwin became anxious: “Have you thought of a story? I was asked each morning, and each morning I was forced to reply with a mortifying negative.” 

During one mid-June evening, the discussions turned to the nature of the principle of life. 

“Perhaps a corpse would be re-animated”, Mary noted, “galvanism had given token of such things.” It was after midnight before they retired, and unable to sleep, she became possessed by her imagination as she beheld the grim terrors of her “waking dream”, her ghost story:

I saw the pale student of unhallowed arts kneeling beside the thing he had put together. I saw the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out, and then, on the working of some powerful engine, show signs of life, and stir with an uneasy, half vital motion. Frightful must it be; for supremely frightful would be the effect of any human endeavour to mock the stupendous mechanism of the Creator of the world.

Early in the summer of 1817, Mary Shelley finished Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, which was published anonymously in January 1818.

“When I first stepped out from childhood into life”.

In 1822, her husband drowned when his sailing boat sank during a storm near Viareggio.

THE LIGHT OF MIDSUMMER

The spaceship shot swiftly through the endless, trackless eternity of the void. Faster, faster, faster! The roar became a whining hum. Then for Hippolyta sound ceased to be anything-she could not hear. The wind was now heavy, imponderable, no longer a swift, plastic thing, but solid, like an on-rushing wall. Nick Bottom made a sudden violent action that was more than a straightening of his powerful frame. It was the old instinctive violence. Then he faced north. Hippolyta read his thought, knew he was thinking of her, calling her a last silent farewell. Beyond the ship a myriad fragments of light gleamed, countless coals glowing in the dark void. Stars, suns, systems. Endless, without number. A universe of worlds. An infinity of planets, waiting for them, gleaming and winking from the darkness. Suddenly a door opened and a tall man stepped out. Mustardseed grinned wryly. “You could even help us name the animals,” he said. “I understand that’s the first step.”

Gnikdameht

It was that time of year when all the world belongs to poets, for their harvest of joy. The mad king Gnikdameht had escaped. Little knots of excited men stood upon the street corners listening to each latest rumor concerning this most absorbing occurrence. His was a reign of instability and terror. Unaware of his royal blood, much less that he is a dead ringer for his relative Gnikdameht, the current king of Gordia, Julius Drusilla visits Gordia on the eve of the First World War to see for himself his mother’s native land. As he arrives in Gordia, King Gnikdameht has just escaped from his ten years’ imprisonment at the hands of his scheming uncle, Prince Edgar. Much to his own and everyone else’s confusion, Julius is naturally mistaken for the king, leading to numerous complications.

Vrykolakas

It is so. This place, which we have, now for some time had as a quiet and perfectly eligible one of meeting, is about to be invaded by one of those restless, troublesome spirits, who are never happy but when they are contriving something to the annoyance of others who do not interfere with them. That was many, many years ago, as the crabbed, uncertain writing on these pages proves. I took the papers from the safe where they had been ever since our return so long ago. We were struck with the fact, that in all the mass of material of which the record is composed, there is hardly one authentic document; nothing but a mass of typewriting, except the later note-books of Scout and Dill and myself, and Atticus’s memorandum. We know that the phantom is the psychical body projected from the physical body. It is that which enjoys or suffers, thinks, wishes, judges, and perceives all sensations.

TOO MANY WORDS

Lupin was asleep, on his bench. If he thought that the eyes of a girl like that were merely two glittering sequins of mica, he should not be athirst to know her and to unite her life to his. But he feels that what shines in those reflecting discs is not due solely to their material composition; that it is, unknown to us, the dark shadows of the ideas that the creature is conceiving, relative to the people and places that Alice knows—the turf of racecourses, the sand of cycling tracks over which, pedalling on past fields and woods, she would have drawn him after her, that little peri, more seductive to him than she of the Persian paradise—the shadows, too, of the home to which she will presently return, of the plans that she is forming or that others have formed for her; and above all that it is she, with her desires, her sympathies, her revulsions, her obscure and incessant will. Alice left the room.

Witch Shadows

The midnight ride, the power of conversion into animal semblance and form, mystic rite and incantation, spells and cantrips, as well as the presence on earth of the Devil himself, who generally appeared in some alluring form—all had a firmly-established place in the superstitious and impressionable minds of the people who dwelt in the land of those darker days. As long as death could by law be awarded against those who were charged with a commerce with evil spirits, and by their means inflicting mischief on their species, it is a subject not unworthy of grave argument and true philanthropy, to endeavor to detect the fallacy of such pretences, and expose the incalculable evils and the dreadful tragedies that have grown out of accusations and prosecutions for such imaginary crimes. Magic is a disconcerting travelling companion. Treachery however was not destined to be ultimately triumphant.