Nor-Man and the No-Force

Occasionally, I do the “writing prompt” thing. This one was from Saladin Ahmed on The Twitter:


“New prompt: Bad Guys (interpret as you like) rule the future. What does well-made but complicit entertainment look like? Avoid easy parody.”

We never do.


“Suck it, Nielson.” Norman Jones said, temporarily replacing the gleaming cityscape window with an HD overlay of his media empire. Ratings, eyeballs, time spent, channels changed, links clicked, all of it was populating moving charts and in.


“The Media Empire” was what the TV stations, newspapers, and websites that he owned called themselves, anyway. There were others, of course, split up from The Wave, and they got along just as well as the things they’d replaced.

Back then, he’d been The Normalizer. He was glad The Wave had taken place a decade or so after that unfortunate flirtation with “Nor-Man” in the 90s, when everyone had immaculate curls, belts, pouches, and Big Armor.

He sighed, squeezing his temples, remembering the boots and the epaulets. “We were all on those damn Exo-Steroids, that’s the only explanation.” That was always the explanation, when they all got together - those who were left. Still, though, sometimes he woke up at night screaming when he thought about what they’d done to those consultants and fashion designers.

A finger poked at a graph he didn’t like. It expanded, he scrolled it around, closed everything with a pinch and a snap.

“Get me a feed on Drone Strike.” He said, one window displaying producers and directors and writers and Generals, the other blossoming into the familiar footage over somewhere that was inevitably either dusty and parched or green and flooding.

This time it was flooded. He pursed his lips and watched the red cursor float around the screen for far too long. He pushed a button and somewhere an editor was fired.

“Movies.” He said, flustering the digital assistant as piles of movies he’d recently watched started queuing up on the screen.

Chicago: Death’s Mile, Septimius Severus, Patriot Wave, Shooter, Sea Shepherd: The Horrors of Deepwater Horizon, Entourage, The Purge, they all populated the screen for a moment, each still color coded. Norman’s queue saw a lot of blue filters and Mark Wahlberg, he hated those movies, they always got the details wrong about The Wave, but since he paid good money to make them, he did, at least, watch them.

“Mag-Lord’s balls, that’s not what I meant. Show me the movies we’ve got playing in theaters worldwide, international releases only.”

Lines going down. Some of them red. The psychics and telepaths were finally right - The Wave wasn’t bringing them out anymore. They’d had enough shattered buildings and blowing dust, enough dim lights and shaky cameras.  It was time for something new. Something bright. Something colorful and ultra-violent.

He pushed a button to talk to a real person. “Get me some artists, I want designs on Nor-Man and the No-Force for the big screen. The nineties are coming back.”

Homebrew Your Own - Sake

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"Sake!" You can yell for a serving of it and you'll feel like a samuari. You can drink it warm, clear as vodka - with that 'water of life' burn - or drink cool, milky rice wine that tastes like amazake and smooth champagne. 

What I've made here - and what I recommend for the homebrewer - is a more sour, rustic, homestyle sake, like the itenerant ronin might have gotten from an indifferent housewife who'd much rather have been left alone with her cats than get all mixed up with wandering mercenaries, no matter the thrill of the romance. 

So, here's what you'll need:. All this will be explained later, so if you don't get a point, just keep reading - that's life advice, kids. Also, a word on CLEANLINESS will follow.

Rinsed, soaked, drying rice

Rinsed, soaked, drying rice

1 kg (2.2 pounds, you American dolt) of short grain rice.  

200g of koji  

A steamer

A colander that won't let rice through

Some muslin cloth. 

An appropriate fermentation vessel

Very clean water

Champagne yeast

Here's some specifics:

The rice: Get a short grain sticky rice. Many speciality stores stock sushi rice or short grain sticky rice. Visit your local Asian market, your local coop, and stay out of Whole Foods, because they're weird kale-powered aliens who plan on harvesting your inner juices. That's why they want you to be so healthy - so your essence is best for The Harvest. 

If you can't find sushi rice or sticky rice, Arborio rice will work nicely. For whatever reason, it tends to be more expensive. I dunno. 

The koji - if you're lucky, you'll know someone who has koji. If not, you'll need to order it online, likely. Rare is the local shop that carries koji. You can get it online, no problem.  

A WORD ON CLEANLINESS: In brewing, most people try to attain a sterile environment. For the homebrewer, this is next to impossible. From fermentation circles, I have heard the aphorism, "Clean, but not sterile," and that's what I strive for. (Thanks, Lauren) Wash your hands, clean everything with soap and water, rinse well, and use boiling water for any sort of sterilization. Try to avoid bleach and chlorinated water - you're attempting to harbor microbial life and make it work for you, and it can't very well do that if it's dead, can it!?

For clean water, I like to boil tap water then let it sit overnight with a lid on. It's clean and it has minerals. if you want to go to your local coop or fancy water place and get a few gallons of reverse-osmosis filtered water, that's very good too - for most of your homebrew stuff, the mineral mix isn't vital. Plus, it's clean and has zero aftertaste.  

ANYWAY, back to making sake. Wash that rice in tap water. In the colander. Wash it once, then again. Now let it soak for 45 minutes and rinse it off twice. You're basically trying to get all the dust and silt off the rice - it can contribute to off flavors.   

Now, let it drain dry for like an hour. You'll want it to be fairly dry. It doesn't have to be bone-dry, but it will need to NOT be wet.   

Now comes the tricky part. You want to steam the rice without getting condensation and water on it. So line a steamer with muslin cloth and lay a layer of rice on it - the thinner the layer, the better, but you do want to get it all in one go. Don't let the water touch the bottom of the rice, and make sure your muslin cloth is wrapped over the top so the dripping condensation doesn't run through the rice.  

Steam your rice for an hour-ish. It may take longer and it may not take that long. Don't let your steamer run out of water. Run the steamer low if you can. 

The rice is done when it's just a bit crunchier than you would like it to be before serving it. 

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Now, paddle all that rice into your Earthen crock. Pour in a quart of room temperature water, put a tight lid on it and let it cool.  This will take a while - a workday or an overnight sleep are good time blocks to let that rice cool. It needs to be room temperature for you to add the koji, or else the heat will kill your koji!  While you wait, acclimate your koji by pouring your 200 g of koji into a CLEAN quart jar full of clean, room-temperature water. 

The next day (or when you get home from work or whatever) add that koji-water to your crock. Stir it well with a clean paddle, spoon, or spatula.  

Let this sit for 24-48 hours. What's happening inside the crock is the koji is coming to life and fermenting the starches. Unlike most fermentators, koji turns starch into sugar (not alcohol or acid) - and you're going to soon turn that sugar into alcohol! The more you let your koji go wild, the more sugar you create and the more alcohol you'll have, but be wary - the process also creates earthy, sour notes that can contribute to flavor you may not like. 

However long you let this process go, don't do it more than 48 hours. The koji will doubtlessly have done all they can after 48 hours. So, about 4-8 hours before you're ready to get this thing boozy,  take your champagne yeast and add it to another room temperature quart of clean water - we use champagne yeast because they're hardy, give it a good bready flavor, and can survive in a good range of pH levels. 

After that 4-8 hours is over, add your yeast water to the mix. Stir it again.  

Now, a word on your fermentation vessel. For a short term ferment like this it's best to have a wide-mouthed barrel-or-bucket style vessel. A fermentation crock for sauerkraut works, a butter churn can work, and primary fermenters for starting beers can work. It's best not to do it in plastic - but it won't hurt, either. If you use a plastic fermentation vessel, just don't leave your rice in there too long - five days at max - it can soak up some plastic flavors. 

So now you let it sit somewhere at room temperature as long as you'd like. The longer it sits, the more alcoholic it gets and the more sour it becomes. After about 10-12 days, you'll wind up with something that tastes like alcohol and yogurt, which isn't the greatest flavor. Shorter ferments are going to be weaker and sweeter, longer ferments will develop strength and sourness. Five days is the minimum you'll want to go for.  Any less than that, it's going to be barely alcoholic amazake. Shoot for 7 days. 

Now, the bottling. Pour your sake out through a colander and into a large bowl or container that will allow you to pour it into a bottle with a funnel or with a cup that has a spout, like a large measuring cup.  

Whatever bottle you want, make sure it's clean - sterile if possible, this is easy to accomplish by pouring boiling water into your bottle then pouring it out, be incredibly careful there, though. Wine bottles are nice, it a bit big, beer bottles are good, go for the swing-top bottles either way, as you'll be opening/reopening/closing the bottles.  

Keep it refrigerated. Drink it how you want. Drinking it warm will lead to more alcohol flavors and less of the earthy and sour notes. Drinking it cold will focus the sour notes. 

Get out there and enjoy! And save me some.

- FPJEROME

St. Patrick Jerome's Day

The sideways world from which the Cray-Men derive their mystic powers.

The sideways world from which the Cray-Men derive their mystic powers.

 

In Ireland, St. Patrick is known for... something, I'm sure. We here at Pearl River Flow are only somewhat certain that Ireland exists. It seems likely.  

In America, St. Patrick is known for having a hellaciuos day where once a year, people live out weird technicolor versions of things that may or may not be Irish stereotypes. Again, there is a high amount of uncertainty surrounding the day and the history and lore. 

What most people do not know about, however, is St. Patrick Jerome's Day, celebrated only in Jackson, Mississippi. It is a celebration of the local hero Patrick Jerome, who, upon arrival in Jackson in the Year 2000, after vanquishing the 32-story Y2K "Bug" that was eating trains in Pickens, took it upon himself to drive out the murderous and terrifying 'Cray-men' that crawled in the sprawling underground tunnels and outlying swamp of Jackson. 

The Cray-men - a sort of evolved crawdad, about four to six feet in length, with vaguely humanoid faces and a series of small fingered hands running down their torsos, in addition to their massive claws - were created when GALGERAN [REDACTED] in 1881. 

And since that day, they demanded tribute. Terrorizing Jackson, they snatched children and pets, drunks and the sick, from the swamps and the city alike. Cunning and stealthy and able to breathe water, they were considered such a nuisance that, during Prohibition, local bootleggers offered a bounty for their head - a gallon of moonshine - a the infamous "Gold Coast" was particularly beset by them.

Patrick (not yet a Saint) was not fond of the creatures, they had a strange cultish religion that was attempting to use Cray-magic to brainwash local leaders into building a large lake abutting the city, into which they would build their underwater city and become unstoppable. 

 And so, he set to drive them out. With GALGERAN-given talents, he began the crusade that introduced him to the swamps and trash alleys of the city, the dalliances in graveyards and ruins that would one day become the backbone of the mighty media empire that is Pearl River Flow. 

We have only a brief snippet of that battle from that long-forgotten epoch, contained in something known as an "American Online," which we must assume was a sort of telegraph-based service sending individuals to your home to "cyberchat."  


March 17th 2000. AMERICA ONLINE

CrayCraw94: You'll never stop us all. We have assumed control of your leaders. 

PATRIX_Y2OK: You're not from my X-Files chat room. 

CrayCraw94: Duchovny is overrated. Anderson can't act. We have tunneled underneath every major gas main in the city and will destroy you all if you attempt to move against us. 

PATRIX_Y2OK: I just screenshotted that and sent a picture to the Mississippi David Duchovny fan club president. 

CrayCraw94: IS THAT WHO IS IMing ME NOW? 

PATRIX_Y2OK: LOL! Also I speak mole thanks to GALGERAN. They've constructed a tunnel from your spawning grounds into the Ross Barnett reservoir. You want a lake, go suck on that one. 

CrayCraw94: But it's too racist there! The Ghosts of Ross Barnett haunt it still! It cries out for release! We can't handle his boiling hatred! 

PATRIX_Y2OK: It's your new home now! You better hope someone creates an internet page or news channel thing where those ghostly ideologies can flow freely, or you'll be haunted by racist ghosts for as long as you live. 

CrayCraw94: You haven't heard the last of us. We've planted our champion's eggs in the walls of your water pipes! In the years to come he will hatch forth and ruin your infrastructure, there will be no stopping the crawdad kaiju!

PATRIX_Y2OK HAS LEFT THE CHAT

REDHEADFBIGIRL HAS ENTERED THE CHAT

REDHEADSKULLY HAS ENTERED THE CHAT

XxSKULLIxX HAS ENTERED THE CHAT

MOLDLYANDSCUZZ1 HAS ENTERED THE CHAT

DDOVECHOVE92 HAS ENTERED THE CHAT

AGENTSCULLYONLINE HAS ENTERED THE CHAT

DAV_ID_DO_CALL_ME HAS ENTERED THE CHAT

KILL1AN_ANDERS0n HAS ENTERED THE CHAT

THE_REAL_DAVID_DUCHOVNY HAS ENTERED THE CHAT

THE_REAL_DAVID_DUCHOVNY: Hey, REDHEADFBIGIRL is that name Red head F Big IRL or Red head F Bi Girl? 

[END TRANSMISSION]


While reports of depravity and the predations of the Cray-Men increased along the reservoir after the year 2000, we still, to this day, celebrate St. Patrick's victory every March 17th, with a massive parade held in Jackson each year, traversing many of the routes St. Patrick would use in his future Pearl River Flow project.


Pearl River Flow historian FPJEROME

Herbs and Hating in Jackson, Mississippi

The secret tab marking the entrance to this bunker. 

The secret tab marking the entrance to this bunker. 


The Situation Room: Deep Underground

 

They meet deep underground Jackson, Mississippi, because it’s reasonably located between Florida and Austin, Texas, and for some God forsaken reason, Donald Trump likes it here. I was crawling through the maze of lizardman tunnels and secret underground fracking zones when I found them, screaming at one another in a government bunker.

“Goddamnit, Alex, these things are amazing!” I heard a voice, a voice from the pile of crushed up pills, a voice like listening to spit sizzle on a hot sidewalk in a part of Manhattan I couldn’t afford to visit. It was a voice smeared into a nose-sized cone of dust, a whine on the surface of the desk.

The voice belonged to the 45th President of the United States, the 75th Shadow President, the 33rd Double Secret President, the billionaire, the flim-flam artist, Donald J (the J stands for “Jonald”) Trump. The pile of crushed up pills belonged to Alex Jones, a REAL HUMAN BEING with REAL HUMAN EMOTIONS. The desk belonged to the secret part of the United States Government, the Secret Secret Service, that maintained voluminous underground bunkers for reasons that the President can only guess at. The things scattered on the desk were three pens, one unbuttoned khaki T-shirt, and a daily planning blotter that had been knocked askew into pill dust.

I was cataloging everything. They didn’t seem to notice me as I walked casually through the madness. The clipboard with a map and sunglasses I was wearing seemed to mollify them.

“That is selenium!” Alex Jones shouted, struggling, red in the face with his shirt, trying to rip it off. “You’re snortin’ selenium, President Trump! Snorting selenium that we FOUND IN THE DIRT! The DIRT! God’s DIRT! Through the miracle of science, we turned it into PILLS!”


Alex grew louder and louder, veins bulging in his neck, screaming at the T-shirt. “I am a real human being! I love my wife! I love GOD! Get this fucking shirt off me!” He continued screaming at the shirt as I angled up to the President’s desk to pour myself shots of tequila and be ignored.

“What is this stuff, Alex? It’s the best. Goddamn it’s good. Yes. The fucking best!” Donald said, the speech punctuated by his nodding head, staring at something we couldn’t see. He obviously hadn't heard the explanation, or perhaps, I noted, Alex Jones sometimes just ranted about selenium spontaneously. 

I saw the sweat beading up on his forehead, saw his nostrils flaring. Red and orange splotches grew on his skin. “We gotta get this and sell it to people, Alex. It’ll change their lives. They’ll fucking love it, Alex!” he got louder and louder. Jones stopped when he heard him, then stared with his bulging eyes at the President, one eyebrow twitching.

“One step ahead of you, Donald! It’s natural! Do you hear me? It’s natural! All natural! All great things come from the Earth, Donald! Everything we ever needed! It's in Brazil Nuts! Brazil nuts, and the sheeple keep eating almonds when they should be eating Brazil nuts and fucking selenium and BRAIN FORCE PLUS!” He had the shirt off now, was screaming at it in a rage that reddened his face, made it like a bright blister.

“Brazil? Where’s that?” Trump asked me. I pointed at the map. “Holy shit! Mexico! Yeah, Mexico! This Brazil! This shit’s in Mexico! We gotta get Brazil. We are going to invade Brazil, Alex! We are going to…”

Trump faded off as Alex erupted in, somehow, an even greater rage.

“Damnit, Donald, you’re channeling lower dimensional beings here! War minds from the void, from under the Earth, from a realm of fire and brimstone and sulphur and pain! And…” Alex was shouting, trying to tear the khaki shirt, grunting and howling like a wild beast.

"That's how they sound, Donald! The demons!" He wailed and rolled his head about, eyes rolled back in his head. 

“Besides it’s made with mustard seeds! Faith like a MUSTARD SEED LOADED WITH SELENIUM!” Jones screamed, pouring Bio-True Selenium directly into his mouth.

“Whoa, what happens if you snort Brain Force Plus?” Donald asked, grabbing a bottle and squinting his jumping eyes at the small print. “A neurological tonic with.. Ayruvedic …. Choline? Alpha GPC?”

In a moment of blind and startled patriotism I found myself snorting the line of Brain Force Plus to save the President from doing it himself.

“Flip the switch, baby! Supercharge your mind!” Alex Jones yelled as President Trump downed fistfull after fistfull of Brain Force Plus, washing it down with expensive champagne and cheap tequila.

“Ahhh fuck, all I see is families being turned away from my towers, Alex! The towers.. The twin towers… America, turned away, nothing but backs, I can’t see their eyes, Alex, what’s in this stuff, for the love of God I can’t see their eyes!”

“The trip’s gone bad!” I shouted at Alex Jones, who was twisting and writhing in his chair, tugging the khaki shirt into increasingly tense knots and lines, the strain in his arms visible, fingers digging into the cloth. "We gotta get him somewhere calm! Don't let him on Twitter!"

“I LOVE GOD!” Alex shouted, pounding the desk. “They don’t want you to love God! See! SEE! You gotta have good eyes, Donald! You’ll never be able to spot them! The shapeshifters!”

Donald Trump jumped up, knocking the bottle of tequila to the floor as he shoved me away, snatching the clipboard map from my hands, shoving the map into his mouth. "I eat the world, Alex! The world!"

“They’re killers, Donald! Killers in the See-Eye-Fucking-Aey! It’s right in the name, Donald! See-Eye! Seeing Eye! The eye in the pyramid! I can see that shit, that’s for sure, oh man, can you see it, Donald?”

Alex saw it everywhere, and as the Brain Force Plus kicked in, I could see it too, on the knobs of the equipment in the bunker, in the angles that the wires came into the boxes and panels. I saw it bleeding through the surface of the blotches on Steve Bannon’s lifeless skin.

“What the hell is he doing here?!” Trump shrieked. I jumped, recoiled, thought I’d been found out, but he was pointing at Steve Bannon.

“How could you not see him?” Alex yelled back, throwing handfuls of OCCU POWER pills toward the President of the United States. “Take these! Take all of them! They’ll fix your eyes! You can see what the eye in the pyramid sees, Trump!”

Trump gulped them down and shouted at me to bring them more tequila. As I came back from the ice-chest I could hear him.

“Now I see the skinwalkers! Oh shit this is bad, Alex. We gotta fight a war against someone who could be anything! Anyone! Why is Steve still here? Why are you still here, Steve?”

Steve Bannon’s bloodshot eyes opened onto the scene, the streaks and curls of the veins in his face drew me in for a vertiginous moment of stupifaction before his face snatched back in horror.

“SHIT! ALEX! DONNY! WHAT THE!” He shrieked, gurgling on the last bit of his terror as Alex Jones scampered in an oscillating path across the bunker. He tackled Bannon in a cascade of knit and oil that arced into a broken couch.

“It’s him!” Steve Bannon was struggling and pointing at me. “He’s come through time from the past to stop us! It’s me before the hate and the booze and he’s going to kill himself and I’ll cease to exist!”

I backed away as Donald Trump screamed, thinking he had his hands on Bannon’s throat. He had him by the collarbone, but he was starting to squeeze.

“It’s the occu-power!” I shouted, just then realizing the pun. I doubled over, throwing a galaxy of herbal supplements to the floor with the broken bottle of tequila.

“Shut up about the occu-power! Bannon needs the Liver Shield!”

“His liver! He’s me!” Bannon was hoarse, wild-eyed, blood streaked on his face. “Give me his liver! No more liver shield! Blood! Blood!”

“Oh so now you need blood?!” Trump laughed, pouring a vial labeled “Secret 12” into his gaping maw. “Fucking adenosylcobalamin!” He laughed, reading the label. “How’d I read it the first time, Alex? It’s that brain stuff working! The brain stuff is working! I’m gonna have the best brain, Alex! The best!”

“I need blood!” Bannon growled, throwing Alex Jones off him and rolling in the shattered glass of the tequila, licking it off the ground.

“Give him the liver shield, Alex! Give it to him! Big baby needs the shield for his big fat liver!” President Trump said, spinning around in his chair. He spun over and over, it was clear he didn’t care if Steve got the advanced liver protection of Liver Shield or not.

Now I was screaming, the Brain Force Plus and the Occu-Power and the bottle of something called DNA-Force wasn't helping at all. “Goddamnit you flaxen-scabbed monstrosity, the man needs to know! His liver’s toxic! It’s like a bomb, a bomb primed with old oily rags and shoreline moonshine! A bomb that could take us all out in a heartbeat, you fucking lunatic!”

Bannon rolled to and fro, hands on his sides, laughing. “I told you he’s me! He’s come from the past to stop us all, Donald!”

Alex muttered a bit then jumped to his feet. “Toxic shit in the food supply. Drugs…PHARMACEUTICAL DRUGS!” Alex Jones screamed, landing a solid blow across Bannon’s cheek.

The scene was getting bad. Bannon wanted my liver, and they were now all funneling big bottles of Super Male Vitality.

“This is the stuff! This is the good shit, Donald!” Alex was pacing as I started to drink the bottle in front of me. It tasted of patriotism and victory and I heard the sky-piercing call of a red tailed hawk when it hit my tongue.

“This is it! The superior vitality! This is what gets me through the day. The twelve hour days, Donald, the fight for freedom, it’s all thanks to THIS!” He was red, screaming, in a rage. The elevator panel lit up, the three went quiet.

“He’s on his way down.”

“Who?” I asked, snorting a giant line of the “Wake Up America: Patriot Blend Coffee.

“Phil Bryant!” Donald Trump said, the first time I’d heard anyone happily say those words. I backed away from the elevator, sliding into a back panel that had led me there in the first place, bottles of Super Male Vitality pocketed in order to give me the drive and focus to climb through the labyrinthine tunnels to the surface world.

Phil Bryant would have been too much. Soldiering through the twisted visions given by 38 different herbal extracts and the pound of selenium in my bloodstream, I began the arduous crawl to freedom, just to tell you this story.

I can only hope that you believe me.

-FPJEROME

Updates to Service

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Updates to Service: February 2017

Due to a recent deceleration in the passage of time, all Pearl River Flow related temporal anomalies have been adjusted. If a week continues to feel like a year, blame whitehouse.gov, not us.

Reading GALGERAN will no longer result in spontaneous rifts in the spatial systems you are accustomed to. Please note that this does not affect the rituals used to summon GALGERAN, nor any of the usual 4-23rd dimensional artifacts regular reading can expose.

Cracks in the skin created by certain hidden images on the website should now bleed properly instead of with black ooze.

Demodex eyelash mites are now available to all readers of the website. If you believe you do not have eyelash mites eating your secreted oils, please contact your  nearest microbiologist.

The probability that things brushing against your hand are spiders has been increased by 25%. This should result in more consistent spider encounters.

The color blue is now rendering properly. Any issues that remain should be referred to your nearest graphic designer.

Robert Anton Wilson is now properly dead. Readers to the website may have encountered R.A.W. in the wild and been confused.

Digital photography artifacts may be visible in sunsets over west Jackson until they can be fixed in a new update. If you see dead pixels in the sky, please do not panic. Our attempted solution resulted in the release of [REDACTED] and reality had to be rolled back to an earlier version.

Several facts that you once were able to easily recall have now been given a lower priority in your memory queue. This should result in improved performance and more hours of sleep.

The damage that resulted from reading the recipes and some of the fiction were too great to make encountering them “fun.” Rather than reduce the damage or increase your mental fortitude, which would have been unfair to the Illuminati, we have deleted these pages from the website and your memory.

Several readers were able to recall the names and faces of the Faceless. This has been rectified.

Due to several performance-enhancing modifications to the Fondren area, you will notice several NPCs that exhibit strange AI behavior and appear to “phase” through walls. If you encounter this bug, please close your eyes and wait until a moderator can reset your interface.

A previous patch had resulted in ALL of the small animals under your desk being snapping turtles. Now, rats, snakes, and large insects can all potentially be running across your toes as you read. Note that this should only affect desktop users. Those reading on mobile devices will still only encounter ants on the back of their devices, running across the tips of their fingers, until a solution is found to properly spawn spiders and wasps in those locations.

Those readers who have signed up for our mailing list should now experience 133% more joy and sexual pleasure. An earlier patch had resulted in 666% increases, but that resulted in spontaneous human combustion in the majority of reported cases.

Overwatch teams should continue to never contain the right mix of roles and heroes. This is intended, and should be more pronounced on QuickPlay matches. If you experience satisfactory Overwatch team composition on the PC, please contact us immediately.

Light sources should now properly protect readers from the Lurking Dark. If you experience total reality failure while in the light, please submit an infinite error report. 

Thanks for reading Pearl River Flow and following us on twitter and Facebook. If you don’t, you should, because only those pages and our PODCAST can protect you from TOTAL REALITY BREAKDOWN! 

Mississippi Legislative Adventures, Part 2

Without Dick Billington, the capitol decended into a fog of madness.

Without Dick Billington, the capitol decended into a fog of madness.

Dick Billington leaned back in his leather chair at the Mississippi capitol building and looked back at all he’d accomplished that past year. Inventing and patenting a new type of package-framing dress slacks. Hunting, killing and eating a less successful congressman. Filming Philip Gunn as he licked his own reading glasses clean and providing the video to speciality pornography outlets. Forcing every state congressman to go to Supercuts. Mandating the stick-of-butter bridle for all state political spokesmen.

He drained his fifteen hundred dollar glass of scotch and smelled peat that had been smoked when his great grandfather was pushing men into the peat ovens to give the whiskey the right flavor.

Dick was happy. Thanks to his work, he knew that the cocks were safe in the state of Mississippi and the real work could begin.

The toadies were outside his door, waiting to grovel, hissing at one another, brushing their tongues to prepare to lick the fine loafers of Dick Billington. His door opened. The light took on a golden air, the marble floor that was in his shadow suddenly became far more pristine than any refurbishing could provide.

Phil Bryant shoved his way to the front of the line. They hadn’t seen Dick in hours, and they all had grown to hunger for his attentions.

“I am leaving Mississippi.” Dick Billington said. He stood to his full height even as Representative Bubba Carpenter (R-Burnsville) threw himself from the nearest window, so distraught he was at the news.

“No!” Phil Bryant said, agast. “No, you can’t!”

Gasps went up in the crowd. None had dared speak against the invincible might of Dick Billington since the day his divine stride had taken him to the podium on the backs of obsequent pages dressed like old men at a Masonic meeting.

Dick took Phil’s face in his massive, bronzed hand. “What did you say, Philly boy?” Phil trembled, eyes closed, tears streaming down his face.

“He told you no!” Dan Eubanks (R-Nesbit) shrieked, tearing at his clothes in lamentation. “Traitor! Liar! Idolator!” The others screamed and cried.

“Tell him what the children call him.” Dick Billington said as Phil began to age in front of their faces, his skin desiccating like a bad special effect. "My god, you reek."

"It’s a real medical condition that causes me to stink. Most people have a pilonidal groove at the base of the tailbone, but I’ve got a pocket which collects sweat and feces and skin oils and..."

"SILENCE, FILTHY FOOL!" Dick Billington shouted and spat in his rapidly wrinkling face.

“Chill Bryant!” Andy Gipson (R-Braxton) shouted, gleeful to be first to interrupt the speech about the stench of Phil Bryant.

“Shrill Bryant!” Terry Burton (R-Newton) squealed.

“No-thrill Bryant!” Randy P. Boyd (R-Itawamba) said.

“That joke displeases me. It isn’t illustrative enough of our governor’s many failings. And it’s too contrived.” Dick said to Randy. “Go and write me a law. Make it about something I like.”

“Anything, sir!” Randy shouted, running and crying.

“Dill Bryant!” from Philip Gunn (R-Clinton).

“Shill Bryant!” from Philip Moran (R-Hancock).

“Swill Bryant!” from Ken Morgan (R-Morgantown).

“Anthill Bryant!” from W. Briggs Hopson the III (R-Issaquena)

“Downhill Bryant!” from Videt Carmichael (R-Meridian)

“Landfill Bryant!” from Joey Fillingane (R-Sumrall)

“Philly Cheesesteak!” America "Chuck" Middleton (D-Port Gibson) said.

“America?! You’re a goddamn Democrat.” Dick Billington said. “I thought we locked all of you in the snack room and told you that we ‘weren’t doing the legislature this year,’ and you believed it. Also, I can’t fucking believe that your name is ‘America.’ That’s so goddamn masculine that you had to take the nickname “Chuck.”

“Yes sir it is pretty impressive. Anyway, you told me to find that underground bunker that Jay Hughes broadcasts from.” America said.

“Well then get to it and stop breaking the format of the joke! If I let a guy named America make a last name joke, then all these other mindless sycophants are going to want to…”

“Phil Brony!” Tate Reeves pathetically offered off script.

“Goddamnit. Throw him into the snake pit.” Dick Billington said. “This was why I am leaving Mississippi - despite the glee with which you all scamper to lick the boots of the superior man or intrude upon the pathetic lives of your wretched citizens or do such despicable evil as taxing their very groceries, you’re all incompetent wrecks of human beings.”

The mindless followers seized Tate Reeves and began carrying him to the snake pit, making all the cruel tater-tot jokes their childish minds could excrete into existence.

“But… I wrote you a law that outlaws snakes because they look like penises!” Randy P. Boyd (R-Itawamba) cried, coming out of his office.

“S… Scrill Bryant..” from Bill Pigott (R-Tylertown)

Dick Billington dropped Phil Bryant’s mummified body to the ground. “He’ll live. Give him control of the state as a reward for surviving without a soul.”

He strode toward the doors and opened them, a bright and glorious future awaiting him.

“Dick Billington is going to Washington.”


And with that, he left their lives in shambles, as they huddled in the darkest corners of the capitol building, wondering what to do.

“Oh snap, Krill Bryant!” Dan Eubanks (R-DeSoto) finally said, tears streaming down his face.

But the joy was gone. The things they had done under his influence would doom the state for decades to come, if anyone could tell.

America was next.


Coming next: Dick Billington goes to Washington! US Legislative Adventures Begin! Watch as he single-handedly returns the nation’s capitol from a cesspit of moloch-worshipping kleptocracy into, well… something else.

All the Tributaries

We have not yet released a record, but you can find us on iTunes.

We have not yet released a record, but you can find us on iTunes.

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