200 Phenomena in the City of Calgary

The Cyber Cafe (#1)
In China Town there’s this cybercafe in the same building as The Kingfisher. It’s small and cheap and old. The walls are still decorated with Diablo 2 and Quake boxes. The computers are a bit behind too, but that’s not really what the patrons go there for. Go in, buy some time, and load up Heart of Wit. It’s an Asian MMO, the kind with graphics that look like Gaia online. Make a free account and wander into the City of Wit. The City of Wit will be inhabited by a half dozen players. All of whom will be talking in what looks like Asian script of some kind but is actually hyper stylized English. After your eyes adjust, you’ll realize that the player character names are the names of people you know in your everyday life. Most will ignore you, but occasionally they’ll give you quests or challenge you to a duel. The quests are simple. Kill five dragon hatchlings and we’ll give you a gold ingot. That kind of thing. Whatever you do, never accept a challenge to duel and always do the quests. Names aren’t the only thing that crosses over between the game and reality.

Closing Mirrors (#2)
Hey Sandy, We miss you down at the coven. Matt said you wanted me to write up the mirror thing. Ingredients: 1/2 Cup Flour About an ounce of milkweed The wings of a monarch butterfly Grind the ingredients together in a stone bowl until they form a fine powder. pour the powder on the mirror you want to close and light it with a wooden match. The mixture closes about half a square foot of mirror. You'll have to use more for larger surfaces. Matt said you wanted to know if it only works in Calgary. I don't know if it's the city itself, or just the elevation. Sorry. - Jess P.

The Club House (#3)
During the winter months, the river grows shallower in places. Between this and the ice, in the dead of winter, it’s possible to walk across it in places where the ice is particularly thick. During these months, when the weather is thirty below or colder, walk to the very end of The Street, to the cul-de-sac. Between a large, ill kept lot and a house from the early eighties you will find an ill-kept bike path. Though it was once paved, the roots of the trees that line it have rendered the pavement bumpy and impassable for cyclists.

Walk to the end of the path and climb down the rain-water outflow at the bottom, then cross the ice to one of the island-like patches of scrub and small rock. Look for a damaged, dingy little shack made from water damaged wood and corrugated tin. If you fail to find it , move on to the next pile of rocks, and then the next, until eventually you find the small structure. When you do, hold your hand up to th door. It will either be very cold or very hot to the touch. Neither is truly fortuitious, but you’ll be dressed for the cold and so it will be easier to weather. When you step inside the shack, you will find that it is empty other than a small boy who hanged from the roof by a hastily tied noose. His clothing will not be contemporary, rather it will be aged and ragged to the point of anonymity, unlike the boy’s perfectly preserved body. After a time, his eyes will open, and the rotted out sockets will stare into your eyes. Do not blink, do not look away, do not even move. The room’s temperature will grow more extreme during the hours-long moment you spend looking into those holes. And then they will close. From that moment on, you will not feel the temperature anymore. Any temperature at all. Nor will you get burns, frostbite, heat stroke or hypothermia.

The Funeral Parlour (#4)
Most of the city’s funeral parlours belong to one company, but a handful of allegedly independent firms survive. In reality, all of the city’s funeral parlours are owned by big business in some way or other, including a small, somber brick building in the deep southeast. This particular funeral parlour has allegedly been closed for years, but lights can be seen in the windows at night, giving credence to the story that it’s haunted. It isn’t. What’s going on inside is far stranger. In order to gain admittance, you will have to wear traditional funeral attire: black and subdued rather than anything flashy or informal. Bringing flowers is said to help. When you’re admitted, whatever you do, do not sign the book or you will find that the exit is barred for you. Instead, offer your condolences to the mourners, who seem to be a collection of people of all ages and races, most of whom are wearing old, worn suits or patched dresses. The funeral repeats itself every night at eight. If you come at any other time, you will be required to wait in the main hall while the staff prepare. During the ceremony itself, never volunteer to speak and never view the body. Both would draw too much of the deceased’s attention. Instead listen with rapt attention to the eulogy, as it is a valued component of the secret history. Leave before the funeral is done, and just like in those old Greek stories: never eat anything anyone offers you.

The Silverware Set (#5)
There is an old, abandoned house by the Currie Barracks. Something about the architecture, furnishings and decor suggests grandmotherlyness in some vague sense. Through the dirty windows you will be able to make out that everything is covered by a thick layer of dust. The back door is usually unlocked. Enter it at night, but bring a flashlight with you as the house has not had power in years. Make your way forward, through the kitchen, and into the house’s small dining room. Around the table you will see five mummified corpses, still dressed the same way they were that day in 1992 when a visit to grandma’s turned took a turn for the worse. On the

table will be a wooden tray with a sheet of green velvet laid across it, and across that the remains of a strange silverware set. The design seems almost nautical, taking inspiration from conch shells and other ocean forms. The tray and the silverware on it will be the only thing in the house untouched by dust. Take a piece and slip it into your pocket. For as long as you carry it, your body will slowly grow more and more decayed and aged, but you will never suffer from any of age’s debilitating ravages.

The Beach (#7)
There is a beach within the city. To find it, step into any elevator and go to the top floor. Press every button in ascending order, including the close and open door buttons. Instead of opening onto the next highest floor, the elevator will open into a small cottage. The door of the vacant cottage will open onto the beach. The beach is warm and apparently temperate, shockingly beautiful at every hour, but blood and some sticky black substance will colour the white sand in long streaks. The beach is bordered on one side by an impossibly thick forest. Entering this will make your life forfeit. At sunset and sunrise, a group of men dressed in the traditional clothing of different religions (most prominently Ashkenazi Rabbis and Protestant Ministers) will emerge from this forest and search the beach in silence, sifting through the sand as penance for their lives of deception. These figures will be so taken with their work that they will refuse to talk to you, only muttering “searching... searching... must keep searching...” in their native tongue. Total darkness and proper sunlight burn these poor souls, so they must return to the forest. Otherwise, you will be alone on the beach. The water stretches impossibly far, as far as the eye can see and further still. Wider and higher than the ocean, and far stiller, this water will soothe you as you gaze upon it. But never let it lull you to sleep outside of the cottage. The men in the forest may find what they're searching for within you.

The Antique Shop (#8)
Somewhere in the Northeast, although there are conflicting reports of its location, there is a small antique shop called Edson’s Antiques and Importing. By the look of it, the store’s been closed for decades, and for good reasons. Not the least of which is that it opens onto an alley instead of onto the street. The merchandise inside can’t be seen through the murky glass, but you can usually make out the window display. The display, despite the fact that no one really knows how to get into the building since the door’s apparently rusted shut, changes from day to day. A stuffed bear’s head might show up on Monday and be gone on Friday, replaced with a large antique samovar. The floor beneath this merchandise is covered with newspapers written in a language that no human being has ever spoken or read, and the pictures... well, let’s just say you’d be amazed what you can fit in a samovar.

The Yellow Room (#9)
There is a wall in the basement of the restaurant called Teatro that is, despite all attempts to paint it another shade, a sickly shade of yellow. The owner conceals the wall by putting a mirror and a couch up against it. However, if you remove both the couch and the mirror, you'll discover the wall's pale yellow tone. This is of no consequence, however, if you have come unequipped. In order to make use of phenomena #9, you will need a small jar of hazelnut oil. Paint the outline of a door on the wall using the oil, and then push. The door you've drawn will open inward into a room with walls made from stucco that's been painted the same sickly yellow as the wall you passed through. The room appears to be a spartanly furnished study with furniture that puts you in mind of the South Sea Islands. On the desk you will find numerous papers written on the letterhead of the Dominion Bank, dated 1912. The papers predict every financial crash worldwide from 1912 until twenty years from now, when the predictions abruptly stop mid sentence.

The Salon (#10)
There is a salon in Inglewood that seems perpetually frozen in the late seventies. The decor, the clothing of the hairdressers, even the equipment and magazines seem to come to a stop around 1978. If you go there during the day, the able stylists will be able to provide you with a deftly executed (if extremely dated) haircut for a price that is equally as deflated and out of place. However, if you return during the night, the salon’s true area of expertise will become apparent. Entering the shop after sunset, even if you just exited it, will reveal a shocking transformation. As before, the store will be furnished and appointed as though it were the late seventies, but the decades between then and now will now be visible. Everything is aged and cracked, as if it had been left to the elements. Most shocking of all, the bottles of hair product and comb sanitizer have been replaced with row on row of murky jars containing vague, fleshy shapes. One of the stylists will remain, and she will offer you a shave and a haircut. Refuse the shave, lest you be left faceless. Instead, ask the stylist to pick something that suits you and sit in one of the chairs. She will cut off your face with a straight razor, but the process will be strangely bloodless and you will feel nothing. Your vision will fade to black for a time, and when it returns one of the faces from the jars will have been seamlessly transplanted. Your features will, in every respect, be identical to whoever the face belonged to before the stylist stole it, and over time your body will change to resemble theirs as well. If you must vanish, this is how you do it. But be warned that you can never get your face back, and the friends and enemies of the face’s owner will mistake you for them forever.

The Green Room (#12)
There is an apartment building on sixteenth street that is slightly wider on the outside than it is within. Go to this building in fall and ascend the staircase. You should find the door to the roof totally unlocked. If it is locked, leave at once. Someone is using the Green Room, and they likely don’t want company. If the door opens, however, walk along the roof and count skylights. Eventually you should find one that doesn’t look into an apartment or hallway. Instead it looks down into a dingy room with green metal walls. Break the skylight with a piece of debris and jump down. The room should be small and empty other than a metal desk and chair that have a distinctly institutional flavour. On

the desk, you will find a folder full of papers. Take the folder rather than reading the papers on the spot. Breaking the skylight will have set off the alarm. Open the room’s only door and step out. You will find yourself in your old highschool, having just stepped out of the locker room. Leave. The folder contains documents and photos that describe, in great detail, your physical and mental health. They depict you as a patient in an institution, and they aren’t far off.

The Water of Life (#13)
Throughout the city there are little fenced off buildings with the logo of the city's Wastewater department on metal signs in front of them or on the door. The buildings are identified by the signs as being anything from water testing buildings to pumping substations, and by and large, this is what they are. However, about half a dozen of these buildings actually contain something else. Four of these buildings are part of the city's actual water treatment system. They contain pumps that push the city's water through thin grilles made from human bone. The calcium from these bone filters is why Calgary's water is so often hard. The filters clean the water not only of contaminants, but of the city's collective sin for its involvement in the oil industry. The other two are shacks that contain taps. One of these buildings is where the filters are installed when they're full. The water from the tap passes through all of the filters and emerges brackish and foul. Drinking it, however, is the only way to permanently purify the city's soul. The other building contains a tap that dispenses water so pure that any scars, mutations, cancers or birth defects will vanish.

The Bridal Shop (#16)
[The style of this entry is much more informal, like it was written for someone in particular] So you’re getting married? fudge, I know you call it hand-fastening, but that’s fiddlesticks. It’s a wedding, even if you’re not wearing white. Matt says you should try this place on fourth southwest. The selection is shizzle and the staff is snotty, but they get all kinds of imported shizzle. Real weird Asian ju-ju, and we all know that that’s more important than how you look in some photos you’re never going to look at again in your life, right? The secret is smell. Smell is really key for this kind of thing. If you haven’t learned it already, you’ll learn it soon. Smell tells you what kind of shizzle has been worked over on what you’re about to wear. Avoid anything herbal. I know you dykes are wild about herbs and poultices and spices and all that shizzle, but that’s just window dressing. No real powerful stuff is unrefined like that, especially the Asian imports. What you have in that scenario is some factory worker who’s trying to pull a fast one by rubbing the thread with ginseng or something. If I were you, I’d pick something that smells like fish. Fish means Dagon, God of Agriculture (which means prosperity) for the Canaanites and happiness for the Buddhists. Sure, it stinks, but I’ve smelled that vegan shizzle you people eat. You have no room to complain.

The Vacant Apartment (#19)

Downtown, in the mess of construction and demolition, rooms are sometimes left behind or else formed piecemeal out of extra walls or ignorantly enclosed spaces. It’s said that a great many of them are connected, forming a secret in-between city, but the largest group that verifiably exists is a cluster of six rooms. Unfortunately, the location of these rooms appears to be transitory, with the same six chambers stumbled across by urbex enthusiasts and acolytes throughout the city. Entering this vacant apartment proves difficult because of its movement, but it can easily be spotted with patience. A bleached wooden door with a broken lock will appear in appear from time to time in almost any basement or closet in any downtown building. When you pass through the door you will find yourself in a Spartan, unfurnished space. Every room, in fact, every wall seems to come from a different building or decade. The room is safe and warm, a haven that appears when you need it most. The walls, floor and ceiling are splattered with perpetually warm, wet blood, and occasionally other signs of violence can be found. Never try to break into the unfurnished apartment, never try to move in permanently and never ever fall asleep.

The Clinic (#20)
Ride the 305 for exactly six stops. Where you get off doesn’t matter. Then walk to the nearest medical clinic and ask the receptionist if you can see the on-call doctor. You’ll be told that you can’t. Ask for the other on call doctor. Her face will go white as a sheet and she’ll tell you to go to exam room three. Wait there until the physician shows up, which could be anywhere from less than a minute to six hours. When he does show up, he’ll be old: Leathery skin, coal-black eyes, and the medical paraphernalia of a bygone day. He’ll begin the examination without exchanging pleasantries or asking you what’s wrong. After the exam, he’ll consult your file and tell you his prognosis. If you’re healthy, you won’t be when you leave the clinic. Ebola, Rubella, SARS, he’ll pick something nasty for wasting his time. You won’t die of whatever he gives you. Instead, you’ll be damned to wander the earth spreading it. If you’re ill, however, he’ll tell you it will clear up on its own by the end of the week. It will, as will any chronic pain or other long-term conditions. From that day on, no other doctor in the city will be willing to see you or even make eye contact.

The Thrift Store (#21)
There is a thrift store in the northwest with a shuttered door. The exterior walls are covered in mouldy wooden shingles and the window display is aged to the point of decomposition. It is not, despite all appearances, closed. Patrons occasionally enter through the side door and leave, although they rarely find anything of interest. They also rarely find the proprietor, who never responds to the bell located on the counter. The bell does arouse his attention, however, so it would be in your best interest NOT to ring it. Instead, simply browse for a time. If you are as well versed in the secret history as you should be by now, objects of interest and historical significance (although no real power) will catch your eye. Many of them are belongings of other phenomena, including empty jars that used to house the tobacconist’s preparations and a headset identical to the one in Viscount Bennett. Do not take any of these, or their original owners will return to collect them. The Thrift Store is a safe location to dispose of any refuse you collect over the course of your journey, but be warned that you can only dispose of small objects, and never anything truly dangerous to anything other than kayfabe.

The Photographs (#22)
It is possible, although only by sheer luck, to come into possession of a set of photographs that depict your future. Travel to any one hour photo developer in the city and give the clerk a blank roll of Kodak film to develop. In the next hour, use an empty camera to take as many photographs of yourself or your home as possible. When you return to the store, the clerk will either chastise you for handing over the empty film and wasting his time or, ashen-faced, hand you a set of photographs. The cause of the clerk’s discomfort will soon become clear: At least half of the photographs will depict you as you will look after your death, decomposing in whatever pose you were in when you snapped the corresponding shot. The others will show how you age, including clothing, scars, piercing and other artificial markings. The background will be wherever you shot the pictures with your empty camera, but in each shot the background will appear to be rendered with a slightly more antiquated photo process, working back from crystal clarity to sepia.

The Television Channel (#23)
If you steal cable in Cranston, a planned community in the southeast, you will find that rather than being blank and vacant, channel one is given over to a foreign and unfamiliar test card and mumbled voices in a language that sounds Slavic but is utterly unrecognizable. In order to discover more, you must posses an old PAL television. Adjust the balances of colour and contrast on your set, both at the same time, and wait for the test card to fade. Once you strike the right balance, the test card will be replaced by the image of a man sitting behind a desk. Though he and his companion will seem to be aware that you are watching them, They will never address you directly. Never watch this channel anywhere secure or safe, as it offers another avenue of entry. Watch the channel until the scene cuts away from the two men and into a series of grotesque clips no longer than three seconds in length. These are not all original. Records kept by Eddie Decae indicate that at least sixty of the hundred and forty three clips are sampled from various films and snuff tapes. The surreal and visceral imagery will burn itself into your brain indelibly, but you will find in the morning that with it has come a master’s knowledge of the fine art of mutilation and torture. This must be used sparingly, for the knowledge has brought with it a great pleasure at its exercise. You will, however, always be able to recognize Their handiwork, even if you will find yourself admiring it.

The Street (#25)
There's a street in the increasingly gentrified community Bowness that is completely unlike the rest of the district. A stone's throw from postwar subsidized housing you find a street from which little to none of the rest of the city is visible. The street is much rougher and bumpier than any other road in the city. While the city acknowledges the road exists, they classify it as a country lane despite the fact that the rest of the district is zoned as inner city. The street's potholes make driving treacherous, so park your car at the mouth of the street and walk. While the rest of Bowness is mostly made of old working class homes, this street is home to some of the largest, nicest houses in the city. All of them are at least thirty years old,

and none of them are cookie-cutter McMansions. The street itself is rural, with old fashioned wooden power lines and lots of trees. It's like something Norman Rockwell would have painted. But don't let your guard down for a second. At the end of the street you'll discover a cul de sac made up of slightly newer, cheaper houses. Until early last year, at any one time one of the houses would be uninhabited other than the dead body of a student from nearby Bowness High in the garage and a trio of silent, shell-shocked looking men. The bodies were sacrifices to the men, who are the ghosts of the soldiers who were given lots on the street by the government after the First World War. Until the sacrifices were disrupted by the CVS they ensured the city's prosperity and the street's seclusion.

The Red Room (#34)
There’s a lingerie store in Kensington. You know the type: overpriced and under-stocked. The staff is no help at all, almost like they don’t want any customers at all. They don’t. At least, not in the front of the store. If you can convince them you’re a discerning patron though, they might let you into the red room. Getting into the red room is easy. At least it seems so on the surface. There’s a door at the back of the shop with a bead curtain in front of it. The door is always locked though and the red room won’t be there if you break in. The key is to walk into the store every day for a week and ask for an array out outlandish products. Vinyl nighties, cardboard stocking and high heeled shoes full of salt have all been amongst the list of code words. Eventually you’ll hit upon the correct code word and the clerk will admit you to the red room. There is no space in the building for the red room. The place where it is should be taken up by the kitchen of the Italian restaurant next door. The red room is a small strip club, with only a half dozen seats inside and the brightest, shiniest red paint. For the most part, the shows are very said and conventional, but be sure not to attend on any night which belongs to a martyred saint. If you do, you’ll find out the red room: The walls aren’t red. It’s what they’re covered in.

The Breadbox (#36)
Down around fourteenth and ninth, there's an alley between a parkade and a small office building. Unlike many downtown alleys, this one is clear of parking and transients. In fact, there never seems to be anyone in it at all. There's never a car cutting through to avoid traffic, never any teenagers looking for somewhere quiet. Despite the presence of loading docks and parking spaces, it's as desolate as downtown can be. If you walk down this alley in the winter, you'll smell rotting meat coming from a dumpster and hear sounds emanating from it that sound like rats. But if you look inside the dumpster, you'll find that it's empty other than a plain tin bread box. The bread box will, despite being of a kind not manufactured for decades, be in mint condition. If you open the box, which you should never do under any circumstances, you will discover that it contains your own severed head. Your head will tell you two secrets and a lie, and then expire.

The Record (#38)
In any secondhand record store in the city, the morning after it rains, a small yellowed envelope containing an aged record single can be found amongst other vintage materials. The owner will never have seen it before and will allow you to walk off with it for a pittance. The record’s title will be faded with age. Nothing but the vaguest suggestion of letters and the tattered scraps of album art will remain. Take the album home and place it on a turntable. The normal speed will be too fast, so instead turn it slowly by hand. The first two rotations will yield nothing other than a cacophony of screams. However, subsequent rotations will reveal nonsensical sentence fragments comprised of disconnected words. To decipher the statements, cut out a circle of paper the same size as the record and cut it into a spiral. Write the words you heard down on the circle, moving inward from the outermost edge. Then place the spiral atop the record. Read from the inside out. Each column of words names a location and date. Each date is the day after a rainfall in the year to come. At each of these locations and times, you will find an envelope with a sentence of your obituary in it.

The Diskette (#39)
There’s a computer in a downtown resume center that is well over a decade old. Hooked into a geriatric printer, it suffices for the purposes of the center: word processing and printing. The machine is infamously faulty amongst the staff, and with good reason: The floppy disk drive is jammed and has been for years. Enter the resume center and pretend to be a client. Bring with you a paper clip. After you’re seated at the computer, pretend to type up a resume. When no one is looking, slide the paper clip into the small round hole beneath the drive and press. It will eject a diskette. Take the diskette and leave. Take it home, and on the way make eye contact with no one. When you arrive home, put the diskette into your computer. The disk contains an impossible number of jpeg files. All the famous socks and screams, memetic traps like the parrot or smile.jpg, and all in a vast and perfect resolution. The images can kill or impart madness with a look alone, so never open them on your own. Instead, use them as tools. Weapons. Traps. With practice, they will form the greatest part of your arsenal.

The Library (#40)
The Bowness Public Library is smaller than the Mac’s that’s at the end of the same strip mall, and is one of the least utilized in the city. Regardless, the Public Library remains open and is used, unofficially, as a dumping ground for “problematic books”. For the most part, these are books with complaints against them for explicit content or politically incorrect material. However, if you ask the librarian to see the basement and she complies, you’ll discover books that are problematic for different reasons. To get into the basement, you need a Public Library Card, no overdue notices against you, and to come on Saturday evening when the librarian in charge of the basement is on duty. If you meet all these conditions, you’ll be led through a trapdoor hidden beneath a small rug and down a staircase. At the bottom, you will realize that the entire room is

packed so full of books that there is little room to stand. There are bookshelves on every wall, built into the staircase, and even into the floor. The librarian will not let you take any of the books in the floor out. However, the walls are fair game. The eastern wall is the most important, as it contains the history, travel and biography sections. Everything you learned in school is a lie, and the basement is where they keep the truth.

The Butcher’s Shop (#43)
There’s a butcher’s shop up in stadium that is something of an institution in Calgary. The store sells all kinds of meat, cheese, frozen goods. Even pizzas and ice cream. And they sell pies. The pies are not good. The crust is too thick and greasy. The meat is too tough. The gravy is thick and slimy. But despite this, they can still be of use. Buy four of them and leave the shop, then walk around in back. There, you will find what appears to be a homeless man. Offer him one of the pies. He will smile, showing his filed teeth, and begin to eat. The homeless man was one of Them, or he was once. He doesn’t look like Them. His hair is long, curled and ratty. His skin is a pale olive. His clothing is patchwork and piecemeal and he stinks like the grave. After finishing the pie, ask him where they came from. His reply will be “Across the sea of dreams.” Offer him the second pie and ask where is it they’re going. He will say “To the house on the hill.” Pause here. Take a deep breath. Relax. Offer him the third pie and ask him whose house it is. And then he will tell you. The last pie is for you. Do not eat it. Instead, crack it open. In amongst the gravy, you will find a strip of paper. On it will be printed an address. The address will be an old house which contains the ark they rode to get here. Do not enter it, for you may never return.

The Record Store (#45)
At 16th and 14th, there’s a record store specializing in old vinyl. Upstairs, the store has a variety of vintage HIFI equipment on display and a handful of more popular records. Walk around the upper area of the store until five minutes before closing, and then descend the rickety steps at the back. The stairs lead into the basement, where the owner keeps the more valuable albums and paraphernalia under lock and key. Across the hallway from this room is another, with a selection of... lesser works. Failed novelty albums, family bands that never caught on. And in the corner of this room, on the floor, is the box. The box is full to the brim with old LPs. The album art for all of the albums is minimalist: just a human face on a black background. After leafing through this box for a time, it’s likely you’ll find a few faces you recognize. You might even find your own. The owner won’t allow you to purchase any of these records, claiming that he’s merely holding onto them for a friend. But if you remain in the store after hours, he’ll allow you to put one of the records on one of his players and listen with a headset. You will hear, with crystal clarity, the thoughts of whoever’s face is on the record at the moment while you’re listening.

The Soup Kitchen (#46)
The Soup Kitchen downtown has been open for years, although it’s received support from different charities and agencies (most recently it’s been attached to CUPS and The Mustard Seed). But it’s always invariably dropped within six months. Despite this, the door never closes and it never has any trouble holding onto volunteers or its location. Go

to the soup kitchen on a Tuesday afternoon and get a cup of soup. The broth will be cheap with hard water and lumps of powdered stock, but drink it anyways. You’ll need the protein. After drinking the broth, leave the soup kitchen and walk down the alley next to it. After a moment’s searching, you should locate a milk crate that should give you enough of a boost to reach the fire escape on the building that houses the soup kitchen. Climb the ladder and then walk to the top of the fire escape. Regardless of the weather, the top floor window will be open. Climb inside, but leave behind anything that might be construed as a weapon. The volunteers are jumpy. The top floor will be a recreation, almost down to the last detail, of the soup kitchen itself. The most important differences will be that the volunteers behind the counter have their mouths stitched shut and that the patrons are noticeably better dressed than the homeless and impoverished on the ground floor. The soup they ladle out here is a broth made from the tears of a captive angel lashed to the wall in the building’s basement seventy years ago over the protestations of William Aberhart. Drinking it will grant you youth until the end of your days, but the gates of heaven will forever be closed to you.

MacKimmie Library (#47)
MacKimmie Library at the University of Calgary is supposedly obsolete, and definitely of little interest to the scholar of the obscure. Nevertheless, as a building on the borderline, near its replacement, it teeters on the precipice between our Calgary and its shadows. As the Library prepares to give way to the new Taylor Family Library, its last sighs echo throughout the structure. Reality is soft here, soft and pliable and easy to push through. Like other borderlands, it is dangerous for precisely this reason. Dangerous, but useful. Walk up and down the building’s staircases until the lights begin to dim and colour begins to drain from your field of view. After the colour has completely drained, exit the staircase. You’ll find yourself in one of the other libraries, in one of the other cities. The books will be altered, some subtly and others more overtly, and all will contain secrets that have slipped in around the edges. Beware the librarians, however. They prize silence, and they punish overdue books with a staggering ferocity.

The Hope Chest (#48)
[This one is written in a different hand than most of the rest] A hope chest is a small box or trunk given to young girls. The idea is that over the course of their lives, they collect linens, baby things, crockery and pieces of household decor to take with them when they get married. It’s sort of a poor man’s dowry. I remember when my sister got hers... but I’m wandering. You want to know about the Hope Chest in the old house on the hill, up by the river, but you’re too shy to ask me. Don’t want to be on the hook for another favour? That’s okay, boy, I like you. The hope chest measures about sixteen inches by twenty four inches by twelve inches and is made from cedar, as was the custom at the time. The order was for an art deco chest, this was the twenties you understand, before the house was even built. The order was furnished promptly, and I added to the chest all the objects that the customer ordered.

Bottles of unguents, potent herbs and... allspice. He requested that it be sewn into the cloth lining, which I of course indulged. I had no idea of knowing who They were at the time. We thought they were just postwar immigrants. Insofar as I know he never opened the hope chest. It’s a sort of a safety, you see. The second it opens, everything inside is let out and, well, after this many decades of fermentation... well, you know what they say about mutually assured destruction? I’m pretty sure that They could show them a thing or two about assured destruction. [It’s signed “Edward Ramsay De Cae” With a bold, antiquated flourish]

Kitsch (#49)
On Edmonton Trail there is a diner of the type that was trendy about ten years ago. You know, the kind that puts muesli in everything and has a DVD of old cartoons running on a wood paneled television. The walls, like all diners of this type, are practically dripping with kitsch. Mostly fifties and sixties stuff, although there are some old Lohengrin post cards and the like. What makes this diner unique is that every single piece of kitsch inside was used, in some way, to kill someone. There is not a single object in that room which has not been, in some way, used for an act of violence. The post cards were love letters left out to inflame the rage of a jealous spouse. The broken clock above the counter was used to brain a sewage worker in the late seventies. Even the decorative infomercial knife set was once used in the torture, murder and mutilation of a local gang member. What's more, if these objects are placed atop the DVD player hooked up to the TV near the entrance, the picture on the changes to the murder through the eyes of the victim. This has made the diner popular amongst local Satanists and snuff fetishists who view the murders after hours. However, the diner ran through its stock of deadly kitsch last summer, and has since taken to commissioning new killings to decorate the walls.

The Tattoo Parlour (#50)
Go to any Tattoo parlour in the city of Calgary and make a point of entering through the back door. Tell the proprietor that you need a tattoo, and tell him t hat the regular ink won’t do. Ask him for what he keeps in the basement. Even if the building doesn’t have a basement, even if the tattoo parlour is already in the basement, he will lead you to a metal door in the western wall and open it. The stairway beyond it is dark, and it will get darker when he closes the door behind you. Climb down the stairs slowly. You will find yourself in what appears to be a filthy, unlit copy of the room upstairs. Wait patiently for the owner to come out of the back. He will be a gaunt man with no eyes. Tell him you want a tattoo an tell him the regular ink won’t do. He’ll smile and silently lead you into the work room. There, he will invite you to take a seat, and then he’ll begin to give you your tattoo. When you leave, your tattoo will be whatever you asked for, simple and mundane. However, within a week it will become infected and boils will sprout on your skin in a strange, disturbing shape. Sketch this shape on a piece of paper. It’s your piece of the puzzle, and when the rest of your atman arrives, you’ll need to piece it together.

The Drive-In (#56)
The drive in hasn’t had many customers in years, if it ever did. It doesn’t have the iconic appeal of Peter’s, it doesn’t have the cult appeal of that red bus, and it definitely doesn't have good food. It’s never even managed to cash in on any retro appeal since it was built ten years too late. What it does have is a large denim-clad regular who always seems to be seated, regardless of the weather, at one of the concrete tables out front. If you look past the person who takes your order, into the kitchen, you can see photos tacked up on a bulletin board that go back to when the drive-in was founded in the late seventies. The man, utterly unchanged by time, is in them. At night, he actually goes inside the drive-in to sleep, although he’s definitely not the owner and if asked the staff claim not to notice him in the photographs or outside the building. If you ask him how he’s stayed the same so long he’ll tell you that it’s force of habit and refuse to talk about it any further. If you ask him why they let him sleep inside, he’ll claim that he works there in some function and likely tell you to mind your own business. If you want a straight answer, you’ll have to ask him: “Why does the drive in run through so many staff?” But be careful. It’s never wise for the fly to harass the spider.

The Locked Ward (#62)
Most elder-care facilities have some kind of locked ward if they deal with dementia cases. The Colonel Belcher doesn’t deal with hoarders or undressers or any of the other worstoff cases, but about a quarter of the top floor has been locked ever since it moved to its new location a handful of blocks away from the coroner’s office. Residents claim that nobody ever goes in and nobody ever goes out. They complain about the smell. They complain about the sounds. But few people tend to care about the elderly and their complaints. While the main door into the locked ward is secure and hasn’t opened since the facility did, it is possible to get in through a janitorial closet nearby. A set of coveralls hangs on the wall opposite the door. If you unzip the coveralls, you will discover a hole behind them that leads into the locked ward. Be warned though: the coveralls cannot be unzipped from the other side. To this day, no one has returned with a satisfactory answer. In fact, all anyone ever agrees about is that the locked ward is very dark, and very hot.

The Pen (#63)
There is a pen in circulation in the city. No one seems to be able to hold onto it for long. It’s always left on a desk at school or loaned and not returned. The pen itself is nondescript: a plain white bic that writes in either black or blue ink depending on whose account of its history you believe. The pen is remarkable in that it is only capable of writing the truth. If something untrue is written with it, the pen will appear to be out of ink. Locating the pen is difficult, as it moves almost of its own accord, but you can easily locate it by sympathy. Break open a pen of the same colour and rub the ink on your palms. When the pen draws near, you’ll feel your skin begin to tingle, and whoever owns the pen at the moment will leave it in your hand at the slightest pretext. The unfortunate side effect of this sympathy is that the pen’s honesty rubs off on you. The only rule to observe when using the pen is to never engage in automatic writing,

sketching, or any other idle activity. Your hand will be compelled to reveal things your mind ought to hide.

The Flowers (#64)
There is a species of flower that only grows on public land in Calgary. Any flowers transplanted anywhere else will die in seconds. The plants are plain, white flowers streaked with blue. They have shot, thin stems and no fragrance. The flowers are always warm to the touch and can only be found in late spring. If you find a patch of them growing beneath a tree or in the shadow of a municipal building, pick them immediately. Never carry them next to your skin. Instead, wrap them in paper towel or cloth and carry them home. Reduce the flowers to a fine powder by first drying them and then grinding them down to nothing with a mortar and pestle or blender. Store the resulting violet coloured powder in a small leather bag (no other material is safe) and carry it on you. The wheels of bureaucracy will turn smoothly for you. Forms will never be lost, more ID will never be required, and nothing will have to be filled out in triplicate. However, the powder’s odorlessness will eventually permeate your body, robbing you of your own scent and your sense of smell.

The Public Washroom (#68)
[The following three entries were cut out and pasted on the page, two from plain white printer paper and one from a newspaper:] Sanford: I went to use that new washroom downtown. The one that they did a story about on the CBC. If this washroom is good enough to be on the news and they are spending my tax dollars on it, i want to at least get some use out of it. Besides, I thought it would make a good entry for my blog. I sat down on the shitter and started to get light headed. When I woke up It was six hours later and I was in a Public Restroom in Riley Park. There was a new scar on my stomach that I do not recognize. You owe me for this, SJ. I went to the Washroom like you said and I definitely saw signs that They were involved. Illusory concealment of blood, the smell of allspice, the signs are unmistakable. I know you said you thought we should let it be, But I’m going to go back tonight and try to burn it down. – Jess P. Relatives of Jessica Pearson are reeling today after the nineteen year old art student vanished. Although police are making inquiries, they hold little hope that she’ll be found alive. [The word OGDEN is scrawled beneath the last entry in red sharpie]

The Baggage Claim (#70)
There is a secret baggage claim beneath YYC where They keep objects of interest that passengers leave in their checked baggage. Entering the claim is problematic. It is only accessible on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, as these are the days that They are absent, and entering on a day when they are present would mean certain death. On

these days when it is safe, book a seat on a domestic flight and travel to the dingy section of the airport terminal’s food court. Look for a small, dirty counter where Italian food and pizza is sold. Tell the clerk that you left your bag in the kitchen when you worked your last shift. The clerk will accept this pretext and let you into the kitchen, as though you were in fact a recently laid off employee. The kitchen, which is shared by all the franchises in this corner of the terminal, is dominated by a staircase that leads up into the blank roof. Climb it, and keep climbing when you reach the ceiling. You will emerge in a vast and empty copy of the baggage claims downstairs, inhabited only by still figures made of plaster. Pilfer what you find valuable or notable from the baggage that is kept here, but only take with you what fits in your carry-on bag and what will pass safely through airport security. Larger or more conspicuous objects, such as the still-whispering heads of saints or the monitors that show the state of your soul will have to be left behind. Then leave, get on your flight and lay low for a time in another city. They will soon find out what you’ve done, and they’ll want their stolen property back.

The Pub (#72)
There is a faux-English “pub” that has operated for decades under various names and ownerships, although it never remains profitable for long. Something about the place fills normal people with unease. The echoes are of no concern to those that know they exist and are prepared. To ensure your safety in the pub, bring with you a solution dandelion and lemon grass, about a half-litre’s worth (Thanks Jess!) the solution will repel any existential or psychic hazards. The Pub remains solidly uninteresting for most of the day, but around closing practitioners and acolytes begin to filter in. The owner remains in the back room, unwilling or unable to mingle amongst his unusual patrons. In a show of deference, the most recent owner replaced all of the steak-knives with black-handled alternatives. The Pub is a meeting place and focal point of the local Community. The Pub’s echoes remain a mystery despite its closeness to The Community. Despite decades of patronage, no one is able to determine the cause of the echoes, or why drowned bodies appear in the restrooms and kitchen after closing only to vanish in the morning.

The Vase (#73)
There is a vase perpetually for sale in the city. It moves from Urban Barn to Thrift Store to home decor shop to thrift store and then back again. The vase itself is tall and thin, fluted in shape and often empty. Water doesn’t seem to stay within the cool confines of the vase, boiling off of it if it is ever added. No one seems to hold onto the vase for long, always returning it with fraudulent receipts or hocking it. This s because if the vase is placed in a home, all the water within will begin to boil. If not removed promptly, the vase will make more water burn. Ice will melt, sweat on the skin will begin to heat, and other more discrete forms of water will become agitated. After around thirteen hours, water in the human body will begin to boil too, killing whoever is in the home in short order as the water in their bodies boils off and their skin is seared. After the vase has claimed a life, al the water immediately condenses as if it had never evaporated.

To date, the vase has been used to assassinate sixteen prominent individuals, including three members of parliament and five practitioners.

The Cupboard (#75)
On the north end of the city, there are innumerable identical houses arranged into vast, homogenous neighbourhoods. These suburban homes are mostly home to commuters, but one of them is home to something vastly different. Unlike all the other homes around it, this one is unfinished. Although the outside is complete, the inside is totally empty other than an IKEA cupboard in what would presumably be the kitchen. The cupboard is as old as the subdivision and was placed there by the developers. Inside, you will find literally dozens of pieces of Depression glass. The glass, which mostly takes the form of small decorative balls, should not be removed from the cupboard. Each ball contains a small, fortune-cookie type strip of paper with the address of one of the houses in the subdivision written on it in green ink. Whenever a ball has been removed from the cupboard, the corresponding household has suffered a death or some other tragedy within a year.

The Tobacconist (#76)
Despite campaigns against it and a law against displaying tobacco products, the tobacconist’s on Centre Street has remained open and apparently prosperous. Although they do good business with their usual stock, what makes the shop notable is the contents of three numbered jars located at the back of the building, in the back room. In order to sample this unusual product, you must come equipped with a mixture of the following: many-flowered yarrow, prairie smoke, tall larkspur and purple-stemmed aster, ground in equal proportions into a thin powder. The owner of the shop will accept this gift as a sign of good faith, and proof that you are a fellow traveler. Ask the store owner for a sample of his private reserve and tell him which of the three jars interests you. Jar One contains a potent hallucinogen that will permanently transport you to the dream city below. All the usual routes will be closed to you, and your body will remain catatonic in the back of the shop. Jar Two contains a thick, smooth cherry tobacco that will burn out your lungs, your heart and leave you totally hollow. Jar three contains a light, sweet substance that will leave you unconscious, and your dreams will be of a pivotal event in the secret history. Never return to the shop. The tobacconist will make enquiries and discover that you are not, in fact, entitled to his smoke.

The Circus (#78)
There are many things underground. The cannibal moundbuilders’ village in Nosehill Park, Decae’s Bookshop, the Black Room, and the Circus. The Circus is the kind you`ve only seem in movies or television shows. Animals, clowns, jugglers, trapeze, and a freak show. While these entertainments are benign, broadly speaking, the midway is fraught with hazard and the potential for great gain. To get to the circus, wait until dusk and close

your bedroom door. Say “Life just seems so gray” at the exact moment the sun crosses the horizon, open the door, and walk through. You will find that your wallet has been replaced with a small bag of washers in different sizes. These are the tokens for the midway, and broadly speaking you’ll have the same value in tokens as you had in dollars. You will also have a ticket that admits you to the circus itself. Enjoy it at your leisure, the big top and the freak show are corny but that hardly diminishes the spectacle of seeing them up close. The games on the midway are strange, not at all as familiar as the circus. Some of them are quite cruel, like a booth where you take aim and throw razors at the deadened eyes of other patrons for tokens or the booth with the pneumatic cattle stunner. But at the end of the night you may trade your tokens for prizes. Eternal beauty. Genius. Musical talent. But if you run out of tokens, you’ll find the door back home has closed and you have nothing to do but join the circus.

The Arcade Game (#80)
A movie theatre arcade in the city contains a machine that has remained despite all attempts at modernization. Next to the street fighter four machines and the realistic sniper game sits a simple shooter with vector graphics, executed in green and amber, which depict abstract two dimensional shapes. When one is shot, it simply changes colour rather than disappearing. No one is able to figure out the game’s goal, so it sits unplayed and unused in the corner, dusty and ill kept. In fact, when the arcade went over to tokens from change in the late nineties, nobody bothered updating the machine at all. Find it and start a new game. Shoot the strangely shaped tiles and watch as their colours flick from green to amber to green to amber. The game is goalless and aimless, what matters is your score. As it continues to increase and the tiles continue to change colour, you’ll start to feel light headed. No matter what you do, do not release the joystick until you feel a hand tapping at your shoulder. Turn to look at the person behind you. You’ll find no one there. That night, however, the game will enter your dreams. There will be more colours, however, all the primaries and secondaries, and the tiles grow in complexity and speed. Eventually it will prove too much for your sleeping mind, and you will suffer a seizure while asleep. When you recover, you will find yourself awake. Machines, from that day forward, will do your bidding. Parking meters will lie for you, televisions and radios will always turn on to the channel you need to hear, and lightbulbs in your home will never burn out.

The School Bus (#83)
In the southwest of the city, if you keep your eyes open, you can sometimes spot a broken down school bus in an alley between two houses. Strangely, the name of the school or company on the side of the bus is written in a strange script that looks like Arabic but isn’t. The bus’s windows are covered with blankets that have been hung up inside like curtains. The doors will be locked, and anyways, entering without asking is frowned upon. Knock on the door and wait for it to be opened. If it isn’t, then you’re not welcome, and you should never return to the alley. If it does open, however, and you’ve been keeping your diet haram like a good boy, go inside. There, you will encounter a woman of middle eastern descent. She will be nude, other than a veil, and her voice will be so soft that you cannot hear it. A handful of neighbourhood children will be seated at the back of the bus, playing with jacks or poke’mon cards. She will gesture towards them, as if she sees you as just another one of the neighbourhood kids. Relatively speaking, in terms of age, that’s probably all you are. Shake your head though without speaking and instead gesture towards the makeshift bed she’s made in the aisle. She’ll shoo the children away.

There, on the bed, you will experience unimaginable burning pleasure, and every word you utter in the throes of lust will come true, good or bad. However, if you turn out to be a bad boy and kiss and tell, impotence will be your only reward.

The School ID (#88)
Periodically, at bus stops throughout the city, a small brown wallet turns up. The wallet is empty other than a school ID card dated for the 2003-2004 school year at Queen Elizabeth Jr./Sr. High School. The Card is yellow, and a magnetic strip has been crudely pasted overtop of a barcode on the bottom of the card. Identical copies of the card and wallet are known to exist. The photograph and name have all been scratched out. Only the school logo and the words “Grade 08” are visible. When carried in your pocket, the school ID card makes you appear to others as you did when you were thirteen. Your clothing will resemble whatever you typically wore at the time without being too specific to any year. Despite this, the card will be accepted as acceptable proof of age as though it were a driver’s license with a date of birth eighteen years to the day before the current date. Unfortunately, prolonged exposure to the card makes its effects permanent.

The Other Calgarys (#89)
There are seven Calgarys, including the one that you know. The ways between them are many. The ambulances and cabs of yesterday, the secret roads, a wrong turn in the +15 walkways... there are innumerable ways for a poorly educated and sloppy acolyte to find themselves lost in the alleys of one of the other cities. Our own is hazardous enough to those awakened and aware enough to walk in dark places, but not enough to see the hazards. The six other Calgarys, the shadows and reflections of our city, are as follows: Old Calgary is the city of the past and is made of the buildings that have been demolished and is navigated by all the roads that have been closed. The dead live here, and they’re hungry for your warmth. New Calgary is the city of the future, all the buildings we have yet to build and all the people who have yet to be born in the city dwell here. The sky is dark, full of ominous clouds. Treat it as a canary for predicting our own end. Right Calgary is our city as it would be if it were perfect. The buses run on time, it’s always sunny, and everyone smiles. Some say that our Calgary is just a shadow it casts, but they’re wrong. The people there have too many teeth. Left Calgary is our city as it would be if everything were wrong. The sprawl, the traffic the crime and the violence are as they would be in our nightmares. It’s my theory that the poor souls trapped here are doing penance for us. Dream Calgary is where the city’s denizens go when they sleep. Anything is possible here, but nothing is true or persistent. Those that dwell here forever are a sorry lot. This is the safest reflection, but it still isn’t safe. Mirror Calgary is where your reflection lives. If you find yourself here, run as hard and fast as you can back to the proper city.

The Bus (#90)
Although they’re being phased out, the city still has a number of the old GMC busses, the kind that you step up into. No matter how fully the city replaces them with the newer shuttle-busses, at least one of the thirty year old busses will remain in service. It comes intermittently and at odd hours, but it is possible to bring it to yourself using a simple albeit highly modern rite. Go to a bus stop and dial the Calgary transit automated number. Hit one and then punch in the number of the stop you’re waiting at. Then punch the number seven repeatedly. The system’s pre-recorded voice will grow more degraded and heavy with static with each keystroke, eventually going silent entirely. The voice will eventually croak “Next Bus in three minutes” and disconnect you. Within that window of time, no matter where you are, the bus will arrive. The driver never asks for fare, although it is wise to pay regardless. The Bus will be empty other than a dozen or so plaster statues posed on the seats, unless They are using it. If They are, disembark immediately. If not, sit near the front and watch as the landscape outside grows blurry and abstract. Before long, you will feel tired. Allow yourself to fall asleep. When you awaken, you will be sitting on a bench at Brentwood Station. From now on, you will always have perfect luck when it comes to catching a bus and no driver will expect you to pay your fare.

The Black Room (#91)
Beneath every train station in the city of Calgary there is a deep, perfectly round chamber made of black marble. Each contains indistinct shadows of furniture and residents that when they are combined yield a single, solid, populated room that coexists beneath every station at once. This only occurs whenever there is an accident on the tracks that results in a death. After the blood is spilled, the spheres melt together and become a normal, albeit difficult to get to room. The easiest way in is through the elevator in Brentwood station. Smear the blood of the sacrifice on the buttons and punch them in ascending order, including door open and close buttons. When the elevator reaches the top of its admittedly short shaft, it will drop suddenly. The elevator will lurch to a stop and the doors will open, admitting you, unharmed, to the Black Room. The marble will have faded, becoming something more angular and familiar: a somewhat antiquated washroom. The tub has clawed feet, an attendant stands next to the lift door to offer you towels and the like, all in all it’s the picture of luxury. Step into the room and turn the water on in the tub. The water will be scented: Mint, Allspice or Vanilla. The mint will totally refresh you, leaving you perfectly relaxed. Vanilla with imbue your skin with a youthful glow for a week, after which your body will begin to deform with the weight of your sins, as though they were a great burden hooked into your skin. The Allspice will grind away all of your sins and cruelties, leaving you utterly and totally forgiven.

The Orange Room (#93)
[This one is probably an email, cut out and pasted in the book] Hey Sand-Man, I bring greetz from the spheres. Eddie and Matt said you were working on a little guidebook. Smart move. They’ve been

catching a lot of kiddies in their webs lately, and we need all the help we’ve got. I’d like, if I could, to contribute. You ever hear of the orange room? Me neither. At least not until last weekend. I met a guy at Back Lot. Kinda chubby, geeky technogoth. Y’know my type, I like to fudge practitioners. Anyways, HE says we should go back to his place. So I say “Ok”, playing it like I’m some rube, nevermind that I’ve practically moved into Dream and that anyone who knows anything knows it. So we drive to Dalhousie station and get onboard. When we hit the free fare zone, he begins to count to a hundred, and when he gets to a hundred, he presses the help button and holds it until we leave the free fare zone. The train keeps going, and it keeps going after it reaches the last station, and it stops in this underground station that’s all orange and British. He leads me upstairs, all giddy like he’s showing me the kind of thing I’ve never seen before. Which isn’t true. But I pretend for his sake. Anyways, The orange room is like this old place, Victorian I think. Everyone has an accent and talks about how “The War” is going, which I THINK is world war one. Anyways, the only guy in the room who knows what year it is is this little old man who recognizes me and runs my ass out. Dunno how useful it is, but I wouldn’t recommend going back. Place STUNK of allspice. I bet that little happy face was a trap... Keep safe, Sand-Man, Nick Maharis.

The Terminal (#94)
Take the C-train to the furthest north station in the free fare zone. Across the street from the station, you’ll see an office building. Walk in and head up the stairs on the right to the mezzanine. There’s a door on the balcony that goes to a women’s washroom, but it’s locked. The washroom is part of the lease of the business which rents the right side of the mezzanine, and they access it with the code 9620. Don’t enter this code into the metal lock. Instead, punch in 4511. Instead of opening onto a washroom, the door will open onto a small closet with no furnishings other than a cheap office chair, a folding card table, and a terminal from the late seventies. The terminal’s screen will be blank other than the phrase “What is your name?” Type your real name or, if you’re feeling adventurous, your online nickname. There will be a lot of lag between the terminal and wherever it’s connected to, but soon more words will appear, all of them questions. Answer them. When the terminal’s owner is satisfied, it will turn itself off. For the rest of your life, every piece of electronic equipment you try to use will just work out o the box with no difficulty, but you’ll feel nauseous if you get too far from a wireless signal.

The Pit (#95)
Downtown they’re working on some serious construction and probably will be as long as the boom goes on. Construction means building up, usually, but it also means digging down. If you wander the area down around The Palliser you’ll eventually find the pit. Deeper than deep, it’s supposed to house basements and sub-basements and a huge parkade for the building that is being built on top. Sometime after midnight on any given day, climb over the metal rented fencing and climb down into the pit, careful to avoid notice by

anyone or anything that might be there after hours. In the center of the pit, you will find a blue tent. If the lights within the tent are white or yellow, leave as it is most likely occupied. If the light, however, is a dull red glow, then it’s safe. Enter the tent. Inside, you will discover the real reason for the pit: A pillar suspended in the mud, seven feet of it jutting upwards, with glowing red veins. Unless you have come prepared, all you can do is gaze at the strange stone and then leave. But if you have brought with you human blood that is not your own, which can be acquired through a number of means, you may smear it on your eyelids and close your eyes. The glow of the pillar will penetrate your eyelids and you will see the tent through them, etched on your retina in red. The veins will resolve themselves into words which will describe in great detail the history of the land. Never read the full history, as you must leave the tent before the blood on your eyelids dries.

The Song (#96)
Some nights, when the moon is dark and a black-out kills all the lights downtown, the city is seized by a preternatural silence as all the televisions, cars, ceiling fans, radios and conversations come to a stop. At this time, a song can be heard lilting through the streets and alleys. If you are downtown when this happens, follow it. You needn’t worry about where it takes you. The route is chosen carefully for both existential and physical safety. When you finally find the source of the song, it will be a small group of glowing musicians, each about six inches above the ground, suspended by nothing in particular. They will be in a large, decaying room on the second floor of a building that normally seems to be in better repair. Their clothing is always reported as being inoffensive earth tones and about ten years out of style. The music they play is haunting and lilting and rarely corresponds to their instruments. It will be sweet and quiet once you actually find it, despite the great volume it must have had to be heard blocks away. The musicians are fellow travellers who passed away in the last year or two and their song is meant for the ones they left behind. It is the most profoundly sad song you will ever have heard. If you don’t recognize any of the faces, you will be left with a profound sense of melancholy that will never leave you until after you die. But if you do, you will be granted catharsis, and all your sorrows and rage will be burned away.

The Payphone Trick (#98)
In Ogden, between the hours of ten o’clock PM and two o’clock AM, a locked door in the back of a 24/7 convenience store will be opened. During these four hours, the third shift clerk will remain behind his counter if he can, leaving spills and other problems to sort themselves out until the door closes of its own accord. If you arrive during this hour, walk through the door and close it behind you. The door leads into a small room made of bare concrete. To your immediate left is a disused washroom. Don’t open it under any circumstances, as they haven’t cut the bodies down since 1995. Instead, turn right and look at the payphone. It’s old enough that it still has metal keys and an AGT sticker. The handset has been separated from the phone itself, but if you lift it to your ear, you’ll hear a dial tone. Put a quarter into the phone, then dial. Never, under any circumstances, call a cell phone. The phone will ring twice, and then you’ll hear whatever occurred in the room the phone is currently in on the day and at the time you’re using the phone in the year the quarter

was minted. The only exception to this is if the quarter was minted in the year you were born, in which case you hear whatever happens in that room during the moment of your death.

The Supermarket (#99)
There’s an independent supermarket in the far northwest. Although it’s just as big and well-stocked as any of the city’s chains, it remains completely and totally devoid of life. There are no workers, no customers, no one. No one seems to question this, as though the store itself is a part of the city’s geography that their minds simply smooth over. If you should find it despite the blind spot we all seem to have for it, do not enter without a lemon and an egg. The market is still and silent as a tomb. Proceed immediately to the back of the store and enter the employee break room. Put the egg and lemon in the refrigerator and close it. Say “An egg for protein and a lemon for zest” aloud, then leave the room. When you return to the store proper, the second layer of illusion will be lifted and you will see it as it truly is: empty and desolate. The carcass, half-gnawed, of a failed seeker will be laying behind the meat counter. He forgot to bring an offering. The blind spot is a defense mechanism, this place is like a venus flytrap. The shelves will be empty, save for empty boxes and bones, except for one. The herb rack is the best stocked in the city. Exotics and inedible herbs and spices of all kinds, all of them useful in the craft and many of them extinct, are all sitting in the rack in clearly labelled flasks. Take one and leave. Do not look back and do not take more than one. There is plenty of room in the freezer aisle.

The Aim Bot (#100)
There is an AIM bot that only exists within the city of Calgary. To access it, search for a wireless signal anywhere in the city and connect to an un-secured network. Once you’re online, start a new AIM account with no contacts. The account’s name MUST be a western first name like “John” or “Sarah”. This is currently almost impossible since most common names have been taken. However, some more esoteric or foreign names have been found to work, as have names from antiquity. For uncommon names, the names of saints seem to have the most success. When your account is made, log in and add “Peigan” as a friend. Peigan will claim to be a bot maintained by the city to help tourists, and will answer any questions about traffic, weather, restaurants, theatre or any of the city’s attractions in with cheery, friendly text. However, the more you talk with Peigan, the less cheery and friendly it will become. After about two hours of conversation, Peigan will angry and will rudely insult whatever you ask it about. After three hours, Peigan will begin to threaten whatever location, person, institution or object you ask it about. After about five hours, Peigan will sign off. The last thing you asked Peigan about will be in some way destroyed within a month. It’s vitally important not to use your real name for the AIM account, or Peigan will know who you are.

The Theatre (#101)
Theatre Calgary, ATP and One Yellow Rabbit are all housed in the Epcor Centre for the Performing Arts. The building is home to a fourth theatre, whose troupe and location remain a mystery to most. To find the theatre, which mounts performances twenty-four

hours a day and seven days a week, you must first acquire a key. The Key works, even though the lock you’ll need to use it on is the wrong shape. Enter the elevator that leads into the Max Bell Theatre and insert your key into the elevator’s maintenance key-hole. Turn your key and punch all of the buttons in descending order. The doors will open on every floor, but the rooms beyond will be subtly wrong, and all inhabited by figures in strange papier mache masks that do nothing but render their features blank. Finally, instead of reaching the parkade, the elevator will drop you off in the lobby of the theatre. The performance is ongoing, and is made up of two masked performers, both of whom face the audience. In clear, rhetorical English, they recite their lines twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, with no breaks or rest. The language of the play is convoluted and wrong, as through translated from Russian by someone with a loose grip on English. The words are almost meaningless, but they open a door in your mind. What they let in depends on whether they’re performing a comedy or a tragedy, but from that day on you’ll see the masks in crowds and never quite belong in this world.

The Surgery (#102)
There is a procedure they do, to awaken the part of your brain that knows how to listen. Elements of this surgery have been practiced throughout history. This surgery, akin to trepanation and lobotomy, was often misunderstood by hippies who accidentally killed themselves looking for a permanent high. The surgery’s results are nothing like a high. In fact, the elevation of consciousness that results makes narcotic satisfaction... problematic. Especially for those who become proper acolytes. There is one surgery that does this kind of work in Calgary. It is located in the furnace room at Dalhousie Elementary and can only be found during the half moon as it relies on shaky borderlines. Enter through the gym, and you will find an improvised waiting room in the hallway. From the moment you sign your name to the walk in sheet, there is no turning back. Your feet and hands will move of their own accord. You will walk into the surgery, lock the door behind you, and go to work. It’s likely that you will black out during the procedure. This is a mercy. Try not to mind the gaps in your memory or the disappearance of one of the local children that will occur the same night as your operation. There is such a thing as a necessary evil, and until stemcell research is opened to more fringe physicians, third eyes won’t grow themselves.

The Bakery (#105)
There is a Belgian baker in Calgary who is renowned for his great skill and his even greater bitterness. No one knows why the baker is filled with such disdain for the world despite his great talents and the success that they have wrought. Perhaps it is because of what you will discover if you go to his shop after hours. The baker’s shop does most of its business in the morning, selling lattes and pastries to commuters driving into downtown from the south. By night, it is usually closed. But if you look in through the window, you will see the baker sitting alone in a corner, drinking coffee and eating something small and sweet and drizzled with red coulis. If he notices you, he will get up and open the door and invite you in. This is your last chance to avoid the trial ahead. The baker will ask if you have eaten and snort derisively before asking if you know the Epicerie next door. Say you don’t, and that you prefer something sweet. He’ll call you a

man after his own heart and over to share something special with you. You have no choice but to accept, lest you wind up in the red coulis. The baker will bring out a human heart, glazed with maple sugar, choked with cherry juice and custard and surrounded in a flakey crust. Eat this grisly treat, choking down the still warm, still half-alive organ, and you will be rewarded with an unearthly, haunting beauty, but your damnation will be complete and thorough.

The Epicure (#106)
There’s an epicerie downtown I frequent. Well, frequented. I don’t think I’ll be back there again. Ever since I moved here, I’ve gone there for lunch, picked up an orangina and a croque monsieur, and ate it at the counter. The owner’s a real epicure, one of those hardcore French gourmet. Listen, Sandy, I know you wouldn’t have asked unless you were interested, but this isn’t really in your usual line, and Monsieur Boyer is a friend of mine. Don’t go telling anyone this shizzle. Anyways, a couple weeks ago he smiles at me when I come in and tells me he’s got something special and he wants to share it with me. He says he’s got a couple ortolan smuggled in from a farm up north that raises the damn things in secret. An ortolan is like a finch or a bunting. But what the French do to them is just sick. They keep them in the dark and force feed them oats and millet. Once they’re fudgeing huge, they drown them in column-still brandy and leave them there until they cook them whole. You put it in your mouth until only the beak is out and then you bite down and eat it whole. Eyes, organs, all of it. The bones splinter and slash your gums and tongue, but that’s part of it. It adds this salty, coppery taste. Monsieur Boyer put my head under the tablecloth before he served me. He says it’s how you do it, so you can hide from god. I couldn’t see anything, all I could do what feel him push it into my mouth, taste it, and chew. The next morning, I coughed up what looks like a human eye. Monsieur Boyer was gone and nobody has seen him since. Jesus Sandy, What the fudge did I eat?

The Soup (#107)
There is a trio of blind homeless men in downtown Calgary who have been tending the same pot of soup for the last fifty years. Impossibly weathered, the trio have added more water, more bones, more half-rotten vegetables and more scraps to the pot for decades. Over the years, the soup has become thick and brown and heavy, rich with the flavours of time. The three guard their broth jealously and refuse to allow any others to eat it unless they bring something of power and value to trade. The three are almost impossible to find by choice. They reside in a splinter. To find the three, stand at tenth and fifth and slowly begin to walk south. As you move, the city will seem to grow denser and tighter, the buildings higher and the people dirtier and older. Eventually, the cars on the roads will give way to foot traffic and shanty-towns, and the buildings will go dark and empty. Do not enter any of them, as the office workers inside have been replaced by toothful predators. Eventually you will find the three at the center of an intersection. Tell them you have brought the ingredient to complete their labour and offer them either a jar of allspice or a

jar of air. If you offer the jar of allspice, they will give you a cup of soup spiced with it. You will gain all the boons that They can give, but the three old men will turn on you once they recognize the scent as They are no friends of the downtrodden. If you offer them the empty jar, the blind old men will attempt to poor it into the soup and, i the process, fill it at least a quarter full. The broth will cure all injuries but leave your skin tough and leathery. Leave the splinter and never return.

The Spray-Bottle (#108)
A bikepath runs along John Laurie, between the road and a set of backyards. One of them is so dense with trees and sod and fungus that it is like a small forest. The fence is old and decaying and shot enough that it never truly provided an obstacle. Jump it and turn to your left. At the end of the fence, in the corner of the yard, you will see a disused greenhouse that hasn’t held any plants, at least, not plants kept deliberately. Instead, it’s full of rusting bikes and other garbage. And at the back, a spray-bottle that remains full despite how long it’s gone untouched. The bottle cannot be removed from the room for too long without losing its potency. But it’s easy to get at least a good day’s use of it. Anything sprayed with the bottle will be covered, in moments, with growth: vines, grass, fungus, flowers, whatever’s nearest that could most conceivably cover whatever’s sprayed. Slowly, the plants will grow into whatever’s beneath them, consuming it regardless of what it is. Not even They are proofed against it, but the bottle’s time limit and the long weeks it takes to regain its strength make it a limited weapon at best.

The Index Cards (#109)
In a large residential home in Breton Close which was assembled piecemeal over the last forty years. The house is notable for its large back yard and long driveway. Every Halloween, the man who owns the house doles out cotton candy in the garage while his wife remains inside, alone. Never eat the old man’s cotton candy. There’s more than sugar spun in its strands, and if you cross the precipice of his home without his consent after eating it, your body will turn to sugar and air. In the old man’s kitchen there are a half dozen boxes of index cards. Some document people, vital statistics jotted down in a genial handwriting that belies the exacting and invasive detail of the records. Others document formulas and complicated patterns that signify nothing, even to the most advanced acolyte. Still others are benign. But one set of index cards, kept under lock and key in the pantry, is more straightforward and more immediately of value. The cards were purchased from Eddie Decae when the couple first arrived on our shores. They were so much older then. They have been adding to the collection ever since. If you have had any success as a seeker or acolyte, you will certainly find your name there. If any of the cards has a red dot in the upper right corner, or the name crossed out with ink from a fountain pen, the person or place or thing it describes will be visited by the old man... and then it simply won’t be anymore.

The Book Store (#110)
There is a hidden book store that can be found in every city on the continent. In Calgary, it can be found in the basement of a pizza shop in Brentwood. Tell the owner that you’re

from the health department. When he asks what department, say mental health. He’ll laugh, but he’ll also unlock a door at the back of the kitchen which leads to a long, steep, rickety staircase that descends deeper into the ground than should be possible. At the bottom you’ll find a small, strange shop and a man named Eddie Decae. The shop specializes in the works of the homeless insane, with sheafs of scrawled mythologies from across North America: The blue lady of Florida, Chicago’s gangster computer gods, and Calgary’s They are described in intimate detail in the unreadable ramblings. Decae sells these sheafs for a dollar a page, and it’s worth it if you have the time to eke what meaning can be distilled from them. However, there is a shortcut to knowledge. Behind the counter, Decae keeps a bookshelf with over a hundred notebooks, diaries, clipboards, little boxes of index cards and the like. All have been prepared by acolytes and seekers and all describe the roadside horrors and urban attractions that we who favour the night enjoy. Decae will let you have one of these, but for a price: You must prepare one of your own. If you don’t, you will find yourself unable to read anything. The words will swim before your eyes and sort themselves into paragraphs of the filthiest invective.

The Laptop (#111)
Beneath a nameless overpass is a dry concrete hole that descends into the city’s foundations. Although the hole is open and unmarked, no one seems to fall into it or even come close. In fact, when you find it you will have to strain your eyes to see it. When you do, you will notice that the perfectly circular hole has no means of descent. The walls are too smooth to brace yourself against. The only way down is to jump. So jump, holding on all the while to perfect confidence that you will land unharmed. If your confidence vanishes so will the mattress beneath you to break your fall. Once you land, get up and walk straight ahead through the dusty gloom. Eventually you will find a laptop computer sitting on top of a milk crate. The computer is on and its battery is perpetually at full, although it isn’t plugged into anything. The screen doesn’t display an operating system, instead showing a list of names that updates with a new name about once every eight seconds. The foolish think that this is a list of who is dying, with each name representing another death. If you try to remove the computer, your name will appear and you will realize that they’re wrong. The list is indeed of deaths, but it’s about five minutes behind.

The Ice Cream Truck (#112)
Edgemont is haunted every summer by an Ice Cream truck that only comes out after dark. Large and long and old fashioned unlike the small one-person trucks that drive the route by day, this truck and its sonorous, distorted bell fill everyone who hears it with a sense of unshakeable anxiety. The locals are so shaken by it that they refuse to talk about it or deny its existence outright. Its comings seem to coincide with the New Moon. If you steel yourself and manage to overcome the anxiety you will feel about sighting it, wave the truck down. The man who drives it has dead eyes and will only accept money minted before 1980. The truck’s menu will be illegible with age, but ask for a sour cherry popsicle. The popsicle the man gives you will taste coppery and salty, but swallow every last mouthful without complaining about the taste. The man will smile and ask you if you want to ride along. Never accept his offer, no matter how tempted you feel. From that day forward, to your eyes the night will seem as bright as the day, and people

will glow with the warmth of however many days of life remain for them. No one knows what happens if you flag the man down again or accept his offer.

The Cellular Phone (#113)
Enter Hillhurst Elementary after hours through the Girls’ Door. Do not use The Key to get in, as the school no longer stands in the desiccated world it opens onto. Instead pick the lock through a more conventional means or secure the key through some legitimate method. Then climb the stairs. The school has collected a handful of ghosts like all buildings; echoes of sound and heartbeat reverberate through the air. But the dead here are slow and calm. Climb to the top of the building and enter the cloakroom at the top of the staircase. It will be empty at this hour other than a leather jacket too large to belong to the children. You will hear the sound of a cellular phone’s ring from the moment you walk in the room, and after a moment’s effort you will find it in the jacket’s pocket. The phone is an old Nokia. Open it and hold it to your ear, but say nothing. Do not even breathe. For as long as you can remain silent, the person on the other end of the line will tell you everything you need to know to solve whatever problem you’re currently faced with. But once you breathe or speak, she will stop mid-sentence and scream. The scream will be deafening, and you will pass out quickly. Explaining your presence in the school at night, in the cloakroom, will prove surprisingly easy. Claim you came back to reminisce. The principal will ask if you were a student there once. Tell him you like to think you are always a student. He’ll recognize you as an acolyte and allow you to leave, but from then on you will owe him a great and grievous favour.

The DVD (#114)
In the new Crowfoot Public Library, there is an extensive collection of DVDs that can be borrowed provided you have a card. One of these, which nobody seems to borrow, is inside a blank case that inevitably seems t get lost between shelves or reshelved in the wrong section. The disk inside the case is unmarked as well, although it isn’t a DVD-R. Attempting to borrow the disc will earn you a strange look, but no strong protestations. Take the disc home and do not watch it until after dark. Put the disc into your player at one in the morning and press play exactly ten second later. The screen will crackle to life in media res, the action already unfolding by the time the camera comes on. The scene depicts the murder of a man named Nick Maharis, gutted like a fish on the platform at Sunnyside Station, his intestines spilling out onto the concrete. The camera is dropped after he hits the ground, and the killers leave. The camera remains focused n Maharis as he bleeds out, watching the slow progress of his abdomen emptying onto the ground. Strangely, the pattern formed by his entrails differs every time you watch. He will make eye contact with you at the moment he expires. The disc is of no use to you unless you are skilled in haruspicy. If you are, you can see reflected in his innards the current future of the war.

The Paper Warehouse (#119)
There’s a vacant lot in the Southwest that’s literally covered in paper: Old newspapers,

old photographs, decaying books, fast food wrappers. Anything paper and mass produced. On Labour Day, the lot vanishes and is replaced by a small warehouse. Nobody notices because there’s no way that a warehouse could go up that fast, is there? If you walk inside of the building, you will discover that it is in fact made of all the paper that was on the lot, which has been folded elegantly to resemble brick and sheet metal and concrete. The building will be furnished like an old importer’s. Don’t put your weight on anything, however, as every last object in the building is made from paper. There will be a display case against one of the warehouse’s walls containing the only wares it has ever housed: a dozen rings. One of them is real, the rest are made of paper. If you pick up the real one on your first try, you’ll be permitted by the aged Japanese man who seems to own the warehouse to take it with you. Never wear the ring, but instead give it to someone you love. For the rest of their life, they’ll never fall ill. If you get one of the paper rings, wear it. It will bring you good luck and success at the office.

The Key (#121)
There’s a coffee shop in Bowness called “Cadence”. Go in and order a large black eye and specify that it needs to be made with the Prince of Darkness Roast. Your coffee will be served in short order, and will consist of four shots of espresso poured into a cup of the house’s darkest roast. The espresso will be oxidized, so the coffee will be the most bitter thing you’ve ever drank. If you fail to drink the whole cup, you will never be able to get the key. If you do down the entire drink, you’ll find a small key blank at the bottom of the mug. Take it and leave. The blank will fit any lock in the city as if it were the appropriate key. However, the door will not open into the room it normally does. Instead, the room will be bloodstained and decayed, and a look out the window reveals a desolate apocalyptic landscape. However, some of these desolate rooms contain secrets and artefacts of the years to come. Be warned though: if the door closes behind you, the key will turn to dust in your hands.

The Encasement (#122)
In the basement of New City Hall, in an unlocked room, there is a cube of concrete measuring about six square feet. The cube is the only object in the room, which even lacks a lightbulb in the ceiling’s sole socket. Despite this, the room is lit at all hours as if a sickly fluorescent bulb were installed in the ceiling. If you enter the room by day, other than the cube there is nothing of any note and no apparent reason to remain. However, if you do remain, you will find it highly educational. After City Hall closes, the cube begins to warm up. Heat spreads across its surface, as if something burning hot were within. When the cube is too hot to touch, it will begin to whisper to you. Everything it whispers is a lie, but the whispers are so dense and so thick that with enough patience you can begin to piece together the truth. However, should you let yourself get lost in the lies, the whispering will never go away and it will slowly drive you mad.

The Window (#125)
There is a small downtown gallery housed in an aging sandstone building, its details weathered to nothing with age, that is almost entirely empty save for a handful of pop art prints, a lost de Chirico, and The Window. The first is of no interest, the third is part of a triptych which must never be completed, and the third is a simple window hung like a painting on the back wall. The window always seems to have its share of admirers, typically young students or other idiots. The window appears to be painted on the other side, depicting a scene of suburban carnage. Executed in perfect photorealism: A man with an axe standing on a bloodied lawn, the neighbourhood children behind him, chopped to bits. The man is standing on the lawn, mid-stride, approaching the window with a white picket fence behind him that is stained with gore. Do not gaze at the painting too long, allowing yourself to get caught in its brush strokes is a death sentence. Instead, enter the gallery’s back room. There, you will discover the body of the owner, decomposed and dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. On the wall behind him, beneath the bloodstain, you will see photographs pinned to it of the window. In the first, the painting depicts an empty lawn. It’s dated 10/5/01. Within a year, the children have appeared. Within six months of that, so has the man. The last photo, dated the first of this year, depicts the man approaching the window, although he’s still further away than he is now. Never open the window, and never ever break it.

The +15 Walkways (#131)
Downtown Calgary is home to a small network of enclosed walkways (a "skywalk") called the +15 System. The +15's are designed to encourage pedestrian traffic during the day, but are closed at night. The city claims that this is for the sake of the security of the buildings connected by the walkways and to prevent transients from living in them. However, the actual reason is much more interesting. While the core of the system is open from 7 AM until Midnight, The western and eastern edges of the system are locked at 9 PM. If you are able to sneak into the closed systems at midnight, you'll discover new walkways that don't exist during the daylight hours. If you walk down these pathways, you'll eventually emerge in the Minneapolis Skyway. The Minneapolis Skyway connects every skywalk system in the world. Be warned, however, that if the skywalk you enter from it isn't in a city where the time is between midnight and six AM, you may find that walkways you rely upon no longer exist.

The Tea Room (#133)
There is a small Tea Room that dresses itself in faux Victorian style. Although all the furniture is recent, a handful of the pictures on the walls are truly antiques. Go to the Tea Room and order nothing but a cup of hot water. The elderly woman will stare at you as if she knows something you don’t, but she’ll bring you the cup. The tea would only dull your senses. Examine the photographs and lithographs on the walls while you sip your water. Many of them will have inky black shapes that occlude what is behind the glass. The more you look, however, the more apparent it will become to that the blackness is moving from frame to frame. When it all seems particularly focused on a particular photograph,

lithograph or vintage advertisement, get up and seize the framed picture. Take it from the wall and leave without stopping. Burry the frame deep, someplace far away from the city. Ignore the screaming. Return home and make yourself a cup of tea to steady your nerves. For the remainder of the week, until the darkness makes its way back, none of the corners in the city will be quite as dark or foreboding.

The Dry-Cleaners (#139)
There’s a one-hour dry-cleaners on 14th, next to a 24 hour film developer, that appears closed at all hours. The open sign is dimmed, the lights are out, there’s nobody inside and a sign that reads “ON VACATION” is posted on the door. However, during the daytime it is possible to gain entrance to the drycleaners in three ways: First, entering through the front door is possible unless the current day is a weekend or holiday. Second, on weekends and holidays the rear door is unlocked. Third, the building has a small skylight which has been broken since 2002. No rain, wind or snow seems to enter through the broken skylight, but you can. Upon entering, ring the bell on the counter. An aged Asian woman and her mute husband will emerge from the back of the building, even if you passed through the back of the building while entering through the rear door and found no signs of life. The woman and her husband will stare at you in silence. If you leave, you will be dead within an hour. However, if you complain to the couple about the loss of an article of clothing, you will be spared. Your complaint must he highly specific, such as “A pair of black jeans from Nom de Guerre’s winter collection, size eight” The couple will leave. Remain in the building for an hour, and they will return with whatever clothing you complained about. It will be bloodstained, and they will helpfully direct you to another cleaner who can remove any stain.

The Abattoir (#140)
There is an abattoir in the city that is disguised as something else. From the outside, it looks like a print shop about a block from a mountain equipment co-op. But inside, when the stars are lined up correctly, the store gives way to a cement killing floor that is stained rust-red with blood. The interior of the building will be larger than is possible, rooms stretching on into eternity. Much larger than the city. A few rooms from the entrance, you will find a room full of meat hooks and full of... meat. Never enter this room shortly after a friend or relative dies, or you may see their face on one of the sliced-open bodies that the room’s small, Slavic inhabitants busy themselves with slicing. This is where the city’s dead truly go. The familiar bodies in coffins are made of wax in another room still deeper in the abattoir. You should not venture further than this, however, or you will be mistaken for meat. Instead, try to find the once face in the room whose lips are still moving. The man, and it is always a man, will ask you for news from the front. Tell him that the good guys lost. His face will break into a smile and he will allow himself to die. With his last breath, he will bless you and yours. For the remainder of your life, good fortune will follow you so long as you keep to a strict vegetarian diet.

The Typewriter (#142)

There is a disused office in the basement of the Administration building at the University of Calgary. The door to the office is painted shut and covered over with a broken bookcase that has been placed there for “storage”. However, if you move the bookcase and open the door, you’ll find that the office is actually surprisingly well preserved considering how long it has remained shut. The inside of the office is like a time capsule, furnished with thirty year old chairs and bookcases in the style of the time. The walls have a vaguely yellow patina to them, but this is of no significance. If you look at the degrees hanging on the walls or the books on the shelves, you will discover that the office belonged to Earl Wiser, PhD in history. No sign of Doctor Wiser remains, nor is he mentioned in any records kept by the university. Judging by the books on his shelves, Doctor Wiser was an expert on the Second World War. The only thing in the room that will appear to be touched by time is the 1930’s typewriter on the desk. You will notice that this typewriter is unique for two reasons: it has German character keys, and it is typing the same narrative over and over again without any human interference. The narrative tells the story of a German victory in the Second World War and what happened after. If you take a closer look at the books on the shelves, you’ll notice that the axis won in them too.

The Jewellery Store (#143)
There is a small jewellery story on the ground floor of a sandstone building near the Palliser Hotel. The store has, in recent years, fallen on hard times and has began buying any and all gold, including fillings. The jewellery store does carry a few small objects still, mostly crosses, which were once its specialty. The crosses are of no interest. Instead, ask the Asian woman who is always found behind the counter for something more special. Ask her to show you her collection of Tantalum. Tantalum is known today for its usage in consumer electronics, where it’s popularly used as a capacitor. Tantalum belongs to Tantalus, a Greek God who killed his own son. The woman will bring out a selection of rings made from the material and offer to sell you one. She will not accept money, you must offer her a cross instead, one of excellent and bloody pedigree. Finding such a cross is a challenge in of itself, but when it is found it will pave the way to something much greater. From the moment you put the ring on it will, bit by bit, begin to turn your body into a pure white ivory-like material whose unearthly beauty will captivate anyone who looks at it, but which will always be cold to the touch. You will still be able to move it as though it were your own flesh, but it will be numb to any sensation. However, after your body is fully converted, death will hold no terror for you.

The Postcards (#145)
[This one’s an email, folded up and glued to the page. The header’s cut off] Hey Sandy, I’m gonna head over to your place after class, but in case you’re not there, I need your help with something: post cards. Ever since the equinox I’ve been getting these picture postcards from another place. You know where. I tried to send some scans but it all comes out garbled. The cards are a lot of old junk; kitschy pictures of German villages or Hugo Boss army men. The back’s written in English though. It’s this guy, a soldier I think, named Gregg. He’s writing home to this girl.

Pretty usual stuff, and only about forty years off, except everything’s a little bit wrong. All the brands are stuff I’ve never heard of, and you know all that racist fiddlesticks that disappeared because the companies changed their names? He mentions gassing American partisans in a “coon chicken”, only the postcards are dated in the seventies after all that shizzle disappeared. Matt thinks someone’s “trying to send a message” about something. I dunno what though. When he’s not talking about killing, Gregg gets pretty spicy. Sex and Death... that’s basically what They’re all about, isn’t it? Maybe I’ll read some of them to you later. If we can’t figure out what’s up, we can at least have a good time... - Jess P.

The Village (#149)
There is a small village buried beneath Nosehill Park that predates even the first nations, belonging instead to the mound builders who are so often mistaken for First Nations. There are whispers amongst the acolytes that the hills of the park itself were erected as a burial mound for the city after some unwritten cataclysm. Regardless, the mound builders and their secrets are always of great value. To get into the village, open a nearby manhole and climb down. This is best done at night to avoid being seen. Once down the manhole, begin to walk towards the park. The sewer tunnels will eventually lead you to an aged wooden gate. Simply push it open and walk through. The remains of the village are made of a some crushed mounds and a handful of intact buildings: A long, low mound where the villagers communally slept, a tall, peaked mound where their shaman lived, a small mound that was given over to food preparation. Avoid the last one. The food has been mating and cannibalizing itself for generations, and has degenerated into something quite cruel. Instead make for the shaman’s mound. Within, you will find a rich history of pictograms carved in the earth and coloured with chalk. The colours are remarkably well preserved, no doubt due to the mound’s seclusion. Read the pictograms at your pleasure and leave. There are no horrible secrets here, and no great burden for your soul.

The Gas Station Maps (#150)
There’s a chain of gas stations in Calgary, mostly dingy little places, called Fast Gas. For the most part there’s nothing exceptional about them beyond that the decor hasn’t been upgraded since the early eighties. But one station right on the highway that is a little different. There’s a pile of yellow roadmaps next to the cash register. If you try to purchase one, the clerk will say “Oh, you don’t want those. They don’t have the new construction.” Verbatim, to the word. If you want to own one of the maps, you must reply “I’m lost, I’ll take anything right now.” He’ll nod and ring one of them up. The roadmaps depict Calgary as it was in 1978, with one major exception: it shows about a half dozen roads that you’ll never have heard of. If you track one of these side-streets down and drive down it, you’ll find yourself in one of the other Calgarys. The streets don’t seem bound to any one of our city’s reflections in particular, although most often they lead to the city made from all the buildings we’ve demolished.

Heritage Park (#151)
Heritage Park screams wrong to the psyche. It is a town that is not a town, built from the remains of others. Buildings that should have passed into the city’s reflections remain here, stuffed, their innards taxidermied and displayed. Perhaps this is why people report ghosts and odd feelings. The place cries out to the mind. However, if you know the secret of the place, you can turn this wrong to your advantage. Like an open sore, the world’s immune system floods it. Steal something from the park, something that’s actually as old as the place. A bit of brick from the wall of the Wainwright, a piece of antique crockery from one of the houses, anything of sufficient age will do. Never touch this with your bare hands. Instead, whatever it is, grind it down until it becomes a fine powder or dust. Store this powder someplace warm and dry, and wait until the day you need it. When you have the need to kill someone quietly and subtly, dissolve the powder into water and ensure that they drink or bathe in the resulting gritty mixture. Within a week, they will be dead of old age and be drawn into a reflection, forever. And you will have to kill subtly and quietly. If you cannot smile and murder while you smile, your days are numbered.

The India Ink (#152)
There are three bottles of unmarked India ink amongst the other art supplies at Sir John A. Macdonald High School. Students occasionally use this ink for projects, but for the most part these three bottles have remained untouched since the late seventies. The ink is thicker and darker than normal ink and has a special quality: Whatever is drawn in it will prove prophetic. A line drawing of a person will always depict their current location and situation, even after death. Acquiring a bottle of the ink is difficult, and only once has it ever been accomplished. Should the ink feel threatened, the art projects displayed in the room will come to life and pull you back into them, trapping you for eternity within canvas or clay. To retrieve the ink, come by night and come alone. Instead of breaking into the school, hide in a closet or classroom until everyone has left. Then enter the art room. Approach the cabinet where the supplies are kept slowly, and if you start to see any stirring or movement in the dark, leave. Open the cabinet slowly using either The Key or more conventional means of lock-picking, and search for the ink. It sits near the back, and in the dark you can tell the jars apart from the others because they will feel very, very cold to the touch. Only take one jar, leave the other two for other seekers. Under no circumstances should you ever use the ink to draw an image that includes yourself. Doing so will create your nemesis, and the picture will show you his journey to reach you which will end in your death.

The Radio Station (#153)
Phenomena #153 requires a digital car radio. Satellite radio will not work, even if it gets local stations. When driving along the river at night, a normally unused FM radio frequency will crackle to life. The frequency is 104.6. The DJ’s name is never mentioned, and the voice sounds different to whoever listens. The station plays swing music and, ten minutes after every hour, dedicates five minutes to news. If you listen on your birthday, the news will change. Instead of being the past day’s headlines, the news segment will be made up of events

that have happened or will happen to you. Before midnight, the events will be those of the past year. After midnight, the events will be from the year to come. The station identification message mentions the station’s address, but the address belongs to a defunct arcade whose only remaining machine is a fortune telling scale.

The White Room (#160)
[The note at the top of the page describes this as a transcript of a botched induction tape] ED: Close your eyes and let your mind wander. Let your body wander too. Slowly relax to the sound of my voice and follow my words through the city. You are standing in the +15’s, and you are walking slowly, slowly, nowhere in particular. Your eyes feel heavy, and the more you close them, the more certain you are that you’re walking through the walkways. Turn left, then right, then left again. The more you walk, the heavier your body feels. The further and further away the place you want to go becomes and the more aimless you feel. It’s so warm here, and there’s nothing but the walkway in front of you and the sound of my voice. Now, I’m going to count backwards from ten, and when I get to zero, you’ll see a door in front of you. Do you understand? NM: I understand... ED: Ten. Nine. Eight. Seven. Six. Five. Four. Three. Two. One. Zero. SA: The fudge? Where the fudge did he go? ED: He’s in the white room, Sandy. Would you like to go there too?

The Dentist’s (#161)
There is a defunct dental practice on the top floor of the Northland Professional Building near Northland Mall. Although the door is supposed to be locked, it’s opened between the hours of 10 PM and 3 AM Tuesdays through Fridays. The building is locked before this, so in order to get into the office, you’ll have to hide at the bottom of the basement stairwell until the coast is clear and then sneak up to the top floor. Use the stairs; the door never opens to anyone who took the elevator. The office looks like any other dental practice, although noticeably more upscale and dated. The chairs are real leather, the walls are paneled with mahogany outside of the patient rooms. All the fixtures are ornate and beautifully decorated. The receptionist is quiet to the point where you may first mistake her for a corpse. When she calls your name, proceed to exam room one and lock the door behind you. There you’ll meet the Night Dentist. The Dentist will ask what you’re in for. If you tell him you need a cleaning, he’ll investigate your teeth, frown, and tell you to leave. Your teeth will crumble to dust within a week. If you tell him you need a tooth pulled, he’ll smile and start pulling. For every tooth you let him pull from your mouth, you get a wish. Lastly, you can tell him you need a root canal. A long, slow root canal. You’ll be subjected to the most torturous pain imaginable, but if you endure it you’ll never die.

The Ghost Hospital (#162)

In 1994, the province ordered the closure of Calgary General amidst recession and the fear of an unbalanced budget. Calgary General’s closure was fought tooth and nail as it was the city’s only hospital equipped with an emergency room. The province continued to undermine public healthcare for over a decade, shuttering hospitals across the province and laying off doctors and nurses who are now in short supply. However, these hospitals aren’t truly gone. Like people, places can sometimes leave an impression behind. More of one if it’s etched in blood. If you’re ever downtown and you find yourself in need of medical attention, try this: The old hospital site was in Bridgeland, although it’s impossible to get to the hospital from there now. Instead, you must wait until the lock up. Around that time, antiquated looking ambulances will start circulating in the city. Flag one down and board it, and tell them you need to get to the hospital. The driver won’t be able to care for your injuries. He’s a driver, not a paramedic. However, he’ll drop you off at Calgary General. Unlike the Ambulance, Calgary General will be as it was in its height: one of the leading medical centres in the country. Of course, everything will be about fifteen years out of date. Leaving is, unfortunately, more difficult. They get so few patients. They need the practice.

The Meat (#163)
Every year, The Stampede sets up. The rides are shizzle, Matt Good was the last good act to hit the Coke Stage and the rest of it is just dull. The one stand out is the food. Fried bread, mini doughnuts, the kind of county-fair fare that everyone remembers eating at the Stampede when they were kids. Phenomena 163 is not so much a ritual or a landmark, but a warning. Certain rituals and preparations outlined elsewhere in my notes can offer preternatural senses and awareness; The ability to read objects and understand. Should you have taken advantage of these, never eat anything you are offered at the Stampede. The Stampede traces its roots to the pagan rites that farmers new to this country brought with them from their homelands. The magic is old enough it’s no longer religion, just mechanical. The rituals performed after hours sustain the city, as the rituals that find their homes in other cities sustain them. But eating the meat makes you complicit, and the taste that what they do to it leaves behind carries with it all the cruelty of fresh blood on the snow. Some acolytes more talented than I have reported being able to see what the men saw before the axe came down, and at least one claims that when the meat touches his tongue, he can see what the men saw after.

The Purple Stones (#165)
There is an elevator shaft in a downtown apartment building that has been out of order since the late sixties. The reason for this is no mechanical problem, but an inexplicable phenomena: fist-sized rocks, all of which are painted a garish purple colour, fall from the top of the shaft once a day with enough force to kill. The tenants complain about the sound, but unfortunately it remains outside of the superintendant’s power to fix. By now, the rocks have piled high enough that you will have to enter the shaft midway up, probably at around the fourth floor or higher. The stones are easy to avoid, as they always fall in the shaft’s northwest corner, or the far left corner when looking into the shaft. Ascend the walls, avoiding the rocks in the process, using whatever climbing

equipment you deem necessary. When you reach the top of the shaft, you will see the apparent source of the rocks: A mirror attached to the ceiling with thick roofing nails. Close the mirror (Although it will be awkward granted its position). The rocks will cease for a time, and until they resume the building’s residents will reward you for ending the noise with a safe haven from any storm, including the one that They will unleash upon you for stalling the stones.

The Blue Room (#169)
There is a room in Hillhurst that only appears during the rain. The room replaces a studio apartment above a local grocery store that boasts “The best Sharma (sic) in town” and shares the apartment’s dimensions. Unlike all the other locked rooms, entering the blue room is easy: You simply knock. The Room is home to three people whose appearances are totally impossible to recall. They tend to the room, cleaning its furniture and playing host for any new arrivals. The room itself is similarly nondescript: cracking blue paint and furniture that looks like it was purchased a year or two at ikea. The exception is an antique table in the center of the room which appears to date back to the early Victorian era. If you ask politely, one of the room’s inhabitants will give you a tarot card reading. The reading uses only the major arcana, and acolytes have reported that their readings have often involved cards which they don’t recognize from any modern tarot. The figurative meanings of the cards are totally unimportant. Instead, focus on the images. These depict a trial you will face over the course of your journey. For example, a seeker whose reading contained the tower unfortunately met the end of his journey while consulting with the Hassidic Wizards of New York a week after his September Fourth reading yielded only one card: The Tower.

The Museum (#170)
The Glenbow Museum’s permanent exhibits include a small hall that details in very rough terms the history and evolution of warfare, particularly that of Western European and North American warfare. At night, enter the building that houses the museum and break into the museum itself. Bring with you a small animal, no larger than a chicken or a small dog. Take the animal to the portion of the warfare exhibit that depicts a knight in a chapel and kill it with a black-handled knife. Leave the corpse on the ground in the exhibit. Move out to the stairway and look at the piece of tacky installation art in the center. Smear the blood of your kill on your eyes and look again. The work will blur and become iridescent and beautiful. Then it will begin to rotate. With each full rotation, the stairway will expand upwards a floor, revealing strange, hidden exhibits. The decor is markedly less modern, and the exhibits depict unfamiliar events and places. Although the plaques have long since become illegible, each diorama depicts a different event in the secret history.

The Dead Shop (#174)
Places are in many ways like people. Like people, they can leave ghosts. Like people, they have personalities. And like people, they can die. Rarely do dead places persist.

Mostly they shrivel up and blow away like leaves on the wind, or get demolished to make way for something new. Rarely, however, these buildings persist in some form or another. Undead, they render all attempts to foster any kind of life or vitality or commerce within them moot. Storefronts where nothing lasts, tenements full of dead-eyed people, these are dead buildings. There is a dead shop in the city, although its location varies from account to account. The facts that are universally agreed upon are simple: It is a small grocery owned by a man of southern European extraction, most usually described as a Greek. His store sells fetos and olives and all manner of other imported goods, but strangely carries no oil. The store’s source of funds is unknown, as the building’s existential weight should crush any business out of existence. The most prominent theory is that it exists for the sake of storage. The store has a small deli counter, although most of what is behind it is inevitably a week past due. The sole exception is a bucket of some kind of imported fish that’s packed in ice. The owner insists in his languid, half-dead tone that it’s herring, but herring doesn’t have that many teeth, nor are they so sharp. Purchase one and leave the store. Eat it raw. Do not eat it in the shop itself, as it lacks the strength to hold up to the existential onslaught that is to come. A moment after the fish has passed your lips, you will feel your head getting light. When you regain consciousness, you will find yourself someplace dusky and dark: an Iberian city choked with seaweed and politics and death. The whole city is dead, and so nothing ever grows or changes. So it’s safe.

The Sidewalk Chalk (#177)
Every summer, Canadian Tire rolls out these big black buckets of sidewalk chalk with transparent lids. Inside there’s an assortment of all the usual colours, extra thick. But once in a while one of the buckets will be white with a black lid. If you see such a bucket, purchase it immediately and bring it home. Inside you’ll find the usual assortment and six clear pieces. Use the clear chalk for hobo signs, magic circles, or anything else like that. The clear chalk leaves invisible markings, you’ll be able to see anything you’ve drawn with it by memory, but things other people have drawn will be much better hidden. To see them, break one of the other pieces of chalk. It will crumble to dust in your grip and the wind will cast it around you. It will stick to the invisible chalk. Never do this in public, as the density of mystic patterns and glyphs in most of Calgary is prone to causing migraines.

The Liquor Store (#178)
The Liquor Store is nothing special, beyond that the owner is one of us. His stock, consequently, tends towards the sort of drink the awakened favour: strong and cheap. If you wish to learn more of the secret history, buy a bottle of Wiser’s Very Old and ask the owner to share it after the store closes. Though he was initiated in the days before days and knows more secrets than God, he’ll tell you nothing you couldn’t figure out on your own. What he will do is nudge. Imply. Insinuate. Help you think aloud. The old man who owns the liquor store is fond of cleverness, and if you surprise him with

your acumen, he may smooth the city’s rough edges for you. If you, like most, aren’t clever then you will have to ply him with his passion: liquor. Like most of the dead, he’s constrained by rules and by customs. He cannot drink unless it is purchased for him, and he cannot forget unless he drinks. If you help him, he will owe you a favour. Forgiveness of a trespass against another practitioner such as those described elsewhere in my notes, or perhaps something more mundane. However, if he realises what you are trying to do, you won’t make it out the door. Cleverness and whisky are no match for a Smith & Wesson with more than a century of practice behind it.

The Mustang (#180)
Marda Loop is haunted by night by a Shelby Mustang without a driver. Every night, at two o’clock, it emerges from the parking lot outside Basil’s Pub and begins to drive in a slow circuit around the district. The car moves slowly like a prowling predator until it draws near potential victims, whereupon it suddenly accelerates and attempts to strike them. The car is responsible for a string of hit-and-run incidents over the past year and a half, before which it was utterly unheard of. However, if one can enter the car and take the wheel, the car will be pacified and its unique properties at the driver’s disposal. There is no agreed-upon method for taking control of the car, and most who have tried have perished. However, if you find yourself in the driver’s seat turn the car to face any of the principal compass directions and hit the gas. The car will accelerate and seemingly pass through any obstacle unharmed. Depending on which direction you turned it, the car will arrive in a different land of the dead and remain, waiting to ferry you back to the city after you’ve finished your business.

The Bloodstain (#181)
In a storage building near the highway, near the back, Eddie Decae rents a small space for the storage of a single object too disquieting even for his shop: A small square of wood taken from a downtown ballroom during the twenties. The wood was originally part of a dance floor, but it was ruined by a splatter of blood that struck it during a violent murder. The blood is perpetually fresh regardless of how old the stain is. To get to the stained wood, break into the storage facility after hours and break open the rooms one by one. Decae moves the square every few months to hide it from would-be plunderers. Eventually you will find the room with nothing but the square of wood inside. Take it outside of the building and set it on the ground. When the moonlight hits the stain, it will warp and twist until it forms the image of a flapper with a long and ragged gash on her neck that drools sticky-wet blood over her breasts. She’ll ask you to dance. If you can dance with her until sunrise, keeping up with her dated but vigorous movements, she’ll vanish with the rays of the sun. Her movements will have cast her blood, red blood, all over your body and clothing. Although no one else will be able to see it, for the rest of your life you will appear bloodstained whenever you look at yourself. The applications of this should be obvious.

The Headset (#187)
The Viscount Bennett Center on Richmond Road is home to Chinook Learning and Westmount Charter School. The two schools share a library, which has a single row of

aging computers. One of these computers has a large, rugged headset with a microphone connected to it at all times. The headset is never disconnected from the computer, but no student ever seems to use it. In fact, no one will notice the headset unless it is pointed out, and even then the most it will evoke is a shrug and “One of the morning students must have left it”. However, if you put on the headset you will be immediately seized by a sense of nausea and foreboding. The headset plays no sound other than a vague static hiss until you try to type a document on the computer it’s attached to. The headset will begin to scream. However, if you start to type the right word it will pause until you’re done typing the word. Though no one has ever tried, it’s assumed that with enough patience one could reconstruct the finished document. The only problem is that the words are in an extinct dialect of French.

The Purple Room (#188)
Enter any of Canada’s railway hotels and check in. Bring no luggage and ask specifically for The Purple Room. After a few moments of insistence, the porter will acquiesce and lead you into the elevator. Using a special key, the porter will open the elevator panel and press a concealed, unmarked button. The elevator will open directly onto a parlour furnished in Edwardian finery. Everything in the room: the marble, the chairs, the doors, even the maid who greets you will be some different shade of purple. Ask to see the master of the House. The Master of the House will be indisposed, as will his elder son, but his youngest son will come out to meet you. After excusing his relatives, he will answer any three questions you ask. Unfortunately his answers will only make sense in retrospect. The young man will leave after extending an invitation to spend the night. Accept and turn in early. Around midnight, the Master’s daughter will come into your bed and try to seduce you. Refuse. Her father’s slightest gesture could seal your fate. Instead, ask her to tell you about herself. What she wil tell you is the story of Earth but not of man. The story of creation and destruction. The story of the world itself from the beginning to the end. The telling will take all night, after which she will leave you. Leave the room and check out of the hotel without speaking to anyone else.

The Church Basement (#190)
Some years ago, one of the city’s historic churches burned down and left only a vacant lot behind. In the years since, the lot has healed, leaving no evidence of the fire behind, and the contents of the Church’s basement utterly entombed. The one exception to this is midnight on Saints’ Days that coincide with the full moon. On these nights, in the vicinity of the lot, time slows down and the night grows darker than dark. Moonlight refracts through naked air and the ghostly image of the church can be seen. Unlike other ghosts, this is utterly tangible. Climb the stairs and enter the church. It will take a few minutes for your eyes to fully register the interior as you will only be able to perceive the vaguest outline of the room and its furnishings. The Church will be as it was on the night of the fire, with ghostly flames burning the northwest corner. Once your eyes have fully adapted, approach the altar and cut your hand with a black handled knife. Bleed atop the altar, which will slowly recess into the floor.

The altar will descend two full storeys. The hole into which it sinks has rough walls and should prove easy to climb. Descend slowly and carefully. As you descend, you will find yourself sinking through the earth. Seeing will become impossible for a time, until you reach the basement. The basement contains the bones and ashes of a handful of practitioners and priests who have come seeking what you are about to find. Located in this basement room is The Christ, still on his Cross, still bleeding. One drop of his blood is enough to grant the strength to work miracles, but two will burn you to a cinder.

The Video Store (#192)
The video store is old and dingy, and some years back it transitioned from legitimate rentals to bootlegs and porn in the face of competition with the blockbuster down the street. Finally, it gave up the ghost last August. The owner retains his lease, but the store is never open. Instead, he uses it to store his incredible collection of snuff, rarities and bootlegs, many of which are of more than slight interest. The owner never enters except late at night, so a daylight or evening break-in is your best chance. The store’s latter days have left their mark on it, complete with discarded merchandise and sordid video booths at the back. The break-in will have triggered the owner’s alarms, no matter how careful you’ve been, so you only have time to grab a video at random and run. Or else, should you be courageous, you can lock yourself overnight in one of the booths as he’s long since lost his keys. He’ll leave at dawn, allowing you to escape. However, he’ll turn the booth /on/. If your stomach is strong enough to endure whatever sadistic footage he’s playing, you can escape unharmed in the morning, armed with the video you grabbed. None of them are in the correct case, and whatever system he uses to decide which cassette goes in which case is incomprehensible. It could be lost footage of the kennedy assassination, it could be Margaret Trudeau’s Rolling Stones sex tape, it could be any number of different trip recordings from acolyte excursions. Or it could be a home-made snuff tape of the last acolyte to be caught.

The Autobody Shop (#197)
There is an Autobody shop in Montgomery that specialises in outdated and obsolete models. They rarely do any business, but the owner comes in frequently to fool around with the engine on her car, although mostly she sits in the front seat and reads. If you can sneak past her into the ratty lot where she keeps a handful of mouldering cars for parts, you will be rewarded for your efforts. This is harder than it sounds. Like most acolytes, her sense of smell is highly honed. Disguise yourself in the scents of the autobody shop: motor oil, sweat and metal. When you make your way into the lot, look for a tireless convertible. Break into the trunk and grab the first thing you can lay your hands on. Then run. Don’t bother with sneaking. She will hear you, find you, and then it will all be over. When you get home, take a look at whatever you’ve managed to pilfer. It will be mechanical, of course, as that is the owner’s specialty. Probably a car part of some kind. But it will feel warm and supple to the touch. With enough effort, it will fit into any machine, and confer upon it a blessing potent enough to explain why she hordes them so jealously.

The Apartment Tower (#198)
There is an apartment tower near the C-train line that is always dark at night. The lights never seem to go on, or if they do, they never do on the north face. The building never advertises any vacancies, and in fact almost never gives any outward signs of being inhabited at all. The building’s front door is always locked, but the side door that opens onto a nearby alley opens with ease. Unfortunately, the room on the other side is shindeep in blood. Close the door behind you and begin to ascend the stairs. Never Ever leave the staircase until you reach the top floor, no matter what you hear or see. The staircase itself is tall and long and steep,, and a steady stream of blood flows down it from the top. Once you reach the top of the stairs, you will see its source: A pulsating, bleeding tumour five feet across that has been nailed to the wall. Don’t touch it, or it will release its spores. Instead, go through the door into the main hallway of the top floor. Do not let it close behind you. The walls of the top floor have been broken out and have been replaced with screens made of dried skin. If you touch it, it feels warm and moist, as though it were still alive. Some of the sheets have faces. At the center of this hall, you will find a man on a throne made of men holding awkward poses and contortions. He will smile at you, showing three rows of teeth, and offer you his hospitality. Do not accept. You do not want to stay in the tower like the rest of these poor souls. Instead, tell him you want to borrow a book. Carelessly, he’ll throw whatever he’s currently reading at you. It’s entirely possible you’ll be left with nothing but a wrinkled John Grisham, but for the most part, his reading material is far more interesting and esoteric. Bring whatever book he gives you to Eddie Decae, who will offer you something that isn’t printed on human skin.

The Other Mall (#199)
Some of the stores in Northland Mall are open at two ends, letting customers pass through them while cutting from one side of the mall to the other. Recently, one of the clothing stores that’s like this closed up the path by installing a set of changing booths and mirrored cheap plywood wall covered in mirrors so that the other half of the store could be lent to another tenant. However, there’s something wrong with one of the booths. Enter the third booth from the left and be sure to bring a sack lunch. Turn around thrice anti-clockwise, and leave the booth. You’ll find yourself in the Other mall. The Other Mall looks just the same as a regular mall, except the stores are all wrong. Woolworth’s, A&A Records, Eaton’s, every defunct company from the last twenty years. The products are even weirder. Instead of stocking normal goods, or even normal goods that have gone out of style, the stores stock things that never made it. Product ideas that died on the table. Amidst piles of anatomically correct dolls and surprisingly sharp-edged jewellery, amidst sweaters with three sleeves and all the other defective garbage, you can sometimes find a product that should have made it but didn’t. Home Cold Fusion. The cure for Cancer. Appliances that never break down. Anything that THEY’RE using the other mall to hide. The only problem is getting anything back with you. You don’t want to know what they do to shoplifters on the other side.

The Carnation (#???)
There are numerous pieces of mail which Calgary's Post Office deliver to the wrong address. Most are unremarkable, but should you find a thick envelope from The Estate of... (the name is always different) wrongly delivered to your mail box do open it. You will

need to make some preparations for the upcoming trial though. Get a film camera and learn as much as you can about the darkroom. Show up on the address and date given in the letter to discuss the inheritance of the deceased. A distinct lawyer, the grieving widow and her son will be present. The son will stare at you in silence as if he knew your true intentions. It's been said that They are the tutors of these dubious offspring. Excuse yourself to the bathroom and search the house. Once you find the master suite take pictures of the bed from several angles. Sneak into the basement where you will find a well equipped darkroom and develop the film using the canisters and chemicals at your disposal. Load the developed film into the enlarger and whatever you do never turn on the safety light. The projected images will be the same photographs you just shot, make copies regardless. Before developing the final prints, pour the solutions labeled as expired into the trays. The images will begin to form and instead of an empty room will reveal the murder of the deceased on the hands of the son. Return to the meet and show the photos to the widow. She will banish the son from the house and dismiss the lawyer. You will be given a carnation as reward and wearing it will grant you a mournful life and peaceful death. If you stay any longer the widow will propose to you. Should you accept your life will be one of celibacy, but you will have access to all of the deceased's estate. Included are a collection of old cars that transport you to past dates when something significant ocurred to the city and exquisite buildings that never made it out of the blueprints. The buildings are safe and no one can find you there as every single one will look like a vacant lot.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful