were minding our own business. Honestly. The thing about our office
is that, basically, no one ever comes in here. So it's strange,
the way things started.
things did start, and in retrospect there can be no doubt that
this started on a grey, gloomy morning
in April. There was a quality of slowness, of inertia, in the
air and things were quiet - until an uncanny sound
shattered the silence. It was the bell on our front door. It's
always a bit of a shock to hear it.
shocking was the fellow who opened it, and made his way to the
front desk: a deliveryman. Special Delivery. You know, with the
big, expensive stamps.
deliveryman laid his package on our desk and was pretty much forgotten
- the bell must have jangled again on his way out, but we didn't
our desk was a sooty black parcel tied up with twine. It didn't
rattle and thankfully, it wasn't ticking, either. But there was
something ominous about it. It was addressed
in fussy calligraphic script and it was for us, no doubt about
it. Eventually we'd probably have to open it.
return address was a mystery:
we're normally reluctant to open packages from lawyers but since
we'd signed a receipt there wasn't any point in pretending it
had never arrived.
Still, this package
there was something repellent about the dead black
wrapping, something disturbing
about the nature of the twine that had tied it up. The thing smelled
of ashes. It didn't rustle when we messed about with it: it was
as though it was absorbing sound, not
we did what anyone would do. We had the intern open it.
it was our intern, Riverdance Skywalker deLancey, who got the
first look at a packet of designs that, had we but known it, would
become the Saga Shirts line of clothing. In that packet - and
I should say, in that first packet - was
the original art that you now see on our
Skull and Crossbones shirts and our Biohazard
haven't been able to identify the parchment they were rendered
on. All right: we haven't tried. We don't like the looks of it,
and we don't want to know what it is. But the designs themselves
seemed to shine with a dark light that compelled us to stare,
and we were filled with a compulsion to put those designs on shirts
- particularly, on black shirts - as quickly as possible.
It's hard to describe how strong and specific that compulsion
was. It was really irresistible.
been pretty hectic here at the Saga Shirts office. A couple
of weeks ago, a procession of Santeria practitioners zeroed
in on us, just as a procession of Reformed Druids did the
same thing. Apparently each group had been trying to pinpoint
some metaphysical black hole of unholy proportions, and
they all ended up here, more or less where our stack of
Things might have
gotten ugly. Well. Uglier. But due to some longstanding
theological warfare between the Druids and the Santerians,
we were saved by a street brawl that landed them all in
jail. What a relief!
The bad news is, since that news hit the paper a
bunch of crystal-waving Rosicrucians have been hanging around.
don’t quarrel with these folks’ right to assemble
and try to exorcize us. Honestly, if any of them could actually
stop these shirts from using their potent
psychic control over us and the neighborhood squirrels,
well, more power to ‘em.
Not sure if we mentioned the squirrels. It’s not pretty.
But anyway, the shirts
just seem to get stirred up when one of these occult vigilante
groups starts trying to return them to the lower depths.
It makes life around the office just a little more interesting
wouldn’t believe what happened to the paperclips,
for example. Eyes? On office supplies? We’ve
gotten used to a lot of weird goings on, but that was a
showstopper, believe me.
apart from the mobs we’ve just been trying to keep
on keeping on. Many of you have taken some of the shirts
off our hands and we’re grateful for that. But of
course, the faster you buy them, the faster they force us
to print more. It’s one of those vicious cycle things.
So please, don’t stop.
The Hyde and Teller
Carnivale just hit town. We’re going to try to unload
some shirts on them – what could be better? They’ll
take the whole stack out of the county within a week, and
what sort of harm could a few dozen cursed t-shirts do in
the hands of some fraud who calls himself “Lodz the
It’s a plan.