As I grow older and get stranger I feel that I've become increasingly susceptible to the wiles of beauty. I find myself stricken with the sticky glitter of awe in the face of something that appeals to me. I assume that feeling high off the wonders of life comes from the wizened status of my tastes; I know what strikes my aesthetic desires and when a depressing bit of taxidermy comes my way or I score a good mixtape, I feel really good about it. One time I was at a Chelsea Wolfe show in Lawrence Kansas and this girl walked in- take the most bored and beautiful SadEyes Sally you've ever gushed over, multiply the boredom tenfold- and I felt like I might fucking faint. She was GO-gous no doubt about it, but the fact that she was dressed up like a gothic Mattie Ross straight out of True Grit turned my eyes to stars. I'm talking black stetson wide-brim hat, the long braids of raven hair on both sides, all black dress somewhere between Victorian-Prim and Midwestern-Dust, (not a hint of irony or steampunk douche-itude) and even a pair of sturdy black cow-boots thrown in for good measure. This vision of beauty coupled with the most haunting and affecting musical performance I've witnessed...Man, I could have died on the spot and swirled away into the ether for all I cared.
I get to feeling that way when people tell me their ghost-stories too and believe you me, folks love to chat me up about the spooks they've encountered. I asked a Dark Circle associate where these unprompted conversations spring from and he looked at me like the fool I am for even asking. Maybe the level of weird-ness that I present lends some individuals the courage to converse with me on the supernatural, a subject most find appealing but inappropriate in serious social situations. Maybe I am a hypnotist and I can control minds to spill whatever I want to hear. Who the hell knows. But most of the ghost-stories come from women and most of them have genuinely given me the heebie-jeebies in the best goddamn way. A young lady once offered a tale in which her little brother was heard playing with someone, seemingly alone, in the other room. As she and her mother approached, the boy stood up and dashed back to the screen-door waving and chittering, "bye-bye! Bye! Bye-bye!" Experienced seers themselves, the pair showed the child a photo-book of relatives and friends long deceased. When the page turned to a photograph of their departed Grandfather, her little brother pointed excitedly, "bye-bye! Bye!"
For all the hair-raising sermons of eerie visitations given, I am also usually prompted to serve one of my own. This often happens when I have failed to blabber about the type of whacked-out shit our home and lifestyle might project to those in the know. My stand-by tale might not be all that frightening or stupendous as I fear some people expect from such things, but it is true and it did happen...
Many moons ago the Dark Circle gathered in an old country graveyard at some depraved hour near to BlackMass. The cemetery was shaped like a horse-shoe with one entrance and one exit and some of its inhabitants were of truly ancient-hillbilly descent. Posted up near a particularly old grouping of headstones with liquored bellies, a Ouija board, a tape-recorder, and eyes as red as really stoned people's eyes start to look when they've been smoking all night in a graveyard, the Dark Circle began to get rowdy.
"HEY YOU FUCKIN' DEAD PEOPLE. HEY! WAKE THA' FUCKUP & SAY SOMESHIT," as was recorded on the 'seance' cassette tape that night. "Gimme' a light my man- maybe this'll work em' up! HEY YOU GHOSTS-GET-HIGH-OR-DIE."
After several rounds of such banter and belligerence a deep quiet-spell fell over the group. The night seemed to grow heavy with the wet summer heat like a swollen rag of sweat on a fat-boy's brow and a genuine sense of discomfort crept into the hearts of the cult. A set of headlights came jangling down the lane in the distance towards the cemetery gate and the stillness increased. The vehicle, an old Chevy or some such creep-wagon, slowed and stalled to an alarming crawl as it passed the fence that stood between the Dark Circle and the street.
"Let's fucking go," someone muttered and all followed in hushed agreement. Hunched low and dark beneath the starlight, car-doors opened and shut with calculated stealth. The ignition turned over and seat-belts clicked into place as the Mystery Car came to a complete stop in the middle of the road just past the graveyard exit. Headlights on and engine roaring, the Dark Circle shredded gravel down the lane as the Chevy flipped into reverse, its tail-lights laughing like blind eyes of white against blood-red lids.
"Fuckin'...Go man! DRIVE!"
The encroaching steel of the rust-bucket tore ass to cut off any escape and the Dark Circle spilled out onto the farm-road with a squeal and an inch to spare between the two cars. A collective sigh of relief came forth from the front seats just as the acolytes, buckled up in back, began to scream at the top of their lungs.
"What the hell guys- OHSHIT."
The Mystery Car gave chase at top-speed...bumper to bumper...in reverse. There was something so completely fucked about an apparently violent 3 a.m. pursuit (in fucking reverse) down a winding back-woods road that it took the Dark Circle a quick-minute to register the fact that there didn't appear to be anyone actually driving the Chevy. Where should have been a face turned and grinning with menace out the back window there was instead a vacant blackness within.
Just as exploding heads began to spiral like pinwheels on necks at the 'what-the-fuck-is-going-on' of it all, the Chevy pulled a ridiculous U-turn onto the soft shoulder of the street. The maneuver looked like something straight out of a goddamn Hong Kong heist flick with Jackie Chan. And...Like all ghost-stories, that was it. The Mystery Car sat there, headlights watching, as the Dark Circle hurtled off towards dawn with fear in their hearts and heads full of wonder at the beauty of existence. Strange, strange beauty...
The Dark Circle cult is proud to announce that our work is available online from the gracious folks at Local Ghosts. The website features stories, film, photography, and art from a collective of individuals and we feel honored to have Dark Circle Comics among them. Take a look, check out some like-minded artists, and prepare your weak little human minds for our upcoming issue-