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Old 08-31-2008   #1
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G. S. Carnivals
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A Mechanical Laugh

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“ Within the darkness ahead a tall rectangle suddenly appears, like a ticket-seller's booth at a carnival. The lower part is composed of wood and the upper part of glass; its interior is lit up by an oily red glare. Slumped forward on its seat inside the booth, as if asleep, is a well-dressed dummy: nicely-fitting black jacket and vest with bright silver buttons, a white high-collar shirt with silver cufflinks, and a billowing cravat which displays a pattern of moons and stars. Because his head is forwardly inclined, the dummy's only feature of note is the black sheen of its painted hair.

Cheev approaches the booth a little cautiously. He fails to notice, or considers irrelevant, the inanimate character of the figure inside. Through a semi-circular opening in the glass, Cheev slides his hand into the booth, apparently with the intention of giving the dummy's arm a shake. But before his own arm creeps very far toward its goal, several things occur in succession: the dummy casually lifts its head and opens its eyes... it reaches out and places its wooden hand on Cheev's hand of flesh... and its jaw drops open to dispense a mechanical laugh - yah-ha-ha-ha-ha, yah-ha-ha-ha-ha.

Wresting his hand away from the lurid dummy, Cheev staggers backward a few chaotic steps. The dummy continues to give forth its mocking laughter, which flaps its way into every niche of the evil loft and flies back as peculiar echoes.
”
   
  Thomas Ligotti - “Dr. Voke and Mr. Veech”
Added by: G. S. Carnivals on 09-28-2008 #325

"What does it mean to be alive except to court disaster and suffering at every moment?"

Tibet: Carnivals?
Ligotti: Ceremonies for initiating children into the cult of the sinister.
Tibet: Gas stations?
Ligotti: Nothing to say about gas stations as such, although I've always responded to the smell of gasoline as if it were a kind of perfume.
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