Nemacolin Castle and Gingko Tree

Oil on flappy loose canvas from Walmart, omg. Work in progress, forced perspective. AR 4:3

Pencil sketch, quick oils from photo on phone for reference

I have been a month battling seasonal illness, including but not limited to flu. There was a festival Friday night here at this castle. They had crafts, historical actors, food, entertainment and docents to talk about the place and its history. I have been using an inhaler for a month. There’s no way I’m getting around a bonfire; I will choke. My wife burns sage sometimes in the house, to ‘remove negative vibes’, but I checked, and, sadly, my taboo Bill Cosby stand-up comedy records are still in the crate. I keep them to remind me that people are the monsters.

Parents tell their kids the place is haunted. Good. I feel like my art would improve with my psychomachia in the errant hands of a 17th century ghost of a tanner or stall mucker. Try as I might, I can’t seem to finagle a possession from the forces of the undead. “Hey ghosts, come give me weird dreams, okay?” I…

Imagine being haunted by one of your boring neighbors. Kids don’t read. All the kids here have been raised to believe old places like this are haunted. Imagine being haunted by a kid that never cracked a book for pleasure. Would you even know, omg?!

Ghosts have very little in the way of plot or theme to work with, so I’m putting some faith on them stealing stuff or maybe scratching people’s arms. See, poltergeist activity is troublesome for a duration. It’s never a one-off. The ghost did this or that AGAIN. I bet we can gin up a relationship that has mutual benefits,
maybe an NDA.

Gen Z will be reporting on ghosts charging ghost laptops, ghosts doing Snapchat videos in the corner with other ghosts wearing Crocs and mullets. Ghosts sitting in a ghost car in the driveway listening to tired Top 40 hits because going back inside is too depressing. Illiterate ghosts with murky futures. Ghosts making ramen noodles. Ghosts wandering the halls, texting other ghosts about how lame everyone is, oblivious to passersby.

There’s really no excuse for the absolutely worst effort ghosts like mine will put forward. Ghosts complaining about dead spots. “He just sits in the corner chair and reads all day, occasionally scribbling in a notebook, lame. We burnt the chair, and now he appears with a standing desk or rolling on an earth ball, playing MS solitaire and humming Def Leppard songs.”

Anyways, I hope to learn the tours so I can tell ghost stories to the superstitious locals. If, because of a ghost showing up for a meeting 250 years late about whisky tax, the visitor remembers the history of the place, put those ghosts center stage.

It’s fun to pretend a house is haunted, but what about an innocent plate of fresh-cut fries? We are getting into microhaunting here, haunting without a place-history. That fart that escapes you after you nearly ran over a squirrel. It’s not haunted, but the memory haunts you. That power is forbidden!

Also, the Tooth Fairy is Santa’s boss. She can handle money. None of the other holiday mascots could manage accounts receivable. Claus can’t run a factory without her accounting practices. She needs Claus. He calls her “Mrs Claus” even though he thinks he’s been married to her for 500 years. Yikes! Everyone likes old fat stupid jolly guys. Funny clowns. Claus is at the mall, phishing for banking history. Tooth Fairy is building a superconductor grid from all of those teeth, a gate. That quantum gate is in superposition with all of those Christmas trees, chimneys notwithstanding. An eigentree of unlimited height, a single branch every millimeter in height. She caresses the needles, and Claus winks in and out of locality in a pressure wave using Rydberg limits, and stuff like that. Happy holidays!

Ghosts walking around with one sock on, one sock off, laid off, pissy and irate. Ghosts faking headaches and disappearing early, quiet haunting. Ghosts using Mapbox and inexplicably taking shortcuts through your bad breath and anxiety when there’s a perfectly good memory of a fart to haunt next door. Geez, Louise!

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