Words, words, words, art.

The Blatherings Of A Blitherer

Bechdel, Mako Mori, and other “feminist” “tests”


In 1985, Alison Bechdel used an idea by her friend Liz Wallace to create a strip for “Dykes to Watch Out For” where two women discuss going to see a movie. One states her movie rule: That any movie she watches has to have:

  • at least two women
  • who talk to each other
  • about something other than a man

The character goes on to state that the last movie she was able to see was “Alien” because the two women in it discuss the monster.

This is, again, a comic from 1985.

Thirty years later, most movies still fail this basic criteria. This is the absolute bare minimum required for anything approaching decent representation of women, and yet most movies and tv shows don’t even offer this much. Marvel, for instance, is much lauded for their leftist movies, yet in “Captain America II: The Winter Soldier” Black Widow and Agent Maria Hill don’t interact except to discuss Nick Fury and who shot him. Black Widow, an amazing character, doesn’t interact with ANY women, although she talks about them in attempts to get Steve Rogers laid.

It’s possible to have a movie that passes the Bechdel test and is still a horrible movie that treats women like garbage, too. You could have two women whose only interaction is to discuss how much they looooove chocolate and manicures and shoes, for instance, or how bad they are at math. But since the vast majority of movies and tv shows have no or only one woman, even that doesn’t happen.

So some people have proposed the Mako Mori test to see if a movie is “truly” feminist, even though the Bechdel test isn’t anything close to a guarantee of feminism. The Mako Mori test is simple, involving:

  • at least one female character
  • who gets her own narrative arc
  • that is not about supporting a man’s story

Wow wow wow, amazing right? A movie that has a fully fledged female character that does stuff independent of a man? Well this obviously blows the Bechdel test out of the water, who needs that garbage thing anymore, right? Except this ignores the fact that Mako Mori type characters, as great as they are, still tend to be Exceptional Women who exist in isolation, in worlds populated almost solely by men. “Pacific Rim” had all of one female character other than Mako Mori, who had very few lines, and never interacted with Mori. Mori was raised by a man, studied with men, had no women in her life. She’s treated, her character is treated, as a human being with motivations and flaws and goals just like male characters are routinely treated. But she’s the ONLY female character allowed to be human. It’s a step forward, but it’s a baby step.

It is incredibly easy to set up a movie, tv show, or book that passes the Bechdel test. It’s the lowest possible bar for treating women characters as something more than accessories for male characters or tokens, yet most media still utterly fails to do this simple thing. The Mako Mori test provides a template for a more realized woman character, but still leaves her isolated and tottering gently on the pedestal of Exceptionalism. They’re both good starts, but after thirty years media still has the same problems Liz Wallace and Alison Bechdel were so frustrated with.

It’s interesting to see people pitting the Bechdel Test and the Mako Mori test against each other, as if there’s only One True Way to express women as human. And of course by “interesting” I mean “depressing as hell.” They’re both pretty bare bones requirements and yet these basic needs still aren’t met. Women overwhelmingly are not treated as humans and when they are, Mako Mori aside, they tend to be white women.

100 Words: Duck Burger


Doyle leaned against the counter and wiped his forehead on his arm, which didn’t help because his forehead was wet with sweat and his arm was wet with sweat, so nothing got absorbed. It just got moved around. Redistributed. Kory tossed him a paper towel and he dabbed at himself while Alma busied herself with drinking Gatorade.

“So I guess we’re done for now. Everything’s moved in, the bed’s set up, boxes are all in their right rooms… wanna get a pizza?”

“Pizza gives me heartburn,” Kory put in.

“What? No. What are you, an old man?”

Kory laughed, shaking his head. “It’s the tomato sauce, man! I guess I could get a white pizza or something…” he leaned over and opened the fridge, taking out a coke. He held it against the back of his neck for a moment before popping it open and taking a drink, then held it against his forehead. “We could go to Duck Burger.”

“Ah, no!” Doyle laughed, shaking his head.

“Duck Burger?” Alma looked up, curious. “What’s that?”

Doyle held up a hand.

“It’s just a burger place, nothing special.”

“But why’s it called Duck Burger? Is that just like… a family name or nickname? Do they use duck fat for the fries or something?”

Kory started laughing so hard he almost dropped his soda.

“No… no! It’s just… it’s just burgers and fries. Just a burger place. It’s not even really called Duck Burger, that’s just like a joke name Kory calls it. It’s really called McNally’s on account of it’s owned by a dude named Jim McNally.”

“Well, are they like… shitty burgers?”

“Nah, well, not shitty. They’re ok.”

“I could really go for a burger, actually.”

Kory started laughing again.

“What? What’s so funny, Kor?”

“Don’t even ask him. He’s twelve. Y’hear that, Kory? You’re immature!”

Kory wiped his eyes with the back of his hand.

“Whew. Well. Let’s clean up and go. They keep the air on real low, it’s nice there when it’s hot.”

The three of them cleaned up, and went to Duck Burger. As Kory said, the air was real low. The cool air felt good after a long day of lugging furniture and boxes and cleaning. The burgers were good, the fries a little mushy, the cole slaw fantastic. They lingered a bit over cake and coffee, tired to the bone, overly full, not ready to move yet. And then they got up, paid, and parted ways. Kory went home and Doyle and Alma headed back to their new place. They watched a little tv while unpacking a few boxes, and then turned in to bed. As they lay there, cuddled up between clean sheets, getting used to the new space and its shadows, Alma felt a pressure in her lower abdomen.

And then she heard it.



“Scuse,” said Doyle.

And then she smelled it.

“JESUS GOD,” she said, clapping a hand over her nose, and Doyle started laughing and then she started laughing and then it was her turn to fart, long and sustained.


“Oh Goddddd I get it now. You guys are so nasty!”

“Hey, it could be worse,” he said. “We could call it–”

“Don’t say Fart Burger. Don’t. Do not.”

He started laughing again, and she did too, comfortable together.

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Hansel and Gretel


I have a four year old and he is an avid story-hearer. He loves when I tell stories “out of [my] own head” so lately I’ve been obliging with retellings of Fairy Tales. Here is what we’ve settled on for Hansel and Gretel.

Once upon a time there was a family that lived at the edge of the woods. There was a mama and a tata and a boy named Hansel and a girl named Gretel. Their papa was a woodcutter, and he cut firewood and sold it, and made charcoal, and he made furniture. In good times, people from the village bought his firewood and charcoal and furniture and they lived a very good life indeed. But times had been hard lately, and the villagers did not have much money to spend on luxuries like firewood cut by somebody else, and new furniture. So the family had been tending their little garden and hunting in the forest, but their food was running out and winter was coming.

Hansel and Gretel had a long talk one night and decided that the next morning they would go into the forest to seek their fortune, or at least have an adventure. Maybe they would find a treasure, or a would rescue a prince, or would find a berry bush ready to be stripped of berries. They set out early the next morning with their pockets full of small white pebbles, and a hard boiled egg and piece of bread each for breakfast. They munched on their egg and bread as they walked, and dropped pebbles behind them to mark their path, so they wouldn’t get lost on their way home. However, before they found their big adventure, they ran out of pebbles. They decided to keep walking, going deeper and further into the woods.

They were hungry and tired and thirsty and very lost when they came upon a small clearing in the forest. In the middle of the clearing, in the thin light of the setting sun, was a small house that looked like it was made entirely of candy and cookies. They were surprised! Was it a real house, or were they imagining it? Was it real candy, or just something that looked like candy? Hansel and Gretel crept close and found that it was a real house. They touched it, and sniffed it, and licked it, and found it was real candy! They were so hungry that they started eating the house, nibbling on chocolate and cookies and gum drops.

Suddenly, they heard a creaky wavery voice calling out “Nibble, nibble little mouse… who’s that nibbling on my house?”

Hansel panicked and called out “It’s ooooonly the wiiiiiiiiind.” Gretel glared at him. “Only the wind?” she hissed at him. He shrugged. They heard a laugh from inside the house, and the front door swung open. A tiny woman with a crooked back tottered out, leaning heavily on her cane. She had long white braids down to her knees, and a long nose that curved down and a long chin that curved up. She squinted at the children and they gathered, ashamed and afraid, in front of her.

“Now, children, why are you eating my poor little house?”

“Oh, grandmother!” they said. She wasn’t really their grandmother, but she was so old they called her grandmother. “Oh, grandmother! We were just so hungry and tired that we couldn’t help it. We didn’t think anyone lived here. We’re so sorry.”

“Ah, now, children, if you are that hungry you are welcome to come in and share my dinner with me. I have more than enough for the three of us. Come in, come in.” And she gathered them into her snug, well-lit house.

Once inside, the children fell on the food she gave them and devoured it all. They hadn’t eaten so well in months! She served them beef stew and fresh made bread with butter and yellow cheese and cherry pie. They ate until they couldn’t eat any more and she showed them a soft feather bed with big fluffy pillows. They fell asleep immediately on lying down and didn’t wake up until morning.

The next morning they woke up feeling very well rested. Hansel helped the old woman cut wood and weed her garden while Gretel helped dust the house and do the other fine chores the old woman couldn’t see to do well. As they were finishing, the old woman finished making breakfast. She put bacon on the table, and eggs, and biscuits, and cold fresh milk, and roasted apples.

“I suppose your parents will be worried about you,” she said as they ate. They used much better manners this time because they weren’t as hungry.

“Yes, we didn’t tell them we were leaving.”

“Oh, they must be very worried indeed!” she said. “I know I would be, if my darling children vanished.”

“We thought we could find treasure for them, or some food. We’ve been so hungry.”

“I have just the solution for that,” the old woman said. “Gretel, go into the pantry and bring me the big iron pot with a lid on the second shelf.”

Gretel did as told and went into the pantry. She pulled the heavy iron pot with the lid off the second shelf and brought it to the table, where the old woman fussed with it and dusted it with the corner of her apron.

“You must take this pot home with you. It is a magic pot. When you are hungry tap it three times and say “Food please, pot!” and when everyone has eaten you must tap on it once and say “stop, pot, stop!” Do this and you will never be hungry.”

The children were amazed and exclaimed over this, and Gretel said “I am sure we can’t accept such a valuable gift, grandmother.”

“Nonsense,” said the old woman. “Take it and use it and think of me when you do. I hate to think of you going hungry when this pot could help you. Now, you must be on your way home. I will call my brother Wolf and he will escort you. It is a long way and you are deep in the forest. He will see you home safe.”

She went to the front door and opened it and howled a long and shivery howl that made the hair on the backs of Hansel and Gretel’s necks stand on end. Soon a wolf, the biggest grey wolf the children had ever seen, padded silently into the kitchen. The old woman stood.

“Brother Wolf, these are my friends Hansel and Gretel. Their father is the wood cutter who lives in the grey house at the edge of the woods. Please help them safely home.”

He dipped his big head to her and she fed him the last of the bacon and he licked his chops and then walked out of the house. The children quickly hugged the old woman and then ran after the wolf. He lead them quietly along a narrow path through dappled sunlight. They walked and walked through sun and shade, beneath whispering leaves, until they caught sight of their home. They smiled when they saw it, and when they looked for the wolf to thank him, he was gone. They ran as quickly as they could to their house, carrying the pot between them. Their parents were so happy to see them, and hugged them and kissed them and scolded them for running away, and then hugged and kissed them again. Gretel put the pot on the shelf and almost forgot about it as she and Hansel helped their parents with chores.

Night soon fell, and it was time for dinner. All they had was a bit of oatmeal and some dried apples. The family was very hungry and sad at how little food there was. then Gretel remembered the magic pot.

“Oh, we have the magic pot!” she said. Her parents asked her what she was talking about. “We met an old woman in the woods who fed us and gave us a safe place to sleep, and then gave us a magic pot. It creates food.”

Her father scoffed.

“There’s no such thing as magic,” he claimed. “That’s just an old iron pot.”

“No, no,” she said. “It’s magic. I’m sure of it. She wouldn’t lie about magic.”

“Old women are frequently confused. She probably just thinks it’s magic.”

“No, no. It’s magic, I’m very sure,” said Gretel. And she took the pot and set it on the table and tapped it three times. “Food please, pot!” she asked. And very soon good smells filled their kitchen. Gretel whisked the lid off the pot, and it was filled with thick beef and barley soup. Her parents exclaimed happily, and they all ate several bowls. The pot filled itself up each time. When they had eaten their fill, Gretel tapped on the pot and said “Stop, pot, stop!” and when she peeked inside the pot it was empty and clean. Hansel cleared the table and washed the dishes, and the family slept well with full bellies that night.

In the morning, the pot produced oatmeal with apples and walnuts and again they ate their fill. And then Gretel thought of the people in the village. If their family was suffering hunger, surely others were as well? She and Hansel had a long talk, and they took the magic pot into town where they fed everyone who came and asked for food.

They did this every day for months, through all of the long cold winter and into the spring. As summer came, the situation of the village changed for the better. As the villagers had more money to spend they remembered the kindness of the wood cutter’s family, and they went back to buying their fire wood and charcoal from them, and getting new furniture from them. Good times returned to the wood cutter’s family and they were comfortable till the end of their days.

The End

Jane Austen is not Romantic


I’m re-reading my Big Book of Jane Austen and wondering, yet again, why some people continue portraying her work as romantic.

I mean, sure, they involve matrimony and at the end of the story there’s a marriage and not a funeral, so technically they are romances and not tragedies, but still.

Most of the established marriages are pretty awful, formed of people who barely tolerate each other at best and despise each other at worst. New relationships are entered into with negotiation, almost as business partnerships, even when actual affection is involved. And when a potential spouse who has objected to a match based on social standing relents, it’s not because passion has swept him/her away. Rather, it’s because he/she found out something further about the potential spouse like their family isn’t as unrelentingly tediously awful as first thought and there are some Members Of Quality present. For instance, Elizabeth Bennet and her atrocious family (except for sweet, naive Jane) but wait, she has the civilized lawyer uncle and aunt.

A lot of modern readers (and, let’s face it, viewers of dramatic versions of the books) forget or never knew that a good marriage was an upper class woman’s job. If she failed at it, she (or the daughters she misaligned) could face poverty or abuse with little alternative save returning home to live with her parents. If you’ve ever read Vanity Fair you’ve seen what Amelia Sedley– a woman with a very high class education and wealthy background– is reduced to in order to survive. (spoiler: she has absolutely no marketable skills and mostly goes hungry, surviving on handouts from relatives)

Austen’s heroines are women with very little options trying to make the best future for themselves they can. Maybe, like Marianne, they narrowly escape being “ruined” (spoiler: “seduced” (possibly raped), impregnated, and abandoned therefore to be hidden away because of The Shame) by A Cad only to find a decent marriage to a man literally old enough to be their fathers; maybe, like Jane Bennet, they luck out and have a few small difficulties before snagging a congenial easily-pushed-around wealthy dude with bitchy, unpleasant sisters;maybe they’re rescued out of grinding poverty (and a very close knit and loving family) to live among people who treat them like unwanted and threatening time bombs waiting to go off, only to find a love alliance with a cousin after all (but have spent over a decade being treated like crap by the rest of the family). She writes with humor and there are comedic elements and, yes, the novels have a Happy End. But there’s a grim undertone of desperation under the social skewering and witty banter.

If these women fail at catching a good husband, they are fucked.

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Questions about sexual presentation in fiction.


Let’s say that you are reading a piece of fiction that is well written and enjoyable. It’s got what you like in it: good characters, good world building, action, romance, happy little elves, sparkling vampires, hard bitten cynics with hearts of gold, whatever.

Let’s say that there’s a character who is one gender, but presents as another. FOR INSTANCE: you have a biological female who dresses in male clothing, uses a male or gender neutral name or nick name, and doesn’t correct people who use male pronouns.

Do you assume this character is transgendered?

If you find, via the story, that the character presents this way for social reasons rather than identity reasons, do you feel let down? Like, the character doesn’t really identify as male, but gets less crap from people/is taken more seriously when wearing pants and short hair, but has no problem having a vagina/ovaries/menstruating/etc?

If a character IS transgendered and presents/lives/identifies as female, but is a sex worker, is that offensive because it’s a stereotype? What if the character is fully accepted by the group she lives/works with, and her clients? What if the character is a minor character who is well fleshed out and realized but ultimately is a support character only (“magical transperson”)?

I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Please feel free to email me (brigidkeely at gmail .com) if you don’t want to post publicly.

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I’m a little peeved because I’ve had a story kicking around in my head for awhile now about 3 young women who all find out about their supernatural abilities. One of them is the daughter of Manannan mac Lir. And now I’ve seen the first (I’m assuming there’ll be more) Percy Jackson movie and I’m worried that 1) that will inform my narrative and 2) that people will assume that informed my narrative. I kind of want to read the books, but now I’m fretting about influences and… yeah. Whatever. (One of the other young women is a werewolf, although she’s always known that, and the other is a Phoenix-like supernatural creature.)


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Science Fiction


If you asked me about ten years ago what my favorite genre was, I’d have told you right off the bat, no hesitation, “fantasy.” The truth is, though, I’ve always been hugely into science fiction. Ahh, sci-fi! You had me honestly believing that I’d see actual colonies on other planets, hoping that I’d have the option of being a Bold New Settler– and if not me, then my children. That I’d be able to see my children launching themselves into the unknown, Boldly Going. Books involving The Future (whether bright and shining or dingy and dystopic), aliens, robots, Space, exploration, etc were my bread and butter. I’ve read approximately fifty thousand post-apocolyptic dystopia books (current favorite apocalypse: zombie outbreaks, replacing the nuclear holocaust survivors with awesome mutations genre from the 70s and early 80s).

So why list fantasy as my favorite, instead of sci-fi? I mean, you know, sure… I love magic and fairies and vampires/werewolves/etc as much as the next person who came of age in the 90s and fell in love with White Wolf’s World of Darkness games. Or, possibly, more. So why the falsehood?

Frankly, because science fiction is the realm of boys. It’s a male realm, the books populated with male scientists and male inventors and male adventurers, written primarily by men for male readers, and marketed toward males. Until very very recently, it was assumed that only men enjoy and like sci-fi, and the only female touches are heaving bosoms and slightly parted lips sighing after the hero… or some vampy female who betrays the man but not until they’ve had hot sex. I mean, for crying out loud, the sci-fi channel changed its name to SyFy to attract female viewers. Instead of addressing the content of their shows, their advertising, their staff, they… femmed up the name.

A friend of mine sent me some really good books for my birthday and another one sent me a gift card for amazon.com. So I’ve been reading and enjoying a lot of new stuff lately, but also looking at it a little critically and thinking about my reading habits as a younger person, and how I identify as a reader now, and just how much sexist training and indoctrination I had as a kid about what is and isn’t appropriate for someone who was born with a vagina. It’s kind of depressing.

Literature and women


When I was of an age/interest to read Young Adult Literature, most of it was written by dudes, featuring dudes as the characters, and was directed and marketed at dudes. If female characters were present, they didn’t say anything, or were a designated love interest, or taught the Young Hero a Valuable Lesson. There were books directed at female readers but they pretty much sucked, featuring as they did date rape and cancer and orphanings and promising piano careers cut short, and did I mention the date rape and also the stalking? They were horrible, terrible, awful books.

There were a few bright spots, in my reading. Lloyd Alexander who roped me in with his Prydain books, for instance. His stuff was pretty male centric but he DID have the Vesper Holly books, books with a female protagonist who goes on adventures of the sort a male protagonist usually went on. Tamora Pierce’s Alanna/Lioness Rampant books were pretty trail blazing and inspiring, and shaped my world view in ways I’m still discovering. Meredith Anne Pierce’s “Dark Angel” trilogy (which apparently went out of print, with the final book being IMPOSSIBLE for me to find for YEARS) which flavored my dreams and my notion of what strength and love were. Robyn McKinley and Jane Yolen. Susan Cooper’s “Dark is Rising” series and sweet, strong Jane. Mary Stewart’s “Romantic Thrillers” with women who often didn’t know how to drive (my maternal grandmother, of an age with Lady Stewart, never learned to drive) but who still kicked butt and seized their own happiness.

There’s probably more, but in 30 years worth of reading, I’ve come up with what, seven names? Seven authors? And even then, most of Alexander’s work was male-centric, as was Cooper’s “Dark is Rising” books.

This is, now, changing.

Graceling is a book about a young woman “graced” with the ability to fight and kill. She hates it. She hates being under the control of her uncle the King, who sends her out as his bully and muscle. She hates hurting people. She hates herself. And over the course of the book she comes to better understand herself, and slip out from under the control of other people. She also Has Adventures and acts. She isn’t acted upon. She is a driving force. And she doesn’t end up married and with children. In fact she is opposed to marriage and doesn’t want children. How refreshing is that?

The Forest of Hands and Teeth is a coming of age story focused on a young woman whose father is vanished and presumed dead, and whose mother essentially commits suicide in the first few pages. The protagonist comes to realize that the utopia she lives in is actually a dystopia built on lies and half truths, and must escape her fate and her world by launching into the unknown, leaving everything she knows behind. As she journeys, she faces her staggering ignorance and realizes the world is much larger, huger, than anything she could imagine. It’s hard to really describe this book and how much I like it without running into spoiler territory. As with “Graceling,” the protagonist acts more than she’s acted upon. She makes decisions and takes charge and runs her own life.

Lips Touch: Three Times is a collection of 3 short stories about first kisses. I am not and have never been a fan of romance, which makes me kind of a freak, I think. In the “Alanna” books, for example, when I first read them as a teen, I actively resented the romantic bits in the story. So when I say this is a collection of 3 short stories that have a common theme of “first kisses,” please understand that it’s also about a lot more than that. Each story follows a young woman at a turning point in her life. Each must take control of her destiny, her fate, her life, and make a decision about something and then live with the consequences. And each one does.

Some friends of mine are having a baby girl and, nerdishly, one of the things I’m most looking forward to is her discovering reading. I’m incredibly glad that there are books that are written for her; not just books that she can enjoy, but books that are written with her in mind, heroines that she can easily see herself as. I spent most of my childhood running around pretending I was Robin Hood and Taran Wanderer and King Arthur. In order to star in my own youthful fantasies, I had to be male, take on a male persona. I’m excited that literature is opening up and giving young women a taste of what it means to be strong, adventurous, heroic, and female.

If you’re looking for feminist/female-centric books, you might want to check out the Amelia Bloomer Project for lists and descriptions of books.

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Faerie World Building: Cat Sidhe


The Cat Sìth (Scottish Gaelic: [k?aht? ??i?]) or Cat Sídhe (Irish: [kat?? ??i?]) is a fairy creature from Scottish mythology, said to resemble a large black cat with a white spot on its breast. Legend has it that the spectral cat haunts the Scottish Highlands. Some common folklore suggested that the Cat Sìth was not a fairy, but a transformed witch.

The myths surrounding this creature are more common in Scottish Folklore, but a few myths occur in Irish folklore as well.

From Wikipedia.

The Cat Sidhe, in Faerie, has two forms: a stocky, powerful, bipedal fur-covered form with large teeth, claws, and tail; and a large stocky mountain cat type form. Cat Sidhe are skilled trackers, hunters, and guards who live in the Winter Court. Like most Fey in the Winter Court, they are more reserved than the Summer Court. Unlike most Fey, the Cat Sidhe are not immortal. They have long life spans, but they still age and die. Further, Ice Trolls (which do not live in Faerie) prize their pelts and hunt and kill them when they can.

When Cat Sidhe cross Iron Side, they are consigned to either a fully human looking form (bipedal, no fur, no fangs, no claws, no tail) or fully cat. They tend to prefer the cat form, as the human form leaves them feeling naked and defenseless. The longer they spend Iron Side, the more likely they are to be stuck in that form. As a human shaped Cat Sidhe cannot cross back into Faerie, this poses a problem.

Cat Sidhe do not tend to take part in political intrigue. Although intelligent, they are not devious or overly secretive (any more than any other feline influenced race).

Cat Sidhe, with their limited life span, do experience pregnancy– which is rare among Faerie. Females have 1-3 litters in their life time, of 3-7 kits. Generally, more males than females are born and survive. Cat Sidhe are able to interbreed with other fertile Fey creatures and humans, although it’s unlikely. Their offspring generally take after the non Cat Sidhe parent, although this is not always true, and are usually sterile.

036 Black Cat


There’s a small elementary school not far from Balmoral Race Track, in the distant South Suburbs of Chicago, not far from Indiana. Near that school was an abandoned church, which was torn down in the late 1990s after a series of disturbing events.

During the late 1980s and very early 1990s, locals were very disturbed to find cats nailed to the door of the church on what seemed to be random dates. Concerned parents set themselves up in deer blinds to try and catch the perpetrator or perpetrators, however no one was ever caught in the act. Further, nobody in the vicinity ever reported their pets going missing, leading some to deduce that the perpetrators were either using barn cats or feral cats (tricky animals to catch), or else importing cats from miles away.

Parents and teachers admonished local children about witchcraft and satanism, warned them to stay away from grave yards and strangers, and chalked the proceedings up as an unsolved mystery.

One bright autumn morning in 1991, two teens walking through the woods found a wallet. Opening it, they found no ID or credit cards, but they did find money and condom still in its wrapper. One of the pair took out the money and then pocketed the wallet, resolving to turn it in to the cops after their walk– a walk that was interrupted by them tripping over what turned out to be the nude, half-eaten corpse of a young man. Most of his face was gone, as were his hands, making indentifcation difficult. The forensic examiner determined that the majority of bite marks on him were feline in nature, but was unable to determine cause of death. No more cats were found nailed to the church door, and it stood abandoned until it began listing to one side, under the effects of winter and neglect.

It took a while to resolve ownership of the building, but it was condemned and torn down. The small cemetery attached to it remains, and continues to be a local hang out for teens escaping parental supervision.

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