Page Five Ghoul


Yesterday morning I woke up in a roadside motel/brothel in Borroloola, Australia after sleeping off the concussion I received from a gaggle of angry mimi. When I say motel, think Motel 6, but with an enormous spider guarding the toilet. And when I say woke up, think startled awake by two Interpol agents pounding on the door. And when I say morning, think 11:57 AM. I managed squeeze out the bathroom window despite it also being guarded by a spider sentry. Lucky for me it was too busy wrapping up an infant sized rat (not sure really, but I'm going with rat). Although it looked at me hard as I passed, it seemed to remain content with its current squirming parcel.

Anyhow, given that I'm wanted for questioning in connection to the deaths of two Czech nun cosplay escorts and the disappearance of a popular Prague weatherman, I stowed away aboard an Indonesian steamer ship. Destination? My guess was Indonesia. Boy, is there egg on my face. Egg Foo Yung! I was finally discovered and thrown out onto a pier in Hong Kong. Seeing as how I was several weeks late for my piece on Nian and the Chinese Lunar New Year, I couldn't believe my luck.

In China there dwells a beast, half-bull half lion. About 98% aggregate bull/lion, the remainder being unicorn. The head was the lion part, the body was the bull part and horn was logically, the unicorn part, because if you used any other part it would just be part horse.

It’s called a nian and its favorite pastime was coming out of its mountain or sea lair, during lunar new year and go eat some folks. When you figured out the wolves and panthers, you have to start making shit up to keep sharp. Children were a favorite on a nian’s menu so it served as something akin to the western boogeyman. Except in this case the children didn’t have to do anything wrong to draw its ire, just exist. People started to leave bowls of food outside their doors, come the new year, in the hopes the nian would choose a bowl of cold grains over child flesh. Luckily, for everyone, the nian had some completely arbitrary weaknesses, like loud noises and fear of the color red like a Nian Lantern. Once they invented the creature’s weaknesses, they began lighting firecrackers and wearing red during the lunar new year, a tradition that continues to this day.

Legend tells us of the daoist deity Hongjun Laozu who was able to tame a nian by tricking it into checking out his red drawers. From that point on Laozu had a nian for a mount, like what your stoner cousin, who owns katanas, would roll as a D&D character.

 Is this what you wanted, Gary?